How to start? I am just going to write what comes into my heart and I ask for your understanding, if you choose to read this. This is about our son, Travis and his best friend, our Syberian Husky, Rocky and how much it can hurt to be a parent no matter how old your child is!
I first need to explain that we had to put our previous dog to sleep 13 years ago when our youngest son, Travis, was only 9 years old. He pleaded with us to get a Syberian Husky, but my dh wanted something more like a Golden Retriever. My sister's Husky and Travis had bonded from when he was almost a baby, so there was no changing his mind that our next dog was going to be a Husky. So, Rocky joined our family and just turned 12 years old this month.
This past Tuesday, I had scheduled Rocky's annual vet appt. to get his shots and check up. While there, I asked her to check his lungs, because he had seemed to be panting and coughing a lot since the beginning of April. I knew there were things that could possibly be happening and tried to get myself prepared. When Travis was home a few weeks ago from college, I mentioned that there may be a problem. When he was getting ready to go back to school, he stayed with Rocky on the floor for an hour petting and holding him with tears in his eyes. I tried to keep it positive, telling him that it might not be anything and to keep positive thoughts.
After listening to Rocky's lungs, the vet said she didn't hear anything unusual, but mentioned a couple of things that could cause for the heavier breathing. She mentioned heart disease, tumor or pain elsewhere in the body. I knew he had some arthritis in his back hips, so thought maybe....
She said x-rays of the lungs & heart area or blood work could probably help and recommended the x-ray first. We found he has a tumor even larger than his heart!!! Not knowing how long he has had this, she said that with these kinds of tumors, he probably only has 2-3 months to live. Travis' plans were to not be coming home again until this next August.
I waited until Thursday afternoon (yesterday) when his classes were done to call and talk to him, letting him know the situation. I could hear his voice catch as I am sure tears started filling his eyes. He said that he would have to think about what he wanted to do and would let me know. Within 15 minutes, he called to let me know he was coming home. Fortunately, he has no classes on Fridays, so would not be missing any.
He arrived around 6:30 Thursday night and just left this Friday afternoon. He stayed in the family room with Rocky most of the evening and even slept on the sofa that night for a while, just to be close to him. Every chance he got, he would scratch his ears and pet him, sometimes with tears, sometimes with smiles and sometimes with both! Oh God, it is so hard to see your child hurting so much and not to be able to do anything about it! (I know God understands that, too.)
Travis took Rocky for an extra long walk and when they returned, I could see in my son the red, swollen eyes from crying. As I watched Travis giving his dog the last hugs, knowing that it was for sure his last goodbye, I could only bite the inside of my cheek while the tears ran down my face. Yes, I hurt inside for what is bound to be a hard few months ahead. More than that, though, is the hurt I feel for my son and the pain he is going through in loosing his best friend. I think that is one of the biggest hurts a parent can experience in life.