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Posts: 3
Hello all. This is my first post here so hopefully I get it right.
We put our sweet baby girl, Marley, down yesterday. I wholeheartedly feel it was the wrong decision and I don’t know how to deal with this guilt.
Marley was a 13 year old shepherd cross that we’d adopted when she was one. She’s had an amazing life, that’s a fact.
She developed degenerative myelopathy in November and had almost entirely lost the use of her back legs. She still used them but couldn’t feel anything and didn’t know where to place them all the time but she was in no pain. We would have to carry her up and down the stairs. Because of the numbness in her back end, she had problems going to the bathroom. The stool would literally just fall out of her in the house. It was solid so it didn’t really bother me, I never got angry with her for it.
Last Monday evening I noticed a large, pusy lesion on her back. She also had a large lump on her chest that the vet looked at in November but didn’t biopsy.
I called my friend, a vet tech, to ask her about the lesion. She looked in Marleys chart and asked how the lump on her chest was doing. By this point it had spread across her chest and into her armpit. It was large. She would also breath very heavily at times. I mentioned this to my friend who said that maybe it was time to let her go. We talked a lot and by the end of the conversation, I’d booked her euthanasia for 4 days away (Saturday).
I struggled to come to terms with it over the week and changed my mind several times. My husband would just keep saying “it’s up to you”. Marley was always a proud girl and I kept telling myself that I didn’t want her to lose her dignity. Her mind and heart were perfectly in tact. She looked at me with her beautiful eyes the way she always had. She snuggled her face into my chin as she’d done daily for 12 years. I woke up yesterday and said “I’m going to cancel the appointment”. Again, my husband said “it’s up to you, but I think I agree”. I called my brother who had recently bought Marley a $600 wheelchair and was always the voice of reason. His 12 year old beagle has just completed her chemo treatments so he is an anaiml liver and knows the struggle. He raised some good points and we decided together that it was time.
Now, I’m full of regret. Seeing her slip away like that because of my decision after she’s trusted me every second of every day she was with me is a horrible feeling to carry. I instantly regretted it. I don’t know what to do with myself. I haven’t stopped crying. My children (7&5) are very upset because mommy’s upset. We took Marley to the off leash park she so loved yesterday morning. She ran as best she could and cried with excitement every time a dog came by. She had a steak for lunch and an ice cream cone on the way to the vet. She was in her glory and I took it all away with one hasty decision that I’ll regret forever.
I know it wasn’t a matter of “if” but a matter of “when”. I just think I could have waited at least a couple months. She’s gone. I’m devistated and lonely and have barely eaten in 4 days. Please, if you have any coping mechanisms, please share. This is exhausting. Mentally, physically and emotionally exhausting and I don’t know how to get out of it.

Thank you for reading ❤️

Posts: 4
Hi Kat...oh my goodness, we ARE in the same boat. Marley sounds like an amazing dog and it’s obvious that you loved her so much and gave her a great life. As an outsider looking in - I can tell you that your decision makes perfect sense to me - but as I unfortunately know all too well - it’s hard to see when it’s your own beloved pet. : (

One of the hardest things for me was to watch the life drain out of her little body and look into those dead eyes that had always been so sweet and kind for the last 15.5 years. I feel like that image will forever haunt me. I’m SO glad my kids weren’t there to see it.

We should definitely talk more. It’s 4:00 am in my neck of the woods right now, but I look forward to conversing more later in the day. Hugs, momma. You did the right thing. It just stinks that, so many times in life, the right thing is also the hardest to deal with.

Posts: 580
Oh Kat, I am so sorry you had to make this dreadful decision. I know all to well how it tears you up and the guilt is unbearable. I had the same feelings as you when I made that dreadful decision almost 9 months ago. For a very long time I felt as is I took Termy's life and I had no right to take it. I look back at all the reasons I made this decision and deep down in my head I know it was the right thing to do but my heart wasn't ready. Termy had heart problems and had quit eating and drinking. He lost one third of his body weight in just a short time and I was scared for him. I prayed and cried but in the end I wanted to let him go with his dignity in tact. He trusted me all the way till the end and I know he knew I did it because I loved him more than life it's self. I think of the guilt for doing this and then I also think of the guilt I would have felt if he would have passed while I was at work or away. If that would have happened I then think how guilty I would have felt for not being there to hold him and say goodbye. We beat ourselves up and we shouldn't. We dishonor our babies with guilt. They love us and trust us, even now. Marley is with Termy now and I can picture them running and playing together. Marley can run like the wind now, happy, healthy and free. She has her angle wings and will wait for you at the Bridge.
love and doggie hugs
Termy's mom

Posts: 3
Thank you for your kind words. I’m very sorry for your loss as well.
I wish I could say I felt in my heart and mind that it was the right decision, but I didn’t. I should have trusted my gut. I have no choice but to accept my decision, I understand that. I’m just not sure how long that’s going to take. Right now it seems impossible. I just want her back.
I too kept thinking about her dignity. She was always very regal, loved to run and could weave in and out of trees at an amazing speed. But she could no longer do that at the end. But her last day at the dog park she was still so full of life and excitement even just to be there. I took that away and I should have just carried on, at least for another month or two.
Ugh this sucks. I just want her back.

Posts: 92
I'm sorry for the loss of your Marley. it's terrible watching your loved one's health decline ... and because our pets are domesticated, not out in the wild... we are told the kindest thing is to make the decision of when to end their lives, as well; after we've cared for them so carefully, and for so long... that seeming conflict would be likely to mess whith ones mind. I guess the care we give to our pets even goes to deciding their last moment alive sometimes. That's more involved than most people think of. When I have had a relative pass on, I said 'God took them, or 'called them home'". These end of life decisions with anyone -including pets ... how do we prepare to make them ? And how do we know we've made the correct decisions ? Unfortunately, there's no one answer and noone can give you that answer, unfortunately.

I feel your pain. I'm going through weighing quality of life: natural death, or euthanasia for my own beloved dog of 12 yrs.

Never made a decision involving such weight before. It's very difficult. A very lonely kind of difficult. With any other decision, I would turn to my dog for comfort and inspiration - feel like I can't for this decision.

It's a lonely spot to be in, for sure.

Keeping you in my thoughts ((hugs))

Posts: 15
All of you are in my thoughts and prayers. I went through the same thing on May 27 with Franklin, my boxer that I adopted in 2010 when he was a year old. He was my best friend, but he developed kidney disease in January. I did everything I could and he was doing much better. But, on May 9, the vet took his blood work and I was told that it was even worse than when he was diagnosed in January. However, the vet couldn't believe how spry and agile he was and his demeanor was still the same (i.e. barking like a maniac when he saw another dog).

On the Thursday before Memorial Day, he took a turn for the worse and stopped eating. His breathing became labored and I knew we might be looking at the end. My ex came over (he was Franklin's papa) and we both decided together that perhaps we should have him put to sleep. I called on Friday to make the appointment. We had him put down on Saturday (before Memorial Day).

Franklin didn't eat for three days and even refused a piece of steak. He was still drinking water, but vomiting it up frequently.

When we got to the vet's office, they had a room full of dogs and cats. Franklin didn't bark or do anything which was absolutely not his nature. Had he been his normal self, he would have been going ballistic and we would have had to been rushed into a room or taken him outside until they were ready for him. The thing is, he was still walking and gave me kisses when I was crying and saying goodbye to him.

I don't know what the right decision is anymore. At first, I didn't feel guilty. But, now I do. I feel as if I should have let him go on his own. We don't put humans to sleep when they are dying. They have to die on their own!

Ugh, this just sucks and I feel for all of you. Please know that you aren't alone.
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