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User Topic: Old dog - How to make the decision?
truthsetmefree
♀ Member
Member # 7168
Frustrated  Posted: 10:55 AM, September 3rd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I'm afraid this post is going to make me sound like a horrible person. Please be gentle in your responses because this has been a long struggle.

I have two Jack Russells - 11 and almost 18.

I absolutely adore one of them.

The 18yo one - I love her and she is a sweet dog - but she has been difficult and high maintenance literally since the day she was brought home. How many times I think back to that second day when I clearly saw issues - and literally asked myself if she needed to go back. It has been downhill since. I won't bore you with all the details but suffice to say I have NEVER had a dog like this....and it makes me VERY hesitant to ever get another dog. I was only able to get the second dog because I figured "in for a penny, in for a pound" mentality...and I just didn't want the boys growing up with only this one dog as the example.

I KNOW this makes me sound horrible. I've tried to be a good pet owner in spite - and I've made LOTS of sacrifices along these almost two decades - despite never enjoying her. My dog, my responsibility.

Now to the issue...

She will be 18 in November. Deaf, blind in one eye, becoming very slow in the hips. But otherwise seems to be in good health and no pain. We've had about 3 incidences in the past year where I have thought, ok...we're here. But a round of steroids, a round of antibiotics, adding homecooked food - and she bounces right back. The sad/relief pendulum never stops swinging - if that makes sense.

The current problem is that she seems to have become incontinent...or senile - maybe both. She's ruining my rugs. I have to wash dog beds weekly. She pees on the deck, poops in the driveway, garage. There's no rhyme or reason so it cannot be predicted. It's nothing for her to go outside and then come inside and wet. The only "solution" I am finding is to keep her locked in the kitchen 24/7...and what kind of quality of life is that?

What do I do here???

I can see all these things that are quality issues - but then she doesn't seem unhappy or in pain. But living in the kitchen doesn't seem like much of a life either.

I cannot trust myself to make the decision in this area because my feelings are so conflicted - and only becoming more so when I've got to clean another spot on the rug. It doesn't help that I've just had surgery either - both in my emotions and in the physical act of having to get down on the floor.

Any help is greatly appreciated. I feel so bad...no matter how I look at this.

ETA: To clarify....she sleeps almost all the day. She gets up to either eat or go outside. There's little interaction - but then again, that's just her, too.

[This message edited by truthsetmefree at 11:02 AM, September 3rd (Tuesday)]


Posts: 7682 | Registered: May 2005
Undefinabl3
♀ Member
Member # 36883
Default  Posted: 11:15 AM, September 3rd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I think you know the choice already, but fear that it is easier for you to let go because you are not that connected to the dog as you are to other dogs.

Currently, the 18 year old has a quality of life, but to what degree?

I think its time. Do not feel guilt over this.


Me: 31 MH
Him: 37 MH
New online find 6/19/14 - shit

Posts: 1684 | Registered: Sep 2012
LisaP
♀ Member
Member # 15088
Default  Posted: 11:43 AM, September 3rd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I had a old dog like that...I loved him and it was the hardest decision to put him at peace. Yours is at that stage now that mine was at. Now is a good time. Or you can wait for another incident and forgo treatment. This may help you make the decision with less guilt.

Don't feel like your making a mistake. You gave her a good, long life.


Me BS

Divorced!

~Feel your emotions, but control your behavior~ Unknown


Posts: 2176 | Registered: Jun 2007 | From: Oregon
Deeply Scared
♀ Administrator
Member # 2
Default  Posted: 12:49 PM, September 3rd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

(((Truth)))

You know...you were loyal to her for 18 years, despite not having a deep bond with her. I think you'll know when the time is right and I feel you'll be able to make a healthy decision for all involved because that's just the type of person you are.

You're a very loving and nurturing person...I have so much faith in you But I am really sorry you're faced with such a difficult decision. Go slow and listen to your heart and your head.


"Don't give up, the beginning is always the hardest." My Mom:)

My tolerance for stupid shit is getting less and less.


Posts: 196391 | Registered: May 2002
tushnurse
♀ Member
Member # 21101
Default  Posted: 12:51 PM, September 3rd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

18 that is a loooong life.
Please don't feel guilt over your decision.

You need to value quality over quantity. If this creature is just existing, and not getting joy out of the world then it is probably time.

You can get her checked for a urinary tract infection, and if that is ok, you probably have your answer.

I had to make this decision 3 times in the past 2 years. It sucks. No matter how much we know in our heart it is time, it doesn't make it easier. But with my Dane, I did feel some relief, as she had the worlds most sensitive gut, and lemme tell you, you think cleaning up JRT messes are bad? Try a Dane.....
She had declined over the past 2 years of her life, and really the last 6 months, she didn't have much quality.
The other two that left me were a golden, and a my cat. I knew it was time, and for both of them had planned to take them the next morning, and they simply slipped away during the night. I still feel guilty for not making the decision sooner.
(((tsmf)))


Me: FBS
Him: FWS
Kids: 15 & 17
Married for 22 years now, was 16 at the time. .
D-Day Sept 26 2008
Fully R'd, and Happy Happy Happy

Posts: 7795 | Registered: Oct 2008 | From: St. Louis
truthsetmefree
♀ Member
Member # 7168
Default  Posted: 1:22 PM, September 3rd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thank you guys for the support (and for the sweet words, DS...that really means a lot to me )

I think, too, that I may only be looking at this in pieces rather than the big picture. I think the ONLY thing missing in this picture is evidence of pain...and I cannot be even sure that she's not in it. I do know that sometimes we have to bring her up the two small steps into the house because she cannot climb them. The whole back end has been getting worse at a very fast rate. And she has lost a lot of weight...she's very thin looking.

I've let both the boys (22,18) know we are preparing for this. (Neither live here though they've seen & know the decline.) I expected them to both be somewhat indifferent since they are both so preoccupied with their own lives...but they're both upset. I don't know why but I wasn't exactly prepared for this aspect. I haven't had to do anything like this with them yet. I'm finding it very hard.


Posts: 7682 | Registered: May 2005
Pentup
♀ Member
Member # 20563
Default  Posted: 1:35 PM, September 3rd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

((Truth))
I suggest a vet visit and blood work if you can. The loss of weight and incontinence sounds like it may be kidney disease. Your vet could answer the pain question and give you some peace with the decision.

It sucks to be keeper of this kind of decision.


Me- BS
Him- FWS (I hope- F)

Posts: 6420 | Registered: Aug 2008 | From: Not Oz
lieshurt
♀ Member
Member # 14003
Default  Posted: 1:39 PM, September 3rd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I think the ONLY thing missing in this picture is evidence of pain

My bff went through this in January with his 17 yo poodle. She was blind, deaf, toothless, had difficulty walking, incontinent and slept 23 3/4 hours a day. She also didn't suffer from any pain, but she had no quality of life. It was an extremely difficult decision for him to make, but in the end he agreed that sleeping literally all day every day wasn't "living", so he did the most loving thing he could do for her.

[This message edited by lieshurt at 8:36 AM, September 4th (Wednesday)]


I'm sorry if you don't like my Honesty, but to be fair I don't like your lies.

Sometimes it's better to push someone away...not because you stopped loving them but because you can't take the pain anymore.


Posts: 13647 | Registered: Mar 2007 | From: Houston
inhishands55
♀ Member
Member # 9454
Default  Posted: 1:24 AM, September 4th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I had a cat that was almost 18 when I had to make the decision..He had stopped eating, was losing weight and I couldn't get his thyroid meds in him...He was so arthritic it wasn't funny...I know now he is running and playing like he use to..The only running he did was up and down the hall to the litter pan...Sounded like a herd of elephants..He knew it was time and if I had let him outside he would have went off and died..

He lived a very long life and the vet said he wouldn't have lived that long if I hadn't brought him in the house to live the last few years...

You had done your duty to your pet...You are not a horrible person for wanting to do the right thing...It is the most humane thing you can do for your doggie...

It is always a hard decision to make..I just made it last week with another kitty who had breast cancer..She had quit eating and it still hurts that I really had no choice..She was only 11 years old...She had had the cancer for almost 1 year..She had had two separate surgeries but it still came back and took over her body...I know I did what was best for her...I held her when she got her shot...She went peaceful...I still cry, she was my bedfeller and slept on my pillow with me...

You know when it is time and if you are in doubt ask your vet...My vet has always supported my decisions when it came time...If you are in doubt take your pet to another vet and get another opinion...Good luck with your decision...


Posts: 408 | Registered: Jan 2006 | From: The Tarheel State, in the mts.
truthsetmefree
♀ Member
Member # 7168
Default  Posted: 6:53 AM, September 4th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thank you again for the support and experiences. It's helped me to see that it may not always be an obvious choice (ie, crying in pain) but still a necessary and kind one.

She's more husband's dog than mine and when discussed last night, he felt it was time. He's noticed the decline more than I have - and especially these last couple of weeks. As he said last night, this isn't going to get better and we don't really want to wait until she's in obvious pain anyway.


Posts: 7682 | Registered: May 2005
Deeply Scared
♀ Administrator
Member # 2
Default  Posted: 7:38 AM, September 4th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

(((Truth)))

You were on my mind last night...I'm so relieved that you and your H talked things out and came to a joint decision.

It won't be easy but I do feel you're giving her a loving departure that includes grace and dignity.


"Don't give up, the beginning is always the hardest." My Mom:)

My tolerance for stupid shit is getting less and less.


Posts: 196391 | Registered: May 2002
truthsetmefree
♀ Member
Member # 7168
Default  Posted: 8:04 AM, September 4th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thank you, DS.

Can't seem to get a hold of myself this morning.

Timing sucks too. Three weeks past a hysterectomy and the last day before changing my estrogen patch. Maybe I just need a good fat snotty cry. It just really sucks because its turning out to be so global - Last year, ten years ago, ten years from now. Ugh.


Posts: 7682 | Registered: May 2005
Deeply Scared
♀ Administrator
Member # 2
Default  Posted: 8:13 AM, September 4th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Sweetheart...there is never good timing to do something this emotional and close to the heart. You just have to take a deep breath and pray it's the right decision.

Your little doggie is counting on you both to help her to her next journey and as hard as this is for you, I know you'll find peace in your heart once some time has passed.

(((Truth)))


"Don't give up, the beginning is always the hardest." My Mom:)

My tolerance for stupid shit is getting less and less.


Posts: 196391 | Registered: May 2002
Mommato4
♀ Member
Member # 15906
Default  Posted: 12:38 PM, September 4th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

It is understandably hard. I'm sorry you have to make this difficult decision.

I love JRT. I will spare you the details but I lost my 5 year old jack last November.

((((truth))))


Updated 2013:
BS-me 40
XH-doesn't matter
4 kids
Divorced-7/25/08

SO-5 years together-he decided to end it by cheating too


Posts: 1373 | Registered: Aug 2007 | From: PNW country
truthsetmefree
♀ Member
Member # 7168
Default  Posted: 6:58 PM, September 4th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

It's been done. We sedated her before the trip and she slept this afternoon wrapped up in her blanket in my arms. I don't think she ever even knew she was at the vets.

Thank you again for helping me through this difficult decision. I'm so very sorry for all of you that have lost beloved pets. Like I told the vet today, this part just simply sucks.


Posts: 7682 | Registered: May 2005
lieshurt
♀ Member
Member # 14003
Default  Posted: 7:16 PM, September 4th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

((((truth))))

You did a very kind and loving thing for her.


I'm sorry if you don't like my Honesty, but to be fair I don't like your lies.

Sometimes it's better to push someone away...not because you stopped loving them but because you can't take the pain anymore.


Posts: 13647 | Registered: Mar 2007 | From: Houston
Pentup
♀ Member
Member # 20563
Default  Posted: 7:53 PM, September 4th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Oh with you. Love on your other puppy tonight and know you did the best for your little dog. Covering you in prayer


Me- BS
Him- FWS (I hope- F)

Posts: 6420 | Registered: Aug 2008 | From: Not Oz
mysticpenguin
♀ Member
Member # 38839
Default  Posted: 8:27 PM, September 4th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I have a neurotic crazy dog too. I get it.

Based on what you've written, I think it is time. She has no quality of life. She may live a bit longer but will she enjoy it? That is the question to ask. And I think you know the answer.

(((((Hugs)))))


Betrayed

Posts: 306 | Registered: Mar 2013
nekorb
♀ Member
Member # 40306
Default  Posted: 9:24 PM, September 4th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

(((Big hugs)))

We put our golden down in June. It was so hard, but it was also the kindest and most compassionate thing we could have done.

Thinking of you and yours.


Me: BS 44
Him: WH 47 aka CAT- colossal asshat
Married 22 years
D-day: July 17, 2013, with TT to follow
Heading for Divorce
3 kids: 15,17,19

Psalms 27:14
Wait for The Lord; be strong and take heart, wait for The Lord.


Posts: 1684 | Registered: Aug 2013
Deeply Scared
♀ Administrator
Member # 2
Default  Posted: 9:27 PM, September 4th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

(((Truth)))

I hope you're resting peacefully tonight...I'm sending you lots of love


"Don't give up, the beginning is always the hardest." My Mom:)

My tolerance for stupid shit is getting less and less.


Posts: 196391 | Registered: May 2002
Topic Posts: 23
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