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Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Dog's Life

My dog is near his end. Most of the time he can’t stand without help. He can’t walk up or down stairs without his human companions supporting him. And he has dementia. Some days he doesn’t seem to know us, doesn't want to eat. But other days he has the joy of life in his eyes. And he often has the joy of smell, his one sense that seems to still be working well. 

Helping to lift him is not helping my old spine and painful arm. But at least there are options for me. Not so much for Schatzie and his multiple problems. We've changed up his meds,  and consulted with the good dog doctors. We talk about quality of life, whether he is in pain. And what to do about him if he manages to live until Christmas and we take our Christmas trip.
The real problem is I hate having the power, or is it the responsibility, of deciding when he’s had enough.

In every previous case with a beloved dog when we made the final decision I knew in retrospect I probably had waited too long. But how to know that when you are making the decision eludes me. I wish I really could channel Schatzie's voice now and know what he is thinking.

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