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Posts: 4
I know many many people have similar experiences, but me and my partner are struggling immensely over the decision to put our little girl (dog of course) to sleep.

She is a little dog, not significantly old, but probably later end of middle ages, approaching her senior years. We got her as a stray, and although took a little while she settled in and loved us over the many years.

However she has had a lot of health issues, including a growing heart. We had to provide her medication daily, to help with this.

She was drinking OK, and eating OK, albeit she was always a fussy eater since we got her.

Anyhow, over the last 6 months we saw a deterioration. Firstly it was her hind legs so we got her a bed which accommodates this, to make it easier for her. We used to take her on long lengthy walks (with breaks), but this ended up with us buying a stroller, to get her places and then letting her out to have a little walk and sniff. Her walks got shorter and shorter, like 20/30mins max in the end.
However, then things just still slowly went down hill - she got an infection in her gums which we got medication for, and we administered that for a few weeks, then she lost her hearing then sight. She was umping into things and trying to get comfortable. We still persevered through.

But then over the last 3/4weeks she started loosing control of her bowels, and we spent the mornings cleaning up.

Then one morning, she was pooing and then unable to lift her head, and just laid in the garden. Because we were worried her poo has some blood and mucus we took her to the vet.
The vet told us she was in pain, and is extremely unresponsive. And that the options were very limited for us now, and euthanizure was one of them.
We thought about it for about 20mins and decided to go with it as we didn't want her in pain.
Now, all this is happening during the covid lockdown. And our vets did not allow anyone in. My partner pleded and beg us or 1 of us to go in with ppe. But they would not allow. We still thought it wsd best. So we handed her over.

Now me and my partner both feel like we rushed thst decision, and instead should have brought her home. That will live with us for the rest of our lives. Our pet trusted us! How could we make such a quick decision?
I can't find any solis. But as we have a toddler I'm trying to stay happy and sort him out whilst my partner is a struggling severely. I don't know what to say to her to ease her pain. And I can't admit my feelings are the same, I keep saying to her we did the right thing.

How could we do this! We could have waited 1 more day surely! And damn this pandemic and the vets for not doing what lots of businesses are doing to remain open and accessible safely for people.

Can't get over this!

Posts: 4
I know this thread is mainly for me to write down what's happened, and to attempt something to manage my grief.
I just miss my dog so much, and still have that dread that I put her to sleep to early. I'm struggling with life, 3 days since.

Posts: 14
It’s really hard for all of us to know if we did the right thing at the right time. It’s part of the grieving process that is inevitable and an unavoidable feeling. You gave this once lonely stray a great life and for us, it’s never enough time. It sounds like the vet did not see options for a return to any quality of life and you did what you had to do. The struggle for so many, including hospitalized family members, is the medical industry has restrictions on involvement because of the virus. I get it, but Lord help us, it is a struggle to not be with someone we love, pet or human, when they need us. Sounds like she was unresponsive enough that you’re being there might not have made much of a difference but hopefully the vet and accompanying tech would have been gentle and loving with her as she passed. It doesn’t sound like another day might have made much difference if any. You would have been in pain watching her struggle toward what sounds like was inevitable. Be gentle with yourself and do allow yourself to cry and get that out of your system as it comes on. There is no time frame for healing so keep in mind, it’s a process that you have to go through In order to return to what will be a new normal. Eventually you will be open to moving on and probably welcoming a new fur baby who needs you as well. Remember when she left, she has a little part of your heart with her. Right now that’s the hole in your heart that is healing and it will heal with the greatest of memories.

Posts: 1,198
Hi Aaron,
First let me say how sorry I am you and your partner are going through this. Losing a beloved pet, especially one that has been in your life for so long, is so very difficult. Many have said it is harder than losing a parent, and I would agree with this. I'm not sure why it is - perhaps it is because of the unconditional love we get from our pets, perhaps it is because they are part of our daily lives and they rely on us to care for them. Regardless, losing a beloved pet is so very painful and difficult and I am so sorry you and your partner are going through this.

I would suggest that as you and your partner go through your grief journey, try to remember that the decision you made was done out of love. You did not want to see her suffer, you were doing what you thought was in her best interest, especially since the vet said she was nonresponsive and your options were very limited. Remember, you are not a vet, you made your decision out of love and what you thought was best for your pup. Also remember that animals are very good at hiding their pain and illnesses. So for her to show you just how bad off she was probably meant she was in far worse condition than you realized.

As for not being by her side when she passed away, I completely understand how difficult this was. My cat Rufus recently passed away, back in the middle of May. Like your pup, Rufus did not show me just how sick he was until he went off his food and refused to eat anything. This came from a cat that ate anything in sight for pretty much all of his life. So when he refused to eat anything, I knew something was very wrong. Unfortunately, xrays showed a mass in his abdomen, and we believe he had developed some kind of cancer that had gotten so bad so quickly that there was basically nothing we could do. The day he passed away - just 3 days after he went off his food - I rushed him to the vet because he was essentially nonresponsive. His heart was barely beating when I got to the vet, so I knew he was barely hanging on. Unfortunately, I had to hand him over to the vet tech and could not be with him when he passed away. Knowing he passed away without me by his side hurts to this very day and always will. There isn't a thing I could do about that, and one of my biggest regrets is that instead of rushing him to the vet where I basically knew they would not be able to do anything to keep him alive, I probably should have just stayed home with Rufus so I could be with him as he took his final breath. But I did not do that and now I have to live with the knowledge that his final moments were with complete strangers...

Anyhow, I guess my point in writing all of this is that I encourage you to be kind to yourself. Please do not beat yourself up for making a quick decision. You did what you did out of love for your pup, and even though you were not able to be by her side when she passed away, she definitely knew how much you loved her. I hope that in time you and your partner are able to look back on the life you shared with her and smile from deep within your heart. Until then, I hope you will keep coming back here and sharing how you and your partner are doing as well as what I am sure are wonderful memories you have of your pup.

Take care,
Mom to angel cats Blackie, Squeeker, Thomas, and now Rufus


Posts: 2
Quade, I saw this post and signed up on the site specifically to respond to you, because it's that important that you know you DID THE RIGHT THING. Please consider the opposite side of the equation.

I lost my Daisy 48 hours ago. The vets told us she was suffering as well, in pain, everything you were told (she had bone cancer and was 12 years old). I wish we would have made the decision in 20 minutes.

We took her home thinking we could have one more day with her. The same thing you wish you could have done. It was a mistake. She suffered, bad, and it was traumatic taking her back the next day knowing we had done wrong by her. I would give anything to do things differently. To make that decision in 20 minutes and prevent her last day ending up like it did.

Your dog counted on you to do right by her and ease her suffering that she could do nothing about. That's what you did. You were good humans to her and saved her unnecessary suffering.

PLEASE. Stop doing this to yourself. I know it's hard. We all want more time with our babies. But wanting for the right reasons and wanting for the wrong reasons are an important distinction. Your pup was ready to go. She told you she was. And you listened.

Posts: 844
I am so sorry for the loss of your little girl. I know how hard it is to say goodbye to a precious family member that has been such a big part of your lives. From what you wrote it sounds as if her health was failing rapidly and that there was no other choice you could have made based on the vet's recommendations. Waiting one more day might have caused greater suffering and you would never want that. My little dog Piper was euthanized May 4th due to kidney disease that she had been under treatment for in the past eighteen months. When Covid 19 began I worried that she might die and that I would not be able to be with her. Thankfully some of the vets began to allow one person to be with their pets in that situation and I was able to be with Piper. I am so sorry you were unable to be with your little girl and that you and your partner are in such pain. You are right in saying this website is a place to write your feelings and attempt to manage your grief. But first and foremost it is a safe place to come to for help. We can't heal your pain but we are here for you, to listen to whatever you need to say, to help your broken hearts to heal. Please be gentle with yourselves, allow your tears to flow, do what will lighten your spirits. That is what your little dog would want you to do because of the great love you share. Take care, you will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Posts: 4
Thank you all, for taking the time to reply, I wasn't expecting such support. I'm a grown man, but I'm such an animal person, it really has been a tough week, and I expect it won't be easier just yet.

All your responses haveprovided good and reasonable advise. And I will persevere.
My partner is in a worse place than me, she agonises over not being there, and wondering if our pup was missing us and whether we gave her a good life. I try to reassure her, even with my own grief and guilt. But it doesn't work at all.
I think what makes it worse, is our girl had a sensitive tummy for years and years, and she had other moments over the years where she had explosive loss of dignity, but always recover and was a bundle of joy.
So yes, we deffo knew she was deteriating, but what if this was just an exasperated version of what happen previously over the years? Where she would feel better again after a little sleep? Yet, we rushed her to the vets and made a lightening decision. And you guys are so strong and brave, you've all been through heart aches yourself, but none of you would allow the vet to just take your animal, you'd demand a homevist or for 1 of us to go in. This is what I'm struggling with. Why didn't I fight more for her. I loved her so much.
(I appreciate that it did happen with you kittie, and Im so so sorry for that also, I think it's just because it's so fresh, that I'm only thinking about my feelings. Please forgive me. 😢 X

Posts: 62
Dear Quade,

There has been great feedback and truly wonderful words of wisdom.

Don’t forget you were completely MERCIFUL toward your beloved fur baby.  While losing them is hard on us it is better for them.  Keep this in your mind and heart.  You did not let your baby suffer another moment.  I feel your pain.  I‘ve gone through losing a beloved furbaby from a terminal illness that was sudden and we had just weeks to adjust to the notion of euthanasia.  A neighbor said, be MERCIFUL. At that moment, in that split second i knew what we had to do that exact day and I whaled loud sobs like I never had.  Point is, Grief is normal, but don’t mistake guilt for grief.  

Let me tell you.  We were with our baby when he was sent to heaven.  I could tell you I memorized the look on his face, his eyes looked like they knew what was going to happen.  We both believed that.  I remember the dial on the clock, the fur on his paw and the tears on my cheek.  I can say we were with him when he peacefully and gently went to sleep which is NOT the way he would have passed had we waited for it to happen naturally.  There would have been a clot, stroke, heart attack.  Forget that. We were not having any of that.  So, we did the most merciful thing we could do.  We could not be selfish and keep him with us any longer, we had to let him go and release him from the pain because HE COULD NOT DO IT FOR HIMSELF.

you did right by your baby.  I’m so sorry you were not able to be with your baby and dont understand that.  But just consider the last thing you would see and remember.  I am sorry for the last vision of my fur baby.  It will be forever etched in my heart and mind.  I know you wanted to be with your baby but think of this, you will be able to remember her while alive.  Not not alive.  If this makes any sense.  I hope it does.  I am not discounting your pain for wanting to be with your baby, everyone is different.  But for me, it is a torture.  I see his eyes in my mind now.  It is very sad.  I’m crying now.   It is something i will never forget.  

In time, as you grieve give yourselves time To heal.  There is no wrong or right way.  Make a memorial for your fur baby.  I did.  It makes a difference.  I wrote poems expressing my grief and love for My fur baby.  

You took wonderful car of you fur baby.  You both will see your fur baby again.


Posts: 1

I don't think you rushed, but I feel guilty I did.  I just 30 minutes ago put to rest my 16 year old boy, Magic.  Today was one of his best days in over a month.  Two weeks again we came back from a short in state vacation with family.  He stopped eating.  We thought it was his normal routine when we leave and come back his stomach gets upset and he is picky eating.  We then noticed that when we kissed him on the head and touched the side of his face he screamed.  We took him to the vet the next day.  It was an abscessed bleeding tooth.  So they got him in as soon as they could get a few days antibiotics in his system to clean and remove the bad tooth.  While in there they saw there was a growth over his tooth.  So they biopsied it and cleaned his teeth.  We brought him home and he had good and bad days.  We had forgotten about about the biopsy.  About 5 days later the vet called to inform us it was aggressive cancer, and the fix was worse than the disease and due to the location the pathologist said they weren't certain the could get it all.  My wife and I were not going to put him through a surgery at 16 that would take half his face because his little body had been through enough.  He also was starting stages of kidney failure.  He was losing motor skills, but could still walk, drink, but wouldn't eat unless we forced him eat.  The reason I feel so guilty is because today he actually tried to eat for the first time and went on a 5 minute walk.  He looked alert.  He lived a wonderful long, full life.  I know this in my heart, but I am still going to miss him so much.  He was my best friend and my fur child.  We consulted the vet in detail twice and I don't feel he would have done it if he didn't feel it was time.  He had been his doctor for 14 years.  We gave Magic 15 wonderful years and I just hope he knows his mom and dad loved him.  Thank you for listening.  It helped to type this out.  I have lost 2 dogs that both lived until 16+ so I know I have been blessed.  I made sure to tell him that his job was done and he protected his mom and dad and kept them safe.  He will be so missed.  

Posts: 4
Thank you all for your replies, and your stories of loss and guilt, although it doesn't ease the pain any less, we all most love our doggies so so much!

Its been a little over 1 and a half weeks. And I miss her in our home still. I know it will take more time.
This is putting excess strain on my relationship, as we are processing this loss differently.

I try try try to feel that although the covid circumstances were less that ideal, we did the right thing, but still.. I can't come to that conclusion.

Thanks all once again

Posts: 62
Its taken 3 years to feel comfortable in our home without our fur baby.  Everything was a reminder.  After we said goodbye I hyperventilated and had serious acid reflux which mimicked chest pain, long story short I was in the hospital for 3 days for a work up.  I was relieved for not having to be in the house and have to see his toys, and things.

In the beginning nothing did help. The grief was inexplicably surreal.  It was misery personified.  My husband was quiet about it and my talking about it upset him so I didn’t want to do that but sometimes could not help myself.  We both grieved in different ways.  

The only thing that seemed to help was commiseration.  My sister and brother in law lost pets and we talked about it and they were very understanding.  Not all people are pet people but they were and took a lot of time with us even though it stirred up old feelings in them..

When people reached out to us, that meant a lot too.  We kept the sympathy cards.  I made some pillows with his image, cards too.  I never want to forget him healthy and happy.  

When it was new, i remember crying endlessly.  The pain was so visceraL, so deep I’d never felt pain like that.  I never thought it would end.  My BIL said 6 months.  It was longer than that for me.  Everyone is different.  

I still second go back and find ways of torturing myself by saying we should have done this and fed him blue instead of the vets food or we should have exercised him more but it was congenital so the vet said.  But had we known sooner we could have done something about it.  Yet we saw the vet every 6 months.  How soon did we need to know.  We were told onset is very fast. They pulled a cup of fluid off his lungs At first sign something was wrong when he was breathing heavy.  It was miserable what he went through.  The vet said ito our cat it would feel like he is breathing under water.  All the suffering, of us trying to medicate a feline that has dry mouth and chokes on the pills so we could not even accomplish that.  

We realized he was deteriorating fast.  By the time he was gone we were in shock.  Stayed that way for a while.  I once not long ago hallucinated/had a vision of him walking towards me as I was walking towards him and it was so real I hopped over the image because he looked so real and moved so fast.  I thought, I’m going nuts.  Grief.

So, the upshot is, it may never feel right because it is counterintuitive to take a life, even if it is to ease their suffering.  I still didn’t want to do it.  Never wanted do.  Was forced to by circumstance, to be Merciful so Ive been told.
i wanted him to go peacefully in our arms and at home. But that was not to be.

i hope some day you can come to terms with what you needed to to Do to move on and feel you did right By your fur baby.  


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