In Tears and Looking for Help

Updated on August 08, 2008
C.H. asks from Trenton, NJ
65 answers

First and foremost there is nothing more in this world that I love besides my family. I am sitting here in tears because I have one of the biggest decisions in my life to make. I have a 14 year old dog, German Sheppard/Husky. She has very bad arthritis in her hind legs, hips and her entire back end. I think she has also lost most of her hearing, therefor she is not making any noise barking or whining. She has a very har time getting up or moving at all. When she trys to lay down she had a hard time getting comfortable. I feel so bad for her. I know she has to be in pain, but because she does not make any noise it is hard for me to judge how much pain she is in. She has been getting worse and worse with having BMs in the house. It seems like she doesn't have the muscle control to keep in in until she is outside and what little muscles she does have seems to push anything out when she trys to get up. I know she is suffering. She has been a great dog and I really son't want to see her suffer anymore. When she has an accident in the house I can see the sadness in her eyes and she has always been a happy dog. i am hoping that there is someone out there who has been in this situation. I know that I should have her put down so that she is not suffering anymore, but I feel so bad doing it. Can someone please give me some advice and a "web shoulder" to cry on.

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So What Happened?

Well, with lots of tears, but also knowing it was time and best for Onyx, I had her put to sleep Friday July 25th. I was upset making the decision and before the the "procedure", but once the vet came out and sait she was gone, my eyes filled with tears, but hy heart felt relief for her. There was no more sad eyeslooking at me after an accident in the house or after falling down the 2 steps to get outside. I will always miss her, but she is no longer suffering, nor is the family watching her. My kids dealt with everything very well. they asked what was going to happen to Onyx's body. We simply told them that her spirit will go to heaven and get her young healthy body back. Her old body we are having creamated and we will put a picture of her with her ashs. We lost a dog 2 years ago to a illness and we did the same with her. It was really sweet when my 7 year old son came to me last night during one of my "breakdowns" and told me not to be sad because will always be in our hearts. I think him saying that to me made me cry even more!!!

Thank you to everyone for all your support!! It is amazing how a group of women who have never met can be so supportive to each other!!! To think that men say that women are so caddy and full of gossip. Let's see them seek support of strangers! You gals are all the best and you all really helped me out. Not only am I 100% sure I did the right thing, but I comfortable with the decision knowing that so many people agreed with my decision and supported that I was doing it for the right reason!!! Thanks to everyone!!!!!!!

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L.B.

answers from New York on

I had to put down my 12 yr old shepard. She had no bladder control anymore - could not climb the stairs. I was 8.5 months pregnant and was very upset as I was looking forward to the 4 months of maternity leave with her. When my husband almost broke his neck carrying the new crib because she has flooded the hallway I knew it was time. I believe I delivered my baby early because I was so upset. It is hard to see but they are suffering. Good luck.

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J.B.

answers from Rochester on

I am so sorry you are having to go through this. We had to put our dog to sleep 3 months ago because she had been through the same thing and lost the use of her other back leg. Have you talked with your doctor about Deramaxx? It is like Vioxx for dogs. Our dog took it for 2 years and it definitely improved her quality of life. She was also on glucosamine condritine tablets (not sure if I spelled that correctly). As far as the BMs on the floor, which our dog did as well, we tried to confine her to certain areas in the house where messes were easier to clean up. At night she stayed in the kitchen. We put old pieces of carpet down to make it easier for her to stand up. During the day, she stayed on the sun porch. I hope this helps. We did wait until our dog couldn't stand up at all until we put her to sleep. It was still a tough decision.

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M.F.

answers from New York on

This is always a tough decision but what would she say to you if she could talk? You know in your head what has to be done, you just need your heart to catch up. I will keep you and your family in my prayers and good luck with your dog.

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T.F.

answers from New York on

Hi C.,

I'm so, so sorry for your heartache. Our "pets" are part of our families, no doubt about it.

It sounds to me like you know what you should do, but maybe want reassurance that it's the right thing to do. I believe that it is. I think that if your dog could decide and make the request, it is what she'd want...to go to sleep, to not suffer anymore.

I had to put my 18 year old kitty to sleep several years ago because she had become so ill. That was no life for her, for someone I loved. It's a quiet, gentle, peaceful procedure.

This is a terrible decision to have to make, but your dog can't do it for herself...she's depending on you to ease her suffering. Take care. It will get better in time. Honest.

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T.S.

answers from Rochester on

Hi C.,
I am so sorry for your situation. It sounds much like mine several years ago. We had a wonderful German Shepherd who was just great with our family. She was a fierce protector of our home and family but the kids (ANY kids really) were her babies. It always shocked me how different she was with strange adults as opposed to children. Anyway, we knew from early on in her life that her hips were bad. We medicated her which worked for several years but eventually even that didn't help. She became quite disabled and even developed stomach cancer. At age 13 she'd had enough. It was one of the hardest things I'd ever done but I brought her to the vet and stayed with her while she was finally put to rest. Something my vet said to me really stuck: "to die in the arms of someone who loves you, who could ask for anything more?" Our beloved dog is no longer suffering and able to run again without pain in heaven. We have a lock of her fur and her footprint in plaster. Small things but important. This was almost 3 years ago now and we still talk about her and remember all the good things. My 3 kids remember her and it's all okay. I wish all the best for you and your family. I know you'll make the right decision.

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K.B.

answers from New York on

Talk to your vet. He or she will do what is best for your good friend. I haven't been in your situation yet and frankly I am dreading it (my Nelly is 5 and my cats are 1 and 2) because I have seen others go through it. My friends who have had to deal with the end of their pet's life contacted the vet and that is how they were helped to the decision. Good luck and my heart goes out to you.
kathy b

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S.B.

answers from Syracuse on

C.,

I just want you to know that you are not alone. My husband and I had to put one of our two cats to sleep on Tuesday. It was the hardest decision I have ever made in my life, but she was suffering and we knew that it was the most logical step to take. I have to be honest, immediately after it happened I could not stop wishing she were still here and wondering if we made the right decision. I still feel guilty about it,and I miss her terribly but I know in my heart that she is in a better place. I have no advice on what to do, but you asked for a "web shoulder" and here it is. {{Hugs}}

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C.H.

answers from New York on

Oh my gosh. I'm so sorry to hear about your "baby". I have been in your shoes twice as an adult woman with kids. I also have the joy and privilege of having a vet for a close personal friend. When I asked her for advice for myself and my dog she said it such a personal decision that no one can make it for you. But she said your pet is also hiding his/her pain from you. It seems they don't want to let you down and protect their family right to the end. i'm cryng as I write this. Once I made the choice to free my pet from pain I told the children that the dog was very old and close to death. I asked them to help me plan a good send off for our special famly member. We all had input and a little of everyone's idea was ncluded. We live in the country so we were able to bury at home. We dug the grave in advance of the visit to the vet. Then my husband and I went for the euthanization while the children stayed with a neighbor. We stayed with our dog to the end. It was peaceful and right for us. When we came home we had a funeral parade to the gravesite with the dog in a wagon the boys decorated. We said our goodbyes and shovelled dirt in the hole. We placed a marker ther and planted a tree in the fall. We still go to that spot to talk to our buddy and that spot was helpful for the boys as a place to go and be comforted and watch the tree grow. We lost our second dog recently to inoperable cancer in the spleen. Again, we kept her comfortable at home for a week while we said goodbye and she is resting under the tree with Sam now. We all went to the vet this time as the boys are in their twenties. Do what's right for you and the loyal friend who has loved you and been faithful to you for many years. And do it when it's right for all of you. Hugs.

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K.C.

answers from New York on

Dear C.,

I am in tears just reading your message. I think you already know what you need to do. Your dog is already telling you that when you look in her eyes. I know, I have been there, on more than one occasion. Two years ago after losing our beloved Golden Retriever, Max, we adopted our current dog from Golden Retriever Rescue. On ther website (LIGRR.org) you will find a link to "advice" on the left side of the page and then something called the "10 Commandments." Read it and you should have your answer, difficlut as it will be. My advice to is when the time comes to try to find the strength to be with your beloved pet as the vet puts her to sleep. It is the best gift you can give her. Good luck, and my condolences to you and your family.
K.

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M.A.

answers from New York on

This is from an older mom. My child is grown, but I just had to put our family's beloved little dog, age 16, to sleep. He was suffering from diseased kidneys, and he had a heart murmur, and he underwent a heart attack. This was a month ago, and I miss him a lot. People say to get another dog, but he was a spirit, irreplaceable.
There's nothing to be said, no matter how kind, that will ease your pain at putting your suffering pet to sleep. However, something that was consoling to me was that the vet sent a contribution to the Cornell University school of veterinary medicine in my dog's memory. When I got the card, I sent a contribution, too. The kennel where I had to board him when I was called out of town also sent a contribution, to the Humane Society. I contribute as well. You are so lucky that your children are still growing up when this is happening, and that your daycare business is hectic. That will help you. Also, when you take your dog to the vet, ask to have a full description of what is going to be done beforehand, so you won't have any surprises. And if you can hold your dog while the vet administers the two shots necessary--or, even better, puts a catheter in her paw so that she won't feel the actual shots--it will help you as well.

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B.R.

answers from New York on

I feel your pain. In my younger days we had a dog, part shepherd, and it came to the point where her teeth were falling out, her nails and she couldnt stand, the vet we took her too, didnt see anything wrong in the beginning and my dad took her to another vet to tell us she had cancer and didnt know how long the dog survived so long, we had her since she was 2 weeks old. When I had children we had a collie/retriever mix, who could no longer stand up, and we had to put her down, and also my greyhound, who had eaten something plastic and was cutting up her insides. Was too poor to try surgery and we stayed with her till the end. I still cry over my dogs when I think about them, but I also know it was the right thing to do, seeing pain in their eyes was too much, and now they are in a better place, you need to save her by giving her no pain, it is for the best. You will be in pain for the loss for a long time, but in your heart you will know you have done the right thing. My heart goes out to you as I sit here crying for my dogs.

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F.U.

answers from Syracuse on

Oh sweetie, I'm so sorry. I'm sending a "web hug" your way.

Have you contacted your vet? I know when I had my female sheperd about 10 years ago, she had similar problems, only her's was "#1". The poor thing, she would come and tell me she had to go, but by the time I got the door openend, she had already gone. Her vet perscribed some meds to help with bladder control, and it helped. He/She might be able to give your girl something for arthritis pain. It's not fair to let her be in this much pain. I'm not suggesting you put her down, that's for you and your vet to decide. But maybe a little meds, could help ease the pain a bit.

I hope it all works out. My heart is with you. God bless.

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D.D.

answers from New York on

Dearest C.,

I went through the same thing this past March. Our 7 year old dog, Bandit, was not feeling well. She was always happy, jumping and such a wonderful dog. We took her to the vet as she could not walk anymore. Do not remember the details, but she had developed a disease of her utereus. How she was not crying out in pain was truly incredible.

We made the decision to put her to sleep as she was suffering so much. I and my older son stayed with her the whole time. It broke my heart. It was a tough year for us as only in July of 2007 I lost my 16 year old nephew to a car accident.

I know what you are feeling right now. It just breaks your heart.

I am also a mom of three, 2 boys 17 and 15, and one girl who is 10. I work full time out of the house during the day and am trying building my Seriesse International business at night.

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L.A.

answers from New York on

Hi C.,
I totally understand your situation. Pets become members of the family and the idea of putting a pet down is heartbreaking. But keeping your dog, who is clearly living a miserable existence, alive is not really doing her any good. If you have her put to sleep, she will be out of her misery and while you may miss her terribly, you will know that you did what was best for her. I really think keeping her in the condition she is in now is really more for you than her.

I sympathize with you very much, as I have been in the same situation and chose to have my cat put down. It was one of the most difficult things I have ever done (it's been many years now), but I always knew in my heart I did what was best for her. She felt no pain and even though I lost a wonderful pet, I knew I did it for her sake.

I wish you luck.

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J.P.

answers from Sharon on

Daer C.
I am so sorry to hear that your dear friend is suffering. I know how hard it is to have to let them go. I had to put my cat of 13 years down last year. She was everything to me. But, I did it because I loved her so much. Please don't let your baby suffer. It will be hard, but think how much happier she will be. That should be your driving force, her happiness. It sounds like she really is in pain, and can't even let you know. ALso she feels ashamed when she has an accident in the house. she feels like she is letting you down. You can be with her when they do it, holding her head and comforting her the whole time. I held my cat and I knew she trusted me. She knew I was doing the best thing I could to help her. Your baby will know too. Post often, let us know what you decide and if you need more words of comfort. Good luck.

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K.G.

answers from Jamestown on

I understand that you love her and don't want to lose her. But at this point you have to ask yourself what is more cruel, putting her down or making her live with the pain and suffering everyday.
Please don't take this as me being mean, it's not meant that way at all...but, I think it's more selfish to keep her around because you don't want to suffer the loss than to put her down so she isn't suffering any longer.
As I said, i am not trying to be mean at all... I say this with all the sympathy I have in my heart for you. I just hate to see an animal suffer when it's more loving to take away their misery.

I do wonder though, have you taken her to the vet to see about the arthritis and the accidents in the house?
I know there are medicine's out there for them for the arthritis, I have no idea how expensive they are or how much you can or are willing to afford for her.
I would seriously consider this option and talk to the vet. They will give you the best advice for the best interest of your girl.

Good luck with your decision, and know that I am thinking of you as you make it.
K.

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S.D.

answers from New York on

Hi C.,

I too just had the same decision to make. I brought my dog this past Monday and she was put down. My oldest was home with her most of the day and told me it was time. My two youngest are fortunately too young to really understand. It is not easy and I mostly relied on the Vet advising me on what would be best. We tried a round of steroids and she did not seem to get relief. She too had a hard time getting up and her hind legs were always half bent. My Taylor had tumors (non-cancerous, the hardest part was that she always had a smile on her face, which made the decision most difficult. I think the best advice I can give is to do it when you are absolutely sure it is the right time. I still can't say that I made the right decision, but I did what I felt was best for our best friend.

Good Luck.
S.

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L.C.

answers from New York on

Hi C.,
I just went through this two months ago. Our dog was so faithful and a great dog but started to have seizures, sometimes several a day and nothing could be done. During the seizure, she would have accidents in the house, and yes, you can see the look in their eyes of sadness. They are good dogs and know they aren't to do that. Bottom line, I had to think of my dog more than my desire to "keep her". It was a very hard decision to put her to sleep but it was the right thing to do. Only you can make that decision however your dog sounds like it is in alot of pain. You will miss her and your family will also...but you have to think of what is best for her.
I do understand the heartache. L.

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N.N.

answers from New York on

C.,

I am very sorry for the pain and difficult decision that lies ahead for you. Being a tremendous animal lover, it's easy for me to relate. Five years ago, I had to put my 14 year old, precious, cat down after she developed neuropathy as a result of diabetes. My poor kitty was in so much pain, every time she put her paws down on the floor, she wobbled in pain, it was terrible. However, after so much torment about making the decision, I thought about what a great life she had, all the places she had lived and how much love she received (every animal and person should be so lucky) reminding myself of this, I realized the only reason I was keeping her around was for me because I couldn't let go. Looking back, the decision to put her down was the right thing to do and while I'm not sure that I have ever cried so hard, for so long in my life, it was a very peaceful moment. She just closed her eyes and went to sleep as my husband and I stroked and kissed her. Not everyone believes in making the decision to take a life from any living creature and I respect that. However, pain and suffering can be very inhumane. I'm sure your Shepard knows how loved she is and appreciates the good life that she had, it sounds like you're a very caring individual. Ultimately, you will know when and what is the right thing to do. Best to you.

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L.G.

answers from New York on

C.,
This decision is one of the hardest ones we can be faced with. Your guilt is understandable. Your dog sounds like she has had a long healthy, wonderful life.

I put my beloved kitty Midge down a few months ago so I know this pain well. Its hard to let go of our own guilt and pain in this situation. Is there someone who can drive you to the vet with your fur baby? Can you go somewhere after and just be with yourself a while? Talk with your vet and ask about grieving groups for people who have lost pets.

Please know that what you feel is normal and will take some time to heal. Allow yourself that time. And please.. guilt is natural but your dog needs you to do this for her. It sounds like it is indeed time and your vet can be an ally in this timeof need.

i will ask Midge to watch out for your furbaby and guide her across the rainbow bridge when she arrives. Midge will show her everything she needs to know.

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K.E.

answers from New York on

I feel for both you and your dog. I went through this with my cat, Patti, a few years ago. She was about seventeen when her arthritis got really bad and her back started to go, to the point where she could not stand on her hind legs anymore. She lost interest in her food and didn't want to do anything anymore, so I knew it was time to put her down. It was the hardest thing in the world, but once it was over-she didn't suffer and the vet treated her with respect and love-I knew that it was the right thing to do. Please hang in there.

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U.H.

answers from Rochester on

Hi C.-
Sorry for what you are going through. It's so hard to make this decision when sometimes it isn't so obvious, like cancer. I am writing from the same position you are in! My Brittany mix is 17 this year, has bad arthritis in her hind legs, big goopy eyes, and has started the BM's inside also. Yet, she still wags her tail at me, and I can see her sweet little self through the mess! I haven't even been able to give her a bath in months, since she goes to nip (nothing vicious) when we try to touch her for very long. She is very tolerant of my 2 year old, and has never tried any of that with him, despite his contant bugging her. So this is what I am doing- I take it day by day, I give her 1 or 2 advil tablets each day (not supposed to, but what is the worst that will happen?), treats that have glucosomine in them, let her out often to help avoid messes, and try to keep her separated from my son so she has some peace! If things get worse, and I can really justify the call to the vet, I will.
If you think it's time, then don't feel guilty about it. Yours has had quite a long (and probably wonderful) life with you, and this is an act of love in the end. Best of luck to you, and take care.
U.

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A.C.

answers from New York on

We just did this Tuesday. We had a 12 1/2 year old black lab mix who we'd had before kids. When we took him to the Vet they said he had lost a lot of muscle, even in his jaw. it explained why he did not want to eat, as he never refused food and usually finished so fast you could hardly do anything before he was done. Anyway, he was in such pain and we knew this was what he really needed. His life had just gotten too painful. Just remember you really are doing this for the dog and not for you, we did not want our dog to be in that kind of pain. Good luck.

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A.M.

answers from New York on

i am so sorry for your family. last year at our 5th visit to the vet with our cat, we were told she was still ill and they had no idea why. our options were to do an expensive exploratory surgery in the hopes of finding out what was wrong but the possible diagnoses were all recurring illnesses requiring expensive surgical procedures to treat. there was also a good chance that it was a congentital defect with no treatment.
there i was in the vets office, 6 months pregnant, with my 3 yr old and husband. this was my cat, she literally ran from everyone, but as soon as all others were asleep, would come up on my lap meowing and purring for attention. the sheer suprise of the situation was overwhelming. we had just moved into a new house that week, with all boxes still uppacked. we had no extra money. in a perfect world, if i had lots of money, i would have done the exploratory to see the diagnosis, and go from there, but it just wasnt feasible. it was a very difficult day, and we chose to stay with her so she wasnt alone. we brought her home with us.

this is a very difficult decision for anyone. i am so sorry for you to be in it. when you are more upset by seeing the pain she is in, than at the prospect of her not being here at all, is when you are ready. good luck to you. i am sorry again.

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N.D.

answers from New York on

Perhaps if you think of the situation as "letting her go" rather than 'putting her down' it will be easier. Your dogs loss of hearing wouldnt be the reason she doesnt make noise. There is another problem there. Plenty of deaf dogs bark. My beloved dog had cancer and I had to make that choice when she was in obvious pain.
here is my favorite poem to comfort you.

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Author unknown...

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S.S.

answers from New York on

Our fisrt family pet was a German Sheppard mix, and she was loved by all of us. We were in a similar situation when I was about 13, and my parents decided to have her put down. At the time (in VT) our vet came to our house and did it in our living room with all of us with her, and we buried her in an apple tree clearing (where we liked to tent) in our woods. That method may seem strange to some, but it was a wonderful way for us to show how much we loved her, and I believe she looked relieved and aware as it was happening. I'm crying as I write this even though it was so long ago, but I know it was the right decision. My father never cries (I'm not sure he has tear ducts...) however, that day he cried like I never knew he could. I think it is important for children to see that their parents are capable of sadness (and displaying it). If you and your husband go without your children they may not know how much you all really loved her, and also they may not feel they had the chance to say goodbye. Please take that into consideration.
I'm sorry for your loss, and I am sorry for your dog to be suffering. I know you are doing the right thing. The pup will be playing fetch with God and watching over your family forever.

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M.O.

answers from New York on

Hi,

I had the same exact experience with my beloved dog. I still have a picture of my dog on my nighttable and he died was 6-7 years ago. So you're definitely not alone in feeling this way.

It was really hard to make the decision to let him go peacefully, but once we did it I do believe that it was a relief to him. When I looked in his eyes, he just seemed tired and sad, which was so different from the robust playful dog I knew.

There's never an easy way to do it, but it's one of those things where I do believe that if you love the animal you put the animal out of its pain. I hate seeing the older dogs with the crippling arthritis, because there's nothing that seems to alleviate it and it impacts every move (big and small) that they make.

Good luck. No matter what you decide, give your friend lots of hugs.

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L.D.

answers from Albany on

Oh C.,

I feel for you. My husband and I had a cat that we rescued. This cat was like my baby. He would literally lay in my arms on his back and sleep. I noticed that he had begun going to the bathroom all the time and in places he wasn't supposed to. Come to find out he was diabetic. For 2 years we gave him daily injections but he was different. He still went to the bathroom incessantly even burning up 2 Liter Maids because they couldn't keep up with him. He didn't lay with me as much any more and mostly just laid in the hallway upstairs. He still made sure to let my then 2 year old hug him every day. :)

I knew I was keeping him around for me. I knew he wasn't himself and didn't feel right. He just seemed so sad. He was such a lap cat and then switched to the complete opposite and would just sleep.

The thing that pushed me into making the decision was my family was about to move from MD to NY and I just couldn't fathom how to get him here comfortably. When I say he went to the bathroom constantly it is almost like it's an understatement because not only did he go all the time but when he did it lasted for a few minutes. There was no way he could have traveled the 8 hours in a car and I couldn't imagine what an airplace trip would have been like for him. I also worried that I wasn't going to find a vet who worked with us the way ours back home did as he offered insurance that saved us half our bill and because his diabetes was so all over the place, we used to have to take him for blood work every 3 months which was about $400!

So I decided it was time and literally the night before it was like he knew. For the first time in almost 2 years he just laid with me. It made me feel like he was saying good bye but of course all I could do was cry and question myself.

I will tell you that I know I made the right decision because he was a very loveable cat...unlike any I've ever met. He had such a personality and almost seemed to think things through to the point that the few people we knew who didn't like cats (my husband and MIL included) LOVED him. I have only one regret and that is I couldn't hold myself together to stay with him while it was done. Our vet wouldn't let me stay because I was crying so badly. (I had just had our second child a few weeks before which I am sure the hormones didn't help.)

That is something you will have to decide if you want to do or not. Personally I carried that guilt for years and even though it's been 5 years next month, I still feel bad about it. I feel like I left him alone instead of having me next to him until the very end. Wow...now I'm sitting here crying. :( I guess I still feel worse about it than I realized. Oh, the other thing I would have done is I would have maybe had him cremated. We buried him at my grandmother's house with all the other family pets and now we are in a position where the house has be sold.

I wish I could tell you knowing you are doing the right thing is enough but you obviously love her and she is obviously a part of your family. To me it's no different then when a human family member dies. When we cry at a funeral, it isn't for the person. It's for us. Someone once described it to me as our selfishness because we didn't want to let the person go. We wanted them to stay for us. I think it's only human when you love someone or something that much.

Know you are doing the right thing for her. That can't be any way of living for her. It's times like this we have to love them enough to let them go because it's better for them while it will be hard for us.

Sending you huge virtual hugs!!

L.

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I.R.

answers from Utica on

Three family members have had to make this decision based on the same symptoms in his/her dogs which you describe. They decided after much tears to have the dogs put to sleep as they could not get any better. The dogs did not whine or complain. Maybe this is animal nature. You have my deepest sympathy but i believe you and the dog will both be better off if you put her to sleep.

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A.P.

answers from Glens Falls on

C.,

I am so sorry for what you are going through. I hesitate to respond because everyone here has said what needs to be said, but I will add just one slightly different perspective.

Our cat is 20 and has been having accidents for months. He's also deaf as can be and not nearly the vibrant cat he used to be. He's weak and appears pained much of the time. My very humble opinion is that his time has come. My husband, however, fails to see it. He is so blinded by his love for his friend and 20 year companion and can't fathom making that decision. I think he's putting the cat through undeserved suffering. It's his cat, so I can't step in, but I think he's being unfair and selfish by keeping the cat around.

Again, my humble opinion. It sounds like you know it's time. There are many vets that will come to your home so that you can have comforting last moments with your beloved pet.

Good luck.

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M.M.

answers from New York on

Oh, C.--I know your pain. I've done this a few times, and it is such a hard choice. I've stayed with my dogs during the euthanasia and find that afterwards have felt better seeing that it really is not painful but a release from their misery. That's a very scarey idea, I know, but otherwise, there can be a feeling that you abandoned them that you don't have if you are there.

Just remember that your dog is probably ready for what is to come--you just have to ready yourself as best you can.

There was a poem I read once that helped me after my shepherd went (I think yours has degenerative myopathy if you need a name for her condition.)

"It's painful and wrentching, the way that we part.
It doesn't hurt less when the head rules the heart.
There's a hole in me now where ---- has passed through for in losing her, I lost part of me, too."

You know what is right--and what a lucky dog to have been so loved, right through the end.

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D.D.

answers from New York on

When my 15 year-old Westie became blind, incontinent, confused and in pain, I knew it was time. It was one of the hardest things I had to do but I did it because it was selfish to let him suffer.

To make matters worse, while I sat in the waiting room at the vet's, I was approached by a crazy old woman who "rescues" sick and dying animals who should otherwise be euthanized. The staff told me that she had a houseful of animals that were suffering needlessly. Anyway, she somehow knew what I was there for, and said "You don't want to do that do you? He's your buddy!"

I know what you're going through and I know you will do the right thing. God bless.

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L.A.

answers from New York on

I am so sorry to hear about your dog. It is so difficult to have a pet that declines when they have been such a big part of your family. Though we have never had a dog, we did have a cat who we loved dearly and ended up in a similar situation to yours. After a couple of weeks of watching him have so much difficulty and doing everything we could with our trusted vet, we made the painful decision to have him put to sleep. Our vet allowed us to be in the room with our dear cat while he did it and it was the best decision that I could have made. We were able to stroke our dear little one and say goodbye and also see that putting him to sleep was so peaceful and that he was no longer suffering anymore. I will say a prayer for you and your family. L.

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J.F.

answers from Buffalo on

C., my heart breaks for you... i was in your exact situation exactly 2 weeks ago today :(
My 14 year old Corgi wasn't doing well at all... she wasn't eating (which is really weird for her) and then the kicker was when she couldn't walk anymore, even on her arthritis medicine. She was also completely deaf. She had accidents in the house all the time, i think mostly because of her arthritis and she just couldn't move fast enough.
When we finally made the choice to put her to sleep, my mom and i took her... and my mom said she could see the plea for help in Toddy's eyes... she just wanted to be peaceful and not in pain anymore.
I also work as a veterinary technician and what i always tell owner's is that you know your pet best... you know what her quality of life is and if you feel she is suffering, putting them to sleep (no matter how hard it feels) is the kindest thing we can do for them.
I'm so sorry about your puppy :(

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L.S.

answers from New York on

You said it yourself, she's suffering. Putting her to a peaceful sleep would be the kindest thing you could do for her. If you were in such pain, wouldn't you be thankful to someone who put you out of your misery? Just be there with her, hold her head and pet her, she'll see your loving face last.

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M.B.

answers from New York on

oh C...i am deeply saddened for you & your family. i have lived with dogs, specifically german shephards for my entire life. my family has gone thru what you are going thru numerous times. it is painfully sad. we are true animal lovers ( as i am sitting her crying for you!)too. I can tell you many many stories, but i have one in particular...our late dog, Roxeanne, jumped out of the window of our 2nd floor in our house at 6 months old. she broke her back. the dr's in NYC said that she would never walk again. my mom changed her powder room into a bedroom & therapy area for her & slept on the floor with her for more than 6 months & carried her up & down the stairs to try & walk in our backyard. miraclously, she started to walk again. at ten years old, she seemed to be getting very tired & having trouble walking again. as a family, we decided to put her to sleep before she gets into too much pain. it was the hardest decision we had to make. it is very understanable to feel bad putting her down, but think of it as her being without pain anymore. i hope my story helped a little. again..so sorry.

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P.K.

answers from New York on

C.,

Unfortunately, the time has to put her down. I was faced
with the exact same problems. One day, she looked at me
with such sadness in her eyes. It was like she was saying,
please, I cannot do this anymore. I knew then I had to do
it. My whole family was devastated. What was worse for me,
was the new puppy we had gotten about a year before. Knowing that Shannon's days were numbered. Everynight my
husband came home from work-NYPD-about 1AM. He would tell
Callie, the puppy, to get the old girl up. She would
nudge Shannon, gently take her ear and the old girl would
get up. The first week after Shannon was gone, Callie,
the puppy, cried and cried. It was so sad. I think that
was almost the worst of it. Later that week I read in a
vet column that dogs need to grieve too. What I should
have done was taken the puppy with us to the vet when
we put her down and let her have time. The reason I am
telling you this is that you have another dog, it will be
hard on that one too. Good luck. Look up the poem on the
internet called "Rainbow Bridge". I think that is the
name. I know it will help.I will keep you in my prayers.

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M.W.

answers from New York on

I'm so sorry! my heart just breaks for you and your puppy (in my eyes, they are always little puppies). I don't know how to address this other than sending my best wishes your way.

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A.C.

answers from New York on

Hi C.,
I'm so sorry, this is very hard. I too had to deal with this same siutation. Two years ago, my twelve year old Shepherd/Rottweiller passed. He had diabetes, had cataracts that we fixed, wasn't able to walk well and overall was very ill. We too knew he was in pain, but we weren't able to tell because he didn't make even make a wimper. It's really hard to decide what to do, but I think the suffering is really hard on them. My story is a little different because my dog ate some poisonous mushrooms that made him vomit and he basically took himself out. It's so hard sweetie and I'm so sorry you are going through this. I remember what it was like and still miss and love him very much.

I would say if it is really bad then putting her to sleep would be better than the suffering, but if she still has a glimmer of life, then allow her to leave peacefully. Again, I'm so sorry, but consider that 14 years is a wonderfully long life for a dog.

I have a new puppy now, she's a Bull Mastiff/Rotweiller and so much reminds me of my last dog, so sometimes the cycle of life brings another special being back into your life. My heart goes out to you.

I just saw that my response is a little late. I think you did the right thing and I believe they come back to you. So, when a familiar glance hits ya, it might just be your little Onyx coming back to you!

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S.F.

answers from New York on

I went through the same situation with my 7 year old Golden last December. The fact that you said 'I know she is suffering' says it all - you know what you need to do for you and for your pup. Not only is she physically hurting, but when she goes in the house, the hurts emotionally, too. Everyone will be more at peace if you put her down. I am so sorry about your situation, I know how awful and hard it is.

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J.C.

answers from Utica on

We had our dog put to sleep in in the past 2 years. My mom and her best friend took her to the vet because she also had very bad arthritis. They did a value of life assessment(not sure if that is what they called it) but they wanted to assess what kind of life she was living to see if it was time to put her down. They decided that she was in a lot of pain and was not happy so they decided to put her to sleep. My mom helped hold her legs down because the doc said sometimes they may kick but Shelby just laid there which is when it all sunk in that it was time. Shelby was cremated and my mom and her best friend have her remains in a nice pink tin and are displayed on the mantel.

I think you know the decision that you have to make even though it is painful for you to make it I believe from what I read it is in the best interest of your dog. She will be at peace and will be much better off.

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K.C.

answers from New York on

C.-

I know exactly how you feel. I had a poodle many years ago that was about 14, and started having mammary tumors and some other problems. She was too old to operate on. I had to carry her up and down the stairs to go outside.

What does your vet say? German Shepherds are known for having hip problems. You are very lucky to have had her for 14 years. I think most large dogs have a 8-10 year life span.

This is one of the toughest decisions you will ever have to make. You have to decide when her quality of life is too far deteriorated. You said she used to be a happy dog. If she seems sad, and you feel she is in pain most of the time, maybe that is your big clue that it is time.

I can tell that your head is telling you it is time, but your heart doesn't want to let go. You have to think about what is best for her, even though it is hard for you. How much longer do you want to watch her suffer?

When you go to the vet, they just give her a shot, and she will drift away. It is not painful at all for her. Do not feel bad. It is the right thing to do.

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D.A.

answers from New York on

Hi C.,

First, let me share quick with you what happened to us. We had a dog that we rescued named Jamie. She was good and faithful to us, but outside of our family, she seemed like she'd eat everyone up, including any animals walking by. I mean......baring her teeth and growling, drooling and all!

Once in awhile the kids would make the mistake of letting her out unleashed, and she'd go after people who walked by our house, especially if they were walking a pet. Very scarey. I was afraid that something terrible would happen and we'd lose our home. I had no support from my family. The kids loved her and my husband thought the dog was kool being so big and bad. So I talked to a vet. He was so sympathetic, and told me that some dogs just are meant to be junkyard dogs and not pets. (we tried to find her a home, but they gave her back to us).

The vet totally supported my decision, and through my tears told me that I was making the right decision. It made such a big impact that the advice was coming from a Vetrinarian.

That is my suggestion for you.

Woops, sorry, I just saw that you had written about putting your dog down. I'm sorry I didn't see it before.

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P.C.

answers from New York on

I have had to make the same difficult decision. Two years later, I'm crying as I type this even though it was the only choice we had. Bailey was 13, a 90 lb. lab we rescued at age 8. We treated cancers, but ultimately it was arthritis that forced the decision. She laid down in the kitchen and we heard the crunch as her hind quarters gave out. We carried her outside and let her enjoy the beautiful day out on the grass. The next morning, I called my vet and said I was bringing Bailey in, not for another acupuncture treatment, but because "it was time." My daughter went with me. The vet gave us a room to ourselves, a few minutes to say goodbye, then gave her an injection. A few minutes later, Bailey quietly stopped breathing and joined our family in heaven. My daughter and I cried for a while, then went home. Bailey's ashes are in a box in the living room next to those of our first lab. We did adopt another lab from the shelter a few months earlier because we knew Bailey would not be with us much longer. That made it easier to accept what we knew we had to do. My heart goes out to you; this is not easy, but it is the best decision for your very special friend. Perhaps you can ask your day care children to draw pictures for you to help everyone both grieve and remember. They will have a loss as well, and will certainly notice your sorrow. It's a good teaching time for children. They get a chance to see that grownups have to face difficult situations and that they can cry and move on. Take care.

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J.B.

answers from Utica on

Hello,

First, spend time gently rubbing your beloved, and talk to him about all of the things on your heart. For you, but also for him--I believe they understand a lot--especially from the heart.
See if any touches help him feel better and give him all the love you have for him by being with him. We were with a neighbour's dog for a long time one evening while they were out and I was so glad, I have never regretted the compassion and time we spent for the sweet elderly suffering dog.

Pray and see, what do you know deep down? A friend had a very similar story to yours which is why I responded. She did finally bring her beloved in. It was hard but she knew it was best. She talked to him at length beforehand.

I hope you find peace--and your dear dog, too. Peace and no pain. Please let me know! [email protected]____.com

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K.R.

answers from New York on

Hi C.-
I had to make the same decision for my 8 year old German Shepard. I was so upset. She had trouble lifting her head and she kept tripping when she walked. I took her to the vet and was told she needed an operation because she had a growth on her neck that was interfering with other muscles in her body. I searched for a doctor who specialized in orthopedic surgery. I found one and was ready to take her on Monday (since they were closed on the weekend) when her symptoms got worse. She was lying face down on the floor in a pool of her own urine. I immediately took her to the Animal Hospital in Manhattan where more x-rays were taken. The doctor told we that she had lesions on different parts of her body. I was told her prognosis was not good. I would have to carry her in and out of the house to go to the bathroom etc. The vet was very sympathic. She also gave me advice that comforted me during this extremely difficult decision I had to make. She told me if it were her dog, she would put her down. It was the most humane thing to do. She said if the quality of life is no longer there, the dog is suffering. I decided to put her down. I cried for a week. I know it was the right thing to do, and I felt some comfort in knowing the vet who took an oath to save and help animals would do the same.
I hope this helps.
K.

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K.S.

answers from New York on

Hi C.
I know this is a very difficult time for you. I have been working in the Veterinary field for the past 10 years and I deal with these questions from clients on a daily basis. You have to understand that your doing whats best for your pet family member. It sounds like it is her time.
I put my 1st dog, Hunter to sleep last April. He was also 14 years old. It was a very difficult decison but in the long run I know I made the right decison and let him go with dignity.
I would be happy to answer any questions you may have or to just be someone to talk to in this difficult time.

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K.J.

answers from New York on

Hi C.,

First let me say that I feel your pain, as many others have already said. I had to put my first dog, Bear (a Doberman) down 11 years ago. He was 12 at the time, but I had had him since birth (his mom and dad had belonged to my dad)so he really was my "first" baby. It was very painful and upsetting. My daughter was 4 at the time and she kept me up by saying things like he would be living with our kitten who we had lost 2 years before. About 6 months after I lost Bear, I got a Rotti (again from my dad) who was 5 years old. We had to put her down in May of 2007. One day after my birthday!! She had been going downhill quickly and I had come home and she wouldn't eat or get up or anything. My husband and I loaded her up immediately in the car and took her to the vet and had her put down. She had been really sickly for about a week prior. But the decision was made after she refused to eat a piece of steak from my hand. She just sniffed it, kinda whined, and laid her head back down and just stared at me. The hardest thing about putting her down was that I lost my dad in 2003 and this was kinda like the "thread" connecting me to him. Anyway, keep your head up and remember the things that your sweet pet did that made you smile. By the way, I had both dogs cremated and they now share a space in my entertainment center with pictures and "stuff" of my dad. Time, as you probably know, heals all things. I keep my self afloat with the thought that my Mesha and Bear are with my dad and they are having a great time. Him on the golf course and them chasing and running away with his golf balls.

Lots of hugs to you and your family,

K.

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J.C.

answers from New York on

I am so sorry about your beautiful Onyx. She will always be in your heart. You will remember all the good times you had with her.

Today I just finished reading "Marley & Me". A wonderful true story about the life of a Lab and his family.... If you have time, you might want to read it.

My thoughts and prayers are with you.....

~J.

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A.B.

answers from New York on

C.,

Sounds like my collie when she reached the age of 12. She was arthritic, had seizures and I believe a stroke though not that much physical sequelae--more cognitive issues that were poignantly funny and sad--and had a hard time getting up from the floor when lying down. Long story short, I came home from work (physical therapist) and found her lying spread eagle on the floor in her own urine, dazed, panting, and very confused. I scooped her up and put her on her pillow, hugged her and cried for about an hour and then called the vet. I then walked up Broadway carrying a magnificent bag of bones; people stopped and said, "is she ok?" because she was just so beautiful in spirit and body. (I also had a friend who would sometimes walk her for me during the day so she knew more people in the neighborhood than I did). The vet took her from my arms and I broke down sobbing in the office, but I couldn't leave her another day alone worrying that she would suffer like that again.
Why tell you this? Because you will know when it is time--you will know in your heart.
Many blessings,
A.

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H.P.

answers from New York on

I sat here reading your request and the responses that were posted, with tears in my eyes. I have had dogs and cats all my life. My parents going me my first puppy when I was six months old and she lived until my junior year of high school. I have been fortunate in the sense that I have never had to make the decision to put a pet down because they have all passed on their own. My only advice to you is to look at the quality of life that your dog has and is it "acceptable". If it isn't then maybe her time has come. Animals have very soulful eyes. Look in to hers and see if she is saying something. My friend had to put her dog down a few weeks ago and she said that she stayed with the dog the whole time and in the final minutes it was if her eyes were saying thank you. My thoughts are with you as you make this tough decision.

H.

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A.H.

answers from New York on

Hi C.
I have had dogs all my life, and the situation you are describing reminds me of my old dog, Tippy, a shepherd/beagle mix, who died at the age of 18 (yep, 18) in 2001.
Tippy was going downhill for some time, doing some things you are describing. She also was showing some signs of dementia (like trying to go through a door by going through the hinge-side instead of the open side). I know her hearing was going because she also stopped barking when the bell rang.
Tippy had bad arthritis in her legs and for the last couple of years you could hear a crick in her step. She stopped going up and downstairs (which wasnt really a problem - she just stayed with me and my sister as opposed to my mom) and at times her appetite was quite bad. Her accidents in the house also became more frequent.
Finally, we put her to sleep one morning because she started shreeking in a blood-curdling way that the vet said was not so much a pain cry as it was a demented one; she was no longer herself.
This is a very personal decision. With Tippy, it got to the point where she was miserable and needed to move on. However, I also had an English Mastiff, Brandy, who died in 2005 in my house on THanksgiving. She had congestive heart failure and although she was undoubtedly sicker for at least one year than Tippy ever was, she was still herself until the morning of her death. She was still happy to go out, had fun with my other dog, still had a great disposition and good appetite, and was mobile. However, about once a month for a year she went to the vet to get about 4 liters of fluid (yep) drained out of her chest. A variety of people told me what I "should" do (I suppose meaning having her put to sleep) but I knew it wasn't time.
Finally, I knew she was going and I just let her go in the house because with her, it felt right, probably because she was much more peaceful, whereas with Tippy, she needed more intervention.
I can absolutely tell you that the days that both my dogs died were the worst days of my life, second only to the sudden death of my mother.
Please keep in touch and let me know what happens. Talk to your vet as well, as maybe he or she has access to more medical interventions (even something like acupuncture) which might be helpful for pain relief.
A.

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B.G.

answers from New York on

Hang in there.. I know it is rough.. I can't imagine anything happening to my dogs but, it seems like more of a problem to take care of the dog. I know u love him as well as the rest of the family. The dog is suffering and it is the best thing to do. Call my vet ###-###-####. Dr. Balsamo. I had to put down a dog a llaso apso because he bit me 3x's and he was uncontrollable. I loved him so much. I got him fixed and took really good care of him. He was abused from another family. I was so upset. MY husband went on craig's list and he got a another mini schnauser for me.. I am so happy and my 10 month old loves him. I have two of the mini schnauzers.. they are wonderful w/ kids and live to be 12 years old..
Good Luck!!
barb G.

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B.A.

answers from New York on

Dearest C....When we love dogs as much as we do and when our dogs are a part of our lives we will face this. I've always lived with Sheps. But never for 14 years. My Sheba was about 10 or 11 and I faced this same arthritic problem. I used to pray that she would leave me in her sleep and I wouldn't have to make the decision. But I finally did. As with the Shep before her, Winnie, I held her in my arms and the last memory she had was of me. The veterinarian came to my house for Sheba.

I mourned of course. And then brought home a new puppy about six months later, Sasha. I still have memories of all the dogs who were so much a part of my life. I am faced now with a problem that Sasha has. She's only 9. For the time being I am loving her as much as I can. Not really ready to call the vet back for the exact details but there seems to be something else in a fat mass that was aspirated. So the years fly by with these precious creatures and we come to this point.
I would go to www.bestfriends.com for some words of encouragement and compassion.

Please know that you are surrounded by all of us who love our dogs and reach the point you have. When you make the decision and you will know when it's 'time'....please remember that there are others (myself included) sharing this time with you. It is a very difficult time but this loss will hurt and then you'll find a special place for the memory and you'll go on.

arlene a

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J.H.

answers from Albany on

Hugs! I was 17 when our family beagle had such bad pain in his back we were forced to make the decision of when. He was able to cry out everytime he had a painful moment and that made our decision all that more sure, but none-the-less tough. I remember my brother not wanting to talk to us, but not being around to see our pet in agony... I played the same stage as your son to you, with my dad. We left my brother at home with mom and my dad and I went to the vets' to have him put out of his pain. We then drove to camp an hour long journey at night (my parent's had seen the time coming and prepared a place for his resting spot). I saw my dad get teary on the drive and reassured him that "Jingles" was feeling SSOOOOOOOooo much better and probably up there stealing food from angels and smiling down at us for making the right choice and ending the pain and unhappiness he was in. Hey now he could be free and run! My dad hugged me and thanked me. It's a priceless moment that I will always remember with my dad and will never forget the truth in my heart that we did the RIGHT THING!

I'm sure she looking down on you with a doggy smile and a wag right now! You did something very brave for her and I'm sure she appreciates it. When your heart mends save another soul and continue the journey. It gets better!

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J.G.

answers from New York on

I'm sorry for your pain. I am a person, who currently has three dogs in the house and I have also had many others through my lifetime. So, as you can imagine, I have gone through the almosts and putting a dog down. I have also had a dog get dognapped, only to make it back and then get sick and die. No matter what, it's heart breaking. Having a pet, is like having a child. Although, it break's your heart, just the thought of it....I can imagine, your dog feels just as badly as you do; to the point that you feel she feels bad for bm's in the house. Let her go. It's her time and although you don't want it to be your decision, it is. To keep alive for the sake of you not having to suffer is a little selfish (please don't be offended). I hope all works out for you and I hope you can feel better very soon. Life does go on for you as well. Take care!!!

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K.G.

answers from New York on

Sorry for the late post. My heart bleeds for you. I have two dogs that I am very, very attached to as is my family. I dont know what I will do when that day comes.

Many experts say that the best thing to do is to get another dog. Immediately. It will NEVER replace your Onyx and it isnt mean to do so. But if you are dog people, and are used to having one in your life and want to again, I suggest that you do not wait. It will at least, distract you from your sadness. Talk to your kids and explain that this isnt replacing Onyx, but a new dog to love and take care of. Dogs are very special in our lives and are too good to stay with us forever.

You have many friends out in cyber-land who feel your pain with you and send you their love and support.

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A.D.

answers from New York on

Hi C., I am sad just reading your post. I do not have a pet due to severe allergies but I know how they can become part of your family. As rough as it is to make this decision you must think of the dog and what pain she may be in. The anguish you are going through can be affecting the children too. (all of them) I guess I pray for your sake that nature makes the decision for you. You will still have to get over her loss but not the guilt. Life is never easy. I don't know if my "web shoulder" helped but I do care. Grandma Mary

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K.T.

answers from New York on

Hi C.. Along with all the other moms, my heart goes out to you. We have 2 cats, 1 dog. Although, we've never had to go through the trauma of putting down a dog, we had to put our cat down a few years ago as she had a tumor on her jaw that eventually grew so big she couldn't eat and swallow. And this was a cat that put eating about as high up as sleeping. So as painful as it was for us, it was better for her. Like others have said... you know your baby the best. But, from what you've described it sounds like she's ready to go.

I know this is really hard for you, but just know that you have support here to get you through this difficult time.

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M.B.

answers from Syracuse on

Dear C.,
I just had to put our Bichon Frise down after being part of our family for 15 years. I agonized as you are about doing it and 3 weeks ago he had a stroke and could not move or even lift his head. We had no choice but to do it.
The several weeks prior to this we prayed for God to show us when to do it and that was the day. I think you will know the day. God will give you courage and or send someone to help you go through with it. I will pray for you too as it is a very hard thing but you will be ok.
The vet gives you the choice of staying with your pet while they put him to sleep or not. I could not do it. And you also have the choice of leaving his body there to be creamated or taking it back for burial. I left him there as I could not bear to go through burying him in our back yard. But each person is different and whatever you choose, it will be alright.
M.

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S.C.

answers from New York on

As hard as it is the right thing to do here is to let her go.
There is no quality of life. I know this is just awful for you but you must understand your putting her down because you love her. It's probably easier for you to keep her but you need to let her go. God bless and good luck.

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C.B.

answers from New York on

I hope this isn't too late; I know you sent this out a few days ago. My sister--also mom of 3 great kids--had this very situation a few years ago with her family's beloved dog. Her dog, too, was arthritic and couldn't hold it in anymore, and he got very sad and embarrassed when he started to go indoors. He knew it was wrong, no matter how much my sister and her family tried to let him know they understood. After about a month, it became obvious how much pain the dog was in. My sister, who was a zookeeper, felt conflicted, but eventually decided it was best to put him down. She contacted a vet who made house calls, and the entire family gathered around the dog at home, to say goodbye. It was sad, but peaceful, and so much better because the dog was home. Sadly, we are not far from making this decision ourselves. Our dog is 11 years old, large breed, and going downhill fast. I feel for you--you are in my thoughts. Good luck.

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M.C.

answers from New York on

Oh C., You certainly have a shoulder here! I know what you are going through and I have tears in my eyes right now from reading your post. The decision is NEVER an easy one (I've had to make it more times than I would like to admit). The first one, by far, was the hardest. He was my "baby" (this was way before I had a child). I didn't know how on earth I was going to make the decision but I did. It ripped me apart BUT, it was the right thing to do for him. He too, had that sadness in his eyes when he had an accident (he had kidney failure)and refused to come in the house at times. After it was over, I knew I did the right thing for him and that gave me some peace. I have had to make that call several times since then and it is a little easier especially since I know they won't be suffering. Hang in there and do what's best for your faithful friend! If you want to email me directly, please feel free to do so ([email protected]____.com). Take care, M.

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J.C.

answers from New York on

C.,
This is the hardest thing you will ever do. I also had a 14 year old Boston Terrier who was blind with cataracts and then had a seizure Thanksgiving 2 years ago. He was such a healthy dog but couldn't stand after the seizure and his blindness made him scared and lost. Your pet wants to be with you but there is the time when you have to do what is best for them...and help them out of the pain. You will cry for weeks as my dog was with me since he was 8 weeks old but they hate it when they can't do what they use to and are in pain on top of it. I just held him in my arms after the shot and he relaxed and went to doggy heaven. We will meet again I know it. Good luck.

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W.K.

answers from New York on

Hi C.,

I feel your pain and I am so sorry for your situation. It is so terribly hard to watch your pet get old and suffer. My yellow lab is 11 and is slowly getting more ailments. I can easily see my self in your predicament in the next year or so ( and I am dreading having that decision in front of me)

I can tell you that my parents had their yellow lab put to sleep when they got to a similar situation that you are in. it was a very tough decision for them, I helped them make it ( this was the dog I grew up with) and after they made the decision and went through with it they had such relief. It is a quality of life issue.... and if your dog no longer has a good quality of life, all of you are suffering. you and your family suffer as you watch him in pain and he suffers as he can not do the things a dog should be able to do... and as you said looks sad when he dissappoints you.

We all said good bye to him and talked about the good old days and told him how much we loved him before he was taken to the vet. he was such a great dog, but we did not want to see him live in pain or suffer anymore.

C., your dog has lived a good life and a long life at age 14.... but if the quality of life is no longer there, luckily with our pets we have a choice to help them get to a better place.

I will be thinking of you and your family as you make a very difficult decision

wishing you the best

W. K

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