Sunday, November 22, 2009

Peace At Last

MaddyMaddy was diagnosed with osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in June. We made the decision to have her leg amputated to make whatever time she had left quality time for her.

She learned to run and play with three legs. She was her old self again, and we all grew much closer to her than we had ever been.

The past few weeks, she has been declining rapidly. She went the last two weeks without eating. She vomited and, today, had to be picked up and carried to go outside.

We stayed home from church today to spend some time with her. My wife and I talked about it and decided that the best way to spend the day was as a family -- with all of the family, including Maddy. She followed us into the living room today. We made her a comfortable place to lie by the back door and soak up the sun. We wrapped her in a blanket where she could lie in comfort in the middle of the room.

And at 3:15 pm Eastern Time, with my wife and my six-year-old son nearby, lying in my arms, Maddy won her battle with cancer. She is now free from pain and suffering. She now has a new body, with four legs again, free from cancer, and is running in green fields and swimming in ponds.

Many ask if pets go to Heaven. There are two sides to this issue, like any other. I believe that they do, for we are told that God does not forget animals (Luke 12:6). God loves animals, and if He loves them, how can He consider them disposable beings?

Yes, I believe we will see our Maddy again some day, when she comes bounding into our arms, just like she has done for the past 9-1/2 years.

We're going to miss you, Maddy, but we are happy for you that you have finally found relief.


Joelle said...

Hi there,

Wondering if you had it to do over again, would you amputate? Or make her comfortable and consider putting her to sleep as the pain got worse?

They say bone pain in the worst there is. I'm leaning towards euthanasia for my 9yo doberman - his lungs may be clear, but every time he trips or hops, I'm afraid his leg will just snap. I'm worried if I put him through the surgery, it will be a selfish decision that he will not understand. And he is already not himself.

And there is no Terra Haute near here.


Average Joe American said...

My wife and I discussed this after Maddy's passing, and yes, I think we would do the same thing again. We both believe that we made the right choice for Maddy.

It was a difficult decision, whether to amputate, euthanize, or just let her live it out, but we knew two things for certain: 1) Maddy was miserable the way she was -- she had been our first kid, and we knew her well; (2) Euthanasia could only end one way -- death. What we didn't know was how she would respond to amputation -- but we knew that it would at least give her a chance.

For most of the five months after the amputation, Maddy was happier and more active than she had been for months. She actually ran faster on three legs than she had when she was healthy running on four. We took her for frequent walks, and our two children became much closer to Maddy. They had time to prepare themselves for the inevitable and to create new memories with her that will last them a lifetime.

I can't imagine ever making any different decision, given the same (or similar) situation. We said it would be quite some time before getting another dog. Now we have two: a Chihuahua and a Bishon. That final months with Maddy taught us just how important a loving pet can be, and just how easy it can be to take it for granted.

Thanks for your comments. Our prayers are with you and your Doberman -- that you'll do what is right for the dog.

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