Ella was diagnosed with Syringomyelia and taught me more in her short life about how to live life to the fullest, love with all your heart, and learn from each other.

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The moment I first held Ella, my world changed. She has touched so many people giving love as a therapy dog but now it is time to give back. No matter how hard she tries to give, her eyes show sadness and pain.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Choice

I have not posted anything recently which is because any free time time I had, I have spent it with Ella. I promised myself that if I could reach one person and be of help, it would mean I was doing something. I felt helpless sometimes and writing this blog has helped me and was one way I could relieve this feeling. I want to help others and when I have to face the terrible day that Ella is no longer a part of my life I want to help raise funds for research. I will do whatever I could to help win this terrible illness facing more and more King Charles Cavaliers. But for now I feel selfish. I have been so consumed with Ella that I have not been there and trying to do something to raise funds to help fight Syringomyelia is out of the question because I don't have enough funds for her own battle. It has been painful and any energy I have has been with her.

Some dogs are okay with medical management but Ella was getting progressively worse fast so I knew I did not have much time to wait and see. I do not have any emergency funds (not that people that do have any easier time with this news)but it was real upsetting that I did not know how I could manage to pay for surgery which, for me, seemed like the only option.

Ella saved my life so knowing that I could not save hers was devastating. The medication was not working. She was on prilosec (which I don't understand how that helps) but for Ella it did not. This is how Ella saved my life. I was extremely depressed living on my own and I started to seclude myself from all of my friends. I thought getting a dog that would show me affection would help and Cavaliers are definitely known for their affection! I read that if you want a watch dog then King Charles Cavaliers are out because they would greet a bugler with kisses. Ella was not exception. She laid on the couch with me and pretty much nursed me back to health.

I am tearing up when I write this because seeing her look up to me with those sad eyes full of pain was like her pleading with me to help her now and return the favor. So I told my parents that I would sell my condo and move to Columbia to commute to Charlotte for work. I would try to get a second job. I would live on the streets or do anything I could to help her. My parents knew what Ella had done for me and I think deep down they were scared that if I lost her what it would do to me.

My mom got a special credit card for this surgery and I called her neurologist and said I have made my decision. Which after I told him that he said that with Ella's age and how she had a severe case, I was making the right decision. He said that having the surgery earlier may help prevent any more permement damage that may be done.

I would like to say that no one can tell you what the right decision is. There are many risks with surgery and there is no promise that it can not come back or not even help at all.
www.sm.cavaliertalk.com and www.cavalierhealth.com have good information about the different medications, risks of surgery, etc. I am not writing this as a medical professional, I am writing this as an owner of a precious dog who has Syringomyelia. My choice to have surgery is not the right choice for everyone but it was the best choice and the only choice I thought there was for Ella. I still don't know how I can pay back the money I owe but I know that I would always think "what if" and I would not be able to get over it.

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