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My life with Sweet Pea – Hospice Care

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Part 2

We would joke that our house was hospice care for older dogs.  How dogs age and how people age is quite similar indeed.  Both people and dogs as they age lose their muscle mass, become thinner and bonier and lose an interest in food. Sweet Pea’s dementia got worse and I would find her going under ottomans and the coffee table, any tight space she could find or her face into a wall.  If she was a person, she would have had a walker or have been in a wheel chair in a nursing home. Our home was her nursing home.

As Sweet Pea got older, she still had her routines. She would get up at 6 am to go outside and come back in for breakfast.  She knew when she wanted dinner and after dinner would go into our bedroom to go to bed.  She could no longer walk stairs or get up on the couch or bed without help. I put a dog bed in the living room for her comfort and moved my office to the living room.  Sweet Pea, Kudzu, and I would spend our days together while I worked just as we had always done but being in the living room was more comfortable for Sweet Pea so that is where we worked.

Prior to my out of town trip, Sweet Pea had been doing well for a girl her age.  Sweet Pea was a good eater but when I came back I learned that several days before I got back Sweet Pea stopped eating.   When I got home, I would make Sweet Pea everything I could think of and for a few days she ate well for me.  Then once again Sweet Pea lost interest in eating.  Sweet Pea was going downhill fast.

It was time to take Sweet Pea back to Angell to see Dr. Rebecca Quinn who had saved Sweet Pea’s life more than once and Robin Grammer in the cardiology department.  Both Dr. Quinn and Robin loved Sweet Pea almost as much as I love her.  They are the best and I thank them for loving Sweet Pea and giving her such wonderful care whenever she needed it. Once before when I thought the end was near for Sweet Pea, it was Dr. Quinn who found Sweet Pea had a heart infection and going on Viagra would save the day. So just maybe this would be the case this time and Dr. Quinn would prescribe a magic medicine and all would be right in our world.

When Sweet Pea was younger I was open to do any test that would help. But now, it was not fair to her to put her through too many tests. On this visit we limited what we did but the blood tests we did showed the medicines Sweet Pea were on for her heart condition all of a sudden had a major impact on her kidney levels. Sweet Pea’s kidney levels were sky high.   Sweet Pea was dehydrated as well.  We altered her medicine and gave her hydration at Angell two days in a row hoping to get Sweet Pea to want to eat and drink.  If we were to see a change in Sweet Pea it would have happened right away.  We saw no changes. Now it was time for some tough decisions ones I had hoped never to have to make.


Part 3 will continue tomorrow.

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