I took this photo one evening last week when blind Widget was out and about, cruising the front yard after we’d put the other dogs up for the night. As I wrote a year ago, this is her favorite time of the day, when she gets to explore the outdoors and enjoy the warm summer evenings. Honestly, when she was diagnosed with lymphoma last September, we never thought she’d see another summer and enjoy moments like these again … but here she is. With her advanced age (13+) and serious heart condition, in addition to lymphoma, it is nothing short of amazing that she has powered through all this.
While?we are thrilled to watch her out cruising again, sniffing around and doing her thing, we are also coming to grips with the sad conclusion that the experimental chemo drug she started on at Tufts may not be working. Last week our oncologist at Peak in Burlington, Dr. Kendra Knapik, examined?Widget and described her?condition only as “stable.” She?noted only a minor shrinkage in her main enlarged lymph node on the left side of her neck.
In the past few days, though, we think it has actually started to grow again, as has the smaller node on the right’side of her neck. I’m taking Widget back to Tufts next week for her second’scheduled treatment, and we’ll know then whether our assessment is accurate or not. We would love to be very wrong on this.
In the meantime, though, we treasure each day with Widget and marvel that she is still with us and still enjoying life so much.
2014 Shelter Challenge Underway
The second round of the Shelter Challenge for 2014 is underway. You can vote every day at http://www.shelterchallenge.com/. To search for us, type in our name, Rolling Dog Farm, and Lancaster, NH 03584. We’ve won thousands of dollars in the previous contests, so your daily votes do bring in serious money for our disabled animals!
Please note that I cannot help with technical or voting problems. If you find yourself having issues, please consult their FAQ page and their Rules page.
Thanks for your votes!
Widget is just enjoying life so much; it’s so much harder on you guys because you see what is happening. Thank you so much for all your strong, loving care for these guys. You are so inspirational to me when I have to deal with issues with my own furry babies. My prayers are with you.
Karla Ritten says
Enjoy all the time you have left with Widget. She has been a fixture at Rolling Dog Farm since I first heard about you all years ago back in Montana. We lost a cat to lymphoma after he initially responded well to chemo but his cancer came back quickly and virulently. I know you will make the best choice for Widget when the time comes, meanwhile may she have a wonderful summer and enjoy herself.
Laura. Levi & Timmy says
So sorry to hear Widget’s new medicine isn’t working as well as you had hoped!! She is quite the character and her presence will be missed when it is her time. Enjoy her while you can and I’m glad she is still able to enjoy life!! Give her a hug for me!!
THAT’S ALL YOU CAN DO – TAKE ONE DAY AT A TIME & ENJOY EVERY MINUTE OF IT.
Tonya Allen says
It’s nice to see Widget inspecting her realm. I hope the second treatment will be more effective. Meantime, she’s happy, which is all that matters.
Diane Borden, Chehalis, WA says
Well, this is the essence and challenge of being pet owners, isn’t it? Loving them fully, keeping them safe and comfortable, then letting them go when it’s time. I sincerely hope this experimental drug is working. But I know if it isn’t you will once again be the strong and loving humans that we all admire for your grace in this process.
Widget is indeed a lucky little soul to have such stewards of her spirit.
I’m so sorry to hear about Widget’s health. It makes my heart sad. But I am very glad she is in a wonderful place where she can enjoy the days she has, cruising around the yard. Such a simple thing and it makes her happy. That’s what matters. Give her an extra hug.
It was odd when I saw the picture I thought there is Widget being Widget, good for her. At the same time I knew there was bad news wating in the text. Despite the news what the picture shows Widget living in the moment. She isn’t worried about any tests next week. She is enjoying the great smells and her full belly in her favorate place. Good for Widget.
It’s wonderful to see that Widget is still doing her thing and enjoying every minute of it. Enjoy each day with her. I hope to hear some better news after her next visit to Tufts…perhaps it will take a few treatments and what looks like a step back before the treatments kick in? Just know I’m sending many prayers and good thoughts your way 🙂
Widget reminds me so much of my Skeeter. It was June of last year when we took Skeeter to have her gallbladder removed. The vet specialist thought this was what was causing her recent problems and recommended the surgery. However, they said that since Skeeter was an older sheltie she may not even recover from this major surgery. We elected to have the surgery done and Skeeter suprised everyone at the clinic when she was ready to come home just a day after the surgery.
But during surgery they also discovered a mass around her pancreas that they also removed. They felt confident that the mass was most likely benign but would send it off to have it checked. Several days later we received that awful phone call saying that the mass was malignant and Skeeter had pancreatic cancer. We were told she had a few weeks left at most. But no one told Skeeter this! She continued to be her happy go lucky self even if she was slower at it. She continued to enjoy life and bless us with her prescence. We cherished everyday. Skeeter eventually let us know it was time for her to go just before Christmas.
I’m glad to see Widget is enjoying whatever time she has left and I know you both treasure this time too just as we did.
Barb Ribinski says
Widget certainly looks happy, and that’s all you can hope for at this point. It’s nice that she gets to go outside and do her thing as the queen she is after the others have gone to sleep. And speaking of older ladies, I was wondering how Stella is doing. Has she started her heartworm treatments yet? I still can’t believe her family turned her in because she got old. Is Darla still miffed that she’s there?
Heidi, Emmett the Beagle, and Moxie the Kitty says
How incredibly wonderful that she is still cruising! What a gift she is!
Steve, can you do something for me? Sometime soon, can you please hold her close and whisper in her ear, and tell her how loved she is from afar? She is the very first creature I fell in love with on this blog, back probably a good 7 years now, and she has been an inspiration to me as to how to be a proper pet momma. I never had a dog before I had my rescue Beagle Emmett, but Widget had already taught me a lot about Beagles and all the love they have to offer. I’ll never forget how she ran “Beagle Boot Camp” for the shy recruits who came to RDF. Or her incredible antics and charm and sass. Please whisper in her ear, so when she goes to the Rainbow Bridge, she knows.
Steve Smith says
Heidi, your comment almost made me cry — that was so sweet of you, and yes, we will definitely tell her. Thank you.
Shirley and James says
Every day is a gift as you know!