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Hi my name is Cristina and I got Gobi when she was 10 weeks old from Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael, CA. I raised her according to Guide Dogs rules and attended meetings with the group leader in Boulder,CO. I took Gobi Girl everywhere since she wore the Guide Dog Puppy in Training vest. Unfortunately or fortunately for me, she was "career changed" by Guide Dogs due to Panus, a congenital disease of the eyes which required steroid drops all her life. She's been an incredible companion for me since 2005. Since July of 2017 she's not been her usual self, lethargic and not wanting to walk too much. However it wasn't until May of 2018 that I really noticed a BIG difference in her behavior. Took her to the vet and learned after expensive tests, that she has chronic kidney disease. Although at that time (May 31) vet said the disease wasn't too far along and suggested putting her on expensive special kidney diet (which supposedly would delay the progression of the disease), I have decided to let Gobi live medication free until the end.
I have the same philosophy for my health. It's now July 22 and I've seen a lot of changes, not for the better. Gobi, a pure bred Black Labrador, always very food motivated doesn't seem to interested in telling me I should feed her. Before at about 4pm (I typically fed her around 5) she always began sitting by me and staring; I knew she wanted to eat but sometimes I'd tell her "Sweetie it's not time yet" and she'd wait by my side lying down. Now it can be after 6 and she still hasn't shown any of that behavior. Her coat has been awful for the past year; she gets white flakes all over, scratches a lot, even though I brush twice daily, put Fish oil, Benadryl and coconut oil in her food, and use good shampoo to bathe her. All she does is sleep all day, doesn't want to go out for a walk, trips up & down the stairs frequently (we live in a 2nd floor condo), and she cannot manage getting in & out of the passenger seat without my help. I know she's very near the end of her life but I'm struggling with making the decision to put her down. I was away for 3 wks in June and even though I had very good people caring for her at home, she seemed depressed and much thinner when I returned. I have a trip to Alaska coming up Aug. 28 and my gut tells me I should put her down before leaving given my June experience with being away. Can someone give me some advice? People I've talked to keep telling me that I'll know when the time is right, but I've been stressing over this since the infamous call from the vet June 1st with the kidney disease diagnosis. Gobi Girl has had a very good life and I cannot emotionally stand the thought of her suffering, it's so sad to see her just sleeping all day. She was always very active even ran and hiked with me in the past, but not since 2017. Help :-( Cristina
 
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