Quality vs Quantity

Six months ago I noticed a lump on the side of my dogs chest. I knew that sometimes dogs get fatty lumps and so I decided to just watch it and see if it got bigger. Then, 5 months later, I notice a different kind of lump has formed on his knee. This one was hard, like a golf ball. I was amazed at how big it was. I had missed it because it sat on top of his knee, almost like the kneecap. Again, I decided to watch it.

Then last week I notice this…

It’s on his back right leg. At first I thought it was a spider bite. So I watched it for a few days to see if it would become infected. I’ve dealt with spider bites before on dogs and knew the treatment pretty well. Keep it clean. Don’t let him lick it. Look for infection. If infection happens, see vet. But this one looked different. I couldn’t see any entry wound where the spider would have bit him. And while it didn’t look infected, it was definitely getting bigger and more red. 

So my girlfriend and I decided to take him to the vet on saturday. We needed answers and the best way to get them was to see a professional.

The news wasn’t good.

The vet wasn’t too concerned with the fatty lump, but she was concerned with the ball on the knee. She also informed us that no, it wasn’t a spider bite, and that it was likely another hard lump forming. She suggested a biopsy on the fatty lump to make sure it wasn’t cancer, and removal of the two hard ones. We decided to not to get the biopsy figuring that if it IS cancer, there wouldn’t be anything we could do for him anyway, so regardless if he had cancer or not, his care wouldn’t change.

The girlfriend looked over the estimate, we made some changes, and had them run a blood screen on him to check for any other abnormalities. We decided we would make a final decision on how to proceed when we got the results. 

The ride home was difficult. I felt angry, frustrated, and sad, all tightly rolled up into one overwhelming feeling of loss. This was confirmation that I wouldn’t have my little buddy for as long as I had hoped. I knew that the average lifespan of a Doberman is 10 to 13 year, and at 7, I figured I had more time with him, and now I knew I wouldn’t. If this keeps happening, we wouldn’t be able to afford the surgeries, and eventually, would have to put him down. I’m not ashamed to admit I cried.

Dax came into my life at just 6 months old. He was a gift from my ex wife right before things finally fell apart between us. At one point, I thought he was the only true friend left that I had.

Then Tam came into my life. We became friends, then more, she had her dog, and I had mine. Eventually I moved in with her and my dog quickly became our dog. I was overjoyed watching her bond with Dax. Much too soon though, her dog fell victim to old age. Dax was there to fill that gap.

So together we’ve decided we’re going to focus more on the quality of our time left with him and not stress about the quantity. If we get him for just another few years, we’re going to make the best of it. We’re going to take more trips with him, and spend as much bonding time with him that we can. That way when he is finally put to rest, we’ll know he had a life worth living.


  1. Yesterday was the 5th year anniversary of my Scoobert Dee’s passing. She was a yellow lab/Aussie cattledog mix. I watched her being born. The bond we had was amazing. As she got older, I knew that horrible day was coming. I did exactly what you guys are doing, made the rest of her days the best I could. I’m still trying to wrap my head around how she died. She got deathly I’ll, but waited until she saw me again before she passed.

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