Friday Fluff: Bring Me the Fluff

Shapelings, I’m not feeling very fluffy today. Over the last 24 hours, my very, very old dog Lucille has not been doing well, and Al and I decided it’s finally time to put her down. I haven’t made the call yet, but barring a miracle, we’re going to do it within the week.

I adopted Lucille in the fall of 1999, and at that point, the vet estimated she was between 8 and 10 years old. I figured I’d be lucky if I had her for 5 years, and I got 9, so I can’t complain. Here she is claiming my yoga mat for her own, which was one of her favorite things to do before she pretty much lost interest in everything but sleeping and eating.

The fact that she’s still eating makes me doubt myself a little, but then, this dog is so food-obsessed, I’m pretty sure she’d still be eating even if all her organs were shutting down. Waiting for her to lose interest in food would mean waiting for her to suffer tremendously, and that’s exactly what I don’t want to do. At this point, I am actually hoping to walk into the kitchen — where she’s been camping out right next to her food bowl about 23 hours a day for the last few months — and find she’s died peacefully in her sleep. But I don’t expect I’ll get that lucky — and the fact that that seems like the ideal scenario to me right now tells me it’s time.

So. After that downer, I need some fluff. Bring on the fluffy links, Shapelings! (And yes, pictures of puppies are okay — I can’t imagine a scenario in which pictures of puppies would not make me feel a little bit better.)

136 thoughts on “Friday Fluff: Bring Me the Fluff

  1. (hugs you tight)

    I know exactly what that’s like, Kate. Fur children are damn hard to lose.

    Here are a couple of my fave sites that cheer me up when things are rough:

    http://zapatopi.net/treeoctopus/

    (Woe! The plight of the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus)

    http://cakewrecks.blogspot.com/

    (there was a hilariously ghastly entry on a Sandra Lee horror that had me in stitches a few days ago)

    http://www.parapluesch.de/

    (psychotherapy for stuffed animals, too cool for school)

    http://www.spinnerdisc.com/TPN.html

    (If you’ve never witnessed the Tiny Plaid Ninjas, you need to right now)

    http://www.hello-cthulhu.com/?date=2003-11-30

    (Hello Cthulu. So wrong it’s right on toast with sprinkles and jam)

    http://www.jesusdressup.com/

    (Speaking of just incredibly wrong. Not for those who have ANY hope whatsoever of making it into Heaven if God has no sense of humor.)

    Take care, Kate.

  2. Oh, Kate. We just lost 2 dogs within 7 months. We got them over 12 years ago as tiny puppies. They were litter mates. Mojo just went downhill literally overnight last month and was… in bad shape. It was heartbreaking and I am not over losing them. I am so, so sorry. Just know that if/when you decide to make the call, you are doing it for her. It’s horrible, I know. We had to have both Buddha & Mojo put to sleep, but we were right there with them. God, I am so sorry.

  3. I’m so sorry Kate; losing a pet is so hard. :( It sounds like you took really good care of her and loved her a lot.
    One of my best friend’s 16 year old cat recently died of cancer, it was extremely saddening.

  4. I know how you feel- I had the same conversation, thoughts, and eventual conclusion about my 20 year old cat this week. I have no fluff, but you do have my condolences. : (

  5. Daphne, the best guess is that she’s corgi/chihuahua/jack russell. Her mom (whom I also adopted in ’99, but she was even older and had cancer, so I put her down 6 months later) had what looked like a corgi body with a chihuahua head — but she was also all white, so I’m not convinced it wasn’t chi/mini-American eskimo. (‘Could have been corgi + all-white long-haired chi, but I feel like that’s an unlikelier combo.) She was definitely long with stubby legs, though. Lucy’s also pretty damn long, but she’s totally got terrier legs — the front ones look stubbier than they are in that pic — so the evidence for corgi-ness is not rock-solid. Tough to say.

    On a positive note, though, believing I had a corgi mix led me to the corgi mix rescue where I got my other dog, who is awesome and healthy (though getting pretty old himself).

    And on a bittersweet note, I just lost my shit and lay down on the floor to pet Lucy while I sobbed, and I thought we were having this Terribly Meaningful Moment — until she got up and walked away, because she didn’t want it. Which made me sob harder at first, of course, but it actually makes me feel better about the decision. My dog — who used to demand pretty much constant snuggling — is just not in there anymore.

  6. I can’t stop looking at the awesome, I-would-buy-them-if-I-could-walk-in-heels shoes that Plumcake posted at Manolo for the Big Girl yesterday. I don’t think that it gets more fluffy than 200 dollar shoes.

    Just the thought of losing one of my pets makes me cry. I am so sorry for you and Al.

  7. Ha, Theriomorph, you didn’t swear your way into moderation — are you fucking kidding me? — you probably linked your way into the spam filter. I’ll go check.

  8. ((((Kate)))) It’s terrible to have to make those kinds of decisions, I know. Watching a loved one – human or non-human – suffer is… unspeakably hard. It does sound like the dog you know and love has slipped/is slipping away, but that kind of consolation is for shit when you’re looking ahead to the loss of a member of your family. I’m so sorry.

  9. Indeed, both Theriomorph and Twistie were flagged as spam for the links — and I found a couple of others in there, so I’m glad I checked.

    Thanks for the kind words, everybody. And the BUNNIES.

  10. Kate, you have my sincere sympathy and empathy. And I think you’re right that “still eating” might not be a factor. When I lost my kitty-baby Lucy last year at the age of 19, I’ll spare you the details, but we had a bad last night. Our last trip to the vet was planned for the morning. And before I took her there, I offered her some food because she hadn’t eaten since the day before and I didn’t want her tummy to be upset, and she ate it. I’m sure that after a decade of loving Lucille, your instincts will be correct no matter what you decide.

    Now, fluff. I know you like Cute Overload, so I know you’ve probably seen the puppers with his paw up over his right eye. That one cheered me up, especially after a dearly loved one underwent an operation on her (right) eye for a terrible condition this week.

    Hugs to you and your sweet, lopsy-eared Lucille.

  11. As someone who has pretty much devoted my life to dogs, I know what an important part of people’s lives they are, and I’m so sorry that you are having to go through this. Knowing that it’s a part of life doesn’t make it easier, but I’m glad you understand that it’s kinder not to let her get to the point where she’ll suffer. Sounds like she’s had a very good life with you!

  12. They are, indeed, rabbits. This is seriously one of my favorite links on the internet. It is hard to keep from fits of laughter when I look at them, no matter how crummy a mood I’m in.

    I love random mutty mixed dogs so much. God, big hugs for the loss, but I have to reiterate how glad I am she got a good life with you. And in the end you’ll know you did right by her. I’m sorry you have to watch her suffer, though. That’s the hardest. I’m going to give my furries extra hugs for you today.

  13. Kate, I’m so sorry. This sucks. But thanks to you, it will suck way worse for you and Al than it will for Lucy. That’s parenting/pet ownership, I guess.

    Best fluff I’ve seen lately is the Get Your War On videos, and you linked me to those in the first place. Um, do you read Comics Curmudgeon yet? If you start from the beginning it is very time-consuming, which is a good thing in this case.

  14. Kate, I’m so sorry about Lucille. Trust that you are doing the right thing. I had to put my 15-year-old dachshund to sleep in March, and the one mistake I made was waiting too long. If your gut tells you it’s time, then it’s time. And know that sometimes you’ll question yourself, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t doing the right thing.

  15. So sorry to hear you are going through this :( One of my co-workers had a dog that just passed away yesterday morning. She used to bring her in to work with her, so our whole office is pretty down.

    I don’t have much to add that hasn’t already been expressed so i’ll leave it there. I do, however, have a link that I hope will make you smile:

    http://www.ustream.tv/channel/shiba-inu-puppy-cam

  16. Aw, I’m so sorry :( I lost my shelter dog three years ago to kidney failure, and it really is one of the most heartrending experiences to go through.

    As for fluff, I find that this man here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/organa/ has pretty much got the greatest dog pictures ever, especially his collection “Do Dogs Smile?”

  17. Kate, I’m so sorry. It’s so damned hard when you have to make this decision, but the reminder that I was doing it for them, not for me made it possible for me. It was the last act of love I could do for them. (Didn’t hurt any less.)

    I agree that food is not always a factor. Oliver was a foodie cat, always up for a treat right up to the end. Especially caramel corn. I know cats aren’t supposed to like sweets, but he sure did. Silly cat.

    As for fluffy cuteness, this one gets me every single time: http://ihasahotdog.files.wordpress.com/2008/09/cute-puppy-pictures-i-has-a-cozy1.jpg

  18. Oh, I feel your pain. Our two cats dies of lymphoma this summer. Brother and sister, fourteen years old.

    But, how about this: Get yourself some fetii cookie cutters, cut out biscuit dough using them, deep fry the dough in lard and TA DA: fetus donuts. What could be sweeter? I’d like mine with frosting and sprinkles.

  19. Oh Kate, I’m so sorry. I’m afraid I don’t have much fluff, but I do have some cute potty-humor to share. And really, cute potty-humor is almost as good as puppy pictures, nine times out of ten, I figure.

    So my twin boys are 4 now, and one thing they love to do is sit at the computer and type. So I’ll open up a Word doc for them and let them go to town. H especially will type in various words he knows and then delete them (yes, I showed him the backspace key) over and over.

    So yesterday, H is typing at the computer, and I’m sitting nearby, talking to a friend on the phone. And I’m whining a little, talking about things that have been tough to deal with. But since the kiddos is nearby, I’m watching my language. So at one point I’m saying, “I swear, sometimes I feel like I’m never going to get my poop together around here, blah blah”

    About 30 seconds later, I hear H say, “Poop.” And as we’re mid-potty training, I immediately turn and look, in case H is trying to tell me something. But instead I see that my precocious little weirdo is simply reading off the most recent word he has typed on the computer: POOP.

    A proud, proud moment in parenting, lemme tell ya. grin.

  20. Kate, I’m so sorry to hear about Lucille. Sounds like she’s had a good life with you.
    Maybe this will make you smile – My son has a pit bull puppy who likes Pringles Dill Pickle chips. When you put one on the floor for him, he won’t eat it until he steps on it to break it. He does this every time, and it is just so funny to watch him doing that. Then, when you tell him he’s had enough, he cocks his head and looks at you like “are you sure?” When you tell him again that he’s had enough, he goes off to find some kind of mischief to get into (like pulling dirty clothes out of the laundry basket to chew on…LOL).

  21. I’m so sorry. My 15-year-old kitteh had to be put to sleep two years ago due to cancer, and it was horrible even though it was the only thing that could be done.

    Also, MOAR
    BUNNIES

  22. Aw, Kate I’m so sorry to hear about Lucille. How wonderful of you to have taken her in when you did. It’s so hard to get older dogs adopted. I’m sure she loves you very much and knows how wonderful you’ve made her life.

    I was going to post the Shiba Inu puppy cam… but I see someone else beat me to it!

  23. I’m so sorry for your impending loss, Kate. I lost my 12-year-old cat to cancer last year, and she was trying to eat up until the very last day, when she couldn’t even swallow past the tumor in her neck. This is really the hardest part of responsible pet ownership–that they don’t live as long as we do.

    *Hugs*

  24. Hey, I don’t want to pick on anyone, and I very much appreciate the thought behind every comment on this thread, but I just want to state for the record that I’m not comfortable equating this with the loss of a human family member. Having lost both a few beloved dogs and my beloved mom, I’ve personally found a huge qualitative difference between those kinds of grief. I love Lucille dearly and my heart is breaking, but I know this isn’t the same as losing a family member for me — and quite frankly, I’m grateful that I only have to go through dog grief right now, because human grief fucking sucks beyond the telling of it.

    I don’t mean to suggest it’s the same for everyone, or downplay the real pain of anyone’s grief over lost pets — including my own. But I’d ask that in this forum, people not compare it to the loss of a family member, because it’s really not true for me.

    Huge thanks again, to all of you.

  25. I’m so sorry! She seems like a real sweetheart!
    We lost 2 of our dogs within a couple years of each other, and it’s so hard.
    But she’ll always be with you!

  26. I’m so sorry for your loss. Losing a pet can be more heartbreaking than losing a human friend. Please take care of yourself as Lucille has taken care of you.

  27. I’ll spare a critter tear for you, Kate. My lover’s 9-year-old parakeet died right in front of me yesterday. He was sick and going downhill, but it was sad.

    my fluff is googling schnoodles, goldendoodles, and any dog that’s part poodle.

  28. It sounds like Lucille has had a great life with you (and you with her). Condolences on your impending loss.

  29. I just wanted to add a note of support. I know its hard to have to make that kind of decision, but sometimes it has to be done.

  30. I’m so sorry, Kate. I’ve lost two kitties in the past year – they were both 17. I ended up putting them both to sleep and it tore me up to make the decision but when it was over my only regret was waiting a little too long.

    I just adopted a shelter puppy, who looks like a Corgi to me but they swear was a chiweenie.

    And for general fluffy amusement, have you seen this Palin Oval Office snarkiness? I know the election is over but it amuses me! I especially like what happens when you click on the middle window. And some things, like the door, you can click over and over.

    http://www.palinaspresident.us/

  31. Well, never mind the palin site – they’ve taken down the fluffy silliness but I suppose that’s uplifting too.

  32. Would a song about theological heresies to the tune of a well-known musical theater number help? I have to send it by e-mail or it might give away too much of my real life identity.

  33. Omigosh, Jae, the fetus cookie cutters and your idea for using it! Keuyeopda! (going on the theory that you’re Korean.)

  34. I’m so sorry, Kate. Sometimes my roommate and I cry just thinking about when our (not-that-old) dogs will inevitably get old and sick and die, we love them so much. I’ve had dogs that were put down in the past, and it’s so hard. *hugs*

  35. The worst thing about pets is that they don’t live for very long. The best thing is that it’s usually pretty easy to give them a great life. All our “little girl” (yes, we call her that) wants is fleece to sleep on, tons of affection, canned food, and daily play time. It’s not much considering that she cracks us up many times a day.

    (((Kate)))

  36. I adopted Lucille in the fall of 1999, and at that point, the vet estimated she was between 8 and 10 years old. I figured I’d be lucky if I had her for 5 years, and I got 9, so I can’t complain.

    You got her to live to be 17 to 19 years old (so far). That is amazing. But it would suck even if it was 50 years, I know. Big hugs, both of you.

  37. Awesome music video feature an inbetweenie looking lady and lots of people of all sizes dancing!

    And I’m so sorry about your puppy Kate. The dog I got for my birthday (after years and years of begging and keeping inanimate objects as pets) had to be put down my feshman year in college. It’s tough, but it’s better than letting them suffer.

  38. Kate, I’m so sorry. I work for a veterinarian, and it breaks my heart every time someone comes in to put their animal down. It’s difficult to console yourself with the knowledge that you’re preventing their inevitable suffering, because they just bring us so much joy!

    On a more positive note: I just found out I’m pregnant! SO EXCITED!!!

  39. Don’t doubt yourself. You know your dog. My friends kept their very old dog alive long, long after he had stopped being continent or demonstrative, and it just wasn’t fair, although they did it out of love.

    I know you must be heartbroken, but you can’t put a dog in a wheelchair or give it a book to read; they only have their joy in life and movement, and when that’s gone the hard choice is also the kindest one.

  40. Kate there are no words to express the absolute suck-i-tude of having to take that sort of decision into your own hands. I’m sure the part of Lucille stil in there enjoying food really loves the life she has had thanks to you guys!

    Simply Mac congratulations!!! :D The hubby and I have just been talking about starting a family after I get my Masters (still not until early 2011 but still a big moment for us too) so I got a happy squee moment to read about someone else getting to your happy point!

    Okay, for fluff:

    1. My NaNoWriMo story is about a librarian with a law degree who gets turned into a chicken and has to not only figure out why everyone in the city has been turned into anthropomorphic animals and she is the only one who remembers being human, but she also has to solve a case of lambs and ewes gone missing. A secret laboratory, government conspiracy, a bit of magic and one crazy duck combine in this crazy tail of intrigue and WTF. ;)

    2. Today’s “Married to the Sea” comic was actually pretty hilarious to me: http://www.marriedtothesea.com/111408/bored-of-aerobics.gif

    3. I had a dream this morning that a baby kangaroo jumped into my lap and I got to pet it and even put my little finger in its soft little pouch. It was like at most 6 inches tall; like a little kitten-roo. Best dream evah!

    4. And I just recently discovered Hampster on a Piano Eating Popcorn: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRzTfgds0UI “And you just keep on eating that popcorn, cause you’ll always be the hampster. On a piano. Eating popcorn. Yeah” :D

  41. You have given your dog a good life. It has been full of love and treats and warmth. Only you and Al know when it’s time to put Lucille down. She’ll never be gone because your love for her is in your heart.

  42. Kate I am so sorry to hear about your dog. I had to put down my 14 year old dachshund 2 years ago. It is such a hard decision.

    I hope this baby pygmy hippo video brings a smile.

  43. Kate, I’m sorry to hear this. I had to put my cat Sam down back in 2004. He was 20, and I had him since I was 7. He was a mean little turd, but it was still sad. My mom had to put down her dog, Yoshi, this spring. He was almost fifteen and couldn’t walk, couldn’t hear, and lost all control of his bowels. When you don’t have kids, your pets become that son or daughter.

    OK, now for ze cheering up. Here is my furbaby, Bailey the beagle, doing what beagles do best, and that’s looking for birds!

    And for another cutie, I give you David Tennant, bringing sexy back:

  44. Bree…I <3 Bailey! I have a beagle and a beagle mix myself and they are the funniest, most awesome little critters ever!

  45. Kate I know, that hamster was introduced to my youtube favorites list Wednesday and the song has been stuck in my head ever since.

    I’m currenlty loving the “Steve don’t eat it” link! :D

  46. Aww. So sad. We lost our oldest furbaby, Princess, a few years ago. I still miss her so very much. But other critters can really cheer you up.

    So, here’s our youngest, Sarah, dressed like a bottle of mustard.

    Mustard

    And here’s Burton, very helpfully re-perforating the toilet paper. Charmin didn’t do it right.

    TP monster.

    Check out the CLAWS, man!

  47. I’m sorry to hear about Lucille. It’s hard, but when it’s time, it’s time.

    We had to put my family’s 16 year old Poodle down back in July and now my 17 year old cat probably won’t make Thanksgiving. So I can understand how it hurts. (I’m only 22, so I have few memories of NOT having these critters.)

    And puppy pictures heal everything.

    Real puppies are even better, which is why I’m glad my friend has a 5 month old Great Dane.

  48. I recently had to put my beloved dog down. Before I did it, i was in almost the exact same place you are in now. I kept hoping she would go on her own, so that I wouldn’t have to make such a horrible decision. Or I would try to get her to enjoy the things she used to love “one more time.” On retrospect, I was just causing her pain, trying to get her to visit her favorite dog park or eat a bit of rotisserie chicken. It really puts a different spin on grieving, but I know that it was the right thing to do.

    What they say is correct – I don’t regret doing it. I regret that I didn’t do it sooner, before she had to be in so much pain. And I’m glad that I choose to do it in a controlled way, with her on my lap until she got sleepy. I’m a mess from it, but she went very peacefully. She didn’t have to go through all of the anxiety that the seizures and congestive heart failure of late stage kidney disease can bring.

    Now, I spend probably too much time at the dog park, cooing over other people’s dogs. So ladies and gentlemen, if you see a weirdo at the dog park without a dog, be gentle with them. We all need a little four legged love. And bring on the puppy pictures.

  49. Kate, I am so sorry. We had to make that same decision for our beloved dog on November 12, 2007 — yup, almost exactly a year ago — so I’ve been thinking a lot about doggie love and doggie loss this week.

    This isn’t a funny link, but a friend gave me this book last year, and I found tremendous comfort in it, even though I’m not usually a “christian depiction of heaven” kind of person:

    And for teh funny, how about 100 Movie spoilers in 5 minutes? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hN5avIvylDw

  50. So Kaethe, I spent hours yesterday looking at your Itty Bitty Kitty Committee link. CUTEST THING EVAR! I would love to foster kittens for the rest of my life.

  51. I’m so sorry to hear about Lucille, Kate. I wanted to thank you for adopting in the first place. We need more people to head to the shelter instead of the pet store. It means the world to the animals we bring home.

    Here’s one of my favourite videos for when I am feeling down: a turtle chasing a tomato! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_N_rjkdcKU

  52. I don’t have any links but I too want to send you and Lucille a hug. I’m glad that you gave her such a good life and that the two of you had so many years together.

  53. Kate,

    I have many many cats, and have lost a corresponding amount over the years, so I feel you. What gives me comfort in those times is the knowledge that I am being a good companion to these animals by insuring that their end-of-life experience is relatively painless. So many of the feral cats I feed (untame-able strays that live in my alley, I take care of a colony of 13+) die bad deaths — getting hit by cars, disease, killed by useless humans, etc. — it’s almost a relief when one of my indoor cats gets to the end and tells me it’s time. If we can ease the suffering of even one other sentient being in this life, it’s all worth it, so remember. You’re being a good mama to Lucille, and she is blessed to have been your dog.

    Love, Hera

  54. I wanted to thank you for adopting in the first place. We need more people to head to the shelter instead of the pet store.

    Gemma, the pleasure is all mine. Everyone at my old vet’s office christened me “The Saint” when I walked in with two geriatric dogs I’d just adopted, but the decision was actually about 95% selfish. I wanted senior dogs because quite frankly, I didn’t know if I wanted to make a 15-year or so commitment at the time — I was 24 and had no idea what the future held — though after 6 months, I knew I’d have dogs for the rest of my life, so I adopted Solly at age 3. (And like I said, Lucille lasted much longer than I expected, which has been awesome.) I wanted two dogs so they could keep each other company when I was out. And I wanted to adopt because I knew I did not have the patience, time or energy to train and exercise a puppy back then. (I’m not sure I do now, either.)

    What amazes me is not that more people can’t find it in their hearts to adopt, but that more people don’t realize all the benefits they’ll get from it. With all three of the dogs I’ve adopted, it’s taken about two weeks to get them adjusted to living on my terms, with no accidents or behavior issues (well, mostly — see comment below) — as opposed to a year + with a puppy. They all came with some basic training pre-installed, notably housetraining, and I’ve never had a shoe or piece of furniture chewed up. It was heartbreaking to lose Maxine (Lucy’s mom) so soon after I got her, but I was happy to keep her comfortable at the end, and losing her led to getting Solly, who is the most amazing dog I could possibly imagine.

    I got him through a rescue group, and I told them exactly what I wanted — a snuggly, low-maintenance, non-puppy, non-barker who got along with other dogs and people. It only took about 3 weeks before the rescue coordinator e-mailed and said, “I just picked up YOUR dog from the shelter!” That was Solly, and she couldn’t have been more right. A puppy would be so much more of a gamble and so much more work.

    Of course I felt good about giving these guys homes when they needed them, and in the case of Lucille and Maxine, taking dogs that were very hard to adopt out. (They’d been in the shelter for quite some time before I got them.) But really, if it hadn’t been in my self-interest, I wouldn’t have done it — I’m nowhere near that noble. :)

  55. Okay, wait, having read over what I just wrote, I realize I’m painting too rosy a picture of 1/3 of my dog adopting experiences. Maxine was a sweet dog, but a really shitty first-time adoption experience — first thing the vet discovered was that she needed $600 worth of dental work, and while she was under for that, they discovered a mammary tumor that was both malignant and aggressive, hence putting her down 6 months later. On top of that, she hated other dogs and was occasionally fear-aggressive with people. (So was Lucy at first, though she was never as bad and got over it quickly — at least until a couple years ago, when she got old and crotchety and started hating other dogs again.) She was a total angel around the house with me, but walking her was a bit of a trial.

    So if Maxine hadn’t been a package deal with Lucy, I might very well have been turned off on adoption. And if I hadn’t A) been able to afford all the immediate vet bills, and B) been committed to the principle that once I signed the adoption papers, she was my dog, warts and all, I might have been one of the many people who, after adopting a dog with more problems than anticipated, runs her right back to the shelter.

    I thought I should point that out, because adoption IS a gamble, and not always a picnic. But Lucy and Solly have been so fantastic, I’m completely rah-rah for adoption and have half-forgotten how tough it was with Maxine by now. And you know, even with all Maxine’s problems, she still never peed in my house or chewed anything up, so I was still glad I hadn’t gotten a puppy. :)

  56. i’ve never made a comment before, but have been reading for a while. this video makes me giggle every time i watch it, and seeing as it’s a puppy can’t hurt?

  57. We got our dog as a puppy and she probably did about $600 damage in her first year – and that doesn’t count vet bills. She destroyed several pairs of my shoes – had a real thing for Doc Martens – and a brand new purse. Her shining moment was when she managed to climb on a chair and chew up the blinds at 20 weeks old. She was fascinated by anything we “played with” which meant that the second you put down a pen she’d steal it and chew it up horribly. She still steals anything you drop on the way to the laundry which means that I often discover socks or underpants in her bed.

    But she’s sitting beside me right now with her little head on my lap, and I don’t miss any of those shoes.

  58. Thanks to all of you for the congrats, though I have to admit I’m still feeling overwhelmed by the information. It has yet to sink in. I keep saying “I’m pregnant” to people and feeling like I’m lying. I’m wondering when that will change…

    On the puppy vs. older dog issue, I got my dog when she was about 10 weeks, and she was adorable and wonderful but she was my first experience with training of any kind, so it was quite a handful. It was so much work and now I have a wonderful 4 year old dog I can’t imagine not having. But a few months ago my roommate got a puppy who has made me remember how hard all that stuff was, and I’m realizing that – especially now that I’ll have a child – that I don’t EVER want to go through puppy life again. It’s just SO MUCH WORK. Instead I’ll get my fix by playing with shelter puppies, perhaps. Or watching the puppy cam online.

    Again, though, my condolences for your tough decision and thanks for having such a big heart for your animals.

  59. Oh, and I’ll second that “you know your dog, don’t feel guilty” bit — when we had to help our dog Esther (the sweetest Black lab that ever existed) over to the other side, it was such a hard decision for me, but once it was done, I knew that I’d done right by her.

  60. Shapelings, can you please send good pet vibes my way? The wind blew our fence down last night, and two of my doggies are missing. I hope they’re just out having a good time, and will come home for dinner when they get hungry. But, I’m worried.

    Sorry to detract from your grief, Kate, but I know the people here probably get what I’m going through.

  61. Emmy, I hope by the time I am typing this your dogs are already back. Will you let us know? If it is any comfort, and although it seems inconceivable now, I grew up in an era when you opened the front door and let the dog out for the day. For her entire long lifetime our border collie mix Snoopy always came back (unless she was locked in the public library or the local Woolworth’s). Dogs are very, very good at knowing where they last left the food bowl.

    Kate, thinking of you . I don’t think you can avoid the guilt and second -guessing entirely, but there is a large (har) and supportive community here to help you work through it if you need it..

  62. Kate, I agree with you about adoption. It is a gamble but so is buying a puppy, IMO. At least with older dogs, you can get a better feel for their personality. I just started fostering greyhounds so adoption is very close to my heart. I love being able to help out these pups, and it means a lot to me when people adopt other needy critters. I am continually grateful for people who take on dogs with problems, or keep dogs once serious problems arise. One lady in our group only takes greys with three legs, or greys just out of surgery. That is one heck of a tough job and she willingly does it again and again. I know other people who only take storm phobic, seizure, or terminally ill dogs. It’s amazing.

    Emmy, I am sending good vibes your way! I hope your dogs come home soon.

  63. Sorry to hear what you’re going through Kate. I remember when my 16 year old Jack Russell Terrier had to be put to sleep. It’s been a year and a half since that day and I still think about him all the time. It’s hard to lose someone that’s been a member of your family for so long, but take comfort in knowing she will no longer suffer.

  64. Awww, that’s such a heartbreaking decision, and I’m so sorry you have to make it. :(

    My mom had exactly the experience you described with the cocker spaniel-poodle mix we had when I was a kid. The day that she was going to take him in to put him down, she got home to find he’d died. Really really sad, but the poor thing was really getting to where he was starting to suffer.

  65. I am so glad that you and Lucille found each other and that you gave each other so much life and love. Happy Trails Dear Lucille!

  66. Thanks for the good wishes. We haven’t found them yet, but I think every neighbor in a mile radius knows we’re looking. They’re both hounds, so I’m sure they’re following their noses and having a grand adventure. That or some kind soul let them into a back yard and are looking for us. My husband is going to drop off pictures and contact info at every shelter and vet’s office in town today. I’m sure we’re going to find them, but I don’t like not knowing where my doggies are.

  67. Kate, you have my sincere sympathy and empathy. And I think you’re right that “still eating” might not be a factor. When I lost my kitty-baby Lucy last year at the age of 19, I’ll spare you the details, but we had a bad last night. Our last trip to the vet was planned for the morning. And before I took her there, I offered her some food because she hadn’t eaten since the day before and I didn’t want her tummy to be upset, and she ate it. I’m sure that after a decade of loving Lucille, your instincts will be correct no matter what you decide.

    Yep. We had to put our bunny down this morning after she had a seizure at 2 am and lost function on her right side (turned out to be metastasis of a tumor that we hadn’t even suspected, she acted completely normal until this morning). After her initial panic from the seizure wore off, she proceeded to eat an apple treat, several carrots, and as much hay as we would give her. But it was time. She was partially paralyzed after the seizure and there wasn’t anything else the vet could do for her. The 2 am episode was only the beginning of the suffering and we were glad to spare her the worst of it. Doesn’t make it any easier to lose her- she was a good friend.

    I don’t think you can go wrong if you go in with the attitude that you will do whatever is best for your pet- not what is easiest on you. Hugs and best of luck to you, Kate, and to everyone else struggling with this decision.

  68. Shameless off-topicing and jamming myself into a thread of fluffiness in the hopes of self-cheer, because I just had an Embarassing Minor Trauma: the toilet seat broke under me.

    I’m fairly sure it’s because the layout of the bathroom makes me shift my weight off-center to the same side all the time, but my brain keeps insisting it is because i am the Fattest Fatty That Ever Was. Alas.

  69. Emmy, no! :D It’s not you! That is a very common thing with toilet seats, and I can tell you why it happened. The screws loosened with use (the seat’s, not yours, AFAIK ;-) ) and put stress on the seat when you shifted, leading to cracking. You see it on public toilets all the time. That’s why they shift annoyingly from side to side. No one ever thinks to tighten them.

  70. @Emmy: I’ll start calling my 6′ tall 65kg partner “fatass” immediately. He is ALWAYS breaking toilet seats – wooden or plastic – because of how he shifts his weight.

  71. Oh, other Emmy. I have had that one happen, too! A couple of tiles in our bathroom are cracked, and the potty sits at a slight angle. My husband and I have both torn a couple of seats off the hinges.

    They need to make those things stronger. Seriously.

  72. I just got a new seat this year because of that exact thing. I made sure to get one with the metal hinges. F-U toilet seat. We actually keep moving our entire toilet around, so it leaks. When I have a spare grand I want to upgrade it as I’m pretty sure it is the weeniest toilet ever.

  73. Putting down a pet just sucks. We put down our 13 year old Basset hound in June. We adopted a new dog from the shelter on November 1, and this past Friday we discovered she has epilepsy. Now I don’t wonder how such a sweet girl ended up at the pound! We’re struggling with the when to put down question with new dog. We will obviously try every available remedy first, but she’s having between six and eight seizures a day, and if it goes on like this for a month, I don’t think there’s much hope.

    Anyway, don’t want to beat down your suffering with mine. As I learned with my Basset, when it’s time, it’s time. We had an amazing vet who said “If you keep her alive, is it for you or for her?”, and that really brought home the right decision.

    Still, it’s never easy. If you lived near me, I would totally bake you a pie.

  74. Oh Emmy, that’s an unfortunate, but normal occurrence for us fatties and nothing to be embarrassed about. You want to talk (initially) embarrassing and really really traumatic – a TOILET came off the wall with me on it 2 weeks ago at work and sent me crashing to the floor in a puddle of porcelain and water with my pants down. I had used it and the other toilets in there several times before, so I’m convinced it was just a bad luck thing and not a fat thing ( I always have bad luck on election day . . . long story). I had stitches in my arm and still have cuts healing on my leg and I have some serious work toilet trauma/anxiety going on now.

  75. OMG, that makes me feel a little better cuz I’ve never heard of that happening to anyone else. I have this weird luck that I have some sort of mishap every time we elect a new president. I’m trying to just leave it at that instead of beating myself up and making it a fat thing, but I’m seriously phobic of the bathroom at my new job now.

  76. Jennifer, that happened at my office too! I’m not sure who was on it at the time, just that it unceremoniously came right off the wall. Knowing our building owners, it was surely due to crappy installation, not anyone’s fat. I hope both your injuries and fear are better soon, though.

  77. Kate, I’m so sorry you’ve had to make this decision; it’s always utterly heartbreaking even though you know you’re doing the right thing.
    If you think Solly would be ok with a kitten, I’d like to reassure you on the allergy front. I’m allergic to cats (itchy chin, itchy swollen eyes, wheezing, constant sneezing) but when I moved in with my now-husband I didn’t have much choice about living with a cat, as he had one already. I spent a couple of months taking antihistamines every day and then towards the end of that time found I needed them less and less, until eventually I didn’t need them at all (until hayfever season came round again, ho hum). I found the same thing again with each of our next two cats – a couple or three months of allergic reaction and then no problems after that.

  78. Hey, I lurk here occasionally, and just saw this. I just wanted to extend my sympathies: I know how hard it is to put a dog down, even when you know it’s best for the dog. I know words don’t really do it justice, but I will keep you, Al and Lucille in my thoughts.

    *hugs* (even though I don’t know you – hope that’s not too creepy. ;D)

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