Old Dog is dying. She’s 15, so it’s not like she’s a youngster. She was once a very active dog, running, running, running. She has also been a PITA all her life – not house trained until she was two years old, running off whenever your back was turned, chewing things, unable to be left alone in the house, etc. In general, a pretty Bad Dog and not easy to love.
The last two years have seen her slow down considerably as her back end became stiff and she could no longer run as she used to. She has enjoyed the last two Summers out in the sunshine on the grass as we learned to trust that she wouldn’t (mostly) run off at the first chance. She was able to go visit friends and not be on a leash and we gave her as much freedom as we possibly could.
Over the last few weeks she has been losing more and more control over her back end – limping, her left leg just giving out, wetting/pooping herself and not realizing it. It appeared that she could not feel anything back there. Each day has seen a new issue arise.
Before M left on his trip, a friend suggested that he put the poor dog down. “It’s not fair to the dog or to your woman to have to work and deal with a dying dog while you have fun on your boat,” he said, according to M (I wasn’t there.) She has to be helped to stand and taken outside late at night and no later than 0600 to keep the mess on the floor to a minimum, as well as regular trips out during the day. There is constant clean-up, of the dog, the dog’s bed and the floor(s). I work six fucking days a week! There’s no vacation time in a tourist town in July! Give me a fucking break!
M wanted me to tell him that I would not accept the extra responsibility for the dog while he’s gone and to take her for that final ride to the vet’s office, but I smelled a trap and held my tongue. If I had my way, the dog would have gone to the vet three months ago when it was clear that she was on a rapid downhill slide.* Let her go out with some dignity, is my personal opinion, but no way was I going to let him use “my” decision in later lectures/battles!
M promised to make an outdoor pen for her before he left. “That way she can be outside and if she messes herself we can hose her off twice a day. You know, like putting an old person in hospice,” he said with a grin. Uh-huh. Needless to say, the pen was not made. I am pissed.
So today I arrived home from work and the poor dog can’t stand. Her back legs are just not working, no matter how she tries. I supported her to go outside and got my shoes pissed on for my trouble. I brought her back in (no pen yet, remember?) and she pooped on her bed. Again. I am fed up, the dog is looking at me with pleading eyes, and it’s Saturday evening – not a vet open for miles around, and even if I could reach someone for an emergency visit, I don’t have the money to pay. I don’t have a gun to do it myself and doubt very much that I could tie a plastic bag over her head or beat her with a shovel until the job was done.
Just one more way that asshole has fucked up my life. He has forced me to make the ultimate decision for him, to do it when he is in no position to say his farewells and to clean up the mess afterwards. This will end badly, no doubt about it. No, his cell phone does not have a signal where he is at the moment, so I can’t even call and tell him what’s happening. Sure, I can leave a message, but I think I’ll do that tomorrow or early Monday morning before I take her to the vet – no sense in getting a lecture before I have to…
* I do not blame the dog for her infirmities at. all. so please don’t put your indignation into the comments. I believe that as “owners” of animals it is our responsibility as humans to make their lives as comfortable and healthy as possible and to help them out of this life when the time comes if they are suffering. Keeping a pet alive after its life has become a misery is just plain wrong. I refuse to watch an animal suffer needlessly because of whatever stupid reason humans give for letting it live on.