I have an older dog, age 14, who has always had problems getting around. He's overweight, but he is still is happy ol' self. Since early spring, his mobility has worsened and it is becoming harder and harder for him to stand up, walk, sit, etc. He hasn't gone faster than a walk in years, but it is now that time has caught up with him.
We've taken him to the vet for shots to help with his joints and arthritis, and they've helped but he still has difficulties. I've begged and pleaded with my parents to get him on a better diet plan, maybe some supplements, and to be more consistent with the routine shots. They've done very little other than buy a dog food with small traces of glucosemine and chondriton(sp?). If I had the means to help him, I would.
This dog is my childhood. I remember the day that my dad brought him home as an awkward "puppy". His then owners thought that he was ugly and were going to have him put down, so my dad put him in the passenger seat of his work truck and he was home. Charlie has been with use for 13 of his 14 years, and in those 13 years, we've grown older and wiser together. With Charlie, he is more my dad's dog than anyone else's, but I still love him and even see him as my four legged "little brother". I've protected him, and he has done so much more for me. I've spoken my darkest secrets, wildest dreams, and all he while, he listens. He may not have understood anything I said, but I understood that he could feel how I felt. He's been my rock for many things. I know he is the only one who will listen to me, even if what I have to say is stupid.
I never really have looked back on our time together because I'm still feel like a five year old who thinks her big bad wolf will never die. Now I'm 18, and I realize his time is almost up. I don't want it to be real. I don't want to have to walk through the vet's office to meet his maker. I want him to go when it's his time, and not be in pain.
But he is in pain, and it's my responsibility to keep him from being in pain. I just don't want to let him go! I want to be selfish, and hold onto him forever, and to have him be my children's protector. I want him to chase away their nightmares, and lay at the end of their beds to make sure the monsters don't get them. Most of all, I want him to live forever. To be there when I'm old, and when my nightmares come, to chase them away as well.
I know I can't live in this fantasy while he suffers.
Tonight is what broke me and finally made it clear that he's almost done here, bound for better things in bigger places.
Every night, when my parents go to bed, my dad asks Charlie if he's ready for bed. Charlie sits up, perks his ears and seems to say 'yes, I am.'
Well, after my dad did the usual routine, he walked into their bedroom and waited on Charlie to come.
I watched him struggle to stand up, and everytime he tried, he only slid forward on his rear. I had to help him get off the floor so he could walk. My heart broke.
I'm crying as I type this, and everything seems to blurr together.
How can I tell my parents that it's time? They won't listen, they'll just say 'Well, we'll just take him to the vet for another shot.'
Those shots won't make him live forever, they just slightly prolong the inevitable. I know I can't even talk to them without getting emotional. How could I not when he's been there for all of my favorite childhood memories?
I don't want him to suffer, and he's starting to go down hill fast. It breaks my heart knowing that his mind is still there but his body just can't keep up anymore. I know the best thing to do for him is to make it as painless as possible. To say our goodbyes with he's happy, and not miserable from the pain. I owe him that, and so do my parents, but coming to the agreement that is the hard part. I don't know how to calmly explain without crying like a baby. I want to be an adult about this, so as to make my point that much clearer.
It's unreal to think of a life without him, but soon I'll have to make it real. Whether I want to or not, it's the best thing for him. :'(
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