I won't sugarcoat this - this is a tough week and a tough choice for the project. Tommy is our wonderful, spectacular, stellar Cairn Terrier who turned twelve in May. For 10 of those years, he was one half of a therapy dog team who changed the lives of countless people and kids in the St. Louis area.
On Halloween night, he fell off my parents bed, which lead them to our great vet and then the emergency vet and a diagnosis that none of us wanted. Tommy's fall was the result of an inoperable brain tumor - definitely not the news we were hoping for. We are unwilling torture him with radiation (the treatment which might extend his life but won't cure him) and have decided to go the palliative route - just making him comfortable and happy as can be.
His tumor affects his balance and motor coordination (vs his personality) and the most marked change is that his balance is occasionally precarious. He can't always control his back legs and you can see him kind of getting annoyed at times with how his body is not exactly cooperating. It is hard to watch him lurch and stumble around the house instead of bounding around (yes, even at 12 - he was quite the spry pup).
We all share a bond with Tommy unlike any of our other dogs - and though we knew that he wasn't immortal, none of us wanted to face his mortality anytime soon. It would always be too soon.
It is too soon.
We don't know how long it will be before his quality of life declines - it could be soon, it could be awhile. But until that day comes, we are going to love him and make him comfortable and happy.
This is a picture of him on my dad's lap yesterday.
Until it's time, we're going to treasure every single day we have left with him.