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December 15, 2013

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Lucky was 12. We rescued her at 9 months and gave her a well deserved life. She was a loyal protector who watched over our family. Beautiful to watch her play and work, trying to never think of this emotional day when she would leave us for good.
Thanks Doc for your help and understanding.

I love My BEAUTIFUL ROJA, she has been with me for 15 Years .I got her when I first moved to TUCSON, actually my husband surprised me and brought her home, it was LOVE AT FIRST SITE! ROJEE has hind leg Arthritis , my husband says it is hip dysplasia! I know in the near future we will have to also put My BEAUTIFUL ROJA to sleep but I am not ready yet, I know she has a form of Dementia, but i can see that she still eats and goes to the bathroom then it is not time yet. ROJA NEVER went in the house very well potty trained but has gone in our house several time on whites carpeting, my husband bought aVery Good Carpet Cleaner and we seem to get it to look like New! I don't care about going out anymore and if I do I come home not more than 3 hours leaving her alone, ROJA had Separation anxiety I could NEVER LEAVE HER IN ANY OF THE HOUSES INSIDE, but she is Okay to leave her now inside, she rather not be outside and she could spend all the time OUTSIDE, SHE LOVEF IT! I HOPE GOD WILL GIVE ME THE STRENGTH WHEN IT IS TIME! I LOVE HER SOO MUCH😍😍😍😍😍

Good article and good comments by all those struggling with their decision.

I have always gone with the theory that the pet owner will know when it is time.

In our case our dog had all the symptoms of advanced old age and we knew it was time and had the dreaded appointment scheduled. But had to move it up when she had 2 strokes in a few hours a couple days before. She gave me one last look in the eye that said it was time.

Hi,

I felt like I knew you and Serena after ready that article. I was in them moments with this Oregonian. You told a very good story here, the best nonfiction kind. I have a 14 year old dog myself. His health is going down hill. Not quite as bad as, Serena's. He has that hip dysplasia. He has a hard time with stairs, getting up and down, and they are weak. I've noticed that the muscles in his bad are hard as a rock, that must be painful. I just got done massaging him. I have a heating pad on him now while he sleep. He has a real bad tooth at the back of his mouth. I usually have him tramadol. I need to get it pulled but can't afford it. He don't seem to be in too bad of pain or I'd make a way for it, and eventually will. He is worth it to me.

I can't imagine my life without my dog. I've had him most of my adult life. I got him in my early twenties and I just turned 37. It's going to be so strange not having him there. I worry about knowing when it is time as well. Everyone tells me that I will know. But do we really? Sounds like Serena got in pretty bad shape before you made the move. Having to stand up to do a bowl movement is very sad. However, if you did wait a little later than you should have it was not too far after. Like you said she was not in bad pain. I don't want my dog to suffer a long drug out death. There is nothing worse than dying then suffering very badly along the way. No doubt.

Your post did open my mind up to it more. I knew I'd eventually do it but your post softened me up to it more. It may sound crazy but I actually worry if he has an afterlife and if so what will he think if I'm not there to take care of him. I know how that sounds and I doubt it but you never know-
I think about how I'll manage without him and him being afraid without me. I just love him so much. I look at him like a human. He has been my best friend and companion for so long. He always loved me no matter what. Dogs give you there hearts completely.

I imagine he will be around another year. Please pray that I will know when it's time. I will keep you and Serena's story with me. Thank you so much for sharing. I'm not going to proof read this so please excuse any errors.

Kc

My BEAUTIFUL SHIBA INU Roja was EUTHANIZED yesterday, she was My Baby, My Queen, I have been crying off and on for 24 hours! ROJEE was the Bedt, Smart as a Whip! My husband Lived her SO SO MUCH we got her the 3rd Day we moved to TUCSON she has been with me for 15 Loving Years! I had her Monthly groomings which she Loved, She was Immaculate! We use to walk in a Shopping Center which is where the Elite would shop, they would all run out of their shops all the time to ADMIRE ROJA, SHE WAS A BEAUTY RED COAT,AND GOLDEN RED TAIL. ROJEE started having one hind leg problems and then both started bothering her about 6 months ago, shd also lost her gearing and then got DEMENTIA! My Husband and I tried to deal with the same experiences you all went thru, put her in Rimadyl and Nuestrick for the DEMENTIA. I prayed it would helped but I was just fooling myself. The Last Nite when she st rated Peeing on her self I knew it was time plus her Stumbling and Falling got Worse and I hated to see her like that . Sunday Nite after wiping her side of Per and also Roja was. Clean Freak ROJA would have not liked her doing it on herself and also me cleaning her up! ROJA was house broken immediately, and never went BOO BOO IN THE HOUSE, but unfortunately she did. She with her BIG BROWN EYES LOOKED I AM SORRY MOMMY BUT I COULDNT HELP IT. I LOVED HER SO MUCH I got down on the floor with her and looked those BEAUTIFUL BROWN AND BAWLED SHE COULDNT HEAR ME BUT COULD SEE I WAS IN DISTRESS AND THE TEARS FELL ON HER NOSE, AND FOR THE FIRST TIME IN SOME MONTHS SHE HASNT KISSED ME, BUT SHE KISSED MY NOSE AND LOOKED AT ME LIKE I AM GOING TO MISS YOU MOMMY BUT IT IS TIME.THAT NITE SHE SLEPT VERY CLOSE ON THE FLOOR NEAR US, USUALLY SHE WOULD MOVE AROUND AT NITE BUT DID NOT THST NITE. Called our VET yesterday got us in at11:00, and it was all over by 11:30. She went VERY PEACEFULLY! MY HEART has a BIG VOID IN IT, I MISS HER AND LOVED HER SO MUCH. TODSY I NEEDED TO POST THIS. I am Crying while I am doing this, but I wanted her to go with DIGNITY which I felt she did. I have a Beautiful Oil of her on My Wall which I had Painted last Summer. SHE WILL ALWSYS BE WITHME JUST LIKE MY DAD IS RIP! I LOVED THEM BOTH SO MUCH AND WILL MISS HER LIKE I DO MY DAD EVERY DAY😍😍😍

I don´t know if this blog is still active -- it seems nobody has written anything on it for two years -- but I''ll give it a try, for a lot of the stuff that I read here made so much sense. Cora is the name of my gorgeous, adorable 14 y.o. yellow lab. As of January 2016 her hind legs have become weaker and weaker and she's had more and more trouble standing up on her own -- most of the time she'll need help to get up. By March 2016 fecal incontinence had kicked in, and it's such a nightmare, including -- maybe most of all -- to herself. And as of some eight weeks ago there has been urinary incontinence too. Her quality of life is next to zero, but she mostly alert (she does sllep a lot during the day, but it's always been like that), still has an appetite, gets all excited when I grab her lead to take her out for a walk and seems to enjoy getting a pat (which we quite often give). We've seen quite a few vets and even had a spinal ct-scan on her: no tumors have been found, it just seems her spine is slowly degenerating. We´ve been paying for a weekly acupuncture and phisiotherapy session, but it doesn´t seem to help her recover hind-leg strength. My wife is absolutely on edge -- or past it -- with the constant messes in the kitchen, which the dog is nowadays mostly confined to. Cora will often lie on her own poop and pee and then somehow move away from the spot, spreading the mess all over the floor and herself. Whenever I'm home I keep my ears open for the scratching sounds her efforts to get up make and rush to the kitchen when I hear her, even during the night -- she will oftentimes immediately drink a lot of water (it looks like she somehow figures she doesn´t know when she'll get a chance to do that again). I've been so sad and lost wondering whether it's time to put her to sleep. I know she's not living a dignified life, but the spark in her eye is not gone yet: she can still smile and utterly enjoys a (very slow) walk. Any thoughts, anybody? Thanks.

Not sure if this blog is still up or not. But I wanted to post my story. We had to put our 10 year old German pointer/ lab mix down yesterday. It was the hardest thing I've had to do. Because I have the guilt today. The what if's.... Bud had a cervical disc issue to wear he couldn't use his front legs to walk. They were knuckling. He wasn't peeing or pooping. The vet said they would have to drain his urine by sticking a needle in his bladder and pulling it out. That would have to be done 3 times a day. When he is supposed to be strict cage rest. He couldn't walk or stand up. But he was sharp as a pin, he wagged his tail. He ate, didn't drink much. You can tell he was stressed, because he wanted to get up and go, but he couldnt. His back legs were starting to be affected as well. But I just feel like I failed him miserably. Should I have waited to see of the prednisone would ever take effect....the what if's are killing me today. I hope the feeling of failure leaves me...I pick up his ashes today. I'm not ready for that.
I just wanted to let you know I've read all of these stories, they have helped me a little. And to thank you for having this blog on here.

Wtf is wrong with you? Your dog can't control herself and you kill her outta laziness? Seriously fuck you

Hi, perfect timing I found this. Or maybe not because I'm simply searching for answers the day of our dog's last day. Oh boy. I simply wanted to let you know I found your post, and it helped me to release some emotions I was holding in. It's such a hard decision to make, for anyone, and I'm lucky I didn't have to make it myself - my parents did. But it is a hard decision to accept.
But we all love our animal friends and don't want them to suffer. I mean we spend their whole lives trying to keep them happy and avoid any pain or injury.
We have an Australian Shepherd- Catahoula Leopard Hound. Her hips have been giving out and a couple days ago she could no longer get up.
Needless to say she is very loved, she's had an excelente life.
And I hope you've been well over the years!

I know it's been a few years, but let me start by offering my condolences to you for the loss of Serena.

I have been scouring the internet for a few weeks trying to find the answer to the "should we or shouldn't we" question. I've read guidance from vets, owners, and we had a consultation with our own vet, but still couldn't make a decision. Our girl Buffy is almost 14, still eats (a lot!), still goes for walks, but does none of her activities with any pleasure any longer. She used to bounce through life. Now she slowly plods. We've been in incontinence mode for several months; she goes outside maybe 1 in 5 times.

The hardest part for us is that mentally she's still with it. She reacts to things with excitement and then it's like a wave of "oh crap, I can't do that anymore" washes over her. Today it is snowing in Seattle and there was nothing she loved more than a snow day, but she just went outside, did her business, and came back inside like it was any ordinary day. It's never been more clear that our girl is already gone.

I know everyone thinks their dog is special, but there are so many people beyond the family that love Buffy we feel the added pressure of taking her from all of them. Your message reminded us that it isn't about us or them, it's about her. She deserves to get to fall asleep peacefully before her bitter end comes. We're still deciding on a date, but we have made the decision because of your generous words and sharing your experience with Serena with us. Thank you.

I have been struggling for the past year with the idea of putting our 17 yr old Jack Russell to sleep. I wanted this process to be black & white. I want to look into her eyes and just know - it's time. I want to walk into a room, and find that she has peacefully passed - on her own. But real life is proving to be messier and more uncertain.

Ruby started having signs of dementia and a possible neurological disorder three years ago. She began having dizzy spells that would cause her to walk into walls and fall over. They weren't more than once a month, but they were noticeable and upsetting. Then came the lethargy. It seemed rather sudden. One month she was bouncing off the walls, waiting to escape the house - and the next, she was sleeping 15hrs/day, sometimes more. Slowly, her legs and back stiffened, making it harder for her to "get busy", and accidents became frequent. Now, Ruby sleeps 90% of the day. Her dizzy spells have progressed to seizures and heavy medicines are necessary. The medicine makes her seem more senile and sleepy than she actually is, but without it she suffers one or two severe seizure a month. I don't walk her, as she simply walks in circles and cannot maintain a straight line. She is confused and has not wagged her tail in months. This is made worse by her loss of hearing and sight, which makes it hard to give direction and offer verbal affection. She has frequent accidents and spends half of her waking hours confused, whimpering, and pacing the same small area.

But there are good days. Ruby has moments of clarity. Suddenly, she sees us, loves us, seeks affection and even jogs about the house looking to pounce on a cat or her sister dog. She still loves to eat. She gets a hop in her step and twinkle in her eye when she comes in from the yard and anticipates a treat. She loves to snuggle into a fuzzy blanket or a warm body, and she seems peaceful when she's curled up on her rug by the fire. These sings of joy make it so difficult to call it quits. But I'm afraid it will only get worse for Ruby - and I am told that waiting too long is not a good idea. And so I have scheduled her last day, two weeks from now. But what about going too soon?

Ruby is my first baby. She lived through my single days, sometimes stuck at home alone when I worked endless hours, and sometimes jet-setting around the world with me. She loved to travel and couldn't wait to jump into her carrier and go on a trip. She was my "litmus test" when I met my now-husband. I left her with him when I would travel, and they bonded quickly. The two of them shared a love of nature and exercise. Even at 12 yrs old, Ruby could accompany my husband on a 10 or 15 mile run. She survived the adoption of our second dog, Frida, now 13 yrs old. With time, the two became inseparable. And she was by my side for the birth of all three of my kids. In fact, she didn't just survive the disruption, she loved those babies. Ruby would diligently encircle the twins during tummy-time, anxiously protecting them from harm. We called her "the nanny" for many years. Now, those twins are nearly teens and the baby is 8 yrs old. They hold her some nights, when her dementia causes endless crying and pacing. She will usually settle down to sleep when coddled in their arms. It's as if she's returned to puppyhood. And now, the twins encircle her, diligently calming her anxiety.

As I write this, she is sleeping peacefully on my bed in a pile of down blankets. Almost angelic.
If she were to pass in this state, it would be my fantasy realized. But she will wake soon, and I better be present or she will fall off the bed and hurt herself. And so... the second option may be more realistic. I suppose I can manufacture her departure in a way that resembles this peaceful, warm sleepiness. Thank you for the making that clearer for me.

I want to Thank you so much for creating this blog and sharing your life. Reading this has really helped me to know that I am not alone.
I have a 14 1/2 year old pointer mix, Sebastian who is going through very much the same things as your beloved Serena did. He is very hard of hearing, has severe arthritis in his back legs and the dreaded bowel incontinence. But, Bastian loves to eat and have snacks, enjoys going on walks (slower/shorter ones) and car rides. But, I know he is in pain. He cannot run and is not interested in toys nor playing with his younger brother.
I have been dealing with the pooping at anytime/anywhere for over 7 months now and the stress load is taking over everyone and everything. I have tried everything from medications, diapers, crate (re) training; you name it, we've tried it. Bastian gets so stressed out from his pooping accidents that he eats away his diapers to eat his poop. He also gets bugged-eyed and shakes excessively every time he poops because he knows it's wrong to poop in the house. I try Not to get upset because he gets upset but as you know, it is rather trying cleaning up poop, all the time. The stress has taken a toll on my marriage as well as on our other dog and cat.
It pains me to think about making 'the decision' because his organs and health are perfectly fine! But I know that he is in pain all the time. He is strong and bull headed so I know he is hurting more than he allows to show. I know his quality of life has greatly diminished but who can send their best friend to a place knowing you will never see them again (or maybe will..in another life...)
I have had Sebastian since I was 19 and he has been my baby, my rock! He has helped me through life more than anyone will ever understand. Sebastian and I share a bond that I know I will never, ever have again. He came into this world as a parvo puppy. I spent many days and sleepless nights helping him to recovery when he and his litter mates came into our vet clinic. Sebastian was strong and he was the only one to of survived. Because he is such a fighter, I know that he would give his all to live and be with me forever.

Your post about precious Serena and reading others' comments has really helped me with thee most difficult decision of my life. . I know Sebastian will never leave me on his own. My love needs to be stronger than his this one time.

I want to thank you for reminding me that sending Sebastian to the rainbow bridge is not an act of selfishness, but rather kindness. The best thing I can do for him now is to have the vet help him to go 'nawny' while his mummy holds him. Reminding him to wait for her at the field where they can run around and be together again

Well maybe that was your choice but my boy just got Vestibular Disease from metronidazole i know my comment is belated but anyway im up so late and im lying beside oden an 8yr old 100lb GSD he is paralized from the neck down and in partial coma due to metronidazole im gonna fight as long as he does and then some and my max is a 130lb 14 yr old GSD max has arthritis and uses a sling to walk he suffers from incontinence both bowel and bladder has for over a year his accidents are like elephant size so i adjusted i plan on being there for max and oden to the bitter end unless they decide they want me to let go and if they decide that then i would do the vet rest instead of them screaming in pain right now im just clinging to hope and laying on the floor beside oden turning him and giving hin range of motion treatment he cannot eat or drink on his own nor walk he can lift his head but not open his eyes im not giving up we were playing 3 days ago
but all of these stories sadden me i would hate to se the day when they put elderly humans to sleep for incontinence and dementia or old age but value for life is different people dont treat life equally if one can care for an elderly human up to the end than why not your beloved furfamilly too maybe if you look at it differently you may allow natural life span its easy to become discouraged but having clean poop is sadly not enough for me to let max go and the blank stare that dogs get when they are old is memories of the back in the day lots of happy memories and knowledge of death being close they worry about it so i say reconsider unless it is the only option to relive your familly member but that is just my thoughts on this situation

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