top of page

Twilight Time with Your Beloved Dog

Dominic, my black & white cowprint Ol' Man, is my first foster dog. After 3ish months, I knew he would never leave.

Unfortunately, he will soon. Whether it's weeks or months, I'm spending a lot of time cherishing the moments and weeping. He's nearly 13 and still weighs around 70 lbs, has a (managed) heart murmur due to Mitral Valve weakening, and there's a lump growing in a cheekbone that I'm closely monitoring.

This part? Is the worst and most heartbreaking part of a journey with our beloved dogs. Grieving while they're alive. Beginning to make plans in case of a sudden decline. And praying there are no crises.

Yet the plan-making is one of the most loving acts. I will not watch him suffer. Period. I want him to go as gracefully and peacefully as possible.

What does that look like? Well, there are 3 things I do daily-ish:

- I use a Quality of Life scale tally like this one or this.

- I'm taking occasional photos of the lumpy bump to monitor growth.

- And I'm measuring how he feels about his favorite things (food, short walks and cuz balls).

What I choose not to do is wait and see or rely on my emotions. Neither of those are fair for the human or the dog and they're highly unreliable as a 'plan.' Yes, my "evidence" is still somewhat based in emotion and objectivity. There's no perfect way to approach end of watch for any of us. I do know that our dogs rarely tell us when it's "time".

So until our numbers hit a critical level or I see through his stoicism, we're spending a little more time in bed cuddling each morning, taking little Bucket List adventures, and hoping he feels loved. Because he is...endlessly.

30 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page