Shadow’s Golden Years

These last several weeks I’ve been watching Shadow closely. At times she seemed in great shape – playing with Ducky, chasing her favorite ball, almost running up the three steps to the main part of the house – and other times she stumbles or misjudges her footing on the steps. Those tough times have really been breaking my heart these last few weeks.

Ten days ago she stopped eating her food. And this is food she has loved from day one. She was taking her pills – wrapped in pieces of pill pocket – and treats. She especially loves the treats I bought from Jan at Wag-n-Woof Pets. And on Wednesday of the week before last, when she was so hesitant to go down the steps to the back door, I immediately called the vet and made an appointment. Meanwhile, with hubby’s help, I got her outside and walking around. She did well.

On Friday morning, we went to see the vet. After a hands-on body exam, the vet said that my poor girl had somehow pulled the groin muscle in her right rear leg. And sure enough even I could feel how tight it was. It will take 10-14 days to heal. And her appetite should follow suit. We decided to treat her with muscle relaxants. On Day Five I was only starting to see slight improvement. She slept most of the day. And she balked at going down the steps to the back door.

Saturday last week was hubby’s birthday and we had the pet sitter take care of the dogs so we could go up to Charlotte (NC) to spend the day with his son and his family. I felt a little guilty leaving Shadow; but I knew Susan loves my girls and would take good care of both of them, so I didn’t worry too much. On Sunday afternoon, I pulled out the Carelift lifting harness I had bought for Shadow a couple of years ago. (I got the idea from our friends, Joy and her Emma at My GBGV Life when their Katie was a senior and needed assistance on her walks.)

This past Wednesday was Shadow’s biannual senior exam. The muscle relaxant was already doing its job on the groin muscle; but it was also suppressing Shadow’s appetite and making her seem almost lethargic at times. Getting her up on her feet and outside for bathroom breaks – even with hubby’s help – was difficult at best. Anyway, her labs came back pretty close to normal. Once she’s been off the muscle relaxant and the week’s worth of NSAIDs to help strengthen her joints for two weeks, we’ll do the labs again to make sure everything is back on track.

It’s now Day Nine of the muscle relaxants and Day Three of the Meloxicam for her joints, and I’m finally seeing promising improvements in Shadow’s overall mobility. Her appetite is still mostly suppressed, but after a few days of not even wanting treats, she’s back to taking them from me again. It’s not great, but it’s a start that makes this dog mom feel better.

Knowing my sweet girl’s age is catching up with her breaks my heart. She’s had some tough times in the three and a half years since her older sister – and best friend – got her angel wings; but Callie has stayed with her in spirit and helped me get her through it all. This past week in particular I was beginning to wonder if Callie was trying to tell me Shadow’s time to join her was coming soon. I know it will eventually; but I don’t think Shadow’s ready quite yet. Her eyes are still bright, and she’s back to fighting for her independence. I know she misses Callie, but Ducky’s been keeping her company and mostly been a sweet little sister. Especially this past week.

16 thoughts on “Shadow’s Golden Years

  1. Jan K says:

    It’s so tough seeing them grow old, and worrying that the latest ailment might be more than they can recover from. I’m so glad that is not the case with Shadow now! That girl is a fighter, and I think Callie is encouraging her from above as well. ♥

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dakota/Caren/Cody says:

    Awww sweet Shadow and I know how you feel. Dakota will be 12 at the end of this month (how old is Shadow?) and I find myself always noticing things that make me see that he has gotten older. It breaks my heart and I can just imagine how you feel. Hoping Shadow shows constant improvement…sending lots of (((hugs)))

    Liked by 1 person

    • My Golden Life says:

      Hi Caren! Shadow turned 14 back in October. Shadow is showing improvement mobility-wise, but appetite-wise she still has a ways to go. I think once she’s off the muscle relaxant she’ll start eating better. She will take treats; but at times I need to really coax her or simply force-feed her the medications wrapped in pill pocket pieces.

      (((HUGS))) right back to you! Thanks!!


  3. Susanne Holleman says:

    I know it’s rough to see Shadow go downhill. We had that happen last summer with our little Nikki. You’re doing all the right things……loving her, and taking the best care of her that you can. You’ll be glad of the time you spent with her during her last time here. I’m glad she’s feeling better right now and hope she starts eating again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My Golden Life says:

      Thanks, Susanne. She seems to be getting her appetite back, at least a little bit. I had made treats out of the homemade food on Friday and last night she ate 12 of them. Those 12 treats were equal to a cup of food, so that’s a start. I truly believe she is not quite ready yet to join Callie. Since Friday night she’s been trying hard to get up on her own. As the Meloxicam kicks in, she is feeling better. If need be, I’ll also increase her CBD oil for about a month.


  4. edgar62 says:

    It is worrying when they loose their appetite – even for a little while. I hope shadow perks up soon and starts playing with Ducky again. Benji lost his appetite a few weeks ago, but it was just a tummy bug and he was soon back to normal. Lots of love and hugs to Shadow.

    Liked by 1 person

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