Mom, I am so pleased to hear your update. We lost a very dear elderly bitch last June and the grief was intense - I have never seen DH so upset. However, we knew almost immediately that taking on another rescue dog was the right thing to do, and that we were certain she would have approved. We called up one of the rescues we volunteer for and asked about fostering an elderly dog, and within a couple of days the Norty Minx arrived. The day we picked her up, I had tears streaming down my face - it was a very bittersweet moment (fortunately the other rescue people understood completely). She has brought us so much joy and happiness since she's been with us and every day I am so pleased she is not spending her last years in a kennel, but is loved and cherished. I can honestly say I probably think fondly of our beautiful old girl every day but taking on a new foster was the right thing to do. Once you have been involved in rescue, it doesn't make sense to have an empty space when you know you can be filling it and helping another dog. Good luck with the fostering, and i hope Alberta pup will soon find a forever home.
Just a quick update. I didn't end up getting another dog but I started volunteering at the humane society, walking dogs, and I have arranged to take on another foster dog. I don't know much about her really, she is a young shepherd mix, she was found tied up outside a house with two other dogs, the owners had just left them there when they moved bastards. I expect she will arrive this weekend. So, life goes on. I miss my old boy dearly but I know I did the right thing, there'll never be another like him. My old foster dog is in a foster home in Alberta with another pitbull and is doing great, he is up for adoption. I don't think it will take long to find him a home.
Thank you everyone. I actually feel fairly at peace with it at the moment, although I know there are still more tears to come. I have cried a lot already over this already, and until yesterday part of that was fear of the unknown, because I was always worried that I would come home from somewhere and he would be gone or, even worse, only half gone, or that he would collapse on one of the walks and I would be panicked. Instead, it was peaceful and calm at the vet. He didn't like anyone touching his legs so he was sedated and he just literally lay down and went to sleep and then the vet injected him. I know he didn't suffer in anyway and we always loved him as best we could.
I have cleared all of his supplements out of the house so that I don't have to think of him being sick, I want to remember him as he actually was.
Tonight we are having pizza and chocolate lava cake for dinner to celebrate his life. It's the kind of dinner he would have appreciated.
I also feel a bit better about the foster going now. On Monday I had been thinking that if only I had been stronger at the airport I would have not let him go, but now I think that letting him go was the strong choice because it would have been easier for me to keep him here, but harder for him to stay. The rescue that has him now have posted pictures of him in the airport and he has his usual big goofy grin on and waggly tail, he will make a lucky family very very happy.
I am away with my kids next week but when we get back we are going to start looking for a brother for our younger dog. She was very attached to the foster and has been moping since he left, she needs a new friend.
I lost my old boy today. Something must have happened internally yesterday because yesterday morning he was happy and eager for a walk and pulling on the lead, wanting to go further, and today he could barely get past our neighbour's house. I guess one of the tumours must have ruptured but it wasn't enough to finish him off. Anyway, the vet got us in quickly. He lay on his mat all day yesterday and wouldn't touch any food but this morning he ate two big bowls of meatballs and cheese and wagged his tail when we got to the vet, and managed to get himself up their stairs all by himself (he couldn't get into the car though).
He is sadly missed but I'm glad that the end was peaceful for him. I don't think he was in pain, just very very weak from internal blood loss. And I don't have to worry about him anymore.
So sorry Momnipotent but please don't beat yourself up over the decision you made for foster dog. You chose the best decision for him. Hopefully he will have a lovely new family and get the freedom to run around which you can't offer him at the moment because of the BSL.I think when you are in an emotional state which you are at the moment with older dog you do doubt every decision you make but the decision you made you made for him. Lots of hugs to older dog enjoy every day with him
Thank you for the sympathy. I think that is all anyone can offer. Our foster dog was just wonderful and we really did love him but I wonder if part of the reason I am so upset is because I feel like I could do someting for the foster. There is nothing I can do to help my old boy but I feel like if only I had been stronger I would have told them I wasn't taking him to the plane, or I would have refused to hand him over at the airport. Instead, I just let him go and now I will never see him again. I feel helpless on all fronts. Nothing I can do for my old boy and now nothing I can do for the foster dog either. I haven't cried this much in years.
You poor thing, one problem would be bad enough but both is just awful. I can't really think of anything practical and useful to say ... just wanted to sympathise and hope you enjoy the rest of the time you have with your old boy. I used to have the same fear with one of my bridge babies - that she'd collapse on a walk ... she did collapse - but suddenly, at home. I wish you all well.
I don't even know what to do with myself but I know I am not coping very well right now.
We have three dogs of our own and we are a foster for a rescue group. Two of our own dogs are older (11 and 10), we have had them since they were puppies. The third is 18 months old, she was our first foster dog.
Since December we also had a foster dog, he was a pit bull which is a banned breed where I live (Ontario).
About a month ago I took our two older dogs in to the vet for their annual checks. Both of the older dogs are long-term Metacam users so part of the check is to measure liver function. My older dog has had suspicious looking liver results for the past 2 years, last year we went through a series of tests to see what was going on but nothing was resolved, and the liver enzymes were not so elevated that it was of particular concern. This dog also tore both cruciate ligaments when he was 5 and he had the TLPO surgery so for a while I could fool convince myself that the elevated alk phos was due to the surgery on his knees.
The liver enzymes came back this time and they are sky high. He had an Xray - there is a "central hepatic mass". He had an ultrasound and a biopsy - he has hemangiosarcoma. About 80% of his liver is lesioned, there are lesions in his spleen, there is a tumour on his bum and one coming up on his side and the pathologist that looked at the biopsy thought that the liver was a metastasis from elsewhere so they suspect heart. After we got these results I didn't want him to go through any more testing.
Obviously surgery is out and chemo doesn't work on this cancer. I have a holistic vet as well as a traditional vet. The holistic vet prescribed some things and told me of some other natural supplements to try. I changed his diet and put him on a special cancer diet. It all started well, he was happily eating his meals with the supplements mixed. That ended last week. I spent most of last week eliminating supplements to try and find a combination that he would eat but the answer is none- he will eat no supplements mixed into his food and he will eat no supplements without food so basically since last week we have not been treating him with anything. This is a blood vessel tumour so the tumours basically consist of a number of blood vessels. At some point one of these blood vessels will likely rupture and he will collapse and die from internal bleeding. In the meantime he shows no signs of suffering other than that he is not really eating. He still wants to go for his walk everyday and that has become my barometer of "quality of life"; when he refuses the walk I know he feels bad. At the same time I am scared to death that he will collapse on the walk one day and I will be stuck! He is about 80 lb, I wouldn't be able to get him home on my own in a collapsed state. So, I have to take my phone with me on every walk now. I hardly ever have my phone with me, but now it comes dog walking with me. He gets his own walk (used to go with the other dogs) and we go at his pace and where he wants.
So, I have been trying to come to terms with this over the past month or so. I expect that he will be gone by the end of the summer. He has lost quite a bit of weight and this cancer is a nasty one. For years I have been dreading the time when he would go, he is our first dog, older than all my kids, and also by far the favourite. So this sucks.
Our foster dog had been the shining light in the house over the past 6 months. He was 6 months old when he got here, full of life, full of beans, very affectionate and cuddly. We all loved him dearly. On Friday I received an email that he was being transferred to a rescue in Alberta - there is no BSL there. I know this is best for him, he has to be muzzled here and he absolutely hated it and we could never let him be off leash anywhere, etc. The anti-BSL legislation is on the table in the Ontario legislature and so close to being approved, but not fast enough. He left yesterday.
I am heartbroken! I have lost my lovely foster dog that we would have adopted if we could have him here, and I am probably going to lose my old boy in the next month or so. I feel like I can't stand it! Yesterday it was all I could do not to go racing off in the car after the foster. I want to ask the rescue that has him to hold on to him for me in case the BSL gets repealed so that I could get him back but that isn't fair to him, he deserves his own family.
My younger dog is moping. I can barely speak for tears and I still have to face the loss of my old boy.
Sorry this is so long, I just had to get it out and I can't speak past the constant lump in my throat.