The hardest time for Kira was always Summer. The summer of 2015 was a very hot summer and there were quite a few days that I was sure that Kira wouldn’t make it through the night for panting so hard after just going outside through the doggy door after dark. Then in 2016 she was blind and deaf and yet she still made it through the summer.
But in 2015 her arthritis was bad enough that she had trouble getting off the bed. She had long lost the ability to jump so I picked her up every night an put her on the bed. But in 2015 she would struggle to get up on all 4 legs and then would stand at the side of the bed contemplating jumping off onto one of the dog beds. I would get up and lift her to set her on the floor. Prior to 2015 she wouldn’t let you pick her up but during this year she gave up and let me help her.
In 2016 she lost bowel control. She could hold it most of the time, but when she would wake up to greet me at the door when I came home, there would be a trail of poop on the floor from half way down the hall from my office to the door that I came through when I got home. I couldn’t get mad at her but clearly she was upset that she had done it and would walk a wide birth around the poop.
During the winter and spring of 2017, it was clear that she wasn’t going to make it to 15 years old. By January 2017 she couldn’t get up off of her bed. She still had muscle in her front legs but couldn’t get her back legs under her. So I would need to lift her butt. I would take her outside and she had no interest in chasing a stick. Her bowel control got worse and she would poop while sleeping. At first she would realize it when it started but she couldn’t get up in time to get to the dog door so there was either poop wherever she was sleeping or a trail of poop where she had been.
Everything really got bad in May. Kira would want off the bed and I would set her down. She would then wander through the house as if she was looking for me. She would do her path where she would walk along the wall turning right into every room walking the wall and just following the outline of the walls till she smelled me. But it was as if she would awake from sleep and be disoriented. The saddest event was when I was in my office and she woke up from sleep and walked across my office and into a wall. She looked at the wall, then walked into it again, and again and again until I got up and moved her so that she was heading toward the door. She then walked perfectly fine, to the doggy door, out the door, walked the fence and did her job, and then came back in as if nothing had happened.
As a side note, during her life, Kira never under the physics of inanimate objects. She frequently would be playing ball and run into a large boulder (the neighbor uses boulders the size of a small car to delineate his property line), run into a tree, or run into a solid wall. It would clearly hurt and would sometimes form a bruise. But when she would run into something it was like she expected it to move.
At night she would get restless and would bark to have me pick her up and put her on the bed, then she would pace around, lay down, get up, lay down, get up, pace, lay down, get up, and then want off the bed. I would set her down and she would wander to the hallway and then come back and want on the bed. Eventually I would stop picking her up and she would pace around the room going from side to side of the bed giving one loud bark to get me to pick her up and would eventually give up. She would collapse in her dog bed beside my bed and make a loud sigh.
I started setting my alarm to wake me up every 2 hours so that I could wake her up and get her outside before she would have an accident. This worked somewhat but then there would be times that she would still have the accidents after coming back inside.
It all came to a tipping point on Wednesday May 17. She was restless but on this night she was panting constantly even through I turned the AC down to 70. She couldn’t get comfortable and kept pacing around the house. I started to cry because I knew it was the end for her. She never knew what the end was, but I did. I had told my doctor that this was coming and he gave me 20 Xanax. I took one and was able to sleep a few hours that night.
Thursday at work was just miserable. I knew that I had already made the decision but I hadn’t admitted it yet. I took a Xanax on the way to work and another at noon to get through the day. I texted Mike to tell him that it was time and that we needed to contact the mobile Vet. Kira always got so upset whenever she went to the Vet so we have a mobile Vet in the area that will come to your home for this kind of thing. We arranged for “Forever Home” to come out Friday. The offered 8am or noon and I said 8am so that we would not sit around the house all morning feeling sorry for Kira or ourselves.
At the end of Thursday I told everyone at work that I was taking the next day off and would be unreachable. That is a rare thing for me to do and everyone at work knew that Kira was having problems. So no-one said a word. The CFO sent me a message of sorrow for the event. I got home and had 2 shots fo Vodka, kept Kira close and did everything I could to make her happy. Special dinner, walking up the lane, laying on the bed listening to a book. She continued to be uncomfortable, panted constantly and appeared to be in pain. I cried myself to sleep Thursday night.