Its is 8:30 on the day we say good bye. It feels like and eternity will pass before 10:00 will get here. The closer it gets, the more intense the ach in my heart and sickness in my stomach get.
I prayed that I am making the right choice. Yesterday afternoon Bailley had another attack. It was mild but it left her very confused to the point that I do not think she knows who I am. I gave her something to help her sleep hoping she would wake and it would be gone. She is a bit better, not panting and pacing but she is still very confused. I love her so much I want this to stop for her.
I just wanted to sign in to tell everyone who is following and all those who ask about Bailley on a regular basis, tomorrow we must say good bye.
After 16 years 8 months and 27 days of life Bailley will be laid to rest. Over the last couple weeks she has declined to a point of not really wanting to eat. She turns away everything we present her with including rotisserie chicken. This morning she did eat a jar of beef baby food. I do think I could nurse her along a couple more days, maybe even weeks. Is that fair to her? She cannot go outside on her own anymore. We carry her out and sit her in the grass. She is so weak she struggles just to squat to pee, sometimes falling over. She could never find her way back to the door to come in. She sees shadows and hears next to nothing. She has started to wander more tracking her head back and forth as if she is nervous. She sleeps most of the day with little awake time and when she is awake it seems she is in a constant state of confusion.
This has been an agonizing decision for me to say good bye to my heart. I have struggled with, am I making the right choice? If she could talk would she say, “I am ready to rest.” The reasoning side of my brain is telling me, even if it may be a day or two too soon, why wait until it is an emergency situation where her passing would be a big stressful drama with the end result of her having to suffer.
We have a vet coming to our home at 10 am tomorrow morning, Bailley will go to rest in her bed, in her home, in peace.
After losing my precious Nonnie in October, I struggled with living in a world without her. It has been a hard road. I have started to move through life with only her memory beside me. I am a grown adult now and understand how life works. We cannot keep the ones we love forever. They say knowledge is power. Knowing loss does something to your heart. It is a pain unlike no other. A pain that seems to always be in the dark spots of my mind. The pain of losing my Nonnie was a place I was totally engulfed in for months following her death. Now it is a place I only find myself gravitating to once in a while. I am able to remember happy memories of her with a smile from time to time. I am able to function without wallowing in the dark.
The dark place will now hold the two lives I have found most precious and dear to me. I am there now. Thinking of what I have lost and fearful for how the world will look tomorrow at this time. The only comfort is my happy memories of felling love so deeply, so unconditional.
So just as I thought a week or so ago, Bailley is now going through a good time. She is wagging her tail when I come home, eating all her meals, she potties outside, even going out and in by herself. We are now 12 days from 16.5 years old. Two years ago, I would have never thought she would make it to 14 much less 16.5. When you get this old half years matter!!
Bailley’s issues at this point in the game are:
- She has hypothyroidism – controlled with meds
- Cushings – controlled with meds
- heart disease with a grade 5 murmur
Her symptoms are –
- hearing loss
- her vision is very limited. Im thinking she only sees shadows and light.
- Her right eye has become red and irritated, I assume it is possibly dry eye starting. I am controlling it very well with Genteal Severe Dry Eye relief lubricant.
- She coughs when she wakes up and off and on throughout the day
- Seems confused if you wake her. Like it takes her time to wake up
- Gassy with panting and discomfort at times – controlled with meds
On the positive side –
- Her skin looks great
- hair is full and grows quickly
- mostly does her business outside
- she eats her food, mostly unassisted
- She appears to not be losing weight anymore
- She takes meds pretty easy
- She recognizes me and wags her tail
- She loves her snacks and goes to the cookie jar when she notices others there
- She runs and plays in her sleep like a puppy
- She still digs in her bed and cleans her face after dinner
I have her on minimal meds at this point taking only her prescriptions and vibetra plus in intervals. We took her to see Doc last month and her condition was not any worse than a year prior. I have decided with my vet’s advice, there will be no more trips to vet. Only refilling her scripts and keeping her comfortable and happy with some kind of quality of life. All I can do at this point is try my hardest to appreciate each day. I pray she will go home to be with the angels while sleeping.
This past weekend was not a good weekend for sweet”B”
Saturday was not a good day as she was not perky and slept a lot. I laid on the floor, by her bed, Saturday evening as she napped. Wishing she could talk I contemplated how the end would be. Would she just go to sleep or will I have to make the hardest decision in my life. I know she is tired. She has ran her race and what an amazing race it has been. But how will I know for certain what her wishes are? How will I know that I am not giving up and letting her down? Searching for answers online I have done the quality of life calculator https://journeyspet.com/pet-quality-of-life-scale-calculator/ and she scored 5 on everything. However, Sunday brought another attack (vestibular, stroke) I gave her the anxiety pill, 1/2 tramadole and prayed for quick relief. The attack lasted a solid 45 minutes. The rest of the day was total confusion and weakness. She was wobbly walking and had difficulty with vision and depth perception. She had to drink from her bowl because she could not steady herself enough to drink from the spout on the water bottle.
She did eat dinner on her own, out of her bowl. I gave her ribeye steak and rotisserie chicken with a couple tablespoons of wet food. Maybe not a fair assessment of her appetite, who can resist this kind of dinner? She took all her evening medication with little issues (in peanut butter)
As night time rolled in she settled down into her bed and had a peaceful nights sleep. She did not wake at all during the night with a 6:30 am wake up. I took her outside, she walked in the grass to find the perfect spot and peed. Now she is having her morning nap under my desk as I write.
A bit of disorientation still has a grip on her this morning and my stomach is sick worried about what the day will bring. I am really struggling with this whole grief situation. While losing my grandmother is still very raw with moments of tears throughout the day, I have entered into a sort of pre grieving for Bailley. The pain is so intense at times I feel helpless to deal with it. I contemplate ways to avoid thinking of all this loss, emerging myself in endless chores to the point I am exhausted. At the end of each day I am finding being exhausted only feeds into a weak mind that is primed for grieving.
I look at the world around me and stand witness to just a fraction of the horrible things that take place every day. I have heard stories of the unthinkable that has touched so many lives. The things that are happening in my life are normal. It is the circle of life. My grandmother was was old, Bailley is old. No tragedy of sudden death. Life has been lived. Time demands restitution for a long life. How is it those who suffer such tragic loss emerge strong? How do they find the strength of mind to live a normal life? Do you just tuck it away and try not to think of it? Does time ease the pain of loss? I hope in time these answers will become clear to me. In the mean time I will endure and push forward in hopes there will be a peaceful end to Bailley’s story.
On Sunday 2/19 Bailley woke just as any other morning. Our routine started with her morning potty break. I put her in the grass and she started to pee when I noticed and felt an immediate change in her body language. I moved towards her and at that very second she started to dart off as if she was bit by something. I snatched her up screaming and she peed all over me in the same manner that a woman’s water breaks just before birth. I knew this behavior all too well as she suffered a similar attach in 2015 which left her mostly blind. We have Trazadone on hand due to that incident.
I ran in the house with Bailley in my arms as she screamed, peed, and fought to get away. My husband came running in to investigate the ruckus. With both of us I was able to locate the Trazadone, crush it in a spoon of water and squirt down her mouth. Was this the end? I had resolved myself I would do whatever needed to be done if she could not come out of this. I knew before making any harsh decisions running to the vet for her final sleep, I had to be calm and give it time.
The medication took some time to work so we took her in a closed room and for some reason I put her down hoping she would relax. It was a very scary situation. I decided to film what she was doing so I could show the vet if we needed to go in. The video below shows her in an active attack. One video shows me holding her and the other after I let her go. It was best not to touch her as that made it worse. You can see she starts to calm
WARNING: It is very disturbing
It took around 20 minutes but she finally calmed down and slept most of the day. I did a lot of research to find out what this is. It was dignosed as some sort of stroke the first time but after much reading and research on the internet I believe it could possibly be Vestibular disease or Old dog disease, which is related to a stroke.
Causes of the condition can include chronic and recurrent inner and middle ear infections, overzealous cleaning of the ears resulting in a perforated eardrum, trauma from head injury, stroke, tumors, polyps, meningoencephalitis, hypothyroidism, as well as certain drugs like the aminoglycoside antibiotics, including drugs like amikacin, gentamicin, neomycin, and tobramycin.
Come to find out when a dog is experiencing these attacks, they are better not picked up because they cannot get their bearings without touching the floor. They liken the attack to humans having vertigo. Dogs have no idea what is happening and it is stressful for them. She has never had an ear infection so I am lead to believe stroke may be the cause.
She was doing much better the following day but I still noticed she seemed dizzy. I found a natural medication that is supposed to help people with vertigo and was touted to help dogs with motion sickness. I ran to the vitamin shop at 8:30 pm and purchased the medication right before they closed for the evening. It is called Boiron Homeopathic Medicine Cocculus Indicus
I immediately gave her three tiny pellets crushed in a spoon of water. After about 10 minutes I noticed she was not tracking with her eyes and seem to calm and feel better. I have been using it ever since when I notice she is tracking and appears dizzy. I am so glad I found it.
So Bailley returned to pretty much normal a couple days later. A gift arrived for the dogs from a special Shih Tzu Mommy. I put the bag on the floor and was moved to tears when I saw Bailley acting like a normal dog.
I found out many people put their dogs to sleep when they have one of these attacks because they are so violent and scary they think the dog is dying and some vets dont understand the attacks either. I wanted to make others aware of this so they can possibly make an educated decision concerning their pets. Most of the time a sedative is what is needed to calm them down. Do some research on it before your dog suffers from this just so you are prepared.
This year on 2/13/17 Cody and I will be showing in New York. What an exciting time for Tian Mi Shih Tzu. I invite anyone interested to watch live streaming of the Shih Tzu breed judging at 1:30 on the Westminster web site located at http://www.westminsterkennelclub.org/ There will be links for each breed to watch them live. I don’t expect any big win but it will be a nice experience and we can hope to get an award of merit.