Hello Sage Brush Homesteading fans.
I apologize for this weekly update coming so late, it’s been an extremely difficult week. If some of you reading this are upset easily, I’m going to caution further reading as I will be frank in saying this is a very sad posting but one that I feel is necessary. As is my intention with this blog, to educate, provide helpful information, tips and tricks whether you have a large homestead or small urban farm
For nine years I have had the blessing, pleasure and most of all unconditional love of a beautiful Golden Retriever named Logan. His pedigree name is Edgecombe’s New Hope Diamond Logan. Technically I’ve had him since he’s been born. I’ve always considered myself a somewhat Golden snob, I’ve always had them and just have been the breed for me, even though over the last few years I have said Logan is my last Golden, I do need to think of going smaller and with a little less hair. Having said that, those of you who are dog owners…especially the shedding variety know that dog hair can sometimes be called a “condiment”..ha ha ewe. But like I say, if I don’t have the dog hair, I don’t have the dog…sure there’s hypoallergenic breeds, but other than my grand puppy Yaegar a Schnauzer….hair is all I’ve ever had and happily.
Prior to Logan I had Bailey, I used the same breeder who’s been doing this a very long time and has longevity in her dogs. Bailey only lived nine years, just short of ten. Prior to Bailey was Rocky, who was a puppy mill dog and that was fine. He gave me a little over fifteen years, BUT both Rocky and Bailey passed from the same thing. Spooky was my first one and lived to be fourteen and I never was too certain what took him, other than at the time I thought old age, but back in the early ’80’s they had other names and thoughts on this condition.
For me, Logan was actually born the evening that I lost my Bailey and it was all bittersweet when I went to see the puppies two days later, still with the loss in my heart and knowing my puppy wouldn’t be coming home for another seven weeks…it was a long seven weeks to be sure.
Logans early months and first couple of years he was shown, I was his owner and handler and he had fun, but after a couple of wins it was evident he didn’t want that, he wanted to be a dog! Still always liking the attention of being on our grooming table and getting prettied up though! Once we moved out to Oregon and on the homestead, his life really changed and he’s been loving life! He’s a dog. He can get to be a dirty farm dog running around, or a groomed up “lap dog”. But no matter what, he loves this life and I’m so overjoyed that he’s able to live it to the fullest 🙂
There’s cancer called Hemangiosarcoma, it’s an extremely invasive and extremely aggressive cancer. It’s the type that one day your dog is fine, the next you think maybe a cold, doesn’t like the food, is tired etc and then within weeks they could be gone. Sadly, in learning more and more about this horrible disease I’m finding out that it’s the number one killer of Golden’s and many never reaching double digits! There are other breeds that have been hit with this as well, German Sheperds, Labs and Dobermans along with a few more that I cannot remember and I apologize for that. The larger sporting/working breeds are just more prevalent to it. Doesn’t matter breeder, lineage, geography, food….there can be a whole litter of perfectly healthy puppies, two or three can be raised side by side in the same households with everything the same. The parents could live to be twelve to thirteen and yet one will get it and the other will live a long healthy life.
Hemangiosarcoma attacks vital organs, usually the ones with more blood supply ie heart, spleen, liver etc.. It can also be seen as skin tumors, in either instance these tumors attach to the organs and grow, as they grow they then burst and cause a bacterial infection which can not be cured. This also causes anemia, and in their quest to take over, feed off the blood supply and muscle and basically causing internal bleeding. A blood work up can best diagnose this condition with the white count being high and out of whack and showing the bacterial infection. Loss of appetite, listlessness, sometimes limbs are affected, tumors can suddenly pop up and the entire condition of a once happily active dog goes down hill…and fast. What else is tough about this is that many times the owner will think perhaps the dog is tired after a big work out or has a little “cold” or something else, the sad reality of this is that once any symptoms show, it’s too late and in final stages. I’m not one to run to vets a lot, but you know your pup and if you think something could be off, get a blood test done to be sure.
For the last two weeks Logan has taken a drastic decline and this has been extremely tough on me, ripping my heart out. As I write this, he is laying close by and we’re taking one day at a time. Today has started out to be a good day with him wanting to go out in the pasture, normally running but walking is making him happy too 🙂 With this condition, they can have good and bad days. For me, every single day that I wake up to his face, still with shiny (but sometimes sadness since they don’t understand what’s going on with them) eyes and tail wagging, I will just care for him as an old dog and consider it to be a gift. He’s happy in his home, going outside and enjoying what life he has left. There is absolutely no cure or treatment for this nasty thing. Some will do surgery, some will do treatments, but in reality all it does it make the remaining time (and only days or weeks) a little more uncomfortable for them and some do not get through the surgery.
My reason and hope for this blog is not to upset, but to not only let you all know “where I’ve been” but to hopefully inform you. Perhaps someone has a dog with similar symptoms or who is going through this. Whatever it is, get the word out, if you used a breeder, let them know. The breeders are working hard to find a common ground, some research is done, but it’s dogs and most feel not as important. I beg to differ, disease is disease and our pets are our kids. Don’t let a vet talk you or someone you know into expensive, lengthly and useless treatments. The best thing is to just take care of your furry buddy, making them as comfy as can be and listen to your dog, when you’ve raised them and lived with them you know them better than a vet does. They will let you know what to do and when it’s time. Some will go peacefully in their sleep and others well…..whatever the case may be, I’ve been through this three times now and learn more each time, I’m really listening to Logan and feel we’re doing the right thing with him. I pray when the time comes, that it is in his sleep, but if not, I know my furry bestie and he will let me know.
Love on and enjoy your furbies and I will give updates on Logan.
As always…keep smiling, it makes people wonder what you’re up to! If you enjoyed this post, please follow, share with others who you think would enjoy or benefit from it and sign up so you don’t miss a thing and also for my weekly newsletter. Have an Outstanding Day!