A gross title for a gross subject.
I can’t do this anymore. I have lost count of the number of towels my dog has soiled so badly that I just threw them away instead of washing them in the machine. Last night when I took him out I accidentally stepped in some and tracked it in the house before I knew it. So there I was at 11 p.m., vacuuming the carpet, cleaning up stains, and mopping the floors in the family room and kitchen with an antibacterial disinfectant.
This morning I was greeted with a noxious odor that I knew signified another accident. So, after making sure nothing was attached to his feet, I got him outside to eat and then came back in to clean and disinfect the master bathroom, which is where we confine him nowadays. I scrubbed and then bleached the floor…and then saw that he left a trail of poop outside on the pool deck. That’s another mess to clean up. If I don’t get to it, he’ll eat it. Yes, that’s disgusting, and it’s something he never used to do. He just isn’t the same doggy anymore.
So I let him back inside and put him in the shower because some of his accident was smeared all over his tail and the backs of his legs. The slippery floor was too much for him, and he just sat there until I was able to get in with him and lift up his back end for him. Then I had to clean the floors all over again from the water he sloshed everywhere when he shook off after the shower.
God is so good. He must have known this would happen today…so after cleaning up the mess last night when I called the automated Jury Duty line to confirm today’s summons, I found out that I was no longer needed. Yea! At least I didn’t have to do all that cleaning before the sun came up this morning while trying to get out the door.
But the fact remains that I have to consider his quality of life. What dog willingly sleeps in all that mess? He doesn’t chase the ball anymore. He doesn’t play with toys. He can’t get up on the couch to snuggle unless I put him up there…but his attempts and cries when he fails break my heart. I got him some pet stairs, but he doesn’t understand how to use them. Even if he understood, I don’t think his back legs are capable of walking up them. I feel like we’re grasping at straws…for what? To selfishly hold on to him even though he’s in pain?
We are changing his medicine tomorrow in hopes that it might reduce pressure on the nerves back there that the accidents can be more controlled and especially in hopes that his pain will be lessened. But I’m going to cover his ears and then ask my vet about our end-of-life options. I can’t believe I just wrote those words. What do you do with a special pet who has died? In the olden days, dad just buried them out in the yard. I think our city has regulations about that. And besides, his best years have not been here at this house. So maybe we’re looking at the other. I can’t even write the word or bear to think about it right now.
My husband and I are both despondent. This is our first “baby” we’re talking about. What am I even thinking?? Lord, please give me strength!
I could write about him all day…but won’t. I have some outdoor messes to clean up, and then I’m going to let him enjoy the warm sunshine. He likes sleeping in the sun, and today is a rare day. It feels like spring outside. I hope he dreams of chasing endless tennis balls.
For now, here’s a picture of him from his better days. He’d been playing outside in our yard in Austin. It was hot. But look at that doggy smile! Pure bliss!