A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

May 17, 2008

Difficult News

Filed under: alpaca, Family, General — Tags: , , , — alpacalady @ 7:42 am

Our Dear Sandie



We received word from our small animal vet yesterday that our dear dog Sandie is in the advanced stages of cancer.  During the tests and x-rays that the vet ran she discovered that Sandie’s lungs are filled with small tumors.  The vet has told us that these are the sort of tumors that occur when a cancer has metastasized and that most likely the main area of cancer is in another part of her body.  At this time we suspect that the cancer may be in Sandie’s brain as she is showing some neurological symptoms.  Amazingly though she is still able to breath normally despite the tumors in her lungs.


After consultation with our vet we have decided to bring Sandie home to live out her days.  She is not in any distress or pain, just getting a little weaker each day.  Should Sandie show distress then we will take the difficult but kindest step of putting her to sleep.


It has been difficult accepting the news of our dear and trusted friend.  We have had Sandie for 13 years, having found her as a stray in a snowstorm.  She ran up to me and grabbed my leg with her paws; something I thought was endearing at the time but later discovered was a display of dominance.


When we first found Sandie she was thin and tired, she had injuries to her face where people had been throwing stones at her.  We put her in our truck intending to foster her and adopt her out, but two weeks later our Golden Retriever Katy died and we felt that maybe there had been a reason behind Sandie’s arrival.


Sandie’s life with us has been a good one.  She has not been the easiest dog to have around as she has food aggression and dog aggression issues, but her behavioral problems led me to learn a lot about handling difficult dogs and resulted in us being able to manage her well.   Without Sandie I would not have such an understanding of dog pack mentality. 


As a youngster Sandie was an active dog who needed to be kept occupied.  I still remember coming home one day to find Ric sitting with his head in his hands having discovered 15 Sandie sized holes in the back yard (Sandie is about 50 lbs so the holes were large!).  A consultation with a dog trainer led us to put a wading pool in the back yard complete with floating toys.  Sandie would spend all day taking the toys out of the pool and then putting them back in again, and miraculously the hole digging stopped.


Sandie had such a rough start in life that we felt it was only fair to give her every chance.   In her latter years she has mellowed some but is still a feisty girl at times.  Sandie has always idolized Ric, following him around with a soppy look in those golden eyes of hers.  If ever there was a case of a dog being star struck over a human it is Sandie over Ric.


So we will take each day as it comes with Sandie, our vet tells us she could live any where from a few days to several months.  Each day we have with her will be a treasure and we will make sure that her final days are happy and comfortable.  When I picked Sandie up from the vet’s yesterday her tail wagged furiously when she saw me and she was anxious to get out of the vets and into the truck leaving me with no doubt that for now the right thing is for her to come home.   



  1. So sorry about your news. It sounds like Sandie has had a long and joyous life. Our Bassette Hound Brandy is also 13 yrs old and she has moments where I think it is the end, but the next day she is up and wanting her breakfast and running around like a puppy.

    I am glad Sandie has a little more time for those extra hugs and a little more treats.
    Take Care and have a good weekend.

    Comment by Tami — May 17, 2008 @ 12:30 pm

  2. I am so truly sorry to hear your bad news. I know Sandie will welcome being in the right hands for the rest of her life and know you will do everything necessary for her most especially in that unsurpassable loving care you will shower on her as always – even if you have to take a painful decision at some stage. I didn’t realise just how long you had Sandie with you – she is a lucky dog to have found the right home with you and Ric.
    You know I will be thinking of you.
    Love Linda x

    Comment by Linda Pottinger — May 17, 2008 @ 9:00 pm

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