Three weeks ago, on March 2nd, our gorgeous little man Teigo was just his happy usual self. He had coughed a few times since I had been home from work, but I thought nothing of it. He coughed again in front of my husband when he got home from work, and my husband noticed a bit of blood come out while Teigo coughed. I called the vet immediately and we were there for an appointment within 30 minutes.

The vet checked him over from head to toe, and noticed that he had a growth at the top left of his palate that had not been there less than a month ago at his yearly checkup. She said this was probably the cause of the blood, but would not know what the growth was without a biopsy.
The next morning, March 3rd, I took Teigo in and dropped him off to get it done. I knew there was a chance it could be cancer, but since Teigo was otherwise completely healthy, I chose to hope for the best. When I received the call that he was ready to be picked up, the doctor let me know that while she took the biopsy, she also tried to remove the growth. It was much harder to do than she had anticipated and she said that the growth was also growing upwards into the bone. She said it wasn't a good sign, but that we should wait for biopsy results which would be back within the next week. That weekend, we made sure to cuddle and love on Teigo even more than we normally do. Both my husband and I were worried about what the biopsy would show, but were hopeful nonetheless.

We found out the next Tuesday, March 8th, that Teigo had oral melanoma. As soon as we found out I sobbed. We knew it would not be a very good prognosis because of the vet having trouble trying and failing to get the entirety of the growth out, which we now know was a tumor. The doctor said that if we chose to do surgery to remove the tumor(and half of his face to get the tumor), as well as radiation to make sure the cancer cells are gone from the face, as well as x-rays and ct scans to see where else it has spread, we would be looking at an extended life span of maybe six months.

Teigo has been our dog for almost 9 years. He was a rescue and prior to being adopted by us had lived through hurricane Katrina, and a few years in a shelter in New Orleans before being send to the shelter we adopted him from. He had survived glaucoma and cataract surgery, cryo surgery on one eye for cancer of the eye, as well as having that eye removed when the cancer returned, and had been the best dog in the entire world. We did not want the last few months of his life to be in and out of treatment and surgery and be in pain so we made the decision to let it run its course and for him to let us know when he was ready to go. We also decided that for however much longer he had, he would be spoiled more than he had ever been spoiled before. We made a bucket list for him, and tried to tick off as many things as we could. We had been told without treatment he would live up to 3 more months, but they didn't know for sure. Oral melanoma is a very aggressive cancer.

On Sunday March 20th, Teigo was really showing signs of pain and discomfort and we did not want him to suffer. He doesn't deserve to suffer. My husband and I had already agreed that when he starts showing signs of suffering, we will let him go. That night Teigo was curled in bed with us, and was breathing heavily, as if the cancer had spread to his lungs. He was on pain medication to help him sleep, and even that was not helping a lot. His tumor had started growing back almost from the minute it had been partially cut out, and he had been bleeding from the mouth off and on from the tumor site for the past week. The next morning when we woke up, we looked at him, and he stared at us with his beautiful one eye, seemingly to say "okay, I'm ready to go now". We made the heart-wrenching call to the vet. We got to spend the day with him, feeding him treats and special foods he loved, and snuggling and cuddling with him, and going on a few last walks.
The process of him passing at the vets was calm and peaceful and also the hardest thing that we have ever done.

All of that being said, I am not coping well at all with his loss. I have never dealt with the loss of someone very close to me before, human or animal. Teigo was like our child, and we treated him as such. I am due to have my first child in 4 short weeks. I am not sure if it is just my grief of losing our little man so quickly, or that coupled with pregnancy hormones, but I am struggling so hard with his loss. Every little thing is hard, and I am unable to function properly. I have to force myself to eat to nourish the child growing inside me, or I would not touch food. I can't go twenty minutes without breaking down into tears, and the thought of having to go to work is almost too much to bear. I worked a half day yesterday and barely made it through. I had to take the rest of the week off. I don't know whether this is normal or not. I feel like I am taking away from my husband's time to grieve because I am such a mess that he needs to be there for me. How do I cope?

Teigo puppy.jpg
My little man when he had two eyes.
Teigo's Mama
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I am so very sorry on your loss of Teigo, he sounds as if he had a beautiful life with you after being rescued.  Everything you feel right now is so familiar to me, I lost my little dog Jim 14 weeks ago, and it is almost unbearable for the first few days. It slowly gets better, but it is so hard to adjust to life without them.
 You must be be extra kind to yourself, especially with the baby due in only a few weeks. Just take it one day or even hour at a time, and make sure you get enough rest. You`ve come to a such a kind and caring place here, everyone is going through the same loss, and will always give you strong support. Remember, you are not alone.
                    Hugs to you, Jackie
J Taylor
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Everything you are now experiencing is NORMAL for the grieving process and It will pass as you go through the process.  Just allow yourself to express your emotions and in the long run you will feel much better & you will then realize that you did everything you could for your pet and that now he is no longer suffering.  I’ve had to experience this horrible feeling 13 times with 13 dogs over the many years.

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Your dear little Teigo is such a beautiful little man.

Yes, what you are feeling right now is part of the grieving process. I have lost a few loved ones over the years. For each one, the pattern of my grieving was different. I loved them all...my mother, my husband, my father, our other dog, a cat, a best friend, and another doggy pal... but the deepest sense of loss I have ever known was when my girl Misty passed in 2012.

I also found it hard to eat those first few days. But I did, because it struck me that SHE would have eaten the food. She loved her food. So I ate. Little bits at first, then gradually more. I could hardly taste it....but I kind of did it for her.
The same way you have to start to eat for your little baby.

Where Teigo has gone now he will know all about that. He now has a full spiritual perpective of the love you share, and will know about the little one coming into your life. When an animal who has attained Individuality crosses, it becomes focused in its Soul-Being. Their consciousness is no different to ours in that state.

Allow yourself to cry if you need to, and to honour Teigo by little things you do....such as arranging his pictures, making a Facebook page or free website or anything creative in his memory, decorating his grave, or if he was cremated, a little sacred space in your house for him. Or maybe you could get a 'gift box' together for the local animal rescue, as a way of passing the love on?
Thank him for the love, for what he gave in his life, and tell him you know he still lives, though now in Spirit. And one day you will see him again. Shared love does not die.

Try not to be afraid and panic about your emotions. They are natural.
But don't forget your husband loves you very much too, so remember to show him kindness and understanding, even though you are in a lot of pain. He also must miss Teigo so very much.
People grieve differently also, so don't be upset if sometimes you feel he is 'moving on' quicker than you. Deep down he may be feeling things, and attempting to 'move on' can sometimes be a way of dealing with it. Also allow him to grieve in his own way, but show him you are there and you care and love him very much.
Hold the love like a little light. It is all you have, or will ever have, to find your way home.

Misty's Blog..a Dogfight with Cancer http://www.mistysblog69.blogspot.co.uk

Misty's life after death: http://www.dog2spirit.com
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Jackie-Thank you for your kind words. It is feeling quite unbearable at the moment, but it makes me feel better to know that it will start feeling somewhat more okay soon. Sorry for your loss of Jim, in reading your posts about him, he seemed to be a lucky pup.
I am finding it is easier to try to get through each hour rather than the day, since it just seems too much to handle at once.

Maryellen1952-Thank you for making me feel more normal about how I am grieving. I am trying to express my emotions, but find I am doing little more than crying so far. Hoping it will happen for me soon.

Mistysmama-He was the best dog, and was a gorgeous little man. I feel like maybe because I have not really had to grieve before, that I do not know what to expect and what it looks like. I have been eating, I just hate that it is something that I now find I HAVE to do, and not something that I do easily anymore. We are having Teigo cremated and will be keeping his remains in a place of honour in our house.
I am trying not to panic too much, but find I have been somewhat panicky throughout the past few days since it happened. It is always over little things though and never anything that would need any panic behaviour. It takes me thinking logically about it to calm down when I feel like this. I am hoping this stops soon as it is scary when I am in it.
I know he misses Teigo just as much as I do. He is able to deal with his emotions much easier than I am though, and I have noticed this since Monday. He is being my rock which I so appreciate. 

I just feel so upset because in less than 3 weeks he went from a happy and healthy pup, to gone from our lives forever. I am happy I found this site and such amazing people to go through my grieving process with.
Teigo's Mama
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I just wanted to say that I am so sorry for your loss and I know exactly what you are going through. I lost my Cupcake suddenly yesterday and I don't really know up from down at the moment. I feel your pain and I too am feeling unbearably sad at the moment. I have never really lost anyone either. This is the worst thing that I have ever experienced. Teigo was beautiful, what a majestic looking gentleman, and I hope that Cupcake got a chance to meet him yesterday. Written with love and prayers for peace,

-Sierre B.
With Love,

Sierre B. 
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Your post made me smile. He was quite the gentleman, and my husband and I were looking over photos and videos of him last night and smiling at how he would pose when he knew someone was taking pictures of him. I hope he and Cupcake were able to meet yesterday as well, and that they could run and play and sniff everything they want, without being in pain anymore.
Teigo's Mama
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Mistysmama, what you have described is the exact same pain we are all going through and, no, it's not just hormones. It's the horrendous grief we suffer from missing our babies so much as we lived them so deeply. You were an amazing mum to Misty and helped her through so much and the final act of kindness and love is one of pure torture for ourselves but the greatest gift to bring peace to their suffering. Please try to accept that this gut wrenching pain is normal and something we have to go through so cry, shout, do all you need to express yourself my sweetheart. Take care of yourself, don't push yourself to go to work and wishing you all the best for the birth of your little miracle. Xxxxx
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I am so sorry for your loss of Teigo. He is so adorable! I related so much to your story. My dog Jake passed away on October 9th. His story started like Teigo's, started coughing, and then we noticed he was coughing up blood. He had cancer that probably started in the spleen and spread throughout his lungs. When he got sick I did not leave his side. I couldn't go to work, I couldn't leave him. He was sick for about a week. It was so painful to watch. On his last day it was clear he was ready to go, and we called a vet to come to the house and put him down. He was really suffering at that point. After his death, I took another week off of work. I couldn't function. Like you, I was crying constantly and hurting and missing him terribly and had so much guilt. I have never experienced devastation like I did with the loss of Jake. Like Teigo, he was my baby, my child, my soulmate. It will get better. I can't say that the intensity of the pain has lessened, but the frequency has. It was terribly hard to go back to work. But has gotten better over time. I too, lost weight when jake passed. You are very strong and a great mom for making yourself eat to nourish your new baby to come. It was very didficult to eat for a while. I have a very close friend at work and we avoided eachother for a long time because I knew I would just break down if I came near her. We are now together again quite often. It's still very very painful. I go to the pet cemetary every day to visit Jake. I just want to be near him. I know it seems like it can't possibly get better right now, but it does. It's a slow process, and sometimes you feel like you've taken two steps back. But time does help. I just want you to know that what you are feeling is completely normal and many of us feel and have felt like you do right now. You will be in my thoughts and Prayers. We are all here for you. Lots of big hugs to you.
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