Â Â Â Fall has always been my favorite time of year as it reminds me of the years we were dog show gypsies - loading and unloading our full size van, making sure we had down-and-out motel rooms, and a good spot to set up.
Â Â Â In the fall of 2008, Promise (our oldest Basenji girl) was diagnosed with stage three Lymphoma.Â
Â Â Â Devastation is an under-rated word.Â Same with disbelief and shocked.Â
Â Â Â Without medical intervention, Promise would be dead before her fourth birthday in December.
Â Â Â Â As a puppy, she loved chicken jerky treats and she consumed them more that any other foodstuff.Â The chicken jerky treats were made in China.
Â Â Â Â So, in the fall of 2008, our beloved 'dog daughter' was dying of a virulent form of cancer that seem to come out of no where!Â The same type of cancer killed my 58 year old father in 1984, one year to the day he was staged.
Â Â Â Â We were also experiencing a generous loss of income as my husband's employer had cut his hours from 64 to 40, so to say we were financially strapped was an understatement.
Â Â Â Â Still, we couldn't euthanize this loving, bubbly and intelligent Basenji girl even though we had no idea where the money was coming from to try to put her in remission.
Â Â Â Â Hubby and I ate a lot of pancakes and hot dogs.Â We paid for Promise's chemo bills and used what was left over for food.
Â Â Â Â From the fall of 2008 to mid spring of 2009, Promise endured five rounds of chemo, along with supplements, drugs, baby food and baked beef hearts.
Â Â Â Â She was deemed remitted in May and has been 'cancer free' since.Â Promise has a CBC w/diff every six months and has thrived on my home cooking for well over five years.
Â Â Â Â No more dog food.Â I simply cook for five - from scratch - no prepared foods.Â Organic when I can find it and absolutely nothing from China, not even vitamins.
Â Â Â Â Cancer loves carbohydrates.Â I'm a type 2 diabetic, so I have to be aware of carbs in my diet as well, which made feeding Promise, Connor and Gracie easier.Â Good quality proteins, careful with the rice and generous with veggies (if they want to eat them).Â Veggies are OK, but I don't rely on them as a protein source.
Â Â Â Â Dogs have short digestive systems, so they can't ruminate veggies and fruit.
Â Â Â Â There is a certain amount of guilt when you have a dog who manages to beat the odds and survive, when you consider the number of dogs who don't.Â Promise is the only dog my vet hospital has been able to remit.
Â Â Â Â Every day is a gift.Â I remind myself to concentrate on the moment and enjoy my sweet, gentle Basenji girl who feels compelled to clean my eyes and ears nearly every evening.
Â Â Â Â How long will Promise live?Â God only knows.