Sunday, September 13, 2009


OK, so it isnt exactly Monday, but I cant sleep and never have times on Monday to get on the computer anymore. So I figured the "kids" friends wont even know what day of the week it is anyway, right?

Max is still coasting along day by day. When people ask how he is doing, I always hesistate. What do they want to hear? Our common answer... "He is fine"? But inside I am screaming, "He is NOT fine! My baby boy is dying and I dont know each day how much longer I have!". No, I dont want to throw that at someone everytime they ask the question. So the common is response is "He seems ok for the time being". Then I get the sad nod.

This weekend I attended a Pet Loss Bereavement Class. I want to face head on what is coming and be prepared for what I will be facing. While discussing the many emotions of Expected Loss, one of the things they mentioned was Spontaneous Remission, which I recognized myself going through this past week.

During his early morning walks, Max seems to become more alert and his walk seems to get better. Oh, he still has a bit of a limp, but he takes longer strides and is eager to sniff everything he can drag me too. Yes, he still is strong enough to pull me if he wants to go in a different direction, or isnt done sniffing when I try to walk away. During those moments I can actually forget there is a cancer eating away his bone. This is what they call Spontaneous Remission. We think the dog is better or getting better. This is when I need to remember, it is most likely all the smells and change in enviorment that has uped his adrenaline enough to ignore the pain and explore as he likes.

Understanding this is going to help me to continue to be careful on his walks, and to not take him on "longer" walks, as I attempted on Friday. He did well on the walk, however, I could see how exhausted he was when we returned. He didnt even have the energy to go to his water bowl, I had to bring the water to him. He has been starting to eat a little less each day, sometimes barely touching his food. I was hoping it was due to heat, but that may just be a hope. Yesterday I pulled out a can of dog food, which we NEVER feed them, and both of them almost tackled me to get to it. I was able to put just a few teaspoons into his dry food and he licked his bowl clean. It seemed to wake up his hunger as he then went sniffing for more food. And he finished off his evening meal with no problem.

This brings us to a new question. How far do we go to get him to eat? If he doesnt want to get up to eat, do I bring it to him? Do I spoon feed him? I dont know. I am just facing each question as it comes. Our final answer will be the day he doesnt want to get up at all. Not even with the walking leash dangling in front of his face. That will be my baby boy telling me, "I am ready to go home".

Im sorry for the depressive state of this posting. Please forgive me for causing the Kleenex to appear. However, on this note, I also want to thank everyone who has read and posted on our blog, for all the support and encouragment and nice words. The class I attended this weekend, was back to back with a Pet Loss Support Group, which I stayed for. It was nice to have an enviroment to speak the words outloud that I am sharing on this blog and it was an honor to share with the group, what a fantastic community of pet lovers we have from these blogs. A human hug is the best, but hug comments do wonders just as good!

So to end this on a better note, I am now going out to hug and love on my babies. And hey... the sun is starting to pop it's head up, so I think I will also grab a leash and get all of us some fresh air and sniffies! Here is to a better week!

Love Sasha (The Princess) & Max (The Dude)'s Mom!


Mango said...

It helps to say the words out loud. Momma says it is important to set boundaries beyond which you will need to help Max over the bridge. Doing that helped her to ease Raja and Angus along.

Sounds like Max is still having good days and enjoying your company. Maybe he would enjoy some special foodables right now like white rice and boiled chicken.

Smoochie kisses to you all.


pam said...

I think it's really good that you're being pro-active and going to the support groups now. I so wish I'd done that when I lost my baby boy.

Here's a virtual hug from me.


dewdana said...

I have really never been through this with a pet since Moose is really the first pet that I have had since childhood, but I think you are handling it very well. Getting support is so important and you are lucky to have found such a group. If it were me I think I would go to extreme measures to encourage eating since it will be only be possible to gauge their quality of life if they are nourished enough to express that. I think not wanting to go for a walk would be a good sign. But then, you know your guy better than anyone so I don't presume to second guess! Hugs to all of you!
Moose + Dana

Honey the Great Dane said...

I agree with Dana (Moose) - I would also do all to tempt his appetite - let him enjoy what time he has and the more nourished he is, the more energy he will have to make the most of now. Maybe not feeding him but certainly offering extra yummy (smelly) foods even if they're not supposed to be "proper" health foods we would normally feed our dogs. It's time to bend the rules now, isn't it, and make sure Max enjoys everything he can?

It's great that they have those pet loss support groups in America - that's so progressive. Honey is my first dog so I haven't experience losing a dog yet but when we lost Lemon, one of the hardest things we had to deal with - aside from our own pain - was everyone constantly belittling her death and saying thing like "Well, it's only a cat - when are you going to get another?"!!!

Anyway, I'm sure you are doing everything possible for Max and you know him best - so I think you will just "know" when it is time - and not just necessarily based on any specific actions (for example, Honey is the laziest dog in the world and won't even get up for a walk now when she is fit & well - we always have to practically kick her off her bed or haul her up to get her out the door - once she's out, she's full of beans but she never shows any enthusiasm for a walk - so if I used that criterion, God, I'd be putting her to sleep in 5 seconds!)

Anyway, just to wanted to add another "cyber hug" and to say that we're thinking of you from far away.

Hsin-Yi (& Honey the Great Dane)

Anonymous said...

Dear Max and Sasha's Mumma,
Don't apologise for such a sad post, I think it is healthy for you to be talking about the reality of what you and Max are going through.
I definitely think bending the rules about feeding is a good idea. The great thing about dogs is that they often love food that is still pretty healthy like chicken and rice.
I am glad you have a support group to go to, and wonderful that you are being so proactive.
Don't forget to take things one day at a time, and enjoy all the good times too (which it sounds like you're doing :0)

sending cyber hugs and cyber smooches,
Mr Darcy and the Darcy Mumma

Allison (Dog Mom) said...

Our paws are with you! Treasure every moment!

Gus and Waldo

Cowen Family said...

Mindy, I love it that you have such an amazing support system here on the internet! I am so sad to read your posts. I haven't blogged or read in probably almost 2 months! I am praying for you! Please let me know if you need anything! I miss you!