When is the time to say goodbye?

  Among the many hard decisions I've decided to do nothing about, there is one in particular  that I believe can't be avoided too much longer. It pertains to a beloved family pet.
  Pinny is our 5yr. old Miniature Pincher. My husband drove to Galveston, Texas one fall morning to retrieve her from a cousin of his in 2005. She was just a couple months old at the time and the only one of her litter to survive. At an early age, we noticed problems with her already fragile legs. Over time, her condition continues to worsen. She's got arthritis in the joints of all four of her legs. This is a rare condition for her breed. We've come to the conclusion that it's due to over breeding. There are only a few ways we can help her. Surgery is the first and most expensive option which makes it out of the question ($1,500 a leg). Secondly, she can receive a steroid shot every couple of weeks (over $30.00 a shot), but overtime the steroids will do more harm than good to her little body. The last option is Pregnazone and Tramadol tablets she would take daily. Over time though, these prescriptions get expensive and ineffective. These options do not fit into our budget, but it's out of the question to leave her in so much pain. She has no quality of life. So... where does this leave us?
  Our animals (3 dogs) are very much apart of this family. My boys grew up with Pinny's motherly protection and daily face licks. Pinny was our baby before we had children. It's hard to imagine her not being here, but it's even harder making the decision that will cause her to not be here. We are in a place where we are not sure how much longer we should let her go on this way. Are we keeping her here solely for our benefit now, or does she have some life left to live? That would be the question I have been avoiding. That is the decision it's time to make.

Dana

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