Our Dog Has Cancer

It’s a rather sad time for us right now.  We got the bone biopsy results back for Onyx and it does show it is cancer in his bone.  He still seems to enjoy life, but that leg is very painful for him, so after consulting with three vets and a few friends, we’ve decided to have the leg amputated.  He goes in next Monday morning.  This will not prolong his life, but give the life he has left more quality.

It’s a tough call for me.  I hate having his leg taken off if he’s only got a few more months to live anyway, but I hate seeing him in that pain that it’s causing.  The vets seem to think that with the removal of the leg, he will be in significantly less pain and so enjoy his life more.

I’ve seen so many people go through chemo and radiation and would never wish that on anyone.  Undergoing all that and having the last months of life be horribly miserable just doesn’t sit well with me, although I’m sure if one of my loved ones had cancer I’d be the first in line to sign them up for chemo….anything to extend their life.

It’s harder to lose people.  It’s easier to do the right thing, I think, with a pet.  Although easier, does not mean easy.

While I look at Onyx sleeping, I wish he would just drift off into the permanent sleep of death.  I wish he didn’t have to go through the pain, to  have such a hard time getting around, of having a leg removed, of having me make life or death decisions for him.

When is it ever easy to say to a long-time companion, “okay, today we are taking you to town and they are going to fill your body with poison and there is nothing you can do about it.  You’ll feel the solution go into your veins, your heart will stop, and you there is nothing you can do.”

I’m supposed to be the friend, the protector, the one he can trust now that his own body is failing him.

Did I say letting a pet go is easier?  Maybe it would be easier if I did not have to make the decision of when.  If I could ask him “Onyx, would you like to die today” what kind of answer should I expect? All beings, no matter the species, jealously guard their own lives, no matter if they are sick or hurt….the instinct to survive is stronger than the pain.

That’s what makes it so hard.

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