For as long as Doug and I could remember, dogs have been part of our lives. Growing up, there was a dog in both our families and so it only made sense that we had a dog (or two) after we were married. Dogs are fairly high maintenance. Vets, groomers, food, cleaning up messes... the list is quite long. But despite that, we still have always had a dog. Having a dog also requires the responsibility of deciding when that furry life has lived to it's fullest. Lately our 13 year old Lhasa has been having accidents in the house and generally seemed to be going downhill heath wise. Yesterday I took her to the vet and called Doug hoping he'd join me. We wanted to the vet to determine what Megan's quality of life was. Did she have a few good months ahead of her or had she lived out all she could? After doing an assessment of Megan, the wonderful vet (Shannon) said Megan was arthritic down most of her back, into her hips and down her hind legs. A look at her eyes determined she was mostly blind. Living with her, we knew her ears were going too. She had lost much of the muscle control in her rear hips and legs which also accounted for the loss of bowel control. Her weight dropped three pounds since October. We went home 15 minutes later with that information knowing we had to make the decision of how long to let her live. Doug called me and suggested we take her back the next day. His reasoning was that it wasn't going to be any easier tomorrow, next week, or in two months. When the final day came, it would be hard for everyone.
This morning Megan had a gourmet breakfast of bologna, cheese, crackers and Milk Bones and thoroughly enjoyed her indulgence. When Doug came home from work around 9:00, the kids knew it was 'time' to say good bye. He later said to me that taking Megan out of the house and away from the kids was one of the hardest things he's had to do in a very long time. *sigh* My kids' hearts were hurting so bad and there was only so much I could do to make them feel better. I held them all close, hugged them tight and told them it would be ok. School for the day has gone out the window.
Quotes from this morning:
Joshua- "It will be hard to get used to saying 'Sadie, outside' after saying 'Megan, Sadie outside' for so long."
Andrea- "And I thought bringing Noah (another former dog) to the SPCA was tough."
Arianna (to Megan)- "Don't worry Megan, soon you'll be with Jesus and everything will be ok."