Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tuesday's Tribute - SISU update

Tuesday's Tribute
A Jay and Deb Production.

I'm a day late getting my Tuesday Tribute out as it was a sad day. In the afternoon I was hit with a stomach virus and was laid up on the couch while Scott took SISU in for her check up after the
surgery she had on 12/29/08. I asked so what's the diagnosis? Scott "cancer". Me "your kidding". Scott "I wouldn't kid about something like that". I went numb hearing the rest...
It seems that sore in her mouth was merely a coincidence. The material that was removed below her eye did test positive for cancer. There is no option for surgery as it seems the cancer is in her eye socket and jaw. I, like many of you are probably going to say too, "how?!". God only knows - dogs getting cancer is no different than humans. The doctor stated she could write up a referral to bring her to the clinic at UGA, but gave serious warning that cancer treatment, even consultation, can be very expensive. Surgery is not an option based on where the tumor started - eye socket/jaw. And since this has been going on since October '08 it is very likely it has spread into other bones, or even her lungs. I have heard a couple of wheezing sounds from her, but not sure if it's related. On the other hand, she was equally willing to write a prescription for pain management.

These are photos of how her eye looks now, and as healed as it's going to get:



Today I did a consult with Dr. Grumbs, our regular vet to get his insight from the results. His prognosis based on other animals he has treated was not good at all. He said we need to be prepared for the tumor to grow back rapidly. It could be weeks, it could be months. And like cancers we all know, typically it is not what takes their life. One day... sooner than we will be ready for, we'll have to put her down to save her from any more pain. We are going to start her on Rimadyl for the inflammation and Tramadol for the pain. Now the only time she seems to show any discomfort is when she yawns - she tilts her head oddly.

So.. my Tuesday Tribute is to my sweet dog SISU. She will be 6 yrs old on April 6th and she is 80lbs of love! But, I am overcome with hurt thinking about losing her. She is a GREAT dog and anyone that crosses her path shares the same admiration. She is our protector and playmate to our girls. Ok.. the girls are toddlers, so she is their torture toy much of the time! But she takes it.. we trust her 100% with the girls, she is truly an amazing dog. We got her when she was 3 months old - here is a photo the first night we brought her home, meeting Bailey. Bailey had a seizure and had to be put down back in '06.

Here is a classic treatment she gets from the girls:

And being she is a lab - she LOVES the water. And what a hoot it is to watch her! She jumps off the dock over 10' at times, has learned how to climb ladders - and when we get tired of playing with her..she rolls the ball off and plays with herself! It really is incredible to watch how smart she is! We even invested in a "Hyperdog" sling shot... giving us the ability to get the ball down to the water from our deck! Oh the fun we have with her!


And lets not for a moment forget what a BALL-AHOLIC she is! This dog will fetch a ball 50 times if you are willing! And... even when it is hit with a racket across the neighbor's yards! She lives up to the name SISU! Most of the time we have to make her stop and rest - otherwise she keeps going and her back end/legs go out. Her determination .. is well like her, one-of-a-kind. Her blood line was registered, and award winning. We have often wondered if we wasted her skills!
I do not know what lies ahead. It breaks my heart to think of days without throwing the ball or watching her play in the river in the backyard, or the water down at the cottage. And the girls.. I can't bear the thought of how they will miss her. As of now, her spirit is not broke - she lives to catch a ball and be loved. She jumps around if you play to get her excited about squirrels running on the back deck. She is not giving in by any means, so I must find some strength.. and console my heart with prayer. SISU we love you! And brace yourself... all your remaining days I plan to spoil you to the best of my ability!

Below are some pictures I took of Sisu and the girls today .. just a typical morning in our house :) They love to snuggle with her... once in awhile Sisu actually likes it :)




12 comments:

Stacy said...

I am so sorry to hear that. Sisu truly is an amazing dog. My heart goes out to you guys.

Anonymous said...

I am sad to hear this for many reasons, one of course is all the fun watching her, laughing at her but most of all what is going to be the reason Scott and Greg use to hang outside at night for when they can't use the reason"Sisu needed some attention!"

Mel said...

I am so sorry...

Anonymous said...

Becky-Sue, I am so so sorry ro hear about SISU. I remember when you first got her and I know how much a good dog means to a family. My prayers are with your family and SISU. Sean

Danielle said...

Oh Becky Sue...I don't even have any words for how sorry I am. I know how much a dog can become a member of the family and how difficult it is to see them decline and suffer. I lost my 20 yr old maltese 2 years ago and it was one of the hardest things I have ever gone through. I wish I could give you some words of wisdom or say something that would encourage you...but all I can say is that I will be praying for you. Praying that when the time comes God will give you the strength you will need to make that decision. And until then, give Sisu the best and most ridiculous love that she so very much deserves!!!

xoxoxoxo,
Danielle

Anonymous said...

Becky Sue,

I am in tears at your lovely tribute to Sisu. My beloved Blake, who was nearly 15, had to be put down a year ago last week. I still cry reguarly, so I do understand your pain.
ENJOY whatever you have with Sisu left - you will know when the time is right - and God bless you, Scott and the Girls during this difficult time.
You are in my prayers...
Lisa Connor

Anonymous said...

I want you to know that I am truly sorry. She is an amazing dog who has always made all of us smile and who has brought so much laughter and joy to our lives. Our family gatherings won't be the same without her.
Jill B.

Anonymous said...

I am terribly sorry to hear about Sisu, I know how dearly you Scott and the girls love her. I know how your heart is breaking and nothing I can say will erase the anger/hurt/ desperation/love/loss you are feeling. I will keep her in my daily prayers and hope she has much more quality of life she so much deserves. Please let me know if there is anything we can do to help or just a shoulder to vent on
Peggy

Becky Sue said...

Talked with doctor that did the surgery today. She gave Sisu 1-2 months :( But.. maybe she is a fighter - we just are not ready!

Anonymous said...

Very well written, my love.
Scott

Anonymous said...

I am very sad to hear about her cancer. I know very well how sad it is to lose a beloved pet, that is such an important part of the family. Good luck with what ever has to be done and you guys and Sisu will be in our prayers! Cindy

Anonymous said...

Your big sister offers her prayers that when this tough time passes, you will understand why this trial has been given you. Life is short for animals and humans. When illness or death is in our daily lives we slow down and savor the lessons to be learned and the joys life has to offer. A bitter sweet time. With love, Bev