January 2, 2014

Making the Hard Decisions

 How do you decide enough is enough?  When do you know it's time to put your beloved family pet down?
These are decisions that have been plaguing us with our one old dog.  If you are an avid reader of this blog, you know that Miss Maddie has had quite the ups and downs since Lola came along.  It started 2 days after we brought Lola home.  Maddie (being the mother dog that she is) was insistent on being with me when I nursed.  We have a king size bed that is 2 1/2 feet off the ground.  Well I went downstairs to nurse and Maddie decided she wanted to come and jumped off the bed.  For a 5 lb dog that was a very bad idea.  She slipped a disk in her back and was pretty much in traction for 5 weeks.  It was horrible.  And of course once they slip a disk it gets easier and easier for them to do.  So she has since done this 3 more times...until the last time.  It wasn't her back..this time it was her neck.  And it was a herniated disk.  Our options were surgery ($8 k) or putting her down.  We chose neither and drugged her up and kept her happy and immobilized for 5 weeks and she seemed to get better.  She obviously has arthritis as her neck kinks on her a lot.  But she has managed another year with no issues.   
Them when I was 8 months pregnant with Lucy.  Maddie fell down the stairs, sideways?  WTH?!?!  It actually happened a couple of times that weekend.  I said to JD something is wrong with Maddie.  She's going blind or something else is going on.  Sure enough she was going blind but there was something else going on.  She had a massive ulcer in her eyeball that had infected.  We again were faced with 2 options surgery ($3k) or euthanasia.  Again we chose neither and medicated her and said we would give it a week.  If she didn't get better or appeared to be suffering we would put her down.  Well she rebounded.  Her eye cleared up.  But the scarring and the blindness is here to stay.  She has adjusted somewhat to the blindness, but not great.  She bumps into things a lot!  She has fallen down the stairs a couple of times with missteps.  So we are very careful with her and carry her around a lot.
About 5 weeks ago she started pooping in the house.  And I don't mean healthy poops.  I mean squiggy.  And it had blood in it.  I though oh god here we go this has to be the end.  We let it go on for 2 days.  We talked a lot.  We were driving home from somewhere discussing what we were going to do.  We had decided we were going to call the following morning and put her down.  We came through the door, both with crying eyes.  And lo behold who wanders out of her bed to great us at the door with her tail wagging.  Miss Maddie.  Blind, sick and loving us still.   We chickened out.  We just weren't ready to say goodbye.
Well...the squiggy tummy is back.  She is sick.  Her body is giving up.  Her spirit is definitely not though.  But is it fair to her to keep her going because we are too chicken to make the hard decision?  I love her with all my heart.  She is my first baby.  She is the sweetest kindest dog.  I cant imagine my house without her in it.  She was in our wedding photos for crying out loud (and she wasn't invited, she just never leaves my side)!  Last night she pooped in our bed and then slept in it all night.  Then she pooped 3 more times this morning, all of them laced with blood.  I hate seeing her like this.   She is never going to be that dog that just last year used to chase Lola around.  She is not coming back again.  JD is calling tomorrow.  We will take her in late next week.  We both want to be there, Lola will go to the sitter's, Lucy to Nana's.  I will make her scrambled eggs for breakfast.  I am going to bath her this weekend.  And I am going to snuggle and love her as much as possible for the little time I have left with her.  Okay I'm crying again.  This sucks!  Why do dogs have to get old. 

Much Love
A sad mommy


Stephanie said...

I'm so sorry to read this. :( My last family dog (my mom's dog) is still around but he is definitely past his prime. I think my dad is having a harder time letting go than he'd like to admit since my mom has already passed. I think he feels more of a connection to this dog. But he's blind, deaf, and we've always said once a dog loses the ability to control it's bladder and BM's, it's time...but he still hasn't pulled the trigger. Now that we've gotten through the holidays, I think his time is coming, but he's like 17 years old!! He's had a good life, but he's definitely lost his spirit in the last year or two and it's not fair to him. Thinking of you and your family as you make this tough decision. :(

Michelle D said...

So sorry to hear she is having such trouble. It makes me cry just thinking of how hard that is. We had a little dog growing up that went blind and was falling more and losing weight. It is such a difficult decision especially when they are still fighting to be happy and please you. I'm sure it's a good decision though. Thinking of you and hoping you all get to enjoy her in the meantime. Spoil her rotten.

Mrs. McIrish said...

I'm so sorry you are faced with this decision for Maggie. I faced it exactly two years ago today and just wrote about it this am on my blog. Big hugs as you endure the next few weeks.