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Hi everyone. I know some of you have been following the saga of poor sweet Sine on one of the other rescue boards. To make a long story short, we pulled a "senior" girl (listed age 5) out of a kill shelter with no time to spare. Transport and fostering had been arranged, and although I'd never done this before, felt well supported and decided to go for it. The whole story (and pictures) are here: The Story of Sine

 

The day I met Sine, she looked slightly better than death warmed over. I attributed it to the cold night (well, cold for Florida, mid 30s), and that she'd slept on concrete the night before. The shelter workers did let me touch her, but wouldn't let me hold her or spend much time with her as she was in isolation. Still, I'd agreed to pull her, and she was on the euthanasia list for that day, so I filled out the paperwork and adopted her.

 

When I went back by two days later, she was on the spay schedule, but it was cancelled due to her frail, sick condition. I finally got a good look at her and was struck by how old she looked. They told me to take her home, make her comfortable (and bring her back for spay later)

 

Over the past 2-3 days, we've taken her out, fed her, walked her, and tried to nurse her back. The first day, she slept all day. The second day, she started to perk up, and seem interested in eating. The third day, she was no longer interested in food, and started walking, walking, walking. Like a little zombie, she wouldn't lie down. Certainly didn't seem at peace in the retirement she won by the skin of her teeth.

 

The reason I write is that I need to get this out. I will be taking Sine to the vet in the morning. When I made the appointment, it was to get her checked, and get another opinion about her age and needs. It has become painfully clear to me that she is much, much older than she was described, from her cloudy eyes, to her near-inability to struggle up a single step, and that she seems confused and tired. Her skin is in terrible shape, and she likely has mange. Her remaining fur is very thin, and she's 5-10lbs underweight so that she has no fat padding her frail bones. She started walking circles around my laundry room the other day. Just walking and walking and walking. I am trying to chalk this up to a stressful shelter stay, but a small, but persistent voice in my heart tells me that the vet is going to recommend helping her cross the bridge.

 

Watching her over the last few days has been heartbreaking. I keep hoping beyond hope that she is merely stressed and will turn around, but I think I'd going to have a make a decision tomorrow morning that I've never had to make. My oldest dog, a GSD, is 11 and in great health. I'm so lucky for this, but like I mentioned, I've never gone through this before. I've known Sine for all of 6 days, and I can't believe that I've gotten so attached. Part of me says that she is old, and would be at peace. Part of me wants to give her a chance. Part of me knows that the rescue community following along wants her to have that comfortable retirement in Palm Beach. If I knew her baseline status, that would help, but I don't. I don't know anything about this little girl except that she came to be with me, and I don't want her to suffer. Maybe there will be a miracle, and that she's just in congestive heart failure, or she's just near-blind, or she's not as old as she seems. But all of the above together...

 

I don't cry much. I watch humans die, and frequently at that. I have vowed that my parents will never end up like many of my poor nursing home patients, with Alzheimers, scared, confused, suffering, and forced to undergo lots of medical intervention to maintain a bedridden existence. Where is the line with this girl? I need some objectivity. I have not cried like this in ages. I guess I'm grieving already.

 

If she was only meant to outlive her euth date by a week, she has had a comfortable warm bed, and good food, and peoples' arms around her and wouldn't die alone and cold and scared. And it would still have been worth it. If the vet thinks she has a shot at a meaningful life, we'll give it to her. I just need to know that the people who are rooting for her will understand if a peaceful death is the outcome, and that we tried our best.

 

Thanks for listening.

This is so hard.

 

Danielle and Sine.

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You have done so much for this girl. If this was meant to be her last week, it was full of love and care. What a tremendous gift. Yes, her condition is sad -- but how much sadder it would have been for her to have died without that week of love! And she may yet have some time. It's really in God's hands now. I know lots of us are praying for you and for Sine.

 

Whatever the outcome, you truly rescued her.

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Does she have much vision -- are her pupils responsive to light? She might be pacing just because she can't see where she is.

 

The circling sounds like one of the symptoms of vestibular disease, which will pass. But it can also be any one of a hundred different things that will not pass.

 

I will say this, though. If the dog in that picture is five years old, I'm Matt Damon's younger brother.

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Sasha's Mom first a heartfelt thank you for helping one of the seniors. Whatever decission you make will be made out of your concern for Sine and what is best for her. You have all ready given her the best gift of all, and I am sure that like I promised my senior girl, Sine will not have to face the future alone anymore.

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I agree with everyone else that you've given her something special even if only for a short time.

 

you might be surprised, though, and see her improve a lot with some time, love, care and good food. We adopted a senior girl a few months ago who was in similar shape (although probably not as old--she doesn't have cloudy eyes). She didn't pace around but was otherwise pretty sorry. she also slept almost non-stop for three or four days.

 

It took about 6 weeks before we really saw clear improvement to her condition--now, after four months, she's doing pretty well and was finally strong and healthy enough for her spay a few weeks ago (which she got through without any problems).

 

Whatever happens with Sine tomorrow, you and she are fortunate to have had the time you had. I think you can probably trust your heart and your vet to make the best decision for her.

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I had a cat who went blind and would pace in circles in order to get firmiliar with her surroundings. Is the cloudiness catracts? Maybe the pacing is her way of determining her surroundings and direction? Gosh I sure hope so. Thank you for taking her in.

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You are a blessing to this old girl.

 

Our old guy paced a lot when he was in pain from his spinal stenosis and hips...it took him a long time to have whatever it was worked out enough to lie down.

 

I think 5 is clearly, um, a significant departure from this gal's true age.

 

It also looks in the pic that she may have an ear infection (?).

 

Even if she is only with you a short time, she is receiving what any dog should expect: the love and companionship of a human, kindness and care for her needs.

 

peace to you,

Christine

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I am sure that, in consultation with your vet, you will know what to do. Thank goodness that, no matter how it turns out, that she is surrounded by love for whatever time she has left.

 

Very best wishes for an outcome that will be to her benefit and with which you can find peace and comfort.

 

(And, Bill, make that Matt Damon's younger and much more handsome and wealthy brother!)

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The sun is out and it's a lovely day, so we just went out for a walk (2-3 houses, very slowly). She seems to enjoy it. Her back legs are much shakier than they have been, and she isn't walking straight anymore. I thought she was going to collapse on me a couple of times. I don't think she's peed since yesterday. She hasn't eaten anything. I just gave her an aspirin to see if that helps her feel a little better. Her pupils do react to light, but she startles very easily if something comes at her peripherally. She couldn't make it up the single step into the house so I had to pick her up. I got a whimper of protestation for that, but not much.

 

I think things may just be shutting down on their own. We're taking it one hour at a time. (Of course, I have to go to work soon... been working nights, and not getting much sleep, which isn't helping.)

 

Danielle

 

Edited to add: She's on antifungal cream for her icky ears, and antibiotics for the kennel cough and runny eyes. We knew about that part going in. Thanks for the laugh with the Matt Damon bit. I needed that.

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Oh my, I've just read this thread and the one over at the rescue board (through tears). Who knows what kind of life this poor old gal has gone through, and then in her twilight years to find herself sick and alone at the side of the road. Then a scary, cold concrete floored shelter waiting for what seemed to be certain euthanasia.

 

Sasha's Mom, hugs to you for becoming this old gal's angel. Whatever you and your vet deems appropriate tomorrow is more care, comfort and kindness this poor dog would have gotten from whoever dumped her or allowed her to find herself lost on the side of that road.

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What a heartbreaking story! Danielle, thanks for being such a wonderful person and trying to help this poor pld gal. I wish you well tomorrow at the vet, but even if things don't look up for Sine, you've tried to give her a warm and loving home.

 

Regards,

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Either way, the vet should be able to help her - either by treating what's wrong or by helping her cross to the Bridge. Bless you for making sure she doesn't have to face this alone - whether your time with her is short or long, it's been full of love and that's the most precious gift anyone could give her. Both of you will be in my thoughts and prayers.

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Danielle,

This sounds truly heartbreaking...she looked so scared in the photo...

Never having fostered and only having adopted dogs that were young and in relatively good shape, I know this is the other side of the coin. I applaud you for taking this girl in and giving her the love and compassion that she needs right now.

I, like others, hope the vet can give you an accurate assessment.

 

A few years ago I found a dog by the side of the road; we were in our car with our first dog on the way to our weekend walk. We stopped and since he wouldn't get in the car, I took a spare leash and walked him back home and after a couple of days took him to the shelter. The vet at the shelter said he had a distended stomach and that if he was not claimed, he would not be adoptable. I was hoping that his owner would find him and collect him, but a few days later, his time was up. I picked him up and contacted a local rescue group to see if he could be fostered until a home could be found for him (my dog Riley did not like to "share"). To make an already long story short, the rescue org. had him checked over by their own vet and he passed with flying colours!! Apparently nothing seriously wrong with him. He was permanently adopted by the foster person and as far as I know, lived happily ever after.

 

I don't know how common this is...our shelter is a no-kill shelter with "adoptable" dogs, but if deemed "unadoptable", ...

 

Hopefully your girl just needs more time to recuperate. I am thinking of you through all of this. Good luck.

Ailsa

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Sine crossed over the rainbow bridge this morning in my arms.

 

The vet said he hadn't seen a case of distemper this bad in quite awhile. With her advanced age and severe disease, she didn't have a chance. She was pretty much unresponsive this morning and has been seizing since last night.

 

Rest in Peace little girl.

Danielle

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Danielle, I am so sorry to read that. Please take some comfort in knowing that you made a huge difference in the last few days of this poor girls life, even though she was unresponsive, I believe that your love would have given her comfort after everything she had been through.

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I'm so sorry Danielle. But I am also very happy that Sine found you and you were able to give her happiness and a home for her last days, and they weren't spent in a shelter. We'll be thinking of you and her.

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Danielle,

We're all thinking of you and your family. You did everything you could for Sine. In spite of the advanced state of the distemper, I'm sure she knew she could "relax" and not be so afraid since she was in the hands of someone who loved her and would do everything in their power to keep her safe.

Bless you,

Ailsa

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I'm sorry to hear that she didn't have more time with you. Thank you for making her final days so comfortable for her. At least in the end, she had someone who cared.

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I am so sorry, Danielle. Thank you for bringing Sine home so that she could have those days of peace and love and for, when you had to, letting her cross the bridge in the presence of people who cared about her.

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Oh, Danielle, I'm so sorry!

As everyone else has said, you truly were her guardian angel. Because of you, she got to know the touch of a loving hand and heart.

And when it's finally time for you to meet all of your babies at the rainbow bridge, you'll get to see Sine the way she was meant to be instead of the way she was at the end.

 

Sending prayers and warm thoughts your way,

Cheryl

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