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TideWriters Tales
My Beautiful Girl~Update
By Hugh Davis

     It finally happened. Dixie’s tumors came back and we had to make the tough decision to let the vet put her down. We had thought that she wouldn’t make it past Christmas of ‘04, but it was the day after Christmas of ‘05 when we had to say good-bye. She was still fairly active and enjoyed our walks in the park until the very end. In fact, I took her to the vet for her arthritis shot, with no thought this would be our last trip. We had taken a four mile walk just two or three days before and she had enthusiastically responded to my invitation to "go mail box" that very morning.

     But when the vet came in to give her the shot, she noticed Dixie’s weight loss and a bulge in her abdomen. After feeling her lumps and bumps Dr. Hendrix (Dr. Sam) examined Dixie with ultra sound and determined that she had a tumor the size of a football on her spleen. She said she could operate and remove the spleen, but there was no guarantee that the cancer hadn’t spread to her liver and lungs.

     I called Joyce and she came to the vet’s. Because of Dixie’s age, her dysplasia and arthritis and the likelihood that an operation would only buy her a few months, at best, we decided to let Dr. Hendrix put her down. While we had our last few minutes with Dixie, a parade of workers from the vet hospital staff came in to express their condolences and give Dixie their final pet and hug. Many of them cried. She was a favorite with all–the vets, the technicians and the office staff.

     When the time came, Dr. Sam gently stuck a hypodermic needle in Dixie’s front leg and began injecting the euthanizing drug, Dixie ‘s back legs began to sag and she laid down on her side as if to take a nap. Soon the vet said she was gone and our friend laid peacefully in her last sleep.

     What a hole there is in our lives. How often do we look to her sofa and expect to see her, or look at our watch to determine if it’s time to say "feed Dixie" and see her come running.

     Finally we have to decide when to get another dog, not to replace her, for she can never be replaced, but to enrich our lives as Dixie has for the past ten and a half years. It is critical that we choose the right dog and that she chooses us. For this, we earnestly seek God’s help and guidance. 

© 2006 Hugh Davis All Rights Reserved

To read first part published in Chesapeake Style last summer go to http://www.chesapeakestyle.com/animal/aug05.html This is the rest of the story.

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