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So I have been having some heart break with my 13/14 y/o german shepherd/husky mix. She is beyond her life expectancy and I'm not sure how to handle it all. This is the first dog I ever had, she has been there watching me grow up. I know she will go sooner or later and it just kills me. I can't face that. So I have been thinking... Would it be bad for me to introduce another dog now? I have gotten mixed reviews... I have heard that it will help my dogs life and some say she would be heartbroken. I'm not sure what to do. To be honest I would feel guilty if I went out and got a new dog right after she passed. I just couldn't bare to be without her or any dog. I figured if there is another dog atleast I could focus on it more rather than not having my dog.

Also, she is acting really weird.. she has growled and snapped at me twice in the past week and a half. Both times I was trying to move her. I don't know if her hips are hurting her or what but she doesn't like someone shifting her. She doesn't have trouble going down stairs or anything, but ofcourse she has slowed down a bit.
I do know that she has slight signs of Cushings Disease in her most rescent bloodwork this year. Our vet basically told us not to worry about it because you can't do anything for it aside from brain surg. So she has the typical Polyuria and Polydipsia. I feel like I take her potty 8 times every few hours. Also, she just smells awful and it's not her breath. I just bathed her 2 days ago and she smells just as bad as she did prebath. I'm pretty sure that it's a sebbaceous skin problem due to Cushing's.

Has anyone gone through this? It would be nice to share stories because I'm not going to lie, I'm really scared and I get teary thinking about it. I love my girl and I'm starting to learn and accept that her time will be soon if not a year or two max.
 

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Our dog Amy was very sick for a long time and my father said he didn't want to get a dog for a long time after she went. Mom wanted one. Amy was PTS on a Wed. That night Dad started looking at dogs, Mom decided she wasn't sure if she wanted one, but would meet the one we found. We met her, fell in love and adopted her on Saturday. It depends on the people, and dog, and what you think now you may not feel then. As for getting a dog now, I personally wouldn't I would worry about stress. I would give all the love and attention I can until she's gone. Every dog is different, though, and she may love another dog. Maybe take her, if she's healthy, to visit dogs and see how it goes.
 

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Would it be bad for me to introduce another dog now? I have gotten mixed reviews... I have heard that it will help my dogs life and some say she would be heartbroken.
Dogs don't get hurt feelings because you bring their replacement into the home. Many old dogs are set in their ways and won't easily tolerate a younger interloper though. Especially puppies. OTOH, some oldsters seem to get a new lease on life when a younger pooch moves in. It strictly depends on the individual dog.

Also, she is acting really weird.. she has growled and snapped at me twice in the past week and a half. Both times I was trying to move her. I don't know if her hips are hurting her or what but she doesn't like someone shifting her.
Like people, dogs get stiff in their golden years. I can relate. The onset of arthritis can make it painful to initiate movement, but you can be okay once you get going. I've never been one to take any guff from a dog, but I do respect the crankiness. An old girl has earned the right to sleep where she wants, and not be bothered. I'm hoping for the same consideration in a few years.
 

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A large breed dog with pu/pd and some pain at 14 is not unusual. I personally would not bring in a new dog at this point. At ten or eleven maybe, but not a true senior. Would likely be not pleasant for her nor the other dog.
I know it's hard to handle when our pets get old and the time is near (and yes, it is near). My first "own" pet I had was my cat Vandal and he died a year ago at 17. I knew it was coming and he started to go downhill and I made the decision to end his suffering (because he WAS suffering). I never regretted the decision, though I grieved hard for a long time.
The hard decisions are the ones that show how much we love our pets.
Let your girl live her life, make it as easy for her as you can, understand her crankiness and her need to "go" all the time and when it is too much for you and too much for her....send her to the bridge with love and respect.
Then look at getting another dog when you are ready. Could be right away, could be much later. Could be the universe sends one to you unexpectedly. A new furball is not a replacement of the old one. It will have a whole new place in your heart, next to the one's you have said goodbye to.
 

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So I have been having some heart break with my 13/14 y/o german shepherd/husky mix. She is beyond her life expectancy and I'm not sure how to handle it all. This is the first dog I ever had, she has been there watching me grow up. I know she will go sooner or later and it just kills me. I can't face that.
I have to admit, I got a little misty myself, while reading your post. Watching a loved one gradually approach the end of their days is never an easy task, especially if it's your "first" dog.


Ah, how profoundly our dogs teach us so many lessons in life ... the lessons of love, .. loyalty, .. honour, .. trust, ... disappointment, ... compromise, ... confidence, .. achievement,

.... and the ever-important lessons of nearing the end, .. and of death, .. and it's inevitability.

Please take comfort in the fact that you are learning, and that your dog is teaching. In my experience -- a gentler, kinder, and wiser teacher cannot be found.

Chin up ! and behold the experience.
 

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I agree that getting a second dog now is a bad idea simply because it will be confusing to the existing dog. Wait.

Cushings is not fun but not much can be done and at this age what do yu REALLY want to put your dog through?

You love each dog differently. Wait. The time will come, after your dog passes over the Rainbow bridge, another dog will be waiting for you to find him.
 

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I wouldn't stress your current dog out by adding a new dog. Give her your full love and attention, and when she passes, honor her by rescuing another doggy. I know in my experiences, it helps fill the void -- but it all depends on the person.

My friend is actually going through the same thing with her husky/german shepherd mix. However, she's 15-years-old and still going.
 

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Looseing that first heart dog is scary and very hard to get over. You are not betraying your dog she would want you to always have a dog at your side and she knows you will never forget her. Only you will know when it is the right time and the right dog do not try to put a time line or control on it let nature tug you when it truly is time.
 

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I was in your circumstances many, many years ago with an older dog. I couldn't stand the thought of not having a dog so I rescued a puppy from the pound. I realized immediately that that was a big mistake. The puppy would just not leave my poor senior dog alone. He pestered him constantly. Luckily for me, my parents were wonderful and took the puppy for a while until we had to make the decision to let my old dog go. He had cancer and once his quality of life was gone, we gave him his wings. I was then able to bring the puppy to my home.

Personally, I wouldn't get puppy with a senior dog again. It just isn't fair to the old dog.
 

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Another "no" vote on adding a new dog now.

But do try getting a second opinion on the treatment for Cushings. There are medications that can help with the symptoms and prolong her quality of life. It will also help with the increased water intake/peeing, panting, and reduce the stress on the heart/eyesight. You might also ask your vet about putting her on an NSAID like Previcox, Rimadyl, derramax, Etodolac, or even a Non Opiate pain reliever like Tramadol. They will help with the stiffness. There is no reason to just let her have to suffer thru the Cushings or Arthritis.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Wow guys! Thanks for all of the feedback!

I wish I had the time to respond to everyone personally.
The stories and advice are all really insightful! Some stories were tear-jerking! I do plan to get her back to the vet. Since her Cushing's symptoms are progressing. She is still a very healthy and active. You wouldnt think she was old unless you spent a lot of time with her and really knew her. I'm just preparing for all of this if you know what I mean. She is a senior dog these days whether her or I like it or not. :eek:

Very wise words! :)
 

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She is a senior dog these days whether her or I like it or not
That is the only bad thing about owning a dog....they are only with us for a short time. Enjoy the time that you have with your senior girl. Each age brings it's own gifts. I am glad you are taking her back to the vet for re-evaluation. I hope you find a treatment to make her as comfortable as possible.
 
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