Thursday, April 16, 2009

Getting Old Sucks

(My apologies to my mother for using the word "suck", but really, there's no other way to describe it). Riley's had a rough week. On Tuesday morning, he severely tore a ligament in one of his hind legs, and due to his age, this basically means he won't ever use this leg again. His challenge is that he has some pretty significant arthritis in his front right shoulder and elbow, so supporting his 62-pound body isn't an easy feat. In the past 6 months or so, Riley has begun to show his age (he'll be twelve in August), but seeing him so helpless this week just wasn't something I was prepared for. Yesterday was a good day - - he perked up quite a bit, and seemed to get the hang of hopping on three legs. I had a long talk with Riley's vet, and he reassured me that as long as Riley can still attend to all of his "doggy business" (he can) and be comfortable, that it was neither cruel nor selfish to want to keep him around (my biggest concern). Riley and I have been through a lot together over the years - - he is a gentle and loving soul, and in my opinion, the best dog ever. I am not ready for him to leave just yet, but I trust that he will let me know when he is done.

12 comments:

Mum said...

Riley's such a sweet dog -- so loving and gentle with the boys. He thinks he's one of the boys for sure. I hope he'll continue to improve each day. We're thinking of him!

Mum said...

P.S. And, yes, getting old does suck.

Jean said...

After watching Marly & Me on the plane during the flight home from California last night, and sobbing quietly at the end rather than bawling, which is what I really wanted to do [and I thought my head would burst open from the pressure], because I was seated between two male strangers (Uncle Ken was 3 rows behind me), the last thing I needed to put me over the edge is this photo of dear, old, loyal, loving Riley.

Lisa said...

Poor Riley! I'm sure he's still a pup at heart! And what a sweet face!

Cheryl and Ashton said...

Oh Heather! What a sweet, sweet photo and blog about your Riley. We are all rooting for Riley to be o.k. And after watching "Marley and Me" it hits home even more so I think. I bet the boys will take good care of Riley.

Melissa said...

I know how hard it is...hang in there. He knows you love him, and that's what is important. Hugs!

Lee said...

Hi HD -- Never easy, sorry you are dealing with this again so soon. Oliver is right there as well and it's so hard on Em. Hang in there. It's a great photo of Riley!

Margaret said...

When our beloved Chelsea was getting old, our vet said you'll know when its time to but her down. I'll tell you that is SO true! We had to put her down 2yrs ago at the rip age of 14. You'll know - enjoy every precious moment. Its amazing how they keep bouncing back!

Jean said...

...and no matter when you feel the time has come, you'll still suffer the guilt of suspecting you did it too soon. That's the hell of it.

Jen said...

Riley's so lucky that you chose him all those years ago. He must love being one of your boys. I hope the little guy feels better soon - he seems like a resilient pup.
I'll be thinking of you guys...

Karen and Tom said...

Heather - I feel your pain. Our Romeo is 18 now and still in good shape for a cat. He has his moments with hip pain. Like you and Riley, Romeo and I have been through a lot. So he's not just a cat to me but someone who's fur I've cried into and someone who's always been at the door to greet me. Our pets are a part of our family. You can tell from the look on Riley's face that he loves his people dearly and that you've taken very good care of him over the years.

Heather said...

Thanks for your kind words, everyone! Riley is doing really well - - has gotten the hang of hopping, and I think he is starting to understand that he can't overdo it or he'll feel really awful. Aunt Jean, I watched Marley & Me last night and bawled my eyes out. What a great movie. Really hit the cycle of life right on the head...so many things in that movie that I could relate to.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin