Life With an Elder BT

Life With an Elder BT

I haven’t talked much about BT lately, which is a travesty.  Last time I left off with her story, we were having her damaged eye removed.  That surgery went well despite her age and significant heart murmur, so we were pleased and thought the entire situation would be behind us.

Then several weeks later, Eliot attacked her again with no warning.  Her other (aka only) eye was damaged very slightly.  It healed perfectly, we thanked our lucky stars and now Eliot and BT are separate 100% of the time.  Crate rotating is fun, but hey – it’s the best way to guarantee my old girl’s safety.

So that’s the back story, but how is she really doing?  Well, she’s like living with a senile old grandmother who you love but also maybe kinda wish would go to heaven.  That’s awful… but no, really… heaven is a nice place!

These are doggles… she hates them but the CUTE

Earlier this spring, BT started having seizures all of a sudden.  She’s on phenobarbital now, which stopped the seizures but it also makes her crazy for dinner.  Anywhere from 5pm – 9pm is when she’s just starving for dinner (we call it ‘deener’ in our house, which is how I will refer to it now).  When BT wants her deener, she will stare out into no where (since she’s 100% blind) and whimper.  For hours.  Sometimes I will go ahead and feed her, but our vet warned us that she will ‘blow up like a Thanksgiving turkey’ (exact quote) if we feed her as much as she wants, so I have to keep her weight down.

Also, if it’s near deener time and she hasn’t had deener, she will propel herself off the ground and into your plate in .01 seconds if you have food and aren’t careful.  It’s like watching a Mars Rover crawl over strange terrain in the search of alien life… only the alien life is your chips and all of a sudden you just hear snorting and gray old paws clambering for you.

My husband = her favorite dog bed

Whether it’s the phenobarb or the seizures or old age, her personality has changed a lot.  She is still our sweet old girl, but she is very much an instant satisfaction kind of creature.  PET ME NOW.  PLAY NOW.  NAP NOW.  FOOD NOW.  Everything needs to be right this instant and if you don’t meet your imaginary need that she won’t tell you… she’ll stare off to the distance and whimper.

The best part about elder BT is her relationship with our puppy, Pascale.  Her and Pascale are best friends, and play so well together.  Mostly this involves Pascale playing an advanced game of “you are blind and I will nip your butt and then laugh when you attack the air” but it’s pretty hilarious.  The old girl also still loves her toys to death, which is nice to see.

I feel like her quality of life is really good all things considered.  Sometimes I get this deep pang of regret over the entire eye loss situation, but what’s done is done.  Even though she drives me crazy, I hope she doesn’t go to dog heaven quite yet.

19 thoughts on “Life With an Elder BT

  1. She’s precious and so lucky to have such good owners!! Our BT is absolutely insane. And most likely preggo with a French Bulldogs puppies.

  2. Awww I know how that is. My parents have a 23 yr old cat who does nothing but meow for food and sleep. We have no idea how she is still alive, but she is. Glad to see BT is still having fun though!

  3. Senior dogs are so wonderfully exhausting! We had our last two labs until age 11 and 15, yes 15!!!!!!!!!!!

    Kirby (the 15 year old) also suffered from seizures and was on phenobarbital for several years. After a certain point, it was hard to see her personality. She was deaf and nearly blind and pretty much slept all day. She did love to eat though so we just kept helping her along.

    When she finally lost control of her bowel movements, I had to send her on. If she had known that she was pottying in the house, she would have been mortified. That was when we knew her quality of life had tipped. All she did was eat and sleep, so while there wasn’t anything acutely wrong with her (as in organ failure, cancer, etc.), we didn’t want her to suffer through the next “thing.”

    My vet actually came to the house to put her to sleep, so for Kirby, her passing was quite peaceful and free from stress or pain.

    I hope you have more good times with BT. It’s so frustrating that they don’t live longer. :0)

  4. Bless BT’s heart. Your post about losing her eye tore me up…

    My lab/pit Sweetpea, lived with Cushings for 4 1/2 years – a long time past when the vets predicted. She acquired numerous annoying new traits like constant nervous panting + drooling, phantom itching + scratching, unsatisfiable hunger and no bladder control when on steroids, which controlled the itching/scratching…

    Basically a downward spiral of symptoms and treatments that were a giant p-i-t-a, but worth it to have her basically comfortable, and give me more time with her. You’ll know when it’s time to “go to heaven”. The doggles are adorable 😀

  5. That is exactly how deener is pronounced at our house. Glad to know I am not the only one who feels this way! And I so applaud you for doing your very best to keep all of your critters and to keep them happy. There are so many situations where people just give up and re-home, and though you have to crate, at least you are being responsible for everybody. Just awesome. What a cute liddle old lady!

  6. My Springer girl will be 12 in February and we’re dealing with some minor issues now, such as encroaching deafness (kind of nice in that we no longer have an explosion when the doorbell rings), lack of anal tone (little poopy-ball presents occasionally on the floor), low thyroid and some incontinence. I just put her on PPA for the latter thing and so far, so good. Nothing we can’t deal with so far although there’s been a big of grumbling from Dad, her primary feeder, about having to put TWO pills in her food now. I told him we’re lucky she snarfs them right up with her kibble and we don’t have to fool with really pilling her!

    After losing my first dog at only a little over a year old, I am grateful to have had Sunshine this long and treasure every moment with her. Glad you’re able to deal with BT and Elliot. Part of the contract good pet owners make with them. 🙂

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