September 8, 1997 — September 10, 2011
My precious Toby came in to my life 9/8/97 and departed from me 9/10/11. My Toby was diagnosed with HEMANGIOSARCOMA of the spleen 4.5 years ago and had an emergency Spleenectomy which revealed a burst tumor in his abdominal cavity. The Vet gave Toby 3 months to live with or without treatment and I made the decision to forgo treatment as the “odds” of Toby surviving through the chemotherapy was small and I wanted him to live out whatever time he had happy. I was BLESSED to be given 4.5 years after Toby’s surgery and diagnosis. In the 4.5 years, my precious dog went from 103 pounds to 50 pounds before he died. He remained happy, he didn’t show signs of being sick or being in pain on the outside, and lived knowing he was loved.
The truth is I needed Toby more than he needed me. In the end, Toby’s kidneys and liver were affected by both age and the cancer. In his final days I fed him water and soft food from a bottle, carried him outside when I thought he needed to eliminate, took him for a couple of car rides and making sure he knew I loved him so very much. I wanted Toby to go naturally because I just didn’t want to make the decision to let him go. The final nights of Toby’s life I slept on the floor near his bed of lush pillows and blankets in the event he needed water. On Friday evening the day before Toby’s passing I knew that he wasn’t going to make it through the weekend. The morning of 9/10/11 I awoke at 5:00 a.m and realized Toby was in the dying process, his eyes were in a blank stare as if he wasn’t there and his breathing was shallow. I just couldn’t watch my beloved dog go so I called the Vet to my home. I couldn’t watch my Toby be put down nor could I wrap him in a blanket and put him in the hole I had dug earlier so my brother and the Vet did until he was half way buried and I could take over. It breaks my heart knowing that pets come in to our hearts so quickly and show us the meaning of love and can be taken from us by something so horrible as canine cancer. I was one of the lucky ones who got 4.5 years after my Toby’s diagnosis and I believe it’s because Toby knew I needed him and couldn’t give him up. To all those who have lost or are in the process of losing their beloved pet to cancer, no matter what your decision is for their future, never give up on them, and love them as much as you can. Toby may be gone but he is in my heart forever.