I posted a month or so about our 12 1/2yro sheltie, Angel. She’d had a wicked bout of vomiting and diarrhea that lasted unusually long; while she recovered well enough from it, bloodwork revealed her kidneys were failing. We’d later learn that her condition is the number one disease in elderly dogs.
These last few days, her appetite has waned and she just has a generally depressed demeanor. Getting her in the house after she’s been outside (where she spends most of her time sleeping against the wall) takes tremendous effort as the two shallow steps she must climb are so painfully difficult to manage for her. She now stiffly drags her hind end a bit as her inability to absorb protein means her body is now stealing it from her muscle tissue. She has no energy to do anything, though she still wags her tail eagerly when I reach for a leash.
She’s vomitted once this week, but it was mostly bile, and had a bit of borderline diarrhea on and off during the week. But just last night, she had a disgusting bout of completely non-solid diarrhea in the house, and without getting too gross…we could see blood in it, both bright red and near black.
I step back and look at her life, and think this isn’t fair to her. She has three prescriptions to her name, and the vet was calling in a fourth tomorrow. I feel like we should try giving her the meds more regularly, rather than on an as-needed basis, to try and help…but help what? Postpone the inevitable?
She is not and will not get better. But it seems so wrong to put her down while she still has the strength to follow me into the kitchen and hope for a dropped scrap (though that happens less often now), her tail wagging. Yet, it also seems wrong to keep her around and suffering because I don’t want to have to deal with putting her down.
DeathLlama is going to talk to a buddy who lives near our vet and see if he will watch RuffLlama while we take sweet Angel on her final journey this afternoon. I hate to think about it, and I hate that she will end her days in such a frightening, tail-tucking place. I might get cold feet and back out of this, but DL and I feel more or less the same about this.
I’m planning to spoil her all day. I’m home recovering from surgery, so it will be just the two of us. Lots of treats? A good brushing? A brief walk? Cuddle time on the floor while I watch a movie? All of these things, most likely…and lots of “Good girl, Angel, good girl!” And…“Thank you, good dog, thank you.”