AUTHOR: Marty, a.k.a. canape TITLE: Waiting for that game of fetch DATE: 8/21/2007 12:04:00 PM ----- BODY:
This is Pupstar and her pink spikey football. Chasing that pink ball has been her favorite activity forever. She would leap for it, do flips for it - basically anything a Frisbee dog would do, she would do for this pink ball.

I had to put the ball away a couple of months ago. She has looked for it. Sniffed it out and whined at the shelf up high where she knows I stashed it. Not only did she love to play with it, she carried it around like a security blanket, often taking naps with her chin resting on it. Ensuring that when we were ready for another game, she wouldn't waste one second getting to it.

But Pupstar is getting older. She has arthritis in her hip. And at night, she struggles to climb the stairs and pants while she looks at me with big black pleading eyes. I know she hurts.

The vet gave me a choice. There is a medicine that she can take for the pain. Over time, it will probably affect her kidneys and possibly her digestive tract. It might shorten her life. My choice is to let her be in some pain, limit her activity, and help her up and down the stairs, or to give her the drugs.

We tried the drug for 10 days. She was a new dog. I know that it helped her and that she was happier. The panting stopped. She began following me up and down the stairs again. She jumped on the bed with me for the first time in weeks. She felt better.

For some reason, I couldn't get past the fact that I might be harming her in some other way though. Until KimmieRo said this to me,

"I have grown accustomed to quality of life being much more important than quantity with my dogs."

I realized then, that I was being selfish in wanting her to live as long as possible, when really, I should be keeping her as comfortable as possible.

Maybe, if she keeps feeling better, we can pull that pink ball out again for a few short grounders. Because it makes her so very happy. And isn't that what I really want? To make her life as wonderful as it can be, no matter what the length of it is?

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----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous The Farm House Kids DATE:Tuesday, August 21, 2007 at 12:27:00 PM EDT Quality ... what a big word. You did the right thing. Live for the moment, and enjoy. She is beautiful!

Tanya ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Friend of SIL DATE:Tuesday, August 21, 2007 at 1:50:00 PM EDT www.cetylm.com
A supplement for arthritis in dogs. Has been an amazing transformation for our 9 year old dog. Does not harm kidneys or make your dog lethargic like Rimadyl. Please check out their website. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Cathy DATE:Tuesday, August 21, 2007 at 2:08:00 PM EDT We had to quit the frisbee for the same reason: arthritis in the left hip. Haven't had to put her on meds yet, but am watching closely.

I agree -- the quality is so much more important.

I only worry that I can't tell whether my dog is in pain because she's so stoic. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous slackermommy DATE:Tuesday, August 21, 2007 at 2:25:00 PM EDT You are doing the right thing in my book and you know that I have recent experience with this. If there was a drug that could have given my Sonny 1 month of quality life rather than the several months of suffering he had I would have given it to him without hesitation. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Marty, a.k.a. canape DATE:Tuesday, August 21, 2007 at 2:34:00 PM EDT Thanks, friend of SIL! I've already looked at the website and emailed my vet to see if we can try a round of it. I appreciate it! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Andria DATE:Tuesday, August 21, 2007 at 2:50:00 PM EDT Sweet puppy, she is so pretty! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Mrs. Chicken DATE:Tuesday, August 21, 2007 at 4:05:00 PM EDT We've always had big dogs, and they've always had hip and shoulder problems.

My mom's current dog, who was really my late father's dog, is having these old-dog issues.

I say you are doing the right thing. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous MamaGeek @ Works For Us DATE:Tuesday, August 21, 2007 at 4:06:00 PM EDT You're doing the right thing (which is usually the difficult thing).

Our golden has a stuffed security ball like your Pupstar since he was a Pup. We bought it in NYC. It was the only toy he hasn't shred to bits.

Yesterday, our 1 year old shredded the insides of this ball and our poor dog just watched him. Sigh.

Little Bird will be so lucky to have such pups in her life too! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous vidchick DATE:Tuesday, August 21, 2007 at 6:55:00 PM EDT If you are concerned about the affects of Rimadyl, at your neighborhood Costco (or anywhere else) you can get a Glucasomine/Chrondroitin supplement for about $20. Dosage would depend on the size of the dog - check with the vet. This has been used for decades for horses (in much larger doses of course) for their arthritis. I used it daily on my girl as she got older to enhance quality of life. You might not see as quick an improvement, but over time it may work just as well and not be as harsh on her liver & kidneys. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous slouchy DATE:Tuesday, August 21, 2007 at 9:19:00 PM EDT Oh, you are so so right here. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Becki DATE:Tuesday, August 21, 2007 at 9:48:00 PM EDT So true!! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Marty, a.k.a. canape DATE:Tuesday, August 21, 2007 at 9:48:00 PM EDT Thanks, vidchick. She's been on the Glucasomine/Chrondroitin from Trader Joes for about 4 years now, but maybe I could up the dose. I'll check with the vet and see. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Bubblewench DATE:Wednesday, August 22, 2007 at 7:55:00 AM EDT Your puppy is adorable! Quality is the way to go. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Bon DATE:Wednesday, August 22, 2007 at 8:41:00 AM EDT i think you've got it right, Canape. we all want the ones we love to live long, long lives, because losing them hurts so badly. but...Pupstar wants to play. play with her. love her hard. you'll know, i think.

she's a lovely dog. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Tiffany DATE:Wednesday, August 22, 2007 at 10:59:00 PM EDT What a pretty pup! I'm glad you're choosing quality over quantity! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous WhyMommy DATE:Thursday, August 23, 2007 at 11:36:00 PM EDT Can I comment on this one?

Yes. It's the quality of life that matters. Suck every moment of quality and fun out of life, and it will be better, no matter how long it is.

On Watson (my beloved 10 year old dog, who developed a 10 pound tumor and never recovered)'s last day, I took him outside, lay with him on a blanket, and just petted him for a long time. Then I gave him all his favorite treats (ham! turkey!) and we lay on the bed together for a while. Then we took him to the vet and helped him down. It was the hardest day of my life. But also one of the best.

Help that little girl enjoy the time that she's got left. It makes all the difference. ----- --------