We lost Tucker* today as he had been slowly deteriorating for the last week. He wouldn’t eat or drink. Tucker had been a starved dog so for him not to eat was a major indicator that something was wrong. Tucker was also vomiting and lethargic. It had become clear that he no longer had any quality of life.

One of the hardest decisions when living with old and sick dogs is deciding when the time is right to let them go.I read another blogger who basically said she would rather let them go too soon then to wait too long and have them be in pain. I believe this is a good approach. Still it is very hard to make the ultimate decision. At our house it is generally a consensus approach. Quite often you can tell by looking their eyes. They seem to have a way of communicating what they need. It is very important that we be open and receptive to their message.

I think we timed this really well for Tucker. His pain meds still seemed to be doing the job and up until yesterday he was eating some food with his usual gusto. When Tucker would not take food and didn’t fight when Deb gave him his pills we could see that a lot of him had gone already. So the decision was made that today would be the day.

Helping a dog to pass is the most important thing we can do for them. Making sure they are not alone and that they are not scared is paramount. Holding their heads and stroking them and making sure that they are not scared is crucial. A lot of us who have rescued dogs try to make up for all the things that particular dog did not have in their lives. We are no exceptions. They are loved, they get treats, they go for walks, they sleep in our bed. We do the very best for them that we possibly can – right up until the end.

Happy trails Tuck. I hope that wherever you are you can eat as much as you want and run like a puppy. We loved you.

Tucker waiting for a treat
Tucker at the dikes having a great time.

*More of Tucker’s story here


5 thoughts on “Tucker

  1. We are so very sorry for your loss. How wonderful that Tucker was able to spend his last few years in such a loving home surrounded by such lovely people and other dogs. We are thinking of you all.
    Erika and Rob

  2. Noooooooo! I am so sad to hear this, you guys!! My god, so many people in my blogging community have lost pets in the last month or so! It’s devastating!

    I’m thinking about you and Deb and all your other guys, Shihtzustaff.

  3. I’m really sorry about your dog and having adopted two older dogs in past years, I understand totally about the importance of being there with them and when its time to let them go. I currently have a 18 yr. old cat that I rescued in Calgary fourteen years ago who is not doing so well the last couple of days. I know his time is getting close and it makes me so sad to think of life without him. I love him very much and we have been through a lot together.

  4. I’m sorry to hear about this, Chris. I already thought that you and Deb are such incredible people to take in these dogs who need you so much, but I hadn’t thought about the fact that taking in older dogs means you have to face such a tough decision and go through losing them, all the while keeping them feeling safe and loved. You guys are amazing!

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