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 our 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.