MORE PICTURES OF BONNIE – OUR SMALL BLACK SCOTTISH TERRIER – Marilyn Armstrong

Scotties can live a long time, though most pass some time between 12 and 16 years old. We lost Gibbs at the beginning of February, quietly, in his sleep on the sofa. Now, Bonnie is on her way to that land of rainbows.

Usually, dogs develop an illness you know about. You can’t always make it better, but you can often control symptoms for a while. Often before a disease takes them down, arthritis makes them so miserable there’s little reason to keep a dog in obvious pain alive because you’re too selfish to let them go. We have learned the hard way over many years of having pets who we didn’t let go because we couldn’t make a decision — is wrong.

Bonnie has been failing a little at a time for a long time. Her eyes have been bad for much of her life, but even with a lot of attention, they are worse now. I do not know how much she can see.

She is almost entirely deaf. If you shout in her ear, she hears a bit and certain treble notes seem to reach her. But our voices aren’t there for her and it’s surprisingly difficult to manage a once-hearing dog who no longer can.

She has developed canine dementia. She has good days … or more to the point … she has good hours or minutes. The rest of the time, she’s agitated and barks continuously until she is exhausted and so are we. I doubt she knows why she is barking.

She also isn’t the same dog we’ve known and loved. Garry feels like he is reliving the last years of his mother’s life, but this time, it’s his Scottie and the conversation is limited.

She isn’t friendly and doesn’t want to be petted. She has about two minutes of tolerating being close to one of us. She isn’t hostile, but a lot of the time, I don’t think she is sure who we are or, for that matter, who she is. She knows the house, though. Even with limited sight and hearing, she can find her way around. And she can manage the stairs.

Bonnie Annie Laurie

Her teeth went from fine a year and a half ago to appalling now. Assuming we could manage to find the nearly $1000 dollars it would cost to have most of them removed, that wouldn’t fix the rest of her. Her eyes won’t come back or her hearing. And her furry little brain isn’t going to uncloud.

It’s time to let her go.

The all-night barking is not doing much for Garry and my relationship either. We get very little sleep and we are tired and snappish a lot of the time. Three or four hours of sleep isn’t enough.

It’s hard to keep her in bed with us. Also, she is old enough that a jump from our rather high bed would likely break or tear something. The Duke will jump up and settle down, but Bonnie sleeps for only a few hours, then has to go out. Now she seems to be having trouble catching her breath. I don’t know what it means, but it isn’t good.

We finally decided that there’s not much for her or us to get from this relationship. She is so stressed and confused and this is causing us to stress, too. We aren’t spring chickens either.

It is hard to imagine life without her. She has been with us since she was 9-weeks old. She has been a wonderful dog. Funny, quirky, and full of fun. Last night, I took pictures. She still looks pretty good, though she has put on a lot of weight recently, maybe because she doesn’t do much anymore.

Sometime during the next week, she will be gone. It really is hard to imagine life without her. I still haven’t entirely become used to Gibbs being gone, and now, apparently, it’s time for another one to leave us.

34 thoughts on “MORE PICTURES OF BONNIE – OUR SMALL BLACK SCOTTISH TERRIER – Marilyn Armstrong

    • We had a really bad night last night. Again. She wandered into the yard and couldn’t find her way back. I finally left all the light on so she could find a direction. I wasn’t sure she could find our bedroom if the hallway wasn’t lit. It was sad watching the ebullient Duke try his best to get her to follow him. He gets behind her, gives her a push with his nose, then runs in front of her and keep doing it until either she came with him or he gave up and went back to bed.

      I think that point HAS been reached. She can’t see or hear or understand. She still loves those treats, though. I will miss her terribly. 13 years gone so fast.

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  1. she is a sweet doll. I’m sorry she’s going through this, it must be hard for all of you. I had no idea that animals could get this horrible disease.

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  2. One of the saddest decisions is to let go of one of our four-legged companions, but it is the quality of life that most matters. When they reach the time of physical pain or mental incapacitiy that cannot be remedied, the kindest act is to put them to sleep. I feel for you, having had to do it to both dogs and cats,but I also know their spirits still visit us.

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    • Eventually, someone has to decide. I don’t think Garry can make the decision. I don’t want to, but I understand when it’s over and keeping going is hard for everyone, humans and canine. It hurts, but i do what needs to be done.

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  3. My sympathies. I haven’t the words to express the depth of grief this post evoked. I am awed (once again) at Garry and your depth of compassion though. Love for your girl. In 1997 I had to make a similar decision when my Beni came to the same state of being as your girl. He wasn’t deaf though, but he developed severe dementia and I was the only person he knew. I’d had him 17 years and he’d seen me through the worst days of my life. I couldn’t let go. Hubby finally made the decision for me and pointed out that making them suffer because it’ll cause us pain is wrong. Your bonny bonny lass has had a great life. Gibbs waits for her over Rainbow Bridge (in my belief system anyway). They’re not old, in pain, confused nor suffering any longer. My heart goes out to the two of you and Mr. Duke. I will be grieving with you. Take care.

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  4. I know that you knew this day was coming but that doesn’t make it any easier, especially so soon after Gibbs. It sounds as if Bonnie no longer has much quality of life and letting her go is the kindest thing for her now. I am glad that you have got the Duke. Even though he was an unplanned dog I think he will be a comfort to have around.

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  5. I am so sorry, Marilyn. I used to tell our vet that our little Maltese, Muffin, had doggie dementia. She said it is truly a thing. Poor Muffin was so confused at the end. Much as I did not want to let her go, I had to. There was no quality of life. This is coming too soon after Gibbs. My heart is breaking for you and Garry.

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    • It’s so strange how pairs of dogs seem to die close to each other. I always wondered if Bonnie missed Gibbs. He protected her. Duke tried, but he’s a puppy and is just too high energy for Bonnie. But she’s so lost these days. She is so confused by simple things like the doggy door. She can’t see through it anymore. If the lights are low, she can’t find her way. It’s time. Very sad, but the time probably came weeks ago, but we weren’t ready.

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  6. I’m so very sorry, Marilyn. It’s an agonising decision but I’m sure you’ve made it at the right time – best for you and best for Bonnie. I’ve never heard of canine dementia, but it sounds horrible. Thinking of you, and wishing you all the very best at such a difficult time.

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  7. So sorry to read this. I have said goodbye to three cats and it never gets easier. Tabby never complains and is still functioning, but no longer as she was. Although perhaps a cat is not to compare with a dog, it does not get easier for any of us to realise what will happen eventually. It’s is a difficult choice to make. We perhaps wish they would just sleep and not wake up as a relief for them and us. Although it is still distressing, there is no more pain, just a quiet slipping away. Bear up, we will be thinking of you both during this sad time.

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    • She has been getting increasingly confused and rather lost. She goes out and can’t remember how to use her door. Sometimes she is afraid of us, but then she follows us around but won’t let us touch her. It’s time, but it’s going to be a rough (holiday) weekend. It’s also frustrating and I’m finding it hard to write. I don’t want to be too depressing, but this is going to be very hard for us.

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  8. I’m so sorry, Marilyn. We, too, are dealing with a dog who can barely see, can’t hear so well, and sometimes doesn’t seem to know where she is or what she’s doing. We, too, are facing the inevitable and it’s really hard to come to grips with it. But it’s probably for the best for Bonnie. And for you and Garry.

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    • The vet said they just went through it with their OWN dog. You feel like you need to find “the perfect moment,” but it never comes. When you realize that your dog and you are both unhappy and it won’t get better, maybe that’s the time. It should have been a few weeks ago but we had just lost Gibbs. I needed a little time to breathe.

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    • I know your feelings. I’m in tears just reading all this and we felt like murderers when you bring your darling to its last trip to the vet. Our vet was the best possible man and we had a ‘precious last time with taking our Adieus’ but although you know it was an act of kindness giving your pet away to dog heaven, you still feel not only heartbroken but like s..t too.
      Some of the pain never goes away and it’s maybe a sign of our truly special relationship we can have with an animal. I always thought that she might have missed and searched for her ‘sister’, hence that insane barking. Wishing you both strength and the comfort of knowing that you will have done her a favour. We even went as far as saying that in many human conditions or would be helpful when ‘one’ could take the same decision….

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    • We probably should have faced this a few weeks ago, but with Gibbs going in February, we needed some time. But Bonnie is getting increasingly miserable and scared of everything. She was never scared of anything. A real trooper.

      I can’t write about it yet. Too painful. And she has good hours when she seems fine — but then night comes and she isn’t.

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  9. So sorry about your little Scottie! Our pets are beloved members of our families. I know it’s a hard thing to do to put her down, but it will relieve her suffering. I hope she will be happy in doggie heaven!

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