The Era of Quinn

We said goodbye to Quinn the corgi yesterday. The writing has been on the wall for him for a while, so there was nothing sudden or shocking about it, which honestly made it one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. When Quinn was diagnosed with DM a couple years ago we promised ourselves that we’d let him go if/when his quality of life diminished too much, or if/when he started to lose the control of his front end or bladder. And well… we kinda hit all three of those milestones at once.

have to throw a few of my favorite pics of him in here

DM is tough, because they aren’t really in any pain. And for a smaller dog like Quinn, who is extremely lazy and very content to lay around the house most of the time, it didn’t affect his quality of life too much for quite a while. His hind end was first to go – one foot followed quickly by the other. We got him a wheelchair and while he never really took to using it, it did help him toddle around a little bit when he felt so inclined. DM of course is progressive, and over time his paralysis has inched it’s way forward. The past few months he really hasn’t been strong enough to hold up his front end in the wheelchair anymore, nor more recently could he push his upper body up on his own anymore. He could scoot from side to side, but not lift himself any. A couple weeks ago he scooted his front end off of his bed in the middle of the night and was just kind of hanging his front end off sideways, all twisted up and contorted, looking at me for help as soon as I got up in the morning. Who knows how long he’d been stuck like that but he was pretty stiff. My heart just sank.

Coincidentally that was right around the time he started not being able to hold his bladder anymore. Sometimes he could, sometimes he couldn’t, but he started dribbling a lot pretty much all the time and keeping him/his bedding clean became a full time job. We moved into the diaper stage last week, and I had to start wrapping my head around the fact that it was time. He wasn’t going to get any better, he was only going to get worse. It was really hard to think of it being the end though, when a dog is otherwise happy to see you and wagging his nub and begging for treats and all that stuff. He wasn’t in pain, but he clearly wasn’t living a happy dog life anymore either, and I was worried that there would be more incidents of him getting stuck, or he’d end up with some kind of infection or sores from trying to keep him clean and dry all the time. Trying to judge quality of life is tricky, and not something I would wish on anyone, even though pretty much all pet owners have to face it at some point. I have always said though that I would rather let him go a week too early than a week too late. There comes a point when you’re keeping them alive more for your benefit than theirs, and I think we were at that point.

We made an appointment to have him euthanized at home, to avoid the stress of the vet clinic. He spent the morning eating all sorts of terrible food that he normally can’t have, and then we said our goodbyes. We’re having him cremated, and we’ll spread his ashes out at the barn. He did love wandering around through the fields, back when he still could.

While we didn’t have Quinn for a super long time – we adopted him 6 years ago as a “senior” special needs corgi from a rescue up in north Texas – we loved him a lot all the same. He was part of the family, and quite possibly the cutest little miniature grizzly bear I’ve ever met. We never did succeed in training him even a tiny bit (he was totally uninterested in our opinion) but he was a funny, sweet dog in his own way and he fulfilled my dream of having a corgi. I will greatly miss his fluffy little stumpers, and I hope he enjoyed his time with us as much as we enjoyed our time with him.

21 thoughts on “The Era of Quinn

  1. I agree that making those decision about quality of life and when to euthanize are definitely some of the toughest choices of life when it comes to our animals. Really hard to process. Nonetheless, I can tell Quinn was one fortunate dog, being adopted as a senior with special needs and spending the rest of his life enjoying all the good things you had to offer including a well-thought out last day. That photo of him looking happy while floating in the pool says it all.


  2. It’s the hardest decision to make and we’re never ready to make it. He had the best life with you, and I’m glad you had each other these last six years. Condolences to you all. ❤


  3. So sorry to hear that about Quinn, he was such a cutie! And the luckiest dog ever to softly land with y’all for his remaining days. I know the heartbreak of having to let them go when they are ready, not necessarily when you are. I had to make the same decision a couple of weeks ago for my mare. There’s some small comfort in knowing that you did the right thing, even if it does hurt. My thoughts are with you.


  4. I am so sorry. It is gut wrenching to let them go. He was adorable and very lucky to have all the TLC you bestowed on him. 💞


  5. I still remember Quinn when I visited Austin a few days back. He was an opinionated entitled little cuss but so smart and cute! So glad you all adopted him (or he adopted you)! He had a great few years with you!! Sorry to you both on his loss!


  6. Having dealt with DM in my Shepherd X, I can totally empathize with you on trying to balance the deterioration the disease causes with their quality of life. Unfortunately, with my Shepherd, his progressed rather quickly and with him being a larger dog (75+ lbs) it was very hard to maneuver him when his balance suffered. He thankfully enjoyed his wheelchair, but it was too large to be used in the house. We only do the best we can do for our pets, and at the same time, we have to account for their personalities. Ty (my dog), was a proud dog. He hated being fussed over and you could see the dignity leave him every time we helped steady him when he wobbled. It was so hard, because I know he had “more time” left, but at the same time… would it be fair?

    My heart hurts for you – DM is a cruel disease. I am glad that Quinn landed in your lives and he was able to enjoy some very blissful and wonderful senior years with you – he certainly hit the lottery ❤

    Sending you the gentlest hugs. Rest Easy, Quinn.


  7. We never have enough time 💔 I’m sorry for your loss but so grateful he spent 6 wonderful years with people who took the best care possible, even when it came down to making that impossible decision 😭 internet hugs.


  8. So sorry for the loss, but glad that Quinn got the quick & easy ticket, once it was time. Quinn did have years of quality of life he enjoyed with you & your SO. Kudos to you both for stepping up for him. Quinn sounds like a basically clear-visioned soul who enjoyed both of you as much as you did him.

    A vet once told me that the question he asks is “does this dog enjoy being a dog?”. Sometimes the downgrade is so gradual that it’s hard to see, until comparing what they do every day with what other dogs do every day. Or with how the dog lived at an earlier, healthier time. [change out species as appropriate] It’s hard to make the call, and it’s an individual thing for sure.


  9. So sorry for your loss. His last years were full of love and compassion. What a blessing he was to you and you to him.


  10. My heart goes out to you. Your post is very timely for me. Just this am I asked myself if I should say goodbye to one of my very old geldings. He still nickers at me in the am when I bring him his breakfast, but the rest of the day seems to drag for him. I am looking everyday for that signal that you finally saw in Quinn that told you it was time to say goodbye. I love that you were able to put him to sleep at your home. What a gift to love them to the very end…


  11. They say when you adopt a dog you get so many good days and one terrible day. I’m so sorry the bad day came for you, but so glad you and Quinn had so many good days together first.


  12. I’m so, so sorry. It’s never easy to let them go. Quinn had such a lovely, happy few years with you guys! I hope you can find comfort in knowing you did right by him the whole way through.


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