What would you do in this situation? - Family or Pet

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What would you do in this situation? - Family or Pet

Post  Almostangela on Thu Sep 16, 2010 3:52 pm

You haven’t seen you aging parents for many years because you live across the country. You’ve made plans to see them this October and have set up a great kennel for your dog and cats. You go to the vet and your vet tells you that your 15 year dog has congestive heart failure and does not have long to live. The kennel refuses to take your dog now.

Your hearts is broken and you cancel your plans to see your parents to wait for your dog to die. Your mother calls back and gives you supreme hell for choosing your dog over your father who is 82 years old, has a series of health problems and is very thin and frail.

Facts:

Your diabetic father has had and survived congestive heart failure, cancer recently, has lung disease, and gets winded when he walks a few feet. How strong is he?

Your beloved dog bites people and may need a muzzle if someone is to take him on. The stress of separation will not be a good thing, but who knows.

What would you do?
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Re: What would you do in this situation? - Family or Pet

Post  lesherb on Thu Sep 16, 2010 4:05 pm

Why can't your dog be segregated from your visitors? Keep him in the bedroom. Walk him or let him out to do his business while your guests are otherwise occupied. I don't understand why your pets have to be removed from your home.
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Re: What would you do in this situation? - Family or Pet

Post  Almostangela on Thu Sep 16, 2010 4:10 pm

I guess I missed a detail here. The animals must be left behind because you have to take a plane to visit the parents and it is too costly and tramautic to fly them all.

By the way, the scenerio isn't me. I'm putting myself in someone else's shoes to try to understand.
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Re: What would you do in this situation? - Family or Pet

Post  Guest on Thu Sep 16, 2010 4:17 pm

Depends if you like your dad more, or your dog.

I'd make a deal with someone to watch the dog. I'd call a few vets to see if they could board and medically take care of the dog.

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Re: What would you do in this situation? - Family or Pet

Post  Richard on Thu Sep 16, 2010 4:23 pm

My dogs are wonderful for me. As is my very elderly cat.

In the situation you describe, I would reschedule the trip to November. If my dog were still with me by then, I would arrange for a house sitter in my home - so the elderly dog did not have to go to someone else's house while I were away. If he needed to be isolated in his own home if I were not there, so be it - at least he is home.

I would also seriously consider euthanasia for a 15 year old dog who would defintely be headed to great pain with heart failure. A death with a loved one by his side, before the pain, may be the most loving thing to do.

But re-scheduling to November gives 30 more days for things to happen and all to be happy. I would not cancel a trip to see parents because of ailing pet; but I would re-schedule a short bit.
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Re: What would you do in this situation? - Family or Pet

Post  marion on Thu Sep 16, 2010 6:06 pm

Ditto Richard, put it off, but not for long. You'll hate yourself if your Dad goes.

Euthenasia isn't allowed for humans, but at least it is for pets. Start getting your mind ready for it. You'll know when. Dogs and cats go down real quick at the end.

Buy a big box of tissues. Ask if there's a back door out of the vets - my vet has and you bet I used it for my big boofy Tigger when the time came.
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Re: What would you do in this situation? - Family or Pet

Post  CluelessKitty on Thu Sep 16, 2010 8:24 pm

It's a toughie.
If you choose the dog, how are you gonna feel years later looking back knowing your dad died while you choose to stay to care for the dog?
Likewise, if you choose Dad, what if your dog dies while it turns out your Dad still had many years ahead of him?

We DO have an obligation toward our pets.
They do not deserve to die alone after 15 years of loyal, loving, faithful service.

Risa




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Re: What would you do in this situation? - Family or Pet

Post  Paradox on Thu Sep 16, 2010 8:45 pm

My Dear Basset Freddie passed away from congestive heart failure. I'm afraid I waited too long and waited until he was suffering and struggling to euthanize him. But, Fred did not know that it was later rather than sooner. He just knew he hurt.

I loved Fred, he was also 15. But, Fred wouldn't have been terribly hurt knowing that someone ( or somethings) health and well being was more important than the fathers. The father does know that his well being is being placed second to a dogs. And if it were me, I would be terribly hurt.

I'm a HUGE animal lover. I'm currently fostering (actually doing hospice) for Gena, an elderly basset. But, I could not put my pets well being over my fathers.
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Re: What would you do in this situation? - Family or Pet

Post  CluelessKitty on Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:05 pm

Very valid point Char.

I think Richard has the best idea, as he often does.
Perhaps very accurate determination of the father's condition would help to decide how long the trip could be postponed, perhaps a month indeed, or more or maybe two weeks only and then finding a dog sitter should be of utmost importance.

I am in Surrey Angela but with great regret I have to say I can not sit your friend's dog- I am so SO sorry.
I hope someone will be found, though.

I'm afraid I waited too long and waited until he was suffering and struggling to euthanize him.

Char, are you in your extremely delicate, sensitive way suggesting that perhaps sometimes is better to put
a suffering dog to sleep than wait for it to naturally die?
Having putting my beloved Bella to sleep due to cancer recently, I agree.

I think a good vet could help in this delicate matter.

Risa
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Re: What would you do in this situation? - Family or Pet

Post  Petzi on Fri Sep 17, 2010 12:44 am

What a dilemma!

Pets feature large in my life. I love my cats with passion and if one of them falls ill I go gaga with worry.

In my particular case it would be an easy decision. My parents have not been there for me when I was a child and I will not be there for them when they are elderly and frail. But this is not the normal situation. My parents in law have been the most loving and devoted parents to my husband and have made enormous sacrifices to get my husband through private university despite being far from wealthy. They welcomed me into the family fold with open arms and have helped us out whenever they could. I also know for a fact that they would never throw a tantrum over a cancelled or postponed visit (we also live in different countries). They might be disappointed but emotional blackmail is not their style.

I agree with Richard's suggestion. I could not bear to see one of my kitties suffer and I also believe in quality instead of quantity. Go and have a chat with your vet and see what the prognosis for your dog is. Postponing your trip by a month will give you time to do what is best for your doggy.

Love

P
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Re: What would you do in this situation? - Family or Pet

Post  HeelerLady on Fri Sep 17, 2010 7:32 am

I think Richard is right on.

I have a similar problem and can't travel either. 2 of my dogs I can send to a kennel or have friends watch. The third one...well she's special. She gets aggressive with change (moving to a new home in the same neighborhood was a trick) and is dog aggressive. I would probably have to hire a house sitter for just her (the other 2 would have to be elsewhere - not dumping that situation on a stranger) with very specific protocols and rules.

If it were me...well my father made that decision easy. He hasn't had any contact with me for almost 7 years (his choice not mine) and left no forwarding address when he and his fiancee walked away. Now if he was dying and wanted to see me again...I would probably go, I don't think I could live with denying him that but I'd take the problem child with me.
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Re: What would you do in this situation? - Family or Pet

Post  tecky on Fri Sep 17, 2010 7:39 am

I agree with Richard, as well. A sitter in your home causes the least stress on a beloved pet. After some not-so-good experiences with kenneling, we prefer to have someone come to our home to care for our dogs. Being in their home environment causes so much less stress, which is important for a pet dealing with congestive heart failure.

However, Charlotte's post is spot on too. Sometimes, depending on the vet's prognosis, euthanasia is the most loving thing to do for your pet if the pain and symptoms cannot be controlled and he/she is suffering.

I hope your friend is able to come up with a solution that is comfortable for all involved.
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Re: What would you do in this situation? - Family or Pet

Post  Almostangela on Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:14 am

Some excellent wise replies here from all of you. This is tearing my brother apart in emotional pain and I am going to send him this link to help him review his options.

Charlotte, it is so good to hear from someone who has had experience with this.
Risa, how wonderfully sweet of you to consider offering help, but he lives in Winnipeg, otherwise I would've stepped in myself.

Our father has been a very kind and caring man and he is really disappointed right now to not see his eldest son, so every month is hard for him. My brother has a big heart and wants to do the right thing and is torn on this unfair gamble.

Thank you, everyone, your input has helped shed an unbias and compassionate light.
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Re: What would you do in this situation? - Family or Pet

Post  Paradox on Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:26 am

I agreed last month to foster a Basset in memory of my Dear Freddie, who himself was adopted. We got Gena, a delightful ten year old.

Who, it turns out has significant health problems, including congestive heart failure. On a scale of 6 she is at 4. In addition to this, she has cataracts (nearly blind), uveitis (eye inflammation), tumors, and the yeast infection in her ears.

In short, she is unadoptable.

We have the yeast cleared up, she's on stronger med's for the eyes, and will eventually go on meds to ease the discomfort of the heart failure.

So, hubby and I are now Gena's permanent fosters. Meaning, she will stay with us until she dies, but the rescue agency will pay her vet bills.

I did not want another basset. My next dog will be a little frou frou dog that I can pick up with my back. But, I can not turn my back on this beautiful sweet girl who gave the best years of her life to a family only to be turned out when she got old and sick.

But, these poor animals don't know WHY they're suffering. Unless a treatment is going to make them better, I forgo it. I keep them comfortable, but now, after watching Freddie, the SECOND I see discomfort, we are going to the vet.

And yes, pay the bill BEFORE the procedure so that you can make a quick exit out the back.

So, I really am a doggie lover! But, I think your brother should make every type of arrangement possible to get to his father...he will never forgive himself if his Dad dies and he didn't see him , and your mother may not either. Perhaps your brother could travel alone and leave his partner (if he has one) at home to stay with the pup?


Last edited by paradox on Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:40 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : clarification)
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Re: What would you do in this situation? - Family or Pet

Post  CluelessKitty on Fri Sep 17, 2010 2:31 pm

My last thoughts on the matter - whether we like it or not, good people should come first.

When Katrina hit, whether any disaster hits, poor animals are left behind whenever there is no place for them
in the boat, plane, car, whatever. Cruel, but true.

Since your father Angela, as it turns out, was a loving man, I think he deserves it.
He deserves to be chosen over the dog. I feel it's either euthanasia or finding a dog sitter, then.

After all it was him who caringly raised your brother, not the dog. Again, cruel and sad, but true.

It would be another matter if your father was neglectful, abusive, absent etc. Then who cares.

yet another point to ponder...

Risa

ps. btw, I used to live in Wpg before I moved to BC!
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Re: What would you do in this situation? - Family or Pet

Post  estre004 on Fri Sep 17, 2010 2:43 pm

As much as I love dogs, parents would come first. If it was me, I would arrange for a friend to come by and walk the dog a couple of times a day and feed him I guess.

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Re: What would you do in this situation? - Family or Pet

Post  Almostangela on Fri Sep 17, 2010 7:43 pm

Well, I'm sorry to say, my brother doesn't have the good sense, or as big of a heart, that I thought he did.

He has decided to postpone the visit until the spring 2011. He said that this dog is so great because it saved his life by letting him know that the house was full of carbon dioxide, so he owes the dog. I didn't bother countering with the blatantly obvious about all that our father has done for him. (including being by his side when he almost died as a teen) Common sense can't be taught and I learned a long time ago that trying to bring this family together winds up in myself getting hurt. I think maybe by my showing him other options of sound minded people (yourselves) have just made him dig his heals in deeper and anymore debate might just make things worse.

Its all fine and well to watch someone walk into a hurting wall of their own choice, but it annoys me to watch an innocent party having to get the impact of these unrealistic choices.

The gentle old man just wants to spend time with his son.

At least not all of his children are so thick.
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Re: What would you do in this situation? - Family or Pet

Post  CluelessKitty on Sat Sep 18, 2010 4:18 pm

In the defense of your brother, Angela,
your father is probably always surrounded by loving people, even if your brother is not among them momentarily.

The dog isn't, so it's valid point to be taken under consideration.
If your brother decided he can't live with the thought of his dog dying in his absence, then lets understand and honor this.

Risa
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