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    1. #1
      Puppy
      jenebekka's Avatar
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      Trying to live in the present.

      Hello everyone,
      I'm new to this message board. I have a 14 1/2 year old Chocolate Labrador (Hershey) that is the love of my life. She has been my best friend and has been by my side through very good and very bad times. Hershey is the only dog I've ever had and I am 42 years old - she is my special dog. I love her so much. My three year old is in love with her too.

      I'm not sure what the intent of my post is other than I'm struggling living in the present with her. Hershey is doing well for her age but the time is coming sooner than later. I'm having a very difficult time dealing with watching her decline. She is getting weaker in her hind quarters - she trips easily and our hardwood floors are horrible for her (I've laid rugs down to help). Hershey has accidents in the house (bowel movements) every day. Yet, she still urinates outside 95 percent of the time. Hershey still seems happy and feeling well. However, at the next visit I will have a "quality of life" discussion with her vet in a couple of weeks. I don't have a gut feeling that it is time yet. She can still get up and sit down, although very slowly. Hershey still loves her food and drinks a normal amount of water. Her last labs were normal as they could be for this age other than kidney levels in the low normal area (her kidney values have been slightly abnormal her entire life). I can look at her face and know - the sparkle is still there, although not as bright as it was years ago.

      So, I am struggling. It is killing me to watch her deteriorate. I know better, that I need to enjoy the time I have left. Still, I am in fear every day when I get home and she doesn't get up immediately (she is nearly deaf). I'm scared in the morning when I haven't heard her move around yet. I'm scared everytime I take her out that she will fall and not be able to get up. I'm just plain emotional and scared. Again, I know better than to do this to myself. I know to live in the present time with her. I know I'm beyond lucky to have had her for 14 years. Still, it hurts.

      I don't know what I am looking for from this post other than I know you all understand. Thank you for listening!

      Jenny

    2. The Following User Says Thank You to jenebekka For This Useful Post:

      tennysonlab (06-22-2014)

    3. #2
      Real Retriever
      BogeyBaby's Avatar
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      It is so difficult to see our fur babies age. I've been through it twice. It is hard to judge quality of life and when to say good bye.

      It's too bad the board crashed a few weeks back--we used to have a lot of useful information on judging quality of life. If you google it you'll find several places that have very good information. Still, information is one thing, gut instinct is another.

      I'm sorry you're facing this with your loved Hershey. It is hard. There will be a lot of people here that can commiserate with you as we've been through it. Sometimes it's best just to get it off your chest and write what you need here. ((hugs))

    4. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to BogeyBaby For This Useful Post:

      jenebekka (06-06-2014), tennysonlab (06-22-2014)

    5. #3
      Senior Dog
      Maxx&Emma's Avatar
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      It is so hard to watch our beloved babies age and the changes that are inevitable. Sending you prayers of comfort and support.
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      Tammy
      Maxx and Emma Jean

      Ozzy - 10/2002 - 06/2011 - Rest well my sweet boy. You are forever remembered, forever missed, forever in my heart.

    6. The Following User Says Thank You to Maxx&Emma For This Useful Post:

      jenebekka (06-06-2014)

    7. #4
      Real Retriever
      Kain's Mommy's Avatar
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      I think that is the hardest part about pet ownership. Kain will be 5 at the end of the year and I tear up just thinking about him getting older and someday having to say good bye. Thankfully many on the forum have gone through this and can be of great support.

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      jenebekka (06-06-2014)

    9. #5
      Puppy
      jenebekka's Avatar
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      Thank you all, your comments mean so much to me.

      I'm glad I've found this board. BogeyBaby, you are so right that sometimes we just need to get our thoughts off our chests. I've needed to do this and I'm glad this forum is here.

    10. The Following User Says Thank You to jenebekka For This Useful Post:

      tennysonlab (06-22-2014)

    11. #6
      Best Friend Retriever
      LucyTudeOn4Feet's Avatar
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      I have a 12 year old, so I totally get your feelings. Welcome to the forum.

    12. The Following User Says Thank You to LucyTudeOn4Feet For This Useful Post:

      jenebekka (06-06-2014)

    13. #7
      House Broken
      lovealab2's Avatar
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      I feel your pain. Your Hershey sounds just like what I went through with my black lab Raven. She lost her bowels then her bladder. I eventually put her in diapers. Her hind quarters were so weak and she struggled to get up. Finally she couldn't get up on her own so I had to lift her up t0 go out side and to eat. Once she was up she could stand and walk for about 5 minutes but then she'd fall and I would help her up. I struggled badly with the quality of life fact too. I didn't want to put her to sleep just because she was so much "work". I would have taken care of her forever like that. But one day I sat with her for hours and I realized she didn't have that spark anymore or any life in her eyes. I wondered about her quality of life. Her mind was still pretty good but her body had given out. I made the decision to put her to sleep. We did it at home. It was the hardest decision I have ever made but I know in my heart that it was the right one for her. She was 3 weeks shy of her 15th birthday. At that point I said I would never get another one. The pain was too much. I wasn't even sure I could love another one like I loved her. But after 2 years (almost to the day) we brought Oakley home. Not to replace Raven but to add to our joy of owning another dog. I'd like to think that Raven approves and is watching us as we go through puppyhood with Oakley. I still cry over Raven and tear up just talking about her...I don't think that will ever go away. I wish you all the best with your struggles. Do try to enjoy every minute with Hershey and give her lots of treats!

    14. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to lovealab2 For This Useful Post:

      jenebekka (06-10-2014), tennysonlab (06-22-2014)

    15. #8
      Senior Dog
      SunDance's Avatar
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      Welcome to the board, Jenny. One thing's for sure....you're in good company here....we definitely understand and empathize.

      I think it's a good idea for every pet owner to try to appreciate the present since you never know what's around the next corner despite seeming health and youth. But I definitely know what you mean about being hyper-alert on a daily basis when age/illness are involved.

      I hope you and Hershey will have many good quality days in your future....and would love for you to share a pic once you get your post count up.

      One thing to remember....Hershey knows you will take care of her, no matter what. That sense of security and being loved goes a long way when other things are failing....
      Hidden Content

      Sunnie: gotcha day 03/08/09; birth unknown but given 07/01/02

      Danny: The Sundance Kid....Sunnie's boy....birth 03/31/09 (in my living room)

      Barb (ID formerly "Baffle")

    16. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to SunDance For This Useful Post:

      jenebekka (06-10-2014), tennysonlab (06-22-2014)

    17. #9
      House Broken
      LuckyLuna's Avatar
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      Hello and welcome to the board; but I'm sorry to read how difficult it is for Hershey. It's never easy watching a senior dog with declining health. Bentley, my golden is 13 years old and I doubt we will see his 14th birthday.

      It sounds like you know to just enjoy each day as it comes. I am sure Hershey feels all your special love.

    18. The Following User Says Thank You to LuckyLuna For This Useful Post:

      jenebekka (06-10-2014)

    19. #10
      House Broken
      TXLabLover's Avatar
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      *HUGS* Love to you and Hershey

    20. The Following User Says Thank You to TXLabLover For This Useful Post:

      jenebekka (06-10-2014)

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