Tuesday, October 16, 2007

It just doesn't seem right....


Last week we got the expected test results back on our little Pekingese, Sofie - advanced liver disease. "A few weeks at the most", Dr. Peterson gently informed me. I knew it was coming. We've had dogs and cats all our lives and I can tell the difference between a tummy ache and something far more serious. Her weight loss was just too dramatic, and the drunken way she walked didn't bode well. This past week I tried to feed her round the clock.. cooking fresh chicken, rice, soup, anything that could tantalize her wasted frame. But tonight, she turned down a ribeye, prepared especially for her - which of course places me in the absolute worse predicament I could possibly imagine for myself. Is it up to me to end her suffering?

Why can't we just let nature take it's course? Dog experts will say that domesticated dogs have forfeited their innate ability to die with dignity. When a wild dog is in the final stages of it's life, they leave the pack, go find a hole to crawl into and quietly die. Our pets do not have that luxury. I'll never forget my Cocker Spaniel one night trying to walk in to the woods behind our house during her final days. I kept chasing after her to bring her back.. only to have her die by injection in a vets office. It just doesn't seem right that the where, when, and how should be determined by me. But then do I just let her lie there, pathetic, wasted and suffering?

As long as I live, as many pets as I love, I will never, ever have the answer to this question. My prayer this evening is that sometime soon she sees the light and follows it peacefully into the night. Thoughts appreciated.

10 comments:

tls1995 said...

I'm so sorry!

I once read a poem that ended with the following verse "We have the right to live with dignity...and to die with dignity when the time comes."

It sounds great on paper but I don't know if I would be able to have the vet put one of mine to sleep. Their like my children as I'm sure your is to you.

Billy Dennis said...

Diane: Well, here I am, sitting at my computer looking for "blogfodder," feeling pretty good. Then I came across your post and I am knocked on my ass. As you know, my parents lost their little poodle, Ginger, some months ago. I loved that little dog almost as much as they did.

No, it just doesn't seem right.

Take care.

Diane Vespa said...

I'm sorry, Billy. I considered adding a "warning" in the title to warn the reader that this was not a "fun" read. Just an unfortunate fact of life. ;-(

My Flock Rocks! said...

Diane...I am sooo sorry! I know what it's like! My little dog passed away right next to me. I was there when he took his last breath. He was so sick and I told him, it was alright to let go and he did. It's been a year and it's still hard for me. We'll talk later...I am to emotional to write :(

Jennifer said...

Diane,
Oh, I'm so sorry for you, the pup and your family. It's one of those awful things that there is no good or right answer to....
Jennifer

Anonymous said...

I can only imagine your suffering. As painful as death is, its as common and,just as much a part of life, as birth and living. The "right answer" isn't the one thats going to make you happy or comfortable, as neither choice will. The right answer is the one that you can live with. And no one can make that for you.
Just keep thinking and praying about it and you'll find the answer.
My thoughts and prayers are with you.
(Your sister)

Grandma's Attic said...

Diane, you know my thoughts are with you and you will make the decision that is right for both of you. This was so hard for me to read as it brought back the still-so-fresh memory of a month ago when we struggled so hard with keeping Lucky alive, only for me to sit with him as he labored his last few breaths. My deepest thoughts are with you, my friend.

ilstateredbird said...

Diane,
I am sorry to hear the diagnosis. Many people do not understand what pet lovers go through. They are family. That litte nose, the pushed in face, and the loud snoring. Your family must truly love Sophie.

We lost two Pekes last year (12 and 14). We now have two pekes and a foster peke.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Katie said...

Diane, I am so sorry to hear about Sofie. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

Ramble On said...

So sorry to hear of Sofie's illness. My little Scottie had kidney failure. She did well at the Vet's as long as she was on IV fluids. When off the IV, she got as sick as ever, maybe more so. It was one of the most difficult decisions I had to make. It came down to "Am I keeping her alive for me, or for her". It still brings a tear a year two years later. My thoughts are with you as you face this difficult time.