July 14, 2004
Today I am playing at the Rainbow Bridge, jumping, running with plenty of energy to chase butterflies and play with all the fur kid friends. I just met Col. Potter and thanked him for being the inspiration for such a great human network that rescued me, gave me "spa" days at the groomer and let me retire in Florida -- although it was way too short!  I just couldn't fight those medical gremlins so my foster mom and my vet made me as comfortable as possible for my trip to the Bridge. Licks and kisses to Miss Monika, my first foster mom and everybody with CPCRN who touched my short life with love and compassion.

Miss Mellie has gone to play with the CP fur kids at the bridge today. She stopped eating last Friday and the vet found a massive infection requiring 2 drains. She came home Friday night and I nursed her through the weekend using an oral syringe to get a few CC's of pumpkin in her stomach so she could take the antibiotic capsules. I even tried baby food and that came right back up--but I had to get something in her so she wouldn't get sick from the pills. She was a bit perkier on Monday morning but we went straight to the vet where she was started on IV fluids (she had been drinking water but was still a little dehydrated), her blood checked for kidney failure (only the creatinine was a bit high) but she was listless and not responding. They kept her on fluids overnight and I saw her yesterday afternoon and it was as if she had given up. Her breathing was labored but we made the decision to wait one more night and let my vet take another look.

This morning, the vet described how she had declined and now the x- rays were showing lung damage, and she was very pale. The decision to let her go immediately was so sad, but I couldn't ask her to wait any longer just so I could be there. My vet requested permission to perform an autopsy so he could find out why she declined so fast. This was not the expected result from a treatable infection and he suspects there were other factors that weren't apparent.

Miss Mellie, as I called her, had her life totally uprooted about 9 months ago when her lifelong family of 12 years moved away and left her at a local shelter. Another woman adopted her just before she was to be euthanized; nobody wanted a senior. Then this woman fell on hard times within a few months and surrendered her to Col Potter around Christmas. Monika fostered her and then she flew to Orlando to be fostered by me--what a joy! I took her to the "spa" at the vet and she went from shabby to chic. Mellie was reserved--we call that being a proper lady-- and only once did I see her give little kisses and that was to a friend who owns a Lab. She barked indignantly at lightning and thunder as if it was intruding on her peaceful life.

She will be sadly missed.

First, my thanks to everybody for your thoughts and prayers. It is just so sad when they are helpless to fight back.

The vet called to say that he found a tumor on Melanie's adrenal gland when he did the autopsy. He said it was just a matter of time before the tumor would develop into full blown Cushings. That was the reason for her lack of appetite and explains why the antibiotics were not effective. The tumor on the adrenal gland causes the gland to secrete excess cortisol which acts to weaken the immune system. So Melanie wasn't able to fight anything. He was also surprised at how quickly her lungs were damaged as pneumonia was setting in--that happened in just a day and a half.

Hopefully, this might help someone else who loves the seniors as much as I do. They are not here long enough but they love you the best that they can while they are here.

Again, I am so grateful for your support to bring Miss Mellie into CPCRN and eventually to the Retirement Home for Senior Cairns. I nicknamed her Miss Mellie after Melanie in Gone with the Wind, since she got to move to Tara (my new home).