For most of us on the Sunset Vets team, it’s the connections we make with incredibly dedicated owners that brings the most reward to our work. Even we are supporting people through times of great sadness, we are witness to so much love. It’s why we do what we do.
Supporting Jannie as she navigated her final years with her darling Chloe was particularly special for many of us at Sunset. Chloe had won our hearts long before we arranged her visit. We wanted to share some of their beautiful story, as a tribute to Jannie’s and Chloe’s special bond and to thank Jannie for allowing us to be a part of their lives.
Jannie first contacted us in May of 2020, as Chloe wasn’t doing so well and the symptoms of her Cushings disease seemed to be catching up on her. Jannie knew that the time for goodbye may be nearing and wanted to be prepared. We put things in place so that once it was time, Jannie would be able to just focus on her precious girl, and we could take care of everything else.
Little did we know this was the start of a remarkable End of Life journey that would touch all of our hearts.
Jannie sent us updates on little Chloe’s condition, but as the year went on, she showed no sign of further decline. It was quite lovely to receive Jannie’s emails with good news and adorable photos!
Apart from a little hiccup with a tummy bug, Chloe totally defied the odds. By the end of 2020, she had a whole new lease on life.
We were also delighted to learn that Jannie had three other Daschounds, who were all very much adored.
Jannie is truly one of the most dedicated owners and (L-R) Chloe, Elly, Archie and Ziggy were four very lucky rescues!
In April of 2021, Jannie’s update brought some very sad news. Chloe was no longer well, and was now facing a new health challenge. Chloe was diagnosed with a nasty melanoma on her chest, the cancer had also spread to both of her lungs. Although currently stable, she was given a prognosis of 2-3 months. Jannie reached out once again to make sure we were ready to help her say goodbye.
That same month, in the saddest turn of events, Jannie also said goodbye in very unexpected circumstances to Chloe’s beautiful sister Ziggy.
Our hearts just broke for Jannie, and we couldn’t imagine how hard it was to be coming to terms with Ziggy’s sudden passing, as well as Chloe’s terminal diagnosis in the space of weeks.
Almost a year after Jannie first reached out, the time had come for us to arrange a visit.
Things were definitely not great, but it wasn’t quite time for goodbye either, so our lovely Dr Giles visited for Chloe’s first Palliative Care consultation on April 28th.
Chloe’s remarkable story continues below in Jannie’s own words, taken mostly from her beautiful tribute to her precious girls, and we have also included some of our favourite emails updates as well.
I can remember the day I saw 2 little dachshunds up for adoption.
They were a bonded pair and I knew that day that I could give them a wonderful retirement, so I applied and was approved.
They had been in foster care for months and when Chloe arrived she pretty much ignored me and went and sat at the front door, hoping her foster carer would return.
Within days she decided that she may as well like me seeing I fed her 🙃
Zigg was the boisterous of the two, with Chloe only showing noise and aggression at the vacuum cleaner which she attacked right up to a few months ago. They both loved their walks and their trips to the beach and park and a trip in the car was always enjoyed, except if the destination was the vet.
Both Zigg and Chloe had relatively good health. Even when Chloe got Cushings and her eye sight deteriorated and she became muddled, I still felt I could give them a good life.
On the 1st April 2021 the oncologist gave me the results of her CT scan and said she only had 2 to 3 months to live. I vowed to do every thing I could to give her all she needed to live the best life.
Sadly I felt like I took my eye off of dear Zigg. To lose her so suddenly as I did on April 25th, with literally hours to live with that dammed tumour on her spleen, broke me. I was determined that Chloe would not suffer and my family and I made sure Chloe was never left alone, someone was always with her making sure her needs were met.
I remember when Chloe’s melanoma bled and weeped constantly. She seemed to be driven mad by it and I thought her time had come. Our angel Dr Giles suggested surgery.
(A goodbye visit was planned with Dr Giles on June 10th 2021. At the visit, Dr Giles and Jannie decided not to say goodbye, as Dr Giles felt it was the melanoma mass that was reducing her Quality of Life. Perhaps if they could remove it, Chloe would be happy for a little longer?)
My fear immediately drove my answer, until I realised I was losing her anyway, so why not try.
Look who made it through her surgery today. A bigger surgery than I expected, 20 sutures and a big wound.
I’ve bought her home, I don’t think I’m going to stop hugging her now and having her back on my lap where she belongs makes the decision the right one.
A million thanks.
This was my Chloe yesterday, yes she is running 😊
Today Chloe had her sutures all removed and is continuing to surprise us on being so so so well. She’s dropped a bit more weight but other than that she hasn’t read the memo that she has limited time to live.
I’ve taken some more time off to spend with her as she frets when I’m away,
Sadly I know that our time together is limited but in the mean time lots of cuddles happening here.
5 weeks ago this morning after taking Dr Giles advise, Chloe continues to defy the odds and is doing amazingly well.
It is like her little batteries were recharged when the melanoma was removed.
She continues to bunny hop not only around the house but out in the garden. I’m so blessed that I have had this extra time with Chloe and her new lease on life.
I know that she’s on borrowed time, it will be 16 weeks on Thursday that the oncologist gave her 2 to 3 months so I’m over the moon.
Not only have I had more time than expected but quality time. We are relishing every moment.
She’s continuing to live her best life.
16th September 2021
24 weeks after diagnosis, she was tired. Being able to say goodbye on the lounge where she loved to be and with her fur siblings with her was a blessing. Having our angel Dr Giles by our side was comforting.
We had 13 weeks and 2 days extra time with Chloe after surgery, quality time where she moved easier, no smell, no weeping and she found her puppy days again.
I could cuddle her constantly again.
Thank you so much for always being on the other end of the phone or email reassuring me.
I’ll be forever grateful.
Chloe’s goodbye visit took place just as Jannie had planned, 493 days after first making contact with Sunset Vets.