Sunday, November 21, 2010
It's So Hard to Say Goodbye
I'm sorry I've been silent this past week, but I just haven't been able to muster the energy to post anything.
My little dog Molly---the one I named my blog address after---is dying, and I'm just heartbroken.
Last summer she started limping. She was getting arthritis in her back legs and spine. It's not really common in Yorkies---but is something that many wiener dogs get as they age. The vet prescribed a round of steroids and they fixed her up just fine for awhile. We had to taper them off to every other day because she has an enlarged heart.
During the last month or so, she stopped eating every other day, corresponding to the times we gave her steroids (they make you hungry). We tried everything---different kinds of canned food with caloric supplements, etc, but she turned her nose up at everything. We started hand-feeding her chicken and turkey a few times a day on the off days---but that only lasted awhile. She completely gave up dog food, and only let us hand feed her sporadically.
A couple of weeks ago we noticed that she had gone completely silent. Always a very verbal dog (whining, yapping, brrrring), it was very disturbing, to say the least. She was still running around--albeit very stiffly--and getting in the middle of everything, but not a peep out of her.
Last week I noticed that her right hind leg wasn't holding her weight and curving underneath her body. She was still getting around, but falling down once in awhile. She didn't seem to be in any pain, and was still eating, so I made a vet appointment, but couldn't get her in for a week.
Hubby was out of town last week for a few days. Molly stopped eating, although she was drinking some water. I tried to hand-feed her---first bits of chicken and turkey, and finally macaroni and cheese. Her tongue kept frantically licking it, and I realized that she couldn't open her mouth. I called the vet and they were able to see her on an emergency basis.
Bottom line---not only has the arthritis progressed rapidly in her spine and back legs, but her right hip won't stay in its socket. She seems to have neurological problems---her reflexes weren't working. I guess on the plus side---she's not feeling any pain because of those neurological problems. The vet thoroughly manipulated that hip and not a flinch or a peep out of her. She just lay passively, unable to get up.
I sobbed through the entire visit, because I knew what the vet would say. With all of the issues, she recommended euthanasia.
I begged the vet to tell me I could take her home, since she wasn't in any pain, just until Hubby could get home and be there. He would be devastated if he couldn't say goodbye, and I needed him to be with me when we put her to sleep. She told me that she didn't think Molly would make it through another couple of days, but doubled her steroid dose and gave me some pain medication with vitamins.
Right after I brought her home, I called Hubby on his cell and left him a message. Don't call me on the road, call me when you make a stop. Of course he called me right away and demanded that I tell him everything. He cried like a baby (gotta love a tender man).
About 10 minutes after I got off the phone, Molly came out of her carrier and started running around. No kidding. She went in the kitchen and pushed her bowl around, like "Hey! Where in the hell is my dinner?"
She still couldn't manipulate her jaw, so my good friend who's staying with us and I were able to feed her baby food with a syringe. Molly just ate it up. And after the double dose of steroids and the pain meds, she's been making her rounds through the house with hardly a hitch in her giddyup, although she's been running into walls and stuff head-first.
Hubby made it home in time. Molly's been somewhat peppy, interacting with the other dogs and us. We've been feeding her every three hours around the clock. It's hard to contemplate putting her down when she seems to have rallied a bit.
She definitely has neurological issues, and this isn't a cure. We don't want her to suffer. So in the next couple of days, we're going to take her to the vet and put her to sleep. My little puppy.
This morning at about 3am, I was holding her in my arms and telling her how much I loved her and how I was going to miss her. She turned her little face to me and gave me one single yap. Later in the day when Big Kid and Kitty came for Sunday dinner, the kid was holding her and she did the same thing with him.
You brought so much joy to my life, Little Girl. Gonna miss you something fierce.