Harvey Sometimes life just sucks! When I started writing this blog about my dearest canine friends I hadn’t anticipated how quickly life would move on and we are here already…it is the beginning of the end for Harvey.

Caring for an old dog is hard. There are good days, not so good days and then there are bad days. Today has been a bad day. Today, after much procrastination and finding the strength I called the vet, because my husband and I have agreed that it is time. It is time for us to say our goodbyes and to let Harvey go.

Why now? I asked myself the same question when he wanted to play ball in his funny old man way this evening. I asked it again when he struggled up onto the sofa for his evening cuddle. Why indeed now?

Because I cannot answer yes to all these questions:

(From Dogs Trust) With the necessary veterinary attention, can your dog:

– Eat and drink enough to maintain normal body function? (YES)
– Breathe without difficulty? YES and NO (walking sometimes NO)
– Urinate and defaecate normally, without discomfort or distress? (NO)
– Walk and move well enough to get around without falling or risk of injury? (YES & NO)

Is your dog:
– Still interested in life, playful and affectionate? (YES)
– Free from pain, serious discomfort or distress? (NO)

If the answer to one or more of these questions is “no” then you might have to consider euthanasia for your pet.

Have things really got that bad? Honestly, they probably have, we have looked at him for too long through human eyes and thought ‘he’s ok, he’s doing alright, he’s still happy’. When truthfully as a dog he probably is not. When he poos in the house or in the car, or wees on the sofa – he is not happy, he is distressed. When he struggles to the park, yes he wants to be out on a walk, but he is in pain. When he begs for food, yes he is still eating, but he is never satisfied. When he wants to eat his dinner, but is prevented from doing so by our other dog asserting her dominance, he is not happy.

Could we make his life better? We could confine him to one room, we could not go on walks, we could put him in nappies, we could feed him and feed him and feed him… none of that will make him happy.

If I was a human with his afflictions I think I would be wishing for it to end too.

If I sound unconvinced it is because I am human and I am wishing that it didn’t have to be this way. Oh how I wish he would pass painlessly in his sleep, how I wish we weren’t forced into making the decision to end his life. What a heavy responsibility this is…

and so the date and time has been set. How cold and calculating this feels, although it is done with nothing but love.