Fluffy came into my life in May of 2000 soon after the loss of Beau, a Lab/Rottweiler mix, who was with me for 8 years. I missed him so much that I started looking at the pet ads in the newspaper every day. The ad that caught my eye was "Yellow Lab Puppies.” My family had two yellow labs when I was growing up I thought, I just have to go look. The rest, as they say, was history!
I will never forget the scene as I drove up the driveway to the breeder's home. I could see a "carpet" of puppies running and playing in the front yard. When I arrived, all the puppies greeted me and I sat down to let them play around me. I asked which puppy was available as she put one of the male puppies into my arms. I never put him back down!
We had a special bond. He was my daily walking companion until the age of two and then he became my daily running buddy for the remainder of his life. We seldom missed a day. His daily run was something we both enjoyed so much! When Fluffy was neutered, we took x-rays of his hips and found out he had hip dysplasia. He never showed any sign of the pain he must have had and the running was something he enjoyed, so we continued. I think the extra muscle he built up around the hip joints helped him.
Fluffy loved his birthday celebrations and Christmas. Birthday celebrations included a decorated cake, balloons, and of course, presents! He loved to open gifts and if he saw a wrapped present, he automatically thought it was for him. At Christmas time he would lie in front of the tree and enjoy the lights and the sparkle of the ornaments. Fluffy also loved the Christmas music, especially the piano. He would sit and "sing" when I played the piano. One time I had to put him outside while I was having the piano tuned because the tuner could not hear the pitch while Fluffy was singing. When I put him outside, he sat outside the window next to the piano and continued to sing. He just loved the sound.
In June 2009, Fluffy started to limp on his right front leg. We were out running when I noticed he was limping ever so slightly. He was nine years old and was still running four miles with me daily. We slowed to a walk but the limp persisted. The diagnosis from a local veterinarian based on the x-rays was osteosarcoma, bone cancer. I was devastated.
Upon our arrival to the Angel Care Cancer Center in Carlsbad, Fluffy was completely lame in his hind end. I think he got so excited when we were leaving our house, that he did something to his back when he was hurrying to get to the car. Dr. Ogilvie and Kate Wotrang were our care team for our appointment. They both took excellent care of us! Fluffy had a full work up that included chest and back x-rays and blood tests before deciding to move forward with palliative radiation therapy.
Fluffy sailed through his three treatments and got his life back. I thank all of you for that! His hind end lameness improved with each day. He was a real trooper. As is the case with radiation, his leg with the tumor was more painful for about seven days and then I saw a significant improvement. We continued to go for short walks around my property. He would dictate how far we would go, but each day he wanted to go a little further. He lived for these walks and showed the joy on his face every day. Priceless.
I believe our pets are totally dependent on us, and us on them. Every waking moment, Fluffy was there for me. He would greet me with a most loving smile every morning, and that look in his eyes was nothing but pure trust and love. As we battled with his cancer, our bond grew as I could sense he understood everything I was doing for him. Those trusting eyes… I don’t think I could I ever betray that trust. Fluffy would never give up on me. I could never give up on him.
I want to thank everyone who helped Fluffy and I in making this happen! I cannot say enough good things about the Angel Care Cancer Center. I would have been satisfied with just one day of reduced pain for Fluffy, but we had more than seven weeks! I made every day with him the best I could. He was such a special boy! During the middle part of November, he started showing signs of weakening in his hips, which very rapidly progressed to the point of not being able to use his back legs at all. On November 17, 2009, we lost Fluffy due to complications from the osteosarcoma.
I miss him very, very, much. Not a day goes by that I don't think of him and how much joy he brought into my home. He was a very big part of my life. As I write this, it is just two weeks before Christmas. This will be a very difficult Christmas to get through as I know how much Fluffy enjoyed Christmas. Without him there to open his gifts, it just will not be the same. Fluffy was nine years eight months old when I set his spirit free. He lived a wonderful life and brought so much joy to me. While I miss him terribly and think about him constantly, I have lots of pictures and memories of him. Those will live on forever.
Thank you all again. It is so good to know we have such a wonderful team of doctors and staff so close to San Diego! Everyone on our team was wonderful! They made the time I had left with Fluffy that much better. For that I am eternally grateful.
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