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Posts: 1
my dog achilles is 10/11 i’m not exactly sure because i rescued him about a year in a half ago, i live alone so he has been my rock through college, this transition of life, and on friday he threw up and wasn’t moving i immediately took him the vet, they said it was a stomach ache, they mentioned a senior panel and i did it and his liver levels were a 1460 and 1900 and they were supposed to be 130. they administered shots to help with eating and i took him to a cancer specialist saturday where they found both his livers has tumors everywhere, they told me chemo might help but with his current condition without chemo he had 3 months, with chemo 6-12. I took him home saturday and he wasn’t moving much and refusing to eat, only drinking water, his nose and gums were dry so he was dehydrated, i took him back to the cancer hospital today, sunday, and they gave him shots to make him hydrated and eat, another vet told me that chemo wouldn’t help him, with his age and the amount of tumors, it wouldn’t assist, and because he’s not eating she doesn’t expect him to last long, i’m alone and i’m
trying to hold off on putting him asleep until my mom
can fly here this weekend, but i feel so guilty to think i’m giving up on him, he also hasn’t pooped in days, and just wonders around the house finding different places to sleep, he doesn’t have the energy to show me excitement anymore, everybody who knows him knows he loves to eat and go on walks and he hasn’t been able to enjoy either. I feel like a bad mom for
not noticing the cancer and thinking it was his arthritis or old age bc he bounced back after one small sign, i feel like a bad mom for having to put him to sleep bc he’s still so alive, and i’m scared of having to
come home every night after he goes to sleep to an empty home and him not greeting me at the door or waking up and he’s not jumping around excited to walk

Posts: 580
Dearest Arrogant,
First off I want to say I very sorry I am for what you are going through. It's so very hard to stay strong when you know that something you love with all your heart is suffering and there isn't really anything you can do to heal them. All you can do is wait and watch for the sign that they are ready. There is no preparing yourself for the heart ache that lays ahead.
It sounds as if you are doing everything to make Achilles comfortable. I understand you wanting to wait for your mom so she can say goodbye. I hope that it worked out that she made it in time. You are not a bad mom! Who would have thought that it was cancer. I know from my experience that old age can be cruel. We assume old age and the problems that arise are normal. My beloved Termy wanted to go on but his body was failing him and I had to think of his quality of life and ultimately made the heart breaking decision to let him go. On that day (Sept 18,2017) I gave him his wings and my heart broke. I've never recovered. I am still sad but the deep painful grief is gone. Yes, the tears still fall but I can accept that I will see him again. You will learn to live a new normal without him. It will be hard. Trust me when I say you will heal. You loved with all your heart and were loved back with all his heart. I'm so sorry you didn't have more time with him but I'm betting that the time you shared with him was memorable. Please, let the guilt go. Your baby didn't come into your life to make you unhappy, quite the opposite. As long as you hold him and let him know how very much he is loved, he can leave this world contented and wrapped in your love.
Love and doggie hugs
Termy's mom

Posts: 640
>>>i feel so guilty to think i’m giving up on him<<<
>>>i feel like a bad mom<<<
>>> i’m scared of having to
come home every night after he goes to sleep to an empty home<<<

1). One could look at it as giving up if you mean you are not going to fight this. However the flip side is, you are making a decision you believe to be in the best interest of Achilles. There actually is more than one way to look at this, and both are legitimate. You aren't being a fake or a phony or looking at things through rose colored glasses if you pick the more 
optimistic viewpoint in this case. 

2). Part of being a mother is doing what is in the best interest of your child. And that sometimes can make us look like bad mothers. In this case I think you have to look at the whole history you have had with Achilles. This is a major decision. But simply put, one decision that is in what you perceive to be the best interest of Achilles would not make you a bad mother. When we say we think we are a bad mother often we are saying "I feel bad about myself". You may very well feel bad about yourself. But feelings aren't facts and they can lie and deceive us. You have a proven track record with Achilles. One of compassionate care, love and affection. Someone like that would not all of a sudden out of the blue turn on their pet and make a decision that was malicious or vindictive.

3) It is scary coming home after a pet has died.  I have lived it and so have many others here. In fact it is terrifying. However, that's all part of life. And usually we find out we can handle what we feared the most. One thing I would suggest is to start calling pet loss hotlines. You can call them even when your pet is alive. This gives you the chance to talk out your fears about what it will be like after the fact and even whether this is a decision you really want to make. Your pet does not have to be dead for you to call. I know this first hand and for a fact. Here is the link from this site: You can call them as often as you want to. This place has a professional pet loss social worker who will give you several hours by phone for free.University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine support line.
Monday-Friday 9am � 6pm.
In addition, this place is great and offers free phone support. I used them as my cat Emerald was dying.

What you are experiencing has a name. It's called anticipatory grief. In a word, it's when you begin to grieve the loss of your pet before your pet dies. The feelings are as real and intense as when your pet dies. I had it severely with Emerald.

I also wanted to say this and you are free to accept it or reject it. I would not euthanize Achilles if he was my dog. You know death is imminent. With or without you, death is near. Why not let him die at home in a place he feels safe in? You can be there for him right now as she suffers. Suffering is a part of life for human beings and it is also a part of life for animals. The fact he is suffering to me is no reason to rush things. He has been suffering a while and has made it thus far. He can make it until his time to die comes. Let him do it on his own terms. You won't have the regret of not knowing what would have happend if you had let him live out his life without intervening with euthanasia. Euthanasia is not your only option. He is going to die. He was meant to die someday. You don't have to euthanize him because he is at the end of his life. But again, you are free to accept or reject my point of view.

Keep talking to us.

I know you are dying inside. Trust me, I fully get that. And the despair and hopelessness is real.

- Stephanie
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