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so past ready to say goodbye... hubby isn't. Stress is through the roof

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  • so past ready to say goodbye... hubby isn't. Stress is through the roof

    We have a 17.5 year old mixed breed dog that isn't doing well. She's completely incontinent and wears a diaper 24/7. She has degenerative myelopathy and is essentially non-ambulatory. She can stagger around IF we pick her up and support her. In the prime of her life, she weighed 50 lbs. Now, because of muscle wasting, she weighs 35 lbs. She barely interacts with the rest of the household, other than to whine/groan/wheeze etc... when she needs a diaper change or is thirsty or hungry. She's hard to feed because she's picky and easily distracted. She has "old lady" growths & abscesses, as well as sores and scrapes from her diapers. Her ribs and hips are showing.

    I've been ready to say goodbye for several years now. My husband either doesn't see how frail she's become, or refuses to see it. He's taken on all of her care. He spends over an hour every night, flushing, cleaning and bandaging her abscesses, sores & growths. I think our regular vet has given up trying to reason with him, because he's just too. danged. stubborn. There's always a reason for her whining or her fussiness. He's building her a wheelchair, for Pete's sake!!! I've become angry, irritable and easily frustrated around the dog, and I hate myself for it. I've tried to show the same patience with her that he does. I've tried SO hard. But I can't do it. I just. Can't. Do it. And all this stress is affecting my health. I've tried talking to him many times about it, but he refuses to listen. He's always go a counter-argument.

    Dixie and I used to be best friends. We used to do everything together. Not anymore. Now, we coexist. We share a house. If I wasn't worried about jeopardizing my son's education (he's in spec. ed. grade 1), I'd take my kids and go live with my mom. I've called mobile vets about doing a home euthanasia while my husband's out of the house, make it seem like she passed quietly in her sleep, but only 1 vet will do it without his consent, and she's a lot more expensive than all the others. The other vets won't do it without everyone's consent (and that's fine. I'm not faulting them for it at all.)

    I just don't know what to do. I feel like I've been painted in a corner. Between the dog, the hubby, the kids and the business, I can't leave. I'm cornered...

  • #2
    It's horrific to feel trapped like this but keep trying to remain balanced.
    Some people have a terribly difficult time letting go of loved ones/past/life. It's often their own fear of mortality that makes them go to the extremes they do. Rather than you trying to reason wife your husband I might suggest you ask a pastor/ minister to intervene. Better still if you have access to a hospice professional they MAY be able to assist you in discussing quality of life and issues surrounding letting go.

    It's a stressful time. You have a family and may see this as taking time from their care and see the energy the children should be receiving being directed towards your elderly pet. The pet you have come to peace with letting pass on.

    I wish there was some magic wand to offer you. I'll ask my vets how they might handle this and see if they have any thoughts or suggestions for you.
    Good luck. My greatest prayer is that your pet goes peacefully in her sleep - soon.

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    • #3
      Just breathe. It is a very difficult thing to let go sometimes. Now, with that being said, Ivdontbthinknitbis fair to Dixie to continue on. Considering the pain and discomfort she is obviously in. 17.5 years is a long time for a dog to live. Abscesses and sores are extremely painful. There are animal laws and one of them is no Unnecessary suffering. I am sorry to hear about your situation but your hubby needs to come to grips with reality and allow her to go. In home euthanize would be the calmer way for both of them. I dontvthink it is fair for her.

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      • #4
        OP, I feel for you. I am going through a similar situation, although not as severe. My husbands dogs health is failing and he is so far in denial there's no reasoning with him.

        Your husband probably knows what is happening but he can't / won't deal with it. I know it is stressful, but my advice is to try to let things play out on their own. Sadly , the poor pup will pass. But euthanizing her (albeit a humane way to go) behind his back could ultimately destroy your marriage. Is that worth it!?

        And I'm sure money is a factor, but can you really justify leaving with your kid(s) bc of the dog?? Yours is a delicate situation indeed, with many layers. There's no right or wrong way to go about it. All you can do, if you can, is be there for him with love and support. And let him work through this. But don't let it consume your life. If you have to ignore the situation, then so be it. Everyone deals with loss differently.

        Try to focus on yourself, your kid(s) and your marriage. Those are the most important factors in this equation. I am not putting the dogs life down at all. I know it's brutal. But when all is said and done, (and your husband comes to his senses) I bet he will appreciate you more for putting up with his neurosis regarding the matter.

        IDK.....my heart goes out to you, and I hope you can find peace and closure in this difficult time.

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        • #5
          This too shall pass. The poor, suffering creature will die. Your husband is on a mission to nurse the dog. For whatever reason, it seems like he feels an intensely strong desire to do it.
          The desire to take your children and leave your husband over his nursing Dixie seems kind of extreme, so I'm guessing there is some other history or tension in the marriage besides what's happening with your dog. She has become the focus of an awful lot of emotion from both of you. It's like children who become the eye of the storm when parents disagree. The tension in the home probably isn't making her feel any better.
          I hope everyone finds peace soon. What a tough situation!

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          • #6
            I'm seeing the other side of the coin.................God bless your husband for trying to make Daisy's last remaining days in comfort, and in a loving environment. Dog's sense our emotions, and I'm sure "your once best friend" has sensed your deep hatred of her presence and her survival to a point that you are willing to conspire behind your "best human friend", your husband, in her death.

            You stated that your husband is giving 100% care for the dog, so why is this bothering you so much ?

            Sorry for your inconvenience from Daisy
            Sorry for your inconvenience from your warm, caring husband
            Sorry for your inconvenience from your son

            Nothing happy about this post

            Dolly's Barking Bubbles, LLC

            www.dollysbarkingbubbles.com

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            • #7
              Tell him he is selfish. His need to keep her around is more then her need to go. Tell him her cries are those in pain. Tell him she has no quality of life and she isn't happy. Her life is filled with pain. He needs to ease the pain and only one way to do that. Those bones and sores hurt. Tell him to release her pain.
              Stress is nothing more than a socially acceptable form of mental illness.- Richard Carlson

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              • #8
                I am gonna disagree....support your husband.....he is doing what he feels is right. Some ppl just can't let go.....and you need to have compation for him taking such lengths to care for her. Don't let a dog come between you and your hubby!
                So my suggestion is to just lay off of him......do your thing at night and let him do his. She will go on her own at some point...and he will not feel as if he failed her. It is a hard thing to send a pet over the Rainbow Bridge....but I feel if you quit saying anything about it.....he might just make the decision on his own.
                Let go of your anger......it might be she is trying to make your relationship what it used to be before she got ready to pass.
                Just my 2 cents.......♡♡♡♡HUGS♡♡♡♡.
                Ain't always easy to stand up for what is right.

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                • #9
                  Your husband is a better Buddhist then I am. I have yet to be able to nurse a dog through its dying days. I agree with Cyn, let your husband walk this walk. He doesn't seem to be asking you to do the caregiving, he is taking on that responsibility. In our practice (Buddhism) we are taught to notice things as they are. So, I would say....notice...this is what dying looks like. Notice...this is what compassion looks like. Notice...this is what grasping looks like. Notice...this is what sorrow looks like. And when she dies...notice...this is what relief feels like. Notice...this is what love is about. Supporting each other at our hardest moments in life.

                  namaste...dogma

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                  • #10
                    I'm so so sorry. Losing a companion in a slow and lingering manner can be very difficult on everyone. It sounds to me like you and your husband are at different stages of the coping/grief process. You are at anger, and he is still stuck at denial. There is no forcing someone through the stages any faster than is natural to them. I say let him care for her. Make an effort to give her a special treat or orthopedic cushion to help her remain as comfortable as possible. She gave you many years of faithful companionship. Be kind to her. When she stops eating and drinking it will be time to revisit the euthanasia discussion with him.

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                    • #11
                      I completely sympathize with you. You are ready to say goodbye and it's being dragged out. You just want it over so you can grieve and move on.

                      On the other hand, hubby is not ready to say goodbye. I don't believe there's much you can do about that. You've made your feelings clear, now you have to let it go for the sake of your marriage. If you somehow convinced him to euthanize, he'll only resent you forever because it wasn't on his terms.

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                      • #12
                        I'm now seeing things in a different light. Thank you all for your insights. I never realised I was grieving. Thank you, wild4westies, for giving me that much needed slap in the face. I'm being 100% honest, it never even occured to me that it was a denial stage for him and an anger stage for me. I'm more committed now to letting her tell us when she'll be ready to go. Part of me wonders if my hubby is going to these extreme lengths to try to save her because he couldn't save his dad. Dixie and his dad were close, and when his dad went into the hospital for a routine operation, and suffered 3 separate hospital caused complications, ended up in the I.C.U, and ended up passing away, my hubby must have really felt helpless and powerless. This might be, in his mind, a way of "saving" his dad...

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by dogma View Post
                          Your husband is a better Buddhist then I am. I have yet to be able to nurse a dog through its dying days. I agree with Cyn, let your husband walk this walk. He doesn't seem to be asking you to do the caregiving, he is taking on that responsibility. In our practice (Buddhism) we are taught to notice things as they are. So, I would say....notice...this is what dying looks like. Notice...this is what compassion looks like. Notice...this is what grasping looks like. Notice...this is what sorrow looks like. And when she dies...notice...this is what relief feels like. Notice...this is what love is about. Supporting each other at our hardest moments in life.

                          namaste...dogma
                          Thank you for posting this. It is a good reminder.

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