Thursday, January 28, 2010


This update is long overdue, but thinking about it (let alone writing about it) has been really hard.

A few weeks before Christmas Pongo had a really bad day filled with multiple seizures. With the help of my vet, we got the seizures under control, but came to the conclusion that Pongo most likely has a brain tumor. Not shocking considering he had been having problems with his hind end and balance for several months, but still not easy to swallow. The next few days were extremely difficult - no seizures, but Pongo was behaving in a way that made us question whether or not he had suffered brain damage. He seemed super happy and was walking all over the place, but the look in his was like the lights were on, but no one was home. Kinda like "I see dead people and it's really, really cool! I could hardly stand to look at him without breaking down. That was not my Pongo.

Of course the timing was bad...I knew it wouldn't be easy, but right before the holidays? I had a few conversations with my vet about timing and when he might be available to come over and whether or not with the help of meds, Pongo could/would make it through Christmas. It was not a fun week. And then all of a sudden Pongo started improving...the lights slowly started to come back on.

So we made it through the New Year and now it's nearly February and Pongo continues to do pretty well. He's on prednisone which I think is likely keeping any swelling in his brain down. He's still happy to eat and is always first in line when it's dinner time. And aside from a few slips here and there, he's able to get around pretty good on his own. Overall, I think he's hanging in there, but I have a feeling that it might not be for too much longer.

I find myself watching him a lot and wondering if there's something I'm missing. Signs that he might be in pain, or not mentally well. I don't see them now, but I'm so afraid of not knowing when the time is right to say goodbye. Everyone tells me that I will know, but will I really? What if I hadn't waited a few days last month. Then he would be gone by now and I would probably still be wondering if I had made the right decision.

I know that at 15+ years, he's lived a long and happy life for a dog. And I'm certainly very grateful for that, but it's still hard to think about. For now, we're just taking it one day at a time.

So that's my long Pongo update...thank you to everyone who has asked about him and have been sending good thoughts! Here's a picture I took a days few before Christmas (after he started improving)...still my sweet spotty boy.


Hoover said...

My human and I would like to say that we think you rock! You have obviously taken amazing care of Pongo or he wouldn't have lived such a long life. We think you will know when it is time because Pongo will help you.

Damn if he isn't just the cutest thing, but we are partial to spotted pooches.

Smooches from Hoover BPD

BrittBeah said...

Bless him.
You will know when it is time. I know everyone worries they won't make the right decision. At work I get asked about this all the time, but typically I tell people when they loose interest in all their favorite things (eating, playing, you) you know it is time.
I hate thinking about this kind of stuff, but having a 13 yr old myself it is never far from thought. You make them as happy as possible and be thankful for every day you are blessed with them.

Elizabeth said...

Pongo, we are thinking of you and sending healing vibes your way!!! We hope you will continue to recover!!!

Elizabeth & Luna

Kim said...

Thank you for the kind words... :)

achieve1dream said...

Pongo is such a beautiful dog! I think you're doing the right thing for right now. Just enjoy the time you have with him and don't worry about that time. I pretty sure you'll know. You'll know if he's in pain, or won't eat anymore, or won't/can't get up. Then you'll know, but for right now just enjoy him.

Jenn said...

Cyber hugs! I am glad that he is improving a bit! I was just thinking of Pongo last night.... Like others have said you will know when it is time to let him go. Just enjoy your days with him now. Belly rubs to Pongo (and the rest of the crew)

Oh yeah - that is a great picture of him!

Sherri said...

Oh Kim, I'm so sorry to read this :( I hope you and Pongo have lots of quality time left, and that when he's ready to go it will be peaceful and easy. Its such a hard thing to think about, and with a 17 yr old and 14 yr old its always in the back of my mind.

Such a great picture of him! I love seeing that silly happy grin on your blog.

-- Sherri (and Jack and Oliver)

Kim said...

Thanks again for all of the kind words. And Sherri, it's so good to hear from you! Give Jack and Oliver some hugs kisses from us! :)

Paula said...

Hi, Kim. I'm just now catching up on Pongo's update. It is hard. So very hard. :( I also agree that you'll know when it's time. It won't be any easier, but you'll know.

We made "the" appointment for my 16 year old cat back in November. He was going downhill in the biggest hurry. Wouldn't you know the day of the appointment, he started eating again, so we canceled. At the time, I knew I was postponing the inevitable, but it felt right, and it was. He's still doing great, actually, but I hope I'll know when it's time, too.

I have no advice, just my thoughts for more good days with Pongo.

Kim said...

Paula, I'm so happy to hear about your cat...he must have known that it was really the time to start eating NOW. :) That's what I worry about with Pongo...this was the 2nd time I started making "plans". I also feel like I'm postponing the inevitable, but as long as he seems to feel good and has a will to live, I want to give him that chance.

Oz Girl said...

Kim, my heart went into my throat when you said "not so close to the holidays!" That's exactly what happened to my dal. I almost had him put down on New Year's eve. I was devastated. Before the dreaded day, I called the vet to have a heart-to-heart, because I was questioning this was the right decision at the right time. I begged her for her input - what would she do in the same situation? She didn't want to answer that question, but she finally felt my pain, and answered, she would wait a few more weeks.

I ended up having almost another whole month with him. And when it was time, I definitely knew it was time. I won't go into the details, it hurts to this day, but trust me, you will know.

Love that boy every single day you have left with him, he is just so precious. I know just how much you love him, and what a big part of your heart he has!


Kim said...

Aw Susan, thank you. :)

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful tribute! I agree
and am glad to be a part of his life!

The Thundering Herd said...

Sorry, we are just catching up on blogs. I do think you will know the time. And while I have wondered if there was a day or two more we could have had or did I wait a day or two too long, at the end, I always knew that my canine friend was ready and asking me for the help. I always regret the losses, but never helping them in that last step on earth.

And may it be a long time before you have to help Pongo!

Kim said...

Thank you all...I'm so touched by your wonderful thoughts and well wishes.

Sherri said...

SAVOR EVERY MOMENT.....and always think how lucky you both are to have each and forever. Just remember..when the time comes (and you WILL know) what better and more peaceful way for your soul to leave this earth than in the arms of the person who loved you more than anything. It is the final loving act we can show our faithful friends.

Kim said...

Thanks Sherri... :)

Junior and Orion said...

Oh sweet Pongo. We are certain, that with how you are watching him, you will know when it is time. Or he just may pass on his own. Either way, we are sending out our best purrs to all of you.