Starbuck is my second Siberian Husky. Named after the character Agent Dana Scully in The X-files; her father called her "Starbuck" after a character in the famous novel "Moby Dick". She's a snuggly, sweet, and bossy little girl! I love how she makes her presence known as she bounces around and scream/howls and "Scolds" me with her low howl/growl/talk when I come back to visit once every few years as if to say: "WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? Don't you dare leave us again!" I love "talking" with her and I even imitate her excited noises at my fiancé when I'm excited about going somewhere! lol
She and Arrow (my first, male Siberian Husky) were great inspirations for my artwork. I raised them from puppies in Pennsylvania, showed them in dog shows for confirmation, and took hundreds of photos of them (almost completely with film cameras which is part of the reason why I don't have many photos on here - just a few of my favorites.)
When I had to go to school in New York and my mother moved out to California, she took the Siberians and our retired racing greyhound (Juice) with her. My mother passed away from breast cancer on the west coast mere days before my flight was scheduled to go back out to see her again. My dogs remained on the west coast and stayed with my Aunts and grandmother since I lived in apartments that were not pet-friendly.
After so many years, the dogs became a part of the family, grew older, Juice passed away, and I knew it was best for the rest of them to stay on the west coast rather than crate them up and put them on a stressful flight to live here (even if we lived in pet-friendly housing... and my fiancé wasn't allergic. lol) I've been able to visit a number of times and stromie has met them both two years ago and we visited a second time last year. Since then, my Aunt and Sibes have moved to Seattle where my Aunt lives happily retired and newly married to a very kind man.
I got a troubling email and call from my Aunt earlier this week said that Starbuck wouldn't eat. X-rays at the vet showed the tumor on her liver was pushing into her stomach. My Aunt was afraid that Starbuck was uncomfortable from this and caused her to lose her appetite. She was also afraid Starbuck would starve herself because of it. She told me that Arrow seemed confused - he didn't know what was wrong with Starbuck but he knew it wasn't good. My Aunt didn't seem to indicate whether surgery was viable or if it was just too expensive. But surgery can sometimes be as traumatic if not more so than letting them live out the rest of their days despite the cancer.
Starbuck is 12-years-old, which is a good long life for a Siberian Husky! And although I've lost my mother to cancer, my grandmothers to old age and diabetes, and had many pets pass away or put to sleep due to illness, old age, and other suffering... and I even tried to get my mind around the fact that my Siberians would live with my Aunt until they pass away, this is still incredibly tough for me.
Part of it is due to shock - I was stunned that she was so ill and I had been expecting Arrow's failing health to take him away from us first. Part of it was because I don't want another loved one to die before I see them one last time.
I was trying to be strong and kept my emotions in - I didn't even let myself cry after the phone call. But days later after enough miscellaneous stress (drama from DA, anxiety about the merger at work that could leave me jobless in a few months, and mistakes at work) happened and made me break down and cry for much of the night on Tuesday and a even more Wednesday morning.
Just this morning, my Aunt sent another email with an update that she is doing much better: eating, able to walk once around the block before she gets tired, able to get on the couch where she likes to sleep, and even nudging Arrow out of the way when he's hogging the water bowl! (Arrow was just starting to become less afraid of her since she's been so placid and weak.) This is tremendous news! I know that it's only a small come back, I still won't be able to visit her in the next few months, and she's not cured but at least she's not going to starve herself and she can enjoy some of the things she loves for a little while longer. I will keep people posted! I hope that I can share more good news but even with the recent change in her mood, I know she has lived a happy long life and she cannot live forever.
I'm flattered, honored, and grateful to have so much support -- kind words, beautiful artwork, prayers, and selfless donations -- especially when I'm feeling so helpless.
Thank you all!
Thanks to the brilliant idea of Nippon-Okami, I will accept donations to raise money for tickets to Seattle to visit my dogs, my Aunt, and my new uncle!
The following are pay-to-use deviations (prices starting as low as 20) <s>and a button that you can use your Paypal account to donate any amount to my Paypal</s> My paypal button doesn't appear to be working so my paypal address is carriestariha [AT] gmail [dot] com - Thank you so much!!