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Home Again

Well, we got home rather late last night (after 10:30, I think). Amanda, bless her heart, was still here waiting for us. She’d gone to Cottonwood to bring Chewy home before we got here, which was wonderful. Of course, we were exhausted, but it was great — GREAT! — to see all the kids (and, of course, Amanda :) ).

Chewy is so old in appearance now. He’s lost a ton of weight and his ribs are so prominent, his hair is so straggly and thin, and he has difficulty standing (even sitting) for more than a few seconds. But he was soooooooo happy to see us. He really perked up. He’s been lying here in the office by my desk just about all day as I’ve been on teleconferences and working on a large backlog of day-job stuff.

Barbara and I haven’t talked much about it since we got home, so maybe I’m completely off base here, but my gut impression is that Chewy doesn’t have much time left at all. He really isn’t eating much (as you know from the last three weeks of information from Amanda) and we know that he has many medical issues going on now. I leave on Thursday, 11 June, for two weeks in Korea at a business meeting, and I don’t want Chewy to die while I’m gone — I want to be with him, and I don’t want Barbara to have to handle it by herself. So I’m torn: Should we let him go before I leave even if he might have a few days left in him? Or has his quality of life already deteriorated enough that it’s the Right Thing To Do anyway?

All the other kids were doing great, too, and were very happy to see us, as we were to see them. Star and Abby acted like they were going to turn inside out from joy, which was really nice (especially since they’re our own adopted kids).

Unfortunately, my day job is so far behind that I’m still sitting here working at 8:30 PM after starting at about 8:30 this morning. Tomorrow won’t be any better, except that Abby and I get to go to Agility class in the late afternoon! Hooray!

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7 comments to Home Again

  • Glad you and Barbara made it home safe and sound. I’m sure everyone was glad to see you. I’m also glad Chewy made it so that he could see you too. It’s a hard decision about what to do with him. Really it’s all about quality of life. If he can’t sit or stand and isn’t eating…well…maybe he really would be happier over the rainbow bridge with his friends. Hard to say, even harder to do. But the decision will, I’m sure, be based on what’s best for Chewy.

  • cindy

    Glad to see that you are back. I have a sheltie question for you.
    Rockie bit down on my asthma inhaler yesterday morning (yes I was stupid enough to give it to him to carry) and punctured the cylinder giving hisself a monster dose of Albuterol. Poor guy his heartrate shot up to 220 and other important levels plummeted. It was a good thing that he is healthy and gets lots of exercise, his heart was strong enough to handle it all and with meds and some IV’s he was better in just a few hours.
    My question is about the feathering on his legs, which was partly shaved off to accomodate the IV’s. Should I trim the remaining fur to match the shaved section (not shave it just give it a good scissor trim) or will the missing fur and the feathering grow back relatively well? I have never had my shelties legs trimmed so severely and am not sure how fast the fur will return. Thanks buddie!

  • cindy

    Oh I just realized that your post was asking everyone am important question.
    I absolutely hate putting a dog down, it is the saddest day ever but I also hate seeing them suffer. I would probaly go ahead and ease his passing. You have given him so much love and that is all that matters.

  • Cindy, poor Rockie! Ouch…that had to be a stressy event for both of you. I’m glad he’s OK now, though.

    As you undoubtedly know, we have to deal with the save-the-leg-and-insert-an-IV issue all the time. As a consequence of the “all the time” aspect, we just quit caring. The hair either grows back or it doesn’t (in older dogs with certain medical issues, such as hypothyroidism).

    The hair in a younger, healthy dog such as Rockie will almost certainly grow back to the same length and texture as it was before. He might look a little odd for a few weeks, but not much longer. If you’re concerned with people looking at him funny, then you can scissor the other leg back a little bit, but I wouldn’t take too much off even then. As the hair on the shaved spot begins to grow back, the other leg’s hair will also grow, so you might consider scissoring it back again, just a little, until the shaved leg “catches up”, then quit scissoring.

    Make sense?

  • Thanks for your kind words of support for Chewy. Barbara told me this afternoon that the reason he’s so wobbly is because he’s on some blood pressure meds that have that as a side effect. That’s unfortunate, but not permanent.

    The biggest problem right now is that he has no appetite and will not eat by himself. All of our tricks (ice cream, waffles, ground meat, boiled chicken, hot dogs, breakfast cereal, etc.) have no effect right now. So Barbara is syringe-feeding him a prescription liquid diet to keep his nutrients up, as well as giving him subcutaneous fluids a couple of times a day to ensure he’s hydrated.

    If we can get his appetite back, then there’s every reason to believe that he’s got more time left (with decent quality of life). If not, then…well, they depend on us to make the right decisions for them. That’s why we’re paid the big bucks, right?

  • Harleysmom

    Don’t shave anything else, it’ll fill in.

    Glad you two are back safe and sound. We wanted you to have a good time, relax and be safe.
    It will not be an easy decision, Amanda and I went back and forth many times about what the right thing to do was. We finally decided that if you don’t know, then the answer is no. Chewy had a hard life, lets let him have an easy crossing.

  • cindy

    Thanks Jim and Harleys mom I will just scissor it a bit making it look like he has socks on. Poor little guy he gave both me and the vet a scare. The vet ended up having to call the National Center for Animal Poision Control for advice- which was a good thing as their advice was’nt the trac the vet was going to take. (I have a really honest vet, he told me that hisself.) Rockie is doing well.
    I hope your friend Chewy gets enough energy to pass quitely and stress free. It is so hard when they get older and so sad that it is so soon for us. Take care

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