About two months ago, my husband and I listened to the words that every pet owner dreads: “your dog has cancer”. Advanced lymphoma, to be exact. I knew that something was wrong when he had lost a significant amount of weight in a matter of weeks; then, one evening while we were playing, I felt a lump in his throat.
Looking at my nine year old boxer in the vet’s office, I just had a feeling he would be one of the many of the breed who succumb to some form of cancer. The doctor told us that it had most likely already metastasized, but that as long as we don’t feel lumps in other areas of his body, he should do well. We opted for a Prednisone regimen that we hoped would prolong the inevitable without any suffering.
Earlier this evening, I felt a tumor behind his knee. I know his remaining time is short, but I just can’t seem to prepare myself for life without him.
He is still a happy and playful boy, eats voraciously (more than likely due to the prednisone), and acts as if nothing has changed. Still, I know that this new lump is not a good sign. We won’t let him suffer; as soon as we feel that his quality of life is diminishing, we will make the call.
Don’t take a single day with your pets for granted. Every day with my dog and his brother has been a true joy. I know that I will never live in a home that doesn’t include animals, but I often find myself wondering if having pets is just too hard. I cannot imagine anything more agonizing than watching my dog every day and knowing that I am watching the final days of his life.