In October of 2002, Benny (a stray) made his way into our home and hearts. After a few stressful days of new sibling rivalry, Riley and Benny learned to live with each other... in spite of Riley continuously insisting that he could be a cat as well as a dog (he would get up into Andi's lap and would start to do this weird growl, which we figured out he was trying to purr.) they became great friends. We'd wake up in the morning and find the two of them cuddling at the foot of the bed, oftentimes cleaning one another's face. When they travel together to the family cabin, they would cuddle up to each other. When we would get home they would run to greet us: well: Riley would run to the door, Benny would run straight to his bowl, patiently waiting for us to fill it!
In the last month Riley's energy level decreased quite a bit and started to have difficulty getting up, sometimes needing assistance standing and going up stairs. During Riley's December visit to our vet, she noted that his spleen seemed to be enlarged and recommended doing X-rays. We finally had enough money saved to do X-rays last week and received the bad news that there may be a tumor on his spleen. We decided to go for a second opinion and returned to Blue Pearl, where we had gone to with our Benny. They confirmed with an ultrasound and biopsy that Riley Bear has a softball-size cyst attached to his prostate that is pushing his organs to the side and against his spine, as well as irregularities to his spleen. Surgery is highly recommended as soon as possible, before this cyst ruptures.
No one is ever prepared for a sudden expense such as this, but our story is even more heart breaking.
Back in September 2011, Benny started having problems breathing, and after a visit to the vets and then admittance into the Emergency Vet Hospital in Eden Prairie, after many tests, biopsies, and many, many, hours in an oxygen tank he was diagnosed with acute toxoplasmosis & congestive heart failure. He came home after a week in the hospital and began to recover. Riley was happy to have his Best Friend home and joyous when Benny took up his old job of cleaning Riley's muzzle and face again! After a couple of check-ups with the Doctors at Blue Pearl, he seemed to be on the road to recovery.
On December 30th, Benny became distressed, we brought him back to Blue Pearl. He was quite ornery with the staff in back. He was returned to me in his blanket that I brought him wrapped in, seeming to be okay. The Doctor said he was doing okay but his heart had become enlarged and that we should continue to give him his meds and do an ultrasound on a different day, so not to stress him out anymore. We returned home, and as he came into the house something happened and he started "maouwing" quite loud and then collapsed, breathing rapidly, We rushed him back to Blue Pearl, on our way back there I held him close, he was just limp and then his breathing slowed, he looked terrified. We got there and he was rushed into the back. They ended up doing the ultrasound and put him on oxygen. The Doctor said, that his blood pressure was at 40, which I guess is incredibly low. After staying with Benny for about 2 hours we went home, at 7:30pm they called, they said he was distressed and being vocal again and didn't think he would make it through the night. As soon as we arrived we could hear him up front, it was just heartbreaking, and I knew then I didn't want him to be in anymore pain. They let us take him from the oxygen tank and brought him into a room. I held him so close. He waited for us. He couldn't move, but he looked up at me as if to say "I Love You, Too" and then he was gone. He waited for us. We loved him soo much. He always knew when I (we) needed him, he would let me use him as a pillow and his purring would calm me and help me sleep. He loved to cuddle, especially with his Riley Bear. Riley seems lost without him.
A strong feeling of emptiness has surrounded our lives since Benny has been gone. We both have been on pins and needles this past week as we faced the impending diagnosis for Riley and what would happen if we lost him, just a few weeks after losing our Benny.
We both work hard, Andi has two jobs year round, and I just recently was hired part-time after being jobless for almost 2 years, picking up odd jobs and temp jobs here and there. The best thing and many times that get us thru the day is knowing we are going home to our favorite companions, who love us unconditionally and will be there for you: after you have fed and walked them.â˜º
They are our four-legged furry babies and have meant the world to us and we want to give them the best possible treatment in return. Please help us raise money for Riley's surgery.
Andi & I sincerely appreciate the time you have taken to read about our Riley Bear & Benny. We thank you so much for being willing to help us in our time of need.
With much gratitude,
Erin, Andi & Riley Bear
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