Monday, September 19, 2011

Rest in Peace, Nala

This is the post that we have been dreading for a long time.    Nala was unable to get up and make her rear legs work Sunday morning.   When we got up, Nala was in the process of dragging herself in the dog door from the back yard, using her front legs and dragging her rear legs.   She had pulled herself in to the garage and across the garage floor, but she had not been able to pull herself up the ramp into the house.  The Paw Challenged One picked her up and carried her to her bed in the front entry.  He had come downstairs without his shirt or shoes, he ran back up to get them, by the time he came back down Nala had managed to pull herself into the Kitchen to check on progress with her food bowl.   Somehow in a sitting position pulled herself down the hall.  We called the vet and ran her across town.   A quick review was that she was not in pain, her legs just would not respond.   There was some neurological damage and the question was if it was permanent or reversible?  We had to leave her there for observation. 

Today Nala's condition had deteriorated.  On Sunday morning she could get herself up on her front legs and drag herself, now she would fall over and she could not make her front legs work either.  Her eyes were rolling, she was breathing hard and heavy, she seemed to have lost control of her nervous system. Her vision had deteriorated recently.   There was some suspicion that she had a brain tumor, that would account for her recent vision deterioration.   There may have been a stroke as well.   Yes, they could keep her alive and perhaps she would leave the vet's cage after a few days.  But in the short term she would have no unassisted mobility, in the long term she would have to receive help to go in and out. 
We remember how upset Nala would be if we closed the dog door and she could not come and go on her whim.   We remember how we would wake up in the middle of the night and see the motion detector lights on in the back yard, Nala was making her midnight or 2:00 am rounds. 

She had been very upset with us when we went to the annual picnic at the lake without her.  But she was having trouble getting up and down, once she was up, she stayed up, once she was down, she stayed down.   If a dog brushed her in the hallway, she would fall and getting up was getting increasingly difficult.  We knew she would love the picnic, but we were afraid she would hurt herself by not setting limits.   She would be walking the shore, trying to be part of the action, but she did not have that level of energy or of function in her hips.   We knew she was failing, so we left her home, she was mad at us for not letting her go along.    We made sure she had extra treats when we came home that night.

Today, the decision had to be made whether to try and keep her alive, knowing that she would lose most of her mobility in both the short run and in the long run.    We thought about how active she had been, in spite of her hips that were so sore that she drug them, even when they worked to stay under her.  We remember how she would come looking for head pats and ear rubs in the middle of the day.  We remember how excited she would be when she saw her food dish in hand, she had a special dance she did to hurry it along.   We remember how she would begin nagging us if supper was late, she would begin going from her empty food dish to where we were sitting, reminding us we had duties to take care of at 6:30 am and pm.  We remember how each trip up the ramp was a struggle, she pulled herself up with her front legs, her rear legs reluctantly coming along.  Her front legs had grown stronger as her rear legs became more unwilling to cooperate.  How would she feel about living a life where we had to put a vest on her to pick her up every time she wanted to go outside?   We had to ask ourselves if not being able to leave the dog bed without help was really a life?   Would she enjoy living if she had to have her dog dish brought to her, if she had to be half carried out the door to her cherished backyard?  Would she enjoy living if she could no longer sneak out and lie in morning sun in the big hole she had dug under the pine tree?

We hope we made the right decision, it is a decision that does not carry re-do's.   No second chance on this one.   We weighed her life as it would be if we kept her, against the life she had told us she wanted to live.  We sent her on her way with dignity, we sent her to run free. 

Thank you to Golden Retriever Rescue of the Rockies for taking her out of a back yard where she spent 365 days of a year in a lonely yard, in sun, rain and snow.  Thank you to Golden Retriever Rescue of the Rockies for sending her to us to enjoy for her last years. 

We will all miss you so much, Nala. You were a special lady to us for a long time. Thank you for coming to our house to live.  We were blessed and privileged to be able to help her find happiness in her final years.  Rest in peace, Nala.

Mogley G. Retriever 


  1. I am so sad to hear that Nala passed. She was such a sweet little lady, and she had the kindest face. It is hard saying goodbye to them but Nala was a lucky girl, in the end. She got to spend the rest of her life with you, and there was no better place in all the world. She went to the Bridge knowing she was loved and cherished.

    My sympathies. She will be missed.

    Colleen, Riley and River

  2. Dearest Nala, you were always special in mommie's heart and ours. We will miss you! We are so glad you were in a loving and caring home, with a dog door, at the end of your long journey.

    Thank you to everyone that was involved in Nala's rescue and loving care. She deserved it.

    Lady(senior), Sandy Paws and Oliver.

  3. Oh sweet Nala...What a horrible decision to have to make. You were wonderful to her and filled her last days here with love. I'm sure she loved and appreciated you in kind.
    Thank you for sharing her story and being a loving golden retriever and "paw challenged" foster family.

  4. Oh Nala; you are now where you can use your legs and patrol freely. You will be terribly missed here on Earth, but we are so glad you had learned what it meant to be cherished. We were blessed to know you.

    My heart and thoughts are with Mogley and his family.

  5. Don't second guess your decision for one minute -

    You did the right thing - and Nala crossed The Rainbow Bridge knowing it -

    We know she's already surrounded by a gaggle of other Goldens - and a pack of curious Sibes!

    We'll light a candle for her tonight -

    I know Khyra's Khousins Sierra and Lexie along with The Luke, Kona, Maxdog, Spencer, and many other GR's are sharing their tennis balls and other toys!

    Khyra's SeKHretary Phyll

  6. You certainly made the right decision and did what Nala would have wanted. Many of us have had to make such a difficult decision. It takes courage to give your friend some dignity and respect. Godspeed, dear Nala.

  7. Oh Mogley, (and family) - reading about Nala made me so sad. I really liked Nala. I want to thank you for showing her such generosity, patience, love and courage. I will be giving Star some extra lovin' tonight in her memory....

  8. RIP sweet Nala. Thank you for giving this wonderful girl the life she deserved and so dearly loved in her senior years.

  9. We love you guys. Thank you for being you, for sharing your loving home with these precious dogs and letting them know what family means.

  10. Nala was blessed to spend her "golden" years with you. You made a courageous choice. Run Free, beautiful girl!

  11. Thank you for sharing Nala with all of us.

  12. So sorry for your loss. Nala was so lucky to have been able to spend her final years in such a loving household.
    Decisions for our pets are never easy, but we try and make the best one we can with love in our hearts.
    Godspeed Nala

  13. Hi Y'all,

    My poor ol' sentimental Human as dissolved in tears. Me? I'm glad Nala had you, Mogley. I'm glad she had the paw challenged ones to wait on her every whim. I'm glad she finally knew what it was like to have a real home and be cared for.

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  14. Mogley,

    The decision that you made is the most difficult nut the most unselfish.Nala would not have been happy with no quality of life.
    God Speed Nala, you are running free across the green meadows at the Rainbow Bridge, strong healthy & young once again.
    Mogley, thank you paw challenged ones for all they do for Rescue, we love you all, and thank you for sharing Nala with all of us.

    Sheila & Bob

    Hamish & Sophie

  15. Nala, I know what you would tell them, you'd tell them over and over again, that they made the best decision for Nala, and for your loving family. We will all miss you Nala, but I am so happy your final years were spent with the most loving family. Have fun at the Bridge!


  16. Godspeed, dear Nala. You taught us about gtouwing old and keeping grace and dignity and youth all at the same time. We will miss you so, but send you to the Big Green Field well deserving. Look for us there, dear Nala.

    Riley Rex & Peeps

  17. Dear Friends,
    You did such great things with Nala - we always loved seeing her at the GRRR events and the care you gave her as she spent her final months and days in your home. Thank you for allowing all of us to share her.
    Run Free at the Rainbow Bridge Nala - it must feel great to be pain free and to see with such clarity all the love and joy around you.
    Hugs and Tummy Rubs.
    The Conifer Crew
    Valerie, Greg, Charm, Romeo and Baby Astro

  18. I re-read your original posts on Nala from last summer. I so enjoyed reading about her since then and so grateful there are homes like yours that can give an aging, neglected dog a wonderful life. That is the great thing about dogs, how they live in the present and are able to forgive/forget the past. You gave her a loving home and a dignified death and to all of us, a chance to share in both.

  19. Your decision was made with a heart so full of love that my eyes are brimming with tears. You gave Nala years of love, fun, and dignity after her previous humans neglected her. She thanked you a million times over with her devotion, happiness, and love. She's running free now. I send you my heartfelt condolences for I have had to make the same decision in the past, and it is never easy. May your sweet Nala rest in peace.

  20. I'm late getting here, but am reading your post with a broken but grateful heart for both of our girls that we have both just lost who found their way to rescue and to people who truly loved and cared for them. Thank-you for opening your heart and home to this special girl!

  21. Our deepest condolences to you. Letting go of those we love is the hardest decision but by Relieving Nala of pain and suffering you have given her the greatest act of love. Take comfort in all the wonderful times she had with you and the happiness you gave her.


  22. We are so sorry. Our hearts are with you.


  23. We're so sorry to read this. But thank you for giving her a good home, and a life with dignity.

    -Fiona and Family

  24. When you say you are sorry the words are so inadequate. She is with the angels now and waits for you in the Heavens. It is never good-bye. It is always, see you later.