Registered: 1596699516 Posts: 2
Well, I just put my pet Dachshund and best friend, Spike to sleep just 5 hours ago. I have never experienced anything this crushing. I did it together with my parents and I didn't even know if I would be able to be in the same room at the end. Yet it ended up being me laying on the floor with him, caressing his head, my cheek against his, telling him how much I love him as the end came.
What made this so horrific for me is that my spikey was still mentally all there. He was as sharp as ever. Still even a good watchdog. His appetite was also as good as ever. However, he couldn't walk, and he could only drag himself a couple of feet at this point. Also from wearing the belly bands his entire stomach looked like it was rotting, developing all kinds of sores from the urine pressing against his stomach so often. To comfort myself about our decision I think of one recent incident where he had been sleeping in the bathroom. We went in there and his belly band was drenched, he'd made poo in his sleep, and the entire bathroom just smelled like a sewer. And I thought to myself what kind of life are we giving him. He's lying here in urine and poop. Then I would take him back in the living room, clean him off and he would just then lay there for the next 10 hours. However, in spite of all this he really didn't seem miserable most of the time. Like I said, he ate well and mentally he was still totally there. His personality was totally intact. I sit here still wondering whether we made the right choice or not. Spikey was a little over 13 years old. We got him when he was three. In December of 2018 he simply stopped walking. He had a degenerative condition of the spine and the vet told us he would never walk again. He pretty much advised us to put him down but we simply couldn't do it. So, me and mostly my mom provided him with 24 hour care over the next 19 months up to today. I would handle him from 8 in the evening till 10 in the morning. During that time it pretty much involved having to clean some form of doggy waste every 3 to 4 hours. I had to change his belly band and ring the urine out by hand every 3 to 4 hours. I was doing hours of dog laundry virtually every day. I'm ashamed to say it but after 19 months of that I really did feel physically and emotionally just shot. My mom would have him from 10 in the morning until 8 in the evening. I honestly don't know how she did it. She is 85 years old. I would leave the dog with a clean belly band at 10 in the morning but by noon it would be drenched. My mom would have to remove the belly band and then would leave wee wee pads all over. But it didn't help as the dog would end up urinating on the floor two to three times over the rest of the afternoon. So my mom, at her age, multiple times every afternoon, would have to break out wee wee pads to soak up urine, break out a sponge mop to mop the floor, pick up the dogs poo etc. In addition the dog would bark incessantly any time my mom would leave the couch so she she would sit on the couch for 12 straight hours other than cleaning up his poop and pee. When I would take the dog from her at 8 in the evening my mother just had to look of Total Physical exhaustion on her face and there would be a pile of dog laundry soaked in urine. So my number one reason for deciding this was the time was primarily concern for my mom. At this point in her life she simply can't handle taking care of a dog that can't walk by herself for 10 to 12 hours per day. I was simply terrified something might happen to her. And there was no one else that could possibly take care of the dog for those hours. Also, I felt fortunate that when we made the appointment to have the vet come to the house and do it, we were able to make it a week in advance. So we had a full week to spend with Spike and prepare ourselves mentally for it. I feared if we waited a couple of months it would become an emergency situation where we wouldn't have the luxury of being able to wait a week but rather would need a vet to come down that day or the next day. And I was concerned we wouldn't be able to find a vet to come down that quickly and then would have to bring the dog to the vet which we really didn't want to do. This way we were able to do it on our own time table. Yet I still sit here feeling like I'm just in enveloped in total darkness. Still questioning whether we did this simply because we were too tired of taking care of him or was it really because of concern for my mom as well as the well being of Spike. I still don't know how to put in words how I feel about having my dog alive and well barking at the vet, protecting his home, and then the next moment passing on in my arms and not existing any longer. I still can't get the visual out of my head of the dog laying there just looking like he was sleeping. But then when the vet moved him a bit to prepare him to leave the house you could see he was a limp and wasn't alive. That visual will just haunt me. I know I'm probably just rambling here. I'm just trying to process what happened and somehow come to grips with it. The worst part is the house feels utterly empty right now. Even with Spike not being able to walk I still knew Spike was either in the bathroom or in front of the couch. I knew he would be barking for food at around 8:30 in the morning. He just brought so much life to the house. Even in his current state. Without him the house suddenly feels like a hollow empty box. Well, I'll stop rambling now. I came across this website buy total chance I just felt like I had to get this off my chest somewhere and I really didn't have anyone to talk to. I don't know if this will help with anyone else cope but I hope it does. I've been reading many of the posts here and they do help. Try to stay well, and thanks for listening to me ramble for a while.
Registered: 1208639458 Posts: 115
I'm so sorry you had to say goodbye to your loving Spike.It sounds like he had a great life with you and wasn't enjoying himself anymore so you had no choice but free him of his pain and suffering.I just had to put my 17 yr old pug to sleep it is the hardest thing to do but the last loving act we can do for our pets to stop their suffering.Spike couldn't have been happy and is saying thank you for freeing me.You will miss him always but try to think of the good times and a happy Spike.You were with him in the end and the bond you shared is something to be treasured.take care
Registered: 1596699516 Posts: 2
Thanks a lot for the kind words. They mean a lot. Be well.