A painful decision to make…

Blaze’s lump 3 weeks ago…and below, just before I wrote this.

About 3weeks ago, I noticed a hard, protruding lump sticking out from my dalmatian’s front left leg. It seemed to have developed over night. The next day I took him to the vet and he was almost immediately diagnosed as having bone cancer. 15 minutes later an X-ray confirmed the worse.

The vet told us osteosarcoma is fairly common in dogs and there’s nothing they can really do. Amputation is an option, but strickly for pain management. You can’t save a dog who has bone cancer. It is in the bloodstream and settles next in their lungs. He told us in 26 years of being a vet, amputation only helped one dog live to a ripe old age, where he didn’t die from cancer. It is very bleak. He’s already 12, going on 13, so we know he’s lived a long life, but still, it’s difficult to face euthanasia. I feel guilty doing it, even though I know it’s the best thing for him.

In the 3 weeks since he was diagnosed, the lump has doubled and looks like a baseball wrapped around his leg. We know we have to put him down-and soon, but it’s so difficult. We are noticing he still has signs of life in him, despite his limping and the ever growing tumor. But, nothing can be done and I believe this is the week we will have to say goodbye to him. I’m having a really difficult time calling the vet to come to our house on Wednesday, the only day he can make house calls. I feel it will be best to have Blaze die at home where he is comfortable and calm. Just the ride in the car is nerve wracking for him and going to the vet fills him with anxiety. I don’t want him to feel that way moments before he dies. I want him to be calm and happy, as happy as a dog can be who has a painful bone cancer growing in his leg.

Just wanted to share this with you all….life can be so good and yet, there are times when it really sucks. This is one of those times. This old spotty dog is packing his bags for the rainbow bridge. I wonder if we see our animals in heaven. What do you think?
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17 thoughts on “A painful decision to make…

  1. I’m so sorry. We have two dogs, including an old-man-dog who though fine for all intents and purposes, is old, and I know we will be facing this decision soon enough. I can’t imagine what you are going through. It’s so difficult knowing that you have to make the decision, even though it is for the best. I like that you are letting him leave this world at home, and that his last moments will be peaceful. I do think we see our animals in heaven. I like to think that when my dogs go they will be welcomed to a huge dog park in the sky with green grass to run through, water to splash in, balls to chase, and milk bones to snack on. I’ll be thinking of you this week.

  2. I am so sorry to hear about Blaze. I know what you are going thru. We had a cat that had cancer and we had to put him down. I also grew up with a cat that we had for 18 years and had to do the same with her. It’s heart wrenching but the animals are better off.
    My heart goes out to you,Em.

  3. Blaze is one hell of a trooper and has a wonderful temperament. My heart goes out to you Em. And I think you are right about letting him go with dignity in a place that he loves. Home.

    Love,
    Kim

  4. Just ran across your blog and wanted to extend my support!! I waited too long to put my dear doggie out of his misery ~ it was for me, that I waited ~ not for him. You will be glad that you did the ‘right thing’. And I’m counting on seeing my old four-legged pals ~ I know they’re waiting for me!! Bless you ~

  5. Oh Em, I am so so sorry. Please don’t second guess yourself. You will be helping him by letting his transition to the other side be a peaceful one. Also, just so you know, all dogs go to heaven.
    HUGS,
    Tascha

  6. Em,
    So sorry that you are confronted with such a decision. But if I know you, Blaze has had a great life. You will be in my thoughts.
    Love,
    Karen

  7. I am so sorry to hear this. I just had to put my beloved pooh down a few months ago. It sucks, no way about it. Just remember you are doing what is best for him. To see the relief on their face when they pass and to know he is free of all pain. It is the best thing as a mom u can do.
    xoxo

  8. oh no…I’m so sorry. I went through this last year with my pekingese. So hard. Know that you are not alone in this, and the final act of love we can give our babies is the one that hurts us so much.

  9. Em, I made the decision to put our beloved doxie Sheila down almost a year and a half ago. It was hard, because she did not have a terminal illness; rather, her overal health was in severe decline. She was going blind and senile, and was often confused and defensive. She was 13 years old. I got no support whatsoever from my hubs or my dd because neither wanted to decide to do that and so they would rather not even deal. I was her caretaker day after day tho and saw her struggle. So I decided.

    Now, I am sooooo thankful that I was with her when they gave her the injection to put her to sleep. She passed in my arms, as I was stroking her and telling her the story of when she killed the squirrel in the backyard. It took about 30 seconds. She went so peacefully that they had to tell me she was gone. So many people have since told me they could not bare to be with their pet at the end and I am glad I faced it, cuz I know she was not afraid and just thought she was falling asleep in mommy’s arms.

  10. It’s so hard to say goodbye to pets who have loved us so well. I let go of my sweet cocker spaniel, Lucy, just over a year ago. I noticed she wasn’t eating right, just wasn’t acting like herself, one Monday and 8 days later she was put to sleep. I miss her still but I know I did the right thing for her…as you are doing for Blaze. My heart is with you this week.

  11. I am so sorry. We had to put down my kitty of 17 years after she had a stroke. I tried nursing her back to some semblance of health, but it finally became apparent that I was doing it for me, not her. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done, I cried like a baby. My heart breaks for you, but you must do what is best for your baby. You are in my thoughts.

  12. I haven’t faced that, yet…I have four dogs and the oldest is Bailey, who is 12 and thinks she is the mama to us all…I know that day is coming and I will certainly have her put to sleep, in my arms. I get sick just thinking about a day without her as my shadow, but you know, you have to think of your beloved friend, not yourself, right? You have always done the very best for him, right? You are being the very best friend to him, now…the very best. My heart goes out to you…
    xxx
    Paula

  13. Oh Em, I’m so sorry to hear about Blaze.
    I’ve been with my dogs when they have crossed the rainbow bridge and I’m so glad I was….it’s hard, but I can’t imagine them dyeing alone…that’s even more sad.
    Big lump in my throat for you.
    Of course are dogs are in heaven….it wouldn’t be heaven without them.

  14. oh sweetie, I’m so sorry. I love my babies more than sense and I can’t imagine having to go through something like that.

    you showed great courage and love and compassion for him and I’ll say a prayer for him today, knowing he is no longer in pain and running around across the rainbow bridge.

  15. I feel for you. I had to put my Annabelle down 2 years ago, almost to the day. It is such a hard decision. As I was saying goodbye to her, I told her she would be able to meet all of our familes pets that came before her. I’m sure we will have all of our pets back with us in heaven!

    Blessings,
    Christine

  16. I’m sorry you had to make this decision, even after you make it and are sure about it, the questions niggle at your mind. I’m glad the vet could come to your home, we did that same thing for Gabriel, I didn’t want him to die laying on a hard cold stainless steel table, with the antisecptic smell of the vet which just about all animals are afraid of. It’s good that you fur friend could go into a forever sleep at home with people he loved and that loved him. That’s the way it should be, together til the end, the last voice they hear, the last face they see, the last smell, Home.
    I’m glad you cared enough.

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