Princess Mighty Dog Has Malignant Melanoma on her Paw

Princess Mighty Dog Has Malignant Melanoma on her Paw

by Sharon McDowell
(Middle River, MD)

Princess Mighty Dog Christmas photo 2010

Princess Mighty Dog Christmas photo 2010

Our beautiful little black shihtzu, Princess Mighty Dog, was diagnosed with maligant melanoma 1 year ago. It appeared suddenly and we immediately took her to the vet. They removed part of her foot and surrounding areas.

Once she returned home, being minus part of her foot did not seem to bother her. We had a prognosis of 1-2 months because it was in her lymph nodes and she had active metastasis. We made it 7 months before the tumor reappeared less than 1" from it's original site. We again ran to the vet and the vet said she would not make it another month, that this tumor seemed way more aggressive.

We waited for a change in her appetite, energy etc. Nothing happened except the tumor continued to grow. At one point it began to ooze, so we started wrapping it. She does lick it but only in the evening. She still runs, jumps, eats etc. The tumor is now almost the size of her little leg and smells, oozes etc. We give her frequent baths and continue to keep the area clean and wrapped. So far, no infection.

We know the end is drawing near, but how do you put down an animal who otherwise seems like her healthy self? She runs, jumps, plays and still enjoys life. It does take 2 of us now to wrap her leg, one to hold her and the other to wrap. She is 12 years old and we have had her since she was 6 weeks old. Her weight is stable at 11 lbs.

Her shihtzu girlfriend, Muffin, knows something isn't right, but will be her friend to the end.

This week, she has started to become more occupied with the site of the now VERY large tumor which we continue to wrap daily. She does appear to be sleeping a little more than usual, but from what we can tell, she isn't in any pain. We are thinking that maybe the tumor is pressing on the nerves or when she had surgery, maybe a nerve was nipped. We had an apppointment at one time with the doggie oncologist who worked on the vaccine, but when we found out how expensive it was, we knew we would not be able to afford it, because at the time, our special needs granddaughter was in the hospital.

We certainly don't want her to be in any pain. We are just waiting for the right time to say goodbye. Her appetite is still good, she still goes to the potty regularly and wags her tail for biscuits. I don't think she is ready to let go. I hope the end will be painless for her, because we know for us, it will be heart wrenching. My poor father who is 77 has been coming over several times a day for the entire time we have had her. They sit on the big porch swing together snd she enjoys sleeping there with him too. He is devastated by this too.

I know it is too late for a miracle. We can only treasure the time which we have left. When I lost my mom 5 years ago, Princess Mighty Dog got me through it. She never left my side, and unlike the people around us, didn't ask any questions, she just loved me.

I have a sign in my office which says, "One reason a dog can be such a comfort when you're feeling blue is that he doesn't try to find out why". Never a truer word has been sppoken.

I just hope that Mighty knows how important she has been to us and has felt the love and gratefulness we feel for her. I hope that one day, we will meet at the Rainbow Bridge.

We love you Princess Mighty Dog.

Love Mommy XOXO

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Dec 14, 2011
To Max's Brother
by: Sharon (aka shihtzu801)

To Max's Brother:

I feel so bad for the pain you are going through. Mine is still very fresh. I was unable to accompany my husband to the vet that day and I felt like I had betrayed her in some way.

However, I was so visibly distraught, I didn't want it to affect my husband or princess Mighty Dog. I had read an article that talked about the distress a dog could react to when in the room, so I chose to stay home.

I feel like I failed her every day. Should I have found a way to afford the over $5,000 in treatments she needed? Should I have been more aggressive in getting a second opinion? We'll never know. I had to think of my other little shih tzu still at home, so I needed to get her a companion quickly before I lost her too. I hope that I will warm up to Molly (my new girl), but trust me, no dog will ever fill Mighty Dog's paws.

Take care.

Dec 14, 2011
Friends like these
by: Anonymous

Hi and thanks for posting on my page about Max my brother.

Just read your story and it brought the tears up as it made me think about what I'm going to do when the time comes. I don't know if I'll be able to watch him pass. Will I be able to go through with it, will I forever feel guilty over the fact I was the one that let him go.

Nothing beats the way your friends used to look at you, their eyes full of innocence and love no matter what. The way they could make you smile just by wagging a tail or bouncing about when they were excited. We dont have a garden to bury him in if he doesn't pull through, so he will be buried in a pet cemetery. I thought about bringing his ashes home but I couldn't see them every day it would upset me too much.

I know I'll never get another dog. Maybe I'm strange but even thinking about another dog makes me feel like I'm a traitor to him. No dog could ever live up to his standards so it's unfair if I did get one.

I wish you luck in your life and hope you learn to live with the pain. As for me, well I'll give all my time to my daughter, but part of me will always wish he was here, always.

Dec 03, 2011
Princess Mighty Dog has crossed to Rainbow Bridge
by: Sharon (aka shihtzu801)

Princess Mighty Dog crossed over the Rainbow Bridge today at approximately 11:30 a.m. est.

I spent my last time with her rocking her in the chair and on the big porch swing in the sun she so much loved.

I glanced into her loving little eyes one last time at about 11:15 a.m. Muffin was here and so was Chuck and they said their goodbyes. My husband took her to the vet at his request, alone shortly thereafter. He said she was very brave and did not resist. The vet was amazed she was still here. My husband carried her on his lap the entire way home. He sat quietly outside with her when he returned home with her little quiet body and I could tell he was crying. She looks so peaceful.

We have decided to bury her in her favorite corner of the yard where she can still see the road and her whole yard and home. We put her little pillow and her favorite toys and her blanket with her name, her little quilt and a picture of her in her little box so that if in the future after we are all gone, someone finds her box (we used a plastic box with a lid) they will know what she looked like and the date she died. We also enclosed pictures of Muffin and Chuck. A little sign with her name on it was also placed in the box with her. My husband cleaned her up and rewrapped her leg one last time. He needed to do this for himself I suppose. Hannah brought Muffin over to say goodbye one last time to her friend. I saw my husband gently close the lid and place his hands on it and let out a big sigh. This is so hard. Now he must dig the hole to bury our beloved Princess Mighty Dog.

I would like to end with the following:

"The one, absolute unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog."

Rest in peace my beautiful little angel, LIVE STRONG at Rainbow Bridge

With all my love, your mommy xoxoxoxox

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