Petloss.com Logo. Puff and Midget under the rainbow

ALL the Pet Loss Message Boards are moderated to make this an ABSOLUTELY SAFE place for you to find support.
You must REGISTER before you can post or reply.
Posts and replies cannot be viewed until after they have been checked for content & released by the Board Moderators. - EdW
Pet Loss Grief Support Message Board
Sign up  |   |   |  Latest Topics
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment  
Bodelli

Registered:
Posts: 17
 #1 

Hello All,

My boy Chunk was a male German Shepherd that was a staple of my life for the past 12+ years.  I never needed a lease with him as he would just stay by my side and follow all commands.  He was more than a dog he was my best friend.  He never went anywhere without his tennis ball.  We spend thousands of hours during his life playing fetch and spending time together.  I had him before I had my family that I have now. 

He ended up needing surgery on both hind legs about 3 years apart from each other.  He torn what was the equivalent of an ACL would be in a dog on both legs.  He recovered fine from both of those and lived a healthy happy life. 

We made the decision to put him down yesterday as it was something that was weighing on me for weeks.  December 30th he was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma.  He had a huge lump on his front right leg and was starting to limp a little bit on it.  We saw the vet and he gave me the terrible news.  We put him on Gabapentin and Tramadol to control the pain.  The first 3 weeks it really helped.  The vet told me that he couldn't play ball any longer so I will just take him on walks around the block at his own pace.  He was able to do that up until about Wednesday the 22nd of January.  He then started terribly limping and would not make it out of the front yard really.  We have a short set of 3 stairs that he would walk down so I made ramp to make it easier.  He would use it but then there would be times where he'd get up and look at the ramp and turn around to lay down.  I knew the end was coming. 

Over the last weekend he was only getting up 3 maybe 4 times a day to eat and use the restroom.  I would have to guide him to make sure he wouldn't fall down the stairs.  It was very hard for him to get up but once up he could walk around for 3 to 5 minutes limping pretty severely to handle his business.  His body was giving out but his spirit had not been broken.  He would still enjoy being pet, would wag his tail and would still try to greet me when I got home. 

The past 2 days I was mostly assisting with him standing up as he was getting up less and less.  Once up he could walk as mentioned but I'd have to help him get his legs under him initially.  He was becoming a dog that would just lay there almost all day and it was painful to watch.  But once again he still showed that he had love him and enjoyed our company.  I slept with him on the ground the last 2 nights of his life. 

This past Monday (yesterday) came and he wasn't getting up much or lifting his head much.  He would still eat if I put some leftovers on top.  He never got to the point of soiling himself or not eating or drinking anymore.  This is one of the things that makes me 2nd guess if I put him down too early.  He would still wag his tail occasionally when I'd call him with my silly dad talk.  Even though he was limping he would still make it to the grass so that I could lay him down and give him his rubs.  He very much was still enjoying certain aspects of living. 

I had the family say their goodbyes in the morning before I brought him in.  I grabbed the leash and the tennis ball and he was able to get up on his own and make it to the car.  I feel so horrible inside that he probably thought that we were going somewhere fun and yet I was taking him to his death. 

Once at the vet he had energy that I had not seen in over a week.  The vet told me it was adrenaline.  I could tell at the vet that he still had spirit in his eyes.  Even though his body was giving out he had not been broken.  We talked to the vet and he gave us options of chemo, amputation, or to try different painkillers including steroids this time which would've made him more stoned than anything.  I didn't want amputation as his back legs already had pretty bad arthritis and you could see the shaking when he limped. 

After discussing with my wife we decided that it was time to put him down.  I was there until his last breath and it kills me inside.  I cared for this dog like no other animal in my life.  The anguish that I am feeling is worse than when my mom passed away. 

I believe that part of the anguish is guilt that I am feeling for thinking that I maybe could've gotten another week or two with him.  The problem was that I wanted him to have dignity and did not want to get to the point where he could not walk or would start soiling himself.  That is no life that I would want for my dog. 

I am now feeling that I may have acted too early and that I should’ve let him live on another week or so to see how it went.  I had previously put my mother’s Great Dane down a couple of years ago that had the same issue.  With her it came to the point where she was falling over one morning and could not stand any longer.  I did not want my boy to experience that. 

I’m trying to feel better about the decision that we made but then I think about my dog possibly being around here today waiting for me to get home and it’s really eating me up inside. 

The quick version of this is that I am feeling that I may have put him down too early because I never saw the “I’m ready to go look” from him and I didn’t let it reach the point where he couldn’t walk any longer and was soiling himself.

Thank you for listening.  In the end I have to live with the decision that we made for the rest of my life.  I’m heartbroken.



Mollypetunia

Registered:
Posts: 7
 #2 
If you had held off for a week or so, he would have been in pain and suffering.  You gave him a gift by ending his suffering.  I, too, felt like I put down my cat too soon who had terminal cancer.  But holding off would have been for me because I didn’t want to let her go.  They say it’s better too soon than too late because it’s the animal that suffers. But I guess I’ll always wonder if I did the right thing. The pain you feel now is because you loved him so much and the truth is that you did what you thought was best at the time.  i recently looked at some old pictures and realized my kitty had a good life; that’s helped me in dealing with the guilt.
LunasBestFriend

Registered:
Posts: 7
 #3 
I'm so sorry for your loss. I am going through the same thing right now. I rapidly cycle between thinking I did the right thing because she had some dignity at the end and thinking we could've had more time together. In the past, I have waited to put cats to sleep until there was just nothing there and their deaths brought almost relief. My cat, like Chunk, was very alert and scared at the vet and this makes me feel a type of guilt, anxiety and hurt that I can't fully articulate. Getting through each minute of the day is a true challenge, but in my better moments I remember that while we could've had more hours together, more days, we weren't going to have any "good" days, she wasn't going to get better. I'd give anything to have her back but this is part of loving them so much. Again, I'm so sorry... you did the best you could with the information you had in front of you. 
Bodelli

Registered:
Posts: 17
 #4 
Thank you all for the kind responses.  I am feeling the same thing.  One minute I'll feel that I did the correct thing and then the next I'll 2nd guess my decision.  I have some Arlo Security Cameras at my house and have been going through and saving the final recordings that I have of him from the last week.  The decline of his movement was coming swiftly.  Day by day you can see how much harder it was for him to move around just do eat or go to the bathroom.  Saturday and Sunday's recordings show a dog that really still wanted to please me and be by my side but he was hesitant with every movement that he took due to the pain.  It was then Monday that we decided to bring him in.

No matter the circumstances it just breaks my heart as that is a part of my life that I will never have back.  I've been crying on and off for at least 48 hours now.  I guess I am starting to see at certain moments that I will be okay and will be able to move on, but them emotions will just grab ahold of me and won't let go again. 

All of my friends and my wife are telling me not to feel guilty because it will just make the grieving process harder and I can see that they are right.  I shouldn't feel guilty because I know my dog better than anyone else.  Neither of us may have been ready for the end to come but he was able to avoid any further pain and injury that would have come shortly.  The vet was sure that his front leg was going to fracture due to the instability in the bone from the cancer.  By the last 2 days he was barely putting any weight on it and only using it for balance. 

It's just a sad reality that we won't have our best friends forever.  I will never have another bond like this with an animal.  I'm sure I will have many more but this was a time in my life that cannot be replaced.  I am so thankful for the time that we got to spend together and I will never forget it.
Bodelli

Registered:
Posts: 17
 #5 
I added a photo of him to my profile since I wasn't sure how to post it here.  It's from about a year ago when he was still pretty active. 
LunasBestFriend

Registered:
Posts: 7
 #6 
Oh he's just beautiful! You can see the light in his eyes. I agree that you shouldn't feel guilty - you knew him best, so you did right by him. I'm glad that you can see that. I, too, have moments of clarity and relief from the excruciating sadness when I don't second guess myself. I'm only a few days in to this process, but I am going to allow myself to grieve however I'm going to grieve. What I want for the future, since I can't have her back, is to be able to celebrate her life and everything she taught me. As I get through each day, I need to remind myself to be grateful for the friendship my cat and I had. It was such an honor to share my life with her.
Bodelli

Registered:
Posts: 17
 #7 
Thank you again for the kind words.  That is what I am learning also.  The memories will forever be in our hearts and they should bring us happiness.  I am feeling better day by day.  It will always have some kind of sadness and pain with seeing them go but I would never trade the time we had to avoid the pain.  I'll love him for the rest of my life and never forget him.  I hope also that you are able to find solace and peace moving forward. 
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.

If you can, please help support this Message Board with a donation: