Continued from Part 8

Little Lena’s kidneys continued to cause problems and over the next 10 days she ended up having two more three-day stays on fluids trying to stabilize her system. By the end of that third stay with the vet we realized the problems with her kidneys would not allow for additional rounds of chemo and her overall prognosis, therefore, was not very good. Honestly, her prognosis was perfectly awful. She was spending more time with the vet than with us — not how we wanted her to spend what would be her last days. We had a tough decision to make. THE decision. One of the worst decisions you’ll ever be faced with, and it begins with the question: Who are we doing this for, her or us? She was not happy. She was scared (hated the vet’s office). She was suffering. She wasn’t getting better, and likely wouldn’t. We could no longer say we were doing this for her. So after watching our little girl go through absolute hell, after spending countless sleepless nights on the floor with her, we decided to let her go. At this point, she had been at the vet for three days and we didn’t want to send her out like that. So we called to make the arrangements for later that day but we sprung her around noon. We spent the next four hours saying goodbye the best way we knew how: we took her to get a burger and soft-serve ice cream, took her to the beach where she could bark at the gulls (one of her favorite past times though, heartbreakingly, she didn’t seem very interested this time), we loved on her and tried very hard to convince ourselves that we were doing the right thing. I don’t know how successful we were. As hard as that was, the hardest part later (and still is) would be questioning whether we had made the right choice in electing the surgery in the first place. It’s easy for everyone reading this to say reassuring things like, “you gave her a fighting chance” and “you couldn’t have known how it would turn out”, etc. But none of that really helps silence the cries of pain I still hear in the quiet of the night. What I’ve learned over the years is that there is no right or wrong answer to that question. Each case is unique. I’m sure eventually my heart won’t ache when I look at pictures of Lena, and I won’t feel guilty for the pain we put her through. Maybe. So I took little solace in that moment when I found myself on the floor with her once more, this time in the vet’s office, rubbing her ears and whispering, “It’s ok, it’s not your fight anymore,” while she drifted off to sleep and finally found peace.

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