CinderDee wrote:I was thinking earlier tonight about how I would feel if this were someone else's dog and I might feel the same way as many of you do. It's hard for me to say though. When Lisa stopped by to see him her mind changed as well. He looks good and seems pretty happy.
He's not someone else's dog, though. He's your
dog. No one knows him as intimately as you, no one loves him more than you, no one understands his true state of health and happiness more than you, and no one is going to hurt as badly as you when it comes time to say good-bye. So don't worry about what others think you should do. This is between you and Kato, so you should do what you feel is right. It does help to check yourself against someone else you trust. I made the decision to take Brownie in the next day, but I called my sister and had her come over that evening and spend time with us. She assured me that she thought it was time, too, and we had detailed discussions about why it was time, so that was good.
CinderDee wrote: On the flip side, he can't do the things he should be able to do and that's not ok with me.
I'm not sure what exactly he is having problems with, but do you think it's okay from his point of view? In some cases, dogs do accept their limitations much more quickly than people, and sometimes the things that matter to us really don't matter to them. Brownie had bad arthritis in his front paw, and he could walk (with a limp), but he was standing only when necessary. Other than that, he felt pretty good. His cataracts were getting a little thick, too, but he could see to get around. Here's what I mean by his point of view - if Brownie had gone lame, he would have been a very unhappy, unfulfilled dog. If he had gone blind, though, he really couldn't have given a rat's butt. As long as he could meander in the yard and sniff, life was good.
CinderDee wrote:I just have a huge problem with ending a life because something's not ok with me. If he were in pain I wouldn't be as wishy washy about it. My worry is that I'm doing it for myself and not for him.
I went through this with my cat. He was 19.5 years old, bone-thin, and wobbled when he walked. He was also not taking great care of himself and was looking pretty greasy and scraggly (common with old cats). But he still looked vibrant in his eyes, and the vet said he really was fine and not in any pain, so I couldn't bring myself to put him down because I felt like he deserved to live if he wasn't suffering. But I felt guilty a lot of the time, and I think anyone who would have walked in and seen him would have thought we were horrible for not putting him out of his misery - but he really wasn't
miserable. He ended up having a seizure (or stroke?) and before it was over we knew it was time to say good-bye.
CinderDee wrote:I do think the time is near and I'm grateful that I have everyone's support even if I may make a different decision than you would. Please know that I'm doing the best that I can for this dog that means more to me than I can ever tell you.
It doesn't really matter what anyone else thinks, Dee. No one is more qualified than you to make ultimate decisions for Kato about his life. I'm sure it feels like you want answers and don't have them, but you'll figure it out. I really think you will know when it's time. I only know that I could never
have put Brownie down without knowing in my heart it truly was the best thing for him. He counted on me to take care of his needs, keep him safe and comfortable, and do only those things that were in his best interest. And I have to tell you that after making so many decisions for so long that were intended to help him live longer, it felt so strange to make that final decision to end his life. But I know it was the right thing to do. I couldn't have done it if I wasn't sure.
I'm glad to hear Kato is feeling good today. I hope he has many more good days.