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Featuring Demian Dressler, DVM and Sue Ettinger, DVM, Dip. ACVIM (Oncology), authors of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide

Dog cancer: Is my dog’s life still good?

Updated: December 13th, 2018

How can you determine the life quality of a dog?  In the upcoming book I write about a life quality assessment system.  It sounds a little complex, but actually it is pretty strait forward.

The tough part is sorting out your own feelings from those of your dog!  Lots of us have strong emotions that come up when we are trying to evaluate whether our loved dog has a good life or not.  These can interfere with a clear assessment of what is really going on. Some common ones are guilt, anger, blame, overwhelm, despair, numbness, desire to fix the problem and move on, disorientation, anxiety, and more.

A first step is just being honest about how you feel about the situation.  Everyone is different, but whatever you feel, trust that others have gone through the same thing.  Remember that we all react differently, and that your response is okay.  So many times we stifle our feelings, and they simmer under the surface, only to sneak out later and make our lives harder.

Most of us take a shower regularly.  We take the time to do clean our bodies.  Why not take the time to clear our minds so things are easier?  Many of us zoom around from thought to thought.  This can really block any feelings from coming up.  When they finally do, they can interfere with looking at the situation from our dog’s perspective.  

The take home message is simple.  The first step in life quality assessment is clearing your mind.  Take time to really identify how you feel, just as you would block off time for a shower. Next, allow the feelings to really bubble up. Experience them.  Finally, let them wash over you and through you.  Let them go.  Time to move on to the task at hand!

We will look further at life quality issues in upcoming posts.

Best to all,

Dr Dressler


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