When we adopted Phoenix 2 years ago we knew that she was older but we didn’t expect to be faced with this sort of decision already. She had obviously been neglected and I suspect even some abuse from whatever happened before she came to us. She was a gorgeous dog who just pleaded to be taken in to a loving home. We obliged.
Phoenix has been a soft furry love spot in our hearts ever since. Despite being part chow she has the sweetest temperament of any dog I have ever met. Earlier this year when we were looking at the possibility of moving to Europe we started really looking at how she was behaving. She really wasn’t doing well. Thankfully part of that was a UTI but at the same time we were also told that her arthritis had gotten worse and her brain was starting to go. I questioned whether or not she could make a trip to Europe and we then decided that she would not be able to go with us to Europe but could probably make a drive to a different state.
This summer we have been watching her very carefully. Poor thing has been steadily getting worse. Everyone has noticed. I did not have it in me to be the person to step up and say that it was time to put her down. Thankfully someone was able to be that voice. With that strength of support I made a phone call and found out that we could take her in for a quality of life check up at one of the near by vets.
At this appointment he watched her pace back and forth across the room and have to lean against Homemade Dady and the wall for support. He asked us what was going on at home and how long it had been going on. She still has some time left but it isn’t much time. I then asked the question that HD and I had been avoiding. How would she do with a move coming up soon? Thankfully the vet acknowledged the struggles associated with moving and once we found out where we were going it was strongly recommended that Phoenix not move with us.
If Phoenix doesn’t go with us then what are our options? He did offer some options! One was to contact a couple people in the local area who might be able to help us find a new home for her to live out her last days. The vet mentioned that some people around like to take in geriatric dogs and care for them until they pass. Our other option was to have her put down. She has just about reached that time in her life and we have to take into consideration the impact her deterioration would have on our family overall. Can we afford new carpet from her having constant accidents? Can we deal with accidents while having 3 young boys? What will the reaction of our emotional preschooler be to seeing the only pet he remembers not be able to move or take care of herself and possibly die?
Right now we are trying to find someone who might take her in until she passes. She really is the sweetest thing you’d ever meet. The hard part is that we have to set a deadline for finding her a new home. What do we do one we hit that deadline? That is something for another day. For now we will keep her as comfortable as we can and work to find her a new loving home.
Have you ever had to put a furry family member down? How did you explain it to your kids?