Was It All Worth It In The End?


Saying Goodbye to Jet

If you’ve been reading our blog for a while, then you will know that during our last months with Jet, life was difficult at times.

There were sleepless nights, potty accidents, strained finances, and medical emergencies.

Looking back today, you may be wondering if it was all worth it.  If we regret doing so much for our fur-son even though it took its toll.

So, today I will tell you what Jet’s daddy and I both tell people when they suggest that perhaps we kept our boy around a little longer than we should have.

Saying Goodbye to Jet

Jet was our son from 8 weeks of age. On the day he passed he was 15 years, 5 months, and 3 weeks old.

Throughout our years together, we learned every mannerism, every expression, every sound, that came from our boy.

We could look at him and know and on our last evening together, we looked at him and we knew.

Before that time came, however, there were suggestions from family members and friends that perhaps we were doing too much. Perhaps we were keeping Jet around for ourselves rather than because it was what he wanted.

I won’t lie, there were moments when these suggestions made me question whether we were being selfish in keeping our boy with us. He had trouble walking, he had trouble getting up, he had accidents in the house…

The thing is, though, that there was still life in our old boy.

His difficulties were troublesome, yes, but they were nothing less than special needs dog parents work with every day. They were nothing we couldn’t cope with for as long as that spark was still in his big brown eyes.

He ate frequently and often. He sought attention and affection. He made silly gestures that had always been “Jet”.

Yes, Jet was a changed dog in his last year, but despite those physical changes and some cognitive decline, behind those big brown eyes, there was still a glimmer.

Jet wasn’t ready and as long as he was still enjoying his life, still carrying on despite hiccups along the way, I wasn’t going to be the one to snatch that from him.

Was it hard? Hell yes.

Was it worth it? Without a doubt.

On our last day together things changed. The glimmer was gone, he refused food, he was ready and we knew. But until that moment, right up until that moment, my gut would not allow me to give up on my boy and I’m so glad that I didn’t.

We should all have the right to decide when we are ready to step off this mortal coil. No one should give us a push because we need help walking, because we develop incontinence, or because we show signs of aging. No, there should be no push at all, rather, a releasing of hands when we get that final nod.

Take it from this senior dog mom, trust your gut, you will know when it’s time.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Libby D
    February 13, 2018
    Reply

    Hi Amy. Stumbled onto your blog when I was researching dog warts. Your entry about keeping Jet around as long as there was life in him was just what I needed today. Our chocolate Lab, Emma is just over 14. Hips failing, occasional accidents, etc. However, we don’t believe she’s in pain and we get our love and tail wags still. We almost put her down 5 months ago, but with a little pain medication and some extra attention, we are managing her old age ailments better. I think you really articulated what I have been feeling exactly. I hope to know it’s time when it’s time. Until then, one more day. Thanks and all the best to you.

    • February 14, 2018
      Reply

      Libby, I know the one day at a time so very well, it can be a struggle, but I’d do it all over again without hesitation. If you need anything or just someone to listen, I’m here. You aren’t doing this alone.

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