The day after Thanksgiving, we had to say goodbye to our dear buddy, Loki. Loki was our 13 year old chocolate lab mix that had been fighting with a cancerous tumor on his neck. Because of his age, his doctors didn't want to operate on him unless they absolutely had to. After some sudden complications in late October, he had to have emergency surgery to remove the tumor. He pulled through that surgery like no other and acted like a young dog again. He had a great month running and barking, then things took a turn for the worse, literally overnight again. This time there was nothing we could do. His cancer had come back eight-fold in a matter of weeks. He suddenly had eight cancerous tumors and it spread to his lymphatic system. We rushed him to the vet the day after Thanksgiving and had to make the hard decision of putting him down to end his suffering.
The staff and doctors at Fort Caroline Animal Clinic are fantastic. Our family has taken our dogs there probably since just after they opened their doors in the early 80's and I still drive mine all the way there even though we live almost an hour away. Dr. Lincoln primarily handled Loki's surgery and care and we are lucky to have had such a great vet for him. The rest of the staff is very understanding and compassionate as well, and they all seem to truly care about the wellbeing of your pets and your family.
After 4 days in Jacksonville, I checked my mailbox just yesterday, knowing that Dani probably neglected to pick up the mail the entire time I was gone. I was right, and we had something from the folks at the animal clinic waiting inside. They sent us a very nice and encouraging card, and an imprint of Loki's paw that they took after we had to let him go. (There are even little stray pieces of his hair still stuck in the plaster...) I went ahead and strung a ribbon through it so we could hang it on our Christmas tree this year, and somewhere else after Christmas is all said and done. We'll miss him this Christmas and every Christmas after, but his paw print and his old beat up collar now have a special place on our tree.