Whatever progress we made with the Thundershirt, quickly unraveled with a late-night car ride to 7-Eleven.
I could tell Matt was feeling hopeful, as he pulled out the red retractable leash belonging to Charlie.
“Do you want a doughnut?” Matt asked. It was almost 11 p.m., but I smiled and said “Sure.”
As they pulled away, I was relieved. Daddy spending some quality time with his boy.
Fifteen minutes later, the front door flew open. Something (possibly profane) was said about the dog. One thing was clear. The dog was in BIG trouble.
“He (bleeping) pissed on my front seat!!! Matt said, just shy of a scream. He was incredulous. “He peed on my seat when I was in the store. I can’t believe it. He peed in my truck.”
By now, Charlie was nowhere to be seen.
Looking back on it, the obvious question to ask: Was Charlie wearing his Thundershirt? The answer is no. It was just a quick trip to the store. Still it was just enough to illustrate it doesn’t take much time for separation anxiety to rear its ugly head.
Charlie resurfaced, trotting through the front room without a care. I could see the temperature rise in Matt. He decided to seclude himself in the library. It was for the best that Matt and Charlie take a breather.
Charlie remained on good behavior for the next couple days. I think he knew it was in his interest to lay low, and to administer lots of puppy kisses.
Matt and I started feeling confident again. We suited him up for a visit to see Matt’s grandma. Upon arrival, Charlie cowered and immediately peed on Matt when he picked him up. Somehow, the Thundershirt just wasn’t working in this instance.
When Matt came home, we left Charlie in his Thundershirt and went out for lunch. I didn’t notice the destruction when we came home. After all, he was wearing it. The Thundershirt. He had chewed through the neck strap and reduced it to a sweater band around his belly.
Matt was forlorn.
In the next few hours, we played with Charlie, talked about our options, then wrapped what remained of the Thundershirt around him. We were exasperated. We left for dinner, and two hours later hesitated before walking back in. The house was in one piece, and so was the tattered shirt.
Hallelujah for small miracles.
A losing battle
With all the hub-bub caused by Charlie, it was easy to miss something is wrong with Lexie.
Her hind legs are buckling under the impossible weight of her frail 28-pound frame. Just standing at her dog bowl, her legs slide out beneath her. We’ve placed a rug by her bowl to provide some traction, but that leads to her next problem.
Her appetite has diminished. I’ve taken to spoon-feeding her wet dog food. But the last two days, she’s just turned her nose to the food. She’s managed to get by on a handful of biscuits, a slice of turkey and a piece of cheese.
And there’s the matter of her peeing on herself. Sigh. She has no idea, but she’s been wetting her dog bed and our couch.
I brought all of these symptoms to the vet today. She said Lexie definitely is experiencing kidney failure, which affects her urinary habits and possibly her appetite. The vet prescribed a kidney-friendly painkiller to hopefully help Lex stand without pain. Lex also will go on a med to help with her pee issues, and we added in an antacid in hopes of making food a bit more yummy.
All-in-all, we are fighting a losing battle.
The vet said many dog owners simply will euthanize their dog when it starts wetting in the house. My heart sank.
“I’ll get doggie diapers if I have to,” I offered.
Lex doesn’t have much time left.
This much I know.
This much I can hardly bear.
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Awe so sorry about Lexie, good for u to let her go on her own. As long as she isn’t visibly suffering right now you are making the right decision. As our oldest enters his senior years, I know that there will undoubtedly be tough times ahead. May strength be with you through this!
Thank you Dockfam. We’re bracing for the worst, but glad we have esch other.
I agree with letting her go as long as possible – until the pain is too much for her to bear. I had to let my 15 year old Retriever go prior to him going “naturally”. I couldn’t stand to see him like that and made the decision I know he’d have wanted me to. It was hard, but I’d do it all over again and again. It was the right decision for HIM (not for me, but it wasn’t about ME; it was all about him!) Hugs to you guys..
You are so right, Dena. It’s all about gauging what’s best for Lexie. I know I will know when it’s time. Until then, I plan on loving her up.
So sorry too about Lexie and you. It’s one of the hardest decisions ever you have to make.
I wish you and your Lexie as much time together as possible….As we were in a similiar situation, we used this thin waterproof one way bed-deposits, which were used for hospitals, because they are larger than those for pets and will hold the wetness better, specially during the night.
This is such a great recommendation. Thanks so much! I’m doing my best to make Lex as comfortable as possible.
Those blue pads are another great option. I should know in the next few days if this new medication helps her out. Thanks so much for thinking of Lexie!
I use the high absorbency Poise pads in Murphy’s diapers. You would have to test it out as to how much she “goes” in them – the Poise hold a LOT!! He used to just use women’s pads in his diapers, but as he’s aging, it’s gotten worse.. It will depend on Lex though; you’ll know pretty quick as to what she’ll need in there if you end up having to go that route. Hoping the meds work however!
Thinking of you and Lexie…
Thanks so much, dearflash. 🙂
My dog wears doggie diapers.. has for the last 5 years.. he’s 16. It’s not a big deal and helps so much..
Thanks for sharing this, Dena. It’s valuable information for us. If this medication does not help, we will begin using doggie diapers for sure. 🙂
I’m so sorry about Lexie. There are no words.
Did the Jon Katz book make you feel less frustrated? I think (from what little I know) that it’s just part and parcel of border collie. Maybe it will have to be a combination of many things, and a process of trial and error, to help Charlie with his anxiety.
Thanks Laura. I’m taking things day by day with lex.
Matt plans on starting the book today. We’re hopeful.
I’m so sorry to heart about Lex. It is the hardest party of owning an animal but you are at least doing you very best in terms of comfort and pain.
Thank you. The medications seem to have stabilized her for now. I’s really hard to know what to expect. We’re making the most of everyday we have with her.
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