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Meet Gina!

11/26/92 - 03/31/05

"If the sun refused to shine,
I would still be loving you.
When mountains crumble to the sea,
there will still be you and me."
(Led Zeppelin)

Gina was born in our house on Thanksgiving evening, 11/26/92. She was the most adventurous of all the puppies. The above picture is Gina making a new little friend at the Boston Marathon. She loves to go the the Marathon as we walk all over Boston as everyone stops and pets her. Gina's best friend in the world was her littermate Natasha (now an Angel). They would sleep in the same crate until they were over a year old.

Gina grew into a very silly dog - she is a pack rat! She saves all her toys and steals toys from the other dogs and then takes them in her crate. She can be seen taking inventory in her crate to make sure nothing is missing. If something is missing, she goes on a mission to find it and is usually successful.

Gina is also obsessed with the Christmas Tree. She is obsessed with protecting the tree and the presents, and refuses to let the other dogs get near "her" tree, LOL. She has also been known to open presents before Christmas!

(Gina and her best friend Natasha)

SEPTEMBER 7, 2001 - we found a lump on Gina's leg 2 days ago. Dr Rooney from the Daniel Webster Animal Hospital in Bedford, NH checked it today and says it is a Mast Cell Tumor. My poor sweet Gina. Next week we will go to Tufts Veterinary Hospital in Grafton MA to see about surgery and treatment.

Please say a prayer for her - thank you.

September 17, 2001 - Took Gina for a meeting with Dr Mair. The following day, they removed the tumor. When I picked her up the next day, the doctor said that she believed that Gina had eaten off her bandage and they were unable to find it. Gina seemed lethargic and could not drink water - kept vomiting it up. Also had no interest in food. Called Dr Mair and she said to fast Gina for 24 hours. I did this with no improvement.

That night Gina was very sick and weak. I took her to the Emergency Clinic in Manchester NH (Dr Smiley) who did blood tests which showed that Gina had an infection and that her bilirubin was a tad high. The next morning, I brought her into the Daniel Webster Animal Hospital and met with Dr Heald and she was given antibiotics and benedryl and told to give her metamucil as the xrays showed that she had something in her tummy. Within 24 hours - she was feeling better. She pooped out some type of foreign material. Over the next few days, Gina continued to get better. Thank you, Dr. Heald.

A few days later, Dr Mair from Tufts says that it is a Grade 2 cancer and even though they said they got clean margins, the pathologist recommended 16 treatments of radiation. We will start treatments in a few weeks.

Gina is back to normal now - she has her appetite back and is very playful.

NOVEMBER 6, 2001 - Met with Dr Payne at Tufts. All went well and Gina will start her radiation treatments on November 13th. Over the next month, she will receive 16 treatments.

DECEMBER 1, 2001 - Gina has just finished her 3rd week of radiation - only one more week to go. She is doing great. No problems, thank goodness.

DECEMBER 17, 2001 - Gina went in for her 2 week checkup - all went well. Her leg is healing good and Gina is back to normal.

Gina (standing) and her Mom Katie during a snowstorm

Mid JUNE 2002 - Took Gina to the Daniel Webster Animal Hospital in Bedford for her yearly check-up and Dr Rooney found a little bump on her butt (between her tail and her rectum). Aspiration showed no mast cell tumors, but Dr Rooney suggested I go to Tufts for further tests.

JUNE 27, 2002 - Took Gina to Tufts and met with oncologists - she is scheduled for surgery to remove the bump on July 3, 2002.

JULY 3, 2002 - ALL WENT WELL WITH THE SURGERY and Gina is back home resting comfortably with her favorite toys and food dish close by.

JULY 8, 2002 - Dr Mitchell from Tufts left me a message that the bumps were BENIGN. Oh, how I love that word. We were all so happy.

AUGUST 2002 - Gina met with Dr Mahony from Tufts as Gina has been panting, has excessive drinking and eating and urination and whining when she is lying down. Several tests were done (Cushings, low dose dex test, and an adrenal sex hormone test) and all came back ok. Alkaline phosphatase levels continue to be high. Ultrasound of her tummy showed no problems.

DECEMBER 2002 - Gina continues to do well. We found a bump on her chest - turns out it was her nipple, LOL. It is a little bit larger than her other ones, so we will keep an eye on it. Dr Rooney from the Daniel Webster Animal Hospital says it is nothing to be concerned about right now, unless it changes.

DECEMBER 15, 2002 - Gina was making funny noises when she was breathing, almost sounded like she was snoring, but she was awake. Seemed like she was having a hard time getting her breath. After a couple of hours of monitoring her, I took her to the Emergency Clinic in Manchester and met with Dr Pascoe. He checked her out and could find nothing wrong with her, except she was panting heavily which he thought was probably due to stress of being at the vets. They monitored her for awhile and nothing out of the ordinary was noted. Thank goodness the snoring sounds and labored breathing were gone so he released her and said to keep an eye on her. No problems noted after we got home.

May 22, 2003 - recheck at Tufts. Blood work was fine except calcium and protien were a little high - possibly because Gina was dehydrated. She will have a ionized calcium check in a few weeks.

June 9, 2003 - Ionized calcium check - came back fine. However, a large lump (8 cm's) was found in Gina's liver. A biopsy showed it was benign. Her internist at Tufts says there is nothing we can do about it - to just monitor it. We pray to God that it does not get any bigger or cause her any problems.

SEPTEMBER 2003 - Gina had another ultrasound which shows that the tumor has not gotten any larger! Gina continues to do great - thank you for caring about her. We love our little Gina-weiner!

January 3, 2004 - Gina was not acting herself today - I knew there was a problem when she would not eat. Brought her to the Emergency Clinic in Manchester and luckily Dr Pascoe was on duty - he is familiar with Gina. An x-ray showed that there was internal bleeding and also a large mass, believed to be in her spleen - he thought it might be hemangiosarcoma. We kept her there overnight where they gave her a transfusion and got her stable.

The next day I brought her down to Tufts. Broke my heart to leave her there. They did emergency surgery that night - removed an 8 cm size mass from her liver. All went well and Gina came home the next day. She is doing great and back to normal.

May 29, 2004 - Gina continues to do well. Healthy and happy.

JUNE 2004 - Gina was lethargic - went for tests and found out she was diabetic. I now give her insulin two times a day.

SEPTEMBER 2004 - Gina went to Litchfield Maine to attend the Canine Cancer Awareness Reunion. She had a great time and met some really nice people and other dogs.

Gina at the Reunion

OCTOBER 2004 - We are unable to get Gina's sugar levels stable. They are in the 300's and 400's. She has also lost so much weight - it is heartbreaking. Her spirits remain high. She had problems with her eyes - took her to a doggie othomologist (SP?) in North Andover MA - she was very nice. Gina had a severe case of dry eye - the drops they gave her have helped alot.

NOVEMBER 5, 2004 - Vet says Gina's eyes are hazy - could be due to age and/or diabetes - looks like she is developing cataracts. :-(

Gina and her beloved pool. She loved her pool in the winter as well as the summer!

JANUARY 29, 2005 - We changed Gina's insulin in December and it seems to be working. She is much more alert and playful. We will go for a curve on Wednesday.

MARCH 14, 2005 - It appears we have gotten Gina's diabetes under better control. She is taking 26 units twice a day of Humelin L. She continues to do well.

MARCH 20, 2005 - Gina would not come in from the backyard this afternoon - which is not like her at all. I brought her in the house and watched her for awhile and she was very lethargic and would not eat. I brought her to the emergency room, but all looked well so she was released.

The next day I brought her to my vets for an xray with some suspicious areas found. The next day she had an ultrasound but nothing of note was found. She spent the night at the emergency vets and the next day I brought her down to Tufts.

On Thursday Dr Mahoney from Tufts called to say Gina has an intestinal blockage. They did emergency surgery and all went well until Saturday when a 2nd emergency surgery was done as there was a little fluid in Gina's tummy and they suspected a leakage. Gina is in surgery as I write this. Please keep her in your prayers.

Dr Hinkle from Tufts called at 3:30pm to say that surgery was over and that all went well. Gina will be taken back to the icu unit where she will be monitored. May God smile down upon her.

MARCH 31, 2005 - Gina took a turn for the worse, her intestines were leaking again. We could not put her through another surgery, she already had 3 in the past week. At 0400 hrs, we were with Gina when she was sent to Heaven to be with her best friend and sister Natasha and their brother Buddy. Gina was a little trouper and fought an incredible fight. Words cannot express my sorrow.

Thank you to everyone for all your positive thoughts and prayers.

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