Ya know what? Since Babsy (also 12 years) is over-weight, I've pretty much given up on kibble for her. Since I got the Earthborn Holistic, and have been mixing two varieties of that with my Diamond Naturals, most of my dogs have been scarfing their food. Babs has been eating some of it, but mostly she likes to eat my left-overs. My goal is not for her to live forever. She's probably better off with my food in any case. So she can eat what she wants.
She is 12. She is going to die. I can say that because I have 2 of them, at 12, and 1 at 11 that can go at any time. My goal is that I don't let them suffer. Which is hard because I do not want to consider losing any of these old ladies. But I am not going to run them to the vet every time they turn their nose up at food or limp a bit. They are OLD. 12 for a GSD is ancient. Yes, some do make it to 13 or even 14. But it is rarer and rarer. They have a 13 club because it just doesn't happen all that often. If Babs and Jenna are both with me in August next year, I will be very surprised.
So, I have to face the cold hard facts and that is that they are getting up there. My goal in vetting them has changed. Before, I would rush to the vet and do diagnostics to find anything early so we could combat it right away. Now, for me, it is all about pain management and neither is currently on anything. But if Babsy continues to limp, I am going to give her some rymidyl or one of its names. Not worrying what long-term abuse will do to her on it. She doesn't have long term.
If some pain meds improves her day to day, than I don't have to face the inevitable yet. Don't get me wrong, if one of them busts a toenail and needs it anesthetized and cut off, or something, I'll take them in and do it. But no more blood-work, no vaccines, diagnostics save maybe x-rays if necessary -- that's a toss up. It can give me a better understanding of where we are so I might do that. It is now all about quality of what life we have left now. Babsy has her bed next to mine now, and Quinnie sleeps in my bed. Babs can't get up onto the bed. She never really liked to anyway, she would lay up there for about 3 minutes and then jump off and go to her own bed. Jenna is in heat, so I had to move her puppy outside with another bitch. So he is currently cheating on her, and she is bereft of her boy, and knows he is outside with an Odie-daughter. She is not a particularly happy camper without her boy. But the idea of spaying her at this day and age makes no sense whatsoever. Babsy too. Just keep them separated from Humper (AKA Kojak), the only male with all his bits intact on the place.
But yes there was a time when off we went to the vet because she was leaving food in her dish and seemed a bit off. We've gone for limps and what have you. Now we expect a bit of limping, and going off her feed here an there. It is so sad. They are such a huge part of our lives. Babs and Jenna were from my first litter. There has rarely been a day when I did not talk to them last thing before bed, and first thing when I woke up. They've never spent a night away from home, save Babsy went with me when I delivered those pups for a friend nearly 3 years ago.
Heidi Ho, Odie
Joy-Joy, Bear Cub, Hepsi-Pepsi
Cujo2, Karma Chameleon
Ramona the Pest, Kojak -- who loves you baby?
Tiny Tinnie, Susie's Uzzi, Kaiah -- The Baby Monster.