Shocked & Sad

We lost our Doberman Lilith to bone cancer a few years ago. The worst of it is, I think we kept her too long. She was so stoic, and we could always say, “Look, she’s eating all her treats!” or whatever. But I know she must have been in pain. Every day we were trying to push ourselves to the decision.
I’m so sorry this has happened.

I’m so sorry about Luca. Life is so precious and so are all our loved ones.

I’m sure that’s the logic we’ll be using and we have used it in the past. You look for any little glimmer of hope. Even now, my husband will say - did you see how good he’s getting around? He’s looking for any little sign that Luca is getting better. Which is not going to happen.

If she was still eating, and still moving around reasonably well –

if she did have some pain, consider that many humans who live with some pain nevertheless think their lives are overall worth living.

It’s difficult of course with creatures who can’t discuss the matter in human language to tell whether they feel that way or not. But I would consider an animal who’s not eating and is hiding in the back of the closet to be expressing one opinion, and one who is not only eating but is at least most days asking to go out for walks (or equivalent) and appearing to enjoy them to be expressing a different opinion.

Cancer in a pet is devastating to the owner.

Pets are our “fur kids.” We talk baby talk to them, we include them in conversation, and they own such a huge part of our hearts.

But cancer!

We WANT to cling to every hope, we try to disregard the enormous cost, and we think, “if there is any chance…”

But the reality is, the cost is typically prohibitive. If we love that pet enough, though, shouldn’t we try anyway?

Honestly? No.

Pets don’t have the reasoning we do. All they will get from chemotherapy or radiation is pain and sickness. And we will suffer that pain and sickness with them, ten-fold.

It’s best to simply love and cuddle and spoil your pet for as long as you can. And when the pet is clinging to you seeking something, anything, because you are everything in the world to that pet, you will know it’s time to say goodbye.

Oh, God, it hurts!

I love the “Rainbow Bridge” story. I draw a lot of comfort from it.


I’m so sorry you got such shocking news about your sweet Luca. About him letting you know…This will sound strange, but as sad as it is, there’s a certain beauty there. I went through this with my beloved lab–not bone cancer, another big dog ailment. My vet said those same words: “She’ll let you know.” I was sad and afraid. I didn’t want her to die in pain and desperation. What if I missed her telling me? How would I know? It wouldn’t be as obvious as her “Wanna Walk” dance. And what if she didn’t let me know? How could the vet be sure?

Then one day, I looked in her eyes, and I knew. She was telling me it was her time, and she needed my help. I can’t explain it, but it was pure, direct communication. I’d thought I’d be crying too hard to drive, but that look in her eyes steadied me. She was headed to the Great Perhaps, to use Larry McMurtry’s fine phrase, and it was my duty and honor to make the trip smooth, comfortable, and loving. It’s the first time I took her to the vet that she didn’t balk or seem nervous. At the last, I wrapped my arms around her, thanked her for all she’d given me, and told her I’d love her always. She drifted peacefully away.

I still miss her. I still love her. I’m at peace.

Blessings on you and Luca.

We had a black lab who loved going for walks. At age 13, he had a melanoma in his mouth. The vet said that treatment would only prolong his life by 4-6 months. We opted not to treat it, and just made his life as good as we could. One day, when we said “want to go for a walk?”, he got up and went to the front door. He took the lead, as usual, but his head was down. He wasn’t looking around. It was very obvious that he was not feeling his usual energetic self. We made that tough decision. He was a very good dog.

I am also so sorry for you, the family, and Luca. I liked the way you described him as “squishy” My dog Mauser is smaller, a dachshund, and he is not squishy, but solid.

Sounds like you have a good vet there.When it’s time lean on us.