Tribute to an old friend

ddogdIt has been only three months since my little mate left us. I think of him every day.

My little Maltese Dylan, is now no longer with us after we made the heartbreaking decision to let him go after the diagnosis of cancer. He did well after his initial operation to remove his spleen and the large tumour attached to it. We bought another four months for him before the cancer finally claimed him 3rd November, 2012.

Within the first two months after his operation another lump was noticed in his stomach. Shortly after, I took him back to the vet for an ultrasound. It was then that I was told that this time there was more than one tumour and that it was now only a matter of time, dependent upon how quickly they grew and how much pain he was in.

He managed for another few weeks relatively free of pain. I spent as much time as I could with him in my arms, carried him everywhere with me and put him on my bed every night to sleep with me. I wanted to spend as much time as I could with my precious boy, although I didn’t want to think about the immediate future. He was still here as a tangible presence in my life and that was all that mattered.

On the morning of 3rd November, he collapsed and screamed in agony. His little body convulsed and his eyes glazed over. We raced to his side while he lay there, panting and paralysed. He then got up and walked away as if nothing had happened. I felt the lump in his stomach again and he didn’t flinch. It was huge and I wondered just what it was pressing on to cause so much pain, as he was walking around and seemed okay, I tried to put the possibility of taking him to the vet at the back of my mind and continued to watch him. A few hours later, I carried him down the front steps of our home to the grass. He walked two or three steps and collapsed onto the ground again. This time there was no scream. He was in too much pain to scream. His little body just writhed in agony as my husband and I cried over him.

My husband looked at me and said that we were taking him to the vet.  I looked at him and nodded my head. Perhaps there was something that they could do.

To cut a long and sad story short, there was no miracle. Our little boy’s tumours were so vast that the terrible spasms that he experienced beforehand were just going to become worse before he died an agonising death. What to do?  I knew what to do, but I didn’t want to think about it.

We made the decision to put him to sleep. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. My husband and I held our little fur-baby in our arms as he took his last breath. I hope he didn’t feel any pain. Everybody assures me that it was the most humane thing that I could have done and the most loving, as we saved him from something much worse than a peaceful death. It still doesn’t stop me from feeling like a monster for putting my baby down.

We were there when he was born. We bottle fed him and raised him. We saw his first breath, his 15 years of life, and his last breath.

I would like to believe that there is life after death and that some day I will see him again. It goes without question for me that out pets have souls. How could something so pure and loving not have a soul?

I keep myself going by telling myself that, yes, I lost a beautiful friend and I will love him forever but I wouldn’t swap any of the sadness and heartache that I feel right now for not ever having known this beautiful little being at all. I feel privileged.

Rest in peace, Dylan. All my love.

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8 Responses

  1. Thanks for your reply. It sounds interesting but I’m not sure how to get into something like that and how to begin. I do enjoy writing, however, so that’s a bonus 🙂 Any leads on where to begin or where to make enquiries would be gratefully received. I use British English here Oz so I guess transitions would have to be made for American English. I’m so-so about medical transcription at times.. Sometimes I enjoy it and sometimes I don’t. A bit like life really 🙂

    • There is a huge demand for writers that can write in UK English. I write in English, UK English and Australian English at this time. All you have to do is go to odesk.com and set up your profile. In your profile, include a link to this blog in the portfolio area. I used to work as a support rep for oDesk, so I understand the process.

      Once you set up your profile, all you have to do is start applying for jobs. If you live in the U.S., you need to fill out a W9 form electronically, which is simple. If you have any questions, their live support chat is stellar. I am so happy working via oDesk at home. I make my own hours and I pick and choose the best jobs for me. I just love it. The only downside is that you need to check out the client when you apply – look for great feedback (4.5 to 5.0) and a verified payment method.

      I joined oDesk in 2007 when my hours at the newspaper were cut. I started out with a few small jobs and now I’ve got several clients that I do a variety of tasks for – including writing all kinds of content, editing, proofreading, and creating article ideas and titles.

      Many people also use Elance.com for jobs, but I’ve had much more luck with oDesk. Elance limits you to one job title, and then you can only look for jobs under that, but oDesk has no limits.

      Try it out and see what you think. If you have any questions, you can ask me. You should be happy in your work. 🙂

  2. I am so sorry for you loss and can relate. We had to do the same with our dog, Max several years ago. You did all the right things and made loving, caring choices for your “mate.” I do believe dogs have an afterlife – cats, too. Someday, I hope you’ll get another little mate and give him or her the same love and attention. But for now, healing is the main thing. God Bless, and keep writing!

    • Thanks for your reply. It’s a sad thing that we go through but the rewards are great. He was a treasure.

      • Exactly! My life would not be complete without a canine in it. But, I honestly think we, as humans, can do better. Dogs should live much longer. We live almost 100 years, and if you think about it, their physiology is quite similar to humans – with a few exceptions, of course.

        I think through better diet and preventative medicine, we can extend, or even triple their life span. I also think some of the vaccines vets give are either unnecessary, given too often and/or given in higher dosages than needed. I should do some research to see if anyone out there is doing any related studies on this.

        Also, do you like being a medical transcriptionist? I tried doing audio transcribing for awhile, but I hated it! With your writing skills, you could be a copywriter or editor. I started out writing 100 percent of the time, but now I work as an editor and content consultant 80 percent. I work from home via oDesk at a great hourly rate now. It took some time to build up feedback and a decent pay rate, but it was well worth it.

        Take care. 🙂

      • I agree. I try to look after my dogs as best as I can and generally they have a wonderful life with me, but I am constantly thinking about ways to improve their lifespans. I’ve lost two beautiful companions in the last five years and it’s just like losing a child to me.

        I don’t mind being a medical transcriptionist as I have worked in admin for many years. The pay rate is low, however, and I will have to improve my line count if I want to make more. The potential is there I guess, as I want to stay at home and work and I have all the state-of-the-art equipment to do it with. I have also always enjoyed writing and was very good at it in school and at university. I’m not brilliant but I have my own style. Your work sounds interesting. I can read an article and generally pick out the flaws in it. I’ve even found flaws in novels I have read in the past. My annoying habit of being a perfectionist at times I suppose 🙂 Feel free to tell me more. Take care.

      • We share an annoying habit! I find mistakes all the time – in fact, I could keep editing my own writing again and again if I didn’t know when to stop. I’ve been known to email webmasters to let them know of a blatant error on their website, but I do refrain with personal conversations. 🙂

        And to be honest, being a writer doesn’t earn a lot at first, but once you have some experience under your belt, you can work as an editor, and then the pay rate starts looking good. My profile rate on started at $10 per hour and now it has doubled to $20 per hour – I don’t know how that stacks up to the salary of a medical transcriptionist. I’m also enrolled in the oDesk payroll and 401K programs, which is a great perk.

        I can tell from your writing here that you definitely have the talent it takes to make a go out of writing and editing. You could start out with a small side project or two to see if it may be something for you. I know you have devoted much time and effort to becoming a medical transcriptionist, so I would never tell you to stop doing that – as long as you enjoy it.

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