My Dog is Dying

Egads, what a terrible headline, huh?

I should be ashamed of myself for using it, but it’s true. My dog is dying. Just as we all are. Every second after we are born brings us closer to our eventual last moment.

Alby (full name: Albert Fucking-Einstein) is around 17 years old. We are not exactly sure of his age because we got him from the pound. We’ve had him for 16 years and he hasn’t gotten any bigger, so we figure he’s somewhere around 17. But he could be older.

2015-06-07 (32)
Earlier this year

Yup. You read that right. In human-equivalent years, he’s around 100 years old.

And he is finally starting to show it.

He has lost a bit of his hearing. I don’t call or whistle for him anymore because it just doesn’t work. I’m developing a habit of walking back to get him when he goes astray or I walk him on a leash.

Are you talking to me?
Are you talking to me?

His eyes have clouded over probably due to cataract formation so he’s going a little blind, too. He bumps into me on our pre-dawn walks and movement close to him scares him more than usual. Honestly, I haven’t asked our dog’s veterinarian to check his eyes out. That would cost more money. We’ve already spent over $5,000 on him in the past year and a half, we are not doing anything more unless it is necessary.

Stop moving so quickly
Stop moving so quickly

His digestive tract is hit and miss. Sometimes he can eat, sometimes he can’t. Sometimes he throws up his food, sometimes it’s just bile and blood. But when he does eat and it stays down, he enjoys every bit of tofu I give him.

A few years ago, I started a blog for Ably. The idea was to write like it was Alby’s diary. He was going to spill it all. But I took on more than I could chew with that project and I abandoned it soon after. But now that Alby has turned to his final years, I may revive it.

16 thoughts on “My Dog is Dying

  1. Sorry to hear that, but it seems he has had a good long life 🙂 FIve years ago this week, I lost my dog too. She was an unusually advanced 16 years old for a Dalmation.

    It really is like losing a member of the family. People who don’t have pets rarely get it.

    1. Thank you. I’m trying to really pay attention to him. Last month, the vet thought a tumor ruptured somewhere inside him (and should have killed him). He could barely get up, let alone eat. He recovered, but the vet said it was only a matter of time. How much? Who knows. He’s stubborn. We have taken to saying, “Cancer can’t beat Alby.” 🙂 😦

  2. Sorry to hear it. It’s really really hard to watch them start to fade. I understand about the expenses, I lost track of how much I spent on my cat the last 2 or 3 years. Actually, I don’t really want to know. The end came just before Halloween, and despite knowing it was the best thing I could do for her at that point, I still can’t really talk about it. There is a limit to how much we can do for them, even if we had unlimited funds at our disposal. None of us lives forever. You know you gave Alby a good life, that’s all any of us can do, or ask for.

    1. Thank you. I haven’t really kept track of the expenses either. I underestimate to make myself feel better, I guess. Not sure. It’s like, I should do *everything* I can for him, but in the end there is a real financial hit for some of those procedures. He has had a good life. I’m hoping the last year will be great despite it all.

    1. That’s the hope. It’s hard because he’s always been so healthy. He still chases rabbits! But he’s definitely on the downward spiral. As you said, peace and comfort is what it is all about. The Thanksgiving holiday did not go well with him. I think we’ll be spending the Christmas holiday at home.

  3. Sorry to hear this Nila. But 17 years is a bloody good innings. I’m sure it’s been a happy life, no small part thanks to you.

  4. I can dig that. I am determined to return as any of my pets, and temporal lineality can be damned. Even while they lack the capacity to recognise it, a short life spent enveloped in the doting adoration of a dumb human is a the finest experience that any sentient being could reasonably expect. Humans have it in us to make heaven on earth for our pets, as it sounds that you have done for Alby.

    I don’t know what your attitude is regarding relieving Alby of his pain – as Like said, 17 years of being part of your pack is a wonderful story. If you decide to bring him to rest, may you both never know a moment’s doubt over it

    1. Thank you so much, Pete. I do worry about that. When is the right time?! He’s doing fine now. He wagged his tail for our entire walk this morning, but he hasn’t touched his breakfast. (sigh) Hopefully, he’ll eat something by the end of the day. Thank you again your words. They help.

  5. I know how you are feeling. I lost my best bud cat several years ago. He was around 20 years old and the costs were beyond me. He got me through some very rough times and is missed. Remember the good times and let him go in peace; at 100 years old it is not fun to be poked and prodded constantly and be more painful than the pain it is to mitigate.

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