News About Buster

Buster Horizon

Buster has aggressive lymphoma. Today he goes in for a urine culture to see if his trouble urinating is due to a mass or an infection. They did see a mass at one point, but we’re hoping it is an infection we can treat with antibiotics, as a mass in the bladder or urethra will make his end of life more uncomfortable. We can not afford chemotherapy and, at 13 years of age, the benefits may not outweigh the risks associated with the treatment. (Though of course we want to be selfish and grasp at every possible day we can have with him at our side.) The veterinarian estimates that he has a month, maybe 3 months if he responds well to steroids. Three months is very optimistic.

Thank you all for keeping him (and us!) in your thoughts. I believe this goes without saying, but, this really sucks hard.

Jules Kendall writes about books, family, and easygoing simplicity.


  1. Hazel says

    I’m so sorry. I agree that chemotherapy isn’t necessarily the kindest thing for Buster.
    Here’s to some happy last weeks with him. x

  2. Katy Rotman (@katy246) says

    My heart goes out to you and especially to the kids. I hope Baster’s end of life will be as painless as possible.

  3. Sarah says

    I will be thinking about you and Buster and your family. Hope you can make the most of this time, and he is not too uncomfortable.

  4. says

    I’m also very sorry to hear of Buster’s diagnosis :c( I know canine lymphoma very well as we have gone through it with our beloved dog. Jules, if you would like any information etc, please feel free to pm me ( In the meantime, I thought I’d throw out a Yahoo support group for people whose dogs have been diagnosed with cancer (dog’s biggest killer, no less): it’s called CanineCancer and you can find it on Yahoo groups. Lots of very knowledgeable people there – every one of whom has been through it and cares.

  5. Dana says

    I am so sorry to hear about Buster’s diagnosis. We are going through the same thing with our beloved beagle who was diagnosed with lymphoma in January. I hope Buster responds well to the steroids…they have made a HUGE improvement on our dog’s symptoms thus far. It has given him some short term quality and we will take whatever we can get. My thoughts are with you and your family. You are right-this sucks.

  6. Susan G says

    Sending waves of love and support from the other side of the country. We made the difficult decision to forego chemo for my husband’s beloved dog some years ago. It was the year after my chemo, and we didn’t think it made sense to put her through what I’d been through given all the circumstances. I am so very very sorry. We will completely understand any absences here as we know you will want to spend as much time as you can together.

  7. says

    Heart. Breaking.

    Much love to you and your family at this time. (Well, always, but I know I’d be out of my own mind if one of my cats were sick, so especially now.)

  8. says

    There really aren’t any words that will ease the worry and grief your family is feeling right now, you’re right this sucks hard … I know this from very recent experience (January). Take care of yourself, your family, and of course Buster. Cherish every single moment, even the less than great ones, as they’re all “learning moments” that Buster is offering about life, love, and the special bond of your relationship. “Right here, right now” was and is my mantra to get through the days, I even sometimes murmur it as I sleep. Ours was the same diagnosis although it came very late in the process, if it would help to ask me questions etc pls feel free. Robin

  9. Molly says

    I am so very sorry to hear about Buster. My sweet dog, Coco, was just diagnosed with a mass on her hip, “the beginning of the end” the vet said. I’m distraught over losing such a close and sweet friend and I just want to thank you for sharing your grief with us here. It’s hard to not feel alone in grief and I think pet grief can be very tricky as so many people (even myself at times) try to trivialize the loss. It’s a HUGE loss for me and while I have a few weeks left with her I’m already mourning the reality I’m facing without her.

    Thank you for sharing this journey with Buster, it means so much to me. I really wish you didn’t have to go through this, that he could get better and love you always. Praying for you as we walk similar paths,

    Molly (a fan & virtual friend)

  10. says

    So sorry to hear this. Still, 13 is a good long life for a dog, and it sounds like Buster and your family have had some good times together. Yet, it’s sad, of course, and I know you hate for him to be in pain or discomfort. Enjoy your time with him make sure he knows he’s well-loved — he probably already knows.

  11. Michelle says

    The thought of losing a dog is one of the worst feelings. We lost our dog two years ago to a brain tumor and we still speak of him often. This time really sucks, and I am so sorry you have to go through it.
    I heard a quote that said grief is Love with no place to go

  12. Alicia says

    I’m so sorry to hear you’re going through this! Hopefully all the love he gets from the family will help him last beyond the vets estimates. I’ll be sending positive thoughts your way, nothing is harder than losing a pet!

  13. says

    I am so sorry to hear this. Sweet Buster…. I think you’re doing the right thing by letting him live to his natural end and not attempting to prolong his life with chemotherapy. He’s 13, which is very old with a dog. People usually only hope to get about 12 years from a family dog (less if it’s a breed with genetic problems), and Buster has had 13 excellent years.

    My thoughts are with you and your family. I know you’ll enjoy babying your beagle without restraint for the next month or three or more. :)

  14. says

    I’m so sorry, Jules! My heart goes out to you guys and I know you’ll all cherish the time you have left with Buster.

    I’ve had dogs my whole life, which means I’ve been losing dogs my whole life, and it just doesn’t get any easier and I always wonder why we put ourselves through it. And then Circe comes over and butts her head against my side over and over in a fit of affection and I can’t imagine not having a dog in my life, even though I know it will bring heartache.

  15. Samma says

    I’m so sorry your family is having to deal with this. And you, as the mom, get to be the rock for your kids while grieving yourself. Internet hug.

  16. LauraC says

    I’m so, so sorry, Jules. It is very hard and painful to loose a loved pet. I will certainly be praying for you and your family, and Buster. Sending hugs and tears your way, Laura

  17. HeatherL says

    So sorry to hear that Jules. Thanks for sharing with us- I was waiting for a Buster update. Virtual hugs for the whole family.

  18. says

    My heart breaks. I’ll be praying for you and the Mister as you talk to the boys about this very hard diagnosis. And speaking as someone with vet (and pet) experience, listen to Buster: he’ll tell you when it is time.

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