I have a decision to make. It’s not an easy one but it’s one that thousands of people face.
I have an old dog. She’s 14 and a half years old which is very old for her size and breed. She has something going on with her hip and she doesn’t bear much weight on her right hind leg. X-rays would be too expensive and would only serve to confirm that she has a problem. Even if it was “fixable” through surgery, I would not put her through that. She’s just too old.
She’s on medication for the pain now, and I do notice a difference. She’s more comfortable and a little more like herself, although she still has an obvious limp. So while the medicine may be helping, it’s not getting rid of the pain altogether.
The problem I’m having with all this is that I would like to know what’s actually going on inside her hip. Is it cancer? Is it arthritis? Is there a bone spur? What is it? Knowing what it is isn’t really going to solve the problem, as I said before. It’s just that I want to KNOW. I want to know if it’s cancer or arthritis. But that would just be satisfying my own curiosity. It wouldn’t really help her. My knowing what’s causing the problem isn’t going to fix the problem.
So we’re in a holding pattern now, giving her medicine to help her stay comfortable and less painful. She’s still getting excited about eating, so I know she’s feeling better, but at what point am I medicating her for me? Where is the line that delineates my wishful thinking and her quality of life? At what point will I KNOW that she’s ready to go chase bunnies in the sky?
I’ll be gone for the next week, visiting family (so I may not be here often) and she isn’t coming with me and the kids. She’s hanging out here with Trey and the puppy – who still irritates the snot out of her – so I’m hoping she’ll be able to maintain until I get back. The last time I left town for a long trip without Trey, our very old cat died. That’s not setting a good precedent.
But still, having that decision hanging over my head…. It’s no fun.