Our daughter's dog is in pain. She has been diagnosed with cancer. Tao--a "rescue" dog that is part black lab, part white-spotted sheep dog--is the sweetheart of the family. Indulged. Loved. Petted. Patted. Scratched (She prefers a vigorous rub behind the ears.) Walked often. Fed with various treats. She has pride of place in the family car. She walks with a jaunt to her step when she's taken to a coffee shop or on an errand. She is docile but alert when tied to a post outside the store--she bides her time with dignity. She has her favorite stops--mostly shops that offer her a doggie treat or a snuggle and a greeting by name.
Everyone loves Tao. And now it is hard to see her in pain and to see our daughter and her family wrestling with what to do. The tumor has been biopsied and tests have been run. The cancer is aggressive. It is no longer just in her leg--that rules out amputation. They are talking to the veterinary oncologist about chemotherapy. It took 3 weeks to get an appointment with the vet oncologist. What does that say about families, the deep affection they have for their pets and the depths to which those who can afford it (or barely afford it) will go to keep them alive and, hopefully, well.
It is so easy to say that we can do for our pets what we can't do for our human loved ones: We can put them down and out of unendurable pain when the time comes. But I can see that such a decision is not one my daughter and her family are willing to talk about right now. They are focused on helping Tao feel better. If she can't be cured, they are intent on keeping her out of pain, whatever the cost and for however long they can.
Tao was my first Grand pet and is my only Grand Pup. (I also have two Grand bunnies as well. One of them has had severe health issues.) So here I sit, hundreds of miles from the scene, feeling sad and helpless to give aid or comfort. A member of the family is in pain. Parenting grown children extends to caring and worrying about their pets as well.