Yesterday I posted that Sam had a bad night the night before. He didn't improve through out the morning. I had left to go on a field trip with my daughters' class. When I returned Sam met me at the door, which I at first took as a good sign. He went outside to go to the bathroom but it was obvious he was having a very hard time. I slowly coaxed him back inside. It took so much effort on his part but he made it in but was panting so hard. He laid down on the rug in front of the door and that's where he stayed. I had finally gotten in touch with our wonderful vet. Neither she or her husband were on duty yesterday but she said they would meet us at 12:30pm. My husband came home to help me get Sam into the car. Once we got to the vet x-rays were taken. The Dr. said the cancer had spread to his right shoulder. That was why he was having such a hard time with that side. I couldn't believe it. Just the day before Sam and I went for such a nice walk and he never wavered. He kept on going like he knew that might have been our last walk. Only he knew how much pain he was in because he never showed it until yesterday. I can't even imagine what he had been going through up to that point.
Needless to say, the decision was quickly made that we could not let him suffer any longer. So he was brought into the room with us on his bed from home. The doctor gave us some time with him. We asked to have his splint removed so he could be "himself". You would have thought it was Christmas for that dog. He couldn't wait to get his tongue going on that leg. He licked, and licked and licked. He was so happy, he was wagging his tail the whole time. On very few occasions did I ask him for kisses. Of course, now I wish I had asked more. He gave me some nice licks on the chin and we gave the go ahead for the injections. I couldn't believe how quick it all happened. Literally he was licking his leg and then next second he was sleeping. I have never witnessed such a peaceful death as his. I am so thankful to the doctors who were with us and took care of Sam. Without them it would have been a much different experience. I knew he was well liked by all who met him but I never knew the impact was so deep until I saw the people who took care of him crying for our loss, like it was their own too.
I will never think back and wish we had changed our minds about this or that. In the end, the cancer just took over and it wouldn't have mattered what we had done. I am just thankful that his last two months were spent doing what he liked to do. The only regret I have is we couldn't take him to the beach because of the splint. However, like one person told me, our definition of what makes Sam happy was different from his. He was just happy being close to us. Everything else was just a bonus. In my eyes, he had a good life and we did what we could for him. We are having him cremated and his ashes returned to us. My husband said if we ever decided to spread his ashes it would be in ND. I couldn't agree more, but for now, he will stay with us. That's what I promised him, where we go he's right there with us.