These are my pups: Buffy and Baxter. They’re both mixed labs, and they were both rescue dogs. Buffy found my husband. We found Baxter. And we’ve been a family for a long time.
But my babies are getting old. Buffy’s about fourteen and Baxter’s about twelve. And this last year has seen an increase in vet activity. First, Baxter developed a mass over his shoulder that needed to be removed (but it wasn’t cancerous, thank God!) Then, both developed slight arthritis. Baxter lost a lot of weight, and Buffy gained it. Two weekends ago, Buffy stopped eating for a few days and wasn’t moving much. Her liver enzymes came back extraordinarily high, and the prognosis didn’t seem good. We got her to take her meds, and she started eating again, and little by little she’s been recovering, only she walks around with her head tilted and out of balance. She reminds me of a recovering stroke patient. Vet saw her and told us she had Idiopathic Vestibular Disease. Two days ago, Baxter started limping, his hind legs sprawling in opposite directions, and he refused to put pressure on one of his front paws. Severe arthritis, with his front paw swollen. He’s on medication now as well.
I just feel so bad for them. They poop and pee in the house, without even knowing they’re doing so. I know their time is limited, and while I’m okay with that because I understand it’s the circle of life–birth and death–I’m not okay with seeing them in pain.
We do what we can to make them comfortable and happy, for whatever time they have left. It might be months, maybe years. No one but the Man upstairs knows. I just hope the meds keep working so they don’t hurt.