First, I must say a big "THANK YOU" to all of you that offered your prayers for Keene and us. It is VERY much appreciated. Not everyone understands our deep sadness, so it is nice to have the prayers.
On Wednesday, we had taken Keene back to the vet because we knew something was seriously wrong. She had been up the night before whining and couldn't even keep water down (She had been really sick for about a week.). Dr. Abernathy said he would keep her for a couple days and evaluate her. We called on Thursday, but all they told us was, she was eating a little, but that they wanted to keep her another day.
I went to work on Friday and Richard called me at about 8:15 AM and said Dr. Abernathy had just called. He did an xray and found cancer. I had someone else cover my classroom, while I walked down the hall. Richard continued, in tears, saying that it was a huge mass that filled her abdominal cavity. Dr. Abernathy gave us the option of surgery, but said he would have to refer us to a specialist. My husband asked what her chances of survival were and he said, not good. We made the decision to not put her or us through anymore. God was saying it was her time. I have NEVER heard my husband so broken up.
I got another teacher to cover my room for the last two hours of the day and I left around 12:00. My parents came over to sit with our other dog, Menlo, and we went to see Keene.
We have a friend, Karen, that works in this same vet's office and she hugged us as soon as we walked in. She has a very ill dog and totally understood how broken up we were. Dr. Abernathy showed us the xray. You could see the mass was huge and was pressing on her colon and very near her heart. After seeing that, we absolutely knew there was nothing more to be done.
We went back to Keene's cage and we could see how uncomfortable she was. She got up and wagged her tail for us, but we could see she did it with a lot of effort. They allowed us to take her into a back room to say our goodbyes. Keene gave us a lot of kisses, which is not something she ever did. To me she was saying, "I'm happy to see you, but I really don't feel well. It's time to let me go." We hugged and kissed and pet her for a time and then called Dr. Abernathy in.
Richard and I both held her as Dr. Abernathy put a needle into her front leg. Within seconds she collapsed into my arms. I hugged her and cried. She was even snoring...which I found very comforting. I knew she wasn't in anymore pain. Dr. Abernathy said he would have to give her a little more of the drug. I put my hand on her heart as he injected her again. After 4 seconds I felt her heart stop beating.
We both hugged and kissed her a little more and then we let her go. I believe she is with God now and we will see her again.
Dr. Abernathy gave us each a hug as we left the room.
Keene will be cremated this week and we will then bury her ashes in our flower garden in the back yard.
We both knew it was the right thing to do, but it hurts a lot. She was our first baby. We'd raised her since she was six weeks old. It was good that we were there and got to hold her until the end.
Richard and I cried more in the car and have been reminiscing about her ever since: the funny way she walked when she was a puppy, how tiny she was when we first got her, her snoring that became so comforting, the times she destroyed pillows, the funny way she would sit on her head so that we would play with her, how she loved tennis balls, how she hated being kissed, but loved having her butt scratched, going to obedience school, playing in the park, giving her pills using cheese and she thought it was a treat and how much love and affection she gave us for 5 years.
You were loved very deeply, Keene. You were a good dog and brought a lot of joy to our lives. There is no more pain and you can now rest in peace. Mama and daddy love you.