Devine site

A little bit about my day, my family, and my knitting.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Not An Easy Decision

Today we took our three dogs to the groomer...Tiemann (maltese) for a haircut, Rusty (dacshund) for a bath, and Cocktail (shepard/chow) to get his nails clipped. Cocktail is a little over 16 years old...way older than most dogs his breeds generally live. We never expected to have him this long. He has been Gerry's dog since Suzzette (Gerry's daughter) brought him home in her hands, as a puppy. He and I formed an instant bond when we met 6 years ago. And while I heard that Cocktail was quite the rabble rouser in his prime, over the past few years he has truly mellowed. for the past 6 months or so Gerry and I have watched Cocktail lose weight and slow down, but not as much as in the past two months. We had him to the vet about 2 weeks ago. Cocktail's kidneys are slowly failing, he lacks iron, and he has lost so much that his body is like a dog that may have been in a concentration camp. What saves his look is his beautiful face and soft, orange mane.

Day by day Cocktail does less and less, and now he rarely gets off of the quilt that we keep on the living room floor for him. When he needs to go out he gives out a low growl and then we have to help him out as he slides on our wooden floors. On the way to the groomer today he sat in the back of our Ford Explorer...he NEVER sits in the car. I got into the back with him at first in case he stumbled when the car stopped, but once he sat down he was doing fairly well. (Oh, well, on his way to sit down he DID have a nasty oops, but luckily we were near a gas station that had paper towels by he pumps!) Once we got to the groomer Gerry had to lift him out of the car and it took poor Cocktail a full five minutes to walk from the car to the store. Once inside...yup, he sat! The technician trimmed his nails and pads and then we took him home. But....we made a decision on the way there - a very hard decision but a mutual one. On Friday, the 6th, Cocktail will make his last trip to the vet. This is one of the hardest things we have ever had to do. We love him so much...and that is why we made this decision. It just isn't fair to hang on while he gets weaker and weaker, thinner and thinner - that's no quality of life for this wonderful dog. So I called Suzzette, who will go with us, as he was originally her dog. I called Alison, too...ya know how a child calls mom in times of need? Luckily, my kids are there for me, too, and she listened and cried along with me. I know that on Friday I will be a wreck....but Gerry will be even worse. Oh....I am not looking forward to it at all!


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