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Posts: 5
Yesterday, I put my beloved dog, Shae down after 15 beautiful years. I think it was too soon. I’ve read so many websites and people say when the dog stops eating and drinking and wanting to take walks, then you know it’s time. My dog was still eating as usual and wanting to take walks.. yes he was slower and would stumble or bump into things but he was still able and wanting to happily walk.
I put him down because I saw auch a huge decline in him over last few weeks as far as his cataracts were getting much worse and had yellow drainage from one eye. He already had horrible skin condition that was getting worse and loss of hair. The skin on edges of ears were flaming off and getting like like black scabs (he was a black dog) vet said to use aloe Vera but I never did consistently and it didn’t seem to help. He started having mini seizures again, like the small ones he had a few years ago but he had one last month that lasted about a minute and then one outside the other day. He definitely was showing signs of dementia as he would come up to the wrong door and stand to come in and would walk out into the street if I let him out front instead of back to my house. He loss a ton of muscle mass in back legs and was having trouble getting up but he was still able to get up. He peed in house just once and that was few days ago. I had been carrying him in and out of house and upstairs for months now and lately he was moaning when I would pick up and put down. He fell down stairs other day but that was my fault as I thought he was on the landing but his back legs weren’t and he didn’t have enough strength in them to push up. I don’t think the fall did anything major but I know it didn’t help if he was already feeling pain due to arthritis.. but honestly I don’t even know if he was ever in pain.. yes he was when he would moan but other then that he was still able to take walks and eat.. he would be disoriented at times and of course almost all the way blind and loss of hearing but can’t let go of fact he was still alert and happy to take walks and eat...yes I saw a rapid decline and he was so frail and weak but there was not one major thing that told me he was in pain. I just saw that he was laying in weird positions, had the few seizures and didn’t like it when I picked him up or put him down and he would stand outside and just look around for a while like I guess confused but then understood where he was.. He was definitely sleeping a lot but that’s just old age.. it just came down to how he had trouble getting up and would slip but maybe that was because needed nails trimmed. I should of trimmed nails. I didn’t have money to put on pain meds and vet said she would not disagree with decision to put down based on his major muscle loss and the mini seizures.. she said the pain meds would help for some time and she could give seizure medicine but honestly my other dog was on seizure medicine because had major seizurea towards end of life and my shae only had the small ones over last two months (like two) he did have trouble balancing and often hard to stand up to poop as pressure on back legs.. I now feel he probably could of lasted another six months maybe a year.. yes he would of declined but he was still happy a lot of times and still wanted to eat and drink and take walks.. I hate myself more than words can say. I betrayed my best friend. He even kinda jumped up at vet yesterday and looked at me like ok mom time to go.. since when we go to vet we usually leave, and I just made the worst decision ever but I thought it was the right one but I don’t think it was now. A neighbor of mine has an even older dog who is completely blind and walks so slow but she hasn’t put him down. Why did I do that? I also have been home with him for years and will start a new job Monday and I just thought how horrible for him to be alone all day except on my lunch.. that was also a very small factor because didn’t want him to be uncomfortable and have no one home.. I say uncomfortable because maybe that’s what he was versus being in pain. Maybe I mistook the times he would lay in weird positions as him being in pain, maybe he was just sleeping.. who has ever put a dog down that still ate and drank and wanted to happily take walks? He would still jump when I went to get leash. I want to just die right now. He was my best friend for 15 years, like my child.. and the silence of not having him here is deafening..

Posts: 4
You gave him so much love and care--you gave him a wonderful life. He was so lucky to have you and you are so lucky to have had him. This is a horrible thing pet owners need to go through, but, sadly, we do see our beloved pets decline, if we are lucky to have them into their old age. It seems to me, based on your description, that you did the right thing. Suffering and decline comes in many forms -- you list many things that sound like they were adding up to your pup having a very tough time in this world. You are a good mom for recognizing what your baby needed. Please don't turn your grief into self-punishment. You are suffering enough with the sadness and loss. You did the right thing and your pup would not want you to feel this guilt and pain. He is waiting for you in spirit, tail wagging.

Posts: 3
I know exactly how you feel I’m going through the same thing I put my Pauleena (Pig) down almost a month ago Your situation was very similar to mine I wonder if it was too soon I’m still wracked with guilt, I cry myself to sleep every night feeling as though I made the wrong decision I know it’s pointless to think this way - I can’t turn back time but I can’t help it Im so sorry for what you’re going through

Posts: 10
I understand your pain, and guilt. But you did the right thing for your baby. I put my best friend to rest on Monday, he had bone cancer and was not enjoying the things he used to. He still ate and was completely alert, but he was struggling to get up and down, he was starting to whine also. I too, had to return to work on Monday after 3 months off. I did t want him home suffering alone, or falling down the stairs or not being able to get out the doggie door (that would have devastated him)
I wander if it was too soon? Should I have waited? Who was I to end his life? He brought me nothing but joy for 6 years. Now I am lost. Sad all the time. Cry uncontrollably. I feel like the pain will never end. I know in time it will get easier. I hope and pray that I did the right thing, for my baby. I am sorry for your loss and hope your heart heals in time.

Posts: 5
Luvaqua 21 I’m so sorry for your loss! Sounds like we are in similar situations as far as having to put our beloved pet down and go back to work after being off. You said something that stuck out to me when you said you kept questioning who am I to put him down. That’s how I feel all the time. Like who was I to make the decision to end his life! The guilt is eating me up alive. I cry all the time. I am constantly asking myself was it too soon and why didn’t I wait and just always feel so sick in my stomach with guilt. Thank you for taking the time to get back to me. I hope you find some peace as time goes on...I know exactly how you feel and you are not alone. Hang in there. ❤️

Posts: 5
Thank you so much Keeks. Your feedback means everything to me. Thank you for taking the time to respond to me. It has helped me more than you will ever know.

Posts: 5
I am going on my third week without Willie. I cry every day and still hear him sometimes. I hate to get into bed without him and wish I would have waited longer before letting him go. I know he is at peace and safe with no fear or pain, I just can’t stop feeling guilty or stop hurting. I am lost without him and love him so much. I am so sorry for your loss love4dmb. 💜

Posts: 5
Thank you for responding to me...I’m so very sorry for your loss as well.

Posts: 5
I’m so very sorry, Willieboy...I want to tell you it gets easier but I’m still struggling myself. I’m sure in time the pain will subside. I find it difficult to even look at all the pictures I have of him... I miss him so much and like you said, I feel lost without him too. I totally understand what you mean when you say you wish you would of waited longer, I feel the same way. I still think about how I should of waited longer. I feel my guilt will never go away. He was my best friend and there for me through all the milestones and as time goes on it hurts that so many things have happened (such as me getting a job) and he wasn’t here to share... I miss him so much. I’m so sorry for your loss. Please hang in there. I know you must have given yours the best life ever... I’m sure he knew it too.

Posts: 639
My remarks are based on my own personal philosophy. I don't expect you to adopt my philosophy so please know that my views are not a statement that your views are wrong. Your views are as right as mine!

You said you think you rushed things. I don't think there is ever a time to put a dog down. I have done it twice and would never in a million years do it again. If I ever adopt again, my dog will die a natural death. I have had 4 pet children and euthanized 3 of the 4. The 4th died a natural death at home. And it is by the far the one I am the most at peace with. I saw her die and I know she died "on her own steam". I played no role in her death.

I will not and regret ever euthanizing my pets. They could have died on their own without my help. Just like human beings do. I euthanized my pets because they were sick. Is that any reason to kill them? Heck no. Let them die on natures timetable. Not on mine, and not on the veterinarians. What an awful reason to take a life. "You are sick, let's kill you because of it". To me that sounds more like punishment!

They were going to die at some point on their own. Me rushing their death did absolutely nothing for them. Death is suffering. People and animals suffer
when they are ill and dying. Why rush things? Make them comfortable but don't take what little life they have left from them by having them on a stainless steel table in a vet office or on the floor in the vet office or by screaming because they are fragile and the needle put into them hurt. What a way to go.
Just awful.

I do not believe in euthanasia at all.  However your pain is real and I know how it feels.

I am sorry you have to go through this.

Wishing you a quick recovery as you process what has happened.

- Stephanie

Posts: 1
First of all, so sorry for your loss.  I am currently petless for the first time in 35 years.  Have loved and lost 7 of my own and been around a few more with family.

Certainly I would not be in a position to defend or condemn your decision, but I can share my experience and thoughts - both of which belong to me - so perhaps you can find some relief in hearing my story. 

Having been through this many times we consider quality of life - and for me that includes my perception of the animal's (dogs for me) QOL and our own QOL.  How I feel and how the situation fits into my personal reality is, in my opinion, as big or bigger than my perception of the dog's QOL.  I don't speak dog and my dogs have never spoken English so there has never been a two way conversation on the matter.

This may sound like tough talk, but please know my love for my animals runs as deep as anyone's...but in the end the dog doesn't really get a vote because I have to make my decision to fit my situation.  Euthanasia is an option.  So is letting the dog die a quiet death in the night if that happens.  In a certain case, another option (not chosen) was to let the dog bleed to death on the back deck from a ruptured toenail tumor while I finished my coffee and went to work.  In the same case another option was to amputate the foot, which had its own risk and even if fully recovered would take 6 months so the 13 year old dog - with cancer - could hop around on three feet before the cancer takes him 2 months later or he goes lame in the other legs because of the strain.  And that option for me would mean thousands of dollars, personal QOL decay, new carpet to replace the blood and infection soaked stuff, time off of work, worry, and emotional pain from the immediate situation knowing it is a temporary postponement of the inevitable and the guilt (I am allowed) that would be felt for putting the dog through all that.  I do not have to apologize for my journey - we kept the dog comfortable until we could get to the vet, we called family to give them the option of being there, and then I placed my cheek on hers and felt her pass.

That was 8 months ago. And then I cried for weeks, and as I wrote this, even though I believe grief is the most selfish emotion - because the grieved are gone.  Two weeks ago my sister suggested I get another dog.  Yesterday I called a friend and we talked about new beginnings. 

Sharing this has helped me surely more than it will help you, but I wish you peace in your situation.


Posts: 17
Dear Love4dmb:
I am so very sorry for your loss. My wife and I made the excruciatingly difficult choice to end our beloved Hank’s misery this past Saturday. It is the most emotionally painful thing I have ever experienced. I have similar doubts, regrets, guilt, questions, and of course sheer sadness as you described. I’ve “ugly cried” so much over the last 6 days. I felt a connection with Hank that I’ve never felt with another living thing, human or animal.

One of the main differences between our stories is that you did way more intervention with your pup than we did. You have absolutely nothing to feel guilty about. It’s so hard for us as pet parents because we have to do what we FEEL is best and there’s no definitive answer from our pets as to what they want. If our doggies could speak English, we could ask them what they wanted and maybe we wouldn’t feel so guilty.

Please do not listen to other people’s stories about how they feel euthanasia is wrong. You knew your dog better than anyone, and you did what you felt was right.

Hugs to you,

Posts: 17
Love4dmb, how are you today?
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