Thursday, November 14, 2013

Letting Go

One of the most difficult tasks (and privileges) of being a pet owner is deciding when to let go. And for us, that time is rapidly approaching.

What makes this decision so difficult is that Chi, unlike Mitzi and Astra, still seems so determined to live. The problem is that his body is slowly failing him.

He still loves his food, provided it is not laced with pills. He scoffs down the ‘Special Fried Rice’ that we bring home in a doggy bag each Friday night, licks the yoghurt tubs clean, and studiously chews his daily Greenies and Monday night sushi prawn tail and daikon.

Chi having breakfast

Chi having breakfast in bed this morning. Sushi ... yum!

Chi with yoghurt on his nose

He really loves his yoghurt!

Recently he has started to scrutinise each piece of food put in front of him, tentatively sniffing and tasting his meal. If he detects even a hint of medication he refuses to take another bite. He will only eat Peck's Paste (which we bought to hide the pills in) if the paste is thinly spread on a piece of toast. What a time to get smart!

In previous posts we have chronicled his many ailments and his expanding drug regime. His new-found stubbornness to refuse food means he is painfully thin and lacks the medications to help his bronchial and arthritic problems. Since Monday, his back legs seem to be getting weaker. He cannot stand for short periods on our wooden floors, the tiles and lino—you can see his back legs slowly parting before he collapses on his side. The platform that lets him step out the doggy door is now too high so the back door needs to remain open or he needs to be carried outside. The past day has been filled with pitiful whimpers when he stumbles over piles of bedding in an attempt to take Quila's bed, falls on his side and discovers he no longer has the strength to right himself. He keeps trying but it is obviously starting to distress and frighten him.

So, tomorrow we need to arrange a trip to the vet. Whether it's the last trip, we do not know. Modern medicine has given us at least three additional years with ‘our boy’ but, maybe it is time to let go.

1 comment:

  1. Back from the vet's and we have a little more time. The vet said everything North was fine - he's alert and interested, he's not in pain - it's just the South end that is a problem. Arthritis is causing a pinching the nerves resulting into diminished feeling and function in his back legs. We are trying a long-term cortisone injection that will hopefully up his appetite and help loosen up some stiff joints.

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