The Pain of Deciding When to Put My Dog Down
My girl Yuki is a beautiful liver-colored Husky. I have had her since she was 6 weeks old but because she was taken too early from her mom she got into the cutest habit of sucking on little stuffed toys. We called it her sucky toy. She grew to be about 48 pounds and I trained her on the e-collar so she was free to run without the fear that she would run away. I had her older brother Skeeder from the same parents just a different litter. I loved both of them so much.
Skeeder got sick pretty fast at the age of 10 1/2. I felt it was time to put him down and my husband wanted to wait as it was going into the weekend and we would have to go to the emergency vet. Unfortunately, I spent that Sunday night with him in a lot of pain. He could not get up and was crying in pain. The next morning I took him in and it was time. Past time.
Yuki got sick with pancreatitis at 6 years of age and that was a constant battle. We battled bouts of diarrhea for years. Once Yuki ate some tiny rocks that got stuck in her gut and twisted around some of the hair in her tummy. We almost lost her then but with a method my vet used she passed the hair and rocks (I still have them). Yuki also cut her lip on barbed wire once and also cut her foot on a piece of glass at the park. The vet and I had built a pretty close relationship. Yuki’s life has been good besides the vet visits. She ran in the woods, camped, paddle boarded and the family enjoyed life together.
Now Yuki is 13 1/2 and she can only walk up and down the street as she is so stiff to move and she can’t jump on the bed anymore. The meds we give her gave her to help her gave her Cushing’s Disease which makes her always hungry and thirsty. Now she can’t really walk but a few houses up and back. She is hanging her head low. She was at 43 pounds and now she is at 34 pounds. She used to love to sleep outside in the winter storms and now she is wearing a sweater because this winter has been long with record snow. She consumes the snow outside and will have accidents in the house as she is intaking too much water this way.
People say you will know when. But do I? Do I wait until it is a crisis? She still loves to sit by me and loves her head rubs. Recently people have commented on how skinny she is. How she used to look before. I really don’t want to hear it. She is ok. She still eats, still likes to look for the cat outside. It can’t be time. Or is it?
My other dog Timber is food aggressive and got close to her eating and they got into a fight. He bit her ear and made it bleed pretty good. I guess it was a sign for me to call my vet. I had been thinking maybe I needed to see her to ask her the heart-wrenching question which is in reality is, I am prolonging her life or am I prolonging her death. I don’t want to have happen what happened before.
So today is Saturday and I have time to pet her and love up on her. I will go in on Monday and have a real conversation of what is best for her. She is my part of me and I just don’t want to say goodbye. Yet I don’t want a crisis situation for her either. I think looking for the signs they tell you like: is she still eating and drinking, does she enjoy the walks, are her ears still forward is she giving any signs of distress? Yet she is always hungry, losing weight and can’t stand well on the tile floors. She has signs of dementia and will wander the house in the evening and will sometimes poop inside the house.
I love her so much I think maybe I don’t see straight anymore. When is it time? I thought I would know……….but maybe I can’t. It is time for me to seek help to the one who has seen her all of her life and can see what I cannot. I don’t know what Monday will bring. I do know that I am so glad she is part of my life. Truly it is better to love and lost than to never have loved at all.
I will update this blog when I can.