It's four am in Chicago and the pounding rain is no competition for my tears.
As I posted on the cancer forum, I lost my 10-year old pug Joey last Tuesday. Back in December we discovered a lump on his neck and the initial diagnosis was thyroid cancer. The operation to remove it was successful and we were elated. Joey seemed to have a new lease on life, acting like a puppy again. Our joy was short-lived however when the biospy result was hemangiosarcoma, a highly malignant cancer of the lining of the blood cells. Dogs only have about three months after it presents itself, and often there are no symptoms at all. We chose not to do chemo as that would have only prolonged his days, not the quality of his life, by a few weeks. Even though we spent close to six thousand dollars in vet bills, I would have used my last dime if it would have saved his life. In some ways we were lucky, because even though I have cried every day of 2010, each night I thanked the angels that I had gotten to spend one more precious day with him.
Those of you who are debating on whether to stay with your baby during euthanasia, I want to tell you that it was the most (bitter) sweet, peaceful experience; a dignity in death. One of the recurring themes on the forums is the additional pain and guilt felt by those who didn't get a chance to say goodbye. If you are blessed enough to be there at the end you won't regret it.
If you choose to have your baby cremated, be prepared for fresh waves of grief, along with moments of comfort, when you bring him home for the last time. I brought Joey home yesterday and put him near the spot where he used to bask in the sun. I'm planning a memorial garden for him in the spring. My kids (17 & 11) are working on a little fundraiser to donate the proceeds to our local animal shelter in Joey's name. I believe that time will buff smooth the jagged edges of our souls.
I wish humans had more of an understanding of animal intuition. Towards the end, when the tumor had come back with a vengance and was doubling in size daily, Coco, our chihuahua, kept sniffing and licking Joey's neck. (much to Joey's disgust, and he let Coco know it!) Undeterred, Coco never left Joey's side. He still goes on sniff-searches for him, and I'm trying to console him as best I can.
Lastly, I want to thank everyone who contributes to these forums. I'm blown away by the support and compassion shown by people who are experiencing their own private agonies, and yet are willing to hold each others hand through the journey of sorrow. My heart goes out to you all for the losses of your own babies.
Bless you and take care~
Catherine-aka Joey's Mom
Quote 0 0

My babies

Quote 0 0
What an adorable little guy!


My kids (17 & 11) are working on a little fundraiser to donate the proceeds to our local animal shelter in Joey's name.

Your kids are unbelieveably cool. The best way to honor the memory of a friend who's gone home is to help out those less fortunate still here.
Quote 0 0
JoeysMom,thank you for your compassionate words of comfort to me at a time when you are grieveing as well.  I too had Rambo cremated.  My plans are to have his ashes scattered with mine when I pass on.  For now I have a little memorial in myspace room.  I don't cry every day now, but I still cry alot.  I can't tell you what triggers it.  Mostly nights and mornings.  I guess I will always miss him.  We also have another doxie; a female that we got from the dachshand rescue group seven years ago who is missing Rambo too.  She is depressed and we are doing what we can for her. We also have a six month old blue heeler that Doodles, the female doxie, refuses to have anything to do with.  If it weren't for these other companions, my husband, and this website, I don't think I would be able to get over the loss of my Rambo.  I still miss him so much.  I believe I always will.  Life does go on and at least I don't feel like there is a big hole in my chest least not all day long like I did.  And in some ways I hurt that I don't hurt that way anymore.  He was the best.  I told my vet the week after I had to put him to sleep that he gave me thirteen great years and only one really awful day.  What more could you ask for.  And I am very glad, even though it was the hardest thing I ever did, that I stayed with him to the end and beyond.  I couldn't have just walked away from him.  I just couldn't.  I understand why people do, my husband couldn't do it.  It is soo hard, but I had to hold him to the end. I can't tell you why, I just had too.  I felt I owed him that much for what he had given me.
Quote 0 0

Hi, Living In Chicago I'm sure that you have heard of the "steel mills" & all that they have contributed to the health of this area, air,ground,water. I live 40 miles east of you,right on the Indiana,Michigan line. The cancer rate In this area for animals as well as human is very high!!  I agree with the Vets that the mills have been responsible for alot of this.  I have several animals of my own & have lost several to cancer. The hurt,anger,tears,sleep-less nights, the vet bills to try to save one that might be able to make It. The broken heart that bleeds on a daily bases & you wonder If you'll ever have a normal day again with-out tears. In your mind you live with alot of "what If's". The bottom line is, our animals do not out-live us.  If they did ,who would take care of them If you & me were not here. I know your pain & wish that I had a magic word to make It all go away,but I don't.  Your baby Is out of harms way of time and diease.  Most humanes should be so lucky!!  Smile & say, I loved my fur-baby & I am lucky, for I have the love & the memories. It has taken me years to learn this----------------Marty & critters

Quote 0 0