My old boy

A lot has happened since September when I posted about Fletcher’s health problems. I’ve been back and read it through again and it’s made me realise just how old he has got over these four short months, but months we were not expecting us to be with us for. He’s still plodding on (quite literally) but now he’s 11, which I don’t think is actually that old for a greyhound- Gwen is a lunatic and she’s nearly 9- but he acts a lot older the way he is now.

He can no longer jump into the car boot, he doesn’t run, he barely walks, and turns back home at the nearest opportunity or freezes up on the spot. He just has no energy it would seem. His skin is pale and his gums are nearly white which are key signs of anaemia which makes a lot of sense. He’s getting so skinny that his diet is almost entirely meat based now as he has no interest in dry food any more. He still sits and gives his paw but he can’t hold it for as long and he no longer has the dangerous enthusiasm in his high fives. I miss that. He’s not chased anything since that day before the vet’s prognosis and I barely have him on lead anymore (that same wild creature that I used to have to chase for miles if he got loose just a year or so ago), he just plods along behind like an old man. If he gets unwanted attention from other dogs, Gwen has to step up and defend him as he just can’t be bothered. Don’t worry, she loves it. I’ve just realised he doesn’t sleep on his back anymore either.

And still… he’s social (when he’s not sleeping), he still sits with me while I sew, all his senses are fully operational and he hasn’t had an accident in the house for weeks (unlike a certain dog…) and he’s only passed blood on maybe 10 occasions in total since September. He wags his tail whenever he overhears his name. He’s responsive and springs out of his bed to go in the garden or when he hears food being prepared. He’s taking Metacam which seems to be making things a bit easier for him to do. Oh and he LOVES cuddles still, and being top dog.

So things don’t seem bad enough yet for the inevitable last trip to the vets, he’s just tired and a bit old beyond his years, but is that enough that he’s no longer enjoying his life? When is the right time to let go?

Also on an unrelated matter, who is definitely going to the Fat Quarterly Retreat this year? Can I tag along with you? I think I can possibly afford to go (both money and time) however most people I knew from last year aren’t going for financial/new offspring/ bad timing reasons and I may feel like I don’t know anyone all over again and have to start fresh!

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