What’s Been Happening Here…
In case you read my previous story about Millie, our Golden Retriever…
Just to recount…
The last week of July, I had made the difficult decision that Millie (click to read that article), would have to be put to sleep, as I felt she was getting too bad with things… Mainly having trouble walking far, falling down, incontinence etc. She didn’t seem to be in a lot of pain or anything, but I am sure she would not have been comfortable.
It was an extra difficult decision because she was my Dad’s dog, and his memory loss issues, meant he didn’t really understand that she was as bad as she was. She had been his companion for 17 years… So it was very hard trying to prepare him for what was going to come sooner or later.
I had booked the vet and the pet crematorium to come in the afternoon on that particular day, however, in the morning after giving Millie a few extra treats (her favourite – chicken thighs) the night before, she seemed to have picked up a lot, and she’d had a pretty good night… So I cancelled things to see how she would go, because I didn’t want to cut things any shorter than necessary.
Over the next couple of weeks, while initially there was some improvement, it became clear that the overall trend was down, and that I would just have to go ahead with the dreaded decision. I really didn’t want her getting to a point where she was in pain or experiencing any extreme suffering.
As it was, even with her difficulties, she still seemed to enjoy her food and treats, and sitting out in the sunshine (we are just coming out of winter, and we are getting some lovely sunny days).
Last Saturday (the 15th August)…
It was a lovely morning. Millie had, had a reasonable night, but her mobility was declining, so that she needed help every few steps to get her to where she wanted or needed to go. I had put her outside to get a bit of fresh air and give her time to go to the toilet, and after maybe an hour or so I decided to go an sit in the sun myself.
We have two other little dogs who mostly follow me wherever I go, so they came out to sit with me, and Millie, who had been a little way away, a bit further down the side of the house, but within site, seemed to decide that she would rather come up and sit with us as well. So she slowly made her way up, and negotiated the small step to get up on the cement verandah, then turned a bit and sat down in the sun.
I noticed this because it was not something she did commonly, so I mentally thought I should make a point of giving her a bit of extra attention.
After a couple of minutes, I had to get up and go inside because Dad had just finished his shower and was ready for breakfast, so I needed to get that for him, which I started to do. On my way past, I gave Millie a quick pat… not as much attention as I had intended to give her…
In between bits of having his brekky, Dad decided to go out in the sun, next to Millie… and then something unexpected happened.
I was not really watching, but I gather Dad had gotten up to come back inside, and Millie must have decided to get up as well… I heard a noise and looked up, and poor Millie had fallen off the verandah and was on her back… Moving her legs around… At first I thought she was just struggling because she had fallen and rolled over, trying to get back up, but then I realized there was more going on.
She was having a full on Seizure…
I went out and attended to her, putting her on her side and tied to reassure her.
It seemed to last for a long time, but was likely a minute maybe a bit more. I carried her into the shade on the verandah, and laid her on a mat, and although the worst of the seizure had stopped she seemed to be having mini-seizures.
This event obviously made our difficult decision for us. I knew I could not allow her to have to go through that again, so I had no choice, but to then set about organizing for her to be put to sleep that day.
Unfortunately, we were not able to get a Vet to come to the house, which would have been my preference, however, as it turned out, the Veterinarians at the Emergency Animal Service were very nice…
It took a few hours to be able to get things sorted, and during that time for most of it she was resting comfortably. She seemed to have lost the ability to stand at all in her back legs, which were already weak prior to this event.
A quick bit of research indicated that it was not uncommon for the elderly to have a seizure following a stroke, and I am assuming that might have been what happened in Millies case.
To Cut A Long Story Short…
Overall, it was not a nice day, but given the circumstances there were a few things we could be thankful for…
- Millie had, had a nice morning.
- We were with her… so good it wasn’t in the middle of the night or us being out (Dad would not have coped on his own).
- We had gotten some good pictures a couple of days prior on Dad’s 88th birthday.
- The decision was easier to make given the event so it was better than just having to book it in for a day, and hope that we had not cut anything too short.
So Millie was put to sleep with Dad and I with her, giving her a good pat and telling her what a good girl she was… The crematorium were able to pick her up from the Vets, and she was cremated 2 days later.
We now have her ashes in a lovely Timber box with an equally lovely double photo frame next to it.
This helps Dad to remember that she is gone, even though he still keeps asking me about it, and a few times had forgotten we had put her to sleep, and was looking for her.
Overall, Dad has handled it pretty well, considering… and a 17 year long chapter has come to a close.
She was a lovely dog and a close companion for Dad, having gotten her as a puppy to keep him a bit occupied when Mum had passed away… So a big adjustment with her now being gone.
It does mean that Dad gets to go a few more places, as in the last couple of months, someone had to stay here with her all the time, in case she got down on the slippery tiles and could not get up.
Dad, who is a retired performer (singer in a duet with Mum and comedian, you can see a website that I still need to add more too if you click here: RickAndThelCarey.com) still likes to sing, and would like to do some more shows if he can, so now we are more free to be able to do that, which is another positive thing moving forward.
All this and the ongoing things dealing with Dad and generally things at home has been a part of keeping me away from my work here. And sometimes, that’s just how it is… it isn’t ideal and maybe would not be an obstacle for some, but for me it is part of the reason I want to be able to work from home. To have the freedom to ‘disappear’ for a time when I have to.
Hopefully now, I can get back into it… and continue to move forward with my plans for this site… adding more information, and also products that I am working on!