« Pets

How do you know when it's time to say goodbye?

by Nikki Montgomery

I write this blog with tears in my eyes thinking of my dear Kolby. 

Kolby was a 3 or 4 year old Boston Terrier that was taken to the Marathon County Humane Society as a stray. The Humane Society joined Lee Peek and I on Great Country Mornings every Wednesday morning. Kolby was one of our guests in June 2006.

I fell in love with him that day. My husband happened to come home sick from work that day so I made him come with me to the old Humane Society on Kent Street to meet him. I was so happy when my husband agreed to adopt him. 

The day I brought him home he only weighed 26 pounds. Which for a Boston sounds big, but he is a very large Boston so that was skinny. It didn't take long for me to fatten him up to a healthy 34 pounds.

He was our only baby for 2 years. He was my sidekick when we did events with the Humane Society. And we even made the front page of the paper once because he was such a good dancer.

When my brother and his girlfriend moved to southern Wisconsin their apartment wouldn't allow dogs so we agreed to take their dog, Mookie,...temporarily, but he an Kolby were instant friends and were inseparable from the very first day. So temporarily became forever.

Then we had Mia and the dogs loved to be near her.

But once we had a baby it was harder and harder to spend time with the dogs. They got their walk in the afternoon once I got home before Mia and Josh got home, but that was about all the "dog" time they got. Now that we have 3 kids 2 and under and my work schedule has changed "dog" time has diminished even more. Mia sure loves to play with them though.

Now Kolby is 11 and he's very sick and I feel guilty for not devoting more time to him. He has been throwing up, not eating, barely drinking, his body temperature is dropping so he shivers and his legs get weak. He's stumbled, sometimes he refuses to walk up or down the stairs, he has a hard time jumping up onto the couch. We've had him to the vet a few times now and they've run blood tests, but they don't know what's making him sick. They give him fluids and the first two times he seemed to get a little better, but yesterday even after the fluids he didn't improve. We spent over $600 on his vet bills over the last week and now they say they can run another test, but it's expensive or we can take him to another vet over in Appleton and they can run tests and do an ultrasound which is even more expensive. I know a lot of people have a dollar amount that they're willing to spend on their pets, but I just know what I can and can't afford. I look at Kolby and see him so sick, but I don't know what to do. It's so hard without any answers to make a decision. None of these expensive tests are guaranteed to give us an answer to why he's sick. We could spend all this money and then lose him anyway. 

How do you know when it's time to say goodbye?