Life with a senior dog sure has its ups 'n' downs. Yesterday, Hobie wouldn't use the stairs, and I had to carry him outside, down the front steps. He weighs less nowadays, but not THAT much less! We walked up the street and he even got his feet wet in the lake (brrrr!). Last night, he seemed worse, and this morning he seemed much, much, much worse. Not only would he not use the stairs (I let him poop and pee on the deck), he could not stand up. His legs gave out while he was eating -- but, he kept eating. Someone once said to me that you'll know when it's "time" when the dog's quality of life deteriorates to the point where he has poor or no quality of life. Well, there he was EATING, but unable to stand up. Feisty little devil!
I started to prepare myself for what would come next. I'd have to call Gil, since he's out of town at the moment. Oh, what if I have to make that decision (the big one) now, with Gil away? I called the vet and explained I couldn't come in today anyway, but any suggestions on what to do. Basically, we came up with the ol' "wait and see" approach.
After my own doctor's appointment this afternoon, I zipped home (it helps to live in a 5-mile world!) to check on Hobie. He seemed "ok" but not great. He went outside on the deck, and did his business, and then I went back to work. I got home tonight at 7:30 and he's so much better! The only thing I can figure out is that he does not do well in the warm weather. Yesterday and today, temps were near 70 already. Funny, he navigated the stairs all winter long, ice and snow and all, but as soon as the weather warms up, nope, he's done. The rain came tonight, and he is better.
I'm grateful for every moment with this dog. I've made so many mistakes with his predecessors when they reached a similar point in their lives. I suppose that is what gives us experience. I want to do right by him. He is the canine love of my life. I don't want to feel guilty about this one, like I do about all the others before him. But I know that's unrealistic. Unfortunately, I know enough about grief to know that guilt is just part of the package.
So, for tonight, he snoozes peacefully and is apparently not in pain. He didn't use the stairs, but he was walking and standing normally -- or as near normally as he can at this point.
For that, I am grateful.