This is a subject close to my heart right now.
Apache is 11-1/2 dispite him getting all jammed up by his hind quarters he still acts like he's rearing to go. He was diagnosed with Bells Palsey a few months ago which left him wich partial paralisis on his left side. He can't get up the small step on the deck unless he's facing it from his right side. When he gets jammed up he will keep trying, I see his frustration building, he might give out a whine but he doesn't give up. If I take the sling and try to help him he gets growly but eventually stops his protest. So for him I do think because he's such a proud out going dog he has the need to do for himself. Sometimes he gets jammed up on the ramp too but again he knows he has to start at the bottom and not the middle of the ramp. He will keep positioning himself till he has it right.
Kiya, 10yrs old, she has a hard time getting up and of course rather than lay on the rug she lays on the bare floor. I think she's become more dependent (not sure if that's really the word) if I see her having a hard time I'll tell her "wait I'll help you" and I push up on her butt. The new problem is sometimes when I get her up theres poop. of course I don't scold her but she looks at me with those eyes and I can't help but wonder.
I pray for peacefully in their sleep but we know how that goes.
I do believe dogs do have a sense of dignity and as long as they show some effort I'm ok with that.
Apache - Shiloh Shepherd 12/15/02
Kiya - Shiloh Shepherd 5/15/04
Lakota - WGSD 1/13/10