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Posts: 11
Came home about 5pm, to find out our Sophie with lymph glands puffed up beyond belief. She is on final phase of lymphoma, and vet said there’s nothing left to do after visit 3 weeks ago. With a careful eye, and a adjusted program of prednisone, we have had 3 months longer than they predicted. Now the end is close, but missed the vet by about 20 minutes. My wife doesn’t want to drive with me to a 24 hr vet, to do our final obligation to our girl. She wants to wait until tomorrow, so we can have them come to the house. I feel the time has come, and and our girl needs to be set free. Compassion doesn’t have a schedule for actions.Sorry hard to see what I type at times, with tears in my eyes. Sophie seems the most comfortable on her side, because of her belly / liver being swollen. Vet didn’t think she was in pain, but now swelling in the neck, has reduced her comfort and seems to have reduced her airway. My wife is hoping it happens naturally, so she won’t have any guilt. I said this is all on me, no need for guilt on your part. I think it is selfish to wait, but she normally gets her way. I softly stroke Sophie’s ears, as my wife watches wheel of fortune, and have to question many things. Thought I would put some thoughts down here. It seems now, Sophie just wants to be left alone, but find it hard not to sneak a stoke or two, of her soft ears.
This time tomorrow will be different. I built her a box, will bury her myself, along with her favorite worn out toys, a soft bed , blanket, and some favorite snacks for the journey. This will be a long night. Will try to spend as much time by her side as possible, and will have her in my arms when the final injection comes. I wouldn’t want it any other way. If she struggles too much overnight, I will leave by myself if needed, and do the drive to the 24 hr vet for Sophie.
My words here don’t accomplish much, other than to allow others, to know we all share a common pain of loss. The sun will still come up, in the days to come, it will just seem like it’s a little darker without our 8 yr old, black, soft Sophie. She has been a gift, that I have been lucky to have shared life with. If I’m lucky enough to be granted passage into heaven, when my day comes, I pray that I’m greeted ,by my healthy Sophie, for a life together forever. Then James Herriot would be right, that all dogs go to heaven. Thanks for listening, and may we all be thankful for what a great gift we were given.

Posts: 11
Made it through night, and vet will come in afternoon, and give her the shots. I have a couple hours wait, until we send her on her next journey. Moving slow, throat/glands swollen, and unsteady. I will be sad, and crying like a baby when the final breath slips away, but will be relieved to see her at ease. Sophie is such a beautiful girl. My friends, I think we’re starting to think I was using her lymphoma, as a way to skip time with them. I have said many times, that I have 1 shot to do this the best way possible. Sleep, fun, work, life, have all had to wait, so I could spend time with my girl. The past 4 months have surely aged me, but I would do it the same again. Chemo wasn’t a option. She hears the neighbors dog bark, and wants to reply, but nothing seems to come out. I know those months were a gift, to spend together, and I feel that, and feel blessed. I have read other posts about quick endings, with no chance to say good bye. I too have had those type of dog losses, and have lost them, without me being there. Sorry. I know there are others who are suffering worse than me. As I stroke Sophie ears right now, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your loved ones too. There would be less hate and violence in this world, if more people could experience the love of a great dog. Take care, and I’ll post again later. I’m trying to thaw the ground for her burial, and it was -10 this morning.
Sophie’s dad,

Posts: 11
Trying to figure out why my posts seem to be still pending. My Sophie is gone now. She was struggling in the end and wish we could of had her in to vet last night. Told a friend that I feel I’ve aged over this.

Posts: 67
I understand wanting to spend every moment with your dog. Towards the end, I only left the house for food, a short walk by myself and doctors appointments. I was lucky that I was home on disability for the last year of her life. It gave her another year with me as the home health aide for her. I still thinking about going home after shopping, but now I do not have to. 

I know I will be even more grateful as time goes by, but I still want my dog back. Still think I hear her breathing, still wait for her to get up so I can see her standing on her bed that was right next to mine. 

I get that whole "if she needs me too, I will take her to the vet at night".  You will not regret spending every minute with her that you could. Your friends will understand.

You sound like a true dog person. Godspeed to your dog. May you strike the right balance between a grief that honors your dog and a peace that will let you sleep. They say that old or sick animals give us their pain once they pass. If that is true, I was not aware just how much my dog hurt. ((hugs))

Posts: 580
Dearest Jeff,
I am so sorry that you have to feel this heart break and sadness. I know your pain and the thoughts that come with your hurt. I am glad that you and Sophie got to spend Christmas together, although knowing what was coming had to really break your heart. Yes the actual letting go will stay with you for a long long time. I still relive Termy's last breath and it makes me sad to think that he didn't know what was coming only that he trusted me with all his heart. I so wanted more time as you wanted more time. I know that there are powers stronger than us and when our babies are called upon to go doesn't make it any easier to cope with. All I can believe is like Termy it was Sophie's turn to get her wings. I also know that there are those out there that will never understand the connection we have with our babies. They are our children and love us to the ends of the earth and so unconditionally. If they are truly your friends they will understand. If they have never shared the love we shared with Termy and Sophie, they truly have never felt complete and total love. I always wanted to be the great person Termy thought I was and I can tell you are the great person Sophie knew you were. You will have so many dark days for awhile and you will cry (a lot) you may feel some guilt and have to deal with the maybe I should haves and the I wish I could have but know in your heart you did the final act of love, letting go. I know it hurts and I know your sad but try to think of the better days with Sophie too. I try to think of the great journey I shared with Termy and try to honor his love by not being to sad. I talk to him every night and blow him a kiss and tell him how much I love him. Yes I still cry and will always miss him but I wouldn't have traded this journey with him for anything in the world. No, you don't suffer any differently than the rest of us here, it hurts and no matter how we lose them all of us lost a piece of our hearts on our babies Bridge day. Please know that I care and am sending you my thoughts and prayers.
Love and doggie hugs
Termy's mom
P.S. thank you for replying to my Post, wishing Termy a Merry Christmas. It meant a lot to me that you could  stop during your pain to give me a few words of kindness to make me feel better, Thank you.

Posts: 140
Dear Jeff,

I am so sorry about Sophie. Reading your posts has brought me back to my own experience. I lost my 10 years old black and silver miniature schnauzer, Zipper, to lymphoma this past March. He was on chemotherapy, but never had the remission. He passed away naturally at home while I was at the church that Sunday morning. 

I understand exactly what you have been through. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.


Posts: 11
Thank you all for your caring, kindness and words of support. We waited at least one day too long, and I should have stood up for my girl, and insisted we drive to the distant 24 hr vet. My wife wanted to wait until the next day, when we could have the vet come to the house. I gave to her insistence, and told her that this is about the Girl we love, Sophie, not about me or you and what is convenient, or what “works out best”. We aren’t the same .The vet clinic didn’t have a spare Dr. to leave the clinic, the next day until late afternoon, or I could come in to clinic, and bring her anytime. I went along, and waited for Dr. to come to the house like my wife wanted. I counted the minutes for her arrival, until she got there. She said , another day and the rapid swelling of the neck lymph glands, would left to her to suffocate. I’m glad that didn’t happen. As Sophie started to slip into a relaxed feeling after the first shot, I whispered into her ear that I was sorry for letting her struggle in the end, this isn’t what i wanted, and she was brave, and asked for her forgiveness, and said I promise to never allow a delay to step up, again. Sophie started into relaxed sleep and struggled breathing eased, and we rolled her to her side, and I whispered good bye, and asked her to greet me at the door like you always do, when my time comes. The 2nd injection came, and then she was gone. The protective dad in me went to check on her later last night, and I saw yes , she really is gone. Was worried she was so tough, she somehow woke up out of it.
Now my last duty to her. I’ve had a tent type enclosure I built over her spot, with heaters , and fans running to thaw the ground, for 24 hrs. I will go out pretty soon, and see if I can dig her final spot. It is up to -3 temp outside, and a light snow coming down. Not ideal conditions, but I’ll make it happen. I know there are options to avoid all this extra work. If I wasn’t laid off, and saved some money for this, I would have had to taken a different path. I know once I start digging, I will expect to look up and see a black mini schnauzer, with her fleece sweater, and fresh powder snow on her beard, right where I’m trying to work, either wanting to be close, or chasing a squirrel. I guess I’m lucky, and she will always be with me, no matter where I go.
Thanks to all that read about our journey, and I appreciate the prayers, thoughts, and kind comments. I truly appreciate it. I’m doing good, and will try to cut down my lengthy posts in the future. This site has helped me talk when I needed, and helped when others close by me, were either too busy, or couldn’t understand why we all love our friends with fur so much. I was told I seemed obsessed with with my Schnauzer, and shouldn’t get so wrapped up in it all. I said you have made a mistake. I am committed to my friend, in her time of need, and will be there for her. If it’s a problem, then it’s yours alone. I have no problems in my commitment . I will leave a donation to this site in the future, as I check on others. I’m off work, and need to conserve finances right now, but you won’t be forgotten. Glad this site, and it’s staff and fellow pet lovers exist.
I leave you for now, with words from a Elton John song, that pet lovers here all understand, from That’s why they call it the blues: “I simply love you, more than life itself”
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