United States of Motherhood: Dignified Fraility: Quality of Life for Elderly Pups

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Dignified Fraility: Quality of Life for Elderly Pups

Seb is falling. Falling a lot. Each time my heart falls a little bit and breaks into a thousand pieces.

I am starting to get that sinking feeling we had with Grendel. Wondering when the dignity is gone.

With Grendel we knew it would end with the cancer. Hope was futile, so it was all about quality of her life. With Seb, it's not cut and dried. It's arthritis and fatty tumors. It's pain. It's frailty.

Still, we have always based our decision on mobility and more importantly, the wagging of the tail.

When the wag is gone, you know.

Yesterday, I took him on our typical walk around the block with a short detour in the woods. He fell.

And fell.

And fell.

There was very little wagging. It was more a hell-bent challenge he was staring down.

Since I am again dealing with my own health issues, the falls hit home.

I truly was not sure we would make it home. I try to cut our walk short. He refuses to stray from our course. If I pull his leash at all, the slightest pressure knocks him over. Stubborn old man. You win!

We walked 48 minutes and covered less than 3/4 of a mile. He stubbornly trod on. Then we would stop. He looked around dazed for a minute, then suddenly he would regain his momentum and his bearings. We inched on. I let him take the lead.

Three feet walked. One minute rest.

He is at least fourteen years old which is an amazingly long life for the 90 lb. crazy, bouncy, exuberant, naughty, but lovable dog returned twice to a kill shelter in Alaska before we snatched him up.

Now he is wise. He is calm water. He is stubborn. He is too proud for one so frail.

Lead on, Sebastian. Lead on.


Curt said...

That is very sad, and a very tough decision!

Mom Foodie said...

This time will be coming for my dog pretty soon. She has slowed down a lot. I am not looking forward to the day.

DeetleDee said...

So sad. Sounds very much like what I experienced last year with my Dolly-girl. Had to make the decision in April and found a lovely vet who made housecalls. I still miss her. Hugs to you...

Coffee Lovin' Mom said...

AW - our old man Sam looks so similar, we've determined he's 16..it's those back legs and hips that are doing him in. Sweet pics!

karla porter archer said...

This is so sad... I know this sadness all too well. {hugs}

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