(Main pic, American Eskimo dog, Popcorn, up for adoption now at the Niagara Falls Humane Society. For more info CLICK HERE).
Almost nine years ago, my mother and her, then, partner adopted a dog whom we named Chip, sometimes known as Chunk. He was estimated to be around 8 years of age. I will never forget the day that overweight Border Collie lumbered down the hallway to greet us.
When he lived with us, he was an absolute comedian. His favourite toy was an old mixing bowl that he would throw around in the air. Why a mixing bowl? We’re not entirely sure! This was discovered one day when he tossed his water dish around the room. He had a knack for finding tennis balls. Every trip to the park would not be complete if Chip hadn’t found at least two to bring home with him.
(Below, Demi, a Ragdoll mix up for adoption now at the Niagara Falls Humane Society. For more information CLICK HERE).
One of his best features was his underbite. This would cause his tongue to fall out of his mouth while he was sleeping and get stuck to the carpet. Daily.
We estimate Chip to be around sixteen or seventeen years of age. This week we received the unfortunate news that he seemed to not be doing so well and that it was time for us to discuss our options.
When it comes to elderly pets, I’ve heard people say that they don’t want to pull the trigger too soon. An elderly animal may have good days and bad days depending on their circumstances. But, in my own opinion, I believe a person should judge their pets quality of life before they ask themselves if it’s too soon.
Consider the amount that they eat, if their walks have turned into quick breaks in the yard, if they’re unable to do stairs and how much time they spend sleeping. Look at changes to their personality, etc. If you find yourself calling these things into question, it may be time to discuss your options with your vet. (Below, Beau, a Dutch Shepherd up for adoption now. For more information CLICK HERE).
It’s a difficult choice but what’s best for the animal needs to remain top priority. If you find yourself questioning whether or not you should, you may already know the answer.
You will experience a whole slew of emotions such as sadness or guilt but you may need to ask yourself, “Are they suffering?”.
(Below, Bumble, up for adoption now. For more information CLICK HERE)
Chip has led an incredible life. He’s been in boats, ridden in a big rig, splashed around in a lake, and he learned how to balance a treat on his nose. Now, we decide how to say goodbye to the dog who would paw at your leg until you pet him.
He’s a gentle soul with a sweet disposition and freckles on his nose. We are better for having cared for him and we will always remember him.
It’s one of the most difficult decisions a pet owner can make but we remain strong for them and we put their needs ahead of ours. We support others in their losses because we’ve all experienced it. It never gets any easier but we love them more for the time that they gave us.
This week’s column written by: Katarina Rind
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