Still a Golden size hole in our hearts. The pain has settled in, and might not be as raw, but it is there.
Today would have been our boy’s 9th Birthday. Today is especially difficult.
That is all for now
Still a Golden size hole in our hearts. The pain has settled in, and might not be as raw, but it is there.
Today would have been our boy’s 9th Birthday. Today is especially difficult.
That is all for now
It is hard to believe it has been two weeks. We miss you SO MUCH. If I close my eyes, I can still imagine you here beside me, rubbing your ears and the way your fur felt. The way it made me feel when I would look deep into your beautiful warm brown eyes.
You were the heart of the house. We brought you home when we had only lived here for 2 weeks. I have only a few memories in this house without you. You are in every corner of this house.
Your bed is still where it was with your pillows in the dining room, but it has been empty for two weeks. Until today, when I found Lola sleeping on it for the first time ever. There is a big empty spot in our bed, too. We all have our most difficult times of the day and for me it is supper time. I only have to grab one food bowl for your sister and there is not all this stuff that has to go in her food for supplements and meds. Your bowl stand is still there, too. We still fill your water bowl. Lola always drank from your water bowl more than her own anyway. The first night I stood over your bowls sobbing like a baby. We all still cry at least once a day.
We’ve been looking at old photos and videos of you. It seems so weird to see you with 4 legs, especially moving and walking on all 4. I miss that 3-legged hopping noise in the house. I miss you whining when you wanted to come up stairs and the baby gates were up or when you needed help up the stairs. There are endless memories that make us laugh. The things you did, the times we had, the good and the bad. (The time you walked around the couch 32 times with a sock in your mouth trying to get us to chase you.) Almost all good memories. The only real bad was when we had to make that tough decision to amputate and then at the end, just two weeks ago. We have no regrets for everything we did. We really did have a wonderful 26 months. Every extra day we had you was so worth it all. You had such a great quality of life for almost all of those 26 months. The surgery was tough and the last month of your life was tough, but it was all so worth it in between. Some might say we did too much, and some might say we didn’t do enough. People always vary wildly on their opinions when it comes to dogs. But we did what we could, when we could, because we could and because we felt it was right for you and for our family.
We will remember your last night in the back yard for a long time to come. Even in that time after the first seizure and before the second, you still had such a want for fun. You ran around the back yard after a ball and I was so sure we had more time left than we did.
Some pictures from our last evening:
I have met so many wonderful people through my dogs. I owe a debt of gratitude to many people who I have met over the years that have mentored and enriched our lives. The list is long and many. I am hopeful you all know who you are, as I wouldn’t want to post everyone’s name here on the internet. But thank you all from the bottom of my heart. We also are very thankful for all the excellent veterinary care he has received through his cancer treatment. I’ve never met such a wonderful caring bunch of people. We could not have gotten through all of this without you and your support. And, of course to Tripawds, to an amazing support community, a place to blog, a place to vent, and a wealth of information and friendship, thank you all so much.
For 26+ months, I tried to “Be More Dog” and live in the moment and not fear tomorrow and not live in the guilt of yesterday. But I failed miserably. I am only human. But I will still try tomorrow and every day after that. For Butchey Hudson, I will keep trying.
They are very sad. They cry all the time. I miss you, too. But I knew. We both knew. Momma says that today would have been your 27 Month Ampuversary. So in memory of you, she served me some Cheesy Eggy Goodness.
It was very good, and I’d like to say I’m sorry you didn’t get any, but you know….I’m a dog.
I still smell you everywhere in the house. When Momma and Dada came home that day, I gave each of them a sniff, and then I sniffed your pillow and Allie Gator that had gone with you. I knew. And they knew I knew. It’s been quiet here at times, but Nana lives here now so I’m with her during the day. She uses me as her excuse not to go out, now. I hear her telling all her friends and family. It used to be you, now it’s me. Everybody worries about us.
I smelled you outside on the grass the other day, and I couldn’t help but pee there. I probably should not have, but I’m a dog. Old habits and all, you know?
The Hairless Pup is all over the place now. I know you really liked her. She looked for you on your bed, but Momma says she is much too young to understand what is going on. Momma says she glad for the first 13 months of her life, she has pictures and videos with all of us together so she can tell her all about it later on in life.
All your stuff is still everywhere. I hear them talking about putting it away slowly. They say it is for my sake, so I won’t be upset. But I know it is really for them. They’ll be so sad to put everything away so soon. And they know that I know that they know it is really for them.
Momma says it’s only been 5 days, but 5 days too long. Here’s to you Butchey Hudson, here’s to you.
I am writing this the day after. I don’t know if I am going to be able to get thru it. This may end up short and I will write more later. But for now, everything is still just *raw*.
We had to say goodbye to Butchey yesterday morning. Things took a very quick turn for the worst on Sunday night. I lost my Dad to cancer 12 years ago. He worked a full day on a Friday and was gone by 4:00 am the following Monday. All of a sudden everything just sped up. It was the same with Butchey.
An update on what happened since our last post in July. The front right leg limp that had developed in July had troubled him since then. It started the beginning of July, and was sporadic. Within a few weeks he would not bear weight on that leg. Balancing weight on two left legs proved difficult and his rear left (his only rear leg) starting twisting in. His oncologist did X-Rays on the front right leg. Nothing. His primary vet palpated his entire front right leg and shoulder. Nothing. He would not wince, would not flinch, not a growl nor a whimper of pain. Nothing. Arthritis was ruled out (maybe slight, but not enough to not want to bear weight on the leg). He had full range of motion of his neck and legs. Everyone was perplexed and by ruling out everything else, it was thought to be a soft tissue injury. Which would have made sense, because he could be potentially re-injuring the area where he had no right rear leg to compensate and rest the front. He did have muscle atrophy in the front shoulder. So we took him to aquatic therapy for nonimpact exercise. Same evaluation there, no showing of pain what-so-ever. But Butchey got to swim, which he loved!! He stopped doing stairs at all, even with assistance, and we resorted to putting sod out on our back deck which was only one step down from our kitchen for him to use as a potty area. (We did this before when he was recuperating from amputation surgery.)
He had already been on Deramaxx as part of his cancer treatment. We put him on Tramadol. Then added Gabapentin for a nerve blocker. Then took him off Deramaxx and switched to Metacam for an NSAID. His holistic vet added in a TCM treatment of Yunnan Baiyao. Things seemed to improve a little here and there.
Saturday, August 31, he started with this weird breathing thing at bed time. At first I thought it was reverse sneezing, which he had done before, but it continued way too long (about 2 minutes) and it was different. Whole body movement, but he never lost consciousness and it eventually subsided and then he would do one every 10-15 seconds or so until it stopped. He had another episode of that the following week, but it didn’t last nearly as long and wasn’t as much with the full body movement.
Then the following Tuesday, he fell down half a flight of stairs. My mouth opened in horror but no scream would come out. He had started doing stairs again but still needed assistance to get down the stairs in his harness. But he either forgot or really had to pee and went charging down before I could grab the handle on his harness. I was horror struck. A call to vet, extra Tramadol and iced his legs and shoulders. We had to cancel his aquatic appointment, which was a huge disappointment because he had done so well after his last appointment. But by the next day, he was up hopping around, begging for food at dinner table and seemed to be getting around okay.
By Saturday he had gotten a little less mobile, however. Taking more to his dog bed, just outside our kitchen. (Still had to be near and close to the center of activity, of course!) Then on Sunday, he was real subdued in the morning. Sunday afternoon is when he took the first seizure. At first I heard an odd bang from where he was lying down and went running in and discovered him in full body gyration and foaming at the mouth. I’ve never seen a seizure before, and at first I wasn’t sure what was going on. I thought I was losing him right then and there, but then he came to. With a total WTF look on his face. We called the ER Vet and gave his background. The vet on call said the cancer had most likely spread to his brain. They said he might not have another, or it might be a few days before had another. But the time in between would eventually get shorter and shorter. But either way, time was short, we would have a decision to make and to spoil the heck out of him for now. Little did they know how spoiled he already was, but if there was room for more spoiling, then giddy up we were game.
We were stunned. Stupidly stunned. Of course I started googling and remembered what I had read on Hemangiosarcoma before and that seizures were there as a symptom. It just was never on anyone’s radar. We had mainly focused on the lung mets. We always figured that is what would be the tipping point. His cough had subsided after the two chemo treatments in June and July and then it was back again. We knew Oscar and Felix were growing, and growing more quickly than before. They had become Chemo resistant and the last two rounds didn’t do much. We would watch and see how often he would cough and if anything came out of his mouth. Last Saturday just after his dinner, he coughed something up on the floor. I wiped it up and thought it looked like blood, but he had JUST walked away from his food bowl and it could have been food juice. I couldn’t be sure, but nothing more came out of his coughs on Saturday night or on Sunday.
My husband went immediately to the local butcher shop and we ALL ate like kings and queens that night. King Butchey had a huge NY strip steak and a half for dinner, entirely fork fed. We enjoyed a romp in the back yard and he even chased a ball around, which he had not done in quite a while. Ironically he was getting around pretty well, putting more weight on the front right leg than he had. We planned a call to vets for 1st thing Monday morning to try to figure something out before the next one hit, which we stupidly thought might be a couple of days. Wrong. 8 hours later another one hit. This time we saw it from the start. It started with a quick head snap and teeth bared and air snapping. It lasted about 2 minutes of full body gyration and then another 2 minutes or so of open eyed unconsciousness. After our shock wore off, we agreed we had made that awful decision. If these were going to continue like that, we could not let him live like this and that it would need to be done in the morning. He had another seizure, his third, about 5 hours after that. We placed an emergency call to his oncologist, who concurred with the ER Vet. Seizure medicine might do something, but no guarantee. Especially given the sudden and quick onset. We left for our regular vet calling them in route as they would just be opening by the time we got there. We just needed to stop his pain before another seizure hit. He never had the fourth seizure.
Afterwards his vet reminded me that Gabapentin is an anti-seizure drug. So perhaps that slowed the onset. We wondered if the cancer had spread up the spine to the brain and perhaps that had something to do with the front right leg limping. After we left the office, my husband & I recalled the so called reverse sneezing incident. We will never know. And did it really matter? Our boy was gone now, he was free from his pain.
I guess I did write a lot. My reason for detail is part catharsis and part hope that these details might help another dog and their owner in their own journey. Especially at the end, where it is obviously the most difficult.
It has been said that Butchey Hudson had a lot of heart. In the end his heart was the strongest. We cannot believe our sweet boy with his amazing soul is gone. We cannot believe we will never kiss his face again, or rub his ears, or rub his belly, or scratch his bum ever again. Time and death make fools of us all. We all knew this day would come. We had accepted it, we had planned for it, but it never makes it any easier. Even all the anticipatory grief I experienced over the last 2 years or so doesn’t make this grief any easier. He was here one moment and now he is gone forever. I know the bond lasts forever, I know the love never ends. But all we feel right now is a whole in hearts the size of his amazingly huge Golden goofy spirit.
And now that is all I can really write at the moment. I can give you the details, but I can’t do the emotions.
October 15, 2004 – September 9, 2013
26 months of ampuversaries
We will love you forever
Here is a July update. Some stuff fun, some stuff not so fun. Fun stuff first!
So, we got to go up to the lake house and go swimming! Then, I had my 25th Month Ampuversary. Hooray! That was on July 14. Then the Hairless Pup had her BIG ONE. Then the day after that, Little Miss Perfect had her 7th birthday. Here are some pictures!
Lola….She’s always getting in my way.
Here’s the official family photo for the Hairless Pup’s one year birthday:
Notice how WE have hats on and The HP does NOT. She cried and cried when they tried to put the hat on her. Did we cry??? Nooooo, we were good dogs. But The HP did NOT get any cheese after either. So HUH!
They had a big shin-dig at home for The HP, and Lola & I were ‘quarantined to the comforts of upstairs.’ Or at least that was the spin they put on it for us. I suspect the plates of chicken wings and chocolate cake downstairs might have been the cause for keeping us upstairs. I do have a history with chocolate cake, oh so many years ago. I can still taste the sticky gooey frosting in my jowls. (Right before they made me puke it all up.)
And….Little Miss Perfect turned 7. Hmmmph. I tried to photo bomb her, but it doesn’t look like I was too successful.
Momma says Lola went and had a “spa day” for her birthday. She can’t fool me, I know what happened to her because Lola came back smelling all flowery and showing me her Brazilian. Momma says I got out of going, because I can’t stand on a grooming table with 3 legs and they give me a bath here at home every 3 weeks because of my skin allergies anyway. I guess there are some perks…and doG knows, I don’t need a Brazilian.
OK , so here is the not so fun stuff: I had my very last chemo treatment (I suppose that’s good stuff, depending on how you look at it.) I have developed a “cough” and I have developed a limp in my front right leg. I am not feeling like a spring chicken at the moment. Momma and Dada have upped their fuss factor over me. I can’t even take a pee in peace. Of course, I guess I never did, now that I think about it.
Also we have a had a few emails inquiring about some of my treatments. Here is a link to the mushroom stuff I’m on:
So that is it for now. Until next time…keep on keepin’ on.
So we had some scans done on June 27th, and Oscar, the slob, is really getting big. Rough estimate on size: went from 2cm to 3.6 cm.
Felix is about the same size, and the Manitou doesn’t seem to have any big growth either.
So, it was not a good news day. But we move on from here.
Hop silently and carry a big bone.
It’s me, Butchey Hudson. We are going to get fired from this blogging business, because our last post was in March.
But we are definitely posting today, because it is my 2 Year Ampuversary!!!
Momma says she can’t believe it, she is so happy she still gets to rub my belly and scratch my butt everynight. Even when I ask her for a bum scratch when she is sleeping. She loves me.
So – but of course – Cheesy Eggy Goodness. With candles no less!
I cleaned the whole plate!
I even got presents! Momma got me a big squishy bone, and Nana got me a big squishy ball. I also got a new bed for my crate and new food bowl holders. Although, I don’t think those had anything to do with my Ampuversary. I pooped in my bed a while back, so I needed a new one. The food bowl holders might have something to do with the impending mobility of the Hairless Pup. Momma said something about easier to clean. But here I am tucking in to my new squishy ball after lavishing in my C.E.G.
I love squishy things.
Let’s see, what else? Well I actually had some shrinkage in my tumors a few months back. We gave Oscar and Felix, the unnamed ear lump and The Manitou a ‘what-for’. I had another two treatments of Adriamycin and that got us that shrinkage. But now I cannot have any more of that, so it we are trying Mitoxantrone. I have had two doses of that and we re-scan my lungs in a couple of weeks to see if it is working at all. So far, I am handling the treatments very well.
Other than that, I had some really bad allergy (tree pollen has been terrible this year) and skin issues that finally seem to be resolved (thanks to cephalexin) and I had the Clap again. :0( Oh well, that got cleared up, too (also thanks to cephalexin). So I am back to feeling good. Lola is still a pain in my tail. I get lots of scraps from the table (no carbs, though). Life is good! I’ve still been Rallying and earned my Veteran title. That’s for us dogs age 8 and over. Lola got some stinking big prize, too. Here is a picture of us. She’s such a show-off.
I hope everyone is doing well. I’ve been promised some swimming time up at the lake house as soon as the pollen subsides up there. Hopefully we’ll have some pics again real soon. Until then, enjoy some loungin’ time!
Butchey Hudson & his Momma here. Momma owes me a 4 hour long rub down. We haven’t posted since January when Barney was here. She is a naughty naughty Momma.
Momma wants me to say she is very sorry. She has a lot of excuses, like Dada going back to work days and still working nights. It is her very busy time of year (she does taxes, I guess that is when the gophermints collect bones from you, and people don’t like to give up their bones) and that Hairless Pup started daycare and she’s been sick, too of course, she’s brought every germ home. Well I’ll give Momma this – she has been busy fussing over me, Lola and the Hairless Pup. But I’m still demanding my 4 hour rub down.
So here goes…
We took a trip into Boston Garden (GAHDEN) while he was here. We went to see the Ducklings. He didn’t behave himself much, because he tried to ride one of the ducklings. I told him this isn’t that kind of rodeo, buddy.
Don’t worry, I didn’t pee on the ducklings. I do have some couth.
Then we took Barney on some sightseeing. He wanted to see the Boston Public Library. Why, I’m not sure. He certainly can’t read with that eye sticking up the way it does.
Then Trinity Church and the John Hancock Tower.
Then we went (well I couldn’t go) but Barney went to the Skywalk at the Prudential Building and got to see some sights. Here he is overlooking the Back Bay and the Charles River (Rivah).
And then we went to Boston Harbor and looked longingly into the Atlantic and to take some time to wonder how the Barney across the pond is.
We hear that other other Barney is a teetotaler. Not sure he’d get along with Momma, she likes her wine.
I had to make sure I taught Barney how to chew a bone before he left.
The rest of the time we chilled.
Momma read the journals and cried a lot. She went through a few boxes of tissues. She said that was the awesomest part for her. We added our own entry and gave Barney one last sniff and then sent him on his way to Jill the Cat. Thankfully, she gave him a new shirt. Although we were partial to the Bret Michaels dress, it was looking kind of rough. Every rose has its thorn.
All in all, we were very honored to play host to the Purple Menace. We hope every Tripawd gets to spend some time with him during their journey. Thanks to Angel Lupe’s Mom for sending him along to us.
So let’s see…What else. After Barney left, I had some appointments with the cancer doc. I’ll give you the nutshell version. I still have the 2 mets in my lungs (Oscar and Felix) and now I’ve also got a lump on the side of my head just under my ear, and my lump has come back where the barber gave me a bad haircut last June. So it would seem that the CCNU was not working, because Felix and Oscar continued to grow and the other 2 happened while I was taking that drug. So Momma & Dada & the Doc talked about giving me that 6th round of Adriamycin that I never had back in November of 2011. So I had that back on March 8 and did very well with it. I have a re-check next week, and we’ll see where to go from there.
But I’m doin’ FINE, still lovin’ life and giving kisses for free. I also celebrated my 20 and my 21 month Ampuversaries. Yes in the traditional cheesy-eggy-goodness style.
I did have one little mishap where I pooped in my crate the other week. Momma says I don’t need to tell everyone that, but I said I would document everything in my blog, so there you are. I pooped my pants, except that I don’t wear pants. I had to have a tubby, of course. And I’ve been loving to chew my paws even worse lately. So Momma, Dada, Nana or Mimi have to put my rubber booties on everytime I go out because it seems to be the cold or the wetness that makes me want to chew them. We even have a song we sing when we put them on: “Booty Time, Booty Time, Get on Down the Road”.
Momma is driving me nuts! Fussing over me, checking me for dry skin, treating my paws with some stuff that does feel good. And always rubbing me and checking me for more lumps.
Speaking of lumps – Lola had to go and get a lump checked, but it came back as a fatty lipoma. She lucked out, that girl. She’s always sniffing me, too. Bugging me to play…urgh. She’s a pest!! She runs at me and jumps right over me, sometimes even T-bones me. No respect, I tell you – no respect.
Here she is pushing me around in one of the many snow storms we’ve had here this winter.
And here we are in yet another humiliating picture of us being dressed up that Momma just insists on…. Momma likes to say it is the Hairless Pup and her Irish Guard
That is it for now folks. It is time for my supper!
So it is Butchey Hudson here. I found out why Momma was so giddy. She brought home this purple stuffed thing in a dress and it smells like it has been through 1,000 dogs. So I mean it smells GREAT!!!
So in case any of you don’t know about the Kill Barney tour, he was Spirit Jerry’s favorite toy. Now he travels alllll over the place and stays with Tripawds and even with pawrents of Tripawds that have gone to the Bridge. He brings comfort to everyone and a little bit of fun, too. You can see everywhere he’s been on his tour map.
So Barney comes in this box with instructions and a bunch of stuff that is really really cool. We don’t want to say much because it is a nice surprise for anyone who might want to have him visit. Momma keeps reading all the journal entries with a box of tissues. And then she hugs me and gives me a long ear rub.
So we have a mission to show this purple menace a good time as long as he behaves. For most of this week, we’ve been cuddling on the couch. I take Barney up and down the stairs, he goes with me wherever I go. Barney comes to bed with us. He’s all right this fella.
Just so Barney knows who is Boss, I showed him what happens when my stuffed toys get out of line. Take Roofus here. He got out of line, so I took his ears off. Don’t worry, don’t worry….Nana is still staying with us. She is my on-call stuffectomy triage nurse. Everything I tear apart, she sews back up for me because she loooooves me soooo much! And she’s pretty good with a needle and thread. Did I mention Barney came with his own needle and thread? He might be needing that before he goes onto his next visit.
Here’s us posing nicely. Someone promised us cheese if we stayed.
Then I got down to attempt a shred mission. I am so fast, even on 3 legs, that the camera couldn’t catch me!!! Lola tried to get in on it, but I told her NO he was mine!
Momma made Lola wear Zephyr’s Monkey Butt ears. Momma and Dada were laughing pretty hard, but Lola didn’t think it was very funny. I always said she doesn’t have a good sense of humor.
Later that first night, Barney met Bumble…for a bath.
But I told him he is here to hang out with me, not the Bumble.
Momma said this weekend we were going out to do some stuff with Barney. She gave me that look that I understand to know I’ll be getting treats, and it will involve a car ride. Yippee!!!! More to come on Barney’s visit later!
Hi everyone, it is me Butchey Hudson. I hope you all had a Hoppy New Year! I thought New Year’s was fine, but Momma says we got some bad news on New Years Eve at our doc appointment. It would seem my latest X-Rays show that although Felix is stable, Oscar is still growing. Quite a bit. And now I have lumps under my one of my ears, too. The Doc aspirated them and they came back positive for hemangiosarcoma. Phooey.
So now I am on a new drug, CCNU, in hopes that this will slow things down on the cancer front. Momma and Dada decided to stop the Cytoxan and Doxycycline because it didn’t seem to be doing enough. We check back with the doc 3 weeks after that New Years Eve appt. My CBC 1 week post CCNU came back OK. So I will probably have another dose of CCNU at my next appointment. It is in pill form, so no IV which Momma likes. We will do X-Rays again 6 weeks after last ones to see what the Odd Couple are doing, and we will monitor the size of my ear lump.
Momma and Dada are very sad, but hopeful that the CCNU will help me. Meanwhile, I just do what I do best: LOUNGE!
For any of you wondering, the
gray red soccer ball has been my favorite lately. It has the most flavor stored up in it.
I still like to be near the Hairless Pup a lot. She’s alright. Even though despite all the promises made to me, she has only just started to drop some food my way.
Did I mention Momma had gotten a new camera? She likes this black and white stuff.
Me smelling the air. I LOVE sniffing the air. Tells you a lot about what the neighbors are eating.
The Hairless Pup complained to me about the Tutu. Just wait until they put her in the Cone of Shame!
Here is our official Christmas Picture for 2012. We only stay for CHEESE.
Here are me and Lola opening up our presents on Christmas morning.
Santa Paws brought me an Indoor Chuck-It. Yeah…Like that WON’T break anything in the house! And that floppy green dog behind me is Roofus. He get’s a whipping when he’s been bad, but I still like to hang out on the couch with him.
So that is it for now. Or so I think. Momma has seemed a bit giddy the past couple of days. She says she has a secret that I will like a lot. But she says ‘contractually’ she can’t say anymore….yet. What the woof is ‘contractually’? So I guess – Stay Tuned!