I got horrible news from the vet yesterday. Daisy has a horrible type of cancer that is violently spreading throughout her body. The vet says she only has about 2 weeks left, if that. I’ve been just so depressed these last couple days. I don’t know how I’m going to be able to get over not seeing her everyday. But most importantly, I don’t know how I’m going to be able to put her down. The vet says that I should consider putting her down soon, as it’s just going to get worse and cause pain. The thing is, Daisy doesn’t seem on death’s doorstep yet. She is eating, drinking, and wanting to go on short walks. However, the vet says that this can change overnight in an instant. I just don’t know what to do, or how I can put her down and have her die right before my eyes. But if I don’t see it, then I will feel immense guilt that I wasn’t there for her last breath. I just wish sometimes that I could go with her. Why do animals have to leave us here, on this heartbreaking Earth? To make matter worse, I have to go to work and be away from her for several hours a day. I’m just so sad, I don’t know what to do or how to cope with this. My heart just hurts...

Any words of wisdom/advice on how to cope is invited. 
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I am so sorry about the heartbreaking news you heard from the vet about your Daisy. I am in the somewhat same position as you are, but I have had a little bit more time to process the shocking news. My dear cat of 13 years named Pootie Tang, was diagnosed with mammary cancer on December 13, and when her doctor looked at me, I knew, even before the words came out of her mouth. I had thought she had some sort of abscess and needed antibiotics, so when I heard that awful word cancer, well it totally knocked the wind out of me. My little PT also has a very virulent form of cancer mammary gland (breast cancer), which spreads quite rapidly, and is quite advanced, so surgery is not an option.

Right now as of today, she is doing alright, and still eating and drinking, but sleeping a lot, and I do take her in to the vet once a month for her antibiotic shots to keep the infection from her tumor from going through her system. I found out that if the cancer does not ultimately take her from me, if it spreads to her lungs, then the tumor just may. So let me just say that I know what you are going through, the complete and utter confusion as to what to do. I am taking it day by day, and maybe that is the way you should approach it with your Daisy. I am making sure that she is not in any pain, and as long as your sweet baby is eating and drinking, and has quality of life, then you maybe should just spend as much time together as possible, cherish every moment, and make every moment count.

It is hard to do, and it is bittersweet, but I am trying to see this time with my baby as a gift, and I am so thankful for this gift, but also in the back of my mind and in my heart, there is that sense of impending loss, that question of what in the world am I going to do without her. I try my best to keep those thoughts at bay, although it is not always easy, as they do come to the forefront quite often. 

I go to work everyday, and my friends always ask me how she is, and I tell them she is hanging in there. I am so scared that one day I will not be able to say that. As long as you have trust and respect for your vet, talk to him, her, and let them know how you feel, and let them know that you do not want to lose one single special moment with your little one, but you also would never want this to get to the point where Daisy is in pain. Maybe they could go into a little more detail and let you know to watch for any symptoms or behaviors, just a suggestion, Daisy is your little one, you are her protector and her advocate, so as hard as it is, try to stay strong for her. 

I am trying so hard to stay strong for my little Pootie Tang, and it is by no means easy, but she needs me more than ever now, as your beautiful Daisy needs you. I wish I had some words of comfort for you, just know that you are doing your very best for Daisy, and she knows that, and that is all we can do. We give them all of our love, we tuck them safely away in our hearts, and we have to keep hope in our heart that if and when we have to say goodbye, that they will be happy and healthy and waiting for us ... we will see them again. This is so easy to say, so easy to write, but when it comes down to it, the sadness is like no other, but we will be able to go on, your Daisy and my PT would want nothing less. Please know you and your sweet baby are in my thoughts and prayers ... remember that every day is a gift, and every moment is a sweet and wonderful memory in the making, and most important of all, your Daisy knows how very much she is loved.
Pamela Lynne Crawford
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My heart aches for you, the decision you are facing is the hardest many of us will ever encounter because it is by choice. The thing you have to consider is the well being of Daisy, how to keep her out of pain and suffering. Every time I have to make this decision, a piece of my heart, life, and soul is lost, and I feel it every single day. I cling to the thought that one day I will be reunited with every one of my best friends. 
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Thank you all for the nice comments, as they are encouraging to keep strong for Daisy. I choose to believe that every animal has their purpose here, and when they have completed their purpose, they have to say goodbye. Daisy was there for me in my worse times. She was my companion, my best friend, my baby. I really hope that we will be able to see them again one day. I just hope that she sill will have a few more good days left, so that I can spoil her with everything she's ever loved. My heart hurts so badly right now though. I couldn't even get through work today. Your comments are very comforting to read though.
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I am so sorry about Daisy and your situation.  I had to put one of my dogs down who had lung cancer erupt so quickly and violently he could only breathe by panting at a rapid rate.  I could see in his eyes he was so brave but in distress.  Seeing him decline so rapidly was so hard to accept and while I knew I didn't want him to suffer one more second-you also don't know how you can live on this earth without them?  I think because we love them so much we can find the strength to allow them the dignity of a peaceful and painless end of life.  But how can we ever resolve the pain our heart's feel to lose such a loved one or to be the responsible party to make this decision?

I just lost my Auggie Doggy, male doxie-10 yrs, and I am utterly devastated.  It's been 26 days without him.  He, too, was at that stage where you don't want them to suffer but don't want to have to decide this fate.  It is the strongest act of love but so hard and you never have enough time.  Auggie and I had a pact where he would let me know when it was time to go.  He held up his end, as always, and let me know he was ready to go.  It was in his eyes and then he also stopped using his legs, which was a clear sign.  Even with this certainty (his ability to let me know and all of the medical knowledge/research) I knew I had a short window of strength to go and to make this decision.  It took everything I had to go to the vet.  I think because I've been through this experience before, it gets harder the next time.  I feel our pets allow us to love with such depth and when you think you can't love any greater-you do and you can. 

I wish you some peaceful moments, much love, and all of my sympathy.  While I would never presume to walk in your shoes, I do walk with you to give you strength in the days ahead and to have those good days with your precious Daisy.  She is so lucky to have you and you her.  


Auggie's Mom
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I am so sorry you are faced with one of the hardest decisions that we as our pet's guardians are ever faced with.  I agree with so many of the above when they say talk to your vet.  She/he needs to completely understand what your concerns are (being away from Daisy during the day, pain management, signs and symptoms of exacerbation, etc.)  Please make him sit down with you (not stand up behind a table) so that you have his total attention and he understands how important this is.  Even the best of vets can sometimes forget how much this decision can change our lives forever.
The others talked about you knowing your pet better than anyone else and being able to read subtle signs and symptoms that others might miss.  I will never forget the day I had to make "that" trip to the vet with my Gigi.  I was beyond myself with self doubt but, even so, with her terminal diagnosis I could see she was becoming constantly tired; she was isolating herself from the others; and her eyes and her gait told me she was starting to feel pain, in spite of the medications that had held her so well previously.  I truly believe, if we listen to them, they will tell us when.  I wanted to be selfish and keep her longer but how could I, when I knew she had done nothing but give me her unconditional love all of her life.  I had to take on the pain so she wouldn't.
My heart aches for you - you are in a horrible position - but I do believe, you will know when.  I pray for your Daisy and for you.
My warmest regards,  Carmen's and Gigi's mom - alicia
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Everyone here has written such kind words, and made really good suggestions for how to get through this difficult time. I have only one thing to add, and it's something i read on the forum in 2004 when I first arrived. One of the regular contributors at that time said, "I would rather let her go a week too soon than a moment too late." That's the most generous thing we can do for them. If we let them get to death's door, they are suffering. I would do anything to be able to go back in time and help my T.J. sooner than I did. 

I work in a veterinary E.R. and one of our doctors once told me that she has heard a lot of people voice their regret for not having acted sooner, but she has never heard anyone say they wish they had waited longer. It's a sad perspective that comes to those of us who know we allowed our best friends to stay with us longer than they were comfortable. Really assess Daisy's condition and the joy she is getting each day. It's so hard to do, but step back and be truly honest with yourself. When you see her having more bad days than good ones, and you see her failing a little more each day, it will be time to have that conversation with yourself. 

In the mean time, here's a great resource from the office of Honoring the Bond from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary medicine and the Veterinary Medical Center. I hope you will find some help here. 

Honoring the Bond, Support for Animal Owners

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