November 11, 2015:
There is no deeper pain than the loss of
someone you love. And in our work, we've loved so many. When they leave us, there's much more left behind than just a collar
and a leash. There are the memories that linger within our hearts. Moments that will never be forgotten. Their trusting faces
that we held in our hands the day they were rescued. The fur that we've stroked and eventually dampened with our tears. Their
stories that we continue to share well after they're gone. Because they mattered and they always will.
I had to say goodbye to Hope yesterday. We knew the day was
coming but you always think you'll have more time. We've had since the end of April 2014. Not much time and yet more than
enough time to hurt beyond words now. She was such a fighter, a gentle fighter. She fought mammary cancer with courage, stubborn
determination and eternal optimism. She fought Cushing's the same way. She even fought old age. Just this past weekend, she
insisted on going for a walk with the rest of the beags. She would always start out a bundle of excitement and energy, tail
bobbin' and a skip to her step, but after a few yards, she'd be wiped out and yet you'd never hear a complaint out of her.
She'd keep going, at least until her "daddy" rescued her in the car.
She never howled or barked or cried in all the time I knew her. But that doesn't mean she was without emotion.
There was such gratitude in her eyes when I'd bend down to kiss her. Those are the moments I will miss the most.
In her rescue video below, I hadn't quite figured out a name
for her yet. But it came to me shortly after in our first of many car rides together on the way to the vet's. I think I got
Hope may be gone from sight, but I haven't
lost her. I will never lose Hope. She's in my heart. She's in all our hearts.
October 29, 2015:
Last week, I wrote to you about Mya. I explained how she stood out for me and how she had a way of making
everyone that met her feel warm and happy inside.
our Mya. She will be missed.
Hope is different. She's not one to make a lasting impression. She stays in the shadows.
She's okay with being invisible. Maybe that's all she's known. But boy, if you show her even the slightest kindness, she melts
like icecream on a summer day. Not that she starts singing from the rooftops or anything. Her joy is subtle. I don't even
know for sure how I know how much a soft-spoken word means to her, or a passing kiss on the bridge of her nose. She doesn't
kiss back, unless by accident. But there's something in her eyes that tells me these moments mean the world to her.
going to keep up with the moments. That's my promise to Hope. Because moments are really all we have left.
to us last year with a mammary mass that proved malignant. She had a double mastectomy. A breast cancer survivor! We thought
we had it licked. But then she was diagnosed with Adrenal Cushing's. And so she had surgery to remove a rather large adrenal
tumour. We thought we'd licked it for good. But recently, the symptoms for Cushing's returned. We went back to the compassionate
specialist at VEC for another ultrasound. A tumour was detected on her remaining adrenal gland. But that wasn't the worst
of it. A small mass was also detected on her stomach wall. The specialist had his concerns but it could just be a cyst. He
recommended we begin treatment for Cushing's and come back for another ultrasound in a couple weeks. She had that ultrasound
last week - the same day I wrote to you about Mya. Not only was the mass still there, but it had grown, and 3 to 4 other similar
masses were detected in the same area. These are not cysts, but Carcinomas. Hope is expected to have no more than one to six
months left to live. The specialist looked about as sad as I did that day. After all she's been through, this is how it ends.
the thing about Hope. She lives in those moments I was telling you about. That's what matters to her. Hope for the future
isn't important. Hope for right now. That's important. How she lives and how she is loved right now.
isn't so different from Mya after all. Making her happy definitely makes me feel warm and happy inside.
thanks to you for supporting our work and attending momentous events like our BEAGLE BASH FOR CASH every
year. The moments we share together make the magical moments shared with our beagles - those who stand out, those who stand
back and all those in between - possible.
There may be sadness to Hope's story but only if you overlook TODAY. Hope is happy
right here - right now. Nothing else matters.
June 4, 2014 pupdate:
Dear sweet Hope has now had her 2nd mastectomy and after
almost an entire week in hospital post-surgery, she's home and recovering nicely so far. Sadly, more malignancies were detected
in the right mammary chain. One in particular has our vets concerned as it has a high risk of spreading vascularly.
But with any luck, the mastectomies have rid her of the cancer. Only time will tell. Please keep her in your thoughts
as she continues to recover from these massive operations. She's quite resilient, our little girl! Still has the spunk to
her spirit and eating like a true beagle!!!
2, 2014 pupdate:
Hope is now recovering from major surgery. The visible tumour on her chest was unfortunately
not the only one. Our vets detected many nodules along both mammary chains. Thankfully, x-rays of her
chest proved that no tumours had spread to her lungs so we opted to remove the masses immediately, starting with the left
mammary chain (she'll need to undergo surgery to remove the right mammary chain in a few weeks). Mammary tumours have a 50/50
chance of being malignant and we want to give this little dumpling as much of a chance at a happy life ahead as we can!
is yet another reason why our BEAGLE WIGGLE WALKATHON at Woofstock is so important to us. Please support us in any
way you can. On behalf of Dukey, Pencil, Hope and all the rest of our deserving beagles, thank you for your support!