Registered: 1567130759 Posts: 3
I was 21 when my dog died, but I feel like I shouldn't say when she died, because she didn't just simply die. I killed her. I paid someone to have her put down and I wonder every day if I made the right decision. I called all over to try to find a place who could come out to the Lake where we were staying in my truck camper. This was supposed to be the adventure of a lifetime. Just me and my best friend, a beautiful full of life border collie mix, traveling around america, meeting people together. I had saved for years for this and 2 months into the trip, she got sick. She was the coolest dog I'd ever met, I've loved all my dogs but she was so well trained she would run alongside me riding my bicycle without even being on a leash and would slow down and stop with me on a dime when I signaled that I stop sign was coming up ahead. Everyone loved her. She had long all black fur with the tiniest fleck of white on her chest and had a reddish tint to her black fur all over with this cool cripped looking ear fur. Everywhere I went people would be like what the hell kind of dog is that, I want one. It was so easy to talk to people because of her. After that I had a heartbreak due to an and off again relationship with this girl that I met right before Sasha died and continued up until recently. I think I probably drew that relationship out longer than I should have because she came into my life right before/after with this young puppy and I felt like I had a new little family but I digress.. I feel like I murdered her, the way she was put down was so horrible. I called every vet in town and one clinic (the one that ended up diagnosing her) agreed that they would drive out to my camper to put her down by the lake so she wouldn't be scared and then they said I was 5 miles over the range in which they would do an "at home" euthanasia so I said I would pay them for the price of two but they refused (even after I had spent roughly $6k on everything/anti nausea meds and IV bags etc to hydrate her since she couldn't keep water down) but they insisted that I didn't need an appointment to have her put down and that I would be seen immediately and wouldn't even have to wait 5 minutes whenever the day came that I knew it was time. The day I put her down she JUMPED into my 69 F250 (not a low to the ground truck) before I drove her through the desert to her death. I didn't want to see her deteriorate further, she couldn't even hydrate herself, I wanted to remember her, still kickin ass. I was trying to take her to the lake so she could swim every day for the last few days she was alive but on the last day she was getting knocked over by the waves and vomiting into the water, this little 40 pound ball of muscle could barely stay standing in the moderate swell that she would normally be carving her way through, chasing a ball.. I wanted her last day to be good but I can't help but think back on that time and wonder, what if she would have gotten better? The vets wanted to do emergency surgery to see what was going on in her stomach but two of them said at her age (12-still young for a farm born border collie mix), they thought she likely wouldn't make it and I didn't want her to die terrified but in the end, that's exactly what happened. At first they thought it was pancreatitis because I was concerned that she had gotten into some trash of mine and couldn't eat or drink that day but after they kept her over night, they said that they didn't think it was pancreatitis but instead was likely a stomach tumor but that they wouldn't know for sure without opening her up and told me that she had about 2 weeks to live if I didn't take action. That was about 5 days before she died. I still wonder, what if they misdiagnosed her? What if it really was the trash that had just made her sick and she would've gotten better? The moment she died is when I realized I had made a terrible decision. When we got to the clinic, I was sobbing uncontrollably and when she got out of my truck, she looked scared and was being resistant when I gently pulled on her leash to follow me in, she froze and we just stood there looking at each other while I cried and I asked her to please come with me and she did. We sat in the waiting room for an entire hour while I just sobbed and she looked terrified and then they brought us to the literal death room, the room where all of the animals are put down, and the moment we walked in, she looked so freaked out. She could sense the death in that room, I have absolutely no doubt about it and then we waited in the DEATH ROOM FOR 45 MORE MINUTES while I just cried and sat on the floor and she just looked at me terrified and then the vet (who diagnosed her) finally came in and asked why we were back so soon and I said she was falling over in the waves and they told me when she wouldn't eat at all, it was time and she hadn't ate or drank the whole time since she had stayed over night with them and was so weak. The vet said she thought I was doing the humane thing and then she euthanized her while I laid on the floor using my hand as a pillow and told her I'd always love her.. but what if the vets in that clinic were wrong? I had a vet tell me with certainty that my other dog had lung cancer or something and looked at me sternly when we said we weren't going to put him down and wanted to get a second opinion and it turns out he had kennel cough and he lived several more years! What if it had been something like that and I killed my best friend for nothing.... After that, my life pretty much spiraled out of control and I started drinking heavily and could barely work or hold a job and I've pretty much been a mess since. I don't know how to get my life back on track and I just ended up back at my parents. Aside from a glass of wine or a shot of tequila at night occasionally, I haven't been drinking but I need to get it together so I can move into a place where I can get a puppy but I just struggle so much to cope with the guilt of what if I made the wrong decision. I can't stop beating myself up. If she was ready to go why was she so terrified? Why was she so reluctant to go into the vet that day if she wasn't ready to die? She was the smartest dog I'd ever known, she knew exactly what was happening. I don't think she was ready to die and I don't know if that's because she knew how stable she kept me and how easily I made friends because of her and she knew I needed her and didn't want to go because of that or because she just still wanted to live. It's been 3 years and I haven't gotten another dog. My parents live with my brothers dog (he pretty much abandoned him with my parents right after he wasn't a puppy) who sleeps with me every night and is a wonderful dude but he has temperamental issues I think not only from being in the pound but because my brother trained him by hitting at him and yelling at him so when I take him places, I have to make sure it's away from other dogs (he attacked my ex's dog + I've been **in** several other dog fights because of him) and it's just not the same as it was with Sasha, as much as I love him. I want to move out and go back to college in a different country, where it's relatively cheap, but I need to pass this language test and save up some cash so I can get an apartment big enough for a smaller (20 pound) dog to run around near a dog park and I want to work super minimally the first few months so I can focus on college and training the dog as well as I trained Sasha but I just fear without having a companion like her to begin with, I won't actually be able to have that stability again..
Registered: 1566611875 Posts: 27
Just want to say sorry for your loss. I think at the time you did what you thought would be best for the sake of your dog. You entrusted qualified Veterinarians with your pet and they thought it would be best to put the dog down. It is hard to lose a pet and feel the guilt over what we want to control. I lost my dog a month ago due to a car accident. He was unleashed by my side and darted towards the car. I should've known better and probably should've have him on a leash, but I trusted he would be fine outdoors for 30 seconds. I've been beating myself for causing my pet's death, but at the same time I'm trying to slowly move on from the guilt so I can grief properly. Just hang in there and take it one day at a time, rest assure your dog knows you love him/her very much. God Bless.
Registered: 1564851236 Posts: 32
I’m so sorry for the loss of your beautiful friend and for the pain you are going through I think you are being so hard on yourself. You gave your girl an amazing life, how many dogs are that lucky. You did not make your dog ill and spent so much money and time trying to make her feel better. The last thing you wanted was to loose your best friend but you also knew she was suffering and you sacrificed your desire to be with your friend so that she could have a peaceful passing. I lost my dog some years ago he was my soul mate and it broke my heart. He was euthanised and we were lucky enough that it could happen at home but it was still traumatic. My dog was really suffering the night before and I knew it was the right decision at the time but as soon as he was gone that certainty went out the window and I regretted it for a long time. Even though he was at home he knew who the vet was by the uniform and smell maybe and this was scary for him. I understand how bad you feel about her being scared but would she really have 100% known what was going to happen, maybe she was just scared at being at the vets and that she knew she would be prodded and poked, afterall she had already been to that vets and left with you. Whatever she was thinking she obviously had complete trust in you that you were doing the right thing for her which you did. We don’t have a crystal ball and can only make decisions based on the information we have at the time and whilst making this decision you’re dealing with the stress and upset of trying to make the right choice for a pet who you have been told will die soon. It’s a horrid situation to be in. You worry you made the wrong decision but what was the alternative choice, you could have felt more guilt if you had left the vets with her that day and your girl had suffered even more, she may have died in pain or had to return to the vets feeling even worse. You sought medical advice and treatment. What more could you do. It’s hard enough having to cope with these situations when you are at home but to be away from home, I can only imagine how hard it must have been. You were with her every step of the way, you took on all of the pain and suffering so she could be at peace. Guilt seems to be a big part of grief and there are so many others on this forum who have regrets, as I do. I hope you can find some comfort and forgiveness, I can only hope that when my time comes I have someone looking after me the way that you did for Sasha.
Registered: 1567130759 Posts: 3
Defillo, the same thing happened to my dad when he was in his 20s or 30s. I'm really sorry. My childhood pup got hit by a car too because my dad would always let him wander no matter how many times we closed the gate (we live in a very rural neighborhood so I think it's easier for him to justify it) but thankfully he was a massive tank so he was relatively okay but I still wonder if that contributed to his joint issues down the line. Accidents happen to the best of us, have you gotten a new pup or are you thinking about getting a new pup? Any ideas on what kind of dog you want? Hope you're feeling better, it's hard that times the only thing that will heal these wounds...
Bunny, your post touched my heart, thank you for being so kind. I just wish in heinsight I had gotten a second opinion earlier on because 2 years prior some googling led me to believe that Sasha had cushings but our at home vet insisted testing for it was unnecessary/expensive for some reason and that she didn't have it but it turned out she did have cushings (found out just before she died) + that was part of what was so expensive. Many vets say it's essentially a death sentence but many other vets say that if you spend the crazy amounts of money to do the bloodwork every week or two and adjust their meds over the course of several months early enough on, you can prevent the disease from getting worse and cushings was very likely the cause of her cancer seeing as that's how most dogs with cushings die. I wish I had been more insistent and I just feel like her getting food poisoning by getting into my trash accelerated her condition (I mean I know it did) but I guess this was all a lesson learned. Next time I'll get more opinions early on when my instinct is telling me something is up. I've also been extra careful about preventing our cats and dogs from getting into things that can make them sick so that was a valuable lesson I learned the hard way. I can only get better in the future I guess. Did you get another puppy? I really feel for you, I felt the exact same way about Sasha. She was my complete best friend, always making me laugh, always being patient when I was cramming last minute for tests and could only take her for a short walk. Anyways, I just wanted to say my dad chose not to put one of his collies down when he was a young young guy and he said listening to him die and scream in the middle of the night was the most horrible thing (we live in a rural area and I doubt that there was a night time emergency vet here in the 70s) so what you and I did was the humane thing to do, even if it hurts. I'm not sure if she knew, just before she was always so willing to go where ever I wanted her to go but I think watching me cry when we got out of the truck and her knowing that she was sick.. compounded with the fact that she apparently watched our other dog be put down (I wasn't told he was put down because it was during finals week my freshman year of college)... I really don't know if she knew but I have a feeling that she did but the more I think about it, I think she was more worried about me than she was herself. She was always like that, putting everybody above herself. Maybe I'm projecting, but I really think she was like that. There are lots of lessons we can learn from these guys, she taught me many. Thank you for your kind words. It's comforting to hear a story of someone who in my eyes did the right thing, feeling the same exact way I did, if that makes sense
Registered: 1566611875 Posts: 27
Thank you for your good wishes. We protected our dog like a baby, never outside without a leash. This was the only slow moving vehicle that happened to pass by late that evening. I didnt purposfully let hin out with a leash, he followed me to the entrace and I got careless. He was a small Jack Russell and within seconds managed to scoop out. I followed him, but he was just to fast. We like smaller dogs,.but they seem to be more sneaky and have big dog syndrome. I just dont want to lose another dog.to an accident. We thougt a Beagle wouldbe best. We'll see. Thank you for your support and wish your hearts heal again. Im taking it one day at a time.
Registered: 1539391042 Posts: 43
I am sorry. This is not an easy thing. I too kept telling myself that I murdered my dog. But then I remember some simple facts: he was 14 1/2 years old; he couldn't take walks anymore; he couldn't stand without his hind legs collapsing; he didn't want to play anymore; he didn't want to be in the backyard anymore; although he was always a neat freak, didn't even like going in his own yard, he was unable to keep himself from pooping and peeing in the house. His quality of life was at best shaky, and it was heading for sucking. I stopped him from having to go through the sucking part. If I had not, he would not have had a long or happy life.
My dog was also diagnosed with Cushing's. I took him to several vets. I started him on the medicine, which can have serious side effects. I remember that night, because it was New Year's Eve and it was bitterly cold and we were in the wind and the snow five or six times that night because the medicine was upsetting his stomach as he struggled to stay upright. And I said no more. If he doesn't have long to live, at least he will be as comfortable as possible. We can never know what would have happened. Even the vets don't know half the time. All we can do is love our animals and do our best for them. I know that is what you did. Big hugs to you.
Registered: 1564851236 Posts: 32
Hi thanks for your lovely reply. I really hope being on this forum is helping you it just seems so unfair that you are suffering so much when it seems you did so much for Sasha.
Hindsight is a cruel thing to us all because we just don’t know the answer to the what ifs, every scenario we imagine in our minds can seem better outcomes than what happened but we don’t really know if things would have ended up better or worse. It’s so hard not knowing. We should be able to rely on the expertise and guidance we get from the vets but as the experience of many on this site including yours and my recent experiences shows, they don’t have all the answers sadly. When my dog was euthanised I made the decision with my Mam so at least this was shared and this helped, making the decision on your own is so hard. I did not get another dog after my boy passed, I felt at the time that it would be betraying him and then time just went by without having an animal companion in my life for a number of years. My next animal companion came into my life by chance and she is the reason I sadly came to this site for some comfort. We adopted a bunny from our next door neighbour 6 years ago, she lived with her sister and they started fighting when they were 1. I really fell for her, she was such a huge personality, very independent and feisty like my dog had been. It’s amazing how much room we have in our hearts, because I love her so much but still love my dog immensely and when she came into our lives it felt right. I have so much guilt and regret over her ill health and passing, my partner and I argued over what to do for the best because we just didn’t know. I feel guilty that I didn’t take her to the vet enough when she was ill and also for taking her on her last day as I worry the stress and extra medications could have been too much for her. I can relate to your questioning of whether you should have got another opinion more quickly. I play the scenarios over and over in my head and think maybe she would still be here if I had just acted different. But it is so very difficult making those decisions under such stress and worry. It’s an awful situation to be in but we have to try to remind ourselves of how much we loved them and in our hearts we know we tried to do the right thing. I totally understand the situation with dogs picking things up, ours did it all of the time, it is so hard to stop them even when you’re watching them, our dog would swallow whatever he had when we told him to drop it but thankfully this never caused him harm. It makes sense that Sasha may have been worrying about you at the vets from how you’ve described her, she really may have not known what was going to happen. The problem is we can’t explain the situation to them and ask them what they want. Luckily she had someone who would do anything for her to stop her pain. You are definitely right that euthanasia is the most humane thing to do. Our bunny passed away in the night on her own, I don’t know how much she suffered in the end. I now look back on my dog’s passing with relief that I was with him, I know he knew he was loved and it was peaceful in the end. My thoughts are with you and I really hope you can give yourself some credit soon for all of the wonderful things you did to give Sasha such a great fulfilled life. I didn’t think I could ever be truly happy again after my dog died but I was and I’m sure you will be too, you deserve to be and it’s what Sasha would want.