"All we need to do is amputate his leg and everything will be fine!" That's what I want to hear, but nobody is saying it. Nothing is guaranteed. No one has a crystal ball. So, how do I make this decision whether or not to subject my dog to stressful surgery? Or not?
I search the internet for similar people with dogs in similar situations. I watch YouTube videos of 3-legged dogs as they romp and play while their owners stand by and take all the credit, and sure, part of me thinks, "Having a 3-legged dog might be fun!" In my mind, Seamus has already had the surgery, his fur has grown back, and he has adapted to his new life as a tripawd. I don't have the mental video of post surgical him, wearing a cone of shame, shaved, stitched up like Frankenstein, missing a leg and possibly a shoulder blade, making him look like a black labrador bowling pin.
But, those dogs, in those videos are still spry. They've got a good 6 or 7 years of life left. Seamus, on the other hand, is 11, and he's got maybe 2 years left on 4 legs. So . . . what do I do? The tumor isn't aggressive. It's not close to his spine. He doesn't know he has cancer. He's happy to be here, with me, doing his job of keeping the yard free of cats and skunks, possums and raccoons.
Two days ago I was all in for amputation. Now? I'm not so sure. All I know is, I need a sign.