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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Circle of Life

Is that a face only a mother could love? If you knew this guy, you would love him too! He is 120 pounds of pure love and joy. He will be 10 years old next month, and we just found out that he has malignant Grade 3 mast cell tumor. Our hearts are breaking.

His name is Zack and he came into our lifes as an 8 week old puppy. He weighed 15 pounds that day and we had no idea he would get so big. He is a boxer/lab cross and has the best of both breeds in him. We think he is like Clifford the Big Red Dog....he grew so big because of all the love he was given. Zack has given it back two fold.

He is my shadow, follows me everywhere. Always looking to me, making sure all is well. I can no longer say the word "walk" without instantaneous excitement. We started spelling it...he figured that out also. He is our Big Galoot...he has captured everyone's heart.

Why does it have to hurt so bad? I can't stop crying....we all can't stop crying.

We have decided to just do palliative care at this point. We don't want him to suffer at all. When the time comes, we will give him peace and let him go with dignity....God, please give us strength to know when the time is right.

Zack has given us so much in his 10 years.....We love you Big Guy.


Fiona said...

Oh no.... I am SO sorry. Light and love to you all. Fiona, Yogi and Larry xxx

Anonymous said... heartbreaking!! I'm in tears!! I'm so sorry!!

Oh, and I would prune your roses if you'd like, but um...I have the least green thumb of anyone I know. My husband won't let me touch the houseplants. So...fair warning.

Give Zack a hug from me, too!

Debra w said...


I am feeling so sad for you, right now. The pain of knowing that you are going to have to say good-bye to family member, is absolutely heart-wrenching. Zack has been your faithful companion for 10 years, so please allow yourself to grieve, but also, make sure that you enjoy the time that you still have left with him.
Our dog, Elijah, passed away seven months ago, after three years of chemotherapy for lymphoma. He was six when he was diagnosed, and truly lived a great life until he was nine and we had to let him go. He went through so much, but he was the best dog that anyone could ever have. I still miss him terribly. Had he been ten at the time of diagnosis, I would have done exactly what you are doing. Palliative care makes sense in an older dog.

I am so sorry, Alison. Zack will let you know when he is ready to go. Until that time, I know that you will love him up with all your heart.

Big hugs,

Jeni said...

Losing a beloved family pet is every bit as painful as it is to part with parents, siblings, cousins, close friends as well. They are family, just as all the others are too. When my son's dog, Andrei, died very suddenly a year ago this past December, I know how it broke our hearts with his passing. I still mourn the dog I had back when I was in high school and he died 45 years ago this coming June. Best you can do, at your dog's age now, is try to make his last days with you as meaningful for you and your family and as painless as possible for him. My heart and prayers go out for you during this sorrow-filled time.

Jennifer said...

I am so heart is truly breaking for you. My husband is a veterinarian, so I know where you are right now. You are making a good decision for him though, the best one a friend can make. Hang in there!

Kim said...

We lost a boxer to mast cell cancer a couple of years ago. We still get choked up sometimes at the memory of her.

I'm so sorry. I understand the pain.

Jan said...

Loosing a four-legged family member is the pits. Sometimes it's so hard to know what to do. Sounds as if your making good decisions at a bad time. Good Luck to you and Zack.

laurie said...

oh, dear alison,

i am so sorry. i know how sad you are. i know how your heart is breaking.

i have read that chemo does not make dogs sick the way it does humans; that actually dogs feel some better on chemo because it shrinks the tumors and that relieves some of their unease.

i know whatever you do will be the right call and will be out of love for dear zack.

my heart goes out to you.


Anonymous said...

Awwwww. I'm so sorry. I feel your pain in your words. I wish I had something more to offer. How very blessed he is as well to be loved as he is. I pray your spirit is comforted.

Cynthia said...

UHG. That is very sad. Very, Very Sad!

ChrisB said...

Alison I'm so so sad for you all. I know how precious our pets are and I'm crying with you. You are doing the right thing for Zack even though it won't be easy to let him go when the time comes (hugs).

Irene Latham said...

Alison, I am so so sorry to hear this. Zack sounds like a wonderful companion - and handsome to boot! One thing my family did when our dog Lizzie was dying was make a little scrapbook of all her favorite things (and pics taken over the years). It really seemed to help us grieve and celebrate her life. It's been 3 years and the kids still flip through that scrapbook. Thinking of you during this tough time... xxoo

Megnificent said...

I'm so sorry, dear. ((((hugs))))

Tera said...

I'm so sorry. What a heartbreak to have to endure. I'll keep you all in my thoughts.

Chrys said...

I feel for you and your family Alison. My big galoot acts the same way as your Zach! I swear zach is a mastiff by his actions alone! I have a shadow too. Poor poor boy. Mastiffs life expectancies are only 10 to 13 years. He has had such a good life and family to take care of him. I can just see it in his eyes that he loves you! or you are holding food. LOL! Our family had to put down our beloved pet of 13 years. All of our children wanted to be there. At the time, they were 8yrs, 5yr, 3yr, and 1yr. There were wails of crying from the room. The children composed themselves long enough to get outside and fell apart again. I was glad that we were able to teach about life and death and another place to our children at a young age and not have to explain it to them over a grandparent or parent. We believe that just as Jesus Christ was resurrected all living things will be too. (there is comfort in that).

Aoj & The Lurchers said...

Alison, I have just caught up with your blog post about Zack and I just wanted to say how vey sorry I am. Knowing you are losing a much-loved pet is heartbreaking and my thoughts are with you all right now. {{hugs to you all}}

bermudabluez said...

I am so very sorry to hear about Zack. He looks just like my big guy. I so understand and my heart goes out to you. Hugs to both you and Zack.

FUN-ky Mama said...

I'm so sorry Zack is sick. I hope his time left is as peaceful and painless as possible.

lisa's chaos said...

Kisses to Zack! I'm sorry.

suchsimplepleasures said...

oh honey...i'm so so sorry to hear about your pup!! i just lost my kitty, back in oct. it's so sad!!
give him lots of hugs and kisses!!
and, some from me, too!!
take're in my thoughts!!

Laura McIntyre said...

Oh im so sorry, i have never had a dog to understand just how close you can get to them but saw how upset my MIL was when her dog died last year. Keeping you and your family in my thoughts