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Spencer's Story

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Spencer's Story

I have a confession…

March 2nd, 2012 · 9 Comments · Uncategorized

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Deep down, I really held out hope (and kind of believed) that Spencer was going to be the dog to beat the odds.  I thought he might make it.  Or that he would at least make it for more than a year.  I never admitted this to anyone, not even my husband.  I mean, before the lung mets we all hoped that he was going to beat it, and really thought he was going to.  But after the diagnosis of lung mets on Jan. 6… well, I still held out hope.  Spencer seemed healthy (as I posted time and again).  We would meet people when out and they would ask about his leg and then comment that he was going to beat the cancer, right?  And I’d be honest and say that no, it was in his lungs; but that while he was doing so great we would keep fighting and that hopefully he would at least make it through the summer.  For the kids, I was always very honest that he couldn’t beat it and it was important for us to enjoy every moment with him.  But all along, in the back of my head a little voice said that if any dog could beat it, it would be Spencer.  I had convinced myself that he would be here for Christmas 2012.  I had convinced myself that when we went in next week for xrays that the mets would be smaller or even gone.

I still made a point to practice what I preached – I enjoyed every minute that we had with Spencer.  I spoiled him, loved on him and made sure that we did things with him.  But I wasn’t convinced that he was actually going to die from this.  I just really expected to see his health go down hill like it did with my last dog – Baron.  I had warning signs with Baron.  I knew the time was coming.  It was gradual.  He SEEMED sick.

But then… I think about how different Spencer and Baron were.  I loved Baron with all of my heart too; but let’s face it.  He was a bit of a wimp.  I always knew RIGHT away if he had the slightest injury because he let me know right away.  Unlike Spencer, who NEVER let me know something was wrong.  Spencer broke his toe one time.  I’m pretty sure I know when it happened – he had been trying to run around the corner downstairs, slipped, and slid all of the way across the kitchen until he hit the chair I was sitting in.  A couple of days later I went to trim his nails and saw that one of his toes was very swollen.  Took him right to the vet.  His toe was broken.  He had never let on.  And that was how Spencer was.  He never let on when he was in pain or not feeling well.  I shouldn’t have been surprised that they handled cancer totally differently (that and that even though both were dealing with cancer in the lungs, it was different kinds of cancer).

I really miss Spencer.  it is weird not having him here.  I still tear up when I think about him.  My husband is going to have to call to cancel next weeks oncology appointment for me because I haven’t been able to bring myself to do it.  I know that eventually I’ll be better with it though, just like I am now with Baron.

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9 Comments so far ↓

  • Dakota Dawg

    If we have hope but don’t believe, then the hope seems shallow. At least that’s how it feels to me. If I were sick and you hoped I would get better but you didn’t believe it, I would know your heart wasn’t in it. I think the only way you could do right by Spencer was to believe he would beat the odds. Anything less feels unfair to him. That’s just my opinion, but you never know how much extra time Spencer squeezed out of your belief in him.


  • kviz

    I am humbled by your willingness to share these thoughts with us. Because we all want to believe and have hope.

    I am missing Spencer tonight too.


  • krun15

    I thought Maggie had beat her cancer- I let myself believe that she wouldn’t die from cancer. I think we need to believe that, I have written that you have to be realistic, but at the same time optimistic until there is a reason not to be. Spencer never gave you a reason not to be optimistic- what a good boy!
    I sent cards to my vets after Maggie passed- I wanted to let them know, but there was no way I could say it out loud.

    Karen and the pugapalooza

  • AngelAbbysMom

    I felt the same way with Abby. I knew… but still had hope. For me, if I didn’t have any hope, I couldn’t stand it. And since we were always trying new things with her, each time I had some hope. I think that phrase, “Prepare for the worst, hope for the best”, really applies. That’s how I got through it.

    Hang in there.
    Jackie, Angel Abby’s mom

  • Ken

    I held out the same hope for Cooper…. I always hoped it had been a bad infection in his leg not cancer, and that he would be okay except less one leg… then the lung mets, and on the night Cooper left us, it hit me… he is not going to get better… that was the night I was able to tell Cooper he didnt have to fight anymore… that was the night he left… but it was still a good fight… and worth holding out hope for…

  • etgayle

    we too know just what you feel. i truly believe that our gayle beat the soft tissue sarcoma…and then the oral melanoma gave us the ‘one two punch’…but we continued to hope and fight…we must always have hope.

    she was like spencer, in that she rarely complained, was always brave and stoic… i’m sure gayle and spencer have met up and are swapping stories and running like the wind.

    charon & spirit gayle

  • Lucys Mom

    You all are so brave for your dogs and for sharing your thoughts with us. I cried as I read Spencer’s story and your comments. I too thought the doctor was wrong when he told me Lucy’s leg needed to go, that is was all a mistake and we would find that out before the surgery. I told my mom and she was amazed… I really didn’t think it would have to come to that. Now, almost 3 months later, I understand, it had to happen. I agree, we hold out hope, for us, for them, it helps us get through it all.

    {{{hugs}}} to you!


  • chilidawg

    I also hoped Chili Dawg was going to beat the odds. Even when he started limping again, Ryan and I didn’t want to believe the cancer had come back. In the back of my mind I knew it was back, but I hoped he had just pulled a muscle. Chili was like Spencer, stoic, didn’t let on that he was hurting. I am with Shari- we have to hope and believe, otherwise it just seems shallow. Hang in there!

    Jenna & Spirit Chili dawg

  • Sumedh

    Hi, I just joined the site today after redanig many blogs, forums and watching many of the wonderful videos on your website. My 10 year old lab mix (Blue) was diagnosd with osteosarcoma 1 month ago and after many vet visits, xrays, 2 biopsies, CT scans, many internet searches and lots of tears..I made the decision to amputate his left front leg. Blue had his amputation today (12/15/09) and is presently recovering at the hospital. As many of you know, this day has not been easy. I wanted to THANK all of you that posted your stories and videos. This website has truly been a comfort and a source of inspiration and I look forward to the day that my beloved Blue is home tripawding around the house and we can share our story with others.

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