by Tara

Just a few months ago my baby girl Journey started to slow down. She had just turned 8 so I thought between the Florida heat and her starting her elder years that this was normal.

She then became a bit picky with food, so I hand-fed her. She wouldn't like to finish walks, so I carried her home. She started having accidents in the house so I changed my work schedule to be able to let her out many times during the day.

Journey was my rock. Her soul was full of love, and that is all she ever gave, endless amounts of love. When I would talk to her, she would hold eye contact with me as if she understood everything I said.

Two weeks ago she sat up in bed and started breathing funny. They were very short breaths. I cuddled her next to me, and sang to her to get her back to sleep. She fell asleep but the breathing just seemed off. The next day I took her to her amazing vet, who immediately sent me to a specialist.

They drained a ton of fluid from around her lungs and explained that it could be bacterial, fungal, leaky lymph nodes, or cancer. They started her on medications to slow down the fluid build-up. I waited 2 days to get the results of the fluid biopsy.

The specialist called me and let me know it wa not bacterial, it was not fungal, it wasn't a leaky lymph node, but could not confirm that it was cancer. They wanted her to get a CT scan after the weekend.

She seemed to be doing okay. I let her rest. I only brought her outside to go to the bathroom, and comforted her. Then the diarrhea started on Saturday in the middle of the night. I brought her out 3 times that night and thought maybe it was because she was only eating the wet portion from her food.

She didn't want to do anything on Sunday but sleep. Then Sunday night the diarrhea intensified... I was at the vet first thing Monday morning ( I have a 4 year old and another pug so I couldn't go to the ER vet in the middle of the night).

My vet examined Journey and started her on something to help the diarrhea and we scheduled with the specialist for the following day. Then Monday around dinner time she looked incredibly swollen. I didn't like how she was breathing.

They drained around her lungs, found more fluid in her abdominal area, a mass in her liver, a mass forming in her lungs, and fluid forming around her heart. She had an aggressive cancer spreading throughout her body.

I lost her last night. I couldn't even move. My father drove an hour to my house to help me.

I have never cried so hard, felt so much pain, and felt so much guilt in my entire life from not being able to heal her. I feel physical pain.

My baby girl is gone. I miss her face, her snorts, her cuddles, her smell, and her endless amount of love.

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