dallypup
my 10  year old lab was just diagnosed with colon cancer yesterday,  although i know austin shouldn't be here - he was diagnosed with kidney failure due to lyme disease back in april.  because of aggressive treatment, we got the renal failure under control and we were looking at a great recovery.  now this.  i am so sad and i've been crying since yesterday.  i know i need to stop this and appreciate the time i have left with him, but it hurts so much knowing that we only have a couple of weeks.  does anyone have any advice on how to get through the next days and weeks?  
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DebbieD
When we found out our Gwen had advanced liver disease in '04, I was heart broken as you are. I knew how much she loved the water, and also being with me. So I took her every week-end to a nearby lake where we had trained and swum. She really wasn't swimming, maybe just wading a bit. But spending that time together, making more wonderful memories - and knowing that she was happy just being with me - helped and still does. My suggestion is to find something he loves and be with him. Even if what he can do is lie in a special spot and you be with him and maybe feed him some yummy treats if that's possible, talking about special memories you have together. I tried to keep as upbeat as possible when I was around Gwen - and figured the crying could come later (which it did).

I hope this helps a little. Do enjoy whatever time you have with him.
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Boogie
I think I speak for a lot of us here who would love to be in your shoes. Strange as that may sound. A lot of us had no forewarning of our pet's death. I would have loved to have known that Boogie had cancer before it was so far gone it was discovered when she was on the operating table for something else we thought was causing the grave sympthoms. 
I know that I am a very loving and super attentive dogmom, but I would have focused 100% on her from her diagnosis until I had to take her on the last, difficult walk. There would have been no end to the treats, petting and hugging and special moments. I would have kept my crying and distraught thoughts from her (as best I could) and been loving, attentive and upbeat. Like Boogie was on the vacation of her lifetime! And I would have taken a ton of pictures and videos, too. 
If you can....see this as a special gift that you have been given. Because it is.
And hugs to you...because I know it's really, really hard.

My Boogie died on 3/25/2010. She was the best dog anybody could ask for. I will be with her again when my time comes.



A drawing of Pax by Heather Spears. She specializes in bereavement and is wonderful to work with, she understands how we feel. She can be reached at spears.heather@gmail.com
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Susie_Squillions
Dear Dallypup,

I am so very sorry to hear about your best friend's diagnosis.  It's such a shock to receive such devastating news.

You have been given a bittersweet gift of knowing that from this day forward, each day, every hour, is a gift to be treasured.  Try to remember that our animals live in the moment.  There is no past, there is no future.  It's all in the here and now.  Try to follow that example now, and hold onto the gratitude you have for ever minute you have left together.  Promise him that you will not let him suffer, and tell him that if he feels the time is right, he is free to leave on his own if he prefers it that way.  Whisper all your words of love to him as often as you can, and treat him to whatever his heart desires.  Now is not the time to enforce limits.  And pictures.  Take plenty of pictures.  When your camera is full, take more.  My profile picture of T.J. was taken less than 20 hours before I walked him to the gates of the Rainbow Bridge, and it is something I will always treasure.  Be sure to take pictures of the two of you together, too.  My husband and I did that, and we are both so glad we did.  They are incredibly sad to look at, but the love that comes through is palpable. 

Please check the Cancer Forum here.  There is a lot of helpful information there.  One person just posted yesterday and included a link to a site with a supplement that has shown promising results in managing cancer in humans and animals.  It would be worth checking into it.  Who knows?  You might be able to buy a little more time with your sweet Lab, or at least keep him more comfortable for the time he is with you.

You and your best friend are in my thoughts and prayers.  Please keep us updated on how he is doing, and come back and tell us about the time you've had with him.  It really helps to tell their stories, especially while they're still with us.


xoxoxo

My heart is battered and bruised, but I will not let it break. It holds such precious cargo, I must protect it now. (Susie Squillions)

"Memories of loved ones are like songs in our soul." Margaret Wakeley

T.J.'S RESIDENCY:
http://RainbowsBridge.com/residents/TJ006/Resident.htm

BUDDY GUY AYRES~LYNCH'S RESIDENCY:
http://www.rainbowsbridge.com/residents/Buddy128/resident.HTM

KING BING THE GOD CAT'S RESIDENCY:
http://rainbowsbridge.com/residents/BINGO009/Resident.htm

In one of the stars, I shall be living.
In one of them, I shall be laughing.
And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing when you look at the sky at night.
~ The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery
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reovi
If I were in your shoes, it would be all car rides, park visits, special human food treats-whatever my baby wanted.  I would try REALLY hard to keep myself together, so that his last weeks would have no trace of my sadness contaminating them-I would want him to see all 'sunshine and roses' as I like to say.  I would want that for my babies, and for myself or any of my loved ones-to make the good times endless, so that he would remember that when it's time to go.  I wish you much peace, strength, and endless pets and hug to your boy. As someone said above, I am so, so sorry for your news, but I envy your time like you cannot even imagine...please make that time count-for all of us!
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Susie_Squillions
One more thing that is critical:  If you can get a video with sound, or an audio recording of your baby's voice, do it!  I would give anything to hear T.J.'s voice and his purr again.  The house is far too quiet without him. He was extremely vocal, and his purred never stopped in the more than 16 years he was with us, except for a day or two after his second seizure.  Even during that time, it didn't stop completely.  He just used it intermittently for the first time in his life. 

This is a beautiful article, written by a home town boy, Bob Greene.  It is as true of our animals as well as human losses:

A Friend's Voice Endures Forever




My heart is battered and bruised, but I will not let it break. It holds such precious cargo, I must protect it now. (Susie Squillions)

"Memories of loved ones are like songs in our soul." Margaret Wakeley

T.J.'S RESIDENCY:
http://RainbowsBridge.com/residents/TJ006/Resident.htm

BUDDY GUY AYRES~LYNCH'S RESIDENCY:
http://www.rainbowsbridge.com/residents/Buddy128/resident.HTM

KING BING THE GOD CAT'S RESIDENCY:
http://rainbowsbridge.com/residents/BINGO009/Resident.htm

In one of the stars, I shall be living.
In one of them, I shall be laughing.
And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing when you look at the sky at night.
~ The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery
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ladybugsmom
I have to agree with all here, If i only had the chance to spend more time with my Lady Bug before she got to bad I would be spending every second of the day doing what she loved most, lots of hugs n kisses plenty of I LOVE YOU'S. all her favorite foods, lots of pictures,videos,bye bye's and lots more.
spend all time you can with your fur baby, give him and you many good memories before his time comes. and if you can be there with him when it's his time to go so you are the last thing he sees before he heads off to be in the arms of the Lord.
Enjoy each other to the fullest.
Many Hug to you and Austin
Lady Bug

Monday October 24th 1994 - Sunday May 23rd 2010

I light this candle for Lady Bug, Cassy and and ALL the babies that have crossed over the Rainbow Bridge.



Visit Lady Bug at http://www.immortalpets.com/Lady_Bug_Stalter/About.aspx

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."

Hugs to all
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dallypup
thank you all so very much!  i do suppose this time is a gift and i didn't look at it that way.  it is selfish to focus on the negative, when there is so much good in this time we have been given.  i am so sorry for those of you who didn't have the time for proper goodbyes.  i know that as hard as all this is, in time i will truly appreciate it.  thank you also for the suggestion of taking video to hear his "voice".  austin is infamous for his snoring and i always joked with my husband that when austin was gone, we sure would miss that snoring!!  we will have to get that on video, and even if we can't watch it right away when he's gone, i know that there will be a day we will watch it and laugh!  no matter how much time we have with our pets, it is never enough, is it?  thank you all so much...i am so comforted in knowing that there are people that can understand my hurt. this is a wonderful site and i am grateful for finding it and finding comfort here.
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dallypup
thank you gentle george, your words bring a lot of comfort.  i actually work at my veterinarian's office, as a receptionist and vet technician, so i am (unfortunately) familiar with the euthanasia process.  i work with a wonderful group of people who have been with me every step of the way these last 6 weeks or so.  i suppose i feel extra bad due to the fact we worked so hard to get the kidneys functioning and then this happens.  it just feels like a punch to the gut, but you are so right in saying to be happy around him.  i think animals understand our emotions and he most certainly needs to be surrounded by happy and good things, not tears and sadness.  thank you again, and i wish you all the best.  God sends us these angels for such a short time here, but i am anticipating knowing we will be together in eternity!
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Susie_Squillions
Oh, you will probably be able to watch that video right away, but not without crying buckets of tears.  And that's O.K.  I always say that all tears are healing tears.  They help to wash away our sorrow and allow the first buds of happiness to blossom in our hearts.  Then, in time, the smiles will come before the tears when you think of your gorgeous guy.

Ah-ha!  So his name is Austin.  Please give him some ear scratches and tummy rubs for me.  Oh!  And put your finger against the cartilage at the front of his ears right next to his face and press gently as you massage it.  It's my special dog-pleasing move that turns them to putty.  Now, will you please tell us a little more about Austin's life with your wonderful family?  I'm all ears (or eyes, as the case may be).

Oh...one more thing to remember about the time you have remaining is to think of it in terms of how much time it is to Austin.  At an even 10 years old he is the equivalent of a human who is about 75.  Each month he has with you will be the equivalent of a little over one year in our time.  So although there will never be enough time (there is no such thing), you will get a good idea of the fullness of his life after this diagnosis.  I hope that will help you to reconcile what's going on, and to feel a little better about the quality of Austin's life in this twilight time.

xoxoxo


My heart is battered and bruised, but I will not let it break. It holds such precious cargo, I must protect it now. (Susie Squillions)

"Memories of loved ones are like songs in our soul." Margaret Wakeley

T.J.'S RESIDENCY:
http://RainbowsBridge.com/residents/TJ006/Resident.htm

BUDDY GUY AYRES~LYNCH'S RESIDENCY:
http://www.rainbowsbridge.com/residents/Buddy128/resident.HTM

KING BING THE GOD CAT'S RESIDENCY:
http://rainbowsbridge.com/residents/BINGO009/Resident.htm

In one of the stars, I shall be living.
In one of them, I shall be laughing.
And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing when you look at the sky at night.
~ The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery
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reovi
Yes, PLEASE get the sedative first-PLEASE.  I realize you work in the vet's office, so you probably know if this needs to be ordered or not?  This was the BIGGEST regret of my life that I wish I had done for my boy.  I agree acout pics, videos, etc-my husband and I look at Polar's pics everyday-it hurts like hell, but he was our boy and we never want to forget his sweet face.  Would your vet do a housecall?  It might make a big difference when the time comes...I'm so sorry I can't be more emotional about your situation, I'm just trying to think matter-of-factly about things I wish I had now that I was too emotional to see back then...
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Susie_Squillions
Absolutely get the sedative.  Without a doubt.

And to Reovi, I'm sending you squillions of virtual hugs right now.


My heart is battered and bruised, but I will not let it break. It holds such precious cargo, I must protect it now. (Susie Squillions)

"Memories of loved ones are like songs in our soul." Margaret Wakeley

T.J.'S RESIDENCY:
http://RainbowsBridge.com/residents/TJ006/Resident.htm

BUDDY GUY AYRES~LYNCH'S RESIDENCY:
http://www.rainbowsbridge.com/residents/Buddy128/resident.HTM

KING BING THE GOD CAT'S RESIDENCY:
http://rainbowsbridge.com/residents/BINGO009/Resident.htm

In one of the stars, I shall be living.
In one of them, I shall be laughing.
And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing when you look at the sky at night.
~ The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery
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dallypup
thanks so much for the thoughts and prayers.  it really helps to know i'm not alone!

Austin is a 10 year old black lab.  we got him as a puppy from one of my students (i was a teacher) who brought puppies in for show and tell.  austin was so not a typical lab...he hated swimming and was not a retriever.  our other lab was 5 when we got austin.  dallas was yellow and passed away in 2008 at the age of 13.  from the beginning, the 2 were best buddies.dallas  loved swimming and would play fetch for hours.  austin would go into the yard, get the ball, then just lay there.  austin loved taking a bath however.  he would just hop into the tub or walk into our shower anytime!  dallas would hear bath and then become total dead weight!  austin is a snorer and we relish the sound now! 

we are taking things one day at a time, as we know each moment we have is so precious!  i know he will be joining dallas soon at the rainbow bridge, and that brings us so much peace.  i wasn't yet working at the vet when we had to let dallas go, and we felt so guilty.  but exactly one week to the moment that dallas left us, it snowed.....we took it as a sign that dallas was happy, as he LOVED snow!  i believe that austin will tell dallas stories of this year's record breaking snowfall here in our area (near baltimore)....we literally got 3 blizzards this year!

again thank you so much for all your wishes and thoughts.  i will let you know how my buddy is doing!
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