Just a month ago my daughter's German Shepherd "Pepper" was diagnosed with Lymphosarcoma, a fast growing cancer that is always fatal. At the time Pepper was a vigorous robust 5-year old dog, who always received the best of care, the best of diets, plenty of exercise, and lots of love, the things that normally help to insure that dogs live long and healthy lives. However, German Shepherds are one of the breeds at risk of cancer and a number of other health issues, and as it turns out Pepper's mother had died of cancer last spring. Fortunately, Pepper was never bred.
Jess posted this to Facebook this morning,
"28 days ago, we promised her we would not let her suffer - today is the day we stand behind the promise. Everyone, please give your dogs a hug."Just amazing how fast the cancer progressed, from an active healthy-seeming dog with swollen lymph nodes to a dog who will be departing today. Jess & Don made Pepper's last weeks as enjoyable as possible. Although I am not a Shepherd fan, Pepper really was a terrific dog, and much loved by her family. She and her buddy "Simmie" certainly changed my view of the breed. Because Simmie is 12-years old in a breed that normally does not live to be that age, there is more sadness in store for Jess & Don. Fortunately, they have Dal puppy Meribel to help ease the pain.
As Jess says, hug your dogs today, and remember why you have them and how much they add to your life.