How The Blog Began
Matilda is a very special dog who helps everyone in the neighborhood. Her nickname is “Gandhi” and I think of her as my unicorn. Terrified rescue dogs calm down when she touches them with her nose. She is also a certified therapy dog and has helped many humans. It’s possible she’s saved lives.
Matilda came to Brooklyn, and to me, at age eight, in 2008. She had been rescued twice, once from the track, and then from a disrupted family. Her affectionate, peaceful nature allows her to make friends wherever she goes.
Now she has fallen on hard times, health-wise. Greyhounds have a relatively long life expectancy – many live to 15 or 16. Last month, Matilda was diagnosed with Lymphoma. Her Oncologist has encouraged us to proceed with chemotherapy, and told us that her prognosis — and the prognosis generally for this sort of Lymphoma — is good. At first I thought, really? Chemo? Won’t that be miserable? Chemo is so hard for humans.
But Dr. Britton explained that chemo for this cancer, and for dogs generally, is very different than it is for humans – that is, quality of life is the main goal. I took tremendous comfort in this.
So, Matilda has begun treatment and already she is doing very well. This beautiful being, who has helped so many people, deserves a few more chances to sniff the flowers, romp around with her sister and brother, and offer her soft snout to neighborhood kids and adults alike for petting. Many people have offered their cancer struggles and triumphs when they learn of Tillie’s. Please let us hear yours, and share knowledge and support each other. Thanks for reading.
August 28, 2013: Matilda has completed the six month protocol of chemotherapy, and is in remission from her greyhound cancer! She still needs all the good wishes and prayers, but she is well now, and she has gotten an extra eight months! Remission is not cure, so each day is special and precious. Now her blog will be a celebration of her life, and the other things that it has become–a place for rescue dogs to ask for homes, and a place for Matilda’s siblings to express their feelings about compassion and dog life in general, a place for therapy animals to be have the lime-light, and who knows what else!
October 6, 2013: Fairly quickly, Matilda contracted osteosarcoma of her humerus, and without warning, that same humerus suddenly fractured. A pathologic fracture, which is what that is called, can’t be mended. Osteosarcoma is excruciatingly painful. Luckily, we rushed her to the emergency/specialty vet hospital, and she was given pain medications fairly quickly. She suffered very little. The choices were amputation or euthanasia. We had to let this noble girl go. Yesterday, October 5, 2013, at 5pm, Matilda began her other-worldly journey. Rest in peace saintly dog.
The conversation continues. Her journey continues. We will not forget her and the beauty she stands for.
© Gill Terry Cramer, 2013
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