Tuesday, June 10, 2008


We just got home from picking Dempsey up from the vet. He had to be sedated today to get more x-rays and a biopsy done. $350 later, we brought our dog home with the diagnosis of canine lymphoma. In short, our beloved boxer dog Dempsey has cancer.

Our vet said our only options at this point are:

A) take him to the U of I vet school and spend $4,000 - $5,000 in chemotherapy that may or may not work, and could possibly actually shorten his life.

B) continue to give him prednisone and the cough suppressant that he has been getting and let nature run its course until his quality of life becomes an issue.

We chose to do that latter. Our veterinarian said that if was hard to tell how much time he had left because the tumor has been so fast growing, yet seems to have been temporarily slowed by the meds he has gotten the past few days. She estimates anywhere from a month to a year, though a year was the absolute best we could hope for.

Dempsey has been with Chris and me since our first anniversary. He has lived in all three of the houses we have owned, and was there when we brought both our children home from the hospital. He sleeps in his dog bed on the floor next to my side of the bed every night. Every day when we come home, even if we have only been gone a short period of time, he still wags his entire backside for us because he is so happy to see us. He is obedient and smart and loyal and I can't believe he's dying.

Today I am sad.

Aleita & Dempsey -- Aleita had just come home from the hospital after having her tonsils removed. Dempsey seemed to sense that she needed him. In this picture, she is watching TV while using him as a pillow.


p said...

Any one who has had the pleasure of meeting Dempsey has to be a little sad right now. He is family, and the biggest blessing is he found his way to our family to share his unconditional love and friendship, the way, only a loyal friend can. Enjoy today, and don't fear tomorrow, God's plan is never easy to understand, but always has a time of resolution.

Teresa said...

Bryce and I are so sad to read this. Dempsey is such a wonderful and talented dog, that you almost think he is human sometimes. We'll be think of all of you.

Gaye said...

If only a dogs lifespan were the same as us. They find a way into your family, as well as your heart. Take care.

kristin said...

I am sorry to hear this. Spoil him with hugs and treats as he lives out his remaining time with you.

uncle doug said...

The first time I met Dempsey, he came bounding down the stairs, took a quick look and sniff of me, then decided that we needed to play. We played with a ball right there in the living room until I insisted that we quit. Then he lay down at my feet. I was "in". After that evening, any time I came to visit, even when months had elapsed, he would meet me at the back yard fence with a ball or whatever other toy was available, and we once again had a few minutes of bonding. He never forgot our first meeting. And I have always looked forward to seeing Dempsey whenever I come to visit.

Julianne said...

So sorry to hear about Dempsey. He's an exceptional dog.