Tuesday, August 19, 2008

When love isn't enough

We adopted our German Shepherd, Cusco, over 4 years ago. He was a senior dog at the time and we knew that our time with him would be limited. Nevertheless, we wanted to give him a few good years in a loving home. Cusco has given us more love and loyalty than we will ever be able to return to him, even if he lived the next 30 years. But, now it seems that the time has come to say good bye to our giant cuddle bug. His back end no longer works and he has lost much of his control over his bladder and bowels. His mind is still complete though, and that makes it even harder to say good bye. He can no longer go for walks, or fetch his favorite tennis ball. He can't herd us anymore or bring us his ball over and over again. He can still love us though, and we can still love him. But for a working dog, I am not sure that love is enough to keep him happy and living a quality life. Tomorrow, we will take him to the vet for a final assessment and opinion that will either confirm or reject my instinct that the time has come. I pray that we have given him the full and happy life every dog deserves to live.

17 comments:

Brandy said...

I'm so sorry it looks like you may have to say goodbye to your precious friend. I have been there and it's so hard but at the same time it's good to know that you've done everything you can to make their lives full and good. My thoughts are with you.

Cate said...

Oh, I am so sorry. But you are doing the right thing. If only everyone was able to die with such love and dignity intact.

Aurelia said...

This is likely coming at a good time for him. Really, who wants to stay alive like that? I wouldn't, so why would a dog?

Eliza said...

What a sweet face he has! If it's any consolation your house sounds like Dog Heaven, and I'm sure he has enjoyed it. Also, I think it's so much more merciful to end it if they're like that and can't recover; what kind of working dog wants that?

Electronic Goose said...

I'm so sorry to read this. It sounds like you really care, so I'm sure you gave him the best four years of his life.

Shelter dogs are the best.

Sara said...

I'm very, very sorry. Poor sweet Cusco.

You guys were great Dog Parents to him, and you've done right by him and I know you'll do right by him tomorrow, confirm or reject...

(hugs)

BerryBird said...

Oh, Nicole. I am so, so sorry.

Caro said...

I'm so sorry.

Nadine said...

Oh Nicole, how sad. You have so much love to give. I'm sure he had a very happy home with you.

Cibele said...

I am so sorry

Sarah said...

oh what a beautiful dog. you can see in his eyes what a sweet and loving guy he is. it takes guts to make the decision. my parents didn't in your situation and to this day regret what that dog went through. if it is his time, i'm sorry for your loss.

Jason and Samantha said...

I'm so sorry. And its always a tought decision to put down a family pet.

Dino aka Katy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dino aka Katy said...

i am so sorry. We thought we had to make this decision earlier this year but Shawnna made the decision for us and died mere minutes after I got home.

LIW (Lady In Waiting) said...

I nearly burst into tears when I read this post. Good luck - I know how hard that decision is and how hard it is to say goodbye like that!!!

Happy to hear that Pepper is doing well and that you are getting accustomed to motherhood!!! I would be lying if I didn't tell you, though, that I am very concerned by your choice of cleaning the house over taking your meds.....PLEASE take care of yourself. The house can ALWAYS wait.

As for the scars you reference in an earlier post, my Ex had the same and for probably the same reasons. I kissed each and every one in the hope that that would help her heal. But I learned the hard way that only she could alter her thinking about them and about why she did it.

XOXOXO

BlackenedBoy said...

I'm sorry that you're going through that. One of the worst parts about having a pet is that they will eventually get old and die in what seems such a short amount of time.

I am amazed that the dog we bought as a puppy when I was five or so is now elderly and nearing the end of her life.

K77 said...

I'm so sorry. I'm glad your gorgeous dog had some wonderful years with you.