Themusingwell's Blog

January 12, 2010

Boomer Cheats Dr. Death

Filed under: Uncategorized — WeeBanshee @ 9:31 pm


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Our dog Boomer is 13 years old.  He’s had a few close calls in his day but none as close as the day the vet came to put him to sleep. 

We’d been told the sad news just after Christmas that Boomer had cancer.  There was a baseball sized tumor on his spleen; the vet thought his demise was imminent especially if the blood vessels surrounding the tumor ruptured.  We paid for test after test to see if the cancer had spread but everything came back inconclusive.  Given his age, no one thought he had much chance.

Sadly, Napoleon and I agreed that no heroics were going to save him and we simply were not in a financial position to afford both surgery and ongoing chemo the dog.  I am very firm in my belief that although pets are precious, going to fantastic lengths to save family pets is more for the humans involved than the pet.  I am not selfish.  Boomer has had an awesome life and been an incredible joy but if he had to go, I wanted him to go peacefully and with some dignity.

With heavy hearts, we agreed to have him put down after New Year’s Day.  Napoleon, tough little emperor though he may be, went through the next few days awash in tears.  So did I.  We were absolutely devastated but we didn’t want the dog to die in front of the kids from internal bleeding which the vet kept telling us was a distinct possibility. 

The Day of Reckoning for Boomer dawned chilly and snowy.  I sent the kids off to school without a word.  Napoleon came home early to be here with us when the vet came.  We took Boomer for one last walk along the snowy dog beach along his beloved Lake Ontario.  We walked and cried and reminisced while Boomer loped along the shoreline, oblivious to our breaking hearts.

We walked up the long hill to our house, our feet getting heavier with every step.  Boomer laboured up the hill but still looked positively perky…he did NOT look like a dog at the end of his days.  His tail and ears were up, there was a bounce in his step…he showed more sparkle on this day than he had in weeks. 

The few minutes we had left before the vet (now unkindly nicknamed Dr. Death)arrived passed slowly.  Napoleon decided, in view of the situation, that Boomer should eat whatever the hell he wanted.  Boomer’s tail thumped on the kitchen floor as my husband fed him:  Greek pork souvlaki, cheese, 2 dog biscuits, and assorted other goodies from the fridge.  The dog was going to leave this world with a world-class case of indigestion.

The vet knocked softly on our front door.  I’m sure this is not the favorite part of his job.  Boomer bounded to the front door to greet him.  “Wow.  He’s looking great,” said the vet.  “He has such…spirit…”  We all looked at each other and then the Great Debate began.

For half an hour, with Boomer lying at our feet, we debated his survival.  It was the most soul-wrenching, nerve-wracking conversation I’ve ever had with anyone ever.  We debated his age, the type of tumor we were most likely dealing with, every symptom, lymph nodes, toenails, you name it we covered it.  Finally, the Dr. D concluded that this dog was not ready for his maker.

As the vet left, we both got down on our knees and hugged the old guy.  A foul odor wafted up from his tail end. Napoleon looked at me and we started to laugh and cry at the same time.  “That Last Supper you gave him is going to haunt us for DAYS!” I said. 

Update:  Boomer had surgery to remove the offending tumor and his spleen.  He’s recovering nicely.  We await test results to see what type of tumor it was and what to do next.  Well done, Boomer!!!!


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