Much Ado About DeDe

I’m struggling with what to do about DeDe.

A photo of my happy girl from “back in the day”

You see, she still eats. She still wags her tail when she sees me. She still smiles.

But she struggles to get up and down. Sometimes when she sleeps, she doesn’t wake when I get up, or even when I walk out of the room. She’s fallen a few times. She won’t take her medication, and after hiding it in every food I can think of, I’ve had to resort to crushing it, mixing it in water, and forcing it down her throat.

Then there is the stress this causes the others in the home, including me.

It’s not really something I’ve wanted to write about, because who wants to sound human?  How can I let you know that what I’m scared, frustrated, and that even if I did think DeDe was a candidate for some high-tech treatment, I simply couldn’t afford it?

No, I’d much rather you think I’m a saint.

But I can’t hide behind the blog.

DeDe and I yesterday

Villalobos’ Quality of Life Scale measures whether or not DeDe has a quality of life, and DeDe scores over 35.

So the question for me is: What is acceptable? Does she really have a quality of life that is good for her? Do I want her to score below 35 before I make a decision? Can I live like this for what may be weeks, or even months? And what impact is this having on the others?

Actually, Bubba scores lower on the scale than DeDe, so I guess I’d better consider what is right for him as well.

They’ve had good lives. I don’t want the end for them to be frightening and pain-filled.

There are no easy answers here.

And no, I’m not asking for your advice, so please don’t give any.

77 thoughts on “Much Ado About DeDe

  1. Dear Jenny, and lovely Dede, I can almost understand you both because I had experienced a story like yours with my ex-cat… I can remember the days… it was the hard time for both of us. So, I know you, I can feel you. I am sure you are doing your best. Just be sure, my prayers and my thoughts being with you both, and I love you so much, so much… ah so much. nia

  2. That’s a wonderful photo of the two of you…..I would never presume to advise you – this is between you, DeDe, and Bubba….AND I believe you will do what you know to be best for all. Just know all of us are keeping you in our hearts……where all animals lovers keep a spot for each other in this world we live in.

    Hugs, Pam (and Sam)

  3. I can understand as I had to make the decision with Webster (cat). It is not an easy nor painless decision to make and I am sorry that you have to make it. I will pray for both of you and keep you in my thoughts.

    Much Love,
    Joyce and Isaiah

  4. This is the hardest decision you will ever have to make and no, I wouldn’t dream of giving advice, because you and only you will know what to do and when. We have been in your shoes, so to speak, and it is heartbreaking. Think of the joy and love De De and Bubba have given you and the love and life you have given them and all the wonderful memories you will always have.

  5. oh dear, I think you need some big HUGS. This is the hardest stage! and it is a struggle. I’ve walked this walk a few times myself, and it’s so hard. HUGS!

  6. No advice, just saying I’m sorry…these are such difficult decisions. Been there and done that, and it is hard every time.

  7. One of the hardest things. Especially knowing dogs do not show or share their pain. My dog Penny chow/shepherd mix. On a Thursday received her yearly checkup and shots. I showed the Vet the growth I was concerned with. On Monday my husband went to work,Penny slept in the master bath,he did not notice anything. I got up an hour later, Penny had chewed a hole in her chest. She was in so much pain never even whimpered.

  8. I had the same problem with Abbey after the vet said she had liver failure. My wife thought I was being selfish for keeping her around past her time but she didn’t act sick. She came around for attention, lied on my lap and purred. She even jumped on the counters more then she used to, but she kept losing weight. When we finally did bring her in, I felt even more guilty because she lied on my lap in the car and purred almost the entire trip.

  9. Jen, I’m keeping you, DeDe, and Bubba in my thoughts and prayers. I feel your pain; as I, too, have been there several times. It’s a very difficult decision to make and only you can make it. You know your dogs better than anyone else possibly can because you are their human, the one human they trust above all others to. Trust your heart in this case and let it guide you to do what is best for both DeDe and Bubba. (((HUGS)))

  10. Let her tell you. She will. Before Jack, we had Tippy. She lived a great life, and made it to 15 years old. At the end, she was completely paralyzed up to her ribs. I not only had to carry her outside, but I had to help her with her ablutions – not a pleasant experience for either of us. I did it out of love. Every morning I would look at Tippy and ask her if she was ready to end this misery, and every morning I would still see an effort to smile, and a tiny flame in her fogged over eyes. Then, one morning I asked her the question, and she looked up into my face and gave me the answer that I didn’t want to hear. I cried my eyes out, but I took her in and gave her the peaceful end she deserved. As I carried her into the Vet’s, I told her I was giving her the last gift I could give. She looked up at me and said, “I know. I chose to be, and I will always be, your dog.

  11. Jen, I will pray for you to make a choice when the time is right. DeDe and Bubba will tell you when they have had enough. They trust you beyond anything else.

  12. Hey, if you need to be human, be human! It must be incredibly hard what your going through, I couldn’t even imagine.
    I am sure whatever you decide will be the best for your babies. You know best how they are living. Although nothing you decide will be easy I do realize.
    My heart is with you all. I am a big part of your blog in the last few months and never miss a beat, i feel like I know you all, so I am very sad for you. Wish I could help in some way. My support is with you, just so you know.
    ((husky hugz))
    “love is being owned by a husky”

  13. Lots and lots of love from our crew to yours. Give them all big cuddles from us {well, maybe just a quick cuddle for Rumpy seeing as he’s not a huge fan of them}. My heart aches for you. Being human really has it’s sucky times. xoxo

  14. Sending you lots Of love from daddy pepper and Rafie And my angel gwenie who in heaven all give hugs all of is are praying for you and dee dee

  15. I’ve only been following your blog for a short time and even though feelings aren’t the same, I’ve been in a similar situation before. I don’t envy anyone with this decision. Just lots of love for your whole family while you go through this.

  16. Nice to see you, Jen! DeDe looks a bit sad, though. I think you know what to do when the time is there. I think of you both. And of Bubba.

  17. You know that we would not judge and that WE trust you as much as DeDe does. We know that DeDe has ALWAYS been in GOOD LOVING hands.

  18. Its’ good to see you, Jen. And, Miss DeDe. No advice here. Just a comment. Some days I have trouble getting up, some days I don’t wake up when my hubby does and goes off for the day, some days I’m just like DeDe, but then there are so many days that I’m grateful beyond description to taste my food, see things with my eyes, engage in conversation, and life is good in those moments. It’s all a mixed bag. You’ll know what to do and when you do it, it will be right. Not emotionally happy but right. You’ve an amazing heart and are an animal lover and advocate-can’t imagine a wiser, better mom caring for her fur babies. Long winded here to let you know I’m sending love along with my gang for this difficult period that’s never easy. Love, Paulette

  19. It’s not an easy decision. I went this through with one of my cats when he was dying of cancer. He wasn’t in pain and he was quite alert, but he’d become painfully thin (from 14 pounds to less than 8) and was throwing up everywhere, all the time. However, I did make and break the appointment several times before I went through with it and the vet was very understanding each time I cancelled. It didn’t stop me from sobbing and bawling when I did it. No one made eye contact with me when I left the vet that day.

    I did do the chemo route for two years with him. It gave me time to get used to losing him, but it wasn’t really worth it. He hated the monthly vet visits (he peed down my front as soon as we walked in the vet’s office and screamed the whole way there like a full blood Siamese can do), the pills were a problem also, and it really didn’t stop him sliding into fraility. When I had to do it again with the next cat, I just enjoyed the few weeks we had left and let it end. Not that I was any less upset, but it was far less upsetting for the cat.

    I know you’re not looking for advice. Sometimes it helps though to know what other people did and why they made the decisions they did. There are no right or wrong answers. However, spending money doesn’t fix the problem, it just gives you more time to say the final goodbye. The pain will still be there for Dede because she doesn’t understand what’s happening and for you too as you grieve having to lose her.

    BTW – the vet was clear when I started the chemo that it would only buy time, not solve the problem for that type of cancer.


  20. I know you’ll follow your heart and your decision will be what’s best for each of them. I’ve been there, and am there right now in fact, and think of you daily with your decisions. Even if we don’t say anything, we are out there, supporting you with our thoughts.

  21. It sounds like you’re both suffering Jen. Wow, that’s rough. She seems like such a sweet pooch and you have such a good heart. At least you were able to find each other, but it is such a drag when they get irreversibly ill. I still miss my childhood dog, Mean Streak. I still tear up when I recall that he went docile at the end. I’m sure you know how to best proceed with your kind critter, but it’s not easy. You have my sincerest sympathy.

  22. Have you done or considered Adequan or Ichon injections. Ichon is the generic Adequan injections for DJD that came out when adequan was on backorder. We are using ichon in our clinic on some old arthritic dogs and our clinic cat and we have had some great results. One dog is 13 and has really bad elbows couldn’t hardly walk and started on ichon injections and is doing so well the owner could lower the other pain medications. Just a thought. Good luck in the days ahead, it sure is a hard decision to know when the time is. Hugs and good thoughts coming your way.

  23. Jenny, it’s always tough dealing with aging, sick pets because they can’t tell you exactly how they feel, or what they want you to do for them. Most animals have a greater capacity for understanding the emotions of their human counterparts than we do theirs. My parents and I had to put a German shepherd to sleep nearly 29 years ago; it was the hardest, most painful decision we’ve ever made. But, he was not going to recover from his hip dysplasia. My miniature schnauzer is 11 ½, and I know the time is coming when I have to make that same difficult decision.

    Whatever route you take for DeDe, I’m certain it’ll be for the best. Your love for animals comes through with each blog post. I think we’ll all support you no matter the outcome.

  24. I’ve never had a cat or dog so I wouldn’t dream of trying to give you advice. Even now I am still conflicted about whether I made the right decision myself for my brother’s guinea pig Bingo. I judged that nothing short of a miracle would give him the quality of life he deserved and it wasn’t fair. But even now I still ask myself could I have done more and I think that it what makes us human.

    Whatever decision you make, I know is the right one and me and the piggies will stand by you 100%. If you ever need someone to talk to, please feel free to message me on facebook. Everyone is here for you

    ~ Amy

  25. A beautiful picture of you both..i won’t offer advice ..I can’t as I have been in this position before many times and sadly will be again for sure and still I struggle …we all do….you don’t need advice you need a hug and even that I can’t do from I send my virtual hugs and hope you find the answers for yourself that you seek Loves Fozziemum and gang xxxx

  26. 😦 What a tough decision. The fact that you’re asking the question says it may be time. That tail-wagging and eating would make me question too. But one thing about Labs is they are always happy and always willing to eat, no matter how badly they might feel.

  27. You don’t need advice…there is a right time for everything and only you will know when that right time is. And you will know because you love them dearly. So no advice needed. But perhaps love and hugs and heartfelt thoughts are. Stay strong and be brave even when you don’t feel it my beautiful friend. Cry when you need to because being brave and strong in the face of heartbreaking pain requires that you that sometimes. And may wolf walk ever beside you and give you rest in his shadow. xx

  28. I’ve had to do this myself. I feel for both of you. You will know in your heart when it is right. I am thinking of all of you. DeDe is my hero right now. Don’t try to be brave, just do what is best for all of you. My advice? Don’t beat yourself up. you are good to your fur babies and they know you love them.

  29. That is the hardest decision to have to make. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I think you will know deep in your heart what the right thing is to do. Years ago we had a dog with lymphoma and we chose a moderate treatment for her. She lived another 3 months, but I still remember how stressful it was for everyone.

  30. No advice here, but I have been in your shoes too often. It is a very tough place. You just need to do what is best for you and your beloved pet and not worry about the rest. You know Dede best, and she trusts that you will make the right choice.

    The OP Pack Mom

  31. There are no easy answers to you questions, Jen. It’s never an easy decision. Years ago, we’d spent a lot of money to provide the best health care for our cat, Shadow, and yet we still lost her. It was devastating. A few yeas later, Bond Jane Bond, who grew up with Shadow, began hiding in the closet. I knew this was usually an indicator that an animal’s health is failing. We set up an appointment with the vet. She had always hated to go to the vet but never complained as we carried her to the car – not in her carrier – but wrapped in a blanket in my arms. After we showered her with lots of love and attention, we held her while she was put to sleep.

    Hard decisions. Which is the best way? That’s up to you and DeDe to decide. Hugs. ❤

  32. Its always Hard to make that call but you will know when the time has come to make that call,we are are ever with you.our friend Nina had to be helped to cross last week but her daddy knew it was time,she just couldn’t get up on to her feet any more,the previous day she could then the next morning she couldn’t,and he knew it was time.just like you will know in your heart when it is time for DeDe and any over don’t worry about it now just enjoy the time you have left with DeDe,xx Rachel and Speedy

  33. Miss jen, please know I asked myself the same questions about miss bitty. Even now I’m asking was there something I could have done, what if I didn’t start her on medication, would she have lived longer? You are doing the best you can with what you have to work with. Trust yourself and trust dede and bubba. Give them hugs and kisses from me.

  34. You are always in my thoughts, DeDe and Jen. Relying on Villalobos’ Quality of Life Scale, monitoring especially her eating habits and the presence of her smiles is a very good idea, I think.
    Try to keep in mind that you have given a wonderful life for DeDe and DeDe has made your life richer and you a better and happier person. It is incredibly hard to make the decision now but it is your privilege – you are the only being on the Earth who can do it for her and from who she will accept this decision peacefully. I often think that pets are lucky because they get help and assistance with it.

  35. I was in a similar position with our calico, Marbles, last year. I kept saying “as long as she greets me with a chirp each day…” It’s hard to see their health falter. You do all you can to keep them comfy and let them know they are loved. When it was time, it was obvious to me, but it was still hard. I simply didn’t want her to hurt anymore…

  36. Love the photo of you two! It’s the worst part of having a furbaby, the process of that decision. It is also the greatest testament of unconditional love. It’s a funny balance when you think about it. Sending love your way…

  37. No matter what anyone says, you are DeDe’s mom. You know her best. Trust in that. Meanwhile, the rest of us will stand by and offer you our support. Thinking of you both. Much love, The Scottie Mom.

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