October 8, 2013 was one of the most difficult days we’ve experienced. After a thorough exam the previous day, it was recommended and encouraged that we schedule Olivia for exploratory surgery on this day to determine the source of her illness. And so, here we were…
Olivia hadn’t been quite right since June when she began to periodically forgo her meals. These patterns coming from a dog who previously would dive head first into the food bowl were concerning. A trip to the vet found an infection and irritation in her throat. Antibiotics were prescribed and we watched for a sign of change. She began eating again but as time went by, Olivia’s interest in food began to wane again. We tried other foods and she would respond initially, only to become picky again.
Then, we began to notice her losing weight and her energy levels decreasing. While she still chewed her bone with fervor and chased the racquetball as much as always, her downtime was like someone hit the off switch. She wasn’t separating herself from everyone else and continued to stay close and be affectionate. Still, she was only 8 years old, so shouldn’t be ready for the senior home quite yet.
I received notice from the vet that Olivia had cancer. Fast and aggressive, it had taken up residence near her stomach and intestines in the form of 1 baseball-sized tumor, 2 ping pong ball-sized tumors and 7-8 marble-sized tumors. While we had suspected cancer as a possibility, the extent and realization of it was still devastating. How such a little dog could carry that much cancer was staggering.
We believed it would be best to euthanize her while she was still sedated, saving her further pain and suffering. And so she was.
This website was created as a memorial for Olivia. There are many legitimate organizations and websites that already exist addressing the topics of health and canine cancer and this site will support all of them. If we can inform and educate just one person, then Olivia’s Light will have succeeded.
We are also providing photography sessions for terminally ill dogs and their owners free of charge as time permits as a way to help others remember their beloved family members.
Thank you for visiting.