Welcome to Abby Kerschner's Rainbow Bridge Memorial Residency
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Memories of Abby Kerschner
Abby always had a smile on her face. The first time that I saw her was on a page that said her and her mother would be euthanized in 4 days if they weren't adopted. I went to quickly search for them and found out that they were at Charles County Animal Shelter. I immediately set up an appointment to see them on September 11, 2020. I went to visit them for the first time on September 12, 2020. As they walked out they were so so happy and wagging their tails. My heart immediately fell in love. The kennel said they had mammary tumors and her mother had heart worm. I said I would adopt them immediately because I wanted to give them a great life. I knew I wouldn't have a very long time with them, however I knew they deserved a family that would care for them. As soon as I adopted them I had them spayed and the masses removed and checked for cancer. Sure enough the mammary tumors were cancerous. As soon as I brought them home I treated her mom for heart worm. A few months had gone by and I noticed Abby starting with a caugh and that she had some masses on her thighs. Sure enough she had 3 different types of cancers. Her mom also had osteosarcoma shortly after her heart worm treatment was done. Abby's cancers were mammary ductile adenoma, complex mammary adenoma, and bronchoalveolar carcinoma. I had Dr. Zeltzman remove all of her masses (which included a lobectomy). Abby seemed to have healed from that. About a year later Abby began with a cough. The doctors did a chest x-ray which showed no masses and we concluded that it's probably scarring from her lobectomy. As time went on we enjoyed life together. Went on vacation to the beach, went to the park, went for car rides. But most importantly we got our routine pup cups from Dunkn. Her mom Dixie ended up passing away about 2 years ago in our living room unexpectedly from her osteosarcoma. Abby stayed with her mommy up until the very end. After Dixie's passing we knew Abby was missing her mommy so we continued to give her extra love. Our cat Starbucks became best friends with Abby too. In December 2022 Abbys cough became more progressive, still no indication of cancer in her lungs. However at the end of July of 2023 I started to notice Abby limping and not being able to walk up the ramp to our bed. So I decided to make an appointment with out vet. The hips looked unremarkable, however there was cancer throughout her lungs so we made an appointment with Oncology which was supposed to be on August 8th. On August 2, 2023 around 9pm I was laying on the sofa watching TV. Abby was laying on the floor on her blanket sound asleep. I then took a photo of Abby within seconds of her having her first seizure. I remained calmed, told my boyfriend to call the vet as I began to video tape her seizing. We rushed her to Dogs and Cats Vet Referral to where we believed the cause of her seizure was a stroke. The Neurologist ended up seeing her the following morning which confirmed her having a stroke. The doctor prescribed her 750mg of Keppra and some anti nausea medication. We brought her home and began to try and nurse her back health. Abby struggled to walk, and began to lose her normal appetite so we began to feed her chicken and rice. We decided to schedule an MRI on the 7th because we wanted to try and fight for her. If there was a brain tumor maybe we can cure her. The Neurologist said on the 7th he didn't recommend doing the MRI as she has progressively gotten worse. He did recommend going to Oncology on the 8th. That night we had severe thunderstorms and a tornado watch. I held Abby close to me to comfort her as she gets scared of storms. I fell asleep until about 4am as my boyfriend had taken her downstairs to sleep with her in case she had to go outside to go potty. At 4am I went downstairs and my boyfriend said she was restless for about 2 hours. He believed she was looking for me. I laid on the floor and Abby laid next to me. I tucked her in and we fell asleep together. She was at ease. At 730am I made the decision to not take her to Oncology as I thought it was best to put her down that night. I wanted to make the best day with her. We took her to the park and went for a stroll in her stroller for about 2 miles. Then we laid on the blanket for 3 hours and watched the planes Land. She had a smile on her face the entire time. Afterwards we went to brusters ice cream to see if we could get her a doggie bone. She wasn't interested in that but that was ok. Then we went to Dunkn Donuts to get a pup cup. She took a few licks but didn't really want that either. Afterwards we went home. She started to have bloody diarrhea. This told me I'm making a good decision. It could have been because of the 10mg of Prednisone that we started her on, but only after 2 pills it seemed highly unlikely. We then laid in bed, turned on pets TV and she took a nap. She was comfortable. We did her paw prints and I told her how much I love her. We listened to some music and I paid for her asking God for her to be at peace. We then decided to bring her downstairs to see if she had to go potty, then afterwards we held her some more. Lap of Love then called me to say they would be about 25 to 40 minutes out. I gave her one last frosty paws ice cream and she ate the entire thing. I left her out one last time and she peed just as the doctor was arriving. I laid her on her pink bed and told her how much I love her. I gave her 1 last pill pocket as the dr gave her the anesthesia medication. I had Dixies collar right under her chin as the vet gave the anesthesia. I told Abby to go find Dixie and I told her how much I love her and how she was a great dog. Abby then laid her chin on my hand and started snoring. The doctor then began to push the purple stuff to make her go across the rainbow bridge in her back right thigh. Within seconds she stopped breathing. She was at peace. I kissed her forhead and felt a little twitch against my face from her head. I knew she was gonna be with me forever. I kissed her right front paw one last time. I won't forget that smell from her paw. I am so happy that she is in peace and was able to make her last day with us special. She was so happy and I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. The hardest part of losing her is that Abby didn't give me that look saying mom it's time. She had a smile all the way up until the doctor arrived. I think Abby knew we were going to give her peace. She looked very sad when the vet arrived.

I love this dog with all of my heart. Looking back on everything I wish I was more aggressive with her cancer treatment and preventions and followed up more frequently on visits. I thought we had cured her with the sugeries so I only did yearly checkups with chest x-rays. I feel like I should have done an abdominal ultra sounds to rule out any more tumors. I feel like I could have prevented her death yesterday had I done so. Abby was a fighter. She loved us and always smiled. I will never forget her. Thank you Abby for always smiling and bringing me joy.

Please also visit Dixie Kerschner, Honey Kerschner and Lilly Kerschner.

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