Registered: 1421734929 Posts: 1
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Where to start...! It's been a roller coaster ride with plenty of ups and downs, for us and our baby boy (Dallas). This isn't the first pet my husband and I have lost but it is the first one that has had cancer. We have a 10 1/2 year old Malamute mix named Dallas, that we rescued when he was just 11 months old. He was the dog everyone walked past because he would just lay there, back turned, ignoring everyone, I guess he was used to being over-looked. Once we saw him we knew that he was going to be our baby. He was the first of the many pets we've had and he's outlived them all. He has always been so healthy. We've only had to take him to the vet for his regular shots every year. Anyways, it all started around the beginning of November 2014. Dallas has been an outdoor dog for most of his life but he has had occasions where he's stayed inside. Well one day when we were leaving to go to the store I noticed he had what looked like a small knot above his left eye. I just thought well maybe something bit him, so while we were out we picked up some Benadryl, which is what the vet always suggests to us. Well after about 3 days the knot just kept growing, and he had what looked like puss coming out of his tear duct, so off to the vet we went. They automatically threw it up to allergies and an eye infection, so they prescribed us antibiotics and an eye gel. At this point we started keeping him indoors permanently as to keep a better eye on him. We started noticing that he was having these breathing attacks and at points it seemed like he was gasping for air. Well one night the attack lasted for an hour or so, he started throwing up white foam, releasing his bowels, and collapsed in the yard. After being up with him most of the night, we ran him to the emergency vet about 45 mins from where we live. By this time he had calmed down and was doing alright. They took his vitals and x-rays, gave him a shot of steroids, and a different kind of antibiotics (other kind was what made him throw up white foam). He was so energetic and excited to see everyone when he got home. As soon as our regular vet opened we made an appointment for them to see him within a few days. Once we took him to the vet and they reviewed the x-rays, they said they saw nothing out of the ordinary but they would like to take a blood sample from the knot and try to drain it some. When she looked at the sample she said she had never seen anything like it before and wanted to send it off to be looked at. Of course we agreed, anything to help our baby. When the results came back within a week, they said it looked like cancer, but she wanted to do a biopsy to make positive. This was the day before Thanksgiving, he was still pretty groggy when I got home from work that afternoon, my husband had taken him. He only had a small incision on his head which didn't look bad. Well that night we were up all night with him having severe nose bleeds. He kept sneezing and flinging his head which flung blood all over the house, it looked like a murder scene. We ended up keeping him outside for the cold air was all that calmed him down. Went to work the next day, and my husband called to tell me that he did have nasal cancer, and that we can do chemo but it would cost $5000+ and a 2hr drive to the special vet for chemo every week. Of course we don't have that kind of money me being the only one working part-time and my husband a full-time student. Turns out that dogs that have the surgery actually pass on sooner though. Our regular vet has him on steroids to help him breathe through his sinus better which has stopped the breathing attacks, but she said being generous he has 3 months to live. Since then we have had lots of up all nights when he's not feeling well and we're worried. The knot has only grown (cancer has grown outward instead of towards his brain), he can no longer see out of his left eye at all since its so overgrown with the fluid, blood/puss coming out of his left eye, and is beginning to get open sores on his snout/nose area. The vet has tried draining the fluid to relieve some pressure but the knot just fills back up with a blood/puss mixture. Looking at him you would never think he even had anything wrong with him, except the big knot. He still eats plenty, drinks like a horse, and even gets excited and playful. He does have his good days and bad days, but when I look at my baby's face I cry every time. I'm having such a hard time adjusting to the fact that he's leaving us, that my baby boy who always jumps on me wanting me to carry him like he's still a puppy, rolls over when he see's me so I can rub his belly, and that gives me big slobbery kisses that cover half my face is going to be gone soon. We are trying to make his last days the best, giving him lots of goodies to eat, long walks at the park, sleeping in a big fluffy bed, and lots of belly rubs. The heartache that I feel is so unbearable though. We have no children of our own and he is our world. We have spent countless dollars on him, and to me every penny is worth it. I'm not sure what else to expect with this and not sure how to deal with all the heartache. Any advice would be great, I'm not sure what to feel other than grief and I just really need someone to talk to that understands.
Registered: 1421772965 Posts: 6
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Dear Babybug, i wish that there was something i could do or say that would make you feel better, even for a short time, but i can not. All I can tell you is cherish every moment and never let an opportunity with your baby pass you by. The heartache you feel I am sad to say will only get worse before it gets better, but it will get better! You have to hang onto that. All in the world seems senseless to you right now, and that is a normal emotion, you will grieve for him before he is gone and after he is gone, none of it is fair, not one second of it easy, what keeps me in check is the fact, that the good times with mine I would not trade for anything in the world, the bad just naturally goes along with it. I do apologize for sounding so blunt and heartless, but I truly am not, I just want you to be prepared, and to not miss even one opportunity, and although it may sound odd right now, its not your fault as that is a process of grief that will take a hold of you, you always have to remember this is no ones fault, just a bad draw on the deck of life. Remember the good, touch him, hug him, kiss him and give everything you have to give as you will not be able feel his fur, or love all too soon. But you will remember it. It is a horrible thing to deal with and my heart goes out to you, there will tears of sadness, tears of despair, and finally tears of joy as you begin to heal and remember the good times you have shared. It will seem at times that things will never get better and you will never be the same, truth is you will get better, and that you will never be the same, as only you know the love felt the love you were freely given by your baby, you are among the lucky to have touched the heart of a dog, and he was lucky to have you, I am sure you have provided an amazing life, and he knows this which is why he loves you so much. I also know and feel your pain first hand, people always ask me, why do even have animals, you know they going to die, my first response is to always read them off, what i tell them is, " I feel sad for you that you have never and will never know what real unconditional love is or feels like" and sadly there are a lot of so called ""animal lovers"" who never truly give there hearts to there pets and there pets never fully give their heart. You obviously have a great relationship with your baby hang on to that.
Cancer never makes sense in humans, or in animals, unfortunately that god awful thing spares no one, or no animal. Well actually any illness in person or animal makes no sense, but it is somehow worse for us when our animals are involved. I am sitting here typing this trying to I guess tell you, trust your instincts, trust the grief process, it gets easier with time, also there is no time limit everyone grieves different, don't let anyone tell you to get over it, its just a dog, truth is they are part of hearts and they take that piece with them when they get there wings. I have been through this now a few times, the latest being yesterday, Jan 19th. So this is not an easy message for me to right, but I know your pain, your hurt, and the process you will have to take. My deepest and most sincere wishes and sympathies are with you and your baby. I am here to talk if you like. Hang in there, you will make it through this. You are among the lucky to have loved and been loved by one of Gods most magnificent, beautiful and loyal creations. Not everyone can say that, so we are very lucky and blessed this way. Forever a paw print through your heart. Sincerely, Ronnie.