Skip to comments.Will Obamacare Give You the Same Dignity I Give My Dog?
Posted on 09/22/2013 6:50:58 AM PDT by Kaslin
I have a 16 year old shepherd/lab mix named Mocha. Yes, you read that right; shes 16. Almost unheard of in a dog her size.
Im certain of her age because I adopted her over 15 years ago, when she was estimated to be ten months old.
Yes, I know shes in the final stages of her life. She has months at most, and possibly weeks, to live. Her long life is due largely to the cushy life shes had. Always an indoor dog, and given lots of love and exercise.
Over the last couple of years, as Mocha has aged, Ive done all kinds of things to make her life more pleasant: Ive given her Rimadyl twice a day, had a small tumor removed near her rectum that was giving her trouble, and installed a rubber bar mat in my shower so she could stand safely and comfortably while I cleaned her up after a leak.
(I tried doggie diapers, but they are difficult to put on, and you havent truly lived until youve come home to a doggie diaper blowout).
Shes very creaky, but still very alert and happy, wagging when I come home, going up and down stairs, and begging like a pro. Shes deaf, but apparently the nose is the last thing to go. But shes not productive anymore, in the eyes of some. She cant even go hiking anymore, and she can no longer hear, much less threaten, an intruder. What good is she, they might ask?
I feed her anything she wants, if shell eat it. Because of her old teeth, she has gotten expensive canned food for several years, while my other four dogs eat dry. They dont understand the unfairness, but if Mommy doesnt want to become homeless, they cant ALL eat canned food!
I have put waterproof plastic sheets and blankets everywhere she sleeps, because she leaks a bit sometimes. I have to wash some of them daily. If shes sleeping too long in one room, I go and check on her.
I know she wont live forever, but in the meantime, Im doing everything I can to make whats left of her life as pleasant as possible. When the day and time comes, and I feel shes suffering, I WILL do the right thing for her. But that day is not today.
I am CHOOSING to care for Mocha in this way, because I love her, and because you dont put a dog down just because their aging is inconvenient. Im glad I have the CHOICE to alleviate her pain, rearrange my house, and feed her anything she wants.
All this got me thinking; will Obamacare do as much for us as we do for our dogs? Will we be allowed to do for our parents, or allow others to do for us, what we can now do for our dogs?
Obamacare will have a Independent Payment Advisory Board (IBAP), that will make decisions on how to cut costs. Supporters swear its not rationing, but what else could it be? You can only control costs by limiting expenditures and ultimately, care.
What if, under Obamacare, we cant have access to pain meds for our parents like we can for our dogs? Some might resort to using veterinary pain meds for their families. After all, under Obamacare, access will have to be limited, because theres not enough money to go around, and people who dont love will consider you inconvenient and no longer productive, and therefore not worth wasting money on.
Some pet owners would have put my dog Mocha down at the first leak, because they dont want to deal with that. What would the IBAP say about the money I spend on Rimadyl, or the GALLONS of Natures Miracle I clean my carpet with, or special food I give her? Shes 100 years old, in dog years. Shes lived a good life, and I have other dogs, so why bother?
Fortunately the government has no say in my dogs life, but wait until your parents get beyond the age of productivity. If Obamacare isnt stopped, veterinary care, primarily purchased directly by owners, may be the best healthcare this nation has to offer.
My labs lived to be about the same age I figured it was do them being outdoor hunting dogs and lived like dogs are suppose not like humans.
Our 15 year old ACD/Border Collie mix is in better shape. On the very rare occasions that he leaks, he does it in the kitchen so it’s easier for us to clean up. He’s selectively deaf and a little blind. He’s quite happy. Occasionally when he over does it he gets a little stiff and I give him a baby aspirin. He walks two miles a day for exercise but that’s it. Don’t ask for anything more. He used to be able to chase Frisbees for up to three hours. On camping trips we would have to do it in shifts and then he would go to the neighbors for them to throw it. No more but that’s okay. He’s probably the smartest dog I’ve ever known. He not only knows words, he understands whole sentences. Once I told him to go apologize to someone, and he did. I still haven’t figured that out. We didn’t even know the person so it wasn’t a name thing.
Actually, no it won’t. Many family members see the cheapest way out possible for aged relatives’ healthcare. Medicare - Medicaid are the answer for many, even when the patient has some assets; and the family members scheme to transfer and hide the assets for themselves after the patient has expired, leaving the taxpayer to foot the bill.
Your old dog sounds wonderful! I have a couple of pretty smart dogs too but one of them is telepathic, she can actually read my mind.
your Border Collie sounds a lot like our late Spencer, also a Border Collie... smartest dog ever!!! :)
Last week I said goodbye to my 15 yo dachshund. It has been a very difficult week. My husband and I have been de-Maxing our house of all the things we put in place to make life easier and safer for him. Every item is breaking my heart, the baby gate so he couldn’t fall down the stairs, the bed guard so he couldn’t fall out of bed, the rug with a grab backing so when he ate his legs wouldn’t slip. The soft cushy blanket in the sun. The meds, the IV fluid bags. The special foods. With every item there are tears but there is also the knowledge that we gave his life value and did all we could to make him happy and comfortable in his final year or so. Max gave it his all, trying every day, as did we and we learned from him. I can’t imagine doing anything less, for him or a beloved human. Your post is a gloomy reminder that our government will take away what each of us need, the nurturing and love we can give at the end to those we love.
There are a lot of laws on the books to prevent - or limit hiding assets.
Most of my elderly relatives that went into rest homes were able to pay for their care by way of SS and retirement income with some taken from what they had saved over the years. When they passed there was very little to pass on.
The others with little income or savings quickly exhausted everything and were as poor as a church mouse when they died.
Nobody in my extended family is rich - just middle class.
And I never meant to imply people like you or your family wasn’t able. But that does not mean there aren’t many who do go to extraordinary lengths to get buy those laws.
No one in my family ever did it either. But I know plenty who have.
Our dog of 15 years passed away this past Monday. We had to the same and did so because we love him. It's been a rough week...
We’re on our third dachshund. They have such a wonderful spirit. The one we have now, Biscuit aka Bisquick aka Bisketootles, aka Mr. Wiggles Therapy Dog!!!! In some ways he’s the best although our first one, Thunder was legend.
The laws mostly deal with property and savings in the - IIRC -5 years prior to being moved into a care facility.
My M-I-L is fixing to hit that line. She lives close and has Insurance for in home care during the day and we will try and keep her in her home for as long as possible but....
Once she goes in all her monthly income will go to the monthly bill - any extra will come from her CDs we will have to cash and put in account to draw on.
Once that’s gone the house is sold........
We try (tried) to keep an old dog and a young dog.
When the old dog passed or was put to sleep somehow a puppy would find it’s way into the house and become the new “young dog”.
Worked well as the new “old dog” would show the young one the ropes.
The system worked well for 25 years but now we have one old dog and three between 1 and 4.
Max was our third red. Thirty years of pure fun, love and joy.
My Condolences. any one that has ever loved a dog will understand this.
No doubt that our “young” dog, now about 9, learned a lot from our old dog. One of our favorite commands is the word “out.” When told this command, the dogs leave the room. They usually sit just outside gazing longingly at us. If even one of the people in the room relents and looks their way, they come piling back in. Anther one is “load up.” It is usually used to get them from the house into the van without a leash but occasionally if one of them is heading for a squirrel right in front of a car, the command stops him in his tracks and he looks around for something to load up into.
I had a cat, Tiger, my first pet, who would come to me every time I thought about her.
It was uncanny.
She died peacefully in my arms, staring at me, when she was 19-1/2.
Dear rochester_veteran, I am sending you (((HUGS))) across the way, and my prayers to our Lord for your comfort and that of your family. May God bless.