Yesterday morning Pepper laid down and thru out the day tried a few times to get up but couldn't make it. Around 2pm we tried to help him up, but weren't making any progress. Amy and her son came to clean pens and with their help he finally made it to his feet. Of course he was stiff from laying down so long, so really looked pathetic. But immediately started mugging us for cookies. We were feeding early to go watch the races at the dirt track, so went ahead fed and took off. As we were leaving we noticed he was out of his pen walking around in the wash. Amy said after we left, he laid down in the wash and managed to get up without help. That's a very small step forward at this stage unfortunately. His front feet are cold, which I assume means the circulation isn't good. Between his bad hip and 2 bad front feet, he's just about out of options.
This is how he looks this morning eating prickly pear cactus, you will notice his stance, looks very uncomfortable, although it doesn't stop him from roaming around. To him, it seems to be a minor problem in his day to day ritual, he presses on with his business as best he can, with the ears up and the eyes bright.
Not being able to get up is about the final straw in this journey. Granted, Amy said he got up in the wash, which is very soft small gravel. So many of these old guys realize when they can no longer get up, and will try to stay on their feet, which of course means they don't get their heavy REM sleep. Just adds another level of being uncomfortable to their lives.
The vet will be here Friday at noon, to help him on his final journey. Can't tell you how much we will miss him.