A while back, I told the story of my old Dalmatian, Sparky, and how she’s getting to the point where she’s falling apart but not so bad off that we need to have her put down. She’s not in any significant pain, she’s still eating and drinking and sleeping, she still has plenty of energy and, so far as anyone can tell, she’s still plenty healthy, she’s just suffering from the common old-age ailments that most Dalmatians eventually get, especially since she’s considerably older than typical life expectancy. But she is falling over a lot and honestly, she’s frustrating me so I decided I’d find a dog forum and ask if anyone had any more suggestions than just letting her go on until she drops or taking her in and having her put down because, at this point, it would be more for our sake than it would be for hers.
And wow, people are dicks.
So I asked a very simple question on a pet forum, that she was falling constantly and was there anything I hadn’t considered and might want to try and all I got in response were idiots treating me like I’m Hitler, apparently mistreating my dog, who is nearly 16 years old in a breed whose maximum life expectancy is supposed to be 13. Not to mention my chihuahua who is close to 19 with the same life expectancy. Yeah. I mistreat them. Geez, I should have known.
I’m not sure what I was really expecting, although pretty much every time, almost without exception, that I have ever asked an animal question online, especially in a pet-specific forum, I’ve gotten these kinds of answers. I’m looking for people with actual experience, I get people who know nothing but want to throw out their two cents anyhow and are generally pricks about it because they know nobody can stop them. I pretty much knew the answer before I asked anyhow so I just stopped paying attention after the first handful of rude and obnoxious responses and deleted my question. There’s nothing I can do but let nature run its course. That’s what my vet, the one that has been taking care of Sparky since she was 8 weeks old said. That’s what I’m going to go with. The people who are purposely unhelpful can all take a long walk into a mine field. I won’t make that mistake again. What a bunch of assholes.
As a finale, written after I had finished the original article, I must report that on 8/29, her hind legs finally went out completely, leaving her paralyzed. We made her as comfortable as we could over the weekend when the vet wasn’t open, and on 8/31, I took her in to be put down. Her quality of life was nil, she fought to get up even though she couldn’t, she refused to eat or drink much at all and it was for the best. That doesn’t make me any less unhappy with the assholes and douchebags, but at least she’s at peace. I’ve rescheduled the piece much earlier (it was on November 3), to provide a more timely memorial. Farewell Sparky.