Friday morning at about 10:00am our vet called us. It turned out that weird empty space was just an oddly large fat deposit. She evidently had a small liver and spleen which weren’t causing any significant problems, but they were oddly small for her size. Hence the fatty area. But that is where the good news stopped. Instead, we were informed that she had:
- A small heart that was struggling to supply her 90lbs body with enough blood. Her heart was weak. Very weak.
- Thickening of her small intestine and colon indicated advance stage lymphoma. But, regardless of the suspicion of lymphoma, the fact was that the walls were so thick that her intestines had stopped working. As in, she could no longer process food. Anything she ate would have to come out via vomiting. Hence, the recent increase in vomit episodes and the lack of eating.
- Internal bleeding.
We were and still are in a state of complete shock. She appeared completely fine just a few days earlier. We had no idea just how sick she was and clearly had been for a while.
I still cannot help but think that she was only 7 years and 4 months old (to be precise) – she’s way too young to be this sick. She was a rescue dog, and we had always assumed she’d live a long life due to her mixed breed status. I feel like she was cheated out of the life she deserved. I feel like our while family was cheated out of thr life she deserved.
We had a very honest discussion without vet on our options.
- Option 1: If our dog definitely had lymphoma we could try 18 weeks of chemo. We would have to do more extensive testing and more invasive procedures to determine the exact nature of the suspected lymphoma. However, her and the second opinion vet both agreed that it would not be curable. Treatment would simply give her more time, assuming her heart could handle treatment and assuming they could get her digestive tract to start working again. Honestly, we knew this wasn’t an option – we knew we wouldn’t put her through chemo, especially if it’s not a curable cancer.
- Option 2: IV Fluids, prednisone and appetite stimulant. Hopefully this would kick-start her digestive tract again and she may live a few more weeks.
- Option 3: IV Fluids and prednisone for a few days. The intent of this would be to give us time to say goodbye, hopefully through the long weekend. Given all her ailments and the state of her intestines, she really only had a matter of days left.
Our vet did not pressure us, and respected our very first comment that we would not let our dog suffer just for our sake. We simply couldn’t do that to her, even if it meant we were saying goodbye 5+ years earlier then we ever thought we would. Much to our surprise, I was the one that was adamant that we couldn’t prolong her suffering even just to buy us a few more days with her.
And so, we chose to let her go Friday to end her suffering immediately. When we told our vet our decision, she put it perfectly:
Our dogs give us all their love, unconditionally. And when they are this sick, we have to give all our love back to them.
She was right, this decision was made solely in our love for our dog and for her wellbeing.
The clinic booked the appointment for the end of the day, so our vet would be available and so that we could have the rest of the day together. Mr. MPB and I took the entire day off (not that either one of us could possibly have worked even if we wanted to). We spent the day together, just the three of us, just like old times before Little MPB. We went to the park, where she barely walked. We offered her all of her favourite foods, to which she declined everything. We sat with her, we cuddled with her, we cried for her. We apologized for not being able to help her. We tried to tell her just how much we love her.
We left early for the appointment so that we could pick up Little MPB from daycare to give him one last play at the park with his Puu-py. Of course, he didn’t understand and he chose to play on the playground instead. We then dropped him off with friends for a visit while Mr. MPB and I took our sweet girl to the vet one last time.
We sat with her, our vet sat with all of us, and we stayed with her until she took her last breath. And then we stayed a little longer, sobbing over what had just transpired.
For the last few days, our little boy has walked around the house shouting Puu-py as he searches for his best friend. And he decided the night she died was the perfect time to say her real name for the first time.
We are completely and utterly devastated. Saying goodbye to her might just be one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.
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