Beorn Is Dying

Big Bernese Mountain Dog Beorn resting on a cushion

We've been on a pseudo-vacation for a couple weeks with the dogs (more on that later).

When we came home we took Beorn to the vet for some tests, as he's been having trouble breathing. The tests showed that Beorn has a cancerous tumor in his lung(s). We're meeting with the vet today to sort things out, including possible treatments.

This is sad news. We love Beorn tremendously, as we do all our dogs, and though we knew this day comes for them all, it's still quite a gut punch.

The hard truth is, with Beorn just a couple months away from eleven years old, any "treatments" that make his life harder (surgery, chemo, radiation) are simply not worth it. We don't want to increase his suffering out of selfishness to keep him around. Any treatment will happen only if it allows him to remain happy and comfortable in his final weeks (and hopefully, months).

When and if it becomes clear that he's in pain and life is too hard, we'll make the difficult decision.

In the meantime, Beorn gets whatever the hell he wants. Cheeseburgers. Pancakes. Chicken. Pizza. The works.

I'd say more, but it's so damn dusty in here today… my eyes…

Comments 8

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  1. My heartfelt sympathies. I could never quite figure out why a tree gets 100 years and a dog gets 8 to 20 (if lucky). I realize trees are valuable and don’t spend energy moving, but as lovely as a tree is, have you ever known one to put a paw on your knee when the tears are flowing? I remember every dog, cat and bird whose company I ever had the pleasure of as though they are in the next room. I hope for peace and painlessness for Beorn thru the last breath.

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      Thank you. Beorn is the fourth dog we’ve had the pleasure of living with. Every dog was special. Every dog was loved. And the memories of Beorn will, once he’s gone, eventually make us smile as well.

  2. Having this scenario play out way too many times, I offer my sincere condolences. Dogs are some of our Creators best examples that He loves us and wants us to be happy….
    May God give you the wisdom to find just the right moment and the right way to ease Beorn’s suffering.

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      Thank, Chuck.

      After I posted this, we left with Beorn (and Hudson) for a weeklong trip to the ocean. Beorn had never seen it, and though that wasn’t the original reason for us to go, it became the primary one once we got the news.

      That accomplished, we’re home now and Beorn seems to be in his final weeks (not months, as I had hoped). Very weak, but still wagging his tail.

      I will undoubtedly have more to say later, but I appreciate all the comments, thoughts, and yes, even prayers.

  3. My heart breaks for you and Faith. You painted my Berner Bo a couple of years ago after he also passed from a cancerous lung tumor. We still miss him tremendously and so appreciate your portrait as a remembrance. Take care.

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      Thank you, Sheri.

      We said goodbye to Beorn this last Monday. He’s now buried next to his buddy, Boris, who passed in 2019. All our dogs are buried just down the hill from the house, where we can see their cairns every day.

      I remember Bo! That was one of my favorite portraits.

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