Rescue Journal

i am struggling to decide about tom and michael

Carol  ·  Jul. 30, 2007

tom has stopped eating again, which means i can't get his meds into him without force. i did manage to sneak his tramadol into him last night but not the 2 abx's. i think he is starting to obstruct from his cancer, i am not sure if he is pooping (cuz i haven't seen him in the last day or so and he appears to be vomitting to empty his stomach which tells me it is not going thru into the bowel. he is still bright and alert and otherwise comfortable, but if i am right, this is going to change drastically really quick. michael is also bright and alert and he is eating well right now too. but gosh moving is such a struggle and unless someone is right with him on the floor fussing right over top of him, i can't say that he is all that happy anymore. i have been booking home euth's for them and cancelling the day before since they either popped up and seemed better or at least seemed to be content and holding their own. but if i cancel tomorrows euth...we might have trouble getting another for a couple of weeks cuz colleen is not available next week at all. i will figure this out and try to make the right decision but it is hard cuz i don't know if i can bear to lose either one right now. i wish god or whoever would just make them well for another month or two, then maybe i could make the right decision without struggling so hard.



That makes total sense Carol. You know what's best, you certainly have the experience and are in tune with both humans and animals. I'm glad they aren't suffering and you help them find the joy in every single day they have left with you.


that all depends on the dog rae...different dogs, different pain thresholds, just like people. caro screams if he stubs his toe, tally screams if his foot falls asleep. bill's arthritic foot aches and sometimes badly, but he ain't missing that field run and i know dexter feels his cancerous tumours sometimes cuz he has to but not when his stick is flying into that pond with him in hot pursuit. but as a rule...animals are not afraid of pain like humans are...they cope and find ways to do whatever it is they want to do, we just whine about what we can't (remember my expert whining from my wheelchair?)these guys put me to shame.


Sometimes the amount of pain an animal can with stand without even a whimper amazes me. Their strength must come from directly from their soul, gentle and pure. Fred was like that, he never whimpered or cried to let me know that it hurt but watching his eyes when he'd get up I could see it, or the fear when he couldn't get up at all. You see so much of that Carol and you see them rally time after time. I can imagine how hard it must be to know when it's time. I am thankful you have such compassionate and understanding vets. I wish I had been able to give Fred a peaceful death at home rather than at the Vets office.


Thought you may like to know...Boo-Boo is going to my friends enormous house and will have her own room etc...she has made leaps and bounds in the last few days and I just can't see any suffering. Thanks again!


Sometimes when you love an animal so much it can make your decision to "do the right thing" very difficult and it can be based on how you feel instead of their short or long term enjoyment of life. Go with your gut and you will know you have made the right decision.............................


lol...i posted this at 7 am this morning...i have no idea why it showed up now, i thought it went out into cyber space and disappeared.
are they suffering? no they are not cuz if they were, they would be gone now. are they old and tired and somedays feel not so great? yes they do and i do too. did tom throw a fit for his lunch today? yes he did and he took all his meds too.
it is a balance of symptom control and quality of life. they both had a good day today. i cancelled the appointment. soon they will run out of good days, but they still won't suffer because we have the meds to ensure they don't. cancer patients vomit sometimes and some days they don't want to eat either, sometimes they stop eating all together and while their families care, they do not. they just stop being hungry. but they still like to spend time with their families, or sit in the sun with it's warmth on their face. they still like their favorite music or listening to the sound of children's innocent voices in play in the yard. feeling not great on some days when you are sick and dying does not mean that your life is not worth living any more. it means we all have to work harder to make each day as good for them as we can. that is what human families and palliative care teams do for our human patients. and it is what we try to do here too. the difference is, that we can send our guys forever to sleep when they have had enough and would like to go. we try not to cut them short so that they miss the fun stuff like KFC this weekend that both tom and michael enjoyed so much.
and this is why i struggle, not too soon, not too late but a natural progression when they decide. i just want to be sure that i hear them right. i missed it on romeo the other night, i knew something big had changed, i could see that he had dropped a ton of weight  virtually overnight...but he was up and eating so i thought he needed a higher protein food than the hypoallergenic. i didnt see that he was going septic cuz while he looked gawd awful skinny, he was his usual purring hungry self. try as hard as you will and you cannot get it right everytime...but still you can try.

Chris T

I am sure you will make the right decision Carol - you usually do. It would be nice if they would perk up and wait a bit as there has been so much death at SAINTS lately - you all need a break! Take care.


Carol, I'm sorry you have to make this decision right now, it must be so hard. If they are suffering my non-involved common sense says maybe it's better to get it overwith? I dunno. I know they perk up now and then, but that will become less and less and maybe it's just not fair. Gosh I wish you could ask them what they would like!!