This is Shenobie.  He’s a handsome mix of golden retriever and cocker spaniel.  If you know anything about these breeds, they are famous for genetic problems, like problem skin, arthritis, hip dysplasia, ear infections, and fatty tumors. 

Shenobie is about 8 or 9 years old.  It’s hard to say for sure because he was adopted from a shelter when he was a puppy, and he went to live at Sugar’s house.  Shenobie actually belongs to Sugar’s daughter, who has moved away recently for work and school. 

Shenobie has had his share of health issues, and, up to now, those issues have been resolved.  A few years ago, he was limping so badly that he had a procedure called an FHO, a femoral head ostectomy.  This procedure involves removing the entire femoral head, the ball part of the ball-and-socket that forms the hip.  It sounds impossible, the probability of actually being able to walk again, but the musculature of the body is undisturbed and holds the leg in position.  There is no more pain from arthritis or dysplasia because there are no surfaces left to grind and grate against each other in the hip area.  Sounds unbelievable, but I am a believer.  Sugar and I visited Shenobie after his surgery.  He had to stay at the surgical center for a month after the surgery for rehabilitation.  The ‘Nobes hates to be away from home, and he withdraws into himself and freezes.  He did not progress as quickly as needed during rehab and he had to stay an extra amount of time.  When his period of rehab was over, he went home to the Little Big House near the Swamped! Plantation, and all was well.

About two years ago, he had several fatty tumors removed.  One looked as large as a cow’s liver.  Honest, it was huge, but harmless.

Recently, Sugar noticed that Shenobie was having problems during urination.  It was taking an extra long time for him to void his bladder, and, where there should have been a stream, there was only a slow drip.  Urination issues are never good, but many times they are resolved.  Oftentimes, a dog can be straining but nothing is coming out, and it turns out to be stones.  Surgery will correct the problem.

Going to China

X-rays revealed nothing.  No stones.  After extensive blood and urine tests, again revealing nothing, Shenobie had an ultrasound.  And there it was.  Mr. Cancer was growing inside the bladder, intertwining with the walls of the bladder and down into the urethra.  The attending veterinarian said it was an aggressive sort of cancer, and is 95% problematic.  An appointment was made with an oncology veterinary surgeon, and he confirmed after surgery four days ago that it is inoperable and impossible to remove.  Shenobie has about a month.  The vet offered an option to euthanize him while he was under anesthesia.  Sugar declined, for two reasons:  Shenobie is not “his” dog, and even if he were, he just couldn’t let him go yet.

‘Nobie went home that same day, and was really doped up and sleepy.  The following day he trotted around the yard, completely back to normal, protecting his cookie, and trying to enjoy the day with Honey, his beloved. 

Life is short, but it is wide.


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4 Responses to “Shenobie”

  1. Becky Says:

    Ugh, this is a sad one. He has such an adorable face; love the China-digging picture.


  2. Leo Says:

    Keep your nose wet as long as you can, my friend, and after that may you chase bunnies somewhere forevermore.


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