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Living with Loss


KayC

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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

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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. :(     

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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.

 

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@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

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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.

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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...

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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.    

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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.

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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

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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...

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.
 

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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.

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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.

 

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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!.

 

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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,

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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He's not too keen on having capsules shoved down his throat but it's always followed by a treat so he endure it...if he ever loses his appetite for treats, I'm in trouble!

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3 hours ago, KayC said:

He's not too keen on having capsules shoved down his throat but it's always followed by a treat so he endure it...

Ah yes.  I remember those times.  I used to make my hubby my own healthy recipe oatmeal cookies for his afternoon snack.  Bear loved when the crumbs would drop and he'd lick them up.  So I took to making teeny cookies as treats.  He knew if he took the loathed pill or capsule that he'd get a cookie--it was one of the words he knew well.

I'm thinking about you and Arlie and sending you strength and love to get through this time together, to enjoy each other as long as possible.  Each good day we have with those we love is such a gift.  We should never forget that.

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On 6/17/2019 at 10:39 AM, KayC said:

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.

That is very odd that the vet never mentioned the tumor, doesn't sound very thorough unless they thought it was just a fatty tumor.  Even in that case, they should have discussed it with you.

I hope the growth is slow and will respond well to all that is being done for him, including the prayers.  I will keep him in my prayers too.  

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So sorry to hear that.  I went through that with one of my cats and it was a horrible feeling to watch it progress.  Hers eventually opened.  That's when I knew it was time.  Enjoy the present time!

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It's so sad a story, please spend more time with your dog:  everyday, even every hour matters. My baby guinea pig passed away right at the time I didn't have time to take good care of her, look after her. Even money cannot bring her back now. Pets often give us unconditional love, they deserve every good thing from us, even time.

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Thank you, I do already, I have been retired 5 1/2 years, so glad I don't have to go off to work and leave him anymore.  We walk twice a day, every day, even if the weather is horrid, even if I'm sick.  He gets belly rubs every day.  I cook for him and give him treats.  He's one very loved dog, he's my life!

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KayC,

I'm so sorry to hear about your soulmate, Arlie.  (And I'm so sorry to hear about your "friend".)  I had to make a similar decision about my little girl 10 days ago, and I've never hurt so badly in my life.  I was her caretaker as well, and we had our little routines.  Certain medications were compounded and mixed into her food, while others were buried in treats.  She got medicine three times a day, and then eye drops every other day (followed by treats for being such a good girl and putting up with it).  Right after she passed, I felt like a chunk of my chest had been carved out.  But I also felt so dang useless!  I was used to cooking her food when I cooked mine and putting her little medicines together every six hours, and I cried through every meal I cooked last week.

We rescued Hopi 8 years ago and she held me together with the strings of her love during some very difficult times.  My arms feel empty without her.  She made an easy tote, given that she was only four pounds, and she loved to be carried EVERYWHERE.  She sat with me on the couch and slept in my bed, and the cold pillows I've tried holding instead of her make for pitiful substitutes.

The day she graduated from her body, she was fully mentally clear, had eaten breakfast with fervor, and had not entered any sort of slow decline into depression.  She had a fighting spirit and had survived so many near-death experiences and was thriving despite her chronic illnesses, that I just thought she'd keep on beating the odds until she died in her sleep one day.  She started loosing weight pretty quickly a few months ago - she lost 20% of her body weight in April alone, and you could feel her spine and bones a little more with each week.  Eventually, she didn't have enough muscle to keep her abdomen together, and developed a large hernia on her belly and one on her back near her tail.  The one on her back would only stick out sometimes, and we'd gently massage it back in because she couldn't pee when it was sticking out.  We thought it was her guts or something, but we found out the day she passed that it was her bladder, and not even the specialist could massage it back into place that morning.

We faced two options - paying between $4K-$5K to patch her back together, or letting her go.  If we chose the operation, they would have to put her under anesthesia twice - once for the CT scans and to work up a plan for the operation, then again for the operation itself (if it looked viable).  There was a very high probability she wouldn't come out of anesthesia the first time, let alone the second time.  This little girl was a little seasoned at 18 years of age.  But she was such a fighter that I thought, well maybe she would.  But she had been loosing muscle at a quick rate, and even if they found enough left to sew together she probably would have developed more hernias during recovery.  And that was the other thing - there wasn't much chance for a full recovery, and the life she would have lived after surgery would have been miserable and painful.  She's such a good girl and has done so much for me, and like you, I just couldn't put my sweet baby through that kind of torment.  

There are a couple of things that have eased the sharpness of my pain when it gets really bad, and I wish I could have prepared them a little better before Hopi's passing.  You may have done these things in the past, or they may seem a little too kooky, but I'll share them just in case.  One thing is that I've got a "proxy dog" - a singing chihuahua toy my mom gave me one Christmas.  If I knew Hopi was going to pass when she did, I would have let her snuggle with it beforehand and get her slobber all over it.  Currently, this little stuffed animal sits in Hopi's doggie bed wrapped in her blanket, which still has Hopi's scent on it, and when things get really bad I keep it on the couch with me or snuggle with it in bed.  It sounds so crazy, but talking to Hopi via this stuffed animal or sitting with it for a bit dissolves the sharpest pangs of grief.

The other thing I've done is to pray, asking for my grandma to take care of her until I see them again.  I wish I could have told Hopi who to meet up with ahead of time, it would have comforted me that day came, but it all happened pretty quick in the end and I hadn't thought of it fast enough.  I'm not sure if your husband was an animal lover or if Little Boy knows someone on the other side already (or if you believe that animals live on afterwards, for that matter!), but if so, it may be good to talk to him about it.

All of this is so new to me.  I'm a civil/structural engineer and am a bit out of my element here, discussing the afterlife and talking to stuffed animals!  It's very weird, but I'm trying just about everything I can until Time can do a little work on my heart.  And since you are also a caretaker for your soulmate, I thought I'd pass along a couple things that I wish someone had told me before Hopi passed.

Take care,

Aaron

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Anesthesia is not an option for Arlie now.  Hiding treats in things doesn't work for him either.  Trying to jam a capsule down his throat is akin to doing it to a crocodile!  But so far the promise of a treat is working, I just have to make sure he swallows and doesn't spit out the pill.

Arlie has more stuffed animals and toys than he knows what to do with!  He has a huge basket full of them plus more by his bed, so I have plenty of them as reminders after he is gone, which I still don't want to think about yet.  Right now my focus is on taking care of him and giving him the best quality of life while I can.

And oh I pray!  I give him a full body massage every day, praying for him as I do it.  I have everyone I know praying for him, my church, family, friends.

In the last week Arlie hasn't balked at eating his morning food so I can only conclude that the supplements are helping his liver.  I'm so happy about that, maybe it'll bide us a little more time and help him feel better.
Last night he asked to go outside, so I let him out.  When I went to check on him, the gate was open and he was gone!  He learned how to open the gate!  He was at the top of our property, grinning!  (I was secretly so proud of him, he's so smart!)  But it's a mom's duty to be one step ahead of her kids, so I found something to put in the latch to keep him from opening it...if that doesn't work I have a back up plan.  ;)  All night he smiled!  I think he was rather proud of himself!  I had to get him back with pizza, I hadn't even warmed it up yet, when he heard the word pizza he was at the door!

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KayC, I am so sorry to read about Arlie and the pain you're enduring, so so sorry. I can't say and won't say anything cliche about knowing how you feel because your relationship with your baby is your own. All I will say is that I'm here if you want to talk about Arlie. You've been his momma for a decade full of mutual love, you and you alone know what's in his best interest and are strong and capable of doing whatever it is that needs to be done. Please take care of yourself and continue to show Arlie how much he's loved every chance you get.

With Love

Sent from my SM-J737T1 using Grieving.com mobile app

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He's drinking more so waking me in the night to go outside.  12:30 am...no going back to sleep, now it's 4:30, I know I'm going to be tired today.  But how do you go back to sleep with reminders that your baby is dying before your eyes, bit by bit?  I love that little boy with all of my heart.

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I'm so sorry you're going through this, KayC. It's so difficult to face each day, knowing how it will ultimately end. The feeling is just utter helplessness. I do know you're giving him all the love at your disposal which he knows. He knows how much you love him.

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Day before yesterday was a bad day, he was listless, his eyes looked sad, wasn't interested in walking although I coaxed him into a short one.  His best dog friend, Sammy, hasn't been able to play with him for over 1 1/2 years, so I contacted her owner and asked permission for the dogs to play together as I wanted him to have that ability before he gets too bad.  He enjoyed it, not a lot of energy, but I knew it made him happy to see Sammy again, even though he was exhausted afterwards.  Yesterday was a better day.  I guess it'll have it's ups and downs, one day at a time.

Last night I got a card from the church...it says When there are no words...there are always hugs.

I love how they even found one with a huge dog!  :)

 

Me & Arlie.jpg

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Kay❤️ I am so sorry to hear about your Arlie - his photos are precious and I can only say I know this pain only too well, you are not alone going through it. These  are precious days, Kay, and I know you are brave and loving enough to be there for him. Bless you both. 

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KayC, first of all, good to hear you've had another good week with your baby. And I know you're so very thankful for each day with him.

I certainly agree with your last statement. I thought more of my Lady G. than I do of most everyone I know. Only a handful of people mean just as much as that cat meant to me, and I am not ashamed to admit it.

Wishing you both the very best, KayC. Please give Arlie another big hug and kiss on the head for me.

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Drama is exactly the word that popped into my head - some people like it. I am so sorry you had to deal with that. :( 

Every day you get with him is a gift and I'm glad that he is stable and you can give him lots of love and he loves you back. (Unlike some people who are thoughtless!) Hang in there. 

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I talked with my son last night and he said it's preposterous that anyone could think Arlie would bite.  That made me feel better that he believes in him because he lived with us during college breaks in the earlier years and him and Jim and I know Arlie best.

Arlie has slowed way down, I'm not seeing him run anymore, it's only been five weeks, time seems to hold no meaning anymore, it feels like a long time yet just yesterday at the same time.  How news like this changes our lives completely in an instant.  

A friend's Chow has had cancer for a year, she's lost weight, you can count the bones in her ribs, shouldn't be, esp. on a Chow!  She can't crouch to poop anymore, poops while walking.  I hate to think of the suffering this dog has done.  Last night she passed away at 17.  I know her parents are heartbroken and my heart goes out to them in their loss but I can't help but feel relieved for her that she's out of her suffering.  I don't want Arlie to suffer like that, I pray I'll know when it's time...he still has joy, still eating well and holding it down.

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On 7/10/2019 at 6:28 AM, KayC said:

  I don't want Arlie to suffer like that, I pray I'll know when it's time...he still has joy,

Oh Kay.  You'll know when it's time.  As long as Arlie has joy in being with you, as long as that joy outweighs his illness, and as long as you see that, you will be together.  When the day comes that you realize you must place his comfort above your grief and pain, only then will it be time.  It's clear that you love him enough and are perceptive enough to let him go then and only then, even knowing how much it will hurt you.  We know what it is to love another more than we love ourselves.

You know how I feel about our pet loves and the afterlife.  Some day when you are once again with George, I know that Arlie will be there waiting too.  They will find each other because they both love you so much.  My love and I may have walked away from formal religion decades ago, but we always kept our faith.  I have faith that you will be granted the grace of being reunited with them for always.

Until then, keep the here and now in the forefront of your heart.  I am sending you hugs and love to help you both.

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I feel like he's going downhill so fast, I haven't even had time to process this, how can it have been five weeks yesterday?  I only want one more day with him...every day.  My sweet baby!

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I'm so sorry you're having to go through this, KayC. It's just awful and devastating and so unfair. There's just never enough time. Please know that my thoughts are with you and Arlie. 

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Marty, grief counselor, gave me this article:

Crossing The Rainbow Bridge: Signs That The End of Life Is Near 

My dog Teddy had cancer but we had him put to sleep when he bit someone as we knew it had affected his brain...he didn't get far advanced in the dying process though.

Arlie had a good day yesterday, I even chased him around the house, he smiled a lot and ate 1 1/2 hours earlier than usual in the morning.  I think that was my sign that it is NOT time yet.  I just hope I'll know when it is time, I really don't want him to suffer.  Obviously he's not as comfortable as he'd be if he was well, organs aren't working optimally, especially his liver but so far he's eating & drinking and his stools look healthy...I take that as nothing less than miraculous, especially 5 1/2 weeks after learning his liver is barely functioning.  I think the SAM-e and Milk Thistle are helping.  I plan to take him to his favorite park today if he's up to it.  He went outside at midnight and won't come in until breakfast time at 6 so will wait and see how he's doing.

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