Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sapphire's Journey Continued.

After being in Chicago visiting my dear Auntie, who is 89 years old, I was optimistic about picking up Sapphire Monday morning. She reminds me of my Aunt. My Aunt has had breast cancer not just once but twice in the past 25 years and now, from all her treatments, she has leukemia. She's a tough old woman, a survivor. Sapphire came to us nearly starved to death and injured from a car hitting her.Dr Duval examined her and said to wait and pull a coggins. She didn't think she'd survive. Sapphire proved her wrong. She was a tough mare, a survivor. She gained so much weight, we put her on a diet. That was 3 years ago. 

Sapphire with my beloved Bloodhound, Jethro. (RIP  Jethro.)

Something happened earlier this year. Sapphire became lethargic, was not interested in food, just looked dull. After some vet visits and blood work, we took her to University Of Georgia Large Animal Medical Center for tests. The first week test after test show little except she was sick. IV antibiotics and an air conditioned stall did make her feel much better. Then it seems like we made so much progress, I was scheduled to pick her up the day after I got back from Chicago. She was now on oral antibiotics and no fever, good heart rate and eating everything. Early Monday morning, Dr Erin  from UGA called and said Sapphire of 104. Picking her up is not an option now. As the day went by, more bad news. She was getting uncomfortable. Back on IV's and another test scheduled. 

Margaret and Sam went to visit Sapphire Monday. They love the horses and care so much, they couldn't stay away since Margaret had the day off. They said she looks very thin still. Two weeks at UGA, in air conditioned stall, getting 12 pounds of senior feed and piles of wonderful alfalfa hay and no exercise, she should have gained weight. She gained 2 pounds. Why? Why? Why? What is wrong? Are we treating a secondary infection to the real problem? Does she have cancer, chronic bowel disease? Her GI tract is not absorbing. They hinted towards putting her down,,,again. The last time I waited 24 hours there was dramatic improvement. Tossing and turning, praying and hoping,,, another miracle please!

Tuesday morning, the phone rings, it's Dr. Erin. I looked at the phone thinking "I don't  want to hear this". I held my breath as I listened to the ring tone. Ok, I hoped for a turnaround, but it was seriously not good. Sapphire's heart rate was 80, double the normal beat. Liver enzymes came back elevated even more. She could die in pain or I could let her go in peace. It is so hard because you have to say the words to the vet and it has to be clear and concise. "Yes, I will agree to let her go." I had to say it. My mind was saying wait another 24 hours, but my heart told me it was time to let her go. I didn't like it, but I knew what needed to be done.  Trembling, I said it. Now I say, Rest in Peace sweet Sapphire.

Now UGA is doing a necropsy so we can all know some answers. Maybe not how or why, but something to ease our pain, ease our hearts. So many people were her cheerleaders, her Angels. Now they, too, have to say goodbye, her journey is over. Our tears will flow for her. Rest In Peace Sweet Sapphire.........