Gracie - by Denise, John and furry sibs, Tank and Cassie

Our Gracie Girl was diagnosed with a brain tumor in March, 2008. Dr. Maulden (Western Veterinary Specialist Centre, Calgary, AB) went over Gracie's MRI with us and because the tumor was so large and the location at the base of her brain stem, it was inoperable. We opted for chemotherapy and steroid treatment after learning that chemo. does not have the same devastating side effects on dogs that it does on humans. Our main concern was for quality of Gracie's life, however long or short it may be. Dr. Maulden said that when he first looked at the MRI, he had to actually go and take a look at Grace. He told us, if all he saw was the MRI and not the dog, he would've expected to see a dog that was almost comatose, certainly not holding up as well as she was. She was our little miracle girl.

From the time that Gracie started on the steroids, then her chemo. sessions, she started to improve. All of the neurological effects of the tumor, her hanging head, wobbly walk, "paralyzed" face, trouble eating, drooling, vacant look, all started to go away. Pretty soon, we weren't feeding (sometimes spoon feeding) her in our bedroom anymore, or helping her when she suddenly stopped on the stairs and it took her a second to come back to her self, or checking on her all day and night to make sure she was still okay. For about the last two months, every single day, Gracie regained more of what she had lost. In the past 6 weeks, our Gracie girl was back and then some, so much so that the only time we ever thought about her tumor was on chemo treatment days. A few weeks ago, I said to my husband John, "you know, she's all back, she's all Gracie again and even if this is all she gets, just this one week, then everything was worth it, just to have our Gracie back". So, we owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. Maulden and the Oncology Team at Western for giving us our Gracie Girl back. She was like a puppy, and she was "fat & happy" and spoiled....and so for her and for us to have had that time for her to be feeling and acting so good makes it all worthwhile.

In the end, Gracie had a gastrointestinal bug that we all thought would be relatively easy to treat. Unfortunately it didn't turn out that way, we all fought hard, no one harder than Grace, but sometimes there isn't a happy ending and this battle was not to be won. Gracie passed on July 11, 2008. Gracie, our oddball little girl, our beat-the-odds wonder, our deep, wise, sensitive, incredible Gracie. She taught us so much, to hold onto the good and not dwell in the bad, to remember she had an amazing, happy life with us for 10 years and she had a lousy last 2 weeks, and in the end it doesn't matter, she never laid around and felt sorry for herself, she loved life in every moment, she grabbed her ball and run with it and she never, ever, stopped wagging her butt, she was a fighter, all strength and dignity....and Grace :-)

Gracie, we miss the "whirlwind",
Love,
Mom & Dad (Denise & John)
and furry sibs, Tank & Cassie