In March 2011 our “boy”, Onyx, turned 13. At the end of April we noticed something wrong inside his mouth. Our local veterinarian found a large tumor and did surgery to remove it. Unfortunately, the tumor grew back quickly and we were told that further surgery wasn’t realistic and that we had a couple of months left at best.
We were so sad and upset. Onyx was one of the best dogs to ever share our lives. but then, in May, we were referred to Smith Ridge for an evaluation. We’d been told that they did “cryosurgery” – which freezes the tumor, causing it to die, and doesn’t require any cutting.
Dr. Mike and Dr. Marty looked at the tumor. The tumor had grown all over the bottom of Onyx’s mouth. But they felt that cryosurgery could be effective for him even though they said without surgery he probably had only a couple of weeks left to live.
Onyx was still so vital that we weren’t ready to say goodbye yet. And he definitely didn’t seem ready to say goodbye. When we asked how long the cryosurgery would give us, they told us we could probably expect another 3 to 6 months and that those months would be high quality months. We made the decision to move forward with the cryosurgery.
Onyx came through the surgery with flying colors. He barely seemed to know he’d even had surgery. He wasn’t in pain and even the messy oozing we’d been told to expect for 5 to 10 days was not a problem. Dr. Mike recommended 2 cancer-fighting supplements for Onyx, along with a change of diet. We decided our “old man” deserved the best homecooked diet I could make for him. He loved it! And he began to look a lot better because of the real food he was getting.
After the surgery Onyx bounced right back. He resumed his long walks with us and was a happy dog who made many trips with us between our home here and our home down south. He continued to greet everyone he met and stopped daily during his walks to check in on his dog friends in the neighborhood. He slowed down a little as time went on, but that was to be expected.
In the late summer of 2012 we saw what looked like a growth in his mouth. The cancer did recur. But it didn’t bother him for several months. At the end of Oct. 2012 we did know it was time and we helped him pass. He was a happy, vital dog right up until the last 2 days.
Onyx was 14 and 1/2 when he passed. Smith Ridge gave us an extra 16 months with the sweetest, kindest dog we’ve ever had. And they were 16 good months – months that Onyx was happy and active. Smith Ridge – thank you! You gave us the greatest gift – time to be together and time to be at peace. We miss him terribly, but we’ll always be grateful for the skill and compassion you shared with us that allowed us to share 16 extra months with Onyx.