How do you say good-bye?

And why is it called a GOOD-bye? I’m sure deep within the history of language, there is a logical explanation.

But I don’t want to hear it. Not tonight.

You see, tonight, our beloved Fancy, 12 years, rests in the dining room, spending her last night in the only home she’s ever known.

We came home from the vet this afternoon, after x-rays to determine why her backend wasn’t operational. Diagnosis: cancer of the bone, located in her hips and causing paralysis. She can’t operate half of her body, and because of the cancer, it’s not a question of if, but when. And the decision is in our hands, the decision to make her end a peaceful one and not a painful one.

We’ve never had to make that decision before, to end the life of a pet. Our cat died earlier this year here at home. She wasn’t herself toward the end. But Fancy is all there mentally. This afternoon, I hadn’t been home more than 10 minutes and was in the backyard with the dogs when my DH called me, obviously sensing something wasn’t right. I broke down on the phone, taking a seat in the swing. As blind as she is, and as broken as she is, Fancy pulled herself over until she found me and lent me comfort.

How can I not be there as she takes her last breath?

How can I do this?

6 Comments on “How do you say good-bye?”

  1. Ballpoint says:

    Oh! I am so sorry you must go through this. We also have a beloved dog with a terminal diagnosis (canine hemangiosarcoma). Hubby and I think his quality of life is still good: he loves to eat, he is very mobile, and he still likes to play tug-of-war with Mojo.

    But he sleeps a lot. The vet says this type of cancer often allows the animal to go to sleep one evening and not wake up, but we also have to watch for massive internal bleeding which would mean we must euthanize him immediately.

    For now we are loving him up and giving him lots of treats and kisses. The only good thing with a terminal diagnosis is that you can make Fancy’s last days her most wonderful ones, as well as say goodbye.

    “Goodbye” is a contraction of the expression, “God be with ye,” just like Adios is a contraction of “Vaya con Dios,” or “Go with God.” And that is exactly where Fancy will be going when you say goodbye: with God.

  2. Thanks. Your words are a comfort. As it happens, Vet didn’t have an opening today, so we put it off yet another day. And oddly enough, Fancy is beginning to use her back end more, and her other functions are improved today. We still have the appointment tomorrow, but we’ll keep an eye on her tonight.

  3. April, how are you today? I’ve been thinking about you and Fancy. I’m sending lots of good vibes and prayers your way.

    I know you’ve probably heard of this little essay, but I’ll put it here anyway.

  4. Well, Fancy is actually getting up on her feet! We still have our appointment tomorrow afternnon, but if she is better in the morning even,and she is not in pain, and she continues having BMs on her own, we might postpone. I mean, what if the Vet is wrong? I know I’m being selfish. I think we can only go from hour to hour. I do NOT want her to suffer. And I may still go through with it tomorrow. We’ve been praying,and crying, and crying and praying some more.

    You are so thoughtful to think of us. Thanks for the essay, it is so touching.

  5. Good for her! As long as Fancy’s quality of life is good and she can receive your love, you all hang in there! Lots of hugs and smooches to Fancy, the little fighter that she is.

    She looks like a Scotty… is that what she is?

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