Friends, I have a terrible story to tell. My husband and I don't know what to do. We have a sweet and loving male Sheltie puppy, Fainly, who is now not quite 8 1/2 months old. He has been diagnosed with IBD, having had diarrhea or loose bowels every day since we got him at the end of last March, and in addition has an orthopedic condition that an experienced vet says he has never seen before. His tibias below the hock joint splay out rather than go straight down. His hocks touch when he walks, which he is reluctant to do. Extensive x-rays show the tibia itself is growing at an angle. For the IBD he has received prednisone, as much as 10 mg a day for a short time and 5 mg usually. The orthopedic surgeon is contemplating surgery to cut his tibias and put them in a vertical position, but the defect is close to the joint and he doesn't have much bone to work with at that location. Fainly is still a sweet puppy through all this. I realize he can't read my mind, but he is very bright and seems to know what we mean, or want, as soon as we do. He has a huge repertoire of commands he will follow when asked. Heartbreakingly, he has been coming to us and holding his paw out to shake without us asking recently. He is now very quiet and lethargic, and whimpers occasionally. He avoids walking when he can. He is on gabapentin for pain now. He has been to one regular vet and three specialists. The specialists are very busy and I cannot get another appointment for Fainly before the 21st for a GI investigation, and 27th of October. to talk further about surgery. I feel he should not suffer that long before he receives treatment, but that is the earliest appointment I can get. These specialists are new to us. His general vet said if we opt for a huge surgery he will not be "in", and that he would never be a "bounding, happy puppy", although when he said that he thought that Fainly was likely a victim of IMPA, immune-mediated polyarthropathy. The specialists do not think that is the case. The orthopedist has not told us what he feels the chances are for a completely good result from the surgery; we asked, but he did not say. I imagine he doesn't know, since he has never seen this condition before. He says recovery from this surgery will be almost four months (6 to 8 weeks for each leg). I've also read about the long-term side effects of prednisone use, and they are possibly uncomfortable and necessitate medication and treatment long term. We are a senior couple. I'm not in very good health myself. We have spent many thousands of dollars and the surgery alone will be almost $9,000 more, but we have decided that money should not come into our decision to do or not do euthanasia. The consideration is whether Fainly can ever live a good and happy life. Do any of you have suggestions or thoughts to share about this situation? We almost cannot bear to have him leave us, but we feel we must do whatever it is that will give him the happy life he deserves or else at least relieve his suffering. Thank you if you can give us any helpful thoughts on this. I have always had animals around me, and when I was a little girl my biggest problem was whether or not there was a dog heaven. I have not resolved that question for myself, but my focus here is whether we should let poor Fainly go to keep him from suffering more than he already has in his very young life. Thank you so much.