Our Dog Kevin and His Mouth Tumor

by | Aug 15, 2017 | Parenting/Family | 11 comments

I keep debating about sharing this. 

#1… Kevin is a dog. Not a human.

#2… America is falling apart. 

However… Kevin is our family dog of 8 years and it’s been tough around the home front the last week or so. And many of you have come to know Kevin a bit and many of you adore him quite a bit. And Kevin has a tumor growing in his mouth (!!!) (probably benign)…


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Oh Kevin…

Big things are happening with him and I want to fill y’all in.

Over the last 8 years, this little family has really taken to Kevin. He was Joel’s birthday present for his 10th birthday…
A boy and his dog

One day (August 5th), Kevin’s mouth suddenly looked all jacked up so my husband took him to the emergency vet (because of course it was late afternoon on a Saturday) and that vet said that thing in his mouth was a tumor and not something like a bum tooth… and told us to take him to a regular-style vet… on Monday.

So we did… or I did because my husband left town for the week for work early that Monday morning and I spent the day in tears because basically… I was getting the feeling that Kevin was going to have to be put down.

The word from the vet (a relief vet) on that Monday was whatever decision that had to be made did not have to be made immediately so I was sent home with 5 days of antibiotics and pain meds… and a decision to make.

I won’t go into the options presented… simply because… BORING and $$$$.

But our focus in weighing our options was (and is) ultimately – Kevin’s quality of life.

So on Friday, we took him in with the intent to put him down.

We all said our goodbyes and wept Thursday night.

It was awful.

However, on our vet visit Friday, the vet really didn’t want us to put Kevin down, though he would have done had we told him that was our final answer.

Long story short, he felt Kevin’s tumor was not malignant, and forward enough in his jaw that surgery would be a very good option for an otherwise healthy, active, happy dog.


So we flipped. What once seemed a non-option (partial removal of Kevin’s lower jaw)… became THE option.

Costly. Sad looking. But healthy. And most importantly… not dead.

Together as a family, we all decided to proceed with the surgery.

My husband and I, each separately, questioned the wisdom of letting the kids be key players in that conversation with the vet, and final decision.

But in the end it was the right thing to do. We are on board as a team as far as how we will work on that financial “investment” as a family. It’s not just mom or dad’s decision to spend a chunk of money on the dog that will impact family finances. We all said yes knowing we will all make some sacrifices to get that bill paid. 

We also made the decision trusting the vet’s professional opinion that removing the most front section of Kevin’s lower jaw will not affect Kevin’s quality of life… but he will probably have to work a bit to learn to eat hard kibble again… otherwise it’s soft food… a bit more work for all of us. And we all need to be on board for that.

Kevin’s well being is not just on the shoulders of any one person in our family. Just like we share chores, we share in the effort of care for our animals.

In the end, Kevin may drool a bit more. His tongue will hang out some. He won’t have the lower front chompers. And that lower jaw will be abbreviated.

It will change that trademark look of stoicism Kevin is known for.

I am sick about it. But I was sicker about putting him down.

YOU GUYS…. the day before we went to have him put down he jumped our back fence (6 foot) to check-out the ‘hood.

Kevin is a force.

And really, there was no great choice: tumor removal (even if benign) or death.


I pray we made the right choice for Kevin. 

As I sit here the evening before (surgery is 8/15 in the a.m.), I sit with anxiety in my chest and worry. So I’m going to share some of my favorite pics of him I’ve shared on Instagram. He’s a great dog and we welcome happy thoughts and prayers for his quick healing… and his humans as we care for a healing animal…


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