Monday, October 09, 2006


Godawful day of waiting...

Yesterday Rags, our stumpy tail cattle dog, went downhill rapidly .. she's 15 years old about this month.. and has been on an expensive cocktail of heart and arthritis medication for a while. (Like ninety bloody dollars a month kind of expensive.) Lost her sister at the beginning of last year. Despite a lifetime together as part of the Schmidt family, I don't think Rags missed Rattles terribly much, despite predictions that she might pine. You got the feeling that she was a bit 'Thank god I can eat my dinner in peace now.'

Since Rattles went to chase balls in Doggie heaven, it's been thankfully quiet around here. Rags is deaf, and used to just join in the barking when Rattles barked. Which was too often, really... making for an uncomfortable relationship with the neighbours.

So, it's been a peaceful 18 months.. despite being a bit strange.

Rags was always the more aloof one (Rattles was a soppy boofhead.) So she never came for pats and cuddles... She couldn't be bothered chasing balls. (Rattles would just run her over, so she lost interest in that early on.) She would come up and nudge you when she wanted something though... "Oi... there's no water left in the laundry." Or even... "Oi... let me out, I need to do a wee". Never had too much trouble communicating what she wanted.

She's found it harder to walk lately... despite the kickarse meds. You could tell she was stiff.. and she was also panting a lot, so even the joy of going for a walk had to be ditched over the past month.

Yesterday she got the staggers up... couldn't walk.

Took her to the vet this morning... and now it's a waiting game till he checks her out. I mean.. it could be a tick I suppose. (But if it is, how much longer do we keep her going for, for what quality of life?)...

Marc and the girls have said their goodbyes... (and there were a few tears this morning, including my own.) I am waiting for the vet to call me back.. and it's now 3 hours since I left her there.

So I can't face doing anything else around the house. (Can't even hang washing out, it's a windy, drizzly day)

I am just... waiting.


This was Rattles with Rags back in mid 2004:

I think it was always more of a case of Rattles plonking herself on top of Rags, rather than the other way around!

About 5pm. Vet finally rang about half an hour ago, and though he could fill her full of more medication to get her by a bit longer, she really is in pain, so it's the kindest thing to let her go. Not a tick (and even if it was, with a dog her age it could be a problem anyway...) I said I would go back in to be there.. I feel I owe her that. Though it is hard to do after waiting all day... at least with Rattles it was done before lunchtime. I am going through the old 'do the same for one as the other' thing... When Rattles died we didn't even know if we'd be here .. we were in the throes of deciding whether to move to Canberra. I said goodbye and let them deal with it. I don't feel like I can in all conscience now go through pet cremations or any of that for Rags. (And our yard is too small for burials...) Saying goodbye and being with her when she slips off is what will have to do...
I don't think the kids want to be there... and Marc is still at work (great timing.. NOT.. important meetings today and tomorrow) and this sucks having to do it again by myself.

And I have just been on the phone to Marc's mum... and a combination of telling her about Rags, and asking her how she was at the moment, because Marc's dad died about 5 weeks ago. And I knew it was their wedding anniversary early October, and I askedwhen, because it's important to acknowledge it, and it's tomorrow, and she had to hang up because she was in tears.. so I feel doubly awful... because losing a pet isn't as bad as losing your husband.. and, coping with death is just bloody hard.

I'm so sad for you, Tracey.
I know what it's like, having stayed at the vet with two dogs when they went to sleep for the last time. At least this is something we can do for them when their quality of life hits rock bottom.
Dogs are so much a part of the family, it's a pity that they have such relatively short life spans.
Oh, no, I logged in to get an update and I'm sorry to hear that T.

So sad, rotten timing too(not that any time's a good one to lose a pet, you know what I mean)

:( :(
*superbig hugs* I can imagine what you are going through T. I was physically sick when my other dog was in that situation. Will be thinking of you.
Thanks guys...

Alison ended up coming with me.. at first she was going to wait in the car.. then she came in, and I was so glad she was there with me. And for her.. it was appropriate for her to be there to say goodbye because she was the one who really loved the doggies.

The vet had to sedate Rags first; she was quite anxious when we came in.. she'd been quite calm, but sensed us there. And he put her on the examination table, and she's always hated that; always tried to get off it.

I needed him to tell me it was the right decision. It's very hard when she's otherwise pretty alert... but he said that even with being propped up with more and more medication, she would have more and more down phases. When it came down to quality of life, and not letting her suffer any more pain, or difficulty with breathing, it was the kindest thing to do.. still bloody hard.
So sorry to hear about your beautiful dog Tracey. :( Libby's right - they are part of the family. *hugs* to all.


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