Call it pride...call it embarassment...call it vanity...but I would have never believed I would be at such a dire point in my life to desperately seek out the help of others...not for myself despite my own colorectal/lung cancer diagnosis & ongoing physically & emotionally depleting chemo/radiation treatments...but for the life of the most important being in my life...my beautiful, vivacious, joyous and always the center-of-attention 5 1/2 year old female English Bulldog, Dottie.
For those of you that have spent any time around her, you already know what a special lil bully-girl she can be & her unique God-given gift of bringing laughter & joy to you...especially when you need it the most.
She being the only one with me these days....with total forgiveness & with unconditional love & patience, she lay by my side when I couldn't even get up to take her out to go on a walk...especially when it was raining...her fav time to walk.
Always willing to lend a chubby paw to "help Daddy" (me) or give Daddy his daily doses of her extra special "Dottie kisses" (lay with me on the couch/bed & lick my face) when my chemo made me so weak, agitated & even angry. She knows just what to do to motivate me & communicate with me in her eyes & in her actions to not give up & keep fighting because ahe still needs me. Nay, we still need each other. I wholeheartedly concede that I need her more because there are no words to express just what this lil girl means to me or what she has done for me on a spiritual & emotional level. Some of you will not be able to comprehend or sympathize when I say that my Dottie girl has literally given me the will to live...to continue to face head-on, fight with all that I got & conquer cancer. My cancer may have won a battle or two. But I, with God's & Dottie's unconditional love, strength & courage to back me, will win the war on cancer.
You may be saying..."she's just an expensive, snoring, grunting, gassy, stubborn, stinky, slobbering, messy typical bulldog...a mere pet...nothing more than a possession." She's not!! She's so much more! And anyone that has been lucky enough to raise & grow older with a bulldog will attest...they are faithful, loving, hilarious, laughter inducing, eye-catching, adorable to a fault icon of the canine breed. More than a pet...but rather a true companion.
She's been this & done all this for me this past 10months. I don't know how I'll ever be able to express my love, gratitude & lifelong devotion to this lil girl. I can only start by trying to give back all that she has given to me these past 5.5 years. More importantly these past 10 months that I counted on her the most.
Now it's her health that is waning with a veterinarian diagnosis earlier this week that she has Pyrometria & even worse Stage 4 Mastocytoma (multiple mast cell tumors effecting her lymph nodes, kidneys & blood ) common to the bulldog breed for which I was unaware of. Her vet, Dr. Pierce, states she will need immediate surgery to remove 2 lymph nodes, followed by canine chemotherapy and a plethora of meds for some time to come. But the want half of the expected costs in surgery/treatments upfront.
Needless to say & embarrasing as it is to admit, given the fact that I'm currently unable to work because of my own condition & only having medical coverage through the VA, I don't know what to do or where to go. I had to let her Nationwide pet insurance lapse because I could not afford it since I wasn't working. Yes...stupid & irresponsible of me. Trust me, I know. I would lay down my life if meant saving her or minimizing the pain or discomfort she is going thru.
I'm wracked with guilt, sadness, & sinking into the abyss of depression with the inane & unfair irony that my sweet baby girl is having to go thru this and I'm not in a stable & sustainable position to be able provide for her. Never did I see this coming.
I would lay down my life to spare her any pain, discomfort or fear. It breaks my heart in two when I look into her eyes and see that she seems scared & visually begging "Daddy to help her feel good again". I'm trying baby girl...I'm trying. Hang in there with me a bit more. I'll be there for you just as you have been for there for me baby girl...I swear to God!"
If you knew me and for those of you that do...you know I'm a man of great pride. I would NEVER expect, ask for or even accept a handout from anyone.
Enlisting in US Air Force Reserves after 9/11 at the age of 32, employed for more than 25+ years at the same corporation, I believe in working hard to get what & where you want to in life.
But desperation & need has predicated me in asking for some help. Not for me...but for for the sweetest most wonderful canine companion a guy could have in this life.
Thank you for taking time out of your day to read this and even consider helping out. I just want her to have the fullest & happiest life she can have.
Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions & concerns.