Knowing When to Let Go of Our Dear Pup Abby

Abby was diagnosed with cancer in July of 2012. When she was diagnosed, we were informed that she probably only had 6-12 months to live. Well, we’re going on eight months now and as you could expect, things aren’t looking to good for our little girl. The question now is: how do we respect the life of this sweet pup?

Caleb and I go back and forth… do we put her to sleep or let the cancer take her life? If we put her to

Libby on her "Last Perfect Day"
Libby on her “Last Perfect Day”

sleep, how will we know when it’s the right time? The thing that’s been really difficult about Abby’s situation is that it hasn’t been a steady decline. She does fine for weeks and then will suddenly have a rough couple of days where her face becomes deformed and her breathing labored. She will cling to us throughout the day as if she is really scared and we try to do our best to comfort her. Then, a couple of days later, she seems to be doing better. She will still have some labored breathing, but she seems to be more cheerful and less frightened. Ugh. This is so rough. We were here before with our other dog Libby about a year and a half ago. That decision was a little easier because we had clear signs directing us.

Truly, there is so much anxiety in our home right now. We feel anxious carrying this burden. There’s a part of me that just wants it to be done and over with because it’s hard to feel so much anxiety all of the time. That sounds horrible, I know. Trust me, I feel horrible admitting it. Yet, I also feel a pull in the direction of putting her down before she starts suffering too badly. It seems that it would be showing her some mercy….

Sweet Abby

Being faced with this decision also challenges my faith. If I really believe that she is going to a better place, then letting her go is so much easier. But what if I’m wrong and this is it for poor Abby. I surely hope not. Abby had a traumatic life before we adopted her. I want to believe that her suffering will end when she dies and that she will have a new carefree life in Heaven. I guess I won’t know in this lifetime. I will choose to believe that she will go to a better place, there isn’t really anyway to prove it or to disprove it, so why not?

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3 thoughts on “Knowing When to Let Go of Our Dear Pup Abby

  1. Oh Jaclyn, I don’t envy you. I have been experiencing a lot of anxiety recently just thinking about having to make that decision with our pup, Belle. We aren’t there yet, but I get really anxious by the whole thought of it since she is 17. So, I really feel for you and am praying that God will give you the peace you need to get through this whole ordeal and to know when the time is right. And, I definitely believe dogs go to heaven too.


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