One of the hardest things to do as a groomer is groom a dog that you know will be its last time.
The owner of a Springer that I groom called yesterday to see if I would still groom her dog.
She had an appointment on the books for today.
The Springer is dying of bone cancer in her rear leg.
The cancer is all over, but the tumor originated in her rear leg.
The last time that I groomed her, last month, the tumor was fairly large and she was limping, but still getting around pretty good.
She loved her walks with her owner.
The owner asked if I still wanted to groom her, because her time is short and she can no longer stand very well.
Her Vet gave the okay for a grooming, but she was leaving it up to me.
The owner mainly wanted a good sanitary trim to help keep her clean in the back, because she can no longer squat to do her business.
I didn't hesitate to say yes, but at the same time I wasn't sure how I was going to handle grooming this Springer that is living on borrowed time.
You see, my LabX girl is also living on borrowed time.
There is a very good chance that she will not make it to Christmas.
She is only 10 years old.
She has inoperable rectal cancer.
Her tumor is the size of a small watermelon.
The tumor has pushed her rectum over to the side about 3 inches.
She is still able to pass her stools although it gets to be more and more of a struggle.
In the past two weeks the tumor has started to effect her bladder also.
She is still eating but has lost a lot of weight.
I know that I have to make a decision soon, but I don't like playing God.
At the same time I will not let her suffer.
I think she is starting to suffer.....
So, as I groomed the Springer, I turned my brain off.
Yes, it's actually pretty easy for me...thankfully.
I sang to her.
I thought about the book that I was reading.
I thought about anything else other than this Springers passing, and my girl.
They hide pain so well, don't they?
Or, is just that we, their owners, don't want to see their pain?
My girl has the same sad look in her eyes.
It just rips your heart out.
Something that gives you such unconditional love, leaves this Earth way too soon.
I groomed the Springer lying down.
I trimmed her up the best that I could.
Her owners said to do what ever I could, they would be happy.
I saved her hair.
I put it in a heart shaped glass Christmas ornament.
I will get a special pen at the craft store this weekend and write her name on it.
I also took her picture.
I have picked three that I think are nice.
Which one do you think that I should put on a canvas for her owners, #1, #2, or #3?
Or, does she look too sad?
This one is a little blurry.
I need to make an ornament for my girl, but I can't bring myself to shave some of her hair off yet.
I will always and forever have dogs.
No matter how hard it is to lose them, I will always need one in my life.
Besides, they are all there waiting for me at the Rainbow Bridge.
They are running and playing and lying in the sun.
They are happy and pain free.
My 'Annie' will be running again soon, just like she used to.....
Happy Grooming, MFF