So our beautiful boy Harley has diabetes. It has come on suddenly because he was only in the vet in August for all sorts of tests and nothing was found despite his swollen abdomen. Personally I think it is his kidneys as well.
Harley will be twelve in March, has now lived with us for nine years – they have gone too fast.
I know that some people will say well once it is under control he can live another two years. But that is a generic figure, it doesn’t take into account the dogs age, it makes it sound that it will be simple to get under control, when in fact it is not, the dose has to be right, some dogs don’t respond and the first three months are touch and go as to whether they survive. It doesn’t consider the toll on the dog. Our boy has suddenly become exceptionally tired.
Harley has also lost some of his sight due to the diabetes, and here lies the rub…
We are not the type of people who will keep our animals alive at any cost, and I don’t mean monetary. I have had to breathe as I type this, but to love something, human or animal, is to know when to let it go if it is in pain. Let it go if it’s quality of life is lost, and we do not believe in keeping our beloved furries alive because we cannot face that inevitable pain. It is the other side of the coin. Much as it breaks our heart.
We took Harley to the vet because we want to give him a chance at having what time he has left being comfortable and without pain. We wanted to give him a chance. But there will be no operations on his eyes, there will not be weekly blood tests, because he cried in pain on Friday when they could not find a vein. We will take him fortnightly. We will watch his diet, but we will not deprive him, at his age, completely of the things he loves best. We will love him, and I have no doubt he will love us for it.
So now my darling husband RD has taken on the responsibility of giving Harley his insulin twice a day, and feeling as if he may well be killing him every time he does. But we will do what we have to do. And Harley will show us the way. And we will listen.