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A long time ago, I was a child. (I started out as Cathy First from Colon, Mi.) For the past several years I’ve been an adult. A lot of things went on between those two stages of life; probably no more or no less than anyone elses. My husband and I moved to “da U .P” from southern Lower Michigan several years ago (yes we were trolls at one time). We owned and operated and operate Clementz’s Northcountry Campground and Cabins just north of Newberry, Michigan until May 2015. We have grown kids and grandkids (who all live downstate). My passion is life and all that Nature has to offer us and trying to photograph it in unique ways. Our intention in life is to see all that Nature has to offer us. We hope that you will be a part of our adventures as we cruise through our lives together. Come back often!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

PRECIOUS PUP





I think I’m going to have a very hard decision to make in the very near future. It is one brings tears to my eyes and a lump to my throat to even be writing this.

My little dog Chewy is getting older and she is making us old and tired. We put her on Xanax (the vet prescribed it) about 2 months ago just so we could all get some sleep at night. What a relief that was. I’m not positive that she has doggy dementia, but with her lack of hearing, can’t see very well and just being old, things are getting harder and harder.

It seemed that after we finally got the furnace problem fixed, she was doing better. I thought I would wean her off the Xanax. She was getting .25mg just at bedtime. The vet said she could have it every 12 hours. It wasn’t necessary so she only got it at bed time.. The days weren’t bad; it was just the nights. So I cut that back to ½ of tablet at bedtime for about a week and things were going well. Then I didn’t give her any and we were still able to sleep. Oh, she has to get up and go outside once or twice a night, but she is an old gal now. At least she was settling back in her bed and going back to sleep.

I’ve told you before that we have a LOT of night lights through out the house on to help her find her way around at night. She sometimes needs to come to the kitchen and get a drink or see if there is any food left in her dish (normally if there is Nick has taken care of it first). Then she needs to be able to find her way back to the bedroom.

Because she has recently walked right off the deck when I’d let her out at night (with the snow, she just can’t distinguish where it ends), before I let her out now, I put her 20’ long leash on her so I can “reel her out” and “reel her back in”….and keep her from taking a space walk.

Two nights ago, she came in and I was trying to get her leash unsnapped but she was in a hurry and was tugging. That puts pressure on her little neck so then she started coughing. But we got disconnected and she trotted down the hall towards the kitchen. Before I could get the doors completely closed, I heard a small racket. I came out to the living room and Chewy was lying on the floor. She looked like all four legs were stiff and her head was thrown back. This reminded me of what happened when she was on Ace (we tried that before taking her for a grooming but it had very bad side effects on her). The Ace would give her a seizure of some kind and she would be totally stiff with her head back…and you could NOT push her head down very easily. I picked her up, expecting her to be stiff (although she hadn’t had ANY meds of any kind) and she was as limp as a wet rag. I cried for Dan and took off down the hall with her. He took her from me and was trying to stimulate her by rubbing her body. I realized her little pink tongue was sticking out part way and it looked like her jaw was clamped down. He got her mouth open and she seemed to start to “come to”. I sat and held her because if she was going to die, she was going to die in my arms knowing that she was loved. She continued to be limp but was still alive. I lay down with her and held her on my chest (I was getting hives by now because I couldn’t get under the covers). For the past couple of years, Chewy has not wanted to be held so this was really worrisome that she was allowing me to hold her.

She finally rousted enough that she no longer wanted to be held so I got her settled in her bed. Whatever this was that happened to her took a LOT out of her. She continued to be limp and disinterested in anything but at least she stayed in bed and stayed covered.

We didn’t know what to expect the next morning but she got up and wanted to eat. She seemed tired but yet was restless. I called the vet and asked her if she thought she’d had a stroke or if it could be her heart and the vet felt it was not a stroke but was more likely her heart. I’d told her that she was off the Xanax and things had been going good without it for about 3 nights or maybe a bit longer.

The vet called back a bit later and said that she had done some research since we had spoken earlier and thought that maybe Chewy was having withdrawal symptoms from the Xanax. Some of the things she read to me made sense so I want to believe that is what it was.

She was very restless and pacing back and forth yesterday a.m. so about 11a.m. I gave her ½ a Xanax. It seemed to help her because she finally settled down and went to her bed. She got up and had her supper and had a good appetite and even pranced around the kitchen while I was preparing her food. At bedtime, I gave her the other ½ of the Xanax. She was outside at 8 p.m. and she got up and started wandering about 11 p.m. so I let her out. Let me just say it was either a long night or a short night. I’m not sure how to look at it. She was up and down and in and out a couple of times. I finally had to give her something to eat about 2 a.m. so she’d come back to bed and stop going to the kitchen. She was up at 4 a.m., then at 4:30 Nick decided HE needed out. I finally gave up getting any more sleep and got up at 6. She then slept till 8:30 (of course).

But all day today she has been up and down the hall way, inside and out, shivering but not wanting me to hold her to keep her warm. She won’t stay in her bed. She’ll set staring into space and shiver. If I put an extra blanket over her, she gets up and leaves. She is wearing her knit full length sweater but she still is cold. She always is cold; guess she takes after me. She finally ate a little bit ago and HAS gone to her bed. I’m hoping since she was awake so much today that she will sleep like a log tonight.

It is always a difficult decision to put your pet to sleep. We’ve been looking at the past couple of months as hospice care for Chewy. She really doesn’t seem to be in pain. She gets excited when you are going to feed her and sometimes barks and as I said prances around. She will struggle fiercely to get free of anyone trying to hold her, so you wouldn’t think she was in pain.

I know they make meds for doggy dementia, but they don’t always work and even if they do they take a LONG time to show any progress. I think that IS part of her problem. If Dan and I had jobs away from here instead of being self employed, we would HAVE to have her put to sleep because she can’t be left alone anymore. She also has pancreatic problems but we pretty much have that under control with her diet and acidophilus made for dogs.
I am so tired in the morning when I get up because of her being restless at night. I have to keep an eye out for her during the night. We are just plain tired….

This probably sounds like an awful thing to pray for, but I DO pray that God will make the decision for me and just let my little girl go to sleep peacefully. She gets so scared going to the vet and I just know she would fight us with every ounce of gumption she has to avoid being stuck with a needle. How could I justify putting her to sleep if she struggles? I would like to be holding her close though when He takes her…and hopefully she won’t be struggling to get free of being held. I pray that she lets me hold her and knows that I love her and just peacefully fades away









2 comments:

  1. Cathy, I'm so sorry about your little dog. I have had to take mine in when they have gotten to the point that I could do no more for them. It is a very hard thing to do and many tears are shed. I wish she could just go to sleep so you wouldn't have to take her. Life is not easy and the end can be a struggle. God bless. Barb

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  2. Barb, thank you for your caring post. Chewy had a better night last night. I only had to get up once with her and only had to recover her a couple of times. Maybe all the jitters yesterday were from going back ON Xanax. But, she is 14 and I know what is around the bend...

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