Monday, August 19, 2013

Tell me what you would do

My dog is 14 years old and barely mobile.  We're about to leave our house and move into a 2nd floor apartment.  We looked for something on the first floor but nothing was available.

I've known he is in bad shape for a while now.  He's so thin that the vet described as "emaciated" today.  He weighed in at a mere 53 lbs.  His younger weight was around 75 lbs.  He eats, but not like he used to.  He still loves to snatch a slice pizza right out from under the kids, but he is eating less of his dog food.

He can't stand up through an entire bath, and after I drained the tub, giving him the "ok" to take off, he just laid there.  In an empty bath tub not wanting to move.  Then today at the vet while waiting on his blood work to come back we took a little walk around the premises.  He just fell down.  Then he just laid there for about 10 minutes.

I left the vet with some pills for joint pain and a steroid.  She told me we could try them out and see if he started to get around better and put on some weight.  But she also made it clear that if I had to make "the difficult decision" she wouldn't discourage me and she wouldn't think it was wrong.

I spent a lot of time crying this morning.  For now, we've decided that he's just going to come with us and I'll just have to help him up and down the stairs when he goes out.  But is this wrong?  Am I being selfish, putting him through a big move, then subjecting him to those stairs, giving him all those meds, only to prolong the inevitable?  Or is it selfish to end his life because the changes in our life have highlighted his inadequacies?

We also thought we would leave him with friends until we buy a house and then come back for him.  But that could be up to a year, and I am fully aware of what might (will probably) happen in that time frame.  Also, the vet said that would probably be more traumatic for him than good.

I still feel like he has life left in him, but I still see the dog in all these pictures.  Not the withered away skeletal frame that others are seeing.  I can't make this decision.  

- Alecia


  1. We had to make this same decision earlier this year for our almost 13 year old dog. Here's what I always do when having to make this incredibly tough decision- I ask myself if they still can do 3 things they love. For our dog it was eat, walk, play ball. If he could do all those things, then it wasn't his time. He quit eating (probably the one thing he loved the most) and I knew it was time. Only you can make this decision, but to me it sounds like it would be best (if the pills don't help) to put your old friend out of his pain- don't subject him to the stress of a move and the pain of having to be carried up and down stairs every day.

    1. Thank you for the support! When I thought about it really hard, all he does anymore is go outside, lie down, then come back in and lie down. I think the hardest part for me is that, for 11 years, he has gone everywhere with me. From apartment to apartment, into our first house, and to Charlotte and back. The rest of the family is now beginning a new journey, new phase in life, and it is really tough to face him not being there.

  2. I'm sorry to hear about your dog! I wish dogs lived longer, it's so heartbreaking! I think you will know when it's the right time to let him go.

    I hope your move goes smoothly! Be safe!