Spring, a Time for Change & Saying Goodbye to Those We Love by Jamie Gilcig MARCH 8, 2015

Mel n Fitzy March 8 2015CFN – Time can make things surreal.   The last few weeks have been a whirlwind.   My beloved Rottie, Melly, turned 14 in January after having  cancer surgery to remove a fast growing mass.

Fourteen is ancient for Rotties.   It really is.  She’s had an amazing life and been the best dog a boy could ever have.  (or  girl).

After the surgery she made a dramatic recovery and I took her into the vet last Saturday for a looksie.   I knew when my vet asked her student to leave the room that it wasn’t good.   The tumor was back and the cancer had spread.

She didn’t want to put Mel through any more surgeries.    There is chemo for dogs and other treatments, but at her age we both felt it important for her to have as much quality of life as possible for her remaining days.

Saying those words, typing them, hearing them, for me at least causes a disconnect.    It feels like I’ve been bracing myself for the worst for the last few years as I find new lumps and bumps when I massage her in the morning or give her her cuddles.  It’s like being in a museum and seeing an item that’s four hundred years old and had been used by someone that’s long turned to dust.

I started her on a form of treatment that I realize at best will give here some more good quality time and sure enough after a week she’s back to playing.

In the dark this morning I was feeling some of her tumors and listening to her breathing.  I felt her ear and there was a new mass on the inside.    The reality that even if her cancer went into remission that at her age time is not on her side is something that just freezes me thoughtless.

I watched a friend recently say good bye to his 19 year old dog.   We chatted and I completely understood the little he was able to share.

As hard as this has been and is going to be I am so grateful for every day that I’ve been able to share with this amazing creature that has given so much.

Gratitude is a wonderful thing that I’ve always tried to practice.   These past few weeks I’ve had to deal with some very nasty people.  I wish I could write about some of them, but I’ve been muzzled legally and otherwise.

When I look at the words that some of them have said or typed I shudder.   Others have too.  That some of these are in the positions they are in makes it even scarier, and contrary to what some people think there are times when I too feel fear.   And ironically when applicable the courts really are for the rich.   Small claims can only reward you money.   To fight in Superior Court where an actual action can be rewarded takes more money than the average working stiff can afford.  It doesn’t feel right and frankly it isn’t, but that’s for an entire other story.

Change seems to be my personal theme this Spring.   Changes here at CFN; life changes; changes with groups I’m working with.  There seems to be a lot of change for 2015.

But for today, this one day, I’m going to hug my dog and cherish each day I still have with her, and her 24 or 26 year old cat brother, and her odd little brother Fitzy.    Saying goodbye is never supposed to be easy if you really love the one you’re saying good bye to.

Life is short.  Cherish those you love and care for because you never know when they’ll be gone.



  1. Melly has given you more than you think. Your love for her has helped you keep your sanity in having to deal with the crazy & nasty people.Courts are for the rich & those spending the public dime, then we all pay

  2. I am so sorry you both have to go through this, saying good bye to a fur baby is never easy , but isn’t it wonderful that we can do this last loving gesture for them, my thoughts and prayers are with you all. My heart is breaking for you. *hugs*

  3. Jamie, saying good-bye to a beloved pet is so,so very hard ! Only a pet lover would fully understand what you are dealing with. Melly has had a great life, Fitzy will really miss her

  4. Author

    Bill when I rescued Pudgy it was the younger dog with the older dog thing. Sadly he hurt his back and passed away. They had never bonded. Fitzy and Mel are inseparable. He nests in her, and I’m sure he won’t know how to cope. He does try to cuddle the cats, but they aren’t terrible impressed with him as he also tries to um….them…he’s a very confused boy….

  5. Spend as much quality time with Mel. I’ve lost a few pets, never an easy thing. Best wishes to you and your crew of pets.

  6. It is amazing how we care for and worry about our pet friends; then we dwell, deny, and move on after their demise. Meanwhile some drunken South Stormontian {MODERATED} a dog somewhere, not too far away.
    Long Saultlian Hooligans

  7. Jamie I just came on and I couldn’t bear to read the article since I am crying my eyes out and cannot see the screen very well. Cancer is so horrible for animal or human and once a person or animal is opened up the air gets in and things get worse. The treatments for cancer sometimes make it much worse than the disease. Spend as much time with Mel as you can and she is much more than a dog she is almost human if not that. Fitzy is a prize to you and when Mel goes hang on to Fitzy. There are many dogs out there but none like Mel just like people we are all different. I could not have a pet because I would literally go to pieces – believe me Jamie they are the best friends that anybody could ever have in this entire crazy world of ours and they don’t complain. Mel is in a great deal of pain believe me I watched my parents go. Mel is trying to be strong for you Jamie and believe me she knows what is happening to her. In Mel’s way she may be saying her goodbyes and you won’t find a human being with that much faithfulness at all anywhere. Be very proud that you have such a mighty good and faithful friend. I had to stop a minute ago because I myself cannot control my emotions. Jamie all the very best to you and I mean every word I say and to Mel, Fitzy and the cats. You are much stronger than I would ever be under those circumstances and believe me that is the truth.

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