Goodbye, Harry. I love you.

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Kevin
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Goodbye, Harry. I love you.

Postby Kevin » Tue Mar 19, 2013 1:46 pm

I had to say goodbye to Harry this morning, everyone. The Cancer was just too much for him to endure any longer. He hadn't eaten in days at all(he wasn't eating well for awhile but he REALLY turned off in the last week or so).

Harry was my special boy. He slept next to me every night. I bought one of the giant pillows a long time ago because it gave us more room at night for our heads.

He was starting to have trouble using the bathroom and was beginning to go to the back of the yard and just stand there in confusion. My breaking point was when he went back to the corner and just layed down. I went back in the cold after a few minutes and carried my boy into the house.

Our routine was always the same. I would go to bed and once I was all set, Harry would make his way into bed. Even last night, he stayed in the living room a bit longer because his batterred body was so tired. But after a few minutes, he limped into the bedroom and found a way to get into bed with me. He hadn't eaten in days...which was another sign I knew we were "there." I kissed him, told him I loved him as many times as I could.... and we fell asleep for the last time. I asked for God...even if there were no miracles, if he could at least give Harry a peaceful and restful night. And I think he did. He could barely pick his head up as we went to sleep but still managed to "muzzle" my hand which means he wants me to rub his ears and head. So I did that until I fell asleep.

I will miss Harry as much as anyone could miss anything in this world. I came to work today only because its about 20 degrees outside.... and I cannot bear to go home. Even with my other 2 Dogs... the house is not the same. I know I have to take care of Murphy and Itty and of course I will. But Harry was the love of my life. My heart is in shambles right now but there is relief knowing he won't suffer any longer.

I hate Cancer. My version of "hell" is what I just went thru watching Harry succumb to this brutal disease. I would rather watch someone chop my own arm off. Its a helpless feeling of despair that words cannot describe. To sit and watch someone you love with every ounce of your soul die a bit every day and every attempt to help them end in futility.... I can't imagine hell being any worse.

Thank you Sabine for the diet. Harry never really got to enjoy it as I hoped but we had a few days where he did eat some of the foods. Sabine is a true professional and her work is really impressively layed out. I encourage anyone to use her services if considering a homecooked diet. Thank you all for some of the comments you made when I posted the news about 8 weeks ago. Harry had a brutal Cancer... starting in his Spleen and spreading to his abdomen, Liver and bowels. His Mitotic index(measurement of cell proliferation) was 70+. Michigan State Oncologists said they preferred something around 5 to really battle it. So, things were pretty out of control by the time we found it.

I spent a great deal of time researching this horrific disease. Certainly, I'm no expert and could never offer a protocol to follow. However, I did dig into a bunch of things from Artiminisen(Univ of Wash research) to Inosotol(Univ of Maryland research) to Mushrooms(K9 Immunity).... and a few other areas. If anyone else is plagued with this brutal disease and just wants to know where to start sifting thru some of this stuff, by all means, let me know. I was bombarded with information in the beginning and really had information overload. With Harry's degree of Cancer, there was probably little hope, but I wish I had been armed with a better strategy from the beginning. Probably the best starting point for anyone would be Damien Dressler's Dog Cancer Guide.... It took me awhile to get my hands on it and I couldn't really try a whole lot... and Harry's reluctance to eat made everything nearly impossible.

To anyone fighting this brutal disease, my heart bleeds with you. It is a deeply personal and hurtful struggle.... It takes over your life...not knowing what you will find when you come home each day... crying on your drive home, praying your beloved boy/girl is not curled up in a ball in pain. If there is ANY joy today, its knowing I won't have to worry about my boy being in pain any longer. The Cancer has no more host to inflict its evil on.

Take care always.

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Re: Goodbye, Harry. I love you.

Postby maxs_mommy » Tue Mar 19, 2013 1:55 pm

I'm so sorry Kevin, Godspeed to Harry and comforts to you all.
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Re: Goodbye, Harry. I love you.

Postby connie » Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:09 pm

I am so sorry, Kevin. Harry will be sorely missed. I know many of us here in the ODO community will echo your sentiments about cancer, as our own experiences have been sadly similar to yours.

I would love to see some photos of Harry, and read his life story, if you want to post that somewhere on the board? I think there was going to be a Memorial section, maybe Harry could be the 'foundation dog' for it? :love:

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Re: Goodbye, Harry. I love you.

Postby Sweetgrass Farm » Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:11 pm

Harry was fortunate to have someone like you love him and help him in his journey. Be at peace and pain-free, Harry. So very sorry for your loss.

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Re: Goodbye, Harry. I love you.

Postby JudyL » Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:41 pm

I'm so very sorry, Kevin. Run free, Harry.

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Re: Goodbye, Harry. I love you.

Postby Sabine » Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:51 pm

Kevin, I am so very, very sorry. I only know too well how you feel. It's terrible to know you can't really do anything once it gets to a certain stage except for trying to preserve quality of life.

Harry was a lucky dog to have such a caring dad, and I'm sure he appreciates all you did for him. He is at peace now, and free of pain. It will be a long, long road back to some degree of normality (although a very different kind of normal), but I hope things will get a little bit easier for you soon. I know for me it took several months before I finally no longer felt like I was in a nightmare I couldn't wake up from.
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Re: Goodbye, Harry. I love you.

Postby SherriA » Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:14 pm

Oh Kevin, I'm so sorry to read this. I'm glad you had a peaceful final night with your special boy. So many of us know the pain of that goodbye, and it's never easy coming back from it, especially after a heart dog leaves you. I hope your wonderful memories of Harry will help you through this time.

Sweet dreams, Harry. You were dearly loved and are sorely missed.
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Re: Goodbye, Harry. I love you.

Postby rsimone » Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:27 pm

Kevin, I am so very sorry. I can only echo what everyone else has stated here. I know all too well the pain you are going through. And yes I would have given my right arm for my little guy not to have gone through the evil of cancer. He passed away July 2012,...it still cuts deep into my heart. The only consolation is that we will be united with them again, I truly believe that. Read the Rainbow Bridge Poem,..and know Harry is always with you.Peace and comfort to you at this time.

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Re: Goodbye, Harry. I love you.

Postby QBert » Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:16 pm

I'm so sorry.
Rest easy now, Harry.

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Re: Goodbye, Harry. I love you.

Postby MaisyPancakes » Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:22 pm

Oh Kevin, I'm so sorry. I have no good words to add...just tears. We're all thinking of you.

Run free, Harry. We will miss you very much.

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Re: Goodbye, Harry. I love you.

Postby emmas_mom » Tue Mar 19, 2013 6:31 pm

Kevin, I am so very sorry. I am thankful he found the strength to spend last night with you and let you know he loved you and knew you loved him. While there will always be a hole in your life, he will always be in your heart, always always.

Run free, Harry.

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Re: Goodbye, Harry. I love you.

Postby UpwardDog » Tue Mar 19, 2013 6:33 pm

I'm so very sorry.((hugs))

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Re: Goodbye, Harry. I love you.

Postby whiteboxerboy » Tue Mar 19, 2013 7:28 pm

i'm so very sorry.

run free, Harry.

thoughts of peace & comfort to you, Kevin. such a difficult time, i know. take care of yourself and know that Harry is always with you and loving you for being his loving companion.

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Re: Goodbye, Harry. I love you.

Postby Calypso » Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:02 pm

I'm so sorry. It is hard enough to say goodbye to such a good friend, but to watch them suffer must make it so very much worse.

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Re: Goodbye, Harry. I love you.

Postby Amanda » Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:04 pm

I'm so sorry for your loss and the grief you are going through now. Godspeed, Harry.

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Re: Goodbye, Harry. I love you.

Postby Bari » Tue Mar 19, 2013 11:26 pm

I know the pain you are suffering from. MY older Cocker, Kahlua, was just diagnosed with the dreaded C this week.

Recovering from a loss like that is hard ...be kind to yourself. You did the best you could given the cards you were dealt.

Run free Harry.
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Re: Goodbye, Harry. I love you.

Postby Carson_Crazies » Wed Mar 20, 2013 6:30 am

I'm so, so sorry Kevin. :( I'm typing this through tears, and want you to know that you'll be in my thoughts and prayers.
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Re: Goodbye, Harry. I love you.

Postby RobinS » Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:43 am

I am very sorry for your loss...I know that pain all too well.

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Re: Goodbye, Harry. I love you.

Postby Kevin » Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:49 am

the last day, I think has been the worst. looking out over his yard, the emptiness of my house... the finality of everything really hits you.

I found a clump of his hair last night and rubbed it against my cheek and nose...trying to smell my boy one last time.

Life is almost too much to bare right now.

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Re: Goodbye, Harry. I love you.

Postby Jen » Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:38 am

I'm very sorry :(

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Re: Goodbye, Harry. I love you.

Postby Sabine » Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:48 am

Aww Kevin. *hugs*

I have the shirt hanging in my bedroom that I was wearing when I had to say goodbye to Quigley, when he was snuggling in my arms for the very last time. It's been over a year and I haven't washed or worn it again since then. There's no smell left by now, but I just can't bear to do anything with it.
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Re: Goodbye, Harry. I love you.

Postby Sweetgrass Farm » Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:07 pm

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Re: Goodbye, Harry. I love you.

Postby rsimone » Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:49 pm

Aww Kevin. *hugs*

I have the shirt hanging in my bedroom that I was wearing when I had to say goodbye to Quigley, when he was snuggling in my arms for the very last time. It's been over a year and I haven't washed or worn it again since then. There's no smell left by now, but I just can't bear to do anything with it.
Oh Sabine,...I am glad I am not the only one. I still have the shirt and pants I wore with my little boy...still can't bear to wash them. Kevin I keep his collar next to my bed. I am so very sorry for your pain, we all understand. I still get a sick feeling in my stomach everyday at 3pm...at the time I had to say goodbye. Let yourself cry as much as you need to AND as long as you need to...

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Re: Goodbye, Harry. I love you.

Postby Kevin » Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:09 pm

thank you rs. I have never cried so much in my life.

I've gotten to the point where I can at least laugh about other things in life... but then all of a sudden I will think of Harry and lose it.

This was my one weak point in life. I asked God awhile ago.... (even before the Cancer)... you can take anything from me. My job, my money, about anything. But please do not hurt Harry. That was all I wanted protected.

I've lost faith in God because of this... admittedly, its not a good time to think about my faith as its really, really been smashed. I don't know how something as evil as Cancer could have ever been created. I'm as angry as I am sad.

What hurts the most is this... Harry's bloodwork, kidney's, liver function...everything was fine. His body was good for another 4-5 years. Then the Cancer invaded his body and just wrecked my boy. I hate it, I truly hate it. I'm angry at our Scientists for not coming up with something to solve this. I'm angry at the Vet community for not having better treatments or effective methods... I'm just really sad and angry right now. I know its not right but its how I feel.

About all I have done to feel better was to open Petfinder and see all of the homeless pets. I'm probably not going to be ready for a bit but the realization that there are thousands of "Harry's" out there looking for homes makes me realize that there WILL come a day where I need to stop crying and healing... and give life to another.

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Re: Goodbye, Harry. I love you.

Postby SherriA » Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:32 pm

Kevin, feelings are never wrong; they are what they are. If you're angry, then you're angry and that's just fine. I would be too.

You're right; there are so many more Harry's out there. None of them will replace your Harry, but our hearts are amazing things. They seem to expand to love another without taking anything away from the place held by the one we lost. Perhaps, when you're ready, this might bring you some comfort. I know it did for me.



“Before humans die, they write their last will and testament, give their home and all they have to those they leave behind.


If, with my paws, I could do the same,

this is what I would ask …

“To a poor and lonely stray, I’d give my happy home, my bowl, cozy bed and all my toys, the lap which I loved so much and the tender loving touch.

Also the hand that stroked my fur and the sweet voice, which called my name.

I’d will to the sad, scared shelter animal, the place I had in my human’s loving heart of which their seemed no bounds.

So, when I die, please do not say,

‘I will never have a pet again, for the loss and the pain are more than I can stand.’

Instead, go find an unloved animal, one who’s life holds no hope or joy and give my place to him.

This is the only thing that I can give ... the love I left behind. This is my inheritance — my last will and testament.”
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Re: Goodbye, Harry. I love you.

Postby rsimone » Wed Mar 20, 2013 5:29 pm

Yes Kevin, the healing will come,....slowly,..but it will come. Be kind to yourself Kevin. "I've lost my faith in God because of this",...oh yeah,...it is called the dark night of the soul,...but that too will come back to you. And so will Harry,...he will come back to you, our soul dogs always do. It hasn't happened to me yet,..but my little guy will come back to me also. Just read through some of the threads here,..and you will see so many of the folks here on the board "knew" when their "soul" dogs have returned to them. Keep that as a comfort in your heart. Mad as hell oh, yes,..all if it is gut wrenching,...that medical science isn't more advanced in these things. There will continue to be times when you lose it,..why? just because,...and that is a good enough explanation. Murphy and Itty will miss him also take comfort in that they know what you are going through. We all wish that our babies could live as long as we do. If you have time read the book A Dogs Purpose, and then read the sequel book. It brought me so much comfort,..it will help to heal you also.

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Re: Goodbye, Harry. I love you.

Postby rsimone » Wed Mar 20, 2013 5:30 pm

Just to mention,...the sequel book is called A Dogs Journey...

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Re: Goodbye, Harry. I love you.

Postby Sabine » Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:29 pm

What hurts the most is this... Harry's bloodwork, kidney's, liver function...everything was fine. His body was good for another 4-5 years. Then the Cancer invaded his body and just wrecked my boy. I hate it, I truly hate it. I'm angry at our Scientists for not coming up with something to solve this. I'm angry at the Vet community for not having better treatments or effective methods... I'm just really sad and angry right now. I know its not right but its how I feel.
I went through that too. Even on the day Quigley left me, his bloodwork was normal. Everything in his body except his lungs and a small mass near his pancreas looked normal. He had had a soft tissue injury a few months earlier and my vet took xrays just to make sure there wasn't anything unusual going on, and he was amazed that this (at the time 9 1/2 year old) dog had the joints of a young adult.

I wasn't so much angry at the vet community, but I was second guessing myself a lot. I had never over-vaccinated, Quigley had eaten a suitable homemade diet for most of his life (and all of the vets involved credited his diet for the good shape he was in right up to the end), and I thought I had made all the right choices, but I'll never know.

One factor I'm blaming is his early neuter (3 months), which was something I couldn't change since he was adopted from L.A. animal control and they won't release intact animals. It's bitterly ironic that the dog I had before Quigley died of mammary cancer and I'm convinced that wouldn't have happened if I'd had her spayed as a young adult. Damn if you do, damn if you don't.

All I can do is set my focus on applying everything I've learned over the years to Dax' benefit, and feeling comfortable with my choices. (Such as waiting to neuter.)
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Kevin
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Re: Goodbye, Harry. I love you.

Postby Kevin » Thu Mar 21, 2013 6:20 am

Oh, Sabine, I'm there also. I spoke with a wonderful rescue owner yesterday... if you get a chance, go take a look at the rescue he runs near me.... briarfieldsanctuary.org/

We spoke for 30 minutes on his rescue and the Dogs he's seen with Cancer. He didn't speak highly of prior experiences with Michigan State and I couldn't disagree with some of the things he said. It made me wonder if I could have sought out other places to take Harry. But here I am, lost in this nightmare at the drop of a hat and one of the top rated Veterinary hospitals in the world is 40 minutes from me.... I thought I was doing the right thing.

Food... oh, Food and Vet care, immunizations.... they all rifle thru my mind. Life is cruel in the way it makes you second guess. We want to grab onto something. WHY? WHY? Growing up, my family had an amazing run with Dog life spans. We had a ROTTWEILER live to about 15 eating grocery store Dog food. I'd say the best food he ever had was Pedigree. My Mom was religious about immunizations also. Another Stray we had lived close to 20. YES, 20 years old. Same food protocol and vet visits. These Dogs didn't live a horrible life, but not the pampered life my dogs live today.

Harry? Nothing but Orijen, Evo, Innova, Fromm, daily walks, slept on a pillowtop mattress all of his life.

Riddled with Cancer at age 10-12(never knew his exact age).

I wonder if it even matters with Cancer. I honestly don't know.

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Re: Goodbye, Harry. I love you.

Postby PofiMia » Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:17 am

Kevin - I am so very sorry to hear about your devastating loss. I know the greif is deep - probably seems bottomless. And your home is altered though still shared with your other dogs. But in time, you will be able to feel that joy of having shared your life and given such a good life to a wonderful companion like Harry. It's because they add so much to our lives that the loss is so shattering. But the alternative - not to have had that companionship - unthinkable.

Wishing you comfort in the tenderness of memories. Know that we are here and understand the sorrow, the anger, the self doubt. But Harry knows you always did the best you knew to care for him.

Rest well, Harry, goodest boy and so very loved.


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