Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Winding Down on Wednesday!

The last several days have been a bit hectic.  But all the rush is behind me, and I can focus on what's in front, which is Thanksgiving and about a week of vacation!

I took Hamlet to see the surgeon last evening.  Before I tell you what was decided, I want to say how very much I appreciate all of you who have taken a moment to send your best wishes for Hamlet and share your thoughts and experiences.  It really does help to have them.  This has been a very difficult time trying to decide the direction to take.  Hamlet has been through so much.  Right now he enjoys a pretty good quality of life.  He's got a good appetite, his energy level and attitude are good too. The only difference is that he's uncomfortable.  The tumor is huge--Bigger than both my hands put together...Dr. Walker (surgeon) agrees that it looks worse than it did originally.  The open area of the tumor is about the width of my index finger and getting bigger; it's red and angry with infection...I would post a picture, but you understand...But if you're curious and would like to see it, let me know...

Having said that, we have the option of course of doing nothing.  The tumor will continue to grow, and eventually Hamlet will probably lose use of his leg.  There's not enough skin to heal over the open area, it'll remain open and get worse.  Antibiotics aren't effective because the blood supply is very limited to the tumor (that's why it's not getting better).  The risk of doing surgery is that it may not work--We have known that all along.  We take the chance that de-bulking the tumor (not removing the whole thing, only part of it) may leave us with all the same problems and more as doing nothing.  But then again, if it works, it buys Hamlet some more time.  I think that 'luck' has been on Hamlet's side.  It was a rough recovery last time, but I feel like I owe it to him to at least try.  He'll have surgery on Saturday.     

The rest of the dogs are doing well.  I find great comfort in their company.  This morning the house is filled with the smell of bread baking and a turkey breast that I cooked overnight in the crockpot.  It's part of a Thanksgiving meal that I'm taking to a good friend today.  There is a peaceful feeling as a few of the dogs, including Hamlet are snoozing nearby.  A couple of the other dogs are in the kitchen hoping that the Food-Fairy will come and magically give them a bite of something.  The silence of the morning is broken by the sound of CarrieAnne and Sam barking at something in the darkness.  I always wonder what they see? 


  1. I always wonder what my dogs are seeing out there in the dark too - and I look and see nothing.

    As far as Hamlet goes, I know you will do what is best for him - that's the way you are - I so admire how you can take these senior dogs and give them such a wonderful quality of life in their declining years - I know it can't be easy on you.


  2. Dogs are thankful everyday. WE are the lucky ones to get to share this, even if it's only a wee wag of the tail.

    If Hamlet could talk, I'm sure he would say "thanks, Mom" as well as the rest of you pack.

    Have a beautiful Thanksgiving Day, Kim!

  3. what a sweet guy... i'll be praying for hamlet on saturday and for you as well kim. keep us posted.

  4. May Hamlet find peace and comfort. ♥
    Happy Thanksgiving! :0)

  5. I can tell from the tone of your post that you are at peace with this decision, Kim.

    I do wish Hamlet all the best and trust the surgery will give him more quality time with his family.

    I'll be thinking of you and Hamlet and will send all the good vibes I can muster for a successful outcome on Saturday. :)

  6. Good Morning!
    Have a great day with your friend and enjoy your meal together!
    Wishing I could send Hamlet some "Good Drugs", but, um, that would be illegal.
    Have a safe trip, each time you go out, you are busy!


  7. Hi Kim
    Thoughts & prayers coming Hamlet's way for Saturday's surgery. Hopefully it will be successful and he'll be able to have more quality time with you & the rest of your K9 family.

    Wishing you & yours a blessed Thanksgiving holiday and hopefully the Food Fairy will come too!

    Extra hugs & licks to Hamlet.

    Nadine & Neeli
    Angel doggie Apples (1994-2010)

  8. Now that the decision has been made, you can feel some peace, and start looking forward to Thanksgiving, and all the joy that brings.

  9. Oh, good luck with Hamlet's surgery! What a sweet and beautiful boy he is. He deserves comfort. :)

    Loved your description of the peacefulness in your home. I enjoy those moments as well - with dogs snoozing all around...

  10. You can be sure that there will be ahouse in France thinking of Hamlet on Saturday.

  11. Yes, I agree, Hamlet should have surgery...
    I'll be thinking of you and Hamlet on Saturday...
    Happy Thanksgiving my Friend,

  12. Kim I for one feel you are doing the right thing! I would definitely give this a try since he seems happy and still has his appetite. I have met people who have had open wounds for years that they have to keep bandaged. Of course with a dog's anatomy it is more difficult. I had the same problem with my girl Lil when she had a wound on her front elbow and I ended up having to crochet cotton tubes with laces that tied around her shoulder to keep it clean and bandaged.
    I am praying for your sweet boy and I will light a candle just for him on Saturday!
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Kim, although how could you not with those sweet babies there with you?
    Tina xo

  13. Thank you for sharing Hamlet's struggle with us, as well as sharing your own. We wish Hamlet lots of luck on Saturday, we hope it helps him to regain some movement and comfort.

    Mogley G. Retriever

  14. You have an uncanny way of writing very peacefully about how you have come to decisions and it's remarkable. I'm sure the process is incredibly difficult. You also juggle so much in your life with seeming calm - making Thanksgiving food for a friend, checking out where the dogs sleep or hope for falling manna! We send Hamlet rubs and pats and best wishes for a successful surgery Saturday and to you and your hubby: a very Happy Thanksgiving. To the Pups there: hope you get lots of goodies!!!
    Hugs xoxoox
    Sammie and Avalon

  15. When none of the options are good, the decision is really difficult. I always go by the quality of life rule. If the dog is still enjoying life, try to keep it going. When they are no longer happy, then the hard decisions come up. I think you're making a good one in this case. Good luck to dear Hamlet and we wish all of your household a peaceful and pleasant holiday.
    Morgan, Tsar and the Porties

  16. Happy Thanksgiving Kim. Hamlet is so fortunate to have such wonderful people looking after him. Obviously, Carrie and Sam agree. They were just talking to the spirit that watches over you all. Hmmm, that might be the food fairy.

  17. Awww, good luck for Saturday Hamlet. Fingers crossed for a speedy recovery Kim. Happy Thanksgiving. Sue x x

  18. The last few days have been hectic for me as well. I'm glad that you have come to a decision about Hamlet and hope that it will work, I will say prayers for him.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  19. Sounds like a good choice for Hamlet, especially because he still has "heart". Praying for the best results on Saturday. Have a great Thanksgiving! Slurps, Tucker

  20. Such hard decisons to make, but your love for Hamlet shines through it all.

    We will be thinking of you and Hamlet on Saturday.

    Sending you love and woofs from NZ,
    Riley's mum and Riley

  21. Dear Hamlet, he's such a beautiful boy. I'll have you and him in my thoughts this Saturday, as always. Well done for making this decision, so difficult, but it is an informed decision made with the advice of the surgeon.

    My pets believe in the Food Fairy too! (but then so does my husband!!)


  22. I'll keep all of you in my thoughts. Here's hoping the surgery goes well. Have a happy Thanksgiving!

  23. Good luck to Hamlet- I would have made the decision ! x

  24. Kim,
    Enjoy you Thanksgiving with family and of course your special crew.
    I hoping the week off will be relaxing for you, you need a break!
    I'm also hoping Hamlet will be ok from the surgery.I know he won't be perfect but you are right that it may buy him some time. Plus miracles can happen so I have my fingers and toes crossed.
    Sending Hamlet a few juicy kisses!! He looks so peaceful in that picture, even with the cone on.

  25. Thanks for the update -

    It seems to be the prudent course given all the factors involved -

    Happy Winding Down!

  26. Hi Kim, I'm thankful that you have made the decision and will proceed with the surgery this weekend. I'll continue to lift Hamlet up. You are such a dear to take a friend a Thanksgiving meal.
    Hugs & blessings,
    Noreen & Reggie-dog

  27. Just to have the decision made lifts a great weight. Our very best wishes & prayers for Hamlet's speedy recovery.

    Jed & Abby

  28. Hi Kim,
    I will be thinking of you and Hamlet on Saturday!!! and will be looking forward to your post giving us an update. I wish you a Blessed Thanksgiving with your family (both the human and canine members)Sending hugs to both you and Hamlet.

  29. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! I'm enjoying the cooking smells all the way over here. I think Kristine and I will have spaghetti tomorrow, because I don't think we are driving in these snowy icy conditions. That's ok. I love spaghetti and homemade sauce.

    Do hope Hamlet does well with the surgery. You are doing everything possible.

    You are a smart lady not to try and do too much blog visiting and commenting. Me too. I had to back way off. It was taking over.

  30. I'll be thinking of you and Hamlet in the days ahead - you're being such a good friend to him, thinking so carefully through the decisions you make for him.

    In the meantime, I wish you a happy and peaceful Thanksgiving!

  31. Well, I wish we could offer some advice that would really help you out.

    Happy Thanksgiving!


  32. poor little they not 'chemo' first before cutting? so sorry this is happening. my golden had both acl's repaired so i know your love for your babies and wanting the best for them...i think they smell more than they see at night. the bucks are still in rutt and my dogs go crazy when one is around. or it could be a sound too. i don't think dogs see well at night. when i walk down my land in daylight, they bark as though they don't know me then settle down when i get closer....good luck with hamlet...will be thinking of you! happy thanksgiving!

  33. Good timing! You've made your decision and now it's in God's (and the veterinarian's hands. I'll be saying extra prayers for Hamlet all weekend. He has so much to be thankful for. If love has any power, surely he has many years left...

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and I hope you are able to relax and HAVE FUN at some point during your vacation!

    Hugs to you and ALL the dogs!

  34. We will of course be thinking positive thoughts for Hamlet as he goes into surgery.
    All of bloggy world will be keeping their paws around all of you Kim.
    Everything is going to be okay...
    as we have said other times... we will expect a miracle.

    I think the smells from the turkey breast in the crockpot have radiated over here,,, because something is smelling so good. And home made bread?
    I know your friend will love the dinner you are taking to her.
    Have some great days off and a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  35. Dear sweet Hamlet,I hope the op will improve his quality of life and give him more time with you.It's heartbreaking that our much loved animals get old and sick.Wishing you strength Kim in the difficult times ahead.

  36. poor old Hamlet, he's so sweet.
    Happy Thanksgiving

  37. Kim...
    Wishing you and your family (FOUR legged also) the Best Thanksgiving...Hope you get to eat most of the Turkey and NOT too many table scrapes for ALL your Beauties...
    My Love to Hamlet...
    My Best~Marilyn

  38. Kim, a Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

    Hamlet knows you are doing your best with him and appreciates it. Wishing him luck and sending him hugs from me and Molly,

    Gill in Canada

  39. I will be thinking of Hamlet on Saturday. I know what tough decision this has been for you but it was made with an abundance of love. Hamlet is so lucky to have you as his guardian.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

  40. Hello Kim,
    We are very sorry we haven't ben along much. Sorry we missd wishing u on your anniversary. Hope u had a lovely day and wishes for many more beautiful ones in the future:)
    We are very sorry to hear about Hamlet's tumour and the secondary infection. We know u will do all that can be done and he is in good hands. But we hope the surgery works for him so he can have a better quality of life.

    Wishing you a happy, content, peaceful and memorable thanksgiving day.
    hugs to all your fur-kids,

  41. I'll keep Hamlet in my thoughts. Murphy has the same "comfy cone", and I always thought Murphy looked a lot like the dog printed on the side. I think Hamlet's impression of him is even more accurate though!

    Kira and Murph

  42. Hamlet is such a fortunate dog. I know you would say that you are the fortunate one! Good luck on Saturday and Sophie sends you and Hamlet one of her very special 'licks'!
    Enjoy your Thanksgiving.


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