When I adopted Madison 6 years ago to be my dog-child, I thought I was rescuing her. I didn't know she would be the one rescuing me; over and over... time and time again. Madison became my paw-tner while living in Nashville, TN where her piercing blue puppy-dog eyes instantaneously melted my heart. But it wasn't just her appearance, it was her loyalty. Over the past 6 years she has been so much more than a housemate. She has shown me the definition of unconditional love while going through a divorce, shown me comfort while grieving the loss of my father and grandmothers, put a smile on my face while battling depression, been a travel companion, been the best little sister who's kept her grumpy dog-brother Sanchez young at heart. She's the world's best snuggler; the perfect companion to keep me company as I've battled my own health issues lately. She's the world's most loyal dog that wants to please me so bad that she will sit in agony with a treat on her nose waiting until I tell her she can go ahead and eat it. She is the common "stable" factor in my chaotic life over the past few years.
But over the past couple of weeks Madison's beautiful, piercing blue puppy-dog eyes have been full of pain. I noticed a week or two ago she was slightly favoring one leg but I was unable to come up with the money to get her to the vet. I've just changed careers and things haven't taken off quite as I had hoped just yet. I hoped it was simply arthritis; giving her doggy aspirin and a heating pad and it seemed to help. Then, within a week's time, her leg doubled in size with a hard, attached knot. She was suddenly walking with a full on limp. Last week, I was able to get together the money to have cell samples taken and examined. The vet gave me antibiotics while we awaited the results but, unfortunately, the tests came back as inconclusive. She told me to stick it out through the weekend to see if the meds helped (the vet was understanding of my money situation). Well, the weekend came and went and by Sunday night my sweet baby girl's leg had gotten bigger and harder. Not only was she not putting any weight on the leg but her breathing had become labored. She laid beside me in pain without being able to sleep. Just staring at me with those sad, big blue eyes. This morning I took her in to the vet again as soon as I could. The vet recommended x-rays and we discovered the worst. Bone Cancer in her hind leg. I sat stunned while she gave me my options.
I can either drug Madison up until I decide to euthanize to keep her pain free (no quality of life), amputate (though it will not cure the cancer, it will give her a better quality life for however long she has left), or I could amputate and follow it with chemo (this would keep her around longer but she would stay sick from chemo and probably lessen her quality of life). I prayed. I prayed for peace; for wisdom to make the right decision. I prayed that no matter how horrible this would be on me, that I would make the right decision based on what's best for HER, not me. At only 6 years old, I feel confident that the right decision for Madison is to amputate the leg and let her spend the rest of her days (no matter the length of time) in less pain. Right now I've been given an estimate of around $2000 to get the cancerous leg removed. This is an overwhelming fee for me at the moment. The vet offered me the suggestion of using this site so I came straight home, gave Madison her pain pills, and started typing.
I know it may sound silly to some for me to try and raise this money for this procedure but if you haven't gathered already from my text, Madison is simply more than just a dog to me. She has been there through thick and thin and it's my honor to be there for her now. To buy her some more time to do the things she loves; Let her go back and run into the ocean, catch the frisbee, chase the birds and squirrels. And after she's had her fair share, she will let me know. We have a special bond like that. We have ever since that day I first looked into those beautiful blue eyes.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to read our story. And thank you in advance for any help you can offer.
"A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal." Proverbs 12:10
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