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Posts: 14
It's been almost two weeks since I put my precious dog, Louie, to sleep. I was up all night last night doubting the decision I made. At the time it seemed like the right thing to do. Our vet is a wonderful and compassionate woman. She told us more than likely he only had a few days left. I thought he was in pain and suffering and we should do the right thing for him and let him go peacefully and with dignity. My husband has said that maybe we should run more tests and possibly try more medications. Louie had been laying on me on the floor the whole time we were there, and could barely move. But he got up all of his strength to get up and go over to my husband. He looked him right in the eyes, then rested his head in his lap to be petted. Then he staggered back over to me and laid back down on me. We took this as him telling my husband that he was ready to go, and that he was saying goodbye. At the time we felt in our hearts that it was absolutely the right thing to do. He laid in my arms and went peacefully, surrounded with love.
But now as I replay the scene over and over in my head, I wonder if he was actually trying to tell my husband that he was right. That he was not ready to go yet. That he wanted more time. What if I made the wrong decision? My heart aches from missing him, and it aches even more wondering if I did the wrong thing. Is this a normal part of grieving? Has anyone else felt this way?

Posts: 1,288
I believe we all feel that way, especially at the beginning of our life without them. How can we not feel that way, we have let the loves of our lives go and will always wonder how we could do it. As time goes by you will begin to realize that you did what was best Louie and you did it out of that love.

It has been over 3 1/2 years since we let Chancey and Digby go and we are still having difficulties with that same feeling. I think that feeling will always be with you but you will come to realize that it was still the best for Louie and that is what is important now.

I am so very sorry about your loss of Louie and I hope that you come to this site as often as you need. It was the only thing that got me through my loss and the people here understand the feelings you have.

Sending you all of my prayers for you and your husband during this very difficlut time.


Posts: 1,523
Dear Cheryl,

I am so sorry for the loss of your Precious Louie.My thoughts and prayers are with you and your Husband. You made the right decision for your Louie. He knew the doubt and heaviness that laid upon your Hearts. Louie knows your Heart better than you do. It's what he lived for. You gave your Louie the Greatest Gift and Act of Love there is to give. I pray for your Peace and Comfort and Wisdom in knowing that you Loved Louie unconditionally. God bless you and keep you.

Love, Mayme ~ Sammy's Mommy

Posts: 564
I'm so sorry for your loss!  What you are experiencing is absolutely "normal" for the situation.  I have read so many similar accounts, and I went through this myself earlier this summer when I lost my two Siberian Huskies, Luke and Lil, three weeks apart.  Lil had just been diagnosed with advanced lymphoma, and her buddy Luke, who had struggled with diabetes for three years prior, decided to stop eating. He starved himself over the next week and a half, and was in a good deal of pain.  The look in his eyes told me that it was time to go, and so he was relieved of his pain.  3 weeks later, after missing her pal tremendously and getting more ill all the time, Lil followed him to the Bridge!

Even so, I especially second guessed the decision with Luke......could I have done more to get him stabilized?  Could I have somehow gotten him to eat again??  Those thoughts haunted my mind.  I've come to realize that Luke wanted to go before Lil to prepare the way for her.  They were such inseparable friends over the previous 13 years that I don't think that Luke would've been able to bear her absence.  In retrospect, I may have released Lil at the same time as Luke, as she was so lost and heartbroken after he left...I just wanted to have as much time with her as I could!  When they were both gone, I was devastated!  I thank God that I found this forum and these wonderful, caring people!

From what you describe, I believe your precious Louie was telling you that it was his time to go.  As time passes, you will come to this realization as well!  Our pets do communicate with us.....Luke did it mostly with his eyes!  Your Louie told you in his own way. A wonderful book that I found is by Kim Sheridan called "Animals and the Afterlife".  Kim talks about how our animals communicate with us, and it made a lot of sense.

May God Bless and comfort you in your grief!  Rick

Posts: 5
I am so sorry for your loss of Louie.  I can very much relate to your doubts and second guessing yourself.  We had to put our beloved kitty Sam of 15 years to sleep on Sunday -- and that day at the vet was the worst day ever.  Like you, there weren't any good options to take the pain away for my boy and there was no long-term fix.  Your heart is breaking because you miss Louie so much but you did the right thing by him.  You made the right choice for him -- he is no longer in pain.  

Someone shared on my post that memories of this difficult day will fade and try to remember the good days with Louie -- not that day at the vet's office.  You loved him enough to stop the pain and suffering even though you knew it would break your heart to do it.  

Your are in my thoughts.


Posts: 596
I knew a week and half before I lost Bubba that he was ready to go. I knew it and didn't want to see it. But he did tell me.

We want to fight the good fight for them, make them well, make them eat. But they know when it's time and nothing changes that. Take solace in the fact the Louie adored you and you adored him. We give all best love, care and support we can possibly give, but when the time comes, we can't change that. If we could, I'd have Bubba with me forever.

Don't second guess yourself. You did what any good pet owner would do. You did the right thing. As hard as it was, as much as it sucked, it was right. We all do the "woulda, shoulda, coulda" thing after the fact.

I hope Louie sends you a sign that all is well in his world now so you can make your world an easier place to live. You will always miss and love him, but you will learn to put the pain away in your time.

I hope you find comfort and acceptance. Bless you.

Posts: 14
Thank you all for your responses. In my heart I know I made the right decision. I know that he is out of pain and in a better place now. But there is just that small part of me that is feeling doubt, or possibly guilt. But I did the right thing. I did the last thing I could to help my wonderful boy.

Posts: 7

I'm so sorry for your loss..I put my dog shadow down 3 days ago so I know your pain & I have the same doubts running through my head but believe in yourself & the decision you've made...your precious angel is in no more pain..xxxx Irene


Posts: 50

I know exactly how you feel.  For days after I had to put Muffin down I agonized over whether I did the right thing or not.  The "what ifs" just haunted me.  Then came the "should haves" which tormented me.  This past week after speaking to my veterinarian (she actually called ME because she knew how upset I was, that really meant a lot) I became more at peace because she confirmed it was the right thing for Muffin.  I am even reading a book now called SURVIVING THE HEARTBREAK OF CHOOSING DEATH FOR YOUR PET by Linda Peterson.  Sure, there are many things in there I didn't do or get the chance to do, or even didn't think of doing, but I know things happened in a way that was right for Muffin and me, and I have found this book compassionate to the situation we parents of furbabies have to face.  I found she lessons the guilt.  I got it a couple of days ago and am just about done with it.  It is a quick read and reassuring.  I am feeling better about things now, but my Muffin isn't here and I don't when I'll ever feel better about that.  Just know, based on how things came to be, you did the right thing, and I am sure Louie would thank you for setting him free and for the years of love you gave to him.  Please let us know how you are doing.  Jen ~


Posts: 14
Yesterday I received a beautiful sympathy card in the mail from our veterinarian. Not from the office, but from her personally. She wrote a really nice note on the inside telling us how we did the right thing, and she would have made the same decision if it were her own pet. She also wrote how handsome of a boy Louie was, and that it was evident it was that we loved him very much, and that he loved us. And how wonderful it was that he passed so peacefully in the loving arms of his mom (me). The card made me cry, but it also made me feel so much better. It really touched my heart that she took the time to send us a card. And that she remembered details of that day.

Posts: 1
So sorry about your Louie!  I had to have my kittygirl Ursa put down last week, so I'm understanding how you feel.  I also got a handwritten sympathy card from the vet, and yesterday a notice that a donation had been sent in Ursa's name to an organization that provides vet care for the pets of elderly and disabled owners (and I cried when I got them, too).  We were lucky to have such caring vets.  Take care!

Posts: 18
Calbaceli, I just want to chime in with my agreement that you did the right thing. If Louie was staggering and the vet said he had only days left, you were being very kind wanting to spare him any further pain.

Even so, that was probably the hardest thing you ever had to do. It is difficult to accept that such an action can be considered a kindness so our mind goes into overdrive with doubts. Trust what you saw at the time.

Your vet sounds like a wonderful person, that hand written card is a sign of a person who truly cares not only about animals but also about people.

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