I love and miss him dearly.
Here is what I wrote last year about him in support group for dogs with DM.
Last year my Irish Wolfhound, Wallace was diagnosed with Degenerative Myelopathy or DM as it is commonly referred as. Initially it was difficult to hear but I grudgingly accepted it. Part of me was relieved that it wasn't Osteosarcoma like my previous Wolfe Nelly developed since that was very devastating to her body. I figured Wallace could still live a healthy life despite the mobility in his legs when they stopped functioning properly. I didn't truly understand the progressive nature of this disease. I thought he would only develop paralysis in his hind legs. I took him back to see the Vet in August shortly after his 10th birthday since he developed more symptoms. The Vet said he was surprised Wallace has lived this long with DM which really shocked me.
The DM has spread to his larynx and esophagus. Now he throws up most of what he eats despite his healthy appetite and the amount of food he consumes. Over the course of a year Wallace went from weighing 160lbs (which is was already lean for a dog his height; 36" tall from shoulders) to 125lbs now. He can’t bark anymore although he rarely barked anyway. When he tries it sounds like a bird chirping. Also he has difficulty in breathing in which some of that could be because of his Atrial Fibrillation. Despite his physical malfunctions, mentally he is very alert and happy. He tries to run outside with my mom’s pugs when they start barking at the neighbors. Of course he falls and stumbles as his hind legs are very weak. You can see the look in Wallace’s eyes that he is confused by what is happening to him.
I decided that next week I am going to take Wallace to the park which is his favorite place to explore one last time before going to the Vet to put him to sleep. I feel very conflicted about this decision. Part of me understands that he doesn't have much longer for a quality life and that this needs to be done sooner than later. The other side of me sees that his personality that has not deteriorated. He is happy and full of the normal curiosity that a dog possess. He still waits for me at the door when I come home from work. I want him around longer for my own selfish reasons, that he makes me happy and that I love him.
I struggle with this decision more than have with any other dog I owned.
Thank you for letting me get this out of my head.