Respect for the dimming

** update 10/22 .. thank you to you  –  my kind-hearted and fur-loving blogging friends – for your sweet words of encouragement and understanding.  Frankie had his appointment tonight and his Vet wants to try long-term pain meds and an antibiotic for his raw old skin.  He’s currently resting comfortably in his condo.  We shared a few tears, as she’s loved and cared for him since he was 9 weeks old. 

Her parting words to me were, “Remember .. they love more than us so they age faster than us.”     Frankie sends a smooch to all of you!

when both the boy and the dog were little

* * *

Frankie, our furry friend, is a Senior Citizen now.  He’s still hilarious, still loyal, and still sweet.  But he’s also a dog who moans more than he barks, sleeps more than he’s awake, and struggles to get up and around.

He still shows up at lunch-time, still greets us at the door, but, lately, we’ve seen a change in him.

A dimming.

Being a Lab-mix, he has always had skin issues; he’s worked “hot spots” so hard they were bleeding. Yesterday morning he lost control and left “presents” down the stairs.  He’s never done that, never had an accident in the house, even as a pup.

I always said that when his time came, that I’d know what to do.  When his time came, I’d not make him stick around just for us.  That we’d do the right thing by him, as hard as it would be to let him go.

It’s coming and I can feel it.

Frankie before he be-headed the monkey; Christmas 2010

We’re seeing the Vet on Monday. I hope and pray that she pats him on the head like she always has and tells me he’s looking good. But, somehow, somehow my heart doesn’t believe that’s the case this time.

 * * *

“He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.”– Author Unknown

Categories: Animals, Faith, Family, Friendship, Home, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 49 Comments

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49 thoughts on “Respect for the dimming

  1. Hi MJ
    I still remember the day we had to put our golden Lab, Muggsy, to sleep
    I can still tear up and its been over 25 years
    We have our little Mitzu right now – a mutt- we say she is so ugly she’s cute
    but she is now a senior citizen too
    We dread the day!
    God Bless

    • It’s so hard to think about, I just cried writing this post, and reading all of your responses. Thank you, Susie, for the support and kind words. Sorry about your Muggsy.


      • Oh we spend thought-time with Muggser every time we see something he would have enjoyed – what a character and so many stories
        So sorry to hear about your precious friend
        God Bless

  2. Aw….my heart is breaking for you, MJ. It brings back memories of the last time we took our sweet Beezy cat to the vet. She’d been going downhill, and I was hoping against hope that we’d bring her back home that day…. hoping that for you and your Frankie too. We’re here for you, girlfriend!

    • I know, I am hoping against hope that there’s something else going on that can be addressed … he perked up a little last night but he’s awfully quiet again today. 😦

      Thank you for your kind words and for understanding what it’s like to love a pet so much it hurts,

  3. Oh shoot. This makes my chest tighten up and eyes water. Damn it, why does love hurt? Sending you and your family, love and light and strength when the time comes…Hugging you from afar.

  4. Will keep my fingers crossed on Monday, MJ.

  5. I’ve been there, too, MJ. I like your closing quote. Hopefully you and Frankie have many more days together. Hugs.

  6. tough deal. love him up while you can, he couldn’t have gone to a better home than yours MJ.

    • It sucks. I’ve tried to prepare the boys but they’re in denial. I’m hoping it’s not yet .. but I’m also a big believer in the quality of life thing… if he’s in pain or suffering in any way then that’s not do-able.

      Loving him up for sure! Thanks RR

  7. MJ, I’m so sorry to read this. I know from previous posts what a place this little guy has in your heart and life. One of the hardest things I ever did was have our beloved family cocker spaniel put to sleep. Even knowing it was the right thing to do, I was unprepared for how I felt afterward. Be strong, be brave. ~ Sheila

    • Thank you, Sheila. He’s been a wonderful family dog and has taken his job of loving us to heart; we have to do the same for him. I am just hoping that we hear some encouraging new tomorrow.

      Channeling Braveheart over here!

  8. This is so tough. When our family dog was nearing that point, our vet said that we would know when he was ready to go- that he’d (the dog) let us know- and when the spark was gone, we knew.

    • You got it – it’s the spark that’s dimming … he perked up a bit last night but I don’t see much of it again today. We’ll know more tomorrow I guess. *Sigh*

      Thank you for understanding,

  9. So sorry to hear this, MJ. I am in the same boat as I told you once before with our old friend, Cooper. Trouble is, I know it’s time. My husband can’t accept it. So Cooper lives in an extremely expensive La-La Land. (This is the same man who may need to pull the plug on me — I shudder.)

    Good luck MJ. I think all your blogging buddies will be thinking of you.

    • cooper

      i do not. at least i don’t think i do….i can’t remember…

    • Thank you.. I appreciate your understanding. Non-pet people don’t get it, MJ

      • There was a NY Times article a month or two ago about how much harder it is to lose your pet than your parents or anyone else close to you.

        Nobody else lives for the minute come home. It’s a wonderful relationship and I’m so sad that you are losing Frank.

      • MJ, It occurred to me that we have worked out an arrangement when it ultimately becomes time to let Cooper go, our vet will come to our house. More and more vets are willing to do that. You might check. Frank and you might both be happier with that arrangement.

      • that is good to know, thank you for telling me about that. MJ

  10. cooper

    Our oldest, sydney, is exhibiting some sort of senility…or else she’s just giving us the middle paw a lot and pretending to be deaf…

    have faith….

    • It’s part of life but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.
      Thanks Coop

      • cooper

        it’s never easy…having put down a couple pet/family members over the years. but celebrating their life is what matters most.

  11. Perhaps I’m in denial; please update us on Monday. Hugs until then.

  12. Sending strength and hugs and blessings xoxo

  13. Dear MJ…….gf I am sending you and Frankie huge God hugs and hugs from me too….my heart hurts for you MJ as I know what you are feeling and you are the very best Mom ever to Frankie….I am praying hard for Frankie that the vet will pat him on the head Monday and say “He is a miracle MJ and he just went through a bit of old age but he is ok and he is ok to go home with you and all is well”. The hardest decision I ever had to make ever was to put my 9 year old mare Hobby down…she is the one in the picture with me that I am hugging and the one I am walking with. I loved her so very much and it was the hardest decision ever. She fell on me in 2005 and that was the first sign something was wrong….she was 6 years old then….so for the next three years we tried to figure out what was wrong as she would be ok for several months and then she was not ok….I took he to Washington State Vet School and my vet locally was and still is one of the best horse vets in the US….finally they decided she had some genetic issue in her feet as in her front feet she had bone grinding on bone…her heart was so big as she carried me and her feet hurt yet she carried me until that one day when it was too much and she fell on me. I am praying for you and for Frankie…I love our animals so very much and I know you do too. Praying God’s Healing Blessings On Frankie….Hugs From Me and Minnie Too.

    • Thank you HRCG, and thank you for sharing your story, too. Pet lovers have the biggest hearts, don’t they? Frankie is a great dog and I hope he has many healthy, happy years with us .. but if he’s hurting, I want to fix it. And if it’s not fixable, I don’t want him to suffer, as much as we will suffer to say good-bye to him. Thank you for your prayers and kindness, they mean a lot to me. MJ

  14. My heart goes out to you MJ. I have been there. Our Springer Spaniel, Shelby started going downhill somewhere between 12 and 13 years old. She was our first furry kid and had grown up with our kids. She stayed with us until she was just over 14 years old. I still see her old leash and collar and miss her SO much.

    Like you, I thought I would KNOW when the time had come, but even though I had begun to fear it, Shelby made it clear that SHE would be the one to decide when it was time. And she did. She made it easy for us to know when the day had arrived.

    No one wants to think about this part of loving a pet, but there comes a point when it becomes inevitable. Hugs to you and Frankie!

    • Your description of Shelby could be one of Frankie – he’s the dog our boys grew up with and while one has moved on, the other is still here but Frankie’s job is nearly complete. He sleeps more than ever, and, while he’d love to go on a walk, he is just too sore and tired to do so most of the time – that’s not normal. I am prepared for what they may tell me tomorrow and, like you, feel he will let me know when it’s time. Thank you for understanding! MJ

  15. This breaks my heart for you. I couldn’t do it. My old love drug herself off twice and I combed the woods until I found her and carried her back, crying and begging her not to go. I pushed her around in a wagon or a wheel barrow. And I gave her pain pills and sunshine. I know it was selfish. I should have let her go when the time was right for her. Be strong – stronger than me. In retrospect – I know it would have been best for her. But…

    • Oh Renee, that had to be so painful for you. I can picture you combing the woods looking for her. Geez. I’ve been through this before, but it was a long time ago and the hurt never leaves you. We did manage a slow walk today; it’s a bright, October day, the kind a dog loves to get out and sniff in. We took our time, he meandered and enjoyed and is now currently snoring in the sunshine. Life is good, today. I am hoping for a reprieve tomorrow but preparing myself just in case.

      Thank you for your kindness and I’m sorry for your loss of your dear friend,

  16. Many prayers for you and yours. I know how tough this is. We were there not too long ago; still too fresh to talk about. Because He knows the desires of our hearts, I do believe pets are in heaven, not those we’ve had here on earth of course, but special ones created perfectly for each of us.
    Keep the Faith!

    • Thank you for your kindness, and for understanding. I hope we have many more days, months and years but will also be grateful for what we get. Bests, MJ

  17. Oh, MJ. I had a hard time getting through this reading. It’s so hard seeing an ending to something wonderful. Every moment is precious.

    • It is hard; he rallied enough yesterday to go for a short walk and he seemed fairly perky around supper time. I think he has good and bad days, like we all do. I just want to be sure he’s not in pain. Thank you for understanding, MJ

  18. Dear MJ, I am sending you a big hug and sharing tears with you. One of the hardest days of my life was holding my Chester’s paw as I watched him leave me. He was so many things to me and I to him. You will know when the time comes to say goodbye…and do right by him. At that moment, it wasn’t about me at all, it was about Chet’s life, loving him enough to let him move on gracefully and painlessly. My thoughts will be with you and Frankie. xo

    • Thank you, Beth. We had a pretty good visit at the Vet’s tonight and she wants to try some new meds – pain relief and treatment for his skin that should help. We had a very “Frank” talk about Frankie … of course I cried and she did, too. She’s cared for him since we brought him home from the shelter at 9 weeks old.


  19. Thinking of you and all the others who love your Frankie 🙂

  20. Pingback: Farewell to a fur-ever friend | Emjayandthem's Blog

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