Guardians: Jackie Maroney & Nat Wachman
Sisters: Kali, Digit, Link, Greta & Nonie
My sweet Lucy has cancer. It is so painful for me to write those words. Her diagnosis, like most, came as a shock. We noticed a mild limp and assumed she had banged her leg on the doggie door running out side to get her barks in. So we wrapped it and gave her an anti-inflammatory. It seemed to be better the following week so we went back to normal walks and normal life. Little did we know, normal was over. When the limp returned the following week along with some swelling, my husband took her to the vet after work, I stayed home to feed the other animals. He called me, sounding terrified and blurted out, “They think Lucy has bone cancer!!!!!” I thought I heard him wrong, so I asked him to repeat it. He asked me a couple of questions on speaker phone so the vet could hear and I got through one and then I couldn’t breathe and had to sit down and cry. All I could think was no, no, no, NO!!!
See, we had just lost Niko, Lucy’s companion her entire life. Niko was 14.5 and Lucy was not even 12 so it just wasn’t fair! We thought we would have so much time with her like we did with Niko. And Niko lived the last couple of years needing a lot of attention. She had arthritis so we had our back deck re-done with a ramp, we took her weekly to acupuncture and then laser therapy, and we had lots of meds and supplements for her.
In addition to Lucy, we have 2 other rescue dogs as well:
I have always been in animal rescue and welfare. We fostered for years, donated any extra cent we had to sponsorship for shelter animals, to organizations who fight to improve the living conditions for animals, and have worked for legislation and laws to protect animals. Digit had parvo when we took her in as a foster and we spent our entire savings to keep her from dying.
When Lucy was diagnosed, Nat and I had a long conversation about quality of life for a dog, for Lucy. She has an amazing life. She has never spent a night in a kennel or a shelter. She was rescued off the street as a puppy, she had been on every vacation we have ever taken, she has never gone hungry or spent a night outside (except for camping excursions!). She has never had a surgery besides her spay, never had a medical condition or injury, or been on meds before this. I have been her guardian her entire life. That’s a pretty amazing life for a dog nowadays! She loves walks, treats, attention, all the things most dogs love. And she hates vets, pain, loud noises. So we have limited her time at the vet and with pain. We have given her the best food, holistic meds, we lift her to limit jumping, and we kiss and love on her every chance we get. Pain meds have worked great for her and we thought anything further was out of reach for us. We did not want to remove her leg because of extended recovery and arthritis in her back legs so we decided to only do palliative care. She has had her first zoledronate treatment and we have seen improvement. We want to continue, but the cost is exorbitant for us.
Neither my husband nor I had ever had a companion animal that had cancer. We have been so lucky. We have grieved with friends and family whose pets had it and thanked Dog it was not us. But now, it’s us. We just aren’t ready or willing to lose Lucy now. Because we are a family. All of us oddballs. All of us alone until we all found each other. We are not connected by blood, but we love all our girls and they love us back.