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Posts: 4
Hi all. I am new and this is my first post.
My dog Jax is a 13 year old jack Russel. He got super sick in November and in December he developed a huge lump on the side of his neck that we had removed with surgery. The vet was heaven sent and truly fought for him in surgery. She tried to remove all the cancer but it already spread to the main veins and arteries in his neck and she couldn’t risk rupturing them which would be fatal. He didn’t recover well and almost died the night after surgery. I cried my heart out that night all night long hoping he would make it back to me after the meds knocked him out for days. Luckily he did but a part of me almost wishes he would of passed away back then instead of this slow torture he’s been enduring the last few months.
Well the lump ended up being malignant and she said we only had a few weeks/months with him.
Now it has been almost 3 months after the surgery and I feel like I am losing my mind. Haven’t had a good nights sleep since. Every single noise my baby boy makes breaks my heart and wakes me up at night. Lots of potty breaks in the middle of the night. Hes our only baby. We have been trying to have a child the last few years with no luck and Jax has been our only child. He has been the most spoiled loved dog. I got a job working from home 4 years ago just so I could be closer to him and he wasn’t home alone all day without me or my husband.
I don’t know what we will do without him. It’s devastating to watch him waste away everyday and die a little everyday. Breaks my heart more and more each day. I thought for sure that he would of been gone by now but he is still plugging away. Truly loves life more then anyone I know. He’s a tough one though that keeps plugging.
He is very skinny and the lump is huge. About the size of a tennis ball. He still eats food and gets a little excited to play with his toys each day. Snores super loud when he sleeps and is still going to the bathroom.
My husband and I thought for sure he only had a few days left about 2 months ago but he still looks the same and is clinging on.
I just want to know that it all gets better. I have never been this sad, lonely and stressed out in my life. I love my dog more then anything and this has been the hardest thing to watch him waste away a little more each day andnot be able to help him just kills me inside, a little more each day.
Anyone else out there had to take care of a dying dog this long and when did you finally start getting sleep again and feeling better?
I don’t want him to die but will not let him suffer.
I hope we both find piece soon when he passes. It’s going to be the hardest thing but will release a lot of pain for both of us. I hope.


Posts: 1,191

First let me say how sorry I am that you are going through this. Losing a beloved pet is never easy, but to watch them slip away bit by bit each day is gut wrenching.

I've not gone through this with a dog, but I did go through this with my cat Squeeker around this time last year. Last March 1 I brought him to the vet for what I thought would be a check-up for a routine dental. It turned out he had a squamous cell carcinoma tumor under his tongue and was given a few weeks to live. Well, we went through some cancer treatment that ultimately proved to be unsuccessful. through it all Squeeker was such a fighter, but it was awful to watch him waste away bit by bit. By the time I made the appointment to have him put to sleep, we both knew it was time for him to fly on ahead to heaven. In fact, on his last day, he spent a good amount of his time trying to hide from me. I let him out in my back yard so he could enjoy the beautiful spring weather we were having, but he just wanted to go hide under my Hostas. That's when I knew without a doubt that I had made the right decision to let him go.

You asked when I started getting sleep again. I will say that because this was such a drawn out experience, i was completely emotionally and physically exhausted by the time Squeeker passed away, so I was able to get some sleep relatively easily. However, when my cat Blackie passed away 9 years earlier, sleep was very hard to come by. I ended up sleeping with my TV on in my bedroom because I could not stand the silence in the house that came with Blackie's passing. To this day I still tend to fall asleep with the TV on in my bedroom.

The healing process for me was much more difficult with Blackie than it was with Squeeker. It probably took me a couple of months where I finally stopped having severe crying bouts and where I could finally fall asleep a bit more easily. I think it took me at least a year, probably 1 1/2 years, where I could finally reflect back on the time Blackie and I had together and not burst into tears and actually smile a bit. With Squeeker, I think I probably mourned his passing well before he actually passed away, if that makes sense. I did not have the huge emotional or physical reaction to his passing that I did with Blackie, but it still hit me hard and the pain of losing him still continues to linger in my heart. I suspect it always will, as I believe that's the price we all pay for loving so deeply.

I hope you find peace in the days, weeks, months going forward. You clearly love Jax so deeply, and any and all decisions you make are done out of love. There will come a time when you will know it is time to release Jax from his suffering and let him fly on ahead of you to heaven. And you will have the courage to make the decision and be with him as he transitions from here to heaven because it will be your final gift of love to your precious, beloved friend and companion...

Hugs to you, your husband and Jax...

- Kelly
Angel Blackie's mom
Angel Squeeker's mom

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