DEAR ABBY: How do I talk to my husband about putting his dog "Sunny" to sleep? My husband is the most loving, caring, generous person I have ever met, and I don't know how to tell him it's time to let his best friend go.
Sunny is 15 1/2 years old and can barely walk because of bad hips. The poor thing can see only shadows and is almost completely deaf. He has been like this for the last two years and is deteriorating steadily.
I'm trying to be understanding and supportive. I bought reusable diapers when Sunny could no longer control his bowels and bladder. I carry him outside multiple times a day and hold him up so he can urinate without the diaper. I wash him regularly after he soils himself. It is very sad. I keep hoping he will pass on in his sleep so my husband won't have to make the call, but he is still clinging to life.
It is difficult to bring this up with my husband because he knows I'm frustrated with constantly cleaning up pee and poop and washing bedding after there has been an accident. I don't want him to think I want him to put the dog to sleep just because it is difficult. It's just time.
Sunny's quality of life is zero. The only thing he can do is eat and sleep. Is that enough? Am I wrong? What should I say to my husband to put the poor animal out of his misery? -- IT'S TIME, IN RENO
DEAR IT'S TIME: Your husband is doing his best friend no favor by letting him linger this way. What's going on now isn't fair to Sunny or to you. You might point out that dogs were put on this earth to run and play and enjoy their lives, something that Sunny hasn't been able to do for a long time.
Suggest he contact Sunny's veterinarian and talk to him/her about his beloved dog's condition, because I'm pretty sure the vet will agree with me. Then be prepared, because your husband may be so bonded with Sunny that he will need grief counseling after his dog is no more.
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