I've realized that it is time to let Ali go. In the last few days I've recognized that I'm keeping him here for me, not for him. I've been saying that he still has quality to his life. Yes, he does, but he has periods of a couple minutes perhaps a couple times a week that I would call quality. Two, four or even 30 minutes of each week can't really be called "quality." He is sleeping around 22 of 24 hours a day, and when he is awake, he usually sits on the bed and just looks around, not like dementia, but just like an old man who has nothing.
He has aged terribly since this picture was taken in June.
I suspect he grieves China, too. This picture was taken a couple weeks after she left us.
His pain is pretty much constant now. I give him Tylenol, and it actually seems to manage the pain pretty well. I'm sure the doc would give him something more powerful if I asked for it, but that is only delaying the inevitable. He has a lot of trouble walking, although he insists on going down the stairs himself. I try to grab him and carry him down, because when he tries on his own, the back legs don't hold him, so he kinda slides/bumps down the stairs. He will not use the ramp, although he used one when we lived in KC. I'm not forcing it because it would just frustrate us both, I think.
He is having some urinary problems, again like an old man. He comes to tell me he wants out, but often can't make it to the door before he begins to leak. When that happens, he looks embarrassed, his tail completely down and his head hanging. It breaks my heart. And I keep an old comforter on the bed during the day. It has dribble spots on it and I have to wash it every day.
His appetite comes and goes. Today has been so-so, yesterday he ate fairly well, the day before perhaps 6 bites, and the day before that one, about 10-12 bites. I'm feeding him only canned food to urge him to eat, and he gets a boiled egg every day when he does eat. Even with that, he doesn't eat nearly enough most days.
In the last week it has become clear to me that I'm keeping him. If he were a wild dog, he would probably have wandered into the woods to die before now. I'm calling the vet tomorrow, and I assume it will be scheduled for about Wednesday. I know it is best, but my heart is breaking. He's the last of "the originals," my grand old man. I'm going to miss him terribly.
Give me a few days and I'll do a nice post about him, about the amazing dog he has been for his whole life. I'm not ready yet to tackle that, but soon. I'm going to take a few days off here, too. I may post, but don't be surprised if I don't. I've done some of my regular features and scheduled them.