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Are you committed?

My Archie who is 17 and is not sick just extremely old. I thought he would pass by Christmas and here it is almost April and he is still going. I am happy that I have had such an unimaginable length of time with him.  He was a rescue dog and my first Chinese Crested. He was sent to rescue as his owner did not want him anymore. The family was moving and did not want to take him, he was a marker but I see old age took that out of him. Archie looks ghastly his body is racked with arthritis and yet he is not sick. His body is deteriorating and he cannot move his tail it is permanently cured under him and he pee’s and poo’s on it. He does still have control of his body function as he will get up and go into the corner or away from his bed and relieve himself.  Then when he goes back to bed it is then smeared all over his bed and cloths. He loves to eat but never puts on any weight. He has no muscle tone his skin is just stretched over bones.  I have to watch him eat as the other dogs will take his food.  He eats slowly now, he still has teeth but I don’t think he uses them because I can actually see the kibble moving down his throat. It’s one kibble at a time moving along with another right behind it.  It does bother me to see it because it is so strange to watch food moving through the dog’s neck. I feel so blessed that I have been given all this time with him.  He is making messes all over the living room and cleanup is all day long. I feel as if this must be what it is like to take care of a bed ridden person, except he can still get around and does.  He has one eye and it is now blind and his hearing is pretty much gone.  He wakes up and barks now because he does not know if anyone is at home.  All it takes is one of us to go touch him and he stops and goes back to sleep or gets up and walks around. He still wants human contact and I try not to pick him up too much as I don’t want to cause any undo pain. Everything I see in him tells me he wants to live. He stinks and I cannot keep him clean enough because the baths are getting more stressful for him.  Baby wipes can only do so much.  I am beside myself with the work that comes with having an aging dog, but this dog wants to live. He is a blessing and I want to use his life to show folks what it means to take the responsibility of a dog to the very end and that is the end the dog chooses, not us. Weekly I get the call or e-mail asking me to take the dog or dogs that are no long wanted, and young and old.  I have no idea what folks are thinking when they ask rescue to take there 13 year old dog because they don’t want it any more.  I am sure they are clearing there conscience because they dumped there problem on someone else and they do not have to deal with the dog anymore and putting it to sleep would somehow make them a horrid individual. I hope those folks do not have family members that feel the same. Because unlike a dog humans can linger for a very long time in a state of constant needs.  I do not point fingers but I will bring this out to light. To all those who think of dog as disposable, I am here to say they are not. You may think of me a sappy old dog lady but the only thing I can control in my life is my words and my commitments, I believe that when you take on a responsibility you must follow through to the end, I am using Archie to show that what may seem like the end is not always. He is not sick, does not take meds and has not seen the vet in over two years; he still does all the things he used to do just slower. He still has many teeth just chooses to swallow his food. He has always enjoyed licking his legs and the other dogs he still does this. He has always circled many times before he lays down he still does this. He loves food and gets fed any time he goes to the kitchen which just upset the other dogs to no end.  He knows this and makes many trips to the kitchen looking for a hand out.  He eats whatever he wants and because he can no longer can open the cupboards he cannot get to the garbage that he so enjoyed.  His counter surfing days are behind him and he still chases off any dog, except the puppy Gideon, which gets in front of the heat duck. Gideon and Archie have bonded and Gideon shows real concern for Archie; when Gideon is not at play he cuddles with Archie in front of the heat vent. I have no unrealistic control because I want my dog to live longer. I am a firm believer in not letting an animal suffer. If he showed signs of pain and unhappiness I would do the right thing by him. But he wants to live and shows me every day in every way that he is not ready for a long sleep. So be horrified by his looks and clumsiness but know this dog will live till he tells me otherwise.  I committed to take care of him till the end his end not the one I choose for him.  He is truly my blessing.

1 comment:

  1. Have you tried dog diapers? They could cut down on a lot of the clean up issues if the other dogs don't shred them. Glad Archie is still happy, he's a cool little old dog. :)