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The Roller Coasters Of Life

Over the last five days or so we've been on a roller coaster of emotions with our dog Lily.

While camping she began having difficulty breathing and not being able to keep food or water down. Chris took her to the nearest emergency vet hospital where they put her on IV, sedated her and found a variety of maladies - the combination of which put her in critical condition. We made the decision to transfer her to a different emergency vet hospital in Tacoma (the next closest) to be able to see a specialist and get more information (underlying causes, etc) before deciding how to proceed.

Since we've been here in Tacoma it's been close to the end and then it's been a bit better. It's been up and down, each day waiting for a different test, a new hope, a bit of recovery.

Riding the coaster is hard. Being here with family while riding the coaster makes things easier and keeps the kids entertained.

Today she seems on the upswing, able to keep some food down last night, but there's still other conditions that need to be addressed. We're waiting for another update from the main doctor today to determine the next course of action.

Lily's 11. She's had an awesome full life and has been a great companion for our family.

I appreciate your patience and your kindness towards our family and Lily as we move forward in the coming days.

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307 thoughts

  1. Heather V says…
    07/13/2011

    Your family is in my thoughts and prayers. It's so hard to see a furry family member's health decline. I'm sure you have tons of happy memories to help you through this tough time. God bless!

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. Gretchen says…
    07/13/2011

    Our family went through this 2 summers ago. We are near Tacoma, and seriously if you need anything please let us know by email. We have two kids who can provide distraction or empathy. You provide great support to our family goal of memory keeping through your blog and so if we can support you back. We'd love to.

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. Christy says…
    07/13/2011

    Hi Ali: My thoughts are with you and your family. I lost two labs to cancer in the last year and it was heartbreaking. They both lived wonderful lives and gave us their everything. I still get misty thinking about them. I thought you might like this quote.

    Don't cry because it's over, Smile because it happened.
    -Dr. Seuss

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. joanne smith says…
    07/13/2011

    ali, i'm sorry to hear this. it just sucks when our furbabies aren't feeling 100%. glad she's on the upswing today. sending prayers to you and lily.

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. Donna B says…
    07/13/2011

    My prayers go out for Lily and your family, Ali. I have an 11-year-old Yorkie who is a love of my life and I will pray for the best and keep you and Lily in my thoughts.

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. carol says…
    07/13/2011

    we love our "babies" and it's so difficult when they struggle... with you during this tough time with prayers Ali...

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. Nancy Gaumer says…
    07/13/2011

    Went through this ride last week with our kitty with not good outcome. It is so hard to watch that pet who so depends on you feeling badly. I love Janet White's quote above. So very, very true. Thoughts and prayers from me and my dog Lucy.

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. Ruthie says…
    07/13/2011

    Thoughts and prayers for you guys and Lily. Lily, hang in there.

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. Sarah Jane says…
    07/13/2011

    Animals ARE such a BIG PART of a family it seems. Hugs to you and yours.

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. Michelle says…
    07/13/2011

    Praying for all of you and hoping that Lilly can make a recovery. I know what you are all feeling and know that we all here are thinking of everyone. :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. Amy P. says…
    07/13/2011

    Thinking of you & your family! Hope Lilly makes a full recovery!

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. Donna Busche says…
    07/13/2011

    The greatest gift in our lives is the pets that complete us. The greatest give we can give them is compassion in the end. All dogs go to heaven and my heart is with you in this difficult time.

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Jennifer B says…
    07/13/2011

    Having owned over 10 dogs in my life, I know that roller coaster ride all to well. Sending positive thoughts to Lily and her people pets :) Much love from one Lilly the Lab owner to another Lily the Lab owner.

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. Cara O says…
    07/13/2011

    I'm so sorry Ali. I lost my dog last fall, on Halloween actually, unexpectedly. He was 10 and all of a sudden became very lethargic and wasn't eating. I took him to an emergency vet on a weekend, and by the end of the day I had to make a difficult decision because he was in severe kidney failure. It was hard because it was a holiday. We had our best friends come over and take the kids trick or treating while my husband and I said goodbye. The kids were very sad as was I over the next week or so, but they were so matter of fact about everything. They would say "Sonar's dead" "Sonar died." They don't know the phrases "passed away" or "went to heaven" are more "PC." Over time I was able to smile at their reactions because as kids often due, the true raw unedited version just comes out of their mouths.

    Just a month later we brought a new golden retriever into our family. He has been a great addition and brought many laughs. Our black lab who once tortured my older dog Sonar is now tortured by the younger but bigger golden. The cycle of dog life :)

    Get well soon Lily! Wishing you peace of mind for you and your family.

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. Kristyn says…
    07/13/2011

    thinking of you...

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. Barb in AK says…
    07/13/2011

    {{{{Hugs}}}} to you all. I know how difficult it is, as I have had to let two of my dogs go :'( They are so much like another child, and it hurts to see them suffer; hurts to let them go. Best wishes as you and your family make the tough decisions.

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. Tricia Wolfman says…
    07/13/2011

    Ali, Chris, Simon and Anna,

    I am so sorry to hear about Lily. I hope she pulls through. You can just tell she is a sweetheart. I always look for her in your posts even if it is in the background of your photos. She has not only given your family love and smiles but also all of us who follow your blog. The only way I can rationalize pet ownership and the pain and void that comes when they are gone is remembering they will live their life span with my family or another. So it may as well be with mine or in your case with yours and when you look at it like that then truly what lucky little animals we have - spoiled rotten :) My heart hurts with you. Feel better soon, sweet Lily.

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. sarah says…
    07/13/2011

    thinking of you and your sweet lily girl.

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. peanut says…
    07/13/2011

    I'm sending good thoughts to your family and Lily.

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. j.leija says…
    07/13/2011

    ((hugs)) they really do become part of the family!

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. Dcorder (deb) says…
    07/13/2011

    Labs are such great companions. I hope Lily can over come her difficulties and spend a few more years with your family.

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. maryjo materazo says…
    07/13/2011

    oh ali! sending prayers & good {{{vibes}}} your way. our own chocolate lab just turned 11 himself and that worry is always in the back of our minds... it'll will work itself out one way or another y'all have the most important component...love. xoxo

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. Lisa W. says…
    07/13/2011

    Ohhhhhhh I do feel sad. I am so sorry. We have puppies too, and totally understand. They are so important in our lives. We lost two dogs in the past few years. My daughter has a 1yr. old choc. lab. They are the best dogs. Lily is beautiful and VERY lucky to have you all for a family. Sending prayers! Will be thinking of you and your family...take care Ali!

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. Connie says…
    07/13/2011

    Wishing you and Lily all the best! Our pets can be much more resilient than us at times and I'm hoping she can bounce back to spend more quality time with her loving family! The roller coaster can take some rough turns but I've always felt it was worth the ride! I have been through much with my 12 yr old Bernese Mtn Dog and she keeps hanging in there with me. Take care and will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. Terrie says…
    07/13/2011

    I read your post and tears welled up in my eyes. I know the love that a companion animal brings to your family and I have been there when health challenges come. Trust in the decisions you make and be with Lily as much as possible... she will know you are there. I am glad to hear she is feeling better and my hugs to you and your family and healthy pats to Lily. She is a pretty pretty girl.

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