Well, you are so calm and I bet that's helping a lot. Plus she's the only dog in your home. Lots of space and attention.
I have a friend who has a rescue chihuahua who is continually going in circles. She tried to bite my ankles when I first met her but after I dogsat her, she doesn't do that anymore.
It's so sad to see some of these pups.
Our animal shelters were cleaned out of animals last year. I wonder how many will end up back there.
Same thing here, during the pandemic people brought dogs home and now that they are getting back to work the dogs are being sent to shelters. Dogs are not toys for entertainment, they are blood pumping living things that just want to be part of a pack.
I’m writing now to help me accept the reality. Please bear with me - I guess this is a little long. I’m letting go of my cat Joe and it scares me.
It’s a process. He’s 19 years and ten months old, so he has a lot of ailments. I’ve had him since he was 8 months old. The thing that’s finally going to make me let him go is not his kidney disease which we’ve battled for years.
With potassium supplements, appetite stimulants, and drugs for aches and nausea and constipation, and blood tests and watching his weight and daily intake of water and food and monitoring his routine to try to accurately judge his “quality of life “ from day to day …we’ve fought a good fight.
But it’s not that. He actually seems to be maintaining pretty well with his bad kidneys.
No, what’s going to take Joe away is some weird ass injury or wound, or I really don’t know what to call the thing. It started off as just this little tiny scab-like thing that would form on his scalp. I would feel it when I petted him, and just easily scrape it off with my fingernail and think not much of it.
Even when it grew from tiny to very small (a few millimeters to a couple centimeters)it would still scrape off very easily and I wasn’t that concerned but I took him in to ask the vet what it was. It was a carcinoma — basal cells that were benign and harmless, but could become cancer and spread. Nothing to do but watch it carefully.
And that’s how it’s been for years, until it broke open and became this never-healing sore on top of his head. If it could form a hard scab and stay benign, we could maintain. But Joe scratches it open, and there is no way to bandage it, and surgery with anesthesia is out of the question for a cat Joe’s age and my bank account.
So it’s come to this. I’m going to take the agonizing step of letting him go before he is clearly in constant pain or distress. I had to do it with another cat a couple years ago — Joe’s twin. With his brother George it was of course difficult to decide to euthanize, but his digestive disease was clearly eating him up, and it was ultimately a clear kindness.
But Joe is still hearty enough that it really makes it maybe the toughest decision of my whole life to let him go before the inevitable growth of the wound, the pain, the possible infection, the malignancy…
So I emailed his vet this morning to please help me pick a time and day this week.
I sat with George through the whole procedure…
But I’m going to ask if I can say my goodbyes and just leave Joe with the excellent staff that’s cared for him for the last ten years. I don’t think I have what it takes to watch it this time.
I don’t know how I’m going to do without this guy. He’s been with me almost twenty years. Through two marriages, four states, and everything else.
But I’m trying to do like my friend said -what’s best for Joe, not for me.
Keep a good thought for me. It’s gonna be rough for a while.
My heart goes out to you, Snood. It is something you know has to be done...but your pain is not lessened by the knowledge that you are doing what is right for Joe. I had to do that for my cat, Catt, a few years back...and the tears fell like a flood. I did spend those last minutes with him...the vet let me hold him while he injected.
Stay strong. Keep the memories.
They are not pets. They are family. As they suffer we suffer. Sorry for your loss.
I'm so sorry to hear about your cat, snood. He's been with you such a long time it's like losing a family member.
I have a similar situation with my cat Vic. He is all white and has had his ears amputated, his nose is scabby and when it does bleed it takes a while to stop.
He’s about nineteen and the vet won’t operate. His brother Bob died two years ago from a cancerous cyst.
Vic is still with us though despite being scabby and smelly, but I don’t know how much longer he can go on.
My deepest sympathies. These creature are more than constant companions - they’re close family. I’ve had my share of pets which included 2 cats who were together with me for 17 years. When they passed on, it was within 6 months at age 19.5 an 17 respectively. They saw me through my divorce and many jobs and relocations. They made me smile when I thought I couldn’t. I went through whatever it cost or took to keep them well.
You have my sympathy. Take care.
Your words are helpful.
I'm so sorry. I know that empty sense of dread and it sucks. Joe's been with you for many years and it's hard to part with beloved family members. I think everybody here knows that ache all too well.
I have a friend who recently threw away fifteen years of sobriety because she was mourning the loss of her dog. She’s got thirty days again now, so that’s good. But she drank for four months before she came out of it.
I’ll be taking Joe to the vet for the last time this Thursday evening.
Grief can be overwhelming and life changing. I'm glad your friend is back on a path to recovery, mourning the loss of a beloved animal is devastating.
Is there someone who can go with you?
Yeah, an old friend offered to go with.
I'm glad, these things are tough and it's good to have friend with you.
To all you guys who know about my situation with my old cat… I apologize If I’m sounding psycho, but please bear with me.
This is the email I just sent to the vet:
Okay, this may seem crazy, but I want to postpone this appointment.
I took a vet tech’s suggestion to increase Joe’s dose of gabapentin to try to make him more comfortable. I increased it to over 100mg. He’s been content to sit and sleep nearby again like normal instead of areas away from me. He seems pretty comfortable, just getting up to eat, drink or poop. And he didn’t bother the wound all day, giving it some time to start to crust over.
No matter what I do it’s probably going to seem wrong. If I chose to end his life today, it will feel like I’m rushing it just for my own relief. If I keep him too long I’ll be making him suffer to keep me company.
So I don’t know what’s right. All I know is, the only opinion about how long to let him live that I trust is what Joe is able to tell me. And right now he seems to be okay to stick around a bit longer.
So, I’ll say goodbye another day. Thank you for your patience.
You do what you feel is right.
I’m very lucky in that I’ve not had to make such a decision. When Bob had his operation it was a success and he was content .
After about six months he got progressively weaker, needing to be picked up but not in any pain.
I came down one morning and he was dead on the kitchen floor. The night before he was very happy, getting lots of strokes and purring, so we had that as comfort.
You take things as they come, and you don’t owe anyone an explanation.
What Izzy said, Snood.
I feel your pain...I am sure all of us do.
You'll know when the the move has to be made.