There is a Whitney sized hole in my life...
It is not often that I will cry during a euthanasia but yesterday tears were flooding down my face. The time had come to say the final goodbye to one of my favourite patients (I have lots of favourite patients but she was one of my extra special favourite patients).
There are some dogs that are meant to come into your life. I was meant to meet beautiful Whitney. Whitney was a retired guide dog with a long history of mischief. She was diagnosed with lymphoma over 2 years ago and beat all the odds. She smashed her estimated survival statistics right out of the park. After having adverse reactions to chemotherapy, treatment was ceased and she was given only weeks to live.
In true Whitney style, she thought “bugger you, you’re not going to tell me what to do” and she soldiered on for over two years. I have gotten to know both Whitney and her wonderful family very well over this time. She was a regular patient coming in for acupuncture and palliation of her cancer symptoms.
I can’t explain why she didn’t succumb to her lymphoma sooner. I know acupuncture helped her to feel better, I know what she had more lives than most cats, I know she was (like many of my patients) surrounded in love, I know she had a purpose (she was a retired guide dog who regularly visited elderly residents in a local nursing home), I know she didn’t read the textbook and she certainly didn’t listen to her oncologists prognosis.
It was only really in the last week or two that you may have realised that something wasn’t quite right. She would always greet me with her happy Labrador face, wagging tail and wiggly bottom. In she would wander into the consult room with the lead draped over her back. She would inevitably fall asleep during her acupuncture treatment and much to our amusement she would often wake herself up with a special little “cough-fart”.
I have many memories of our time together; these are just a few.
- Her amazing response to acupuncture when she developed oedema in her left hind leg (and her family teasing me mercilessly because I had to get my acupuncture book out for “directions”). After one acupuncture treatment the oedema resolved & never returned again (unlike the story of the time I had to get my acupuncture book out LOL)
- Her snoring during her acupuncture treatments – she featured heavily on both my Snapchat & Instagram stories in her sleep
- Whitney relaxing and releasing toxic wind into the room accosting my sense of smell
- Hours listening to stories about the mischief she used to get up to including exploding cushions and many visits home in the back of a police car.
- Laying on the floor with her to get the perfect acupuncture selfie
- The way she would walk up to me and lean on my leg to say hello
- Getting to see her family celebrate two more birthdays with her than they expected
I feel so lucky that Whitney’s family were happy to share her with me. I am so sad for their loss and there is a definite Whitney sized hole in my life. For all of you who have lost a furbaby I’m thinking of you xxx
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