Loss of a Fur-Family Member

We’ve been devastated by the sudden loss of our main man Brodi last Friday 12/29/17.

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About a week before Christmas we noticed that he hadn’t been eating very much food and that he looked skinny.  We took him into the Vet on the Friday before Christmas and found out he had lost 15 lbs.  Otherwise all the blood work, urine analysis, xrays, stool samples, etc… came back looking normal.  We thought it was just a bug or some kind of food aversion he had suddenly developed.

Fast forward to after the holiday weekend and we got a second opinion at another Veterinary clinic in the area and they did some additional tests and an ultra sound.  The results were devastating.  Brodi’s stomach lining was 5 times the thickness it should have been.  A normal health stomach would have three different layers in their stomach, but in his xrays there was only one layer because another type of cell had taken over everything (cancer).  His pancreas was also inflamed and had cysts inside of it. His gallbladder was backed up and full of the toxic sludge that should not be just sitting there.  The stomach had become so inflamed that it had pinched off the passageway for the Gallbladder to empty into the stomach.

We found all this out on the Thursday after thanksgiving.  We talked about surgery and quickly ruled it out.  The odds of finding something curable were low; and the odds of him recovering from that kind of exploratory surgery (which likely involved removing the pancreas and gallbladder) were even lower.  We were told he had days or weeks left… it all depended on his ability / desire to eat food.

We had a goal of him eating three and a half to four cans of wet food per day.  The entire following Friday he ate nothing.  No begging, pleading, or trying to put the food in his mouth… would work.  He was laying around and sleeping most of the day, but not interested in eating.  I called the Vet and we had to make the decision to say goodbye to Brodi before he starved to death or the cancer started to spread and cause him more discomfort or pain.

Brodi was so excited to see his leash come out that he got up and danced around for the first time in days… it broke our hearts.  It was almost our undoing.  We didn’t want to say goodbye to our sweet soul.  However logic won out through streaming tears of emotions and we took him in.

The Veterinary Clinic in Lodi could not have been more thoughtful, caring and accommodating.  They made what was easily the hardest decision I’ve made to date… as easy as it could have been.  Right at the end the Vet turned to me and reassured us that we were doing the right thing.  We both broke down into tears and said our final goodbyes.

I don’t think I can properly put into words the physical and emotional heartache this has caused us.  He was dealt a bad hand.  He was the best and sweetest dog.  The scariest part was having really no warning (that we noticed) that cancer had taken up residence in our dog and had gotten so bad.

He was a part of our story, our daily lives, or future plans and I will forever be grateful for the time we got to spend loving him, receiving love from him and having him in our family.  He would have been 9 in June this year.

We’ve cried at least once every day since we said goodbye.  It will be quite a while before I can look back with just smiles and not smiles and tears.

This is responsibility we take on when we accept a fur child into our lives.  It was hard, but everything that came before it made it worth it.

We will never forget him… and always love him.

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