Thursday, July 12, 2007

Boomer Update

My mom spoke with the highly competent vet, Dr. B, the other night about Boomer. He's like one of the best vets around and everyone I know in the area seems to take their pet to see him. Boomer's been going to that practice for a while, but it's made up a lot of vets and it's rare that he's seen Dr. B, but my mom got in touch with him for a consult.

Dr. B reviewed Boomer's file and believes what my mom does that it's some kind of upper GI problem since he's not having any lower GI problems. He said that really the only way to figure out what is going on is likely surgery and given that he's 13 1/2 and that the surgery would likely only show a very bad diagnosis, it's really not the way to go. He also commented that he was concerned over the fact that Boomer has lost 20lbs in the past year through no specific diet changes by my parents. Also, not a good thing.

My mom told him about how now that he's throwing up so often that she has to keep him confined to the basement and a VERY close eye on him any other time, so he's not getting his usual social time that all labradors love and need. Dr. B agreed with my mom that it's just not fair to Boomer and that his quality of life is very low at this point. And he said that he's in complete agreement if my parents decide to put him to sleep - which is likely to happen very soon.

I totally agree with my mom and with Dr. B too, but it's just so hard to think about doing that to a dog that other than his throwing up, seems like he's okay. He looks okay and he still walks around and wags his tail happily when we visit - but I know he's dying inside.

I know my MIL went through something similar with their dog, Casey, in 1999. Casey was the Irish Setter that Jason grew up with and she'd gotten to the point in January '99 that she was in such pain in her legs and hips, she could barely move. My MIL often recalls how they made the appointment and when she went downstairs, there was Casey standing up and wagging her tail. Talk about feeling guilty and questioning your judgement! But of course, like most dogs, this kind of behavior is something they will continue to struggle to do because they ARE happy to see you and even if they feel pretty bad, they will make an effort because they love you so much.

I know that is the same situation with Boomer. On one hand you feel terrible that you'd be putting down a dog that doesn't seem to be done living yet, but then do you really want to have to take him in when he is EXTREMELY sick and is a complete mess? I don't know what the best solution is. But I guess it's hard to make that determination when you love a dog that much and don't want them to suffer but you also don't want him to go. I'm just grateful that my parents will be the ones to have to follow through with this because I don't think I could do it.

1 comment:

Brother Kev said...

Some Boomer Memories,

I guess I got to spend the most time with Boomer being that you and Chrissa went off to school not too long after we got him. He was always ready to play, and always wanted to be around me. I always let him in my room and on my bed when Mom and Dad weren't home. Sometimes when M+D were out of town, I'd try to let him sleep in the bed with me, usually to disastrous results, I mean, he was 80 lbs. Chasing him was always a chore, and he owned that pool. I remember when we had to trick him to get in, and then we had to bar the stairs to keep him out. I always laughed when he dreamt of running with his flapping paws, fluttering lips and little muffled howls. He never learned to properly heel, and sometimes would choke himself to the point of passing out, but he somehow figured out how to beat the invisible fence. We had epic wrestling matches that he'd always win when he decided he'd try to hump me and I would walk away with red teeth marks all over my arms. He loved to attack the wooden duck, and hated the vacuum cleaner. A kleenex in the trash was never safe. He was so crazy at bath time we had to lash him to two posts to keep him from hurt us and himself. He would let me lay my head on him while I watched TV, but after a few minutes he'd want to wrestle, then hump. He removed his own neutering stitches. He'd pee/poop in the corner of the living room behind the green chair and the smell would slap me in the face when I came home from school. And every time I would pet him he'd always put his paw over your hand to try to get you to come closer.

I have thousands of more Boomer memories as I know you do too. It really kills me to know that the right thing is letting him go. I'm planning to come home Saturday early afternoon to see him. Maybe I'll see you there too.
Love you,
Kev