by Chris Wallin
(Collegeville , PA, USA)

I lost my 11 year old yellow labador four days ago to cancer (Osteosarcoma). Rudy wasn't only beautiful on the outside but he also had an amazing heart. There wasn't a mean bone in his body. Rudy was diagnosed a little over a month ago. I had no idea it would take him so soon. Because of the location (ribs) and his age the doctor didn't recommend surgery so we went the palliative route, oral chemo and pain medication. Things were going as well as can be expected until we went back early because the tumor was getting bigger. The oncologist recommended another chemo (Carboplatin). I think I hate that drug as much as the cancer. When we took Rudy home from his treatment he was happy and showed no signs of side effects until a few days later where it became harder and harder to get him to eat until finally I was feeding him with a syringe with a high nutrition liquid diet. After consulting with my local vet I brought him back to the hospital where he was being treated. They did blood work and the whole time I was thinking they were going to give him fluids and I could take him home. When the doctor came in the exam room I knew it wasn't good. Rudy had become anemic and she said I could give him a blood transfusion or put him down. She didn't recommend the blood transfusion because she said he was so sick. It haunts me to know if it was the chemo or the tumor that made him so sick so soon. What made it worse was that my wife was 2000 miles away on business and I had to call her with the news. When we decided to put him down my wife and mom cried as I put them on speaker phone to say goodbye to Rudy. When I hung up and was alone with my best friend I tried not to cry but I couldn't stop the tears. I told him how much I loved him and he licked the tears from my face. I hope he was telling me it was ok! When the doctor and nurse came in they explained how things would go. As I held Rudy's head in my hands and the doctor gave the last injection I felt the weight of his head in my hands. My best friend was gone and I felt such an emptiness that I can't even begin to explain.
My parents live close to my wife and I so Rudy would go back and forth to both homes and he loved it. We would joke that we had joint custody of Rudy. Our hearts are broken and I hope in the days, weeks, months and years to come that the wonderful memories I have of this great dog makes me smile when I think of him but right now I just miss my BIG BOY terribly! Those memories make me sad! I'm 52 years old but I think I just became a man. I love you Rudy.

Comments for BIG BOY

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Nov 14, 2012
by: Anonymous

Thank you Karen and I'm sorry for your loss. 13 and 14 is a long life. I believe Rudy would of been around until 14 or 15 if he didn't get cancer. Labs are a special dog!!! I find myself wishing for one more hug and kiss.

Nov 13, 2012
We feel your loss
by: Karen Wenger

Chris, just sitting here bawling at your daughter and I both just lost labs our "big BOYS" as we liked to call them. jack was a chocolate and Domi was a black lab. They were 13 and 14 respectively. Just wante4d you to know that feel feel your loss very much and so understand your relationship with your best friend. Know that you are not alone.

Oct 30, 2012
Big Boy
by: Doreen U.K.

Chris you should rest assured that you are not responsible for the death of your dog. You made a choice for the best to use a drug that would help your dog. The method of putting a pet down is used for humane methods pertaining to pets.
Unfortunately Chemo drugs affect people differently. All Chemo drugs kill off the good cells and affect the immune system. For people with terminal illnesses the Chemo drugs prolong life, by buying the patient more time to live. but not a cure. For others it offers them Remission from Cancer, or for others it offers them a cure if the cancer is caught in time. There are benefits for some and fatal results for others.
Private treatment is more expensive and offers a patient less side effects and is a gentler form of chemotherapy.
There are PRO'S & CON'S in Chemotherapy. It is always a very difficult decision to make.
I hope this helps you Chris to not feel Guilty.

Oct 30, 2012
by: Rudy's #2 Mom

No description for the word "love" is listed in the Dictionary which describes Chris', Christine's, Karen's and my love for Rudy. Of course, our entire family loved him, but not like the love we had for him. He was so very "special" to each of us in his own way. Always tail-wagging to see everyone, even the Mailman or UPS driver delivering a package. A Big Boy of many talents...nibble my ear for a kiss and never remove an earring, whisper for a treat when he was told to use a Mommy voice. So many good memories to put into our Memory Bank of our Big Boy. I think the skies have opened up and showered tears for us who have lost our best pal and companion, Rudy.

Oct 30, 2012
by: Chris


I hope it wasn't the chemo that forced me to put Rudy down. I couldn't bear that!

Oct 30, 2012
Big Boy
by: Doreen U.K.

Chris I am so sorry for your loss of Rudy who was a very special part of your life.
EMPTINESS & LONLINESS are like cancers we are left with when we lose a loved one or a much loved pet.
It is a very hard battle trying to go on each day with loss of this nature. A Pet who was such an important part of your life NOW GONE. Not seeing Rudy anymore is the worse pain. Grief hurts so much. You say Rudy was put on CARBOPLATIN and you hate that drug as much as the cancer.
My husband had cancer caused by working with asbestos and he was put on Alimpta & Cisplatin. Second time he was on Alimpta & Caroboplatin. I read up on the internet and these are the worst drugs of Chemotherapy that could ever be used and should not be used at all as they are deadly. My husband just accepted these drugs as the doctors dictated. But he felt these drugs were actually killing him. He had a hard time on these drugs for over 3yrs. He felt so ill that he couldn't wait to die as living was so distressing with the drugs and the cancer. He died in terrible Pain and I will never forget the look on his face on the day he died in terrrible pain which was almost 6 months ago. It must have been equally distressing to be present having your dog put down. It is a humane way to die but feels unacceptable. It is just the method used for pets which may feel it is CRUEL. It is actually DEATH that is very CRUEL. We have no choice in this as we will take this journey ourselves one day.

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