A few weeks ago I asked for our Facebook followers to share their stories about their heartwarming moments with their pets. Boy, I didn’t realize what a tear-jerker this task would be. But even so, with a tissue in hand we were touched by these heartfelt stories and want to share them with you. I hope they touch you as they did us.
We have such long story full of blessings and disappointments it’s difficult to know where to begin. On Sunday, May 28, 2012 (a holiday weekend) we were very grateful for our local Vet, Dr. Gwynn Hardee (we live in Myrtle Beach and he was in Loris). He was able to find to compassionate techs to help him perform an Emergency Splenenectomy followed by a blood transfusion on our beautiful 9 year old Australian Shepard, Bliss.
He saved her life that evening and we thought we were home free until he called us a week later with the Pathology results…Hermangiosarcoma. We had never heard of it and were heartbroken. Our plan was just to enjoy her but he suggested we come to VSC for a consult. We met the beautiful and bubbly Dr. Michelle Wall who gave us hope, not necessarily for a cure but at least some time. Bliss also had the MDR1 gene mutation which made her very sensitive to vaccines and several medications but we decided to proceed. She did great the first few months but by the 4th treatment her body was having a difficult time recovering. In October 2012, a secondary malignant tumor was found on her thyroid and Dr. Ludwig performed surgery to remove it. She was so reassuring that she could remove it all with no further treatment needed. Bliss recovered fully and we continued. In December, 2012 we were convinced it was something with the cancer and drove down to VSC Emergency at 2 am. It turned out to be a severe Urinary Tract infection. Even after hours, wonderful compassionate care. In May, 2013, again we just knew it was the cancer and rushed back to VSC. Dr. Brofman, discovered an iliopsoas strain which we took as good news but looking back it may have been all related. In July 2013, when we were almost complete with the chemotherapy protocol and had hope that maybe just maybe Bliss would be in the 5% that beat it, another mass was found on her liver and it was bleeding. We had to make a difficult choice and followed the advice of Dr. Taylor and Dr. Bianucci to go with surgery. Bliss sailed through surgery but ended up staying at VSC 6 days. Dr. Bianucci gave us his cell # and called us every day to reassure us. After 3 days , we visited every day and she again recovered to her happy self. After about 5 great weeks, Bliss was full of infection with Aspirated Pneumonia, Pancreatitis and either abscess from the last surgery or cancer reoccurrence on her liver. We were crushed. She was hospitalized 2 days and responded well but a few weeks later more infection and it seemed one thing after the other. With the support of Dr. Wall during her last weekend we brought Bliss in on Monday, October 14th and decided it was best for HER to let her go. She and her tech (I should know her name?) were so wonderful. They made the worst possible situation as bearable as possible. We were all 4 crying and three weeks later I’m still crying. I should remember names because after over 30 visits to VSC and 3 surgeries, there are so many wonderful and caring compassionate people who helped us through it all. Jess, became a friend always greeting us with a smile and Jeff made us feel like we were always in the best of hands. But really everyone we encountered ( I just can’t recall all of the names ) in the last 17 months was fantastic. We are forever grateful and hope we won’t need to come back for professional reasons but know if we do we will be greeted as old friends 🙂 After all that Bliss went through she never lost her love of life. She had such a strong will to live and an amazing love for family…so devoted. A forever puppy. I could not have named a dog more appropriately…she truly was Blissful and her paw prints will be forever in our hearts.
Ginny (and Jim)