Registered: 1210549383 Posts: 2
About 13.5 years ago I was blessed to have a beautiful Dalmatian named Daisy come into my life. I raised her from a puppy. We've taken many walks together, played ball together. She's slept next to my bed every night of her life until recently. She's my best friend. My confidant when I'm feeling sad or lonely. She's always there for me and looks up at me with those eyes as if to say 'I understand your sadness when others do not and I'll not leave you'. Every day when I get home from work she's always there to greet me with a wagging tail and an actual SMILE on her face.
Daisy is elderly as Dalmatians go. Normal lifespan is 11-13 years. She first began intermittently losing control of her bowels probably a year ago. As she has advanced in age, she has been robbed of most of her muscle mass. It's hard for her to get up and lie down. And since she doesn't walk over to the food bowl as often, she's become skinnier and skinnier. And most recently she's lost all control of her bladder. I've had to move her bed to the kitchen where it's easier to clean up after her. She never whines or shows any indication that she's in pain. But I know the signs are all there. I clean up all the messes every day because I love her so much. And she looks up at me with those big brown eyes and I'm absolutely TORMENTED knowing I have to make this decision for her. I've been crying off and on for weeks knowing I couldn't put it off much longer. Saying it's agony making the decision doesn't even begin to come close to how I'm feeling. So I sit alone at my computer with tears rolling down my face. Or lie in bed alone dreading the future. Knowing the end is near but that no one can really understand my grief. And feeling somehow like I'm betraying her because I can't ask her what she wants or if this is the right thing. I've had to put my pets down before. I lost 2 ferrets that were about 5 years old. They were sick. But ... I don't know how to get through this. This time it's different. How do I choose to end the life of my best friend?
Registered: 1208508336 Posts: 820
Just had a cry when I read your letter. 15 weeks ago I was in your position. My Rupert was dying before my eyes. He had kidney disease. On the last day he couldnt drink because of the ulcers that had formed in his mouth. I knew then that it was time. He was missing the dirt box, couldnt climb onto my lap or bed anymore and wasnt eating. He was laying on the grass outside and couldnt move to even walk. He was my best friend and confidante for 15 years and I miss him. I have cried buckets of tears because I had to make that decision to pts. I knew my husband couldnt do it and I had to be brave. I loved him so much I am in tears even writing this. Only you know when the time is right. I never knew the day before, but when I got up the next morning I knew I had to do it and so will you. You will do it because you love you pet and want the best for them to the end. I will be thinking of you in your hours of need. Ruperts Mum
Registered: 1194492978 Posts: 5,100
I had to write when I saw your post because I was in your shoes just four months ago, when I found my beloved little 16 year old terrier, Betsy, had declined to the point that she had almost no quality of life. She suffered from Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (dementia) and had grown progressively weaker and had difficult standing unassisted. I had to hand-feed her while steadying her at her bowl for the last couple of months, but she still ate well. In her last few days, she was beginning to contort her little body as she slept, which looked to me to be painful, but she never winced or cried out. I suspect (to my horror) she may have been suffering in silence. I had to carry her everywhere. One day, I put her outside in the yard so she could potty and was watching her from the patio. She took a few steps and fell to her side and could not get up. She just didn't have the strength anymore. The next day, I called the vet and made the appointment to have her put to sleep three days later. It was the worst three days of my life, but I KNEW it had to be done. NO LONGER COULD I PUT MY OWN NEEDS BEFORE HER OWN. It was as simple as that. I wasn't ready, but she was, so I had to let go. There was no way I was going to wait until Betsy passed "naturally" because I had seen one of my dogs suffer greatly when he was allowed to die a "natural" death when I was a child. For me, I had to help her. I could not bear the thought that she might feel pain in the end, so I made the appointment. I think you know the signs are all there, so it is only a matter of time. You must search your heart and decide if you are keeping her alive for her....or for you. Have you sought guidance from your vet? I talked with mine a couple of weeks ahead of time and started finding out about arrangements (burial vs. cremation,etc.) and this really helped me ease myself into it. That said, when the last day came, I had to go on "autopilot" to be in that room with her. I had to shut down all my emotions and just be there for her. My husband was there with us and held her in his arms. I thought I would faint if I felt her body go limp, or start screaming and not be able to stop. I whispered into her ear that she would close her eyes and when she opened them again, she would be in such a beautiful place, surrounded by angels. I pressed my face against her precious little back and held her, and pressed her favorite toy against her cheek. She passed quickly and peacefully, and afterward my husband and I placed our hands over her little heart and said a prayer. She has been gone four months today and I still cry for her, but I know she is free of that dreadful dementia. Her mind is clear, and her legs are so strong that she can run again. Her little "WooWooWoo" yodel that was silenced by the dementia can be heard ringing joyfully through the hills and valleys of the Bridge...and through the recesses of my heart. I am wishing you the best. If you have any questions, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I will be here for you. You don't have to go through this alone. Sending hugs, Melissa Betsy's forever momma My Beloved Betsy Noodle
Registered: 1197839779 Posts: 1,328
Sorry about your Daisy's health. I can only say I completely emphathize.
W/ my kidney cat, she started losing alot of weight. One pound over 1 weekend and downhill from there.That, for me, if not able to control that slide of weight loss,was the deciding factor. She went down to nearly 4 pounds till my husband agreed it was time. She was still jumping from counter to table (quite a number of feet)2 days before she passed on. She was alert. This made it all the worse. For me, though, constant weight loss despite a good appetite, her worsening inability to get to the litter box (diarrhea) and then inability to hold her little bladder. These, for me, were the handwriting on the wall. You go through thinking it's time, to not, to thinking it's time. It's a struggle and painful. Take care and I'm sure Daisy will love you forever.
Registered: 1204740745 Posts: 180
The love of my life died on March 3. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor / lesion on August 21. I gave him hospice care and watched him decline for the remaining 6 months of his life. For the last month of his life, he couldn't even get up or walk. It was the most horrible, heartbreaking thing I have ever lived through, and it is something I will NEVER get over. My life no longer has any meaning. When he started having seizures on a daily basis, I made that terrible decision.
I can't offer you any advice except to say that you will know when your baby has had enough suffering. I knew Dakotah was very tired, and he had tears in his eyes. He sighed constantly because he was so tired of living this way. I hope God will help you through this. Before it is over, it will break your heart. Steffi Dakotah's Mom
Registered: 1207686254 Posts: 7
Dear CMARNOLD -
I am so sorry to hear about Daisy. I had to go through this with our little boy Chen Chen about 1 month ago and know exactly how you feel. It's heartbreaking. We spend six months in and out of the clinic treating our boy for his failing heart. We were committed to do everything possible to keep him alive as long as he wasn't in pain or had lost significantly in his quality of life. The evening we sent Chen to Rainbow Bridge, he looked at us with those loving eyes and told my wife and let him go. It was a stare I will never forget. Three hours later he had a massive attack and we had to send him on. We loved him more than life itself and we are in such pain without him. But his memory will always burn bright in our hearts. All I can tell you is Daisy will tell you when it its time...you'll know it. We give you our empathy and hope your grieve will be short. I'm am so sorry. ChenChensDad
Registered: 1196441749 Posts: 567
I am so, so sorry for the decision you have to make. It is truly the worse thing we ever have to do. I had to do the same for my Nina 6 months ago. She was 13 1/2, also elderly as Old English Sheepdogs go, just like your Daisy. I won't go into her full story, but she lost control of her functions at the end. Her eyes told me it was time, she was tired and could not go on anymore. Listen to your heart and what it tells you to do. I know it's so very hard to have to make this decision for our best friend, but we have to do what is best for them, no matter how hard it is on us. Daisy loves you for taking care of her all the years, for you being there for each other, she will love you no matter what you do. I am saying prayers for you during this time, I know how awful you feel and how difficult the decision is. Please come to this site as often as you need to, people here will help you, I wish I had known about it before I had to make the decision. Prayers and thoughts for you and Daisy, Vicky Nina Maria's Mom
Registered: 1164162392 Posts: 1,910
I am so sorry for what you and your beloved Daisy are going through now.
You do know what will very soon become the kindest thing that you can do for her. It will break your heart, yet we humans always know that we will outlive our beloved angels in fur coats. Our furred loved ones are so very aware of how much we love them, and do want a life of dignity and quality. I strongly believe that when they lose control over basic life functions of elimination, their quality of life is much compromised despite however willing we are to clean up after them as long as is needed. Daisy's life with you has been one of complete love for so many years. It would be a kindness for her to leave this world before her existence is just one of weakness and pain with no hope of it ending happily. We are very fortunate that we can end this kind of suffering for our beloved furred ones when we cannot do it for our beloved humans. You are both in my thoughts and prayers at this sad time.
Registered: 1210549383 Posts: 2
I just wanted to thank everyone for the kind responses.
I have made an appointment at the vet for my beloved Daisy Saturday morning. I'm going to have the vet evaluate her; but in my heart of hearts... I know she will not be coming back home with us. She's not going to miraculously get better or younger. But... the pain I'm feeling is almost unbearable. I am struggling through these last few days. I find myself crying whenever I think about the weekend - at work and at home. I'm dreading the day and I wish I could stop time - spend just a few more days.. weeks.. months with her. I'm trying to give her lots of extra love. I brought her a hamburger on my way home from work tonight and she was so excited she nearly ate it paper and all before I could unwrap it. There's a dog park about a quarter mile down the road so I thought I'd take her there Saturday morning so our last memories are happy ones. So very sad...
Registered: 1210638952 Posts: 11
I'm so sorry Daisy is so ill. I finally had to make this decision on Monday. My Bella was the most beautiful cat with such a great personality. She had cancer and I did everything I could for her, which included surgery. The last five months had consisted of her eating less and less because her cancer made her stomach hurt. Finally on Friday her breathing became shallow and she didn't eat and she nearly choked on her water. It was so painful to make the call Monday morning. She never hid and realized she had been hanging on for me, but her illness became too much for her little body. I feel so sad that you have to make the same heart wrenching decision I did. The only thing I can say is that Bella is now pain free. This is the first pet I ever owned and having her for only four years wasn't enough, because I adopted her when she was 5 or 6. We never have enough time with our fur babies, whether we spend a few months or many years.
I'm sorry for what you are going through and hope that you are able to come to terms with your decision.
Registered: 1194492978 Posts: 5,100
Your Daisy is just beautiful, simply beautiful. My heart is breaking for you as you face this most difficult decision of your life. Oh, how I wish I could say something that would make it easier for you, or somehow less painful, but there are no words. I have been in your shoes. All you can do is remember you are freeing your beloved girl from her suffering. You are giving your girl her angel wings.
I will be thinking of you and sending up prayers for you and your sweet Daisy. Hugs, Melissa Betsy Noodle's Forever Mom
Registered: 1159155373 Posts: 261
Aw-w-w Cmnold, Daisy is beautiful!! I'm so sorry you have to go thru this. You asked, "How do I choose to end the life of my best friend?" The truth is choose, not you or me or anyone else here. If we don't had a choice in the matter, these wonderful babies would stay on with us forever. They are a gift from the man upstairs and judging by the amount of time Daisy has been with you, He must have thought you were a pretty special person to let her stay with you this long! You already know your decision Cmnold,and it's okay to make it. Daisy is we going to stop loving you, it's not in her to do that. You have held her heart in yours for far too long to even think that could be possible. Only your love can help her to a peaceful, painless end. Don't forget to take lots of pictures the next few days. Spoil her rotten and make these last days count. Don't forget to keep some of her fur, and maybe do a paw print with one of those kits. I didn't get the chance to do this before I lost my Rudy and I so wish I had. And remember, even though Daisy is not here with you in the physical sense, she'll still be with you. You have only to look as far as your heart, because that's where she'll live on! I'll be prayiing for strength for you as you go thru these next few days, Please know that we will all be here for you no matter what........ never In peace and friendship,
Donna(Rudy & Rileysmom)
Registered: 1179972124 Posts: 346
the worse we do to ourselves is delve on the inevitable....I have gone through it many times...the sheer THOUGHT is enough to send you to a mental ward...I have cried myself into sickness, sulked, depleted my immune system to nothingness and seemed to talk to air when speaking about my sick pet to a loved one. We are different from the crowd...we SEE something in these living creatures that we dont see in ourselves and others....its one of the toughest crisis' to go through in a lifetime...its a loved one. Not just an animal(like some mindless mental midgets may say)your dog is a part of you. Being strong is the hardest climb at this time...the mind can make you sick....and your puppy needs you at a crucial part in his life now...dont give up. Yoda
Registered: 1210984690 Posts: 2
I am new to this message board, just joined today after going through this myself on Wednesday and feel your pain in the decision you have to make. My cat Bogey was diagnosed with Kidney Disease in Feburary. He was losing weight, not eating much and drinking a lot of water, having an awful time with constipation. Last week he was exhibiting a lot of different mannerisms and I called his vet. They'd done bloodwork less than a month ago and all the numbers were different this time, especially glucose. Diabetes. He also developed a colon infection and she detected cataracts in both eyes. I struggled with the decision until Saturday night while giving Bogey his antibiotic for the infection. He jumped on to my chest, put his paws around my neck and held me tightly then just stared into my eyes. I could almost hear him saying, 'no more.' At 16 years old this was inevitable. We called the vet on Monday and set an appointment for Wednesday. Bogey was calm (completely out of character for him at the vet's office), and never whimpered, growled or hissed. He went quietly in my arms as both his vet and I cried. I miss him terribly, the house is so quiet now, but I know I did the right thing. And, I know that he was ready to go.
It is a very difficult decision to make but you have to trust your judgement and trust the signals your pet is sending. I couldn't have done this if I didn't listen to him. He's out of pain, no more medicine to try and give him. Now he's happy, running and jumping with the other animals I've had cross the bridge. Someday I'll see him again. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to remember him here. Bogey was my buddy for the past 12 years, longer than I've had any other pet. It will be a long time, if ever, before I stop missing him.
Registered: 1196453169 Posts: 1,415
Dear cmnold--I was just passing through the posts, not really feeling like responding much, only because I felt I was in no condition to really help anyone, let alone myself. When I came across yours, I had to write.
First, my heart goes out to you with the difficult decision you must make, and I'm sorry to say, there's no easy way of getting through this. Your Daisy is so beautiful, and I'm sure she has known all the love you've given to her. Her part is rather simple in all of this--she gets back to her youth and good health--you must go on the long journey of grief. BUT--that's where this place comes to your rescue. The love & support here are unbelievable. Everyone knows and feels the pain of what you are experiencing. I'll never forget the day I said goodbye to my little Teddy. For some reason, I felt this incredible strength to carry out what I knew had to be done. I saw that she just didn't want to try anymore, and her eyes pleaded with me to let her go. I brought her in right then & there before I could change my mind. I knew if I kept her home any longer, she would have suffered and that would have devastated me beyond words. So, dear friend, know that we are all here for you and will always support and care about you. All my thoughts & prayers for you----Teddy's Mom
Registered: 1208508336 Posts: 820
To Daisys Mum
I don't know if you will read this but conerned about you. No messages since mid May. Are you O.K. I know Daisy was very ill at that time. Don't know what to say but just to let you know I am thinking of you. All the best Ruperts Mum
Registered: 1198872932 Posts: 1,205
Are you able to let us know how you are. The photo of your Daisy is beautiful. Are both of her ears black, she just looks so cute. Thinking of you, Di xxx