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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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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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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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.
 

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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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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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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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:eek: Wow, thanks everyone for your support. Sorry it's taken awhile to post back. It's been a long week. Im actually in better spirits today because Misty seems to be having a good day. She had a HORRIBLE night last night...But for whatever reason, she got out this afternoon and "hopped" around her favorite trees and bushes and rolled in the dirt..When she made it back up to the porch, I was loving on her and noticed she had fleas on her..They're getting bad here already, so I gave her a bath. She's mad at me now, and that's kinda funny because I see the same ole pouty girl now. (she likes outside baths,, not bathtub baths,, she is afraid of the bathroom now because of the tile...she's lost here footing in there a couple of times too and fell :( So anyway, she has her butt on her shoulders and is giving me the stink eye, which feels awesome because it tells me she still has fight in her! :hug: I am thinking about trying one of those hip harnesses--Has anyone tried on or something like it? Orthopedic Brace - Hip Hound - Small
As for pictures--that is me and her about 2 years ago in my Avatar--but here are a few others--
 

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15 years! Congratulations to her and to you for being able to have her so long. I hope my girl makes it to 15, I will be 80 so we will both be walking the same speed if we are lucky.
Going through the last phase is so difficult for everybody (and dog).
 

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Misty is absolutely beautiful:wub::wub: thank you for sharing your story with us! Looking at the pics of her, she represents the breed perfectly!:) Strong, Loyal and Loving
 

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Misty is beautiful. She has the sweetest eyes. Thanks for sharing those pictures. Always nice to see the they can still pout and glare.
 

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Thank you! I may be a little prejudice, but I think she's the most beautiful dog ever too! :p I was really tickled she was being snotty today--I even threw a crumpled up piece of paper at her and she ripped it up! STILL has the puppy attitude sometimes! I made it up to her though, once she dried off and brushed her and "vacuumed" her and she LOOOOOVESSS LOVVESS to be vacuumed! She even kinda tried to roll on her back and let me get her stomach. Maybe there still are quite a few better days left in here. The fall last week may have just been extra hard on her--and maybe me not letting her out alone at all because Im scared has kinda depressed her. But after letting her take her walk today..She's a lot better--although you think she'd be sore, but I guess the spirit and determination of a Shepherd refuses to listen to pain. I am going to back off and quit panicking everytime she stumbles, maybe Im making her nervous because she senses my worry.:crazy: Either way, I haven't near giving up on her yet..I think Im seriously contemplating now getting her a dog cart--not chair--much more affordable, and use it as needed...and perhaps the harness to keep on..Any thoughts?
 

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That cart sounds like a great idea and the harness. Daisy can still be a brat but is also the sweetest girl . I understand the worry and the need to keep them safe and well.
 

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Seeing this now with my Mats who is ten years old. So painful. She is slower and has some incontinence.
 

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Hi Mary and Misty,

Thank you for sharing your story with us. It really is one of love and compassion especially you jumping into the pool and getting pneumonia. You give her a wonderful life and I'm sure she cherishes every moment with you. Please keep us posted about Misty and show us some pictures c:

We're here to support you.
Oh I see you posted postures. I'll be going though them now!
 
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