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There are thousands of sad books about animal cruelty, neglect, abuse and abandonment. This is not one of them.
Once an animal leaves the shelter and comes through the front door of Little Old Dog Sanctuary, they enter a Utopian, free-range Rocky Mountain Shangri-La where napping is a competitive sport, potty training is optional, and because bones are gummed instead of chewed, they can last for years. For the dogs, their sudden change of fortune is extreme. Not only are they saved from being killed, but they also get dignity, respect, blankets, beds, toys, medicine, friends, amazing food and copious amounts of unhealthy treats. They are old. They are survivors. They get whatever they want. They've earned it.
A firsthand account of our journey to create a dog hospice, we also reveal that the one true secret to happiness is having to take care of a really grumpy, old Chihuahua. Whoops. Is it too late to say “Spoiler Alert?”
For more than a decade, we have run a dog hospice out of our home. We know that senior dogs need special care and there is nothing more sacred then providing comfort for your pet when they reach this stage of their life. They also know that this is the time when a single trip to the vet can wipe out your entire bank account.
This isn't the type of book where you will be advised to get a CT scan every month, consult a celebrity dog psychic working on the Lifetime Channel or feed you dog organic liver from some semi-endangered purple footed duck that can only be imported by rocket ship from Paris during a full moon. Instead, you get tried-and-true recommendations for helping to deal with a number of issues including arthritis, seizures, dementia, incontinence, old dog vestibular disease, weight management and giving medication. This book is an honest account of what has, and has not, worked for our dogs.
Things change and life can be difficult as your dog gets older. This information will help make the process more manageable, with the goal ultimately being to give you more quality time with your pet. Quality matters.
If you have an older dog, you need to read this book.
To decide if your dog will live or die is the most difficult decision you will ever have to make as a pet owner. The process is gut-wrenching and stressful enough, but living with the outcome can be even more challenging.
We offers valuable information, advice and examples to help you navigate your way through this emotionally charged experience. Over 100 dogs have died in my arms and care after spending the last months (or years) of their lives with her. During that time, I've made a lot of really good decisions. I've also made some really bad decisions. Years of experience, soul-searching and sleepless nights forced me answer some tough questions, and I share them in this book.
How do you know when it’s time? Should you let your dog die naturally or have it euthanized? Should they die at home or at the vet’s office? What would warrant having your dog put to sleep? Is the criteria different for different dogs? Why? How do you decide? What if you don’t want to decide? What if you do it too early? What if you wait too long? What questions should you be asking your vet? What questions should you be asking yourself? What is the death process like? Should you be there when they die? What should you do with the dead dog’s body? How do you move on? And, most of all, how can anybody possibly be expected to cope with ANY of this?
Death and dying are complex issues. If you have a dog, you need to read this book.