I have to make The Call on my pooches today. Yes, both of them.


Malish (doby-husky mutt) is 17, but runs like an old car — awful to start, lots of electrical problems, and fluid leaks everywhere. He’s been slowwwly breaking down over the past several years, getting less and less steady on his feet, more and more neurotic/crazy/cooky, and now goes in his diapers two to three times a day. He can make it up and down the stairs fine about half the time, the other half he panics and falls down them. He has mild to severe arthritis (who can really tell with a dog?), but seems to manage. There are other crazy-old-man habits—for a couple years now he’s been spitting up water up like crazy. No health connection (lots of bloodwork done), he’s just a bit batshit insane. After a particularly bad week of falls we decided the right thing to do was to (man, it’s hard to even type it) do something before he ends up breaking his leg and trauma ensues. He’s awful in the car and worse at the vets, so putting him (and us) through that seems the wrong course.

It’s been in the air for a while, but since there isn’t anything particularly wrong with him—no illness—timing consideration has been awful. It’s kind of surreal: We go to bed at night hoping he’ll pass quietly in his sleep, but in the morning pray he’ll wake up. We’ve had a few bad incidents recently, and realized that we need to act.

Then there’s the little guy, Worf (miniature pinscher). He’s the reason we were ready and able to diaper Malish. He’s an unfortunate puppy-mill product, displaying all the willfulness of a typical min-pin and all of the sociopathy of a halfway-house bound managed individual. He is, well, “off” in a very subtle way – he’s almost a pack animal, but there are a few significant signs that he’s just not right. He broke two different personal trainers, and would probably make the Dog Whisperer cry. Never truly house-trained (he knows, but doesn’t give a shit. Or rather, he does which is the problem), after a lot of frustration and trying every conceivable store-bought diaper out there, Mrs. Dvl got out the sewing machine and perfected the doggie diaper. Has worked wonders for the past several years and probably gave Malish a few extra years on his life.

But he’s our little shit (and proof you can get used to anything). Jokes about selling him to the coal mine aside, he’s part of the family. We figure most other people would have given up on him or had him put down long ago (it took a lot of ruined things to get to this level of doggie-management), but we made it to some level of stability (though not quite sanity).

So here we’ve been under the cloud of what-to-do-about-Malish, and we noticed Worf looked a bit thin. A fifteen pound pooch, over the past month or so, is down to eleven pounds. Not good. Given his age and the horrorshow he is, we had decided long ago not to take any significant medical steps. He has impeccable timing.

I found a vet that will make house calls for this sort of thing. It was fairly traumatic making just those calls and asking about it a few weeks ago when we started thinking about Malish’s deteriorating condition. Now I have to make The Call — for both of them.


{{{Rhythmdvl}}} I’m sorry. :frowning:

I dread the day I have to put my almost 13 yr old Sheltie, Blaze, down. He’s having a hard time getting around with arthritis in his hips, but still has a lot of life in him, and he seems happy.

Oh man, Rhythmdvl. I really feel for your pain. I have just been through this myself. Do the right thing by your friends and if it seems to be extreme measures, ask what the likely outcomes are (in brutally honest detail).

Be well.

My thoughts are with you.

Poor Rhythmdvl. Poor pooches.

If love would die along with death, this life wouldn’t be so hard–Andrew Vachss

Ugh. What a double-whammy.

Sorry, Rhythmdvl.

Oh goodness. These threads always get to me. I hope it happens quickly and quietly and you can see some peace in their eyes as they go.

I just did the same thing, for two dogs, with a week of each other. One, sadly, was in her prime years, while the other lasted longer than we ever thought he would (both Newfoundlands).

It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but it was the right thing. Sorry. :frowning:

I’m so sorry. I send my condolences to you and your family.
I know it’s a very difficult thing to go through. Our family just did this ourselves, recently.
You’re in my thoughts.

I’m so, so sorry. My heart goes out to you.

I’m so sorry to hear you have to go through this. It’s one of the harder decisions I can imagine, especially given that there may be nothing acute happening on the day you decide to do it. It’s excruciating to let a pet go when you know you could have one more day with them.

Just remember these two things: It’s the most loving act you can do for them, next to giving them a loving home. And, they don’t understand what’s going on, so as much as you may worry about it, they don’t feel betrayed, sad, or let down. As far as they know, the pain is gone, and they’re just going to sleep.

Great. Now I’ve made myself cry.


Oh, damn. I’m so sorry, Rhythmdvl. hugs tight

Man, I had no idea how hard it would be just to make it back to this thread.

House is much cleaner.

All work is getting done with more priority than before.

Everything seems to be a higher priority.

Like Black Sunshine noted, they have no idea, and there is really no reason to call today… kind of.


Sorry for being so maudlin.

Thanks so much for the sympathy.

Skritches and tummy rubs to all of you. If it makes you feel any better, for humans and for pooches there does come a point where the end is a mercy, and that mercy might have to come from a best friend. My condolences and best wishes to you, Rhythmdvl.

There’s nothing good about this situation. But the one thing that might make it a teeny bit less bad is that they’ll go together. One won’t be left wondering where the other is.

You will grieve, but won’t have to look forward to doing it again soon.

God, it’s so hard to lose our pets. I’m so sorry you are going through this. I really wish I could recieve a revelation as to whether we’ll have pets in Heaven, the ones we knew before. If only there really was a place like the Rainbow Bridge.

I’ll give Tobermory, Vladimir, and Atilla extra hugs. If you need to vent, well, you’re already here. we will listen.

I’m so so sorry.

I’m so sorry. It must be best to do it both at once, though. It is the kindest thing you can do for them, and at least this way you won’t have to dread doing it again.

My dog is also a little shit - he can’t be around strangers, he never quite got all the way housebroken, and I have to play the world’s most ridiculous dance because the dog can’t be with the cats and the dog can’t be with the boyfriend. He bites people. Also now he’s going blind and he’s deaf as a post except for when he wants to hear you. I thoroughly understand your relationship with Worf. He’s still my little shit, and he’s 16 now, and I live in fear of the day when I’ll have to make that decision. I hope that like you I’ll do the right thing.

Speaking from a vantage point of 24 hours later on such a decision, it still hurts but I know I did the right thing now. I am at peace with that decision.

Be well.

It’s a rough week on pet owners. Good luck with your decision. And I’m so sorry for what you have to do.