Hurley is at peace

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




14 thoughts on “Hurley is at peace”

  1. Oh, I’m so sad to read of your loss of Hurley. There is no amount of time that would be “enough,” but I’m glad you had that fabulous summer with Hurley. It will give you wonderful memories to look back on. And hopefully someday you will look back on those memories with more smiles than tears. Have peace in knowing you did everything you could for him, including that last unselfish act.

    Run free, Hurley!
    Sending virtual hugs and healing kisses from Abby,
    Jackie, Abby’s mom

  2. Bless you for doing everything you could to give Hurley such a wonderful life. And thank you for sharing his story here. It is certain to help others going down the same road. May Hurley run free of pain and rest in peace at the Rainbow Bridge.

  3. Oh,I’m so sorry about Hurley. What a terrible heartache. May you find a lot of peace in coming months and look back on the happier times.
    My deepest condolences to you and your family.

  4. you gave hurley a final, selfless gift by releasing him from his broken body. he did have a wonderful summer and was a brave and joyfilled boy. love never ends.

    charon & gayle

  5. I’m so glad you got your one last beautiful summer with your boy. Our thoughts are with you and your family as you deal with your loss.

    Fly free, Hurley…

    Micki and Rio

  6. To bid farewell to a part of your heart is one of the hardest things to do. To love them enough to let them go is the greatest gift you can give. May those sweet summer days give you memories that will comfort you.

  7. I am so glad you got a wonderful, memory-filled summer with your sweet boy. I am so sorry for your loss and I know how much it hurts. I know how hard that last gift is to give. Run free, Hurley!

    Jenna & Spirit Chili Dawg

  8. I’m so sorry to hear of Hurley’s passing. But I am also so happy that your family had such a great summer with your boy. Those memories will carry you through this tough time. And you’re right: seven years wasn’t enough, but I know each and every day of those seven years were filled with love and happiness for your boy. Sending healing thoughts your way.

  9. I’m so sorry for your heartache. You had such a wonderful summer filled with memories that will last forever! Hurley will always be in your heart and watch over you! Run like the wind Hurley! Xo Sue and Sammy

  10. Oh John, we are so, so sorry. You had been too quiet over there, and I was hoping this wasn’t why. I read your post with tears in my eyes as I recalled all of same emotions my pawrents and I went through when it was my time to say goodbye.

    Here’s to your boy, who never let anything slow him down. How wonderful to know that your last summer was spent loving every precious minute together, doing what you both love best.

    May Hurley’s spirit live on forever in your life and in this community. He was one of a kind.

  11. Not sure if you will receive this but we lost two dogs to bone cancer. Diva was our first dog, removed her right front leg, chemotherapy but six months later returned.

    Our other dog Rocco, lost his fight January 5, 2012. We never amputated no chemotherapy just pain meds. What they neglect to tell you is that is will always return that’s why we did only pain meds with Rocco. Both dogs were our family and to this day we still cry. I know that even two years later for you the sadness is still there but now you remembers crazy stuff they did and laugh. They will always be there with us and that’s what keeps us going. Our love for these wonderful creatures!

  12. I am reading this a year and a half after your loss and I’ve shed a few tears for you. Hurley was an incredibly lucky dog. I watched your video of him about his amputation and frankly tried to find a moment when that dog wasn’t smiling and wagging his tail – couldn’t find one. He clearly loved you guys and obviously you returned that.

    1. Thank you Sarah. We still miss him dearly but the memories we wouldn’t trade for anything.
      We have a 6 month old puppy filling our days with more smiles and laughter now. Hurley would love him…

  13. I came across your blog while researching as I prepare to take on my own adopted tripawd dog. Thank you for sharing Hurley’s journey here, and for showing the absolute joy that he with life even after had after a forelimb amputation. I am so sorry for your loss, but I know that the memories you hold of Hurley will stay with you in your hearts forever x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *