Today we did the hardest thing we’ve ever had to do, we said goodbye to Eve in what was a whirlwind insane few days.
On Wednesday night Eve jumped up on our bed to assume her usual “cuddles” position and while I was patting her she yelp, swirled around and took a little warning nip. Upon investigation it became obvious her right hind leg was quite swollen, the area was incredibly hard.
Eve had also been a little listless and wasn’t eating much that day.
I was so concerned I worked from home the next day and ran Eve to the vet to have it checked out.
The vet, Sarah, was concerned that the mass was a growth. And she was going to draw blood and do a fine needle aspiration of the zone to determine what it was. The blood work was going to take 24 to 48 hours to come back.
On Friday David called Sarah to see if she had heard back from the blood work and she said she was just reading through it when he called. She then went on to say that it revealed that Eve had cancer and that we’d have to bring Eve back in to determine what type of cancer it was and what the best course of treatment would be. There was some concern based on the blood work returned that the cancer could be an extremely aggressive type, from the rudimentary tests the labs determination was that Eve probably had about 4 months to live, with Chemotherapy to assist. There was also a slim chance that the Chemo could reduced the cancer on her leg to the point it may have been cut out.
We booked her in for Monday (today) to have more tests. Today’s test were further blood work to check it out further, to make sure she would survive sedation, x-rays and biopsies. Turns out we only got up to the blood work and x-rays under mild sedation.
Sarah’s diagnosis was that while not the aggressive cancer Eve’s leg and right hind area were over run with a mass. Were she to attempt surgery to remove the growth we’d be losing a quarter of Eve’s mass and as she went on to say it would be to no avail.
She showed us Eve’s chest x-rays and showed how her heart had become malformed and her trachea was pushed out of shape from a mass growing around her heart and in her chest cavity. It was at this point I started to cry.
On Friday when Sarah advised she’d want to do x-rays to determine if the cancer was anywhere else in her body David and I had discussed that if, as Sarah believed , other organs were compromised then we’d make the hard decision to let her go. So we spent the weekend with her, cancelling plans and rearranging friends so we can maximise our time with her.
There were lots of cuddles, lots of love and no tears this weekend. We just spent a lot of time with the best dog in the world.
So when we say the state of her body and how far the cancer had progressed we couldn’t do anything other than let her go. Sarah’s diagnosis of up to 4 months on Friday became a week today after seeing Eve’s further blood work and the x-rays. And it was to be a week of pain killers for her more so we could spend the week saying goodbye. Really we weren’t even guaranteed a week, it was to be day by day and for us to determine when Eve had had enough. So we stuck by our discussion from Friday and agreed to say good bye today.
And it was fucking hard being there with her for that. The vet explained everything up front, what to expect, what else could happen and that it as basically like Eve being anaesthetised and then pushed a little further to stop the heart.
It was gut wrenching, watching how quickly her body went limp. Sarah left us to be with her for a few minutes during which time I cried more than I think I ever have. I can confirm that massive amounts of tears won’t flood your contacts from your eyes.
We said our final good byes and left Eve there to be taken care of. We’re assured she will be cremated and her ashes spread at an animal cemetery. We couldn’t bear to bring her home and we certainly didn’t want her ashes returned.
Eve was a brilliant dog, she never gave us any trouble, well except for being an escape artist at times. She was well tempered and beautiful in both body and soul.
We’ll miss her with all our hearts. With any luck, universe willing there is an afterlife of sorts, she’s with Adam now and they’re having a great time. She gave us 11 wonderful years of cuddles, wet noses and the occasional quick tongue kiss when you weren’t expecting it.