Ruby

Sorry about the change up.  This morning I promised a blueberry muffin recipe tonight.  That is not to be.  I have more pressing news.

I’ve not said much of Ruby as of late.  She’s been having some health issues again.  Ruby just has not been the healthiest dog and she’s got issues that are on the forefront of my life.

As I write this, Ruby has been to the vet three times in the last month or so.  The first time she went I’ll admit, I kind of thought I was overreacting.  A few times, someone had touched her “just so” and Ruby yelped.  She had never done that before….then she quit jumping off the bed.  She would whine and I’d have to lift her off the bed.  I have a high bed and Ruby is seven so I just figured it was an age thing but coupled with the yelping, I thought maybe it was something more.

She got some meds and on we went.  I didn’t notice any improvement, in fact, things for worse.  So back to the vet we went a week or two later.  In conjunction with this, Puppycat, Kelli’s beagle, had been sick.  They put her on an antibiotic and steroid.  I started wondering if Ruby could somehow have gotten whatever Puppycat had so back to the vet Ruby went.  Ruby got put on similar meds as Puppycat.  All of these visits came with tests and work ups.  Nothing really showed up.

Then, Ruby started peeing in the house.  She’s been an excellent dog in that regards and doesn’t have accidents unless something is up with her.  So back to the vet as she was excessively and aggressively drinking water too.  That was on Friday.

The result was that her thyroid was acting up again.  Like me, Ruby is on thyroid medicine.  She was hypothyroid.


Poor girl had to have a blood draw.  She wasn’t herself at all when she got home.  She was shaking and again excessive drinking and peeing in the house.

She did jump into and lay in the chair all by herself.

Her meds changed up…here’s Kelli’s spot on the kitchen island where she was putting Ruby’s meds into a pill organizer.


…and here is Ruby’s notes from the vet.  Oh my.
We went to bed as usual.  Ruby was slower going up the stairs, but she went.  I carried her into bed.

Today is Saturday.  Ruby is not well….things have taken a turn for the worse.
I was looking forward to a busy day meeting up with friends, but as soon as I got up, I knew I’d likely have to change those plans because of Ruby.

My girl is miserable.


I lifted her out of bed this morning and she yelped.

She was shaking and shaking.  I started to think I was going to have to have Karl carry her down the steps but she decided to try it.  She’d take a step or two, stop and rest.  Then when she got to the landing, she stopped and rested then finally went down the last couple steps.

She went outside and did her business.  Then came in excessively drinking water again.  I tried to give her the meds she needed hoping to get the pain meds on board so she could calm down.  She wouldn’t open her mouth and let me give her the pills.  I’ve been giving Ruby pills for years.  We have it down to a science.  I finally got them in her, she ate her food and then shakily walked to the living room.

Karl was up then and I told him what had been happening.  He too was very concerned just by looking at her.  Ruby was shaking and shaking.  She looked at us the pleading “do something for me” eyes.  Little did she know that by giving her the meds, it was really about all I could do.

We took her bed off the couch and put it on the floor.  Karl coaxed her into the bed.  She stood on it but wouldn’t lay down.  After a lot of petting, she finally sat….more petting and more petting and she finally laid down but yelped in the process.


She laid there like this for a long time.  She didn’t move.

I messaged the vet and then she called me back.  Thankfully my vet drew the short straw and was working today..or it was her weekend.  However it works at the office there, my vet was in.  She is the same vet that has seen Ruby for all of her vet work.  She was Gracie’s vet too.

We talked…and I started the hard talk.  The “how long is it fair to let her be like this” talk.  Is there any hope she’ll get better?

We’ve given her meds…we’ve monitored her…we’ve given her a chance and if it was anything common, she should be responding by now….but, maybe we could try a couple more does on meds.

I was willing to try but I’ve also seen my dog go from a vibrant fun loving dog two months ago that loved walks and was the life of the party to a shaking, pained, sleepy, sick dog who won’t get out of her dog bed.  It’s been a gradual change, but nothing we’ve tried over the last month has seemed to help her at all.

I asked, if we try this increased meds, what does the next few days look like?  The vet said all meds should be on board by Sunday night and things should look better…and I said if they don’t?  She said it was up to me to make the hard call.  Do I put her to sleep?

The answer is yes.  I do put to sleep if she doesn’t start perking up.  I’ve spent most of my day today like this.


She doesn’t move when I pet her.  She doesn’t lift her head and acknowledge it.  She just lays there.  I just sit there with my tissues and pet her.

I’ll be honest, at this point, I’m not real hopeful.  The vet gave me the option of coming in today and putting her to sleep.  I can’t quite do it yet.  I feel like I need to give the meds one last shot.  It’s so hard though…I hate to see her so lifeless.  I feel like Monday is a fair shot to see it the meds will work…I don’t want to make the decision too soon.  I don’t want to make the decision to late.  I just don’t know what’s fair to my girl.

I asked the vet if it’s likely that it’s something more…a cancer or other big problem.  She said there’s always that chance.  She’s seven.  She’s always been a sickly dog.  We both agreed that it’s perfectly fine for me to make the call…but what a call to have to make.

I did cancel my plans with friends….Connie was one of the people I was meeting, she said, “Family first”…she’s so right.  My old college roommate, who I was also meeting said, “I’d stay home if my dog was sick”.

So home I stayed…trying to get the courage to make the right choice.

51 thoughts on “Ruby

  1. Sue Stringfellow

    So hard to make this decision- but we need to do it for the animals we love- if it does come to that, please know you’ve given her a wonderful life- and make sure you have someone with you.

  2. Maxine Corimski

    Jo, I believe that responsible ownership of a pet is know when to say, “Good job, my friend. You’ve taken care of me through sickness and health and now it’s time for me to take care of you”! From the day we bring a pet home, we know this day will come. At least with a pet, the laws are on our side. We are allowed to see that they are pain-free. I believe this is the kindest thing we can do for our pets — allowing them the dignity to go to live with God. I believe all our pets are in Heaven waiting for us. It’s time for Ruby to go to be with her beloved Kramer. Oh what fun they will have together!!!

  3. sydney silva

    OMG! I know what a horrible choice that is to make. YOu and she have had such good times together. It’s great you have the strength to do what is best for Ruby. But after the year you’ve had, I’m sure you are tempted to ask, Aren’t I strong enough now? Do I need any more tough times to test my strength?????
    Hugs going out to you and yours.

  4. Mary Ann Mettler

    I know you will make a good decision Jo. This is so sad to see. I remember one of our dogs had a pinched nerve one time and we got some pills that helped her and she lived several years after that. I feel so for you. Dogs are such companions. Hugs

  5. Candy

    Wishing you courage in your decision of when to let your sweet girl Ruby go. I’m so sad for you and your family. Hugs!

  6. Linda in NE

    Poor Ruby. And poor you. It’s sure a tough decision to make. I’ve had to do it for two pets. I’m really hoping she feels better soon so you won’t have to make that decision.

  7. Felicia Hamlin

    In the middle of October our beagle started to drink and pee buckets of water. After three days, we took her to the vet for a diabetes test which turned negative, then a bladder infection test, no then thyroid test, no. Cushing’s test also negative, Addison test, negative and another one that I don’t remember. Then they to,d us that her cortisol was very high, this time we went to Algona for an ultrasound and later for another test. Cushin’s confirmed. Started meds, two weeks later another test, cortisol still too high, meds were upped. Very expensive, but she seems a little better and we’ll keep trying. Only you know, Jo, but I hope she gets better. Big hugs.

  8. Sue in PA

    Was Ruby tested for diabetes? Our elderly dog had similar symptoms and was finally diagnosed correctly. We gave him insulin shots daily for a couple of years and he lived to seventeen.

  9. Gloria

    I’m sorry. We love our pets so much. My daughter had to make that decision with her beagle/basset, for Monday. Such a difficult decision for any of us but we can’t let them suffer.

  10. Robby H.

    Oh, dear! 2019 has been a miserable year for you. I hope Ruby perks up very soon if that is to be, or that you and she can look at one another and know that even the best of friends have to part sometime. It’s so hard when we can’t really know what’s wrong, but we have to be their protector, too. Hugs to you all.

  11. Anita

    I’m so sad for Ruby, you and your family. I pray that God comforts all of you, especially sweet Ruby.

  12. Susan

    I’m so sorry. I have put down more pets than I want to think about. It’s so awful to have to make that call. Do what’s best for you and poor Ruby.

  13. Ellie

    So sorry you are faced with this decision just now! You year has been more than tough enough with out losing your dog in the bargain. I know you’ll make the right decision and I’m hoping the meds work for Ruby.
    Continuing to keep you in my prayers.

  14. Phyllis Rosenwinkel

    Your post brought tears to my eyes. I’ve been there and cried before when I called the vets office, cried on the way to the vet, cried at the vets office and cried all the way home.

    Wishing you courage and love for Ruby.

  15. Donna Weflen

    I’ll be praying for you and Ruby.
    I just put my Rocky to sleep Tuesday and he took part of my heart with him.

  16. Susan the Farm Quilter

    Praying the change in meds produces a change for the better in Ruby. I remember when you got her as a puppy. Praying for you as well…when our fur babies aren’t doing well, we aren’t either!!

  17. Linda

    Oh, Jo. I know exactly how you are feeling. Our last dog was 10, very similar symptoms but was diagnosed with pancreatitis. It was too much for Kay and we lost the battle. I will be praying for you as you make this journey. Ruby is a family member and you love her.

  18. Barbara Firesheets

    So sorry to hear Ruby is not doing well. Sending love and prayers for both of you. Big hugs Jo.

  19. Peggy

    Did the vet test her for lyme or anaplasmosis..? They can cause the kidneys to quit functioning correctly..and might be why she is drinking so much water..and why she can’t get outside fast enough to to pee..would also cause pain..

  20. Cindy F

    I am so sorry to hear about Ruby’s condition. I can’t imagine how hard it is for you right now. A few years back our black lab Boomer had a stroke and we had to make the decision to let him go. It’s a heartbreaking decision and I’m so sorry you are faced with this possibility. Praying for you and Ruby.

  21. pam

    I know it is not an easy decision. I’ve had to do it twice. I did second guess myself at first but in the long run I knew it was the right thing to do. Take care of her for the next few days. Hugs to you and your family.

  22. Margaret in Illinois

    Jo, did the vet X-ray Ruby’s spine to check for a disc problem. There is a chance she can be helped. We had a beagle suffering from the same symptoms and after the X-ray and new diagnosis/treatment she did very well. We had to put two different dogs down last winter within four months of each other, (One dog had cancer and liver disease for the other). I know how gut wrenching it is to decide. Whatever you decide I know you will do what you feel in your heart is best for Ruby, you’re so kind .

  23. cathy

    Thinking of you. We had our 13 year old beagle pass away 2 weeks ago. He had been showings signs of old age but little did we think he would die so quickly. We miss our old boy. No one to greet us when we get home and no more snuggles on the couch.
    He died at home surrounded by the people who love him.
    PS This week we have faired better than last week.
    Take Care

  24. Debbie B

    I’m sorry you have to go through this. And Ruby, too. I know it’s hard to make those decision. I’ve been there, too. I’m sure you’ll do what’s best for Ruby. We don’t want to see them suffer. Hugs to you and the family.

  25. Janet R

    I’m so sorry, Jo. Poor Ruby. Even worse for you to have to make a heart rending decision. My heart just breaks for you both. I have no words to fix it. Just know I’ll be praying.

  26. Ana Sweet

    Sending a lot of love, a lot of tears, and prayers that whatever you decide, it is the right decision.

  27. Celesta

    I’m so sorry Jo, praying that the meds kick in and Ruby feels better. Know that she knows you love her with all your heart.

  28. suzanne

    so sorry to hear about this. It is so hard. I have done this twice in 2019. We have my sons 16 year old dog here with us still and I dread that day. It has my husband and I thinking we may not get another dog. Our two dogs were brothers and were put down with seven months in between.
    SO hard to do. I feel for you and of course all the day care kids will be sad too. Be awful for them to see poor Ruby so poorly. God Bless

  29. Christine

    So sorry to hear this. We had to make this super hard decesion twice. It is so difficult. Ruby knows u will be ok. Sending hugs of comfort for you and Ruby and your family.

  30. Bo

    I’m so sorry for you and the family and of course Ruby. SO HARD FOR BOTH OF YOU. Again a bucket full of virtual hugs and real prayers .

  31. SusanfromKentucky

    Praying the increased meds help poor Ruby. She looks so sad, unlike her usual self. I know how hard this is on you, too. My little bird died shortly after my husband. It’s tough losing everything so close together. Ruby trusts you to make the right decision for her. I’m praying for both of you!

  32. Kim LeMere

    I’m sorry this is happening to Ruby and to you Jo, I’m glad you are staying close at hand and what ever you decide will be the right call for Ruby, she is dog that is loved. Hugs

  33. Fran Ontiveros

    Your post made me cry. We just put our Lhasa down right before Thanksgiving. She had kidney failure. This is the only down side to owning a pet…having to say goodbye. Prayers for you and for Ruby.

  34. Janet

    I’m so sorry. I had to put my Boston down this summer. She was my shadow and my friend. Never an easy decision. I second guess myself all the time. May Ruby (and you) find peace no matter the decision.

  35. suzanne

    my heart goes out to you,,,we just lost our beloved “Rubie Leroy” two weeks ago…know that you’re in our thoughts and prayers.

  36. Barbara henry

    My husband and I said goodbye to our beloved Boston terrier yesterday. We are shattered. Amaryllis was our soul. Time will move us along. But we suffer from a tremendous hole in our hearts. I understand.

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