I know there are people literally all over the world with love and concern for our little Gigi girl. Yesterday was a tough day for those of us who are dealing closely with her care. Gigi arrived home to Colorado at 5am yesterday morning and her foster mom, Linda, had her to the vet clinic at 9am.
After the initial exam, Dr. Pansiera called me to discuss her findings. The picture was quite grim as Gigi is suffering from so many significant health issues: a bulging right eye that appears to have something behind it pushing it forward, severe dental disease with every root and nerve exposed on all her remaining teeth and abscesses throughout her entire mouth, multiple “angry” mammary tumors indicative of active and spreading cancer, a grade 3 heart murmur with an arrhythmia, her ears were completely infected including ear mites and when Gigi is on her feet, she continuously circles to the right. Overall, she is described as weak and emotionally distant.
We went ahead and did bloodwork and xrays and although the bloodwork was fairly normal, the chest xray revealed a “mass” in her chest, very likely to be metastatic cancer. I spoke at length with the vet, hoping that she would agree that if we could at least get the dental done, perhaps Gigi could have some time in her home where she would be comfortable while being showered with love and kindness. Although she made it very clear that the risk of dying under anesthesia was very big, we agreed that we would go forth with the dental on Tuesday in an attempt to alleviate the severe pain in her mouth.
However, at the end of our work days yesterday, I called Dr. Pansiera to check on Gigi one last time for the night. I could tell in her first word that she was deeply concerned. She told me that the decision we had made earlier had been weighing very heavily on her the entire day. She said she was certain that Gigi’s body was “riddled with cancer” and that although, just like us, she wanted so desperately to give her some quality time to experience love and kindness, she felt going forth with surgery was not only extremely risky, but simply was not in the best interest of Gigi. I fully understood and although it left a huge lump in my throat, our greatest promise to every dog we rescue is to become their voice and to act in the interest of what we know is kind and right for them.
Gigi will make her way to the bridge today, with several of us who were involved in bringing her home at her side. I cannot express how much I wish we could have had a different outcome, even for a short time. But sometimes we just have to know that the greatest gift we can give our dogs is the gift of letting them go.
Many thanks to all of you for your love and concern. Gigi will be home soon and no longer suffering. She will know that she was loved, I promise you that.
~ Theresa Strader
For those of you who missed the earlier postings about Gigi - they can be viewed at the following links on our facebook page: