My senior is going to be 15 next month. I have had him since his birth. He has some sort of nerve problem, either genetic or due to a possible injury. It started about 5 years ago with an occasional dragging of the left rear. Then I noticed he was loosing muscle mass in the thighs. It has progressed to where he occasional will poo in his sleep. He has a difficult time getting up and he sometimes falls down.
He is starting to get some arthritis, as all old dogs do. Last visit to the vet, (he weighed 106) the vet said he has a heart problem, most likely enlarged heart.
His mind is sharp and he still loves to eat and go for walks. Some days are better then others. The other day, he couldn't even control his left leg. Sometimes he knuckles so much he makes his toenails bleed. I had a pair of socks on him, to protect his toes.
I keep asking myself, is it time? I ask myself, would I want to die if I was having a hard time getting up, no I wouldn't. Not as long as there was somebody willing to help me. He turns to me for help, and I am there as I have been his entire life.
I find myself becoming frustrated. I don't want to put him down because I have become tired, or because I can not afford vet care. I mean, hey, he is almost 15. How much sense would that be to put a bunch of money out to try to prevent something that is going to happen anyway.
I feel like, I want to be in control of when he goes. I sometimes hope that he will just die in his sleep, so I don't have to make the choice. I want to be there and help him pass in peace. I don't want to have some medical emergency happen where he is in pain and has to go to the vet and have those be his last moments. I feel I need to do it, before that happens.
I am going to miss him, he has been my buddy for a long time.
What factors helped you to choose when it was time? Do you feel you waited to long to make the choice? Did you stay until the end? (A girlfriend of mine did and she said she can't get it out of her mind and I should not stay)
Thank you for listening.