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December 15, 2013


Thank you for commenting back to me at the moment I can't get my head around I've done it and he's gone a lot of people are telling me to get anther dog not to replace him or forget him but l fill the empty space and fill the house again I'm not sure if I can though I feel guilty on frank, thank you for reply to me it really helps X

I did a search to see if it was normal to feel depressed after putting a dog to sleep, and your blog came up. I've read all the stories,and cried with every single one.
Yesterday morning we had to put my, just turned 8 year old, 1/2 walker 1/2 black & tan coonhound puppy, SirCh, to sleep. I'm so devastated. I can't help but have feelings of guilt and depression.
When he was 2, he started to have a slow growth on one of his nipples. I told myself, I would take him in when it looks like it started to bother him. Years passed. It just grew bigger. So, even though I felt like it still wasn't bothering him, I decided he needed a check up. The doc said it was indeed a benign tumor. That it wasn't harming him. The only thing was, it was now the size of a hackey sack. So we had it removed. With no guarantee of the cancer being gone. Another few years pass, to just a few weeks ago.. SirCh had a fever, wasn't eating. I thought to myself, he just has a cold, no biggie. 2 days later, his lymph nodes with bigger than usual. I remembered a time when the doc said that they did feel a little big but blamed it on the weight gain. So I waited it out for another day. That night, his breathing was so heavy and started to snore very loud. He never snored this loud before. The swollen lymph nodes were blocking his airway. So we took him in. And that's when we got the bad news. He definitely had lymphoma and that he only had a few weeks, if not days, to live. DEVASTATED. Doc put SirCh on prednisone. Saying that it will not heal him, but will make it comfortable for him. During the past 2 1/2 weeks, all we noticed was heavy panting, constant drinking, eating less and loss of strength. He was not able to go up in is chair anymore. Not able to jump in the truck. Slept all day. I knew the time was coming close. My husband and I had already made the decision to not let him suffer.
Present day. We took him in, for what would be his last trip. We had the doc give SirCh the sedative so that he would be relaxed, asleep before the big shot. She said it would take 5 minutes for him to fall asleep. This toughie fought the sedative. We waited 20 minutes. To the point where he tried to stand up. I told the doc, let's do this now before the sedative wore off. This is where my guilt kicks in. What if he wasn't ready to go. What if he was trying to tell.me, "no.. Not yet". I can't help but feel so hurt that I did this to him. I'm constantly reminding myself that he is no longer suffering.. But I just can't shake this feeling. This feeling that I think may be depression.
His bed still lay next to me, along with his blanket. I can still smell him. I look up every now and then thinking I would see him walking around.
After reading all the stories, I realize that its normal to feel like this..
I want to thank you for sharing Serena's story. And to everyone who commented and shared your stories.

I am so happy I found all these comments about having a pet put to sleep and the emotional break down and guilt feelings that go with it. It's 2:44 AM and I can't sleep because I miss my Gizmo. It has been 19 days since I had him put to sleep. Having read all the comments I realize I did the correct thing because Gizmo was suffering at the age of 14. His symptoms were everything I read about Serena.

As a retired cop, I experienced many awful things in my career, but watching my dog leave me was the hardest thing in my life. He was like my child.

My blessings to everyone who reads all of these stories.

I searched and searched for something to ease my grief and guilt. One week ago today, I put my beloved 13 1/2 year old Lab to sleep. She was my best friend and I miss her more than words can say. I have been wondering if I let her go too soon. I have been tormented with that thought. This is the first thing I've seen that has given me some relief from these guilt feelings. Thank you so much.

Laura, I'm sorry for your loss, but thankful for your comment. I'm glad my blog post helped you in this tough time.

My wife believes in getting another dog soon after loss of a pet. I realize this doesn't fit for everybody. Just something to consider. There are so many dogs who need good homes.

I am so thankful I found this page. We are putting our 15 yr old lab Jake to sleep today. I was feeling guilty because he is walking today. He did pee everywhere 3 times so far today. He seems to only have joy with eating and treats. For the past 2 mnths I have found him covered in poop and pee. The day his head was lying in it I realized we had to do something. I have watched him drag himself with his front legs to his food dish. He stumbles, staggers and falls. But then he gets a good day and you think no, not yet! After reading all of these stories, though I am going to be a complete utter mess for I don't know how long, I realize we probably waited longer than we should have. God bless all of you for your grief and your stories.

I'm glad I found this page. I let my 15 year old Aussie named Soda go yesterday and feel terrible and heart broken beyond belief.

I have a jackrussell she is 15 years old and keeps peeing her bed while she's asleep and sometimes peeing blood sometimes when she's walking it looks like her legs going it looks like when she's walking her legs crossing over each other and her body looks like it go's side to side as she walks some times, but the thing is half of me thinks it is time to put her down but the other half thinks it's not but some days i thinks its time it is just a hard decision to make for me and my kids because some days she be playing and seem ok but most days she dose not. i can see what your all saying it just seem so hard to make that decision :'(

Thank you for sharing your story. I made the decision to euthanize my 15 year old mix breed lab / kelpie last week. She was the most amazing creature. I got her from the shelter 13 years ago. As I was driving home from wOrk early one day I realized the shelter was open for 15 more minutes. Although I didn't adopt her that day, I could not get her out of my mind, so after two more visits, I adopted her. It turns out she was house trained. She was perfect with everyone's children. She converted non dog people into dog fans. She even spread dirt from a planter pot all over my ex husband's bed when he moved to the guest room. Years later she is the most loving dog to my now 5 year old son. She woke me up last week as she often does in the night to go outside. But this time she didn't just need a boost to stand up (thanks to her arthritis), she had peed in her bed and she could not stay in a standing position. She collapsed forward. I moved her to a dry towel but she continued to sigh and slightly whimper on and off. In the morning we carried her outside and I held her upright to pee a river. The poor thing had been holding it too long. She slept for a few hours until I woke her and took her to the vet (still unable to sit or stand). The vet didn't address what might cause her collapse but focused on her heart issues, her arthritis and her lungs which had some fluid. I chose to have her put to sleep overwhelmed by the thought of holding her up to pee and carrying her out (50 pounds). I so wish I could have had a day to say goodbye, to feel certain she was ready, to know that she wouldn't stand up. She had been suffering from severe arthritis and yet she was so eager to join us for a meal, to walk very slowly for 1/4 mile, to lay in my son's room until he was sound asleep each night. It is hard not to feel I betrayed my dearest friend and yet I know she struggled with her arthritis and her heart condition. I miss her so... Somehow this blog is one of the first I've found to give me some peace... Thank you for sharing...

I appreciate this blog and everyone who shared their stories here.
My family lost our beloved first dog, a 14 year old Maltese, today. It was a heartbreaking decision, but it was relieving to know she passed peacefully and painlessly with her family by her side. My heart aches and I miss her terribly but I know she's in a better place now.

I thank you for your Serena. I had a friend named Dutch who was my friend. He was born Jan.1, 2003 and went to sleep Dec. 9, 2014. I miss him so so much. This was the hardest decision I have ever been faced with. OH! the guilt and the what ifs but I loved him to much to see him hurt so I said Good bye my big boy. He was a handsome red nose bridle APT. Gentle, quiet, loving and smiled alot. He loved people, dogs, cats and me. He had some of the same health issues as Serena. I still cry wandering if I did the right thing. I was searching the internet for answers and came across this page. Thank you for helping me cope. God Bless You!

Thank you for this. I have an appointment for my dog Henry on Thursday. He's doing a little better than usual and it makes me want to cancel it, but I know that if he had a crisis, I'd hate myself for waiting. I still don't feel sure emotionally though.

i have a dog (my best friend ever) she is the smartest dog not only that ive ever had but that ive ever met. i rescued her from an abusive owner when she was around 10 weeks old , he had her on a 2 foot chain hooked to a fence and thought that it was funny that she had to struggle to get to her food and water bowl,while he was laughing and getting his kicks watching this poor puppy struggle i simply stood up and walked over and un chained her. he got ill with me but he knows i have my conceal carry permit so he was afraid to say anything to me. at the time i could not afford to have another dog. long story short we went home but i couldnt stop thinking about this poor dog. so i told my wife stay here i have somthing i have to do. in my line of work she knows not to ask any questions because i wouldnt be able to answer her anyway. no im not into anything illegal actually the opposite. i went to where the dog was the owners had left and no body else was in the residence so i called a paramedic buddy of mine who is also an animal lover and we concocted a story that i had came to politely ask to take custody of this abused dog me and my buddy just happened to be together because we hang out alot and i wanted a witness. but since no one was home the lie had to go deeper we then made up the story that we smelled smoke coming from inside the house. so i kicked in the door and went through the house to the back porch and got the dog. i named her gypsy. she is part husky and part wolf. i found out the dogs history from the former owners sister. he found out i took the dog and what i had done but i dont know if its because of my occupation or just because he knows he wouldnt stand a chance up against me and my buddy in court. with both of us being city rescue workers.i dont know but now 14 years later my dogs back legs shake when she stands not all the time but alot of the time she is not over weight and as far as i and my vet knows there is nothing wrong with her. yet it nags at me. any ideas what could be wrong with her or is it just that she is old.

Hi.I have sat here and read every post. My senior dog,Heidi, is 13 yrs old last june, is having issues and we are prepared to have her put to sleep tmrw morning. We are just struggling with it, I want to make sure it is time and not do this too soon. She has lost control of bladder, even on meds now it isnt as effective. Her bowels are dry and crumbly and she is having bowel movements in her sleep or as she walks. She sleeps most of the day. She is irritable with the other dog. She is having problems getting in and outside, she sways after standing for very long.
I read others posts mentioning the restlessness at night. I feel l like I have an infant, I'm woken up so often. Most times she has already done her business, both. She let's us love on her, but as I was just scratching under her neck, she was swaying and before I knew it, she was on the ground sideways with her hind quarters.
My husband and I have discussed this many times, I've been resistant, feeling it was too soon. Although she can still bolt after a cat or greet her "daddy" each evening as excited as our 2 yr old golden, those are just good moments. Those good moments dont outweigh the bad.
This week I told my husband I knew it was time. We have an appointment at 9:30 in the morning, tomorrow. My husband is taking her. I can't, I want to be with her, but we have 2 young kids that I need to stay home with. Heidi has always been my husbands dog anyway...they went hiking, camping, he used to cart her everywhere in his truck. We are having a service for her,with the kids, as we did for our cat when he was hit, and bury her next to him.
This blog and all following posts have helped me tremendously tonight ,to know that it needs to happen. I have read and nodded my head in agreement with everything. I have cried so hard I couldn't see. It is a comfort to know we are right and I'm not alone in my thoughts and feelings.
Thanks to every one of you for sharing,
Heidi's mom...

Thank you for Serena's story. My Bandit a mix breed mutt was 15 in December'14 He has the pooping and peeing problem to where we can't let him out of the kitchen. He can't make it off the deck any more because of stairs and cannot get out the doggie door either due to bad back legs. He has the doggie dementia and cannot hear anymore. He's from a litter of 10 that his mother our Maggie had so I helped give birth to him. I've put down his mother 4 years ago and his brother 3 years ago. He's the last man standing and this is hard. But after reading these stories my decision is made. Thank you It's time.

Hello...thank you to all who have written their grief stories here. I am thinking that maybe it will help me and others if I share mine. Billy was a 15 year old bishon/cross something. My Billy from the very beginning was a strong willed dog who liked to make the rules. At times I was afraid to clean his ears, or trim his nails. Billy never did bite but I had a lot of anxiety because of his personality. But I grew to love him so very much. I at one point called Rescue Society to give him up, but could not give up on him. I decided that I was the problem, not Billy. I tried to be a better owner. I tried so hard to stop him from licking his paws, to catch him when he would wander away. Billy would growl and bite. Billy had attitude. But I grew to love him. Somehow I missed his teeth going rotten and his gums becoming severely infected. Billy was so strong but in the past few months and weeks his mouth began chattering and shaking uncontrollably. The vet suggested surgery, probably two, and he would most probably be fine. I made the decision that I could not put Billy through one more day of pain. If Billy survived he would have no teeth and the idea of him not being able to enjoy and eat his dinner was simply too much to ask of him. I could not keep Billy alive to comfort my own soul. I let Billy go to sleep in my arms yesterday with my heart warm against his. I loved Billy so much that I took away his pain yesterday and any future pain that he would go through. Thank you for reading my story. It has helped me to write. Janet

Janet, thanks for sharing your feelings and thoughts. In the movie "Shadowlands," a screenwriter gave C.S. Lewis the words, "We read to know that we are not alone."

That's how I look upon these stories of putting a beloved dog to sleep. We all have different tales, but we also all have similar feelings, worries, sadness, dilemmas. Knowing that we are not alone in these very human reactions helps.

The sadness remains. But it is shared with others. Our aloneness diminishes. Dogs give us that feeling of togetherness, of course, which is a big reason why having to let them go is so difficult.

Thank you...I have so much guilt putting down a dog that caused me so much anxiety for 15 years and yet a dog that I grew to love through all his bad character flaws. In the end timesBilly became a gentle, loving soul and one dog that I will never be able to forget.

Some months later since my last comment in October, and Rosie continued in her usual routine - struggling, pacing, not sleeping or settling until she then had a couple of fits over the Christmas weeks. The vet gave her a boost with VitB12 injections, course of anti-inflammatories and the "see how you go" comment.She became increasingly unaware of her lack of bowel control, and her sleeping worsened to the point of my husband having to get up with her every day at 4am. His health was beginning to suffer too because of her so I went to see the vet last week. The questions she asked - Does she enjoy life/walks/food/your company/her own company - is she happy more than sad...the answer to all the questions was a definite no. Relaying this information to my husband was the hardest thing and he went to absolute pieces. I made the final appointment for Rosie but then had to cancel it twice before finally accepting the inevitable on Saturday. Thankfully it was all very calm as I was expecting her put up a fight (she's always been resistant to drugs) but she went to sleep in my arms, finally at peace. I'm sure our lives will be very different from now on - the last 15/16 years Rosie has been with us virtually 24/7. We know we finally made the right decision but boy, was it hard to get there, and this weekend has been really, really tough. Other than the recent fits, I was dreading some crisis much worse that we wouldn't have known how to deal with and we really didn't want Rosie to suffer any pain.The vet said that very often, we continue to keep our pets "alive" as we think it's the right thing to do, whereas we need to consider what our pets might actually want too, but they can't speak and tell us. Rosie has been very hard work for most of her life, but we'll never forget her. RIP Rosie. God bless all of you with pets, it's a huge responsibility and we can only do our very best for them x

I just came on this blog and read all the stories wondering if I did the right thing. I just put my 17.5 year old dachshund to sleep on Saturday and I feel really guilty. But I know I did the right thing. She was constantly going into circles and then hitting head on wall and peeing and pooping in the house and getting stuck in places. She also had trouble with back legs and sat down more than she walked sometimes. I just miss her so much. I guess I was looking for other stories that would make me feel like I did the right thing.
Thank you for your time and for me let this out.

It has been a month since I put my beloved poodle, Koko, to sleep. She was 17, blind, deaf, and had dementia, she was losing control of her bowels and bladder as well and I struggled with the decision to put her down. We could no longer leave her alone for any period of time as she would scream if left by herself. At the time I felt it was the best decision for her as she would not want to be living that life. This was the sweetest animal I had ever encountered and truly my best friend. I would give anything to have one more day with her. I have cried every day since I put her down and have beaten myself up questioning if I had the right to end her life and feel so much guilt over this even though intellectually I know it was the best thing for her. Your article really helped. I don't think I will ever stop missing Koko and I hope to find a sense of peace but I guess it just takes time.

I'm sitting next to my little poodle/terrier mix, Wendy, who is 15 and has chronic renal failure, waiting until noon for our vet to come and put her down. She was diagnosed last September and did well on a reduced protein dog food. We went away for a week a few weeks ago and got a house sitter for her and our two other dogs, and cat and when we returned, Wendy really had gone downhill. I guess our being gone sped things up ...
We had the same house sitter last summer and all the animals did just fine.
Wendy is very alert and wants me at her side constantly. She has no appetite and is now very thin. No energy to greet me at the door like she used to do. I've tried everything, advised by my vet to get her going again, but it's no use. She has been my little shadow for 15 years, and was a rescue. Everywhere I would go, she was there, watching me fold laundry, make the bed, sewing, following me as I vacuumed! It will be incredibly hard to let this dear little dog go. She can still go through the dog door and go out and do her business, legs are weak from not eating. She is continually shivering, so I keep a blanket on her. I worry that I am putting her down too soon, and I feel so guilty about having left for a week earlier this month, even though I know I couldn't predict that she would go downhill like this while we were gone. Wendy's half sister, Mopsy, will have a huge adjustment to make, because she and Wendy have been together since birth. Mopsy is deaf now, and almost blind, and she relies on cues from Wendy as to what's going on. Otherwise, Mopsy is in good health. Thanks to everyone for sharing their stories, and for your story about your dear Serena.

Thank you for sharing your story about Serena. We put our 14 year old German Shepherd, Bear, to sleep on Tuesday, Feb, 3, 2015. When I read your words about going down the stairs like a freight train and up the stairs like the little engine that could, I was brought to tears. That described my Bear perfectly. She had elbow and hip dysplasia as well as degenerative myelopathy I miss her so much. Thank you. Your story helped me to reconcile so of my feelings.

I have tears in my eyes as I type. I put my 18 year old Bischon Frise, Crystal, to sleep today. She had a seizure/stroke this morning and she wasn't able to stand on her back legs.

Like others who have posted here, she had accidents in the house. She also didn't see well and was deaf. She would constantly bump her head on the walls. She still had a good appetite, but she didn't walk well anymore.

I got Crystal from a pet store, around this time, on Valentine's Day. She was the cutest puppy you would ever lay eyes on. I named her Crystal because the icicles hanging on my house looked like crystal.

I still cannot believe she is gone and I will never see her again. She was truly the sweetest and best dog ever and my best friend. I knew this day would come eventually, but it is so hard. The worst part was coming home from the vet to an empty house and I am currently hugging the blanket I wrapped her in.

Writing about it does help, so thanks for listening.

I think the sign I've been praying for was answered today when I read your story about Serena. I've been putting off having our sweet 13 year old lab, Hunter, put down for a few weeks now. He falls down a lot and I have to help him up. He bangs on all the walls in his room at night as he is struggling to get up to pee or poop. I find him many mornings soiled in his own urine/feces. What I've struggled with is him still interested in his toys and his food. I just felt like it wasn't time yet, but after reading everyone's story, I made the call. I'm sad and feel guilty, but I know I'm making the right decision now. Thank you.

Our Chihuahua Sugar is 15. She was up from 2am to 3:30 am this morning with a night terror - pacing, panting, inconsolable. We know think this is dementia. We are going to the vet today to talk about next steps. We want to end this at the right time and just not sure it is going to be like we thought, heart attack in her sleep. Looks like we need to make the decision that so many of had to make. Many blessings to you all.

Thank you for your post. We've just had the gut wrenching experience of our poodle Renny going into renal failure suddenly. There probably were signs but we didn't really see them. He was a most beloved boy. he had 8 1/2 years of 24/7 companionship. He was having seizures and his remaining life would have been very limited. Our vet agreed with our decision but it's so hard because he was running around just two days ago. We had him put to rest yesterday. Our hearts are broken. But we couldn't let him suffer. Thanks for all your stories. It's helping but we're in a lot of pain.

my 16 yr old border collie is very well in herself, no problems, good heart, bright eyes, eats well but this last wk, back legs wont work anymore and has to be carried outside. We hate to see her like this,do we need to put her down, she is so well looking and vet says old age spine problems bur no pain. Bewildered

my sister's 14 year german shepherd mix, has very bad arthritis in his back leg and been on strong pain killers for the past 2 years and his condition deteriorated fast, he's having trouble walking and standing up to go to the toilet. my sister used to help Zappy to go upstairs and down the stairs but for the past week she just stayed downstairs with zappy so zappy won't get lonely. in the past a few days zappy became urine incontinence, my sister constant changing and cleaning and washing the beddings. zappy hardly touchs his morning meals but eats well in the evening. when you look at his face,he still a very good looking dog, ears standing up and alert but his back legs waste away. it just so sad to watch zappy having trouble getting up and standing up, medication makes zappy sleepy all the time but when he's awake he is alert. how can you put him to sleep when he still aware of his surroundings but when you watch his movement you know he is suffering. it's going to be heart breaking decision about letting zappy go.

Thanks so much to all the joys and also the heartbreak. Just yesterday we had to put Samson to sleep. He was a 14 1/2 year old, 7 pound Maltese. In the last couple months he developed a kidney disease, had bouts with diarrhea and then most recently was not eating. Vet had told us he would eventually stop eating with his kidney condition and we would know when it would be time for him to go to sleep and be peaceful. My wife and I are heartbroken and miss him dearly. We take solace in knowing we gave him a beautiful life and he gave us so much happiness as well. Prayers to all.

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