P Beryl’s Story: Beautiful Beryl was found straying in Salford by the dog warden, Erica. She was found with a very large mammary tumour, which has ulcerated and become necrotic. She was placed into emergency foster care with her foster mum Tess, a volunteer for Rochdale Dog Rescue. Coryn, who runs Rochdale Dog Rescue, took her to the vet and her prognosis wasn’t good. The untreated cancer has spread, and removal of the tumour is not likely to be possible. Coryn contacted us and asked if we were able to help Beryl. She was checked again by her vet to make sure she was fit to travel, and as she is in such good health (apart from the tumour), it was decided that she was able to come and spend her remaining days or weeks here at the Hospice, in our home and with however long she has full of adventure and lots of cuddles, company, friendship and tasty treats. Huge thanks to her transport aunties, Sue and Flora, who both gave up their Sunday to bring Beryl to her final, forever home.
Beryl’s Condition: Beryl has seen our vet and once they receive her notes, a decision will be made as to how to proceed with her treatment. The tumour – much as it looks awful – isn’t causing her too much discomfort and it is being managed with antibiotics and pain medication. We will carefully consider all treatment and palliative care options, taking advice from her vets, and make the decision that we believe to be the right one for Beryl (palliative care, or attempting to remove the tumour if x-rays show that the cancer hasn’t spread).
About Beryl: Beryl is a very sweet girl, and so very loving. She loves to give kisses as she walks past, just an ever-so-gentle lick to show her affection. She is very anxious to be left alone so I sleep beside her and she is much more calm and she can settle for a few hours during the night. She seems to be always looking for someone. She is a great escape artist (as demonstrated by the newly-installed latch on her door!). Beryl is a really lovely girl, and it is wonderful being able to get to know her and be her friends.
More about Beryl: As we have got to know Beryl and become her friends, we have learned so much about her and what she enjoys:
She loves: sniffing (anything, everything, and some more anything and everything), all the sweeties, dinner time, Benny, walkies, being outside, that moment right before it’s time to go outside again, giving kisses, getting kisses, cuddles, meeting new people, company, hoomans, jump-hopping, looking out of the window, shouting at pheasants, Adam.
Meh, she’s not bothered about: chickens, pigs, turkeys, rivers.
She doesn’t like: being on her own, going back indoors, medicine time.
Beryl’s Treatment: Beryl came to us with a prognosis that she had two weeks to live. As we got to know her, we saw so much life in her, and we did not see someone who was ready to die. Her tumour was so massive, and so painful, that by Friday 27th May, we knew we had to either end her suffering, or do all we could to see if removal was possible. We couldn’t let her suffer, as she clearly was, so we had only two options; make the decision to euthanise her on medical grounds to end her suffering, or attempt to remove the tumour. We knew Beryl wanted to live, so in consultation with her vet, we opted to try to remove her tumour.
We waited with Beryl until she fell asleep at the vets, and waited with baited breath as she was x-rayed to see if the tumour had metastasised into her organs, as if it had we couldn’t put her through such a big operation, it just wouldn’t be fair. We received a call about 45 minutes later; there was no sign of metastases! We cried happy tears but she wasn’t safe yet; the tumour was huge, and it was a big operation for her to go through, and we still didn’t know what the vet would find when she started the operation.
We called at 3pm, as we were told to do, with our hearts in our mouths. Beryl had got through her op, and the tumour had been successfully removed! We were so relieved, and at 6:30 that night we collected our friend from the vets, brought her home, and sat with her until she settled and slept beside us.
Beryl is so much better after her op. She is much more settled, rid of that awful tumour and the pain it was causing her. She will go to get her stitches out tomorrow and we will get the results of the tumour biopsy. Once her stitches are out Beryl can go walkies again. we are all looking forward to that, especially B!
We know that the operation was palliative, and that it is likely the cancer will return, but for now Beryl is happy, free of pain, and able to enjoy a full life, unhindered by that horrible tumour. We did the operation to give her just that; a life worth living, for however long she has left, and seeing her so happy and full of life is an absolute joy. We don’t know how long she will have but we expect it will be many months, as we wouldn’t have proceeded with the operation if it was only going to give her a couple of weeks, that just wouldn’t be fair.
For however long she has, we will make sure she is safe, loved and enjoys all the best that life has to offer; tasty food, lots of treats, heaps of kisses and cuddles, plenty of company, and many, many happy walkies and time in the sun. We love you, B xx
2nd November 2016: B is doing really well. She had another op in August to remove the lump that couldn’t be removed during the first op, and as it was smaller it was much easier to biopsy. The results were neither all good nor all bad; it was cancerous, but not aggressive, and a second chest x-ray didn’t show any signs of metastasis. She has just had a false pregnancy which caused her no concern (we didn’t know when she arrived whether she was neutered or not; there is our answer!). B loves life; she loves her daily morning walks, she loves her adventures, she loves to spend time with us, playing with her toys, exploring her garden, and shouting back at James the turkey when he torments her by shouting in her window at her! B has been given a tentatively good prognosis and she will stay with us here as part of our family for the rest of her life. She is a delight and we love her and her many, many kisses very much!
25th February 2017: B is still with us here at the Hospice, and she is in such good health. She lives in our home with us and loves her life and routine here, and her life changed when she became friends with our friend Benny, a bull lurcher lad who is the nicest person in the world and takes his role as her friend very seriously. We didn’t think we could see B happier than she was… until she met Benny!
11th March 2017: It has been a very hard few days for B. On Thursday she became very poorly, very suddenly. We rushed her to the vet, and her temperature was rocketing, her white blood cell count was sky-high, and she was deteriorating very quickly. Her vets immediately suspected pyometra (as she was not spayed and could not have such a big op so soon after the ops to remove her tumours). She needed emergency out of hours surgery to save her life.
On Friday she was not recovering as well as she should be, so she was kept in for another night and treated with antibiotics and pain relief. We were frantic with worry and devastated that we couldn’t be with her, but she was in the best place and we know she was receiving the best care to give her the best chance. On Saturday, after many fraught hours wondering if she would ever come home again as she was so poorly, we finally got news that she was well enough to come home.
B is now recovering at home and enjoying lots of tlc and spoiling. B has been through so much; living with that awful, massive untreated tumour for goodness knows how long, given just two weeks to live, two operations to remove the tumours, and now this, but she is so brave and such a fighter. We are so pleased to have her home and we hope she has many, many more happy years to enjoy her life as she wants to live it. We love you, B xxx
26 May 2017: Sadly, B developed another mammary tumour. We spoke with her vets and they thought it was an operation she could endure and that would be successful. So, in her best interests, we opted to have surgery for B to remove the lump. This is her third lump removal and she has, once again, sailed through her operation and recovery. We are amazed by this remarkable lady; she is so brave, so stoic, so loving and so kind, and we are so lucky to have her as our friend. We hope the tumours will not return, of course, but we keep a very close eye on her and we will do whatever is best for B. Thank you to everyone who held her in your thoughts.
10th May 2018: In 6 days, we will celebrate B’s 2 year gotcha day! Two years ago she was given 2 weeks to live, and here she is 2 years later, happy, healthy, full of cheer, and cancer-free. B is very happy. She loves life, walks, sniffs, snacks in bed, breakfast time, dinner time, walk time, play time, garden sniff time… she is ever-cheerful and aside from a recent flare up of a recurrent ear infection, she is remarkable health.
Beryl’s Fund: We rely entirely on donations to be able to provide palliative care to our residents. If you would like to donate to help Beryl with her treatment costs, you can do so by bank transfer or Paypal. All donations will be used to help Beryl with her treatment, and any left over will be added to our Hospice Fund to help other dogs and with the general running of the Hospice. The Hospice is run by volunteers and all donations go directly to provide for the needs of our residents.
Beryl’s Donors: Thank you to the following donors who have donated to help Beryl: £50(KW and Poppy) / £10(ED) / £5(KW) / £20(NP-J) / £10(AB) / £20(AW) / £20(MH) / £10(LW) / £10(EN) / £50(JM) / £20(NS) / £10(CMcC) / £10(EB) / £10(DC) / £20(SF) / £15(SMcM) / £20(AW) / £10(G/CS) / £20(SS) / £10(JD/DD) / £100(IMcC) / £10(DW) / £20(JH) / £20(GC) / £10(AB) / £15(ES) / £5(KS) / £6.55(AS) / £5(ME) / £20(ES) / £5(MA Braemar) / £5(PMcC) / £100(CB) / £5(RH) / £50(HK) / £5(SMacD) / £10(CJ) / £5(BH) / £5(LM) / £5(SG) / £10(JMcA) / £50(L&IF) / £100(Team Keisha) / £100(JS) / £25(LB) / £20(IB) / £10(JT) / £50(RM) / £10(LB) / £15(DC) / £30(AS) / £50(ES) / £14.41(IMcC) / £50(JH) / £10(FJ) / £10(AB) / £10(WMcI) / £100(MD) / £10(CC) / £50(BA) / £8(CS) / £5(VP) / £35(JJ) / £5(PMcC) / £10(EW) / £50(ES).
Beryl’s Costs: Sweeties: £10(MH) / Food: £8(MH) / Food and sweeties: £10(EN) / Op £292.59: £50(KW and Poppy) : £2(MH) : £10(ED) : £5(KW) : £20(NP-J) : £10(AB) : £20(AW) : £10(LW) : £50(JM) : £20(NS) : £10(CMcR) : £10(EB) : £10(DC) : £20(SF) : £15(SMcM) : £20(AW) : £10(G/CS) / Vet: £30: £20(SS) : £10(JD/DD) / Food £19: £19(IMcC) / Sweeties: £5(MA, Braemar) / Food £37: £37(IMcC) / Vet £100: £44(IMcC) : £10(DW) : £20(JH) : £20(GC) : £6(AB) / Treats £22: £4(AB) : £15(ES) : £3(KS) / Food £26: £2(KS) : £6.55(AS) : £5(ME) : £10(ES) / Food: £10(ES)./ Emergency Operation for pyometra £664.41: £5(PMcC) / £100(CB) / £5(RH) / £50(HK) / £5(SMacD) / £10(CJ) / £5(BH) / £5(LM) / £5(SG) / £10(JMcA) / £50(L&IF) / £100(Team Keisha) / £100(JS) / £25(LB) / £20(IB) / £10(JT) / £50(RM) / £10(LB) / £15(DC) / £30(AS) / £14.41(IMcC) / Operation on tumour: £268: £93(MD) / £10(CC) / £50(BA) / £8(CS) / £5(VP) / £35(JJ) / £5(PMcC) / £10(EW) / £50(ES).
If you would like to help Beryl have the happiest end-of-life care we can give her, you can donate to her fund on our donate page. Thank you.