Saturday, June 13, 2009

Goodbye, Pebbles

Pebbles joined our family a little over 9 years ago. Jen suckered me into visiting the pound at my lunch hour (she had stopped by the night before). Even though Pebbles had been moved to a different area when I got there, I knew the exact dog I was supposed to be looking at.

We took her home that night. :)

At best guess, she was 3 years old. Being an adult dog at the pound, she wasn't what most people were looking for. Any other dog would have been put down by that point, but the staff at the pound were so enamored with her that they kept pushing off the inevitable. There were a few in tears when we took her home.

It's rough raising an adult dog; Pebbles was never completely housetrained; we wound up pulling every stitch of carpeting out of our house because she seemed less likely to pee on the hardwood than any carpet or rugs. We're thankful that we don't really know anything about her before we found her; having been found on the street with a collar so tight it had to be cut off, and a back leg that appeared to have been broken at some point, we focused on her new life, not her old.

She started really, really skitish, but got more comfortable over time. She even adjusted pretty well to Kaylee. But two years ago, arthritis started to kick in with that back leg. As it got worse, we started her on glucosamine and had pretty good results with it last year. This year, though, as the weather got warmer, the glucosamine wasn't helping much. Pebbles spent the past two months or so basically pulling her back end along with her; both legs seemed to be in quite a bit of pain.
We had her on a pain killer for a couple of weeks, but didn't really notice a difference. We even doubled the dosage last week. Last weekend, Jen and I both agreed that it wasn't right to keep Pebbles in that kind of pain. We took Pebbles to the vet on Tuesday, and the vet told us that it appeared that the cruciate ligaments in both back legs were torn--most likely, Pebbles tore the left one compensating for the arthritis in the right leg, and then tore the right compensating for loss of use of her left leg. The only real solution was surgery, and we weren't going to put her through that.
We did our best to explain to Kaylee what was going to happen, and I had Kaylee say goodbye to Pebbles on Wednesday morning. Jen and I both took the afternoon off and sat with Peb in the back yard. We couldn't have asked for a nicer day. We took Pebbles to the vet later in the afternoon and stayed with her while the vet gave her an injection and Pebbles left us.
We miss her greatly, and keep running into things in the house that get us crying a little. But we did the right thing, and we know that Pebbles isn't in pain any longer.