In January, 2012, after a lengthy, year-long diagnostic process which started almost immediately after I scooped her up from the Westgate Mall parking lot and brought her home, Sarah was declared a hospice dog.
At that vet visit, we discussed a treatment plan to keep Sarah as comfortable as possible for as long as we could. The medications prescribed had multiple side effects. If Sarah’s condition didn’t take her from us, those side effects would.
In that treatment plan discussion, the point of when to say when was brought up. In order to keep her comfortable, the dosages of her medications would have to be incrementally increased from their already high starting point. Once we passed a certain dosage threshold, it would be time to say good-bye. By that time, Sarah would be suffering from multiple health problems, none curable. In January 2012, the vet said it would be 2 years or less.
It is now February 2015. 1 year past Sarah’s life expectancy, and she’s better than she ever was! Sarah has been off all of her meds since January 2014. I can remember only 2 times in the last year when she’s needed Tramadol. She still has her gimp, but she is able to walk longer, and over rougher terrain without pain, though we still stick to mainly level, non-rocky surfaces. In the last 6 or so months, she has even taken to playing with Slugger.
Getting Sarah off processed food, and designing her diet to her specific nutritional needs has been the key to making her new and improved, but it hasn’t cured her. It’s only bought us more time by making Sarah healthier and better able to combat her physiological problems without pharmacological assistance. There will come a day when Sarah will have to go back on her meds – of that there is no doubt – and the thresholds discussed 3 years ago will apply, but that’s a long way off now. That she is currently off of, and her system is healing, or has healed from the side effects of the drugs, says that we have reset the clock in a big way.
Every day with Sarah is a treasure and we are the luckiest people in the world to call her family.
I sincerely feel bad for all of you who will never get to meet her in person. Just know, though she has never met you, she loves you! She’s that kind of girl.