My 11 1/2 Golden, Brody, has always had thunder & gun anxieties. Summers are always difficult with this, but with the Alprazolam I have been able to calm him. In the last 6-8 months he has become extremely anxious and became destructive when I would leave him. He literally tore up molding and walls. A month ago I moved and since that time he is not the same. I cannot leave him without returning to terrible destruction. He shakes with nerves and is only content when I am near. He is now on Prozac & Alprazolam as far as his interests, he still gets very excited when my great nieces & nephews come around, some days he is willing to go for a walk, most he does not. We used hike a good 2-3 miles on a consistent basis. Even going swimming, he just gets in and walks around. I know he is just old & tired. I am not sure how much pain he is in, he limps differently everyday. My question is, When does my mental health come into play? This sounds so selfish but I can't go anywhere without taking him or sedating him, then worry the whole time I am gone. I am single and have no respite support and I have always done things like hiking & canoeing so he could go. Last week I took him camping & ended up sleeping in the car because he was so scared in the tent. He has camped since he was a year old. I tried a new daycare/kennel and the second time I took him he was so upset and I left feeling just horrible. I feel as though I am torturing him and letting him down when I need to leave him. Has anyone had to make this decision for similar reasons? Thank you, Christine
I'm so sorry your precious Brody is having such pitifully sad issues. If must be dreadful for him. I agree with everything Misty's Mama wrote. The only important and pressing things now are Brody's needs. Do everything with him he still enjoys, whether he's slow or not. Be with him at every humanly possible moment. Try an old t-shirt or a Thundershirt to help calm him. If you absolutely must be away from Brody, see if your nieces and nephews (or their parents if they're young) can be with him, or consider a sitter for him in your home that he can meet first. Nothing else matters but Brody. He has devoted his 11-1/2 years to you, so you need to devote what time he has left to him. If you don't, you'll be wracked with guilt for the rest of your life. Brody doesn't sound ill, based on your post, so why consider putting him to sleep due to severe separation anxiety? He deserves much more than that. He wants and deserves you. And if you love Brody enough to consider him your child, like those of us here, you'll regret it forever if you make that decision.
I devoted almost 4 years of my life to my beloved Golden, Murphy, once he developed Addison's disease and almost died twice. He was by my side 24/7/365. The only time we were separated was the 13 days he was in the hospital (for an unrelated illness). His organs began to shut down totally unexpectedly the day before he was to come home. On June 18 I had to make the most horrendous decision of my life to let him go while holding him in my arms, and I'll be haunted by it forever, as well as the fact that this time I couldn't save him despite everything humanly possible being done by his crew of specialist vets. Now I'm devoting my life to raising the very rambunctious and often destructive Golden I got as a tiny puppy a few months before Murphy passed. Maybe another dog would help Brody?
Our furbabies are our responsibility from the moment we take them into our lives, they are totally dependent on us, they are indispensable, and we owe them everything. I'll never get back to enjoying all the things I used to, but I don't care. Their physical and mental health is much more important than mine. Your vet should be able to discuss potential pain issues with you, and there are plenty of medications available to keep Brody comfortable if need be.
As Misty's Mama said, you'll have plenty of time for things you enjoy after Brody's gone. However, I guarantee you'll enjoy them much less.
Sending tons of hugs, love and blessings to precious Brody,
Murphy's Mom (Kathryn)