JOIN A SUPPORT GROUP
There are many online support groups full of others helping their dogs fight cancer. In these groups, members share medical information and talk of diet and supplements. They help each other with information that they have gathered from research or from personal experience. This type of support can be given only by someone who is going through the same ordeal. The emotional support given in these groups is invaluable.To join a group, see the list in the right column on this page. If you are shy, join a group and simply read the messages that members post before writing an introduction about you and your pet.
Your vet has told you that your pet has a disease - a disease that may debilitate him or end his life unless extreme measures are taken. What do you do?
For some of us, there's no
question and no
hesitation. We know that we are going to do whatever we can to help our
pet survive. For others there are considerations. For example,
constraints may make extensive and expensive veterinary care difficult
then the big question comes to the forefront: What is a dog's life
are lucky indeed if you have friends and family who support your
efforts to help your dog or cat fight a serious disease. Most
that their quest is criticized or ridiculed by those around them. No
moral or emotional support comes from the people who have provided
support and compassion in other situations.
Desperately trying to find their way through medical explanations, diagnoses and prognoses, people who intend to fight a serious illness like cancer with their pets often feel alone and unsupported. Yet they refuse to give up the fight; they cannot let cancer take their beloved pet from them without a fight.
If your friends and family are unsupportive, you can defend your decision to help your pet survive until you're blue in the face, or you can find support elsewhere - support that will serve you better in your battle to save your pet's life.
One Friday, when Bullet was in his last days, our vet sadly expressed that it was "time." I said that if there was no improvement in his kidney function by Monday, I would consider helping Bullet to the Rainbow Bridge.
He said, "Laurie, it's all for you now. It's not for Bullet anymore."
I said, "It has always been for me! I don't believe that Bullet would care if he died 4 years ago when he was diagnosed with lymphoma, or 4 years from now. I don't believe that dogs know or fear death as we do... It has always been for me!"
Bullet had some nasty side effects from chemotherapy, and I could have decided to end treatment at any of those times. But he always rebounded and continued to be a very happy dog. I never thought that Bullet had a specific desire to stay alive or had any understanding of the alternative (although he certainly loved being alive in each moment). I, on the other hand, I am the one who had a great desire for him to stay alive.
I saw no reason to end it as long as he was not in pain or suffering and as long as there was a good chance that he would recover. He deserved that chance. And I wanted so much to continue taking care of him.
The philosophical psychological question of who it's for seems to me to be moot.
The bookstores are flooded with books about pets. There are thousands of how-to books about pet care and entertaining and/or educational stories about pets in the fiction and non-fiction bookcases. Some writers pay obvious respect to the human-animal bond and help readers to find the best ways to give their pets the best care possible. Bravo!
Others state pets
should not be treated for diseases such as cancer. To any author who
writes warm, fuzzy stories about dogs but belittles those who fight
for their dogs' lives, I ask the following.
Who do you think buys those books
that you write? Exactly where should we draw
the line? Should we not set a broken leg? Should we not treat heartworm
disease? Should we not bother to provide vaccines? Are
our furry friends good enough to support your
lifestyle, but not worthy of medical attention?
Please don't fail
to recognize the beauty and intrinsic value of the creatures that share
our world and the strength of the human-animal bond. Please don't warn
us not to treat our pets like family members. You degrade
creatures that you write about to earn a living. You insult the
humans who purchase your books because they do see their
pets as family members.
Not Today and Not Without a Fight!
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