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.
That is amazing.
One of my dogs who was dying of liver failure, waited until I came home from a trip and died 30 minutes later laying in my lap. The vet couldn’t believe she had lived so long but I know she just wanted to see me one more time.
“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.”
We had a German Shorthair Pointer, who lived to the same general age.
Fortunately, we lived in an area where her ancestors were still alive and being bred when we got her.
We got to know the owners of her parents, grandparents and back to great/great grandparents.
Their advice was simple. These are hunting dogs not children. Don’t spoil them. Keep them outside in good ry/warm dog houses with clean hay to keep them warm.
Exercise them 2x daily, an once a week take them hunting or let them run beside your truck for a few miles*. Feed them a good balanced dog food, a few scraps from our table and buy them big bones to chew on to keep their teeth clean. They told us to add a half can of alpo to her dry food each day.
For some reason, she loved vegetables and fruit. I would buy a couple of cabbage heads and throw a half one by her house each day. My wife planted a couple of miniature cherry tomatoes by her dog house for her to snack on. The tomatoes became self planting after a couple of years and even continued for a few years after she was gone. We enjoyed them and named them after her.
She had healthy DNA, got her exercise, *including her weekly run to trim her toe nails and to keep her cardio/muscular system in shape. Besides her shots she had to go to the Vet 3 times. 2X’s because she tangled with porcupines and once when she missed judged the height of a chain link fence and ended up with a large number of stiches in her under belly.
Her vet said by keeping her outside and not treating her like a human, we added about 7+ years to her life and saved thousand of $’s in Vet bills.
Yes, I remember sending to you my condolences. It does help to keep busy, as you are doing. When I was very young, I had a terrible fear of dogs. Mom and Dad got us a dachshund. We named him “Dutch”. It took only a few hours for me to fall in love with that sweet little puppy, and I partially owe my love of all dogs to him. You and your family are still in my notebook, but then, I never take anyone out. :-) May God bless and keep you all and Max.
TOL, you have the finest recollections and write about them so well. I never tire of reading about your relationships with your fur family. :-)
LOL! I know that look!
Very good advice, Grampa Dave. Thanks for sharing it.
And I didn’t even mention that her ghost followed us to our next two houses.
We could tell it was her ghost because of her unusual gait when she was walking up- or downstairs.
She finally abandoned us when we moved to Ohio from California. I hope she haunted Jerry Brown. [smiles]
Not all vets would agree with your vets advice. My vet takes his dog to work with him at his clinic everyday and she sleeps in his bed with him and his wife at night. She is 12 years old and has the energy of a puppy.
Yes, Obamacare will make sure that if you get real sick and you’re old, you will be put down in a humane manner.
Meanwhile, just take a pain pill.
How touching. There are tales of animals hanging on to see their loved ones just once more before they pass. [coughblurryscreencough]
If the DEA will let your doctor prescribe it......
There is no question that they can read our minds.
The link of mutual love is that strong.
Bless her heart, she had work to do! She’ll, no doubt, join up with y’all, later. ;-)
Losing beloved pets can be devastating.
I miss my two girls and my little guy more than ever.
Awww.. so precious. Look at that sweet, old face with his greying muzzle, having his picture taken by mama, no doubt. Just lost my heart. You don’t have to explain anything to me, R_V. We’ve been down that road many times.
I think she may have gone on to the Rainbow Bridge, where her life-long companion went 4-1/2 years before she passed.
We’re more likely to join up with them and the others.
We took in a few hopelessly ill strays*, and they were all very grateful for the love, care, and our attempts to save them, but we did not always succeed. I expect that we will see them all again.
RIP Muffin (renal), Tiger (age), *Baby (cancer), Slinker (lymphoma), *Katy (FELV), *Little Bit (FELV), and my Rocket (renal).
Let’s get to the point of this thread.
‘If Obamacare isnt stopped, veterinary care, primarily purchased directly by owners, may be the best healthcare this nation has to offer.’
Indeed, it’s already that way in Canada.
I think it was Stossel, or maybe even Beck, who pointed out on a show once that it’s far easier to get any of your pets in for a CAT scan. Because free-market forces allow the vets to have many CAT machines, while humans have only 7 in the whole country. Ridiculous!
Our beloved dog was an orphan. Some cruel person abandoned a mother dog and her pups by the main road up the way from us. One of our neighbor's was driving being a guy and the mother and pups ran out in front of his pickup truck and he kept going. My neighbor gathered up the mother dog and pups and took them to the vet. The mother and one of the brothers had to be put to sleep as their injuries from being hit were grave. There were 3 pups who survived.
Later that day when I came home from work, I noticed a lot the neighborhood kids and adults coming in an out of our place. Something was up. When I went through the front door, I was greeted by our kids, pleading with me, "can we keep him?". Of course I said the obligatory, "absolutely not!" and he was our buddy for the next 15 years! He was only about 6 weeks old.
Here's a photo of K-ci when he was doing well:
His mother was a beagle and the vet who first treated him thought his father may have been long-haired dachshund. He resembled a golden except he had a long body and short legs. He was such a good boy and everyone loved him.
It seems that both you and K-ci were very lucky that day.
He looks so happy and loving.
What a sweetheart.
They give us so much and ask for so little.
Awww! My old Lab (grey Lab, now) will be 16 in another month. Great family dog, took him all over the country with us.
My 7 yo BC is also selectively deaf. I wonder if it is a breed trait?
But their visual acuity is amazing.
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