Things have been a bit unsettled at Brookwood Shire for the last few weeks.  I am afraid we got more bad news about Fergus.  He wasn’t feeling at all well last week so we went to see our friends at the Veterinary Clinic.  They took some X-rays and found a large suspicious mass on his spleen.  Not good.  It may or may not be malignant.  They would need to do surgery to biopsy it.  But given the other suspicious mass discovered a few weeks ago,  I think it might be.  There were a lot of ifs.  IF he survived the surgery (which is risky for older dogs) and IF the mass is not malignant, and IF it hasn’t affected any other organs (though his liver number was elevated so that was not encouraging) then surgery just MIGHT be “curative”….That is too much of a long shot for me.  I do not want to put Fergus through all that with such poor odds.   So we have brought him home.  It is a hospice situation.  We have meds for his pain and so far they are keeping him comfortable.  He is able to have his life or at least a version of it.  Though for how long, we do not know.  Anyone who has welcomed a dog (or any pet) into their home and into their hearts knows this time will come.  Dogs lives are too short.  If you are lucky enough to have them into their senior years, then you know that sooner or later something will happen.  And you will have to say good bye.  And it is always hard…

But Fergus, as all wise dogs, lives in the moment.  He is not worried about tomorrow.  As long as he is pain free, life is good.  There are treats and walks and breakfast and dinner.  And now, because he needs to take his meds with food, there is even lunch!  For Fergus, it is all good.  He remains joyful.  He is thrilled to see friends, enjoys his cookies, and his walks.  He rolls in the snow, sniffs everything, and has a grand time.  We can learn a lot from dogs.  So we too are trying to stay in the moment…and are appreciating every tail wag and every smile.  

 🍀  Happy St. Patrick’s Day! 🍀


About patti

I am a retired kindergarten teacher, tending a new kind of garden now, raising chickens and exploring permaculture. I live with my husband, Bill, my beloved dog, Fergus and my cat, Mighty Merlin. We have a small cottage and a tiny bit of land called Brookwood Shire. It is our sanctuary.
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19 Responses to Fergus

  1. What a very good perspective!

  2. What a great guy Fergus is, and he loves his walks. 🙂

  3. Pam R. says:

    I am sorry to hear about Fergus. It’s wonderful you can give him quality of life as time goes on.

  4. Joanne says:

    He is still a puppy to me. I want to be more like him living the moment.

    • pattigail says:

      To me as well…it seems like yesterday that we brought home that cuddly, adorable puppy. But it has been almost 12years! Amazing. Dogs have much to teach us.

  5. I certainly know what you’re feeling. Spam was a very special soul. And now, my little pain in the ass is an little old man. After his struggle with paralysis, every day is quality time. When he wobbles after his toys, I grin every time. He has bonded so strongly with David. I
    t’s a joy to watch him ‘run’ to the truck ‘wagging’. He is warm, spoiled, loved, a lucky dog. So is Fergus. They are people in fur pajamas, and we are lucky to have them in our lives.

  6. Well, you know better then almost anyone, how I feel.. love to all of you! (picture with Merlin is priceless..) ❤

    • pattigail says:

      It is a deceptive picture. It looks like Fergus loves Merlin but we know better. Merlin was trying to steal Fergus’ cookie and Fergus only has the one move….lick him and maybe he will go away. 🙂

  7. Eliza Waters says:

    How old is Fergus? I certainly respect your decision, it is always a tough decision. I was struck by the coincidence of our two dogs getting the same thing, living in the same area. Our dog Ruby (11 yrs. next month) stopped eating in Feb. and we took her to Dr. Brody and they found a mass on her spleen. We opted to have it out and it turned out to be a very slow growing malignancy (she has been slowing down these past two years – we thought it was old age). The vet said he didn’t see anything else while removing her spleen and we could expect a few more good years. She is back to her old self, eating and even playing when her arthritis isn’t bothering her. (Here is a post about her if you are interested: http://wp.me/p3O3z4-hK.) Maybe there is hope for Fergus? If not, I’m sure he’ll get the best loving right until the end.

    • pattigail says:

      Ruby is beautiful. Fergus will be 12 in May. And he has yet to stop eating. If the spleen was the only thing I might consider the surgery. But there is the mass discovered a few weeks ago, which caused an abscess like swelling. That swelling reoccured just today. We are treating it with antibiotics but it isn’t good that it reoccured. That mass is inoperable because it is in the skull. In addition he has a some paralysis in his larynx which affects his breathing and so makes surgery more dangerous. So there is a lot to consider. Unfortunately I suspect the two masses are connected and there may be more. The good news is that Fergus is feeling fine with the metacam and having his life. If his time is limited I would prefer he spend it happily rather than recovering from surgery. It is never an easy decision but I feel it is the right one. And of course I am hoping Fergus is with us for awhile more. I am so happy to hear that Ruby recovered well. And I appreciate you sharing Ruby’s story. Dogs are such amazing creatures in their zest for life. We can learn so much from them. And welcome to Brookwood Shire. Patti

  8. Cookie Lisa says:

    Patti & Bill –

    I wish that I’d been introduced to this lovely site of yours for a better reason – but it was news of Fergus from Meagen that brought me here. Just wanted you to know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers. You know I am Fergus’s biggest fan; well ONE of them anyway, and he brought me so many smiles on so many days that I needed them. He brings as much joy as he seeks…I hope the boys and I see you all soon. And I shall definitely have cookies on hand.

    • pattigail says:

      Thanks Lisa and welcome to Brookwoood Shire. Fergus is doing well for now…better than expected. We will look for you on our walks. Fergus will be delighted to see you with or without cookies… Though he DOES like getting cookies!

  9. Pingback: Happy Birthday Fergus! | Life at Brookwood Shire

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