I guess it's my turn in this forum. Definitely not a place I ever wanted to be. But I guess we all face it sometime. It's the price we pay for loving them.
My best girl, Dahlia, finally gave up her fight with kidney disease in August of this year. She fought for so long (over a year) and was too stubborn to let go. We saw signs that something was wrong last summer and then took her to the vet in September when she didn't want to eat. We thought she was in pain. She was 13ish after all and while the vet said in June she was doing really well for a dog of her age and recommended supplements, we thought maybe the pain was starting to increase. She was always a wimp with pain. So I took her in, thinking we'd get her some pain meds and that would be it. I never imagined kidney disease (discovered because they wanted to check her kidney levels before putting her on pain meds).
It was a rough up and down for awhile. She didn't want to eat. She lost weight. She got recurring UTIs. But then we found some medication that helped with the nausea (Meclizine, which is OTC, basically non-drowsy Dramamine, and is CHEAP) and she started to enjoy her food again. We found a supplement that helped with her pain (Movoflex, which I cannot recommend enough), and she started to find it easier to get up.
When we went back to the vet for a recheck in December, they couldn't believe how much better she was.
She ultimately fought her way through to the end of July, like she was waiting until I could have my vacation with her (I took off a whole week to spend with the dogs, as my husband was out of town and Dahlia couldn't travel, so that was my big vacation of the year). My husband got back on August 4 and she started to decline after that.
By the following weekend, she was struggling to stand and couldn't get up on her own. And I noticed that the mount of water she was drinking increased a LOT but she wasn't peeing out enough to explain it. I think her kidneys were shutting down. Sunday night, she let us know she was ready to go. And she was SO ready. She went quickly and peacefully. It's been a few weeks and I'm still just left reeling from it all. She had been going along at the same basic level for so long that I imagined she could do that indefinitely. And then she was gone.
She was my BEST GIRL. We adopted her in 2008 after I met her on a transport across country. She spent 11+ amazing years with us. We did trick training, agility, lots of hiking and geese chasing, and walks in the neighborhood. She was beloved by the children in our old neighborhood, who nicknamed her Dora (her tail looked like Dora the Explorer's hair, apparently) and Pillow (because she was soft like a pillow). She was the sweetest, most mellowest dog, and our home just feels strangely quiet without her calm, steady presence.
Here she is 4/20 of this year at the rest stop where we first really spent time together on her transport in 2008.
This is her on her Gotcha Day (May 17). I took her to her favorite park.
Even at 14ish, she still loved meeting puppies. This is her meeting my mom's 8-week old puppy, Abbie.
A couple pictures from that week I took off, the last ones I took of my best girl.
I really really miss this face. Run free and eat lots of hamburgers, my girl.