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Old 04-18-2014, 09:26 AM   #241 (permalink)
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Thanks for your prompt reply, least--it helps to hear it from other people who I know love dogs as much as I do. I don't even discuss such things w/"regular" people, as they don't get it.

I just feel as if I'm ending his life for MY convenience, and I just haven't been able to get past that. It's almost as if I need him to tell me "hey, it's OK, I'm done and ready to leave", but if he's saying that, I'm not smart enough to hear it.

In my hub's new issue of the Grapevine, I read "Don't cry b/c it's over, smile b/c it happened in the first place." Is that what I need to do here? CAN I do that?
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Old 04-18-2014, 10:40 AM   #242 (permalink)
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My sister's vet once told her she was wrong for making her cat wait for the end. He said "he's not having fun anymore" and that was the indication he was ready to go. I've never forgotten that advice. I am responsible for their lives, and also for giving them a peaceful ending.


I know it hurts like hell but remember, you're responsible for his quality of life and if his life has no quality anymore, then it's time to let him go.

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Old 04-18-2014, 10:52 AM   #243 (permalink)
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least, I've found a website that lists local vet services that will perform at-home euthanasia and have contacted a couple of them. It's supposed to be a warm week here--maybe the grass will grow enough for my old Sammy to be out there, smelling the breeze one last time, and then take his long, long rest.

God, why do we love them so much?
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Old 04-18-2014, 01:31 PM   #244 (permalink)
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God, why do we love them so much?
Cause they love us.

The hardest decision for a pet owner to make is putting their animal to sleep, and when to do it. I've done if for cats and dogs. Sometimes it is very clear, and we know we have done the right thing. Other times, Honeypig, it's not clear and we aguish over the decision.

The hardest one for me was when I took my beloved Dalmatian, who had Cushings disease, to the vet because she had difficulty standing and they suggested it was time. Being mid-week, I didn't want to do it and have to go back to work. So I said I'd do it Friday.

I took my girl home and she got worse. It was one of the most horrible nights of my life, and it was my fault. I didn't want to euthanize her, not when the doctors suggested; I selfishly wanted to keep her alive, keep her with me a little longer, and in turn she suffered greatly.

The next day I carried her in and they gently sent her across the rainbow bridge.

The next time a dog needed to be euthanized, she went in under her own power. That was Wilma Girl, the dog in my avatar, whose kidneys were failing. Did I do it too early? Maybe, but the agony of "waiting too long" was fresh in my mind.

I had to make the same decision of putting a beloved dog down in January of this year, and am facing the same thing now as my three-legged dog, Sandy, who is 17 years old, slowly loses her mobility and I will have to take a dog in who, other than missing a leg, is otherwise healthy.

They bring us great joy and love us unconditionally. I like to think that our dogs know that we are seeing them off on their final journey and understand it's time. While the sadness is terrible, being at my dog's side, at that final moment, loving her...there's no where else I'd rather be.

Cherish your final hours with Sammy. My heart goes out to you.
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Old 04-18-2014, 02:06 PM   #245 (permalink)
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I like to think that our dogs know that we are seeing them off on their final journey and understand it's time. While the sadness is terrible, being at my dog's side, at that final moment, loving her...there's no where else I'd rather be.
doggonecarl, I hope you're right about them understanding. And I agree, there is simply no way I could NOT be at my hound's side as they cross over. I would want to do everything in my power to ensure that his last feelings are of warmth and unending love.

I don't believe Sam is in any physical pain, but I have to imagine that my independent stubborn old fart doesn't care for the fact that he can't meet any of his own needs nowadays. When he first came to us, I went into the kitchen once to find him taking tiny bites out of each potato that he could reach in the sack of potatoes I had just bought and had left on the floor for a few minutes. One time he even managed to chew a hole in the corner of a bag of dry dog food I left on the seat of a chair, which I thought was out of his reach! The old Samlet is a chow hound, no doubt about that...

I took him out and set him in a patch of blooming blue squill this afternoon when the sun was out and covered him w/an old sweatshirt so he wouldn't get a chill. He laid there a long time before roo-ing to come in.

Thanks for sharing your stories and for your sympathy. It all helps.
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Old 04-18-2014, 03:11 PM   #246 (permalink)
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When I had to put my beloved Nikko to sleep (my diabetic dog) I was with him til the end, and he licked my hand until the end. It's been over two years and not a day goes by I don't think of him, or of my Riley, my beagirl. I will always miss them, but know I did the right thing.


I will have to do the same painful thing with my cat Freddie. He has an incurable disease and won't live much more than another year. It's especially sad as he was the stray kitty who adopted me almost two years ago...
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Old 04-22-2014, 08:33 PM   #247 (permalink)
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For Honeypig, with love

Quote:
“We who choose to surround ourselves
with lives even more temporary than our
own, live within a fragile circle;
easily and often breached.
Unable to accept its awful gaps,
we would still live no other way.
We cherish memory as the only
certain immortality, never fully
understanding the necessary plan.”

― Irving Townsend
This is one of my favorites. It is so true.
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I'd rather live in my car with my dogs than live in a castle without them.

Dogs may not be our whole lives, but they make our lives whole.

Don't wait for the Last Judgement. It takes place every day. -Albert Camus

Find the good and praise it. - Alex Haley
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Old 04-23-2014, 12:01 AM   #248 (permalink)
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Thanks, least. We had an appointment w/the vet on Monday evening to discuss general quality of life and end of life issues. As an aside, our vet of 18 years passed away last December (nice article about him here Jim Stingl - Menomonee Falls veterinarian dedicated until the end). This was a new vet who'd seen Sam twice in the past year when he seemed to have urinary tract infection-type symptoms and our regular vet was out of town. She remembered Sam, said in fact she'd been thinking of him several days before our visit.

Long story short, she was extremely compassionate yet realistic and spent about 45 minutes w/us addressing options, including euthanasia. She gave us a thorough outline of what the care of a "down dog" involves, what to look out for, and ideas to help him move and keep his circulation healthy. She agreed that he didn't seem to be in any pain and was alert. At the end of the discussion, she asked what I was leaning towards. I said that I'd very much like for him to see one more season in the sun but didn't think he could stand another winter, especially if it was as bad as this past one; I also said that I was prepared to have him put down in the next week or so if that was the only loving thing I could do. She said "you know, some people would say the only thing to do is put him down, but I have other clients in similar situations, and I have to say that in most cases, if the human is diligent, I feel the animal does have a good life. I think that looking to give him one more summer and let him go in the fall is a reasonable goal."

So that's where we are for now. If something would change in his comfort or mental status, we'd have to reconsider, but as long as he seems happy, I'll just make every effort for him to enjoy the green grass and warm breezes for one more season while getting myself ready to say goodbye to my little old man...

Thanks so much for the poem, least.
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Old 04-23-2014, 05:41 PM   #249 (permalink)
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Loca is a little pug who has a brain disorder and can't run. This is her story.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2RJN9a_jdM
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Old 04-23-2014, 06:05 PM   #250 (permalink)
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I am in a similar situation to you honeypig.

I have a rescue dog Beau,he is an Alsatian lab cross,I have had him 4 years.His back legs are weak,last year the vet put him on tablets,they worked a miracle on him and he has had a great 15months,but the medication affected his kidneys,he now has a renal diet.last week he stopped eating and was depressed,I had difficulty getting him out to the garden.I managed with the help of my youngest son to get him to the vet Saturday.She discovered he has a lump in his abdomen,nothing they will do for that at his age (he is at least 12).She increased the arthritis tablet and started him on Tramadol.

Yesterday and today he has been as bright as a button,eating well and getting up to go out in the garden.But his back legs are bad,the vet told me to make him walk,it seems cruel to do that.I know I am going to have to let him go soon,my eldest son cried so much on Monday.I have found it all heartbreaking.

Beau is only the second dog I have had,my first dog collapsed and passed away in front of the fire,she was also an old rescue dog.I have always had cats,they have always died at home of old age as well.

For now I will take it a day at a time.He is asleep and comfortable for the night now,two cats keeping him company.

It is comforting to know others here on SR understand.Hugs to all and your pets.
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Old 04-24-2014, 03:09 PM   #251 (permalink)
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Loca is a little pug who has a brain disorder and can't run. This is her story.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2RJN9a_jdM
Least, this is so sweet--what a little honey girl! And I think they have the right voice for her, too. I bet that's exactly what a singing pug would sound like!
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Old 04-24-2014, 03:58 PM   #252 (permalink)
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image.jpg

This is Bull. Got him at three months. First trip to the vet for a neuter, we found out he had severe liver problems. So no neuter. Spent the next 9 months with our lives revolving around Bull and his feeding schedule. Raw food only, juicing, cutting, cooking, boiling, steaming, 28 supplements a day......
Then he dropped 5 lbs overnight, started walking into walls and circles. I took him in, he was failing. It hurt.
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Old 04-24-2014, 03:59 PM   #253 (permalink)
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He lasted 9 months.
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Old 04-25-2014, 01:14 AM   #254 (permalink)
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I'm so sorry you lost your little guy, Raider--he certainly was a cutie. He looks like a mischievous one, from the look on his little face!
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Old 04-25-2014, 05:27 AM   #255 (permalink)
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He lasted 9 months.
That's too bad,Raider.
You know,you gave him love and caring those 9 months.
I think that's the important thing. If it's 9 months or 12 years it's still a life filled with care and love.
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Old 04-25-2014, 05:34 AM   #256 (permalink)
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Raider, I'm so sorry for the loss of your pup. We can't help falling in love with them and when they die, a piece of our heart goes with them.
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Old 04-25-2014, 06:28 AM   #257 (permalink)
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Thanks. He was a doll. At least when the time came, there was no doubt it was time.
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Old 04-25-2014, 06:29 AM   #258 (permalink)
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At least when the time came, there was no doubt it was time.
And that can be a blessing, I believe...
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Old 05-05-2014, 01:28 AM   #259 (permalink)
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Old 05-09-2014, 07:20 PM   #260 (permalink)
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After the consultation w/our vet and a lot of soul-searching, we've decided that it is, after all, time to let Sam, our little old man, go. Our appointment is for Monday afternoon. In the meantime, he has been outside in the green grass and sunshine as much as he can. I'm feeding him all the baked sweet potatoes he can hold (his favorite food of all).

I was trying to go to sleep tonight but I kept looking down and seeing his old teddy bear face beside the bed, and all I can do is cry and cry, knowing that it won't be there any more on Monday night.

I know it's the price we pay, and balancing the time I've had with him against the pain of letting him go, I wouldn't change a thing. But still, it is so very very hard. My heart is breaking, but somehow life has to go on...my 2 other hounds still need walks and food and cuddles and love, and I can't just curl up into a ball of sorrow, as much as it feels like all I'm capable of right now. I guess that's a reason to never have just one dog, right?
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