When is enough, enough?

When is enough, enough? Where do we draw the line for him? What is considered quality of life for him at this point? We’ve been pondering this one for a little while.

Buddy had a rough go last weekend. We were watching TV with him asleep on his bed when all of the sudden he became restless and went into a grand maul seizure. It came out of nowhere. He’s never had one before. We thought for sure that this was it. It was awful. We got on the phone with our vets office, who talked us through it, and advised us to stay at home unless it happened again. Shortly after that we texted our vet to let her know what was going on. Her thought, in short, was that it could be an isolated incident, stroke or brain tumor. He’s been fine ever since. But we are not kidding ourselves. We think something wicked this way comes. He’s 16.

So we ponder when will we know what’s right for him? He LOVES to eat his dinner. Oh my goodness, just loves his breakfast and dinner and looks forward to chicken treats. In fact he’ll thump around on his bed and crane his neck to show me he wants a treat. LOL. He’s happy when each of us come home from work. He loves his naps in the hallway in the sun and he loves the attention from our adult children. He’s a tough cookie and puts up with a lot though. He’s always been a hard read. The vet calls him stoic when it comes to pain. Although we don’t think he’s in pain. He has lots of drugs to control that. That’s a really good word for him. Stoic. He tore his ACL back in November. There was a point where he was doing really well with it but lately it feels like he’s torn it all over again where he has next to nothing with the use of his back legs. So we cart him out 5 times a day so he can relieve himself. He can sqwat to pee with some help but needs full assistance with number 2. He’s also working on his third UTI with a new med. He’ll have some more testing after this med to see whats going on. Perhaps his kidneys are just shot. We would not be surprised.

Everyone says you’ll know. But what if we are just kidding ourselves and we are hanging on just to hang on? We want what’s best for him and not us. We don’t want him to suffer. The thought of losing him is unbearable sometimes, but then there is almost a feeling of relief in letting him go when the time is right. I want him to run again, freely, without our assistance in God’s garden.

Our hearts are hurting. This is so hard. We are praying that God will make it clear to us when enough is enough.




12 thoughts on “When is enough, enough?”

  1. Oh Buddy, what a looker! I love the photos – what a precious boy.

    I understand so well what you mean. I had many days when I questioned the notion that Izzy would let me know when she’d had enough. The days when she wet herself repeatedly … diapers became a thing, and I thought she was even more adorable in them. Then she improved and all of the sudden, her rear leg seemed to be bothering her. Or was it something else? She was slower getting up and didn’t greet me at the door anymore, but she was happy. Loved her treats (all food), but didn’t wander over to be petted much. But she seemed happy.

    Until she wasn’t.

    People always told me that, one day, I’d see that look in her eye. They were right.

    In fact, the morning that I saw “the look”, I snapped a photo of her when it reappeared on her face. I called her oncologist’s office and made one last appointment for her, even though I hated it.

    When I feel sad about letting her go, I look at that photo and know that I gave her one last gift, setting her free.

    I promise, you’ll know.

    Give that sweet boy an extra treat and some hugs from me. He’s just precious.

    Amy & my pretty pink angel pup, Izzy

    1. Thank you for sharing your loving story. It is helpful. My worst fear is that we aren’t seeing it. But you are right. I think we’ll know. When he had that seizure, it was reality check time. My youngest came home for a visit last night. Buddy was so happy to see him. I realize when I see reaction’s like that, then it is not quite time yet. He was pretty perky this morning too. One day at a time.
      Giving him extra hugs from you.
      Thank you so much.

  2. We took Jake to the vet back in November, thinking it might be his time. He suffers from lumbosacral stenosis and was clearly in pain, non-stop pacing and rubbing against walls and squeezing behind furniture I can’t imagine he fit behind. He’s also pretty deaf and blind, and his skin and fur were a mess. He’s dropped from 62 pounds (which was a little heavy . . . he spend most of his life in the mid-fifties) to 45 or 46, but our vet was surprised at the question. She was willing to take that next step with us, but assured us that if he was still finding joy in life, we should try to manage his pain more effectively and see where that takes us.

    Long story short, Jake was prancing all the way to the car this morning to go see the groomer (he was way overdue) and he came home as handsome as ever. The groomer was stunned to learn he’s almost 15.

    At his age, in his condition, he could go tomorrow, but he didn’t go today and it was a good day.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing. It’s so helpful and comforting to hear that we aren’t the only ones suffering with that question.
    Just when you think they are ready they go and do something like that! LOL.
    I agree. As long as they are finding joy in life then we can keep on going. 🙂

  4. Two scenarios to share on this topic..

    Cindy…black lab we adopted when she was 12 years old; her owner passed away. Didn’t know of her prior but something about her called us to adopt. We had her about 12 months before she was diagnosed with cancer in her front leg. Location of cancer and her age ruled out amputation. Prognosis was 6 weeks left. That was exactly my question… how would I know? When the time came – 6 weeks later – I did know. She was just existing , not living. Sitting on the vets floor with her head on my lap, 13 months after she came into our life, we said goodbye.

    Fast forward 6 weeks, our cocker spaniel Toby broke his front left leg right above the elbow..worst possible break a dog can have… with lots of fragments. In past 3 weeks he had the first operation. ..followed by a second … and this Tuesday had his leg removed.

    How much is too much? When does it end? My reason for sharing is that on the past 2 years…Toby has had both cruciates replaced with plates thru TPLO … and this past Sept his red blood count dropped to a point where we almost lost him. The day before he broke his leg he was declared in remission for his immune deficiency. And then the break.

    We love our little guy and would do anything for him. However, I know we will know when enough is enough…

    And I hope you take faith that you will too with Buddy. Sending positive thoughts.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing. I so appreciate your storys. Your Toby as been through so much. What a loving home you have.
      Everyones stories are helping us feel more confident that we will know when it is time. Thank you so much for taking the time to write to us. xoxo

    1. Thank you so much. That post opened a few more doors for us. It also helped us look back on some previous kittie’s that we had to have put down years ago. Very helpful post. Thank you so much for reaching out. I knew our Tripaw family would help soothe our pain. xoxoxo

  5. Buddy, sweet Buddy! You are a very loved vou, but you already know that!
    Goodness knows you’ve ja hadd your share of challenges, and, because of the loving care and devotion of your humans, you continue to soldier on. And you are, indeed, a Soldier!

    You’ve gotten extended quality time as a result. So many humans woukd not go to the lengths yiur hoomans have to keep you comfortable and happy.

    I think there comes a point with really “mature seniors” when you just know that the cycle of life will eventually catch up. And a lot of times with “seniors”, things can go downhill quickly.

    I’m really struggling with trying to find the right words for what I’m trying to say, so stay with me.

    One thing, if at sll possible, we would all like to have a peaceful transition to remember before any crisis took pver. We would want that “good memory” of a life well lived as we celebrated them home surrounded by love and peace.

    I xont always believe there is a look”, or they will tell you when it’s time. My Happy Hannah woukd ALWAYS find joy in food and would ALWAYS wag her tail. She developed a big met that didn’t interfere with those things, but it made her very tired, eventually she got so she couldn’t sleep at night because it was roo uncomfortable. With the met, I knew it could only get worse. The scales were starting to slip out of her favor. She didn’t need to hang around for anymore loving or spoiling…she’d had that every day of her life! Because her situation was “terminal” (just kike old age”) and could only get worse, I didn’t really see a “look”,’I just saw signs that she was just starting a downhill spiral that had not yet gotten out of control. I didn’t want it to turn into a crises.

    Not saying that Buddy will have a “crisis” at all.

    I’m probably making zero sense and am of no help. I guess I’m just trying to say that, should Buddy develop any more issues, there woild come a point that “anytime would be the ‘right’ time”.

    It’s wonderful to hear that Buddy is doing relatively well for an “old guy” with some bum legs…and only three at that!! Such an inspirational dog!! Make no mistake about it though, your love and care make all the difference in the world!!

    And make no mistake about this either, BUDDY will ALWAYS be an inspiration around here! That voy shiws the world how seniors can rock on three legs nust fine!

    These pictures are sooo precious! Absolutely love this boy!

    Lots of kove to all

    Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

  6. Thank you so much for reaching out to us. We knew what you were trying to say. It is so helpful reading different stories so that we can get a better feel as to when it will be right. Today is not the day.
    He’s comfortable and content for now. We are starting to feel more confident that we will know when it will be right for him.
    Much love to you. Thank you as always for your kindness. xoxoxoxoxo

  7. You will know. Everyone says that but it is true. That look in their eyes. You boy is a beauty. 16 Years old is amazing and a tripawd to boot. 🙂 Sending love and prayers. Also you can use the penny jar. Good days and bad days. I always say quality vs quantity. I know that you will make the right decision when it’s time.

    Michelle & Angel Sassy

  8. Our Dobe Nitro lived life on 3 legs for over 3 years; he was 11 1/2 years old, was in kidney failure and had arthritis in his hind end. We had 3 different “appointments” set up for him because we didn’t know if it was time or not. We cancelled the first 2 because it clearly wasn’t time. By the 3rd one (5 days after the 1st), we KNEW. The day before he was hopping around the yard, fully engaged. The next morning we could tell he was tired…tired of fighting. Our vet came to our house and we said good bye on a beautiful July morning, in the yard he loved. A cardinal appeared less than an hour after his passing. He beat cancer, but he could not beat old age. Praying you find the answer to the hardest of questions….”is it time?”

    Paula and Warrior Angel Nitro

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