Buster is not doing well. He's blind, he's deaf, he's gotten VERY, very senile. He would seizure periodically. He has accidents in the house. He gets lost in corners and around furniture. He no longer wants to be pet and touched much, if you try he gets up and leaves. He barks aimlessly, he sleeps all day and is up all night. We actually had to stop letting him be upstairs at all because we couldn't sleep at night with him around. So he got banished downstairs. Now in a crate, since he started using the house as his bathroom. And he freaks out in the crate, but I can't have him loose in the house, either. Fortunately, he settles down after about an hour.

I started him on Anipryl to see if it would help with the senility at all. Some of our clients call it a wonder drug, some say it didn't do a thing. I figured it was worth a shot. So of course, he starts seizuring even MORE on the drug. It is listed as one of the side effects, and isn't something we would normally prescribe to a dog who seizures occasionally. But, this obviously isn't the answer.
I've come to the conclusion that it is time. Dementia is not a quality life. It sucks, but it's true. I would not want to be lost, not know where I was. The fact that his sight and hearing are bad makes it worse, I'm sure.

I had planned today as being the day, but I chickened out. Yesterday we had a "Buster's Last Day" celebration for him. We carried him around the park and put him down many times for him to sniff around and pee on things. We took lots and lots of pictures of him (
http://www.odnarb.com/busportraits1.html ). We stopped at McDonalds. I was going to take him in today but I couldn't do it. I'll just have to do it later, I guess. I've never been good at this.
Enter the bad timing part of the equation...
Dave (the SO) has wanted a GSD for years. I've kinda fought it. Finding a good one is tough, expensive, I'm REALLY picky about what I like in a GSD, yada, yada. A friend called me a couple of days ago to make some weekend plans, and in passing told me about his coworker's problem. He has a dog he has to rehome. A three year old male GSD. The man purchased the dog from a family that had moved here from Germany. The dog sounds WONDERFUL. I don't think my friend had any idea that I would be interested in the dog at all. My friend has a Dutch Shepherd litter due this fall, and I was actually planning on taking one of those (those plans may be changing).

I can't decide if this is fate, or bad timing. I haven't even seen the GSD yet, so I am not even sure that I will like him at all. Half of me feels guilty for even considering getting another dog while Buster is heading out the door. Half of me thinks that maybe it was meant to be.

Just had to share my conundrum with dog folks that care...

Aimee Nicole Schantz
Brando the APBT
Grant the AmStaff
Buster the Pug
http://www.odnarb.com
http://www.rosecitydogs.com
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I had planned today as being the day, but I chickened out. Yesterday we had a "Buster's Last Day" celebration ... him to sniff around and pee on things. We took lots and lots of pictures of him ( http://www.odnarb.com/busportraits1.html ).

What a sweet little guy!
We stopped at McDonalds. I was going to take him in today but I couldn't do it. I'll just have to do it later, I guess. I've never been good at this.

I don't think anyone is ever good at this. (Or wants to be, for that matter.) I'll be thinking of you and Buster and sending supportive thoughts.
Enter the bad timing part of the equation...

(snip)
I can't decide if this is fate, or bad timing. I haven't even seen the GSD yet, so I am ... another dog while Buster is heading out the door. Half of me thinks that maybe it was meant to be.

Sometimes doG works in mysterious ways. I obviously don't have a clue, either...trust your instincts. It may be obvious which this is when you meet the dog.

Bright eyes/burning like fire, > Kevin Michael Vail Bright eyes/how can you close and fail? > (Email Removed) How can the light that shone so brightly > . . . . . . . . . . Suddenly shine so pale?/Bright eyes > . . . . . . . . .
I feel for you- letting go of a family member is always very difficult. As far as whether it's "time or not, ask yourself this question-

How would I feel if I were Buster? Would I want to amble around blind and deaf, and confused all the time?
If you can objectively answer this question 'No', then the decision is obvious, and shouldn't be delayed. Delaying the end of his suffering is only for you, not for him. I had to do the same thing March 25th 2003, and I cried like a baby. He was better off, though- I would have been very selfish to hang onto him because of my feelings- I had to swallow my own feelings and think of his first.
It's going to leave a hole in your life for awhile, but did you give him a good Dog Life? Did he have some happy years of running, playing, and being loved by his family? If so, then he lived out his life and will be happy to be at rest, free from pain and confusion.
Good luck to you and your family.
As far as the GSD, I can't really offer any constructive advice, other than to follow your heart. I personally had to wait about 6 months before I could even think about another dog coming into our home, but once we brought our new girl home, I realized that we did the right thing.
Just had to share my conundrum with dog folks that care...

No suggestions, Nic, but I wanted to tell you I am sorry & that I will be thinking of you.

-Abby
Pems, Aussie, and a Pug
*Remove shoes to reply*
Buster is not doing well.

I'm sorry to hear this, Nic. It has to happen sometime, but it's still way too soon.

Matt. Rocky's a Dog.
Like the others, I don't have any real advice of the "you should do this" variety, but maybe there's something in my rambling experience that can help.
Genny was the first dog in my adult life. When she was 9, I started dating Jim. When she was 10, Jim got Sheppe. We weren't all living together, but we got together on weekends, and I took Sheppe when Jim was out of town. I'm glad I didn't know then about how awful *** fights are and how careful you have to be with 2 females and about how the dogs themselves will determine who has dominant status because Genny and Sheppe got along fabulously from day one. They didn't always play, but they seemed to enjoy one another's company. Genny was already an elder dog to Sheppe's bouncy enthusiasm.
When Genny was 14, the health problems that had been building got to the point when I couldn't keep taking her to the vet for more treatment and pretending that everything was O.K. and she'd keep living forever. I had her put down. That left me with Sheppe.
And here's the emotion that I don't hear people talking about: resentment. I can't describe how much I hated Sheppe for being alive and healthy and boisterous. I went through the motions of feeding her and walking her. I might have spoken to her or given her a command or two. I'm good at that. I'm not forgetful, and I wasn't so overcome with grief as to take out my misery on a dog. The business about dogs being sympathetic and a comfort never happened. Sheppe was as demanding for exercise and attention as ever. Maybe it was good for me to get out walking a dog every morning like always. I don't know. I remember feeling pretty miserable, but I'm sure I would have been miserable anyway so there's no way to compare.
In time, I got over the grief, and I got over the resentment, and Sheppe became my dog and Jim's, and we moved in together, and Sheppe died, and that was horrible, and we got Cubbe, and life goes on. I wouldn't say my absurd emotion of misplaced resentment had any effect on Sheppe whatsoever. I like to imagine dogs have complex emotions, but deep down I know it isn't true, and I'm sure Sheppe couldn't tell what I was going through. She probably missed Genny in her own way, but she surely didn't put together any of this about resenting her for being alive when the first symbol of my adult life and adult responsibility and my youth had just died leaving me with an inadequate replacement.
Get the GSD or don't. Look to your own emotions. If you do get the new GSD, what you're feeling won't make a great deal of difference to him.
Lia
What an adorable guy. His photos are lovely. It is very obvious that he has had a good home and is loved. I understand your dilemma. My Tiki was
14 years old, diabetic and blind. Here is the url to her storyhttp://colleenscorner.com/diabetes.html . This was truly the hardest and most difficult decision of my life but afterwards I knew I had done the right thing.
After she was gone I felt such an empty void in my soul. I did not think I was ready to love another dog but at the same time... I could not stand living with out one. So.. I decided to foster a dog for our local rescue organization, totally convinced that I would just be helping out and not endangering my heart. The first dog that entered my home was a 10 year old poodle with numerous allergies and a small heart murmur. Little did I realize how very much this little shaking ball of fur would heal my pain. With in two weeks I was in love and I have now adopted her.

My new girls name is Emma. She is a darling and I am so very grateful to have found her. I am starting to think that perhaps things do happen for a reason. Somehow my lost heart and a little lost dog where able to find and heal each other.
I know how difficult your days are right now. Try to follow your heart. Allow yourself to cry and mourn and do not feel guilty about loving another dog. This will not diminish, in any way, the love you feel for your old friend. He will always live in your photos and in your heart.

Colleen and Emma
And here's the emotion that I don't hear people talking about: resentment. I can't describe how much I hated Sheppe ... that. I'm not forgetful, and I wasn't so overcome with grief as to take out my misery on a dog.

Let me echo this sentiment - and not only for myself. When our previous schnauzer died, I had a friend tell me how when one of her animals dies, she always seems to resent the others for a while. "How can you still be alive when xx isn't?" It always passes, and as you say, the others don't get mistreated in the meantime but neither do they provide comfort.

We did not have another dog or cat at the time, so my resentment was not as clear. But I found that I really didn't care about anybody else's dogs for a while. I'd pat their heads, even offer treats, but it was habit. I have to say, I never saw any indication from either those dogs or from my friend's other pets that the animals noticed any change in the human treatments.

~~Judy
"Dogs are not our whole life, but
they make our lives whole." Roger Caras
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