Get Your Tissues Ready
I have been given permission to share this email:
Dear Dr. Judy Morgan,
In January of 2016, I brought Duke to a local vet with what I thought was a random anal gland issue (though he had never in his life experienced any issue like this). It turned out he had apocrine gland adenocarcinoma. At that point I was presented with the option of surgery and had surgery done for him. Majority of the tumor was removed. I spoke with three vets including an oncologist and additional surgery was recommended along with chemo and radiation. I was told that not just one option but all three together would prolong his life or give him the best shot at life, if I chose that route. Three weeks of radiation is what was presented.. three straight weeks of Duke at a vet office being put under for a treatment that had no guarantee. I thought long and hard about what was best for Duke. I thought about what this option would possibly do to Duke.. mentally, physically, etc. He was a dog who never enjoyed a vet visit. He was stressed at times and uncomfortable. The calmest I saw him was this past year in your office otherwise he wasn't one to love the vet office itself. The decision at hand had very little to do with money. It had all to do with quality of life from the moment he was diagnosed to the moment he left this world.
Over the last few years, I've come to realize that we can make decisions for our dogs that mimic our lifestyles or philosophies and what we may choose for ourselves, we could be choosing for our dogs. I've never been one to opt to take prescriptions or unnecessary vaccinations and I decided a bit ago that my dogs would also opt out to a degree. The same goes with food.. I'm a healthier eater so why can't my dogs eat as healthy too.
Long story short, I am glad that I heard about your practice way back when and had my very first appointment and health consult with Dr. Anthony right after Duke was diagnosed. You happened to be out of town and I felt it was important to make our holistic changes for Duke asap. Duke went on to enjoy puploaf, took two Chinese herbs, three supplements from your office and I had him nightly on cannabis oil up until about two months ago. He not only strived but led a quality life with our family and his two canine brothers. He loved his walks everyday and his mind was always energetic. He was always up with me first thing in the morning and sat with me while I drank coffee and caught up on emails. Everything I ever wished for Duke and his life after his diagnosis was greater than I imagined. We never looked at him as sick or old. He celebrated his 13th birthday this past June and there were days that we thought that he would out live us all based on his energy.
We came to visit you for an appointment a few months ago and I remember you talking to Duke saying "I can't believe your still with us, Duke" and "Duke, nice job". I took that as a compliment and it made me think that every dog should be this lucky.
As pet owners we are given so much information and sometimes too little and in many cases (as I see with my own clients) vets are trusted implicitly and their word taken as bible. Not all are fully educated on nutrition and many do believe traditional medicine is the route that should be taken. I can't tell you how important I think it is that you continually spread the word on alternative options that exist for our pets. Your books on nutrition and holistic options, the live FB daily morning chats you do and all the potential clients and existing clients you respond to through Facebook and email, are all so important. I continually mention your name to clients, friends and family who live near and far. I encourage them to listen in, reach out and hear more options. We can't save them all BUT we can provide a quality life for our pets before they leave us.
We let Duke go two weeks ago today. Weeks leading up he had some good days and some rough days. He had slowed down and I reached out and you helped by responding and also sending an article on natural death. We prepared ourselves here for that possibility and I want to thank you for providing that info during a tough time. We gave him space and comfort. His last week with us he seemed to make a come back and he was so energetic. The day he fully stopped walking and eating, he had brought me out that morning on TWO short solo walks and seemed so good. By Monday the 24th, I had Dr. Lisa from Housepaws visit. He was running a fever, had stopped eating over the weekend, had thrown up some darker blood and was extremely calm. We spent most of the weekend resting and spending time with him. We personally thought Saturday night that he was trying to peacefully pass on our front lawn but ended up not. He seemed so ready and relaxed. Monday morning I did have Dr. Lisa check him over. His back was inflamed and she felt two tumors on his spine. His rear legs stopped working completely and I had Dr. Howe Smith look at a video of him. Monday night we let him go peacefully at our home with his canine brothers present.
I want to thank you for continually educating and helping so many. Please keep it up and Dr. Morgan, good job! Thank you for giving Duke a year and half worth of a quality life. He was given 1 month the day I refused chemo and radiation. Thank you for all the extra memories and allowing Duke to gracefully enjoy his senior years.
Take Care and thank you-
I say: "Good job Mom".