« Salemians make creative 2014 wishes for our city | Main | Salem needs more artistry from City officials »

December 15, 2013


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.


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.


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

Hello, I have been searching the internet for help with deciding when to put my 16 plus cock-a-poo Roxy to sleep. Given she was an owner surrender, they had limited information about her exact date of birth. She was neglected but we know she is at least 16, I made her birthday July 4th for Independence Day. She has lived a wonderful life with my other 3 dogs and I for the past 7 years. She started failing a couple of years ago but the past year has been worse. Her failing hind legs and dementia became more serious 8 months ago. She has also had fecal incontinence off and on for two years. She has been on metronidazol for incontinence for several months and Rimdyl for the past 3 months which has helped a little with getting her up the stairs and her getting up after extended time in her bed. I have to help her often and she has most of the issues the above dogs have. She is still very sweet, enjoys affection and will eat (although less) but that is it for the most part. The last time I walked her a few weeks ago she was extremely slow with little interest. She will however wonder around my large yard and sometimes stare into space. She is about 80% bind and also her hearing and sense of smell have diminished. Recently her pooping in the house has become pretty constant with her not waking me to go. She used to wake me know I just here click, click, click of her nails. I keep her groomed short to help. I can deal with cleaning up (thank God for hard wood floors) but it has become a daily occurrence maybe even twice a day and it breaks my heart to see her legs splayed out on the floor or struggling to get up. I rush to help her and have rubber back mats all over the house yet she prefers the wood floor or her bed. With all of her problems, I do not believe having an appetite should be the deciding barometer to keeping her in my world. She deserves more. I lost my beloved Jack Russell Jazz a year ago, a day before her 15th birthday. She suddenly became ill and I did everything I could yet was told she would not make it due to congestive heart failure and a growth. The vet said she had 3 days to live so everyone visited and we did all we could to make her happy and comfortable. I asked God to take her if it was her time and told Jazz she could go and that night my baby passed around 3:30 am in my bed next to me. It was a beautiful ending to her life. My vet said I was fortunate she died as she did but know I will probably never happen again which is why I am here. Thank you for the amazing guidance. Your article and comments were helpful beyond measure in my decision. Thank you

What beautiful, tender stories.
Bless all of you for your loving care to your canine friends.


It was on the 22 september 2017 that i made the decision to get Misty put to sleep. Like yourselves i really struggled and didnt feel i could cope with this difficult decision. I wanted to keep her with me but that would have been really selfish. In end she couldnt walk far, at one night walk i walked ahead of her she stopped and looked at me then she just collapsed on the ground i ran to her saying how sorry i was and i picked her up and carried her home. Then in middle of night she would pant until she got settled. This has been going on for a few months now (the panting) she was on tramadol and gabapentin to ease her pain. She also had a huge mass on her left side and it had doubled in size in last couple if weeks. On her second last trip to vets as we were leaving an old guy going in commented "not a happy dog" . Right up until end though she was eating and drinking it was her body that gave up. Im torn up with grief at having her put to sleep but im sure i did right thing by her. RIP Misty 14/01/02-22/09/17

Brian - I have had this page saved in my iPhone Safari reading list for months now. I have read it multiple times along with everyone’s comments. I guess it was to help fortify my confidence in making the right decision for our elderly yellow lab, Elsa. She crossed last night, with me and my husband by her side, tummy filled with cheese (her favorite). She went snoring, peacefully.
I woke up this morning after a few hours of restless sleep and felt such profound grief and agony. But I reread your words and know that it was the kindest thing we could have ever done for her. What an honor to have been there for her throughout her happy life and peaceful end. I just wanted to say thank you for giving me some solace.

Yesterday - I took my 11 1'2 yr aussie Shooter to the vet - I knew it was time - he had hip dysplasia and been treated for 6 yrs more or less - he was such a good boy - he continued to sweetly go potty whenever we asked. His eyes were cloudy - and he could not lay still for long - he panted most all day and night - and even with medicine was awake most all nights - he was terrified of walking on any slick surface - we travel and have moved several times this past couple of yrs - he would ride patiently on day long trips - but the last yr it has taken him longer to recover - he also had some raw spots where he licked - I think b/c of pain - he lost interest in most things (except his love of the leaf blower) - maybe b/c of pain - he stopped following me around - but still liked for me to go outside while he was in the grass - he put his paw on my hand when I would pet his stomach, he ate well - drank more than usual - he began to lay by us more - he was falling more - and barely made it up a few steps - I would pick him up - or support his back legs when I was there - he seemed to appreciate that. He rarely complained except little whimpers in his sleep -I think he may have had a little stroke or dog dementia - he just wasn't himself - although he tried to be what he thought we wanted. Future grooming would be out of the question - even though I know they loved him - it would just be too painful - I can not describe how heartbroken I am to lose my travel party buddy - he was the life of the party - a real jokester - and everyone loved him - he was so funny. I can't stop crying - his last morning was one of his better days - and this made me even more sad and guilty. My husbands tears make me feel like even more of a monster - even though he agrees it was best - it was me who pushed and made the appointment - I knew it was coming and it was all I could think of - I knew it had to be done - or accept that things would get worse - I was very worried he would dislocate or break a leg (again) - I thank you for giving us a place to share - I bet you never knew your blog would bring comfort - I'm sorry for all who have to make this choice - I know there will be better days. He loved loved loved to swim - this summer he went to the beach for the first time - he loved it until the waves knocked him down - so we just let them wash over us for awhile. I will miss you puppy...

We do love our dogs.. because they love us, so we love them, so they love us. It's tough to make that final decision. Sometimes it is very obvious that it is time and at others you are in limbo, sort of a transition period, which is where we're at right now with our 12 yr. old golden retriever. She still gets some enjoyment out of life and is not in gross pain but her gut is uncomfortable (mast cell lymphoma), has diarrhea and low appetite. She lies around a lot and is mopey. She wasn't supposed to make it this long. She fooled the experts and the vet called her "a miracle dog", but I think she has had her last swim. When she stops drinking and won't get up, then it will be time. I've been through this with a number of dogs but practice does not make it easy. Carry on.

This is what I needed. Our dog is “young” and about to turn 9. She’s never had any heath problems until 2017. Enlarged heart and it’s just going downhill from there. These past few months she’s gone from brown to almost all white in the face, eyes clear to cloudy in what seemed like a night. She’s lost control of her bowels and also her bladder. Our vet bill is outrageous. Thankfully they take payments. They want us to take her to a Nero. The closest is a few states away. Which is nearly impossible. We are moving in March and the vet thinks the move will stress her heart. We are a military family so the move can’t be avoided. She’s not her old self. It breaks my heart to see her exhausted after a few stairs when she literally could go hours playing catch a year ago. They vet is stumped as to what is causing all of this to happen so rapidly. They took her off all medications. She’s my girl. She’s been there through deployments and grown up with both our kids. My husband and I don’t know what to do.

Thank you for this post I am not sure how I found it, but I believe God led me to it, because we have been struggling with the same issues as you did. This has given me peace about our upcoming decision, and I thank you for taking the time to post. I too have said it would be such a blessing if he just passed in his sleep, and yes you are right giving them dignity before it because too late, that is what the reality of euthanasia is for our beloved pets and for us. I believe my sweet boy will be at the bridge waiting with my cats that I have lost. I know God has a special place in heaven for them. Thank you again for this post it touched my heart and I will share it with some of my other close friends who are facing the same reality. Blessings,


Sorry for your loss, and I know how tough it is. We decide to do that to our beloved pets because we love them and putting them sleep with the help of pet euthanasia is a hard decision but it favors to them because we don't want to suffer them in pain. Please refer to this link: https://pawsatpeacepethospice.com/

I'll join the chorus of gratitude for this piece, and yes, I'm going through it right now too, with my miniature dachshund, Simon, who is a couple months shy of 16 years old and starting to show signs of dementia, as well as incontinence which gets worse each week. He's gotten skeletal in appearance, and is mostly blind and deaf. The worst part is that it's hard for him to do what he's always loved, which was snuggle with me. He panics and grows agitated - I think mostly because he knows he has to pee, and he's in a diaper, but he's also in my bed having to pee, so that freaks him out - and sometimes I think it's just the dementia leading him to feel scared and panicky. We're waiting for that time when we know it's time to euthanize...but damn, it's hard to watch my little critter and friend and companion and (I'm a psychotherapist) colleague decline before my eyes. Thanks for providing this resource for folks going through this tough transition.

Our 13 year old Chihuahua has Canine Dementia. We saw the first signs of it almost a year ago. She started having trouble maneuvering stairs, so after a few falls we made stairs off-limits. Then we experienced the stopping and staring, standing in corners and going to the hinge side of the door. These were hard to watch but not too worrisome. She stopped being interested in her toys; we will make sure we bury her with her favorites. Then she started seeking out spots she had never gone in before and she would get stuck behind furniture . Her body now and then will get very feeble and she will walk sideways, fall over or do a headplant. I have had to raise her water dish, she has come back to me wet, and I worry that if I am not home she could drown. She walks with her tail down between her legs and her head held down. This was a dog who always had a wagging tail and bright, happy eyes. Those are gone. She sometimes can't get into her beds which are on the floor. Elimination is becoming an issue. I need to sometimes hold her like a baby and hand feed her ( which I love, actually) since she sometimes is so unstable that she falls over reaching down for her food. She has given up eating dog food of all kinds and is still eating tiny bits of egg, bacon, turkey, chicken, steak. She will have some good nights, but it is not unusual for her to wander almost all night seeking corners and weird places that I may have overlooked when baby-proofing.
I have thought about euthenization. It would be easier on me, after the initial heart-wrenching ordeal. As long as she is still eating and having some relatively good days and night, I feel I don't want to give up on her.

2019- your story still resonates. My dog is in the same position as yours was. I was unsure what to do until I read your story. It’s not easy to make that ultimate choice for our dog by at the same time it’s hard watch them suffer as they do when they get older. My dog is 15. She is my best friend. It’s hard to let go. My home won’t be the same without her. Tomorrow we are taking her to the vet... like you said to do the deed. You’re words mean so much and brings me comfort to think we are not only ones struggling with a difficult decision. I think we all want the same... for dog to go to sleep and not wake up. Like you said our dog should go while they still have some good health left. Your idea to say your dog is going to sleep and is not going wake up is comforting way to see our dog one last time. Than you for being a beacon of hope for those who struggling with thought of doing the deed.

Right now I have 2 schnauzers, 12 and 14. Both are blind, the 14 yr old is also deaf. i paid alot of money last year to have the eyes removed from the 14yr old, now the 12 yr old needs the operation for one eye. If not the alternative is 400. 00 worth of eye drops every 6 wks or so.
I find myself resenting the time and energy needed to keep up with them. I also resent the money I spend. I am 60 yrs old and the"child" for whom the pets were bought, is no longer living at home and unable to care for either dog at this time.

I am struggling emotionally because I live alone, my house smells like a barn, and its a huge effort for me to be able to invite anyone over.
The dogs have to sent to the kennel, or they will bark endlessly, professionals have to come in and steam my hardwoods and carpet etc.
Cleaners have to help me with chores i dont get to because i clean up after the dogs everyday.. my life feels very controlled by my pets at this point.
I am also worried about the large sums of money i have spent for the medical procedures needed by the dogs.
I do not remember any of my childhood dogs going blind, and my parents certainly wouldnt have payed 3500.00 to have their eyes removed. I did find out that most ordinary vets can remove eyes for a much lower rate, and i ONLY have to pay 1200 for the removal of the12yr olds 1 eye. At first my vet recommended me to their collegue who was an eye specialist, thus the large surgery fee.

From reading these comments I am now wondering if the younger one is in fact senile. The 12yr old wants to eat constantly, and i cant imagine where shes putting it all.
now she hardly wants to go outside by herself anymore so much of the output is in the house.

I am really at a loss right now because I feel like a servant to my pets, whom I love dearly, but really, Im a senior too and havent been in the best of health this year either.
Thanks for listening.
Im not ready to let go, but I realize that its coming.

I am in a difficult place with my Great Dane, Claire. She has severe spondylitis and hip dysplasia, but can still walk. She has some limitations with movement and is under a vet’s care with anti inflammatory therapy, pain medication and supplement support. She is only 8; we adopted her when she was 4, having been abandoned after being repeatedly bred. She has come so far and has been a bonded companion to our 10 year old male Dane.
She has developed fecal incontinence and we now have her in washable diapers. We have begun the discussion of when to let her go. Our vet said when her condition caused incontinence was a fair time for her and told us she wouldn’t be a typical case;she’s still a fairly young dog. Reading other’s stories here has been helpful- the big difference is most are old dogs. We’re taking it day by day for now.

I know this is an old thread but I came upon it this morning and it has really helped me. My 15 1/2 year old pit mix is having similar issues, plus the occasional seizure. She has weakness in her hind quarters and has hardly pooped outside in months. She doesn't even realizes she has gone. She wanders at night and we find her staring off into space, or standing in corners. But, she is still our girl- loves to snuggle up with you when you pet her, which she never did before, eats like a champ and is generally a joy to be around (unless you are trying to clean her up, see point above). She was our 'kid before kids'. Is her quality of life good, I'm not sure. Is it going to get better? Well, she is over 15 and a 50lb dog so not likely. We don't want her to suffer but also feel like we are being selfish to keep her her on this earth. The line you wrote 'Here’s the most important thing to remember: ”If you can save your dog or cat even one day of discomfort, you must,” . I am a bucket of tears today but I know it is the correct, unselfish decision. Thank you for sharing your story. We have her scheduled for Monday so we get one last weekend to enjoy her before her trip over the rainbow bridge.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Strange Up Salem

Welcome to HinesSight

  • Salem Political Snark
    My local political rants are now made on this badass blog. Check it out. Dirty politics, outrageous actions, sleaze, backroom deals — we’re on it. 

  • Twitter with me
    Join Twitter and follow my tweets about whatever.
  • Church of the Churchless
    Visit my other weblog, Church of the Churchless, where the gospel of spiritual independence is preached.

  • Welcome to HinesSight. If this is your first visit, click on "About this site--start here" in the Categories section below.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...