What to do about the dog?
Last week, she dug under the fence (such a pretty new fence) and ran away. She runs away a lot. It wasn’t the brightest thing to do when she was young: now that she’s deaf, blind, and forgetful, it’s a really, really stupid thing to do. Seriously, what does she think she’ll gain by the outing? This last time, she got thorns imbedded in her paws that required a vet, antibiotics, and pain killers. Ahh, that’s the goal. Pain killers. Hmmm, time for me to think about running away from home.
Now that she’s back (no thanks to me because I wasn’t looking for her), she’s in worse shape than ever. She spent 20 minutes circling the couch. Round and round and round. We thought she might try attacking it, but she never did. It could be that she just didn’t know she was going around in circles. Maybe every time she made it around to the front of the couch, she thought, “Oh, look, the front! That’s new!” Or, maybe she thought she was half way to China when she finally made her way to a different part of the room. It’s like a doggie vacation without having to get into a kennel.
This morning, she pooped all over my daughter’s pink floor mat. And then she smeared the poop, just in case she’d missed something. Perhaps she was offended by the color pink. Maybe she thought it would be a nice distraction from the child’s homework. Or maybe she was sharing.
She can’t make it up the stairs without taking a break. On each step. She makes it down, but usually only by hurtling herself from the top and bouncing down. Hal tries to create nice, cushioned beds for her, but she ends up sleeping on our shoes, on books or on the cold bathroom floor. Last night, I found her asleep with her butt on the floor and her head on top of the 2-foot-high garbage can. She can’t find her food and water, even though they’ve been in the exact same spot for 2 years. We can’t pet her because she’s so jumpy and her skin hurts so much from the cysts that she doesn’t like to be touched. It hurts her teeth to eat, it hurts her legs to walk, it hurts her body to stand up. In short, she’s failing and it’s about time to put her down.
But here’s the hard question. When? Do we do it now, while she’s still got some life in her but she’s pretty miserable? Or, do we wait like they did for my Mom’s dog? Her dog had lost all body functions and was slowly disintegrating from the inside out. At what point is it the kinder, more gentler thing to help the dog “pass over to the other side?”
I’m looking for your opinion. Oh, and if you want a 17 year old dog, we’ve got one you can have.