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Posts: 8
I don't really know what to say here, but I just really want to put my feelings down somewhere. I have nobody else to talk to about how I feel and it's eating me up.

Yesterday, I made the decision to have my boy Nelson put to sleep. He is a 3 year old dobermann dog. In January he was diagnosed with a cancerous tumour on his pelvis. We were told he would most likely have left us by February, as it was quite aggressive. Well, the brave boy lasted until July, 3.5 dog years more. Then, whilst I was on holiday, he attacked his brother whilst they were in kennels. It wasn't him, totally out of character. After spending a couple of days with him once we were back home, it was obvious that he was struggling. He fell asleep in my arms at the vets, yesterday lunch time.

It feels so wrong. I can't believe it happened. I feel so guilty for making the decision despite knowing in my heart that it was the best thing to do. I just want him back. My other dog, a 5 yr old dobermann, Boycie, is at home with me. Nelson was always the more affectionate dog, could never give him enough cuddles and never left you when out on walks. I've never been through this before and I'm not sure how I'm going to cope. All the times I told him off, keep coming back to me. And all the times I told him to go away if I was busy with something and he kept sticking his nose in. Now all I want is him to come back. I need his smell and to cuddle up to his soft fur. I'm so lonely. I don't think I'll ever forgive myself for doing it. I just pray he didn't know what was happening whilst we were at the vets. He would hate me forever if he knew why I had taken him there.

I'm sorry to rattle on. I know I'm not the only person to have experienced this grief before but with nobody to tell, it feels good to be able to write down my feelings.


Posts: 1,400
Your Nelson loved you very much as you loved him.  Never feel guilty about anything you did.  It is not wrong.  We have all said little things to our pets when it was necessary.  You would not be at this site if it was not for your deep love for Nelson.

I am so very sorry that you lost him so young.  It's OK to grieve and cry and have all the emotions for your sweet Nelson.  He knew how much you loved him and miss him.

Many hugs and peace to you.

Meisters Mom

Posts: 156
Dear Nelson's Mom/Dad,

For many of us it seems the best always goes first. English author Jeanine McMullen in her book "Wind in the Ash Tree" said it so eloquently following the sudden loss of her beloved whippet Merlin:
"Out of all the dogs, why does it have to be the best? I've learned many times since then that it is always the one you love or value most that goes. Like the Chinese crying 'Bad rice! Bad rice! when they had a good crop so the gods wouldn't be jealous, I find myself now always denigrating the best I have."
As much as I love my old girl, her younger brother was my soul mate and when he died I guiltily wished Tess had died instead. Oh how I beat myself up for that fleeting thought and have tried ever since to make her last years a delight.
You did the right thing by Nelson, who was clearly suffering.


Posts: 117
I am so sorry to hear about Nelson.
Please don't blame yourself- (I wish I could take my own advice... it's hard)
somehow it seems harder the younger they are.
I wish I had words for you that could make it better-
Remember how blessed you were for those three beautiful years together.
I too wish I hadn't closed the door on Daisy, the very last time I saw her.
that image will forever be in my mind.
but she wanted to stay outside.
you can't beat yourself up for the tiny moments that we didn't spend paying attention to our loved ones. think about all the wonderful times that you did play together. Nelson's life was short- but only because his spirit was so big- he had learned it all and the Lord was ready to teach him much more.
Lots of hugs

Pat (Daisy's forever daddy)


Posts: 991
I am so sorry that you lost your affectionate Dobie boy, Nelson.
Cancer is just so cruel for our babies to endure. I am glad you got that extra time with him that you weren't expecting. My schnauzer Molly had malignant oral melanoma; from the time she was diagnosed until we helped her to the Bridge, it was just 6 all too short weeks.

I can relate to what you're saying about telling Nelson to leave you alone. I was sick much of the ten years that Molly was with us. Many days were spent just perfunctorily taking care of her needs. I feel bad for that. She was deeply loved, well-cared for. But even 9 months later, I just feel I coulda, shoulda, been different with her.

Nelson knew how much you loved him. And how could he be mad at you for taking him to the vet that last time? You gave him the greatest gift of all: you released him from his frail earthly body in a dignified way. Know that he is running free, healthy, with his new friends at the Bridge.

Just as he went on a new journey, so have you. And it is a hard one for you because you love him so. You found a good place to come and talk about your feelings, and share stories and pictures of your sweet guy, Nelson.

My prayers are with you today.
Molly's Mom

Posts: 8
Thank you, all, for your kind words.  My story is very similar to the many I have read here, yet it's amazing how alone you can feel.

The confusion of feelings in my head have got me into a right state.  His passing was unfortunately timed, as I have today returned home from my Grandmother's funeral.

I had cried so much at the loss of Nelson that I was physically unable to shed a tear for my Grandmother.  I'm sure it must have looked strange to my family, who I have not yet told about Nelson.  People without pets simply do not understand, as I did not understand until now.

Taking the little man to the vets and cradling him as he took his last breath were the most heartbreaking moments of my life.  I took his frisbee with him and he strode out of the car with it in his mouth, looking all proud and happy.  He waited patiently in the reception room, never letting his frisbee go.  I have asked that it be cremated with him so that when I join him we can play again, together.

My other dobe, Boycie, has no interest in chasing frisbee's.  I'm sure he thinks it's a total waste of energy and utterly below him!

I shall try to post some photos of Nelson, so I can share just how beautiful he was with everybody.


Posts: 8


Posts: 22
Oh, what a beautiful dog!  I can see why he's your pride and joy and love.  You have my very deepest sympathy.  When you're that in love, it doesn't matter how old or young they are when they leave us; it hurts unbearably just the same.

I only have one person to talk to about my Peanut and after a few days he started telling me that I had to get over her.  So I know what it feels like not being able to talk about the one you love the most and the horrible suffering you're going through.  What a lovely idea to have Nelson's frisbee cremated with him.  You're a good mommy and no one else could have loved him as much as you did.  He knew that and it's time you knew it, too.

I used to tell Peanut to go away when I was busy, too.  And now, like you, I'm beating myself up for it.  But I guess it's the equivalent of her not listening to me when I'd tell her to stop digging the bed clothes or stop bitting at her paws.  We all have our faults, man and animal alike.  We all have our own personalities and they include impatience and stubborness along with kindness and caring.  Believe me, Nelson knew you loved him and he loved you, too.  You would have been able to tell right away if that were not the case.

He was a sick little boy and entrusted his well-being to you.  That means that when he was suffering, he trusted you to bring him peace - which you did.  You did not fail him.  You took his pain away.  You sacrificed your own happiness in order to help him, so his trust was right and true.  You did the right thing in God's eyes and in Nelson's.  He's proud of you for that.

Shed your tears here with the rest of us because we truly understand and grieve along with you.  Again, I'm so very sorry but know that Nelson loves you for helping him when he needed you the most.

Most sincerely,
Peanut's Mommy


Posts: 10

I'm so sorry for your loss Nelson. 


Posts: 881
Nelson is such a handsome boy. I'm so very sorry for your loss and at such a young age. What you did for him is the greatest act of love...making certain he would not be suffering as the cancer progressed. He always could count on your love and felt that as you held him in your arms while he peacefully went to sleep.

Your pain will be great now and it will be important to mourn your Nelson. This is an enormous loss but never blame yourself for releasing his beautiful spirit. Everything you did for him was out of love and he knew that.

Come often..we all understand this heartbreaking pain. I'm wrapping you in hugs,

Cicio's mom

Posts: 10
Nelson is a beautiful dog, and I'm so sorry to hear about your losses, of both Nelson and your grandmother.

It's so difficult to have to make that decision to take a pet you care for so deeply to the vet, but you did the right thing, and Nelson won't have to suffer.

My heart goes out to you.

Posts: 1,205

What a handsome boy.  We all have regrets my friend, I shouted at my wee boy just before he was PTS, but we are only humans after all.  Love Di xxx


Posts: 8
I think I'm so lucky to have another dog to come home to.  Somebody else who still needs me and looks to me to look after him.  I can't possibly imagine coming home to an empty house.  Walking him on his own has probably been the most painful part though.  2 leads still hang on the stairs and it feels like a betrayal to only pick one up.  When we're out, I still keep looking over my shoulder to make sure Nelson is keeping up.  Walking past the field where we used to play frisbee is hard.  It used to be so full of energy and fun but now it's just another field.

Nelson was so playful where as Boycie just likes to go off on his own.  Although, I have noticed him not going so far and waiting for me to catch up, which he didn't used to do.  I bumped into one of the other dog walkers yesterday.  The first time since... It was nice to open my heart to somebody who understands.

I'm going to put all of my energy into Boycie.  Make sure he knows how much we love him and how much his brother loved him.  Hopefully, some day, Nelson will send me a sign so that I know he is ok.  I will keep looking.

Nelson & Boycie's Daddy


Posts: 156
Dear Nick,

You may find that your other dog undergoes a personality change and actually interfaces with you more now that Nelson has passed. My 14.5 year old Standard Poodle, Tess, was one of these independent things that would rather do her own thing than anything I could dream up. She was so stand-offish that when I had the chance 1.5 years later I bought her brother, Nicky--same parents. He was the joy of my life and we did everything together. He worshipped Tess but was my baby boy.

When Nicky died unexpectedly in late 2005 Tess suddenly began following me from room to room. We took long walks together and drove to places we had never been--partially because of the memories--exploring new territory. We have bonded like I never thought possible, so you may find that Boycie undergoes a transformation. Maybe not a frisbee game but something else just as delightful.

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