When to put a dog to sleep

Updated on February 5, 2016
cohdra
cohdra

A dog owner's toughest decision revealed

Working at a veterinarian hospital, I inevitably received those dreadful phone calls from owners asking if it was time to put their beloved dog to sleep. Unfortunately, I was never able to give them that straight heart-aching, black or white answer they were ultimately craving for. As I listened to them compassionately, in the midst of their sobbing for help, I always faithfully stuck to my personal opinion that as owners, it was their ultimate choice since they knew their dog best, having lived and rejoiced with him or her for so many years. I always advised the "It's all about quality of life" philosophy and suggested them to rationally check if their dog had more bad days than good.

These were those compassionate owners truly concerned about their dog's over all wellbeing. They were trying their best to cope with the idea that their dog's life was coming shortly to an end and were gathering their emotional forces to be prepared for their final day.

These were clients dealing with their pet's chronic diseases for years and willing to do all that could have been possibly done to help their pet manage sickness as comfortably as possible. When their dog's days were getting close to an end, as veterinary staff, we suffered as well, since we have seen these dogs for many years and grew emotionally attached to them. We found ourselves in tears many times, hugging the owners as the pain and sorrow seemed to seep deep into the animal clinic...


Vet explains when to put pet to sleep

When to Put Dog to Sleep?

As dog owners, we all would love if our dogs could live much longer lives. For some occult reason, when dogs turn geriatric, it just feels as if their lives have come to an end too soon, and way too too abruptly. The years spent together seem to have passed much too quickly and in such a merciless manner, that it just seems yesterday when they were prancing around in their early puppy-hood stage...

We all as well would wish our dogs would pass peacefully in their sleep as they put their head down on their favorite pillow for the last time. Unfortunately, many pets suffer as they age, either being crippled by arthritis or even worse, debilitating diseases such as cancer. As we work our best on relieving most of the pain through the miracles of modern medicine, there comes a specific moment where we can clearly see our pet's bodies turn frail and eventually give up.

If dogs could talk, the process of putting a pet to sleep would be much easier, but since dog's have been spared the gift of voice, we must read into more subtle signs depicting physical deterioration. Here comes into place my personal advice of ''owners only knowing their pets best.''

Only owners are ultimately capable of knowing how their dog copes with physical pain and how they respond to everyday life. It is in my belief, that at a certain point, the dog itself will express it is time to go. There is just that something in their behavior, (that perhaps only owners may perceive) that will suggest they are ready for the Rainbow bridge. It could either be a look in their eyes, an expression on their face or the simple lack of a tail wagging.

However, regardless of personal opinion on when to put a dog to sleep, I must admit that as a veterinary assistant, I have seen some cases where the euthanasia procedure seemed to be done at a too premature stage or at a too advanced stage.

I have seen owners go for the procedure right upon diagnosis of cancer or kidney failure. In these cases, the dogs may still have had a few good weeks or even probably months. Yet, owners may have not been able to afford the financial burden that comes along these diseases or may have not been able to withstand viewing the physical deterioration of their best friend. Some perhaps simply wished to spare their dog from any suffering at all...

In other cases, the dog seemed to have gone way over the stage of "admissible deterioration", in an unnecessary spiral of mental and physical pain. In these cases, I know the owners very likely were unable to "let go" and tried their hardest to hold on to their pet as long as they possibly could until their dog was only a lifeless shadow.

The way in between is in my opinion, "the golden way to go". If you are debating over whether it is time to put your dog to sleep remember to cherish every day and every moment with your dog, because those very last days will always be in your heart.

When your dog's time comes, he or she will let you know it is time to cross the Rainbow Bridge in a leap of faith. Dogs unlike humans do not fear death because they live in the moment. Do not worry for your dog, he /she will be in a better place and best of all, will be eternally pain free.

Very likely, if you stay for the euthanesia procedure, you may see your dog look into your eyes for a last time almost to say: "Thank you owner for loving me so much" then she will take a deep breath and peacefully drift into better life, looking over you for many years to come..

What Happens When a Pet Dies

The Rainbow Bridge Poem

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...

Was it easy for you to determine when your pet was ready to put to sleep?

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    • alexadry profile image
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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 2 weeks ago from USA

      Mary, contact your local shelter, they may have less expensive options for you. So sorry you are going through this.

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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 2 weeks ago from USA

      Sandy, so sorry to hear about your situation. You can try to apply for Care Credit or call around shelters that can help and offer low cost vet charges.

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      sandy Armen 2 weeks ago

      My dog just out of nowhere srarted panting not eating I am on Disability and have had her for 12 years this money hungry vet I took her to said she had a uterine diseas I only had fifty dollars on me he said she was critical but wanted to charge me over six hundred dollars surgery bloodcwork X-rays sonogram but would not make it thru surgery she was walking when went in He graves her back legs and pulled them real hard this is a 12 year old six pound Pomeranian she is my device dog he said if you don't have money just take her home to die.I worked all my life in Methodist Hospital 7 Days a week can't help I am very sick with RA chronic pain back surgery so had to get on Disability that pays rent water and electric can not afford all my meds and there is no were would help me put the baby girl Madison to sleep is there any one that cares she not eating drinking water can anyone Help me

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      mary 2 weeks ago

      my 15 yr old pekineses had massive stroke 2 days ago cant move or eat dont have money for vet i know god can do miracles but reality is i dont think shes going to make it i dont know what to do for her do i just leave her like this till she passes she doesnt seem to b in any pain ive been trying to give ger water in a syringe but dont know if its doing anything

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      Lillian C 5 weeks ago

      my dog has been diagnosed w/diabetes & cushing disease & brain tumor!! Im not coping very well with this! I feel helpless like im letting him down not being able to afford all dr recommended! He looks very sick, wobbles when he walks & now going to restroom in the house. I don't have the heart to put him to sleep! What do I do???? I know its best but I guess im being selfish & I don't want to depart.....

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      Mark. 7 weeks ago

      I rescued my dog from the RSPCA rescue kennels back in Sept 07.

      Straight away there was something there, he knew I was the master for him, How the years so quickly passed on us.That poor dog has seen so many changes in our once quiet lives together we have moved house 4 times, found a Mrs Master OH and along came 2 small things to pull on his ears and grab his tail, but he tolerated this for the throwing of food from the high chair which my daughter thought was a great game so did Max.

      Now am struggling with the reality that it is my dogs turn tomorrow to take a trip over the rainbow Bridge. To say I'm gutted is an understatement this dog NO part human part dog friend if mine Max actually saved my life now I must give his.

      He is a 15 1/2 year old Colly x Shepherd and the most loyal, loving gentile, fun dog I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.

      We have climbed mountains together, kept bad guys from the door, looked out for my kids and had an seemingly endless work schedule.

      My mate would come to work with me every day jumping straight into the truck to take his pride of place that is before he just slowed down. Eyes full of tears and a nose full of snot how quickly those happy memories come flooding back. Everday I have had with my friend has been my ultimate reward.

      I will miss you so Much Max.

      My heart goes out to all of you dog/ pet owners who have been there.

      Thank you pet Helpfull for allowing me to share my story and read others.

      A devastated dog owner.

    • alexadry profile image
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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 8 weeks ago from USA

      So sorry Joseph. Dementia is a terrible condition and sadly it tends to get get worse with time. So sorry for your loss.

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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 8 weeks ago from USA

      Rhoda, so sorry for your loss. Stop by on my other hub "Understanding Dog Pain During Euthanasia" it explains some things that may happen during euthanasia. It sounds like a reflex. If you read through the comments there are owners witnessing the same thing.

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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 8 weeks ago from USA

      Thanks for your comments Stef5. Your dog sounds like a great fighter, best wishes for a speedy recovery from the dental cleaning.

    • alexadry profile image
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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 8 weeks ago from USA

      Hospice care sounds wonderful. We have some vets offering this now in the area. They come to your home to provide pain meds and relief as needed. Thanks for your thoughts. I discuss this option in my article on pet natural death vs euthanasia.

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      Joseph 2 months ago

      We had to say good bye to our 15year old jack russell yesterday...

      It's the hardest thing ever he had dementia that over the last 6/7 weeks had got much worse. He had started weeing and pooing without knowing he was doing it...

      We're still blaming ourselves as he seemed fine on the day... The house don't feel right without him here

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      Rhoda Friend 2 months ago

      So sorry, Ginger Ross! I understand because I just had to put down my German Shepherd, too. Still crying at random times and trying to come to grips with it. Hugs, Fellow German Shepherd Lover.

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      Rhoda Friend 2 months ago

      Yesterday, I said good bye to the best friend I've ever had, next to my husband and daughters: Buddy, a beautiful German Shepherd.

      Buddy and I bonded instantly when he was 7 years old.He knew me better than I knew myself, and often would be waiting for me to go outside, back to bed, or out in the car when I hadn't even consciously thought I was going to do that.

      The hardest part was that from the neck up, he was still Buddy. His ears would come forward, and his eyes would get soft when he saw me. He would try to leap playfully when he knew we were going for a walk. Try, but he couldn't, because he had severe hip dysplasia. We went through every pain medication and natural medication/procedure--CBD oil, massage, MSM, and more. Finally, it was obvious he was in constant pain, and then started vomiting and diarrhea--probably from all the pain meds. There was nothing more I could do. Three vets confirmed this.

      I planned for a few days in advance, fed him all he wanted of his favorite foods and treats, and took him for one last walk. Then, we went into a nice room and the vet gave him a strong pain med/sedative and he went to sleep, though he would still open his eyes and look at me.

      Finally, the vet gave him "the shot." That's the other thing that was hard. Previous dogs I have had to euthanize simply went to sleep. Seconds before he died, Buddy's eyes opened, his head came up, and then he flopped over. I can't get that scene out of my mind. If he was conscious/suffering, it was very quick--less than 3-5 seconds--but I am tortured wondering if he had a last moment of consciousness and thought, "My mama is killing me."

      It's tearing me apart. Has anyone ever seen this? If so, what caused it and was he conscious? Thanks for any information you could give.

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      Stef5 2 months ago

      In my experience, it’s time to put a pet down who no longer wants to eat anything. It seems to be one of the very last joys to go. In my mind, a pet has a will to live as as strong as we do, but they will also accept their fate very gracefully. If I would have followed the advice of the public or even some vets, my now 16 yr old dacshund wouldve been put down 3 yrs ago when he had a ruptured disc and lost the ability to walk. No one knows your dog like you do! After many laser therapy appts and a K9 wheelchair my dog got a new lease on life and he coped with his obstacles, overcoming them easily as dogs tend to do. At Today he has dental surgery and is recovering like a champ. I think hes going to feel even better tomorrow than he did yesterday. Never give up on your dog! And dont sweat it too much, enjoy each day and every moment as your dog does, when its time I promise you will feel it in the most loving part of your heart.

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      SkyeBleu 2 months ago

      10 years ago I was on a committee planning the vet tech curriculum for a local college with various people from the veterinary field. Including a long practicing vet and an RN who worked in hospice care for humans.

      One very interesting subject we discussed, was hospice for pets. If a pet was starting the process of passing due to old age or even a disease where the pain could be eliminated or controlled, there was no reason not to keep you pet at home and be a part of their passing. It does take some work, but you and your pet have the opportunity to be together thru the end. Putting a pet to "sleep" at times is necessary due to the severity of the immediate situation, but it is heart rending and leaves you with questions of whether you were right or wrong often for years. Many times it is for the convenience of the owner, not all owners truly love and bond with their pet.

      Consider at home hospice care, I have personally taken care of two of my older dogs in this manner and it was lovely. I still grieved (grieve) for them, but I had time to accept it and gave them wonderful care. They passed peacefully and my Veterinarian was very supportive. This is just something that worked for me and my dog babies, perhaps it will work for you someday.

    • alexadry profile image
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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 2 months ago from USA

      So sorry Ginger Ross for your loss, dementia can have a big impact on the dog's wellbeing.

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      Ginger Ross 2 months ago

      Today it was the worst day in my life when I had to put my 7 years old German Shepherd to sleep, he was such a beautiful boy and a good boy up until weeks ago he lost his mind for dementia. Hubby and I are still blaming ourselves for letting him go. Hope he forgave us.

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      dave 3 months ago

      Julie thank you for your comment about Mikey. Indeed, I come to this site almost every day even though I do not have a computer, for it is still the only way I have been able to make myself feel better. For Mike was put to sleep too soon and still every day since March 12, 2017 I have regreted that day as I was not prepared and never got to tell him I loved him and how much he meant to me. The vet was not Mikeys regular vet and they did not know mike nor me and that alone was a mistake. They should of had the maturity to know my head was not in the right place that morning and to have told me to wait and think about it. I lost everything that day when Mike died. For I am not a doctor as to help you with your decision concerning your beagle, but if he has cancer, the choice is left up to you. But I would think that you as the loving guardian of your dog , would not want to wait till your dog dies

      naturally for that would be , to me, too much suffering on your pups part. You are fortunate and blessed to have another dog with the both of you, for Mr. Chunk can help with the healing of your heart and at the same time continue on with the great heart of Denny once he slides away. Since you mentioned that your other dogs had died naturally, euthanasia on the other hand is VERY fast. But your dog knows you love him and thats what matters most. I hope every thing goes well for you. Thank you.

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      Sarah 3 months ago

      Hi Dave, I’m having to make this decision now. But as I read your words, I know it’s time. She’s very sick; she’s ready. ...Regrets are the worst, & I find they don’t have to be rational. I saw my grandfather @ 4:30am, before my first class & again after class & I still beat myself up that I didn’t go back at around midnight like I promised. I thought I’d go at 4:30am to get just a few hours of sleep, & he passed. I’ll always regret it. Forever. However, I did see him twice that day. I fed him his last breakfast. I called & made my uncle speak with him. We snuggled, held hands, laughed & he rolled his eyes about stupid piache cartoons a nurse put on for my PhD grandfather. Many don’t get even that opportunity. I call my regret irrational, bc I really did put lots of effort to love & be there & care for him despite particular changes I would make. We all do the best we can in the moment. You have to forgive yourself. I do too. One thing that helped me was I was able to keep my promise to him for my nona when she passed. I helped care for her until the end, & we were all there for her through her last breath. Maybe you can find a way of healing through doing something in memory of your pet mike. Volunteer to help with lonely animals not as lucky as him, or maybe your vet or friends will have other suggestions. You may also find something cathartic for you to do for him in order to say a healing goodbye now. For my nona, we released doves. For my dog sofie who I plan to snuggle today

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      Amy 3 months ago

      My dachshund is 17 yrs and 8 months he has rapidly deteriorated smh he won’t eat or drink he’s weak, took him to the vet today she suggested puttin him down I’m so hurt because I don’t want to end his life I wanted him to go naturally I don’t want to see like a murderer but I also don’t want him to suffer, he has this lost distant look in his eyes like he’s jus tired of life ugh I’m so distraught I don’t know what do to

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      AMorrison 3 months ago

      My 16 yr old dog sleeps all day, waking to eat and drink, she doesn't seem to be in any pain but whines now and then. She does try to make it out side to pee but now she is peeing in the house. I think it's time to put her down because this is not going to get better. The vet tells me she is old and has some health issues with kidney, she can't pick up her head again health issues, she can't see well and or hear. I don't know what to do. Is it time?

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      Julie 3 months ago

      Dave, thank you for sharing your love of Mikey. I know how hard it is, questioning everything you did, but Mikey knew you loved him and you will be together again one day. I’ve had four beagles or beagle mixes in my life. I’m on here looking for something to tell me when it’s the right time to put my baby Denny to sleep. My previous two dogs passed naturally. Yesterday a suspicion of lung cancer was confirmed and I’m devastated. I’m alone too and wish I had the input of someone else. Please know you did all you could for Mikey and the pain will never go away, but eases a bit each day. Do consider opening your heart to another baby. I did when my baby Casey passed four years ago and it helps. I feel like Casey passed so I could rescue Mr Chunk. I know when Denny goes soon that Mr Chunk will help me. I think it is harder when you don’t have another dog to give your love to and share your life. Take care.

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      dave 3 months ago

      Thank you for your reply message concerning Mikey my beagle dog . Its been the first time I have had anyone give me a response and I sure do appreciate yours. Just to see some words written about Mike and my situation was comforting. Again thank you tremendously !

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      Martha 3 months ago

      Hi Dave, If you can read this I want you to know how sorry I am about the loss of your beautiful dog Mike. Reading your story I can see how much you love and miss him.

      I know he loved you very much and doesn't want you to grieve any longer for him. You have suffered enough and you need to let him go so he can rest in peace.

      You are a loving human and out there somewhere there is a dog or cat who needs you. Just keep yourself open and they will find you. Maybe you can go to the animal shelter and rescue one, they will be lucky to have you and you will find a new friend.

      Please know you did nothing wrong. You saved Mikey a lot of pain and suffering, you did the right thing. Let him go in love and light but keep the hope of meeting him again at the rainbow bridge where all of us will be reunited with our best friends.

    • alexadry profile image
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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 4 months ago from USA

      Dave, I am so sorry. Nothing in life really prepares us for this. We are taking away their pain and letting them leave this world so they are pain free, which is the ultimate gift of love. Don't let your mind play games and make you fall into a guilt trap when you did nothing wrong. It's normal to shut down and be in denial the day of. I have seen this many times, you are not alone. I don't know how many times I had to help owners sign papers and put the right date because they were in total shock and denial. Some owners didn't have the courage to be with their pets in the same room their last moments. Some pets were simply dropped off. We were the ones petting them and talking to them in their last moments. You were there with him instead. He had you near him and he could hear and smell your reassuring presence with that strong beagle nose. He felt your presence and that's what counts. There is no right or wrong way to deal with loss. We all deal with it differently. Your Mike was deeply loved and I am sure he doesn't you want you to to grieve him this way. Dogs are so special in that they have their own philosophy of life which is living in the present and cherishing each day. Embrace how luck you were to have each other! You have had him for 17+ years which is remarkable for a dog. Lucky boy he was! The other day, I heard the most sensible logic come from a person helping out a grieving fellow. I will rephrase it for you. Basically, the only way to have avoided this depression you are feeling was if Mike was never in your life. Basically, Mike never existed. Instead he was born and matched up with you, and what a wonderful companion he was! You were so lucky to have had each other! Therefore, let's try to change things around. Rather than mourning, start cherishing his life, he was so worth it. Tell him how blessed you were to have had him and that even though you miss him terribly, he filled your life with so much joy and he will be forever in your heart.

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      dave 4 months ago

      I wrote a comment a while back about my seventeen and a half year old beagle hound Mikey. Its now been eleven months since the day I rushed into a vet thinking he was not feeling good. Ive gone over and over in my head every detail of where I made the mistake of letting him go too soon. Its like I was two separate people that morning March 12, 2017. This writing is the only solace I have. I do wish someone would help and give me some feed back for I have been my hardest critic and I have been suffering from

      VERY deep depression beating myself constantly inside my mind about Mikeys death that day.

      One of the biggest issues is that while sitting in the room that morning, the vets assistants were picking and probing on him and I didn't sit there and comfort and pet Mikey while all was taking place. Even when after signing the paper, I didn't sit there and pet mike. Then they had him on the pillow pad and carried him backwards out of the room as I was facing Mike . His eyes flew open wide looking at me as like " where are they taking me dad "? And all I remember is that I sat there looking at him with my eyes welled up as I should of gone over to him and loved on him. I hate myself for that. Once they brought him back into the room they had put a catheter in his leg and laid him on the pad. I got down on my knees where my face was at his beautiful old beagle face and the vet went fast and administered the anesthesia then the euthanasia. Then he said he's passed. Mike was gone. How could I have just left I hate myself for all of this. From there I got up and left to cry outside which I did for two weeks straight. I was afraid to cry in the room for I was so afraid the vets would have told me to be quiet. Because when I cry I wail tears for ever. I cry now all the time for I miss Mikey SO much . As right before he was administered the shots, that is when I was told that If I didn't have 400 dollars then I wouldn't get his ashes. I didn't know that. For I didn't even have the money to put him down. He had to be cremated communal and I didnt get his ashes. I know where they put his ashes there in a small fenced in area and they wont allow me to even open the door and go in there. They wouldn't even allow me any of the soil in the fenced in area.

      I didn't plan right from the beginning for before all this happened I couldn't even "think" about putting Mike down.

      I don't have a computer at hand to go on line to have read all the information about the subject of putting a dog to sleep. I have always done things in life by ear. And never being able to talk about it. I am alone and have no one in my life. I love you Mike . My heart is so tremendously broken with out you with me. I can not reside from the inward pain of all the mistakes I made when we were together. You were a much loved dog and companion to me for all the seventeen and a half years we were together. You are my love for eternity Mike. Please forgive me and help me heal as I am troubled day after day for not doing any of this right. I love you, signed dad

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      Martha 4 months ago

      When my 19 yr old Chihuahua stoped eating and drinking and i knew the time had come. I held her and kept her comfortable she passed peacefully in my arms. I would never put her to sleep unless she was suffering.

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      dave 4 months ago

      Mike the beagle hound was seventeen and a half. I cannot live without my dog. He was put to sleep on March 12, 2017. I made the mistake of putting him to sleep to soon for him and for myself. Every day my life has gotten worse. I am alone now and I miss Mike so much and I blame me for putting him down that i really do not want to go on. Its dreadful everyday.

      He literally meant so much to me that depression has taken over the life I have left. I rescued Mike at the age of one and a half. I named him Mike because he was the archangel that saved my whole life. He was the apple of my eye. He used to make me so happy. Now all thats left is dread in my heart mind and soul of how it ended. Psychologically I am so depressed and I keep spiraling downward. The is no miracle as Mikey was a lovable, shy most loyal and faithful dog and I messed up putting him down when I did. I am a wreck emotionally now and no one to ask for help.

      If this written comment Mike could see, I would be so happy and truly grateful to know your still with me. Your beagle nose, ears, eyes and face, I miss every day for you and I rescued each other . I apologize to you mike for all the mistakes I made . I am deeply sorry . I can only hope God would keep alive your spirit for I realize now that you were truly put in my life to help save it. Mike please forgive me for letting you go too soon. I love you .

    • alexadry profile image
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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 4 months ago from USA

      Julia, what proof do you have that dogs do not have souls? What brought you to this page? The thought that dogs have souls and there is an afterlife for dog and humans is very reassuring to people who suffer and have suffered losses. Nobody should take that away from them. Most dog owners hope to meet their dogs or loved ones one day. Being a skeptic is fine, but until we pass on, we don't know anything about what happens next. And for the record, dogs are animals but humans are animals too. Actually, dogs often show more humane traits than humans do!

    • alexadry profile image
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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 4 months ago from USA

      Aj Chitkara, maybe see a holistic vet or a vet that can provide hospice care in your home.

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      Aj Chitkara 4 months ago

      For 3 weeks my 9 year old lab is bedridden. Eats but painful state. Has severe spondyloarthritis, no response to analgesics. Painful decision to put him to sleep. Daily a ray of hope on his slight movement and decision gets difficult. Please help

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      julia 4 months ago

      i appreciate your sympathy and advice...but come on....they are not human...they are animals!! they do not "cross over" to another side as they are not human, therefore, do not have souls. So, be honest with yourself and other....they are not watching over you....nor do dead humans.

    • alexadry profile image
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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 4 months ago from USA

      Lynne so sorry for your loss. It's truly devastating and heart wrenching. Stumpy had a great, long life with you.

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      Lynne 4 months ago

      I had to have my Jack Russell Stumpy put to sleep on 31.12.17 he was 16 and a half, he stopped eating and couldn't walk properly so we took him to the vet for blood tests he had a very low blood count and they suspected a tumour maybe on the Liver. He was drinking loads of water but wasn't weeing, it was heart breaking to watch him go down hill so rapidly. We could see in his eyes he was trying to tell us how bad he felt so we had to make the hardest decision of our lives. I was destrort and crying and telling him i was sorry and that i loved him we were all in a state my husband never cries and he's a big strong man but he did that day, my two sons and their girlfriends were there too it was awful!! but i know we did the right thing for Stumpy because he was so miserable. Love you stumpy my little mate xx

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      dave 5 months ago

      ten months have passed since , Mikey the beagle hound was put to sleep. I am a 58 year old male and I cry almost every day for him. Mikey was seventeen and a half as I rescued him at 1 and a half years old. The absolute wonder, charm and gods unconditional love Mikey taught me as I loved that dog SOoooo much. I miss him beyond compare and I have had the hardest time moving on without him.

      The day he went into the vet on March 12 2017 I just waned to see if his stomach was ok. Once there, I had no idea what evidently was to transpire. Not being able to afford anything , The vet said theres nothing else that they could do because I couldn't afford to pat anything. They put Mikey to sleep and literally to this day I have been in shock that he is still not with me. All because vets are too damn ridiculously expensive. The vet lacked mature experience I later realized as he should of told me to go and think about

      it before agreeing to put him down. For MKike was not that bad sick, yes he was old but they should of asked me if I had really prepared to go on without him as I could of walked out with him that day and loved on him for another week so to be able for myself to say good bye. But because the vet lacked the maturity in his expertise , all they saie was if you don't spend money theres nothing we can do. As I have been an emotional wreck ever since he was laid to sleep. Mikey I love you forever . My wonderful beagle pup. Love dad

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      Louis Williams 5 months ago

      My 12 year old German shepherd was diagnosed with cancer the Monday before Christmas, did everything possible to try to save him, cancer is insidious, That final drive to the vet, was the longest and saddest of my life, May my sweet dog have plenty of friends and find his happiness in his afterlife. .

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      Bri 5 months ago

      My dog is 14, and doesn't have the energy like he use to I have to help him on the couch he frequently pees everywhere inside even within the same hour if I have taken him out. We love to just lay down and cuddle together but that is just about all we do. And sometimes he bites me really hard to the point where I am screaming and he won't let go. I don't know what to do.

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      Melissa barrett 6 months ago

      My mom dog is really sick we don't have the money to put her. Down what other ways can u put her down at home with out u seeing a gun

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      Susan Anderson 7 months ago

      I have found your advice most helpful. My devoted cocker spaniel Nell is now 15 years old. She has walked beside me since my son died aged 24 years old. She has given more to me than I have her.

      Nell came into our life's when she was seven weeks old.

      She is now nearing the end of her life and it's breaking my heart.

      I hope that Nell will fall asleep one night. She has been a devoted friend to me.

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      sonia escobar 8 months ago

      my dog is a Chihuahua is about 18 or 19 years old don't eat well pee and pu an bed but now she smell very bed

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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 8 months ago from USA

      Michelle, I am sorry about your dog, you can try to look for a vet specializing in palliative care. Some vets offer hospice care in your home to reduce pain and suffering.

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      Michelle 9 months ago

      My dog has osteosarcoma. Even if he gets a surgery, the rate of recovery is really low. He is 10 years old and the doctor said that he may not be able to wake up from the anesthesia. I don't want him to go but i don't want to see him suffer. I don't want him to feel any kind of pain. When I go outside, he would always follow me but now, he doesn't even try to get up. He is always lying down and he seems so weak. I don't know what to do. Help!

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      Cassandra 9 months ago

      Onix Adams is her name, she was about 8 months old, when she came into our lives, she was jet black with a white chest. Now the time has come to tell sweet Onix good bye. In November she would be 14 years old. She was a strong dog, actually very shy, did not like to go anywhere without one of our other dogs. About 7 yrs ago she started having seizures, and has been on meds ever since. But now, she has become confused, not sure how much she can see or hear. In the past month she falls alot, hard for her to walk at times. She has always been strong. Of course we would love to keep her forever, but at times she labors with her breathing. So good days and bad, which makes it difficult to decide. But her quality of life, is what we want for her. When she is sleeping, she seems fine, but in the day, her labored breathing, and behavior which seems like she is panicking, we think due to sight and hearing. We recently moved, and she is not familiar, so that makes it difficult for her too. Sweet Onix, We we love you, but think it's time for you to cross the rainbow bridge and be with Chase, lucky and Sara, all the dogs we have loved and Onix spent her life with. 14 Yrs. Where have they gone, it seems like it's passed far too quickly. I hate to make that call to the Veterinary office, she has not even been to the new vet location yet. I am upset for her, a new place, and this is the stage in her life. It is devastating. All I can do is tell her how much she is loved, and thank her for all the love and companionship she has given us. Onix Adams is her name, our lives will never be the same without her.

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      Leah 10 months ago

      hi my german shepherd is 13, has a hip problem, going blind, going deaf, has a hard time getting up, cannot not go up more than 3 stairs, has a very weak bladder and starts peeing on accident in the house (she's potty trained), and at random times (even when just laying on the floor) starts to do what sounds like wheezing she has never done that before. she drinks a bunch of water even if it is cold. So what should i do with her? Leah

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      Ann 10 months ago

      I have had cats all my life, and I know you shouldn't but some just cling to your heart a bit longer, as a vet told me it us a gift we can give our pet that we can't unfortunately can't do for humans thank you for the advice though

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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 14 months ago from USA

      So sorry Pattie, it's the ultimate gift of love. Sad that our beloved dogs get old and suffer from such ailments. She had a good life and was greatly pampered. xoxo

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      pattie 14 months ago

      we are very sadly putting our Doxie /Jack Russell to sleep today she has full renal failure, 3 slipped disc and anemia lost 4 lbs cant eat or drink just diagnosed two weeks ago meds helped a bit but devastated do not want her to suffer she is 12 years old She is our little wonderful best dog ever GODs got her heart broken but its the righr thing to do Praying Blessings Healing and comfort for all Pattie

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      Janet 15 months ago

      My Dachshund is 16. I rescued him from a crack house at about 4 months old. He was shut up in a bathtub with a glass door, no food, water dripping, in his on pee and poo. I didn't know if he was gonna live for several weeks. Bottle fed him every 2 hours for almost 3 weeks. I remember when he looked at me and I knew he was going to live. Was supposed to foster but ended up adopting him. For years, he went every where with me in my hoodie hand warmer. Mom called us Kanga and Roo. He has trachea collapse and is so old surgery would most likely kill him. Raw honey has soothed for a while, now we are to raw honey mixed with liquid Benadryl to quiet coughing. I'll be almost ready to make the call then he does a "puppy moment" and my heart breaks. I know it's coming just not sure when and how I'll make it through it.

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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 17 months ago from USA

      Your vet can provide you with advice, but the decision of when to put your dog to sleep is ultimately yours. No vet can tell you what to do. When we had clients we always reminded them that they know their pets best and therefore they can should ultimately make the decision. When the bad days outnumber the good, then it's a sign that that time is coming near. With your dog not acting ill, I hope you get to enjoy many more happy days. Spoil her as much as can and take loads of pictures. My best wishes.

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      Esther 17 months ago

      My jackrussel is 9 years old and was diagnosed with chemodectoma and i was told to put het down. I cant i am not prepared for this and nor is she. It has only been three days after the diagnoses and she has not been ill please help me

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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 20 months ago from USA

      I am so sorry Caroline, aging is never nice to witness, especially when it affects a dog's body and mind. We all wished our dogs could live forever, instead they are there to teach us a valuable lesson: to enjoy life to the fullest as it's all destined to end. Owning two senior dogs myself, I cringe at the thought of having to make one day that decision. Yet, it's the ultimate gift of love we owe to our dogs when life is no longer a source of health, joy and happiness. I send you hugs and wish you strength at this difficult time.

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      Caroline1961 20 months ago

      My Lucy Belle has been diagnosed with Kidney failure, and we have tried to treat her with K/D Science diet, which she gobbled down, this gave us hope. We also started on IV fluids with vitamins, and some other things to help her, again, we had hope. Now, within the last two days after starting treatment, she is apparently suffering from dementia. She has lost her sight, her hearing, and now doesn't seem to know us anymore. She won't let us hold her, or comfort her in any way. She bumps into things, gets stuck behind and in things around the house, and growls and tries to bite us when we try to help. Her mind is gone...and it is sadly apparent, so her quality of life is over as well. We've had to make the decision no one who loves their fur baby wants to make...but it's not about us, it's about her.

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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 3 years ago from USA

      You'e not alone, many dog owners claim it to be the toughest decision of their life. Yet, I must say there are also cases where owners regret not haven put the dog to sleep earlier and then the dog got worse during the night and no vets are on call and the dog suffered and they couldn't get out of their mind those last moments. Death is never nice whether it comes naturally or not, but we seem to feel bad about it regardless. So sorry for your loss.

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      James Packard 3 years ago from Columbia, Missouri

      I put my dog of 10 years to sleep about two years ago, and I'll never forget the hopelessness I felt after she was gone, and there was no way to bring her back. I've always felt euthanasia is wrong - I still do. She couldn't walk on her own anymore because of bad hips and I know it wasn't healthy nor comfortable for her to live like that anymore, but I'll never be okay with the notion that we made the decision to end her life, and scheduled it on a calendar. I just can't come to accept having that kind of power. Very difficult.

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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 3 years ago from USA

      If you were trying to avoid him from living in extreme pain, rest assured, you made the right choice. Many owners who have waited too long, wished they made the decision earlier and spared their dogs from all the pain. It's a really tough decision, as we really don't know how our pets really feel nor we can know how they will feel tomorrow.

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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 3 years ago from USA

      If you were trying to avoid him from living in extreme pain, rest assured, you made the right choice. Many owners who have waited too long, wished they made the decision earlier and spared their dogs from all the pain. It's a really tough decision, as we really don't know how our pets really feels nor we can know how they will feel tomorrow.

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      Jim moriarty 3 years ago

      Thanks a lot. I have been agonizing over whether I put my dog to sleep too soon and you pretty much confirmed that for me, How I will be able to live with myself after murdering my beloved bsby boy I dont know. I only wanted to have him avoid living in extreme pain along with everything else he was dealing with. I am a pile of manure of a human. I only hope he can forgive me for the premature death.

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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 4 years ago from USA

      Unfortunately we cannot reverse aging, we can sometimes make it more bearable, but as you may already know the process is unavoidable. We all will age whether we like it or not and health will deteriorate at a certain point too. You are not giving up on her; rather, you are trying all the options you can to see if you can help her feel better. It's hard to accept but a point may come where even vets run of options. It happened to me last year with my 15 year old cat. Too many problems, her body was calling it quits. She had a good life, but we all would like it to last more. I hope the eye specialist can come up with something for her, best wishes.

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      Zoe 4 years ago

      Going through what all you are now. My beautiful poodle is 16 years old. We have had her since she was a 7 week old pup.

      Poodle was special from day one, such a loving girl with a huge personality. So many things went wrong with her over the years and she beat them all. Pancreatitis, heart murmur, put her hip out aged 14. Watching her diet has helped her pancreatitis, we took a risk on getting her hip put back in, paid off, had a good year with her. Heart has been under control for years on medication.

      Her sight and hearing started to go a few years ago. Now she is totally blind and deaf. To top it all off, aged 15 she got dementia. Vivitonin has helped that. It's stopped her vocalising and pacing all night.

      Now it's one infection after the other. Currently it's her eyes. The vets have said they can not treat them any longer. So she is seeing a specialist for that. It's likely she will need to lose an eye eventually. I can't do that to her at her age.

      I love her so much and would do anything to keep her with us.

      Here's why I am thinking it's time, though: poodle is now sleeping almost all day and night. When she is awake, she's spinning in circles, thumping into things (probably how she wound up with ulcers in her eyes) and getting stuck in corners. Last visit to the vet, heard her heart has sped up again. Also looks like she's starting to get trouble with her leg as it seems to "give out" on her when she tries to sit. She's generally not steady on her feet. Then there's the eye infections. She's had them in both eyes for over a month. She has dry eye and apparently the drops needed for that have made the ulcers worse.

      She's very quiet compared to how she was. She still eats and she'll still have a cuddle, but she doesn't seek us out for them. I don't know if she's actually forgotten us, but she does seem confused and lost. She's still poodle and we love her, but she's a shadow of the poodle she was.

      I love her and I can't stop feeling like I'm giving up on her, but I know her chances are getting worse and worse. It does not look like she is beating her eye infection, for a start.

      She's off to the vets early next week. I will talk to them about how long she has left and quality of life. I think I know deep down I will not be bringing her home that night. Still hoping for a miracle.

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      Lisa 4 years ago from WA

      Luckily, I've only had to go through this once and, at the time, I was too young to actually make the decision. When I was in 8th or 9th grade, my family's chihuahua, Cookie, suddenly began acting abnormally (I don't remember the details now). I held her in my arms while we begged my dad to take her somewhere to get checked out and as we drove to the emergency vet. Almost immediately, we were told that it would be best to let her go, which my dad agreed to. It's a decision he regrets even today.

      At the time, my family wasn't doing too well financially. He didn't realize until later that the vet didn't really provide any alternatives, other than to wait and see if she survives the night or to just let her go. He chose the latter, figuring to save her the pain since there didn't seem to be anything else we could do but now my dad feels like he should have waited and gotten a second opinion.

      Whatever the case may be, it was a tough decision and hard to go through. I think it's great that people have come here to share their stories and find some solace. If there's anything I took away from my own experience, it's that, like you say in your article, you should really treasure every day with your dog.

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      Dean 4 years ago

      Well this is the hardest decision for any owner and their family to make. We have a beautiful great dane who is 6 in August. 2 weeks ago we found a large lump in her neck that seemed to appear over night. Samples were taken by the vet, 3 of them, and medication was prescribed. None of which worked and our baby girl looked sad as to which she is normal a bubbly energetic bundle of joy. She was referred to the hospital were a biopsy of the lump was taken and the cavity was drained. A strong pain killer and anti-biotics were prescribed (Friday) again over the weekend so help with the pain and attempt to clear her body up. By the Monday Honey had deteriorated majorly, unable to walk around without help of picking up her back legs, barely eating, drinking lots of water when told to, no tail wagging and struggling to stand up. We received the results of the biopsy saying it was not cancer but the cause of bacteria is unknown.We have now got her on different anti biotics and that will be 4 days of the new meds. To date Honey is falling over when bending to pee in the garden, she cannot climb on to the sofa where she lies without having to have her bum lifted. She trembles and kicks in her sleep, her lungs are filling up with fluid, she pants drastically and all through this time shes had a temperature of 103.5+. Compared to the way she jumped in beds, couches, the back garden wall, barking when the door bell rang, greeting people at the door as they entered and constantly eating and wanting the toilet and drinking 24/7... My dog has no life left in her and her puppy dog eyes break my heart at the best of times but it's like life is a struggle at the moment for her and I cannot bare to see her suffer. The only thing putting me off is that the lump was not cancerous and if its an infection then why can't the vet prescribe me with medicine that actually works! I don't want to put my dog to sleep with having a thought of one medicine could have saved her and treated whatever she had wrong. Xrays of her chest and mouth came back clear so really don't understand what this could be. She is sick of the site of us holding her jaws open to squirt her tablets down a liquid form and has now started vomiting them up today.

      Only wish I had a clearer answer and looks like tomorrow shall be the day if we cannot be told she will get better I'll have to let her go :(

      This dog was on my wishlist as I was diagnosed with cancer twice and shes been there from beginning to end of my treatment and beating cancer and yet at 5 years old she is having a really bad time with infection that somehow cant be treated!

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      Darin Finch 5 years ago

      For the most part, I think my 14-year old black lab, Jack, is still a happy dog. On the surface that should mean that it isn't time to consider putting him down. However, I'm really struggling with this topic.

      A synopsis of his situation: can't do stairs (I built him a handicapped ramp so he can go outside); very little range of motion in his back legs due to massive arthritis; his back right leg bows out when he walks (this is brand new so it hasn't been diagnosed by a vet); bad allergies cause him to lick and bite at himself (we can usually manage this with medication); mostly deaf and somewhat blind. That's all bad, but his spirits are generally good. He likes to go for short walks and to be around people. He'll play with a ball for a few minutes and is good with our kids.

      Here's the problem. Due to nerve damage, the vet says that Jack doesn't know when he is defecating. He can't feel it. So, Jack is pooping in the house around 5 days a week, even though we are letting him outside more than twice as often as we used to.

      Here's my dilemma. If I put him down, I feel like I am being irresponsible to the dog because he is still a pretty happy dog. If I continue the way things are, am I being irresponsible to my family? The constant defecating in the house has to be causing an unclean situation. Ultimately, the defecation situation is not going to get better.

      This is our first family dog, so I would appreciate any feedback you experienced owners can provide.

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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 5 years ago from USA

      It's never easy, no matter how many dogs you have and how many times you have gone through it. All you can do is cherish the good memories, take care.

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      Ali 5 years ago

      My heart goes out to all of you. We are about to put our 12 yr old Airedale Murphy to sleep. My heart is so broken right now. I've had awhile to prepare for this but it has not made it any easier. My husband and I do not have any 2 legged kids so our 4 legged babies are truly our babies. I cannot stop crying even though in my heart I know it's for the best!

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      yessi 5 years ago

      Thank you this helped me a lot I had to put my dog to sleep and it really hurt me to let him go I was there with him till the last minute n saw how his head went down and heard him cry. I had him since I was 5 years old and now I'm 23 he was such a good dog who loved my kids n loved to sing I'm gonna miss him so much but now he is in a better place and not feeling any type of pain

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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 6 years ago from USA

      I am happy this place is helping you, feel free to post at any time, kind regards.

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      flysmummy 6 years ago

      we found out from the vets yesterday,that the tumor is not in the neck of the bladder,which is good in its own way,because this means he can still go to the toilet without any problems,hopefully he will start hes new tablets today to help him along we have to see the vets today about these,weve had our morning walk which he still loves,and drifts of into his own little world and just wonders of into a huge field,all i can do is take each day as it comes,hes still jumping on the bed at night for a cuddle and a sleep and is still loving basking in the garden in the sun,im so glad ive found your page,it makes me feel like im not alone during these times x

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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 6 years ago from USA

      Sorry to hear that, whether it happens during a dog's senior years or during youth, the thought of losing our canine companions is always devastating.

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      flysmummy 6 years ago

      we have just found out my beloved fly of 13 yrs has bladder cancer,this come as a total shock for us all,and even tho hes still with us,i find myself crying because i really dont no how long he has with us,i for one will not see my boy suffer in pain,when the time comes i no in my heart we will have fought until the bitter end,he will be put to sleep at home,he really isnt fond of the vets,and i wont have him stressed out,im trying to stay brave but it really hurts knowing my boy could be gone in a matter of weeks or months,i keep telling myself 13 is a good age for a dog,hes actually older than my father in law in doggy years,but this still doesnt take away the pain im feeling right now,at the moment all his vital organs are working fine,so for that i am thankful,he wont stop eating,weve changed his diet to a low card high protien diet no salt and no sugar,weve found out this feeds the tumor,i wont put him through chemo,the storys ive heard about them damaging his vital organs are enuf to put me of,so for us they way forward is a health diet plenty of exercise,love and cuddles,im trying to be positive and im usually fine until i look into his eyes,but for now all i can do is enjoy every moment with him like it could be our last ;-[

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      sarah 6 years ago

      just called emergency vet my lola was fine until this week or at least i thought which shows she is a trooper. She has lost weight rapidly this week and as she was eating her food as normal i thought she had worms the pet shop told me it would take three days but friday she stopped eating, i've checked on her this morning and she is bleeding and looking so sorry for herself, never in 9 years has she looked at me like that, i know she wants to go!!

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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 6 years ago from USA

      heartbroken, sorry to hear about your loss.

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      heartbroken 6 years ago

      Today I lost my dog Rosie. She was a black lab cocker mix. She died of bone cancer. She was 11 years and 4 months old. The vet came to the house and that was very comforting to me. Rosie died very peacefully with us around her. She had familiar smells and heard our voices before she died. I hurt so bad, but I also know that Rosie is at peace now.

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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 6 years ago from USA

      I find that seeing the vet first may help dog owners a lot. While many vets would not give an opinion on such a delicate choice, they can offer treatments to make life a bit more bearable or they may simply make it clear there is not much left to do. When working for vets I saw many dog owners debating what to do come out the appointment with a clearer idea; they either scheduled the appointment to put the dog down or took home some meds in hopes of buying a bit more time..best wishes, here is a helpful hub:

      https://pethelpful.com/dogs/How-to-Determine-a-Dog...

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      RoughneckRoxanne 6 years ago

      I'm taking my 10 year old Standard Poodle Roxanne to the Vet Tuesday when we have the $.the breed's life expectantcy is12 n I didn't know until now how bad she had gotten bcuz I left her n the care of my Dad bcuz I had to move to a place where "no dogs allowed". Everytime I visit her she just lies around, gets out of breath so easily bcuz she's very overweight (gained after spaying). I found out she's been seizing in her sleep (possibly epilepsy), vomiting occasionally, she had an abscess on her back for yrs that burst last week n is still oozing, n now her tail is very swollen, seems infected which I discovered when I visited and bathed her 2day. You can tell she's in pain. I feel awful. If I had been able To take her w me she wouldve been n good care. I love her so much n regret not being able to love her the way I used to since I had my daughter 2 yrs ago. All I want is 4 her not to be in pain. She's aging so fast. Is it time to let her go?

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      Tracie 6 years ago

      To lilash84: SHAME ON YOU!!!! Do you not realize that all the people here are grieving the loss of their pets? This hubpage here is to help people come to terms with having to put one of their pets down! And, here you come, trying to scam them out of money during these difficult times! Don't you have respect for anyone?!?!

      To everyone on here who has had to make that extremely hard decision, I feel your pain. I'm so sorry that you all have had to go through this. As responsible pet owners, unfortunately, that's something that we might all have to face at one time or another :( I hope all of your babies are playing and having a ball while waiting for you at the Rainbow Bridge!

      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...

      This one is for all the rescue dogs and animal rescuers!

      Unlike most days at Rainbow Bridge, this day dawned cold and gray, damp as a swamp and as dismal as could be imagined. All of the recent arrivals had no idea what to think, as they had never experienced a day like this before.

      But the animals who had been waiting for their beloved people knew exactly what was going on and started to gather at the pathway leading to The Bridge to watch.

      It wasn't long before an elderly animal came into view, head hung low and tail dragging. The other animals, the ones who had been there for a while, knew what his story was right away, for they had seen this happen far too often.

      He approached slowly, obviously in great emotional pain, but with no sign of injury or illness. Unlike all of the other animals waiting at The Bridge, this animal had not been restored to youth and made healthy and vigorous again.

      As he walked toward The Bridge, he watched all of the other animals watching him. He knew he was out of place here and the sooner he could cross over, the happier he would be. But, alas, as he approached The Bridge, his way was barred by the appearance of an Angel who apologized, but told him that he would not be able to pass. Only those animals who were with their people could pass over Rainbow Bridge.

      With no place else to turn to, the elderly animal turned towards the fields before The Bridge and saw a group of other animals like himself, also elderly and infirm. They weren't playing, but rather simply lying on the green grass, forlornly staring out at the pathway leading to The Bridge. And so, he took his place among them, watching the pathway and waiting.

      One of the newest arrivals at The Bridge didn't understand what he had just witnessed and asked one of the animals that had been there for awhile to explain it to him.

      "You see, that poor animal was a rescue. He was turned in to rescue just as you see him now, an older animal with his fur graying and his eyes clouding. He never made it out of rescue and passed on with only the love of his rescuer to comfort him as he left his earthly existence. Because he had no family to give his love to, he has no one to escort him across The Bridge."

      The first animal thought about this for a minute and then asked, "So what will happen now?" As he was about to receive his answer, the clouds suddenly parted and the gloom lifted. Approaching The Bridge could be seen a single person, and among the older animals, a whole group was suddenly bathed in a golden light and they were all young and healthy again, just as they were in the prime of life.

      "Watch, and see," said the second animal. A second group of animals from those waiting came to the pathway and bowed low as the person neared. At each bowed head, the person offered a pat on the head or a scratch behind the ears. The newly restored animals fell into line and followed her towards The Bridge. They all crossed The Bridge together.

      "What happened?"

      "That was a rescuer. The animals you saw bowing in respect were those who found new homes because of her work. They will cross when their new families arrive. Those you saw restored were those who never found homes. When a rescuer arrives, they are allowed to perform one, final act of rescue. They are allowed to escort those poor animals that they couldn't place on earth across The Rainbow Bridge."

      "I think I like rescuers", said the first animal.

      "So does GOD", was the reply.

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      heartbroken 6 years ago

      To alexadry: Thank you so much for your comments and prayers. It is appreciated. I know I have to let go of her, but she will be in my heart forever.

    • alexadry profile image
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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 6 years ago from USA

      I am terribly sorry to hear that...bone cancer is devastating, this is the toughest decision, I really cannot make it for you, but I can provide you with a guide on quality of life:

      https://pethelpful.com/dogs/How-to-Determine-a-Dog...

      A vet visit at times may help owners make better decisions as they may offer advice on how to make life better or they may give a hint that time has come and a final appointment may be made. Keeping you and in my thoughts are prayers, for at least giving you strength for this tough time.

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      heart broken 6 years ago

      My dog is dying of bone cancer. She does still eat and drink, but can no longer walk. I use infant diapers on her when I am at work. I am broken hearted and I don't know what to do. She still barks when my husband comes home and wants to be around us. She is a black lab/cocker mix. My husband is more ready than I am to put her down. Help!

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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 6 years ago from USA

      She should definitively see the vet. With kidney problems you will see increased drinking and urine that appears diluted. However, older female dogs may also suffer from incontinence which can be easily treated with phenopropanolamine. Also, it could a urinary tract infection which will clear with antibiotics. There is hope this something treatable or at least manageable. best wishes!

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      gerryberry66 6 years ago

      I want to know if my dogs kidneys are going? She will lay there and go to bathroom right there on her bed and not even get up. She was good for all her years until this year. She is 12 years old. Now she is messing in the house all the time. She will come in to the livingroom and pee in front of me. Like she can't hold it? I just don't know if that is a sign of getting old?

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      Becky 6 years ago

      Our dog, Bear, will be 19 years old on July 4th. He still eats and drinks good, goes to the bathroom and still walks, but lately he has slowed down alot. He is now totally blind and deaf. It breaks my heart to see him running into furniture and walls. My husband let him out the other night to potty. Kept waiting for him to come to the door but he never did. He had wandered down the street and had fallen into a ditch and couldn't get out. When he's not asleep he paces in the house, runs into furniture and gets stuck in corners or behind furniture. He has started tilting his head to the left and also holds his tail that way. He hasn't wagged his tail in a long time. I don't know what to do. He has just starting crying a little bit when he lays down. I know it's probably time but like all of you, he is a major part of our family. I don't know if I can put him to sleep. I keep praying that he will just go to sleep and not wake up.

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      Jim 6 years ago

      I lost my golden retriever to an agressive heart tumor, cancer last night. I was thinking about putting having him put to sleep when suddenly, he went into cardiac arrest. He was only 5 years old. I am so heartbroken

      and miss my Aslan so much.much.

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      Eli 6 years ago

      my two dogs sprinkles and vakita(mother daughter) just ate rat poison maybe last week, we didnt know at first until sprinles(mom) started showing signs that she was sick...we took them to the vet two days ago and the vet said sprinkles had eaten rat poison but vakita wuz okay so we thought she might just be depressed about her mom since dogs especially younger dogs can be sentimental...vakita died yesterday morning 1/12/2012...her mom is still alive but she is in bad condition and i think her lungs might still be filling up with blood little by little because her breathes seem to be getting smaller...sprinkles is next to me right now and its so hard seeing my dog like this because in her eyes i can see she is in pain and knows something is happening but she doesnt want to leave yet because she tries so hard to walk at times but cant and she still tries to wag her tail when she sees us...there is a greater chance she will die than survive even with the vitamin k shots the vet gave her...i dont know if i should tell my sister( by the way my sister was alot more in love with these dogs than i was) we should put her down or just let her last day be laying down in my sisters room( which was a privelage in both my dogs eyes since my parents dont allow them inside but for now they are) where she knows were here with her and let her die in her sleep?...

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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 6 years ago from USA

      Sausha's Mommy this article may be helpful:

      https://pethelpful.com/dogs/How-to-Determine-a-Dog...

      Kim, have your dog see the vet, the wobbling may be due to vestibular disease, there are medications for arthritis, your vet can be the best person to consult and determine if there are ways to help your dog out.

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      Kim 6 years ago

      My dogs in the proccess of dying she has arthritis,wobbles when walks,whimpers. Im a kid i dont wanna put my dog to sleep:/

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      Sausha's Mommy 6 years ago

      I have a 13 yr old chihuahua named Sausha. She was diagnosed a few years ago with a collapsed trachea, but has been in otherwise good health. We found out last year she had a heart murmur which caused fluids to drain into her lungs. She was on water pills, to drain the fluid, but it seems as of late, that it isnt working. Last week on my day off, I took my lab and Sausha for a run in the park, and it seems she has gotten worse ever since. She doesnt want to come out of bed, she is sleeping a lot more, and tonight she bit me 2 times trying to pick her up to make her more comfy, one of those times drawing blood. I have wrapped her in my tshirt and a little blanket, and she fell asleep on the couch. I am reading this, because I know she is not herself. every movement causes her pain. I should end the suffering. I would force myself to be there with her until the end, because she is my baby, but it would be so hard. I am sitting here typing this, crying my eyes out, because ive known this little dog for 7 years, and just a few months ago, the long standing joke was she doesnt know shes old. she is the last of her litter. all her brothers and sisters have been dead for over 2 years, and i know she has had a good life.... how do I get past this? When do I know? she still likes cheeseburgers, but she doesnt want to get out of bed to eat it... How do I know she isnt just milking this? But I do know she isnt. she doesnt want to go for walks, she doesnt want to go for a ride. She doesnt want to go to the park. She just isnt herself.... this is so hard....

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      rose 6 years ago

      I save my girl skyla from being put to sleep at age 6. a big black "wolf" i called her. I had her for several years, she was an old girl. the one no one wanted. She saved my life when i had a seizure, in her own way she knew it was coming. I never forget the day i had to put her to sleep. She wasn't eating much those days, she wasnt active either. she was in advanced stage cancer. I sat on the floor with her, she laid in my lap with her eyes barely open and i talked to her telling her how much i loved her and thanked her for saving me and being a big part of my life. I had her head in my arms when she left to rainbow bridge. She was my first dog but not my last. Saying goodbye to her was the hardest thing i ever had to do.

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      Athena 6 years ago

      My dog had to be put down back in September of this year-over Labor Day weekend. She was acting weird so we took her to the animal hospital. We waited for a long time to find out she had cancer and pancreatitis and the doctor said we could try to treat her or we could put her to sleep. I didn't want to put her through all that because she was in pain already so we had to put her down. That was the hardest thing I've ever had to do and I miss her something awful. :( I barely got through Christmas and Thanksgiving. I wish I could have taken her pain away and I've been totally numb since then. I can't go a day without crying. Spooky, wherever you are, I miss you. I know you would not want me to be sad but I can't help it. Rest in peace and know that I'll never forget you.

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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 6 years ago from USA

      Myra, there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. As you can see on mu hub it is full of people mourning just as you. Your husband very likely is also in pain, but men often have a different way to cope with it. My friend's brother one day had a sick hunting dog and had to shoot it, to put it out of his misery (old town in Italy) and he came from shooting it and acted totally normal. I told my friend ''what's up with him? he just shot his dog, a dog he loved and spent every day with!, doesn't he feel sad at all''. My friends knew her brother very well said '' Oh, he sure is very sad, but he just doesn't show it''. Mourning takes time, and people cope with it differently. The fact your hubby thinks of the nice life you both gave him, is a way to better cope with it. Give it some time, and try to cherish the good times, time eventually heals that gap your dog left in your life.

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      Myra Johnson 6 years ago

      My husband and I had to put out beloved Miles(American bulldog) to sleep on dec 16. He was 11 and left behind a brother/best buddy(pommeranian) and 2 sisters(cats). We miss him, I miss him. When I'm not working, I long for his presence. The sad part is that he may no longer in pain, but mine just started. My house is very quiet, and dull without him. How do you get over someone whose practically been like your children? I'm so emotionally drained. Thank you for listening. My husband hates to see me like this, is it possible he does not understand my sorrow? My pAin? He always tells me....he had a good life, we gave him the best 11 years. Get over it. Why doesn't he mourn him like I do? Am I wrong to be feeling this way? Am I going crazy? Need your advice pls.

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      Hudson1998 6 years ago

      Our English Bulldog Hudson was just put to sleep on 12/23/2011 at 5:00 pm. He was diagnosed with central vestibular disorder. He was given a sedative containing 25 mg of acepromozine that caused an adverse reaction. He was unable to eat and was experiencing hypotension. He lived for 14 years and we were lucky enough to share 11 of those years with him. This is the first time in my life that I have been faced with this difficult decision. I have been second guessing my decision all night. He may have gotten better, but it's also possible that he may have had to endure much more suffering. I know that we loved and cared for him every single day. I was there when he passed. I got to hold him and comfort him as the shot took affect. This is a difficult decision for everyone. The one thing I have been able to gather is that you must make your decision based on every piece of information you can gather, but the most important thing is to think about the dog's well-being. I am grateful for every moment I spent with him and consider myself lucky for having been with him through all these years.

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      R.P. 6 years ago

      Little Tyson is a 15 year old mini-pinscher. One month ago, he was diagnosed with an enlarged heart. He also has all the symptoms of degenerative heart failure. The vet drained over a litre of fluid from his body several weeks ago. He is now on water pills, which have significantly helped eleviate some of the fluid build up. He is unable to walk, or even stand up. When I try to pick him up, he is snappy. Obviously due to discomfort or pain. For the past three weeks, he has been bed-ridden. He pees and poos while lying down on a puppy pad. When he whines, I know he has done his business, and I immediaely change the pad. He will go through approximately 8 pads a day, which includes the wee hours of the morning. I am writing this post at 3:30 am local time, knowing a puppy pad change is soon due. He still has a decent apetite, and somewhat enjoys the affection I give him. Although there are times when I see him staring blankly into space. He is often restless, and in obvious discomfort. I set up an appointment with the vet a week ago to have him put to sleep. 30 mins prior to the apppintment, and after hours of whining, the little guy had fallen asleep peacefully. I cancelled the appointment. The only thing holding me back now is the guilt. I honestly did not expect the decision to be this difficult. I hope I find the wisdom to make the right decision, at the right time. Thank you all for posting. It has eased a bit of the struggle and sadness I feel.

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      MyGirlJinx 6 years ago from Seaside, CA

      A PET'S TEN COMMANDMENTS

      1. My life is likely to last 10-15 years. Any separation from you is likely to be painful.

      2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.

      3. Place your trust in me. It is crucial for my well-being.

      4. Don't be angry with me for long and don't lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainment, but I have only you.

      5. Talk to me. Even if I don't understand your words, I do understand your voice when speaking to me.

      6. Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget it.

      7. Before you hit me, before you strike me, remember that I could hurt you, and yet, I choose not to bite you.

      8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I'm not getting the right food, I have been in the sun too long, or my heart might be getting old or weak.

      9. Please take care of me when I grow old. You too, will grow old.

      10. On the ultimate difficult journey, go with me please. Never say you can't bear to watch. Don't make me face this alone. Everything is easier for me if you are there, because I love you so.

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      MyGirlJinx 6 years ago from Seaside, CA

      LisaU - Thank you very much for all your support.

      That was the hardest thing I ever had to do. I held her in my arms like a baby when she took her last breath I will cherrish that memory knowing I did everything I could for her and stayed by her side till the very end.

      Thank you very much,

      Curtis

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      LisaU 6 years ago

      My Girl Jinx:

      My heart goes out to you. Rest easy in knowing that you made the right decision for your beloved companion. May the beautiful memories you made with her bring you comfort. And yes, one day you will join her when your time comes. Be blessed. RIP My Girl Jinx.

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      MyGirlJinx 6 years ago from Seaside, CA

      My beautiful Boxer Jinx took a turn for the worst this morning and she is now resting with the angels. I know she is no longer in pain and is running and jumping like a puppy again waiting for me to join her when my time comes.

      Alexadry - I have to say thank you for having this site up and all your support and advice. I know the pain will go away one day but today my heart is crushed. :(

      R.I.P. My Girl Jinx

      The best friend anyone could have.

      April 9th 2000 - Dec. 19th 2011 7:15am

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      DanaDuke 6 years ago

      out the window, stopped following people, stopped investigating, etc.

      SIGNIFICANT LOSS OF APPETITE

      Over 1 month, he became pickier and pickier, and ate less and less

      ADDED HEALTH ISSUES

      (due mainly to lethargy and slow starvation)

      Constipation, diarrhea, lack of motivation to get up and go to the bathroom

      LETHARGY/ LOSS OF ENERGY

      In the last few days, he would only get up from his bed to go to the bathroom 2 times a day, and that is when we coerced him a lot. He still vied for human affection at this point, though.

      AGGRESSION

      My dog showed aggression to actions, environments, and situations in which he had never shown aggression before. In summary, he personality was changing as he naturally became more wounded, defensive, and ready to die.

      It was difficult for us to watch him be put to sleep. The initial anesthetic was injected incorrectly, and his first feeling -of what what supposed to be painless- was pain. He stood up and started loudly whining and whimpering, and I couldn't take that he was experiencing more pain. He slowly fell asleep, but in all honesty, I could see that he was scared and confused as he was being forced asleep.

      We had a few minutes with him before they injected the serum that would actually stop his heart.

      I watched his breathing go in and out, and all I remember thinking was what what a beautiful thing he is.

      I know this isn't everyone's cup of tea (and it doesn't need to be), but most would probably find comfort in the fact that you will be reunited with your pet in the afterlife. I have a very close friend who is psychic, and they give all of their readings for free, whenever someone asks for one. Without any prior information aside from a name, the readings are almost always accurate. Humans, plants, and animals all have auras, and animals and humans have spirits.

      Your dog is now somewhere where he or she is free of pain, free of old age, and free of death, and they are at peace. Believe that one day you will see them again.

      As everyone else on here, I was lucky to have such a great dog. God bless everyone, and best of luck in getting through these tough decisions with your loved ones :(

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      DanaDuke 6 years ago

      Justme, to me, it sounds like your dog has gone beyond losing its quality of life :( I know it is very hard to see that putting you dog to sleep is the correct and "humane" thing to do, but in your case, it seems your dog may be ready to go. Many times in your story, you mention things that you noticed she never did before--mainly a marked lack of energy, aside from aggression--these two things, to me, were also prevalent in my dog before I decided it was time to send him to a better place :( I am very sorry for what your family and your dog is going through, and I'm also sorry for all of the loving pet owners who are going through the same things as well. Your pet had a great and lucky life--luckier than many others out there.

      I found this article the night after I put my dog to sleep, which was this past saturday, December 10 2011. Even after I had convinced myself that it was his time, I still felt guilty afterwards. I keep asking myself if we did the right thing; did I do the right thing?? What if my baby wanted to live longer, what if we had given him just one more day?....but as my father said "it's only going to get worse for him".

      The thing is, as an owner, there will never be a "right time" to put our pets to sleep. In order to do so, we need to view their situation through their eyes. Even humans--like an earlier poster has said--would be ready to leave in certain prolonged, painful situations in which they know they will not get better (i.e. cancer, disease, etc)

      Days before my dog's death, images of the horrible things that people did to animals on Animal Planet's "Animal Cops" came into my mind. It was a midst me and my other family members convincing my parents that it was a good time to put him to rest.

      In one episode, I saw a dog that had half of its face burned off, and had just been tied up and left in the back yard to heal on its own. It was a horrifying sight, and perhaps even more horrifying to comprehend the dog with it's tail wagging and face grinning as the animal police came to rescue it!! It acted as if it felt now pain, when indeed it had to have been hurting beyond what I could fathom. Another instance included the police raiding a fresh dog fight. They caught up with the dogs who were covered in fresh blood and wounds. Again, no sign of pain or unhappiness. I told these stories to my dad in order to convince him that Duke is most likely suffering much more than we think. My sister, who was a vet assistant once, also knows that dogs cannot easily communicate with us or show pain like humans do. They are a different species, and that's that. Like many other owners, I grew very close to my baby, and at times became blinded from reality in terms of what is best for him.

      I remember when my parents took us to pick up our basset (unfortunately, it was at a medium-sized breeder, which I was then unaware of) I was 12 years old, and he was the cutest thing I'd ever seen. I almost didn't think it was real. We had begged our parents to buy us a dog, and they finally gave in. We decided to give him the most hound-sounding name in the world: Duke. My mom thought it was ridiculous, and it was.

      While still young, Duke's front legs began to warp as he grew. They began to bow outward from all of the physical activity he was doing. So, my parents went to university specialists and had both front legs operated on. One leg grew properly, the other ended up bowed still. I watched the same operation on another basset years later (on tv), and it turns out the university had done it very incorrectly. Didn't matter to Duke though, he had no idea he was a "gimp" as my siblings called it. He still had three good legs and would use his bad leg for some support.

      I grew very close to my dog in the last four years. Ironically, it was the point my life during which I was away at college most of the time. For some reason, my older siblings never got very close with him.

      While my parents fed him, gave regular vet checks, and my dad interacted with him a good amount in the warmer seasons, he got nowhere near the attention he deserved and needed. He got to roam around our large back yard on a ridiculously long lead in the summer, but in the winter he was alone in the garage virtually all day. He rarely got baths when needed, and never had his ears cleaned (which is essential for bassets!). He also was never taken on walks or given the long belly and ear rubs that I knew he loved.

      In college, I would always sneak him onto the couch in the basement, and stay there all night with him watching tv. I always took him to the parks when I came home, and I discovered how much he loved car rides and just going out in general (what dog wouldn't). I noticed that he entered his geriatric stage about 2 years ago, but he still had a ton of personality and energy in him.

      I graduated college this past May, and after many tries of getting Duke to come live with me full-time, I finally succeeded.

      It was odd. After graduating and moving, I thought of Dukers all the time. He was getting old, I missed him, and I wanted to have the "dog's life" that he had never experienced at home. He deserved to! I called my parents and told them I was coming home that weekend, and I had told myself that I could not be happy here if I wasn't with Duke. I cried and argued until my parents let me take him back with me.

      He loved the 6 hour ride back. He loves any care rides, and starts to whine and wimper when he see his harness or leash, because going to the park means taking a car ride to get there!

      I got him a HUGE brand new dog bed (the other was so dirty and smelly I threw it out, it was also too small). Instead of curling up to sleep now, he splayed out like a man on a temperpedic-comfortable at last!!

      At 10 years old, Duke was in perfect health for his age.

      I had expected to have him for at least a couple more years, but I ended up only having him for 2 months.

      I took him to the beach for the first time in his life, and I'm pretty sure he had found his new home.

      For a full month before his diagnosis, Duke got to run leash-free at the beaches and running trails here, and I could have sworn that he was still a puppy with all of his newfound energy. He also had a new playmate for when no one was in the house--my roommates dog, which he loved and followed around.

      I cleaned his ears all the time (he loved it, and would lie still forever, wanting me to keep cleaning them), took him on walks, gave him hour-long belly rubs, carried him uptairs and let him sleep on my bed, etc.

      All of a sudden I heard him yelping while in the back yard. I went out and saw him limping on his back leg--I assumed it was a pull just for his joints getting older, but after a few days of no walking, I took him to the hospital.

      I cried for a long time when the doctor told me that he had bone cancer, and that it was a very painful disease with no good outlook.

      While it was only in Duke's leg at that time, amputation was not an option because of his front-bowed leg. It wouldn't be able to adapt to the added weight for long. Radiation could be time, but very little, and he was too old to be put through radiation anyways. Both vets I went to said it was best to make him comfortable until he starts to show signs of real discomfort.

      Because it happened over the period of a month, I wasn't really aware of all the changes in Duke until I examined them after his death. I would first like to mark the changes in his lifestyle/personality, so that maybe it can help other pet owners:

      MARKED CHANGES:

      DECREASE IN QUALITY OF LIFE:

      Duke was an active and outdoor dog. Because of the cancer in his back leg--and his already bent front leg--he could no longer get around enough to go on the walks he loved, he also could no longer get up on to put his head out the window or look out the window. He could still bunny-hop to get around the yard, etc, but going on walks was no longer okay for his bad front leg.

      He was an active older dog who all of sudden couldn't be active or do the things he loved, and after a while he stopped trying to put his head

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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 6 years ago from USA

      Justme, gosh, this is really tough. I really tried hard to imagine myself in your situation and the more I thought, the more I realized that very likely I would be doing the same thing you are, ie asking around! I am not the best person to ask, as I am sure I would be debating this as much as you are.

      The way you portray her, missing teeth, growling, blind, and a with a possible tumor, sounds like she is very far from being a healthy dog and is indeed living miserably. But then you claim she wags her tail, and even wants to chase cats, and these ups and downs are what I am sure is making your decision so tough.

      What to say? What I would do perhaps is see the vet. Perhaps a vet visit may help you get a clearer picture of her health status. Many of our clients made their decisions this way and I think I would follow their lead. The vet was able to help figure out if there was anything there to make life better or if there was little or no hope. Of course, the vet could not make the decision for them, but he could at least give a professional outlook. After seeing the vet, many clients came out with a clearer picture and often a decision; they therefore, either scheduled the euthanasia appointment that same day, or they went home with their dogs for a few more days or weeks.

      If you are the type of person that needs guidance, I would see the vet. If right now, you feel that if you would take her in for a euthanasia appointment you would come out bombarded by 'what if's'' you may feel better having the vet imply she is in poor health and there in little that can be done to make life better. This would make the choice much easier. I hope this helps you, I know how tough it is, sending a virtual hug in these tough times..

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      JustMe 6 years ago

      I need help in deciding to let my girl go or not. She is 12 years old this month and deteriorating. Both of her eyes have a film on them; left worse than right, she lays around all day and never plays anymore, she bites at me when I try to wash and groom her (never did that before), and she rarely gets excited and barks as much as she used to. She has what feels like a tumor on her belly, and a lot of her teeth have fallen out. Last night when I bathed her, she tried to bite the scissors as I was trying to cut something off her fur, and I noticed a bottom tooth bleeding afterward. Her two front top teeth are gone! She won't let me groom her face at all and I barely got her body shaved at her last grooming. I feel she is living a miserable life.

      We got her a couple months after her birth. My niece kept bragging about how adorable some puppies were that she had seen, and she knew we were looking for a small dog (because I would never have a large dog around my children). I met with the person selling the pups and was appalled at what I saw. My niece failed to mention she had been drinking quite a bit when she saw the pups. This puppy was the ugliest thing I'd ever seen. I told the lady "no thank you," and then my 8-year-old son began the begging process. So, I paid the lady 50 bucks for the ugly thing and left.

      When I got home, I stuffed her under my sweatshirt, went in the house, and then pulled her out for my husband to see. I was cracking up...all he could say is "WTF is that!?" I told him it was his new dog, thanks to his son for begging. She was so tiny, being a mixture of Chihuahua and Schnauzer. She was a brindle color with long hairs jutting out sparsely on top of her fur…and later the fur under her ears stuck out, reminding me of an Ewok or a Gremlin!! Lol Man was she funky looking.

      Her previous owner clearly did not care for her very well. It took hours to de-flea her, groom her, and put her "accessories" on. All of a sudden she was adorable (as in, "so ugly she's cute" kind of way). I took her outside to begin potty training and the grass was taller than she was...but she was so funny - trying to pounce around the grass and bark her tiny bark at the neighbors like she was big and bad. She was so cute. We decided to call her Pouncer...

      She was trained in a crate for a few months and did wonderfully. She was soon sleeping in bed with me and my 3-year-old son (and of course the hubby). She loved to grab a sock and play tug of war...that was her thing. The kids ran around and played with her for hours every single day!! She also liked to sneak the kids’ food…and one day she ended up severely sick. She was hospitalized (for a mere 1500 bucks for a night and day…unbelievable) and was diagnosed with what has been referred to as “garbage gut;” i.e., pancreatitis and gastroenteritis. Our vet took over the next business day and kept her overnight (for only 300 bucks). There went our vacation! Lol Turns out she was so worth every penny…

      We then had our third son. Pouncer was really good with him as a newborn, but I didn’t really let her near him too much, just let her sniff him every once in a while. I love my dog, but I do not like any kind of animal around my babies. We decided to section off the living room for the baby to keep Pouncer away from him…again, I just don’t like animals near my babes; I don’t trust them because after all, they are animals. With the sectioning off, the bigger kids still had plenty of room to play with her, and the baby had his own space, too. As he grew older, understood more, and was verbal, we no longer needed what we had termed "lockdown," and Pouncer and my third son got along fine. He knew not to hurt her and learned how to play with her so things were great!

      We later took in my brother's dog (he had concerns about how the dog was being treated by a roommate while he was at work). His name is Moe and he's poodle/Bichon Frise, so says our vet. He became Pouncer's new best friend. Pouncer still played with the kids at this point.

      We eventually moved to a new house (the one we are in now; over four years ago). Both dogs loved our closed in lanai so much that I decided to let them "live" there. Again, Pouncer remained the same, playing with the kids on the lanai and loving life, going for walks, running off, etc.

      About two years ago I noticed her left eye getting whitish looking. I knew she was beginning to go blind. As noted above, she began to deteriorate and has continued to do so in the last two years. She quit playing with the kids and even growled and snapped at our third son. She was quite partial to my second son. I guess it was because he was my most rambunctious son and played with her non-stop...he also laid around with her the most while watching cartoons, so Pouncer trusted mostly myself and my second son. So when my third son would rough house with my second son, she would try to attack him! We dealt with that by keeping him away from her…he wasn’t very interested in her anyway. My second son is about to be 15 now, and he doesn’t come out to see her as much, other than to walk her and give her food/water.

      So now she pretty much just lays around the lanai with her buddy, Moe, and does nothing. No playing, growls at me now at bath time, and like I said, she tries to bite me at bath time. I just feel like she's living in misery here on the lanai. She still gets up and wags her tail when we come out to see her, she still barks if she hears anything in the woods behind us, and if we don't have a leash on her she will still take off after a cat, but other than that, she pretty much does nothing else. I often wonder if leaving her out here on the lanai has separated her from the rest of the family and she has changed. I really don't know, but I would greatly appreciate any input as to whether it is time to let her go and keep our wonderful memories of her, or if I should force her to stay in the house and see if she "comes back." We do have another new baby boy who is almost 2 now, but we already have a "lockdown" so it is safe for baby and my pup. I tried to bring her back in a couple of months ago but she would just run to the back door almost begging to be on the lanai...

      I apologize for the length of this message. I just wanted to give as many details as I could in case they helped. I know this is a personal choice type question, but if this were you, what would you do?

      Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!

    working

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