Elderly husky and newborn: please help. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 08-27-2011, 06:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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?

 

Thanks.


Cristina, mama to Isabel.  knit.gif Oh how I miss knitting.  And sleeping.  I miss sleeping.

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#2 of 11 Old 08-27-2011, 07:58 PM
 
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I would put her down down.Safer for your child,and humane for the dog.

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#3 of 11 Old 08-28-2011, 08:32 AM
 
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Bring her in for an assessment and some good pain medication to help. Has she always been like this?


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#4 of 11 Old 08-28-2011, 10:39 AM
 
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utilize diapers for the house issues.

If she is still full of life then you can make it work, thousands of people do every year! If she is aggressive toward people, put her in a room or crate when people are over, she will need time to adjust to the new routine and noises of the baby anyhow. I would introduce her to baby slowly. this may help

http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/pets_babies.html

 

also, you can still walk her! when baby is sleepy and ready for a nap put them in stroller and take your dog with you! I think you need to seperate dog and baby in your mind. You know your dog is nearing the end of her long and happy life, this has nothing to do with you having  a baby and if you work with your dog and make a few compromises you can keep her around until you know it's time. Having the baby is another life event and your dog has been with you throughout her life, she deserves your love and respect and patience, just like your baby will :) Do what is best for you and your dog, and what is best for your baby, you can make it work with determination and you will feel good for whatever you decide to do.


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#5 of 11 Old 08-29-2011, 07:30 AM
 
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i think this is good advice. you and your dog have a very deep bond and you will love each other no matter what. if she is happy and you are able to spend the time she needs with her, i would let her live out her life as much as possible. i would however, decide now at what point you will have her put to sleep. it could be, when she can no longer walk, get up, get to her water, etc. that will help with the horrible uncertainty we feel at that time in a pets life.

 

fwiw, i understand about wanting her to meet your baby. i wish my little guy could have lived long enough (even though he hated kids ;) ).
 

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Originally Posted by starrlamia View Post

utilize diapers for the house issues.

If she is still full of life then you can make it work, thousands of people do every year! If she is aggressive toward people, put her in a room or crate when people are over, she will need time to adjust to the new routine and noises of the baby anyhow. I would introduce her to baby slowly. this may help

http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/pets_babies.html

 

also, you can still walk her! when baby is sleepy and ready for a nap put them in stroller and take your dog with you! I think you need to seperate dog and baby in your mind. You know your dog is nearing the end of her long and happy life, this has nothing to do with you having  a baby and if you work with your dog and make a few compromises you can keep her around until you know it's time. Having the baby is another life event and your dog has been with you throughout her life, she deserves your love and respect and patience, just like your baby will :) Do what is best for you and your dog, and what is best for your baby, you can make it work with determination and you will feel good for whatever you decide to do.



 


Karla (24), loving having and growing a family: my amazing man, DS (1.5), DSD (6), a dog and two cats. Expecting my second 1sttri.gif November 2nd!
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#6 of 11 Old 08-29-2011, 11:00 AM
 
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I agree with the 3 posters above me.  Honestly I think you are at more risk of depression if you put her down when you know it's too soon, rather than if it happens during your postpartum time.  I think you would feel very guilty about it based on your post and how you describe your relationship with her.  But it is so hard either way.  {{{hugs}}}

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#7 of 11 Old 08-29-2011, 11:02 AM
 
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Sorry, double post!  Board issues, argh.

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#8 of 11 Old 08-29-2011, 12:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the kind words. I had decided to put her down prior to my daughter's arrival, and then I started waking up crying at night. My husband and I had a great conversation yesterday, and we have decided to keep her going until her quality of life makes it clear that it's her time to go, whether that's before, postpartum, or whenever. I agree with Ola, I am more at risk for depression if I feel like I have made my decision based on our convenience, not on her quality of life.

 

The vet says that she is not in pain, and that the way to decide is when the bad days start getting more frequent than the good days. And by bad days I mean having trouble walking. I don't want her to get to the point where she can't get up. She'd hate it. This is a dog who used to swim nearly 3 miles every day.

 

As for the house poop, I have fleece blankets down where she likes to lie down, and since she mostly poops when she's sleeping, I have just started treating the blankets like cloth diapers - after all, poop is about to be a big part of our lives - we might as well practice!

 

I know not everyone would agree with my decision, but I know that it's the right one for us. Thanks for giving me the space to write out my thoughts.


Cristina, mama to Isabel.  knit.gif Oh how I miss knitting.  And sleeping.  I miss sleeping.

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#9 of 11 Old 08-29-2011, 02:50 PM
 
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im glad you made a decision you are comfortable with :) May she live out her last time with you happy and loved!


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#10 of 11 Old 08-29-2011, 09:17 PM
 
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im happy to hear you reached a solution. it sounds like the best one for your family :)


Karla (24), loving having and growing a family: my amazing man, DS (1.5), DSD (6), a dog and two cats. Expecting my second 1sttri.gif November 2nd!
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#11 of 11 Old 09-06-2011, 08:49 AM
 
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Our Lab was 6 years old when our twins were born. I was in the hospital with them for 5 days (me recovering from a C-section - they were ready to come home right away). Of course DH spent every day with us - and when he went home at night, he took off his shirt and put it in the dog's bed, so he could get used to the smell of the babies.

 

When we brought them home, they smelled familiar to him, and he was thrilled - he loved having "puppies" in the house.

 

You made the right decision, and I know you will be able to make the right decision again when it's time to let her go. I suggest you mark on the calendar if she has a good day or a bad day - trust me, once Baby arrives, all of your days will run together.


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