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Posts: 2
Hello everyone. I said goodbye to my sweet lab Macy yesterday. She was 15. She wasn’t sick, but in the last 6 months or so, she was just declining with age. She became fecal incontinent, she started falling down a lot, her appetite decreased, etc. Up until late November we were managing all these things and she was still a pretty happy dog. In November one day she just couldn’t get up from her bed. She had been fine that morning, but couldn’t get up that afternoon, and needed my help to walk. I took her to the vet then, thinking she wouldn’t be coming home with me. But instead, in an effort to feel like I had done everything I could for her, we started some injections and new meds. Things got better in terms of walking, though I still had to keep using a sling to help her squat to pee/poop without falling. She could walk ok, but still most of the time couldn’t get herself up from her bed. So she was just stuck, in whatever position I laid her in while i was at work, though she would try and try and try to get up. She hated it when i had to help her get up and down. She was restless all night. She pooped on her bed or in the house almost daily, and hated to be cleaned up. Doggie diapers weren’t very helpful. She was eating, but not a lot, and lost about 5 lbs in 2 months. She had some dementia and I saw some personality changes that broke my heart. Every moment of every day for the last 2 months I’ve been reassessing her quality of life, and making lists of “happy” and “crappy” things to help me gauge when the bad days were becoming more frequent than the good ones. Then I read an article that basically said, instead of asking “when is it the right time,” maybe ask yourself “what are you waiting for?” Was I waiting for her to get sick? Stop eating altogether? Have increased pain or become unable to walk? I wanted to let her go before the worst of the suffering began. I talked to my vet Friday and she reaffirmed what I’d been thinking for weeks- it was close to time. I went home from the vet Friday thinking I’d give it a couple more weeks. Then Saturday morning I woke up just feeling “sure” it was time, and I called the vet back, and took my baby back in. I stopped and got her cheeseburgers on the way and she gobbled them up. I said goodbye and stroked her head as she took her last breaths. I couldn’t speak i was crying so hard, so my vet kept saying to her “you were the best dog.” It was peaceful. This was not the first pet in my life to pass. I put my cat to sleep several years ago- she was sick and there was just no question it was the best thing. But letting my Macy go has completely gutted me. I’ve had her for her whole life and she’s been with me through divorce and so many other things. I am single and don’t have children- She was my child. She was my constant company. She was the love of my life. The grief is unbearable. I knew i would be sad and it would be heartbreaking, but I also thought I’d feel some sense of relief when the time came- because I’ve been so drained physically and emotionally (and even financially) over the last several
months. But instead, not only do I feel devastated, I feel guilt and anxiety. Not having all those things to do today to take care of her, not having her presence in my house, not having pills to give, not having a doggie camera to check, not hearing her collar jingling.. the list goes on. It is awful. I have this fear that she didn’t know how very much I loved her- guilty feelings for every time I ever raised my voice at her or showed my frustration in any way to her. Guilt over wondering if I “jumped the gun” and could have loved on her for a little longer. That sounds selfish when I write it. I just miss her so much and wish I could have explained to her that I was letting her go out of love so she wouldn’t suffer. The pain of this loss is affecting me more than I imagined it could. I am just seeking an outlet to get all of this out of my head, and a safe space to talk about it. Thanks for listening.

Posts: 7
I am so sorry for your loss. I too am struggling with the fear that my beloved cat didn't know how much I loved her. I made a decision similar to your's in which I didn't want to prolong her suffering, I wanted her to feel peace before her quality of life deteriorated uncontrollably but instead I can't help wishing she was next to me. Again, like you, I feel absolutely no relief as I did with other pet deaths, just crushing pain and guilt. Macy knows you loved her. It's never an easy decision, but you made the best one you could.

I wish I had advice to share, but I don't. I hear your pain, you're not alone, and my deepest condolences. 

Posts: 2
Thank you so much. I am very sorry for your loss as well. It helps to hear that the thoughts and feelings I have are normal. This is a heartache like I have never had before. My thoughts are with you as you also heal from heartache.

Posts: 4
I am going through the same pain. My heart aches for you. I lost my Koko 12/16/19. The pain is so overwhelming. You are not alone. Thank goodness for this site. It helps to see that we are not alone and all these feelings are perfectly normal. Thank you everyone.

Posts: 7
Thank you so much. I agree - it really helps to know that this insurmountable pain is normal and while our companions are not here with us physically, we are not alone in our suffering. I am at such a loss trying to sort through my feelings of grief, guilt, and anxiety. Talking about it here helps a lot, but I find myself crying uncontrollably when I try to talk with people about it. I am getting a book from the library on pet loss and grief that has gotten really good reviews. I just don't know what to do. It's a very tough time. 

Posts: 7
What’s a good book on pet loss?  I’m still kinda numb after losing my cat, Molly this month.  I, too, feel guilt and regret.  Did I have her put to sleep too soon?  Was she really that sick, it seemed to happen do fast.  One day she was fine and the next day, they’re telling me she has terminal cancer.  I know feelings of guilt are normal but I still feel I failed her even though I loved her so much.

Posts: 2
I understand how you all feel. I too lost my Kitty cat she was also my best friend she followed me everywhere she always sat on my lap and she would enjoy lots of cuddles with me. Unfortunately on Sunday the 19th January 2020 she was violently taken away from me by a horrible dog who mauled her to death

Posts: 7
I'm sorry for your loss. I know what you're going through. It's hard to feel like you failed your best friend with the wrong decision. My cat's diagnosis and passing happened so fast that I also feel numb from it. It's devastating and I'm sorry. I'm trying to remember that I made the best decision I could - it was never going to be easy.

As for the book- I haven't read it yet, but it has good reviews on The book is "The Loss of a Pet: A guide to coping with the grieving process when a pet dies" by Dr. Wallace Sife. I'm really desperate to find just a moment of peace in this chaos because I'm hurting terribly.

Posts: 640

Dear KitKat,

I am reluctant to reply to posts like this because I don't want to anger the poster. On the other hand, what good is it if we have a message board where everyone is like one of the Stepford Wives. All the same,
like clones. If that's the case, no one need post on any board if they already know the general consensus of how people feel there. They already have their answer.

So I will reply honestly to this and you are free to accept or reject.

I have raised 4 pet children. I euthanized 3 our of the 4.

From  many things that contributed my view on euthanasia, I no longer support it.  But I will give you an example where I do support it.

I was driving my car recently and came upon a situation where someone had hit 2 deer at once with their car. It is an extremely busy major road and the deer were laying together on the road struggling to get up. Both of them. Cleary their legs were broken from the impact of the vehicle and they could not stand. They were frantically and desperately trying to get up but they couldn't. It is one of the saddest things I have ever seen. I was driving my car and witnessing this. Go figure. In a case like this I strongly believe in euthanasia. If I was legally licensed to carry a gun, I may have stopped my car and euthanized them myself. No one was going to come to rescue the deer. The highway department disposed of "road kill" and in a case like this, it would be the highway department coming. The deer were not going to be brought to a vet or rescue sanctuary. I would gladly had killed them myself to stop what was happening to them. And I am sure to some, that is controversial. I will give you another example of when I believe in euthanasia. I live in the boondocks in the country in upstate, NY. It is all farms. I was driving alone a back road and I heard a very loud thump in the back part of my car. I thought a part had fallen off or something. I slowed down and looked in my rearview mirror expecting maybe to see my muffler laying on the road. Instead, I saw a cat laying in the middle of the road. Shocked and horrified I went back.

The cat was in shock and frantically jumping around like a "Mexican jumping bean". Frantically jumping around. It was a scary sight. Another car pulled up, looked and took off. I have since done some reading on the reaction of this cat having just been hit by a car. The cat's nervous system was causing this jumping around. Part of it was involuntary. The cat could not run away, just frantically jump around in the same space. It was terrifying to witness. This cat was severely damaged. I later realized that the cat had run under my car trying to make a quick exit from one side of the road to the other. That's why I heard something in the back. I have hit a cat before in my life, but in this case I know I didn't but it really doesn't matter. If I did, I would say so.  But I hadn't. And that kind of made me feel even sorrier in a way for the cat. The cat really did accidentally get killed. This cat was so injured and disoriented that I knew approaching this cat and trying to get the cat in the car in the hyper state was not going to be happening. I have come upon a cat hit by a car before that was laying docile in the road and I got out and picked the cat up and drove the cat to a vet. But in the case I am describing, this was a different situation. One kind of like the deer. The decision I made was to euthanize the cat right there on the road. And I did. I was not going to drive off and leave that cat with a broken body beyond repair who was in shock. I then buried the cat on the side of the road. Right then and there.

So, where am I going with this. When I hear people say 'You did the right thing, it would have been one more week of suffering', my reaction is "so what?". Suffering is part of dying. Your dog was dying. Your dog was  in the process of dying. That process was going to play itself out. If your dog was going to live another week "suffering" (and I didn't see anything there even remotely like what I described above), how would one more week of life destroy your dog? My dog had all the things you described. I did euthanize her and give the chance to go back in time, I would never have done so. When I was having her euthanized, the vet said afterwards 'If you hadn't done this, she would have died in 4 days". 4 days? So rather than comfort her, lay on the floor with her for 4 days and give up everything in my life for her and just stay on the floor for 4 days with my arms around her, talking to her, stroking her where she lived and wanted to be..rather than do that I forced her into a car while dying, had to have her carried by strangers into a vet office (2 techs came out with a gurney), had her old worn out body place on a hard floor (she was put on the floor, not a table) and have strangers around (employees), people tense, the vet running out to get the "euthanasia kit", coming back in and killing here there with strangers around.  If Tum could talk I think she would say "Mom, I'll stay home with you".

Why the urgent need to "put them out of their misery"? If they are in misery death is imminent. Why rush what is going to happen naturally. Like it or not, death is supposed to happen. It doesn't need our help. Death isn't a mistake.

To me euthanasia is a form of medicine people and veterinarians misuse to treat some imaginary illness called dying. Dying isn't an illness. It's a natural process. And euthanasia is not medicine.Think of childbirth. Women screaming. Blood, a baby comes out crying and discolored covered in matter that is making the baby look different than it will in the days to come. In some cases women poop when giving birth from the pressing of their body. Some vomit and even hallucinate.The things can potentially happen during childbirth are numerous according to obstetricians who say they have seen it all. A lot of things happen. If we didn't say it was birth but described what the birth process can involve naturally and say what should we do in a case like this and instead of a woman, say it was an animal giving birth..some would say
"this animal needs to be euthanized"...but then tell them "you just ordered the death of an animal giving birth and what  was happening was 100% normal".

So, I could go on. But I think I have said enough to generally tell you my views on euthanasia. You said you feel devastated, guilt and anxiety. And that what is happening to you is unbearable.

To that I say, "completely understandable".

When I had my dog Tum euthanized, I wanted to commit suicide afterwards and I don't say that as a phrase or term or just to try to make a point. I literally wanted to kill myself. That was in 2013. I know what it feels like to be suicidal. What I felt was out of this world. I had killed Tum. And the thought of living with that for the rest of my life was so tormenting I wanted to get rid of the disturbing feelings I was happening and the only thing that would help was death. (That's me talking to myself). The year now is 2020. I no longer want to kill myself but I am sad and lonely. I never adopted again. You should know that 11 months before Tum died, the baby of the family Pearl.. died from euthanasia. I was killing my children left and right. I was at wits end. I didn't want to live with what I had done to my babies. I lived alone, have never been married and have never given birth. I am a lot like you.

I know if you want to, you can agree with me that you just might pull out of this. Not for a long time, but at some point. If you can agree with me on that...that you might...just might...pull out of this someday, then I will commit to being here for you on this pet loss message board as a form of support.

Please keep talking and I feel your pain. Trust me on that.

I am sorry I couldn't say "You did the right thing" and so on.

Maybe you yourself can't get you through this, but time is on your side. In life some things heal and improve on their own with time and with no input from us. It's nature. Count on that even without you doing anything, some of what is happening to you is going to lighten. Because that's just how life is.

- Stephanie



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