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December 15, 2013

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I have been reading this original post for over 3 years now and glad so many have commented over the years and up to last week which has prompted my post now. My JJ- love of my life- Shep/Dobie Rescue mix - who is now 15 3/4 is my "miracle dog". JJ had been my running partner in marathon training for first 11 years of his life- Easily could run 10-12 miles next to me without breaking a sweat! That all changed 4 years ago when he had his spleen removed (3 tumors- no cancer) but sheer luck that we caught it because he started peeing like crazy at night and drinking so much water. The Dr. couldn't figure out what was wrong and so I asked for an Ultrasound just to check and we couldn't believe what was found.- Normally the silent killer when the tumors burst, we were able to get it removed and he went on to a full recovery. The only thing that changed is his daily runs became daily walks- but my boy didn't miss a beat. 2 weeks after surgery he was up to walking 3-5 miles every day. Fast forward 2 years and he had a massive stroke - brain bleeds- which we believe was caused by some of the medication he was on- but after 10 days in critical care from my amazing Vet, he was home and walking and within 30 days- back to his normal self and not one lingering symptom from the stroke. Then came the Syncope 6 months later, but again with the care and correct medication- the fainting stopped and he was back to his wonderful normal self- still walking 2-3 miles every day. 1 year ago (almost to the day - we found a tumor on his back toe and determined it was cancer with a biopsy and he had the toe removed. My miracle boy again was determined to beat the odds and his new motto was "who needs 4 toes anyway". 2 weeks after the amputation he was walking proudly with a boot- his normal 2-3 miles and within 30 days - no boot and like nothing happened. 2 months later however another "stroke" and this was when I started to think- maybe enough is enough- and I didn't give them instructions to resuscitate if needed. However, my boy came through with shining colors. 2 weeks and he was back to normal- as if nothing happened. Miracle indeed. This takes us to where we are now. Another calendar year and the last 2 months have been a struggle. My house has turned into "sheet city" because he can't control his bladder with Poop when he sleeps and slowly is losing all ability to use his back legs. I put down sheets every night so that I can protect my rugs and furniture and it makes it easier for clean up- then a diaper on him and having to bath him every day. Sometimes he does get it on him, but most times he does his business and then moves to a different part of the room. My smart boy indeed. I have documented almost every day (which really does help) so that I can make an informed decision if I have to - based on good days/bad days etc for the past 2 months. While he can still walk with his front legs-, his back legs are progressively getting worse every day. He uses a rear harness or wheel chair now and he can poop outside with assistance, the last 2 however weeks have been the worst. I actually took him the Vet yesterday just for a follow-up and of course it was a better day for him and she said "no way" is he ready to go down yet. I understand her position because he really is in good spirits- doesn't appear to be in any pain or distress, but she of course doesn't see him try to get up or have to clean up after him every night/day when he can't make it outside. I am not ready to make the decision yet, but I know it will not be too much longer and this blog really does help. I want him to have is dignity- he deserves that much - but I just don't see it in his eyes yet, telling me it is time. I pray I have the strength to know when. It is hard when your sleep is deprived (mine) and you just love them so much it hurts to think clearly. Sorry for the long ramble- Thanks for listening and appreciate everyone's stories- it truly helps knowing I am not alone. People think that I rescued him, but he really rescued me.

I've learned so much reading this thread. I no longer feel so alone...My Lily (Shitzhu) just turned 15, and reading all the symptoms of end-of-life dogs, I have accepted that me and my girl are there. It's happening so soon, even though the signs have been there for the past two years. I just didn't want to explore them. Lily is almost completely blind and deaf now and has severe pain in her right leg. She's a trooper and never complains, but I can see the pain she's in. I recently noticed her back legs have begun trembling, and for the past two days she can't squat to pee anymore. She just lays there. Then it's bath time. I keep waiting for a "sure sign" from her, but I think the signs have been there for a long time. It's possibly the hardest thing I've ever had to do because I'm taking the action on this decision. But I love this little girl, and will do what's best for her. We're going to see the vet for a consult, but I'm pretty sure I know what the vet will say. Thanks so much to all of you!

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