As we at Riverview Animal Hospital celebrate our senior pets during the months of October, and November, I thought I would share my journey with my senior dog Cora.
Twelve years ago my husband and I decided it was time to add a dog to our fur family. We lived in a townhouse complex, so we went through all the ropes to ensure that we could have a dog in our rented space. We looked for weeks for the perfect fit for us and we finally found her. We adopted her from the King’s County SPCA in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia. She was at a foster home, deep in the country. When we arrived it was one of the hardest decisions we had to make, her brother was there too, we knew that two dogs would be too much responsibility, and although we were very excited to adopt her when we pulled out of the driveway I was crying as we left her brother behind.
Our Cora has brought such joy to our lives over the past 12 years and has been by our sides through all our life events. When we moved and bought a house, we tell everyone that we bought a house for Cora because of the fenced in backyard. She loved running around out there or walking over the fence in the winter because of all the snow. Cora tolerated her human sister and brother being born, and even grew to love them. Now she is their best friends and is often found hanging out in their rooms, having Superman capes, or doll dresses drape over her back.
This past summer, we noticed how much Cora has aged. On our many camping trips, we noticed that fireworks and thunder did not bother her as they have in the past; her hearing loss was our first sign. Then her aging progressed fairly quickly, we had to outfit our trailer for her, making a bed for her, putting pee pads out because she started leaking urine occasionally, and putting carpet on the stairs as they were too slippery for her. We know knew that Cora was in her senior years.
In August Cora became quite ill. We had never seen her like this; I brought her into work and asked Dr. Elizabeth Pulman to help her, but jokingly asked her not to find anything wrong. Dr. Pulman, recommended bloodwork, and x-rays to start, I agreed and we proceeded. As soon as I saw the x-ray I knew… Dr. Pulman confirmed my worse fear, Cora was diagnosed with a tumor on her liver.
It is now October, and the team of Dr’s that are helping Cora and my family with her cancer are amazing. To me, having a senior pet is a great privilege and honor. Cora has given herself to our family unconditionally, she has been by our sides through thick and thin and we are going to be right by hers as we take this last life journey with her.