When Being Grown Up Sucks…

Oh, sure, you can drink what you want and stay up late, sleep as late as you want on the weekend and even take a mental health day without asking anyone’s permission.  You get to make your own choices.  But then there’s all the responsibility you have and that’s the rub…

October has never been the kindest month for me. The weather gets colder, the sun hides behind clouds, the days start to shorten and things die.  My garden is gone for the year.  My flowers are close behind, just waiting for first real frost to wither and turn brown.  My dad passed away several years ago this month.  On Halloween.  And now my sweet 14-year-old Norwegian Elkhound, Inga, was just diagnosed last week with advanced stage lymphoma.

This past weekend was awful.  We were waiting for confirmation of the diagnosis from the vet while medical tests were being run.  On Saturday Inga ate some people food and a little bit of dog food but mostly drank tons of water.  By Sunday, she ate nothing and could barely stand up to drink water or go outside.  This morning we had the diagnosis confirmed and decided to begin giving her high doses of prednisone.  If she’s responsive to the steroid, she hopefully will get less weak and develop a bit of an appetite soon.

But her long-term prognosis is about two or three months, if the prednisone helps.  It seems like a reasonable thing to try but right now I feel like she’s slowly starving to death before my eyes and I can’t bear to put her through this for very long.  I’m dribbling water into her mouth through a straw.   If the prednisone doesn’t help soon, we will talk euthanasia.

A more aggressive approach would include surgery to remove her spleen and chemotherapy.  I told my vet I wouldn’t consider that.  It’s not only the cost, which would certainly be several thousand dollars, but the fact that Inga is 14 and a dog, albeit a well-loved pet.  And from what I’ve read, chemo would only put her in remission for about a year (if she survived the surgery and treatment).

So why am I agonizing over the decisions?  And second guessing myself?  Because there isn’t a choice that doesn’t break my heart.  Right now, I hate being grown up…

Postscript:  I wrote this post Monday night and decided to post it anyway, even though my precious girl took matters into her own paws and passed away during the night.  I’m so very sad but also happy that she won’t have to suffer.  We were honored to be her family for all these years…

60 responses

  1. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Dee. Our pets are truly our family members. Your precious girl must have loved you very much, feeling so very loved to take her last breath in the place that she called home. I truly wish that, when it’s time, my beloved dog takes the same path.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Rob. We’ve had to put a dog to sleep before and I dreaded making that decision. He was part Great Dane and had bone cancer. It was not an easy choice. But then it’s never easy

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  2. I’m so sorry for your loss. Death of anyone, especially loyal and loved pets, is never easy. But at least Inga didn’t suffer too much and had a great life with you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I know she was happy with us. Both my dogs were rescues

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  3. I can’t “like” this post because death is so hard and I know you must be hurting, but I am so sorry for your loss. (All of your loses.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Juli. One of the few downsides of being a pet owner but the joy they bring makes it easier

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh Dee, I’m so sorry. It’s a blessing that she went on her own though. We’ve had to put one down, cancer as well, and it was the most agonizingly sad thing to have to do. 😔

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    1. Yeah, we had to put our Great Dane mix down 15 years ago with bone cancer and I absolutely hated doing it, even though I knew he was in pain. I’m glad Inga made the decision for me, although it does hurt just as much…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah. It sucks regardless, that’s for dang sure. I’m so sorry. 😔

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  5. Oh, I’m so sorry, D. It has happened to us a few times now with much-loved pups, and how sweet that she gave up the battle on her own. That’s a lot of love, those 14 years. Hugs to you, such a loss.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Van. And now we have just one, who is also 14. Seemed like a good idea when we got them, but hope he hangs on for awhile…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. So sorry to hear this Dee. It is always a huge loss because they are never “just” pets. The pain will diminish but the happy memories will be with you forever. Hugs to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Peter. It’s true, in a few months we’ll be remembering all the cute and funny stories of her over the years…

      Liked by 1 person

  7. There are no words in these moments. I’m sorry.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Cap. She was much loved, as are everyone’s pets, I know. It never gets easier to lose them…

      Liked by 1 person

  8. So sorry to read your postscript. She was much loved

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Joan. She really was. Our other dog is doing well, just a little confused and looks around for her every day.

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  9. Oh D! I am so very sorry. Our pets are our children too. My thoughts, prayers, and love to you & the family ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Dorinda. Yep, wish we could have them around for longer. I know everyone who’s had a pet leave them understands…

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh, she had such a sweet face! So sorry for your loss.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She was a sweet girl. A little reserved, never understood the concept of playing, like if you’re just going to throw the ball again, why would I keep chasing it? But I love how each animal has their own personality. Thanks, Christy!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. It’s good that you recorded your thoughts before she died. Many of us identify with your tumble of contradictory feelings and impulses when confronted by the big decision. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Rachel. It’s bad enough when it’s a pet, but when it’s human loved ones involved, it’s even more heart wrenching…

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet friend. I can tell from the way you write about her that she was very loved and very loving.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She was a little reserved, not like a big, goofy Lab, but sweet nevertheless. I’ll be better soon, but it was not an easy week at our house.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I am so sorry for your loss. I’m going through the same thing with my Mz. Elsa Mae…She is slowing down and I fear the time is nearer rather than not. I cry just watching the process. We lost Mr.Louie the cat in July so I am so done with this year. Then I accidentally threw away my new diamond that was not insured…Tissue and tears when we had to say good by.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, no! This October has been very sad for me. First thing hubby said yesterday was Happy November!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m so sorry to hear this sad news! It’s so hard to say goodbye to our devoted pets who are surely a huge part of our family and love us so unconditionally. My heart and thoughts are with you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Holly. Even when you know it’s going to happen soon, I don’t think it’s easy to prepare.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know. i have been there and now my dog Tide will be 11 in March. It’s hard to think about not having him around. I am sorry for your loss.

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  15. Sorry for your loss, Dee, and it is a true loss. One of the family x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Al. October was not a kind month for us this year.

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      1. Hopefully November will be kinder x

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  16. Ouch! That pulled my heart right out. I’m so sorry that you had to go through that. I’m happy she went on her own, and that she didn’t have to go the medical machinations. Pets are such perfect love. Prayers for you and your family as you grieve.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Wendy. They are just the epitome of unconditional love!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. So sorry to hear this. I never can figure out what to say when things like this happen… so I’ll just offer a hug. ♥

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, honey. It was her time and we were lucky to have her for so long. October has just been a really dark month for me, especially this year.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Oh my… I’m so very sorry, Dee. We’ve had to make that decision before and it’s absolutely hell. At least she went on her own…. but still. They really are part of the family. Again I truly feel for you. Sending love. ❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We had to put one dog to sleep years ago and now Inga died on her own. I’m not sure either way is easier, but I was kind of glad not to second guess the decision… Thanks for your kind words, Meg.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. My sympathies on the loss of a wonderful friend. We animal lovers and pet owners feel your pain and boy it hurts. Inga was blessed to have a wonderful life, thanks to you, and every wag of her tail said so.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, you are so sweet to say that! We do love our fur babies, I know

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  20. Hey-Morning from London Town. So sorry to hear about your Inga. Really awful. Sending hugs to you and your family. Yup. Speak soon. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, luv. She was a sweetie. And a rescue dog, so glad we had her as long as we did.

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  21. Yeah girl, ‘adulting’ is hard. Real hard. Defo. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. She’s a beautiful dog. And yep, being an adult has benefits, but a lot of drawbacks. Some days I’d love to be a kid again, to worry about nothing except play 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Me, too! Why didn’t I appreciate all the naps and snacks and time off in the summer??

      Liked by 1 person

  23. I’m loving you through this darker part of life, Dee. I wish you a flood of happy memories. 💗

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  24. Our first dog passed in a similar way. We were thankful that we didn’t have to make the decision to take her back to the vets to put her down. I’m sorry for your loss. Having lost three pets in my adult life I know how difficult it is and now our current dog is getting on in age and we know we will be faced with the same dilemma in the next few years if not sooner.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! That was our second dog we lost over 20 some years and we have one who is 14 1/2. I know we won’t be getting any more dogs, so I think that is making losing them even harder!

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  25. We’re debating whether we should get another. We’d like to travel more and having a dog certainly complicates getting away.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s our reason, too. We have trips planned already for next year and not sure what we will do with our poor old guy.

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  26. Sorry to read of the loss. Heartbreaking whenever love is lost, but certainly will never be forgotten. A gift that often leaves too soon.

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  27. I cried for you and your beloved Inga. She and you must have had a great connection, though it doesn’t help lessen your grief… , she was lucky to have you and vice versa.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maria, thanks for reading! I checked out your blog and your dear dogs. Seeing Bob’s sweet face reminded me SO much of my Inga! Just big fluff balls of love!

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      1. Thank you. Yes they are incredible so much love flows from them. Bob is 13 and not moving well but not in pain, so we take it day by day.

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