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My wife and I have lost 3 over the years so far. Rusty was our first golden. I got him for my 24th birthday...best gift ever. He was 8 when we got married. He was 14 when he was diagnosed with a nasal tumor. We didn't want to do anything aggressive treatment wise at that age so we were going along day to day. One evening he was acting strangely and wanted to go out at 11PM. I went out with him and realized he was trying to poop but couldn't. We took him to an emergency vet in Richmond immediately and were told his stomach had torsioned. We knew there was no point to surgery and chose to let him go. I probably would've waited too long so I guess it was a blessing in disguise that he went suddenly. Spencer was the 2nd dog. We got him not long after Rusty. He was 2 when my daughter was born. We had a travel trailer and he went camping(ok, glamping) with us. The summer he was 12 we went to NY for a week in June. He was fine all week but started acting strangely as soon as we got home. We took him to the emergency vet because it was after hours for our regular vet. His stomach had torsioned as well. We were devastated. We chose to let him go instead of doing the surgery as well. I felt guilty for years because I thought we had to be doing something wrong for this to happen to both dogs like that. We got Charley from a local breeder next. About 2.5 yrs later we went back and got Lola. Same parents. The breeder had several instances of cancer in the three litters from that pairing and has since stopped breeding. Charley had what we now know was a seizure in Jan. '21. Vet had no clear answers for us at that time but thought it could be neurological. So we took him home and watched him closely. Next day he seemed fine. About a month later he had a seizure around 8PM or so and continued having them throughout the night. We were in the midst of a mid-February snow and ice storm....not too common in VA but we get them sometimes. We waited until 6AM to try to get him to the emergency vet so it would at least be light enough outside to be able to see which ice patch or snow bank I was getting ready to hit. I carried him out to the car because he couldn't use his back legs and when we got to the vet they came out with a stretcher. He had a seizure while they were bringing him inside. They said he was in rough shape and thought he probably had a brain tumor. They couldn't do an MRI or Cat scan at that location to be certain. We would have to load him back up and take him to their other location on the other side of Richmond.....in an ice storm. Who does a Cat scan on a dog ayway? We felt that it was best to let him go. He was 3 months shy of his 10th birthday. We've watched Lo very closely ever since knowing the cancer history there. She'll be 9 on Dec. 26th.....we say a little prayer and hope for the best every day. We fell into an opportunity to get Murphy about 3.5 months later.
I wonder if people who know me think I have a matter of fact attitude about losing a dog and then just going out to get another one. I suppose after having the experience multiple times....all situations where we felt like we didn't have time to mull it over but instead had to decide immediately... we've accepted the inevitability that we will lose each one some day. Knowing this however does NOT spare a person the emotional devastation or those same guilt feelings that everyone else who has posted here feels. IT HURTS.....plain and simple. It doesn't matter how many times you go through it either. We continue to go out and get another golden because we love all of these dogs and the gifts they give us. They teach the joy of living in the moment and they give unconditional love. Once experienced, how can anyone live without that? We can't......
 

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For us it's about quality of life. As soon as it's obvious they are suffering and quality of life is going downhill, it's time.

All of our Goldens we've had since 1997 have died from some sort of cancer.

Nellie (1st Golden) made it to 14, had GRPU and had one eye killed by injection so there would be no pain, and nasal cancer set in. She was blind and started to suffer. It was time.

Henry (2nd Golden & 1/2 brother to Nellie) was 7 or 8. We noticed early summer a limp. Bone cancer in front leg. Amputated and started chemo. Was doing great as a tripod. By late summer cancer spread to lungs before chemo was complete. Quality of life went down hill fast. It was time.

Giggles (3rd Golden) was 6 or 7. Halft sister to Henry. Diagnosed with some sort of lymphoma early in the week. Died at my feet later in the week while we were watching t.v. That was awful.

Barkley (5th) started coughing one day. Diagnosed with chemodectoma (sp?) - an untreatable heart tumor. He lived a few months. Slept on the floor with him his last night. He was going downhill, it was time.

Sandy (6th) currently has lymphoma. Late Spring I felt the swollen lymph nodes and knew what it was right away. Vet confirmed B cell. That week her eye swelled up. Vet said 30% of cases the lymphoma goes to the eye or eyes. Had to have it removed. Horrible week. She is doing CHOP chemo, is in remission, and doing great. Has 5 more treatments. The cancer will come back at some point. Could be tomorrow or months from now. When she starts to go downhill or shows any suffering it will be time.

Pebbles (4th Golden and Sandy's mom) is 10. 11 in February. She has been dealing with digestive problems this summer. She is getting scoped tomorrow. Both ends. Vet suspects IBD. Not sure what to expect with this.

Pearl (7th) is about 2-1/2 years old. Doing fine. She is out of Sandy.

Mr B (8th) is 7. No issues at all except one ugly hot spot recently. Oh, and when I leave the house to go to work he howls and whimpers for an hour.

I think my next Golden will be a Goldfish...
I laughed a little at this....We've tried goldfish as well. Unfortunately they have very short lifespans at our house. My wife does currently have a yellow glow fish in her classroom at school named Fishstick....he seems to be pretty hardy.....
 
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