FATE IS IRREFUTABLE – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Irrefutable

Bonnie has been changing. The relentless barking. Her unwillingness to sit with us on the sofa. She seeks out dark corners and no longer hears me when I call her. She also can’t see well and the other night, one of he teeth just fell out. But she sure does sleep well.

It was vet time yesterday. There was too much that seemed wrong and so un-Bonnie. We learned immediately that her teeth were awful — and considering we had them done twice in a row two years ago, they shouldn’t be that bad. But the teeth of small dogs go very quickly as they age. We have seen in it other small terriers and even though our vets are the most reasonably priced in the area for this work, she’s going to lose a lot of teeth. And she also needs senior dog bloodwork because, as the vet rather gently pointed out (he’s not always a very gentle guy), dogs change, much like aging people change with their years … and they don’t change back.

She isn’t the dog she was been for all the years we have had her, which is from baby dog — 9 weeks — to now. I trained her in the deep snow of winter and she was always the most charming of our dogs.

The vet delicately pointed out that since she is going deaf, is partially blind and to top it all, she appears to be getting a bit demented. Which is probably what all the barking about. These days, all she seems to know how to do is shout.

We need to consider her quality of life, the vet’s polite way of saying “That time is coming around again.”

We’ve had Bonnie longer than any other dog and while I know  — knew — always knew — this moment would come, I always dreaded it. Especially because we are getting too old to take on a young pet and too poor to manage old ones.

We’ve got a few months to think about it. To square up our elderly hunching shoulders and get it together.

I don’t think we’ll be getting more dogs. We are now at the point where our dogs are likely to outlive us. We don’t really have anywhere to send them, either. There’s no one to care for them if we are gone.

We have both throughout our lives had a morbid tendency to wait until too late to deal with the end game properly. We don’t want to let go. There’s nothing easy about it and even though we have two other dogs in the house — and I know part of the reason we got Duke was that the other two were getting old. We were not talking about it, but we knew. We didn’t want to know.

I’m quite sure Duke will be our last dog. I swear, he knows. Dogs know a lot.

I’m not going to make this a crying and wailing post. I have been through this too many times. It’s the worst when there’s no lethal ailment to make it inevitable but just a general winding down of a life.

I thought she would live longer. She’s small. I had hoped for a good solid 15 or 16 years from her, but she has been aging faster than seemed reasonable for the past couple of years. I could see it in her coat turning so quickly gray and odd changes in her behavior.

Technically, Gibbs is the same age but seems much younger. I’ve always wondered if he was really the age on his papers. He was kenneled and they lie about their dogs. So I think he’s good for a while … but I wonder how Duke and Gibbs will get on without Bonnie. She has always been the sweet spot between the two boys.

Talk about irrefutable. The passage through life always ends the same way. It doesn’t matter how well we feed them or how sweetly we love them or how they care for us. Time does what time does. Why do the best ones always seem to go first?



Categories: #FOWC, Animals, Daily Prompt, dogs, Fandango's One Word Challenge, Gallery, Getting old, Pets, Photography

Tags: , , , , , ,

47 replies

  1. the heartache! It’s so, so difficult to let go of our furry friends – and we never forget any of them. My condoleances.

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  2. My heart is with you and Garry, Marilyn. I’ve been through it a couple of times, too, and I dread the day we no longer have Cody. We’ve already decided that Cody is our last dog. Hopefully she’ll live another 7-10 years, and by that point we won’t have the energy for another dog and probably will be going into senior housing anyway. It’s going to be so hard having a life with no pets. Hugs.

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  3. I’m so sorry to hear this. Enjoy what time you have remaining with her, which I hope is still a good long while.

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  4. I’m sorry, Marilyn and Garry. Having come to love Loki so much, I can’t imagine that day. Well in fact, he’ll outlive me, I’m sure since he’s still a pup, but having lost Porsche, I know the coming to terms with the idea is overwhelming and sad.

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  5. I’m sure sorry to read about this, Marilyn. I remember from my own experience what a difficult time in a beloved pet’s life this can be. Not easy, no matter what. Bonnie’s a lucky girl, to have had you, Garry, and “the boys.”

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  6. Marilyn–I am so sorry to read this. Deciding what to do is the worst.

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  7. Marilyn, I wanted to warn you that as I read your post about Bonnie I was just putting the final touches to a new post about one of our days in Wales after the Quest. But you may not want to read it because it’s a medieval legend about a beloved dog. I wouldn’t want to upset you any further, so I completely understand if you give this one a miss. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Cindy is also 13 so this is something I think about. So far although she has cloudy eyes and seems to sleep more soundly, she doesn’t always hear me when I come home, she seems OK but I know that for a big dog like her the clock is ticking. Dementia does explain Bonnie’s barking and other behaviours. My first dog Tammy was like that at the end . she could not see or hear much but then it seemed as if sometimes she forgot what she was supposed to be doing and just stood there. She was 16 when we made the decision to have her put to sleep. The fun had gone out of her life. I knew the day I called her for a walk and she didn’t respond. I hope you have a few good months with Bonnie before it’s time to say goodbye.

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  9. I’m so very very sorry. I know you’ll do the humane thing, but it won’t hurt any less because it’s kind. With the loss of my beloved Huny in February (she wasn’t quite 12), I don’t know what’s happening here in our reality. It seems the doggies are leaving earlier and earlier, almost as if they know something vile is coming and God grants them the grace to leave at their will. You and Garry take care of each other and be of comfort when the day does come. And remember you have a friend in Utah (whom you’ve never met) who will mourn with you at the loss of yet another ‘best one’. Maybe that old song is true “only the good die young.” Certainly those full of grace and beauty, the wondrous dogs, seem to. Far too soon. My condolences. ❤

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    • It’s the choice you make when you adopt pets. You know they will go before you and you will hate dealing with it and mourn long afterward. Which doesn’t make it any easier. At least not for the humans. I suspect it is a relief to the dogs and cats.

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  10. So sorry to hear about Bonnie — please give her a hug and a (soft) doggie treat for me!

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  11. Wishing Bonnie (and her Mom and Dad) many special moments
    before she enters that other realm. She has a regal bearing and
    looks as if she is deep in thought. I’d love to know what’s on her mind.

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  12. This is the worst part of having pets – having to make the dreaded decision and knowing you’ll lose them at some point. It’s heart-breaking and I’ve been there many times too, so I know exactly what you’re going through. A few years ago I had to let my beloved cat, Aslan, go as he had Cancer, and I really did go through hell. I’d had him for 17 years from a kitten, and we were very bonded. It was just me and him long before Stuart or the kids came along. Losing him broke my heart. Bonnie is still beautiful, and I hope you can all enjoy your last few months together, sad as it will be. I’m sorry for all of you, and sending you big hugs. When the terrible time does come, she will leave you with a legacy of wonderful memories. ❤

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  13. Our dog, a large (70+ pound) Shepherd/Lab mix, is almost 14 and is declining fast. I think my wife and I are going to be having to deal with the same decision that you and Garry will be facing. And the very thought of it is breaking our hearts.

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    • I’ve been avoiding even taking her to the vet because I knew. Between the blindness and deafness, it’s a problem, but with the rotten teeth — is putting her through a major surgical oral procedure really what we ought to be doing? We always wait too long.

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  14. So sorry to read about Bonnie’s problems. I wish her well over the coming months.

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  15. No one can escape it, Marilyn. It’s a difficult decision.
    Leslie

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  16. I’m dreading ‘that’ visit to the vets, or that moment when she doesn’t haul herself up to greet me. Hugs to you both, Marilyn.

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  17. So sorry, but we have to face it some time with our pets. Our tabby is now 17 years old and has kidney problems, has lost a little weight, but is still active. We had three felines and she is the last and outlived them all, but we know that one day the time will come and there will be no more cats for the exact reasons that you say there will be no more dogs.

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    • This is going to be really awful. She still has good days and bad and has an appetite. So maybe we’ll have the winter. Gibbs is still apparently fine and Duke is still young — and if he stops eating weird things he finds outside, he should be fine. But losing Bonnie is going to be rough. We got her when she was only 9 weeks old. How did all this time pass so fast?

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