Dog trains man

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Dogs Don't Lie

"You might need to consider if you want to offer him this life. You might want to consider euthanasia."


"We need to discuss this next time we meet.", the vet said.

It was spoken. The quality of life card, on the table. The final act of love was called for. Words, echoing in my head, by the dear ones I have lost.

Kenzo is weakening. The GOLPP is taking over faster than I hoped. Yes, I hoped it would go slow. Yes, I even hoped it would turn out to be a false diagnosis. It got complicated when he recently re-injured his tendon again on top of it, as his weakening muscles can't protect this vulnerable part of his body. And now the vet said it.

Kenzo sat down right in front of me and looked me in the face. He knows the drill at the vet's, coming down from the examination table means the visit was over. It was his universal sign for, "We're ready, now let's get out of here." He pulls that trick when we are out visiting friends too, "This was so much fun, now let's go home." He made me smile through my tears.

He doesn't live the life of a healthy 8-year old Hovawart. I have to help him not to run too much, because he would eventually tumble. He prefers the company of dogs older than himself like Dok-Dek, or very polite ones like Emil. Playing with Tilde is low on his list, unless it is inside for a game of wrestle, and he can compete by throwing in his weight and she can't run. He still loves a game of tug though any time of day. He cherishes his walks, swims, treats, tracking sessions, and any attention he can get from me.

But is quality of life a simple equation of pluses and minuses? Of less or more?

I did worry I was in denial. But I realize now, I am not. He is adjusting, probing new paths, embracing what life has left to offer him. He doesn't see life as a checklist, he only realizes it has become different. The only help he needs is my support down his path, and not me running around with a checklist.

Kenzo tells me every day, with that smile on his face, ready to see what the new day brings, he is far from finished, and dogs don't lie.


  1. As dog lovers we all know "that day" will come and we all hope it will be later rather than sooner. I can easily imagine how sucker punched you feel. For myself it always does boil down to quality of life and over the years I've trusted my animals to tell me when it is time. Not the vet. Sending hugs and lots of them.

  2. I agree. Ginko has a similar condition, and he is still super happy / engaged ... even though he is weak and wobbly at times. Granted, he is 15 to Kenzo's 8, but still. It's sad for us to see the decline. Goodness knows. Hugs!

  3. I haven't been able to comment on blog's since coming to Wyoming, but I'm sneaking on at work to let you know I'm thinking of you. You are right, dogs don't lie - they don't have it them to be false. Give Kenzo big hugs from us.

    Hugs and love coming your way too.

    Monty and Harlow


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