And now we know
Countdown to Goodbye

So Long & Thanks For All the Waffles


Thank you, Internet, for the huge loving wave of kind thoughts and condolences. I really had no idea so many people had so much genuine affection for my little dog, and it was an unexpected bright spot in an otherwise total shithole of a day.

So Ceiba has cancer. It is all very bad news. 

The cancer diagnosis was...not a huge surprise to us. Jason basically called it as soon as we got her first negative UTI result. I needed to cycle through a few more of the treatable possibilities first, but over the past couple weeks -- thanks to the blood and drastic weight loss -- I came to the same conclusion. I was possibly holding out hope that it was bladder stones, but deep down I was fully expecting the worst. 

Making it official and shifting our worry into our reality, though, is rough. Really awful and rough.  

Her prognosis is not good. There is no realistic treatment option at this point. We won't put her through chemo and surgery would be incredibly invasive (as the tumor is inside her bladder) and dangerous for a dog her age. There's a drug treatment that MIGHT slow the tumor growth (provided it's the "right" kind of tumor), but would not shrink it, relieve her current symptoms, or likely buy us anything more than a few months. 

And I would not expect them to be good months. For her, anyway. The tumor is BIG. It's taking up almost her entire bladder. There is almost no room left for urine. The vet said she is already very likely in pain and discomfort from all the pressure and inflammation. And while she's being SUCH a good, sweet little trooper about it, it's definitely obvious that she's not feeling very well. And it's getting noticeably worse at a pretty scary pace.

She pees blood literally 24/7 -- on the floor, the furniture, her bed, our laps, the babysitter's jacket oh god I'm so sorry -- and she's losing weight despite eating normally. She's walking differently and seems to struggle in her bed to get comfortable. She sleeps most of the time and doesn't have nearly the energy she had even just a month ago. Her eyesight and hearing aren't really great, her breathing is labored, and she seems confused a lot of the time.

I opted not to have the vet perform more tests to fully stage the cancer and determine if it has spread to her liver or lungs. (That would fully rule out surgery as an option but the vet really didn't seem to think surgery was a good idea anyway, and I honestly agree.) We have enough information as-is. The disease is moving terribly fast and we simply can't let her decline into even more pain. As tempting as it is to be like, "but look she still enjoys X, Y, and Z!", I don't really want to wake up one day and realize that she no longer does, and is basically completely miserable. 

I brought her home yesterday and cried for a little bit, then made her a waffle with peanut butter on it. I held her on my lap for hours. (She peed on the couch a little but I'll steam clean it. Again.) I gave her all the people food she wanted from the dinner table. And then we sat the boys down over cookies and gave them the news. 

I haven't made the appointment yet. I selfishly want at least a few more days to spoil her beyond rotten. I feel incredibly guilty for every time I scolded her over an accident before we knew what was going on and I need to tell her she's a good dog like four million more times. And I think the boys could use some time to come to terms with what's happening. They all want to take her on a few more walks and take more pictures with her. 

(And they all want -- nay, demand -- another dog, like immediately. Slow your roll, wolf pack.)

So that's it. It's almost time to say goodbye to our dear sweet bat-eared waffle-loving hamsterdog, my only girl, my Ceiba Dog. I'll never forget her. 


None of us will. 



Holding y'all in the light. Take care and safe journey, Ceiba.


ohmyword, Amy, it's very hard to type with tears in your eyes

sending lots of Waffle Love -- you and she were SO lucky to find each other, she couldn't have had a better family

take deep breaths, lots of pics and don't forget the waffles

also, crying -- crying is also an option


So sorry to hear this news. This isn't want any pet parent wants to hear. Enjoy these last moments...


I just wanted to say I'm sorry. We went through this in November. It sucks. Badly.

michelle b

I'm so sorry, Amy.

Kristin C

I'm sitting here crying my eyes out for you. I know the pain of making this decision all too well, and luckily our son wasn't yet born when we had to say goodbye to our sweet Archer. Ceiba is lucky to have such a loving family and you all are lucky to have such a wonderful girl as part of your family. All the love and hugs to you guys. I wish I knew something better to say, but we're all with you and love you! <3 you Ceiba girl.


So sorry to hear this news. Peace to the Storch family.


I'm so sorry, Amy. Trying not to cry at work for you.

Thank you for giving her such a wonderful life.


Thinking of you guys still today.


So sorry. You were lucky to have each other in your lives. Hugs.


She will always know she is loved by her family.


Oh you guys, I'm so sorry. Much love to you all. Give Ceiba an extra cuddle from her interwebs friends.


We brought ours home and enjoyed one whole/final weekend before making the dreaded appointment. I'm still glad I did because we took a lot of snuggly pictures and we fed lots of treats and laid in the sun and it was a great weekend and what we needed to be ready to say goodbye. My heart goes out to you and your family. Hang in there, friend.


I'm so very sorry. It's just the worst having to make that decision. Praying for all of you.


I'm so very sorry.


Crying for you. Are there at least pain meds the vet can give her to make her last days as comfy as possible? Some vets will come to your house to make the transition as easy as possible on the pet. You might be able to do it when all the boys are at school. Just an idea. Give her lots of love, treats and comfort. You are making the most loving decision in letting her go. I am so so so sorry.


All my love to all of you, we have lost a dog to cancer and it just effing sucks.

I think I'll go shovel some waffles into my dog in Ceiba's honor.


i'm so, so very sorry.

Sarah Lynn

She has been a dear little dog to read about.

Amanda Gee

I am so sorry.


I'm so incredibly sorry. I'll be sharing a waffle between my 2 in honor of your hamster dog. <3

Katy G

*tears* I am so very, very sorry. (((HUGS)))


I'm so sorry, Amy. Putting our ill dog down remains one of the hardest things we have ever done. Sending hugs to your family. Ceiba won't remember the scoldings for the accidents. She will remember how much you all love her, though.

Emily D

My kids and I have loved the "waffle! No waffle!" dog (and her family) for many years now. My son can recite most of your 'Ceiba-narrated' posts verbatim. We will never forget her. I am so very sorry for you and your family, Amy.


So,so very sorry to hear this news!


I am so sorry. This is the worst part of being a pet parent. When we had to put our 15 y.o. dog down last year, I shared the "Rainbow Bridge" story with my kiddos. I think maybe it helped them a bit? Or maybe it just helps me. Your family will be in my thoughts.


I'm so so sorry. Saying goodbye to our little friends can be so hard.


It's the toughest. Love her rotten with those hugs and kisses and waffles. Hugs to you guys and Ceiba.


This just hurts. We lost our dear pup (he was only 6) 2.5 years ago to lymphoma. We selfishly did everything, one protocol after another. we were told we'd have at least a year but it was a fierce form. We lost him 4 months after diagnosis and just one day after my own dad passed away. We feel your pain.


So so sorry. Losing a pet is never easy, but you're doing right by her.

Niki S

My 8 yr old golden has fucking cancer too- diagnosed in January with 3-5 months to live. I've cried a stupid fucking river and like you I won't let him be in pain. I watch him like a hawk and ask him all the time how he is. Our cue is when he stops eating- he loves his food and I've been spoiling him ROTTEN because- fucking cancer.

Love to you and the wolf pack for your sweet bat eared girl.


Totally cried. I'm so very sorry for your family.


Love and light to you. ♡


It's totally the worst feeling when you know what you have to do for your much-loved pet. I'm so very sorry for you all.


I'm so so sorry. And I'm crying again at work. Hugs to you, Jason and the boys. Give the sweet dog all the peanut butter and waffles she wants. The last few months of Dryfuss's life (he was a 13 year old GSD) we called the 'Summer of D' as we knew it was his last spring/summer and we spoiled the hell out of him.

Car rides for no reason? Sure. Want to sit outside in the sun all day? Sure.
Fresh caught grilled Salmon for dinner? Sure.

It was the first time my husband and I went through that together and what we learned is cherish all the good and bad times you get with them. It is important because now we have a 5 year old GSD and a 1.5 year old GSD whose name is Jaxx, but he gets called Jaxxhole frequently because frankly he's now an 80lb puppy whose constantly a dick to the 5 year old and loves to lay in puddles in the yard. I know that someday I will miss him being a Jaxxhole and I hope to get to experience his old man dog personality where I'm just hoping he's chill as fuck. Dryfuss was our first, Jaxx is our fifth. Knowing with each dog I rescue I only get about 10 years with if I'm lucky makes me treasure all the time I get with them. Jaxx won't be our last, my heart has been broken 3 times but I'm going to keep spoiling these pups and those who will come after.

Elaine C. B.

I'm so sorry. My pets have always been family and I know yours are too. I'm glad she has had such a happy home and such good people to look out for her.


sending love and light as i sit here thinking about Ceiba, my 18 year old cat, and crying embarrassingly at my desk (again?)
see you over the rainbow bridge hamsterdog.


Oh man, reading this while pregnant and with a very old dog at home was not wise. Amy, I'm so sorry. Ceiba is indeed a good, good dog and she is so lucky to have had such a wonderful, spoiled, loved life with you and your family.



I'm so sorry. The vet gave us a paw print last year after we had to put down our beloved kitty cat. It helps to look at sometimes.

Wishing you all peaceful and snuggly last days with Ceiba.


Totally crying at work. Our Golden Retriever went through this over 15 years ago but readying your story makes it feel like yesterday. My mom and I took Chester to the vet and held him for the procedure - it was hard to be sure - but so glad that we can offer this peaceful and humane option to our furry friends. Thoughts are with you. Someone probably already told you about this poem, but if not, Google "The Rainbow Bridge" - might be good for the boys.


I'm so sorry.


It is so hard to say goodbye. Hugs to all of you.


I am so sorry for you and your family. We don't have any pets of our own but I have so loved reading about Ceiba and how much joy and laughter she has brought to your family. <3 <3 <3


I am so so sorry. Hugs.


Oh, Amy, I'm so sorry. Losing a pet is the absolute worst, and is the terrible bargain we make for having them bring such joy to our lives for the time we have with them. It doesn't make it less awful, but being able to hold a pet as they pass is truly a remarkable experience, and is one that I treasure from when I had to put my first cat down (even if it makes me sad to think about). My thoughts are with you and your family.


The affection was for both of you. I'm so sorry. It's been 11 years since I decided for my angel-dog, and I still remember how torn up I was.
Hugs and more hugs. Tell the boys another dog will come, but not until after mom and dad stop hurting so much.


I'm so sorry, Amy (and the whole family). What a terrible, terrible, terrible thing. Thinking of all of you.


I'm so sorry, Amy. My brother- and sister-in-law just recently had to say goodbye to their beloved golden retriever, and they were able to have someone come to the house. That made a horrible day a little bit easier for them. Just a thought, in case you didn't know that was an option (I didn't) and in case Ceiba's not a big fan of the vet's office.


I'm bawling right now. Probably right along with you all. I lost my dog a while back to stomach cancer and it was the hardest most gut wrenching sadness I've ever had to go through. They're little family members full of sunshine, unconditional love and a spot of mischief. Sending lots of strength and love your way through this difficult time. And lots of cuddles to hamsterdog.


I'm so sorry she has cancer, that you don't get more time to say goodbye. It is so hard to make that call of when to let our pets go, they are our family and leave holes in our lives when they are gone. <3


I'm so sorry. Loss and grief suck.


Having gone thru this with my 6 year twins recently, we found the book Dog Heaven by Cynthia Rylant a very helpful resource. It does a nice job with young kids. xoxo


So sorry Amy. We've been there multiple times and it's always hard. Take comfort in knowing that you gave her a great life.


that is absolutely the worst. I'm so sorry.


I'm so sorry. It's so hard.


I told someone else who had an ill pet that, "My friend's dog has blade cancer" because I slip into referring to you and other long time blog faves as friends when telling your stories. Ceiba has become my canine friend over the years even though I have not met her. I am truly sorry and send love.


Uh bladder not blade you stupid auto correct. Though now I am imagining bat dog as blade runner.


So, so, sorry to hear about the cancer.

Losing pets suck.

And hopefully this is taken with the intension, but when my parents had to put down their sweet, wonderful basset hound, they had a vet that was willing to come to their house. My mom got a lot of peace from the fact that she was in her house, in her bed, and happy and calm when it all went down. And my mom was there holding her. Anyway, I'm sure that you wouldn't want to do that with boys there, but it was an option that helped my parents.


I only skimmed the comments above because I can only hide so may tears at work. I went through this with my cat a couple of years ago. The best piece of advice I got was to have a traveling vet come do it at home. Keep her in her environment, in her bed, in her place that smells like her people. Good luck, and I'm so sorry that you need it.


Not even holding back tears at work! So sorry y'all have to go through this, but I hope you all have a few great last days with her. Sending all my love! <3

R Robicheaux

I'm so sorry, Amy. No words can make it hurt less. Just don't wait too long to allow love for another sweet soul into your heart.


I am so sorry. Be kind to yourself - and remember that you were a damn good mom to her and gave her what she needed most - love (and waffles).

Nicole P.

Oh, Ceiba! :( Seems like just yesterday she was playing flying squirrel dog when you brought Noah home from the hospital and then promptly had to take said flying squirrel dog to the ER vet.


Our last duty as loving owners is to know when the right time is to let them go. Hugs.


Hello Amy,
I have been a long, long time reader and I have never commented. I actually remember your post from when you brought Ceiba home. It's strange to know someone so well but they dont even know you exist :) My condolences on the news. I went through it with my little one as well and spoiling Ceiba is a great idea. I know she will have a nice belly full of waffles and a heart full of love. xo


Losing a pet is so awful, and sad, and hard. I'm so sorry, Amy.

Megan Beecroft

I just put my 15.5 year old dog down in January, so I 100% understand the horribleness of it. My heart goes out to you and your family. It's the worst decision to make, however, it is the right decision. You are doing right by your sweet Ceiba.


Amy, I hardly ever comment, but I've been reading since before you got Ceiba, and I can't tell you how sorry I am to read this. I have my own little guy who is roughly the same age, so I can imagine what you're going through right now, and I'm so, so, sorry. Thinking of you all xxx


I'm so sorry, Amy. I know you will miss your girl, but what a wonderful life you gave her!

A Non E. Mouse

I am not crying over an Interweb Stranger's (who I've been reading for years but wouldn't know me from Eve) wee tiny precious dog while at work. I am not. *sniffle*


I read the post yesterday and I am so sorry about your pup. This post made me cry as it is obvious how much joy she brings all of you. Enjoy spoiling her this weekend.


I am, again, so so so soooooo sorry. Losing a beloved animal family member is one of the worst things. How lucky you all have been (Ceiba included) to have been each others family and how utterly sad it is to part ways here on Earth. Will be thinking of you all as Ceiba gets ready to cross the rainbow bridge. (For whatever reason, the idea of the rainbow bridge always makes me smile a teeny tiny bit. It's such a beautiful image and I fully believe in it. I also believe that animals are much better at this dying thing than us humans. They listen to their bodies and I think they can meditate their way in and out of their bodies... going to see friends who have already crossed and coming back to see you. This is way longer of a comment than I intended, whoops.) xoxoxo to your family.

stephanie  mclaughlin

I am not the type to comment on blogs but had to reach out and tell you how sorry I am that Cieba has cancer. She's a lucky little dog to have a family that loves her so much and I'm sorry you have to say goodbye to her so soon. It's the best plan but it doesn't make it any easier.


Oh, Amy, I'm so sorry. I wish this wasn't happening.


We went through this with our 4 year old cat. I don't think I've ever cried so hard, but it was the right thing to do. Poor Ceiba. Thinking of all of you.


She is a good dog, and you are a good dog mom. Walking them home is the hardest part, but I have no doubt you will handle it with endless love and no small amount of humor, as you handle most things. Much love to your family.


I'm so sorry. She has been a lucky dog to have such a loving family and one that is thinking of what is best for her until the end. Enjoy spoiling her this weekend.


I am deeply sorry and will miss hearing about the antics of Ceiba the Mighty Hamster Dog. Until you do make the appointment, what we did was use newborn disposable diapers with a hole cut for the tail. All the best to your family.


Oh, I'm so sorry for your pain. I cried more tears for my one dog (the love of my life, I tell my husband. He loves that) than I would for most people in my life. It's so hard because our feelings for our dogs are just so uncomplicated and simple. We just wholly love them and there's nothing else. Just... don't try to talk about it to people who aren't dog people. They don't get it and it will make you rage.


so, so sorry. lots of love to you all.

Cheryl S.

FUCK CANCER. We've lost 2 cats to cancer. It sucks.

For Ceiba, who will be waiting:

The Rainbow Bridge
There is a bridge connecting Heaven and Earth. It is called the Rainbow Bridge because of its many colors. Just this side of the Rainbow Bridge there is a land of meadows, hills and valleys with lush green grass.

When a beloved pet dies, the pet goes to this place. There is always food and water and warm spring weather. All the animals who have been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.

The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind. They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. Her bright eyes are intent; her eager body begins to quiver. Suddenly she begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, her legs carrying her faster and faster. You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together, never again to be separated.'


De-lurking here to say I was also so sorry to read these last two post. I cried my eyes out when our guinea pig of 2 months died in my hands; I can't imagine how heart-wrenching it must be to lose such a long-term friend. Thinking brave thoughts for you.


Oh Amy, I'm so very sorry. I literally had to put my Aussie down last week and it gutted me. 13 years or not, it was the hardest thing. Much love and hugs to all of you.

Beth Funston

No one loves you unconditionally
 as your beloved pet. Good job Ceiba. Sleep well.

Beth Funston

No one loves you unconditionally
 as your beloved pet. Good job Ceiba. Sleep well.

Beth Funston

No one loves you unconditionally
 as your beloved pet. Good job Ceiba. Sleep well.

Beth Funston

No one loves you unconditionally
 as your beloved pet. Good job Ceiba. Sleep well.

Beth Funston

No one loves you unconditionally
 as your beloved pet. Good job Ceiba. Sleep well.

Beth Funston

No one loves you unconditionally
 as your beloved pet. Good girl Ceiba!

Beth Funston

No one loves you unconditionally
 as your beloved pet. Good girl Ceiba!

Beth Funston

No one loves you unconditionally
 as your beloved pet. Good girl Ceiba!

Beth Funston

No one loves you unconditionally
 as your beloved pet. Good girl Ceiba!


There are never the right words. and I'm sorry just seems like not enough.

Beth Funston

No one loves you unconditionally
 as your beloved pet. Good girl Ceiba!


I'm so sorry, Amy.


We lost our Brienne, our Bri-Bri bunny, our flopping giant furry salmon of joy, last spring at barely 2 years old. Cancer or something like it, but like you, it was so clearly time even though we may have been able to eke out more weeks with surgery or some kind of treatment that was more for us than her. I'm not sure if I believe in God, but these pets of ours make me hope so badly for some kind of afterlife where their little beings of light get to live on--because I don't see how the love in their bodies could be something that just blinks out. Sending love and light to you, your family and your Waffle Dog. And to Max, who I'm sure will miss his partner in crime even if she mostly ate his food.

Beth Ann

Wow... must be true. I can't believe how many time it was posted.

Tiffany McGee

I am heartbroken for you. Love from a stranger to you and your boys.


So, so sorry. I never write in the comments but I am today because this is making me cry and I just want to say I'm sorry. Such a sweet little bat-eared hamsterdog.


You and your loving family have been the best part of her long and happy life but I'm so sorry you have to say good bye to your sweet girl especially much sooner than you'd have like.

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