Old Dog New Tricks

Moses is failing. A few weeks ago we had a vet come for a house visit after he spent an afternoon and evening dragging his lower half through the house. His leg muscles are deteriorating, said the vet, it’s degenerative. But try tylenol and CBD and look for more bad days than good. This dog still has some life in front of him.

Sure enough, Moses recovered and we’ve had three goodish weeks. But then he started tripping more, legs shaking, and, every once in awhile, dragging his back legs. The stairs to the yard are steep and unavoidable and more frequently he ends up flat halfway down (if he won’t let us carry him). I may not have mentioned – this is 80 pounds of best friend we’re talking about.

The vet assures us this doesn’t hurt him and there’s no whining or yelping to accompany his collapses. Just a general sense of indignity wafting off of him. His brain is utterly perfect. His faculties intact. He still wants to play and go for walks. Rather, drags, since about halfway he starts struggling, no matter the length of the walk.

At some point, probably soon, he will become incontinent or “have more bad days than good.” How do you decide to say goodbye to your best friend when everything about him but his legs works just fine? And why is this happening when our regular vet isn’t available? Fuck you COVID and degenerative myelopathy both.

6 Responses

  1. It’s just a shit sandwich, isn’t it? I’m sorry friend. xo

  2. It is so hard 😦 My dad’s dog (my childhood dog) started to struggle with walking and they got him a little wheelchair! It held up his back legs for him and he could go for walk/wheels to see the outside world. Also they enlisted the postman to knock on the door every day, even if there was no parcel, because the dog liked to go to the door and bark at him. It made his last few weeks a bit brighter. Maybe you could try something similar? Or a little cart?

    • Thanks for the suggestion! I got him a wagon. It won’t help in our house but it means he can still go walks. I appreciate the idea!

  3. It’s been over 2 years, and I still can’t think about losing Roly without tremendous guilt and pain. That probably sounds dramatic, but I mean it. I felt no peace, and I still don’t. I think we made the right choice, but I don’t know. I will never know. All I know is that we did the best we could to make the hardest decision we’ve ever had to make. You will, too. They give us their very best, and we give them the same. ❤

    • It doesn’t sound dramatic. This is much more painful than I thought it would be. As Debra has said, we’re grieving him as much as we grieved the loss of my father. That may sound heartless but I love them both with all my heart.

  4. love you all so much.
    hugging you fiercely!

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