This morning Brissy seemed a bit better but I took her in anyway. Her hind end is pretty weak; this isn't new. However she's not putting weight at all on her right hind leg, using her left hind leg to compensate. Her hip joints have a lot of bone on bone rubbing, and her muscles are wasting in that area.
My vet put her on Previcox, which is a Cox II inhibiter. And before someone comments with the laundry list of evils caused by these drugs, just do me a favor and save your breath because there is nothing anyone can say that I haven't said to myself. Right now it's about her quality of life. She can't continue living like this-- I won't let her. If these drugs which make her more comfortable do cause other problems, we'll deal with it. But getting the pain and inflammation under control is the most important thing. I have fought like a devil to keep her off of these drugs, and my vet said that most dogs start them when they are around 10. To be a 13 year old dog and needing to finally take them is good; it means she's been doing well. It's what I have to do for her and if they make her hurt less I will gladly give them to her.
I know she's old, I know she probably doesn't have years left. I know that by all rights she shouldn't even be alive after everything she's been through. But she is, and I want to make her last time here as comfortable as I can.
This is so, so hard. I would take the pain myself if I could, I would give her years off of my own life if it would make her body whole again. I will do whatever it takes to keep her comfortable and happy. When I can't do that any more, or if she wants to go, I will then make the choice to end her suffering.
She is still so full of life and vitality. She is interested in meeting everyone around her, in walks and food, and playing. She isn't ready to leave just yet.
This is the dog who has been my emotional loadstar for the last twelve years. This is the dog who has put her 40 pound body between me and an on-coming vehicle more times than I can count. This is the dog who went to college with me, moved across the country with me, traveled many unfamiliar roads with me. She walked me down the aisle when I was married. She walked me to my first job as a grown-up. She was there in the dark of the night when my fears and worries got the best of me. She was there when I lost my house, my city, everything I owned, and later my hearing. I still was rich beyond measure because I had her.
And I can't do anything for her but give her pills and make her comfortable. I can only take her out to the dog park, and to the snowball stand on her good days. I can only put her on my bed, in the coolest spot, and sit beside her on her bad days. I can give her release when it's time. It seems like I got the better end of the deal in this relationship.
If the meds don't work, then all bets are off and we won't have much time at all. I can only hold her, tell her I love her, and hope that the universe grants us just a little bit longer together.