Jump to content

CHAT NOW!

Enjoy the benefits of Premium today.

Share Your Loved One's Pictures

In our beautiful Gallery

Grief Support Marketplace

Check Our New Products In The Marketplace

Take Grieving.com on the Go!

Buy on Apple and Google Play
KayC

Living with Loss

Recommended Posts

KayC

I just found out yesterday that my dog has cancer and his numbers are off the chart.  Arlie is my soulmate in a dog.  I already lost my husband, it'll be 14 years June 19.  Arlie was my companion, my best friend, my everything.  He is what has kept me going the last ten years.  It was supposed to be a routine teeth cleaning, instead he's been handed a death sentence.

I don't have money and have already had a "friend" hand out judgment, I don't need that.  I need someone to sit with me as we live out what is left of his life.  I talked with someone who went through it with her dog, she spent $8,000 and a whole lot of treatments and in the end she lost her soulmate in a dog...she said if she had it to do over again, she wouldn't put him through all that.  I also have friends that had two dogs, age 1 and 2 go through it, one of them lost his leg, they went through all the treatments just to lose them both a few months later.  They said they felt they had to try because they were so young, but it was hard for the dogs to go through.

Please, I don't need judgment, I love my dog more than anything in the world, he is my baby and I don't know how I'll live without him when the time comes.  I've always feared this.  He's half Golden Retriever and half Siberian Husky, the Golden's average life span is 9, the Husky, 10-12...Arlie is 11.  He's lived with acute chronic colitis all his life, I've had to cook for him, he can only tolerate up to half of his diet in dogfood.  I have no idea how I'm going to bear this.  I don't want to be all sad around him.  Last night I laid on the floor with him and he gave me a kiss.  His kisses are so thoughtful and deliberate, he's not one to just go around kissing everyone all the time, they're more like a special gift.

The picture on the bottom was the one that made me know I was going to adopt him, he was a year old and I fell in love with his smile.

 

Arlie at Paul's.jpg

Arlie running free XS.jpg

Arlington.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AJWCat

Oh @KayC No!!

I am so so sorry to read this. Sweet Arlie. He is one happy go lucky dog these are great pictures.  
You've been worried about his getting up in age for a while and now this sudden diagnosis. UGH. I wish there was something to say or do. I know how hard this is. You know my last cat was taken from me very suddenly. But the two before that were both lymphoma and so I was the one that eventually decided on the day when enough was enough.

You are always here for everyone and so so giving. Please keep writing to talk this through as you want to and as you need to. No judgment whatsoever. With you in spirit and sending you strength. Arlie is so lucky to have you. Enjoy every moment with him, although I know you always have. Please keep us posted. :(     

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
foreverhis

Oh Kay, I know how that doggie smile simply melts your heart.  That was our wonderful Keeshond.  Keeshonds were bred to care for the children on the canal barges and are called "the smiling Dutchman" because they have such expressive faces.  Our baby's smile could light up a room and lit up our lives for almost 15 years.

My heart is simply breaking for you both.  Please know that I would never offer you any judgment, just love and support.  Your Arlie is beautiful in every way and so are you.

I'm sending you big hugs right now.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JES

@KayC  This is such sad news...I know how much you love him....and how hard to go through this.  We had to put our last Springer, Halas ( Halpal ) to sleep on my birthday in 2012.  I so understand how hard this will be for you.  Sending love and strength to both of you. Jeanne

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JellyBean04

Arlie is such a beautiful boy, I'm so sorry to hear this news. We were in a similar situation with one of our boys, a 12 year old Shih Tzu. It was heartbreaking. We didn't have the money for extensive treatment, I think our vet knew that treatment wasn't going to cure him so he told us the best option was just to make him comfortable. So that is what we did, he wasn't in pain and we let him enjoy the rest of his life and almost a year later, he passed away in his sleep.

It's hard to know what to do in this situation, they mean so much to us. I offer no judgment either, just thoughts and hugs.You helped me a lot through the loss of my old girl, and through this difficult time we are all here for you. I am thinking of you.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KayC

Thursday after getting the news, I couldn't sleep.  I'm at my son's now,will be coming home tonight.  My mind is on Arlie, missing him, worried about him.  He's everything to me, I don't know how to do life without him. He's been my joy, my companion, my protector, for ten years now.  Talking with my friend Jackie helped a lot.  It's going to be a tough year...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AJWCat

It'll be good when you get back to him and can spend time with him. There's no way to adequately describe your bond with Arlie, he's a consistent, loyal, reliable companion full of unconditional love. You are right it will not be easy, it can't be. I would say try not to think about the future, just be with Arlie now, one day at time.    

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KayC

That's the best advice you can give me.  It will be a struggle to do that as it's there in the back of my mind at all times, but I'll try to continually re-shift it into living in today, much the same as I've had to the last 14 years upon losing my husband.  I don't want robbed of the joy of each day I have with Arlie in the last bit of time we have together.  And I don't want my fears to assail him, I want him in peace and comfort.

  • Like 1
  • Hugs 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
catawampus

Hi KayC,

I'm so very sorry for the terrible news about your dear Arlie. It's just devastating. He's such a beautiful boy and clearly so full of joy and happiness. I'm sure you are as important to him as he is to you, and such news, sudden or otherwise, is nothing less than traumatic. I think you are making the right choice not to pursue treatment but rather make his last days on this earth as special and joyful and loving as possible. I would give anything could I have offered that to my dear Biscuit Boy. I know you must be dreading the inevitability of his diagnosis but I hope you are able to set aside your sadness enough so that you and Arlie are able to embrace the time he has left and eke out every bit of happiness possible.

You were so very helpful during my loss. You've helped so many of us on this forum. I hope that we can offer even a fraction of that comfort to you.

You're in my thoughts.

Biscuit's Dad

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KayC

Thank you so much.  The people here are very special to me, and bring me much comfort.  Arlie is getting lots of belly rubs and massages.  It helps in a way to know what is going on...before, when he wouldn't eat his breakfast, I thought he was working me to get easy cheese thrown in...now I understand he truly doesn't feel good and doesn't feel up to eating. His tummy is better at dinnertime.  But it's very hard living with this sentence hanging over us.  I can't ever take anything for granted again, like having your innocence stolen.  Life will never again be as it was. 

The first day when they called and told me, I cried, and he kissed me, as if to console me.  That really got to me!  My baby...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KayC

This weekend when I was at my son's, he said the sweetest thing to me...he said, "God had to give him an extra large body to fit all his personality in!"
It's true, he has more personality than any dog I've ever known, so ready to have fun and play games and be goofy!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
catawampus

It's so impossibly challenging knowing that your time with Arlie is limited, but I sincerely hope you have many good days left of tail wags, kisses, games and goofiness. And of course lots of love.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KayC

I've been told that by the time cancer shows up in the blood tests, they've had it quite a while, it's advanced, but I hope and pray the same thing, that we still have more time.  Today he is in good spirits and even had an appetite this morning, pawing at his food, wanting fed!  It's been a long time since he's done that, it made me very happy.  I guess these are the little moments I live for now.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KayC

Yesterday so called "friend" left a message on my machine that he wanted to know how I was doing, so I called him back.  I told him briefly about my weekend, but I noticed he hadn't said anything, so I said, "You're awfully quiet, what's up with that?"  He said very sternly and coldly, "WHAT are you doing for Arlie!"  He was eking judgment.  I said, "I'm not having this conversation!" and I hung up.  I'm done with him.  Should have known better than to tell him but what good is a friendship when you can't even tell someone your dog has cancer?  He's always been arrogant and socially inept but this takes it to a whole new level...a level I will not tolerate.  Lord knows this is all hard enough.

This morning Arlie again ate all his food without balking, licked his bowl clean.  It made me so happy!  Every day he is feeling well and with me is a good day.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AJWCat

Oh no sorry about that. It's good to hear Arlie ate well, I bet it did make you happy, always a good thing! I am glad it's slowly starting to be summer where you are and he can enjoy that too. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Filly

So very sorry to read about Arlie, Kay C!  Cancer is such a horrible disease, especially for our pets who can't tell us when they hurt.  All we can do is be watchful for the signs of behavior, appetite and appearance changes or opt for the expensive treatments that may or may not buy a little time.  

I am in the same boat with you concerning not having the money to opt for expensive treatments as I spent 1/2 of my savings on trying to save my Luna Roo (cat) from cholangiohepatitis and only bought a year's time -- thousands of dollars gone with my kitty.  The other 1/2 of my savings gone now with necessary home repairs.  Looking back, I wish I did not put her through all of the times taken to the vet, feeding tube, blood tests, etc.  BUT she still had a quality of life that I knew she wanted to live and felt I owed it to her to try.  In the end, the vets wanted to "treat her" again, but I decided no more.  She had fought hard enough and for long enough.

Cancer is different though.  I did not want to put either one of the 2 cats that I've lost through the invasive treatments.  With my little skinny cat, the vet even told me that she was not a good candidate and it may backfire if she stopped eating.  I watched for quality of life and waited for them to "tell me."  A wise older vet told me that only you will know when it is time, because you know Arlie better than anyone.  I feel that I made the proper decision with them even though it hurt so bad.

This is a very personal decision that only you can make and it is best to stay away from those who judge -- too many judgmental people in this world who have not walked in your shoes.  So much loss, I feel for you and everyone who has gone and are going through this and then the grief.

I have a vet appt. tomorrow with my last remaining cat for some ear meds, and I am petrified that they will find something wrong with her that I can't afford to treat. I am afraid of losing my 80 year old mom.  These 2 are all that I have left, my reasons for living.  So with complete understanding, I hope that the rest of Arlie's days are as good and happy as possible.
 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KayC

Filly,

Thank you, your words are balm to my soul this morning.  Today is my late husband's birthday, and in five days it'll be 14 years he's been gone.  I rejoice at his birthday but the anniversary of his death is so hard.  

Today Arlie again ate without balking this morning, I am grateful.  I also know it will not always be so, so I am thankful when he does feel good.  I have no idea how long we have together but I aim to give him a good last year or so and I know the things you say are true.  I've talked with my friends who have gone through this with their dogs.  I had a cat, King George, that had cancer but the vet euthanized him the moment I found out because he was suffering horribly.  Had he not been misdiagnosed I would have had him euthanized sooner instead of the horrid suffering he endured that last month.

Alas we can only do our best, but one thing is for sure, we love these animals more than life itself!  We'd do anything we could for them.  That anything does not happen to mean (for me) causing them to suffer more just to prolong their lives for my own desires.  Sometimes the kindest thing is the hardest thing to do.  I know how torn I feel because it's not a simple answer, it's with great struggle, but I feel this is best.  When he draws his last breath I know I'll be berating myself and crying out in agony, for that is how grief is.  It knows no logic, it is a myriad of feelings to contend with, to process, to get through. 

But I thank God for this place and for the kindness of strangers no more, helping me through this.  God bless each of you.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
foreverhis
15 hours ago, KayC said:

We'd do anything we could for them.  That anything does not happen to mean (for me) causing them to suffer more just to prolong their lives for my own desires.

Kay, this is clearly what your judgmental jerk of a non-friend does not understand.  What are you doing for Arlie?  You're loving him and taking care of him and giving him the best life possible, just as you've always done.  Arlie is showing you that he loves you deeply.  I believe animals understand us better than we do ourselves at times.  He wants more than anything to make you happy, so he eats his food and keeps strong to be with you. 

You already know through sad experience that life is fragile and precious.  I wish I had the words to comfort you through this nearly impossible time.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KayC

Thursday eve. I went to one of those high pitched sales things that sells scents, diffusers, pills, etc.  Starting kit $780, up to $1500, yeah right.  Cheapest thing was $57, I passed.  But I did learn something, I can give my dog Milk Thistle and SAMe for his liver!  I take them both myself and checked the ingredients on line, they're both okay.  I started him on the Milk Thistle yesterday and if he does okay will add the SAMe in a week.  (Never start on two products at the same time, if something's wrong, you won't know which one it is).  It'd be great if that would help, plus the SAMe is also good for mood elevation and joints as well as anxiety.  So happy to discover this!.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AJWCat

Interesting, anything to make him feel good. My husband takes SAMe - it's bigger in other countries. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
+Jeffrey+

KayC,

I am very sorry to hear about your precious dog, Arlie. I am just now seeing this thread for the first time, and feel terrible that I didn't see it sooner and respond. I posted in my Lady G. thread yesterday, but did so through a direct link from my email, which bypasses the forum home page. I always do it this way because it takes me right to my Lady G. thread. 

You have been so very kind and helpful to me during my difficult time, and I am so thankful for your help..

I certainly wish you and your sweet Arlie all the best, KayC. And if you don't mind, please give Arlie a big hug and kiss for me,

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Filly
On 6/14/2019 at 10:50 AM, KayC said:

we love these animals more than life itself!  We'd do anything we could for them.  That anything does not happen to mean (for me) causing them to suffer more just to prolong their lives for my own desires.  Sometimes the kindest thing is the hardest thing to do. 

So very true!  Oftentimes, letting go is the last & best thing we can do for them.  I'm happy to hear that Arlie is eating!

It's good to read that you are looking into natural ways to help Arlie.  You are in a prime location for CBD oil too.  I've read good things about it for both humans and animals.  My friend used it when he was dying from lung cancer and it came from Oregon.  It helped with the pain, nausea and the anxiety.  I would certainly trust mother nature before chemo/radiation if I or my cat had cancer, along with diet changes. It was not available for me to try years ago with my other cats. 

Just a thought for something else you could look into.

https://sitstay.com/blogs/good-dog-blog/cbd-oil-for-dogs-with-cancer

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
foreverhis

Kay, I want to post a little poem I wrote for our wonderful Keeshond, nickname Bear.  It started as four stanzas, but I ended up keeping only the last line of each one.  He was our knight in black and white fur with a heart as big as the world.  Although it's sad, it also says how we feel about what he gave to us.  It's meant to comfort and remind us about real love.  Your precious Arlie will be with you always.

 

Bear

Our home is warmer because he lived in it

Our hands are gentler because they caressed him

Our hearts are stronger because he loved us

The generous soul who was our Bear

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KayC

Filly,

I read that article and yes I'd consider it.  His tumor has grown this month.  It's odd to me that the vets never mentioned his tumor, it's at that place where so many crucial organs intersect.  If it continues to grow I'll have to have him put to sleep sooner rather than later as it will definitely have side effects I do not want to put him through.  I also have a lot of people praying for him as I do every day when I massage his tummy.

foreverhis,

Thank you.  Funny you called your dog Bear, I've called mine Little Boy or Moose.

  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
foreverhis
2 hours ago, KayC said:

Funny you called your dog Bear, I've called mine Little Boy or Moose.

Moose.  Based on your wonderful pictures, it's fitting.

I'm glad you're trying some homeopathic treatments to help Arlie feel better and stronger.  We used a couple of things for Bear's arthritis in his last couple of years.  Our vet saved steroids for bad flare ups and rarely prescribed anti-inflammatories because some are toxic to dogs (and cats) and others can be harmful, especially for older dogs who have kidney issues like Bear did.  She prescribed safe homeopathic supplements and keeping him active without straining his joints.  They helped.

I hope that the Milk Thistle and SAMe help give you and Arlie more good time together.  He sounds like such a special soul.  I'm glad you found each other.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

This site uses cookies We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. and uses these terms of services Terms of Use.