Kate is the sweetest dog ever. I got her from the Golden Retriever Rescue Mission when she was nine months old back in 1998. She helped me get through the loss of my Scottie, Mac, not long after her arrival.
Her favorite thing is to greet people at the door with "presents" in her mouth. I don't know why, but Kate likes to stuff her mouth with as many toys as possible. It's like her little game to see how many she can get in there. But she's very willing to share her toys with anyone. Kate is not a scrapper. She's just very loving and friendly. Her day is made when we have company.
I'm used to Kate following me around every where I go. She lays by my chair when I'm watching TV, curls up on her special doggie mattress in the study when I'm writing or reading emails and always lays by my bed every night--and snores.
My girl, Kate, loves to ride in the car with the window down and her head hanging out. I have no idea why that brings her such happiness but there ya go. So, I turn on the heat or the air conditioning depending on the weather for me and let Kate have her window open in the back seat to eat the wind all she wants.
In a year filled with sadness, first my friend, Joyce dying at age 55 and then Grandfather Tree dying after he was hit by lightning--everything pales to the utter devastation of learning yesterday that my beautiful and loving Kate has cancer of the bone.
I thought she had arthritis when she started limping last week and, when my home remedies of glucosamine and baby aspirin didn't work, I took her to the vet yesterday. After X-Rays and blood work, Dr. Heather Myers gave me the awful news that Kate had cancer of the bone and that it may have metastasized to her heart. They could amputate her leg and give her chemo but it won't save Kate's life--only prolong it a few months. I don't see that as an option. The doctor gave me pain pills for Kate and on Monday we'll know if the cancer has spread to her heart.
Kate doesn't know that she has cancer. But she knows that I'm here with her loving her every minute of her day. I plan on spending our last days together the way we've always spent them, going on cars rides, watching TV and loving each other throughout each day. One thing I will change. Kate can eat anything she wants to. She can have all the cheese and hot dogs she wants.
She can spend her last days being as happy and pain free as I can make her and I will bear for her the painful knowledge of her impending death. As humans who love animals it is our duty to see our pets through this life as best we can. They give us so much. Kate has never gotten mad at me. No matter what I do or who I anger, at the end of the day, I come home to the unconditional love of Kate McNeal. I will love her to the very end and even after that.