January 6, 2011

Decisions...














are never easy for me, I am a ditherer par excellence. Weighing all the options, talking about them endlessly, making lists. Overthinking. And my Emily Pajamas is 17 and in acute renal failure...we have seen this coming for a long time - two years ago they said she could maybe last three months. She had been on meds and a special diet and she also has a great tenacious will but she is doing very poorly now - except she still enjoys us, staggering around, wagging her tail, even when she is most confused she seems to find comfort still...and yet we are supposed to be weighing euthanasia because as the vet said, she is not going to die peacefully in her sleep, it is going to only get much worse. I just cannot seem to find peace in the idea of saying okay to what is most certainly not okay. And yet, she is obviously doing poorly. So, since it comes down to me since she is my dog, I will try to give it another little stretch of time if we can...judging it day by day. For now, I am trying to find my own solace...this song has always been very special to me as I fell in love with Elsa the lioness in grade school and have remained in love. It's a beautiful video to boot.

5 comments:

WOL said...

I've had to make that decision twice now. Once, when my dear sweet Shadow lay on the operating table, the vet having just discovered that the little lump I found was the tip of a huge osteosarcoma -- I chose not to let her awaken from the anesthesia. WIthin the space of 4 hours, my seemingly healthy, happy cat was gone. The second time, I had the vet come to the house and release her dear litter brother Jett from the ravages of diabetes that we had battled for three years, but that now could no longer be controlled. I just sucked it up, called, and made the appointment. They were able to come out the same day, and I had time to say goodbye. He slipped away quietly in his home, in my arms. I had both of them cremated and have their cremains in my bedroom. I chose pretty containers for them and have them on my dresser. Even though they are no longer physically here, they are always in my heart.

I work in the medical profession, and I know about renal failure -- it means Emily's kidneys can no longer do their job of eliminating waste products. They are building up in her body and poisoning her slowly but surely. Her internal organs are failing and beginning to shut down because they are too poisoned to function any more, including her little brain. This is what is causing her confusion. It's called toxic encephalopathy. If you love her, then get with your vet and see if you can get them to come to your house, if not, then you must take her there. Have someone drive you. Do this soon--Like tomorrow. Do this out of love for her. Don't focus on yourself. Focus on her. She needs you now more than ever to be there for her and help her this one last time. You are not betraying her. You are caring for her as you always have by doing her this last act of kindness. You are doing the right thing. It is a very peaceful, painless, quick end to her suffering. Yes, it is hard to let go, but she has come to the end of her sojourn here, and it is time for her to go on to what comes next. She will scout the trail and be waiting for you to lead you into the next part of the journey. You will walk it together. Somewhere there is an animal in a shelter who desperately needs your love. Let Emily Pajamas'legacy be the bequeathing of her happy home to another animal in need. Keep your heart open, and Emily will send the right one to you.

rachel said...

Oh, my heart goes out to you. I have faced this situation so many times with my cats, and it never gets easier. Timing is everything, but so hard to get right, and I rely on a very compassionate vet, who never rushes to euthanase, to guide us through to decision time. When all is said and done, it's an act of deep, loving, selfless compassion, this letting go of a beloved companion. Much sympathy to you....

Susan said...

Good advice that dovetailed with my conversation with the vet...she said to take our time and prepare but not to take too much time...and of course, tonight Emmy has rallied yet again...but the vet did say this will go down faster than slower...I so appreciate your compassionate and thoughtful responses. Thank you.

nan said...

Susan - thinking of you. I do believe you will know. I have to say, when I had to make this decision six years ago, as hard as it was to do, after it was done, I thought I should have done it sooner . . . I too have trouble with decisions at times, and this is one of the most difficult a person can face.

nan said...

Susan - thinking of you. I do believe you will know. I have to say, when I had to make this decision six years ago, as hard as it was to do, after it was done, I thought I should have done it sooner . . . I too have trouble with decisions at times, and this is one of the most difficult a person can face.