Sunday, June 1, 2008

Chance the final chapter, the beginning

When I first met my wife she had 3 cats; "Tig" a multicolored space cadet that hated me with a passion (this should have been a sign for her) as he would crawl under furniture and hiss at me every time I got near him. I tormented him so much it is NO wonder he didn't like me that much. I'm sorry to say he met his end because of a Sears's Delivery truck, it broke Janine's heart.

"Mittz" and "Blackie" were mom and son respectively. She was part Persian/Himalayan with a beautiful silverish gray long coat. A very personable cat she was but her son was the exact opposite. Mittz actually mourned the death of one of our hamsters for 3 days until we put the hamster cage in the garage where she couldn't find it. Of course Blackie decided to eat the hamsters if they lucky enough to gain freedom from the numerous kennels that we had set up for them to patrol the house. Little did we know the hamsters would eat the habitrail plastic connector pieces which allowed for them to break apart the tunnels and thus meet Blackie. I figured this out one day while catching "Jenny" our best momma teddy bear hamster out of the corner of my eye walking down the hallway. Realizing that she was now out of her safe confines the chase was on to get her back to safety before Blackie had an appetizing meal. I noticed Jenny had walked over to a potted plant that sat in the corner with Mittz close behind. I noticed Blackie coming out of the front bedroom so I grabbed him and threw him in the front room and closed the door so he couldn't escape. Mittz decided that she was a special security detail for the hamster and followed her all around the house and together the two built a friendship of kindred spirit that would last until Jenny died of natural causes.

We've had many pets but none as loyal and heart felt as Chance. This will be his last year in our family as we fully realize that at some point he will have to be put down so he doesn't suffer longer then what might be necessary. At times he can't lift his rearend to move and one of us has to lift up his rear quaters so he can get his legs underneath him. This winter was rough on the old guy as he found it harder to move and the effects of the Rimadyl were short lived. With the side effects of this medication we wonder if the process of this is worth it. Although one of the side effects is a shut down of internal organs we have had Chance tested before we placed him on Rimadyl to find out that he is having a shutdown of his liver, which this condition hasn't gotten worse yet.

It appears that the mind still functions just as fast with that twinkle in his eye only the body fails to respond in a timely fashion. He still follows the kids around and plays with our other two dogs, however during playtime we have to keep close supervision on him as the other two can and do gang up on the old guy and can cause him harm. It reminds me of a boxing match if you could have an 20 year old Mike Tyson battling a 60 year old Muhammad Ali, NO contest the old man loses quite soundly.

Since it has gotten warmer he seems to be moving much easier, but you can plainly see he just isn't a 100%, however I won't be either if I were his age. The decision needs to be made, however I don't want to pull the trigger to quickly and have him put to sleep if he can still function at about 90% for a few more months.

The flip side of this coin can be are we having him stay alive just out of self gratification and we really don't want him to leave the family just yet ?? This has become a mind game for me lately as I'm having a hard time trying to find the proper answer within myself.

1 comment:

Jason said...

Really, it should come down to whether or not he's really suffering. If you're having to lift him up sometimes so he can walk then it might be time (as much as I don't want to say that.)

I can feel your pain through the posting, though. Imagine a virtual pat on the shoulder in support here. (Sometimes the net just can't convey things, ya know?)