She's getting old--Its breaking my heart-- - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 12:25 PM Thread Starter
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She's getting old--Its breaking my heart--

Hi,
Im Mary--Misty's Mom. Im new here to the forum. Misty is my 15 year old GS--Will be 16 this November. She was diagnosed definitively with HD around 3, although she showed signs even before a year. She was OFA certified-but Im sure some of you know how that goes...15 years later--she has lived one **** of a life. I have NEVER EVER had a better friend or companion. I've got AMAZING stories about her I could share! I can't remember a time without her. And I can't imagine a day without her. She has become a permanent fixture in my life. Through break-ups, losses of people, health problems, raising kids, losing jobs, she has always been here with me--steadfast--never changing. She is one of the true constants in my life. We have done it all together from hunting trips on snowy hillsides tracking deer to lazy days on sandy beaches. All it takes to please her is me!

So her health story-- She has been on the best of diets, GC, steroid injections, supplements--you name it. However, about two years ago--she started having serious stomach problems. She lost her appetite, vomited, had diarrhea, dark urine-accidents in the house--Everything checked out ok, other than elevated liver enzymes--which I knew was coming from symptoms. So I decided to stop meds. I thought at that point I was coming to the Quality of life decision.

Her appetite came back though and stomach problems disappeared.

Two years off any supplements or meds, and mainly raw diet-I'll admit at her age--She gets what she wants-This winter hit her hard. She was outside walking by the pool and lost her legs out from under her and fell in---This was her favorite place--I immediately jumped in and got her out. I got pneumonia--She was laid up for about 3 weeks- but no acute injuries--Her HD/arthritis is really taken its toll.

Over the last couple of months--Im starting to also maybe suspect some DM. She has cataracts, and loss of hearing--But still had the joy in her eyes--that spirit and fire they have!

This last month, and particularly this last week, she has fallen and struggles more and more. I guess Im just venting and rambling. Im not READY for what seems to have snuck up on me.

My biggest problem is letting her go just because she can't walk, when otherwise her health is ok, and I see she isn't ready in her eyes. Yet, it rips my heart out to see her struggle to get up and drag her legs and fall. We lift her back end up to help her maneuver around. But I don't know who we are helping--her or me. Im sure she has pain--but at her age I think it has been so chronic, she doesn't act like it..

More than anything, I would say a lack of pain or high tolerance of it-has been her worst enemy. She has ALWAYS been an active lady. She is settled to about 3 different places. Beside my bed, beside my computer chair, or under our palm tree in the sand by the pool. She can still get herself up and go out to potty--we help some and she moves from these 3 places as I do.

Im not really asking questions I guess. Like I said just rambling. I had always hoped the end would take me by surprise, or in her sleep. I wasn't prepared to perhaps have to decide when its the end. Im PISSED her legs are quitting on her when her mind is still sharp and her heart still has joy-I can't make the decision to let go when I still see Misty when I look in her eyes. At her age--I refuse any surgery or meds. Her days are mostly sleeping in comfort and sometimes barking at a passerby--She enjoys a ball thrown her way--and cataracts and all she can still catch it even lying down. Her favorite thing to carry around is a piece of 1 1/2 pvc. I've spent the last two days looking at dog wheelchairs and braces online--and ended up here...Im a lost soul right now.....just sharing my story.

GS Misty 15.5 yrs
"Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog."

Last edited by JeanKBBMMMAAN; 04-11-2012 at 12:42 PM. Reason: I edited in some paragraphs because it's really good info
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 12:36 PM
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What a heart tugging story, you have been very lucky to have gotten to share her love and companionship for going on 16 years. It is such a heart wrenching decision that we all have to make at sometime in our life, and it is harder each time.

I am sure your precious girl Misty will let you know when it is time, in the meantime enjoy each day with your girl and make even more memories.

I will keep both you and your girl in my prayers, thank you for sharing your touching story with us.

karen, mom to:
ace-gsd (bi-color) 6/14/2010
mandy-yellow lab 1/31/2009
dixie-shep/lab 2/21/2013

baby-terrier mix (waiting at the bridge)
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 12:40 PM
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Hi and welcome. 15 Thats great, your so lucky to have her so long (not saying thats long enough).
I have been watching my 2 getting older. Apache turned 9 in December. We lost our GSD Cheyenne when he was about 9. My girl Kiya will be 8 in May.
Your not alone, there are a lot of us that really understand how you feel.

Carolyn
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Wolfen - WGSD 12/31/14
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Apache - Shiloh Shepherd 12/15/02 - 6/9/15
Kiya - Shiloh Shepherd 5/15/04 -12/19/25
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 12:43 PM
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I feel your pain. My old girl is 14 and we are in the same boat. Cataracts, hearing loss, DM. She sleeps a lot and has trouble getting up. Some days, the rear drags more than others. She still eats well and is as curious as ever. She sticks her nose into every nook and cranny - every box and bag that comes into the house. She still enjoys a good bark session. She still seeks attention and likes to wander around the yard with me. She doesn't really play anymore. She doesn't seem to be in any pain. Just losing the use of her rear legs. I too wonder how long to wait. I keep hoping she goes in her sleep, but realize that is probably not going to happen.

Most people here will tell you that our dogs let us know when it is time. For you and me, I just don't think they are there yet. I have no doubt that we will do the right thing, if/when the time comes.

Big hugs to you and your girl.
Jan
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 12:48 PM
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Hi Mary Im Maggi my Daisy is 12 and her hips have really started to give her problems. Your Misty sounds like a wonderful and beautiful friend. My boy Lucky is 10 so I get how difficult their aging is. Just want to say hi Im on lunch at work will check back later. Take care.
Maggi
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 12:56 PM
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Hello and welcome to the board. You are very blessed indeed to have had her for 15 year and counting. I feel for you, it is very hard to make that decision.

Carolina Johnson

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 01:06 PM
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You ARE blessed to have her to 15! My Linus made it that long and much the same story though he did not have HD he was wonky but a great dog. Toby and Cyra were lost at 11 and 9 to hemangiosarcoma and Grim will be 9 in August and I hope to have him for a lot longer.

Cyra was diagnosed with severe HD at 3 and it never once slowed her down. Made me realize how resilient they can be.

Nancy



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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 01:07 PM
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Bless you both. I have been there. A couple of years ago I had to make the decision with one of my english mastiffs (one of my heart dogs). She was 11.5 yrs, which for a mastiff is ancient. The last couple of months it was getting harder and harder for her to get up until she could no more. She was 180lbs so not a dog I could help very much with lifting. I too knew the time had been growing near but it is so hard to face when it arrives. Losing any of my dogs has been hard but hers was especially tough, she was a special special girl.

What a blessing for both of you to have had so much time together! It's so hard, I know you will do what is best for her. You will know when it is time as you will see it in her eyes. I know Lola let me know.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 10:08 PM
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I understand. Misty is still Misty and while the body is slower she still enjoys her life. Daisy went down hill fast in the past year to 15 months .Its why I joined here. She has an appt next week bloodwork and hopefully something to help her move a bit better . She too has chronic pain but sleeps heavily . She is still as stubborn as she was as a pup and will tease her brother given the chance.It sounds as though Misty has a beautiful life w/ you and yours and loves her places and her mom. I wish for you more time and quality time. Hang in there. I would love to see apicture of your beautiful Misty. Daisy sends Misty wishes for some nice steak and lots of naps in the sun.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-12-2012, 01:43 PM
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Wow, 15 is quite a milestone! I feel your pain, after 11 1/2 years, my beloved princess passed away 6 months ago. I feel like this is just too short of a time for a perfect creature to live.
During my time when she was sick, i was told one special quote. "You'll know when the time has come" Until then, for you and Misty, spend every possible moment you can with her and just spoil the crap out of her! make it as easy for her to get in and out of bed, up the stairs if you have to, possibly buy one of these to support her rear legs Dog Harnesses & Slings | Help Dogs Walk with Dog Lift Harness & Slings
I was in the same boat as you and it chokes me up typing this. I hope she lives to 16 if not 17! Do post some pics! Seniors on this forum are treated as royalty!


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