My dog Scout goes to live on God’s Farm in the Sky

Scout, playing his favorite game - bubbles!

Writing about animals is going to be a little difficult this week. On Friday, our dog Scout shed his earthly dog self and put on his heavenly dog self and caught the angel train to God’s Farm in the Sky.

Last May, Scout was diagnosed with an aggressive form of canine lymphona, in his lymph nodes, his spleen and very likely in his digestive tract. At the time, the canine oncologist told us that without chemo Scout had at best 30 days, and though I asked, she said there was no other treatment option. Go home and prepare for him to die, was basically what she told us.

Back in June, I wrote a piece for this blog about how Scout was teaching the lesson to die like you were living. No one told him he was sick, so he just went on with life as normal. That’s why we opted to not do chemo; the weekly visits to the vet, the side effects, and constant reminder that he was sick just weren’t going to contribute to Scout’s quality of life, no matter how long they kept him alive.

Turns out that there was another option – treating with prednisone, and we also consulted a holistic vet who treated him with herbal supplements to help with the side effects of steroids.

And for six months, Scout went on like nothing was wrong.

In December, he had a set back, which we think turned out to be partly caused by a virus all of the dogs picked up. He rebounded and went on. But last week he took a turn for the worse, and in a short time it was clear that the end was near.

And on Friday, he went to heaven.

I’d like to tell you more about Scout and his final days - but the emotions are just too overwhelming right now. I can’t even look at the this blog header; that’s his smiling, happy face in the photo.

It’s not easy to write about him or what’s happened; I’ve been doing some blogging through the eyes of one of my other dogs, Bandit, on his blog,

So this is going to be a difficult week and I’ll apologize ahead of time if I miss any big animal stories. Perhaps instead you could share some stories about our beloved pets in the comment section. That would be comforting for both of us.


  • Deborah Arca

    Oh Joanne, I’m SO sorry to read this. I know how much joy Scout brought to your life, and i can only imagine how heart-breaking it is to lose him. I have been cuddling my dog so much this past week for some reason — seems like i just can’t get enough of him sometimes — as when i do, i just say over and over again, what a gift animals are to us humans. Their unwavering love, affection, joy and playfulness is such a blessing. May Scout be running through fields of gold, and blowing bubbles galore, as his earthly pain has ceased. And may your heart be comforted by knowing he’ll always love you ….

    • Joanne Brokaw

      Thanks so much – I’m fine for a while and then … whaaa! I miss my pup!!! We’ve been just sleeping and recharging and Bailey and Bandit are kind of trying to figure out what’s going on. It’s funny how this lovely dog has left a very empy void that even the other animals are trying to live in. :(

  • Helen Verte

    I’ve gone through a similar process of life before death with my beautiful red Dobie girl Ginger; she also had cancer. I’d pulled her from a shelter room a few hours before her premature exit date was scheduled. She had cancer then, but I didn’t know that. I did get to enjoy her exuberant, flirtatious, beautiful personality for 2 years. I, too, used supplements and also pain pills. No chemo. The punctuation point came suddenly, mostly because she went along day-to-day for months without much fuss. She didn’t share her waning as much as she shared her gusto for life. I knew “it” was coming, but when the day arrived, I still wasn’t ready. How can I say I was surprised, but I was. And sad. So very sad. Even though a couple years have passed since, the sadness revisits me. I have gotten better at pushing sad aside and remembering the way she was full of life and the daily rituals we and the other dogs in our home shared. The other dogs also lost out when Ginger left and they needed me as much as I needed them during the bridge of time from then till now. I am sorry for your loss of your dear little Scout. Yet, what a happy life he led. :-)

    • Joanne Brokaw

      Thanks so much. I brought Scout’s ashes home today. I’m crying all over again. I’m so sorry for you loss, because I probably made you cry again, lol! I’m glad we animal lovers can share in our grief together!

      • Helen Verte

        Yes, the ashes bring a flood of emotions on. Oh my gosh. Being handed that little box … such an emotional roller coaster. And yes, you did help me remember the tears. Part of life. Hang in there.

        • Joanne Brokaw

          Oh, I totally lost it. And not only that, the ashes were in this beautiful wooden box, and included his footprint cast in plaster, shaped like a heart. It was really too much for me to handle. Let’s cry together and then think happy thoughts for the rest of the day, lol!

          • Helen Verte

            Agreed. :-)