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Today has been 1 year

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It’s been one year today since we lost Tank, it’s also my birthday, which I have to admit I don’t like much any more, but now it’s much worse. I promised myself to serve Tank’s memory by helping others that are going through what we went through as so many kind people did, but I have failed. It’s been a hard year, for many reasons, but it’s only the loss of Tank that I cry for, ache for, you know. Those of us who love our furry family members, go through this pain more than once in our lifetimes, it goes with the joy of their companionship. I heading into this next year making sure I fulfill my promise and repay my debt and help others.

I have the post card from Spirit Jerry’s family posted on my inspiration board. They took the time to write a note to thank me for my support of this website. I made 2 promises that I have kept, one was to always support this community and the other is to display my “F#@K Cancer” sticker with pride! Jerry’s family has sparked me into action and I know exactly how they felt with his loss and how important this community is to the memory of all our beloveds.

Shortly before we lost Tank, Diesel joined our family. He started out his little life with a huge mission. He was a puppy with the job of closing the huge wound Cancer had left on our family. He has grown fast, and man is he something else! We say Diesel has trampoline feet, he bounds around here like he’s on springs. His joy is contagious. I was opposed to Richard’s choice of a Rottweiler at first, but it was his decision and my mistake. I had the wrong impression of Rotts, thinking they were all mean and unaffectionate. Diesel is the most sensitive dog I have ever had! He has to sit on at least one of your feet, preferably both, when he’s wanting attention. He gets deeply upset if he gets in trouble. He is just the opposite of everything I had thought about the breed.

In the end, we are recovering and life goes on. We have a tree we are planting today in memory of Tank. It will become big and strong, I see a swing in it for Richard’s first child, a daughter we are expecting in April, and flowers in the Spring. It will be here forever just as Tank will in our hearts!IMG_2329

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Published in: Uncategorized on February 21, 2013 at6:10 pm Comments (3)

The Last Chapter…Tank came back home today.

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Tank being Tank

Nearly 5 months since Tank’s Journey started, we made our last trip to the veterinary hospital today to pick up Tank’s ashes.

I cried nearly the whole way home, holding on my lap the tiny, cedar box that held our precious Tank. While Tank’s spirit is not in that box, this brings closure. In combination with the cedar box and Tank’s spirit which surrounds us every minute, he is back home.

With the continuation of the circle of life, tomorrow is Diesel’s first official vet visit with the same vet, Doctor C, who has seen our family through all our pets. Having Diesel has somewhat softened the blow of losing Tank. Diesel commands our attention with his youthful attitude and boundless energy. Diesel has all the makings of a fabulous addition to the household and a new companion to Richard.

While working in the yard, swimming in the pool, drives in my truck, even living in this home will never be the same, neither will all of us who loved Tank, because no matter who you are, no matter what type of dog, no matter how long they blessed you with their company, each one was the best dog we ever had!

Thank you to everyone who helped us through this very difficult time. I will always be a supporter of this site. Please never stop doing what you do until the day fuc$king cancer no longer exists. We need you too much!

Here are some pictures of the next generation of our family, Diesel, our 12 week old Rottweiler puppy.
Thanks and love to everyone!
Lisa

Diesel & Encore "smiling" for the camera!

 

Diesel surveying his territory

 

Diesel & Richard

 

Diesel & Encore, the beginning of a long friendship!

Published in: Uncategorized on March 8, 2012 at12:45 am Comments (5)

My heartfelt thanks to all of you for your kind words!

Thank you to all of you for all the kind words. This community is full of very fine people with a profound understanding of how fragile life can be. Just to know one is not alone is comfort in itself. This is a time of deep sadness and facing the realization that from now on things will never be the same again. We lost Tank nearly 6 months to the day since we lost Velvet, or Lab. Just to no longer have a big dog is a shock. You just don’t realize you can hear them breathe or walk, let alone the silence of the big barks when you come home. When I’m out watering, I don’t have Tank barking at me continually to throw his ball. There are just too many times to mention that I miss my dogs desperately. But I know you all know just what I mean.

Life has a way of working things out, placing light where darkness is to remind us life goes on. Out little/big light has been Diesel. We got Diesel just about 2 weeks ago, at that time he was 8 weeks. I knew how Tank loved puppies, so we wanted to bring the puppy into the home while Tank was still with us, hoping it would perk him up. As it was, he was just too sick to enjoy Diesel. Tank was given to my son, and I knew how hard losing Tank would be on him. He didn’t really want a puppy before Tank was gone, but in the end, Diesel has been a godsend to Richard. Needless to say, Tank can never be replaced, nor would I even attempt it. But having Diesel need Richard has given him, and the rest of us a distraction and just pure light.

Diesel Coming Home

Tank & Encore showing Diesel his new yard

Tank being goofy the day Diesel came home

Diesel asleep in Richard's arms

We will always miss those we have lost, but we will never stop sharing the love we have with dogs, it’s a part our lives that we would not be complete without!

Thanks again everyone!

Lisa

 

Published in: Uncategorized on February 26, 2012 at12:13 am Comments (3)

Tank is gone…so is part of me…

Yesterday, despite his continued efforts to carry on, we set Tank free.

We were so very lucky to be able to see our happy Tank once again after the amputation. We got to play ball with him, he got to play with his little dog. We had precious time that we knew was fleeting, but appreciated and valued every day to it’s fullest. There are no regrets, but the loss is huge. I don’t need to explain it, you all know how it feels. The silence, the void that activity once filled, the whole world changed yesterday.

Tank joined Velvet, our Lab that passed away in August, and I know she is showing him how to enjoy the freedom he has regained.

When my children were in school, my son had a project to write a structured poem, pure torture to him. I tried to help him by writing a poem myself. I wrote it about Tank. I feel it serves my farewell to him.

Tank, My Black and Tan Buddy

You stand there, waiting and watching my every move.
Your black and tan fur shines in the morning sun, there on the grass of the back yard you wait.
Ears straight up and listening, carefully, legs stiff and ready to go.
Like a stone you wait, not moving, but your eyes watching my every move.
You wait for me, I tease you. moving quickly from side to side I go.
Back and forth following my every move like a shadow you go.
Locked in a friendly battle.
Your collar, metal, shining in the sun, swings with your movements.
I wish I could know what you’re thinking.
Tippy, our little dog, your best friend, barks continually at my feet.
Yip, yip, yip she barks, happy to be outside with us.
I raise my arm, the ball at my finger tips, you ready, Tippy barking.
The smell of the freshly cut, green grass.
As I release the ball, you take off after it, following the ball as if you both were launched from the same gun.
Will you catch the ball?
Catching the ball, you return to me for more, my black and tan buddy.

I will forever miss my black and tan buddy.
I love you Tank!
Lisa

Published in: Uncategorized on February 22, 2012 at10:18 pm Comments (15)

Nearly 2 months since surgery…

Tank is doing so good! We are all very happy to have him and being able to enjoy him being with us every day!

We decided to stop chemotherapy after only 2 treatments. The chemo wasn’t slowing the advance of the cancer, plus having to leave Tank at the vet all day was just stressing him out so much. It would take a couple days for him to get back to his old self. We had that problem with our diabetic Labrador. She would have to spend the day at the vet having her blood drawn every hour to check her blood sugar levels. It would take her a few days to get back up to speed. We had decided, along with her vet, to stop any diagnostic treatments once it became too stressful. We just continued her on her meds, and we did that for about the last 1 1/2 years of her life, and both she and the rest of the family was perfectly fine with that!

I was nervous to speak with the Oncologist, I guess I was afraid he would disapprove of our decision to end chemo. He was super sweet and very understanding, I was so pleasantly surprised. He told us there was no guarantee from Chemo, so to just enjoy very day and look at it as a blessing! He ended our conversation by telling me to give Tank a squeeze from him, which I did!

I’m not giving up on Tank by any means. Tank is almost totally converted over to the Dog Cancer Diet. I tell you that dog eats better than us!! He gets his fresh protein, whole grains and veggies for every meal, with cottage cheese and fish oil on top! He loves it, since it’s just all around better eating, the Pappies are switching over as well! All 3 dog eagerly wait for food to be served and each one has to look into each of the other dog’s empty bowls looking in vain for scraps! The dogs only drink filtered water as well from only glass bowls! I’m doing all I can personally do for Tank every day, that way I know for sure, without regrets, that I tried my best! I love that dog and I thank him every day for giving us another day!

Currently, Tank shows no hint of any problems. If he wasn’t missing a leg you wouldn’t think anything was wrong. Cancer is not mentioned here, we take every day as a blessing and I am happy to say that for now, everything is good!

Published in: Uncategorized on February 5, 2012 at1:29 am Comments (6)

Update on Tank

I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve posted! Tank is doing very well spiritually. He’s back in action full steam. Chasing neighborhood cats that make it into the yard, playing with his little dog and even sleeping upside down on the couch!!

He is on his second round of chemotherapy. Before the first round they found cancer nodules in his lungs, not a good sign. Before this round the nodules had increased in size. The Oncologist wanted to change the meds, but Tank’s heart was not strong enough, so they had to opt for a synthetic version. We can tell that the meds knocked Tank down a bit this time, which is sad, he was so happy and spunky before, but I’m sure this will pass and his attitude will improve.

When Tank is feeling god, he can be a bit of a butt head when it comes to someone else doing anything to him. When the assistant came out to get Tank for his chemo on Tuesday, Tank literally jumped into one of the chairs in the waiting room to try to get away! He looked like a total dork, big, old three legged dog hiding from the guy in a chair!! That’s the Tank we love, he never grew up, he’s still a puppy at heart.

His little dog, Encore, is picking on him a bit, when they are playing with a toy, Encore will steal it from Tank and run away with it! Tank will get up an chase him a couple times, then it becomes too much trouble, so he’ll just look at me and whine until I get him the toy from Encore!

We have all been so happy to have Tank perking and participating in life again, but it’s deceiving, as we know what lurks inside is still marching forward. It’s so easy to look at Tank and forget the cancer is still inside, but things are forcing us to be honest with ourselves and face facts. We are, unfortunately robbing from Peter to pay the Oncologist, and as much as I would give all I could to make Tank better, the unpleasant truth is it’s not. We have all sat down and come to the conclusion, that if this round of chemo isn’t working on reducing the nodules in his chest, we are going to suspend chemo. It breaks my heart to even write that, let alone actually do it, it’s so hard. All of this is unbelievably expensive, it takes all we have to do one day with the Oncologist, with all the tests and meds, it’s taken all we have, and in the end, it’s not working to even slow the cancer. So not fair. I hope we can keep Tank happy as long as he can do it, and hope we are blessed with many, happy days. We truly have been. It’s really been hard since the tumor first showed up on his leg in early November 2011. From that first vet visit and they gave Tank only 6-8 weeks, we’ve gone way past that. Admittedly, some of the time was horrible, but Tank and we have put that behind us.

We have a puppy lined up, my son wanted a Rottweiler, and the household is used to having a good protector as Tank has been. The puppies are expected in February and will be ready in April. We all hope Tank can enjoy the puppy too. He is a puppy at heart and he just loved it when both the Pappies were puppies. Time will tell.

I hope every one is doing well, I’ve been poor at keeping up with things on the computer, since Tank got sick it’s turned our world upside down. The journeys we all take thru life aren’t always pleasant, but they all add up to make us who we are, and they are there for a reason, so onward.

Published in: Uncategorized on January 20, 2012 at7:23 pm Comments (2)

F@#K CANCER!

If you knew me, you’d know I’m very opinionated, I say what’s on my mind. I could hold my own in any truck stop with the potty mouth I’ve got going on, and today I’m mad! I’m mad at cancer!

It’s a beautiful day here, temps should hit the low 80’s. I was out watering this morning with lots of help from the dogs! Tank is his old self, happily playing with his toy, barking at it, rolling it around with his nose, tossing it into the pool on purpose just because he loves to get his toy wet! I am truly appreciating every single moment with Tank, to have him be happy is a treasure no one can put a price on.

I was outside and literally started crying, the thought that f#@king cancer is lurking inside Tank, robbing him of happy years, is just so unfair it cannot be described. To all those who have lost and those who are where we are, I send my love.

Since I tend to be very vocal about my opinions, I have the ability to express myself in ways others can’t. I own a sticker business, so any time I have something to say, it goes on the back window of my truck. Today I’m mad at cancer and everyone will know it! Granted, the sticker may be too over the top for some of you, others, maybe not. If you would like a sticker like this, just send me a private message with your mailing address and I will send you one, at no cost to you. I will do either the full version I have on my window, or an edited version like in the title of my post for today. If you want it on a window, I would recommend white, but if you want the sticker for some other surface that is light colored I can do it in black, so please specify color. I hate cancer, and if you would like to show it too, just let me know!

Lisa

The sticker I have on the back window of my truck.

Published in: Uncategorized on December 29, 2011 at7:24 pm Comments (11)

What leg?

Tank’s Oncologist at VCA is Dr. Dhaliwah. I have a few people share with me their pleasant experiences with that particular office. I have nothing but praise for them.

I appreciate the encouragement, but I have no intention of letting any  kindof time frame for Tank stop me from giving him all I can do for him because he gives me all he can give every day!

Tank and his toy in Tank's parking spot in the yard!

Tank may not be able to add a paw into the water while he drinks, but his toy got dunked!

Encore always steals his big dog's toy when he can. If Tank can't find his toy we tell him Encore took it and off he goes in search of Encore and his toy!

It's all good in Tank-Land!

Published in: Uncategorized on December 28, 2011 at9:26 pm Comments (3)

Staples come out, chemotherapy starts

Tank is doing great! He’s been playing with his little dog, it’s just so wonderful to see him playing again! He had a nice, quiet Christmas, my only wish for Christmas was to have Tank with us, and I got that so I was thankful all day!

Yesterday we had our first consultation with the Oncologist, he’s as great as any other doctor we have had the pleasure to work with thru this whole ordeal. I cannot recommend the VCA Veterinary offices highly enough, we are using the office in Fountain Valley, Ca. and they are super! Our consultation with the doctor went well, he recommended a round of chemo and after that we could expect 1-2 years with Tank. They needed to do an ultrasound before the chemo to check his internal organs for possible cancer spread before the chemo. They had to keep Tank because they couldn’t do the ultrasound until later in the day. Tank was not very happy to have to stay there, on the plus side, he would be getting those nasty staples out!

Sadly, the Oncologist called me after the ultrasound and the cancer had already spread to Tank’s lungs, lowering his life to a prediction of 6-8 months. Heartbreaking to hear since we have pushed thru all this at such a rapid pace, and to hear the cancer beat us to the lungs was devastating! Another crying spell for me, then back on our feet to fight just as hard for Tank. When we went to pick him up we had a consultation with the final member of the team that would be working on Tank, another lovely person. She was very kind and had put in writing for me all the blood work that needs to be done during and before each round of chemo. She explained that before Tank’s next round of chemo they will do another ultrasound to check the size of the nodules in his lungs and adjust treatment accordingly. We will cross that bridge when it gets here. For now, we have our old Tank back, he’s totally good on 3 legs, happy to participate in our dull life, which he is a shining light within!

Tank finally sporting a cool, no shirt look!

Published in: Uncategorized on at5:28 pm Comments (2)

When Tank started his journey, I decided to keep a count-down calendar on the fridge. Knowing that by taking things in smaller steps, you get to the finish easier. I started the count-down with 2 weeks following his surgery, we are nearly at the end of the 2 weeks. It’s hard to believe! Over the last few days, we have seen Tank becoming his self again. It started out slowly, like not wanting water when I brought the bowl to him, but by getting up just to get a drink on his own. He has been laying beside my desk when I work again, a welcome companion! Yesterday, the mailman came to the front door and Tank got up, ran to the door barking, and I just sat here and cried thinking how nice it was to have him doing that again! Simple things in any dog’s days, but a sign he is feeling better. Today I was out watering, Tank usually comes out with me, with his toy, and I spend half my time watering, the other half throwing his ball for him. I wasn’t going to let him outside so he wouldn’t want to play, but he wouldn’t have that. I let him outside hoping he would just sit there…nope. I got barked at continually until I got out a toy for him. He was just happy having it in his mouth for a bit, but before I knew it, the toy bounced off my foot. Tank had rolled it to me to throw for him. I gently tossed it to him and he happily sat down after catching it, he was tired. How wonderful to see him happy, perky and getting back to being himself!!! Sunday will be 2 weeks since Tank’s surgery. We have had few incidents, so it’s been a quiet recovery, just lots of rest. Tank sees the Oncologist on Tuesday of next week and at that time they will remove the staples. I am cautiously optimistic that the worst is behind us. Once these 2 weeks are over I will start another 2 week count-down, and hopefully by the end of that Tank will be recovered and back to himself again. We will cross the cancer bridge on Tuesday, but for now, I got to play a bit of ball with Tank, the best Christmas gift ever!! Lisa (all smiles!)

Published in: Uncategorized on December 24, 2011 at1:06 am Comments (1)
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