I’d like to share another miracle that involved a dear pet that Jim and I shared. When we married, Jim accepted my nine dogs and five cats willingly. We moved them to our home-to-be in Bucksport and it didn’t take long for me to want to adopt another. Our neighbor had found three puppies on our road and located homes for two of them. When I saw the pup, I said we’d gladly take him, but Jim suggested we wait a bit to see if someone else would claim him. No one did and so he joined our clan.
We first named him Sandy since he’d been left on what used to be called the Sand Road. It didn’t take long for me to rename him Hoomey(pronounced who-me). Hoomey Doomey was an affectionate term I had coined for my second graders when they acted really silly. You see this pup was cute and very comical. So Sandy became Hoomey Doomey or Hoomey for short.
He was the most loving, playful and obedient pet I ever had. We both came to love him dearly. He loved to play on the yard with the cats and he was yard dog and protector along with his “mom” and buddy, Muffin, of thunderstorm fame!
One night our neighbor called to alert me to the fact that he was playing with a buck in the front yard. Thankfully, he didn’t get hurt and seemed to have had a great time. He always seemed happy and he bounced along full of love for all.
Whe he was about four and a half years old, I discovered a lump on his neck while giving him a hug. I hoped it was from a bite of some sort and waited a few days. When it remained, I took him to our vet. It was decided that it needed to be biopsied although the vet thought he was too young for it to be cancerous. This was in September of 2004. Somehow the results were temporarily misplaced and we didn’t get the diagnosis of lymphoma until mid December. Jim and I decided to go ahead and take him to Mt. Pleasant for treatment. We began in January and Hoomey received chemo drips there as well as oral medications. He did really well during treatment and gained twelve pounds. He became one of the few cancer dogs to be put on a diet.
Dr. Jamieson and his staff were outstanding and Hoomey truly loved to go and see them. He made all of us laugh one day when he refused to leave their office. An attendant and I pushed and pulled while a client commented that he’d never seen an animal that didn’t want to leave a vet’s office. That was our loving boy! As the treatment progressed, I finally questioned how much time we might be able to have with him. I was devastated when I was told a year to a year and a half at the most. After six months, Hoomey was placed on oral meds and he stayed on them for about two years. Then treatment was stopped and it became a waiting game.
After six months, it became clear that the cancer was becoming aggressive again and lumps were appearing all over his body. This was three years after the treatment was begun. When I spoke with the new oncologist in January 2005, she told me it wasn’t possible for a dog with lymphoma to still be alive. When the staff assured her that there was no mistake and she saw the records, she requested that a new biopsy be done, since she felt a mistake was made on the one done in Sept. 2004. Surprise! There was no mistake, It was lymphoma. We decided to try treatment again, but Hoomey had problems with the first set. When he looked at me in that special way, I knew it was time to stop.
Hoomey lived until the middle of November, eating well and playing with his buddies every day. Muffin passed in October and I wondered what effect it would have on him. He seemed fine, but he only lived until right before Thanksgiving. The Lord had blessed him and us with almost four years after the first signs appeared! Truly a miracle since we were told that a year and a half would be the very best for which we could hope.
When I thanked Dr. Jamieson for what he had done, he told us not to thank him, but to thank God. It had been in God’s hands and yes, I had prayed every day for his time to be extended with us. I prayed in the morning, when I fed him, when I gave him medicine and at night. God truly blessed us with a very special pet, who loved life and lived it with joy each and every day he was with us. There was no scientific explanation as evidenced by the oncologist’s remarks. A dog with lymphoma could not be alive three years later, much less four. But Hoomey was. God had granted us a miracle and I am ever thankful for it.