Home Blog Posts Kidney Failure? Canine Cancer? Shadow’s Story.

Kidney Failure? Canine Cancer? Shadow’s Story.

written by familyadhd
Dog with Kidney Failure Cancer Fundraiser

Update 6/21: Last Saturday (6/15/19) just after midnight we did one of the most difficult things our family has ever had to do–we said good-bye to Shadow. I haven’t been able to sit down and update this post until now because the grief has been too strong. Even as I type this, I can feel my throat tightening and eyes tearing, but today we will be picking up his ashes and bringing him back home (phew, that was difficult to type) so I wanted to finally force myself to at least briefly type this out.

He was the best boy. He will forever be our Shadow and we miss him so immensely. The void he’s left can’t be filled. Once I’m feeling a bit better I’d like to share details about his last day, which our sons intentionally planned out to be “the best day ever” and it was. Shadow was such a gift to our family and such a wonderful emotional support to me for the last decade. Gentle, loving, loyal… He was exactly what we wished for and he chose us (literally)–we’re forever grateful for that.

Thank you again to everyone that has been so supportive throughout this entire journey. It has been so difficult and your support has meant everything to us. <3

We’ve made some of our most popular travel prints available for digital download–previously only available for print. Currently, everything will go towards the care Shadow received while in palliative care, so please feel free to take a look if you’ve ever wanted one of our prints, but didn’t have the budget for it (digital downloads are priced between $1.50-$5). Thank you for your continued support of our family.

Thank you to everyone that has purchased images and who previously donated to Shadow’s GoFundMe. We have stopped using GoFundMe at the suggestion of a friend and added a donate option through Paypal as GoFundMe was taking large fees out of every donation we received. As we have his diagnosis, we have decreased the overall remaining goal of our fundraiser to just enough to help cover about half of his palliative care, his last ultrasound and his final good-bye. This has been a costly journey, but a necessary one to uncover the real answer. Our digital downloads will continue to remain available for purchase so that anyone who still wishes to buy them may do so.

If you would like to donate, please do so here and we will update our GoFundMe with Paypal donations as they come in (please make sure you leave your email in a note when donating so we can send you a promo code to our digital download store!)

Update 6/2: It’s been a long week and as we’re about to head into another one, so I wanted to sit down and quickly update on how Shadow’s doing. He’s on day 5 of his palliative care regime that includes prednisone along with a handful of other meds, though we noticed changes within 24 hours of him first starting it. Right now he takes 3 meds in the morning and 4 at night (some of which requires multiple pills each). There’s been good and bad. On the one hand, he’s finally eating consistently on his own! Thank goodness!!! This has been something we’re incredibly grateful for. Prior to this, he’d spent the last 3.5 weeks refusing to eat, requiring we fed him with a syringe just to get enough calories into him to try to slow his incredible weight loss–crushing his food by hand, soaking it in bone broth, warming it up and mixing it with baby food until it was smooth enough to get it through the narrow syringe opening. He’s also able to get up a bit more. He gets up now to (kind of) ask to go out. He doesn’t do his usual go to the door and tap the knob with his nose deal, but he does look towards the door or stand in front of us to let us know. On the other hand, his stomach hasn’t been a huge fan of prednisone, so we’re working to keep that from becoming too much of an issue. He goes out a lot because he’s drinking a lot of water–sometimes there’s only an hour between visits out. He’s still losing some weight. We can see it and it makes my stomach knot. In the canine cancer support group I’m a part of there are lots of other pet parents going through the same thing and seeing the same thing, so I’m going to try some of the tips they’ve found help a bit with this. He’s still too nauseous in the morning to eat a full meal even on all of his nausea meds. This isn’t a huge problem, since we let him eat what he can stomach, then put the rest of it away for a few hours until he’s ready to eat more, but it’s sad to see. He refuses some of his favorite foods.

Then there are the behavior/personality changes. If someone asked Shadow what one food he’d like to eat every day for the rest of his life (and he could answer back), his answer a month ago would have been carrots. This boy LOVED carrots. Frozen carrots, baby carrots, diced up, etc. He’s loved them his entire life and now he’s won’t touch them. He’s also always loved pumpkin; now he won’t touch that either. He’s still super sensitive to loud sounds and abrupt movement. For the first time in his life, he’s afraid of the vacuum and the shampooer (just being having them on in the same room upsets him). Sometimes if we move to pet him too quickly he shuts his eyes super quickly as if we’ve startled him, so we have to move very slowly. It still takes us by surprise at times that he’s changed so much, but then we quickly remember what the last vet said. He has cancer. No matter how he presents outwardly, he still has cancer and it’s still doing its damage. Anything “strange” we see can basically boil down to one word–cancer.

Canine cancer sucks. It sucks big time. It’s impossible to know what each day will bring or how much time we have left. We’re on high alert on and off all day watching for any indication things have suddenly taken a turn. We have no idea what new medical issues we’ll potentially face tomorrow. We’re staying mindful of the fact that this time is limited and precious. We’re working on getting things in place for when the day to say good-bye arrives, which is both depressing and difficult. It’s all just so incredibly sad…

To be honest, I’m incredibly anxious about knowing when to make the right choice. They always say you know, but I’m not sure I will and I’ve “met” many other canine cancer pet parents that feel the same or who had to make the decision to say good-bye and still feel unsure even now that time has gone by since. Regret is one thing I really struggle with. I take it really hard, which is why I like to be super certain before I make decisions that I feel confident with my choices. I haven’t come to a place I feel super confident I’ll be able to do that. Who knows? Maybe that will change or I won’t have time to hyper-analyze.

There are also other factors related to this situation that are causing excess anxiety and stress (to the point it’s wreaking havoc on body), but I can’t go into detail right now. Maybe in the future once we know how it all plays out…

Anxiety and sadness aside, at the bottom of it all, we’re trying to focus on remaining grateful for this extra time. Grateful every day I get to have him be a part of my routine or pet his soft, furry head. He is so special to us and always will be. <3

Update 5/30: After 24 hours on prednisone he ate his first real meal in almost a month tonight (all by himself) and I cried, we all held our breath and then tried to contain our excitement and remind ourselves that this is part of palliative care. It’s his swan song. He’s responding to the steroids, which is good, but it isn’t signs of recovery–just a temporary reprieve. <3 We are now creating his official bucket list and we plan to make whatever time he has left nothing short of lovely, surrounded by his family. This is such a tricky thing to wrap your mind around. On the one hand, it looks like he may at least continue to eat and enjoy some moderately good days. On the other, we are coordinating his end-of-life care, cremation, etc. It is a strange thing to be planning for death while also trying to enjoy what life is left…

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your kind words, thoughts, contributions and prayers. They are what we’re drawing strength from <3 We’ll definitely share any of his shareable bucket list moments on Instagram and perhaps we’ll have some more images to share for our digital downloads, too. We’ll see, we’re taking it day by day, but we’re hopeful for at least a little more time!

Update 5/29: We just got back from the vet and I’ve had a knot in my chest knowing I needed to write this; as if putting it down in black and white makes it really and truly real. We saw a wonderful vet at Tufts who went over all of the results/records from vet #1 and part of his records from vet #2 (who failed to send everything according to Tufts). She was honest and straightforward, basically saying that what she was seeing was consistent with what was most likely cancer, but in order to know, he’d need another ultrasound as the original was not of high enough quality. She was shocked vet #1 hadn’t shaved his stomach during his first one, as she said it is impossible to get a clear results without doing it–makes sense retrospectively. We had no idea that was not the norm. The vet went with Shadow and accompanied him during his ultrasound, consulting with the ultrasound tech. She said that while she couldn’t know for sure what kind of cancer that if he had cancer it would be clear that’s what was going on and not infection. Shadow came back to the room and shoved his face into our legs. He’s been to the vet’s so many times, so many different offices, so many needles, so many days with IVs. He has made it clear that while as absolutely gentle and good-natured as always that he really needs to be with us and doesn’t want to go anymore.

The vet came in a few minutes later, stacks of paperwork and a textbook in her hands. She told us right away that it was cancer in both kidneys as well as his lymph nodes around his kidneys and his liver.

She showed us his ultrasound and compared it to a healthy kidney in a text book so we could see what she was seeing. She showed us the giant lymph nodes (“Normally hard to see,” she said.) and the enlarged liver. He isn’t in kidney failure (the vet at Tuft’s reviewed all of his bloodwork since December), his kidneys are actually still functioning based on the values from his bloodwork, they are just very compromised because of the cancer. Both vet #1 and vet #2 told us he was in kidney failure, but apparently there’s a difference. They will continue to do their job until they can no longer. She was very honest and said even if we hypothetically wanted to move forward with the most aggressive type of chemo, he didn’t have a real shot and the amount of money to pursue was … astronomical. Not to mention it would be a lot to put him through with no chance of remission.

She was honest that we were looking at palliative care. Making him the most comfortable we could, if we could, until we felt comfortable letting him go. She agreed with me that he was the type of exceptional personality where even if he was on his last breath he would do everything he could to be a good dog. She said he was so tired because the cancer was basically interrupting his body’s normal functions and he was using his reserves to be a good dog to us. Typing that was … gut-wrenching.

We went over his palliative care plan. He’s going on steroids to see if he responds. We should know within 72 hours whether or not he will. If he does, he may have a few good days or even weeks (best case). If not, he will continue to decline and she believes the decline will only begin to get faster and faster. He is remaining on his nausea med and they’re upping one of them, so he can continue to keep water/food down, which he has been able to on his meds (cancerous kidneys make you feel very nauseous). She said he isn’t in pain, his entire body is basically declining and he feels super nauseous when not on his meds.

We talked about food moving forward. About how his appetite was the first thing to go and we had been having to feed him with a syringe for the last week (I just remembered I forgot to get the extra ones they were going to give me–oh well). We both agreed that if he didn’t start eating on his own on the steroids it probably meant that his body was saying it’s done. We talked about at-home euthanasia and a contingency plan if things suddenly spiral badly and that isn’t an option.

The vet was kind and confident, which was all I wanted when hearing these final results.

These aren’t the results we wanted. To know is … almost a strange relief in a sense because now we feel less helpless. For the last 3.5 weeks I’ve felt desperate and as if we were failing him with each day. But it’s also a massive emotional blow. This is our reality.

Instead, it’s a massive emotional blow. This is our reality. At some point in the coming days or weeks, we will have to make one of the hardest decisions our family has ever had to make. And after that, Shadow will no longer be with us ever again. Even typing that, the thought of it being our reality, is so painful I don’t know how to push through it, but we have no choice.

The plan for whatever time we have left with him is to give him days filled with the most comfort and love possible. We have to be vigilant because things could shift quickly, but we will do whatever is best for him. I don’t want to play “god”. I don’t want to have to say, “Good-bye.” I also cannot allow his suffering to outweigh his enjoyment of his time with us.

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. We need peace, wisdom and strength to navigate this. I wish things were different, I wish he could be around forever (or at least a few more years), but he will always be “the best boy” (one of our nicknames for him).

Update 5/28: We received a call from the 2nd vet we consulted with and his lymph node aspiration came back as reactive due to an infection (not Lymphoma!) and the mass in his mouth came back looking as though it’s Melanoma, but treatable. His kidneys are still a complete mystery and therefore we were told he needs to go to a much larger hospital as testing would need to be quite invasive moving forward. We also had an incident with this vet (more on this later) that could have further compromised his already-compromised health, so we had already planned to go to an appointment we made 2 weeks ago with Tufts to see a specialist (they book weeks out). That is the plan as of right now. He will be going to Tufts Wednesday afternoon, but they are notoriously both excellent and insanely expensive, so what we can actually afford to have done there is still a question. Appointments, especially for something like his situation, generally cost in the thousands. We were given a rough estimate by one vet and it isn’t something we could take that far, but we are hopeful that perhaps between all of the diagnostics we have already had done (which are supposed to be being sent over there before we get there) and what we’ve been able to bring together between sales in our digital download sale and gofundme that we can at least get some answers… It’s hard. A crisis, especially one that has gone on for weeks now, isn’t easy to navigate, especially as times goes on and funds deplete. We’ll do what we can to keep fighting for our golden boy and hopefully it will be enough…

Update 5/27: We were told that while we await results/our future appointment we should take this weekend to check off bucket list things with him. The top one was taking him somewhere we knew he’d love and since he can’t travel far at all, we brought him to the beach around sunset, which his is absolute favorite place! The second his nose hit the salty air and his paws touched the sand he suddenly had a little more life and strength in him. He actually momentarily almost looked like his old self! It was the happiest/saddest thing we’d ever seen. There’s still so much life and love in him, but we’re running out of time and that could soon be gone without answers. He enjoyed himself, but after an hour was thoroughly exhausted and today he is quite stiff. It was worth it. To bring him on a card ride that didn’t end at a hospital with needles and tests and having to stay without his family all day, to give him something he was so genuinely happy about, was worth EVERYTHING. I’ve included a clip in our IG stores of him when he first got to the beach here: https://www.instagram.com/stories/familyadhd/

Before we went to the beach I knew it might be my last opportunity to get a really good shot of him and I prayed somehow I’d be able to. No matter what happens, we want to remember this beautiful moment. I’m thankful to say, I had a moment with him alone, the sunset behind him, him sitting perfectly still, and I caught it… I added this in the early hours of this morning to our available digital downloads for purchase; if you’re interested in supporting him this way click here.

Original Post: We have already been to 2 vets, run countless tests and had no conclusive answers. Shadow is running out of time if we can’t see an internal medicine specialist as soon as possible! The next few days may be his last chance to get a real diagnosis and start treatment. Can you help him?

3 weeks ago everything changed. 

Our golden, stopped eating out of nowhere. This is a dog who, despite all of his allergies, is picky about almost nothing minus soggy lettuce. He loves his carrots, his apples, his crunchy lettuce, etc. And his food, man did he always love his food! In fact, this guy had to use a slow-feeder (one of those funky bowls with different nooks, to prevent him from eating too quickly.
So you can understand why having our guy suddenly stop eating was … shocking. At first we wondered if in his old age (he’s 10) he was simply getting picky. We wondered if he was suddenly sick of the flavor dry food he was eating. We wondered if he would prefer going onto 100% raw (he used to eat raw and dry). We even tried the B.R.A.T. diet, which he’d always been fond of because of his constant stomach issues. At first we were able to coax him tortuously through a meal. Within 5 days he was barely eating anything.

Time to See Someone

We tried everything. I made every possible things he had ever liked. We purchased new flavors of his foods. I spent hours (literally) working on getting him to eat just enough.

Then there was the excessive drinking and longer than usual urination.
Don’t get me wrong, our big golden can hold a decent amount in his bladder if he chooses, but we noticed him drinking a bit more and peeing a bit longer. That’s when I thought, “Oh darn! He has a UTI! He probably feels awful.” And sure enough, everything on line talked about dogs with UTIs exhibiting similar symptoms, right down to not eating as much because they felt poorly.

We had called the vet already to schedule an appointment and they were unfortunately unable to see us right away, so we waited and finally got in days later. 

At this point we were super concerned. We could see he was off. 
Rather than going over everything we had done, I’ll just say that we spent the next 2 weeks doing diagnostics and treatments. I was in the vet’s every other day. Our emotions were raw, already tight funds were getting strained and we felt no closer to getting an answer. Everything was coming back with results that didn’t clearly point to one answer. His creatine and SDM levels were high. He had bacteria in his urine. Could it just have been a UTI that hid him hard in his old age and traveled back up to his kidneys and gave him a kidney infection? His kidneys were failing. So many questions, so many unknowns.

The problem was, treatments had no affect. Antibiotics weren’t changing things. Two days on IV fluids didn’t change anything other than his weight due to the volume of fluids. The vet, whom we had seen for the last 2 years, was instilling no confidence in us that she had a handle on things. In fact, at one particular bizarre moment she actually said, “The other vet here asked me where I was going with all of this (meaning the testing and treatment).” 
But we were in crisis mode. We were working and juggling all of our usual responsibilities while also trying to manage everything going on with Shadow. 

The vet thought kidney disease, an infection in his kidneys caused by a UTI or of course cancer was briefly mentioned. 

The Worst Possible Phone Call

The vet we were seeing at the time finally told us an ultrasound was our last resort to confirm cancer or something else that could potentially be causing what we were seeing in Shadow.

We scheduled it and he went in. We waited on pins and needles all morning and then finally I got the call.

“It’s not good. Unfortunately, he has cancer in both kidneys.”

I was working (I work from home, for those of you that don’t know) and everything stopped. I tried not to cry and asked a few questions as the vet basically told me with cancer in both kidneys he had no chance. We could take him to a special oncology group that was referral only (meaning we couldn’t even speak with them ahead of time to ask questions), but that was it.

I hung up and called Patrick while he was at work, completely losing it the second I got off with the vet and dialed him.
He was devastated. We decided to wait to tell the kids about the final results until later that night so we could all be together. 

I picked Shadow up, the vet again went over the results. I asked if he needed to stay on the antibiotics and I distinctly remember she told me that since he had bacteria in his urine he had a UTI so it was at least worth getting rid of it so it was one less thing for him to deal with (when we got his records to get a second opinion it showed that he didn’t have bacteria in his urine and she later on told us she never said this). She offered no estimate on how long we might have when I asked. She just basically told me with two cancerous kidneys that even with treatment it “wasn’t good”, but that she didn’t specialize in cancer and had never dealt with a dog with two cancerous kidneys. Then why did she even suggest we have the ultrasound there when she suspected it was cancer if she couldn’t tell us anything about it after? She said we’d either have to go to the special referral oncology group she’d written down on a post-it, which we couldn’t even call directly (only they could on our behalf), then gave no other alternatives.

I tried to hold back my tears and got Shadow and the boys to the car. I was in shock, but had to keep it together. If you’re a mom you have no time to lose your mind on a dime. Sometimes, you have to hold it together until a more “convenient” time. 

That night we told the boys. Everyone cried, hugged, gathered around Shadow…

It was devastating. He’s been with us since our youngest was 1 and our oldest was 3. He chose US when we went to see his litter. His chubby little puppy butt stumbled out of a complete sleep, crawled up onto our oldest’s lap (he was kneeling on the floor because this puppy was technically for him) and fell back asleep.

My husband and I looked at each other and said, “Guess he’s ours!” And he always has been since.

Too Many Questions, Not Enough Answers

He has always been the sweetest, gentlest, dopey, protective golden. The golden that used to sleep in front of the front door only when my husband was away for work at night. The golden that would never bark unless a suspicious person approached our door. The golden that would look immediately guilty if he tore up a random tissue or paper towel he found somewhere.

Shadow on his trip with us to Virginia.

I just didn’t feel settled about what we’d been told by the vet. Something seemed … off? I didn’t feel like she had given me any REAL information. You always see dogs getting prognoses if they get diagnosed with cancer. She couldn’t tell me anything, just that he had cancer in both kidneys based on the ultrasound and therefore, no real hope.

A childhood friend (who has been so incredibly wonderful throughout all of this) had reached out and mentioned her vet and how wonderful she was before we got the results.

I decided I needed a clearer answer. If we were at the end of the line I needed peace knowing what that meant and looked like–at least to some degree.

I schedule an appointment for the next day.

A Second Opinion

While it would take pages to explain everything that went down, it basically became very clear to us that the original vet had a lot of discrepancies in her paperwork and that the ultrasound and diagnosis he received were wishy-washy at best (in our opinions and based on the opinions of the second vet we’ve seen and her board certified ultrasound technician, both of which reviewed everything). In fact, we were told that the ultrasound images were of such poor quality that even while doing the ultrasound there was no way the guy who did them could have seen enough to accurately diagnose our dog. They were so poor that the ultrasound tech reviewing them said she was appalled by the quality of images. We were also never told that the person who was doing the ultrasound was just another vet, which is what the second vet saw from his credentials. 

There were other discrepancies and issues with what we were told versus what labs and notes stated in his records from the first vet, but there’s far too much to go over and we’re at the point where we have to focus on moving forward for now, not back (for now).

At this point our funds were basically drained. Money we had saved was gone. I applied for grants from every organization I could find (lists of 30+ I’d been given or found) and we were approved for two small grants, but nothing near the full amount we’d already spent and one had been applied towards the first vet. Shadow’s age and health disqualified him for a lot of them. We had used one on the ultrasound we could no longer use. We were now faced with having to repeat a bunch of diagnostics and do new tests.

For those curious, we did approach this first vet about all of these issues with the discrepancies in the records and quality of the ultrasound; among other things. We personally felt she responded with a mix of defensiveness, deflection, a different version of the story and no empathy or acknowledgement that she seems to have been in way over her head (in our opinions). Again, this is based on our opinions and the feedback we got from taking Shadow for a second opinion, but that’s exactly how we received the way she responded. We asked for his records a second time (I’d previously requested them in case we needed to go to an ER over the weekend prior) and suddenly there were tons of notes supporting her claims mixed in with the other documents. Not something we received before… We asked to be reimbursed for part of his diagnostics and care as so much had to be redone elsewhere. She said she wouldn’t charge for the ultrasound, but wouldn’t reimburse anything else. She then put in the notes she included that were sent to us after this conversation that we agreed to pay the ultrasound fee if the second one confirmed the same results. This was never said or agreed upon.

It became very clear that getting any real resolution with the first vet was a dead-end (at least for the time being) and Shadow doesn’t have the time for us to focus on it. So here we are today, having spent another week running tests with another vet, caring for him, getting IV fluids to help his poor kidneys, setting up more appointments, etc.

But what else can we do but push on? How do you just walk away not knowing if your beloved pup can be saved?

The bottom line is that our golden appears to be a very tough case. He is in kidney failure and they’re not sure why. His test results and responses to treatment don’t make sense, especially in comparison to the fact that he is still himself … though a much slower, food-refusing version of himself. Every day is up and down, hour by hour.

More Dead-ends, More Questions, Less Time

Last week we sent several samples (including 2 aspirates from a lymph node and a slide with cell samples from a mass in his mouth) into a lab (paying a significant amount extra for priority processing so we’d get the results faster) with the second and everything came back as inconclusive, essentially. The two lymph node aspirations had too much blood for them to see and the slide from the mass in his mouth was primarily surface bacteria so they couldn’t see cells from the actual mass. The vet had looked at one of her slides of the mass in his mouth and thought she saw irregular cells similar to melanoma in structure, but the lab itself was unable to feel they saw enough cells to make a report from what we were told. We had to resubmit them again, pay the resubmittance fee and now have to wait until after the weekend for results, which will hopefully be available Tuesday.

This past Friday, Shadow spent all day getting subcutaneous fluids because his veins were too bad to put a catheter in again and they wanted to flush his kidneys again. He had blood work done before and after and the vet sat me down for one of those serious talks at the end of it all to discuss his lab results, which showed his levels hadn’t even maintained (you’d hope for some improvement), but had gotten worse over the course of the day. But the second vet pointed out he still has life in him, despite all of that, which is a good sign and reason for possible hope. I was shown how to give Shadow subcutaneous fluids (there was an incident I may discuss later during that, but for now I have to focus on the next few days and getting this boy diagnosed) and we went home with more subcutaneous fluids to administer to him ourselves. So far this weekend Patrick has been able to get them successfully done each time, thank goodness.

As of right now, Shadow is getting the following:

  • He gets fluids at morning and at night.
  • He is still on antibiotics and he is currently on 2 anti-nausea meds, both incredibly pricy (kidney failure makes you insanely nauseous and unable to keep liquid or food down without meds and he was vomiting non-stop before he started on both).
  • He is being fed baby food mixed with ensure to get calories into him because he can’t stomach regular food due to his extreme nausea–kidney failure does this to you.

Next week we have an appointment set up with Tufts, but just to walk in the door is over $200 and he needs to have bloodwork, an ultrasound and possibly other diagnostics done. We will basically have to repeat a lot of things a third or second time, but because they have an internal medicine specialist on-staff, we’ve been told that this is likely the only way to potentially get him diagnosed quickly and conclusively.

I’m not sure where all of the funds to keep going to pursue answers and potentially treatment will come from, but we aren’t at a point where we can give up–especially without knowing what is really going on and if it’s treatable. I have literally spent the last few weeks in crisis mode, coordinating his care, working, failing as a parent (in my opinion), doing regular feedings and meds, driving to and from multiple vet’s offices in two states. I love him and I just know that we can’t allow him to die by starvation or dehydration, which would happen to a dog in his position without intervention, while we await the results we desperately need. I will never feel peace without knowing why he suddenly went into kidney failure and became such a tough case to diagnose. 

How do you play “god” when you have an animal that clearly wants to live? And better yet, how do you do it with so many questions left unanswered that can be answered with more time?

At this point all we know is that he is very unwell, we haven’t been able to get a single concrete answer aside from the fact he is in kidney failure and we are doing everything in our power to keep him as comfortable and cared for as we can while we race to get to the bottom of this.

Kidney failure is a BEAST! It is foul, ugly and I hate it and need to know why this is happening and what we can do to help him.

It’s forcing him on a devastating rollercoaster ride that so many of these kidney pups end up on where a decent day that makes you think they’re possibly returning to themselves is followed by a sharp decline that dashes all of your hope and yanks you back to reality–leaving you to question what’s real and what isn’t.

I just have to trust that if we work hard at trying to figure this out–and pull together the funds to be able to see this through–maybe even though my heart may break in the end, I won’t have regrets. 

Just know that we will never push Shadow to keep going once it’s clear he’s given up. His quality of life is worth more than our absolute heartbreak at the thought of losing him. If he ever gets to the point in this process that he is clearly done, we will not hesitate to do what is right for him.

I don’t think anyone is ever ready to lose someone, but there is a threshold where you find you can possibly make peace with it. Which is why we are currently hunting so desperately for answers so we know if we’re there yet or if he is treatable long-term.

I don’t know how we’ll make this all work, but somehow we have to and I have faith we will. For Shadow; our sweet, sweet boy…

If you guys have any ideas, please let us know! We’re working 24/7 to figure all of this out, especially financially. And please excuse any typos or run-on sentences. My mind is exhausted and my heart is breaking and I’m writing this at 3 AM after checking on him for the millionth time.

While we have created a gofundme, we don’t expect anyone to donate without getting something in return! For every dollar you donate you will receive a promo code of equal value (dollar for dollar) that can be used towards a 1x purchase of digital downloads of some of our most popular travel photographs! Please don’t feel obligated, but every share and dollar are greatly appreciated <3 A Second Change For Shadow

For anyone that would like to help us on our journey to getting Shadow an accurate diagnosis and continued care while we await results, we are also having a special sale on downloadable wallpaper versions of some of our most popular photos to help us continue to push forward.

Every dollar helps and we are beyond appreciative to anyone that supports us in any way–emotionally, financially… Thank you!

Thank you, to the many kind people who have been thinking about us and praying for our family as we go through this. There is nothing easy or simple about this. We need answers. Shadow needs answers. He’s unfortunately one of those cases where we’re fighting to get them and it is devastating.

If you’d like to follow along in real-time, I’ve been updating a bit more frequently on Instagram, so feel free to periodically check there if you want to stay up on what’s going on there.

Please continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers. We definitely need it…

Donations can be made through Paypal as GoFundMe was taking incredibly large fees from every donation. If you would like to donate please click the button below:

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