a hard decision to make

We are a dog family.  I grew up with dogs and shortly after we were married we added Cody to our little family.  It is hard to believe he is almost 14 years old.  And so it is amidst the holiday weekend we are trying to wrap our hearts around a hard decision that we will need to make.

cody watching the rain 9-21-13

Over the course of months, Cody has had trouble walking with his hind legs losing their strength.  At the same time he has started to have accidents with his bowel movements.  The vet says his muscles are atrophied and that is why he looks so thin and that’s where his strength has gone.  With that he has lost control of this basic function most of the time.  When it was happening once in a while it was easy enough to be like, Oh Cody.  Now it is two times a day and over the last two nights he has had pee accidents.  At the same time, he is bright-eyed, eating and occasionally very playful.  He has our one-year-old Weimaraner Pepper to keep him on his toes!

This past January we lost our Molly to canine cancer and  she was only 8.  It is hard to think we will lose our boy sometime soon in the same year.  As a way to prepare them, we have been keeping our girls aware of how he is feeling from day-to-day.  When Molly got sicker we would share in the morning if it was a good night or a bad night and what the day ahead would be.  We found comfort in the dog poem A Rainbow Bridge and know we will draw comfort again from this poem knowing Molly will be there waiting for Cody.

I look back over the last couple of years and see how our girls have experienced death in our family at such a young age.  First a grandpa then right after a close family friend.  Earlier this year a beloved dog and this fall another grandma. We have tried to help them process their feelings through these times.  Now at 8 and 6 years old they can share with us how they feel and we can talk through these feelings with them.  At these times we all have these feelings and they can see and learn from us too.

It breaks my heart to know we have this decision ahead of us and what it will mean for all of us in our family.

Day 28 of National Blog Posting Month, click #NaBloPoMo to enjoy the many other bloggers participating!

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8 thoughts on “a hard decision to make

  1. Sorry about that. Comfort and peace to you all. I imagine how hard it is. These days, my dogs give me the most joy. Life will be harder for me without them.

  2. We lost our little Lucybee to canine cancer last year. She had just turned 7. It happened very quickly. Her spleen ruptured while we were on a walk. An emergency splenectomy and a biopsy revealed a very nasty form of cancer. She was recovering from the surgery very well and then suddenly developed a blood clot (as a result of the cancer). There was nothing the emergency vets could do. It was a sad, sad, sad day.
    A couple of months later we took in a sweet little beagle who had many health problems. She, too, needed a splenectomy but one year later she is doing great. No one knows how old she is but the vet estimated she was 8 when we adopted her last year.
    Our boy Max is 11 and a half. He still looks like a puppy but we can tell he is slowing down. Dreading the day.
    All this to say we are dog people, too, and I understand how hard it is to say goodbye to a friend.

  3. redshutters says:

    I am so sorry your family is going through this… my mother-in-law lost her cat and dog within the last two years, and it’s been something we have had to explain to my kids. They did well with the losses, but still ask questions about the animals, months later…. Sending hugs….

  4. I am so, so, sorry and know the pain you are experiencing as I too am preparing to lose one of my dogs to the devastation that long-term diabetes is having on his body.

    It sounds like you are doing the right thing in sharing the knowledge with your daughters, to prepare them. I extend my condolences for the family members who have passed on too. {{{Hugs}}}

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