Thursday, February 3, 2011

My Girl


I’ve been trying to write this post in my head for a long time, and I still don’t know exactly what I want to say. After two and a half years of fighting cancer tooth and nail, we lost our Princess Honeydog on July 27th of 2010. It became clear to us that the tumor was growing in March, and we dedicated the last few months of her life to spending quality time with her, and making her as happy as possible.

I don’t think I’ve ever shared here what Cameron and I did when honey became ill and we decided to pursue an aggressive course of radiation. We knew we would be able to *barely* afford it, but beyond money, our commitment to Honey and her health was to spend as much time with her as possible, and to make sure her needs were always met. Cameron changed his work schedule so that he worked only nights and I worked only days. In the two years she battled cancer, the longest stretch of time Honey was alone was about four hours, and we arranged for a neighbor to stop by. We only went on trips where Honey could come, and traveled separately when it was not an option. Honey has been cross country with us twice, she’s frolicked in all corners of Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, seen the Grand Canyon, 4 corners, the painted desert, Carlsbad Caverns, Dollywood (yes really), California, Texas, Arizona, Alabama, and even been rafting on the Nantahala. She’s swum in the Pacific, Atlantic, Gulf, and almost every river, sinkhole and lake we came across. She was our baby, our first priority and our best friend.

Through the last few months of her life, Cameron and I talked knew she would tell us when she was ready to go, and we developed a plan with our vet so she would be as comfortable as possible. Until the end, Honey was full of life and surprises. For her last month we fed her a lamb chop for dinner every night, and she developed her own special way of letting us know that was ‘chop time’ (this involved significant tail wagging and some growling, then leading us to the kitchen. I said SPECIAL, not subtle). And on her last morning she stood up and greeted the vet with a wagging tail. I will miss her every day. I was truly blessed to share my life with her.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A month of significant dates :)

Honey and I had our 10th anniversary on February 4th 2010.

Honey's 2 year radiation anniverasry is Friday the 26th of February, 2010.

As of February 19th 2010, her lungs and lymph nodes were still all clear. 'Average survival' for canine chondrosarcoma treated with radiation is a year and a half.


Friday, January 22, 2010

2010 :)

I just wanted to do a quick update – Honey had xrays to check for metastasis on December 7 and she was STILL ALL CLEAR!!! This is huge – average survival for this type of cancer post radiation is 1.5 – 2 years. Honey will celebrate her 2 years in February. Over the holidays she went with us to Santa Fe for a week and got to wear sweaters, take rides in the car and eat snow. She loved it. I’ll let you know how her Feb xrays come out, but here are some recent pics of Hun:

With her friend Copper


In the car on the ride to Taos, NM

Exploring with her people :)

Not wild about the deeper snow, but just fine with being held

Overlooking the Rio Grande in northern New Mexico

Friday, September 18, 2009


In the car (C just texted me this)

On a morning walk with her (chuckit) ball
at the vet waiting to be examined by the doctor.

19 Months Out of Radiation

And Honey's lymph nodes and lungs are still all clear :) She jumped up on the reception desk when we walked into the vet's office and ran over to the receptionist, stepped over her keyboard and licked her face. This is my 9 (SOON TO BE 10) year old dog with cancer. And arthritis. And cataracts. Who's blind in one eye. She remembered exactly what we wanted on the scale, and climbed up in the chair in the exam room to sit between us. Spoiled freaking dog.

She still can’t breathe out of her nose, and one of our friends suggested Benadryl. While it hasn’t magically reopened her sinuses, it’s for sure helped her sleep sounder and longer, and magically, we’re able to stick a ball in her mouth once instead of 5 times during the night. This means we get a full night’s sleep as well, and it is BEAUTIFUL.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Summer of the Hunndog - 2009

Honey helping me eat salmon sushi at an outdoor sushi place in Larchmont

Howdy! Summer out here is HOT. I know I should have expected that, it being summer and all, but C’s family came to visit and I was at least 100 every day. I had to arm wrestle a woman at kmart for the last table fan, which we’ve owned for about 5 days and hasn’t been turned off yet. The fires haven’t helped. It was cruddy and smuggy and yeech for a few days, and the station fire was clearly visible from our roof. One of our neighbors also had a heart attack, and since he has Carmine, a 12 year old 65 pound fluffy mutt with a pinched nerve who gets along with Honey, we figured we were the best option for him while his pack was in the hospital recovering. It took about 2 weeks, and by that point Carmine and Honey were well and truly a pack. I was never more than 7 inches from an old hot dog. I’d take a shower and by the time I was finished they’d both be standing in the bathroom looking at me like ‘omg it’s got her, what are we gonna do?!?’ While Carmine was with us, Honey developed a urinary tract infection. She woke me up at about 4 am and asked to go out, which is WAY out of character. I woke C up because I was nervous to go outside at 4 am, and made him promise to watch us from the window while we walked. I got Honey and Carmine on leashes and we went downstairs and out front and while they were sniffing around for a suitable place to tinkle, one of the homeless people who make a living out of collecting cans and turning them in for the recycle fee started yelling at me. I think she wanted to me let in the locked parking lot to go through the building’s recycle bins, but as soon as she shouted and started to walk towards me, both dogs went NUTS. I’ve known Carmine for 3 years and never heard him bark before. Both he and Honey were at the very end of their leashes snarling. I’ve been taking care of Honey and thinking how fragile she is for so long that I totally forgot she was such a good guard dog. When she as about 2, someone tried to break into a house she was staying in, they had unscrewed about half the bars that were over the window, and Honey broke the window out with her nose. I know this because she had a tiny cut, the glass was broken outwards, and the hole in the window was nose-shaped. Needless to say, nobody ever broke in.

Honey on C's chair, on C's shirt, with a ball he gave her in her mouth

Carmine the floofy dog

The most surprising part of all this was that Honey was ok with Carmine in her space. She let us love on him and even let him on the bed (once, and very briefly) but wasn’t at all mean. I have to admit I was worried that she would be sad when Carmine finally went home, but that happened Monday and she doesn’t seem at all fussed, despite the PLAYING they did Sunday and Monday. I was shocked. Normally (well, since cancer) she exists to regulate and prevent play in other dogs, but she did that frisk / front legs down and butt up, tail waving combo in his direction. C witnessed the phenom first and was all ‘LINDSAYOMGCOMEHERERIGHTNOWYOUWONTBELIEVETHIS’ and I almost fainted. It’s been years since I’ve seen her do that to another dog (she does it to us like 3 times a day). She has been having some trouble breathing through her nose lately, and we increased her prednisone to 10 mg a day. This means she gets a charge out of barking at joggers and GOD FORBID a dog walk by on the sidewalk where she can hear its tags jingling. But so far it’s making breathing easier. In fact, I just got a text that says ‘modified ball breathage’ so that’s a step in the right direction J she will sleep for a while with the ball in her mouth, but as soon as it falls out, she wakes us up to make her feel better. Last night I got sleep in 2 hour blocks. Not fun.

Visiting her friend Arnette a month or so ago.

my... what a delightful toy...

She’s also – drumrooooooollll – 20 months out from her diagnosis!! So awesome. She’s actually due for her every three months xrays pretty soon. I’ll update again when I know how her lungs look.