Rock and a Hard Place

You’ve heard that saying, right? Between a rock & a hard place. It’s where I’m at right now. Feeling trapped, locked down, almost imprisoned—- by my dogs.

I can hear the collective intake of air from people as they read that. Before you burn me at the stake, let me explain.

I love my dogs with all of my heart. I’ve had dogs most of my life. I raised Dobermans for a number of years then Mini Schnauzers. Don’t even go there with the “backyard breeder” BS. I took excellent care of my dogs. They were priority 1.

With that said, when we moved to this new house I had 7 dogs. All of them had been neutered/spayed by that time. I lost 5 of them in two years. Diabetes, liver failure, but mostly cancer was the cause. It was really rough and it’s still hard to think about.

So I’ve got two left. Two puppies that I kept from two different litters. One will be 14 in August. The other will be 12. So far they’re still fairly active. The 14 yr old has some issues and has to have pills twice a day but they’re managing to keep her on an even keel for now. She also stopped making tears for her eyes about 1 1/2 years ago. So I have to put lubricants in her eyes every few hours or as needed. The 12 yr old is on liver supplements. Her mother died of liver failure.

I think that may explain my hard place. The rock is that I (we) can’t go anywhere for any length of time because of it. Not even overnight. Dear Son is grown and living elsewhere. I feel we have a limited amount of time left to travel before our health dictates we stay home. Having to go through cancer brought that reality down like a load of bricks.

There is no way that I would ever put these girls down before their time, or neglect them to speed up their decline. I couldn’t live with myself. Taking them with us is possible but not probable as it would be hard on the 14 yr old to travel. She can’t see well now and gets stressed in unfamiliar situations. They used to go with us all the time. At this point I can’t ask someone else to take care of them while we’re away. It’s too much to ask. I darn sure wouldn’t dump them off at a shelter or something. People that abandon their animals because they’re old are disgusting and I consider it a form of abuse.

Basically, I’ve put myself in this situation and I just have to ride it out. It probably sounds like I’m whining. Maybe I am and I should just shut up. But as it is, I’m looking at possibly another 3 years or more of not being able to go any further than what we can drive to & from in a day.

This is not easy to write; I hesitated before even starting and it’s been sitting as a draft for a while. I envision torches and pitchforks from the villagers. But, this is a reality if you have animals. If you CARE about your pets. They WILL get old and require more and more care. You won’t be able to leave them with someone anymore. They will get to a point where it’s not prudent for them to travel. If you’re one of those people who decide to throw them away like trash just because they’re old, there’s no excuse for you and I can’t write the words here to describe you.

Since I know there is good & bad for everything… the good is that I will get to have my little girls with me for the time that is left. The good is that we’ve loved each other for these many years and they’ve brought me joy all that time. It will not be easy to say goodbye to them, nor am I looking forward to it.

The herd, hogging the heater under my desk.

5 thoughts on “Rock and a Hard Place

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  1. I understand what you are saying more than you will ever know. I have two cats that I can’t leave alone. One has a condition called idiopathic cystitis that is brought on by stress. He gets bloody urine and a painful bladder. He got it the first time I left him in a boarding kennel when I had to go out of state to my son’s college graduation.This kennel is one I trust. They treat their animals like royalty and give them playtime and enrichment. Their kennels are very, very clean too. My other cat is a scaredy cat and has bad separation anxiety so we just don’t leave them in kennels anymore or at vet clinics if we can help it. It makes traveling almost impossible. So yeah, I get it!!!!

    I love your photos!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I know what you mean. I have a dear next door neighbor who cares for my cats when we go visit our sons. It’s still stressful for us and them to leave them but it helps that they can stay in their own home. They both love our neighbor and she takes good care of them. We know they are in good hands.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Look/ask around. I do a lot of dog-sitting, there must be “other me’s” in your area. I grew up on a farm, have worked in Veterinarian’s offices, so don’t have a problem medicating critters when their family is traveling. As long as the people write out clear directions, leave a permission slip allowing me to seek medical intervention if necessary, and notify their Vet that they’ll be traveling and they will settle up once they get home if care is needed, it all works.
    I stay at the house with them, so they are in their own environment and aren’t feeling “sold to the gypsies”. It works.
    Maybe you can find a retired person or student who’d help the same way.

    Liked by 1 person

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