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Old 05-16-08, 01:56 PM   #1
banerjek
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Should I sleep outside?

Here's the situation: doggie has a terminal illness can't make it through the night without going outside multiple times (usually 4 or 5 times). I've been sleeping on the floor with her by the back door for awhile, but I never get as much as 2 hrs of contiguous sleep. Grand total is much better (probably closer to 5).

The weather has been improving, so I have some options:
1) continue current arrangement
2) sleep with door open so she can go in and out at will
3) both of us sleep outside

My wife favors 2), but there is an outside chance that could result in a skunk, raccoon, or weirdo getting in the house and leaving it totally open doesn't quite sound smart. 3) will probably cause neighbors to figure I'm in the doghouse. Plus, I'll get the blankets covered with dew and the birds will probably сrap on them when I'm drying them out.

What should I do? I'm not sure how long this arrangement will last, but a few months seems pretty likely.
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Old 05-16-08, 01:58 PM   #2
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Doggie door install possibly? We have one and I love it. Freedom for dog to come and go. Can be shut off from inside house for security, when it is raining out and we don't want wet paws on floors, etc. We leave her crate in front of it and she can get in out of weather etc, while we are at work, but not have access to house. When we get home from work, open the side crate door and she has full run of house and yard.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 05-16-08, 02:05 PM   #3
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Doggie door install possibly? We have one and I love it.
Anything that she would fit through, so would a person, raccoon, or skunk.
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Old 05-16-08, 02:08 PM   #4
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In the 20 plus years I have been in homes with doggie doors, I have had a critter in the house once. It was a coon and the dog ran it right back out.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 05-16-08, 02:11 PM   #5
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Anything that she would fit through, so would a person, raccoon, or skunk.

Electronic door
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Old 05-16-08, 02:15 PM   #6
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Can you leave her in the garage? If she goes bathroom there, just hose and bleach it out.
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Old 05-16-08, 03:21 PM   #7
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Can you leave her in the garage? If she goes bathroom there, just hose and bleach it out.
Nahh. She's a great dog and deserves better. I'd rather she just went on the floor (we ripped out the carpets and put tile and bamboo everywhere so our floors are indestructible) but she's trained to be good and it upsets her if she can't do what she's supposed to. Now that it's warm, she could just stay outside, but she's used to being with people. As a matter of fact, outside could be more comfortable for me as well. The tile floor is really hard.
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Old 05-16-08, 03:23 PM   #8
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You can make it like camping!!
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Old 05-16-08, 05:57 PM   #9
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They make some fantastic tent hammocks that will protect you from the elements while giving you a whole new definition of comfort. What I would do is get one of those, as well as a whole bunch of live traps for all the various critters that run around in the yard. that way you can check the traps every morning, and sleep right outside with the dog, never having to worry.
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Old 05-16-08, 06:31 PM   #10
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You can make it like camping!!
Siu beat me to it. Why not pitch a tent in the backyard.
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Old 05-16-08, 07:50 PM   #11
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First off, banerjek- my hat's off to you. I've nursed a wonderful dog through a terminal illness too so I know where you're coming from. Personally, I'd go with the camp out concept. I like the hammock idea too.
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Old 05-17-08, 12:06 PM   #12
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First off, banerjek- my hat's off to you. I've nursed a wonderful dog through a terminal illness too so I know where you're coming from. Personally, I'd go with the camp out concept. I like the hammock idea too.
I decided to stay outside -- it's the first night I've just slept under the stars since I got married (wife is not into camping). Fortunately, I live in a small place so the ambient light doesn't wash out the stars and it's plenty quiet. Both me and the dog slept much better than we have for at least a month last night. I like the night air.

I'll check out the tent hammock idea. When I camped years ago, I never used a tent except when it was stormy. However, my back yard is really well "fertilized" and there are plenty of bugs and rodents about, so there is some benefit to being up a little bit.
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Old 05-17-08, 12:44 PM   #13
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You sir <eyes well up from tears - for real> are so awesome. I luved my little friend for 16-1/2 years and I would have done the same thing for her as she meant so much to me.

For whatever it means and you are able to do it - make her comfortable. Meaning if you spend more time with her - sleeping arrangement or not - she'd soooo love you more for it.

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Old 05-17-08, 12:44 PM   #14
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Not to sound harsh, but growing up on a farm, I can attest to alot of animal death around me on a regular basis. I've seen it all, and the emotions when losing a pet, or even a farm animal (like cattle or sheep) can be very disheartening, especially when you invest so much personal time in that animals life.

First and foremost, I cannot stand seeing an animal suffer, knowing they have some terminal illness that is only temporarily relieved by the use of drugs which will offer no cure, only more slow suffering.

Your attachment is understandable, and noble. However...

You need to put the animal first, and your desire to keep this animal is easily overriding your judgement, just because you are afraid to miss her by letting her go. Your pet gave you unconditional love, and does so in an attempt to ensure you are a happy and pleased master. After all her hard work in making you happy, she wouldn't want you to be moping around all depressed.

Put her down... ASAP.

Then, go to your local pub, sit down, smile, and throw back a cold one in her memory.

In a few months, go buy another dog.
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Old 05-17-08, 12:54 PM   #15
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Not to sound harsh, but growing up on a farm, I can attest to alot of animal death around me on a regular basis. I've seen it all, and the emotions when losing a pet, or even a farm animal (like cattle or sheep) can be very disheartening, especially when you invest so much personal time in that animals life.

First and foremost, I cannot stand seeing an animal suffer, knowing they have some terminal illness that is only temporarily relieved by the use of drugs which will offer no cure, only more slow suffering.

Your attachment is understandable, and noble. However...

You need to put the animal first, and your desire to keep this animal is easily overriding your judgement, just because you are afraid to miss her by letting her go. Your pet gave you unconditional love, and does so in an attempt to ensure you are a happy and pleased master. After all her hard work in making you happy, she wouldn't want you to be moping around all depressed.

Put her down... ASAP.

Then, go to your local pub, sit down, smile, and throw back a cold one in her memory.

In a few months, go buy another dog.
I always based my ultimate decision from snake to lizard ... to guniea pig to rabbit and finally ending up with my best little friend (dog) of my life - of if she is able to eat and enjoy a little decent old folk doggy life then that's cool and cannot be trifled with. Yeah towards the end she was on the deaf side, on the blind side - but loved her food - hung with me and just did things ... a lot slower - and still told me when she wanted to go outside and take a walk (and poo). It was when her age and illnesses finally caught up with her - she had no appetite that I had to realize life. She told me. But I let her do that - if she wasn't happy about her life - I would have intervened, but she let me know instead. <sob>

And btw I'm quite the animal kinda person, it's been 5 years since Mindy and I have thought about another pet, but didn't want to go through that again - it hurt immensely. Then I get over here and now I've adopted a big cat and he's mine - but it was a cautious "step-into". I don't see my little friends as just a dog or a cat but more of a part of the family and they are not here for however long I can take them - I look at it from the long term aspect of being their life time. And I do have to say - my little dog really touched me.

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Old 05-17-08, 01:01 PM   #16
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^^^ Losing an animal is really tough. I had to put my dog down just before Christmas. Man, what a great Christmas present It took a couple weeks to get over it. My wife wanted me to take her to the vet, but her ending was my duty, as it was growing up on the farm. Besides, she loved that walk in the woods more than anything. So, we went for one last walk. She rests where she was happiest. Life goes on.
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Old 05-17-08, 01:11 PM   #17
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^^^ Losing an animal is really tough. I had to put my dog down just before Christmas. Man, what a great Christmas present It took a couple weeks to get over it. My wife wanted me to take her to the vet, but her ending was my duty, as it was growing up on the farm. Besides, she loved that walk in the woods more than anything. So, we went for one last walk. She rests where she was happiest. Life goes on.
Very sweet.
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Old 05-17-08, 02:42 PM   #18
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You need to put the animal first, and your desire to keep this animal is easily overriding your judgement, just because you are afraid to miss her by letting her go. Your pet gave you unconditional love, and does so in an attempt to ensure you are a happy and pleased master. After all her hard work in making you happy, she wouldn't want you to be moping around all depressed.

Put her down... ASAP.

Then, go to your local pub, sit down, smile, and throw back a cold one in her memory.

In a few months, go buy another dog.
I've talked to the vet (who is only one block from where I live) about this multiple times. He's old school -- no aggressive treatments (a euphemism for acts of desperation unlikely to result in success). Because the prognosis is poor, there will be no invasive treatments, medication with bad side effects, or traumatizing tests/procedures.

He tells me I still have a little time, but it's not too far away. He's given me very detailed information about how to interpret specific behaviors as well as letting me know exactly how things will progress so I won't try to fight inevitability.

Although blind, leaky, and much slower than she used to be, my dog still enjoys walking with me 4 miles per day and playing fetch. She also likes being around other animals and people. Although she is sometimes in pain, she acts like there's still enough to look forward to. Appetite is still good. Also, with terminal illnesses come special privileges. She eats more steak than I do.

When my common sense, the dog, or the vet tells me it's time, I'll take her in. I figure that as great as a dog as she's been, I owe her not to take away from her what she was. I probably won't be around at the very end because it's much better if she's in a calm, friendly environment where no one is stressed from having their heart ripped out. Papers and final instructions are signed and on file so the process will be as painless as it can be.
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Old 05-20-08, 07:12 AM   #19
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Bless you for hanging in there! A dog can certainly enjoy life despite being blind and a little leaky; I think Patriot's solution is not necessary just yet.
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Old 05-20-08, 07:19 AM   #20
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^^^ Losing an animal is really tough. I had to put my dog down just before Christmas. Man, what a great Christmas present It took a couple weeks to get over it. My wife wanted me to take her to the vet, but her ending was my duty, as it was growing up on the farm. Besides, she loved that walk in the woods more than anything. So, we went for one last walk. She rests where she was happiest. Life goes on.
My sincere condolences. I used the same solution myself with Red. It horrified my wife, a city gal, but I still believe I did the right thing, as Red was highly traumatized by vet visits, but loved to walk in the woods. He rests there now. Buddy and Marsi were OK with vet visits, and took their last naps in my arms there. Now, our next batch of furpeople are getting gray. Sigh.
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Old 05-20-08, 07:41 AM   #21
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If you sleep outside, remember to close your mouth if it starts raining.
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Old 05-20-08, 08:02 AM   #22
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If you sleep outside, remember to close your mouth if it starts raining.
what if he is sleeping on his stomach or side?
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 05-20-08, 08:25 AM   #23
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what if he is sleeping on his stomach or side?
then his mouth should definitely be closed
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Old 05-20-08, 11:20 AM   #24
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what if he is sleeping on his stomach or side?
A balaclava should take care of either position.
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Old 05-20-08, 01:28 PM   #25
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If you sleep outside, remember to close your mouth if it starts raining.
There has been one funny twist on this. In the original post, I mentioned that my wife thought I should sleep inside and just leave the door open so the dog could go in and out. So, last night when it did rain, that's exactly what I did. She thought this was a sensible approach.

The funny part is that when I raised the garage door about 4" a couple nights ago when it was stinking hot, she insisted that it remain closed. She's afraid that rodents and cats would enter the garage. Apparently, there's no risk they'd walk through a wide open sliding door directly into the house. I'm actually more concerned about the skunks and the raccoons. The dog has been skunked twice, me only once...
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