Tuesday, August 31, 2010

RIP Ruby Beagle 24/7/97 - 13/8/10

My heart is in pieces.

Beautiful Ruby is no longer with us.

The blog entry from February 20 already illuminates what a brilliant, wonderful, fabulous dog she was and how I loved her to bits and pieces and how she was my absolute rock through good and bad. I wrote that when we thought there was something nasty wrong with her but with much relief that turned out to be a false alarm. Then came another lump on her neck. Didn't look so bad compared to the one that caused the scare. Took her off to a vet who gave her antibiotics. Two months later it was still there and another on her thigh. Same vet gave her antibiotics again. I have no issue with the first lot of antibiotics but knowing what I now know, I have major difficulty accepting his decision on the second lot. It was a mast cell tumour. If you look up the images on the internet, this is exactly what Ruby's looked like. How can a senior professional not know this? Second time around he should have taken a biopsy and it could have been taken out and treatment given and we may have had my little angel in our lives for a whole lot longer. But no. So Ruby and I continued just thinking she had a couple of older dog type lumps. Then more lumps and since the original vet was holidaying in Europe, we took her to Sydney Uni Vet Hospital again, thinking we might need a dermatologist. Horror. Tests. Mast Cell tumours. Five of them, maybe six. One on her leg that could not be cut out. Recommendation: surgery then chemo then radiation. Prognosis: this would give her six to eight months. I could not put her through months of (at best) extreme discomfort for no real healthy extension of her life. So we went with palliative treatment and desperately got hold of all the natural supplements we could find. Hell, we'd have a couple of good months 'cause she really wasn't sick right? It was Stage Three and aggressive. We had two weeks. But she didn't stop enjoying her walks and her food until that last day. There was no major distress until the very last day when it quickly became apparent that it had taken its ghastly grip. Her pulse went to 200, her lips had gotten a purplish tinge, and her beautiful clear little eyes had become yellow.

Her vet, Ken Cockwill, was the most wonderful caring man. He outlined her state, told us what they could do but then said in the most gentle, understanding voice, "If she were my dog, I'd be saying goodbye." We got to spend time doing just that and were able to say when it was finally time. We held her while he helped her out of her pain and we were allowed to sit with her for as long as we needed to.

That was a few weeks ago and I still burst into tears on a daily basis and I sob as I write this. I was so blessed to have that little girl in my life.

A few days after Ruby left us, vet Ken sent a very personal card and also included a little printout which I will copy in here because it made me feel a tiny bit content:

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water, and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable. All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigour. Those who are hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing, they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together ...

So I'll be seeing you, my beautiful Ruby. Enjoy your play, your sniffling and snaffling, your frolicking, because in a few short decades, you'll be stuck with looking after me all over again!


  1. What a great tribute to your beautiful little friend Ruby. what a beauty she was- i wish that i'd met her.

  2. Im sure your pet is happy wherever he is right now, such as heartwarming tribute glad i stumbled onto your website. Xoxo

    groodle puppies for sale