What Caring for my Ill Dog is Teaching Me?


I’ve been putting off writing this blog. Even the thought of writing it makes me tear up a bit. I should give you some background on my beautiful baby. Her name is Chloe. She’s an 11 year old Miniature Schnauzer. August 2013, we started fostering her for a friend of mine who was moving out of state and couldn’t take her with her. We fell in love with her right away. In October, my friend allowed us to adopt her. When we first received her, her name was Baby. We later changed it because my husband and I would get confused on who we would be talking to. We call each baby.

Fast forward 1 year, 8 months:
We had a golf ball mass removed from her mouth a few weeks ago. The vet sent it in for testing. It came back as malignant melanoma. We were told that it can be very aggressive and invade other parts of her body. We did x-ray of her chest and nothing showed. We thought we were in the clear.

On April 12th 1am, Chloe had her 1st seizure. I really didn’t know exactly what happened since she woke me up in the middle of the night. At first it looked like she was choking and I was afraid that the cancer was in the throat. However, I was fairly sure it was a seizure. It was terrifying. Later that day, my husband was talking her and she had another. We took her to the ER. They said that she was having seizures and most likely it was brain cancer.

We met with an oncologist and neurologist. Chloe has a brain tumor-a meningioma. It’s a different type of cancer that is in her mouth which is a melanoma. The neurologist said the following. With chemo, we could possibly have 4-6 months. There are other more aggressive treatments that could extend to 1.5 to 2 yrs. Our oncologist has said that even with all the treatment in the world she may only have 3 months.

It’s a really hard decision to look at your furbaby and have to make life deciding decisions. We weighed the options of the treatment and with the quality of her life. She’s a 16 pound dog. Doing extensive treatment will take a lot out of her, and it will probably not give her much of an increase of life span.

However Tim and I thinking that since she has 2 different types of cancers and both are known to come back and and spread, we are going to treat her symptoms and make her comfortable for as long as we can.

Now to the lessons that I have learn:

1) Patience
I am learning this every day. She needs help going up and down the stairs. She needs help talking to her bed.  She isn’t able to always make it outside. We’ve been cleaning up a lot of spots.

2) Drown out the negative
It’s hard for some people to understand the connection. You can’t let their negatively affect your decisions or your grief.

3) Keep support around you
Just as there are the people who don’t understand, there are so many more people who understand and are there for you! Keep them near you. It’s okay to cry and be angry. They are there for you to vent and cry to (with).

4) It’s okay to fight with God.
I’ve had a lot of hard discussions with God. He’s our Father. Just like any Father, he understands that we are going to be upset and hurt when someone we love leaves us. As long as we are having an honest discuss with God and keep an open heart with him. Know that he has a plan for you.

5) Loves Transferable
This one is hard to explain. I love Chloe with all of my heart. She makes me so extremely happy. She has such a funny personality and can be stubborn as all get out (She’s a Schnauzer LOL) She is the first dog that I have I have parented as an adult. Since I have found out that we will be losing her soon, I can feel the whole in my heart start grow. I have all this love for her and I’m not sure where to go with it. This is going to sound callus, but I have been looking at pictures of the dogs that need adopting. It gives me a little peace that there are other dogs out there that I can love and share my heart with. There is always going to be a part of my heart that belongs to her.

This is going to be a long a hard road caring for her until her final day, but she will be loved more than she can imagine.