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Watching Your Child's Heart Break!

Friday, April 27, 2012

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.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    My heart goes out to you and your family. This is a hard time for you all.
    2240 days ago
    Tears are pouring down my face reading this. I know the pain of losing a beloved furbaby. It is heart wrenching. Your son is a wonderful young man and I know you are so proud of him. My thoughts are with you all and I know the time you all have left with Rocky will be very special. emoticon
    2241 days ago
  • JANET552
    I am so sorry!! As one who has lost beloved pets, I understand the pain. Your son sounds like a compassionate person. He will always be glad he came to say goodbye.
    2243 days ago
    I am so sorry!! What an awful loss.

    *really big hugs for you and your son*
    2243 days ago
    I'm so sorry. I know how difficult it is to lose an animal.
    2243 days ago
    I am so very sorry.
    2244 days ago
    I am so glad that your son was able to spend some time with his best friend. You were right to tell him and give him that time. While it is true that our children grow up, they are still that little bundle of joy we received in the hospital. And they can still break our hearts. It sounds like you raised a very compassionate man. Bless you both.
    2244 days ago
    An animal person like myself understands the pain of seeing one of your fur babies sick and the humans in grief. Your son coming home to spend precious time with his pal tells me that kid is going to be a wonderful loving Father one day and make some woman very happy.
    2244 days ago
    I have tears running down my face from reading your blog, Thank you for posting and for sharing the special pictures of your son's precious furbaby. No one but dog lovers can understand the pain of knowing that their time is short. I sure know what you all are going through. I had to put my 14 y/o yellow lab down a couple of years ago and even though I have my precious Zoey now, I still miss my Honeybear. It will be hard for your son and I agree that it is so hard to see our children go through heart breaks.

    2244 days ago
    Isn't it the truth about feeling pain when your child feels pain. Hope the next few months are meaningful for Rocky and not to hard for you. Our terrier/collie mix is 17 years old, and just barely getting around. She's got a little dementia going on, too. Hard to know what to do for her that's her best interests!
    Hang in there. Your son sounds like a thoughtful young man :)!
    2244 days ago
    Oh my! I'm so so sorry. I can totally understand what you are going through. It is so hard to see the pain as you watch your child lose something so precious to them. Be proud of your son though. He is extremely compassionate and you have Rocky to thank for being a part of what your son learned growing up. A bond between a dog and a boy can be so tremendously important to their childhood.

    My parents got a lassie dog when they were pregnant with me. When I was 17 he had to be put to sleep. My mom thought it would be easier to do it when I was at school one day and rather than prepare me for it, she told my brothers and I when we got home that Chelsi had been put to sleep. She realizes now that was a big mistake. I am so glad you are helping to prepare your son for the ultimate loss of Rocky.

    Remember when the time comes though that Rocky will be waiting for all of you at the Rainbow Bridge.

    Hugs my friend! No matter what this won't be easy but just think of all that Rocky has given to you and your family!
    2244 days ago
  • 56ROSE
    emoticon Dealing with loss is so very painful! It is also a big part of life! I'm impressed with your son... he is a kind, compassionate human being. What more can a parent ask for from their children? I feel your pain.....
    2244 days ago
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