Coming to terms with an aging Dog…

I have (had) 3 dogs…. Lakoda, Dingo and Blue, the 3 Amigos… the 3 Musketeers… Last year after 7 months of treatment in Knoxville at the UT VET Center I had to make a tough decision and euthanize Dingo.  That was a year ago.

Lakoda is the oldest of the three.  She is now 15 years and 5 months.  I brought her home in December of 2002.  She was 8 weeks old.

Yesterday I take Lakoda to the VET to discuss Lakoda’s euthanasia.


The photo above is Lakoda March 7th 11am EDT.

My VET yesterday was not opposed to the euthanasia.    But I wasn’t prepared to make such a final decision so I have an appointment scheduled for  March 20th… look at the photo.  Based on the photo, does this look like a dog that is ready to be euthanized?  That decision is final.  I don’t get a do over…

Lakoda is now 99 percent dependent on me.  I have to take her to get water, hold her to drink.  I have a 10 inch high stainless steel container.  I keep the container filled with fresh water to the top.  Lakoda likes to lap at the edge of the top of the container, lapping up against the stainless steel rim.  So when the water drops about an inch or so I replace with fresh water.  I now hand feed her dry dog food and she will eat about 4 ounces several times a day along with various treats.  I have to carry her to the edge of the road to do her business several times during the day as well as over night.  I use an old long sleeve shirt, knotted at each sleeve to support her as she walks always to the left as she prepares to poop or pee…

Lakoda can no longer romp and run on the back end of the Chickamauga National Battlefield.  She can no longer walk more than a few feet without assistance from me.

She can’t run in the front yard. She can’t choose to get up and eat and get a sip of water.  She can’t get up on her own and take a poop or pee… I’ve protected her all her life.  I provided a warm dry place to live… with good meals and health care all her life… but I can’t protect her from getting old.  My VET tells me I need to make the decision based on her quality of life.

As I write this Lakoda is sleeping in the front seat of my RED Jeep Cherokee.  I’ve been blowing leaves in the front yard and cleaning up a bit this morning.  I use the front seat of the Jeep as you would use a crate… the RED Jeep was her first ride in an automobile.  I drove to the mountains of East Tennessee in December of 2002 and picked her out or a squirmy litter of 7 pups on a very dark night using a flash light.  Put her in a card board box and made the 70 mile trip to the house.

And sometime in the next few weeks I will have to place her in the front seat of the 2001 RED Jeep Cherokee for her FINAL Ride…

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