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Posts: 67
I put my 15.5-year-old Am Staff to sleep yesterday. 

In June I woke up and knew that soon I was going to be putting her to sleep. There was nothing wrong with her other than arthritis,  some loss of hearing, some loss of sight, some dementia and needing a dental. She had some bladder incontinence but I stopped that with over the counter bladder control herbs. She had pooped in her bed once and so I started feeding her, her main meal in the morning and that seemed to stop that problem 

I started a journal and wrote down what she was doing and anything I could remember about her or our time together. I made sure I spent as much time with her as I could. Her bed was next to my bed and many times I would get out of bed to give her another hug before I went to bed. I adjusted her blanket on my trips to the bathroom at night.

I have NO guilt about the time and love I lavished on her before she passed. I noticed that she had very few bad days and I did not force her to go for walks. More than once I had to trot to keep up with her. She did develop a balance issue for about three days but came out of it. 

She was fine on Sunday and we took one of our usual three-times- a week walk. Monday AM she ate like usual. Monday afternoon she came to me because she did not feel good. She was not showing symptoms other than being not being able to stand. I put her on her bed and she relaxed and drifted off to sleep. She woke up and I gave her some tuna and some water. She ate and drank and walked outside on her own and pottied and went back to bed. Tuesday she was better and I gave her a whole can of tuna which she ate quickly. Tuesday night she had a couple of strong stomach contractions and then passed some gas and went to sleep. 

Wednesday morning she did not want to eat much or drink much. SHe looked worse, not better. I had to help her up and get her to the lawn in the back so she could do her business. She walked around and around in her short little steps and finally did what she needed to do. I could not bear this. She looked like she felt awful. I kept debating what to do. Part of me wanted to take her in and get her fixed for this and bring her home and another part of me kept saying "bring her home to what? To more arthritis, more dementia, more bad days?" I did not want to fix her just to make her crash and burn from something else in a few days or a few months or even a year. I called the vet and said I was bringing her in for euthanasia.  I started to cry and told her that I would never get to see her again (at least not in this life). I wanted her to stay with me. I held her until I annoyed her. I took the last pictures of her. I tried to capture how yucky she felt. She actually still looked beautiful in them. 

When I got her to the vet she looked really bad, like I should have brought her in months ago. I rubbed her neck until they came out with the gurney to take her in the building because she was having a hard time walking. She was still wrapped in her little red sleeping bag to keep her warm. 

I feel guilty because I did not fix her. I feel guilty that I did not try better treatments for her arthritis, I feel guilty because I did not try fish oil for her dementia.

I really want her back. I am so glad I journaled her life complete with pictures. I am a mess. I want to grieve for her and keep her alive in me. 

Imogene Louise Threadgood in youth

and an hour before death

Posts: 580
I am so sorry for your loss. It still rips your heart out when we have to let them go. No matter how much time we have knowing this day will come you can never prepare for it. I too wondered if I should have, could have and all the what ifs. You said it, "bring her home to what?" I thought the same thing to. Our heads tell us we did the right thing but our hearts really play with our emotions. Termy was straggling so hard just to get through each day and he was just days away from suffering. I never wanted him to ever suffer so I let him go. Old age took Termy to. His heart was still in it but his body was letting him down. To make him stay would have been crueler for him. Please know that you were wonderful as a Fur Parent and you did the greatest act of love to let her go. We all tell our selves we want them back  and we do but all we have now are the sweetest memories that our babies made with us. Hold tight to those and remember them on your darkest days. I try to.
Love and doggie hugs Termy's mom

Posts: 8
I can't believe what I just read. The detail you gave...reminds me of myself and my dog Tum. So many things you said. But the one thing was the loyalty you had for her. That kind of love is rare and your dog was blessed and very fortunate to have that. As for you, this is truly life's darkest hour. You did what was best...even though "what was best" is just a saying, words. People don't know how deeply it hurts to "do the best". Doing the best thing doesn't mean it is a feel good situation. Doing the best can be a living nightmare. You yourself said it. You wanted to bring her home. But for you said. It was a no win situation. And you picked the less painful of two painful options. It is sad, a crushing blow, devastating, hard to conceive of to see our dog become debilitated. I lived your story. I would like you to know that I wish I could swoop in and be like a heavenly angel to you right now, because that is what you need. Something huge, big and great to comfort you. I am so sorry for the end of what was the life you cherished with your dog. So, so sorry. God bless you. And in my book you should be voted Parent of the Year. Maybe Parent of All Times. Lots of love and care to you.
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