Twelve years ago when we decided to keep six puppies from a litter of eight, it was fun. It was a lot of work and loss of sleep, but it was fun. I learned so much about pack dynamics from them but mostly it was laughter and games and lots of clean up.
When you're holding several warm wiggly puppies it's easy to focus on the present and not think about how it will all end. At the time Dr B warned me that the time would come when they were all old dogs and we'd start losing them, possibly close together. We were all aware of the future but we went ahead and enjoyed our pack of littermates.
The future is here. In August we lost Bailey, in January we lost Fudge and last week we lost Sebastian and Noah. It's so hard but it's the deal we made.
Unfortunately we're not finished. We have three girls left and they each have some health issues that we're aware of and trying to deal with.
Two weeks ago Norma Jean had a serious accident that left her unable to walk for several days. We discussed letting her go, but Norma Jean is a tough girl and though she's pretty wobbly, she's getting around on her own. She has a neurological problem that has our vet stumped and she takes pain meds daily but we're taking it day by day.
This morning Lola collapsed on the stairs on her way to breakfast. We carried her upstairs and gave her something for pain. She was unable to stand for awhile but now after several hours of rest she's telling me that she's hungry and looking forward to her dinner. She's walking on her own again but she also has some other problems. She has masticatory muscle myositis so that she needs soft food. She also has pretty severe arthritis so that she moves stiffly.
Finally there's Tess who has arthritis in her deformed front legs.
We trying to spend as much quality time as possible with the girls because we know our time together is short. I knew going into this how it would end. That doesn't make it any less painful, but I would make the same choice all over again.