Thursday, January 8, 2009

Good Bye Doobie Dog

After a traumatic couple of days, Doobie was put to sleep yesterday. He was part of my family for 10 years and it was sad to lose him, for myself and for my kids, but Grandma is beside herself with grief. I am scared about dealing with this and how her Alzheimer's will affect the situation.

On the way to the vet yesterday, after Doobie had fallen down the stairs and couldn't move his limbs, I knew that he would not recover. We had just been at the vet the day before, and Doobie was put on pain medicine that he would have to take for the rest of his life, so we had already been discussing his quality of life. In my opinion, it would be best not to even subject Doobie to X-rays or tests and just end his suffering. She agreed and we drove a few minutes more. Then she said "we can just leave him there while they do the X-rays", not remembering the difficult conversation we had just had.

Luckily, the doctor there was the one I like more and is more compassionate and logical in my opinion, and did not recommend tests. She said she could tell his spinal cord was injured and that even a young, healthy dog might not make it through surgery and intensive physical therapy. We decided to put him to sleep and Grandma and I stayed with him while his suffering ended.

Most of the day she wouldn't eat or take her medicine and didn't want to talk to anyone on the phone. She cried off and on throughout the day. In the evening, she did not want to watch Top Chef with us and went downstairs and I helped her call her sister who had lost her husband two days ago. Later I went down and got her eye drops for her, that she usually does when she gives Doobie his medicine at night. I told her I was going to take Doobie's medicine off her table now. She asked why and I responded that he doesn't need it anymore and I was worried she would get confused and think it was for her.

"Why doesn't he need it anymore?"

Fuck. She did not remember. And I had to remind her that Doobie had died and she started crying again. What a cruel torture.

At the end of 2008, I was reflecting on how it really was not a bad year. I remember at the start of the year feeling overwhelmed with caring for Grandma and thinking "I don't know if I can do this". But I adjusted and she really did not get any worse I don't think. I am grateful for that and have been thinking "so far so good; I can do this". I hope I was right.


Jennifer said...

Oh, gosh, SS, I am so sorry. What a terribly difficult situation.
I am amazed at all you do and how well you handle the stress.
Your grandma is very lucky to have you, as was Doobie.

Sarah's Blogtastic Adventures said...

I am sorry to hear about the loss of your dog. I know how they can become such a big part of the family. Your Grandma is very lucky to have you around. Just take it one day at a time! : )

Katie said...

SS, you are doing a fantastic job and handling all that life has thrown at you. Hang in there and yell if you need help!

Laura said...

I'm sorry to hear that Doobie is no longer with us. He was so cute with his massive underbite! You did the right thing. I hope your grandma understands and that you don't have to suffer through breaking the news to her any more.

Ramble On said...

So sorry. I remember your earlier post about Doobie and thought how lucky both Doobie and Grandma are. You seem to find the strength to handle whatever comes. Take some time for yourself along the way.

Secret Server said...

Thank you all. There have been no more horrific lapses of memory about putting him to sleep. She is still very sad, of course. But normal grief, I think we can handle, even though it is painful.