For the last two weeks I’ve been agonizing over a decision. The only reason I have really been thinking about this is that something changed.
I am talking about my dog. She is geriatric but still eats, pees, poops, and sleeps okay. They say a dog will tell you when it’s time. They stop eating and ‘doing Puppy things in the yard’. In short, their quality of life is gone. This is not the case for Moya.
Now there have been others that have been making ‘whispers’ about that it’s her time. And she does have health problems. But I am worried that if I do, I’d been Euthanizing her too soon. I don’t want to do this too soon. I also don’t want to make this decision too late. But am I doing one of these already? Am I putting this off too long? if you had asked me this about a month ago, I would have said it’s too soon. No reason to kill her because she is old. And well, she is pretty much blind.
However, now she is completely blind. Now blind pets can be okay. They know/learn the layout of the house. However I wonder if she also has Dementia as well. She walks into walls. She seems to be completely confused as to where she is. She gets a bit scared and frustrated then just starts crying for help out. Sometimes in a hallway, she just turns from one wall to the other, oblivious to the openings on each side of her.
She also has arthritis in her spine and hip. She has bad knees. I have her on medicine for this. But in her old age she has gotten crafty in finding the pills and shaking them out of her head.Then she has trouble walking because of pain. Now even on the pills she has some pain. (She is on Tramadol)
And the list goes on. Moya also has some anxiety. She has been taking meds for this too.
With all of this, it means I pick her up and carry her out to potty, then carry her back in. She can no longer find her way. Mostly all she can do is eat, sleep, pee/poos, whines, and cries. She is so unhappy.
She does enjoy pettings and treats.
The questions is.. is she telling me it’s time? Or am I being selfish and letting her go on too long? Is it time now. Before she just stops completely. I have not slept well for the past two nights worrying that I’d do this too soon. Would this make me a ghoul for making this decision now. Or that I am selfish and that she needs relief.
What kind of life is this?
Know this, she is my baby. She is the child I can’t ever have. And I have never had a furry-family-memeber this long. Growing up, we moved a lot. So the one time we had a pet ( a cat named Tiger), we found him a new home long before it was time for a decision. I had hoped that if it was time, she’d go peacefully in her sleep, no pain. And I wouldn’t have to make this decision.
I don’t know what to do. Being an adult sucks!
(Update: RIP Moya Kernigan LeFey 08/09/1999 – 11/22/2014)
3 thoughts on “Tortured Mind”
You have my empathy. I had to put my senior pug to sleep in September after a brief battle with cancer. And I did not put my Yorkie to sleep when I should have.
My vets have also said, your pet will tell you when it’s time. I disagree. My pets have told me when it’s past time. Maybe I am not sensitive enough to see any signs before that.
I had made the decision to put Isabelle to sleep on a Friday. My plan was to feed her burgers so when she went, her last memory would be of her favorite food. Unfortunately, on Thursday, she started vomiting and was in a lot of distress. I rushed her to the vet and let her go then. I wish that I had done it on Wednesday when she still felt good.
My calculus on the decision aimedto keep her from being in any more pain. She wasn’t going to get better, only worse. I didn’t want her to hurt.
I would rather lose that extra day with her than cause her pain. After this experience, I lean more toward doing it too early than too late. One more day would not have mattered to Isabelle.
Only you know that calculus for you and your dog. I wish you peace and comfort for your decision.
Sorry for the second comment, but I thought of something else.
One, pets rarely pass peacefully in their sleep. The Yorkie I mentioned earlier gasped for air and suffered because I waited. At the time, there were no 24 hour vets here, and she started to fail around midnight. She died at 6 am, before the vet opened for the day. If I could have figured out how to do it myself, I would have. As with Isabelle, if I could, I would go back and put them to sleep earlier to prevent their suffering.
Two, when it does happen, in whatever timeline, here are a few tips to cope. Have some cold compresses on hand to reduce the swelling around your eyes. Stock up on the good tissue so your nose isn’t rubbed raw. Put a dab of Vicks Vaporub on your forehead to help relieve the sinus swelling. Break out the heavy duty moisturizer for your nose and cheeks. I used both coconut oil and the heavy stuff for chapped hands. I’m still crying, two months later, as I write this. It does get easier. You’ll get to a point where you don’t cry every day. Don’t be afraid to get another pet, whenever you feel ready. You are not replacing your beloved dog. My capacity to love another creature increases with every pet I’ve loved. It would be disrespectful to their memory to not continue to love other animals. You and only you get to determine when you are ready. No one else’s opinion matters. But another pet may help you heal.
Personally, I hope to always have more than one dog at a time. Having my two younger pugs made sure that I still got up in the morning. They rely on me, so I had to continue to function. I know that isn’t an option for everyone though.
You don’t know me from Adam. I saw your post through Twitter. But we are connected by a mutual love and respect for our pets. You aren’t alone.
Thank you for your council. This is so very much appreciated. I have been trying to gather advise from as many people as I can. In the past two weeks, I had my Mother take her to her Vet. Giving her mess to help with anxiety and to calm her down. Not much else. He has already asked her “What would you like me to do?” She told him that she could not make this decision for me. However, she does have a say in it. Moya stays with her while I am working. Having her there has comforted her, given her companionship when she was sick. I truly believe that Moya has been what has helped to keep my Mother going.
So this is hard for both. When I mentioned this to my Dad, he started walking the other direction. And so near the Holidays.
In a way, I sorta know what her Vet will say. I just don’t know if I am strong enough.
Again, thank you.
The head Robot Duckie