Carson W. Kerber

Two weeks ago I found out why Carson has been so sick.  He has melanoma.  You kind of have to let that sink in. My dog is dying from the same thing my best friend died from..Melanoma….the illness I have put many hours into to educate others, raise money, and spread the word.  I don’t know…is that Ironic?  The vet called to tell me the tumor they removed from Carson’s mouth was “an aggressive form of cancer called Melanoma.  I am not sure if you are familiar with Melanoma but…”  I cut him off.  I told him that unfortunately I was intimately aware of Melanoma.  They gave Carson 4-6 months at most.  Apparently his tumor was pretty large. The sad state of his kidneys and the tumor on his lungs can now be attributed to the melanoma having metastasized (spread to other parts of the body). 

So, as Julie told me with Murphy, “Jen, you know what you need to do.”  And I do know what I need to do. I got the number of a vet who will come to my house and put Carson down.  (In fact, I got the number from my cousin Kristi who just put down her fabulous yellow lab, Tex.)  I would rather it be at home for Carson. He hates the Vet and he isn’t much on car rides since he got sick.    

My friend posted a fantastic blog today on the death of a pet (she is a much better writer than I am and has a way with words…you should read it..just click on the link above).  It made me bawl because I am struggling with the same thing with Carson. I want to put him down before things get bad. I know he is sick. I know the outcome…I witnessed it 2 years ago.  I don’t want to wait until the tumor goes to his brain or pushes on his spine and he can’t walk, or overwhelms his lungs and he can’t breathe.  I have the number of the vet who will come to my house.  I just can’t dial the damn number. I think about it when he has a bad day…he sleeps all day and doesn’t want to eat.  I say, “I am calling the vet tomorrow.”  Then tomorrow comes and he is peppy (relatively), eating, and seemingly content.  Then I think what if I call this vet, she shows up and I say put down my dog…and there is Carson, happy, tail wagging, peppy.  What will she think. I know the vet will understand with his diagnosis.  But I can’t get the chorus out of my head that says you killed him before his time.  I know that chorus is ridiculous…I know that.   

I truly don’t want to wait until he is in pain or can’t function.  I was thinking about doing it on Monday the 15th as it is a government holiday and I will have the day off.  But then the snowpocolypse gives me a good excuse to delay the inevitable.  Another friend gave me a great perspective today.  Perhaps this snow storm has been a gift.  Here I get to spend 4 days (more likely going to be 6-7 days) with him.  He is in hog heaven.  He spends his day finding me and falling asleep at my feet.  He loves the snow (loves to eat it) and he likes going for walks in the snow.   In fact, we had a bit of a Standoff today…he refused to go home after we went on a long walk.  I stood there talking, coaxing, and arguing with him for 5 minutes.  I physically had to get behind him and push his butt over the snow ledge back to the front yard.   Once he was in the front yard he knew it was over.  But he walked about 1 mph to the front door.  Even in death he maintains his Stubborness…that is my kind of dog.

So maybe soon is best.  He will go out on a high note.  Happy, Content.  Who knows, I am going to play it by ear.


BTW – I have other non-depressing, non-snow related posts that I am working on..

BTW2 – Yes, get over it, My dog’s middle name is in honor of a President.

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5 Responses to Carson W. Kerber

  1. I know we just emailed about this, but I had to write here to say how sorry I am…and I agree that these snow days are a gift–to get to spend that special time with him. I just got back from taking my dogs for a walk in the falling snow. My dog Barrabas (the old one) didn’t want to go at first, but I made him. He was so reluctant, but once we got out there, he was trotting like he was 10 years younger…tail wagging..pushing his muzzle into the snow. These animals leave such tracks on our soul.
    P.S. Thanks for linking to my blog.

  2. Derek says:


    That is so sad. I know you love Carson. He’s a great dog with a great personality. I know you’ll do the right thing at the right time. So sorry you have to go through this…but you gave Carson a great home for many years. He couldn’t have ended up in a better place.

  3. Laurie says:

    I know where you are I just don’t have a disease to make me make a decision. Daisy at 13 years old is just like an old person. Good days and bad when I think this can’t go on much longer. Then the next day is like a puppy has woke up walking good and not moaning and sometimes playing with Oscar. It is amazing what a hard thought this is for us to come to. We all know exactly what we need to do but your heart is always stronger than your head. Here is my advice to you. Take it day by day. You will know when the day comes. Enjoy what you have and when you make the decision dont look back as you will have done the right thing. But if you dont want to plan it dont! Remember that his life before you would have never had the quality it had with you. He gave us all memories and those can’t be taken away. Remeber when he watered my Christmas tree ha-ha! We talk about it every christmas. Especally now that we have a male dog and they just think it is cool to have a tree inside.
    Anyhow, just enjoy these days and the snow with him and as hard as it might be Thank God for the days (especally the last few) that you have spent with him. Take care!

  4. Angie Morton says:

    Oh Jen. I agree this snow storm was a gift. I was talking to a coworker who recently lost her 18 year old cat and she mentioned this poem to me, Rainbow Bridge. You may be familiar with it already…it certainly comforted me. I hope it does the same for you.

  5. Kathy says:

    So sorry. this is hard. I had to put Emalyn’s rat (Oreo) down just last week because she had cancer and was suffering. I knew she was sick, but then we saw bleeding and she was wheezing – tumors pressing against her lungs. So I had to do what was right, but it was very hard…and she was a rat. I am not looking forward to taking Babs (cat) in to the vet. She’s overdue but since she’s been so healthy looking (for being 17yrs old) I haven’t wanted to stress her. but now she wakes me every night crying for something I can’t seem to figure out what! So I sympathize with you. It’s nice to have the option to spare them from pain, but I just wish we could foresee the future for them to know when!

    Take care, give him extra love and kisses, and know you are doing what is best for him…spending time together.

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