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    1. #11
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      Saw this and had to think about it. It's never easy to see them slow down but for us not having any from puppyhood, it is not as exaggerated as what you are seeing. Soak up every day, every adventure, every moment. Live for today and don't worry about tomorrow for by doing so you rob time from today. Hugs to both of you.
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      Kissing Bandit

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    3. #12
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      It's hard. Every vet appointment with Nikki just wipes me out. We come home and both of us go straight to bed. I had a dentist appointment a few weeks ago and he asked about my dogs. I had a meltdown in the chair while I was upside down. Just left every shred of dignity on the floor, so to speak.

      Take care of yourself and take it day to day. That's the best advice I can give.

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    5. #13
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      It sounds like Cookie is still in good shape. I guess that Ram is about 13 now and with each spring/summer that goes by his tolerance for heat is reduced. I keep the a/c cranked for him and I sit on the couch with a down comforter. When it's humid we just go across the street for him to do his business and come right back inside. If it's not too hot we can go for a bit of walk and them we sit on the grass and watch people go by.

      We've been doing weekly hydrotherapy since the beginning of April and that will continue until the fall when it's cooler for him. Sometimes it feels like fighting a losing battle. We used to go somewhere everyday after work when he was younger, but the only car ride now is for therapy. I find myself to be bored as heck most of the time with the lack of activity in our lives now.

      He's still a happy guy and he seems to be content with our life, which is the most important thing to me.
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      Ram - Adopted @ 6 y/o - 7/18/2011
      CGN - 6/10/2013


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    7. #14
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      Quote Originally Posted by Sue-Ram View Post
      We've been doing weekly hydrotherapy since the beginning of April and that will continue until the fall when it's cooler for him. Sometimes it feels like fighting a losing battle. We used to go somewhere everyday after work when he was younger, but the only car ride now is for therapy. I find myself to be bored as heck most of the time with the lack of activity in our lives now.
      .
      YES! totally. I wouldn't change it for anything obviously, it was special time with Rocky. But it was boring. It was hard to find things for him to. When suddenly you can't rely on walks and outings for mental and physical exercise, one has to really brainstorm things for at home (and indoors during long hot summers). And if it was TOO exiting then we had concerns the LP would act up (excitement can bring out panting)

      It's been so weird this spring. I don't particularly LIKE hot hot days but, they are not a big "issue" for me to worry about. And my AC is on much less and at a higher temp. An old dog truly impacts everything.

      Watching Rocky become less independent and some fears pop up was hard. Rocky was my bullet proof easy going dude. Nothing phased him. But as his body failed him, some anxiety over off leash dogs and stairs and other things popped up. While it was hard to get him to trust me to help him (ex: up and down stairs, in out of the car), when he finally HAD to give in and trust me that was hard mentally.

      Facebook is good and bad. The memories are both good and bad (currently memories are of pens recovery from surgery and I know we are creeping towards the anniversary of her death). BUT seeing silly photos and videos of her does make me smile. And seeing funny rocky stories/antics/photos helps me remember the long good years we had, not just the hard last two. Definitely bitter sweet.

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      Berna (06-13-2018)

    9. #15
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      The panting is an issue with the heat and excitement for Ram as well. The vet still doesn't think it's LP, not that I would do anything different.

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      Berna (06-13-2018)

    11. #16
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      Now that you mentioned boring - yes, this is the reason why I started running long distances (I started running after Cookie got hit by a car). I guess it's much tougher on an active person, who used to have an active dog. The routine changes completely.

      I still try to take him places, that is the main reason why I bought a car. We are more active in winter though because Cookie's heat tolerance, which was never great, got worse as he aged. So, for the summer months we go to the fountain or take short walks by the lake when we go swimming. I made a list of places where I'd like to take him while he still can walk some.


      Thanks everyone for you input. It's some solace to know I'm not alone and there are people who understand.

    12. #17
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      I've had more dogs in my life than I can count, of all different breeds, big and small. I've also fostered dogs over the years. It's always sad to see one start slowing down, but I try to focus on what they can still do, rather what they've lost the ability to do. Hang in there and give your dog extra hugs and kisses every day!

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    14. #18
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      I'm so sorry you & Cookie are at this stage--it is the very hardest thing. I love all the replies above about how people get through this. Some of our babies leave us slowly, others quickly--I don't know which is worse, as it all hurts unbearably. But inevitably they go. I was so lucky to have Molly be such a happy, healthy girl most of her life.....After she turned 11 or so I knew how lucky I was to have her be so healthy, despite arthritis, but I knew it would only be a matter of time. I knew when she made it to 13 & she was happy, that I needed to be grateful to have had her for so long, and have her be so healthy. How much longer could I expect her to last......She was a blessing to me, and I'm having a tough time typing through my tears right now.

      Our vet discovered that her ALT liver was slightly elevated when she did bloodwork before a dental, but it wasn't alarmingly high. Vet said it could be caused by many things, including old age, & didn't seem too worried about it, so I pretty much forgot about it. Vet said we'd keep an eye on it. At Molly's next yearly physical vet checked it & it was 200 something, so it was higher than it had been, but vet said she'd seen numbers in the thousands & then had the level go back to normal. But she said we should probably start Molly on Denamarin to help support the liver, so we did that. At her next yearly physical, the level was lower than it was the year before, but still not back down to normal. Molly continued to do well for awhile, although the arthritis was troublesome at times, but I was giving her Cosaquin to help with that. I thought she was doing great for an old dog, & said so several times on here...….suddenly that all changed when she began getting up & seeming uncomfortable & making these dry heaving noises. She collapsed when I took her out to potty. I took her to the vet the next morning & she said she was afraid the liver problem might be catching up with Molly. She drew blood & said Molly was severely anemic. Molly collapsed once each day for 3 days. The next day she didn't & I thought she was getting better--I wanted so much for that to be true! Every time she would wag her tail, I thought she was getting better. She wasn't, & she was telling me every day. She would get up heavily off her pillow & come over to me & lay her head on my knee & stare into my eyes for the longest time, then she would slowly drop her head down & just stand there with her head pressed against my leg for a minute, then she would go back & lay heavily down on her bed. She was collapsing, didn't want to eat anymore. I'd sit & try to hand feed her & she tried to eat a little bit, then would just turn her head away. Still breaks my heart. From the first time she collapsed on the driveway until we had to have her put to sleep was 1 week, so that was quick, but one of the longest weeks of my life. We lost her March 6th.

      We still have her best friend, our little Pug Heidi, & her cat, Katie, who loved to walk down the road with me & Molly. I'd love to have another Lab, but I don't know if I'll ever get to. I'm nowhere near over losing Molly. She left a huge hole in my life & in my heart. Hubby doesn't think we should get another big dog, as we are mid-60's (hard to believe) & it is hard to pick up a big dog in an emergency, etc. So for now, we'll love our old cat & our little Pug.

      It helped me a lot to have this board to come to when I was worried about Molly, & everybody was so kind & caring when we lost her. Coming on here was one of the things that helped me cope. Everyone on here will be here for you when that time does come, but for now I hope & pray that you & Cookie will have a lot more wonderful time together.

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    16. #19
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      We are entering this phase too. Even though Daisy is 8, we know the Cushing's Disease may ultimately cut her life short. The medications are very harsh on her body. Within the past two years she has turned much lighter all over her body. We also lost Beau, my inlaws dog, in February. He was only 10 and cancer took him very quickly. Daisy's health and losing Beau has made us anxious. We get worried if she sleeps for too long or looks mopey. Recently she started eating less and she doesnt care much for treats these days, which seems unheard of for a lab. We rushed her to the vet and paid to run a blood panel only for Daisy to eat 3 treats at the vets office and of course the blood work came back normal. We are happy but still anxious. Having an old dog is special but I do miss the old times too.

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    18. #20
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      The senior stage is hard. This Thursday will be 3 years when I let Tanner go. Time really flies. There's been some really meaningful posts here. I agree that "living in the moment" and blah, blah, blah is nearly impossible when you have a senior dog with progressing issues. Instead, I went through a rollercoaster of anxiety and worry, mixed in between with tons of research on medical conditions, etc. For me, I found myself getting less close at the end instead of constantly hugging and crying. Frankly it was the only way I could manage to get through it. I tried to stay strong while with Tanner during his decline, but when I was alone my emotions would let go.

      Now with Yukon who's been fragile for the last 18months, I'm entering this situation again. He'll be 12 in November but he's got enough going on mobility wise that I don't see years ahead for us, I'm looking at it more in monthly chunks. Worry and anxiety about his health seems to come up more often now a days.

      And as someone mentioned, that middle phase where they are 4-8 years old is really great. I reflect on that a lot when both Tanner and Yukon were in that phase together, and we just lived a busy life with little health concerns to focus on.

      Bob
      Griffin growing up!

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      Yukon Male Yellow Lab 11/20/06 -
      Griffin Male Black Lab 03/14/16 -

      My Precious Tanner Boy 11/25/02 - 6/25/15 Will miss you always!!!!

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      Berna (06-20-2018)

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