End of the Road

We’ve had many ups and downs with Scully. Ever since she was diagnosed with a grade 3 mast cell tumor (that inevitably spread), life’s been a constant question of “is it time?”

I’ve had to ask myself that many times with her. She’ll get really sick and then bounce back a couple days later. We tried 2 different chemo pills and both caused more tumors to grow so once I took her off and decided to do supportive care, she went downhill. I asked myself many times if it was time. I’d give her one more day and she’d bounce back. Each time.

This last time was when I left to go out of town. Her back leg swelled up severely (much like her other leg did before we amputated it) and I had Justin take her to the vet for a heavy dose of benadryl. The vet said, “I’m REALLY concerned and think this is the end of the road.” I mentioned that she’s still eating, drinking and gets excited when I get home. So her behavior is hard to dismiss. And honestly, these tumors are notorious for growing when histamine is released. And since she was previously kenneled, the stress of that most likely caused her tumors to swell. I told her that I want to be there when the time comes and with me being out of town, she understood and sent Justin and Scully home with pain meds and a stronger dose of benadryl.

When I got home from my trip her leg was better but she stopped eating. Research told me that carbs cause tumors to grow so I put her on an all meat diet and within 4 days, she was pretty much back to normal – as normal as a 3-legged dog with cancer can be.

The reality is she was only going to get worse. Yes, she’d bounce back but each time it took more and more of her spirit away. The question finally came again. Is it time? This time, yes, it was time.

We all said our goodbyes to her with many, many tears and I drove her to the vet. I knew it was time because she didn’t even bother getting excited for a car ride, even if it was her last one.

Do you know how awkward it is walking into the vet and saying “I think I need to put my dog down”? It feels weird and you feel all eyes are on you because not only are you saying something you never thought you’d say but you’re trying not to cry while uttering those words.

Our vet’s office was very understanding, professional and compassionate. The vet didn’t say I was making the right or wrong decision. They let us be together as long as we needed. I held her and told her that it wasn’t supposed to be like this. She was supposed to grow old and experience Marlo chasing her or spend the next 4 or more summers outside, exploring no-man’s land or at least eat all that great chicken I just bought her.

My sweet Scully left us Thursday, April 24 at 10 years old. Our house is quiet and sad. Her bowls are still out. Her bed is still in our room. There’s uneaten Cheerios under Marlo’s highchair.

It’s hard to say if we’ll get another dog. Jules wants one and I know Justin would want another one. But I can’t handle the heartbreak. I just have to remember the good times. And there were many.



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