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YES, Your Dog CAN Have a Great Quality of Life!

Often, the question of quality of life comes up when a dog is diagnosed with IVDD.  Are you struggling with that question right now?  

Let us put your mind at ease, because your dog CAN have a great quality of life living with IVDD -- no matter whether the dog regains the ability to walk or not. 
Quality of life is totally a matter of perspective.  There is our human perspective; and then, there is the dog’s perspective – and they are as different as night and day.  Our perspective is relatively complicated.  By comparison, a dog’s perspective is surprisingly simple. A good quality of life for our dogs is:
  1. Food and treats. 
  2. Safe, comfy place to sleep preferably with some blankets.
  3. A family’s love. 

It’s that simple.  Believe it or not, how your dog gets from point A to point B isn’t a big deal and doesn’t factor into what makes him or her happy.  Wobbly walking is fine; scooting is good; wheels are great!

No matter what level of ability your dog achieves after recovery, your dog will be happy and loving life as long as those three basic, but very simple, requirements of food, a safe, comfy place to sleep with blankets, and a family’s love are met.  The real goal is being pain free.  As long as your dog is pain free, he or she will move forward confidently and courageously never looking back, never having regrets, never questioning “why.”  Dogs live in the “now.”  They don’t worry about what happened yesterday or what tomorrow may bring.
Dogs don’t know pity.  They don’t know “can’t.”  They don’t understand “may never.”   They don’t give up.  They don’t get discouraged.   They epitomize “where there is a WILL, there is a WAY.”  They will find a way!  They don’t give up easily or quickly.  They move forward in life in the best way they can. They don’t care if they can walk again.  They care about your love most importantly.  OK, food ranks right up near the top too! To them each new day brings the promise of another opportunity to get MORE - more food, more treats, and more love. 

Our challenge is clear: not to allow our perspective on quality of life to influence our decisions or cloud how we judge our dog’s quality of life living with IVDD.

Part of that challenge is to manage our fear and not look at the situation based on how WE would perceive things if it were to happen to us.  We need to keep in mind what THEY value and help support them in their journey in life.  Right now, your dog needs your support to help them become pain free and heal so they can resume their journey in life and the things they value in whatever way they can.

The definition of success in recovery for an IVDD dog can be explained by “PETS” which stands for Pain Free, Enjoyment, Treats, and Sharing.

Without pain, a dog is free to continue to get move forward in life being happy and fun-loving each and every day.

They enjoy and embrace the sheer wonder of being alive.  They enjoy with gusto every single morsel of each meal.  They experience delight and unequalled joy with their ears flapping happily in the wind whether they are running on their 4 legs or their 2 plus 2 wheels. Their undeterred spirit and courage displayed in their enjoyment for life are unparalleled.

Their joy of food or treats or the extra special treat of your hugs and kisses is incomparable and they don't have to be walking on all fours to appreciate those treats in life.  They truly appreciate being alive to have whichever kind of treat another day.

Living life to share love is paramount for a dog.  The value of those snuggles and kisses are priceless to them and their little souls are filled by the love they receive and the love they give unconditionally in return. Love knows no physical limitations.

Dogs know it’s not important if they walk wobbly, scoot, or need a cart to fly.
They know to take life a moment at a time and enjoy it for all it has to offer. They know that the very best meal of the day is the one they’re eating right now. Perhaps we humans should look at life a little more like a dog does?   A fun and loving quality of life is in the future for your IVDD dog!!