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Afternoon all, I’m just after some advice from people who have been in similar situations to myself. I’ve got a 15 year old staff/lab, Suki, who is my life. She’s my shadow, and I love her more than anyone or anything on this planet (and yes my partner knows) :)
Anyway, she has a list of ailments; chronic bronchitis for which she takes steroid tablets, she has arthritis in her back legs so has supplements and tramadol to help with that, and she’s also got the onset of dementia, as well as cataracts and depleting hearing. Apart from these, with medication and supps, she’s actually doing very well and is still alert and happy.
The issue I have is she’s had a few close calls recently, which have involved myself and my partner saying our goodbyes, but then she has a turnaround and gets better. Don’t get me wrong, this is great and I’ve love to have her around forever, but I’m not silly and I know the inevitable is coming. It’s the feeling of limbo we’re finding difficult to deal with. I can’t concentrate in work, I can’t motivate myself to do anything in or outside of work. We can’t plan any trips etc or do anything without making sure someone can watch our girl, and there’s only one person who we trust with this.
I’m just wondering how anyone in similar situations dealt with this? We try so so hard to remain positive and happy when she’s around, but the lump in my throat is constant and has been for two years, I feel like I’m constantly on a knife edge just waiting to fall, it’s like a horrible limbo I can’t get out of. Whenever I go to the vet I tell her that I’m relying on her to tell me when she thinks Suki is nearing the end because I’m biased and would hate to keep her around when she should be sleeping.
Any help or advice greatly appreciated guys and girls.
 

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Maybe counseling might help, not only for your relationship with your wonderful dog but for future relationships as well. All of life is for one day at a time and that especially goes for relationships with living things.
It is difficult, knowing how much you love her and knowing the end is inevitable and near, and I'm hoping that you can discuss the issue with a professional that can help make the situation less stressful for you.
 

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Thank you Lucille, I think that could help. For all I know she could stay with us another two years, so need something to help us. Thanks again for the reply.
 

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My best advice is to just enjoy the time you have with her and make it as special as you can. Keep track of her good days and bad days, and when those bad days start out numbering the good then consider letting her go.

I got caught up in the River Denial back when I had my little old dog. He was much like your dog minus the bronchitis, he had bad arthritis and was on Rimadol for it, he had had a stroke and while he mainly recovered it took his eyesight and confidence, and he had canine cognitive dysfunction (dementia), but none of those alone or together were life threatening. So for two years I played the waiting game, and watched him slowly get worse. I probably should have let him go around 2 months before he passed away but I was too involved in the, "no, he'll be O.K., he'll pull out of it." mentality. What happened was he slowly stopped eating but I convinced myself that it was just him slowing down, that he did not need as many calories, that he was getting picky.

If you catch yourself doing something like that then have someone who knows Suki well give you an opinion on how she's really doing, just how bad has she gotten, and is it fair to keep on fighting for her, or is it time to let her go.
 

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Its a very difficult situation, as all of us that truly love our dogs know. All I can advise is to enjoy each and every day you still have her, but when her quality of life is gone and there is no hope of recovery, you have to be ready to let her go, as impossible a choice as that seems. When that day does arrive, you can take some comfort knowing what a great life you gave her, and all those wonderful memories of her will be yours forever.
 

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Thanks both. I agree with you 100%. We are enjoying our time with her, and like her we have bad days and good days. She still loves her food, and last night when I brought fish pie into the lounge, she skipped after me faster than I'd seen her do in a while :)

She's perked up today and the good days still outweigh the bad days, but will always seek advice from "outsiders" who can offer an unbiased opinion.

She still loves company and to chill with us. This was her yesterday evening in the garden :)

 

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Thanks both. I agree with you 100%. We are enjoying our time with her, and like her we have bad days and good days. She still loves her food, and last night when I brought fish pie into the lounge, she skipped after me faster than I'd seen her do in a while :)

She's perked up today and the good days still outweigh the bad days, but will always seek advice from "outsiders" who can offer an unbiased opinion.

She still loves company and to chill with us. This was her yesterday evening in the garden :)

Oh she's beautiful, I love that little face! Thanks for sharing the picture with us.

It's great that she's still doing so well.
 

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She is beautiful, and every minute you spend with her is special and irreplaceable. From the pic, she looks happy, comfortable and content. Keep doing what you are doing, I wish you more happy years together with her.
 

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Aww thank you guys, she is a happy girl and I do cherish every minute with her. The last few days posts on here have really helped, just chatting to some other "parents" who can empathise has been a great help :)
 

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She is a lovely little girl. I know you'll cherish every moment with her :)

A couple of years ago I lost my Sheltie in February and my Lab mix in September. It was absolutely heart wrenching. It's been particularly difficult because I have an Aussie mix who is/was a year younger than my Lab mix and my Sheltie was only two years older than the Lab. They were all so close in age it wasn't surprising they went close together but I wasn't expecting THAT close and I constantly worry about losing my Aussie now.
 

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She is a lovely little girl. I know you'll cherish every moment with her :)

A couple of years ago I lost my Sheltie in February and my Lab mix in September. It was absolutely heart wrenching. It's been particularly difficult because I have an Aussie mix who is/was a year younger than my Lab mix and my Sheltie was only two years older than the Lab. They were all so close in age it wasn't surprising they went close together but I wasn't expecting THAT close and I constantly worry about losing my Aussie now.
Thank you, I sure will cherish all our moments :)
Sorry to hear you lost your two so close together, I'm not sure I could handle that much pain. As you say, it's about cherishing the moments we have left, but not worrying is easier said than done.
 

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Just an update guys, four weeks ago I made the decision to let my girl go to sleep. Her dementia got too much and her legs got worse. I'm still so lost and broken but wanted to update you as you were kind enough to offer me advice. Her last day was so special, I took her for a nice "walk" in her buggy, she ate so much steak, myself, my partner and good friend who watched Suki while I was at work all had a sleepover on the floor before the vet visited the next day. I fed her steak as she gazed into my eyes and slipped away while looking at a smiling daddy and eating her favourite food. It was the hardest things I've ever done, and I know it'll get easier, but I just can't see that yet.

She was my life, a lap dog who was at my side for 13 years, she could never be left alone, and for her last year or so, needed a lot of care, so it's such a shock to the system. I've lost many family members, but never felt grief like this, and I never knew it involved physical pain. I ache for her so much and think of her every minute of every day, but I do know I done the right thing. Again, I appreciated the advice you all gave me, it did help with the final decision. xx

 

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I always get a knot in my stomach and a little weepy when I read postings on having to put a dog down. It's tough, but know you made the right decision, you gave the dog a wonderful life. I think we do get more attached to our furry friends cause they are always around, always there.

i'm sorry for your loss.
 

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So sorry you lost her, I can only imagine how you must miss her. You did the best and most kind thing you possibly could for her.
 

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Thanks everyone. I know it was best for her, just can't shake this feeling of being lost and running to the toilets in work all the time in tears. Thankfully no one sees me. I know I'll get there though, I tell myself this all the time.
 
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