Don’t hate me for this, but I have to make a terrible decision about my dog, Florence.
Florence is 16 years old. She’s a funny-looking little mutt, who my husband and I adopted when she was a skittish, scrawny pup. She’s very clingy, but sweet-natured. She was totally cool when our first child came along and she had to move from our bed to a dog bed. She’s put up with the kids trying to dress her. She’s been tripped over, numerous times, due to her need to constantly be close to our feet. But she never seems to mind.
At the beginning of this year, we felt sure this would be Florence’s last year of life. She has a heart murmur, and coughs a lot. She has arthritis, which she’s been getting injections for. She’s a bit incontinent. She has a bad leg.
Doggo myths busted. Post continues below.
A few months ago, we came close to getting Florence put down. She wasn’t using her bad leg at all, and looked like she was in a lot of pain. Our local vet couldn’t work out what was wrong, and said she probably wouldn’t survive surgery under general anaesthetic, anyway.
Our kids prepared to say goodbye to Florence. As she lay by the heater on a blanket, they brought their toy stuffed dogs to her, to keep her company. They read aloud to her from their Dogman books. They told her what a good dog she’d been.
My husband was interstate and asked if we could wait a couple more days before we had her put down. So we put her on some strong painkillers and waited a couple more days. And then, miraculously, she started using her leg again.
But last week, we noticed a bit of metal poking out of Florence’s bad leg. She’d had cruciate ligament surgery on the knee many years ago, and a suture had come undone and was working its way out. The vet told us that if we didn’t do anything, she would get an infection and die. But he felt she probably wouldn’t survive surgery.