As I sit here, I am lost, I don’t even know where or how to begin. How does one begin to capture the heart and soul of a Shih Tzu Warrior #cancerfightingninja? Farley, when I saw your photo July 3, 2016, I wasn’t in the position to bring you or another dog into my home or heart. You see, June 6th, I just said goodbye to my beloved Carla Mae. Yet, when I saw that your former family took you to the local high kill animal shelter and the shelter was giving 24hrs for an outlet, I could not let that happen. While I wasn’t certain as to why I jumped into motion, in time, the reason why would be revealed. God, brought you into my life for a reason and as painful as it is to write this memorial about you, I am ever so grateful that I followed the voice on July 3rd.
Since the next day was July 4th, I wasn’t able to get a vet appointment to have you checked and to see if you needed any care before you headed into adoption. Yes, that was MY plan, rescue from the shelter, take care of anything that might be needed (dental, shots, etc.) and then, seek out the perfect family for you. We were able to get you in to see the vet on July 5th, instantly everyone fell in love with you. How could they not! There you stood smiling and your little tail going 1,000 miles an hour. The next day after the appointment, the call came, the call that changed everything! The call that began a love story, you see, in time you taught love not only to me, to everyone. What did that call reveal? You had lymphoma with circulating leukemia. Cancer! The one word that everyone hates hearing and panic sets in. The word that causes one to curse at God and say “Why God? Why him? And, why on Earth did you bring him into my life when I am in no position for this battle?” Those answers would come to light in time. Farley writes to his former family
Upon receiving the diagnosis, I asked what are the options and how much time left. The feedback sucked the air out of me, at best, one month; and, that was with chemo. I gave it some thought and true to my fashion, had to try, had to give him at least 30 days of love. The plan was in place, I created a bucket list for you and I was bound and determined to give you the best 30 days you could ever want or ask for. The appointment was set, you would receive your first IV chemo treatment, and I was hopeful for the best. I did a lot of research and by all indications, you would be able to handle the chemo. Several days after the treatment, you did not handle it well, in fact, you almost passed. Now what? Your vet said absolutely no more, she didn’t want to see you go through the discomfort again and she wasn’t sure your body would handle it. Panic set in again! Off I went to do more research and there was one topic that kept appearing that sounded encouraging medical cannabis. Farley’s cannabis story
Off I went to talk to your vet about this, her exact answer back to me was, “I would much rather we try something natural vs pumping more chemical in him.” Great! Now how do I get a hold of it? Let’s just say, I am resourceful and when if there is a will, then there is a way. I had the will, I had to try, I could not give up nor would I, I would fight and claw my way to make sure your 30 days would happen. Eureka! I scored medical cannabis and began giving you the dose you needed and based on your weight. Meanwhile, you were losing your hair due to the chemo, so I did more research and developed a special tonic to use on your skin to stimulate hair growth.
Shih Tzu Warrior #cancerfightingninja Makes His Debut
Before I knew it, 30 days had come and gone, you were vibrant, spunky, hilarious and above all else full of love. When you wanted attention, you would, well, begin sounding like a rooster. Seriously Farley? A Rooster? Boy, could you snore! When it was time to eat, the energy you had was off the charts. You would hop, even jump and grab air time, paw at my foot and become very vocal that you wanted your food, now. I would leave a room, you would follow. What made this beyond amazing, you were deaf and blind. That did not stop you, you knew exactly where I was, what you wanted, and enjoyed life to the fullest. As I would watch you blossom, that is when I gave you the nickname #cancerfightingninja. I had created a Facebook page for you, asked your fans to complete your title and there was one submission that summed you up “Farley, Shih Tzu Warrior Of The Wild Frontier” and from there, a star was reborn.
You see, you were already a star, a star that needed his light relit; a star that needed to shine and be his own, unique itself, a star that captured hearts on a global level. Before I knew it, a year arrived, it was July 6, 2017, and you were still in the fight, like a true #cancerfightingninja warrior. That is when I knew, I had to share you beyond your Facebook page, I had to share your story of hope, faith, and above all, love truly conquers all, even cancer cells. You were still on your medical cannabis, I had changed your diet early on to cooked ground turkey, green beans with no salt, and Kirill supplements. You were thriving! I reached out to my editor and a children’s picture and coloring books were created, “Mister Spunky and Farley“. I incorporated Mr. MaGoo into your story, Mr. MaGoo didn’t get along with too many dogs, you were special, he embraced you. You two became travel companions on road trips and even outings local to the neighborhood.
My Shih Tzu Warrior Received One Word That Changed It All
Over the course of 2017, I took you in for regular vet appointments, this included dental appointments too. Your teeth were terrible, you had surgery appointments and kept the surgeries short since you did not handle the anesthesia well. It was a risky surgery, it had to be done, the toxins from your mouth would compromise your vital organs. Then it happened, during one of the regular visits, your lab work showed one word that everyone was praying for. That word, remission! Oct 6, 2017, your lab work came back and showed you were in remission. On June 6, 2018, I took you in for a regular appointment, there it was remission. In fact, your lymphocytes count was down the lowest it has ever been.
What was occurring, your heart was enlarged, fluid in your lungs, and kidneys were beginning to become stressed too. I shared with your vet, eating and drinking behavior that was beginning to happen, based on what I shared and that your teeth were a mess again, the plan was to get your heart size decreased, fluid out of the lungs and re-evaluate in a few weeks. Your heart and lungs were responding the meds, your energy was being restored, even drinking on your own, at times eating. It was the most gut-wrenching decision to make, move forward with the surgery. If I did not, dental toxins would compromise your vital organs; if I did, the worse case would happen. I had to go for it and did. June 20th, you had your dental surgery and much to everyone’s surprise, no dental extractions were needed. Mind you, you need a deep cleaning, still, though, it was good.
Farley, We Can Only Hope To Have Courage Like You
After the surgery, I immediately contacted the vet because the eating and drinking water behavior did not go away. Then, you lost interest in water; you began walking in extremely tight circles, and that is when I knew, there was a neurological problem happening. It was not due to the surgery, as I look back at photos late May/early June, there were signs, I just missed them. Did I fail you? How could I miss those signs?
Monday, June 25th, you woke me up at 1:00 am with extreme energy, there was nothing I could do to help settle you down. For hours, you were, manic; eventually, I was able to calm up down and help you rest throughout the day. During the day, I held you; fed you by syringe, helped you in the yard, and even took a few naps with you on my chest. As it became closer to bedtime, you grew restless again. Since the beginning, you stationed yourself by my head every night; we would stare at each out, I would tell you I loved you, gave you lots of kisses, and you would lower your head and fall asleep. This time, it felt different. I decided that we would sleep downstairs and created a safe environment for you to fall asleep and not harm yourself. Then, Tuesday at 1:30 am, you woke me up to an awful whining sound. I picked you up and you could barely breathe, I sat on the couch and cuddled you as I knew what I needed to do. I just wanted a few moments with you in our home before we went to the ER. As we sat there, you were staring at me, at one point nestled your face into my chest.
Upon arriving at the ER, Farley, I can only hope to have the courage you displayed. You fought to the end, when they gave you the medicine to help take away the pain, your heart kept beating. You didn’t want to leave, your love was so strong that even meds couldn’t stop it. Farley, did I give up too soon? Should I have asked them to run a blood panel? Please forgive me if I gave up too soon.
Thank You, Farley, Shih Tzu Warrior Of The Wild Frontier
There were times I cursed Farley’s former family, how could they take him to a high kill shelter? How could they do this to him? He was 13yrs old at the time, after 13yrs, you “dump him?”. Then, there were times I thanked them, otherwise, Farley would have given so many inspiration, hope, and love. My emotions and reactions were the same to God, only during time did I realize, it was God’s plan for Farley to be with me. He knew that I would embrace Farley for whom he was and is, using this as a teachable moment.
Farley’s mission was to love, he loved to love; no matter whom he met, he would ooze love. Only Farley didn’t realize, his mission was also to teach about hope, courage, faith, never give up and to enjoy every day. He is leaving behind a legacy, and I have a feeling that Farley will continue to help pets with cancer; using his journey to help educate pet parents that there are options available now that we didn’t have as little as five years ago.
Farley, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I will never, ever forget your reaction when you first met me in the shelter. The assistant said you refused to eat and didn’t want any part of them when you met me, you came running to me with your tail going 1,000 miles per hour. I should have known right then and there, both you and God, knew exactly what you were up to.
Farley, I do hope that you know that I love you; if you ever felt ignored or that I wasn’t spending enough time with you, please forgive me. I will never know what caused your sudden decline, what I do know, you gave me the courage to find and ask questions about treatment that may not necessarily be well received by all. You gave me the courage to fight cancer with you and we won Farley! In my heart, I know it wasn’t cancer that took you, you and I fought like true #cancerfightingninjas.
Thank you for giving me moments that just stopped me in my tracks and admire how you embraced the simplest things, like water sprinklers, water foundations, prancing in the grass, kicking your paws up, just enjoying life to the fullest. Thank you for allowing me to see the beauty through your eyes and with you.
Farley, I love you and miss you greatly. You entered my life when I needed to be lifted up from saying goodbye to Carla, while we were together (just shy of) two years, you grew in my heart like it was a lifetime. You have taken a big piece of my heart with you, only I do hope that I will be able to retrieve it one day when we meet again.
Run free my Shih Tzu Warrior Love Mommy
Go off into the sunset, shine bright little star…