Hi Everyone, and Happy 2021 to you all! It has been a VERY long time since I have been on this page, either to update or even to look at it, but both of our beloved Pembroke Welsh Corgis are getting on in years. I can't believe that the last time I was here, they were both, essentially, puppies. Griffin will be turning 11yo in February, and Violet turned 8 this past November. Griffin is acting every bit the Senior Corgi these days, sleeping most of the day each day, and has a very hard time getting up after his nightly sleep or after any of his many naps during the day. He can barely stagger along when he first starts moving, but does get better after he moves a bit. Violet, thank goodness, is still a feisty girl, and makes a lot of noise and lets us all know she's around.

My heart is already starting to break at the thought of the day when Griff will no longer be with us. I'm so hoping that he will stay happy and not hurting for a long time to come, but I'm afraid that may not be the case. My wife doesn't want me thinking this way, and says I should just be happy while he is still here. She is right, of course, but I'm wondering what any of you have done to make the ultimate decision in their Corgi's lives. I have had many dogs in my life, but circumstances have conspired such that I have never had to make that choice, consciously. Our Lab mix went to the Rainbow Bridge almost exactly 7 years ago, but she had ended up with some sort of auto-immune disease and within a few days, she went from completely healthy to paralyzed and convulsing, and we had no choice but to put her out of her pain, with no time to think about it. But that is the closest I have ever had to come to make that choice. My heart is heavy already when considering what we may have to do in the not too distant future...

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Comment by Julia on Tuesday

I lost my dear lilliput about two weeks ago. She was behaving like your Griffin. She also was not really controlling her potty habits. We would put her out one the deck, she would pee, then slip on the ice and fall off the deck. We were religious about her daily walk, but in the last few weeks they became slower and shorter. These changes seemed normal for a 14 year old. My greatest hope for her was that she would simply die in her sleep. But that was not to be.

In the last month of her life, other changes came about. These were the things that convinced me that her time had come. Once a vet helped me by asking, does your dog seem to know you? In that case, one day I looked in his eyes, and he just didn't seem to be there. She also asked if my dog still enjoyed the things he used to. With Lilliput, she first stopped eating. That was SO unusual for her. I fed her cat food, tuna, gravy. I hand fed her  peanut butter and scrambled eggs. Then she didn't even want that.

Other signs: Old dogs do wander around the house, especially at night. She began wandering into a wall and simply stayed facing the wall. She would wander into small spaces she couldn't leave because she couldn't back up. She stopped trying to boss the cats around, but would stand with them. She would sleep near me still, but not as close. Under the footrest of my chair instead of on my lap. The changes came gradually  over about a month. That was telling to me.. Then the question became, is she enjoying her life? One day I looked in her eyes, and it was clear that she had had enough. She hadn't eaten in two days, couldn't walk across the street. Nothing she used to enjoy had any interest for her anymore. These were most of the signs that she was ready.

I hesitated going to the vet because of covid restrictions. The routine was to hand off the dog at the door, wait in your car, then the vet calls your phone. I was so relieved to learn that in this case two people were allowed to come in. She was not alone.

Lilli was my best companion of all my dogs. It was hard to say goodbye, but much of her was already gone, I dreaded this day for so long, like you did. I had had two senior dogs, and a senior cat. I lost all of them recently. The worry about losing them was always with me. That worry is gone, replaced by grief and loss. But these feelings are concrete, done, complete. As your wife has told you, the worry is not helpful, but difficult to turn off.

For the record, only once did I make this decision in time. In retrospect, I waited too long.  About  5 dogs, 3 cats, and now my Lilli have passed away a little too late.It took me too long to accept the inevitable. 

I hope this was helpful to you. Each case is different, so just look for changes that show he is not enjoying his life anymore. 

Julia

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