Friday, August 23, 2013

Ahnung - A Legacy of Love ... honoring and celebrating an amazing spirit ...

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This morning, my sweet girl woke me up with a very intentional scratch on the bedroom door. She let out a small yelp as she walked up the steps. I noticed her belly looked very distended. I hoped, like earlier this year, that she had just gotten into some food and just had a very BIG, bloated belly. I thought maybe her back was bothering her so I gave her an early dose of rimadyl then gave her some raw meat with her tramadol and gabapentin. As I continued to watch her it was clear she was not her usual self. After going potty she immediately came inside and went to lay by the healing river rocks. When Legacy tried to get her to play she declined ... then 20 minutes later she vomited. Something was not right with my girl. I immediately called Lake Harriet Vet and was told to bring her in right away. I left her there for a couple hours so they could get x-rays. X-rays were done of her abdomen area and her chest. X-rays confirmed that her lungs are filled with tumors. The doctor compared her x-rays with her previous x-rays. The tumors were now golf-ball sized and there were 7 large golf ball size tumors in her lungs (not to even mention the many other small tumors). Her abdomen also showed it was filled with fluid and there was a large mass in the area where her kidney should be. It was most likely another cancer tumor. Her belly is bloated and filled with fluid. My vet at Lake Harriet called over to Blue Pearl and sent over all the x-rays and had a conversation with the oncologist, Dr. Schmidt. We headed over the Blue Pearl in Eden Prairie. When we walked in one of the vet techs greeted us and said she was surprised at how great Ahnung looked :) Her tail was wagging and she still had that nung-nung sparkle in her eye :) They had seen the x-rays that were sent over and based on what they saw they envisioned bringing Ahnung in on a stretcher ... but no, not my nung-nung :)
A 5K-9 walk with my girl in 2010

The oncologist spent a long time with us .... it is clear we are in the final stretch of this amazing walk we have had. I look into Ahnung's eyes and I know she is not ready to go today. The sparkle is still in her eyes, her tail still wags, she still perks up for treats .... There is significant fluid in her abdomen but the oncologist said it doesn't appear to be causing her any discomfort. She still doesn't have any trouble with her breathing despite the massive size tumors in her lungs. The oncologist says it could be days, it could be weeks, maybe even longer. We don't know if the fluid has been slowly building up or her body just said enough. She told us the next few days would tell us more. She recommended increasing her tramadol ... as we have both learned in our volunteer work in hospice, it is now about pain management and comfort. Her temperature is normal, her heart sounds good .. quite frankly, the oncologist said Ahnung is doing amazingly well considering what the x-rays show.  The oncologist said it's also possible Ahnung may just pass her in her sleep. To be honest, it wouldn't surprise me if she did that ... I have always imagined my sweet girl living life fully all the way until the very end.

I know the time is approaching. It will soon be her time to move on to her next job ... when it is time for her to move on, she will let me know.
Hanging out at a coffee shop this morning

Dear Ahnung, I promise to listen to your heart and to your spirit and your soul. I promise to do all I can do to keep you comfortable and free from pain, and when you tell me it is time to set your spirit free, I promise to hold you, kiss you and wrap your essence and your being around me, and to let you go. I have been blessed to have you in my life .... and as we approach what appears to be the end of this Final Walk, I will imagine that when we get to that cliff, a community of people who love you dearly will set your spirit free and you will soar into the heavens. I am grateful today is not that day ... and I will cherish every moment left that I have with you.

We had originally planned to have a 3rd Celebration of Life party for Ahnung on September 29th ... well, we are moving up her big party to this Sunday, August 23, 2013. My dear friend Merry will once again lead a healing prayer circle. Ahnung has returned every morning to lay by the healing river rocks ... my hope is that with renewed energy and prayers from a community of friends who love and support her that I will blessed to have her for weeks, even months to come ... Please join us for her party on Sunday, August 23rd at 3 pm at the Animal Humane Society in Golden Valley (we will be in the large auditorium by the adoption center).


  1. Marilou, I am so touched by the way you honor Ahnung and her journey. Sending you blessings and Harmony.

  2. You both have done such a good job, Marilou. Nung-nung has had a productive life that's an inspiration. Blessings to both of you!

  3. I am praying for both of you.

  4. so sorry -it rekindles my recent loss and helps to feel we are not alone in this.