This was a rough weekend for me. I did a lot of things that I won't get into now (maybe later) but the hardest thing I did this weekend was say good-bye to our family pet; our Golden Retriever, Max.
We got Max as a puppy almost 13 years ago. He ate his fair share of our belongings as a puppy and made us chase him around the neighborhood when he would run out the front door or side gate. The boys would get pulled down the block as you wondered who was walking who. Then he was old enough to live mostly outside.
A few years back he got a cyst behind his left shoulder and we had it removed. It was benign. Since then he had others and we basically ignored them as they didn't seem to bother him and the costs of removal were prohibitive. In the past year and a half. He got more of them and some of them he scratched and they burst and without getting into details I will tell you it was not easy to care for and try to heal on our own but we did. We were successful two separate times. Then another one came out in the same spot as the original and he was very fussy about it. Some days he let me clean it, others he didn't. I did what I could when he let me. Then last week I felt one in his throat.
After many phone calls, I found vet that would see him and only charge me if a procedure was done. I took him on Saturday afternoon. Without doing a biopsy we don't know if they were malignant or not but he did tell me that the one in his throat was going to obstruct his eating and swallowing. I had already noticed he wasn't eating normally and he's been 'coughing' or sort of 'clearing his throat' often apparently as a direct result of this latest cyst. His honest suggestion was to either have them surgically removed (costing more than I paid for my kids private schooling) or put him to sleep so that he not suffer. It broke my heart but I had to choose the later.
I then took him to the county facility to surrender him. It broke my heart to leave him there. I drove home in tears and had a lonely weekend without him. Throughout the rest of the weekend I would talk to him and he didn't answer and I'd realize all over again he wasn't there. I got up this morning as usual to let him out and it all hit me again. I miss him tremendously and I am so sorry I could not afford the healthcare he needed.