Fred here. I guess you could call me a guest blogger or dogger. I am Barney’s younger, more athletic, better-looking brother. I know he’d want me to fill folks in so here we go-
The Barney Dog has left the building in a most universal and spiritual way. He fought the good fight against that dastardly lymphoma stuff for over two years as we, his canine and avian siblings, watched helplessly. He liked to say he was living WITH lymphoma; not dying FROM lymphoma. He would have been 12 years old on May 25th. I worked with my Mom and pulled some pictures together if anyone wants to see them.-->
Barney was feeling rather feisty over the last week. His lymph nodes had swollen up a bit TWO weeks ago and he was put on what the doctor was a “rescue” protocol drug. It was something called asparaginase akaElspar. At that appointment, they discovered this really nasty “mass” on his left hind leg. It was virtually undetectable, concealed by the bunny butt fur that we Corgi’s have. It was also above the lymph node area that had been CONSTANTLY checked over the past two years. But after the area was shaved, it was nasty. About the size of a large Oreo cookie, it was hard and infected. It looked to be sweating blood from time to time. Tests were done but they were “equivocal.” In other words: “What the hell IS that?”
They put him on clavamox/amoxicillin which destroyed his appetite. My Mom started thinking he was a gonner. She cried a LOT…started preparing for “THE END.”
The Elspar was REALLY expensive at $300.00 and really didn't seem to do much. So, next they tried something called lomustine aka CCNU.
Within days, his nodes were almost back to normal and after a few more days, the nasty mass on his ass (excuse the pun) was also gone. We were all prancing around like there was no tomorrow. Unfortunately, that turned out to be true. The bad side effects of the lomustine hit 8 to 10 days after you take the pill. They hit my brother at 7 days.
We had a rough night and in the morning, he couldn't stand up. It was really confusing for all of us because he was prancing and playing and running just 12 hours earlier! This is one of those times I’m sure my Mom is happy she doesn't have Neopolitan Mastiffs because she wrapped Barney in a towel and carried him outside. I guess she thought if she got him out in the sun and he saw us running around, it would come back to him. It didn't work. My Dad came home from working out and we knew something was up because they didn’t even feed us breakfast. They ran out the door and headed to the doctor.
I heard my Mom telling someone over the phone that she just knew it was time. She said “No more sticking him with needles or pumping chemicals into him. No more pills. No more prodding and groping him…” She said he got one last shower of sunshine in his face when she carried him into the office and he squinted and smiled.
They said his white cell count “tanked.” He also had a fever they couldn't get under control. And then they couldn’t get his blood pressure up and that was going to hit his kidneys soon. With the help of the doctor, my Mom and my Dad held him until he went to sleep and then his huge heart stopped.
We miss him, though. We all keep expecting to see him in his usual hiding places…in her office…in her closet. My Mom has been remembering funny stories and she cries from time to time. She said there was one time she had Barney in the Porsche 911. He LOVED car rides. When she drove around with the top down, he would hop on to the floor and as soon as she came to a stop sign, he would hop up onto the seat, prop his feet up on the armrest and look around. Inspector Corgi. This one time, a cranky man came up next to them in his own Porsche and he scoffed “That dog is going to RUIN the leather.” And my Mom said “It’s a fu**ing car!” Barney said he was pretty stunned she yelled at the guy but when she pulled away, she was laughing, he hopped back on to the floor and waited for the next light.
Life goes on that way. I think we’re all just waiting for the next light so that he can pop his head up again. Maybe by then. we’ll all be able to.
Keep Calm and Corgi On!!
The Freddy Dog