We talk a lot about K9 cancer here… How to recognize it, how to fight it, how to help with the fight and how to live with it. Some days though, it just gets personal. This is one of those days.
Last night, Hemangiosarcoma stopped by and paid a visit to one of our dear pack members. You never leave the porch light on for Hemangiosarcoma, rather it shows up uninvited and sneaks in through an unlocked window and steals your most valued treasure. With other cancers you see them coming, or at least you know you’re living in kind of a bad neighborhood. This one? BAM! One strike and you’re out. It happened with our very first dog, Bob, and we had never even considered cancer so when the vet ran that long word by us it didn’t even stick. I have to admit, I couldn’t tell you what Bob died of until our next Golden, Buddy, got cancer and I started doing research. With some Hemangiosarcomas, say of the skin or spleen, you might get a little time. With Bob, it was on his heart. Typically you get hours, maybe a few days to say goodbye. You go from seemingly healthy dog one minute to collapse and incredibly difficult decisions that aren’t really decisions at all. Then all you have left is a beautiful memory looking back at you…
So that’s how our obsession with fighting the fight began. Last night, that obsession was renewed as the thief returned and quickly took one beautiful soul from this earth. We heard in the afternoon that he had collapsed and he was gone before we went to bed. Mackey was the first big red dog that sat on me (not near me, but ON me) a week after Buddy departed and looked into my eyes and let me know we could go on. He let Buddy visit. He was the gentlest of souls.
Mackey lived a very large life with the coolest family. Did I mention he was a surfur dude?? Yup, one of SoCal’s finest in the day. Even though Mackey was a gifted surfur, his real gift was his kindness and pure presence. He embodied “Being the dog.”
So today we raise a paw to Mackey and his amazing family. We are grateful to all of those, like the Animal Cancer Foundation, that are working tirelessly to crack the code on this beast so it can rob no more. Mostly, we are reminded to recognize when we are in the presence of a pure soul and cherish that moment. Thank you Mackey, and Godspeed my friend.