Never had to decide about an ailing pet. Our family had 4 pets while I lived at home. Parents handled their health care and end of life decisions. The first dog never came back from the vet. Second dog and first cat died while I was away at school. Second cat was obviously dying but was living with my sister so it was her call. He’d had a long life and a long decline which made it easier for me to handle.
I’ve befriended 3 soi dogs in succession while in the current apartment. Before last night I’d already decided there would not be a fourth, even though the one remaining pup from the last litter is hard to resist.
Dog #1 disappeared the same night with half the local soi dogs.
Dog #2 was crippled and in poor health when I moved into the apartment. A neighbor nursed her back to health with good food and medicine. Later she had a rapid decline. Landlord found her dead one morning so I was spared that.
I’ve long since decided the Thai way of feeding them but not befriending them was a good compromise between either killing all of them or failing to save all of them. Like some foreigners, I think it would be a good idea to humanely kill on sight any pregnant dog, but that wouldn’t be acceptable by the country that has graciously allowed me to be a long term guest.
Decided a month or two ago that dog #3 would be my last soi dog friend. Yesterday afternoon she was unusually playful for daytime, probably because it was a relatively cool day. When she appeared for dinner her body language immediately told me something was wrong. One eye was swollen shut, bloody and oozing fluid. Was it a fight, an accident, abuse? Didn’t matter.
Never had to make the decision I made last night. Would have taken her straight to the vet if she was a pet. But she’s a soi dog. Already knew I’d abandon her when I moved out of this apartment. Already decided that doing anything more than feeding her daily would worsen the abandonment. Decided last night she’s on her own.
Checked on her this morning. Wagged her tail and slowly lay down for a belly rub, as usual. I may have been wrong that any additional help would worsen the abandonment. And I certainly was wrong about for who it would be worse.
[Updated Feb 2, 2012 at 9:07pm] Appears the eyeball was undamaged. It’s the same color as the other, pupil reacts to light and both eyes track the same viewpoint. Lids are still swollen and oozing.
[Updated Feb 4, 2012 at 3:14pm] The dog and her eye are back to normal. Whoo hoo!