Shadow is going downhill. At almost 14 he’s losing the battle and we thought we were losing him when he got a severe bladder infection a couple of weeks ago and couldn’t stand up. With that treated, he is feeling better, but still can’t stand on his own. I’m sure this kills him since he is such an independent dog – to have to wait to be lifted so he can walk must be humiliating. On the other hand, now that he feels better he’s back to being “the Butthead” – which also makes him a lot more difficult to deal with. Since it’s getting harder and harder for him to get up – and because he feels good otherwise – he’s getting particularly demanding and loud. He wants to go outside just to wander but someone has to go with him in case he falls and can’t get up. I guess I should be happy since my worry for years was if it came to this he would try and bite when we helped, but he’s been very cooperative and not at all aggressive anymore. He gets so tired when he falls too many times in a row and has to work with me to stand (which is getting more and more often). Then gets stubborn and cranky and wants to stay where he is – which is usually on ice or cement. After a summer of wanting to live in the garage, he decided he would humor us and live back in the house again. I guess it’s kind of like the elderly old man that has to give up his house for a nursing home – not what you want, but you deal with it and he is. His new “room” is in the front bathroom and an area just inside the door we’ve baby gated – but he is bored to death sometimes. He doesn’t sleep much at all, unlike most elderly dog, which makes entertaining him a challenge. It’s better during the day as he watches me work on the computer. Jazz, Mo & Riggs have become his pack just outside his babygate world. I think he has long talks with Riggs like Homer used to do. At night he gets restless and wants us to take him outside constantly, so no one gets any sleep. Dan carries him to the bedroom to sleep on his restless nights, and that’s helped a little but he pants really loud all night which keeps me awake. So I’m running on little sleep right now and we’re trying to accept the inevitable when the time comes. So sad to see such a beautiful and strong dog have his body give way long before his heart and mind. I think he knows what’s happening. He is the last one from our first litter – we’ve lost Tova, Harley & Star…and a few from later litters – he’s the last of his generation.
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- February 22, 2007 / 10:50 am