My parents had to put their dog, Jordy down yesterday. We all knew it was coming but it is still very sad. He was quite old and we all thought he would go sooner but after some serious set-backs and a few canceled appointments to have him put to sleep because he bounced back a little, it was finally time for him to go. That natural instinct is to let them live their lives out to the very end and die naturally, but that's what we ended up doing with our old dog, Boone and in retrospect we realize the kinder thing would've been to put him down a couple weeks earlier than when he actually died. He died in my husband's and my lap at home an hour before his appointment to be put to sleep, and I think it ended up being the right thing for him because we knew he wanted to die at home - he was a rescue dog and terrified of the vet. But he suffered so much those last couple weeks but we kept up false hope he would turn a corner and get well. I've since heard there are vets who will make house calls to put your dog to sleep in your own home and that would've been the best thing to do for Boone.
So, Jordy wasn't suffering yesterday, but his health was so bad that my parents and his vet were afraid he would not live through the drive to Arizona that they start today and didn't want him to die somewhere unfamiliar and uncomfortable. I can't imagine my parents without a dog. I was brought home from the hospital after I was born into a house with dogs and I don't remember our family ever not having dogs or cats. I'm always amazed by people who grew up with no pets. I understand the people who are too allergic to have them, but I am baffled by people who just have no interest in having pets. I know there are benefits (no puking on the carpet and then trying to eat it - kittens!!! Grumble ...), not having to clean up all that fur, the furniture not getting ruined, no pricey vet bills. But having grown up surrounded by animals I can't imagine it any other way.
Meanwhile, back in my world I have another arthritis flare-up going on. It came on yesterday because I over did it planting new plants in the strip up on the street behind our cul-de-sac. Between that and that I haven't been able to take Enbrel for two months now it smacked me down last night. The thyroiditis is finally gone and I think the cold I've been fighting off is finally going away so I think I can take the Enbrel this weekend but I'm also being pro-active with the other stuff that helps like going out for a mile long walk this morning and taking a hot bath. I wanted to go jogging because the boot camp sergeant in my head says I need to "get out and get moving" but the sane part of me (when did that part show up???) reminded me that over-exertion brings on and makes flare-ups worse (like yesterday's shoveling in clay/gravel crappy dirt experience) so I just walked. It was still nice walking in the rain in the woods. Until the pitbull tried to attack some guy's little drop-kickable dog. That was embarrassing.
This is the first day in what seems like a long time where I can actually be home and catch up on stuff I need to do here without having to run off to work, or training for my horse, or some sort of long, extended errand, or off to look at a new stable. It would be nice if things stay calm and I can just keep my horses where they are because looking for a new stable is about as stressful as looking for a new house for us. Ok ... it is more so because there is less of a selection.
It is going to be hard to keep myself from getting my parents a new dog, especially when we go down to Arizona to visit them at Spring Break. My cousin has a new litter of Australian Shepherds who are "pet quality" (not fit to sell as an expensive show dog) and one is apparently a Red Merrel but that's not my decision to make and they might decide they don't want a dog for awhile. Even though I can't imagine it doesn't mean it's not the right decision for them.