Friday, December 19, 2008

The Inconvenience of Loving a Dog

Right smack dab in the midst of holiday festivities, Hedgie's three-day birthday celebration, playdates and present-giving and lunch at the American Girl Place in Manhattan, my nearly 15-year-old mutt Pippin is inconveniently winding down a long and varied life. Needless to say, I won't belabor the details, but it's unnerving and sad to see this once rowdy boy slipping away bit by bit. An emergency vet visit last week yielded some meds that temporarily alleviated things, but obviously there's something more serious going on.

I will be going back to his regular vet, but I don't believe in spending thousands and thousands of dollars, nor do I have this money, to prolong the discomfort of an old dog. I guess sometime soon a decision will have to be made, one that many of us have made before. It's always harrowing. I would have loved a few more years to kiss his smelly face and wipe away my tears in his soft brisket, and watch him swim and try to steal food, and bark at squirrels. I keep hoping I'll wake up and he'll be back to his old self, but so far, it hasn't happened. So I'm trying to prepare myself for goodbye. And I'm praying for the strength to make the right decision, not for me, but for him.


Rima said...

Oh :( My best to you....Either way this goes, everything will go well for the best.

Queen Goob said...

Oh Honey.....I'm sorry. As a previous vet tech and owner of the BEST dog on the face of the earth (along with two cats, a guinea pig, fish, and literally dozens and dozens of pets in my past) I understand your turmoil. Be strong, be kind, and know that Pippin loves you.....always.

Wish I could be by your side when the time comes, that's what friends are for.


faycat said...

Oh, sweet Pippin. I remember the first time I met Pippin, I was warned that he doesn't like strangers. But he came over and sat down next to me and leaned on my leg and just sat there with me for a long long time. I love that dog, even when he licked all my licorice. I know that he's surrounded by those who love him dearly.

MJ said...

Hugs to you and your old fella.

Megan said...

More hugs from me to you and Sarge and Hedgie and especially Pippen.

Walker said...

I'm so sorry.
I know how it feels and it sucks sitting there watching.
All I can say is the more loving you give him now the happiest he will be.

Kookaburra said...

Oh, how sad. My heart goes out to you. It won't be easy to say good-bye. I know that you will make the right decision. Feeling for you and Pippin.

M. xo xo

just bob said...

I'm sorry Leah. I've been through it twice and it's never easy. The best you can do is remember the good times.

kylie said...

it's awful to see them slipping isn't it?

i have never had to make that decision for my own dog but when my parents did for the dogs i grew up with i felt it as if it were my decision too
i'm so terrified of them suffering that i would almost rather do it too early than too late.

pippin knows you love him and he will always love you back

hugs to you all

CSI Seattle said...

I am sorry to hear about your dog. These darn animals are as close to being family as can possibly be. It is a helpless feeling to watch the aging process, but I suspect that Pippin has been well loved and I'll bet that he knows it.

Cece said...

I am sorry you have to deal with this greif. Dogs are so wonderful, so it breaks my heart to know that your sweet Pippin is suffering. I hope that when he passes that he goes gently into that good night, and remember all dogs are good, therefore, all dogs go to Heaven. Love you, dear.

Beverly said...

My thoughts are with you. Even when you know you're doing the right thing, it's never easy.

Leah said...

Thanks so much guys.


Suzanne said...

I love you and I'm sorry. I have to let Newman go and I can't do it. I'm not brave, so I just wait one more week, and then one more, and then one more, hoping he'll return to full health. He's not going to, but the weeks pass and I wait. I'm so sorry baby because I know how much it hurts. It's like burying a child. I don't know how to do it gracefully, so have no advice. Just follow your heart. You'll know.

Kylie has a wonderful blog called A Yarn With God. It's a wonderful place to reflect, to write, to grieve. Eventually you find your way. I think that's it's purpose. I recommend it with all my heart.

I love you darling and I'm so sorry.

kylie said...

i have an idea that your thinking & your grieving will be private but for what it's worth i posted a little tribute to pippin, actually to all faithful pets, at "a yarn...."


Suzanne said...

You know it's funny, when I write at A Yarn I never think about someone reading it. It always feels so private. As if it's just me and God, and once in awhile Kylie!!! Kylie just made me realize it's not that private after all. That's too funny. Hummmmmmmmmm. I should probably go back and delete a whole heck of a lot of crap. Why did I think it was such a private place? I think I look at the world differently than everyone else. I just do. Hummmmmmmmm.

I love you darling. XO

kylie said...

its a safe place, dont delete

Kookaburra said...

Wishing you and your family peace and joy over the festive season and and in 2009.

Rich said...

I found you blog by way of MJ at infomaniac. This post almost brought a tear to my eyes. I have a now one year old Wheaton who is my best pal. The day that I have to let him go will be unthinkable.


Skeeter said...

Hi Leah,

I'm so sorry about your four legged companion. It is a hard time, and you're doing the right thing as you said. That doesn't make it any easier though.

Best wishes,


Queen Goob said...

Just checking in on you guys to let you know I thought of you this weekend.

Lots of hugs to both of you,


the best part of these holidays is to be thankful for all the things that we have been fortunate to have had in our lives... even death, (although never timely) is to be given thanks. it ends suffering and misery for pets and the sick.. i wish you strength in you coming weeks and love to your family.

Anonymous said...

Oh Leah...that's so hard. I lost my sweet kitty the day we brought our daughter home from the hospital. She was dying right before out eyes and we had to make that hard decision. It was supposed to be a joyful occasion but I was so sad.

Hugs to you!

Gig said...

It is never easy, our beloved pets are part of our family...I will be thinking and praying for your sweet Pippin, along with you, Hedgie and Sarge.

I visited A Yarn...beautiful poem.

gig, xoxo

(Not-So) Cynical Gal said...

Oh Leah, I'm so sorry. This is one of the hardest parts of life with a dog. For sure.