Dylan’s Doggie Bucket List: Day 72

Dylan sleeps. He’s tired.

He doesn’t eat. He doesn’t drink. He doesn’t get out of his bed.

He hasn’t eaten in over two weeks. No soft dog food, no rice, no meat.

He refuses to take his pain pill. Bit me pretty hard last time I forced him to take it. That was four days ago. Last night I deleted the reminders from my phone.

His breathing is labored and his lungs have excessive mucus. Every morning and evening I clean out his nostrils so he can breathe.

Three times a day I carry him outside to potty, but he’s only peed once in the last three days.

It’s time to let him go.

He doesn’t want to give up. Maybe for me. Maybe for himself. He looks for me when he’s awake. Lets me pet his emaciated body. Still likes his ears and throat scratched. Still hates having his nose touched.

But I can’t let him suffer any more.

His appointment is tomorrow, 3:15pm. They cremate him after and return his ashes to me in a wooden box so I can keep his remains forever. We’ll plant a tree in the yard in the Spring using his ashes.

My heart breaks. I haven’t been without him for over 14 years. I wish he didn’t have to leave me.


Dylan’s Doggie Bucket List: Day 63

Today marks Day 63 of bone cancer for Dylan, just days over two months.

Dylan resting, warm inside, with the cold snow outside.

He’s tired all the time. Before we moved, he needed his pain medication three times a day to walk without pain. Now he won’t walk, and he barely stands. I have to hold him up to pee.

A few days ago I was out most of the day and missed his afternoon pain medicine. He seemed more alert, and was able to limp a little around our yard. So I stopped the afternoon pain pill. I still need to hold him up to pee.

At least he still pees. He still drinks water, though I have to hold him over the bowl.

He hasn’t eaten in a week. Not his favorite soft food. Not cheese. Not bread. Not rice.

This morning, he even refused his Greenies Pill Pocket in his favorite chicken flavor, spitting it out. I had to force feed him his pain pill. He looked at me with sorrow.

Dylan after eating his pain medication.

I cried for about 10 minutes.

He’s very skinny. Very tired. I think the time has come for the the end.

Dylan’s Doggie Bucket List: Day 60

The cancer has grown.

Day 2: October 3rd, 2018

Bone Cancer Day 2
Dylan’s bone cancer, Day 2

Day 60: November 30th, 2018

Dylan’s cancer growth.

The cancer now covers his leg from elbow to wrist. He refuses to walk on it, and holds it above the ground. If he loses his balance, he falls.

The first time he fell, I laughed. He looked like a Fainting Goat. But he didn’t get back up like he used to. He laid there on his side. The second time he fell, I cried. He was not adapting to three legs.

Dylan’s Doggie Bucket List: Day 55

Day 55 in a new state: Colorado!

Dylan made the move to Colorado in good spirits. Four dogs in the back of the Durango for about nine hour days for two days from California to Colorado is a long rest. I needed to rearrange him a few times to make sure Shadow and Beeko didn’t step on him in their excitement to look outside, but he didn’t mind too much.

We stopped the first night in Gallup, New Mexico, and Dylan enjoyed the much cooler winter air there and had a nice stroll around the hotel. Different trees to sniff and pee on. He ate a good meal and stayed warm in my room.

Once in Colorado, Dylan began a downhill roll. No water in our new house meant staying at a hotel for a couple nights. While Shadow, Hobo, and Beeko stayed in the garage of the new house, Dylan stayed at the hotel where I could keep an eye on him. He seemed tired. More tired than usual. He didn’t eat or drink water at the hotel, and rarely got up to walk around. Outside to potty, he was too cold to wander too much.

At the new house, he fell down the stair. No more stairs for Dylan. He’s carried from floor to floor (four levels in the new house), but mainly stays on the top level in my room, or on the third level in the family room.

I think the colder temperature keeps him tired, not to mention his pain medication, which used to give him energy, now makes him sleepy.

Dylan’s Doggie Bucket List: Day 2

Vet Info: Life Expectancy

“The average life expectancy of dogs with appendicular osteosarcoma that don’t receive treatment is 2 to 4 months. A dog that has been amputated and has had chemotherapy can expect to live for 10 to 12 months.”

Dylan's Leg X-ray
The x-ray of Dylan’s bone cancer, still small, but growing.

Dylan’s doctor and I discussed amputation for Dylan. She suggested against it. At his age, if he survived the surgery, he would have a difficult time healing and adjusting to walking with three legs. Dylan’s strong still. He could make it.

What made me decided against surgery? His doctor said he’d still only have 2 to 6 months to live.

So tons of pain still, loss of limb, disorientation in walking due to loss of limb, and still the same time frame to live.

Bone Cancer Day 2
Dylan’s bone cancer, Day 2 after diagnosis.

Dylan’s bone cancer is currently small, about the size of half a tangerine, on his front left leg. He favors the leg, but still walks on it, and will even trot when he really needs to pee. He has a limp when he walks, which makes his head bob, and he no longer prances like he used to.

Dylan’s Doggie Bucket List: Day 1

Today is the day. After waiting and wondering, Dylan received his diagnosis today.


(Dylan, July 7th, 2014)

A month or so ago, Dylan jumped out of the back of our SUV. At 14 1/2 years old, he hasn’t been jumping out of vehicles in quite a while, so I did a through check up to find anything broken. Nothing. No soreness, no injury.

A couple weeks ago, Dylan had some doggie digestive issues, needing to go out to potty every few hours, day and NIGHT. A fatigue cloud followed me those days. That’s when Brian noticed Dylan’s leg. His left front leg looked slightly swollen between the knee and ankle. I massaged it. The lump felt hard, not soft.


Bruised bone. Could be. Dylan could still walk. He could even still run, especially when he needed to pee.

Broken bone. Probably not. He could run, though he didn’t like it. He went on evening walks with us, usually almost 2 miles a day. He had no problems eating when he felt good.

We watched the leg. The swelling never went away. Never softened. But Dylan still walked, though he was getting tired earlier.

Friday, while clipping Dylan’s toenails, I touched his leg. He pulled away. It hurt this time. The swelling looked bigger. I tried to wrap it with a bandage, but he hated it. I may have wrapped it too tight because his paw looked a little swollen after an hour, so I took it off. His leg looked the same, but now he snapped at me when I touched it. It hurt.

Today Dylan went to the vet.

Not a break.


Bone cancer.

Six months to live. Maybe.

Let the planning begin!


(Dylan, Sept. 21st, 2018)

Dear President Obama,

From the wonderful, and alway thought provoking, Whitney Bell!

Whitney Bell

FullSizeRenderI watched your address to the nation last night and I was thinking about how you said we need to find a cure for cancer. I have a few thoughts on that and they lead specifically to the FDA, because I believe all of the chemicals we’ve put into our homes and our environment are the real cause of cancers. I’m not a doctor or anything, though, or a scientist, I’m just a writer and a student and a housewife.

I don’t usually watch these things, but my father-in-law was in town and he does.

Let me back up and say you’re my most favorite president that we’ve ever had. When you were elected I thought I might run through the streets naked playing drums. (Okay, not naked because I’m actually a very shy, private person in-person, but I wished I had bought fireworks or run out into the streets…

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