Wednesday, August 15, 2012

My Elderly Dog

 I took our ancient 

miniature schnauzer to the only groomer in town that would still take him. Did you know most groomers take notes? Yep, poor old Tommy Pickles has a bad reputation. Honestly, it's well deserved. He has a history. But anyway, as I was saying, he got groomed today. The first time this year because the truth is we expected him to die. We still stop and make sure he's breathing when he's napping in the shade. It didn't help that flies buzzed all around him.

I'm not posting a picture of him today because I'm blogging from a new app on my iPad and decided to leave you with a picture of youth and beauty- my two oldest children .

Tommy turned 14 this spring; he has arthritis, is going deaf and blind and I. Pretty sure he's senile too. He keeps forgetting to bite us. He wanders in circles around the yard most of the day. He seems happy though and he isn't falling over anymore since the summer weather kicked in. 

I have been chastised repeatedly for not euthanizing him. They say it would be the kind thing to do, and it would be if he were still suffering, but he's not anymore. ( maybe he's forgotten to suffer?)  I haven't been able to bring myself to take him to the vet though. I've had him longer than a couple of my children! 

I watched him wander happily and aimlessly  in circles today and it occurred to me that when our old retriever was 16 or so and got this old and tired she went to her doghouse and took a nap.She never woke up. She didn't have the trauma of being loaded in the car for " that fateful trip to the vet" -she hated car rides! We just let her wear out. That's what I'd prefer for Tommy too, if I get that choice. It all makes me wonder at us, people who are uncomfortable with the old and infirm. It's much nicer to not have to take care of a blind old dog who is a danger to himself, is incontinent, and no longer does his job of barking at strangers. Is euthanizing him just practical for this busy life we live? He's outlived his usefulness? I know it's just a dog I'm talking about but when people can put down their beloved pets for those reasons doesn't it seem like it's a short walk to euthanizing people? I mean, babies are aborted everyday for reasons less than that. Much less, sadly. 

If and when my little old dog is suffering again I may have to take that trip to the vet, but for now he's comfortable and happy even if he does look like something the other dog found buried and dug up. Sheesh, beauty is fleeting. remind me to keep that in mind as I try to age gracefully. I'm sure glad our society isn't full of Nazi's who want to euthanize the elderly now that I'm getting older. Aren't you?

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