My Ally

A friend, whom also lost her pet, gave me this book back in the middle of December. I have been wanting to read the book but somehow could not bring myself to read it. I lost my sweet Ally September 1, 2007 after suffering a blood and bone disease. I have taken the book with me on several trips and still have not read it. Tonight I read it from cover to cover and cried the whole way through. I could relate to all that you mentioned; the grief, did you do the “right”thing, the sorrow and the aboslute pain of losing a best friend. There were so many similarities (even down to the time of death). My Ally(named for the University of Alabama -my Alma Mater) was a golden retriever mix and she lived just 3 days shy of 11 years. She was diagnosed with cancer of the blood vessel (hemangiosarcoma) back in May 2005. Her spleen had ruptured and although they removed the spleen the odds were against her and I was told she would probably not make it past 3 months. This cancer is a rapid growing cancer and since her rupture it probably had spread to her other organs. While the pet is not usually in any pain (thank goodness), it is a fast growing disease and can kill within hours. I immiediately put her on a holistic diet. Unfortunately, there is really no cure for this cancer.

Three months from the time of diagnosis was the day before Hurricane Katrina. I live in the area that was hardest hit and we did not have access to her local vet, organic foods, her medicine, electricity etc. I could not have the food sent to me because they could not guarantee this since it needed to be refrigerated. She also was low on her medicines, herbs and treatments. Of course, it was pure survival during that time and I was very lucky Ally was with me. I do not know what I would have done without her as she was the one who helped me through such a devastating time. My parents lived in Waveland, Mississippi and lost absolutely everything. They only had a small overnight bag that would eventually mean the world to them. This area was actually affected the hardest from the storm. The town was gone. Not from the flooding or levee collapse but from the actual wind and tornado’s.

Ally loved the coast; I had always known I would bury Ally on the property along with our other family pets.I knew after the storm ravaged the Gulf Coast that it would be impossible to bury her there. What would I do? Well, I did not have to make any decisions until 2 years and 3 months later. She had remarkably beaten the odds from the hemangiosarcoma but sadly was diagnosed with bone cancer almost a year ago in March 2007. This cancer took a toll on her and I could tell that her body was deteriorating. The vet kept telling me that I would know when she was ready and I must say she was right down to the last 24 hours. I was at peace with my decision knowing that my girl had been in little pain. Of course I still question wether I was a good Mother and the guilt is still there but I really do not know what I would have done without my stong faith and beleifs. How did we make it during Katrina, how did she live so much longer than expected, how could I afford all of the medical bills?? If God takes you to it, he will bring you through it.

I miss Ally with all of my heart but I do know that she is in such a better place and I cannot wait to see her again!!! Since I could not bury her on the Coast, I decided to cremate her. I also planted a tree in her honor. I will spread some of her ashes at the 6 month mark. Once the coast is back I will spread more of her ashes on the property and then save the rest for a special place in my home. As you expressed, it is a difficult decision but as all dog lovers know… your dogs will ALWAYS have a special place in your heart. Ally was always my Angel on earth and now she is my Angel watching over me. Thank you for a beautiful story! You are very lucky as you have 2 angels. Pepsi is your angel on earth and Sprite is your angel in the sky.

Ashley from LA