Sparky took his last breath today.

We took this picture of him yesterday with Vash.  His eyes look funny because the cancer that appeared out of nowhere a week or so ago had already taken over his liver functioning and his eyes were turning green and oozing mucus because he was becoming dehydrated.

He had lymphoma.  No one knew.  One day he just stopped running with the other dogs and laid down and watched.  After a few days we started wondering.  Then he didn’t want to eat so we brought him to the vet.  Out of nowhere tumors the size of golf balls appeared all over his body.  Lymphoma.  What to do.

Chemo was an option, but our vet had not seen much benefit to dogs with this type of cancer at this stage, but it was still an option.  I took to the internet and read stories written by other dog owners who had gone the chemo route with their own dogs.  Some saw a benefit – others talked about how hard it was on their dogs who were already sick.  We went the route of Prednisone and antibiotics to ease the symptoms and see how it went.  At first it helped and he started to eat and to move around, but it did not last long.  He stopped eating again.  We couldn’t get the medication into him.  He was just not interested in life anymore.

The last two days he was velcro with Chip.  He wasn’t eating or moving except to follow Chip into whatever room he was in.  Last night we carried him into our room to sleep.  Around 3:00 in the morning Chip got up and carried him outside to go to the bathroom.  Sparky did not want to go back upstairs, so Chip slept on the couch next to him.  By this morning his skin was ashen grey instead of pink.  His ears were yellowing and his eyes were green.  He took a few sips of water and laid down.  Chip made the call.  We went in at 1:00

Carlene felt his belly and told us it appeared that he was bleeding internally too.  When she gave him an injection just to relax him, he stretched out next to Chip and closed his eyes.  It was time and he just wanted to go to sleep.  We let him go.

Sparky was a rescue Aussie out of Western New York.  We never knew how old he was.  He was found roaming the streets with a friend and he was a scared little boy.  He was a red merle.  I adored him.  I named him Sparky because that was my very favorite name for a dog (after a cocker spaniel my aunt had when I was little).  There was a time when we had found a home for Sparks, but Vash sobbed for hours at the thought of him leaving, so he stayed.  He became devoted to Chip and followed him around – not pushy – just always there.  He slept in our room, starting out next to me but always moving during the night to squeeze in between the bed and the dresser on Chip’s side of the bed.

Tonight Mary, who watches over all of our dogs on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge, is receiving Sparky.  He has joined Jesse, Jett, Onyx, Rodeo and Bantam in Mary’s care and is probably sitting under her chair – making sure he keeps her safe.

We love you Sparks – wait for us, okay?

About Shelly R.

I am a Mother, a daughter, a sister, a wife, an attorney, a crafter and the granddaughter of an amazing woman - my Polish Grandmother. My Grandmother gave me so much, through her love and her patience, her sayings and her time teaching me how to craft and to give to others, that it seemed fitting to share some of that wisdom, to tell some of her story, and to chat about life and crafts in a way that would be a testament to what she gave me.
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12 Responses to Sparky

  1. It is so hard to say goodbye to our family pets. Sorry for your loss. Blessings to you for doing the right thing for Sparky.

    • Shelly R. says:

      Thank you. Writing about him helped. We knew it was time, but knowing doesn’t fill the hole that’s left after. You don’t stop loving just because they are not there.

  2. I’m so sorry for your loss. No matter how long we have with our pets, it’s never quite long enough. Your words touch my heart, even though it’s been several years since our last dog passed on. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.


    • Shelly R. says:

      Thank you Liz. I’m just so grateful that we had him all the time we did. My 8 year old is trying to be strong, but he tears up whenever he thinks of it. We are just giving him alot of hugs tonight. It happened so fast – no one was prepared.

  3. Danielle says:

    Oh Shel, I’m so sorry. I know how much you all love all your dogs and how each one is so special to you. It sucks to lose a pet. I hope your hearts heal quickly. Love you!

  4. becky says:

    Oh, Sunshine! I’m so very sorry that you lost your special puppy. I know that they are all special, each and every one of them, in their own way. I miss each of my children and they will all have their spot in my heart. I’m glad that we have big hearts!

    • Shelly R. says:

      Thank you Beautiful. We are all just trying to get through today and not think about it because everyone is on the verge of tears today. Tomorrow should be a little better. I just feel so sad.

  5. I understand how hard it is to lose a dog to cancer, to have to make that decision. Big hugs to you and your family. Sparky is clearly loved, and you were lucky to have each other.

  6. Ashling says:

    Oh Shel, I’m so sorry for your loss. You all & Sparky were so blessed to have each other.

  7. amanda says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about Sparky. I have been there, too… sleeping on the floor with my old kitty on her last night. My heart goes out to you, Chip, and the boys.

  8. Shelly R. says:

    Thank you all for your thoughts and expressions of love and support. It made it easier for me knowing that there was that love around us all during this time.

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