the elderly years

As Rusty’s muzzle and facial hair whitened, other age related symptoms appeared. He did not jump on the couch anymore. He no longer had the endurance for the runs in the yard. He took longer breaks in between jaunts. 

He would carefully decide where he wanted to lay down so he wasn’t in the way and have to move again. I was giving him glucosamine and acetamenophin, but he still moved like an old man.  In this photo he is a tired looking old dog that I was not ready to put down. 

16 years old
16 years old

He would still greet me when I came home from work. He would still go to the bedroom to sleep and if I didn’t following within a certain amount of time, he would come back out to get me.

When he started needing to go outside more often, especially in the middle of the night, I knew his time was near.  Then he started having a hard time holding it in until I got home to let him out. I bought him pee pads. He was not eating much, but he did drink his water. I loved him so. I figured he might die in his sleep, on his own. I did not want to make an appointment to put him down. I did not want to decide the day that he should die! This was a gut wrenching subject.DC0262The above picture was taken with a flash, so his face is extra white!

I did check into an animal clinic emergency room in Monroeville that would take walk ins. So I knew how they operated just in case. 

The day did come.  August 12, 2012, the grandchildren were over. Their dad was cooking steak, corn on the cob, etc. I offered Rusty a small piece nice and juicy. He sniffed it and turned his head away. I knew then that today was the day. I told the kids that after I drove them home that I was taking Rusty to the emergency room in Monroeville.

I did not make the decision. Rusty was telling me that it was his time. He knew I needed his ok, a message. When he did not even lick the meat, but turned his head, I gently hugged him and cried. I was sorry for letting him suffer so long.

We had our own little room at the hospital, he laid down on a comfortable rug and I sat beside him.  The doctor came in, sat with us on the floor and told me what was going to happen. She was very respectful and the staff was very caring. All was over about 10:30 pm. He went to rest peacefully.

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