We do our best to keep our dogs healthy as possible to the end.
So the end is nearing. It is not an easy time, but I think it is still important to talk about it. How to handle it, what to do, what is right or wrong.
I can't tell you the answers but can share our thoughts. We do our best to let them live their lives out as long as possible. We let them go through the process of getting old with all the aches and pains that go along with it as it is just part of life. We try not to "drug" them for the purpose of keeping them going or keeping them alive. We don't push them to live longer even if it is a few months. I just don't believe in that. We will give them something to help on the bad days. We will give them extra bedding. We will allow them extra time and allow their days to be slower. We adjust life to fit their needs. We show them great respect. We do what we can to keep them safe. We don't allow others to play hard or jump around them and don't put them in a situation where they could get hurt or fall. We spend more time just sitting with them and allowing them to do their own thing in the yard, their space where they are most comfortable.
Dogs can get dementia. It is not always obvious. So keep this in mind they may have times where they are confused. Be patient. Keep them in familiar areas. Don't rush them.
When they get to the point they slow down on their eating, this can be a sign they are getting close. Some will try to wander off. Watch for signs of dementia. Some signs will be staring into a corner or space. Or they have a blank look about them. Or looking confused. Soiling themselves or going while walking.
When we feel they are at the end, we will help them cross over. The reason I do this, is I don't ever want them to pass away alone. I want to make sure I am there for them to the very end. Most of them, I watched take their first breath and I want to be there to comfort them for the last.
Sometimes life happens and this choice is taken away from us but, when possible, we do our best to make the process as peaceful and comfort as possible.
When possible, we take them for one last short hike.
There is no right or wrong way to handle it. But I don't agree with prolonging time with painful treatments or drugging them just to prolong what is natural and nature. This is not doing the dog any favors.
When there is a disease involved, I think the same. If the dog has lived a good long respectable life. I believe in letting them live it out without being put through endless treatments and drugs. I don't feel that it is necessary to do everything to keep them alive as long as possible. I think it is better to respect their life and keep them feeling good as long as possible to the end. I don't think putting them through endless medical treatments is a way to live the last months of life.
I think the best thing we can do for an elderly dog is simply show them great love and respect and just be there for them.
She is the first malamute to have cancer. For her first 10 yrs, Chenoa enjoyed a wonderful life of hiking and backpacking the Colorado Rockies. She also loved her pack and was an amazing mom. She gave the best hugs.
Daughter of Nakota and Colt
Ruger lived an amazing life of hiking, backpacking, chasing the girls, and being the best dog I have ever known. Ruger didn't stop there, he also acted as a service dog, he did a little therapy for wounded warriors, and parades, was a successful competitive weight puller for AMCA and IWPA. And he enjoyed pulling a sled.
Son of Aspen and Nador
Ruger lived a long full life until the end with no health issues.
Tonka was one of our first pups. He was born in Michigan. The first son of Aspen.
Tonka loved hiking and backpacking and pulling a kids type sled for fun. But he didn't like vehicles. He drooled buckets in any vehicle.
Son of Aspen
Tonka lived a long full life to the end with no health issues.
Nador was da man! He was our famous people greeter. Loved by everyone because he insisted. He was one heck of a hiker and backpacker. He was an amazing competitive weight puller for AMCA and IWPA. He placed 3rd in the IWPA International Championship in 2015. He also bikejored and ran sled either single or double. He was incredibly smart and protective. Nador was also very good at snatching food when no one was looking!
Nador lived a long full life to the end with no health issues.
Nakota was littermate to Ruger. Daughter of Aspen and Nador. She was a large 130 lb female.
She loved hiking and hanging out at the lake. Colt was the absolute love of her life. She loved to hang out with her pack and was very bonded with her mom Aspen. She was a dedicated mom and was one to really enjoy her babies. She was mom to Chenoa, Nanook and Rya ( my son's girl )
Her passing is unclear. She quietly passed in the night with no noticeable issues.
Aspen was so special. Truly amazing. She was also very much a typical malamute, total brat, very stubborn. She could eat a whole loaf of bread before you could notice it was gone. She loved her pack, she loved going everywhere, she loved hiking and backpacking. She loved being the queen and was no doubt the pack leader. She kept all the dogs in order. Loved raising puppies and did a great job. When she was too old for pups, she helped raise all the grand kids.
She was also our people greeter and loved by everyone.
She lived a full life of adventure to the end with no health issues.
Akyla was super special to us. She came from North Pole, Alaska and had very special blood lines.
It took great planning and cost to get her to Colorado, but we did it. She was well worth it.
Akyla was a fun girl that loved cuddles or insisted. She loved to run. She loved adventure and was getting pretty good at 4 wheeling and being off leash. She blessed us with one litter ( Trigger's mom ).
We suddenly lost her when the pups where 5 wks old. She had twisted lower intestines.
A day I will never forget.
Snow Pack basically started with Aspen and Nador in 2008.
Before 2008, I lived in Michigan.
Other malamutes in Michigan where Chloe, Harley, Riley and Lexi.
When I moved from Michigan to Colorado, some malamutes stayed in Michigan with my daughter.
Aspen, Tonka and Lexi came with me.
Sakari was born and raised here at Snow Pack.
She was Ruger's daughter, Aspen's granddaughter. She was best friend to our son, Kurtis.
Sakari was an all around malamute. She lived an amazing life to the very fullest. She didn't just hike, she hiked many 14's, she camped, backpacked and she ran sled with Nador. She loved digging in the mud along the creek beds. She loved chasing Kurtis on his snowboard down the hills in the deep snow. She was always eager to go.