Monday, January 12, 2015

Saying Good-Bye to Canine Family Members

 Thank you everyone for your kind thoughts. I will probably not be responding to the posts on this one. It seems that our dogs tumor had ruptured, which is why went from an active but awkward pup to crying in pain in less than five days.

Long time blog readers know that I am a dog person in the extreme.

 I have blogged more than a few times about my pets. I adopted a Labrador and a beagle in 1997 and 1996 respectively. Being the people we are, in this house, dogs are family.  We made an emotional attachment and a commitment.  We took our dogs with us to Germany and back (the only two times in their lives they were ever in a crate), and nursed them through old age. The dogs slept with us and the joke was that  we could not get any more dogs-unless we first got a separate bed for hubby! I would not have given up having my puppies for anything. Magic and Elvis died in 2010 and 2011. While it was heartbreaking, these dogs had REALLY long lives (they were not puppies when they entered our home).  We knew their lives had been more than full and they were well loved.

My original intent was to not get a dog for quite awhile. The best laid plans as they say.  I was missing a dog, and casually looking online by January, after Magic left us the day after Thanksgiving.  They know when they have a live one on the line I suppose. My doggies foster mommy called me out of the blue one day and said that she had an out of town business meeting, and was I interested in babysitting Trevor.  This is where I ad that the reason my husband and I had never fostered-children or animals-is that we knew we would be like the lady in the shoe. Trevor was, as they say there to stay.  Not to do things by half, a few months later we welcomed Wilson, who obviously has no shame when it comes to the possibility of a belly rub. These dogs slept with my son and became more "his dogs" the second time around, but I was still Mom.

When Trevor came into our home he had already had a mast cell tumor removed from his right ear.  Shortly afterwards, another one was removed. In other words, we knew going in that our baby would have a short life, but one that was extremely well loved. (Trevor was not abused and we believe he was abandoned at the shelter as the owners could not deal with cancer, be it financially or emotionally).  Two years ago, he had a malignant tumor the size of a golf ball removed from his leg pit.  Since then, all had been well. Until a couple weeks before Christmas when a large, massive tumor appeared.  Which has been growing constantly at a rapid rate.. 

The time has come to say good bye. While he would eat if he were blind, deaf, dumb and crippled (he is a beagle after all), he limps when he walks, can barely move his head, no longer barks, and cannot get comfortable  even with medication.  While he is not a puppy, this situation is different for us. He is only eight years old, and has only been with us for three and a half years. We had to evaluate things such as surgery and chemo, which were not issues with dogs who truly died of old age. Making this end of life decision has been much more difficult than the decisions we previously made. After long thought we decided that his quality of life was most important to us, and putting him through any more was simply not right for Trevor.  My son and I agreed  that tomorrow he will call the vet.

It's always difficult to say goodbye to a family member, and in our house dogs are, truly, family.  I suspect that, unlike the last time, it will be quite a while before I think about getting another dog (my coon dog will okay with just me), for a variety of reasons.

This is a very sad time for us, but I cannot regret having any of my pets.  The love and reward that they have brought into our lives cannot be measured on any level. While this is a difficult time, we need to remember the last few years, and that Trevor has had a completely loved and very spoiled life since the day we met-which is the most important thing of all.


  1. I'm sorry for your loss. Trevor was loved and loved back and you have made a loving decision.

  2. We too had to say goodbye to Beulah our beloved Bassett Hound last week to cancer. She was with us about eight years and like your family we loved her much.

  3. My kindest regards to you and your son as you prepare for tomorrow and life without your Trevor.

  4. Trevor was very lucky to have landed in your house. Especially knowing what you already know about Beagles! (RJ, I'm sorry to read about Beulah too). Sad week for he dog lovers. Having gone through our Murphy (the Beagle's) gall bladder surgery and then death one week later--she never got out of the doggy hospital-- I think you are making the right decision. Murphy spent her last week on earth sick and in a cage at the vet. I would never have chosen that route if I knew that was how it was going to be for her.

  5. Ahhh, Barb, I am so sorry you have to say good-bye to your beloved fur baby. Trevor was lucky that you adopted him and you both gave him a good life. Sometimes the best thing is the hardest thing to do.

    God bless.

  6. So sorry Barb. We lost our golden last week to a probable cancer. He was in pain and we felt like you do - they deserve to end their lives as free of pain as possible. We have not been without a dog since 1973. The house seems so empty so we are adding to our family tomorrow. I am glad you still have a sweet baby to love.

  7. Oh, Barb, I know first hand that your heart is breaking. But I also know that you were a wonderful doggy mom to be able to do the kind thing when the time was right. Trevor will always be with you.

  8. Very sorry for your loss. Pets are a precious gift and their love and loyalty are priceless. Praying for you.

  9. I too have put a couple of dogs down, It was sad to do. Time will heal but you will never forget them, I suspect.


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