Happy Sammy

Happy Sammy

Friday 22 February 2013

A Dog's Last Will and Testament

I've sat down to write and complete this post a hundred times. Each time I try to finish it I end up having to walk away. I couldn't make it through all the things I wanted to say. I couldn't decide on a title. How do I thank everyone who loved and supported Duchess Sammy through her illness. All those kind people who sent us their support and comfort during her last days. The medical staff, the friends, the family and co-workers. I think I knew this would probably be the last post I write on this blog.

Today I realized I was trying to say things that didn't need to be said.
Sometimes words are just NEVER ENOUGH!

So today just as I decided a picture is worth a thousand words. I also decided to add some words that I think Duchess Sammy would be pleased to hear.
A wonderful poem that was shared on our friend Jean Ballard's blog "My Life With The Critters"
It was sent to Jean by her friend Gail, shortly after Jean's Beloved Charley passed away in 2011. Thank you for sharing this Jean!

A Dog's Will
Author ~ Luis Delgado
Before humans die, they write their Last Will and Testament, give their home and all they have to those they leave behind. If, with my paws, I could do the same, this is what I'd ask....
To a poor and lonely Stray, I'd give my happy home.
My bowl and cozy bed, soft pillows and all my toys.

The lap, which I loved so much, the tender loving touch.
The hand that stroked my fur, and sweet voice which called my name.

I'd will to the sad, scared shelter dog, the place I had in my human's loving heart,
of which there seemed no bounds.

So when I die, please do not say, "I will never have a pet again,
for the loss and pain is more than I can stand."

Instead, go find an unloved dog.
One whose life has held no joy or hope, and give MY place to HIM or HER.
This is the only thing that I can give .....The love I left behind.
This is my inheritance! My Last Will and Testament.
Duchess Sammy
15/04/02 - 07/01/13
Forever Royal

Sunday 27 January 2013

Prayers On The Wind

A while ago we received a package from a very dear friend.
A friend who we have never actually met in person. A friend who like so many of our other friends, understands what our family has been going through. Jean is the author of the blog, "My Life With The Critters".

You can see the beautiful gift she sent us on this website.
Pet Prayer Flags - Prayers On The Wind

The video at the bottom of this post is in Tribute to our Beloved Duchess Sammy.
You will forever be in our hearts

I have been told the music does not play here so please visit this link to listen to it.
The string of flags come with a tag that explains what they are. It reads:

The loss of a pet, a longtime friend and companion, leaves us lost and deep in sorrow as we try to understand and accept their passing.

Tibetians believe that prayers are carried on the wind and become a permanent part of the universe as the flags fade from exposure to the elements.
Just as life moves on and is replaced by new life, our own healing begins, our hearts mend and we find room to love another pet.

It took us a very long time to hang them outside. There was a part of our hearts that felt like hanging them would mean we are ready to move on and stop grieving for our sister Duchess Sammy. That is so, NOT the case! We will forever grieve her loss.
But, now we want to begin to move forward and remember all the happiness she brought into our lives. We still cry when we think about her. I am crying now. I started writing this blog a few hours ago but have to stop periodically to regain my composure. I go out and look at the flags and think of her being healthy and free and with good buddies to romp and run with her tongue lolling out. Then I can come back in and smile as I write.

Thank you Aunty Jean for helping us to begin the healing process. Bless you and all your furry companions.
We will be Okay, ...soon.

The poem on the middle flag reads:
"You have gone ahead, And nothing is the same, Leaving paw prints on my heart, That will always remain"

Until We Meet Over Rainbow Bridge . . .

Tuesday 8 January 2013

Duchess Sammy is Running Free Over Rainbow Bridge

Yesterday was an extremely difficult day. It started with a blog posted on www.turtlegardens.org which you can read below and ended with a blog I posted later in the day which I will post first below.

We can not begin to Thank all the supportive people who have so kindly expressed their empathy for all we are going through at this time. It will take us some time to regain our strength and get that task completed. There are over 40 messages and emails that came flooding in to our side.

Thank you so much to everyone of you! You will hear from us soon. We are in a state we had never anticipated would happen. All we can imagine is that the "powers that be" took the pain away from our Beloved Duchess Sammy by bestowing it on us.

If that is the case we gladly accept this pain knowing that in time it will subside for us and it would only have increased if it would have stayed with our Duchess Sammy.

Rest In Peace Forever More Duchess Sammy – 15/04/02 – 07/01/13
Posted on January 7, 2013 by King
| 18 Replies
©Turtle Gardens Animal Rescue Society.

Thank you so much to everyone for all your supportive and kind comments. It helps to hear we are doing the right thing. It’s so hard to know for sure. Our hearts are broken.

Late this afternoon Duchess Sammy began to show signs of extreme stress. King and Princess Molly laid beside her for a short time but she did not rest easy. Cuddles and strokes and even extra tramadol did not calm her. She had not been able to empty her bladder for the last two days and we believe her kidneys had failed. A rush to the vet confirmed our greatest fear. There was talk of a catheter but we felt our sweet girl had been through enough. It was time to let our darling cross Rainbow Bridge. She went to sleep in our arms while resting on her big fluffy mat with her teddy bear under her chin. Her warm breath still smelled of her last lick of peanut butter. She’ll be the most desired girl on The Bridge.
Run free and fast Royal Girl. We will always love you.

Duchess Sammy is ill
Posted on January 7, 2013 by King
Turtle Gardens Diary, Updates | 20 Replies
©Turtle Gardens Animal Rescue Society.

Two years ago on Jan 9th 2011 Duchess Sammy joined our family. The happiness she has brought to our home is beyond belief. She has the softest, mildest teddy bear personality I have ever had the pleasure to know. She brought something very special to our small pack. She has completely filled a spot that we never even knew was empty.
Duchess was at TG Dec 2010 I remember the phone conversation when Cynda told me about her being brought to Turtle Gardens because she was unwanted at her previous home. She was 9 years old and her family wanted her to be put down. Fortunately someone from her hometown in Terrace put a quick stop to that and brought her all the way down to Yvette. Yvette saw her teddy bear personality and knew right off she DID NOT belong in a rescue facility. She needed a family she could love and be devoted to and that would return all that love to her. She mentioned that to Cynda, who in turn mentioned to us to ask Yvette about the big black rottie that was brought in with no name.
Deezy, Duchess and Raita stayed with Yvette safe from the flood waters
That’s when the wheels began to turn. Those who remember Duchess coming to us will recall there was much turmoil to go through before Duchess was allowed to BELONG in our family. She had to go back to Terrace, but finally came back HOME to stay on June 13 2011. Duchess Sammy came HOME to us permanently. We are ever so grateful for everything everybody did to get Duchess to us. A few people who played an immense role were of course Lisa B, and Nikki from Terrace and of course Dave and Yvette and Brian.
Thank you so much for this beautiful treasure you gave to us.
Duchess wrote a 2 week update letter to Mamma Yvette -Jan 23 2011 Sadly that website is no longer available. Duchess has had one and a half years of prefect bliss. She truly is of Royal blood in our hearts. She has only ever given us perfect devotion. She exudes calm, matronly, diplomacy. She makes no bones about showing someone who is playing to rough that they better calm down or she’ll run to tell mommy. She made it very easy for us to give her all the affection and care she rightly deserved but obviously lacked. This girl really does have a royal heart.
Duchess Sammy’s YouTube http://www.youtube.com/user/duchessbelongs

During the last six months Duchess has been on NSAID (Deramax) and battling severe arthritis in her front leg. We believed it had begun to affect her hind legs as well. On Oct. 23rd 2012, during a routine six month, blood test and x-rays, Duchess was diagnosed with advanced bone cancer. We were told to prepare for a tragedy before the end of the year, possibly before Christmas. It had already spread to her lungs and possibly other areas. We were devastated but determined to allow Duchess to continue to live out what ever her remaining days were, in as much comfort and dignity as she so rightly deserved.
She is now almost bedridden. We carry her or trolley her in and out of the house. Daddy did a bang up job of building her a ramp and a trolley for transport. We have placed long walkways of carpet throughout the house so she could walk without slipping on the lino. It is becoming rough more and more difficult for her to stand. Her bladder is shutting down. She still has control of her bowels and we put pampers on her during the night to prevent the possibility of mishaps. (Thank you so much for those Paula.) Her disease has metastasized further to other organs and she is now taking tramadol three times a day to keep her as comfortable as possible. A double dose at night. We are so thankful to all the people who have offered so much support for us. Of course, Yvette and also Carol Hines from S.A.I.N.T.S. for their expert advice on quality palliative care. A special thank you to Wendy for sharing the meds she had remaining after the tragic loss of her beloved Daisy.

Time is quickly running out and we have prepared ourselves as much as we can that we will have to let her go to run freely over Rainbow Bridge. We believe we are down to one or two days now. I keep a fairly up to date record of her days on her blog and try to add videos to her YouTube as much as I can. Our vet lives an hour out of town and I also hope it provides an opportunity for him to see her progression as well. For now we all enjoy a few of lives simple pleasures that Duchess Sammy reminds us about each day.
A wagging tail, a deep sigh while sniffing the fresh air, the feel of her favourite teddy bear under her chin, the taste of her favourite chew toy, the sound of her favourite squeaky toy, a bark when she sees the other dogs playing to rough, the feel of her soft, clean, thick, glossy black coat. . .


Sunday 6 January 2013

Duchess Sammy in a CONE??

I think not! I promise not to scratch or rub my eye.
After all I can only barely lift my hind leg as it is, to touch my ear, let alone get it up a further couple of inches to my eye!

Okay so I let you try it on me to see how it works and NOW WE KNOW! I can not move around with that silly thing on my head! I need to use my nose to give me balance when I stand up and turn myself around.
How in tarnashun am I supposed to do that with a stupid cone stuck on my head!?

Take it off! Take it off NOW!
Thank you, for laying beside me in this silly ordeal King. Good grief!!
So apparently I have a scratch inside my eye. I think I must have done it when I was rubbing my backside on the branches. I recall slipping a bit and I think a branch may have caught my eye. So anyway t's infected and now I am on two types of eye drops. Twice a day now mom has to put these stupid drops in my eyes!
Well at least we know what that swelling was. I have to go back in two weeks to see if it's cleared up.

As for the swelling on my right leg. . . Well that's another story.
Not so easily remedied. My tumor has grown to an incredibly large size and begun to metastasize. It has moved up my shoulder blade and creeping onto my spine. It's also down my leg in several areas almost cutting off a great deal of blood flow. The best thing for that now is to continue to gently massage my leg in hopes of keeping some blood flow to it. I'm being good about letting mom gently move my shoulder and leg several times throughout the day. Of course we hope to keep the blood flowing to prevent gangrene from setting in. Oh for heavens sake, what next! Well next is some good news!

Yayyy! Good news! My tooth has absessed as we thought and it has aleady fallen out all by itself! On Friday when I went in to see the good Doctor Ross, at Cache Creek Vetterinary Clinic, told mom he could wiggle it and it would probably fall out right in his hand. Mom said if it's that close let's let it come out on it's own. So it did, the very next day. Mom is still spraying salt water on the empty cavity to keep food from lodging in it. Double Yuck!! But at least that's feeling better.
Now we're back to the waiting game. It sounds terrible to talk that way but that is exactly what we're doing.

I'm still enjoying some of life's simple pleasures on a fairly regular basis. I still wiggle my tail when I'm out side. I still take my ball and hold it in my mouth. It still taste good to lick it. I like it when the other dogs comes by to give me a sniff. Sometimes they give me a lick in passing. I always wiggle my tail so they know they've made me happy.
Mom said she put a new video on my youtube. It shows how I come out to the yard and go back in. I don't stay outside for very long. Even though I have a plastic tarp under my cozy quilt, I get chilly fast. I would much rather be in the house beside the heat vent.
So at least I don't have to wear the stupid cone and my tooth is no longer painful. Whew. Life is still okay. :-) For Now . . .

A Simple Pleasure

Thursday 3 January 2013

Daddy Phoned The Doctor And The Doctor Said . . .

Yesterday daddy phoned the vet to give them an update on how I'm doing and to ask a couple of questions.

You see I had a couple of very bad nights and he and mom became very worried.
I've had a couple of things show up in my body and they were not sure if they should be concerned or simply take them as signs of the progression of my bone cancer. At any rate they wanted the vet to be aware of the changes in order to help me through this difficult time.

  • Most significant is the swelling of my right leg. That's the shoulder where the cancer has concentrated. Mommy measured both wrists and there is an inch's difference. Doc says if it's not red it's probably not inflamation. It could be that the blood vessels are being affected by the tumor and the blood flow is being hindered. Mom is to massage it periodically throughout the day.
  • Also my bottom tooth seems to be inflamed. At first daddy thought it was just where I scraped it on the ground while eating snow. On closer inspection it appears to be an absese of sorts. It hasn't spoiled my appetite but mom has been giving me softer foods anyway. The doc says I have to use salt water to clean it out. Mom mixed up a solution in a small, spritzer, spray bottle and is going to do that several times a day. YUCK
  • The other concern is my right eye. It is also swollen and it's started weeping alot lately. Doc says there is really no way for him to give a proper diagnosis over the phone. He says to check for redness, watch it and let him know if it doesn't improve.
Well, that's it then, dad made me an appointment to bring me in to see the doc on Friday. I'll let you know how it turns out.
In the meantime, mom is still adding video's almost daily to my youtube channel. I really want to play on some days but mom is afraid I'll overdo it and she stops me.
Like on the New Years day video

Duchess Belongs's YouTube Have a look and feel free to comment. I'ld love to hear any suggestions or advise you have.

Check out my wiggly tail! here - Dec 29th Day by Day

And after snow play it's time for the warmth of the house.

Look at me I'm weightless! - HERE -Rolly Polly UpsideDown


Tuesday 1 January 2013

2013 - A New Year

What a Wonderful World

My New Year Wish came true. I have been able to see it come in. I will not see it go out but I will be watching over when it does.
My nights are becoming restless now, two nights in a row I have not rested easy.
I think my days are quickly coming to an end.
I'm not quite ready to go but I'm ready to accept that the time is close at hand. The time when I can run fast and far and be free of pain.
I was searching for wonderful poems to write here but there are so many to choose from.
I wanted one that tells my family how much I have loved them. One that tells them I know how much they loved me. Instead I wrote what's in my heart, if I could really talk.
Im so Thankful and grateful to the people who rescued me!
Nikki from Terrace and Yvette Labatte from Turtle Gardens Animal Rescue Topley B.C.
You gave me what I was searching for
My Forever Family to Love and Cherish me.


I am so grateful I was rescued
Two more years of life accrued
I learned I really did belong with Royalty.

I was pampered and adored
and I was told twas my reward
for just being who I am, Duchess Sammy

The others knew that I was ill
when I came within their guild
but they did not spill my secret even once.

Soon the day was coming
I would have to stop my running
Now that day has come and gone, yet here I am

And now I'm growing tired
and I try so hard hide it
Yet it's difficult some days to even smile.

Soon I'll find the strength to ask
my mom and dad to do the task
let me go to run o'er Rainbow Bridge.

But for now I soak up snuggles
lots of tummy rubs and cuddles
and a chance to lick the faces of my friends.

When I'm gone I shant look back
but run far and fast and free
Forever with The Rainbow Bridge Pack

Wednesday 26 December 2012

Merry Christmas To All

"They" said I might not make it to see Santa arrive. BUT I DID! And this morning I went out for my morning ritual and came in to eat breakfast just as normal as these days have become.
Now I'm resting in my trolley until I have recovered my strength to move into the living room and settle on my mat by the heat vent.
I had a wonderful Christmas day with my family. After my morning out, I snuggled back down on my mat to open my Christmas package from Nan, who's over in England. Thank you Nan those treats are DEEELISHHHH!
King and Molly and I munched away, MMMM YUMM! They are so good. Mom said I could only have one because they are very rich and might give me the ... well you know.
We have snow on the ground so it's basically a white Christmas. I love the snow and am so happy I got to see it this year. Im making it through day by day and my pain seems managed just fine.

I tire pretty quickly when I'm out in the snow to play so when I have had enough I simply lay down to let mommy and daddy know it's time for me to go indoors.

My leg is swelling a bit now, and it hasmom worried but it really doesn't seem to bother me any more than it did before.

I've included a few more snow pictures and I'll get mom to upload the christmas pictues next blog. Merry Christmas Everyone!