a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Holding Steady

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Holding Steady

SUMMARY: Sunday morning, first day of Daylight Savings Time.

Despite the fact that I slept fine Friday night (except for waking briefly to check that she had made it into the house, which she had), I didn't sleep much last night. Cried a lot. Coming to the conclusion that it will be kinder to send her on her way than keep her here breaks all the dams.

It's so hard to know with dogs. If I were in her state--aware, intelligent, able to eat, could go through the doggie door on my own--well, you know what I mean--but otherwise in a failing body, I don't know whether I'd want to continue.  I don't mean failing in any random way (I'm thinking of Steven Hawking, of course), but in this way, with organs failing and looks like no hope of recovery.  I applaud the right-to-die states that make it legal for someone with a fatal illness that's nearly done with to take a painless way out instead of a long drawn-out agony. Would my friend with cancer have chosen that as the last weeks came and everything fell apart? I don't know.

Anyway, Tika's about the same this morning. Mostly just lying there. Not going towards the light, yet.

Had some "beef soup" eagerly, but again not a lot.

However, she was delighted when I started tossing her pieces of my English Muffin Sausage/Cheese/Egg Sandwich. But-- she wouldn't move if I missed my toss and it was just out of reach, instead just staring intently at it until I came downstairs and fixed that.

(The other dogs gladly move around when there is food afoot for Tika.)

I've said through most of her life that, if Tika had a bowl of food and a squirrel ran past, I don't know which she'd choose. She had a very strong prey drive, and yet she loved loved loved her food. More than any other dog I've had, I think. (And, oddly enough, was one of the pickiest eaters I've ever had, which maybe ties in to how picky she's become over the last year or two.)

So--she is aware--watches me, sometimes, when she can, especially if I have food, but usually doesn't move anything but her eyes to do so. She is intelligent--still can "shake" and "touch" when asked, even if lying down, and just Friday I think was the last time that she was standing up enough for me to ask her to do Right and Left and she did. And she does still loves food--well, depending on what food and when/how often it's offered.

I don't know whether she's in pain. But her body is so clearly failing her.

I'm going to go try some ice cream on her for size.


  1. Such a difficult decision. My heart is with you.

    1. I definitely need to talk to my vet and at least one other on Monday. It's so hard, but between Wednesday and Saturday, things changed hugely. There might be something else to do or try, but I just don't want to keep at it; she has come very close to not being the Tika who she's always been, and this just doesn't look like she's enjoying herself. Except sometimes with eating. :-(

  2. Ellen, I think they tell you when it is time to go. With Tika not getting up for a missed piece of food, maybe she is saying she is tired and ready to move on. She is probably more worried about you than about herself. She knows she will see you again. Take this web address to a wonderful essay about dogs never dying, but keep your tissues close at hand. It will make you feel better whatever you decide. http://www.lifebuzz.com/dogs-never-die/ - Carol Irving

    1. Yes, there are a lot of things that changed drastically starting maybe Tues or Wed and moving down to a crash today. Dang.