lederhosen: (Default)
[personal profile] lederhosen
We took His Majesty to the vet for the last time today. I've been crying on and off all week, knowing this was coming.

It's so hard to know when the right time is. He still had his appetite, and some good spells - this morning he seemed quite happy, and if he'd been at that level more often, maybe we could have held off.

But he'd reached the point where he had trouble standing up, and he was almost deaf and blind; I suspect his kidneys were starting to go, because he was thirsty a lot (even before the horrible heat wave we had this week) and he couldn't find his water bowl unless we held it up to his mouth, so he'd wander around and bump into things until we came to his help. On Thursday when it was about 45C outside, we had to leave him alone inside for a few hours; it was cooler inside but still pretty hot, and he was looking pretty miserable when I got back. I cooled him off and I don't think there was any lasting damage, but... we're only halfway through summer. And even when it was cool enough for him to be outside, he was too slow and frail to shake off flies; he got badly bitten last month.

He would have been fifteen in four weeks; we could have waited, and I think he'd have lasted that long. It seems a pity to miss it. But birthdays are a human thing and we couldn't justify dragging it out for our sake.

So we went to the vet this morning, and there was still time to change our mind, and then eventually there wasn't. It was all very peaceful; he wagged his tail until the sedative kicked in, and slipped away quietly. Perhaps it should have been a few weeks earlier, perhaps a few weeks later, I don't know, but we chose as best we could.

I will miss him terribly. When we looked at the vet notes from an earlier visit, somebody had noted "lovely dog" on his record, and he really was. I don't think he ever bit anybody in anger (there were a couple of accidents as he grew old and blind and mistook G's fingers for bacon) and he loved to cuddle. On cold nights he'd jump on the bed and nudge me until I lifted the quilt for him to burrow under and snuggle against our knees.

Thanks to friends and family who've offered sympathy. I know a lot of you loved him too, and as far as I can tell he loved pretty much everybody. It was a good life and one worth some tears.
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lederhosen

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