Larissa
For those who know me, you know I recently lost my pal Easter. My heart is still very heavy with grief and loss. Through it though I'm learning. Learning how to let go, and thinking a lot about what I would do different next time to help the process. So, I also have a terminally ill dog. He is 15 and should have died a dozen times but keeps bouncing back. Right now he's doing great, and I cant help but be realistic that this is the high before the last low. I want to do all the things I can now while he can. His bucket list. Merl is a treeing walker coonhound, rescued and we never hunted with him, just an inside pet. His illness has prevented him from doing a lot and still does. Right now we've started taking long walks in the woods which he loves, sniffing around. Other than our other dog Daisy, Merl needs to be kept away from other dogs, he has no immune system and isn't able to be vaccinated. I'm totally drawing a blank with fun things to do with him. Grieving Easter has my mind in a fog.  I thought some fun pictures would be nice, but boy I cant think of much else. I REALLY don't want the last days of his life to be stuck with a mom that's just sad all the time after loosing Easter. Suggentions? What can we do now so when I look back after he's gone I can smile and have no regrets that the last days I had with him I was focused on my grief.
Larissa
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cdlu
Hi Larissa,

I think this is such a fun and great idea! I think it is also great that you are aware of the circumstances.  I guess in a sense it helps to be "prepared" even though, I don't think any warning is ever enough to feel prepared.  I don't have any ideas as of yet but if I come with any I will definitely share!

- Chantel
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Sasha
Keep taking walks with him and let him sniff to his hearts content . Talk to him as much as you can and tell him how much you love him. Just enjoy him in any way you can for however long you have him. I just lost my Ollie last saturday after a very short illness and have so much guilt because I didn't notice sooner he was ill. So while he's well enjoy every second with him and make as many happy memories as you can.
Annette
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NormaT
Hi Larissa,

 I read your earlier post about Easter and I was really touched by it. What great opportunities you made possible. You could not have done more and Easter seemed to have a great life - because of your efforts. 

Wouldn't it be just great if they could tell us what they wanted to do.  Perhaps Merl is happy just being and doing with his Mum and comforting you through your sadness. Long (and even short) walks in the woods sounds good to me. Lots of attention and food treats would be top of my bucket list if I were a dog (to be honest they ARE my favourite human things) 

Hope you get some helpful suggestions soon. 
Norma 
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phalaris14
What about putting raccoon scent on a rag, tie it to a rope, and dragging  it around the woods prior to your walk. 
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Chicolito
I just lost my baby/best friend 2 weeks ago and in the end, he just wanted me to be with him.  We sat on the couch together and talked a lot...kisses and hugs and love!!  Merl will probably just love being with you.  If he liked the car, maybe take him for rides:)  Hugs for you both:)
Chicolitolv
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Evie123
Larissa, it sounds like you are doing exactly what Merl loves so just keep on doing it! Walks, lots of love and attention and nice food and treats are all things a contented dog want. You could maybe try to teach him a new, easy trick? Dogs love the feeling of accomplishment and praise from their mum or dad. I hide Molly's ball under my top or a blanket and when she finds it I go mad with excitement to her because she's been so clever and she loves it! Also, when she catches the ball in her mouth I do the same and she gets so excited. I am talking about our beautiful girl in the present tense again because she is back here where she belongs, at home with us and it's helping me to talk about happier memories as the space she left has been filled again with her. X
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Larissa
Great ideas! Think hubby has some different animal lure scents I can do a drag with. He will love that,his nose rules everything. And a new trick! Love it. Thank you,my mind just isn't focusing. Trying to spend lots of time with him,he sleeps a lot now though. He was so excited and happy after our walk yesterday. He slept pretty much the rest of the day though. But he is resting well and I don't take that for granted either. I don't push him,let him tell me how far is enough for now. I love those suggestions,they need not be complicated,but he'll really enjoy them all!
Larissa
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Evie123
It sounds like he still has lots of energy and will appreciate any extra stimulation, though just walking and sniffing are treats too many dogs don't get. Hiding smelly things for him to find? Preferably food oriented of course. I would throw treats in the long grass for Molly to hunt and find so bonus rewards there! X
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Larissa
I definitely want to do things to encourage that nose of his. So many times through his life we have to say no to that nose! It's dangerous and he could take him off into the road or to get lost. He is always on leash but if I can find ways to let him use his nose now for fun that would be great. For many years he was not as mobile as he is now. Figures after 15 years now he's feeling the best he ever has! He's not been able to be out and about like this since he was about 6. He's been happy at home in his yard,but we have a farm. Lots more to explore. Now that we have the strength to get out of the yard, we really want to let him.
Larissa
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Evie123
That's wonderful! I remember when Molly first got arthritis and walked stiffly, then we got some medicine from the vet's and she was like a whole new dog again. Bounding about, running, not In pain. It helped her for years until old age and I try to make myself think more about things like this we did to help her. If we hadn't loved her so much she wouldn't have had this new lease of life for such a longer time, we would do anything to help her and I'm so glad we did. Bless my beautiful girl. X
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Larissa
I think it's great you have such happy memories of Molly! The body sure us a funny thing! It stinks it happened in this order for Merl. This new treatment is not a cure but it's making the remainder of his life good! After almost loosing him last time,I take this as a true gift. Never in a million years did I think we'd be blessed with some really good days like this. I never thought I would see him like this. I can't discuss his treatment in detail here,but if someone is interested we can discuss it in a pm. Every day I have with him is a gift,and I don't take a second of it for granted. I know loss well,but for us...today.....we have a miracle. And his bucket list of all of your suggestions is hanging on my fridg!
Larissa
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Evie123
Aw, bless you. Whatever the treatment is it sounds amazing! X
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Larissa
Well just an update on the bucket list! Learning a new trick turned into wiggling and his eyes popping out waiting for a treat! So now we skip the trick park and just do the treat part! We were going to trail a sent through the woods but he's happier sniffing in one spot for 20 minutes now! So that didn't work but we stand and sniff in one spot for 20 minutes now. So some of the things that I thought would be fun we just had to change. Eat cookies go for walks and just love each other. That's what MERL wants to do. So once again my fuzzy friend has taught me a lesson,sometimes no agenda is best. The idea of this was so he wasn't stuck with a grieving sad mom at this time in his life where we have been given a gift of health. Really it just helped me to have more joy,and appreciate him. HE helped ME! Though I miss my Easter still so much,and grief has no time frame, at least he isnt stuck with a horribly depressed no fun mommy......Thanks to his help :-)
Larissa
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jimmy17
Larissa, what a great post. It seems like Merl is just doing his own doggy thing which is just great. Dogs really do teach us to live in the NOW, we learn so much from them, which is really to just enjoy the day !!  I remember your earlier posts about little Easter, how much you loved him. You are so right about grief, but it`s a testimony to how very much we loved them, and we`ll miss them forever. 
  Enjoy all your time with Merl, he sounds such a character! 
                                                                      Jackie.
J Taylor
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