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Posts: 3
Thank you so much, tkapudija.  I appreciate your kind words and your support more than you know.  May God bless you and heal your heart as well.


Posts: 1
To Aquarian0125
This sounds exactly like what we just went through. We put our almost 17 year old yorkie down yesterday. Same reasons. I'm having a hard time coping. I think il write this list when I can get the strength to write. I'm still in shock. I can't stop crying. The guilt is so bad I feel like it's never going to end. He was my heart. Thank you for posting this. It helped me a bit. I'm thankful for any help.

Posts: 4
I put my dog down on the evening of Tuesday so not even 48 hours ago.
It is the second dog I have had to put down.
With my first dog "tigga" she was my family dog where I lived with my parents and was 13 year old boxer and had a brain tumour. She had a great loving life and was at the point of nothing could help and started having seizures so it was an easy decision as she was suffering and no longer herself. As hard as it was to deal with the loss I did not feel guilty at all as it was best for her.
My current dog "Mia" was just mine and my wife's and was going to be 6 in September and had cataracts in both her eyes. We operated in May on both eyes and the operation was successful and me and my wife were over the moon. A few weeks later her retina on her right eye which was sad but her left eye was fine. A month later her retina detached in her left eye as well. We were devastated and were trying our best to adapt and still had plenty of medication to give the dog constantly and were coping quite well.
I am not sure if all the stress took a toll on my wife as she had to take the dog with her to work as well in order to keep up with the drop times but then mia got an ulcer in her left eye.
My wife thought it best to euthanize the dog as she had been through so much and it was not fair on her at such a young age still but we disagreed on the decision.
The eye specialist advised me that although the dog was blind there was always the chance that the eyes will still need to be removed and obviously at this point they are just cosmetic but can still cause pain.
The usler was obviously causing pain and I wanted to operate but my wife did not.
In the end we booked to go to our local vets as the pain was difficult on the vet.
The vet advised us that we can operate and hopefully the dog will not be in pain but also understood if we wanted to euthanize mia as she has been through so much at such a young age.
Where me and my wife disagree on though is that I believed the dog was adapting so well in general and the removal of the eye would have given her life back and she would have been fine. I feel like overall I did 90% of what was possible to keep my dog well and gave up on the last obstacle.
When we went to the vets on Tuesday evening I got so angry that I gave in and agreed to put my baby to sleep. When the vet said we do not need to do it today, I was so angry that I told her to do it there and then as I could not bare the thought of taking her home knowing that I will be putting her to sleep so we proceeded.
She was in my arms when it happened as I always gave her a sense of security.
I regret the haste angry decision so much and can not see how it was the right decision because I know it was not.
The dogs life was in my hands and I let her down. I do not think I will ever get over this and I can not stop blaming myself. I should never have given up fighting for her life as I know she would have been fine after the operation although my wife thought differently.
I have read stories on this forum which are such easier decisions and even prior to putting my dog to sleep I read many stories of people in the same situation as mine but with older dogs who contemplated putting the dogs to sleep and did not and had the eye removal operation instead and say they made the right decision.
I know I made the wrong decision and anything anyone says to me will not change how I am feeling.
I was mias carer and I let her down so badly and I cant take the decision back now.
It is killing me now because she is gone forever and I can not undo that and it was all my fault.
I let them do that to her because I was not strong enough in the end to keep fighting for her.
Im sure if she could have she would have wanted to have the operation as well so she could still be alive and with us now.
No list will help me as I know apart from her eye problem my bubbas was heathy, eating fine, found the door fine, went toilet in the garden all by herself and had many years ahead of her still.
Sorry for the essay but this is the first time in my life I have turned to a forum for help but I feel as though no close person to me knows how I am feeling or been through what I am going through even my wife as our views still remain different as she thinks we did what was best for mia but I disagree as she was still healthy and only had sight problems.
Having the eye removed is not a difficult procedure on a dog so I cant understand why my wife so unwilling to try it as that was the last option, not putting my baby to sleep. Now I cant go back and fix it and cant undo what has been done. It was all in my hands and I got it so wrong and I know it as well.


Posts: 2
I am so glad I found this site as I am really struggling with the decision I made to put my dog of 14 1/2 to sleep last Friday. Snickers was such an incredible dog and I loved him dearly. We did everything together, and I miss him so much. I made the decision to put him to sleep because I didn't want my furry friend to suffer any more. He was mostly blind and deaf, he had a hard time walking, and when he would fall on the floor, he often times could not get himself back up without help. He paced in circles and panted constantly, he could never find a comfortable position to lay... and my friend who once loved being pet and being played with no longer liked being touched because it seemed to hurt him... I know he was in pain. The vet who took care of him his whole life tried different medications to try to make him comfortable, but they didn't work. The vet also said he suffered a "Doggie stroke" which was why he walked sideways, and in circles.. Near the end he would be up at night pacing and panting. But as others have said, what made this decision so hard is he had moments when he acted like he was a puppy again. But on Friday when we talked to our vet about the medication not working, he confirmed what we already knew, it was time to put my Snickers to sleep so he would not suffer any more. A few hours later, we took our beloved companion to the vet and made the most difficult decision I have made in my life which was to put him to rest. My wife, daughter and I layed by his side as the vet administered the drugs, and just like that, he was gone... he looked so peaceful, but i miss him so much.

I am glad that he is no longer in pain, but I keep wondering if there was something I could have done to make him better. I have read on this board that it's better to be a week early than a day late. I am trying to convince myself of that, but I feel so guilty that I should have done something more... I pray that he will forgive me for putting him to sleep.... I pray that he knows that I did what I did because I loved him and did not want him to suffer anymore... and I pray that he knows just how much I loved him... and I pray that he is at peace...

Posts: 79
You did the right thing. Your dog was elderly and not doing well. I had to put my dear Charlie golden retriever down this past Saturday. He had cancer and went downhill in a week. It
was very hard but think how you would feel, to be released from pain, suffering....I'm sure Snickers is grateful for your compassion.

I work in a nursing home and you wouldn't believe how many people say that's they're "done with life," that life is no longer something that's enjoyed, but rather's called failure to thrive. I believe there comes a time when they are simply done living, and I believe that's what happens with our furry companions as well. But they can't tell you. So you have to know them well and then make that decision when the time comes. Nothing lives forever despite what we wish.

You grieve the young dog, the playful companion you once had. Unfortunately he aged, as we all will. And there's nothing in this world that would stop this from happening.

You kept your part of the bargain when you got your pup, to always take care of him and that included old age to the very end.

I wish you peace my friend.

Posts: 1

We put our 16 1/2 year old tiny little Chacha to sleep yesterday, we were blindsided starting about a week and a half ago with such a fast and relentless decline, the vet said kidney failure. At first we thought let's give it a little time, each day she ate less, her sleep was labored and awake it just seemed like she struggled to do anything, but a few hours out of each day she would surprise us and that gave us hope, but that would be followed by 20-22 hours of discomfort, labored breathing and confusion.

So we made an appointment to have her put to sleep at our home, since she has, her whole life hated the vet, but they were booked out three days. This is where the second guessing comes in, I thought,, we're forced to wait and maybe two day from now she will be better and we will have avoided a huge mistake. Two days passed and no better and only worse.

We decided to take her a day early and go straight to the vet, but I went ahead a few hours and got a sleeping pill from the vet, I thought we will feed it to her, she will be asleep and not stress over the vet. This felt like a smart and great decision.

So here is where the guilt comes in and is killing me, I force feed my dog a sleeping pill, I watched her stumble and fall over asleep, I took her to the vet asleep, I helped the doctor place the catheter, I signed the paper, I watched the doctor give her the shot that ended her life. I feel like I killed my dog
But also the relief and a sense that I helped her avoid all that was to come in the next few days or weeks that would of allowed her to deteriorate further.

She was so peaceful on the sleeping pill.

She looked beautiful.

She didn't know she was at the vet and was gone in seconds after her shot.

I am a 44 year old man, husband and business owner and
I have cried more times than I can count in the last 24 hours since having her put to sleep.


I have realized after reading so many of your posts that in my case, my obligation and responsibility to my dog the day I brought her home from the pet store I found her in would some day mean I would have to endure pain and heart ache so she could have an easier path to her death.

I am or will at least try except that I get the larger and heavier cost of that last day for her and except that it was worth it for having the joy of spending the last 16 1/2 years with her.

Posts: 2

I know how hard that decision had to be... but think of the pain and distress you saved her from with your decision to help put her at ease before going to the vet. She was not stressed, and most of all, you were with her to the end. She was not alone, and I believe she knew that even though she was asleep. It is so very hard to lose our furry family members, I put my furry buddy to sleep recently as well. It is so very hard. But I find peace knowing I did my best to take care of my buddy and kept him from suffering more. I hope you find peace with that as well.

Peace my friend, peace...

Posts: 1
October 12th at 10:30pm my wife and i said our final goodbye to our baby girl. The haunting question in our mind is did we do the right thing i know she was in such pain couldn't even lift her head and the vet told me no matter how much money with throw at it she probably wouldn't make it through the night and i couldn't watch my baby girl suffering in pain. the guilt of having to put her down is proving to be to much for us we loved her more then just a family would love a pet we loved her like she was one of our kids she went everywhere with us did everything with us she was never left behind but now as we move forward with our life it feels so empty like the world has less to offer. I feel very sorry for anyone who has to make this choice in life as it is never an easy one but we must always do what is best for our loved one's even if it isn't what we feel is best for us. God bless everyone and stay strong for your lost loves.
In Loving memory of christal parks born November 10th 2006- October 12th 20017.

Posts: 1
September 28th I had to make the hardest decision of my life.  I am still all broken up, my world is still turned upside down. Everything around me continues and goes on but it's hard for me to get passed the guilt. He was my best friend my companion.  I had snoopy since he was a puppy , He was my real animal that I have ever owned and did we become best friends, He went everywhere I went. He was someone that loved me for me and did not judge me and I loved him with all my heart. I could talk to him and he would just listen and was there to make me feel better. as I got older so did he. He was born October of 2003 and passed away September 28th of 2017.  Its hard coming home and him not being there. 7 years ago snoopy got glaucoma and I did what I could to help him, medicine got to be to expensive so I allowed nature to take its course. he went blind but he accepted it. He got around really well knew the layout of the house. he sure knew how to get around. I was impressed. I was always there to make sure he was safe and that he did not hurt himself since he could not see. I was always there to take care of him.  then 3 yrs ago he developed a tumor on his leg. the vet said it was a malicious tumor that was cancerous. I surgery was a big risk and I took it. He did really well and was cancer free.  then the end of August of this year he develop a bad cough, I did not think anything of it and thought that he might had a cold so I did some home remedies that I looked up online to try and help sooth his cough. it seemed to help at first but in September it got worse.  took him into the vet and she said that she was worried about heart failure, due to his cough and wheezy. she wanted to do a x-ray. The x-ray confirmed that  his heart was enlarged and he had edema on his lungs. =(   I also noticed that one of his testicles were swollen and she told me she was afraid it was cancer.  This devastated  me.   I noticed he was also have a hard time breathing which is due to of course heart failure. the poor guy couldn't get no rest with all of his coughing he was doing. he was miserable. he would just lay around and cough and if he was to walk around it would get worse.  He was suffering and I could not stand to see him suffer. I made the hard decision.  my heart is empty.  I do have the what ifs and what if I did treatment but then I have to remind myself that I would only be keeping him alive for my sake and the end result would be the same.  I told him the night before he was going to be put to sleep. I explained that he was going to feel sleepy and that when he wakes up he would be somewhere else, he would be in heaven and that I would be there to see him when its my time. I knew he was ready. He went so peacefully. Its still so hard because he wasn't just my animal he was my kid.  Snoopy was his name and he was a Boston terrier.

Posts: 3
I just joined this forum today because I had to have my beautiful black cat, Edward, put to sleep on Saturday, Oct. 14th, because of advanced kidney failure.     He was still able to walk around, but very weak, had stopped drinking his water the night before the procedure, and would only eat with me holding his bowl up to his mouth.     I feel horrible about doing it, but the only way he was going to live was for me to take him to the vet's office every other day for subcutaneous fluids, without being sure it would help him in the final stage he was in.    He was kept at the vet all last week having IV fluids injected, and his blood work was still bad after having done that, so I do feel like I did try one last thing to save him.     He was about 14-15, but we are not really sure of his exact age when we adopted him seven years ago.  He was already full-grown when we got him.       I didn't think I would have guilt over his euthanasia, but I don't think we, as humans, can help going through the "should I's" or "what if's" for a time.   I am having Edward cremated with his ashes put in a beautiful urn, and although this may sound morbid, I look forward to getting him back home to me and my husband because he was definitely our baby.     During those seven years, I never spent more than two weeks away from him overnight, so it is going to be a long hard road ahead of us.

Posts: 1
My cat Marvin was 17. He's been in my family ever since I was a little kid. We all agree he was more like a person than a pet. He was a tuxedo cat and he looked dapper all the time. He was very independent, adventurous, and pompous as a young guy, but when he was about nine he got super mellow and sweet. Even my dad, who's not a pet person, loved him very much. 

Marvin trusted us. In his final weeks when he was dying, losing weight rapidly, experiencing discomfort, he didn't want to hide like some cats do. He wanted to spend his most vulnerable moments in the living room with his family on the sofa. He trusted us to be gentle and take care of him.

Two nights ago he started having seizures. He lost control of his bowels. He was in pain. In and out of consciousness and barely able to move his back legs. We made the decision to take him in. We scheduled it ahead of time. He couldn't figure out how to eat or drink even though he acted hungry and thirsty. He lay on the couch having occasional seizures and staring vacantly all day. It seemed like the right decision until it was actually time to leave. He woke up, perked up, started acting aware. He didn't want to go in the crate. He fought us and made it clear he just wanted to lay down by the fire. But we'd scheduled it ahead of time. It was either right now or we'd have to wait another day and we didn't want to put him through another day like that.

But he was conscious during the car ride. And upset. And scared. And when we got to the vet he was conscious and upset and scared. He went back into his crate like he thought maybe we'd take him back home. He purred when we reached in to pet him. It felt like such a horrible betrayal. The vet gave him a sedative and he was stoned out of his mind when we said goodbye. That's a small comfort, that he had a few moments of peace before they put the IV in.

It only took a few seconds. He was barely breathing and then he wasn't. The change was imperceptible. I remember when my first cat died, I watched all the air sort of go out of him and he went still and it felt like something big had just happened, like something big had left him. With Marvin I didn't feel anything like that. It was nothing. It was just stillness. It didn't feel like he was different. It didn't feel like he was dead. When I left him at the vet's office he still looked like Marvin. He looked like my cat, my friend, just still and laying there. He didn't look like a dead thing. That made it so much harder. 

He'd just wanted to go home but we took him there and we left him there. I know that euthanasia was the right thing to do in this case because his organs were failing, he was in a lot of discomfort and pain, and it was going to get a lot worse. But I feel like I betrayed him. He deserved so, so much better. I feel like I failed him. We took him there and we left him there and we came home without him. The vet will send his ashes back to us but I know it won't feel like we brought him home. I didn't want his last conscious moments to be afraid. I wish I could just mourn the loss, just feel the loss and the missing, and remember his life. I don't want his whole life to be defined by this horrible part at the end of it. I want to be able to forgive myself for making this decision and putting him through that. But I just feel so guilty and horrible. He trusted me and I feel like I failed. It felt wrong to leave him there.


Posts: 18
Marvins_friend, I read this with tears in my eyes, there is so much that is similar to what I went through with Minnie, exactly 9 months ago today.

Minnie too was zoned out, but then perked up when the time came to take her, I couldn't face her being in the box, so I held her in my arms for the short car journey, she was alert and aware, looking out of the window the whole time, it made me feel the time wasn't right, that I was ending her life too soon.

After it was over, turning away and walking out leaving my friend, my true and loyal companion who had been with me for so many years and who had helped me through so many dark periods, leaving her dead and lifeless - that moment also felt like the ultimate betrayal and still haunts me more than anything.

Time is starting to heal the rawness of the memories for me, as it will for you. I have a selection of photos of her that I occasionally look through when the feeling of missing her is unbearable, I have her collar, tag and bell on the mantlepiece where I put them on that horrible evening, and I have her ashes in a box and will build a stone cairn in the garden as a final resting place for her in the Spring, surrounded by flowers that she loved.

Be merciful to yourself, you did the right thing, you had his best interests at heart and he was with someone who truly loved him in his final moments, the memory of that moment will fade and you will look at old photos and remember all the good moments with your friend Marvin over the years, and every now and again, raise a glass to his memory and in thanks that he was in your life.

9 months ago today that I said goodbye to Minnie, now I'm not a religious person at all, but I just know that one day, when the time is right, that I will see her again....

Posts: 2

It was the hardest decision to put my beloved Garlic to sleep. It was painful and I am still not sure if I did the right thing. I am still not able to digest and forgive what I did. I seriously hate myself for how come I could agreed to the Vet suggestion to putting him to sleep.  

Garlic is a miniature american eskimo. I had him since he was 2 mo old. However, when me and my ex husband separated in 4 years ago, my ex kept Garlic and I kept the other dogs we have. I babysit Garlic whenever he needs help.

About 2 weeks ago, my ex dropped off Garlic to me. I noticed he has very bad teeth with plaque all over. His breath was stinky. He vomit and gag after he ate. I then decided to took Garlic to a vet for deep dental cleaning.  On the day of the cleaning, the vet said they could not perform the surgery as there is lump inside Garlic's throat and he could not be intubated. Same night, Garlic was tired and quite - I was thinking he must be tired from the anesthesia and did not bother Garlic for his sleep. 

Next morning, I notices Garlic was having 1-2 weird breathing sound. But he acts normal, walking and sniffing around and he ate all the food I gave him. I am mad at myself that I did not catch this ( breathing) earlier. 
When I off work to home, Garlic's breathing was loud and he sounds like he is having difficulty breathing. He still ate 2 boiled egg I gave him - he seems very hungry too. I feel there is something wrong with his breathing, I took him to the emergency specialist vet right away. I called before I leave my home, I told the front desk what happens to Garlic , a lump in his throat and he has hard time breathing. The front desk asked me to go in for an exam and reassured me that they have specialist on site - including surgery.

Arrived the vet office, Garlic walking in by himself, wagging his tail and sniffing around. To me, he does not seems in severe pain except breathing heavy.  

I handed Garlic to the Vet tech with full trust that they will take good care of my dog. I waited quietly in the room for the vet to come in. First, Vet told me Garlic breathing hard and they want to calm him down to help his anxiety. After 20mins, they said Garlic's breath gone worse after the calming medication, they need to sedated him and intubate him with oxygen supply. Then she went over the treatment plan with me. They said Garlic needs surgery to remove the lump in throat and they will do chest x ray to ensure lung is not infected and biopsy to make sure the lump is not cancer. I agreed to it. HOWEVER, Vet then told me they have NO surgeon on site until MONDAY ! ( It was thursday night only ! ) - Vet suggested to keep Garlic in the hospital and wait until Monday for surgery or they can transfer him to their sister hospital which is 200miles away far !

I asked if I could take Garlic away now and we would like to take him to a vet specialist that has a surgeon on site (I called and found one which is 30 miles away and they open 24/7). Vet told me this is against medical advice and warn me Garlic could collapse and pass out any minutes if I insist to take him away. I was too scared that will happen so I agreed to keep Garlic overnight with them and transfer him out to their sister hospital the next morning. 

Next morning at 7am, they called me and said Garlic is more alert but his breathing got worse when he woke up (Garlic must be scared when he woke up to all these people he does not know). They have to re-intubate him and sedate him. They said they still can not find an ambulance to transfer my Garlic to their sister hospital. At 9am, they called me said Garlic is having a fever to 106 degree. They ask if I would like to proceed to a temporary tracheostomy or Garlic would not make it today. Garlic is with one on one tech supervision and on a cooling table.  I asked if we could transfer him now and I have called the vet specialist 30miles away has surgeon on site and they can accept Garlic and perform surgery today. Outside company pet ambulance is ready too. Again, they said Garlic can not be transfer and they need to do the temp trach and possibly send him out if he is stable or Garlic has to stay until Sunday/Monday to have surgery there with them.

I asked the vet what is the cost for all necessary procedure quote for 20K+ (partially because extended delay on surgery to Monday for an extra 3-4 night stays and all other related cost) . Vet start talking about putting him to sleep as she heard we can not afford the bill. She said with his fever and breathing difficulty, she can not guarantee he will get better even we go thru all the surgery, with them or with other hospital. 

After hearing what the vet said. We had to made the decision to put him to sleep. I am so mad at myself of not being able to afford the bill. I am so mad at myself that I send him to a wrong specialist vet. I am so mad at myself why I do not insist to take him away before it is too late. I am so mad at myself why I do not question the Vet more before listening to them ( I was panic and I could not think straight).  I am so mad at the vet why they do not tell me they are not capable to help my dog at the moment before sedating him.

There are so many " What ifs... "  What if ...  Garlic gets the medical treatment he needs in a timely manner and may be the result would be totally different. Is this really what the decision Garlic want me to make for him ? Is he ready or is he wanting the 2nd chance again? I am so mad and I hate myself

I am so mad at myself and I do not know if I can ever forgive myself that I decided to put him to sleep. I decided to end his life and I am not sure if it is what he wants. I feel like I am a murder, I murdered the one I love so much.

He may be suffering from the breathing, but he was happy and wagging tail the moment we walked into the vet. I did not get to see him last moment before he got sedated and got putting to sleep. I am so regret that I do not even know how to talk myself out that I am actually making a right decision for him. 

I could not stand the euth. I could not handle to see him leaving. My fiance stayed with Garlic and hold his hand until the last breath. He told me Garlic was rested comfortably and peacefully until his last breath. I am sorry my Gar-Gar. Mommy will love you always and forever. I wish I could have you again and please come to my life again ! I love you with all my heart and I am very sorry. 



Posts: 67
I am struggling with this now. I think part of the problem is that we DO have modern medicine available and sometimes it seems like death can be an option if we have enough money and find the right vet that has the right medicine for the right cure. 

This was part of my thinking at 4:00 am while my dog was struggling to go potty in the cold with an arthritic body that was now plagued with something new.

I have gone down that road of a misdiagnosing an ailment. I did not want to bring my dog home with the wrong medicine.

If we could have improved her arthritis, dementia, incontinence (seemed to be managed mostly), vision, hearing, numerous fatty cyst growing as well as the new ailment, then it would be worth it. On paper, the things I mention can be managed in some dogs on some medications. The only thing I had not tried for my dog was Adequan. Everything that I mention was only going to stay the same (doubtful) or get worse.

But that doesn't seem to make it any easier for me to keep telling myself that I stopped ALL of her pain in one moment. Maybe we could have had another year. Maybe she would have come home and never got better. Would she have even been safe and comfortable while I was at work?

It just all sucks

Posts: 1
I had to put my sweet baby down just yesterday. He was the most wonderful, sweetest, smartest, loving cattle dog on the planet. While I don't have guilt, because I know it was the right thing to do, my grief is overwhelming. He was everything. He was the Sun, the stars and the moon. We scheduled everything around him. He went everywhere with us. Vacation was better and happier because of his energy. So now, we are in this house that is covered in him. Scents, photos, beds, blankets, toys, the memories and the furr oh the furr. How do you go on with this void, this black hole? The sadness is beyond anything I could ever prepare myself for. I am told to give it time. I don't think I can get through this, I find it physically painful. There will never be another energy like "Jake", my life and world are forever changed. It is all very dark and sad.

Posts: 4
My Bucky was a mixed breed 50 lb dog I got from the pound in 1999. That’s right, he was over 18 years when he passed. He was the best dog and friend a person could have.
I knew the day was coming. He started getting unbalanced on his feet and his hearing and sight faded. Last week we went to my moms house and he played with my moms dogs. There was a total of 5 of them and a cat. He never recovered from that day. I let a few days pass to see if he would but things got worse. One night he was pacing in circles while everyone else slept. Neither of us got any sleep that night. He looked very confused. He kept falling and when he wanted to get up he couldn’t do it with his back legs. I would lift him and he would get going eventually. He also never wanted to lay down.
Bucky has a mass under his legs that was diagnosed as non cancerous so he lived with it for years. It eventually got really big and affected his balance and walk. Also, his head started to sink in on the left side. The vet said it could be a tumor.
My vet offered palliative care and I asked about euthanasia. The thing is, Bucky was up and walking about at the vet but at home he wasn’t doing well. He also panted excessively like he had just come from a run but didn’t. He panted all the time and kept his tail down. His tail is like a chows tail that would curl up normally but not lately. He also drank tons of water but he ate well. He loved to eat.
I made the very very tough choice of letting Bucky go to sleep. The vet gave him a sedative which was good because he was so peaceful. I hadn’t seen him that peaceful in at least a year. I was there the whole time petting and talking to him through it all. I told him I loved him so much and always will.
The problem is that I feel guilty. Should I have used pain killers instead? I can’t get this quilt out of my head that maybe I pushed his passing. Is this common for parents who euthanize their pets?
I am having a horrible time dealing with this. I feel that he could have gotten better if I just gave him the palliative care the vet offered.
When does this get better?

Posts: 15
Thank you everyone.  We euthanized our 18-year-old cat on 3 weeks ago, and I have been second-guessing that decision.  She had a UTI this past summer, and we worked with the vet to treat it.  Then a few weeks ago, she developed another UTI, with lots of extra symptoms - puddles by the litter box, turds where they shouldn't be, weakness, balance issues.  Looking ahead, it didn't seem like a happy life ahead.  But since euthanizing her I have been second-guessing that decision.  Maybe I should have given her the chance to fight the UTI.  Maybe antibiotics would have cleared that up and all the extra symptoms besides.  Maybe I cheated her out of some good months left.  

What I can say without hesitation is that I loved her every single day of the time we had her, and we tried to be good kitty parents.  We had meetings with her every night, and the main items on the agenda were petting her, telling her she was beautiful (true), and telling her that we loved her (also true).  We made the decision that made the most sense with the information we had at the time.  But still the guilt nags at me.  

Posts: 7
Bucky18 and all other animal lovers,

I euthanized my very sick kitty about a year ago and was nearly destroyed by the guilt and grief. She was 17, almost completely blind, arthritic, very few teeth left , and diabetic. The sedative the vet gave her (prior to the euthanizing serum) was a lethal dose (as she explained) and it was the most at ease and comfortable I’d see her in years. Even as I write now I can barely hold back my tears- but we do what we think is best for our unconditionally loyal and loving friends/family. It’s all we can do. They depend on us to do what we think is best and when they pass, when we grieve or feel guilty, it’s a sign that we did the best we could.

About a week ago, my 15 yr old kitty passed in his sleep curled up in his bed. Even the day of his passing, He seemed happy and healthy (playing and wanting affection- athough for months he’d been drinking a lot of water and weirdly repetitive about his rituals). I couldn’t imagine a more peaceful and comfortable way to die. Yet I second guess not taking him to the vet more often or recognizing his odd behaviors. I feel tremendous guilt for not doing more for him. I am starting to think that regardless of how or why they leave, our grief is coupled with an overwhelming sense of responsibility and guilt is inherent regardless of the circumstances and is particularly poignant when we make a decision to expedite their passing.

Time heals all. My warm thoughts and best wishes to all here who have lost a loved one .

Posts: 3
We lost Buds in July. We got him when he was five months old. He was with me for 15 years. We did many things together! Putting him to sleep was the hardest thing I have ever chosen to do. He died in my arms and I felt him take his last breath and his body go limp. After he was gone, we could see how bad his eyes were. For months we dealt with eye drops, vet appointments and the agonizing decision that between his kidneys failing, him going blind and having hearloss it was best for him. The guilt though, even five months later is still there. I know I did right, the vet even said so. The guilt though, it just eats at you.

Posts: 3
Hi all,

To those people that are here for various reasons, although I don't know you or your pets, I'm sorry for your loss and in a small way we all share a link of that currently unstoppable pain we feel and the unstoppable love we had (and still have) for our pets. I deliberately said currently unstoppable pain because I believe on a special day... a day that seems so far in the future right now it doesn't even exist, that we will realise the sun dawned and we're thinking of our beloved pet but we're SMILING and thinking about wonderful times we had.... and suddenly realise that pain is less... the joy is more...

That our best friend is saying "Move on.. it's ok.. I'm forgiving you.. although I'm a little confused as I didn't think there was anything to forgive.. typical human.. I love you.. just grab my lead and discover a new day..."  

Let me please explain a little about my friend.. she was a black Labrador whom I've known for the majority of her 9 years, although initially we didn't own her.. we bought her when it was difficult for her original owner to take her with them... we had "baby sat her" before we owned her and looked after her on occasions, gone on walks etc.. so we had grown to like each other a lot.. so much so that one time she left for an extended period... the gapping hole that she left not being around was too big.. and we adopted another dog from the pound.. a Labrador / kelpie cross... whom had a very different personality but a beautiful animal also. She is still with us but also starting to struggle with loss of the friend she grew up with for perhaps 90% of her life.. 

Anyhow... approximately 20 months ago a small lump appeared on the Labradors neck... so after a quick visit to the vet it was a simple operation to remove it.. but they asked would you like a blood test so we can check for any other issues.. we said yes and suddenly the situation changed.. they said we can't remove it without risk as her blood levels were wrong.. on further examination they discovered early signs of kidney disease. She was put on special diet and things were manageable and she happily played and did most things she'd normally do. She had smaller walks so to avoid her not drinking enough as recommended. But in the last few weeks of her life we noticed subtle changes.. I mentioned it to family that she didn't seem herself and wasn't wagging like normal as enthusiastically... even swimming that she loved didn't appear to be as awesome as she normally thought.. also started to vomit very small.. maybe once a day.. then suddenly wouldn't eat.. and vomiting large amounts over a 24 hours period.. my daughter rang the vet next day as soon as they opened and took her straight down... she was put on fluids and pain medication.. but they did the blood test and surprisingly her levels were 10 times worse than expected.. they believed her kidney had completely shut down.. with little to no hope of recovery.. I asked if it was causing her pain and sadly it was starting too.. as she was very tender when examined around the stomach region.. even so I wanted to hang on to the "they can fix this.. "

We went home for a short while to wait for other family to get home and all go to the vets together.. we took her for a walk in the vet grounds.. she even tried to play with Ernie a dog in the grounds (although Ernie did most of the playing) It is so hard to get your head around with fluids and pain medication she appeared at least 60% of her old self.. but we were advised if disconnected for long she'd plummet and be in discomfort.. so that wasn't allowed to happen... we sat on the floor for an unknown amount of time.. just patting and comforting her.. she was calm and comfortable on medication.. even jumping up once in a while making everyone try to stop her going too far and pulling on her drip... the nurse I recall came in a few times.. but we knew it wasn't fair to bring our pet home without proper pain relief etc.. so we made the call to end her suffering.. all 3 family members sat with her for a extended period on the floor in the vet.. then they asked if we were ready.. her last moments were spent with the ones see loved eating a liver treat.. even though she'd refused almost anything she'd been offered to eat.. she took eagerly a pile of liver treats.. she sure loved anything with too many calories! It haunts me and sleeping is so hard the image of the tail wagging as she got those treats.. I feel so bad we couldn't do more.. why couldn't I save my best friend.. Surely I betrayed her.. I stopped her treatment.. There must of been something I could of done.. it's 2017.. not the dark ages.. that's how I feel today.. I felt worst yesterday.. but I grimly hang onto the thought above of that sun rising on a special day..

Below is something I wrote for my one and only grand daughter that passed away due to Acute Myeloid Leakaemia before her 2nd birthday.
And although nothing can replace her or how much we miss her it describes much of the grief I feel now...

PLEASE DO NOT POST THIS poem to any where else.. please DO NOT publish or use it for ANY PURPOSE.. it remains my property. Thank you.

 Dedicated to my grand daughter Amelia Jane 
 Dedicated to our beloved pet Labrador Jinka


You make me smile,
Yet you tell no joke,
You say so much,
Yet speak no words,

You give so much love,
Yet you ask little in return,
You taught me so many things and made me a better person,
You will be with me no matter where you travel,

You are a pure bright light that will never extinguish,
Even in my darkest hour,
You have my love,
You have my thanks from the deepest place in my soul.


PLEASE DO NOT POST THIS poem to any where else.. please DO NOT publish or use it for ANY PURPOSE.. it remains my property. Thank you.

 Dedicated to my grand daughter Amelia Jane 
 Dedicated to our beloved pet Labrador Jinka


Posts: 3
Dedicated to my precious Labrador JINKA 
RIP 13th December 2017

Did you even know you're a dog?

Did you even know you're a dog?
You hardly ever bark,
Playing in the lake,
Even walking through the park.

Somehow you never quite understood,
How to gracefully catch a ball,
You'd rather a bone from the local shopping mall.

But everything you did it seemed to make sense,
Except doing those poops,
And always running by the fence.    (yes funny but true..)

Anyhow my special friend,
This is to say you probably were a dog,
But now you'll be in a 2nd cloud as I'm posting you to this blog!


Thanks for reading... I hope you got a smile in this difficult time.. may all our animals RIP.. 

Remember the longest journey starts with one step.. Best Wishes

Posts: 2

2 weeks ago today - I made the worst decision of my life. I let my Garlic down and agreed to put him to sleep. 
2 weeks has passed, everyone is telling me I did my best at the situation, I gave him comfort, I ended his suffer, I can miss him but not feel regret on it, let it go so he can rest in peace ....
But in the bottom of my heart, I know and I fully aware that I made the wrong decision and I can never take this back... Time can not be go back. 
I am so mad at myself letting him down and now he is gone fovever and I can never see him again, his warm smiles, adorable noises that he makes.
I hate myself of being so weak.. I did not have a clear mind and instead of listen to the Vet suggestion... just because he is 9yr 8mo - he is still young !
I know if he get the surgery.. he will recover,, he will be okay.. he will be still with me today.. he is fine even the moment we were at the vet

I feel like no one understand my feeling, no one understand my guilt... I know people around me is try to calm me, try to make me feel better, try to tell me this is a right decision
However, I know I made a huge mistake in my life and the cost is the life of my beloved 
I do not know how can I forgive myself for making this irreversible mistake
It was all in my hands and I got it so wrong ...

Mommy is sorry.. please come back to my life again. I am missing you everyday, every minutes, every second, every breath.

Please come back to me one more time.... Garlic.. I will always be there for you and will never let you down again.. Love you my baby Gar-gar 


Posts: 8
I feel like i have had my heart torn out and my stomach turns everytime i think about my poor little man(he was my baby, my life) mikey had to go too sleep 2 days ago, he was 17 and i have had him since he was a kitten. He saved me from the depths of depression, from my lonelyness when no one else was there, he was my baby when i couldnt have babys of myown, he was with me through abusive relationships,he was my constant. Every night after i turned my light off he would bite my arm so i would move it and make space for him on my pillow. He slept on my pillow with his paw touching my arm for his comfort every night for 17 amazing years. He was an indoor cat, always there when i needed him and i was always there when he needed me.Mikey showed no signs of age, he didnt lose any teeth, he didnt have athritis, he ran a million miles an hour in excitement to the kitchen when he heard me open a tin of his favourite tuna, he still jumped on top of my high wardrobes and fridge, he had a full shiny coat, and its been 2 days since he went to sleep, i have no peace. I feel i killed my best friend, i feel i didnt give him time. I hate myself for what i have done. 2 weeks ago i took him too the vets as his breathing was very fast, they said he had heart failure and there was no going back. They offered to euthanize there and then. I wasnt ready, and not like that. Its not what i wanted for my best friend. They gave me duretics to help drain the fluid from his stomach and around his lungs. I was told he could live upto 18 months like that. I took him home, he stopped eating, he layed under the bed and cried when i had to get him out 3 times a day for his medication, i cried and told him sorry everytime i had to do it, he still managed to get to his litter tray and for his drink. I had 8 different bowls of 8 different food available to him to try and tempt him, i changed those bowls and food twice a day, i didnt care that i was throwing money away, this little man bought me comfort for 17 years, i have little money but it suddenly became no object, i spent xmas eve,xmas day and boxing day laying next to my little man on the floor next to the bed where he layed underneath.i slept there 3 nights with him telling him how much i loved him and thanking him for bringing me so much happyneds and for being my uncondtional friend. after 4 days of seeing him like this i was scared to go to work incase he passed away on his own,he didnt deserve that, so i got my dad who lives 30 miles away to come and sit with him every morning for 4 days. On the 5th day i walked out of work, i didnt care, i had to be with my little man. I drove straight to the vets and asked if they could give me some lungworm medication and he agreed that the syptoms can be similar. He also gave him some antibiotics. So then the pain of giving my mikey medication 5 times a day began. He had lost so much weight and i began to realise that maybe he was too frail too fight. So i had to make the horrible decision that once the vets were open the day after boxing day i would let my best friend go too sleep. The night before however, he started to show interest in food for the first time in 10 days, he had his first poo in 5 days... i felt hope. The next morning i called the vets, i had come too terms that his little munch out the night before was his last little bit of fight. I made the call, i asked the vets to come to our home, i felt he deserved the dignity of being where he has layed for 17 years, and the indignity of weeing himself in his crate everytime i took him to the vets through stress. I sat and waited, i called him over too me knowing it would be the last time , but he actually came too me!!! He hadnt for 10 days, he didnt have the energy but now he did!! He ate a little more, the bin lorry came up the road, he sat bolt upright and looked out of the window like he did every time he heard it but hadnt done for 10 days. My head was spinning... were the antibiotics and lungworm treatment kicking in after 5 days!??? I have never felt so scared at making a decision in my life. The vet arrived, i asked her to check his heart.... to check the fluid.... i almost wanted her too say yes, the vets were right , its heart failure, theres no going back, but she didnt.. she said his heart sounded fine and his lungs sounded nearly clear.... i looked to my mum for guidance... the vet said that even if he was to recover fully that there wasnt some underlying condition, that he may go downhill very quickly again and maybe i wont be there to help him next time. My little man was laying there , unaware of the massive choice i had to make. They said he had lost alot of weight, he was weak and maybe wasnt strong enough to get back to his old kitten in mind and also in body like state. That he may just lay there day in day out, growing old and miserable. He had been a kitten in body and mind up until that night he couldnt breath. I couldnt bare to think that he would ever suffer, i made the decision and its one i will always live to regret. I hate myself, it msy have been just an infection, maybe all the nursing and antibiotics were only just starting to kick in, he had made improvement but they told me it may not last. I sat with him while they injected him, i tried to hold my sobs back but the emotions were to strong, i howled snd i hate myself for letting him hear me cry, his last moments where that of stress from me, the guilt is immense, i cant let go, i keep thinking what if i had given him a few more days on the meds, his little face, the trust he had in me and i have done that to him. I hurt inside, my stomach is churning and my heart is broken. I hate myself, i just want my little man back .

Posts: 15
To everyone on this board - I'm sorry for your loss, and I feel it too.  I still cry about my Emma and miss her every day.  For what it's worth, I recently read Your Cat: The Owner's Manual by Dr. Marty Becker, and saw this statement about euthanasia from him: "I'd rather be a week too early in euthanizing a pet than one minute too late."  

Posts: 6
I have a tremendous amount of guilty feelings, deep dark sadness, despair, and disgust with myself over the loss of my beloved 16 year old Chihuahua. She was the best dog I have ever had, and probably ever will have. I got her when she was 6 months old, so the last 15 years she was a constant presence in my life. She was almost always constantly at my side, wanting to be petted, talked to, and when she was healthier she wanted to be picked up and carried everywhere with me. She was the best lap dog ever. She had such a huge loving and emotionally expressive personality for such a tiny body. She would look me right in the eyes, and keep looking at me. It was so obvious I was the most important thing in her entire life. About all she cared about was me. At night she loved to cuddle up to me in bed. She was about as close as I will ever come to having my own child due to various disabilities. So, in a very real sense, I lost my only daughter last week. I feel like an emotional wreck. I have never felt so low, but I would not trade the 15 years with her for anything. They were the best years of my life. I don't believe in an afterlife, so I have no hope of seeing her again, so, this is goodbye to her forever for me. I know I will miss her for the rest of my life. It just helps to get this out and express how I feel about losing her. I know she was very sick at the end, and there was no real choice in the matter because she was in pain, but it still hurts so bad to lose her. My biggest regret is that I took for granted how healthy and able she was during the first 13 years of her life. Once she started getting old and sick, she gradually lost the ability to do so many things I just took for granted, like jumping up into bed, jumping up into my chair, etc. When she was young, she was very healthy and amazingly athletic. As she got old and sick, she became quite disabled. It was so gradual, I didn't notice it quickly enough, but looking back, she lost so many abilities by the time she had turned 14. She wasn't having much fun at the end, but she still did everything she could to be with me, look at my face, and so I was still the most important thing in her life all the way up to her last minute of life. I feel so guilty about it, even though I know she was in pain and that her life was just getting worse and worse with no hope of recovery. I feel that was holding onto life just for me. I have no way of proving this, but I think she didn't want to let go of her failing life and die because she did not want to be separated from me. To quote a BBC t.v. show The Class, she was saying, "Don't go where I can't follow you." I am sorry she can no longer follow me. I miss her so much.

Posts: 15
Soverysad, I'm sorry for your loss.  You gave your little friend a good life, and she knew that she was loved.  I can tell myself that I loved my Emma every single day, and you can say that about your furry friend too.  At some point, I think that we will be able to think back about our friends and smile.  I'm not yet there either, but I think that one day both of us will be. 

Posts: 7
Amieb and everyone on here, I know what you are going through...many of these stories sound exactly like what I have been going through after having to let my 15 year old kitty, Clara, go about 3 weeks ago. It's the hardest thing I have ever been through. Although the euthanasia appointment was pretty much the worst thing I have every been through, I read something while I was researching what to do/how do you know when is the right time to think about letting your best friend go. Something I read said that, when the suffering reaches a certain point, you are no longer prolonging their life by keeping them alive, you are prolonging their death. Somehow, that has helped me. i knew my Clara was dying. The last thing any of us wants to do is purposefully put to death (for lack of a better phrase) an animal we have spent our whole lives protecting and loving unconditionally. Although I am still coming to grips with the grief and loss myself, I do feel that if you are having feelings of guilt or second-guessing yourself, you made the only decision that was left short of prolonging your best friend's death. That is the ultimate sacrifice we can make; trading in our own feelings of security and need to keep them with us as long as possible, in order to ease their suffering and let them go in peace.

I hope that we can all heal in time and eventually be able to focus on the joy our pets brought to our lives instead of the overwhelming grief that they are gone. As someone else said in a post I read above, no matter how long I could have had her, it would never have been enough.

Posts: 7


I really don't know how to write this and/or if anyone is going to read it... my English bulldog is almost 7 years old and has been becoming more aggressive lately.  for 5 years it was just him and my oldest son plus my 16 yr old schnauzer.  Leo, the bulldog, attached himself to my oldest as they are both the same age and since he grew up with Will, the schnauzer, they were best friends.  Leo has always been the protective type... if you play wrestle, he gets angry and will bark and try to nip at you since he thinks you are being hurt.  Since he was little, he was taught to not bite.  We have trained him well and people say he is the most obedient dog they have ever seen.  He is house broken, listens to commands and follows them, will not eat until told to, knows to find people if you ask him to.   Ever since he was little though, he never liked little girls.  Not sure if it is their voice, but he doesn't care for my nieces and has growled at them.  So we always would put him in his kennel if they came around.  It wasn't until my youngest son was born that Leo started showing signs of progressive aggression.  He would growl when ever the baby cried.  So we let him be an outside dog for about 1.5 yrs.  Any new dog we tried to bring into the family, he despised and would not get along with them.  Always snapping and growling whenever they would come around.   With my youngest being 2 now, we decided that maybe Leo could come inside again and try to re-acclimate himself as a trusted house dog.  There were times when he would growl at my youngest and we would discipline him that that was unacceptable and John was our baby and he should protect him like he does Eric.  He would do ok, but whenever John comes around, Leo gets real tense, almost like he shakes.  And his eyes are always going from side to side if he gets too close.  About 3 weeks ago, he charged a gas worker who wasn't even in our yard.  Luckily, the worker knew how to handle animals and put his hand out to say hello.  I tried to yell and tell him to come back, but Leo wouldn't listen.  It wasn't until I got close enough to tell him that he was being a bad boy and to go back inside.  He did let the worker touch him.  The second time I noticed something odd was when I was disciplining him for growling at my son, he tried to snap back at me.  I then put my hand on his neck and rolled him over to his back to show that I am dominant and he is not.  The final incident happened a couple of days ago.  My youngest and I were on the couch reading a book.  Leo was laying in front of us on the carpet.  My boy got off the couch and kicked up his leg towards Leo, at which time Leo lunged, snarled, and growled at him snapping at the same time towards his foot.  John jumped back up on the couch crying.  Leo ran to his kennel... he does this anytime he knows he does something wrong.  I went after leo to discipline him.  While trying to do so, he began to bark, growl, and snap at the switch.  I then got my husband who was able to take him outside in the garage.  When he went to tell him to not growl, he was going to pop his mouth at which time Leo bit his hand.  He didn't let go, so my husband yanked it out.  He has two cuts on his finger where he was bit.  One should have a couple stiches, but he decided to put a butterfly band aide on it.  

 We are at a crossroads with Leo.  He has been our beloved pet for so many years and practically another child to us.  We don't want to give him away to just anyone that is going to use him just for breeding purposes... we didn't stud him out because we didn't spend the $1500 on him for that... we don't want him to go to a home where he stays outside all the time and is chained and or beaten for messing up.  we don't want him to go to another home with children either.  my husband feels like he cannot trust him anymore and I feel like I have failed him somehow.  like where did I go wrong in raising my fat boy?  is it my fault for bringing other dogs around, kids, etc. ? so... our only option right now that we are considering is euthanasia.   my husband and I feel that we can no longer trust leo... that he could do it again and this time much worse where the effects are life damaging.  is there anyone out there that can give me some insight as to what to do or how to go about this? we made the decision to put him to sleep with the angels scheduled for 1/5/18 @8am. I don't know how to tell my 7 yr old and I don't know how to tell myself ... I'm still in denial. please help.


Posts: 3
Hi all

I hope since my last post you’ve found you’re days with less pain and more hope. It’s been a month since the horrible day we let Jinka go. It is so incredibly difficult still. We received Jinka’s ashes back yesterday. It was super emotional. I cried. Although my preference was to bury her in this case it wasn’t suitable where we live to do so.. so we have an urn and a picture wall..

I certainly have found huge comfort spending time with our other dog Kelly.. being able to spend time together walking usually 2 or 3 times a day. I am so paranoid at Kelly getting ill though. I don’t want to ever go through those emotions and feelings of extreme loss again. Obviously I know that day will come. But I have to move past the fear.

I miss you Jinka... thank you for loving me unconditionally enough to forgive.

Best wishes to all...

Posts: 578
I read this post when it was first written but never followed through until today. Today was a bad day for guilt and I decided to write down all the Pros and Cons, so to speak. On the Pro side all the reasons I wrote were for me and not Termy. On the other side was the reasons I needed to let Termy go. The Con side was much longer and seeing the reasons I wrote made me realize Termy was telling me it was time to let him go. I still hurt and cry a lot but I am making it a point to let go of the guilt and honor Termy and his love for me and the life we shared. It maybe a long road but I am going to try to honor him and remember him with a smile.
Love to all
Termy's mom

Posts: 60
I don't know if this will help anyone struggling with guilt about euthanasia, but I hope it does.  I've had three dogs as an adult.  The first one was euthanized one week after the onset of a debilitating illness that left him unable to walk or even stand up.  We had the procedure done at the vets' office, and I was devastated.  When, many years later, our second dog became ill, I decided to not have her euthanized, so that she could die a "natural" death at home.  It was horrible.  I am sure she suffered greatly because of my desire to protect myself by avoiding euthanasia.  

My third dog died a few days ago.  She was euthanized at home.  I was very sad to lose her but the procedure itself was very peaceful and I am extremely grateful to the vet, who does only in-home euthanasia, for her kindness.  My dog had a huge tumor in her mouth, but until the end, she still liked to walk and eat and bark. I do not regret having her euthanized while she still enjoyed some things in life.  It was much better having her last day be a good one than having an emergency or catastrophe.  And the vet told me that the tumor was so big that it was close to blocking her breathing, so something awful could have happened at any time. 

Please don't feel guilty for sparing your pet suffering.

Posts: 123
Hello PI,
Saddened at the loss of your Beloved pet.
I concur with your coping measures, one being, distractions. For myself, the TV and radio, both for News of the day. Silence is NOT golden. My wee chihuahua, just shy of his 16th birthday. Where do the years go when they are full of vim and vigour and living the Life with a caring hand, As the pet owner, we all want what is Best for our canines/felines and if that means laying to rest, so be it. To end suffering IS the only responsible measure, painful as it sounds. I wish to see Perry's Life like a played out MOVIE and not just the final snapshot at the end. Life in general is all about Memories, Cherish them. Best Wishes,  SherryXPerryX


Posts: 13

We got Emma Lee as my father did not have patience for this little fluffball pup -Great Pyrenees/Yellow Lab mix. For the past 10 years she has been by my side, kids all grown, youngest just left for college. My boyfriend passed away four years ago and she was more supportive than any friend, family member, or therapist. She went camping, boating, swimming, roadtrips. She always had a smile and loved everybody she met. Two years ago she got SARDS and went blind. She learned the house and property so well! Then thyroid disease, then a bout of kidney failure. These were all treated and she was still smiling. Last Friday she came into the living room and started yelping. When she got up, her right back foot was dragging. Her vet was closed, so took her to another. After X-ray's, he said it looks like a spinal stroke. She was yelping and agitated the whole time. I lost my mind and couldn't think. He said if it were his dog he would put her down. I was so scared of bringing her home in so much pain and not being able to lift her.I agreed in haste and panicked to let her go. It has made me sick with guilt I did not take her home to see if she could recover. Reading AFTERWARDS online there is a chance a dog can recover from a stroke, I am very sick. She could have been saved and I failed her. She was the love of my life, the best friend I've ever had. Our old cat and a black lab we got for her so she wouldn't be lonely while we were at work were her best buddies and are missing her too. She took such good care of all of us. We will miss you and love you always Miss Emma Lee Loo.


Posts: 2,440
Emma Lee's mom - I am so very sorry for your loss.  I know just how hard it is to think in that sudden unexpected moment.  Your beloved baby is crying out and you are asked to make such a hard decision.  Here is what I know.  Without a doubt.

It is IN that moment where your mind is frantic that your heart takes over, your heart makes the decision of what is right.  Your Emma Lee was in pain, and your vet shared his experience.  Your heart put Emma Lee first and made the hardest of all decisions.  The one that helped your sweet girl but would leave you broken hearted.

After...your mind (my mind) comes back to the what if, we research, we try to find an answer.  I did the same.  My Rascal had saddle thrombus, her horrific cries - 5 years later still haunt me.  ER vet told me what it was.  Told me that I could try a treatment but if she made it through she would need to see the vet weekly to monitor her blood since she would be on blood thinners.  Now...sounds good right?  But my Rascal was petrified of anyone but me; she was extremely fear aggressive.  I knew that for her having to be taken out of her safe house every week would have been torture for her - she would have lived the rest of her life petrified.  I couldn't do that to her.  I made that hard decision.

Sounds like I had it all figured out right?  NOPE.  Like you I started second guessing myself.  I took her brother to their normal vet (for the previous 10 years) for another checkup to be sure that he didn't have similar heart issues.  I asked her about the treatment.  She said that when a dog/cat is brought to her with saddle thrombus she doesn't even TELL people about the option!  Her reason:  treatment is very harsh on them and only 50/50 make it through.  IF they survive the harsh treatment, even with the blood thinners best case scenario is another 3-6 months.  BUT they could throw another clot any the horrific pain starts again.  In her opinion the pain for the animal was foremost and it was not recommended.

I share this because I have been in your shoes.  I have questioned myself about making the decision and if I could have had her longer.  But then I think of her vet.  Then I question WHAT should do the same. WHAT IF you did treat your Emma Lee? Say the treatment worked.  Yeah.  BUT now, knowing the pain your girl was in...WHAT IF you went to meet friends, do shopping, went away for normal "life" things from your house for a few hours...and she suffered another stroke.  Your sweet loved girl would be alone and in pain until you got back.  Your girl would have suffered and I GUARANTEE without a doubt that guilt would haunt you.  Because you would beat yourself up that you went against doctor advice to "help" her and ended up causing pain.

At the end of the day.  Guilt hits us both ways - did we not do enough, did we keep them too long.  That guilt is not about the ultimate choice either way, it is simply our human nature to understand.  We can't understand the pain of loss.  We can only feel it.  And KNOW that you love your Emma Lee so much you would ONLY ever make the right decision for her.  Your girl knows that and I know she hopes you can accept that too.

I am so very sorry for your loss.

InMemoryOfRascal...and Rambo

Posts: 13
Thank you for your reply InMemoryofRascal...andRambo, your words are really appreciated. I just made that decision in such haste. It kills me that I didn't take time to calm down and evaluate to make sure it was correct. You could be right and maybe next time she would have been left in pain while I am away at work. I am sorry to hear of your loss as well and that you have found peace.

Emma Lee's mom

Posts: 6
Hello everyone. My dog Jasper, was 11 years, & maybe 4-6 months old.  He was a stray sent to my house by I believe, divine intervention. He was still squatting like a puppy to go pee-pee, so I don't know if he was even a year old when we found each other.  He was a pit mix, and the gentlest, most submissive soul I've ever encountered.  He never had any health problems until as of late, & with having 3 kids 7 3 other animals, I never took him to the vet except for my state's required  vaccines.  In December, I took him to the vet as it was obvious he wasn't feeling well.  Eventually the vet discovered a large mass in his abdomen.  The surgery was $1600 to remove it, with no guarantees.  Because of his age, and yes, the expense, we opted to keep him comfortable and let him live out his days until he became uncomfortable.  With prednisone for both the tumor & arthritis, he had many good days with a lot of activity.  There were a couple of times he seemed to feel bad & I thought, "this is it", but then he would rally & be OK again.  We went for a check up Monday morning, and the vet said the tumor had grown and  was most likely the size of a cantaloupe.  Even with the prednisone, his appetite had seemed to slack off a couple of days prior.  Anyway, I had been cooking for him, and although he was eating a lot of good food, I'm afraid I may have given him too much greasy food or something that caused him to have an upset stomach.  He threw up a little during the night Monday, and felt really bad Tuesday morning.  The vet had wanted me to give him Benedryl Monday night, which I forced down him.  I made an afternoon appointment for euthanasia yesterday, but before the appointment, he perked up and ate a chicken breast & even some canned dog food & kept it down.  I went ahead & took him to the vet, & even though he seemed much better, we euthanized him with 4 family members present.  Now I feel enormous guilt for not waiting it out as it seemed his stomach had settled.  His breathing was rather rapid & shallow but now I wonder if that may have been a side effect of the Benedryl.  In short, I am afraid I did this too soon, and that if I hadn't fed him this or that, or if I had just waited, or if I had just gone ahead & took a chance on the surgery, the outcome may have been different.  My only comfort is that the vet (not the one I had been seeing) told me she would have tried to talk us out of it if she felt it was wrong.  We kept thinking he may get through this episode of feeling bad, only to go through it again, & again.  I am so torn up thinking that I should have waited and maybe we would have had a few more weeks or months.  I was blessed in being able to bring him to work with me almost daily.  He had started to get reluctant to get up but he had gained weight due to the prednisone.  We were going to start decreasing the amount to see how he did & I was thinking if he lost a little weight, he might feel better but I never gave it a chance.  I'm just wondering now if the Benedryl made him feel extra bad Tuesday & just all of the "what ifs".  I'm just a mess.  My husband said it had to happen, it was going to happen & his fear was that it would get bad & he didn't want him to suffer.  I know that's true, but I can't help thinking I did something to cause or contribute to this latest episode.  Thank you for letting me vent.  I miss him so badly already & this is only day one without him.  Is it normal to feel this guilty?


Posts: 13
Sorry to hear you were faced with that awful decision MCKANGEL. It sounds like you did so much for your Jasper. It has been 12 days since I made the worse decision of my life. I just got home from seeing a counselor. The what-ifs and second guessing everything, deciding too soon or too late is overwhelming. You treated him so well with home cooking and taking him to work and all, I for sure would not think it was something you did to cause any of his issues. It does sound like he was on a roller-coaster there and I am sorry you had to go through that...and kind of still are. May you find comfort in knowing there are others out here that are in your same boat of those what-ifs and all the pain. You did nothing wrong, you only wanted what would be best for your Jasper. And it hurts. :(

Posts: 6
Emma Lees Mom

Thank you for reaching out with your kind supporting words.  I read & re-read your post 
about what happened to Emma Lee.  I can honestly tell you I would have done the same 
thing--foremost in your heart was ending her pain, with no thought for your own.  You did 
not fail her; you were there when she needed you most.  I agree with In Memory of Rascal too--
if you had not been there, Emma Lee would have laid there suffering.  She sought you out when
she was hurting, and you put her need first.  I know in my heart that whatever decision we made, our babies would not want us to punish ourselves.  Please know I will hold you in my prayers, and again thank you for reaching out to me.

Posts: 13
MCKANGEL, Thank you also for you words and prayers. It is comforting to hear that you and In Memory of Rascal Too may have made the same choice.  I am so thankful to have found this website as I think the people here are the only ones who can understand what we are all going through. I hope the guilt and pain is easing up on you a bit. I pray that Emma Lee, Jasper, Rascal, and all of the loved ones here are truly up in heaven without pain and one day we can reunite with them once again. Prayers to you and your healing.

Emma Lee's mom

Posts: 2
I had my almost 15 year old tuxedo cat, Cubby, euthanized 1 week ago. I'm still angry with myself and find myself crying all the time. Just days before he was his normal self, so loving, and running to the sound of a can of cat food opening. I had a new foster cat come in and so my Cubby as usual hid to avoid confrontation. Then I found him hiding in a closet with dark drool on his mouth. I wiped him off and noticed he felt very light... So I offered him some treats. When he didn't snatch them up I knew something was wrong so I rushed him to the vet. After a check up, they told me he had a level 5 heart murmur and was going through kidney failure. They offered him meds where I would have to come in everyday for a week... But that it would not cure him, only make him more comfortable, and that with the murmur as advanced as it was, that he would likely suffer heart failure. I cried and held him for nearly an hour, just sobbing, and finally I asked the vet what she would do, she was hesitant to say anything at all, but implied this would be far more humane than the little life he had left. It tore me apart to have them do it, feeling his last rapid breaths and then his tail drooping down. I don't know how on earth to get over the guilt of not giving him more time, maybe they were wrong, maybe he just ate something he shouldn't have... He was my baby for 15 years, and I let him down.
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