The Beginning of the End?

We just got home from an outing to find the St. Bernard whimpering on the floor in the dining room, looking longingly into the kitchen.  This has happened before.  He has a difficult time seeing the white kitchen floor due to his cataracts apparently, and for the first several days we lived in this house he would not walk to the back door unless someone was holding his collar.

I thought that he decided he once again was scared of the invisible linoleum, so I took his collar, urged him forward, and he just slipped and slid into a heap on my kitchen floor. 

His hips are bad.  They have been bad for years, but we have managed it with glucosamine.  Admittedly I have been falling down on the job of giving him his pills lately, but this was worse than anything he’s ever experienced.

So there he was, quivering on my floor, trying for the life of him to get up and just sliding back down.  I finally had to wrap my arms around his back, lace my fingers under his belly, and lift for all I was worth (which isn’t much).  Between both of our efforts he is now outside, taking care of business and not falling down.


Now I’m quivering and whimpering a bit.

I want what all pet owners want for their old pets.  I want him to go peacefully in his sleep.  I have feared for years that his arthritis would someday get so bad that he couldn’t get himself around.  We have had the discussion, you know, the discussion: “What do we do if our 150 lb. dog has to be carried outside?”

What?  You haven’t had that discussion with your spouse?

Lucky you.

We’re not there  yet, but today as I was tugging and lifting and half carrying, it felt like we are getting too close to the answer.

So not a Mormon Monday post, I know.  Hopefully later, if I have more time.

And George . . .

15 thoughts on “The Beginning of the End?

  1. Oh, Elaine, I’m so, so sorry. This is so hard. Our dog was ill for a long time, but very functionally so. Actually, she was ill from the minute we brought her home at eight weeks old. We knew the day would eventually come when we had to make the decision, but when it did come in October when she was seven, it was heartbreaking. They just become a huge part of your family. I hope your boy is okay. {{Hugs}}


  2. TX Cajun

    So sorry that he is having problems. We had this situation about 2.5 years ago. We had our dog for 14 years. I still cry when I think of her. I am really sorry.


  3. Oh Elaine (and fam), I’m so sorry to hear this. You know I sure can empathsize with you on this one, it’s bringing tears to my eyes thinking of what you are facing. I hope somehow this is just a small glitch for the big guy or at the very worst, that he does go in his sleep. I know it was a blessing for me that while my Maddie didn’t go overnight in her sleep, she did go at home and didn’t suffer for long. Will be thinking of you all.


  4. lauren

    Just thought I’d check in from on the road, and when I saw your post, I had to reply. I am so sorry that he is having a rough time – its so hard when they are too big to just scoop up and carry.
    I know you’ve probably heard this before, but here’s what I tell all my arthritis patients’ owners: chondrotin/glucosamine (which you’re doing), an antiinflammatory/painkiller like rimadyl when they need it, and think about adequan injections – its an off label use of this drug developed for horses, but I’ve seen good results with it in some cases. Also, maintaining a trim figure is probalby the most important thing – the less weight they have to carry around, the easier it is on the joints.
    Ok, end of advise you’ve probably already heard from your vet: I hope it was just a bad day for him, and that he’s feeling better now. {hugs}


  5. Oh, ouch. I love Lauren’s “vet from Vietnam” advice; I hope it helps. I’ve got to get on a glucosamine schedule with my Gussie, too. I’m thinking of you and your big guy.


  6. Dianna

    Jumping in late here (as usual) but I’m so sorry about your dog. I hope he’s feeling much better today. And that you are too.


  7. I feel your pain. Our dog is 10 & I dread the day she goes. Best dog ever. I had to put the cat down last year & it was torture.

    I hope both you & the dog are doing better today.


  8. It’s never easy when your pet is in pain. Shad deals with clients all the time who have to make the difficult decisions you are talking about. But it hasn’t made it any easier when we have had to put our own animals to sleep. We’ll be praying for wisdom for you and pain relief for your precious pup. ((Hugs))


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