Matya (Mata-Hari) 2005-2018
She was an epitome of a Doberman. Active , happy and ready for anything at any moment.
Matya possessed a character of a perfect sport/working dog. She was friendly with people, but would be totally ok with ignoring them if she had work to do. She was indifferent to other dogs. And, she was willing to do anything and for as long as needed with her owner.
She lived a healthy and happy life with us. When she was 11, we found out that she had a growth in her abdomen about the size of an orange. During my conversation with our veterinarian, he told me that prognosis without treatment would be 3-9 months of life. There would be minimal discomfort during that period and usually the end would come fast. An alternative would be a surgery and chemotherapy, which would result in a life expectancy of about 3-12 months if she survived the surgery.
For me, and my parents, the decision was easy. We chose not to do any treatments aside from some joint pain medication and fish oil supplements.
I chose to let her live out her life without pain, confusion and suffering of surgery and chemotherapy. I am aware that many people stand by the notion of doing everything possible to “help” and eliminate the disease. However, my view is that the treatment would just add more suffering and contribute little to prolonging her life. Furthermore, prolonging life and adding more suffering to Matya’s remaining time seemed not only not fare but almost cruel. She would not understand the need for surgeries, treatments and discomforts and only experience the pain and suffering brought on by those things. With our choice, she got to live out her life for an extra year and half (8 months over the average prognosis) while being happy dog that she always was.
Eventually, during the last month of her life, she did slow down and it became obvious that the cancer is starting to get better of her. A day before she passed, my father asked me if I would come by and take a look as he thought it was time. Two days before I was thinking of bringing her to a vet to end her pain, Matya went for a morning walk with my father, and on her way back, right by the entrance of the house, she lied down and quietly passed away. I think this is the best way a dog can pass… she slept the night in my parents bedroom, went for a walk and passed away quickly and peacefully.
I will miss her and I am sure she is now running over the Rainbow Bridge with her favorite older brother, Dante.
Thank you Matya for teaching me how to be joyful and playful and thank you for teaching me that sometimes quality of life is more important than quantity.