My husky is going to be 16 this Christmas, and I am giving birth to my first child in October. My dog is healthy, but her back legs are failing. She poops in the house. She can still get up by herself, enjoys going for walks, loves her food, and is very affectionate. I know that she is going downhill - her bad days are horrible for me - she falls and cries, and if I or my husband try to help her she snarls and snaps at us. On those days I am ready to call the vet. But then the next morning she seems fine and wants to give kisses and hops up to go for a walk.
Just now I heard rustling in the kitchen and it was her getting a cookie box out of the recycling to chew up, and she's now playing tug with it with my husband. She is still full of life.
She is a rescue, and she hates strangers. She doesn't want anyone to pet her who's not part of her pack. I am the only one who can walk her - she won't go with anyone else. Once I give birth, I envision a whole mess of problems arising. I won't be able to walk her, so she won't walk. She'll probably try to protect me, so if my in-laws are in the house helping out, she could easily get aggressive.
I am terrified that if I put her down, I will be so sad that it will affect my baby. I know that PPD can really hurt children's development, and I just don't want to be alone all day in the house with a newborn without my dog, my constant shadow for 15 years. My midwife said that I should either put her down before I give birth, or wait 4-6 months after till my hormones have settled down. The trouble is, I think that she won't last till spring.
I know that the logical thing would be to put her down before October, except for two things. I wanted her and my daughter to meet. I know it's ridiculous, but there it is. I also really wanted them to have one Christmas together - all of us together as a family. Am I just being ridiculous and selfish?
I don't know what to do. I cry all the time. I want to do what's best for my daughter, which seems to be to put my dog down earlier rather than later, but I can't stand the idea that I am killing my dog when it is convenient for me, not when her quality of life is no longer good enough. I don't want the birth of my daughter to be tainted by the death of my dog. It makes me feel like I am getting rid of my dog to make room for my daughter - trading one for the other.
Has anyone else gone through anything like this? Anyone have any advice?