LeRoy’s Future Doesn’t Look Bright

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The air is thick and the mood is heavy in our house and it has been for a few months now… though this week has most definitely been the hardest. Each day tears flow, each sleepless night, tired eyes quiver while our mind takes us to the past and to the future and to what we will eventually have to do.

LeRoy is not getting better. In fact, he has progressively gotten worse over the last few months.

According to my Instagram feed, 23 weeks ago LeRoy had his first seizure, though we didn’t know it was a seizure until a week later when he had another one. It wasn’t until three days after that when he had multiple seizures one night that we brought him to the vet the following day for a diagnosis.

The vet gave us Phenobarbitol to quell the seizures, and while it initially made LeRoy a little dopey, like a cute stumbling drunk, he was still my little chicken {aka: himself}. When the seizures started up heavily again about a month and a half later, the vet added a dose of Potassium Bromide to the mix. This addition made this cute drunk look sad, with droopy eyes, and very little excitability. But once he got used to the meds, he was okay. However, a serious of small seizures continued and we’ve raised and lowered the doses to try to find the right balance, but nothing seemed to be really helping.

The bonus was that LeRoy and Delilah could finally hang out without LeRoy trying to eat her, and they became fast friends. Christmas was pretty cute watching them both interested in her new toys. However, by the end of December, just days later, LeRoy was looking less and less like himself.

Lately, LeRoy has started pacing the house incessantly. He paces large figure eights from the kitchen/living room and through my office and he paces small circles, round and round and round in the very same spot. He doesn’t sleep through the night without getting up to pace 4-8 times for at least 30 minutes, if not hours. Sometimes we let him pace, other times we try to simply put him in his bed and pet him until he falls asleep again. Lately we’ve been creating fun forts for him to sleep in to keep him contained.

He walks with his head down and bumps into everything or just barely misses it, and often falls over and onto his face while doing so. He stares at the floor, gets caught in small corners until we pick him up and move him, falls head first in his water bowl, and aimlessly wanders around the house with a little head twitch having no idea where he is. He doesn’t respond to our voices or his name being called, only loud claps, doesn’t care about his toys anymore and while he does still want to eat, the food frequently just falls out of his mouth as if he has no idea how to chew anymore.

He lost his couch privileges about a month ago when he started occasionally losing control of his bladder and bowels. We’re used to this with Bebop, the old pug that could, so we had diapers on hand, but it has only happened a few times, so he’s not in diapers full-time, though as last night proved, he could lose his shit when we least expect it.

The vet told us from the beginning that he wouldn’t be getting better and that LeRoy probably has a brain tumor which is what could be causing the seizures. His new behavior and pacing could mean that his brain is bleeding, the tumor is growing, or he’s got Dimentia, which seems to be right on point. Luckily, he doesn’t seem to be in any pain. I just never thought it would all happen so fast.

One moment he seems to recognize us by offering sweet little kisses on command. The next, his eyes are vacant and he’s off in another land.

LeRoy is supposed to turn ten this year, in April, but we’re not sure he’s going to see that birthday, which is heartbreaking to say the least.

What hurts me the most is that we will probably have to make that decision. I cried for days when I accidentally ran over a lizard with my car in the garage a few years ago and ended its life. To think that I have to decide whether my favorite thing on this planet gets to live another day is gut-wrenching. I just don’t want to do it. I just wish I didn’t have to.

It’s too soon.

 

LA native & lifestyle blogger Maegan Tintari writes daily at ...love Maegan.com sharing beauty & style secrets, including fashion DIYs, how-to nail art manicures, hair tutorials, recipes & home decorating ideas, as well as a look into her personal life, her journey & battle with infertility & recent relocation to the mountains by a lake in search of a better life with her adorable French Bulldog brothers, Trevor and Randy.

37 Comments

  • Cricket

    January 22, 2014 | Reply

    I’m so, so sorry. I lost my girl (16 year old mixed breed) this summer, and it just is never easy. Sending you all lots of good thoughts.

  • aline

    January 22, 2014 | Reply

    I am so incredibly sorry. I can’t imagine what you guys are going through. Thinking of you and your little LeRoy.

  • Lauren

    January 22, 2014 | Reply

    I had to make the decision on a 15-yr-old pointer a few years ago. It.is.the.worst. But you love him and in hindsight your decision is always the right one and in their best interest. The good days start to dwindle until they are days apart. A vet told me once ‘what are the three things they enjoy the most? When those are down to 1 or less than one you know it’s time.’

    xoxo

  • Sena dees

    January 22, 2014 | Reply

    I am so sorry. I had to make the same decision for my 15 year old pup about 6 months ago. I regretted it as soon as it happened and for days afterwords. But when the fog started to clear, I realized that she wasn’t even herself anymore. And the one thing that got me through was a vet friend of the family told me that sometimes when pets get really sick and sometimes live in pain because they just want to hang on because of how much they love their family.

  • Robin

    January 22, 2014 | Reply

    I’m sorry Maegan. It’s very difficult to watch this happen. I had a collie that started having seizures at age 5. Each time the seizures got worse. He would run into our blinds, ripping them off the wall. He walked into walls and stumbled down stairs. We had him on phenabarb as well. It’s very difficult putting a dog down. I have a 5 year old lab/husky mix now and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t look at him and think about the inevitable day that I’ll have to do the same thing with him. Our animals are so precious to us, and they don’t live long enough. Not by a long shot. Sending a hug your way…..

  • 2expensivebitches

    January 22, 2014 | Reply

    I am so so so so so sorry. I can not begin to understand how painful this is for you and your husband. Love seeing pictures of that little guy, he’s adorable.

  • Yeni Fichtenbaym

    January 22, 2014 | Reply

    My heart goes out to you! I had a similar situation with my 2 year old bulldog. The seizures began in April 2011 and he passed on 12/6/2011. The speed of deterioration was shocking. In a way, I wish I would have had the option to choose his day of passing. I would have spent one more day with him at the beach and given him one more big hug! Regardless, you are faced with an awful decision but know that you love him and have done everything in your power to make comfortable. Perhaps passing will finally bring him rest… Sending lots of support your way!

  • GRIT & GLAMOUR

    January 22, 2014 | Reply

    Oh, crying with you, Maegan, literally. I had to make that decision when one of my precious Dobermans was only 6, and it was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.

    The only comfort I had was that I had a wonderful vet who came to my house to put my dog down (bone cancer in front leg…he broke that leg and I didn’t think amputation was a fair or reasonable option for a 120lb Dobe that I could not pick up to help him out). So my sweet boy was in his home environment, without any stress, surrounded by love, and I feel like that was the most humane, loving thing I could have done for him.

    Praying for God to wrap his love and comfort around you and your husband during this difficult time. It is heartbreaking, but the heart does heal, and the things you love you WILL see again. Also praying that LeRoy feels only peace and no pain. I’m sure he already feels your love.

    xo
    V.

  • Keely

    January 22, 2014 | Reply

    Oh Maegan, I am so sorry. I can’t even begin to imagine how painful a decision it is because we don’t have a dog of our own yet and my mom put our family dogs down on the sly because she knew how it would affect me. I feel like I know Leroy and Bebop and I always show my husband any of your posts about them because they are so sweet. I hope you guys get through this tough time as easily as possible.

  • Sara

    January 22, 2014 | Reply

    So sorry to hear this… I’ve been following you for years and have a 9 year old pug who has always been my baby. I have always enjoyed reading your posts that involve your dogs, because I could understand how much you love them. Try to take it a day at a time, so that you don’t miss the moments that you have with him right now. Praying that he is always comfy and pain free, and that you have peace in your heart and mind when it comes time to say goodbye.

  • MA

    January 22, 2014 | Reply

    I can feel your pain, it is heartbreaking. We had a beautiful Springer Spaniel and three precious kitties in the last 29 years, and it is never easy to say goodbye to our loving fur kids. Sending cuddles and kisses to LeRoy and many hugs to you and your husband. BeBop will also miss his friend.
    <3

  • Guest

    January 22, 2014 | Reply

    Tears and tears right now. Wishing you the courage to do what your veterinarian recommends, and possibly at your home. I’m wishing for a miracle. My heart is breaking along with you. I can’t write anymore right now………..

  • Erika

    January 22, 2014 | Reply

    It is always too soon, no matter what their age. I’ve lost a pup to parvovirus (after his vaccination) a 3 year old to osteosarcoma, others to old age and most recently, a beloved heart hound to dilated cardiomyopathy. What matters most is their quality of life. If, on balance, the quality is not there, you must be their advocate. It sounds brutal, but what matters is them. A very wise friend of mine (who also lives for her dogs) says better a week too early than a day too late, because you will never forgive yourself for that day of pain you could have ensured they never had. Giving them an easy, painless ride out is the last act of love. Hopefully LeRoy’s vet will come to your place. That doesn’t mean you don’t bawl yourself silly before AND after, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t months of mourning. It doesn’t mean you love LeRoy any less. Or that your capacity for love is diminished. Treasure the memories and the love. And be kind to yourselves. You can only ever do so much.

  • lorena

    January 22, 2014 | Reply

    I am truly sorry Maegan – it should not be a decision we ever have to make.
    I do not know what I would do in your places, its difficult just to imagine.

  • Melissa

    January 22, 2014 | Reply

    All my love and prayers to you and your family. You and your husband have been amazing parents to LeRoy and I’m positive he knows that. If love were enough, he would still be his old, happy and skippy self. Whatever happens, be strong and patient. LeRoy will always be with you.

  • Rebecca

    January 22, 2014 | Reply

    I completely understand what you’re going through and how hard it is to put down an elderly dog. I convince myself that it’s “for the best, and they’re suffering”. We’ve only had one dog who had seizures (Bella), which got progressively worse over time. 🙁 I had had her since I was 14, the last part of childhood. That was painful.

  • Linda R

    January 22, 2014 | Reply

    We as a family had to make the difficult decision of putting our dog down back in September. It was the most painful heartbreaking thing we had to do. He was the first dog we ever had. He was part of our family for 15 yrs. We didn’t want to do it but he was suffering too much. He had a weak heart and arthritis, it was difficult for him to get up and towards the end he would cry so much it broke our hearts. The day before we put him down he cried the whole night in pain none of us slept because we too cried. He was put down in our house surrounded with all the people who loved him. He made us happy for 15 yrs and that’s exactly how we remember him. We buried him in the back yard where we can put flowers in his grave all the time. Some people will say “he was just a dog” but to us he was family.

  • JoDi

    January 22, 2014 | Reply

    I am so very sorry dear. That picture of your husband and LeRoy is heartbreaking. We’ve had to make the decision you’re facing twice before, and it is never easy, even when you know they are suffering. I pray that you will know when the time is right and that you will have some more good days with your baby before that time comes. Sending you GREAT BIG HUGS from across the country because I know how much this hurts.

  • Krishaun

    January 22, 2014 | Reply

    Honestly, I can say that I one hundred percent understand what you are feeling. And I’d like to tell you that I am so sorry that you are experiencing this, and that Leroy is not doing well. It is very painful having to think about making the final decision on whether it’s the right time to end your loved one’s life or not. Only last year, two days before Christmas, did my family have to put our nine year old German Shepherd mixed down because she had cancer. We were debating (even the night before) whether we should have really went through with it, or if we were making a rash decision. It was only the morning of, when her tumor began to bleed, did we realize that it was time.

    It was a very painful time, but the best thing to do is think that your baby will not be in pain or misery anymore. I pray for your family and Leroy. I pray that he will get better. I am sorry that this had to happen to him and you all!

    Much love and sending all my prayers!
    Xx, Krishaun

  • Maegan Tintari

    January 22, 2014 | Reply

    Thank you all SO MUCH for your sweet comments and thank you for sharing your stories too… it’s just so hard. I cry every time I read a new comment. But thank you for helping me get through this difficult process and time. Love to you all and to all your fur babies <3 xo

  • xoxoDarya

    January 22, 2014 | Reply

    Sigh…when you first began writing of LeRoy’s seizures I felt like I could have written today’s post for you then…our sweet Roxy girl endured the same. It was fast and furious and I know intimately how horrible this is for your little family.

    My deepest and most sincere condolences.

    To lose a beloved creature is beyond brutal.

    xoxo Darya

  • Jessica

    January 22, 2014 | Reply

    Oh Maegan, my heart is literally breaking for you. I’m so sorry you have to watch your love go through this – I know how important our pups are – they’re our EVERYTHINGS. And I’m even more sorry you’re facing what ultimately must be the hardest decision any pet owner has to make. You guys will be in our thoughts, prayers, and hearts over here. Ugh how I wish I could give you a big bear hug right now 🙁

  • Cara

    January 22, 2014 | Reply

    Many people try to compensate for their feelings when losing a furry loved one, there is no need to compensate. You love him truly and honestly, as he loves you. Without a moment of doubt or hesitation, it is pure and definite love. Share these moments that you now have with him, without fear or doubt and just enjoy. He is one of the most powerful and special beings that has touched your life, you’ll both be eternally grateful for the relationship that you’ve shared. Cherish the unique ability of our animals, they have such a profound effect on us that we are usually unaware of.

  • holly

    January 22, 2014 | Reply

    oh, im so sorry. i know how much he means to you! thinking good thoughts for happy doggy days ahead.

  • Alejandra

    January 22, 2014 | Reply

    I’m so so sorry Maegan, I can’t begin to imagine how you must feel. I’ve loved watching at photo of LeRoy and Bebop all these years,they are the cutest little pals no you can tell how dearly you love them. I just wanted to send lots of support and a big hug your way.

  • Laura @ Laura Wears...

    January 22, 2014 | Reply

    I am so sorry to hear LeRoy’s health is deteriorating.
    You will know when the time is right & even though it will be hard to say goodbye, know that you are doing the right thing.

  • Jamie Rose

    January 22, 2014 | Reply

    I’m so so sorry to hear about LeRoy. His story sounds a lot like my bulldog George’s last weeks of life. Once they start going downhill, it’s very fast. George was wandering, not answering our calls, occasionally losing control of his bladder when he’d never done that before, and having an extremely hard time getting around. Then he had a seizure – one we actually witnessed. There were probably others before. It was horrible and scary. It was his time. I hate that you’re going through this because it’s seriously the worst thing in the world to watch your dog decline in health so rapidly. I hope you’re able to remember him in good health when these awful days are over.

  • Pearl

    January 22, 2014 | Reply

    I couldn’t help but cry reading your post. I went through a similar experience with my cat a year ago and it was a heartbreaking experience. Even if I know that sending her to ‘kitty heaven’ was the right thing to do it was still one of the hardest thing my husband and I ever had to do…Sending lots of love to your furry babies xx

  • Maiah

    January 22, 2014 | Reply

    Oh Maegan. I’m so sorry to hear this.
    I’ve been in a very similar situation with my pooch, Sassy, who passed with a very scary seizure on her way out. I keep reminding myself (even now, over 5 years later) that she lived the fullest and happiest life. I can tell by how much you and your honey love LeRoy that he’s lucky & has been blessed with a wonderful family and lots of love. It certainly won’t change the heartbreak, but even if his eyes are vacant, I promise you, his heart is full with just knowing you.
    xo,
    Maiah

  • Allison

    January 22, 2014 | Reply

    This exact thing happened to my husband and I five years ago and it still feels like yesterday. Our 7 year old dog starting having seizures that we believe were caused by a brain tumor. I never thought we could make the decision to put him down but when it became clear he was in constant pain or confusion we made the most difficult decision of our lives. We were there with him (another thing I thought I could not do) and knew we made the right decision however tough it was. You have to make the right decision for you and just treasure every moment while you have it. Sending warm thoughts your way.

  • Malinda Lloyd

    January 22, 2014 | Reply

    Five years later and I still grieve for my german shepherd of 12 years. My heart breaks for you and your family, this is such a difficult time.

  • Reiko (GFS)

    January 23, 2014 | Reply

    So sorry to hear how about your sweet pup’s declining health.

  • Tiffany

    January 23, 2014 | Reply

    My heart goes out to you and your husband. I know how attached and in love I am with my pup and how she’s like my little child and from your posts about your pups I know you feel the same way with yours. What you are going through is something I fear most with mine and is not something I wish on my worst enemy. The decision you have to make is hard and painful and my thoughts are with you both.
    beijos,
    Tiffany

  • Kat

    January 23, 2014 | Reply

    This is so so sad Maegan! Poor little guy. He’s so lucky to have you guys as his family to spend his last days with. I’m sorry!

  • AJ Rogers

    January 24, 2014 | Reply

    Much love to you and yours…

  • Amanda

    January 24, 2014 | Reply

    Sorry to hear about your dog! He seems like such a sweetie! Here’s a random thought: maybe use cannabis essential oil on him? Or other essential oils that may help? I’ve been reading a lot about the cannabis oil lately, seems like it’s supposed to cure or help a lot of things in humans, and from having animals, a lot of the alternative “medicines”/ remedies seem to cross over well. (I’ve wanted to get some and see if it helps my ADHD, but I don’t live in a state where it can be bought) I’m no vet, it’s just a thought. Good luck!

  • tamara

    January 25, 2014 | Reply

    Oh Maegan I’m sitting here with tears pouring down my eyes. What a decision to have to make. Whatever you do will be the right thing for you and your pug. You’ll know when he’s not happy and not really living. Doesn’t make it easier though. I’ve got a little 14 month old pup, and already can’t imagine life without her. Sending thoughts and prayers for little LeRoy.

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