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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Quality of Life

"You need to think about Toga's quality of life now,"  I heard the vet tell me.  I fought back tears and heard my voice, brave and calm, as I asked Toga's vet many questions.
We were back at the vet's, since we noticed in a short time that Toga was urinating and drinking almost triple what he normally does.  He was having lots of accidents in our house, which was abnormal for him.  I knew diabetes was common in aging dogs, and he had all the symptoms.  An hour after being at our vet's, it was indeed confirmed he had diabetes.  Because of his already existing heart, liver and kidney issues, the vet was warning me about "something," since she kept talking about his quality of life. 

I quietly asked my two children to wait for me in the waiting room.  All of my courage and bravery left me, when the children left.  I looked at the vet, and I couldn't even muster the words.  I began crying profusely.  I was the saddest I've been in a long time, sitting in that vet's office, trying to hear her words.   Because Toga is already on a heart and liver medication, adding insulin may make him depressed, more sick...  "Are you telling me that Toga is on the decline?"  I asked the vet, through tears.

"Yes,  that's what I am telling you."

Oh boy.  I started crying again. 

She told me that I should have two jars:  A Good Day Jar and A Bad Day Jar.  At the end of each day, place a penny in the kind of day he had.  She said when Toga has more bad days than good days, then we will know. 

So, I sadly look at Toga these days, knowing that his days with us are numbered.  He has trouble breathing at times, and pants more.  He is still having many accidents in our house, and we go back tomorrow to the vet's so she can monitor his insulin levels.  We are starting to crate him when we leave the house; something we never did, even when he was a puppy. 

Last night while we were sleeping, Toga rested his head next to mine;  cheek to cheek.  While  he was sleeping, I felt his poor heart racing, trying to beat to a rhythm, but so out of control.  I petted his face, and he didn't even stir.  He was soundly sleeping.  I hope this was a good day for him. 

Yesterday, I pulled into our driveway and saw Toga laying on the front yard.  Once I pulled in, he chased my car down the driveway.  I thought to myself in that instant, "Thank  God."  Because if he didn't chase me down the driveway...  I can't even end that sentence.  Because he's so happy to see me, and if it gets to a point when he's not happy to see me, I know that he's so sick.... 

The last week has been hard.  I'm seeing my little buddy lose more and more of his spirit and energy.  I just hope he knows how much we all love and care for him.