My Hardest Goodbye

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It has been just over two months since we said goodbye to our sweet boy and I haven’t had the courage to write this post yet. I’m not sure I’m writing it to let folks know or because it’s therapeutic for me.

After Finn had his last chemo treatment, I could tell something was majorly off. He came home restless and in pain. He had progressive bruising down his back left leg over the next couple days and I didn’t know if he had injured himself somehow at the vet or if this was a blood count issue from the chemo. It was Sunday night and I could hardly get him up to go outside. I sat there with him sobbing. I just knew this was the end of the road. I couldn’t possibly keep him in anymore pain. He had fought – and fought hard – but I swore to myself after we struggled so bad after amputation that I would never keep him in pain because I couldn’t find the strength to say goodbye.

The next day was July 20, my daughter’s second birthday. It was supposed to be a wonderful day, but instead I rushed Finn into the vet that morning. He looked so defeated. When they looked him over, they suggested some possible issues including the giant lipoma on his back. They went ahead and took xrays of his chest where several large mets were revealed. It was all worst case scenario. As I sat there on the floor with his giant, perfect head lying in my lab, I sobbed and called my husband. I told him everything and that we had to let him go.

The grief in the last two months has come in waves. I’ve questioned everything we did, or didn’t do, or didn’t do soon enough. I’ve prayed that he knew we did everything we could to save him. He was the biggest and best personality in our house and life will certainly never be the same without him. The best way I know how to cope is be so thankful that he was ours for almost seven wonderful years.

As I’ve had time to reflect on it all, I can’t possibly put into words the gratefulness I have for the Tripawds community. What everyone does here to support one another is amazing and truly life-saving. Jerry (Rene), thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you have created and do. Stacy, you have been such a wonderful friend and support person from the beginning through Finn’s journey and the after pains. I hope Griffin continues to kick cancer’s butt! I would also like to give a shout out to Dr. Mamula and the Yale vaccine group who are not only working hard on a treatment for this awful disease, but also just genuinely kind and caring people.

My mom had a sterling bracelet made for me with Finn’s name engraved and the quote, “You were my favorite hello and my hardest goodbye.” See you on the other side, Bubbie.

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7 thoughts on “My Hardest Goodbye”

  1. Ohh nooo! This just breaks my heart to hear!! We are all soooo aorry and soooo sad to read this.
    Finn showed everyone what it was like to be a WARRIOR….a very gentle but bovary determined Warrior!
    He had a lot of hurdles thrown at him, but each time he overcame them. And he overcame them because of the EXQUISITE care you gave me. You stayed the course and and didEVERYTHING possible for Finn. You jefer gave up nor did he

    And when he let you know he didn’t need to hang around for a more spoiling or anymore loving or a more belly rubs, he knew you loved him enoigh to release him from his fail earth clothes. He was ready to run free. No dog could jave been more loved.

    And make no mistake about it, Finn has left a legacy for any large dogs start this journey. Big dogs can handle life on three jist fine.

    You chronicled Finn’s journey with such important detail that will help others as they face the ups and downs of recovery. You continuously sought out solutions and did not give up. The acupuncture therapy you shared was invaluable.

    Yes, Finn’s life mattered. We are all so privileged to get to k ow this gentle boy.

    And yes, those waves of grief will continue to hit you like a ton of bricks…especially when you least expect it. The happy memories will help push the sadness further and further back. And you had so many hapoy memories!

    My favorite Finn story is getting to the “treat hoise” and refusing to go home because he had not had his treat! Such a spunky pup!

    We love you Finn♥️ Let your Mom k ow you are okay with a sign, okay? And whisper in Charlie’s ear to do something funny that reminds your Mom of you😘

    With love
    Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie

  2. Oh, Casey. I know how hard it must have been for you to write this post. I can’t believe it has been 2 months since Finn crossed over, and I know how much you miss him every day. I’ve told you before that you did absolutely everything you could for that sweet boy of yours, and he knows it. And while he may not be able to meet the newest addition to your family in person, I know he is looking down over his little brother August and sending him slobbery kisses. Sending love and strength to you, my friend! xoxo Stacy

  3. Hi Casey,
    I completely understand how you feel as I lost Arktik two weeks ago now…I am devastated and I miss him terribly right now.
    I have followed your story from a distance (not sure if I commented on some of your posts) but from the sound of it you did everything you could too. I hate this disease so much. I believe Finn lived a very happy life with your family and I can see how loved he was.

    I lost Arktik in a similar way, as he had a mass in his mouth that we thought was a dentary abscess turned out to be a met and 1 day after finding about this, he was barely able to walk on one of his hind leg. So we think he got some in his hind leg as well (maybe even a pathological break…I’m not sure). In all cases, we did not want him to suffer more than he already did.

    I am thinking about you and Finn. I hope he runs free with Arktik now. Big hugs to you.

    1. I am so sorry to hear about Arktik, Patricia. One of the few things I take comfort in is knowing he is no longer in pain anymore. I know our boys are running and playing together happily on all fours right now.

      Sending you lots of love and healing ❤️❤️

  4. Casey, when I heart the news, my heart shattered. It was so unexpected and sudden, I can’t even imagine how hard that hit home. How I wished that you and Finn were able to beat the odds! When that didn’t happen, I wished I could give you a giant hug. I’m so sorry.

    Thank you for courageously taking time to share what happened. Many people ask us “What happened to that dog/cat…they stopped blogging?” and I don’t always have answers. Although Finn’s passing was tragic and sudden, at least people now know that you found enough strength to return and share your heartache. That means sooo much.

    Some day the grief turns to acceptance, and you will smile when you think of your warrior Tripawd. In the meantime, we are here for you now, and always.

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