Sent this to the Buddy-L list.
I am writing this with a very sad heart. Dori has been battling urinary tract problems for almost a year now. I have been trying lots of different interventions, including medications,stricter routines, and measuring out her water. Although she has improved quite a bit, she still has many accidents, and the one thing I cannot control well for is stress. Dori seems to enjoy working, but I am also noticing that on the days when she works she is most at risk for accidents. She has become very timid in streets and parking lots.
After seeing more of this over the weekend and today, I came to the decision that it would be better for her to retire. I don't want to do it, but I know that she is suffering and according to the vet at Purdue stress is not helping the situation at all. I don't know how much Dori can control or not, and I'm no longer willing to have the battle of the wills over this. It's not good for me or for her.
I don't have a class date yet. I'm hoping to get one soon--I'm afraid to be without a dog right now because I'm afraid I will stop going out alone. My asthma is aggravated by the cold, so if I don't get in soon I will wait until spring.
I am looking into the possibility of placing Dori with a family here who has been considering getting on the waiting list for a retired dog. Dori would be ideal for them because she is young and I suspect that if she has access to a yard when she needs it her health issues will become much less of a problem. They also have children, and she is wonderful with children and would be happy. I'm hoping this works out because I would like to be able to see her from time to time as I see Elli. Elli is 12 and is retired with my parents.
If the placement doesn't work out, I will plan on taking Dori with me back to the school so that the vet there can look at her and they can find a placement for her. I really hope it doesn't end up happening that way. Besides the issue of wanting to be able to see her and feeling comfortable knowing where she is, I also think that I need to spend some time without her to make the transition easier. I think it's a very bad idea to work a dog to the school and try to go immediately into the mindset to work with a new dog, but I will do it if that's how things go. It will just hurt a lot.