saying goodbye to family pets
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Neruda

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I put my dog to sleep today.

It was the hardest of only three deaths I have encountered thus far in my life that I can remember: the death of my grandfather and the death of my aunt's dog being the other two. All three have happened within the last six months, and I have witnessed all three.

I guess with my grandfather, there were at least two things that made that easy on me. One was that he had been sick for a long time, so I was very prepared for his death, and also that he knew what was happening to him. But with Foxie, she had no idea that she was sick and she had no idea that she was going to die. Basically what happened is that she went senile and her Seperation Anxiety Disorder flared up big time. I left for the beach a few days ago and after I left, she scratched the door up terribly and then tried to tear a hole through the wall right next to it. She lost two toenails in the process, and after that she went into another room and tried to get out of the window. She ripped the screen out, but luckily it was too high up for her to jump out, or else she probably would have broken all her legs from the fall. And the really amazing thing was that she was heavily sedated when she did this. It didn't matter how many pills we gave her, as soon as I would leave she would go crazy. But as soon as I got home just was fine again, or at least she seemed to be; and that's what made this hardest. Because to me, she still seemed like a healthy dog.

I guess the reason I'm writing all this out is to convince me that putting her to sleep was the best thing to do. This stuff was not done by a happy dog. I always felt like her body would wear out first, but instead it was her mind. She was 12 years old and had a good life, full of walks, hikes, and backpacking trips. I'm really going to miss her though.

I suppose I just need some consolidation from other people who have experienced the same thing...they're certainly amazing creatures, aren't they? all of them--cats, dogs, and all the others--they're never here long enough, and by the time they've gone they've really made their way into your heart. it's so hard to say goodbye, but all the fun I've had with that dog, since I was five years old, it was well worth it. This will not be my last pet, that's for sure.

well, goodbye foxie, you ol' girl. You were a good dog.
 
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TimSchirmer

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I suppose it is for the best though. Imagine living your own life in extreme pain? Your little foxie is in a better place now, and I'm sure you'll see her again sometime.
 
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isotope240

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i'm sorry to hear about your dog. i don't really know what else to say, but i did want to say that.
 
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jpelg

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Neruda,

i am very sorry to hear about your loss. i am sure that everyone here who has lost a pet during their lifetime will readily concur that they do, amazingly, become integral parts of our lives and families. they are alot like children & adults rolled into one body. therefore our relationships with them run a very wide emotional gamut. their loss is no less painful than that of a blood relative, sometimes more so.

i am glad to hear that you plan to eventually get another pet.

- jp
 
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HighwayStar

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Neruda,

I'm very sorry for your loss. It's a heartwretching experience. It's amazing how much they enrich our lives and how it affects us when they're gone. But it sounds like you've got a ton of good memories. And somewhere down the road, you'll find another "friend". Hang in there !
 
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mlchang

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The thing you have to remember is that you are your dog's advocate...you have to think what's best for your friend.

I work in a neonatal intensive care unit right now. There are very sick babies in there. Some don't make it. Sometimes that's the best thing. We have to tell the parents that. A lot can't let go, either through guilt or subconscious selfish concerns about their own feelings. However, the parents feelings may contribute to prolonged suffering by the child. So we have to act as advocates for the child and help the parents recognize what is in the future for the child.

Your Foxie was under extreme anguish each time you left. In your post you stated that she injured herself and had the potential for even greater harm. One can (but shouldn't) imagine many horrible outcomes, but suffice it to say that sometimes dying is not the worst outcome.

Given that, you let her die with dignity and without pain. That's probably what was best for her. By allowing that and putting aside your own feelings of guilt and sadness you have demonstrated how much you really did care for her and so you should know you made the right choice and be comfortable with that.

Michael
 
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Neruda

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well thanks guys. I do think we did the right thing, but man, I've just had these deep pangs of remorse all day. I suppose I'll feel better after I have a few days to adjust.

It'll probably be a few years before I can get another dog, since I'm going to college this year and I want to wait until I have both the room and the time for one. I've never been dogless before in my life!
 
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KR...

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I used to have a dog, I loved him so, but he is no longer with us. I really wish that I could get a new dog, but like you I am also in College (uni) and it seems like it will be a long time before I can get another dog to call my own. So I know how you must feel, and it stinks...
 
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dougli

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I'm sorry to hear about your loss. You certainly felt that it was the right thing to do, and it really does sound like it was. You had your dog's best interest in mind, and that's the true sign of a loving owner and companion.
 
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zbuddah

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man... I'm sorry. I had one dog before, I knew at first I couldn't keep her for long, so I tried my best not to get emotionally attached. My mom later gave her away without my knowledge. I was still hurt.. hurt because I didn't bother to get to know her. Now I have two dogs... I know better than not to get to know them. I love them dearly. The only thing I fear is what has come to you. I know that I might have to make the same decision as you. And I think what you did was a brave and loving thing you for her. Its kind of like being a parent. You don't want to scold and make your children cry but you know it is the best thign for them in order to grow up obedient. You know that your dog was in pain she couldn't help herself you knew you had to put her to death to keep her from the pain. I pray that you will not let her death burden you. She has gotten a good long life and friend from you.
 
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squirt

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Neruda, i'm sure you made the right decision...its always hard to come to terms with such a decision as we went through with our Winnie this past May...She had an ever growing tumor near her pelvis which made it harder and harder for her to pass fecals...surgery was ruled out due to the Vets opinion that the location and size of the tumor would make success very iffy not to mention the added stress and pain Winnie would have to endure. We decided to make Winnie as comfortable as possible and i left the final decision of when to put her to sleep with my mother since she and Winnie had as innate bond that only soul mates know and i support her decision without question...

Like my mother you'll have your doubt's but really what you need to think about is there is not a soul in the world who would have known better than you when it was time put your dog to sleep...
 
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Neruda,

I feel very sad for your loss. There is nothing more faithful and unconditional than a dog. I believe this is why we become so attached to them.
 
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dvw

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Neruda;

I feel your pain. I, too have to put my pet to sleep a few years ago. It was the toughest decision I had to make. I put it off as long as I could, but I just can't bear to see him suffer.

It was the right thing to do, because Foxy is suffering no more. It will take time to heal. Keep yourself busy. That will ease the pain somewhat.
 
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Quote:

Originally posted by dvw
Neruda;

It was the right thing to do, because Foxy is suffering no more. It will take time to heal. Keep yourself busy. That will ease the pain somewhat.


I've had to put two scotties to sleep. Both developed mental failure of one form or another. One had cancer and got to the point she litererally couldn't find her way out of a corner. The other began unprovoked attacking and, as best we could figure, he was in severe pain. (I'm not knocking scotties - we've had 4 and two were normal their whole lives).

Sometimes doing the right thing is hard, but to let an animal suffer any significant length of time is cruel. They are animals, but they are friends and they are family and they bring many happy moments into your life.

You wouldn't be human if it didn't hurt.
 
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