The following four paragraphs were written while I was on holiday with both the subject and her “owner” in Cumbria last month. You may recall that I mentioned Lucy in the posting entitled “Mother-in-law!” two weeks ago:
** Lucy, my Mother-in-law’s dog, is a Golden Cocker Spaniel and is over 16 years old – which by the old “seven to one” reckoning makes her over 112 human years old! She IS now showing signs of this being the case – both eyes have cataracts rendering her almost completely blind and any unexpected change of level can make one of her back legs collapse under her. Oh, she is also almost totally deaf (in the human hearing range anyway)!
She does not show any sign of being in pain, however, and the sense of smell (with which most of her navigation is now done) seems as keen as ever. Her little stub of a tail stills wags enthusiastically when one of us that she knows comes near and she can still do quite long walks – longer than I want to do, sometimes!
Her advanced years mean that she sleeps for more of the day than she used to and the blindness means that she is often unaware that she wants to be awake when the rest of us want to be asleep and vice versa!
Let there be no misunderstanding – on the day that her sleeps become continuous or a Vet decrees that she has no quality of life left and decides that she should go to the Great Puppy Farm in the Sky I will be as upset as any other member of this family! **
Since we came back her idea of day and night got almost completely out of phase with the rest of us with the result that my poor old Mother-in-law (she is 84 years old!) hadn’t slept during the night for over a week – and only fitfully during the day. Not only that but Lucy’s back legs had been getting weaker and every time she went into the garden during the night she needed lifting back in over the step!
So, I have, with great sadness, to report that last Friday she was taken to the Vet’s surgery for the final time and given the injection that sent her into that last continuous gentle sleep.
And, big softie that I am, I was indeed just as upset as the rest of my family!