My husband and I have two dogs…Joe Bear and Dia. I used to be a cat person, but man…allergies developed into asthma and that was the end of me being a cat person. I still love them. Wish I could have a few. But I have this longing to breathe without a wheeze, soooo…no cats.
But Joe Bear and Dia are pretty great fur babies. I guess my big old Joe is about 100 years old in dog years. He is a 14 year old Newfidor–Newfoundland/Black Lab mix. Yes. He is old. Yes, he is big. And, yes, he sheds his undercoat twice each year. When I say it blows…it really does. He reminds me of the bison and buffalo with their fur hanging off their bodies.
Dia is crazy. She is a 7 year old Golden Cockeretriever…I know. I made that word up. While she is a very pretty dog, she is just a wee bit hyper still. She loves me but views just about everyone who comes to our house as a threat to me…
My big old boy has been failing for the last 2 years. These big dogs don’t usually live to be as old as he is, and we know that we will have to make that hard decision pretty soon. If it was just arthritis, that would be doable. Even his humongous cataracts aren’t a problem. But it seems that he has some kind of serious problem now that is causing him a lot of discomfort, like bad headaches. He presses his head against my leg and looks at me with a sad, puppy dog face. I massage his head, and eventually he seems to feel a little better, but I know that he is in pain. As I sit here writing this, he is hugging his head with his paws and I know he is hurting.
So here I sit, trying to decide how to know when it is unfair to keep him living through the pain. How do I know if I am doing the right thing? If I were failing, I wouldn’t want someone to put me down. I would want to fight to the end.
This is the struggle of today. Pretty soon, I am going to be bawling and wondering if I made the right decision and missing his sweet personality. My tender Bear. I don’t think I have the heart to go through this again.