Letting go is never easy…
One of our elderly dogs is sick, again. We went through this about a year ago. He quit eating, quit drinking and became lethargic. Our vet managed to pull him through with IV fluids, an appetite stimulant (x2) and me syringe feeding him a high caloric (and highly expensive) food. This course of treatment also involved several equally expensive tests to determine what was wrong, which ultimately we never really did find out. Here we are a year later back to the same thing.
As I have mentioned throughout my writings, our boys (dogs) are elderly. Depending on the calculator used, in human years they are well into their 80s if not 90s. They have certainly lived a good long life but as pet lovers, their human years are never quite enough. My husband especially struggles with the idea of saying goodbye.
Perhaps it is my nursing background, but I am feeling more and more that it may be time to do the humane thing and let him go. My husband simply doesn’t understand how this dog was “perfectly fine” one day and took such a complete turn the next. I’ve watched more than my fair share of elderly patients (including my own mother) do exactly the same thing. Old age can be cruel and that goes for both humans and animals. I do believe there comes a point when we need to say enough to the heroics and let life take its natural course.
Being a Sunday with only emergency vets open, I will do what I can for our dog at home. I will try and keep him hydrated with syringes of water and give him nourishment the same way. This morning I carried him outside to take care of business. It broke my heart watching him stumble in the snow. Tomorrow I will call the vet to have him evaluated. This time around though, no extensive testing. An appetite stimulant yes and I’ll even agree to a few cans of the high caloric expensive food.
I know for someone who has never had a pet, the money we have spent on our animals would be considered insane. To us, though, our pets are more than just animals. They are family and we will continue to care for them as such.