Making Those Hard Decisions
I was forced to make a hard decision at 7:30 this morning. The girls and I were about to head out the door for our walk when I noticed that Sadie was still limping.
Our little dog was born with severe hip displasia in both back hips. Neither one of them in is its socket, so they rotate pretty freely and hurt her like crazy. She's also had knee surgery and she's still sensitive on that side. Compensating for these problems doesn't help, so her whole back end is in pretty bad shape. Being nine years old has its own issues attached, I suppose. But this was the first time I had ever made the choice not to take her on her walk. Our morning time as a trio is extremely special and to leave her behind nearly broke my heart. I took her back inside and removed her leash. She ran/limped right back to the door, excited to go, but I knew she wouldn't make it without severe discomfort. So Bailey and I went alone for the first time in years. When we got through our route and got back to the house, Sadie was waiting at the door to sniff Bailey's feet to see where she'd been. Then we went through our normal breakfast routine and they both crashed on the living room floor. After belly rubs, of course. In the end it's probably not that huge of an issue for any of us, but it seemed like it at the time. Having an aging or injured pet is a difficult time for anyone with a soft heart. We just want them to be happy and healthy, and it breaks our hearts when they're not and we can't make it any better. As your own pet ages, watch for signs of weight problems, change in mood and behavior, difficulties moving and differences in eating. Animals age very similarly to the ways we do, so be aware of their special needs as they age. So for now we're just watching and being careful with our aging girls. We'll slow down as they slow down, and there will be days when we'll have to change up the routine a little. Of course they each have some troubles just like their humans do, so they're just taking life one day at a time - stopping to smell the roses, and whatever else happens to be laying around.