Mike put it best: "feels like something is broken". That something would be our hearts...
Rupert has been limping for a few weeks, we thought he hurt his paw and his leg got stiff when he barely used it. We thought it could be associated with his arthritis... We noticed a huge difference with his leg after we came back form the Cariboo.
So I took Rupert to the vet of Thursday. Dr. Ruth thought he could have broken his upper shoulder and the bone was knitting back wrong or strained muscles were building up from carrying his foot wrong after twisting the paw. She asked if I wanted an x-ray done, I almost said no but thought it would be best to know what was wrong. Dr. Ruth said to leave him with her and she's take an x-ray when she wasn't so busy.
An hour later I went back to the vet's, she was busy with a surgery and I was told she'll call me later with the results. So Rupert and I went back home and continued with our day: got the kids off the bus and babysat the boys, and I sort of put the whole things out of my mind. At 7pm we got the call. Mike answered. It was bad, Rupert has bone cancer. It is eating away at the bone in his front shoulder and and leg and it's growing fast. At his last appointment, in February, the vet didn't notice anything. Dr. Ruth said our options are to do nothing and give him pain killers if needed or amputate the leg, but she said this will only slow the growth and prolong things.
This has hit Mike and I hard, Rupert has been our baby for 11 1/2 years, everyone teases us that he is our first born, we got him the same month we moved into our home. I feel ashamed that I have cried more for my dog then I did my Nana. Mike says it's alright, I had been expecting a call about Nana for several years, she was getting on in years and her health wasn't the greatest. I hadn't been close with her and haven't seen her in a few years. Rupert was so healthy till this past winter, even the vet said he was doing great for a 12 year old Lab cross. Very unexpected news....
We will not amputate. We will see how he does. He doesn't complain, just limps when walking and runs with 3 legs. Rupert is still playful and has a healthy appetite but he sleeps alot and lays down instead of sitting. Not sure how much time we have together, we'll take one day at a time.
I want to shoot everyone who asks if we'll get a puppy before he goes (so that Rupert can teach it) but Mike and I can't do that to Rupert, he'll be sad and know we'll be trying to replace him, that may work for some but not us. We will need time to grieve, I needed almost a year after we put down Missy cat. Ivy was being a pest and stating she wanted a puppy, I could have strangled her when she said it, I yelled at her that she better not ask again! Yesterday, Ivy tentatively asked why I was so upset about Rupert. I tried to keep it simple but she didn't understand, couldn't grasp the concept until I said his owie was cancer. Ivy asked "Like Terry Fox?" she told me all she learned about Terry Fox and how he had a fake leg because of cancer, then she asked "will Rupe die like Terry Fox...?" Yes I said... Oh was all she said. She understands now. I think I saw her mature a little in that conversation.