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    Here for a good time, not a long time

    blog, Cats, Dogs,

    It’s with a heavy heart I share with you that my beloved Hollie has passed away. She was only 11½ years old and while she was very unwell there’s a bit of me that feels robbed of sharing a longer life with her. I especially feel this as I rescued her five and a half years ago when she was 6 and I felt I needed to give her at least the same amount of time with me as she had spent in her previous life.

    This all feels even worse as she took matters into her own hands at the end and passed away on her own terms. I had planned for euthanasia but not in enough time for her, so I’m even more distraught. Euthanasia is such a hard decision to make and we focus so much on the future it can sometimes be hard to be in the present, and in particular our pets’ present.

     

    What do our pets know?

    Focussing on how, when and why we euthanize pets brought back a conversation that pretty much sums up my attitude towards the pressure we put ourselves under to prolong our pets’ lives as much as possible.

    Our elderly cat LB was very arthritic and needed to start some painkillers. These were known to be a factor in kidney disease, so my vet and I had a discussion about starting them as LB was 17 years old and had very early renal disease signs. From an owner point of view that was scary because if I chose to start her on medication was I hastening her towards her grave? If I didn’t medicate her though, she was living in pain daily.

    Unlike us our pets aren’t planning for a long-term future. She wasn’t struggling in her litter tray thinking that if she rested more and didn’t start painkillers she’d see her grandchildren grow up. Our pets live in the present much more than we do. I respected that and I started her on painkillers and in my vets words “she’s here for a good time, not a long time”.

     

    They don’t always follow the plan

    LB didn’t agree with that and refused to succumb to any renal issues and lived another 5 years on the painkillers, and in the end it was the arthritis that became too much, rather than the renal issues. She had lived a pain free and happy existence and I was so happy with the choices we made.

    Hollie also didn’t follow my plan (I see a theme from my pets). I had decided that there wouldn’t be any further diagnostics, she was doing OK in hospital and so I’d take her home for a night then euthanize her at home the next day. The vets agreed with this plan and so we were all set for the next day. Only Hollie didn’t know this and decided it was time to go. She always was an independent and stubborn dog and stayed true to this until the end and I have to accept that.

    She was here and had a fabulous time with me so I can’t be sad over this extra 6 months I hoped to give her for my own well-being rather than hers. Enjoy your wings my little angel, you are much missed.

     

    All shapes and sizes

    Dogs,

    Just like people, pets come in all shapes and sizes and with different levels of ability at most things in life. I have limited flexibility and it’s probably quite amusing to watch me in yoga classes attempting ‘sun warrior’… essentially I’m just standing upright looking at the ceiling, and people say yoga is hard! (more…)

    ‘Lead’ership skills

    Dogs,

    As a dog owner and vet nurse I’m often caught between the two worlds. I know there are things I do as a dog owner that I wouldn’t advise as a vet nurse, and vice versa – for now I’ll save the really juicy ones for another time but today I’m pondering the practical issues around the retractable dog lead. In fact I’ll go as far to say I’m speaking out as a dog owner in defence of the retractable lead. (more…)

    The trouble with Pekes…

    Dogs,

    Yes, I’m a vet nurse and a Pekingese owner. In fact Hollie isn’t even my first Peke, we had Wilson before her. Both are rescue dogs and I will always encourage people to #adoptdontshop and in particular to adopt a golden oldie – they have so much to give.  I adored the personality of the breed, and Hollie and Wilson individually, so much they have turned me into a Breed Specific Owner – a BSO. (more…)

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