By Kathi and Lee Rich
Champ (left) came into our lives along with his companion dog, Lucy (right), in the fall of 2008. Typical puppies, they chewed on EVERYTHING, including shoes and packages delivered to the front door. They became the best of friends and taught us so much about love for all God’s creatures.
In the fall of 2013, Champ became less of his athletic self, losing weight and showing weakness in his back legs. We were referred to the University of Georgia Veterinary Teaching Hospital in January 2014.
Champ saw the Neurology Service and was diagnosed with polymyositis, an autoimmune disease attacking all of his muscles. Champ’s journey has been full of ups and downs, including two stays in ICU and an 11-day hospital stay. Champ received the best of care and we received updates daily. We came to UGA VTH so often, it was like going to “Cheers” where everybody knew Champ’s name.
Through it all, he never lost his sweet, tolerant personality, teaching all of us how to handle the challenge of a serious illness. His loss was not easy, but we are so grateful for the extended time we shared.
Exactly four months to the day after we said goodbye to Champ, Lucy collapsed on our dock and suffered a grand mal seizure.
Lucy continued to suffer mini seizures as we rushed her to our closest emergency veterinary clinic in Anderson, SC. When she was released the next morning, we felt Lucy was not any better and made the decision to take her to the University of Georgia Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
The MRI results indicated brain cancer and the prognosis was not good. After four days, we made the decision to not move forward with treatment.
We are so grateful for the care, treatment and extra consultation the entire Neurology staff extended to us and feel that Lucy was in the best care during her final days. Our wish is for both Lucy and Champ’s treatment to extend hope and life not only for animals with their diagnoses but for mankind as well.
We were blessed to have Champ and Lucy as a part of our family and are thankful to all of UGA VTH for their expertise, kindness, and compassion.