Jack *sigh*

It has been snowing on and off today and we had a good pile last night too.

OH went into town so I held the fort at home.  These days, with Jack being so doitin, someone has to be at home to keep an eye on him.

Last Saturday night it was raining with a northerly wind so OH let all the dogs out by the front door for their last pee/poo before bed. He noticed Jack heading off down the hill and went indoors for his wellies/coat/blinkie so he could go outside steer Jack home if needed.  Jack will follow a light beam.  When he got back, now fully prepared for the vile weather, there was no Jack.  He had vanished.  Shining the torch around, he caught a flash of white down by the burn which is approx 50 yards away down a very steep hill.  OH sprinted down through thick mud and grabbed the mad ungrateful black gargoyle before he was lost forever.  Jack could never have got back up the hill on his own.

It was a real shock to us all and Jack is not the same now.  If he could be even more confused, he is.  He walks round and round in circles all evening, sometimes take ages to settle.  While he is almost continent, he can forget when he is indoors.

So what to do?  Keep going or call it a day.  The thing is Jack is not distressed and he is not in pain.  We are distressed watching him but that is not the same at all.

Anyway, I took the dogs out for a walk in my fields to think about all of this (Jack had his short trundle later).

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I didn’t reach a conclusion.  I just don’t know.  I should know and I don’t.

(sorry for long ramble)

16 thoughts on “Jack *sigh*

  1. Linda

    That was a good ramble, Frances. We had to put our dog to sleep last Oct., but that was because she was in such (arthritic) pain, so I can’t speak to Jack’s situation, but I know the feeling and it sucks. You have a life in your hands.

    P.S. I wonder if Jack had a stroke?

  2. Jean Ward

    I am nearly at that stage with my black Lab – difficult to know when they are suffering as they are so stoic.

  3. Rhonda Lane

    I can’t speak to Jack’s specific situation, either. He freaked out, both at the long walk he thought he was taking home (“Home can’t be this far away”) and his abrupt and unceremonious return (“Halp! I’m being abducted. Oh, never mind. It’s just Dad. Hey, you, unhand me!”). Anyway, his walkabout reminds me of Beanne getting out during that storm last year. She came back home not quite herself and took a while to settle. I agree a wait-and-see approach is a good idea. You know your boy, and if he’s ready, he’ll let you know.

  4. claire

    Heartbreaking these pets.

    Speaking purely with my coach’s hat on.
    If you were my client I’d say go with what you do know.


  5. Terri

    You are finely attuned to the welfare and happiness of each of your animal friends, several of which need special attention. It sounds as if Jack is just confused, not unhappy. As you said, it’s more distressing to you and OH to watch him decline than it is for him to actually decline. Trust your instincts, as Jack trusts you….

  6. darby

    it never gets easy, does it? I am sure that as many times as you have been in this situation it is always heartbreaking. that is the problem with animals, we generally tend to outlive them. with all the horses, dogs and cats I have had over the years there was only one little 17 yer old kitty who quietly died next me me as we were both sleeping, but that was the exception. we just try to give them the best life for as long as we can.

  7. barbara deboer

    Hi, have been following your lovely blog for the past year, or better. Rarely reply to blogs, but this one touched me, and so I thought I would pass along what I have done in the past with dogs who are senior, deaf-ish and senile…but perhaps are not quite ready for that final last walk.
    The scare you had with wee Jack trundling off into the dark abyss reminded me of my old Lab/springer Abigail, when she did the same thing. I ended up putting a reflective vest or harness on her, and attached an annoyingly loud bell. At least I could then search her out with a flashlight, and also could easily hear that darned bell. I didn’t use what I call Sleigh bells, but a small version of a cow bell, open at the bottom…better clanging sound. Hope this helps.
    barb, from Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada

  8. Cate

    Oh, Frances. *hug* It’s such a hard decision to have to make, but I agree with Sumiko that he will tell you. Maybe that’s what he’s doing. Whatever happens, you will do what’s best for him. Bless.

  9. Peter

    It is so hard to know when it is time. I have gone through it more often than I want to think about. When the time comes I seem to know for sure. Yes it is heartbreaking. We are all with you.

  10. Cee Pluse

    I know exactly how you feel about Jack, as we just went through something very similar with our old Dalmatian, Gia. Several months ago she began to have some serious health issues. At various times the vets gave us the option of letting her go, but none of those times felt right. She still had a strong will to live in spite of her issues, and her appetite was as voracious as ever. Letting her go would have been for our convenience, not hers, and it just did not seem fair. Then, a couple of weeks ago, things changed. She lost her appetite, and with it her zest for life. We got the devastating diagnosis of aggressive liver cancer, but I knew even before then that she was ready to go. She left us last week, and we miss her so much, but she did let us know it was time. The change in her was quick and dramatic, not slow and subtle as it had been previously. Hopefully it will be the same with Jack, and he will let you know by his behavior when the time comes. You are a wonderful caregiver to your animals, and you will make the best decision for little Jack.

  11. Rebecca Final

    It’s one of the hardest decisions to make, to let our fur babies go. “Am I doing it too soon?”, “Am I doing it for the right reason?”. So very hard, especially if they do not seem to be in pain or discomfort. You will make the right decision.

  12. Sam

    I hate when the Universal Translator for Dog is on the fritz. Jack will let you know. Quietly but firmly, like the Jack of Younger Days. Hard to watch, but giving him the love and support he deserves is the right thing to do.
    The fact you are on the fence says Jack is not ready. Much love from New England, USA


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