Not to be out done, or shown up by his brother…here we go again, Mack.

I feel as though my entire blog lately has been about my dogs.  Sorry about that, but I can’t shake what’s happening in my life with my four legged babies, so bear with me.  Once again the Bisson family finds them staring down the barrel of our sweet boy Mack living on borrowed time.

Mind you, he will be twelve on March 18th.  Anybody who knows boxers knows that this is a good, long life for one of their kind.  For Mack it’s an even better amount of time since at four months he came down with HOD, it’s a complicated explanation, but in a nutshell he became a quadriplegic over night.  One vet, a Toronto vet, wanted to put him down right away.  Our Dr. Matt in Oakville not only didn’t want to put him down, he took him home to his house and nursed him over the weekend, because he didn’t want him left at the clinic with just his staff.  Once Matt stabilized him enough, he came home and was on bed rest for WEEKS.  Try keeping a pup, who’s brother was running, and bouncing all over the place down.  It wasn’t easy but we did it, and he recovered.

Then at three he had a tumor on his prostate…he was neutered and given a clean bill of health.

At four he was diagnosed with a very aggressive Mast Cell tumor, given four to six months to live.  All vaccinations stopped, except for his rabies, and no more flea tick medication.  This combined with a whole raw food diet, and a battery of holistic remedies administered three times a day for six months…he not only survived, he thrived.  Then came the cataracts, in both eyes at different times.  The loss of his spleen, the rupturing of an ear drum, losing half a jaw and the teeth that used to sit in it, and finally thyroid cancer last spring.

We’ve been through it all with this boy of ours, but he fights on.  He’s never been done with us, or his will to live.  So we fought with him, side by side.  But it appears that we’re entering the stages of the final round, he now has an adrenal tumor, which is incredibly difficult to get at.  This is not a huge problem, since there are surgeons who specialize in just this.  The trouble is he also has a condition, Degenerative Myelopathy, or DM for short.  I’m not a vet, so I don’t have the vocabulary to explain it, or the symptoms, if you are interested in knowing what it is, you can go to this link…

The combination of both diseases make operating on him senseless given the timeline of the other disease.  None of this is good.  And there isn’t anything to be done.  So we wait.  The toughest part of all of it was trying to plan the “perfect” time to let Mikaela know.  He’s her dog.  Her soulmate.   Or as she likes to call him, “my best friend.”

For weeks I’ve been agonizing over; do I call her and tell her on the phone?  If I were to do that, what time, before class, after class?  When she’s by herself or with her sister?  When?  How?  Finally Yannick and I decided to tell her over dinner tonight, she took it badly, as you can imagine.  It’s never easy getting ready to say goodbye to a loyal, loving, kind, and perfect family member.  None of us are ready, even though you think we would be since he’s been a sickly boy his entire life.

Who knows, maybe he’ll surprise us once again, maybe he will live longer than the four months they’ve given him?  I guess we’ll wait and see what Mack decides he wants to do.  Stay a bit longer, or go.

Hmmm, hmmm, hmmm…



  1. I’m so sorry for Mack’s diagnosis, but happy he’s part of such a loving family. I’ll be thinking of all of you during this difficult time, especially sweet Mack. With my dogs I try to live in the present and not anticipate what’s to come, but it’s very hard. Sending love and light and healing energy your way.

  2. My heart goes out to you all. We had to put both of our adopted greyhounds down–Suzie had kidney failure and Geno had inoperable cancer. It was awful, and I am tears writing about it now, but know this–Mack will always be with you.
    It sounds so trite, but it is also true. I can still see my babies on their backs, wriggling around with their long legs slicing through the air. Their wanting a treat and showing me how much they deserved it by ‘sitting’ for me. Sitting is difficult for greyhounds because of their musculature and skeletal structure. With time and patience many greys can be taught to sit, although they cannot remain sitting for very long. My favorite memories are watching them run for the pure joy of running, and they all bring me such happiness, and it is that happiness that will keep them alive in my heart as long as I am alive.

    But when the time comes, I send you this poem, one that we share in the greyhound adoption world.

    The Rainbow Bridge — inspired by a Norse Legend

    By the edge of the woods, at the foot of the hill
    Is a lush, green meadow where time stands still.
    Where the friends of men and women do run
    When their time on earth is over and done.

    For here, between this world and the next,
    Is a place where each beloved creature finds rest.
    On this golden land, they wait and play
    Til the Rainbow Bridge they cross over one day.

    No more do they suffer, in pain and sadness,
    For here they are whole, their lives filled with gladness.
    Their limbs are restored, their health is renewed,
    Their bodies have healed, with strength imbued.

    They romp through the grass without even a care,
    Until one day they start, and sniff at the air.
    All ears prick forward, eyes dart front and back,
    Then all of a sudden, one breaks from the pack.

    For just at that instant their eyes have met;
    Together again, both person and pet.
    So they run to each other, the friends form long past
    The time of their parting is over at last.

    The sadness they felt, while they were apart,
    Has turned to joy once more in each heart.
    They embrace with a love that will last forever,
    And then, side by side, they cross over … together.


  3. My prayers to all of you, being a “pet parent” also, I know how tough it is and what you and your family are going through.

  4. So very sad. Even though Mack has had a full life beyond all expectations it will be so hard for everyone to let him go. There are no words all I can do is send my love and big hugs to you all, most of all to Mikaela. XX

  5. Very sorry about Mack’s sad news, he sure is a surviver and the one thing is sure is that he will have the best time any dog could have with all your family love and support

  6. Wow, he really is a fighter, isn’t he? I’d say as long as he is pain-free, with a good quality of life, he should be allowed to fight. But please (and I know this is hard, especially givven his history) let him have peace when he is done fighting….

    Much love to the two- and four-legged Bissons.

  7. Oh my it has been a long road for Mack. The other boys have had it rough lately too. When I do my nightly meditation and blessings I add all three of your boys. Being a furmom to a MCT Survivor I understand a bit of what you’re going through. I will sending positive engeries to you all even all the way to Cali from Toronto. Here’s to Duke’s ACL healing and both Mack and Kohl having a wonderful time in the warm sand.

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