My wife Devvie and I lost today our beloved Italian Greyhound Dante (fawn colored on the right). He seemed fine until yesterday. But yesterday he seemed listless, then limp. That evening Devvie took him to animal emergency (I was teaching). They diagnosed a bleeding mass by his spleen and liver.
Today we took him to the surgeon to have the mass removed. Unfortunately, the ultrasound showed a cancer that had spread throughout his liver. Nevertheless, we were willing to proceed with surgery if that would give him even some chance of prolonging his life by several comparatively healthy months. Therefore, we spent a lot of time with the surgeon exploring all possible options. Unfortunately, there really weren’t any. Even assuming Dante survived the surgery, he only had weeks to live, and these would be painful weeks. Nevertheless, it took us a long time to decide to let go. But in the end we decided we had to do the right thing by him than the selfish thing by us in having a little more time with him.
My wife and I were able to take Dante for a brief walk in the sunshine because the vet had given him blood and fluid transfusions. Still, the poor guy didn’t have a lot of energy. Nevertheless, he seemed to enjoy our walk together, and like his old self sniffed plants, “marked his territory” and barked at other dogs. When after about 10 to 15 minutes he started to tire and limp, I picked him up and we went back into the animal hospital. There, we held him for a while, and told him over and over that he was a good dog and we loved him. He got upset when I left the room briefly to get him some doggie treats, but on my quick return was back to normal and ate the treats. Finally, we held Dante again while he was put to sleep, and kissed him goodbye. He was happy, peaceful and comfortable.
We’re both broken-hearted. Yes, Dante was a dog. However, he also was a member of our family. He was beautiful physically, but even more so on the inside. He was a very gentle dog. He also was a gentleman to our three female dogs, outside the house acting protective, inside the house letting them eat first even though he was larger and stronger than any of them. I will miss him in many ways, including his puppy-like nature, his soulful eyes, and his cuddling up to me in bed. I especially will miss him this Sunday, which would have been his 8th birthday. Goodbye Dante, I miss you.