It is with great sadness that I have to post the passing of our beloved Hurley. He was doing so great this summer and then at his August appointment the Dr. noticed a “nodule”, in his chest X-ray. At the time, we were still hopeful that his oral chemo would help ward off any further cancer but in the back of my mind that word “nodule” kept creeping up to me. Funny how certain words can immediately gain a negative connotation depending on the circumstance.
I think it was at that time I started avoiding my blog here because I just didn’t want to have to put down in words what could be happening to my buddy.
We went back to WSU in late September where we discovered that “nodule” had now tripled in size from 4mm to 12mm. Our Dr. was concerned but still optimistic which we then shared and tried to pass along to Hurley.
Around the 2nd week of October, Hurley began to lose his appetite, and just wasn’t acting like himself. I brought him into our local vet in hopes that perhaps he had a bug or had eaten something bad and I honestly was (naively) not even attributing it to the cancer at this time. This went on for about a week and while we thought he was getting a little better our Oncologist at WSU decided we should bump up his check up just to make sure. On Thursday October 20th, Alana took Hurley into WSU for a full scan and check up. It did not go good. Hurley’s cancer had come back at an unprecedented rate and had filled his chest cavity as well as a new large tumor in his kidneys. I was out of the country on business and have never felt so helpless in my life. The Dr. put Hurley on some steroids to help increase his appetite (which it did) as well as some pain killers (if needed). We were told Hurley would have 30-60 days to live.
I returned home on Friday October 28th (8 days after his visit) to quite a shock. I could not believe how gaunt and tired my dog who has always been so full of life and joy looked. There was also now a wheeze to his labored breathing. I didn’t want him to see my sorrow and told him how happy I was to see him and how much I missed him. As soon as I left the room I broke down. This was happening to fast. It wasn’t supposed to go this way. I was supposed to have more time with him.
When my wife returned home that night, and I was through talking about me, me, me and how unfair this was to us we came to the conclusion that Hurley was letting us know it was time. I certainly was not going to watch him suffer. While apparently not in great pain, he had become uncomfortable and with how fast we had gone downhill, we felt that pain was just around the corner.
Saturday, October 29th was a beautiful sunny day. Hurley has always been a sun worshiper so we brought his bed outside and laid with him there for a good hour and a half to two hours. Just past noon, our vet came out and with heavy hearts, tears in our eyes, and hands on our boy, we released him from his tired body…
We miss him dearly and at times feel cheated he was on this earth for just short of 7 years. Too young. So much more to offer. But in hindsight, when Hurley was first diagnosed with Osteosarcoma and made the decision to take his leg off, we agreed that if Hurley had one more good summer it would all be worth it. And what a summer he had! So many visitors and so much fun in the water, it truly was HIS summer and for that we are grateful and know we made the right decision.
We do want to say how thankful we are to the incredible staff at Washington State University Veterinary Teaching School. From the very beginning of this journey they have made us feel that Hurley was their 1st and most important patient and that has meant so much to us.
Thanks also to this wonderful site for offering us so much education and support through our journey… It was most certainly worth it.
All our best,
John and Alana
Hurley loves the water and everything about it.
This is a great way to celebrate his three month Ampuversary!
Thanks for all the encouraging words after we missed our last Chemo.
Hurley is in right now and looking forward to being done with round 3 and more than half way done with the treatments.
The crew at WSU Vet School always gives him a great welcome!
Hurley went back to WSU yesterday for his 3rd Chemo treatment as well as X-rays.
His blood count ended up to low to do the Chemo but the good news is the X-rays were negative. Keep fightin’ it big boy!
We are walking every morning and he seems to like it as much as ever.
Even greater news is that he was able to go swimming for the first time this spring today. He loves the water and it is great to see him enjoying it.
We are just playin’.
OK. so we are working with a nutritionist as well to optimize his diet, recovery and continuing battle to hold off the nasty cancer.
But times like these in the video are what makes it all worth while.
We promised him quality of life and I am determined he gets it.
Here is a short video showing Hurley’s progress.
He really is the same ol’ Hurley. We couldn’t be happier!
Off to the vet tomorrow for his first appointment since the surgery.
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Hurley actually laid and slept on his wound today which freaked me out when I saw him. I let him sleep but was worried for the moment he tried to get up. He whimpered a bit but I was happy to see him get up on his own from that position. Most of the comfort problems have been from only being able to sleep on one side.
The hardest part for us is watching him be so melancholy or depressed when he is normally such a happy, goofy guy. I know he’ll come back but getting through this portion is tough to watch.
Thanks again to all for your support, suggestions and empathy!
John, Alana, and Hurley
Hurley got down his ramp OK to go to the bathroom, had a pretty good appetite, and pain seemed to be down a bit.
Even though the only time he went out was to go to the bathroom, he seemed to want to be up and about around the house which we tried to discourage but there is only so much you can do.