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Posts: 1
I have just found this board; I am going through the Loss of my Choc Lab of 13 years. I guess im experiencing a lot of grief/ guilt over having to put Him down. He has been sick for about two years, to varying degrees, first he came down with a foul oder which i came to find out was just because of his breed, was told it was because of his oil in his coat that gave him the oder. Then he developed like a skin disease that we started medicating him for for the last two years; special dog food, medicated shampoo from the vet, medicated ear wash. Then as time rocked on he started to have a limp on his right hip that you could tell really bothered him when he walked, probably starting about a year and a half ago. Then he began to curl his feet when he was walking.....walking on the top of his feet and
Causing his feet to bleed; all this time he has been an inside dog, just a part of our family, never kept outside always inside in the ac and had his spot on our couch.
He would always lay as though he was standing guard; but asleep, in the living room ever vigilant while we would sleep, if anyone ever thought about walking to the door he would let them know he was waiting on the other side! Lol.
But still as time rocked on he began to decline getting worse and worse we had put him on prednosone for the skin problems for at least the last year and a half, as soon as we would reach the end of the meds, about two weeks would go by then we were back at the vet getting more prescriptions. He finally began to have trouble getting up the stairs had to carry him up a lot. Then he would have bouts of not being able to walk on his own, trouble eating we would have to hand feed him and bottle feed him water, i know this sounds bad but he would get better then would be back to his old self for a while, so we thought it was probably time to begin to think about euthanizing him, but as i said he would all of the sudden bounce back so that became kind of unthinkable.
Then he went through a time of about two weeks where he started to get even worse, even with hand feeding him and bottle feeding him, we began to realize he wasnt going to bounce back. He started to loose control of his bowels, he began to jus continually urinate, this lasted for two days then we had to have a family meeting and talk about what we needed to do for him. We have a large family and sone youngsters amungst us so we felt it was important to come to an agreement as a family on putting him to sleep so he wouldnt go through any more pain.
I will tell you, making this decision was one of the hardest things ive had to do. Ive explaned (to the kids)that we have a responsibility to Russell to care for Him even if it ment having to choose to let him go because we didnt want Him to suffer any longer. They understand but its still hard for them experiencing the loss.
Tonight i had to go into his room where he spent the last couple of weeks, his bed was there, his food bowls were there, his kennel was there. That oder that he had..... was still there. He just wasnt there, to greet me, wagging his tail or licking me to death. I just miss him. He was my buddy.
The last visit to the vet, we were all there with him. We had to put him in the vehicle with a beach towel holding it on all four corners, the vet had to put him on a gurney to get him to the room. But we were all with him, he never left
Us you know, didnt want to leave him either. We were all there petting him, i was holding his head. We said our goodbyes and the vet came in and did his thing, we just told him we loved him so much as i watched him drift off to sleep. I miss him so much. He was just such a big part of our lives. In one way just feels like im kind of stupid for getting up set over our dog, but then again he was just one of us, you know. He just knew us and we knew him. Didnt have to tell him twice to go do anything he just kind of knew like he could read us and was so willing to help in any way he could.
If he were here right now, he would know i was down and would just set with me and nuzzle his head in my lap to help me. Sorry to ramble on; this is just as bad a loosing someone in the family.
In the beginning i wasnt an advocate for euthanization, i really wanted him to just pass away in his sleep; but as i realized what was probably going to happen, with his organs shutting down; just couldnt bear to watch him go through any more pain.
Just kind if looking on advice on wether we did the right thing or not.

Posts: 22
Hi Russell's dad! I just lost my pet yesterday and read your story. This is so much harder than I thought it would be. I didn't get to say goodbye to my pet as she died unexpectedly while I wasn't around. That is the hardest part, that she died alone. It is killing me. I always promised her I'd never let anything bad happen to her and it did. :( We loved each other so much, we were almost like soul mates. I have two dogs and one always runs straight to the food bowl when I come home. Lulu would turn around in circles with excitement to see me and only wanted my love. Food came second.  Please take comfort in the fact that your buddy wasn't alone when he had to go. He had his family around him and could feel your love, I am sure. Hang in there!

Posts: 639
>>>Just kind if looking on advice on wether we did the right thing or not.<<<

Euthanasia isn't right or wrong. But I know what you mean. Personally I am not an advocate of it but that is about me. I don't speak for the whole world. So my personal beliefs mean very little about the subject.

I think what you are saying is that you believe you did something wrong.  Many of us (but not all) who have had our pets euthanized have regrets afterwards and the reason is because we were a party to the death of our pet. While a vet can make a suggestion, we are the ultimate decision maker to end our pets life. And what a huge, awesome decision that is. It is so big that many of us (I have euthanized some pets) can't cope later on because of the role we played in how things ended. Some people worry that the euthanasia was premature. That they rushed things. Others feel it was not necessary to euthanize if the pet was dying and why did they euthanize their pet rather than let him or her die naturally. I know I found myself in that situation all 3 times I euthanized. They were near the end of their life and why the heck did I have to step in and "help" matters.

No one will ever fault you for what you did. So you don't have to worry about that. Euthanaisa is socially acceptable. It is not some harsh, back woods method of dealing with animals. It is a well respected intervention.

The thing is, is that it is irreversible. When I euthanized my dog especially, I freaked out over what had I done? In the moment I was in a panic while in the vets office and said "Yes, euthanize". But afterwards I asked "what the heck did I just do. this was permanent, not some temporary solution. in a rush to put an end to the anxiety that was happening in the vets office I approved euthanasia. but it was to put an end to the turmoil in the moment. I did not think it through. I was impulsive.  And the torment began. And I do mean torment.

Whatever you come to decide about what you did, do know that in due time the angst will ease up. What is happening to you now will not be a thing that is going to haunt you forever. Even were you to decide it was a mistake...even mistakes can be worked into the fabric of our lives and we can be compassionate with ourself and know that we were not doing anything to hurt or be malicoius to our pet. But then, maybe you will never think it was a mistake.

Just know that this sad time and all the confusion and guilt will ease up. It may take a while and if it does, that's OK.

I am so sorry for your loss. 13 years is a long time and Chocolate Labs are loving, fun and great friends. I truly do mean it when I say you are sad and I don't blame you.

Take care and god bless,
grieving mom


Posts: 1
Stephanie that panic and approval and then regret is what just happened to me. I've never had to put a pet down. But Thursday, my little 11 yr old chihuahua had a reoccurrence of pancreatitis, was diagnosed w/extreme diabetes, and her kidney and liver seemed to be failing. 

I had the choice of giving her a less than 5% chance of struggling to survive or euthanizing her, and my panic of her struggling took over and I put her down. I regretted it immediately and now I'm lost. I feel like an executioner and I don't know how to get past that. 


Posts: 167
Like RussellsDad, I too rejected the notion of euthanasia. When my cat was in the last legs of her terminal disease, I too secretly prayed that she would pass away on her own. But when her condition started to worsen, and I contemplated the inhumane option of letting her suffer on, I really felt I had no choice but to help her cross the bridge. This took all the remaining strength I had, to make this terrible decision and to be there when it was done. I accept that I had no choice but to do the euthanasia but yet I cannot feel good about it, in any way. I can't ever think about it without going to tears, even after quite a long time has passed.
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