Like a walk through the country side living on a small farm is full of daily surprises, sometimes wonderful and amazing, and other times puzzling and sad. I hope you will walk with me as I live out my dream of living on this tiny farm. You will come to know the dogs, cats, Shetland sheep and chickens that make up this farm and what goes into keeping them happy and healthy. Come and join the journey with me.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Not a Happy Day

Early a.m. Monday, Ariel woke me up crying. Sometimes she gets in a bind and can't get up, so I didn't think too much of it. I went ahead and helped her up and put her outside since she wanted to go out, and turned the fan on her. About an hour later, around 4:00 a.m. Boone started barking and then I heard Ariel bark/whimper. At first I thought they were barking at something, but then I realized that it was Ariel crying again. I went out and got her up, but she wasn't walking right. She went out in the yard and I heard her crying again, so I got the sling and flashlight and went out and found her. She could walk with the support of the sling, but she couldn't get up on her own. I finally got her settled on their big bed out in the hall, with the fan blowing on her, and got some pain medication down her. It took awhile, but she finally relaxed a little.

I hoped that it was because she had been in the air conditioning during the night and she was just really stiff. I stayed home with her, because there was no way to leave her alone, but there was no improvement during the day. She can get up if I help her, and walk with the sling under her belly to support her hips/rear, but can't initiate getting up, or remain standing very long. As the day progressed it has become more difficult for her to walk the necessary steps to go out to potty.

I set up her inside dog bed, which is very thick and put sheets over it. Then I put the ex-pen around it, so she has to stay on it. She doesn't like it, but I can't risk her falling and struggling on the floor. She has been fairly comfortable today and her appetite is good. She is obviously failing though and I've come to the difficult decision to take her to the vet tomorrow to have her put to sleep. I hope that her night is not too hard. I have medications to give her if needed to ease the pain. I keep hoping that she will hop up and be okay, but it isn't looking very good.

Her breathing is hard, and it's very difficult for her to walk very far even with support. I just can't stand to hear her cry in pain, and hope that the meds will keep her comfortable tonight, like they have today.

It's been terrifically hot here and I've had the dogs in the house quite a bit over the weekend, so they could be cool in the a/c. She was fine yesterday--not spry, but moving around okay. I don't know if the extreme heat has precipitated this or being in the cooler a/c air. I guess it doesn't matter. Her health has been fragile for awhile, and it's been noticeable that she is losing ground.

As hot as it is, my worry is for all the critters. This is so hard on them, and it sounds like it's not going to break for a week or more.

Boone and Sage are besides themselves and Meshach has kept his head buried against the covers most of the day.

Tuesday (today)---our vet appointment is for 4:00 p.m. I know it's the right thing, but it's still very hard. She rested comfortably last night, but cannot move around. She can't get up or walk without assistance and it's obvious she is uncomfortable and in pain if the meds wear off.

I take her outside every few hours, but otherwise she is on her big bed resting in the a/c with the fan on her. I fixed her a special breakfast of fried chicken, hot dogs and cheese (she loves all three) and she enjoyed every hand fed bite. I'm just wishing this day was over. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers, please.


Vicki Lane said...

Sometimes it's the last gift we can give our animal friends -- to end their suffering. It's never easy but I've always been glad I could be with them and say goodbye.

There's a line from THE ONCE AND FUTURE KING about setting a mortally injured dog 'free to run among the stars . . .'

Blessings to you and Ariel.

Deb said...

My heart is just breaking for you. You will feel peace knowing the she isn't in pain any longer but I do know that this is such a terribly hard decision.
She's as lucky she had you as you are to have had her in your life.

Hugs to you both,

corinne said...

She was lucky to have had you in her life.

Nancy K. said...

As I write this, I know that Ariel is at peace but that YOU are suffering and in pain. Oh how the heart hurts when we have to say goodbye to one that we have loved and has loved us so unconditionally!

I hope you find peace quickly. I know that Ariel already has...

Star said...

I have had to make that decision a few times in my life, Tammy and it doesn't get any easier, does it. You are in my thoughts today. I am so sorry for you. Later, when the pain of parting eases, you will remember your four-legged friend so dearly, but for now, there are only the handkerchiefs.
Blessings, Star

kristi said...

My prayers and thoughts are with you Tammy. I grew up with a collie that was a dear friend for 15 years. Each one holds a special place in one's heart:)

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Oh, dear Tammy, I wish I could be there to cry with you and hug you and hear all the Ariel stories spill out between sobs. I'd probably share a few Rosie stories, too. Our best friends leave such huge holes in our hearts; I'm sorry.

Pamela said...

Oh my. I certainly feel for you. How difficult a decision to have to make. It cuts your heart out, doesn't it? All you can hold on to is that you are doing what's right for Vicki said, the last gift you can give her.

We are facing the same decision with Bessie....she's failing and we are trying to let go. I'm with Meshach on this one....I, too, want to hide my head in the bed covers.

thecrazysheeplady said...

Oh Tammy, I'm so, so sorry. {{{hug}}}

Shula said...

Sending you a big (hug) Tammy sorry you to hear about Ariel.

flickerslair said...

I am so sorry to hear about Ariel, it is heart breaking to be parted from our furry friends. We lost our Zeus recently and although I don't think we will ever stop missing him, it has become easier to remember the good times without tears.

Kathy said...

Oh, heart goes out to you as you and Ariel have reached this point. May this terrible hurt in your heart be one day replaced with fond memories of your friend and companion.
You are in my thoughts and prayers.

phylliso said...

My heart is breaking for you.You are doing the right thing even though you`d rather she`d get better,you know she`s not & it`s the last gift to give her,no suffering in pain,hugs to you,phylliso

Susan M. Bell said...

The right decisions are often the hardest to make. Ariel is at peace and pain free, running and playing like a spry pup again.

My thoughts are with you.

JK said...

You are in our thoughts and have our prayers Tammy. Hugs.

Tammy said...

Thanks everyone. Your thoughtfulness and comments are appreciated. We all share similar experiences and it's nice to have blog friends that understand and support each other. Thanks again. You are all a blessing to me.