Mark (mhaithaca) wrote,

That was Auggie's last birthday (224.3)

I'm sorry to share the news that this week was almost certainly Auggie's last birthday.

Miss AuggieWe went to the vet this morning because she's been breathing with some difficulty the last few days, and uninterested in walking much.

Dr. Shakespeare found fluid around her lungs that had been making it uncomfortable to breathe, and X-rays showed nodules in her lungs that indicate cancer that likely spread from elsewhere. She said she could remove the fluid, but if I wanted to consider more treatment, I should go to Cornell for more serious diagnostics.

So, we spent a couple of hours at Cornell Animal Hospital. Dr. Summers says they removed a couple of liters of fluid (!) from her abdomen, where it was around not just her lungs but also her heart and stomach, so she should be much more comfortable for now.

There are definitely nodules in her lungs indicating metastatic cancer. She says I could have Auggie admitted to the oncology unit to do a full workup, but she’s pretty sure, as Dr. Shakespeare was, that there’s no real treatment path forward.

Auggie may be comfortable for a few hours or days or weeks, but the fluid is likely to build up again, and extracting it repeatedly won't be pleasant for her. It's not something I'll put her through.

"Snowball" didn't have a great start to life, with a breeder in Texas, but she lucked out when she landed at the rescue where Kat found her and saved her from scheduled euthanasia by taking her in as a temporary foster. When the rescue was shutting down, Kat was told she could return her and she'd be euthanized, or she could keep her.

Kat kept this beautiful little girl, now August Moon Pie, and brought her along when she moved to Ithaca. Eventually, wanting to give Auggie her best chance at a great life with a new family that didn't have a house full of other dogs, she put her up for adoption at the SPCA.

That worked well until Auggie's adopter had her out for a walk, a neighbor's dog came running up off-leash, and Auggie bit the other dog. She was returned to the SPCA.

The SPCA couldn't adopt her out again, and was going to euthanize her, but I knew what a sweet little girl Auggie was, and knew she deserved a chance to get some more training and have a great life. It wasn't an easy process, but I don't give up.

Three years and two days ago, Auggie came to stay with Penny and Carter and me while we worked on training and looked for her forever home.

It wasn't long before she made it clear she had found it.

Auggie has been a great companion to me and to Penny and Carter, and she's back home with us this afternoon. I just made cheeseburgers for all of us.

It may just be a few hours or days or weeks until she tells me it's time. They're going to be the best hours or days or weeks I can make them, full of love and cuddles and treats.

If you'd like to give her love and cuddles and treats, you're welcome to. Thanks to Kat for zooming over to keep me company and give Auggie all the hugs as she was coming out of sedation at Cornell.

She's already FaceTimed with an old friend who's too far away to visit soon. So many of you have visited or helped take care of her, and I can't thank you enough for helping make my little piglet's life the best it could be.

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