How do you know when it is time to say goodbye?

mosey in broncos jerseyMosey has had such a tough time the past two weeks. We came home from the unsuccessful trip to Ft. Collins and he was doing really well. Happy, energetic, huge appetite. Then a week ago Tuesday he woke up listless and not interested in food. He finally ate but was quiet all day. Wednesday he seemed fine…gobbled up his food and wanted to go on a walk. That afternoon he started vomiting and this continued all night. The following morning he was listless with such a sad look on his face that I really felt he was saying goodbye.

I have joined so many support groups for people dealing with cancer in their pets. Every post says the same thing. “You will know when it is time. Your pet will give you a look and you will just know”  The problem is…I don’t. Last Thursday, when he was so sick, I thought “this is it”. I phoned the vet who asked us to immediately bring him to the hospital . She said that her first priority was to make him comfortable. Once that happened we would make the call. (I cannot seem to say the words…”put him to sleep” “euthanasia.” I just keep saying things like “his time” or “time to say goodbye” but you know what I really mean.) Anyway, they put him on IVs for fluids and anti-nausea drugs. The vet phoned me in the afternoon and said that they had given him some baby food and chicken which he ate and had kept down. She said that if he continued to improve I could take him home that night.

I brought him home around 5:30 pm and kept him on a bland diet and anti-nausea drugs for the next few days. He looked totally fine…back to a big appetite, energy, happy dog. Monday was a warm, beautiful day so we brought Mosey to the park. He ran around chasing tennis balls and looking like his normal self. I was so very happy. But…in this horrible roller coaster of canine cancer…the happiness was short lived. Mosey woke up Tuesday with low energy. He hesitated before he ate, then finished his breakfast but slept all day. Yesterday was the same. Today, Thursday, he has no interest in food, no energy and just looks so sad. I fear this is the end…this is the “he will tell you” bit that I was fearfully waiting for…but I am just not sure. He will eat bits of much as I hand feed him. He perked up for a bit when we went to view the progress on an addition we are having built. (He loves the attention he gets from the construction guys). He is still drinking water.  The vet told me he will have good days and bad. Are these “bad” days with good ones to follow? Or is this the end? I honestly don’t know and am so afraid of making the wrong call.

Mosey at the park 1/20/14

They say that a day too early is better than a day too late and I don’t want Mosey to be in any pain. But what if there is no pain but his quality of life is gone? If he no longer enjoys food…or playing…or walks…or chasing his favorite tennis ball? Is that a life? Am I keeping him here for me…or for him?

I don’t know the answer today. But I need to figure it out really fast. I have decided to give it the rest of the day and , if he shows no improvement by tomorrow morning, take him to the vet for a second opinion. It is possible we may be saying goodbye tomorrow. Please pray for us and keep us in your thoughts. Pray that Mosey is pain free and that his journey is peaceful. Pray that I have the courage to do what is right. God…I hate cancer!


Diane & Mosey



2 responses

  1. Jean Schanberger | Reply

    Diane, my heart goes to you. You are asking all the right questions and seeking all the right prayers for guidance, strength and grace. In the 3 weeks between my Britany’s diagnosis of hemangiosarcoma (they told me she would not survive the weekend) and the day she told me it was time, we had ups and downs and a number of nights when her breathing was very labored and I lay awake thinking it will be tomorrow, then she would rally in the morning for her freshly cooked ground turkey. Then one Wednesday she didn’t, and after waiting through the day with her, in the late afternoon it was time. When I look back at pictures of those closing days I am saddened by her condition but recall her having engagement, interest and appetite. I wish I had better words of wisdom for you but failing that will pray for Mosey’s comfort and your strength when the time comes. Big hugs and much empathy your way.

  2. Dear Diane,
    I truly feel for you and totally understand what you are going through. Our beloved German shepherd, Walker had to be put down in Nov 2013. It was just heart-breaking and the hardest thing we ever had to do. I questioned our decision, but I think when you are having to make a decision like that, you always second guess yourself. I knew it was time when I looked in my sweet Walker’s eyes and it was like he was telling me how miserable he felt. He was our alpha dog out of four. It was so hard to watch him force himself to get up and go out with the other fur babies. He felt a tremendous responsibility. He ate a small hand full of food the last day, but he just looked so sad. I felt that if we kept him around it would for our own benefit. My husband and I spoke to so many people and some kept their pets around to the point where they had to carry them outside. I don’t think I could do that to the poor animal. I think human nature is to keep them around for us. We love them so much. Look into his eyes…..he’ll tell you. Lots and lots of youngs for you and Mosey.

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