The first step is to penetrate the clouds of deceit and distortion and learn the truth about the world,
then to organize and act to change it. That's never been impossible and never been easy. ~Noam Chomsky

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

"Just don't tell her."

That's what the vet. oncologist said to me after she gave a prognosis of 1-2 months this morning. After she showed me the x-ray of Cassidy's chest. The tumor taking up all of her left lung and pushing up her heart.

I sat at the vet hospital this morning rubbing her shoulders and fighting back tears while we waited to be seen. Well meaning receptionists kept petting her and commenting on how young she looks. One tried to convince me that it's not too late to microchip her. It is. It really is too late.

I had to bite my lip until it bled. I had to think of shark week on animal planet. Anything horrifying or pain/anger inducing to overpower the sad just to get me from waiting room to private exam room.

I'd like to not tell her. But she already knows. I think my sobbing and clinging to her neck while wiping snot on her long curly ear might have given it away today. We drove home in doggie/human silence. I attempted to make a few "it will be ok" promises but she had very doubtful eyes coupled with low hanging ears. She knows.

1-2 months is far short of my hopeful self-prognosis of 4-6 months. 1-2 months passes in a blink of an eye in our household.

I read somewhere online that it helps to tell your dog her life story, chapter by chapter, before the end.
Her life story is our first 13 years as a couple.
I am having trouble getting past the part where I tell her about the sunny summer evening and her bounding leaps across the yard to meet us. So I think I'll write the story. It's more for me anyway. I might post pieces here. We'll see.

Thank you for all of the kind and loving comments. Knowing there are many people who care or who have gone through the same thing helps. It really does. The first thing I did when I got home today (after feeding Cassidy large quantities of happy-inducing peanut butter and drugs) was log on to read comments.



  1. I'd do a better job at typing a coherent comment if I wasn't bawling. I keep trying to think of reassuring things to say, but nothing quite measures up. And then I just think sad thoughts ... and I don't need to post those. U already know them intimately. So just know I'm thinking of u, cassidy, and ur mother in law' hideous mumu.

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  4. Aww, Amanda, it's SO difficult to loose our companions--animal or otherwise. I had incurable ache for months over saying "goodbye" to one of mine. thinking of you...

  5. I don't know if there is anything harder than leaving or losing a pet (or anyone) who simply can not understand what is happening. I pray for peace for you all and comfort for your beloved baby.

  6. I've been thinking of you and Cassidy so much over the last couple of days. I feel honored that you shared some of her story with me the other night. Your life together has been beautiful, meaningful, loving, and real. For both of you. Sending LOTS of love your way.

  7. also bawling. Sending sticky peanut buttery thoughts her way.

  8. I'm so sorry. It's never long enough. You all are in my thoughts and prayers.

  9. Amanda,
    Cassidy already knows. She's known for a while now. Talay knows as well. Animals know before their humans do and even better, they don't judge/blame their people for not seeing the signs sooner. Cassidy will tell you when it's time to go. Let HER comfort YOU. Let this be her last and best act of love and loyalty to you for the wonderful life you've given her.

  10. now i'm picturing your mother in law in a tutu and it's making me laugh. stay strong and enjoy the last weeks as best as you can. give her lots of hugs, peanut butter and whatever else makes her happy. xoxo

  11. Oh, I hope you can still share wonderful moments together.
    I am v. sorry. It is sad when life comes to an end.
    Be strong,

  12. We lost our precious (elederly) pups within a few months of each other, right after our second child joined our family. Our "big" dog had a heart condition and one morning she came to lay at my feet while I read a story to the toddler on my lap(our "big" girl). She quietly thumped her tail as I turned the pages and by the time I reached the end of the story, she was gone. She sought us out in her final moments and died close to the little girl she loved. It was devastating. Much love to you through this difficult time--it is SO hard.

  13. (((((((Amanda))))))))

    I'm just sending you a hug through the interwebz. I wish I could do more.

  14. What dwiggin3 said is so wise, and true from all I've heard from other dog owners.

    I am so so sorry.

  15. I don't normally comment on your blog, but this morning I had to - I first read about Milo and was so happy for him, then I came here and read about Cassidy...I'm so sorry. I know how hard it can be to lose a good friend.


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