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Readers Respond: Saying goodbye to our pets with dignity

Responses: 85

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From the article: Saying Goodbye
This is a very common theme on this site and forum; the decision to end the life of a beloved pet and how to cope with grief after the loss of a pet. Sometimes the decision "happens" on its own, and other times, our pet slowly declines, leaving us with lots of time for questions and indecision.

There's always that "what if" chance that tomorrow will be a better day, our pet really isn't that sick, or the appetite will come back. But usually, deep down, we do know when it is time, whether we can admit it or not.

How did you "know" it was time? Can you offer advice for coping with guilt or grief? Please share your tips.

Running with the wind

Today we made the call to end our 15 yr. old English Setter mix. She had crippling arthritis, was blind and deaf, loosing her hair and weight. The saddest was watching her run in her dreams and barely capable of standing when awake. It showed on her face depression over incontinence, not keeping her odor down and being ignored as head dog of the house. We took her for a 20 mile ride with the window down and watched the glow return to her eyes and her nose sniff in pure joy, she ate a plain cheeseburger plus a thorough rub down. For that while she was a pup again. She had a sedative that relaxed her while we told her how pretty and what a good girl she was until she fell gently asleep. In her slumber the vet carried her inside for the final injection so she'd pass without panic or stress. Our last tribute to her was to bury her in her bed under her favorite shady spot in the flower garden. She was loved and will remain loved until we meet again at the rainbow bridge in Heaven.
—Guest Frances's Mom

Chf

I just put my chihuahua down after 18 years! He had CHF and was really starting to struggle breathing! I tried pills but he was only eating every 3rd day! Part of me feels guilty of maybe I should of waited?But at the same time I knew his quality of life wasn't what he deserved! I'm a mess and crying all the time but I need to remember he had a great life and is in peace now! Heartbroken !
—Guest Michelle

Letting Teddy go

Last week i had to have my 12 year old Dandiedimont put to sleep .Teddy .im not going to lie its heart breaking .Teddy had cushens disease.he diddnt eat for over a week before he passed on .i held him in my arms while he was put to sleep with my daughter beside me .I knew it was coming as he hasnt been well for a while .the saturday before i had afamily party for him all of us and the grandchildren who he adored .The night he went to bo boes .my son came to say good bye and Teddy licked him like he use to.There is never ever a good time do do this final act of kindness and dignity to your dog .I miss him so much the house is dead .so hope it wakes up again.Till we all meet again Ted .you be with your brother Benji waiting for us both of youx
—Guest Petra Townsend

so hard, but trying to do right thing

I am so sad, taking my first.pet Niki to be put down, she had some rare leukemia and kidney failure, i new she was.losing so much weight, No signs a year ago, 6 weeks ago diagnosed, she did good for a month with steroid, but not helping, not eating or drinking, she was drinking tons and throwing up, got her nausa meds..she is alert but i know she us weak and I dont want it to get worse for her.and fluids will just be more pain and prolong it..worst days of my life doing this..its best I know.. God bless my sweet girl, always in my heart with my two other cats.xxoo
—Guest My sweet Niki kittie

Bentley Forever

I am going to say goodbye to my Westie, my love and my faithful fur baby...My Bentley. He has been with me for 14years. We have shared the good and the bad together. I Thank God I had him. He is the most loving and gentle Mush I have ever known. About 3 years ago B got a tumor on his side. The Dr didnt think much of it because it didn't cause him pain. After a year it began to balloon. It covers his rib cage and inhibits his breathing and walking. I made the decision to put him down one night when he looked at me with his warm brown eyes and I knew it was time. I don't want him to suffer and will have it done at home in my loving arms. I will bury him in my garden with his brother Chuck the Chinchilla. What a Great love we shared I will Miss him terribly.
—Guest Bentley's Mother

My Rosie Grommit dog

My girl was a rescue, 5 when I got her, she settled in well and had a great life - her name was Rosie but we nicknamed her Grommit from the Wallace & Grommit films as she had a look of the white dog with the big brown eyes . She developed a lump when she got to about 10 it was mamory cancer it progressed but she did well eating playing walks until she got to about 12 the cancer had spread I knew it was the end when one night after a day of sleeping mostly and refusing food (she loved food) finally couldn't make the walk up the stairs to go to sleep at the bottom of our bed.. I carried her up and vowed to take her the vets next day. The day came round and we took her into the vets they agreed that the end was near with her laboured breath and her eyes telling me she couldn't go on. The paw was shaved and the vet put the line in whilst I held her in my arms softly stroking her and whispering "I love u " as she passed Im glad I was there for her when she need me most gives me comfort
—Guest Jill

So Long my Dear Gentleman

Today we had to say goodbye to a good friend, Murphy. This Boston Terrier was the best thing that happened to our family. He gave love constantly. I miss you something awful.
—Guest deb

The lives of your companions

Did you ever notice how important it is to greet a dog? They think it is very important. Each living being is a unique personality, forever different from any other. This personality experiences life and communicates in clear ways, saying things unique and appropriate to every moment of life. Doing this, each one defines the time of their life, their existence, making up the universe - this part contained, it IS that personality interacting with life. Never lost, affecting the world for all time. This moment is the opportunity to share that joy, the meaning of life. You never want to be so self absorbed as to have to say: "you don't know what you've got till they are gone." Pets offer conversation about what is most important - relationship, experiencing the events of life together. Suddenly Leo, a dog who was companion to the Wolf and me, lost his personality. His time was done, but what he has to tell us still grows. All the future is changed, better than it would have been.
—Guest Makuye

THe last of three miniature schnauzer

I have had Mitzi since i was 3, I am now 21, She is a special dog. My other two pass away one about three years ago and the other just a little over year ago. I i can say they are the greatest dogs i have had.I am going to the vet tomorrow to put her a sleep. I now she has been lonely without her sisters. AND i now she is ready to see them again. she is 17 about to be 18. Her walking has gotten worse and her eating has gone down. I will always love her and her sister.
—Guest monica

my baby

I had my best friend put to sleep this week. I have had her for 11years since i was a littlen. She had a heart murmor which in the beginning wasn't causing her any problems..but over time it got worse. We had her on the most meds she could have but they weren't working. 8/1/14 i had to make the hardest decision to sau goodbye to her. I don't regret it as i know it was the best thing for her but all i can picture is her little face when i had her in my arms. She died peacefully in my arms and i held her and cried and kissed her for a while before handing her over. Hardest thing i've ever had to do but i couldn't have her in pain. She really was the best dog in the world and i still sleep with her bed next to mine and with her blanket. We all deal with loss in different ways, not sure how long this grieving process will last but im in no hurry to forget her. Rest in peace Lulu my babygirl
—Guest Czolak

saying good bye to Katie

Today I had to do the hardest thing in my life to put you down, I am having such a hard time with this I miss you and I hope you will forgive me. I am crying as I am writing this you were my best friend I hope you forgive me!! I did not want her to suffer the issue is that it happened in less than 24hours and I am so sad.
—Guest Alison

My beloved Tom (aka Love cat)

My beloved cat Tom was euthanized on Memorial day, he was fine one minute, and the next was paralised in both hind legs, vocalizing loudly, his breathng became laboured and his panic and mine increased by the minute, thank goodness, my friend Blythe was with me at the time and she drove us to the emergency pet Hospital where the vet, after running a few tests gave a grim prognosis: a saddle thrombus He told me that survival rate is very slim, and that Tom was in extreme pain,he recommended uthanasia..."I can't believe this is happening, I can't believe it!!" Tom was only 5, we adopted him from a shelter 2 & 1/2 years ago, the most timid and affectionate cat, so loving, my companion. Being an army wife can be very lonely and Tom-Tom was with me through thick and thin, and I promised him that only death would be able to separate us, and so it has,and the gap in my life without him righ now, is like an abyss. If You never had a cat as a close friend you will not un
—Guest Jill S. Adams

Peter

Today I had to say goodbye to my 18-year cat, Peter. He was my best friend. Although it was the right thing to do, it was the hardest thing I've ever to do. Peter has been going downhill for last 6 months. He was diagnosed with chronic renal failure. His vet and I worked together to make sure he was comfortable, but he had stopped using the litter box or grooming. He was still eating, drinking and moving around, so I was willing to work around the litter box and grooming issues. He was in the vet's office three days ago with a bought of constipation. We've been through this before so I knew what to expect. But he didn't come back this time. Last night, he couldn't get up and wouldn't eat. I called the vet and made the appointment for this morning. It was time. I doubt he would've been with us much longer. His vet's office is amazing. It was a gentle and peaceful end to a dear friend's life. I am heartbroken, but he is at peace.
—Guest Guest Anna

My forever friend

I just recently (3 hours ago) had my 17 year old cat put to sleep. We had taken her to the vet a few weeks ago because she just has not been her self. She was losing weight, not eating as much as she use to, crying all through the night, an urinating all through the house ( she had never once had a accident in the house before this), and sleeping all the time. She use to love going outside and soaking up the sun. She had not wanted outside now for the past 3 months or so. The vet did blood work and it came back that she has renal failure and stage one of liver failure. He said she could possibly have 2 years left on her if we did these shots he recommended every single day. And gave her oral mess too. It's never been about the money. I would take out many loan for my pets of that was the right thing to do. I thought long and hard about what I should do for her (Tigger). I came to the conclusion that giving her painful shot everyday was not human for her. She was already miserable.
—Guest Brittany

Letting Panther go

I 'knew' it was the right time to let our cat go a few weeks ago when she was in liver failure due to hyperthyroidism. But I went along with the vet's treatment plan. She suffered far too long. I wish I listened to my 'gut' weeks ago. Yesterday her breathing was fast and shallow, she was unsteady on her feet, she was moaning and had no appetite. She couldn't tolerate the medication and her organs were failing. She cried yesterday as if to ask for release from her suffering. Thank God He gave me the strength to respond to her wishes.
—Guest Jill
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