Weighing the End of Life
ONE weekend last year, we asked our vet how we would know when it was time to put down Byron, our elderly dog. Byron was 14, half blind, partly deaf, with dementia, arthritis and an enlarged prostate. He often walked into walls, stood staring vacantly with his tail down, and had begun wandering and whining for reasons we could not always decipher.
Attentive to Byron’s needs, we softened his food with water and sprinkled it with meat; we cuddled him when he whimpered and took him outside to relieve himself seven, even eight times a night. We couldn’t take a vacation because we couldn’t imagine asking anyone, friend or dog sitter, to do what we were doing. Nor could we fully trust anyone to provide the care we thought Byron required...[Keep Reading]…
Louise is the author of the story collection A History of the Present Illness (2013, Bloomsbury USA).