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Posts: 1
Please can someone help me? I feel like I'm going crazy.

I had to make the difficult decision to put my 16-17 year old baby down last Thursday. It was a planned appointment and, to be honest, something that I had been putting off for so long...she seemed to be carrying on just for me.

Our regular vet came to our house and she had steak and ice cream for breakfast that day.

We'd given her a double dose of her Gabapentin, as recommended by the vet, to make her more relaxed and, in the past, this has always worked. Not that day though. She was more active and unsettled than ever.

The vet wanted to put in a cannula so that it would be easier for her and so she could be cuddled up in my arms in our favourite spot on the sofa, just like she had been so many times before.

She had to be laid in her bed for the cannula to be fitted and that's where it all started to go wrong. I already felt like I was doing the wrong thing - even though she had been ill for the past year, could barely walk anymore and was losing her ability to drink. She'd had 24 hour care for the past three weeks and I'd convinced myself that she was quite content.

The noise of the shaver upset her but she calmed down quite quickly. The cannula going in, however, changed all of that. She started to wriggle so had to be held down and then she let out a horrendous howl. She was never a vocal dog, ever, and so this was heart-wrenching. I laid next to her and told her it was ok and that I was there and stroked her head.

After that they said they'd give us a few minutes but she wouldn't calm matter what we did. We tried her favourite cuddle positions, stroking her, talking to her. She was frantic. She wriggled and bucked and kicked and the more we tried to calm her down, the more she got worked up...howling and screaming.

I told the vets to use the sedation (they had it prepared just in case) as I didn't want her to be scared. They gave her IV sedatives and within a few seconds she had gone limp against me. The vet said she could still hear me but wouldn't react. Her breathing became very laboured and I actually thought she had passed as she appeared to stop, the vet checked and said she was still there and then she let out a huge breath and started breathing again.

I didn't want her to suffer at the end and so we only spent a couple of minutes on our own saying goodbye to her. I sang her her favourite song and said all of the things that I wanted to - how much I loved her, how sorry I was, how I was going to miss her and how special she was to me. I thanked her for saving my life and for her 14-15 years of love. I panicked and I feel like I rushed it...if I'd just gotten up off the sofa and tried walking around with her in my arms, would that have calmed her down? Then I rushed giving her the actual injection because I was terrified she was suffering.

The vet then came back in and gave her the IV injection whilst I was cuddling her and telling her how much I loved her. She then took some very big and heavy breaths which the vet said meant she had passed. He gave us a minute or two and then checked and she had, indeed gone. 

We got a few more minutes together and her eye twitched, then her ear and then her tummy. I convinced myself she was still there but the vet checked again and said she was definitely gone.

They left and we were left cradling on the sofa. We did a pawprint keepsake kit and waited for the lady from the crematorium, wrapped up in a blanket together as she was starting to lose her warmth and I didn't want to accept that she was gone.

When she arrived, I just couldn't bear to let her go and we got another 15 minutes together.

It's haunting me. I can't sleep or get out of bed and I feel like I let her down.

I used to always say to her "Mummy's got you, Mummy will always have you" - but Mummy didn't. Mummy let someone murder her whilst I watched and she was so scared.

Her face is haunting me. When my Husband took her to try and calm her down she just looked at me with these horrified wide eyes and screamed. I let her down. I'd spent her entire life trying to protect her and keep her safe and happy and then her final minutes were just full of pure terror.

My Husband says that she looked so peaceful on me when she had been sedated - but I couldn't see that as I had her cradled on me. He said that she passed away hearing my voice and listening to my heartbeat, all snug and warm in my arms but that's not how I remember it at all. I just remember her being terrified and thinking that I had let her down.

The vet said that she would still be able to hear me after sedation - is that true? Could she hear what I was saying to her? Would she still have been scared but too sleepy to do anything about it?
I wanted her passing to be peaceful and it was the most harrowing experience of my life. I feel like she was fighting to stay with me...trying to tell me that I was doing the wrong thing and that she wasn't ready to go.

I'm sorry if this doesn't make much sense, I can barely see my screen through the tears as I write this.

Please can someone just tell me that it'll get better or that I'm not crazy for feeling this way. I just can't bear this pain.

Posts: 1,010
Hi SammysMummy:

I felt like I had to respond to your post because I've been there (twice now).

First let me say how sorry I am for the loss of your beloved Sammy.  Believe me, you're not going crazy.  This is a pain unlike any other and the first few days, weeks or even months are filled with the grief and pain of missing your special furbaby.

Does it get better?  Eventually, yes, but you never stop missing them.  After a while (and the length of time is different for everyone) you will be able to remember Sammy with smiles instead of tears.

We first went through this pain over 4 years ago when we had to say goodbye to our beloved little cockapoo, Brandy.  We had her for 17 years and she was most definitely our child.  The loss was just devastating and brought us to our knees.  We said we couldn't endure that again.  The experience we had with having to put her to sleep was very good and peaceful.  The vet came to the house and we had Brandy all snuggled up on the couch on her favorite blanket.  She drifted off to sleep and then the final shot.  It was hard to believe she was really gone.  We spent some time with her and then took her to the vet's office where they would arrange for her cremation.

We both said we couldn't go through that again, but after a few months we were lonely and decided to adopt a rescue cocker spaniel that was 10 years old.  We knew she would never replace Brandy, but Miriam got us through many a dark day.  She had loads of health issues and we only had her for 4 years and then again we had to make that awful decision.  But we couldn't let her suffer.  This time again the vet came to the house.  The first shot she got the vet said "it might sting a little."  Well I think it hurt a lot.  Miriam yelped in pain.  I felt so bad because I just wanted the same peaceful experience that we had with Brandy.  Miriam was a fighter, not wanting to leave us.  The doctor had to give her an extra dose because after checking she was still with us.  Finally she said "she's gone."  I'm telling you it was surreal.  Here we were again...full of grief and pain and loss.

I didn't want to make this about me, but I just wanted you to know I fully understand everything you are feeling.  What saved me was this forum of caring and compassionate people.  I don't think I could have made it without them.

I hope you will come back and tell us more about your special Sammy.  It really does help.  No one will judge you here and believe me everyone understands.

I'm sending you thoughts of peace and comfort at this very difficult time.

Barb (Angel Brandy's and Miriam's mom)

Posts: 580
I am so sorry that you felt you did a terrible thing. Your emotions were running deep and based on your husbands comments your baby didn't suffer. It's really hard to relive our babies last moments because we let our emotions play on our hearts. I relived Termy's last moments for months and felt that I did the wrong thing to. Now I look back and I know he went peacefully in my arms. I think she felt you and your panic that's why she didn't relax and a stranger in her home. All this played into your heart ache.  As hard as it is to believe, you did the right thing. You have to weigh her quality of life. In our minds we want to think they are doing okay but in our hearts we know that they are struggling every day for us. You didn't let her down she passed onto Rainbow Bridge in the arms of the one person she trusted all her life. The pain will lessen with time and you'll never forget her. These memories will fade and the memories you both made together will over shadow those last minuets. It's hard, I know but if she was suffering you gave her a very unselfish gift of your love by letting her go. What you wrote makes perfect sense, it's how you feel. She may have been wanting to stay because she felt your pain but that would have been harder for her, staying for you. When their pain and suffering ends ours truly begins. Please try to not be so hard on yourself and forgive yourself. You loved her the mostest and she knows that.
Love and doggie hugs
Termy's mom

Posts: 1
You are not crazy for feeling that way. Your story touched me as I also have the same feelings every day worried and knowing that I let her down. In total despair about how it could have been different. Like you I am haunted with the memory of her sweet little face and her suffering.

Like you wrote, you spent his whole life protecting him, caring for him only to now be thinking that you let him down. Mine wasn't euthanized but she had a heart attack when I was giving her medication. She suffered and was barking at me to rescue her like I always did when she had a problem but there was nothing I could do. I think she died not understanding why I didn't make it all better. She communicated to me until she took her last breath. Even worse, I feel terror wondering if she maybe even thought I caused her the pain. About what I should have done instead. I'm tortured from this. I don't know what else to say. This is the first post I have written as I just registered here. I lost my little girl 14 days ago. She blessed my life for 13 years. This is the first time I've been able to focus on finding support to help myself.

I hope you can find some peace every day. One thing we can both know is that we loved them unconditionally for their whole lives. Surely they knew we did. I stay busy maybe that will help you too. It helps a little to spend some time every day with your family or friends.

Posts: 4
I'm so sorry for the loss of your precious Sammy, I know how you and also the other people who have responded feel. I said goodbye to my beautiful girl Georgia 14 months ago and I still have times when I hate myself for making that decision and feel that I let her down when she needed me the most. What helps me a little is the thought of what her final moments would have been like if we didn't choose the time of farewell and how much more suffering we would have let her go through. No matter how long our pets have been sick or declining I doubt we would ever be prepared for the sense of loss and the grief that comes when they pass and the feelings that come with that final farewell. It will get easier with time and your precious memories will always be there. Although I haven't posted before I have had great comfort reading posts by others and knowing I am not alone in my grief for my beloved Georgia.

Posts: 19
These final moments never go as hoped, we plan ahead to minimize our loved one's suffering and also our own grief, I've had to say goodbye to two 16 year old dogs in my 40 years of existence, both I approached very differently when their time came. 16 years is amazing age for any dog, and they can only live this long if they were so loved

I know all you can think of her last minutes, and nothing much of her last 16 years, this sharp moment does become cloudy over time, and your thoughts do gradually get replaced by the stronger happier memories.

Your journey for the test of time has started, you have already overcome the hardest part of all, the start, and she'll be waiting for you at the end of the rainbow.

Posts: 123
Hello Sammy's Mom...
Feeling your depth of despair!! One cannot possibly prepare for the aftermath of the final moments. Been 16d since my wee chihuahua soon to be 16y had he lived. We believe we are strong emotionally,but oboy, we are all in for a wake up. Been a rollercoaster of emotions since jan10th. The heartache is very real as it is the end of the road, FINITE !! I try to keep busy and cannot bear the sound of silence so the TV and radio is on. The cycle is broken, the every day routine,preparing his food for the day before my own and such. Perry was my world. My day revolved around him. Loved him to the endth drgree. My wee man loved me !!. You must tell yourself 24/7, you did what you did in order to alleviate further suffering. Alllll sounds so callous and empty words right now when one's heart is broken. I feel your intense pain and YES,in some small was the pet forum is a place to sound our grief. The despair seems to come in waves, one minute I am ok and the next, tears flowing. Whee we gather the strength daily to cope is a mystery. GOD grant me strength. Peace be with you..Sherry/Perry'sxx mom

Posts: 1
This forum is the only place I have found that understands what I am going through.  Reading all the posts about how guilty people feel that they inadvertently hastened the death of their beloved pet.  My Lucy was put down this past Wednesday.  She was almost 14 yrs. old.  She was totally blind, had lumps and bumps all over her body.  I took her to accupuncture once a week for her lameness.  I've tried all sorts of "natural or herbal" supplements to try make her health better as I don't believe in all vets treatments.  I thought I would try this product called Thuja for her fatty tumors as an operation would be too much.  I read all the raving reviews of this product.  Old dogs, young dogs, people, kids....all thought it was the best thing since sliced bread.  I purchased a bottle, they are small tiny pellets, said to give 3, I gave her only 1.  She ate her dinner with gusto, like always, I gave her the pellet in a pill pocket and within an hour, she was hiding behind the couch.  I called her and she stumbled out, her head cocked to one side, her eyes rolling in her head.  She couldn't get up, so I slept next to her all night thinking it would pass.  It didn't, we took her to the vet the next morning, they gave her nausea meds, anti seizure meds and said to wait and see if she gets better.  She didn't after all day at vet.  The vet said it was a possible brain tumor and there was no way to see unless we took her up north to another vet with that capability and it would probably cost around $2,000 and that would only put a name on it.  Then we would have to decide to operate or try and treat her.  If we took her home like she was, she would probably starve to death as the couldnt eat or drink.  We opted to put her to sleep.  I asked the vet if the Thuja was the cause, he said probably not, but could not say 100%.  I am racked with guilt that I contributed to her death and possibly could have lived another 6 months or longer.  The person who said she consulted a physic was comforting saying her dog knew she wouldn't be able to put her down and this is why this happened.  Just a warning to everyone, please be careful what you give your animals. It was only after did I fully research this Thuja and found out it could cause seizures.  It wasn't on the bottle or on the pet website.  Thank you for letting me vent.  


Posts: 123
So, so, so, sooooooooo SAD!!!!!!!!!! 
SO ******UNFORTUNATE****** that you did not take to GOOGLE to get the LOW DOWN ON THE **PROS & CONS**, re the material give.

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