I spent an absolutely horrendous day some days back watching my pet Coco, who is almost 12 years old, be really sick.
While I have been a dog lover since childhood, it has been always a tough decision bringing a pet home.
In the initial years, when the kids were young, I always pushed this decision forward saying they were young, and I did not have the bandwidth to handle another little baby.
When the younger son was barely 3 years old, my husband got home Coco. Despite my initial protests, I warmed up to the little ball of fur instantly.
Since then, Coco has been the gentle, sagely presence in our lives. So well behaved, he has always been extremely affectionate and loving.
Little kids would come to our home to play with him. He showed them utmost patience and love. He loves car trips and was always game for racing with his brothers.
Since he was a baby, he was our constant companion on brisk walks and runs. Suffice it to say that he is as much a son to me as the other two that I popped out.
But, now he is in his Senior years. And that is the toughest part, seeing your dog age. The once spirited boy find it hard to walk two rounds around the block.
His eye sight has deteriorated over the years. His sharp senses are dulled. He still loves his car drives but finds it tough on the joints to jump in and out of car.
As we prepare for his twilight years, it makes my heart wrought with sadness that he may not be with us for too much time.
A few days back, he was in pain refusing to get up. Not eating or drinking, he was at the worst I have seen him so far.
With great difficulty we had to lift him on a bed sheet and take him to a vet. My husband who had to catch a flight that afternoon called off his trip last minute.
The vet wasn’t very helpful and was pushing us to do tests. Not to mention that we had a huge wait time of over an hour.
I asked him to give Coco a pain killer shot as clearly he was having trouble with raising his hind leg.
He also got some vitamins for his joints. By evening, he started eating and drinking a little but still not moving. Next morning, he stood up with shaky legs, and we could take him out to relieve himself.
Coming to this new apartment has not been kind to him. We have a maniac pervy neighbor who is such an ardent dog hater that he even complains about a few pet hair in common areas.
Our apartment block is a fair distance away from the main gate where we have to take him out to relieve himself.
As a senior dog, sometimes he can’t hold his pee in. We always carry a bottle of water with us for any such situation.
Yet, we are worried because most people show no compassion. I guess who has the time to think about what others may be going through.
Coco was so much happier in our old home where it was easier for him to relieve himself as the distance was so less.
I can’t wait to go back to my old home if for nothing else than to make Coco’s final days easier and happier.
But, yes, that way was a really tough day. It took him about 3-4 days to get back to his previous normal self much to our delight.
It’s difficult to reconcile ourselves to the fact that his days with us are not too many. And to see him struggle at the things he could do effortlessly.
If you have a pet, go and hug them now. Cherish every moment you spend with them. And, for God’s sake, never tell your friend that your dog is aging or old.
It may be a touchy subject with them.
Oh Rachna, this post brought tears to my eyes! It reminded me of my darling Chikoo and his condition in his twilight years. Our pets are our babies, and to see them suffering even slightly makes our hearts stop beating. Tight hugs to you and Coco. May the painkillers work their magic and help him move around comfortably.
When Chikoo developed arthritis, his legs would slip on our floor and he too would find it tough to get up and move around. So, we placed yoga mats and carpets everywhere in the living room and the passage leading to the bathroom so he could walk that distance.
What does the doctor say? Did he prescribe any meds and supplements for Coco’s joints?
Hugs Shilpa! I was thinking of you as well and remembering Chikoo. It is just so tough that our pets have such short lives. The vet says that he may have osteoarthritis and that his joints are acting up due to the cold. Yes, I have also put mats to keep him warm and also to help him get up. The worst part is that Coco will not relieve himself inside the house no matter what we try. That has been so very tough especially when he is sick. Yes, he is on joint supplements for now. Let’s see.
It was the same with Chikoo. I read that labradors are predisposed to joint problems. Poor babies!
My husband would carry Chikoo from our car to his favorite spot to help him relieve himself whenever we got him out. At home, he had learned to use the bathroom, so that was fine, easy for him.
Loads of hugs to Coco and you <3
Coco doesn’t allow us to lift him. He has a fear of heights so that makes it even more difficult for us. Yes, I know that Labrodors are predisposed to arthritis. I just hope that he does not have much issue. But yes, he is aging so age-related troubles are going to get worse. We are bracing ourselves. Hugs to you too!
Having a pet is like opting for a child. Both require the same care, attention and love. Unfortunately pets have a short life and their loss or suffering leave the owners sad. Owning pets is a conscious choice for the joy they give.
Nicely written post..
You are absolutely right. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.
I was feeling terrible reading this all Rachna. I know how heartbreaking it is to lose a pet and thats the only worst part about having one.
Coco sounds like the perfect gentleman pet and I pray for his well being. Hugs to both you and Coco.
So sad to hear about your Coco, Rachna! I feel for him. It must be so heartbreaking for you to see him in so much discomfort and pain. Sending healing vibes for him him to ease the challenges that are coming to him now, in his twilight years. You know you all are doing the best that you can, and making the most of the time you spend together.
I don’t have pets but can feel your plight, Rachna. Just hang in there!
Sad to hear about Coco. Can’t even begin to imagine what you guys must be going through. 🙁
Btw, I think you’ll recognize me from my blog content, but I now have a different blog address, where I blog anonymously as ‘Kay’.
Are you Kadambari? New blog now. Will check it out. So nice to hear from you.