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Should I spend $1,500 on my dog?

By maxwell edison ·
I love dogs. They're beautiful animals. They can add so much fun and joy to a person's life that it's impossible to describe - unless you've ..... been there, done that.

They show unquestionable and unwavering love and affection. Our 11 year-old Golden Retriever is no exception. On second thought, maybe he IS the exception, because he's SO SMART, so obedient, so loving, and so well mannered. I absolutely love this dog. Not as much as the people in my family, mind you, and not at all in the same way, but if you're a dog owner - and a dog lover - I'm sure you understand.

The average life expectancy of a Golden Retriever is 12 years. Mine is 11.

I remember buying this dog (a puppy) from a breeder, surprising my son, who was 8 years old at the time, as a companion for an only child. My son is 18, almost 19, and will be going off to college in late August. Our dog has provided years of joy, loyalty, and companionship. He's gone on mountain hikes with us, swam in lakes and ponds, spent hours upon hours playing fetch, laid at our feet and licked our faces, and he's forgiven us with doggie-love whenever we've left him in the back yard during a storm.

He's obviously hurting, and there's nothing anyone can do about it. He struggles to get up, but he instinctively wants to follow us from room to room. He has some other ailments that I won't get into, but suffice it to say, his better days are behind him.

We could pay to treat those ailments, but it would only delay the inevitable - by how much, who knows? It might, however, improve the quality of life for a while - for our trusted companion.

He relies on us for everything. He's pretty helpless without us. For centuries we've domesticated dogs for our human pleasure and enjoyment. Do we own them anything in return?

Perhaps I should consider this: I can earn $1,500 in X amount of hours. Is spending that amount of $$ worth the more than X hours of enjoyment our dog will continue to provide?

As I think out-loud, it might be the best $1,500 I've ever spent. He's going to make it to 16, and I'll make it as comfortable as possible for him. What it might cost me pales in comparison to what he's given us.

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You are asking the wrong people here Maxwell

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Should I spend $1,500 on ...

I have spent considerably more than that on dogs over the years and I used to spend that much every time that one of my Bitches had a Litter.

My daughter has just spend well over 4.5K on a puppy that jumped out of a Ute in their driveway and got run over he had 5 days in Intensive Care and then several days in the Pet Hospital @ 1K per day for Intensive Care. She was advised to come in and say good by as they couldn't get him to eat, drink or even move more than the absolute minimum so when she got there he jumped into her and dragged over an O2 Bottle that he was attached to and wouldn't leave her side.

Apparently he was sulking because he wasn't with his owners and was fretting. Cost them 2K to find out that I might add.

But back to your question this all depends on the dog itself and what is wrong. If there are serious issues I prefer not to let them suffer I watched a dog die of Distemper years ago and swore to myself that it would never happen again, where I allowed the vets to prolong the suffering. Then when Parvo hit this place I lost a entire litter and the Dam when a vet came in and brought the disease with him and contaminated the litter that he was there to immunize. We latter found out what had killed them but at the time no one knew what was going on. When it became obvious I had the litter put down and the Dam was sent into Intensive Care to try to save her the puppies didn't stand a chance and I wouldn't prolong the suffering after the first day where they all lost 50% of their body weight in under 24 hours.

The ***** lasted 3 days more before I had her put down and neither of those decisions was easy till you looked at the dogs, they didn't need to suffer and I wouldn't allow them to any longer. At that time the Vets didn't agree with my decisions but I was latter proved to have been correct as when that initially hit this place the survival rate was less than 2% and the animals did suffer terribly.

But that is what I base my decisions when faced with these issues on how much will the dog suffer and I'm always beside them petting them when they get the needle and I stay with them till well after the end has occurred.


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Honestly, I cannot and will not make the choice for you

by The Scummy One In reply to Should I spend $1,500 on ...

and I dont think that anyone should. This is a decision that you have to make yourself. Only you know your financials and feelings well enough to determine what may be done. However, it seems that you have made your decision and are looking for feedback on it.

You should go with what you can live with the best!

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As a dog lover and someone who's worried over a

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Should I spend $1,500 on ...

similar issue, to me the big questions are:

What will your companion's quality of life be like after the treatment?

You need to think about this, will there still be a lot of pain or a little pain. If little or no pain, then it's an easy call - spend the money. If a lot of pain and on a marginal improvement in life care - again and easy call, let them have peace.

The trouble comes with the scale in between. I know you want to spend more time with your companion, but think of them first. Think of what their life will be like for this time. If good, spend, if not ease their suffering.

Average is average, which means many will live well past that. So don't let the age be a deciding factor.

Back in late 1999 I inherited a kitten, not sure how, but it happened. As he neared his first birthday he got run over by a car. The vet suggested putting him down as the costs would be near A$2,000 - a couple of months income at that time, and the vet didn't think he'd last for more than another year or so. I paid up and he died in mid step while walking across the yard about six months back. Eight years past the vet's estimate.

Forget age and think about quality of life - and pain is a big thing there.

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Very tough decision

by mjd420nova In reply to Should I spend $1,500 on ...

My heart goes out to you and don't think I could make the decision for you. My situation was similar, we had a loving cat for 18 years and were faced with $1,000. to attempt to cure a failing kidney. When the time came we decided to have him euthanized on a day when the whole family would have a chance to say their goodbyes. Early that same morning, I heard him crying. I found him cuddled on the bathroom floor. I picked him up, he looked at me, gave me a kind of grin, started purring, gave a big long streach, a big sigh and expired. He knew the end was coming and wanted to be held and comforted at the moment. I cried like a baby. It is a tough time and will not be easy. My sympathy is with you.

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Cat's intuition?

by jardinier In reply to Very tough decision

My cat Smokey was the best friend I ever had -- human or animal.

She would lie on top of the bedclothes at night, right up against me so that I could not move. I would boot her down to the end of the bed and that is where she would sleep.

We never knew her age as she was a hand-me-down from a deceased relative. But she was perhaps about 20 years of age when a red setter dog came into the yard and frightened her. Shortly after that we noticed she had developed what appeared to be a hernia.

The vet said she was too old to handle anesthetic so my mother and I took her home while we thought about what to do.

Then, she broke from her usual regimen of sleeping on top of the bed clothes, and wriggled in under the sheets so that she could sleep up against my body. She did this for two nights.

By this time my mother and I decided it was best to have her put down rather than suffer the discomfort of the hernia. I signed the form giving the vet permission for euthanasia, which was then performed.

So Smokey apparently knew, two days before we had made the decision, that she was going to die and wanted to be close to me for the last couple of days.

I was telling this story to a friend who responded with this true-life tale. There was a cat in a nursing home that was normally very aloof. But whenever one of the patients was approaching death, the cat would curl up on their bed and purr loudly.

Here is Smokey:

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Yes. Intuition

by mjd420nova In reply to Cat's intuition?

Our cat was a stray that my son picked up on the streets. When he brought him home, we found a ring of oil and dirt around his neck. It was apparent to us that someone had tried to hang him. This was reinforced by his very strong resistance to wearing any kind of collar. I do believe that he knew when it was his time and his crying in the night was a plea to the one he knew would give him the comfort he needed to meet the end on his own terms. Cats are far more inteligent than we give them credit for.

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If you can afford it, it's up to you

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Should I spend $1,500 on ...

Make sure you are buying a new lease of life for your dog, not a new car for your vet though.....

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Some dogs/pets cost over $1500.00 to buy in the first place.

by OnTheRopes In reply to Should I spend $1,500 on ...

If it was me and I could afford it I'd spend the money and would never look back. It's just money. You'll make more.

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Ditto that. (nt)

by boxfiddler Moderator In reply to Some dogs/pets cost over ...
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There are no easy answers

by JamesRL In reply to Should I spend $1,500 on ...

Our previous dog shwoed signs of cancer at 9, went through a remission after we spent many dollars, only to experience a rapid decline a year later. But you can't do the math on these things. All you should calculate is should you spend money when the outcome is uncertain, or more specifically, if the dog is not going to enjoy life.

If the animal has multiple problems and you can fix only some of them, is the animal still suffering or are they able to enjoy life. I would not be one to prolong an animals life because of my own selfishness. I'm not in any way suggesting you are doing that because I and everyone else here don't know enough details to make a decision.

It all comes down to quality of life. Humans can be invalids and be happy because they have a mental life. Dogs on the other hand, derive much of their pleasure from physical acts of walking, running and interacting. If there is a good chance that your dog will have a good quality of life for a while, then do it. If the quality is only slightly improved.....


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