Rainbow Bridge News
I hate writing this post. Flash and Patches will be crossing the Rainbow Bridge tomorrow. It’s been a long time coming, in some ways, but a rapid decline on their part, in other ways. While it breaks my heart to have to do this, it’s also a relief. My babies have been in pain for awhile. I wrote about “knowing when” a couple of months ago, and I’ll detail how that applies and doesn’t apply.
Knowing When It’s Time
The Rainbow Bridge is a heartbreaking reality of pet ownership. We all face it eventually if we’ve loved an animal. I’ve been down this road many times in nearly 50 years, with some pets being tougher to lose than others. But how do we know when it’s time? I wrote about that here, based on my vet’s advice, but I’ll give you the bullet points, adding one I left out, which I’ve taken into account with Flash and Patches.
- Muddy colored tongue and gums – this indicates that not enough oxygen is circulating through the system
- Dog stops eating and drinking
- Incontinence – peeing in the house, or in the place which it sleeps
- Can’t make it outside to the bathroom – with tiny dogs it’s easy enough to carry them outside, but with 60 pound dogs, not only is it difficult for me to get them in and out every time, it’s uncomfortable to the dog, being lifted and taken in and out multiple times a day
- Weight loss – I assume this doesn’t always happen when the dog stops eating, but can happen for other reasons
- Frequent vomiting
- Dementia – the dog wanders around the backyard without remembering how to find the door is what she mentioned as a sign
- This last one is mine – they have more bad days than they have good days
Do Dogs Need to Exhibit All of These Signs?
No. No, they do not. That would be sheer misery for a dog, having to wait until they all align. So how do you know? I’ll tell you which ones my own dogs exhibit, and how we made the decision we did.
- The eating and drinking has slowed down considerably, though they’ll still take a Jones Natural Chew pretty quickly – I mixed raw hamburger with their kibble yesterday and they finally ate
- Incontinence – Patches is dribbling just a little wherever she is – I’ll be mopping the floors today and tomorrow
- Weight loss – their waists are thinner than usual
- Can’t make it outside – Patches can’t get up without help, and now can’t stay up – I heave her onto a throw rug and drag her to the back door, where she’s somewhat mobile once she’s on cement, but the lifting hurts her (I’m as gentle as I can be)
- More bad days than good ones – this has steadily progressed with both dogs
- Dementia – in and out, in and out, with a quick turn around at the bottom of the steps
Patches is in worse shape than Flash, but he’s always in pain, and his dementia has increased. Plus, I’m 99% sure he wouldn’t survive more than a few days without his sister. They’ve been together since birth.
Why Am I Writing This Today?
I’ve resolved, from the beginning of this blog, to be as transparent with y’all as possible. I don’t want to sugar coat what’s going to happen tomorrow. My husband and our oldest son will both be there for the end. But I also know that I won’t be able to write about this tomorrow. I may not be able to write about it next week. But I wanted y’all to know. Next time I write about this, I’m liable to be an emotional mess. Or maybe not. Like I said, this has been a long time coming. I’m glad the dogs will finally be at peace and pain free. How about we just catch up on some photos of my babies? Before they cross the Rainbow Bridge.
Thank you all for following the antics of my babies. I may or may not post tomorrow. Hug your dogs for me, will ya? I know my little ones will have a tough time with this. They’re going to grandma’s house this weekend. I hope that helps them with the transition and loss. I hope it helps me, too. Saying goodbye is the toughest part of any relationship. I hope we do it well.
Spreading the good chews …