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Dianne Salerni : Writer of Teen and Middle Grade Fiction | Saying Good-Byes

Saying Good-Byes

Good-Bye to 2018. An okay year for me. Not a great one. Not the worst. But sadly, it’s ending on a very down note.

After exhibiting weird symptoms over the past few months — such as facial swelling that looked like a reaction to a bee sting or spider bite, but wasn’t — my sweet dog, Sorcia, has been diagnosed with an advanced case of lymphoma. The mysterious swelling, as it turns out, was an auto-immune response related to the cancer. Although blood tests in September showed no signs of an elevated white blood cell count, x-rays taken two days ago indicate a large tumorous mass in her chest and other small masses spread throughout her organs.

Sorcia is 11 years old. The disease is greatly advanced. We have elected not to put her through traumatic surgeries and chemo therapy in the hopes of dragging this out for months. Instead, she’s under sedation, and we’re saying a gentle good-bye.

Until this past week, Sorcia suffered no pain. There was that weird facial swelling, but it bothered us more than it did her.

Until this past week, Sorcia engaged in mischievous romping around the house, chasing the cat — and letting the cat taunt her into the chase.

She romped in the dog park.

She rejoiced in a new ball discovered in her Christmas stocking and squeaked it until it could squeak no more.

She occasionally stole the cat’s food.

She barked at package deliveries. (It’s mind-boggling how much she hates the UPS truck.)

She didn’t know she had cancer. She still doesn’t know.

The sedatives have made her woozy, and she threw up one of her many small meals today. We were heartened that, dog-like, she considered re-eating the vomit. (We intervened.)

She watches the cat rampage, but doesn’t participate.

She observes us closely and lifts her ears when we say her name. We hope that the end will be swift and sudden and painless, and I’ve mapped the quickest routes to all the 24-hour veterinary hospitals.

We are saying good-bye to our sweet girl — and good-bye to 2018 — and hoping for joy in the new year.

Best wishes to everyone.

We adopt Sorcia in 2009.


Sorcia watches us miss a great Triple Word Score.


Sorcia prefers her baby pool over the big, scary pool.


Love that Hose!


I think there’s a cat around here somewhere.


Is something pulling on my tail?




Our Sweet Girl

13 Responses to Saying Good-Byes

  1. Ashley Vinson says:

    Awww, I’m so sorry to hear about your dog! We lost our 12 year old dog named Cassie two years agoto whip worms,on my birthday,and this january will be three years since. She did, however, leave us with two of her puppies, both boys, who remind us of her everyday. In the end, we will all see our pets again, and we can find comfort in knowing that their suffering is over, and they are in a better place. I’m sure that Sorcia and Cassie will both be happy to have a new friend in heaven.

    • DianneSalerni says:

      Thank you, Ashley. These are hard days. Less than a week ago, I thought my dog was in good health. It was a shock to find out that’s not true. I have been very sad, but I take comfort in knowing she isn’t in pain, and if we can help it, she won’t be. We will miss her dearly, but never regret her role in our lives. My hope is that she passes quickly, without pain or fear, feeling safe in her own home.

  2. Very sorry to hear that. Furry friends are family. I’m glad she’s getting some peace out of her final days and that you are as well. She had a blessed life with your family.

  3. Tiana Smith says:

    So sorry Dianne 🙁 That’s the worst. I hope your 2019 brings you joy.

  4. ChemistKen says:

    They can go so quickly sometimes. It’s one of the reasons I freak out every time one of our cats looks or behaves out of the ordinary. I’m always afraid it’s something serious.

    Losing a close family member like that is always heartbreaking. My prayers to you and your “extended” family.

  5. Anna says:

    I’m sorry for your loss. She looked like a sweet, sweet, girl.

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  6. DianneSalerni says:

    Today was the day. She was starting to feel discomfort and getting weaker. But she did try to swipe some cat food she found in a bowl on the floor in the vet’s office. It makes me smile to think that Sorcia’s last act was to see if she could steal cat food. She was always such a good girl — except for that one thing.

  7. Michael Gettel-Gilmartin says:

    Dianne and family, I am so sorry to hear about Sorcia’s death. I loved reading all the stories posted on Facebook about her–she was glorious, from her name to her glossy coat. Much love as you grieve and remember all the good times with her. Michael

  8. Gina Gao says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your dog. Hopefully by this time, things have sorted themselves out.