|Barked: Sat Apr 23, '11 8:14pm PST |
|Maya is getting older. I've already come to terms with this.
When I got her, I knew I could give her a better life - or a better last few years. But those 'few years' may only turn out to be 'year'.
When I got her, her hips were horrible, she was underweight by about twenty pounds, she was grumpy, in pain, kenneled all the time, neglected and fear aggressive - mostly of men.
I got the weight back on her, got her on a HEALTHY diet, added the required supplements, added some cinnamon and reduced the amount her arthritis would flare up by 50%. I reduced that amount by another 25% when I stopped kenneling her - at all. I showed her that strangers = positive things and she became less aggressive and a little more aloof - she warmed up to them a lot quicker. She got the exercise her body craved and all in all, turned into a puppy again. She wasn't lagging twenty feet behind on walks anymore, she was running up ahead twenty feet! She was running instead of lagging, bouncing and bounding instead of just sitting or standing there and even started jumping up on people when she got really excited.
But now... It's like her age hit her over night. I knew that sometime in the next two years, maybe another year, she would have to be euthanized. I knew that the time would come and things would get worse - arthritis and on-coming hip dysplasia DO NOT get better. They're degenerative. She always continued to have a hard time laying down or sitting down, although she was fine getting up..
Recently, on walks, she began tearing open her claws on the cement - not something that ever used to happen. Her paws would end up bloody and it was only on specific claws. I figured, because she kept them chewed down to the quick, maybe it was just something to let heal and keep an eye on. But it continued. Daily and she would end up with painful, bloody paws.
Her hips and knees are stiff and her walk is stiff. She's also started growling at Charlie for simply walking by her or sniffing her, which she NEVER used to do. Her and Charlie are very attached.
And it's like she became deaf overnight.... She doesn't hear a word I say - or rather, doesn't listen to a word I say unless I shout it. In which case, she'll turn and look at me as if to say "Yeah? You called?" For the last four days, her hearing has become steadily worse - or maybe it's that I'm JUST noticing it. I've always had to repeat myself, but her recall was always 100%. Now... nadda... I have to raise my voice for her to even hear me, but I don't want her to think I'm yelling at her.
I don't know what to think... But I'm trying to come to terms with the fact that she may have to go sooner than I had hoped, because I refuse to let her suffer... But it's YEARS sooner than I had thought. I only got her at the beginning of the year, even if I've known her for three...
Yesterday, she had three accidents in my house and one today. The schedule hasn't changed at all and she has always asked to go out if she needed out off schedule. I think it's time for a vet visit and to see what the vet says... if it's something underlying that can be fixed, great... But if not... That time is coming and that 'time' is scary... I had to do it for a puppy I had only known for three days and even that was hard. I can't imagine how hard it will be with a dog I've loved for three years...
Should I just accept it, get the vets opinion, go from there and accept the fact that, if I do have to put her to sleep this year, that at least I gave her that much longer and made it that much better for it? I'm crying just thinking about it...
Charlie and Maya's Mom
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