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Watching your best friend (canine) get to the end....

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by qtlaw, Apr 5, 2021.

  1. qtlaw

    qtlaw Well-Known Member

    The family is facing the end for our choc lab; she's one of the strongest things I've ever seen, wife and kids rescued her from a shelter 11-12 years ago when she was approx. 3 or 4 so she's now 14-15. She's never complained or whined about anything and we thought she was a goner 2 years ago when it looked like she had the big C (big blood discharge with bowel movement one day) but nope all good. However, now while we've given her meds to try to control pain and BMs, she wanders around aimlessly at the end of the night and won't get settled down for bed and she's having accidents where she ends up lying in her mess unless we can keep a constant eye on her (24 hrs almost).

    She automatically bonded with my wife and while she certainly obeys and respects me, wifey is No. 1 and since its my wife's first dog (she always wanted one since she's been a kid), I've left the decision to my wife (I nudged her at one time and wifey said it will be her decision when).

    So sad but I try to focus on the good times and we're lucky we've got the 2nd dog (who's now 9). I wonder how he'll respond when his canine pal is no longer around.
     
    Songbird and Liut like this.
  2. Mngwa

    Mngwa Well-Known Member

    He'll mourn and have separation anxiety. Not all that different from you guys actually. Sorry to read about this, it is always so difficult when a fur baby gets to the end.
     
    OscarMadison, Wenders and Liut like this.
  3. DanielSimpsonDay

    DanielSimpsonDay Well-Known Member

    You weren't there at the beginning, but you'll have given her an idyllic middle and, when the time comes, a gentle end with an abundance of gratitude for all she's done for your family. I will give my best friend an extra cookie and belly rub while thinking of yours.
     
    OscarMadison, Flash, Wenders and 6 others like this.
  4. qtlaw

    qtlaw Well-Known Member

    Thanks bud. Gave me a smile.
     
    Liut likes this.
  5. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    We had to put down our yellow lab last year at age 14. I carried all 80 pounds of her up and down the stairs to take her outside for most of the last year of her life. As her hind legs began to weaken, she occasionally fell down the stairs, which is when I started carrying her. She would have good days where she could get down on her own, but lots of bad ones. It finally got to the point where she no longer had good days, and there weren't any more on the horizon. That's when we realized it was time. Watching her take her last breath was horrible. "How could we do that to you?" was the sickening feeling in our guts.

    The two other dogs searched for her around the house for days afterwards. Our little one, who had been bitten by the old girl the first day we had him when he tried to take her treat, wouldn't eat out of her bowl for about six months after she was gone.

    It's hard, but it's kind of what we sign up for when we get a dog. And I'll take all the good days we had in exchange for the heartbreak of letting her go.
     
  6. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Ella got really sick, REALLY sick a few weeks ago, and I thought this is it. She's 12 1/2, older than any Lab we've ever had. And she's never really been sick or had a bad day before. I made an appointment with the vet and then called the kids and told them to be ready because it might be bad news.

    The vet then called, said they were backed up and pushed me back two hours and I almost lost it thinking, she might not have two extra hours.

    But she rallied, made it to the vet just fine and got treated and got some medicine. She's been fine since, knock on wood, but the incident served to remind me she doesn't have unlimited time. Hopefully a good bit more, I'm not ready for a world without her. But it is coming, sooner than I'd like.

    In the end, as hard as it is, here's what you do: You do what's best for the dog even if it hurts you like a mutha. They can't make that call for themselves, it is up to us to do it for them even if it tears our hearts out and stomps on it. I hope I'm strong enough when the time comes.

    I'd like to get her to the beach at least once more. She can't run and swim for hours like she used to do. She gets tired easily and her hips hurt. But she still digs being there, she digs my kids and she digs the girls. She likes being with us.

    My oldest granddaughter LOVES Ella, I mean LOVES LOVES LOVES her. She'll call me on FaceTime and ask to see her. She enjoys going out to see the stars and the moon and asked me if Ella does, too. So we went outside and looked at the moon while she did the same. When the time does come, that's a call I dread making. She'll lose it. I'll lose it.
     
    OscarMadison, Flash, Wenders and 4 others like this.
  7. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    Last March, at the start of the lockdowns, our 13-year-old beagle -- long an escape artist -- snuck out one night while we were coming home from delivering food to my father-in-law. I woke up the next morning and figured he had slept downstairs or in my oldest daughter's room, but couldn't find him, and then my wife saw a Facebook post on our neighborhood's page that a beagle had been struck the night before. Later that morning I found him two blocks up on the side of the road. I imagine I'll never have a harder job in the non-human category than picking him up and taking him to the animal hospital.

    We joke here about the atrocious cliche "he died doing what he loved," but in a way I suppose the beagle went out how he was supposed to. Sheesh, we met so many neighbors over the years thanks to him wandering into yards after slipping out a gate that our kids left open, or a door that guys working on our old house forgot to close, or however else certain dogs see daylight and just go for it. More than once, the beagle made it across the big four-lane road near our house. One time, no joke, he walked into a bar a mile away and the bartender called us to come get him (insert your favorite "dog wanders into a bar" joke here). He just followed his nose wherever it led. He was consistent. But he was loved.
     
  8. Sea Bass

    Sea Bass Well-Known Member

    I’ve only had to put down one dog so far, and the “how could we do this to you?” feeling is what made me delay making the call for longer than I should have. That and being afraid to let go, I guess.

    But a friend put it to me that letting her go, when she was in obvious pain, is the biggest favour I could have done her. Took me a while to grasp that but she was right. So that was comforting, even if still I tear up when writing about it six years later.
     
  9. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    Gallaprant and Flexiden have been miracle osteoarthritis medications to our almost-17-year-old dog. He's not confident going down the stairs, but he recently figured out a new way (two legs at a time) that works for him. He's been to four countries. Has literally traveled on planes, trains and automobiles.

    Knows about 20 words, none English. Tell him, "Preneci gazyetu!" and he'll fetch the newspaper.

    dog.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2021 at 8:23 AM
  10. Junkie

    Junkie Well-Known Member

    This where we are with our lab mix ... He's 100 pounds and other than his back legs, completely healthy. We wrap a towel around his waist and use it as a handle to lift him. We'll do it as long as we can, because it's tough to imagine putting a dog down when he's sound in just about every other way. Adding to this, we have a 110-pound golden (who is huge, not fat), who just turned 11. So it's now a race to the finish. The next couple years will be tough. These will be our last dogs, most likely, so I'm trying to cherish the moments as much as possible.
     
  11. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    My beagle was a month short of 16 when I had to put him down. So tough to do because they are such a huge part of our lives.
     
  12. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    This was Deoge (D.O.G. literally), an Aussie. He belonged to a famous sculptor who (with expecting wife) died in a car accident in 2003, ages 38 and 36.

    I was here in Vermont when Steph brought Deoge over for the first time. Spent a lot of time playing with Deoge. Took Deoge on many walks. When Steph died, our mutual friend took Deoge in. When the mutual friend took his family on vacations, I'd watch Deoge for weeks at a time. Deoge was a big part of my life. He was the alpha dog of Bennington, big and fast and strong and friendly and playful. Everybody in Bennington knew and loved Deoge. He died in 2012 at the age of 16. By then he all but deaf, just about blind, and had some kind of cancer in his lower spine that made it difficult to stand or even walk. Here are a few photos I took of Deoge over the years from puppy to grandpa. Someone else took the shot of him standing on the oil tank next to me. Steph is holding the hula hoop to get our mutual friend's Aussie to jump thru puppy Deoge watched. It was his first day in North Bennington.

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    Deoge was cremated taken to Steph's and Graham's gravesite for a special little ceremony (in the gold bag) before his ashes were scattered.
     
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