Worf turned out to fit into the family as if it was always meant to be. He was the easiest dog to live with that has ever been my pleasure to share. I expected that I would have him maybe a year, maybe two. As it turned out he stayed with us four years to the day. Worf was a calm, accepting dog. He loved the trip to the ranch, and wandering the pastures. He made friends with the ranch dogs. For most of his stay with me he was in such good condition that I could not believe he was as old as I had been told. As he left behind his 16th year and entered the 17th he started to have some incontinence issues. And he started needing help to ensure he got up and down the stairs safely. He was always able to manage without being lifted or carried, but he needed a steadying hand.
With most of my dogs the end comes as a result of some trauma, typically cancer. The decisions, while never easy, are at least fairly clear. It was different for him. I was at an agility event and a vet hestitently and cautiously offered the opinion what he didn't seem to have quality of life. I could answer some of her questions in a reassuring way - yes, he was eating normally on his own, yes, he could get himself up and a few more. But it did make me more attentive. One thing had happened and that was he was affected by some cognitative issues. This caused him to be very distressed in any unfamliar environment, such as an agility trial. He spent a lot of time agitated, pacing. I finally decided I just couldn't trial anymore. I first tried boarding him at the vet, but that made things worse. So we just stayed home. Then we started approaching summer. At temperatures less than 80 things were fine, but when it got warmer than that he had a horrible time. And that turned out to be the deciding factor. I could not predict the weather. I knew, however, he did not deserve to suffer just because I wanted to keep him around. And so the end came with peace and dignity and planning.
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Copyright © 2012, Diane Blackman Created: July 31, 2016 Updated: August 12, 2017
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