Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Saying Goodbye...

I know that this is a far departure from what I generally post on my blog, but I needed to write this.

It feels like yesterday that we brought home our Neapolitan Mastiff puppy. He was the goofiest, most lovable, uncoordinated dog. I can’t tell you how many times he knocked me over because he’d run and not be able to stop himself before barreling into the back of my knees. A couple of months ago, he was so excited to see me that he head butted me in the mouth and busted my lip.

His clumsiness was endearing and no one could stay mad at him. I once threatened to turn him into a dog skin rug after he turned my couch into a chew toy, literally. I remember the other dog sitting far away from him as if to say, “I had nothing to do with the destruction of that couch,” while Sirus proudly sat on the heap of foam he had torn to shreds.

At times, he was a 150 pound pain in the ass but mostly he was just adorable and loving, a true gentle giant. He was a good watch dog and loyal companion. He wanted nothing more than to be with his people. So, when I went outside to feed him a month ago and he didn’t get up to greet me, I knew something was terribly wrong.

I loaded this moose into the backseat of my Nissan and drove him to the vet. His fever was high and chest x-rays revealed pneumonia. We put him on antibiotics and hoped for a quick recovery. Over the next week, his condition worsened and he stopped urinating. After several more trips to the vet and a host of tests, he was diagnosed with bladder cancer. I was stopped in my tracks by the word, “untreatable.”

However, it was possible to treat the symptoms and buy some time. He was prescribed a medication that could possibly shrink the cancer enough to allow him to urinate. We tried this for three weeks during which he seemed to feel better but still wasn’t urinating regularly.

This past weekend he took a turn for the worse. Saturday night, his fever spiked and he became particularly needy. He wanted to be close to me. I sat with him for hours that night, petting him and talking to him, reassuring him, or more like reassuring myself.

The next morning, he wasn’t able to get up and his body wouldn’t stop shaking. I phoned the vet who advised it would be best if we put him down and that he would be on his way over. To say I was devastated would be a gross understatement. I knew we were putting off the inevitable with the medication but I wasn’t ready to let him go. As selfish as it sounds, I wanted just a little more time.

This was one of the hardest decisions we’ve ever had to make but we loved him too much to let him suffer. He was surrounded by the people he loved and who loved him when the vet administered the shot that put him to sleep. We buried him in the northwest corner of our property.

As much as this hurts, I have no regrets. We had eight wonderful years of love and devotion. When spring comes, I’m going to plant flowers over his grave. Vibrant, colorful flowers to remind us of all the brightness he brought into our lives.

Godspeed, boy! You were, and still are, loved and will be missed beyond measure.


10/21/02 – 02/06/11


  1. Oh I'm so, so sorry for your loss. I love animals more than anything, and I dread when the day comes that I have to face what you just did. My heart and prayers go out to you and your family.

  2. Xee and Jamie,

    Thanks for the kind sentiments, they really mean a lot to me.



  3. ((Hugs)) Your post brought tears to my eyes. We have four dogs currently, over the past few years two have passed on. Dogs become like members of the family. I'm so sorry for your loss.

  4. Oh Melissa! I'm so sorry to hear this! My heart breaks for you...they are part of the family and there is a void in your home when they are gone. I love the pic with the gobs of drool!

  5. Choked! I have been through this twice, first for a 14 year old and second to a 5 year old.

    Different things but result the same.

  6. So sorry for your loss. Dogs are like one of the family and it's just heartbreaking to lose them.
    I had to make the decision to have our seventeen-year old cat put down last year. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done, but I knew it was the right thing.
    No creature should ever have to suffer when we can help them find peace.
    I'm sure your big goof had the best life ever being part of your family.

  7. I'm so sorry for your loss. Just reading about it brought tear to my eyes. It is not easy losing a furry family member.

  8. Thank you everyone for the kind words. They really do help and heal!

  9. Hugs! I know how hard it is to let go.

  10. Melissa I am sorry for your family's loss. It is the most painful thing to go through. Our Golden Retriever had cancer and we had to put him down as well so I completely know what you are going through. That was back in 2002 and I still get teary eyed when I see pictures of him. Even now I am tearing up thinking about what you are going through. I am so sorry.

  11. Wow Michelle I am so sorry for ya'lls loss. I knew he was sick but didn't realize how sick. We lost a great Dane a few years ago to cancer. I dread the day that our lab can't get up anymore. My husband will lose it.

    He was a beautiful dog and will live on in your memories.

  12. So sorry for your family's loss - a pet gives so much unconditional love and becomes a member of the family before we even know it.

  13. RIP Sirus, he will be missed and never forgotten. I hope you can find peace in your heart knowing that he is no longer suffering. He was a good dog and lived a long happy life with a wonderful family...

  14. Im so sorry-been there more than once.