Registered: 1539997776 Posts: 22
So sorry about your loss. The decision is never easy. I think all who made it feel somehow sometime guilty. Guilt is normal although irrational in many cases in my opinion.
Your boy was suffering, in pain and I am sure you made the right decision. I like to think that I also gave a "tush push" my feline baby girl to heaven. At times I wonder if I could have done more but most likely not. It is got wranching, painful experience. Please consider nybdeepest condolences. The first few weeks are tough so be kind to yourself.
Registered: 1556593641 Posts: 4
Trying to find support for the guilt I am feeling after putting my 15 year old dog-Al down I found this messageboard. So grateful for all these stories.
I am having a terrible time with the guilt of putting my Al down on Thursday 4/25. He had so many issues and I told myself that if he ever experienced pain I would be able to say goodbye. He was not on deaths door before I made the decision to say goodbye, but he had been crying for 3 nights in a row (while on painkillers) and on the 3rd night his crying went on off and on all night and into the morning. I decided it was time. I thought I had to be strong for him and I was laser focused on maintaining my courage. I took him to the vet right when they opened and told them what was happening to him. They told me that he would not get any better and it would only get worse and fast. They gave him a sedative and then I got a HUGE wave of panic and almost changed my mind. Then I dug deep and said my last goodbyes- crying and saying I was so sorry. When I got home I was absolutely hysterical and completely regretted it. I reached out to family and to people who spent time with Al and they all agreed that I did the right thing. I even emailed his vet and she also agreed, which provided me with some comfort. I think part of my guilt stems from him not having a particular life threatening diagnosis. He was old, had arthritis, was almost fully blind and deaf and had no bladder control. I keep telling myself I did it out of love and I find some comfort in that, but I also have guilt about not making a few of his last days really special. I have guilt about feeling ready to put him down and maybe him not being ready. My mind is playing tricks on me for sure. I know that if I didn't do it then I don't know when I would have had the strength again and could have let it go on for too long. He was my comfort through the toughest moments in my life. I can't imagine ever loving a pet more than I love him. I love him more than most people I know (terrible to say but true). I am just sick about everything and trying to find comfort anywhere I can. Some of the first messages on this site from back in 2012 were very helpful. I made a list of reasons why I put him down and reasons why I should have kept him and all but one of the reason for keeping him were purely selfish. I miss my cuddle bug. He was a comfort to me and I have no idea how I will ever get that back.
Registered: 1531496113 Posts: 12
Your story is very much like mine, mine cried on the painkillers too..... it will get easier I promise, you will someday realize that you did the right thing as he would have suffered even more. You would have prolonged their inevitable death with more pain instead of prolonging their life. You set him free into a beautiful world where you will be with him again. Now he is running and playing and looking over you, and thanking you for giving him no more pain!
Registered: 1528422886 Posts: 4
Your description of the guilt, after having to work up the courage to go through with it mirrors mine from almost a year ago. I remember being hysterical for days afterward. I couldn’t leave the house, or function. I spent all my pent up energy cleaning the house and getting rid of reminders my my baby (18 year old) dog, but I just remained upset and would apologize to her out loud for days. I have been having dreams about her because the 1 year anniversary of her passing is coming up. But things have gotten better. I have a little memorial wall with a couple nice photos and her collar to remember her healthy times. And it makes me feel better to remember the earlier days when she was happy. It was a long, good life and I know that she knew I loved her. But it took weeks and maybe months before any of these thoughts really helped me. The trauma had to wear off a bit first. So while you’re in these next few days, weeks, or months and it feels like it won’t get better, please know that I spent a long time in that place too, and I’m with you. It will feel better, later.
Registered: 1550097364 Posts: 6
So sorry about your loss. It brings back my own fear about my decision last February to put our beloved Gus to sleep. We miss him so much. The memories we have of him came like a tidal wave the instant he was gone, and he was young, and healthy, and loving life. It was hard to remember the last few years, and his declining health. It is a brutal decision when the time comes. But what choice do we have? We got so much love, and support from this forum. We were devastated! And these other folks lifted us up with their words. In the end, we reminded ourselves that we would never have hurt a hair on Gussies head. We loved him so, so much. We knew for 2 years or so that the time was coming. We would watch him struggle to stand, and lay down. He couldn't see well, or hear well anymore etc. We could have gone on for awhile more, but at what cost? He was falling down, and bumping into things. He couldn't tell us if he had bruises everywhere. He would never have gone potty in the house ever. But he was not able to control it anymore. I can only say that if Guster had ever cried in pain, I would have done it then. It sounds like Al was in pain, and you did the loving thing. Not the easy thing, the loving thing. Please go easy on yourself the next few weeks.
Registered: 1515042483 Posts: 7
I agree with everyone here. I lost my 15 year old cat, Clara, almost 15 months ago. I cried pretty much every day for months and spent days in bed after deciding to let her go. I still cry a lot to be honest, but I promise it gets better. For me (and probably for many), I relived those 30 minutes in the vet office every night when I closed my eyes. I had so much guilt that I took her out of her home and into a vet’s office. If I had known when she would decline so rapidly, I would have wanted someone to come to the house. But you have to remember that what you did is an act of love. It seems so counterintuitive when we spend our pets whole life keeping them healthy and taking care of them....particularly when they get sick and old. But - as has been said - letting them suffer is only prolonging their death, not their life.
I read a book called “the pet loss companion” that I recommend to help process your grief. It does take time, but eventually it gets easier and you are better able to focus on the love you shared and the happy memories. Hang in there. (Hugs) :-)
Registered: 1556593641 Posts: 4
Thank you all you have responded to my post- Severus, Enyasdad and Dearmiss. I am sorry for your losses. Their innocence and unconditional love makes their passing so much more painful. Seeing your messages has really meant a lot to me. It has been six days and my brain is still processing Al's death. I've been going through all our pictures and writing our memories together down.
I got his ashes and paw print yesterday and this morning was the first morning I could actually eat breakfast. Having him home is helping. I can't really explain it, but I feel more at ease like he is here. I can talk to him and find comfort in that. There was one thing that was happening with Al that my vet was never able to explain to me and I am wondering if any of you had anything similar happen. About once or twice a month for 2 years Al would wake me up shaking uncontrollably for a couple hours. (He would physically come and nudge me to wake up to help him.) This only happened at night and all I could do to comfort him was hold him. He didn't cry in pain or anything and he never needed to go to the bathroom. It was so odd. I took him to the vet and they ran blood tests and everything was normal. Has this happened to anyone else and/or do you know what could have been the problem? I was always so scared when it happened and felt like he was giving me a sign that he was ready to go. Thank you again so much!
Registered: 1531496113 Posts: 12
I made a photo album too with every single picture I could possibly find and started to write all of our memories down too, I put her picture in a frame and made a special place for her on a table-it will help so much. I remember mine would shake too- I was told it was her body temperature as when they get older it doesn't regulate like it use to, I feel that it was a sign that her body was failing. It is ok that you didn't recognize it, I was in denial too and I regret lots, but I know she would have suffered and I did not want to have her go through that, she didn't deserve it.
Registered: 1513050674 Posts: 15
I'm sorry for your loss too. The vet made a paw impression on some kind of synthetic clay for us to keep. I framed it along with a favorite photo of Emma. It was also helpful for me to make a Shutterfly book. It was a way to spend a little more time with her, making decisions about layout and text, and I will have that book forever.
Registered: 1514728990 Posts: 5
The shaking might have been some sort of seizures. My very old chihuahua Scampers had them from time to time in her final years of life.
It is a difficult decision for all of us to make because our pet is losing its life and we are losing our best friend. And yes, I want to echo the part about loving my dog more than I did my own relatives. I cried more when she died than when my own brother died. It is a very difficult time emotionally to go through but time does help. The other thing that helps is getting a new dog. If possible for others reading this and facing the coming inevitable with their current dog, get a new dog while you still have time. There is no worse feeling in my opinion than coming home to an empty house and the reality sinking in, and the abrupt change of suddenly having no dog at all. Believe me it helps a lot to have a dog in your home that you already know and love for emotional support during this very dark time in your life. I never thought I would ever love a new dog as much as I did Scampers and while she is very different than Scampers, she is very wonderful in her own way.
Registered: 1546359665 Posts: 4
I lost my beloved Kelly Dec 8th at 17 years and after coming home to an empty house I am going to get another JRT shortie like her. I am excited and looking forward to picking her up in Mid May. Dogs live in the moment and after my Kelly passed I asked for a sign. There was a phone called I looked at the caller id and it said Brown Kellie. She was brown faced and her name was Kellie and that was my sign that she made it to the rainbow bridge!!! They are still with us ! Before she passed she stayed up all night with her paw on my heart! that is love! Love will carry us through and the joy that a dog brings is everlasting!!
Registered: 1518624347 Posts: 6
Hi Alspals Mom.
Your post echoes so much of what I went through. I euthanized my beloved dog Jasper 2/13/18. I experienced extreme guilt & regret. I couldn't explain it either, but I felt a bit better when I received his ashes back. It was several months before I was ready to spread them on the property he loved. I just want to tell you that I had always heard the saying "what a difference a year makes". I believe it is so true. A few months after Jasper passed, I went to our local shelter & adopted another dog. My expectations were not very high, as I thought I could never love another dog as much as Jasper, but I just missed having a dog around. Remarkably, Gryffin worked his way into my heart & helped it to heal. I don't love Jasper any less, and I still miss him, but I know it was meant for Gryffin to come into my home and heart. I truly believe Jasper approves. Be kind to yourself. It will get better. You did the right thing. Hugs to you -angel
Registered: 1556593641 Posts: 4
Its been a little over 3 weeks since I said a painful goodbye to my dog Al. I have to say that getting his ashes home has been somewhat helpful to me. Its a comfort knowing that he is home where he belongs. But I am still dealing with theses HUGE waves of grief. I miss him SOOOO much. It sounds strange and kind of sad, but Al knew me better than anyone. He was my constant comfort and companion. Its so hard not having him here.
I also still feel so much guilt about not doing more to give him more time. I feel like I gave up on him. I tell myself that if I would have waited and done more I might be regretting putting him through more suffering. I know he was in so much pain. I only let that pain go on for 3 days before I said it was enough. What is a life when you blind, deaf and in pain or on pain killers? I almost believe I did the right thing. Hopefully one day I will forgive myself. Thank you all for your comments. They have been so helpful.
Registered: 1556948376 Posts: 27
I just finishing writing a reply on another thread of how the guilt I held onto so tight and the would’ve, should’ve, could’ve game has slowly disappeared. I don’t feel guilt anymore, but rather more relieved he is not suffering and I try to remember the great life we shared. I wanted for that life to continue for ever but unfortunately, it does not. Maybe, it is reminder that we need to enjoy life more. I hope that overtime that guilt you have disappears and when it does, the love you have will always remain. You will always miss your beloved family member. It will become easier once the emotional fog you are under slowly dissipates. My heart goes out to you. I only vaguely remember the first few weeks as I was on emotional overload.
Registered: 1548604049 Posts: 3
I am still feeling extremely guilty. It will be 4 months on May 25th that I had to put my beautiful boy Mac down. His hind legs were going, he was pooing in the house, just walking and it would fall out. His legs got really bad when it got cold and he collapsed and I had to pick him up.
He was my life. He was my emotional support animal. I had to put him down 4 days after his 13th birthday. I knew the day would come, but it came too fast and what I will never get over is that I didn't hold him, I wasn't touching him, I didn't kiss him, I didn't tell him I loved him the hundreds of thousands of times I always told him. Everyone told me I was in shock. I just cannot get passed that, it will haunt me for the rest of my life. I have cried every day 2 or 3 days a day since it happened. I will never forgive myself. I always hugged him, I always kissed him, I always told him I loved him constantly and when he needed me the most I just knelt there not believing what I was doing. It's an awful feeling, I've had dogs all my life, I'm 65 and Mac was special, he was perfect and I wasn't there for him when he needed me. I don't know what was running through my head when it was happening. My heart is shattered not broken shattered. I don't want to live without him, I have never felt so lonely in my life. I have never felt so useless in my life. I will never get over what I did, I don't deserve another dog and that's if I even want one, Mac will never be replaced. It took me a year to get Mac after my last Old English Sheepdog died. I don't deserve to be a mom to another dog. I don't know why, I just don't know why I wasn't holding him, I hate myself.
Registered: 1550097364 Posts: 6
Your post sounds so familiar with our experience. Our boy Gus was pretty much blind, deaf and losing His legs. He was pooping in the house, and basically losing his dignity toward the end. But we loved him! We loved him so much. We talked to him, and for him.He was a funny, sweet, wise dog. He loved us right back. We hiked over 12000 miles with him unleashed.. We snuggles thousands of times. He was so gentle and loving. But when we decided to put him to sleep, we became like Zombies. We were cold and methodical. It was a snap decision. And it will be hard to accept ever. ....I think maybe that God knows that we couldn’t do it if we were in our normal state of mind, and he steels us for what he knows is the time. That’s the only way I can explain it. We would never have hurt a hair on Gussies head. But after watching his decline over 2 years. And making countless adjustments for him, we knew the day was coming. At some point you have to say “this is the day” So you can sleep through the night, or whatever latest adjustment you are dealing with. I read where most people wait too long , and the dog suffers. That can’t happen! Please forgive yourself. And remember the great quote from Charles Dickens. “ No one is useless who can help lift the burden of someone else.”
Registered: 1528497506 Posts: 187
To All Those Who Have Posted On This Thread,
I too had to let my sweet, sweet Rosie, my beloved white little Jack Russell Terrier go to the Rainbow Bridge one year ago yesterday. I had her for over 14 years...I got her as a stray so I'm not sure how old she really was but I estimate at least 16 or 17. People say, well, she lived a good long life but it is never long enough! My poor girl had a heart murmur that turned into congestive heart failure. She was such a proud and noble little dog who had been with me through some of the best and worst times of my life; divorces, estranged adult children, traveling around the US, our adventures were endless. But the last year or so of her life it was not quality. She became deaf, incontinent at times, confused and the heart issue....I literally spent a couple thousand dollars on that alone. But it didn't matter. To see her go downhill and stop doing the things she loved broke my heart. So after I had picked her up from my old vet (I no longer go there) one year ago and they had drained 2 lbs of fluid from her lungs...she only weighed 16 lbs. Rosie and I had a little talk. We talked about what a wonderful little companion and soulmate she had been to me through the years. We talked about her playing with the soccer ball on the beach and chasing squirrels; about her always sitting in my lap and how she loved running through the woods. And then we talked about her going to the Rainbow Bridge. I told her I loved her so so much but I was ready to let her go; if she wanted to go. Rosie was ready, but I wasn't. I so wanted her to be her old self again but those days were long gone. As I talked to her, she listened as if she was going on a new adventure. Her ears perked up and her eyes....those little brown eyes...were full of excitement. I was releasing her to go home to God; after all he only lends us our babies for a short time. The next morning around 5 a.m. I awoke to her panting heavily and in dire distress. I rushed her to the emergency clinic. They told me they could try saving her but she would probably only last a few more months....but I wanted those months! However, I remember my promise to my little girl the night before...that I would let her go. So I held her in my arms while they put her to sleep. They warned me she would poop and pee on me but I didn't care. Then with her last breath, I felt her little spirit leap into the air free from her aged and broken body. She immediately became cold. The vet said that was because her little heart was just broken and couldn't be fixed. I miss my baby every day. I know I did the right thing and kept my promise to Rosie but it hurt(s) so bad...even though she's been gone a year. I know she is healthy and happy at the Rainbow Bridge. She tells me the grass is green and the sun shines all the time. I know this is long and I hope you all read it. I believe euthanizing a beloved but suffering fur baby is the greatest and most ultimate act of love we can give them....and that is what I gave my Rosie. See you at the Rainbow Bridge my sweet little squirrel chaser. Mama (Jackie in Seattle, WA) also mama to LuLu, KitKat and Blossom.
Registered: 1561868965 Posts: 1
I had to put my Bernie of 12 years down on Friday. It was the most difficult decision I've ever had to make. I am wracked with guilt because he had a burst of barking and jumping, when my father came over that day. He really loved my father because he would rough-house with Bernie. However, he did go to the side and lie down. He would usually play with my father for a good hour. When I told the vet about his pulse of energy, he said that was fairly normal. He pointed out that Bernie had to retire himself fairly quick. Bernie had been losing weight, down to 8lbs. from his usual 15lbs. He had been throwing up and had stopped eating/drinking for a few days. X-rays showed a mass that was growing and the vet(s) said he had cancer. He had been to the office two other times and both times they said his prognosis was poor. I just couldn't put him down then, he seemed to have a little quality of life. He stopped meeting me at the door. I would find him lying on the sofa and had to coax him off. He stopped doing his tricks or would start then just stop. He had trouble walking like his muscles were stiff. And his face.. His eyes looked so sad and he would look away. That killed me. I have other guilt that I wished I had spent more time with him and not worked so much. I wished on my days off, I hadn't felt depressed and just couldn't move myself. I feel like I did this great dog a disservice. He did so much to make my days a little better but I feel like I didn't do much back for him. Maybe all of this is normal but I wished I had been better.
Registered: 1561887841 Posts: 1
It’s nearly 3 weeks since my beautiful chihuahua Merlin was put to sleep. For the last 3 years he had heart disease and was having regular scans. When he started to cough I hoped that it was just a cough and would just clear up. It didn’t and he started gagging and not eating much. His vet said it was probably his heart enlarging due to the heart disease and booked him in for tests. I received a phone call from the vet saying they had found a very large mass in his lung and the options would be to wait and make him comfortable until an end of life decision, or to do a biopsy to see if any treatment could be offered. I opted for the biopsy in the hope he could be treated. The vet rang and said his breathing became difficult during the sedation so she had to put him under general anaesthetic and in doing so found another mass at the back of his throat, she said did I want the oncologist to have a look to see if it could be removed, of course I said yes. She rang me back and said the position it was in it couldn’t be removed. She said it might be kinder to put him to sleep while he was under anaesthetic, as removing the breathing tube could rupture the mass and put him in distress. I was devastated and in complete shock. I said I wanted to hold him while they put him to sleep, even though he wouldn’t know I was there. It was heartbreaking, I expected to take him home with heart medication, instead he never came home. The vet said she herself was very shocked as she wasn’t expecting that either. I have been struggling with making that decision and had to phone the vet to talk it through. She said it was a very aggressive cancer, it took up most of his lung and that she doesn’t think he would have made it out of the anaesthetic because of the one in his throat, and if by some miracle he did she said we would’ve been rushing him back in a few days which would cause him great distress, that even if it was caught earlier it couldn’t be treated and we would’ve been in the same position. She said it was the right decision for him and it was the most unselfish thing to do putting him first. I still can’t forgive myself though, he was only 10 years 9 months, we should have had a good few years still together, I miss him so much it hurts, he was my beautiful baby, I can’t see a way out of this pain
Registered: 1326342541 Posts: 2,429
Bernie's Dad - I am so very sorry for your loss and your pain. It is so very clear how much you love your Bernie. I believe that after we lose our baby - especially when we feel that we made a choice - our brain struggles to make sense and too often finds/assigns blame to ourselves.
First - your decision was made out of love. It wasn't even a choice. Your Bernie was suffering. He was powering through each day for YOU. Your boy loved you and would have walked through fire for you. But as someone that loved him so, you would never have let him do that. You made the decision to take on the pain and release him from his. Second - I have absolutely no doubt your Bernie's eyes were sad. He knew that your heart was breaking. So he was sad. Your boy throughout his 12 years with you only wanted to love you, make you smile. Third - based on what you shared (his pain,lack of mobility, weight loss) you made the decision when it needed to be done. I guarantee if you had waited too much longer you would be racked with guilt about waiting too long. Last, with regards to the "should have's" (worked less/play more) your Bernie enjoyed every minute of his life with you. HE had no regrets. You must take a page from his book and embrace each and every memory that you made together. I am so very very sorry for your loss. I would encourage you to start a post on the main page and share some of your stories about Bernie. Sharing that love and memories of your special boy may help. Take Care InMemoryOfRascal....and Rambo
Registered: 1563846816 Posts: 1
This morning, I put my beloved Mischief down. My best friend since I was 3 years old. She was 11 1/2. Mischief had had problems for many years, but yesterday completely collapsed and was paralyzed. 4 years ago, we spent 5,000 dollars on a surgery. It was worth it, but we didn't have the money to do another surgery that was more expensive this time, and the recovery was long and painful for an old, little dog to endure. She wasn't drinking, or going to the bathroom, though she was eating a tiny bit. We went to the vet and had her put down. I had a panic attack and fainted while it was happening, and I just feel so guilty that I wasn't holding her while she went. I am full of guilt. The rest of my family besides my mom were 2,000 miles away, and didn't get to say goodbye. I stil don't know if it was the right thing to do. Should I have put her down and ended her suffering, or waited it out on meds and see if she could get better? I feel like we could've tried...just so my brothers and dad could say goodbye to her one last time...but that would've been selfish. I genuinely don't know what was best for her, and now I am overflowing with guilt. Did I just kill my baby when she was full of more life? She was in so much pain, but what if something could've been done? I am sick to my stomach, my heart aches, I am lost.
Registered: 1556948376 Posts: 27
I’m sorry for loss,
The amount of grief you are feeling often brings on the would’ve, could’ve and should’ve. This happens as you miss mischief so much, which is completely understandable. However, rationally you already know the answer when you write it would have been unfair for mischief to prolong the pain and suffering for family members to say goodbye. Unfortunately, our beloved fur friends are not very good at communicating what is wrong with them as they adapt quite well as they age, however, when they stop eating and drinking they are now letting you it is time. Paralysis, pain, side effects of meds, not eating and drinking you had to make one of hardest but bravest decision. You put mischief needs over those of your own. It is never easy and I’m sorry for the pain you are feeling. I had 14 year cat that I put through an expensive surgery as the vets assured me it would solve the issue. The surgery was successful but I forgot to realize he was 14 years old and after the surgery another major issue arose and we had to euthanize him 2 months later. We had to euthanize his brother back in December and only now I have accepted my beloved fur babies got old. We can not prevent aging and the illnesses that comes with it. You made the best decisions based on the information you had and the quality of life mischief was experiencing. The overwhelming pain of missing mischief will make you second guess everything. Whether it is just a few years to 20 or more years it is never enough time with our beloved fur babies. You did the right thing!
Registered: 1550097364 Posts: 6
You were there for Mischief. She needed you to help her, and you did. You could have waited for family and friends to gather, and she could have suffered more. I struggle with this as well. When We decided it was our Gussies time we called a mobile vet and did it right then. I will never think that we did it right. Is there a right way to euthanize your best buddy ever? But our rational minds must take over, or we will keep these guys alive for years, and years living a miserable life. You did the right thing. A brave thing. She was lucky to have you there. Sometimes the right thing is the hard thing. I hope you can get over the pain soon , and remember her fondly.
Registered: 1564945101 Posts: 34
today is 3 weeks since our last day together. i had no idea it would be our last. we had just finished another cross country move (road trip) at end of May and you spent 6 days on my lap enjoying watching the country go by. We were back home for a month and half and though you were almost a 13yr old frenchie, you were eating normal (actually gained extra weight) normal potty times, walks (not as long as we used to) but still cruising. You even had a bunch of senior blood work/re-work at your normal vet, your liver had some alarm, but blood re-work showed all functions normal. basically you were looking great to your regular vet. I remember our last week together, as you would lay on your bed or roll on the floor for belly pats...id say outloud "whenever you are ready, you just let me know". frenchie dont have a long life span, and i had been "preparing" myself since he was 10 for the day in some distant future. and that week, as we spend the quiet days together, i remember saying it more than usual. That morning you walked the farthest you had in months, wanted to roll in the grass longer than usual, ate like a champ, napped just as well. And at 6pm 7/14/19, you woke from your deep sleep gasping for breath. I ran to you and shoke you awake, thinking it was a sleep apnea episode. But it wasnt, it was different. But you came around, you walked around, i checked your gums, we went out for a pee, you were unsteady but yourself. But i knew it wasnt, i checked your gums again and they werent turning pink. So we drove to the emerg vet, and they brought you back immediately because of the respiratory concern. They put you in a O2 cage and you were stressed, but still alert. they took xrays and found your lung capacity was barely there, and there looked like a small mass on your heart. They wanted to keep you overnight in the O2 tank and have an ultrasound in the morning. It could be pneumonia (treatable), tumor (treatable to some degree). They told me you were in good hands (and you were in the best) to go home and get some rest. I called and checked in at 10pm and 1:23am and they said your O2 level were still good, but you were still panting hard. I wish I would have stayed with you all night, maybe you would have fought harder. But on 7/15/19 at 5:14am I got the call, that you were struggling too much and I needed to come in and make the call. And I did, you fought at the end, they said it happens when the lack of oxygen gets too low, so they relaxed you enough to sleep and I held you in the final moments and then some more afterwards. It was so hard to leave you. I could have stayed in the patient room forever. They said there was no way I could have known since you didnt shown outward signs. That you would have had to specifically had a chest xray to have known what was going on. I wish i had done more when you got kennel cough back in Oct 2018 on our drive to Vermont. I wonder if that was the start, but wondering and questioning doesnt change the present truth. I was alone now when I left the emger vet. You were my constant companion for 12.5 yrs. you were my traveling man, best friend and always there regardless which way life threw us. My love for you is beyond time and space. I love you my little man, big boy, meatball sandwich, pig, tough guy, Mossimo, Momo, my Mo. I miss you dearly and im sorry i couldnt have done more.
Registered: 1565423953 Posts: 2
I cant escape this feeling. I'm so empty and hollow. Praying I did everything I could. Praying she knows how loved she is and that she knows I did the best job I could by her.
My beautiful loving Grace was so full of life and happiness. Everywhere she went people were drawn to her and her love. She always had bad luck though. One sickness after the next. The end really began about 6 months ago when she somehow caught a tick that gave her an autoimmune disease. She had anemia and became very touch and go with her. During this last month things got so much worse. She stared to have labored breathing which would last all night and during the day.. She grew 2 large cysts over the last all few days. She could hardly stand up. They bled and looked infected and wouldnt stop bleeding cause of her autoimmune disease. She was on 5 different meds to help her with her disease which caused horrible side effects. Peed everywhere. All the time. She lost control of her bladder and herself. She would wake up several times a night, every night and just stand there and stare until she wanted water again and then to go potty again. I was up with her near the end atleast 6 times a night. She was so lost at night. Today she couldnt stand up very well and her legs seemed to shake a lot. I had to gave her a warm compress on her open cysts and when I did I could see the pain in her eyes for the first time. She always could hide it so well...( I'm sure to keep from upsetting me). But not today.... she was in pain. Grace never whimpers and today she let out a loud yippee as I picked her up to take her to the vet. It was enough to break anyone's heart. We got to the vet and everyone there knows Grace as a regular at this point. She was surrounded with caring vets and staff. They all confirmed it was time. She was uncomfortable and still had labored breathing, her gums were white, and her energy was not even close to normal Grace levels. Jeremiah showed up to support us. He was so kind and paid $500 so we could let her go. ( had no idea of the cost to let an animal go) We went into the bereavement room and they brought Grace to me. We all sat on floor to pet her and say our goodbyes. Jeremiah flung cookies to her and ofcourse Grace would wag her tail, jump up and fetch the stail cookies happily. We did that for a minute until she came and laid down next to me and started to pant again. Holding her I cried and told her to go home now. She was an amazing dog and a clear definition of unconditional love. She will be greatly missed and forever in my heart. Kissed her little head goodbye. The vet came in and asked if we were ready. I agreed and the doctor proceed with 3 shots into her. 1) water, she took it like a champ turned with her curled white tounge to look at me, then 2) medication to make her comfortable, she put her head down and slowly and more comfortably started to breath long breaths, then 3) third shot stopped her heart and was goodbye. The tears burned me as the ran down my cheeks. My heart cracked, it was so heavy with guilt and pain. I left right away and went outside. The only thing that allowed me to breath aside from Jeremiah being there was what I felt and saw next. As I walked away and tears were streaming down my face I looked up to say a prayer and to ask God to watch over my Grace. When I looked up the sun was starting to set and I was looking through leaves in a full tree. The way the sun hit my eyes and the way the shadows of the leaves danced over the suns ray's filtering through left me with a sense of peace. It only lasted a minute and the pain and guilt I felt was gone and i felt warm and content inside. She was gone and that was my last goodbye. Now the pain is consuming me being back home. She is everywhere and everything hurts right now. She was my best friend. I love her dearly always. ByeByemyGrace
Registered: 1565747003 Posts: 8
4 years ago I lost my beloved dog to
Hemangiosarcoma. I did not want to euthanize her. We spent her last days mostly in bed with me at her side and other family members coming and going to see her. I regretted this. I will not go into details but I believed she suffered more than she should have and I will always blame myself for this. And today, unexpectedly I have lost my little buddy to what the vet believes is Hemangiosarcoma. I was diligent. Little buddy's x-rays 6 weeks ago showed no masses or tumors. Today we learned that little buddy was bleeding into his abdomen and he was just starting to show that he was suffering. I did not want to wait and have him go through what his companion had gone through. The vet said he might have 1 to 2 days before he passed but I know from experience what those 2 days can be like. And none of the mobile vets who provide home hospice had returned my calls since I called them this morning with at the time was only to plan for when things got worse. That timeline I had hoped was months in the future but I was very wrong about that. Euthanasia seems like a horrible thing to do. But I can tell you from experience that sometimes home hospice is not any kinder. Each situation is different, but in my heart I am more at peace with little buddy's passing by euthanasia than taking him home to die.
Registered: 1565889974 Posts: 2
Hi, I'm new to this...
I have never in my life had to put down an animal, but it happened to us this past Monday. We flew to CA to get married and we decided to bring Jace, our 11 YO cocker spaniel with us. He survived cancer, and it had been over a year since he was diagnosed. He beat it. It happened quickly. We arrived to CA and he lost vision in one eye, so we decided to bring him to our beach wedding to be with us. He was not acting like himself, he was quiet, mopey, isolated. We thought he was just losing vision, but it ended up being much worse. Monday morning, he was panting, drooling, thirsty, couldn't stand, shaking. We took him to the vet hospital, they couldn't figure out what was wrong with him without doing $4000+ worth of tests. Money we didn't have. We were lost, confused, didn't know what to do, so we opted for the cheaper tests and medication to put him at ease. His blood pressure was high, over 200. They released him, and he was acting ok, we thought he could fly with us the next day. He then got worse..... My husband thought he'd make it back home, so he got on his flight.... well...I rushed him back. Without knowing what it was, I just knew he was in pain and it wasn't right to extend his life to stress him out on a plane. So I made the decision to put him to sleep. It's been 3 days since Jace has been gone. I can't eat, can't sleep, can't think, can't get back into my normal routine. I cry non stop. I can't imagine a life without him. I feel empty. Who am I? What's the point? How will I ever move on. I keep thinking I can hear him walking around the house, or hear him barking at the squirrels outside. I obsess over looking at photos and videos. I can't fathom that I will never see him again, and that I let him down because we couldn't financially save him. He possibly had a brain tumor or kidney failure, and I think what if I just did it anyway and spent every penny on trying to find out what was wrong, could he have made it? What if I would've put him on pain pills just to get him back to CO, what if he could've pulled through? He made it to our wedding, and I believe he knew. He wanted to make sure Greg and I made our forever promise to each other. But the mix of the best day of our life mixed with the worst day of our lives is hard. I'm trying to understand how we will get through this. Greg is being tortured that he didn't stay to say goodbye. How do we cope? Does it get easier? I feel so guilty. Like I could've done more....I just needed to vent somewhere, so thank you.
Registered: 1550097364 Posts: 6
I’m so sorry to hear about Jace. Just know that you are not to blame. You would have done anything for him. It was his time. You loved him. You gave him a wonderful life. Just remember him. Remember the person you were around him. Kind and loving. It helps me get over my Gussie Wussie. He made me feel so warm and loving. When I was with him. But I could not stop time. And unfortunately, we don’t get that much time with these beautiful creatures. Don’t beat yourself up. You didn’t do anything wrong. Be kind to yourself the next few weeks. I had to listen hard to that advice. But it helped. I know God is kind, and we will see these guys again.
Registered: 1565930039 Posts: 1
In just a few days it will be one month since I put my dog Charlie of twelve years to sleep. He began breathing heavily one day so I took him to the emergency vet since it was the weekend (Sunday). After x-rays and blood work is was determined he either had cancer or blastomycosis. We began the blasto meds right away in case the test came back positive, which it did a few days later. His breathing continued to be very labored and he also began coughing every so often. His nights were the worst as he would have trouble staying comfortable laying down, especially since he wanted to lay on his side or he would begin coughing and have to stand up to catch his breath. Over the course of the week after we found out he was sick I tried a few different medications from the vet to try to help his breathing but it did not improve. I had read though that the blasto meds can make a dog worse before they begin getting better because they are killing the fungus on the lungs so I also wasn't sure if that's what was going on. Long story short we took Charlie back to the emergency vet the next Saturday because he was vomiting. The vet did give him an anti vomiting med and things got better. We asked this vet if he felt Charlie had a chance or if we were prolonging the inevitable. He felt he may still have a chance so we took him home. The next day we took him back to the emergency vet because I was worried his breathing was becoming too labored and he was also doing some neck stretching it looked like to possibly help him breathe better. I thought we were taking him in to receive oxygen since one of the blasto sites I was one recommended this if a dog was in distress. We were told after more tests and an ultrasound he had a very large tumor also on his kidney full of blood. This was causing pressure on his lungs causing more trouble with the breathing in addition to the blasto he was dealing with. The vet said he was too weak for any surgery and the tumor was a "ticking time bomb" for it to explode and him bleed internally. She thought it may have already bled out some since his red blood cell levels had decreased causing less oxygen for him. She also felt there was a 95% chance he would not make it through the blasto based on how he looked. We made the decision to have him euthanized that evening. I am now having tremendous guilt for several reasons. I wonder if I should have given the blasto meds a few more days to see if he would have showed improvement since it had only been a week and I knew sometimes they show a decline before improvement because of killing off of the fungus process (and many people on the blasto site said they were afraid their dogs wouldn't make it and pulled through), he spent 3 hours in the emergency vet while I waited in the waiting room (I was not allowed back there with him) and then I only had 30 minutes with him before putting him down, I could have let him come home to say goodbye to our kids and sleep in our bed at least one more night or maybe more instead of his last place being the vet which made him so nervous, he came into the room wagging his tail at my husband and I probably thinking he was getting to go home and we didn't let him, and he was still eating, getting around pretty well and seemed pretty happy other than the very heavy breathing and seeming uncomfortable from that. I just wonder if I made the decision to quickly because I was scared of his breathing or afraid he would have a bad night, should I have taken more time after hearing the vets information to let it sink in a little more before deciding what to do. What would that have hurt? He was with us for twelve years and I decided within a few minutes of hearing the vet that was the best choice. But was it really? I should have taken more time but I was so scared for him to have another bad night but what if he could have gotten better and then had a surgery. My guilt just goes on and on, which I didn't feel so much the first few days (just a lot of grief of him being gone) so I'm not sure if because as the days go by and I miss him so much I have begun wondering what if I could have done something else or waited longer to see if I could have saved him. I have been in the room for my other pets when I was growing up for euthanasia and felt tremendous grief losing them but not guilt so this part is new to me. I never had the guilt though but my parents were making the decision and this one was mine so maybe that is why or maybe it's because of all the reasons listed above. So much rambling but so many questions run through my mind almost causing panic and so much heartache about the decision and him being gone.
Registered: 1528497506 Posts: 187
Hello Pauline and to all others who had to make the agonizing decision of euthanasia for their furbabies.
I too had to make that decision. It is very sad that Jace's passing intertwined with your wedding has led to such sadness. But remember, he made it to your wedding! You and your husband did everything possible to ease his suffering. Think how you would have felt if you had put him on the plane only to find that he had passed away during the flight. At least you had a chance to be with him and say goodbye. I had a beautiful jack russell terrier named Rosie. I got her as a stray from my son. That little dog was with me through thick and thin for over 14 years. But then, as time does, it passes and I noticed one day Rosie didn't bark at the squirrels anymore. She didn't want to go for walks. Her seemingly only joy was sitting in my lap or riding commando in my car. She had gotten old. We all do. Rosie had a heart murmur. It turned into heart failure. After numerous trips to the vet and medications, it was apparent Rosie's days were numbered. I remember her as such a proud and noble little dog. She would not want to be remembered like she was...old, deaf, and not able to walk far. God, how Rosie used to love her walks and the ocean! So after I had picked her up from the vet, once again, we had a little talk that night. I found this very comforting in my grief. I told her if she was ready to go, that I would let her go to the Rainbow Bridge where she could be healthy again. It has been 15 months since her passing and tears still roll down my face as I type this. Anyways, during our talk about heaven she actually perked up. I took a picture of her that night that I have on my bed stand. The next morning I awoke at 5 a.m. to her heavily panting. I rushed her to the emergency vet. It was her last ride in my lap in the car. She looked out the window one last time. When we got to the vet, they said yes, they could probably prolong her life for a few more months but at a great cost; both financially and physically for my sweet Rose. I wanted to scream....please save her! but I remembered our talk and my promise the night before to let her go if she was ready. She was ready. So I held her in my arms with a towel wrapped around her and whispered in her ear what a wonderful companion she had been to me through the years; through divorces, through moves, through life. As she passed, I could literally feel her little soul leap into the air; free from her broken little body. For ANYONE feeling guilty about euthanasia, please don't be! You are doing the most loving and compassionate act for your furbaby that can be done. It takes strength and love to let your loved one go. To prolong their life at our desire is, to me, more heartless and cruel. God puts these little creatures in our life to teach us love; but he only loans them to us for so long. My heart still aches for my sweet Rosie, but she sends me signs from heaven and I can look at her picture every night and know I did the right thing. Sorry so long but I had to reply. Jackie in Seattle WA (mama to Angel Rosie, LuLu, KitKat and Blossom)
Registered: 1565889974 Posts: 2
Thank you so much for the responses, hearing your stories is comforting and gives me some sort of peace of mind that I did make the right choice, and we did everything we could. Thanks again. I hope to get through this one day soon. So sorry for Rosie and Gussie.
Jackie, your story hit close to home and reminded me of Jace. Thank you for sharing.
Registered: 1566241572 Posts: 3
I am so grateful I found this website. In particular the post by enyasdad on April 30 or thereabouts where he said the pain will get better as right now the anguish is so strong and pain so deep I feel it physically. I would cry when I just think about my dog Macy and I keep looking at spots where she napped or when I walk to my kitchen and noticed her food bowls have been put away. I would sometimes crumble to the ground. It's my 3rd day after putting my 17 year old to rest. She wasn't knocking at death's door so I am conflicted and stricken with guilt but she declined her dinner that evening for the first time and went to bed and had tremors. Her tremors were frequent for the last 6 months and when I walk her often her tremors would come with jaw or head would be shivering and only stopped when she goes to sleep. It had also come to a point where her hindlegs would buckle and she would fall backwards or forward when she is eating and she would fall into her water bowl sometimes and food will be everywhere. It was heartbreaking to watch but we hung in there. Until 3 days ago when she would fall back and had a very hard time getting up and would scrap the floor to get up. I was both sad and also frustrated for her that her body was failing her. She was a rat terrier hence always have bountiful energy, would run at high speed, jumped up on beds, couches or do her 'rat run' which is sprint around the perimeters when its time to eat, very adorable to watch but she stopped doing that for about 2 years. Food was her life, so when she declined her dinner I was in shock. I read somewhere a line that said 'better a week too early than a day too late' I know it was a necessary thing we did, but my heart and my mind tells me otherwise after the event. I too hope this is a dream that I would wake up from. But it is now reality. One that has not sunk in. I took today off work to regroup. But I have to go back tomorrow as I need the distraction. The vet had assured me it was time as Macy had no quality of life. I am not ready for another pet but one day I will, I just need get over the pain of losing my pet of 17 years. She has been through all my life's struggles and successes, joys and sadness, marriage to divorce and always been a faithful companion. I really hope rainbow bridge is true, as I want to be there to see her again that will be my dying wish when I pass.
Registered: 1531496113 Posts: 12
Hello, your story is very much like mine. My girl was 16 and had tremors for months, there were times where she would almost fall over where eventually she lost use of her hind legs and had a bad seizure. I helped end her suffering after the vet told me her lungs were filled with fluid from CHF and I still feel guilty a year later, I talked to a few mediums who helped me tremendously but I still feel those overwhelming pangs of guilt and cry endlessly. I hope she is somewhere in the magical place we call heaven and I hope she is the first one I see when I die. I know thought if we had not helped them transition we would have only prolonged their death....we did this FOR them not TO them, it was all done out of unconditional love.
Registered: 1566241572 Posts: 3
Thank you dearness for your share. What your wrote helped me in that we did it FOR them not TO them. I will use that as a mantra when my guilt creeps into my mind. Once again thank you!
Registered: 1531496113 Posts: 12
One more thing, I imagine if I had waited for her to die a horrible natural death, which would have been drowning in her own lung fluid or much worse, how terrible I would feel knowing I let her suffer and lose all dignity-I couldn't live with that, that would have been selfish, That would be torture-please please pray to the universe when you feel hurt and to the souls who are on the other side and to Macy, they WILL always help and guide you...I promise 😉
Registered: 1565423953 Posts: 2
Amen. Thank you
Registered: 1566489793 Posts: 2
I'm about to let my baby go. The appointment is tomorrow and I keep going back and forth as to whether I should do it. He's been with me 16 wonderful years and I can't imagine a life without him. Unfortunately, his health has declined, arthritis, can't walk up and down stairs, has a hard time getting up and no longer likes to go on walks but he is still there eats a lo, loves his treats and enjoys hanging out wherever the family is. I feel so guilty about making this decision, I feel like I'm throwing him away or like I'm lying to him. My heart is broken, I just hope this is the right thing to do.
I've read through all your posts and I feel the pain in each of them. I hope eventually this pain will go away so I can remember all the good times.
Registered: 1566241572 Posts: 3
Hi there. I was in your exact spot just last week. My dog was declining in health and walking became difficult past year and we even had to use a baby stroller at times despite judgmental leers from the public. She still loved her meals until the very last evening when she turned away from it and went to lie down. There’s been occasional potty accidents at home and she also had balance issues going potty outside and tends to fall backwards. That is already a huge reduction of quality of life but we kept caring for her. She likely would have maybe a few weeks or months left but that was us refusing to let her go. I was prolonging as I didn’t want to lose her, didn’t want the guilt or sadness that would ensue. So this was what we did. On the last day we took her to the vet for an opinion and we were prepared for any response. Our vet said she has some quality of life but not much. She is likely in pain as she groans sometimes but dogs are stoic so they don’t whine incessantly unless it’s excruciating. And because she may start to eat less she will waste away. And mobility is now so difficult for her it’s lil to no quality of life really. He advised he could give her meds for the pain or dementia or anxiety but she was 17. It would not reverse and things will only go downhill and could come to a stage where she is complexly immobile or in dire pain. We didn’t want to put her through that and took the vets advice that it’s time. It was the most difficult decision I have made in my life. When it happened I cried with such anguish that I fell to the ground. And days after it is still difficult but to be honest each day goes by and I feel less anguished. I read somewhere that says ‘better a week early than a day too late ‘. And someone here taught me that we do this FOR them not TO them.
You may feel utter guilt and grief after and that is completely expected and normal. A part of us has left so this is normal human reaction. I cried a lot. Hard wailing cries. I’m disoriented as my routine is now gone. It’s a big change but it gets easier each day. There will be moments when you will suddenly break without even thinking. It will catch you unawares. One thing I learnt is you will have guilt but try to lessen it. Guilt stops you from really grieving. Guilt makes us regret but at this stage doing more may not help the pet but more for our peace of mind. Just know if you’ve taken good care of your pet for 16 years, fed him everyday, revolve your life around him then you know what you’ve done a GREAT job given your pet a great life and that I’d enough. You are enough. I tell myself that everyday to keep the guilt at bay. As you prepare remember to ponder on the last few weeks days quickly but bring your mind and consciousness to when your pet was young in perfect health and up to mischief or good and all them happy times. It helps I promise you as you grief as you’ll realized wow I gave my fur baby a great life. It gets easier. I assure you.
Registered: 1566489793 Posts: 2
Thanks you for your words. They are truly comforting. I keep telling my self I'm prepared but at the same time I know I'm not.
Registered: 1514728990 Posts: 5
I hate say this, but there is waiting too long but also doing it too early. If the only things wrong with your dog are not going up stairs and not going on walks, then that might be too early. If your dog is otherwise healthy and happy and eating lots of food and enjoying being with your family, then it might be too early. My dog would no longer eat, and would crawl under furniture to get away from family because she no longer liked being touched and before that she had loved being held and cuddled with. The guilty feelings and grief that come from euthanizing our beloved pets is bad enough when they obviously need to be euthanized. It would be even worse if we did it when it was far too early to do it.