Friday, September 3, 2010


I know that our blog friends on my Facebook have probably already this on my personal blog, but to be honest I'm just not up to writing the story out again.  So I'm cheating and stealing the post from the other blog since several of you have written asking what happened.  I'm sorry for the shortcut.

Thanks for all the support and love this you guys.


Well, the day I get on here rambling about how great my life was going quickly became hell on earth last night. I don't even know where to start and I need to be posting on the Brat's blog but I'm just not up to it yet. Plus I'm angry. I don't know who exactly I'm angry at, but I am. It's not fair. Why did this have to happen? Why do I continue to adopt more and more dogs, therefore putting me in this position again and again and again?

Tucker was fine when I got home, running around with the others, ate dinner, etc. Not more than two hours later I noticed he was having a hard time walking and was hesitant to lie down. Thinking he had gotten knocked around or something with his bad hips, I gave him a pain pill and decided to take him to Whataburger so I could be sure he would eat something. He had a hard time getting in the car, but still had his head stuck out the window enjoying the breeze. We picked up a burger and sat in the parking lot while he ate it, seemed to be fine.

Once we got home it became evident he was having a lot of abdomen discomfort. Deciding that something was definitely wrong, we headed for the emergency vet where they started with abdomen xrays and needle aspiration of what appeared to be a large tumor showing up on the xray. Between the xrays and needle it was apparent he was bleeding quite heavily internally, but there was no way to tell from exactly where. The emergency doctor came in to talk to me about the options, I'm standing there listening to him and he basically gives me what he sees as the scenarios. This guy has been doing this for years, I've seen him the numerous other times I've been there, I trust his advice.

1. The mass we are seeing on the xray has ruptured, causing the bleeding. This could be attached to the spleen or the liver and appropriate surgery would have to be done to remove the damaged areas. Prognosis is pretty good but of course long term would depend if tumor was malignant.

2. Same as above, but once we start poking around in there we notice that there are other tumors/nodules in other organs. He recommends at this point that I consider euthanization because there just isn't anything more that could be done. He could come home and live a few days, a few weeks, but would probably be in rapidly declining health.

3. Go without surgery but chances are great he would go into organ failure in a matter of hours or days.

So I'm trying not to both vomit and pass out at the same time while hearing this and this is where I'm going to veer off the story for a minute.

As you're standing there holding the fate of what is essentially your child, you are then presented with the "estimate" of services. $4,600 and this would cover the surgery and care until 8 am, when I would then have to transfer him to the regular vet for continued care. (This place is only open nights) Now, I live a decent life, not extravagant but don't really want for a lot..I can't describe the horrible feeling it is to be faced with what is essentially a life changing decision that does partially have to be based on money. That's a horrible, horrible feeling. It makes me wonder how many animals aren't given a second chance because of the cost and people just don't have the option. It's just wrong. Absolutely wrong.

Rant over. Kind of.

Faced with the estimate and a "do not resuscitate" order form I can't help but wonder what the hell has happened. Six hours ago I had a happy, healthy acting dog and now I'm looking at essentially having to make the decision to end his life. I can't believe it. So I sign all the paperwork and give them the go ahead because what else am I supposed to do? I'm not taking him home to die a slow painful death. I have to at least give him a chance of some kind. I feel helpless and hopeless and sick.

First they do chest xrays to make sure there's not another tumor. If these came back negative they wouldn't perform surgery as it had already spread too far. They come back clear, I'm feeling a little bit of hope at this point. Maybe it hasn't spread, maybe it's just this one mass and can easily be removed and all will be ok again. Blood work comes back fine, he's clotting great and no red flags so he can go under anesthesia. A little more hope.

We are able to go to the back to visit with him for a few minutes because it's just a total unknown if he will come out of surgery. He seems scared and lost in the cage, he's hooked up to an iv and heart monitor and I'm starting to panic. I didn't want this to be the last time I saw him but there just wasn't anything I could do. Horrid feeling.

Surgery started and within 20 minutes they asked us to come to the operating room to talk about what they had found. He had essentially a tennis ball sized mass in his spleen that ruptured, this was the cause of all the blood. While this could be removed and the area sutured, they found other tumors and nodules throughout his liver and abdomen. There just wasn't anything I felt I could do. The selfish part of me wanted to say remove what you can and I'll hold on to him as long as I can, anything to keep him alive. If this had been years ago, before Thrawn, that is what I probably would have done. After going through the last two years of Thrawn's life and the gift of hindsight, I just couldn't do it to Tucker.

They said they could close the surgery and wake him so I could say goodbye, but I just didn't think it was best for him. He would be confused and probably in pain and it just wasn't worth it. I said my goodbyes to him while he was unconscious on the operating table and it is a picture I will never, ever forget. I couldn't believe my little old man, my Tucker-Doodle Bug, was going to be gone in a matter of minutes. It's just not fair.

The next thirty minutes are a blur, I vaguely remember picking out his urn and making his final arrangements. I know I should be thankful, he lead a happy and healthy life up to the very end. He didn't suffer. We didn't go through a long drawn out and painful process. All that and I really don't feel better. I feel selfish and angry and bitter and hostile about why he's gone when I honestly thought we still had a couple more years together. Dakota went so early and although Tucker was 12, I just didn't think it was going to be his time anytime soon.

The first thing I said to Sandi when she got to the ER last night was that this was it. I have the Pack now, but once they are gone I'm not doing this again. I'll foster but no more adoptions, it's horrible pain and I just can't continue to deal with it. Then I got home and crawled into bed, Bear curled up against my stomach with his head on the pillow and I wrapped my arms around him. I realized that nothing else could have made me feel better at that very moment. The hole left behind in the Pack is huge and can never be filled, but hopefully I can get to the point where I can help another dog again. I just don't know.  -Maryann


Blogless Dogs' Mom in D/FW said...

My heart is breaking for you right now. Reading about our beloved companions crossing always brings me to tears. I hope you take a little bit of comfort in knowing he has re-joined Thrawn, Dakota, and little Durango at the rainbow bridge. Rest in Peace sweet Tucker. :(


Lois said...

My heart breaks in a million pieces for you. Five years ago I went through a nearly identical situation with my 8 yr. old corgi, Raleigh. I still remember the shock. I made the same decision you did. You did the best thing. I think saving them from suffering is our greatest duty, for all they give to us. And I understand "never again" too....but you will, because you are an angel for these animals. KNOW THAT.

Erin and Co. said...

Its hard to know what to say but we can offer cyber hugs!

Erin, Bubbles, Texas and Pompei

Jan's Funny Farm said...

I am so sorry for the loss of Tucker. What a nightmare experience. I wish there was something to say to help but when the pain is fresh, there are often no words. I'll send a hug instead.


Beaglebratz & mom too said...

I first saw the news of Tucker's passing on DWB News and I was heartbroken, especially when I saw your first post about it with that picture of Tucker - what a ham he must have been. I came back to read this post and I am now in tears - what a dreadful night you had. But please know this - you did the best thing for Tucker that you ever could have done - whether it was cancer or not, once it hits the liver, it is highly likely there is no quality of life left - Tucker would not have lived long at all and he would have been in pain. It is such a dreadful decision to make to end our furry companions life but we do owe it to them to not prolong their suffering for all they give to us. Please remember this - your Tucker is now running and playing at the Rainbow Bridge, forever young and completely pain-free.

And BTW - so what if you had to copy/paste the post - I don't know if I could have ever written it at all. Thank you for doing it.

Molly's Momma said...

There are no words at times like these I know myself as my beloved Molly crossed the bridge yesterday morning. My heart aches for you as I am sure you are feeling the same as I am, I know all my other darling dogs are waiting for her helps but knowing there is other crazy blogging dogs helps waiting too helps even more. You are in our thoughts.
Mollys Momma

Penny and Patches said...

I am soooo sorry! This sounds almost exactly like what happened to my Poppy! She was playing with a toy in the evening, ate her treat right before bed and at 2:30 a.m., started wobbling and didn't want to lay down. By the time I got her to the emergency vet, at 3 a.m., she was gone before they got her inside. It was devastating! We will keep our paws all crossed for all of you.

Penny & Patches & Lana

Lorenza said...

Sure it was not an easy decision, but you did the best for our dear Tucker.
We love you a lot
Take care
Lorenza and mom

Lacy said...

sad woofs, i dont blame u, i would not have brought him back to say goodbye either..he knows u loved him..

a sad,
rocky n mama..

♥♥♥♥Team Husky♥♥♥♥ said...

Tears are running down my face, I am so so sorry Maryann. I know how you are feeling - I often feel angry because of what happened to Prince. He was taken from me at only 5 years of age and it's just not fair.

You did the only thing you could do for Tucker and he would thank you for that if he could.

I know Tucker will be greated at the Bridge by Dakota, Thrawn, Durango, Prince and many many more fur babies.

Be strong, sending big hugs to you and your babies
Aleeya & Tam Husky

Petey said...

Oh Mary Ann, I'm going through somewhat of a similar situation with Mica right now and the tears that had dried for 15 minutes are now coursing down my cheeks again. It is both a gift and a curse that we have the power to decide when it's the right time to end our beloved pets' lives Please don't second guess yourself. I am always comforted in knowing that our pets have no sense of their own mortality. They just live moment to moment. We should be so fortunate.



Asta said...

Oh MaryaNN
I finally went to my blog today and this is the first thing i heart is breaking for you..I can't imagine the paing..actually, I sort of brings back memories of my last day with never stops hurting.
Tucker Doodle Bug will forever be in your heart..he had all your love and I'm sure he felt that..Please remember that and not the shock of this horrible last day.
Your love that you've given to your pack is magical and you can never regret that..I'm so sorry that it comes with so much pain. you're's so UNFAIR!!!!!!!
I love you and wish I could hold you ..take your comfort from your furrbabies..they understand
smoochie sad sad kisses from Asta
love from me

dewdana said...

I am so heartbroken for you! The thought of losing my dog is more than I can bear but the experience you describe sounds absolutely traumatic for you. I think you did what was best for him given this scenario. I can understand not wanting to go through it again too but also know that when we are grieving and distressed we make very bad decisions. Ugggh though... absolutely heartbreaking. Big hugs,
Dana, Moose + Mandy

♥MONA + MOMMY TOO♥ said...

We are so happy that you were pleased about us naming little Tucker after your dear boy. Last night we posted pictures of Shelby's pups. He looked just like "Brindle Girl" . That post was dedicated to both Tuckers and Molly.

Good Bless....Mona's Mommy Sarah

Fred said...

Our hearts hurt so much for you right now. Can't imagine going through what you did, but we feel sure that Tucker and all the pack know how much you LOVE them! Take care of each other, and remember that we're all out here sending good thoughts your way!

Moco said...

The decision you made was made out of love. It is not for others to judge. Remember that you have more love to give and Tucker would want you to share it with another pup as you shared with him.

Holly and Khady said...

Veterinary medicine has come so far in the past 20 years and can now give us hope that was once never there. On the other hand, the extremely high costs make is extremely difficult for many families to do some of the needed treatments. It really is a shame.

I'm so very sorry about Tucker. You did what was best for him and he knew how much he was loved. Try to take comfort in all the wonderful memories you have, and will always have, of your time together.

The best way to heal is with the love you share with the others. They really do offer such great comfort.

Sunshade said...

I"m so sorry about Tucker... He seemed like such a gentle, happy pup. You gave him the best life he could have asked for and you were not selfish in your final decisions because you loved him so much. You will meet again, but until then, please take care.

Love nibbles,
Miss Sunshade & mum

Daisy Dog said...

We are so sorry to hear about Tucker! We don't follow facebook much and when we read about it on Shleby's site this morning We came here to see what had happened. Biggest hugs to you and the rest of the pack. This is never ever easy, remember TUcker is now watching over you! Our Love, Daisy Roscoe and Mamma Annie

Joni said...

I just learned of Tucker's passing. I am so sorry for your loss, and am hoping you are taking comfort in knowing he has lots of friends waiting at the Bridge for him.
Take care my friend,

Sandy said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Tucker leaving this earth so soon. I just want to send you a hug. You are a good mama to all those children. He did have a wonderful life with you and his brothers and sisters. I know he is sealed in your heart with all the others who have gone before. I, too, feel the same way when I have one pass on...that I won't get another one...but they always find a way to me! And they all need a good home and they give me more love than I could ever imagine. I'm thinking of you!