Bean, RIP – Sunday, February 6, 2011

On Sunday, February 6, 2011, right around 10:33pm, our dear sweet old Bean dog took her last breath in this world.

Bean had battled spleen cancer in August 2010 and beat it (with spleen removal and chemotherapy). However, not long after that, Wendy found a mass on Bean’s liver which turned out to be cancer.

Bean battled valiantly through several months of chemotherapy under the care of the wonderful Dr. Cheryl Harris. Bean rallied for a bit, but soon began losing her once-considerable appetite. The weight began to fall off Bean very quickly. Each night, we’d offer Bean a variety of eating options, from cat food to Arby’s sandwiches to cookies to Fritos – anything she wanted to eat she got. For the last few days, Bean didn’t want to eat anything at all. The cancer had grown so large that it had compressed her stomach to the point that her appetite was non-existent. Our girl was starving to death, so we had to make the difficult decision on Sunday February 6, 2011. Bean passed away in our family room, in her favorite bed, surrounded by dogs, cats, and her people.

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Wendy met Bean when she came into the hospital to be adopted several years ago. Something about Bean’s gentle demeanor, sweet soulful dark eyes, and long eyelashes touched Wendy’s heart, so Wendy asked me to come visit Bean. Before I entered the large run where Bean was waiting, I was warned that Bean didn’t like men. Well, not that she didn’t like them, she’d just never been around them so was unused to them. Unworried, I went into the run and sat on the floor across from Bean, with a couple dog treats in my hand and just waited. Within about 10 minutes, Bean’s legendary appetite beat out her sense of caution and she slowly approached me and took the cookies from me. Deciding then that I wasn’t all bad, she plopped her butt down on my crossed legs and looked at me expecting more cookies. I did not disappoint her!

When Bean came home to live with us, there was exactly one male she liked (that would be me). During parties, she was most content to stay upstairs, away from any boys. Wendy once threw a party for one of those home-based business things (maybe it was Avon or Candlelight; I cannot recall) which was attended only by females. Bean was literally the center of attention in that environment – she came downstairs and hung out with the ladies all evening!

The first time Dolly (our first dog) met Bean, we could see Dolly fall head-over-heels in love with Bean. Dolly was very happy to gain a canine friend! The two of them were inseparable for the rest of Bean’s life.

Over the years, Bean’s comfort around males grew until it stopped being an issue. Bean was then able to share her loving spirit with everyone, male or female.

Once Bean started to get sick with the liver cancer, she felt comfortable laying in a dog bed in the family room. The bed was large enough – barely – that Bean and Buster (the wiener dog) could both wedge themselves in. Today, Buster is laying alone in that dog bed, but he’s kindly left room for Beanie.

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So far in 2011, we’ve lost 20% of our furry family, by losing Bean and Akhenaten. Merrick, Oliver, Chuck, and Buster are all geriatric animals, so the next couple of years may be full of loss for us.

Even though Bean lived a long and happy life before she got so sick, it was still very difficult to see my sweet girl finish her time with us.