Yesterday I took Oreo to be euthanized. He has been my pet and friend and a big chunk of my heart for 16 years.

Quite well I remember coming home late one evening, from a long day of work, to find this strange, frisky dog on the carport.  I assumed him to be a stray or to belong to a neighbor, so a couple of times I shooed him away.  As soon as my back was turned, he would return with a slink, almost crawling, insistent that he belonged.  The porch light came on and my wife came out to inform me that we now have a new dog.  She and the kids drove across town to answer a classified ad in the newspaper.  A friendly and frisky border collie mix needs a good home.  Free!  And so Oreo was now part of our family.

Somewhere along the way he became my dog.  Oh, he belonged to the family, helped us to raise three kids, and kind-of/sort-of liked my wife.  We played.  We took walks together.  And we had lots of conversations.  Well, I pronounced the words while he wagged the tail.  I think he appreciated that I considered him as an equal, which might say a bit about my self-image, but I think mostly states the value I have for pets. As a young boy I came to understand the importance of friendship with a dog.  Life at home was sometimes rough.  No dad around.  But we lived next to what seemed to be an endless forest, and I had two mutts that loved to roam the woods with me.  Thus Blackie, George, and I spent our summers and evenings after school.  I learned lots of things, like how to enjoy my own company, and how to appreciate God’s creation, and especially that a good dog makes a mighty fine friend.

Oreo has tolerated a lot from this highly imperfect owner.  We’ve lived at several different places.  Along the way he has been snake bitten- right on the nose!  And it seems he has been beaten-up by every dog in every neighborhood.  He likes the ladies, but he is a terrible fighter.  Anyways, it was all in vain, for long ago we saw the wisdom of having him neutered.  And he forgave me even that indiscretion, a reminder of the unconditional love of such a companion.  Moving to our present home was a radical change from the rural settings of the past.  Oreo was confined within a chain link fence, and such proved a difficult adjustment to his carefree living.  One day I noticed he had licked bare the tops of his front paws, an obvious sign that he was unhappy.  So the next day we began what would prove a rewarding regimen of many years, our morning and evening walks.  Very much he enjoyed these times, and all seemed well again.

About two years ago he ceased the walks, in spite of prodding from our younger dog and myself.  No longer could his old bones and joints tolerate the pounding.  Thus he confined himself to what I thought to be a pampered life in the backyard.  Most days he would laze under the shrubbery.  And he grew older.  His demise was consistent and I’m sure common to all, whether dog or human.  Cataracts.  Soft food.  Short temper.  And, a noticeable change of personality.  Family and friends began to tell me it was time to consider “putting him down”.  But this was my friend, my pal, and in my estimation he had earned the right to love and grace.  So I was stubborn about the matter.  But, time can be rather cruel.

Three months ago we agreed he could no longer come into the house, because either he could not or would not control his bowels.  He never seemed to understand, and would stand at the patio door for hours, longingly and pleadingly looking into the house.  Sometimes I would relent, and usually it was not a good thing.  He would awaken me at night with a sad bark, his plea to come into the house.  I would go out to scold him, and then feel badly, knowing he simply was sad about the whole matter.

One night last week he barked again, several times.  I went out to find him in a sitting position, unable to stand because of the combination of arthritis and a dislocated hip.  And, thus I knew it was time.  Still, I waited another week.  The finality of the matter was not easy for me to admit.  Maybe he would get better… Perhaps he would die in his sleep…  And it became obvious.  For whatever reasons, Oreo's body was not ready to die.  But it was time.  It was the right thing to do.  And, as the person who loved and knew him the most, it was my responsibility and privilege to take care of the matter.  My old friend had always counted on me to do what was good and right.  And this time I would not let him down.

Yesterday I called the vet and made the appointment.  3:30 p.m.  Would I want the ashes and a memorial urn?  No, I don’t think so.

I called him into the house, one last time to sleep in his beloved spot, sprawled out on the floor with sun streaming upon him from the window, oblivious to the rest of the day.  And several times I sat next to him, just to scratch his ears and say some stupid things.  He’s almost deaf, so it did not matter what I said.  And he has come to the point that all he really wants is to be left alone.  But these moments were more for myself than him.  Once again I thought about this fine friend and loyal companion.  In the quietness of the moment it seemed we confirmed, together, that the timing was right and the issue settled.  There was peace.

I did not feel much like working for the rest of the day.  And I am sure such would seem silly to anyone that has never loved an old dog.  So I sat in my easy chair and listened to my mp3 player.  I did not want conversation- just reflection.  And in just a brief moment it was time to go.

Debbie went in to say goodbye.  She did not say much, but there were tears in her eyes.  She took a photo.  But I will not see it.  I do not want to remember Oreo as an old, worn-out dog, lying upon the carpet.  He was an energetic and frisky fellow who loved to play fetch and go for long walks, and bounced with joy when his friends came along.  Yeah, that's what I will remember, and with a smile. Carefully I picked him up and carried him to the car.  He seemed lighter than before, and later the vet would confirm that he was dehydrated and likely suffering from early kidney failure.  He felt so frail.  And yet, characteristically, he submitted to whatever I was doing, although surely he was confused.  Or, just tired.  He simply lay in my arms.  And when I sat him in the car, he just stayed.

By the time we arrived at the vet, I was pretty much an emotional mess.  I was determined to do my best not to be a crybaby- who wants to deal with this 52-year-old man bawling over an old dog?  But, it was certainly a somber time as I walked into the lobby.  The receptionist seemed to understand for there was little small talk.  She ushered us into an exam room where the vet would soon come.  And so we sat for about twenty minutes.  I am glad there was a delay.  It allowed me to gain composure and assurance this was the right .  At first I was telling myself, Get control.  It's just an old dog!  But I set aside that strategy, and found much more comfort by repeatedly telling myself, This is the most loving thing to do.

The vet and his assistant entered the room and right away it was obvious this was not an enjoyable task for them.  They were professional of demeanor, which I really needed at that moment.  Clinically he explained the process.  He would give Oreo a shot to relax him, and thus within five minutes he would fall into a deep sleep.  Then he would be placed upon the table and administered a dose of phenylbarbital.  And quickly his heart would cease.  He mentioned complications which could arise, but assured these were very unlikely.  The lady sensed my distress and asked if I was sure that I wanted to be present?  This was my friend.  There was no way I would abandon him at this moment.

With the first shot, which seemed painless, quickly he lay down and slept like a baby.  I have not seen Oreo at such rest in quite some time.  The pain of his ancient body no longer seemed a hindrance.  I stroked his dry and matted fur,and thought of how it once felt so silky.  In my mind I pictured him running through green and rolling fields, with that big and broad smile, leaping with unbounding energy.  Ahh, that would be nice!  And I was at his side as the last shot was administered.  My hand was upon his chest as his breathing became light.  Then it was over.  The doctor checked with his stethoscope.  Oreo was gone.  The nurse asked if I would like a few moments alone.  I said no.  It was over.  My heart was not heavy, and I was able to walk from the room with composure and peace.

For many years I have believed that life is much more than the physical.  Do dogs go to heaven?  I am not sure.  But I am convinced that a loving and gracious God has immensely gifted my life with this amazing friend.  He has promised that He has gone to prepare a place for me, and that one day He will come again and take me to be with Him in that place, forever.  And since that place will filled with amazing happiness and joy--- maybe there will be room for a little dog that has proven to be my gift from God?

(If this all seems too sappy for you...get over it!)


posted by: surrogate (reply)
post date: 12.09.08 (9:39 am)

This was the most beautiful thing I've read in a long, long time.





posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 12.09.08 (10:06 am)

Reply to: surrogate
Thanks. It was tough. A big and most useful part of writing, I believe, is to unburden the soul. Just to get it out is a major part of the healing process.

Thanks for reading.



posted by: Barb (reply)
post date: 12.09.08 (10:23 am)

Dave, I know exactly what it feels like and what you are going thru. We had our precious Duchess put down several years ago - cancer in her bones, no hope for treatment; and then Kitty-Wootie, the cat who adopted us - he had kidney failure and felt like a ragdoll when it was his hime; and then Bessie. Bessie was the best bassett hound ever and I still miss her even tho it's been 2-1/2 years. I took Duchess and Kitty-Wootie by myself, too, as you did, but with Bessie, Joe went with me and it was the saddest thing we've ever done together. But it was good for us to be there supporting each other - no one should have to go thru something like that alone - in that exam room with the last breath leaving your best friend. So I know you will miss him and you'll go the door to let him in or feed him and then realize, he's not there. But he's in your memories and nothing can take that away (we hope -old age has a way of stealing even that, I hear). It's so sad, I'm really sad for you.



posted by: Ladyg (reply)
post date: 12.09.08 (10:40 am)

So sorry about Oreo, they are like a part of the family. Remember the good times.



posted by: mimi (reply)
post date: 12.09.08 (10:41 am)

ah, dave, the words and feelings made me cry, but i, too, know that you did the kindest and most generous thing in releasing Oreo! loving you xoxoxo



posted by: PirateGirl (reply)
post date: 12.09.08 (10:45 am)

"Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them..." Matthew 6:26
- I always liked this verse - What I always take from it is that God loves all his creations.

I too love animals and have always had them in my life. ( My folk's "first child" was a cat) - we had cats, dogs, and even ferrets who were part of our family - I remember one cat in particular who passed in my arms in the middle of the night. He had become ill, and it was a matter of time. I know that God woke me that night to find him trying to hide - I held him and told him I love him and that it was ok - he took his last breath and was finally at peace and pain free.

You and your family are in my prayers as you remember fondly your precious friend Oreo

God Bless
(((hugs))))
-PG




posted by: OldSchool (reply)
post date: 12.09.08 (11:43 am)

So sorry to hear this. It is amazing how our pets can truly touch our lives and become interwoven in them.

Your words were heart-felt and touching. Thanks for sharing and sorry again for the loss. God bless.



posted by: fractalmom (reply)
post date: 12.09.08 (12:14 pm)

rough. sorry PD. been there. They will all be waiting for us to join us when we rise again.



posted by: rosietulips (reply)
post date: 12.09.08 (1:40 pm)

*sniff* You and Oreo were very lucky to have each other. I am sorry for your loss.



posted by: sweetvampiress (reply)
post date: 12.09.08 (1:44 pm)

Sounds like he lived a pretty happy life, with such a great friend in you. Losing a pet is like losing a family member. I'm sorry to hear of your loss.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 12.09.08 (2:10 pm)

Reply to: Barb
I don't remember kittie-wootie. But I remember your fine dogs. Yes, it is a sad time, but not a decision I regret. And we now have two good dogs and friends. These guys weren't with us last year. Cassie, my wife's little Shitzu, and Big Dog, my German Shepherd that showed up one day and nobody seems to claim as their own. So, he's mine.




posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 12.09.08 (2:10 pm)

Reply to: rosietulips
Thanks. Good friends are special when they come your way. I'll miss him.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 12.09.08 (2:13 pm)

Reply to: sweetvampiress
Yeah, it hit me pretty hard. I'll miss him and I'm quite sad. But, to keep matters in perspective, I just talked to a lady who keeps the ashes of all her deceased pets. In her Will is documented that one is to be buried with her, and another with her husband. Now, that is a level of affection that I've yet to reach.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 12.09.08 (2:13 pm)

Reply to: fractalmom
You think so? That would be nice...



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 12.09.08 (2:15 pm)

Reply to: OldSchool
Thanks. Now, how about a post or two about animals from the 80's. Surely there would be some movies and television shows about dogs, cats, horses, etc.?



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 12.09.08 (2:16 pm)

Reply to: Ladyg
Oh, I've no doubt the good times will linger in my memory far more than the last few sad days. That's a great thing about remembering, at least for most of us.



posted by: sweetvampiress (reply)
post date: 12.09.08 (2:16 pm)

Reply to: PastorDave
We had our dog and cat cremated and had the ashes for quite some time. I would have loved to keep them myself, but I believe they have been lost over the years. I'm not sure I would have them buried with.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 12.09.08 (2:17 pm)

Reply to: mimi
"releasing" - what a great word! Released from his pain and suffering, freed to something much better. Now, that is comforting. Thanks.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 12.09.08 (2:21 pm)

Reply to: PirateGirl
Thank you.
I'm not very attached to cats. At least, not as with dogs, which seem more personal. But we have a cat, a rather old cat, who seems quite healthy as well as very independent. He allows me the privilege feed him and care for him, and rarely to even pet him. All according to his timing. He's a good cat- as far as cats go!



posted by: inkspector (reply)
post date: 12.09.08 (5:39 pm)

It always is a tough decision but when you know it is time, it is the right decision.

I am sure you will feel and hear Oreo around you from time to time in the future.



posted by: PirateGirl (reply)
post date: 12.09.08 (7:28 pm)

Reply to: PastorDave

You're welcome PD - thanks for sharing how special Oreo is to you :)
- Seems most people are either cat people or dog people, I tend to like both - well, I should say, all, animals. We have had some great cats and dogs growing up, and even the ferrets had wonderful personalities! - I've heard it said about cats and dogs - "a dog will come to you when you call it, a cat will take your number and get back to you at their convienence" - LOL!
- We have a siamese/calico mixed cat right now, and from what I understand, siamese are very affectionate, and even greet you at the door when you come home - our cat has definitely lived up to this trait as when we open the door, there she is, just waiting to be loved ( ok, fed first, but then, definitley loved!) ;)




posted by: auntconi (reply)
post date: 12.09.08 (9:09 pm)

Your words were a beautiful tribute to Oreo...

I do believe someone was looking out for your best interest when Big Dog showed up at your door... almost as if Oreo ordered 'a replacement' ~ ((hugs))



posted by: fractalmom (reply)
post date: 12.10.08 (3:46 am)

Reply to: PastorDave

I do. God loves me, why would my pets NOT join me in eternity?



posted by: Chad (reply)
post date: 04.11.09 (10:03 pm)

PastorDave-Thanks for this original writing. As I type these words, I check on my own pal of nearly 14 years. It seems the time is near for my Sam. Reading your blog has assured me that I can be strong and stay with Sam til the end. He has put up with alot and so have I. That's why we love each other, I guess. I'll miss my Sammy Dog, but also I believe that God takes care of ALL HIS creatures in a way that we may not understand now. Sam may not make it until tomorrow morning ---Easter morning. It would be a fitting and humbling reminder of the sacrifice, and a reminder that life has pain, but He is always present for us.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 04.12.09 (6:01 am)

Reply to: Chad
It is Easter Sunday morning. I've just returned from Sunrise service, and found your reply. I hope Sam and you are o.k. You're right, what a fitting day for your good friend to pass to a better place. Ah, but a dog can teach us so much about love! May you find grace, and peace, at this time. God bless.




posted by: John (reply)
post date: 05.26.09 (11:19 am)

PastorDave thank you for your words. I actually have an appointment today at 5:45 to have my dog put to sleep. He is a 10 year old Akita that has been with me since a puppy. He slowly stopped barking, walking up steps, and now he can barely stand, it appears that he can not function with his rear legs. I am very sad, to the point where I googled "I have to euthanize my dog" and your blog popped up. I literally broke out in tears when you mentioned that you stayed in the room with your dog, I don't think I can do it. I will be taking him home with me though and I have prepared a grave on our property. I am 38 years old and I would have never thought it would be this difficult to put him down. He has been my partner in the protection of my family. He would be the one that would watch my kids as they played in the yard. I will miss him very much, I hope I will be able to handle it today and not start blubbering in the vet's office. Once again thanks for your words.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 05.26.09 (2:33 pm)

Reply to: John
It is 5:30 p.m. as I read your words. How sad. And yet, necessary, and the most loving thing to do. May you find peace about the decision and strength for the task.




posted by: John (reply)
post date: 05.26.09 (5:22 pm)

It's done, when I attemtped to pick him up he whimpered in pain, but he never snapped at me; loyal to the end. The vet was nice enough to come to my vehicle and put him down, and it was my plan to leave prior to the second shot. The doctor had me hold his head in my arms as he administered the first shot at which time he gave a slight whimper and then went limp, I was then ready to leave prior to the second shot, but the assistant advised that the one shot put him down. It's funny how that worked, despite knowing that I should be there for the entire thing but me still wanting to leave, the powers tobe had me stay I think for my own good. He died in my arms and I think that is the way it should have been, your were right about that. Thanks again. I know it was the rigth thing to do, but it wan not easy.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 05.26.09 (5:28 pm)

Reply to: John
I noticed how quickly and totally that first shot really knocked him out. Apparently your vet did it a bit differently. And, apparently, it was absolutely right for you and your beloved friend. Like I've said previously, I do not know for sure if dogs go to Heaven. I'd like to think so, since Heaven is supposed to be a perfect place for us, filled with love and joy. Some of my greatest experiences of both, most pure, were from my loyal pet.

Have a peaceful rest of the day!




posted by: Teresa Anderson (reply)
post date: 06.01.09 (8:51 am)

I can't hardly type this through all the tears but there have been a few wonderful four legged friends in my life that I sure hope I see again...



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 06.01.09 (9:24 am)

Reply to: Teresa Anderson
Teresa, thanks for reading! I had Oreo when I lived in Cochran. He loved living next to the swamps and woods of Gum Creek, spending hours wandering the countryside. Of course he was also bitten by a snake and whipped by a few stray dogs! But it was nice living in the country and not having to confine my pet- I don't know if there are many places where that luxury still exists.

Yep, a good dog makes a very fine friend.




posted by: GodofPie (reply)
post date: 07.25.09 (6:52 pm)

I googled "I euthanized my dog today" and I found you. Although I have owned dogs my entire adult life, this is the first time I have had to go through this. This was one of the hardest thing that I have ever had to do but, like you, I know that being there, beside Pixie, with her head in my lap, was the right thing to do. I'm glad I "manned up" and didn't just let the vet euthanize her before I got there. I am an atheist and I wish I could have the comfort from a belief that all my past pets will be waiting for me at the end of life, but alas I know that it is not to be. And, FYI, I cried like a baby from beginning to end. She had been at the vets for 3 days trying to get her kidneys to function again and they brought her to me on a lead from their kennel. I welled up as soon as I saw her and didn't stop boo-hooing until I left the vet. As with all mourning, today is a little easier but reading your blog sent me running for the tissue. Thanks for giving a place to ramble!
Rev. Jim
The Church of the Apathetic Agnostic



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 07.25.09 (7:43 pm)

Reply to: GodofPie
Thanks, Jim. And I guess I am agnostic when it comes to dogs and Heaven- I'd like for it to be true, but I just don't know. So much concerning life, and even more so God, involves faith.

I miss Oreo. Now I have another dog, a fine dog, who is devoted to me and whom I enjoy very much. And when I think of Oreo I think of so many of the good experiences, so there is no sadness. I believe you'll come to this point, too.

Thanks for dropping by!




posted by: Kate (reply)
post date: 10.03.09 (4:11 am)

I have trouble sleeping at night, wondering if I did the right thing for my 16 year old cocker spaniel. Your words helped. I dont know that I am ready for another dog, but I feel the same as you did. I only wish that I had a concrete sign that I did the right thing. I guess in time...



posted by: Kim (reply)
post date: 10.06.09 (4:46 pm)

I am carrying a huge amount of guilt over having my dog Penny euthanized. I feel terrible about the possibility of stealing time from her. She was a wonderful little Jack Russell, 14 years old. She was arthritic, deaf, and had eye problems. And horrible mouth problems. And yet, I still don't feel that I had the right to take her life from her. And how can I accept that she is just "dead". I have seen more compassion from some animals than I have people. How can there not be a place for them in Heaven.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 10.06.09 (4:55 pm)

Reply to: Kate
If you thought about the matter carefully, and I think especially if it was a matter that touched your heart deeply, then you did the right thing. Usually with matters such as this, we are conflicted, but above it all we know what should be done- the right thing. God bless you!



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 10.06.09 (4:57 pm)

Reply to: Kim
She's not just dead. You've some fine memories to cherish. And, seems to me, most folk believe there is room in God's plan for such beloved friends. That sounds mighty good to me!



posted by: Lara (reply)
post date: 03.24.10 (1:39 pm)

I went through the same thing a couple days ago with my maltese of 10 years. I am still a complete mess. Reading that others have gone through this makes me feel a little better. But I miss him so!



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 03.25.10 (4:23 am)

Reply to: Lara
It's tough, no doubt abut it. Some don't understand, but there are plenty of us around who will encourage you in these times.




posted by: sunny (reply)
post date: 03.26.10 (11:51 am)

Thank you for such beautiful story .. recently i loss everything i have in these financial crises , i made an hard choice to give my beloved dog of 17 years to my ex which i hate so much.. but it was for the good of dog as i don't want her to suffer like me now.. as my ex can give her much better care .. i cry for a week already .. but pick the phone make choice its hardest part..



posted by: sunny (reply)
post date: 03.26.10 (11:53 am)

Thank you for such beautiful story .. recently i loss everything i have in these financial crises , i made an hard choice to give my beloved dog of 17 years to my ex which i hate so much.. but it was for the good of dog as i don't want her to suffer like me now.. as my ex can give her much better care .. i cry for a week already .. but pick the phone make choice its hardest part..



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 03.26.10 (11:59 am)

Reply to: sunny
I am sorry you had to give up your friend of 17 years because of financial crisis. Hopefully it will only be temporary. A dog doesn't need much- just love. I now have 2 wonderful dogs, a German Shepherd and a Shitzu, and they give me so much joy. I wish for you the best. Please let me know as things turn around for the better for you.




posted by: sunny (reply)
post date: 04.10.10 (1:32 am)

Reply to: PastorDave


its been three weeks ,. i just got an call from my ex told me my dog was drown in her water fall , while i was out of state ,, i feel soooooo devastated now.. i feel as if i had made an horrible choice.. she could been live little longer if i had keep her.. my question is does dog really get drown, i though dog are good swimmers..especially she is long hair.. my ex made arrangement to an cemetery to bury her this weekend ... i feel sooooo sad and crying deeply inside.. i had my dog when i was young boy now i am an middle age man already.. she is big part of me.... i feel like contacting the police just to made an inquiry as to how she have really die in such an sudden.. i hate my ex sooo much.. she rip my heart out when she left.. and now she kills my dog..



posted by: Nicole (reply)
post date: 05.05.10 (10:51 am)

I had to put my best friend Harley to rest yesterday. It's not an easy thing to do. She has been apart of my life for 15 years. Only so many people understand what having a dog can do for you in life. She brought me up when I was down, she protected me and now she's where good doggies go watching over me. I'm 23, she's 21...we were inseparable, like twins, just a little different.




posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 05.05.10 (1:35 pm)

Reply to: Nicole
So sorry for your loss. You have truly been blessed to have such a good friend for so long. And that's a funny touch, "...like twins, just a little different." Thanks for sharing.




posted by: Nicole (reply)
post date: 05.06.10 (4:29 pm)

Thank you. She was truly a blessing. A dog I will never forget.



posted by: Amy (& Duncan) (reply)
post date: 07.13.10 (5:34 pm)

Dave, I sit here a woman of 42 with my precious Scottish Terrier, Duncan. This beautiful and noble creature has been my baby boy for 12 years. My husband and I can't have children so it just seemed natural out westies and Scottie filled that empty place in our hearts. Today is July 13th and exactly five years ago I had to send my 17 yr old westie McKenzie "home" and today I see my precious Duncan has lost his year long battle with cancer and it's time for him to go home. He's suffering and his once sassy spirit is now tired and very sad. Euthanizing My sweet pup is excruciating but my Mother said to me " your heavenly Father would never give you such a love and then take it away leaving you sad and destitute to never have that love again. HE is not capable of cruelty and only to love us ". I believe she's right. If the lion can lay with the lamb then can't we all get to curl up next to our precious "Oreos" "Duncans" and all? I truly believe YOU BET



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 07.13.10 (7:07 pm)

Reply to: Amy (& Duncan)
It's time, and you know it. Sad. But, the words from your mom have to be quite comforting. No matter our age, there are times when only mom can say the right thing! You've been blessed by a faithful friend for many years, and yes I lean toward believing you will see Duncan again.

Thanks for dropping by.



posted by: Donna (reply)
post date: 10.04.10 (4:30 pm)

What a beautiful story and one that mirrors this past Saturday for me when I took my Sue to the vet for the same. After she was rescued from a bad situation at 4 years old, into foster care for a year and then she chose us one day in Petsmart when we went to buy a frisby for our other dog! Almost 10 years later, with bad arthritis, she couldn't stand much, head tilt and no balance, cateracts and not much hearing, a 20 lbs shell of my baby who used to weigh over 35lbs....she wasn't there anymore, her eyes seemed empty and she just seemed confused walking into corners, get stuck and howling through frustration when she couldn't get up. My vet and her staff will never know how much I appriate their kindness; they never left my side from the moment we walked in to the moment I left. I am utterly heartbroken but she is at peace. My 2 & 4 year old daughters caught me in a sad moment yesterday and reasurred me that their Sue-Sue is having so much fun playing with the angels, her owies no longer hurt and she can run and jump again without falling down. I do believe with certainty that we will see our beloved companions once again. Thanks for listening and thank you for providing comfort with your story.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 10.05.10 (6:41 am)

Reply to: Donna
Hi Donna, and thanks for dropping by. I haven't visited this post for a while. I've been re-reading the comments, and the whole matter still makes me quite emotional. It's been about 2 years since I finally let go of my dear little friend. I still miss him. Your Sue sounds like she was quite a friend, & it is especially endearing to me how you know that she was the one who chose you! She enriched your life immensely, and now you have done the right thing, the most loving thing. And wow, your little children said just the right things. No doubt you are a great mom. Thanks!



posted by: Trish (reply)
post date: 10.14.10 (12:10 pm)

Thanks for this beautiful post. I have to make an appointment for my Rocky - beloved bulldog of 12 years (really old for a bulldog). He can no longer walk and he's such a frail shadow of his former self. I love him and it will hurt so bad. Thanks again for the beautiful post.



posted by: Donna (reply)
post date: 10.24.10 (7:52 pm)

Hi Trish,

I'm sorry that you are having to go through this too. It's been 3 weeks now and it has gotten a little easier but today I took a cake to my vet's office as a little thanks and it brought everything back from that day. It will hurt but it WILL get better with time. Rocky loves you and he knows that you love him dearly. He trusts you and knows you only want the best for him. Our furry friends are not ours forever and only on loan and I know you will see him again. You're in my thoughts :)



posted by: CLARA (reply)
post date: 10.29.10 (4:44 pm)

I EUTHANIZED MY DALMATIAN OF 12 YEARS TODAY. I CRIED FOR A MONTH, BUT SHE HAD CANCER, ANEMIA, ARTHRITIS, AND DONT WANT TO EAT. IT WAS A MATTER OF TIME. I HOPE SHE IS HAPPY NOW, WITHOUT PAIN, I WILL ALWAYS LOVE HER, AS WELL AS MY PAST PETS. THANK FOR YOUR COMMENTS



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 10.29.10 (5:29 pm)

Reply to: CLARA
You've been blessed, enriched, to have your friend and faithful companion for so many years. I very much know how hard it has been for you to come to this conclusion, and applaud you for your courage.

So, when do you think you will be ready to share your life with another pet?



posted by: mike pratt (reply)
post date: 11.15.10 (10:43 am)

I had my dog Ben euthanized on Saturday 6th November 2010,he was 16 yrs old and was a G.S.D.CROSS.
He had severe arthritis and D.M.
I am dying inside as I feel I took his life too soon.He was showing signs of D.M. and I am so confused because he was eating and still keen to go out,but was tripping and dragging hind legs,he also was treated for heart murmer and was incontinent.I have been suffering from depression for a while and this is too much mike



posted by: CLARA (reply)
post date: 02.13.11 (5:10 pm)

I LOST MY 13.9 YEARS PEKINGNESE. SHE WAS DIAGNOSED LAST YEAR WITH A MURMUR IN HER HEART-OTHERWISE SHE WAS`PERFECTLY HEALTHY,WITH APPETITE, AND JUST DIED TAKING A NAP,INSTANTLY. I AM GRATEFUL FOR THE 13.9 YEARS WE SHARED. HOPE TO SEE HER AGAIN WHEN I GET TO CROSS THE BRIDGE.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 02.13.11 (6:15 pm)

Reply to: CLARA
13.9 years is a long time to have a dog for a companion, so you have been blessed. Died taking a nap- good way to go! Thanks for sharing, and I wish you well as you deal with this hurt.





posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 02.13.11 (6:18 pm)

Reply to: mike pratt
Hey Mike. I am sorry not to have caught your story sooner. This is an older post, I try to check it periodically, but unfortunately have been deluged with spam comments, so I missed your genuine input. I can understand the guilt that you feel, and am sure it is part of the the process of dealing with such a heavy issue. No doubt you put a lot of thought and love into your decision. It is a loving and kind thing to relieve your friend and companion of his misery, so in my opinion you should let go of the guilt and feel good that you did the most loving thing. Maybe things are better now?




posted by: Viv (reply)
post date: 03.19.11 (8:40 am)

I have just been reading these comments with tears in my eyes. I have had three dogs of my own in my lifetime, Bruno aged 12 is still with me, I lost my beloved Tara at aged 11 to cancer seven years ago and Chappie aged 13 because he'd lost the use of his back legs back in the 80's. I question myself constantly about my decisions to euthanise even though at the time I thought, on the vets advice, that it was the right thing. It was of course, as they were both suffering in their own ways, but somehow that still doesn't make it feel right. How on earth do you EVER get over the guilt, the remorse, the pain and the hopelesness of these situations and now I've read about the poor little puppy who survivied two lethal injections. What if my two beloved dogs came round after their injections and found themselves buried alive? Oh God I can't bear it and there's nothing I can do. How do I cope with this new pain? If it happened to that puppy, surely it can happen to others. I know one thing, when Bruno's time comes, I will wait at least one full day before he is buried or cremated. Sadly, it's too late for my beautiful Chappie and Tara. I'm so sad.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 03.21.11 (8:06 am)

Reply to: Viv
You sound to me to be a very kind and sensitive person. A perfect person to have a pet as a companion and friend. I have not heard about the puppy who survived two lethal injections- could you please send me the link to the news story? My experience, when my beloved pet was put to sleep, was for the vet to stay with the animal during the experience and to check the heartbeat to confirm that he had passed away. It just seems to me that a competent vet would use a sufficient amount of the medication and would verify that it had its intended effect. So, I think, the matter you cite is a bizarre case and not something you need to worry about.

You loved your pets, your companions. You gave them a quality life experience, and the most peaceful and humane passing possible. You were right there by their side. I think you should feel at peace, with kind and endearing thoughts of your time together, and with hope that one day- God willing, you will see them again.

Update- I now have Big Dog, a lovable German Shepherd, and Cassie, a simple-minded little Shitzu. They are good dogs and good friends. We take walks together almost every day, and Big Dog insists upon sleeping in the house at night. I'll always love dogs and likely always have a couple around to share life with. Sometimes they prove to be my best friends.




posted by: Viv (reply)
post date: 03.23.11 (9:55 am)

Reply to: PastorDave

Thank you for your kind comments PastorDave. I'm feeling better now, it just helped to get it all of my chest. I know I'll always wonder though, but sadly there's absolutely nothing I can do about it now. Like I say, things will be different for Bruno and he won't be buried or cremated for at least 24 hours after euthanasia, so I am 100% sure.

My dogs were/are my life and I can't understand anybody who can hurt them, they give so much and ask for so little. I wish, wish, wish I could save them all.

Your dogs are lucky to have you but you would probably say, as I would, that you are lucky to have them!

If you type in your search engine (Google in my case) 'Twice euthanised puppy survives' you will be able to read about the little dog I mention.

Bless you and all our precious pets.







posted by: Lehua (reply)
post date: 03.28.11 (5:17 am)

Hi. After another night of no sleep and endless tears, tomorrow is the day we must take our beloved boxer Nubie in to be euthanized. Rescued and battered Nubie helped me thru my beautiful boxer/mastiff Maximus passing 2 years ago. Nubie, with his soulful knowing eyes, can no longer fight that brain tumor any longer. He's such an awesome old guy. He's my 14yr. old daughters bestfriend. Its going to be hard to let go of him. Mt heart once more will be ripped out of my chest in pain over what I will be doing tomorrow. He's a brave boy, he had a rough beginning, we gave him a really great life, now I have to take it away. The guilt from Maximus is still there. I just feel for everyone too. I know it's the ''right'' thing for Nubie, but it's such a big responsibility for me to take his life, since I didn't give it to him in the first place. I know it has to be done, it's just one of the hardest things to do for a pet lover. It will hurt me to see my daughter in so much pain after Nubie is gone.



posted by: Jackie (reply)
post date: 05.20.11 (10:14 am)

I got T-Bear in 2005 from the SPCA not for me but for my other dog that I got just 2 weeks prior from the same SPCA. The SPCA told me he was only 5years old but the vet said he was more like 9 or 10 years old, which would make him now probably around 15 or older. My other dog now 6 years old (black lab) Marley, I discovered has separation anxiety issues. I would come home to find my house torn up by Marley. When I first saw T-Bear through a window at the SPCA he was lying down. He has a face and black think longish hair like a Chow Chow. With short pointy ears, one ear stuck out to the side, the other ear straight up but bent at the tip. I called to him and when he stood up eager to come to me, I said to myself in surprise "where are his legs"? He has short thick legs almost entirely covered by his long black hair, long body like a Corgi, hair/face like a Chow Chow. His appearance right away got my attention. Odd looking but oh so cute. I had to meet this dog. And when I did, I knew he would get along fine with Marley. I wasn't looking for signs that he would get along with me (but he did) because I got T-Bear specifically for Marley. When I got T-Bear he was not only the companion Marley needed but later found he made me feel proud to have him. The similar feeling of pride that a female would have walking along side a tall dark and handsome man that would make people stop and stare. I would walk with T-Bear and think to myself "yep, he's mine all mine". In hindsight, T-Bear was being there for me, making me look good. During our walks T-Bear received more compliments than Marley. Marley looked and acted like the typical black lab. But T-Bear was unique as others have commented. So many people would come up to us and ask "what kind of dog is he" or would say "he looks like a bear cub". He looked liked a bear cub after I would shave down his hair. Sometimes I would make him look like a lion. I would say back jokingly, "he is part bear". Some people would ask to take his picture. I would be amazed at that request. He has the best personality that kids and adults would come up to us and ask about my T-Bear and the kids loved to pet him because of his hair. I often thought, "wow! this dog gets a lot of attention, who would have known?" I felt so proud. I have often wondered if he would be a good movie dog to share the spot light with comedians like Robin Williams. He is truly the most unique dog I have ever had. I think selfishly about having him with me as long as I'm still around. I don't care that his hair is no longer the best, he's almost blind and deaf, wears a diaper, walks into corners, has a hard time getting up, sleeps most of the time, short tempered. I know he's very old and can't do the things he used to do with us but I am so conflicted. He's still alive, how can I do it? I can't seem to get myself to get him euthanized. I know it is probably the best and right thing to do for my old partner but when I get the smallest courage to make that appointment I look at T-Bear sleeping and I hang up. I hear a voice saying, "don't to it". I hear another voice saying, "but look at him, you must do it".I have made many excuses which as prolonged my decision making. If T-Bear could only tell me what he wants me to do, then I would do it. I cried reading this article and the other postings hoping to find courage and strength to do the right thing. I was going to make a call this morning but made yet another excuse to read more about euthanizing your pet. He's so very old and weak but how do I decide when it is time?



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 05.20.11 (10:46 am)

Reply to: Jackie
Hello friend. I can so very much relate to the conflict, the battle, in your heart. That was my struggle. Several people whom I trusted and who loved me told me what needed to be done. But I lingered because I did not want to lose a dear friend. In the back of my mind was the hope that somehow things would get better, or at least not any worse. I think the final determinant for me was when I asked myself the question, "What is the most loving thing to do?" And I knew the answer. it was not the answer I liked or wanted, but it was the right answer. Still I waited a few more days, to be sure the decision was not made unwisely. It never hurts to sleep on a decision. You will wake up, soon, and just know it is time.

So, I say, give yourself some grace, some time. Think on it and pray about it. In the quiet, deep in your heart, you will simply know when it is time. Then you will be able to walk through those last hours knowing what you are doing is best and the most loving. It won't be easy.

And I will tell you that, for me, as soon as my precious dog and friend passed, I had a deep and calm assurance that I had done right. There was no regret. Oh sure, I've missed him. But I gave him the best life, was a good friend, and I gave him a good passing.

May you find peace.



posted by: Dee (reply)
post date: 06.02.11 (10:24 pm)

My small dog would have been 17 years old next month. She was progressively getting old and her health worsening in the last two years. Finally got the courage to help her a couple of nights ago. Didn't know very much about euthanizing a pet and learned some important facts too late. I was under the impression that once the shot was given that I would have a few minutes to calm and consoled her as she passed into the deep sleep. The vet's office didn't explain anything. Just took her to the back and brought her back to me in a few minutes deceased. It was not explained to me that a pet dies in 30 seconds or less after being injected. Would have spent more time with her before the injection and said my goodbyes and offer a prayer. Ask any questions before the procedure, don't assume that the vet's office will know your expectations. Also don't go to a vet's office that is so cold and business like as not explain things to you and ask questions.



posted by: Kristen (reply)
post date: 06.30.11 (6:38 pm)

I had to put my dog down today...I'm a total mess...as soon as I left the vet, I wanted to run back in screaming at the top of my lungs to stop..I just wanted to take her back home...but the vet said she was losing all neurological signals, thus making her incontinant, and her back legs we're extremely soft, they barely worked...and soon the same would happen to the front, and eventually her organs...not to mention severe arthritis in her hips...and he said if it was his dog...he would put her down to save her from future torment that was sure to come, maybe not this week...but soon...he was a really good vet...he let me sit in the exam room and cry for almost an hour with her...he gave me guidance and gave me thousands of reasons why it was the right thing to do...but out of my own selfishness, I want her back...I miss her so much that in hurts to even look at her bed...I couldn't stay in the room, I didn't want that to be the last thing I remembered forever...but he said he would stay with her...

Reading this story helped..you knew what you had to do and did it with the calm of someone who was truly being unselfish..I admire you..thanks for giving me something uplifting to read..it's the first moment of comfort i've experienced all day.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 07.01.11 (5:02 am)

Reply to: Kristen
Awakened this morning with my little dog, Cassie, snoozing gently at my side. We've had Cassie for several years now. Technically she belongs to my wife, but she is out of town for the week. Cassie is a Shitzu, very different from Oreo. And very much I remember Oreo. He was a great friend. But I know it was time for him to go. The pain of that moment when he had to be "put to sleep" is long gone. Life goes on. Now I have 2 fine dogs who are friends and fill my life with their joy and unselfish love.

I wish you the best as you move through this process of pain and release and personal growth. You were blessed to have a good friend at your side for so many years. And it sounds like your vet is a very compassionate person.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 07.01.11 (5:07 am)

Reply to: Dee
Wow. It is sad that yo were not served well by this vet. Indeed the shot works fast. My vet went to sufficient length to explain the steps in the process, and give me time to say my goodbyes.

You said, "...finally got the courage to help her". Indeed, I believe, there comes the time and place when having your little dog euthanized is giving help. You were courageous and good in taking this necessary step, even if the vet did not perform his role properly. I wish you godspeed as you work through your grief and hopefully prepare your heart for another pet and friend.



posted by: Anne (reply)
post date: 07.05.11 (11:27 am)

My husband and I cared for our 14 year old Silky Terrier, Sparky. As a retired couple, he had lots of attention from day one. We euthanized him June 14th. He had been battling a rare liver diasease and had good and bad days. But it was a sudden episode of tracheal collapse that brought him to the vet that afternoon. After incubation with oxygen, he was sedated and xrayed. It was a poor prognosis. He grew worse, not better that day, and we decided to end his battle with illness. We regret not taking more time to say good bye prior to the injection. We had about five minutes, I brought his favorite meal, which he did not want, his little companion Maltese was there and kissed him on the nose, we held him, told him he was a good dog, I asked him to wait for me someday, I told him "I'll be seeing you."
Then the injection went in and I watched him relax and told him he was almost home, which comforted him when we left the vets at previous times, he slumped down and passed with our arms around him. The vet said some nice things, we made arrangements for cremation. We left and went home with our other dog, only to cry constantly. We were unconsolable. We have no grandchildren and the dogs were "it" for us. There probably won't be any more dogs after Emme goes because of our age. (67 &71) I have played the enactment over and over, hoping it was the right thing to do and the right time. I picked up his ashes and they had put them in a little stained wooden box with paw prints on them and his name, with a little lock and two keys. It was heartbreaking. The box is on our bedroom dresser with the other dog's ashes. Every night I touch the box and tell him I love him. Every morning I cry and whisper "Another day without Sparky." I am making an effort to let him "pass" and begin a scrapbook of all the dogs, ten in all,that I have said good bye to and been priveleged to own. In our prayers and bible study, we petition that the Lord resurect our little ones to be with our family, whether we are in heaven or not. They were faithful little lamb servants. But Sparky was special. He was the cornerstone of our family.




posted by: CJ (reply)
post date: 07.16.11 (11:55 am)

I had to put my dog Snoopy to sleep today. He lived with me for 14 and half years. He was my first baby. Snoopy's story is similar to that of Oreo. He has been with our family through tough times. I am going to miss Snoopy very much. Life will not be the same for me anymore.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 07.16.11 (7:18 pm)

Reply to: CJ
Sorry for your grief. I still remember Oreo- he was an important part of my life and continues to have a place in my heart. Even as I type, Cassie my little Shitzu snoozes at my feet and Oreo lies outside the patio door waiting to come in. They are great dogs, both with personalities different from Oreo. Love- seems there is always the capacity to share it. I know you will work through this grief, and wish you the very best.



posted by: CJ (reply)
post date: 07.17.11 (5:19 am)

Thank you for your reply. I am not sure why I feel so guilty putting him to sleep. Sometimes I think I should have waited before I did this. I wish I could hold him just one more time and feel him.



posted by: Anne (reply)
post date: 08.16.11 (7:12 pm)

It has been two months since i put Sparky to rest and yet i feel sorry for doing so,,,so much second guessing about that awful day...memories just make me cry...its heartbreaking to realize that he's gone. I wish i could hold him and see his little face. Pet loss is rough.



posted by: Jolene (reply)
post date: 08.22.11 (7:23 pm)

I put my dog to sleep today. And it was one of the hardest and saddest things I've ever had to do. I happen to come across your blog before I had to go and get him euthanized and it just made me cry with a sense of relief. I know my dog is in doggy heaven right now. Rocky was always such a sweet dog. I miss him so much.



posted by: Jolene (reply)
post date: 08.22.11 (7:38 pm)

I came into ownership of him when he was 13 years old and he lived another three years after that. I'd like to think that my love for him kept him hanging on. That he looked forward to seeing me. I've never had a pet growing up unil I was an adult, and I never could imagine loving a dog like I do a person. Rocky taught me unconditional love.



posted by: Mona (reply)
post date: 08.29.11 (10:08 am)

I let my Yorkie Raja go on 8/27/11. The hardest decision I made. He was only 9; however had multiple issues and was in tons of pain. He had brought so much joy and kindness in my life. He taught me what unconditional love is all about. I am glad I read this blog today. The guilt of letting him go is eating me up. I held him in my arms and felt him go. I know I did the right thing and he is running around in heaven chasing birds and squirrels. I miss him so much. I hope both he and God forgive me.



posted by: Tina (reply)
post date: 08.31.11 (4:36 pm)

I had my dog put to sleep today. When I was almost 11, my dad died. Soon after, I got the best, most beautiful, devoted, lovely golden retriever imaginable. When I was almost 22, she was put to sleep. She woke up yesterday unable to walk. Her condition got worse and the vets advised euthanasia. I knew it in my heart that this is it. I could not keep her with me for selfishness. They said that an operation is a distant possibility, but with her age, and several months' rehabilitation... i could not do this to her. She's been paralysed for 2 days and she was miserable.

She will always be my first dog, my first loyal companion. :(

There's another special thing I wanted to mention.. After we came from the vet's office, me and my mum went for a walk, to honour her. We carried her collar. Soon after, we stumbled into a family friend and her dog. The dog never paid any attention to us before, just a dog you know. But today.. the dog wanted to go WITH us home. He didn't answer to the family friend, he just came to me and smelled me and licked me and it was as though he felt the spirit of my newly deceased dog... I was touched. :(



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 08.31.11 (6:29 pm)

Reply to: Tina
Thank you, Tina, for sharing this beautiful story. I find it interesting that your golden retriever came into your life exactly when you needed her the most. Not by accident, I believe.




posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 08.31.11 (6:30 pm)

Reply to: Mona
Forgive? I think he would thank you for releasing him to a higher plane of life. Thanks for sharing.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 08.31.11 (6:33 pm)

Reply to: Anne
In my opinion, when you make such a hard decision, you do your best to go with it and live without regret. You considered carefully and did what you truly felt was best. You did the most loving thing.




posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 08.31.11 (6:34 pm)

Reply to: Jolene
He became your pet when he was 13? What a wonderful gift for the both of you. You've been blessed. Thanks for sharing.



posted by: Su C (reply)
post date: 07.23.12 (2:19 pm)

I'm having to make this decision right now, probably this week, unless things change. My doc said, let's take this step by step, when I asked if this chronic cough was then end for him. He's been a great little friend, a chihuahua called Minute, so precious to me and my husband. I'm so sad, but can't have him sickly all the time. Even the vet got a little nostalgic, since he's treated him many times since puppyhood. I know he's a gift from God to me, just like Oreo. My little guy.



posted by: Tina (reply)
post date: 07.25.12 (6:11 am)

Thank you Pastor Dave for sharing your story about Oreo. Yesterday, I had to put my Jack Rusell/ Chihuahua of 18 years down. It was the hardest decision to make and all night I pondered if it was the right thing to do. After reading all the posts I've come to realization and peace that it was the right thing to do because Bud no longer has to suffer. Although I miss him terribly so, I know I will see him again someday. He was truly a gift from God and I am blessed to have lived with such a loyal and loving creature of God. Love you always Bud and thank you for being such a wonderful and loving addition to our little family!



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 07.25.12 (7:24 am)

Reply to: Tina
Yes, you've done the right thing, even though it doesn't feel so good at the moment. What a blessing to have had your little dog for so long. Your love and care no doubt extended his life for many years. And it was a good life, with shared love and friendship and joy. You are better for having known him. Thanks for sharing a bit of your story!



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 07.25.12 (7:29 am)

Reply to: Su C
Minute? Great name! That's a tough call, when it is not one major illness or condition where you just know there is no other humane alternative. Debilitating cough, ongoing sickness and misery.... I'm sure you will know when the suffering is just not going to stop, when he is no longer happy and is not going to get better, when the most loving thing to do is assist him in passing on to the next place. The most loving thing to do- that's your call. I wish you well. Please reply back, when you have opportunity, and let us know how things are going.



posted by: Cathie (reply)
post date: 08.08.12 (12:43 pm)

Within the next few days I will be taking my sweet girl, a beautiful Blonde Pommerian for her last trip to the Vet. Maisie is beyond precious to me. I look at her sweet face and the thought of being without her is unbearable. She is a constant in my life. It has been the Amazing Maisie and me alone together for a long time.I will be with her to comfort her as she goes to be with all the little loves who have blessed my family through the years. As I am almost 70 I dont think there will be another little love for me.
I'm so thankful to have found this site.
I know this the best thing for Maisie but I dont know how I can bear it




posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 08.08.12 (1:33 pm)

Reply to: Cathie
Your pain is deep, I can sense. I know you can find comfort that you have enjoyed this fine companion for so many years, and now you are doing the most loving thing possible as you help her to pass gracefully to the other side. I hear lots of people say that it hurts so much to lose a beloved pet, and therefore they will not have another one. But, seems to me, you are such a blessing to your pet and receive so much from the companionship, that surely you will along the way choose to enrich your life once again with a pet and friend?

Keep us posted!



posted by: Jj (reply)
post date: 08.12.12 (8:41 am)

Very nice. Makes me cry, thinking about my dog, who won't be with me tomorrow after only nine years. It hurts, and I'm still not sure if it's the right decision. And I know I'll find my dogs waiting or me in heaven, because my heaven wouldn't be perfect without my faithful companion there with me.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 08.12.12 (12:49 pm)

Reply to: Jj
Not sure it is the right decision- how so? If your pet still has quality of life, life without undue pain and totally unfair challenges- then maybe it's not time. You'll know, in your head and also in your heart, when it's time.

9 years of faithful companionship is a blessing. Thanks for sharing!



posted by: Emma (reply)
post date: 08.12.12 (5:45 pm)

Thanks Pastor Dave for your story. It's been helpful reading it and all of the other stories from people. I am sitting here looking at my little guy Bill who we are taking to the vet this afternoon. Bill is 14 and while we only picked him up from the pound in May of this year he has become part of the family and I can't think of waking up and not seeing him in the morning or taking him out for his walk and wee! He's a darling little man who was found on the side of the road one day and taken to the pound, where I first met him. The othe night the lens of one of his eyes popped forward passed his pupil leaving him blind in that eye and in pain. We could have that taken out but it will happen to the other eye shortly so that would leave him totally blind which I don't want him to go through. The op is a pretty big deal for an old guy, especially as he also has a heart murmour. We took him home knowing he was old, just wanting to give him a good home for his last months or years, but now the time has come to say goodbye I just can't cope. I have never been so sad. I know it's the right thing to do as Bill has lost his spark and is in pain but it's so hard to say good bye and picture him not around



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 08.13.12 (8:08 am)

Reply to: Emma
The pain you are feeling in your heart says you are a good person- kind, loving, sensitive. As much as it hurts, it is a good thing for a person to be able to open up her heart to love and be loved. Don't wish it away. Just work through this experience, with God's help. We all thank you for bringing Bill into your home. He deserves to have a friend like you, and to know he is important, loved. You've done well. May you have extra strength for the coming days.



posted by: Emma (reply)
post date: 08.13.12 (7:04 pm)

Thank you so much for your kind words. I miss him so much!!



posted by: heather (reply)
post date: 08.16.12 (4:52 pm)

Just this afternoon I had to put my 4 year old BuddyBoy down after a short battle with lymphosarcoma and my heart hurts so much right now. His sister June looks lost and right now she can't walk because she tore both cruciate ligaments in her back legs the same day Buddy was diagnosed. I am disabled and don't have the 5000.00 for the surgery to fix her. Unless she miraculously heals on her own she will need to be put down too. I know I serve a loving God and can't imagine he would make me do this again so soon. Please say a prayer for my sweet June to heal if it is not too much trouble. I very much believe I will see my Buddy again for I do feel that they by being such examples to us of selfless and unconditional love go on to Heaven to share more of the same and to be thanked by God for sharing their love and hearts with us flawed sinners called humans here on earth.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 08.16.12 (7:34 pm)

Reply to: heather
Indeed it sounds like your life has been enriched by this fine friend and pet. Thanks for sharing your story. Yes, let's pray June gets healthy and stays with you for a long time.



posted by: Trudy (reply)
post date: 08.24.12 (7:59 pm)

Thank you for all the stories I've read tonight. We take our beloved Ginger a almost 13 year old yellow lab tomorrow. I know things will get better but, I am crying like a baby and have been all day. Yes I remember the times we played and the constant companionship she has given me all these years. My husband and I are to be cremated and her ashes will be buried with ours and our other 2 dogs, Cody a puggle and Katie a terrier. The 5 of us forever. Thank you again.



posted by: Lindsey (reply)
post date: 08.31.12 (5:05 am)

Pastor Dave - thank you so much for this post. I was sitting outside sobbing last night after having my girl Penny put to sleep yesterday. She started having seizures and was diagnosed with dementia two weeks ago. We spent that time loving on her and yesterday morning when I woke up and she was having a grand mal seizure and couldn't come out of it I knew I had to let her go no matter how painful it was for me. She has been by my side for 8 years - through college, marriage and a baby. I spent most of yesterday wanting to run back to our vet wanting to take it back. She looked so peaceful once it was over. I guess I'll never feel like I gave up on her (a little) and I hope she's running around the Rainbow Bridge this morning in a way she hasn't been able to in years!



posted by: Christa (reply)
post date: 09.06.12 (3:33 pm)

Today I had to let my Lupo go.His right hind leg had given out completely.His other three legs were weak and afflicted with arthritis.They could not hold him up.His digestion had been faulty for some time.Supplements will only do so much .His gaze seemed to say'help me',and all I had to offer was euthanasia,by the vet,who attended him,since he was eight weeks old.He and I had been through a lot together,good and bad.He was my steadfast companion for 14 1/2 years.I love him ,but today I lost him ,he died in my arms.I feel like he has been torn out of me.My sweet Lupo,I'll miss you forever.I hope there is no eternity for me without my Lupo.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 09.07.12 (7:04 pm)

Reply to: Christa
Thanks, Christa, for sharing with us. The pain is real, but it is wonderful that so many understand. Lupo is a fine name for your friend. You did the right thing. Certainly I have hope that you will see him again!



posted by: Greg (reply)
post date: 09.18.12 (3:26 am)

Reply to: inkspector
I am in so much pain right now after my dog Zoey was put down by our Vet yesterday, my wife and our Vet said it was time, but I just wanted to pick her up and run out of the place before the heart stopping shot. I cried in the exam room-more like a complete breakdown,so much so that I felt a pain in my heart that still comes and goes. I am calling out to her and thought I saw something down by my feet for a short second-I hope it was her. This was my first night without her and all I want is her back. My wifes vacation starts in 3 days and Zoey was supposed to come with us- how can I be happy without her with us, I just want to die to be with her right now, I know it's selfish but true. I feel like I should never have listened to them and let her go. Sorry to have unburdened myself like this.




posted by: elisabeth (reply)
post date: 10.10.12 (6:25 am)

Hello
Today is the first day of my life without my beloved friend Eddie. He was one of the most precious gifts of my life.
Yesterday my little dog, my faithful british jack russell could not get up. He had been ailing for some time and I had prayed for him, given reiki, special foods, ANYTHING, to keep him with me.
It sounds crazy, but I feel I cannot bear to be in this world without him. For 13 years he has been beside me, loving me and bringing me a True Love and Joy I have never experienced before.
The tears will not stop.....I am trying to see him in Heaven jumping for joy again. I am trying to believe that one day I will be re-united with him again. I am trying to stay in this house which is so empty of his Huge presence.
He was a little dog whom I rescued from a bad situation when he was 5 months old. He jumped into my arms as soon as we met and our heart and souls connected.
He died in my arms yesterday and I feel that my tears will never stop and this agony I feel will never be lifted from me.
Thankyou to all who have contributed there is a slight comfort in knowing I am not alone, in both my love for ALL creatures, great and small, and in my grief and sorrow over the loss of my Eddie.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 10.10.12 (6:43 am)

Reply to: elisabeth
I'm so sorry for your loss, and can feel from your words how painful this time is. Prayer, good friends, sweet memories will hopefully make each day a little better.

Hey, I am interested in hearing from some other readers how you were able to cope with your loss, especially during those first few painful days?



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 10.10.12 (7:18 am)

Reply to: sunny
Wow! Somehow, some way, I missed your follow-up. And I doubt you will ever read this! But, what a tragic story. Hopefully you have found out by now this just an accident, in no way caused by your Ex. Divorce involves terrible loss, I have no doubt, and is in many ways as painful as the death of a loved one. You've had a double-whammy. Here we are, 2 years later. My hope and prayer is that you have worked through these matters, and life is now much better. Let me know if you would like to interact more about these things.



posted by: Matt (reply)
post date: 10.27.12 (7:33 pm)

Yesterday I painfully let go of my best friend Max, a chocalate lab. I have had Max for 15 years, ever since I went to pick him out of a litter of 6. I thought I was going to choose which one I wanted that day, but in reality, HE picked me out as he tumbled over all the other puppies to get to me first. Since that moment, he has been my best friend.
Its hard to say these things to people that aren't dog owners because they just don't understand how much of a family member they become.
I always told myself I will not be that person who keeps their dog alive for selfish reasons, and regrettably yesterday was that day for me. The hardest day of my life! Even though the vet told me we could try pain killers to keep him going longer, I could see in his eyes it was time. Max has had diabetes for 8years, been mostly blind for 4 years and partially deaf for 2 years but none of that stopped him. He still did whatever he wanted and went were ever he could smell, with a little guidance.
It was so hard to see him go to sleep and then take that final shot, but I sat there holding him till he was gone, not even worrying what anyone thought of me while a cryed like a baby. The reality hit me that I will never see my buddy again. Now I sit at home and wait for him to come around the corner and sit with me or bark to let me know its time for him to come inside.
I wish I had him back but I know it was the right thing to do!



posted by: Joe (reply)
post date: 11.29.12 (12:55 am)

Reply to: Matt, Pastor Dave and others. You made me cry but i know its part of the healing process.
I recently on Nov 9th had to say my goodbyes to my best friend of 12 years. Booboo a Boxer like no other. He was so loyal and loving and he has seen me through some really hard times. It was and still is the hardest decision I have ever had to make. And honestly i still doubt myself at times but i do know he is no longer in pain. I do believe he is in Heaven waiting for me. When I finally made the decision I took a day to run him around town visiting all our spots we would go to walk and meet people. Got him a treat and spent time together. This is the post I left on my Facebook page to all my friends on that dreadful day...About to leave to take Boo for his last ride. Gonna take him to the park or Greenbelt briefly, maybe get him a treat too. We had a good day yesterday and a mostly peaceful night for the first time in a while. He's had a little uncomfortable morning but not as bad as last two days. Pray for us both today. Even though i know he is going to be way better off than I am for a time. Google the Rainbow Bridge and it makes you smile and cry but its appropriate. Thank yo all that have helped me deal with this awful time.
The following is what I wrote after he passed...He went peacefully and doing something he loved to do. LICKING Ketchup :O) It was the happiest way I could think of to help him deal with the event. He was truly a dog after my own heart and taste it appears. I talked to him and he knew I loved him dearly. As he was going to sleep I just said "go Nite Nite buddy, its OK. I kissed him a lot. Then continued to talk to him until it was over. They let me stay with him as long as I needed to. I on the way home I was reflecting on him and Heaven and was I just so happened to be passing my Dad's resting place on my way home and said "Hi" and told Dad to tell Brutus not to beat up on Boo, there's no fighting in Heaven :O) I am still grieving and crying a lot and I miss him terribly but I try to remember how much fun he was to have as a friend and companion. I miss you dearly Boo but i know I will see you again one day. Love you buddy :O)



posted by: Joe (reply)
post date: 11.29.12 (12:57 am)

Reply to: all, I hope my story will help someone here and thank you to whoever started this page.




posted by: Joe LaJuett (reply)
post date: 11.29.12 (12:59 am)

pastor Dave...I made a collage of Boo pics and posted it on my Facebook as my profile. I just made it public should anyone want to see it.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 11.29.12 (7:42 am)

Reply to: Joe
Very touching, from the heart... thanks for sharing. Those of us who love our pets certainly understand. I'm going to try to find your FB page and check out the pics.
That last journey through town was surely special. And ketchup for treat just before he wakes up in Heaven- that's a fine send off! God bless.




posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 11.29.12 (7:44 am)

Reply to: Matt
Thanks for sharing. Indeed it is so very hard to let go. You did well.



posted by: Kim (reply)
post date: 12.10.12 (1:43 pm)

Just yesterday, I had to put my 9 years old Pomeranian to sleep. She was suffering from kidney and pancreatic failure. She was admitted for 2 days only for them to not be able to do anything for her. I had a good 40 minutes with her, but when it came time for her to be put to sleep, I broke down and I couldn't bear to watch her die-I stayed outside of the room. Before I knew it, it was done. Today I woke up broken hearted, I feel like I should have been there for my best girl in her last moment...but I just couldn't do it...

Thank you for sharing your story...



posted by: Alice (reply)
post date: 01.06.13 (1:46 pm)

I just lost my 14 year-old dog over Christmas. She got sick and it was just too much for her. Eventually she stopped eating (I couldn't even tempt her with peanut butter!) and at that point our family decided she'd done enough. It was the worst, most painful thing I'd ever experienced. What made it worse was the vet wouldn't let us go with her at the end - we were only allowed as far as the waiting room to say goodbye. I felt like I owed it to her to be there and then I wasn't allowed. I just feel like I'm still not over it at all. I miss her so much.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 01.06.13 (5:07 pm)

Reply to: Alice
Perhaps there are extenuating circumstances. Otherwise, sounds like the vet did you a disservice by not allowing you to be with your pet for this time. I know you hurt. But what a blessing to have enjoyed such a fine companion in life. Thanks for sharing.



posted by: rich (reply)
post date: 01.08.13 (1:20 pm)

right now i am in the position to make on putting my 7 year old boxer down. one month ago I was told that he has a massive brain tumor which there s no cure, just drugs to make him comfortable. Today he is not himself and I know it has to be done soon, I just dont know if today is the day or do i keep giving him another day. This is ripping my heart out....i need advice please



posted by: Cynthia (reply)
post date: 01.11.13 (8:51 pm)

I just put my dog down two nights ago and I am still exhausted ... however she had a heart condition for the past year and I always told myself I would "know" when it was time. Many hard months passed and I always gave her a chance and did not give up. However, the other night she was struggling so and I finally knew it was time. It was a simple decision to put her down because she was suffering. I truly hope you will feel in the bottom of your heart when it is "time". xoxox




posted by: Debbie (reply)
post date: 01.16.13 (12:29 pm)

I am thankful to have found this doing a search ...

Just 2 days ago my sweet boy Riley , a bichon , went peacefully in his bed in front of our big window with the sun shining on him

He was 17.5 yrs old and only in the last mth or so did he change, he started having accidents in the house when we were out, then when he was right with us. He was almost deaf, and could no longer see very well. He started wheezing in his sleep on occasion and then stopped eating his food. I then cooked soft foods for him to chew easier and that worked for a bit but the day came he no longer wanted to even touch that.
Last Friday I noticed how thin he was under his fluffy fur. He had a sore that grew from a wart that the salve wouldn't heal and it was itchy and bothered him till it would bleed.he smelled of urine and had to be bathed often, He was wasn;t waking to pee but would sleep i a wet bed .

I finally realized that though he would still walk with me, waited for me to come home frm work and was a calming presence in our home his quality of life had dramatically decreased in a very short time.

I spent the weekend with him sleeping on the bed, took him for a family walk and a ride in the van with him on my lap, face out the window. We went for a last walk half hour before the vet was due, if you can find someone to come to your home I highly recommend it. I was not rushed in any way, sat on the floor petting my Riley and told him how much I loved him and it was ok to go, I'd see him one day at the Rainbow bridge. I came online feeling guilty for doing it, but these stories of Oreo, Boo and countless other beloved companions have left me feeling not quite so alon e in my grief and with the hope this too shall pass and I will learn to live without Riley and be able to look back at the memories without feeling so upset . Thanks for listening



posted by: Debbie (reply)
post date: 01.16.13 (12:35 pm)

I forgot to say thank you Pastor Dave for your original post, it has helped so many people including me



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 01.16.13 (1:03 pm)

Reply to: rich
Well, seems you know what you need to do. To do what is most loving is often not the easiest path. I hope you find strength, and peace, from the stories shared. 7-years-old? I hate that. I know it adds guilt to the equation. God bless you.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 01.16.13 (1:08 pm)

Reply to: Debbie
First of all, that's a fine name. My wife is a Debbie!
It breaks your heart to do this, even as you know it is right. I'm glad you've found comfort here. We seem to come from many lifestyles and beliefs, and share a love for those special friends- our pets and partners- that have enriched our lives. For me, when I had to give up Oreo, the pain was intense. It hurt down to the gut. But it went away quickly, because there was no doubt, and little guilt. I had helped him to have a good life and worked hard to be his friend. And the time to go had arrived. Plus, I have my faith. I know dogs do not have a prominent place in my particular brand of Christianity. But, for me, God is very personal. He knows me and loves me. And, since I have loved Oreo, I believe somewhere along the way he and I will be together again. And that is comforting.




posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 01.16.13 (1:11 pm)

Reply to: Cynthia
Thank you, Cynthia. That's so important, so invaluable, to experience such peace with the moment.



posted by: Shelley (reply)
post date: 01.17.13 (7:09 am)

Yesterday I had to make the decision to let my 16 year old Lhasa Apso, Gaby, go. She had been blind for 14 months and had adapted well, finding her way around and learning new commands to deal with steps and obstacles. In the last two weeks she was breathing fast and shallow and did not want to walk much and had to keep stopping. Her blood tests revealed nothing and I already knew she had a heart murmur. However, on Monday x-rays revealed an abdominal tumour attached to her spleen which was pushing on her already enlarged heart which in turn was pushing on her lungs and restricting her breathing. I was devastated. We have been together 8 years (she was a rescue) and I loved her so much it hurt. I could not bear to see her trying so hard to breathe, not wanting to eat and not wanting to walk, although even the day before she left me, she managed to walk the length of the road and back, albeit very slowly with lots of stops and whizzing round on the spot (possibly due to brain damage following a mini-stroke when her eyes were removed 14 months ago because of glaucoma). Wasn't she a brave girl?
On Tuesday I did not want to let her go and that evening she actually ate two plates of chicken and even finished the cat's biscuits! However, yesterday I felt it was too much for her, she could barely leave the house to do her jobbies (she never messed in the house). This was probably the hardest decision I have ever had to make, to put to sleep my best friend with whom I have shared so many magical moments. Your website has helped me such a lot, we all understand how hard this is. It will take me a very long time to stop recriminating myself over putting Gaby to sleep and feeling guilty about little things over the years. I only hope she knew how much I loved (love) her and is at peace now.



posted by: Debbie (reply)
post date: 01.17.13 (12:24 pm)

Reply to:
Shelley. I feel your pain, I put my Riley down 3 days ago and for me as well it was the hardest thing I have ever done. I get moments of guilt when i second guess my decision and then I cry and feel awful. I know I did what was best for my boy and it takes real love to lay them to rest before they suffer further. You are not alone in your pain



posted by: Shelley (reply)
post date: 01.18.13 (12:20 am)

Reply to: Debbie
It is so hard, isn't it? There is a great big void in our lives now. I had a vision that night after Gaby had gone; I saw her as a fluffy white cloud-like dog with wings, going up to heaven (Rainbow Bridge) and even during last night, I thought I saw her as a white shadow, sitting beside me on the bed. I am talking to her and remembering happy times as well as the sad. My friend Cherie who lost one of her dogs two years ago said it gets a little easier with time, but I will never forget my Gaby, as I know you won't ever forget your Riley.




posted by: Debbie (reply)
post date: 01.20.13 (4:11 pm)

It will be a week tomorrow since my sweet boy left this earth. I am still struggling to feel comfortable in the house without him, and I miss him terribly. I wanted to share something though, today i was sitting watching a movie , the blinds closed against the sun and when I looked up a pretty rainbow was shinging in the exact spot Rileys pillow used to be. It lasted maybe 5 minutes and when I got up I also found a small white curl of fur on the carpet not far from my feet. I would like to think he sent me a sign he made it to Rainbow bridge and will be waiting for me. Though it made me cry , it touched my heart. Thanks for listening



posted by: Kristen (reply)
post date: 01.23.13 (7:29 am)

What a great page! I had to put down my 13yr old pug yesterday. I thought I was prepared. I did my research. I read blogs and spoke to vets and I felt very confident in my decision. Cesar was an amazing friend and companion to myself and husband and son and I knew he was suffering. I felt so at peace with my decision. Until yesterday.... We took him to the vet and all of a sudden he showed such life! I wanted to snatch him up and take him home. He fought the sedation and was still awake when I left the room. I apparently did not prepare for the sadness I feel. I have been crying since we left the vets office. The guilt is unbelievable. I thought I would feel good about my decision. I thought I would feel peace for my friend. I only feel intense guilt. This is the first pet I have lost this way and I just wasn't prepared enough I guess. I am really glad I found this post. Writing this now is the first time I have not cried in two days. Thank you all for sharing. It's nice to know that I am not alone in my guilt and sadness.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 01.24.13 (6:49 pm)

Reply to: Shelley
Oh Shelley, we all have no doubt she knew how much you loved her! She could not have been loved more- what a gift that you found one another. Thanks for sharing.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 01.24.13 (6:52 pm)

Reply to: Debbie
You've got a lot of love in you Debbie, and connect well with others. I hope you will continue to share with those who come along here and need your words.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 01.24.13 (6:55 pm)

Reply to: Kristen
These things don't always work out so smoothly. Unfortunately, that's life! You did the right thing, even if your soft heart has been giving you a tough time. Keep reminding yourself that love was the motivation for releasing your friend of his pain. Better days are ahead, and sweet memories. God bless!



posted by: Debbie (reply)
post date: 01.24.13 (7:24 pm)

Reply to:
Kristin, please don;t beat yourself up. I know the guilt you speak of, I felt it myself after Riley was gone and for the first several days. I second guessed my decision, asking my friends and husband if they thought I did the right thing. I went over and ovr in my mind why I made the right decision but it didnt;t stop the sadness of my loss. My Rily perked up the day before we put him down but I have a friend who has had many pets over the years and in her experience she said they often do that a day or so before they go.

I am feeling better about my decision now, its been almost 2 weeks. I am trying to focus on the good memories I have of Riley and have gone through photos taken over the years . I also found some great support on a couple other websites beside this one. If you want I can share those links with you.

I think we all do the best we can, we love our pets so much , when they are suffering do not wish to prolong it so when we make that difficult decision, we do so with love. The void they leave in our lives hurts so much we can start to doubt our decision and then can feel guilty about it after the fact.

Be gentle with yourself right now .I hope the guilt your feel subsides soon, your sweet pug is now at peace and knows how much you loved him. Take care and know you are NOT alone .



posted by: Shelley (reply)
post date: 01.25.13 (7:08 am)

Reply to: PastorDave
Thank you so much for your kind words. I have found a great deal of comfort in reading all the messages on this site. I still have my two cats to cherish and in time will take on anothe rescue dog. I will never forget my beautiful, brave Gaby, but with time, hope to remember the happy times we shared and stop eating myself up with guilt and self-blame. thank you, Pastor Dave.




posted by: Debbie (reply)
post date: 01.26.13 (8:13 pm)

Been having some rough moments the last couple days where my grief at letting Riley go just overwhelms me. He brought me so much comfort and made me feel special, and I am missing that. I found the Rinbow Bridge poew set to music and thought it might help others in time of grief after losing their beloved pets, so thought I would share the link to copy and paste into a browser

www.indigo.org/rainbowbridge_ver2.html



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 01.27.13 (2:57 am)

Reply to: Debbie
Very nice!




posted by: Tony (reply)
post date: 01.27.13 (2:45 pm)

just had to put my lab Scooby down the pain is bad



posted by: Debbie (reply)
post date: 01.27.13 (6:46 pm)

I am so sorry for your loss of Scooby Tony,

I know what you are going through, its been 2 weeks tomorrow I put my bichon Riley down and the first few days were the abolute worse. It is normal to feel numb, heartsick, guilty and even second guess your decision. It feels like you are drowning in grief...

I can also tells you that it gets a bit better as th days go on, You need to forcus on the fact that Scooby loved you and he knew how much you loved him too. When we have to make this decision we make it out of love and to make sure our furry friends do not suffer so we take away their pain at the cost of our own hearts breaking :(

Be gentle with yourself, take it one day at a time and find someone to talk to about Scooby.Please don;t beat yourself up- it keeps you stuck .
When you are up to it it may help to sit and write down all your memories of Scooby and add some photos as a memorial. I am feeling ready to do that this week. I have been sleeping with Rileys collar under my pillow and I take comfort from that. I also put up a photo I can see everyday when i am missing him . I also like to think that someday I will meet him again . I know I will never forget him, like you will never forget your Scooby. Here is something that may gice you some comfort- copy and paste into your browser

www.indigo.org/rainbowbridge_ver2.html

Take care- you are not alone



posted by: Lynne Gann (reply)
post date: 01.31.13 (10:15 am)

I realize that this post was from 2008, but I just found it while searching for answers whether to euthanize my sweet Sissy (springer spaniel mix) who is 9 years old & a sweetheart. She suddenly developed breathing issues & fluid around her heart & vet says she feels pretty sure that she has a mass in her chest. We can't afford to spend thousands of dollars on tests & treatments so have opted to medicate. She is on fluid pills right now. This has been going on for 4 weeks now & every time I look at her my heart hurts. I feel it is time to let go, but my husband isn't ready. I don't know how to let her go either, but I don't want her to suffer. Thank you for this precious heart-felt post. My dogs have been one huge reason for my returned relationship with my Savior. He led a dog into my life in order that I would spend more time at home loving & come full circle needing my Savior's love. I too feel that God would enjoy seeing us reunited with our loving pets one day. That is what I will hang on too during the next few months.



posted by: DJM (reply)
post date: 02.09.13 (7:55 am)

This is an older post, but I am glad to have found it. My story is similar to yours and while I know it was the right thing to do, I am still suffering. My sparky was 15 and had become blind, incontinent, prone to infections and weak. I know he was not happy. I look back a lot and reflect on the what ifs. Should I have tried one more time. I know I went far and beyond. He was a good boy. Thank you for this post - it sort of helps to hear someone else's story. It is a painful decision.



posted by: Debbie (reply)
post date: 02.09.13 (5:20 pm)

Reply to: DJM. I am so sorry for your loss of Sparky . It is the hardest decision I have ever made, My pup like yours was almost blind, deaf, having accidents in his bed and aroudn the house and had a nasty growth on his head that was constantly getting infection he was too old to have removed by surgery and it bothered him so. He stopped wanting to play and started passing up walks. In the end my dog spent almost all his day/night sleeping and so I made the decision that before he deteriorated further I would let him go with love. After wards I felt like I was dying...so lonely and sad without him but I know it was the right thing to do after so many years of love and devotion from him. Please try to not look back, the second guessing will keep you from healing from the loss and keep you in pain.
You did the very best you could by Sparky and you loved him enough to make sure he didnt suffer. Thank you for sharing your story,




posted by: DJM (reply)
post date: 02.10.13 (10:23 am)

Reply to: Debbie

Thank you for your words. (my name is Debbie too!) - I just reread your story and hugs to you. Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. I am so sorry for the pain you too are experiencing at the loss of your beloved Riley..

Sparky has been a real trooper over the years who never complained - a real companion. If I was not at work, he was always by my side - constant. And for a short time I took him to work with me too. Over the last year or so I had adapted my work and social routine to accommodate his increased needs. To be near him to give him comfort. The last few months have been the hardest - he became a handful - it started to take its toll on me and at times I found myself very frustrated with him and short of patience due to lack of sleep and the constant care. I think he sensed those moments even though he could not hear or see. I have some guilt over it. But, I always paused, got perspective, and held him close to me and let him know he was the best boy ever.

On Feb 06, 2013 I called the vet to evaluate his current regiment of meds and to determine why I was seeing a rapid change in him for the worse. He had become lethargic, and for some time when I looked in his eyes it was as if his spirit was not even there. That in itself was painful. My appointment was for 3:40pm and at 5:00pm I walked out without him. I never expected to leave the vet without him - while there she suggested antibiotics, a change in meds, but when I asked what this was going to do for him she said really, it was just putting bandaids on and he would continue to get worse. I asked the Vet what she would do if it were her dog and she said let him go while he still had dignity. I made the decision there and then. Earlier that day I held him and sat with him in the yard - and while waiting an hour at the vet office I walked with him in their yard, I held him close and rocked him in my arms. Maybe subconscious I knew, but when I got home I was not prepared for the total overwhelming feelings that would erupt.

I did not get to spend days with the knowledge they would be the last, but I did spend the last week working from home with him curled at my feet and me reaching down to touch him.

I too have slept with his collar under my pillow and his blanket rolled up next to me. There is a faint smell of him on it. Even the most mundane task - like sitting down to dinner, seem empty, because everything I did every day was wrapped around him and with him.

I took your suggestion and pulled out a lot of photos of his happier days and am trying to focus on all those moments instead of the last few months and especially February 06. I pick up his ashes next Friday and plan to sprinkle a few at our favorite State Park.

I miss that little boy - just like I know you miss yours. Thanks again for your words- I will think of you too and hope that for us all, each day will get a little easier.




posted by: Debbie (reply)
post date: 02.10.13 (8:26 pm)

Reply to: DJM

Hello Debbie. Just before the holidays I decided against tests/meds to prolong what was coming. One hing you cannot stop is time/aging and at 17.5 the only thing Riley had left was his dignity.

My decision was made pretty quick, I guess it took a rough night of him wheezing loudly to see that he was not having an easy time of it anymore and the knowing that it was only going to get worse if I kept him alive :(

I am glad I did have that last weekend with him but it was also very hard to enjoy it knowing what was coming. Even though I knew it was the right thing to do , I don;t think anything could've prepared me for how I felt afterwards, the first week I felt like I was drowning in missing him.

I totally understand, my husband and I spent many sleepless nights getting up with Riley, for a drink, trip outside or when he'd peed his bed. It was taking its toll on us but I never gave it a second thought. Having a geriatric dog is like having a newborn again at times. He was more a part of my daily life than I realized .Even a month later I still feel an urgency to get home after work , or to leave the groceries in the car and just get in the house (to let him out) or that I have to do something (put him out before bed, check on him, wake him up to come to bed with me, check his pee pads in his beds etc etc - except he is no longer here so none of those things are neccessary :(


I only work part time a few days a week so I was home alot with him, I was used to being home within a 5-6 hr window so he could go out to pee. We live in the country and I have never felt so alone and isolated as I have the first few weeks after I let him go. I could not sit at the dinner table for a few days as his little kitchen bed used to be beside my chair.

I had to change up my routine- no more walking after I put my daughter on the school bus, it was too painful without him and had to switch to sitting in the chair instead of the loveseat where Riley would curl up and sleep beside me when I read or had my tea. I taped up a photo of him inside my kitchen cabinet and I look at it everyday and say good night last thing before I turn in. I look at his photo book too, he is so happy and healthy looking in those photos. With his sore on his head I stopped taking many photos of him the last month or two but I have lots taken before that over the years.

I try not to think of that last day or the moments when he left, its too hard and it just makes me play the what if game , and that serves no purpose and delays my healing. I still have my sad times, I still miss Rileys presence but have started having good days again too, and thinking of him in a better place, whole and happy makes it a bit easier to bear. It will take a while to adjust to the house not being the same and some days the tears come easier than others but it gets a bit easier every day. We buried Riley in our large yard, under big maple tree where the suns shines and we plan on planting some forget-me-nots in the spring on his grave., I visit it sometimes and tell him I miss him and love him so much and thats about all I can say.

Yesterday I had a sad morning, and decided to write down some memories- how he came into my life, the things I loved best about him, our early years and then certain memories that come to mind when I think of him. I sat on the loveseat and just let the tears come . We need to do that sometimes and not carry it all inside

There is a nice candle lighting ceremony on Monday evenings at this webssite if you would like to check it out , it was beautiful and i hope to visit again this monday night . You light 3 candles and are able to write a tribute to your pet at the end. I can't write it as a website so hope you can decipher

www dot mondaycandleceremony dot com


Hope you are doing ok, i think it helps us tremendously to know that we are all going through similar feelings and pain , it makes it somehow easier to know we are not alone.

Debbie



posted by: Debbie (reply)
post date: 02.10.13 (8:33 pm)

I found this on the internet last night, thought others might like to read it


I Loved You Best

So this is where we part, My Friend,
and you'll run on, around the bend,
gone from sight, but not from mind,
new pleasures there you'll surely find.

I will go on, I'll find the strength,
life measures quality, not its length.
One long embrace before you leave,
share one last look, before I grieve.

There are others, that much is true,
but they be they, and they aren't you.
And I, fair, impartial, or so I thought,
will remember well all you've taught.

Your place I'll hold, you will be missed,
the fur I stroked, the nose I kissed.
And as you journey to your final rest,
take with you this...I loved you best




posted by: DJM (reply)
post date: 02.11.13 (7:51 pm)

Thanks Debbie. Thanks for your words and suggestions. I attended the ceremony and it was very nice. Tonight is the first night I was able to sit in my reading chair in the living room. I used that time to attend the ceremony and reflect. Of course it did not come without tears. It is nearing 11pm now, a time I dread because it was the sweetest time of the day. When we took his late walk in the back yard, fixed his pills and refilled his water bowl, and then I tucked him in his bed and kissed him good night. Looking back, he seemed the most peaceful curled up in his blankets. I think he welcomed the night. whew. I think you and I share a similar story and circumstance. By the looks of the numbers at the candle lighting - a whole lot of folks are sharing the same. I also am involved with a group on facebook which is a huge help too. The group is about spleen tumors and I joined when Sparky was first diagnosed. Lots of people telling their stories and sharing in the healing. Thank you again for your kindness, even in the face of your own grief - you are a blessing.



posted by: Debbie (reply)
post date: 02.12.13 (8:53 am)

Reply to: DJM
You are very welcome. I think it helps me right now to try and help others going through this painful journey. Better days ahead for us all I am sure.

Hugs Debbie



posted by: Cathie (reply)
post date: 02.13.13 (6:39 am)

Thank you for sharing your beautiful story. With tears streaming down my face, I am thinking of our beautiful Conee. She is 6 1/2 and has gone in for a biopsy today. The vet is pretty sure she has cancer. We are shocked and feel just as you did. She is my pal. She goes almost everywhere with me because she is little. But she is suffering. I feel so bad for her. We picked her out of a litter. She was the only puppy that looked at us quietly as if to say 'please take me'. So we did. 9 days later our 15 year old grandson committed suicide and Conee became our strength. God knew we were going to need her just at the right time. She was a source of comfort, laughter, joy and friendship to our entire family. She brought many smiles when there were so many tears. And now I have a feeling it's going to be time to let her go. We are pretty sure the tumor has spread by the symptoms she has and it's so unfair to her to keep her around because we can't let her go. I do believe that God created our Conee and all the others so He will prepare a place for her. She will bring joy to our grandson. Thank you for sharing and God bless you all. My heart goes out to every parent who has watched their babies suffer and made an unselfish decision.



posted by: Lynne Gann (reply)
post date: 02.13.13 (9:39 am)

Wow - so many of you have seen greater suffering in your pet than I have so far. I'm thankful that we are going on our 6th week with our precious Sissy. She breathes real fast & has accidents from time to time in her sleep, but other than that she is eating, resting & somewhat lively. We have her on lasix & that seems to be keeping the fluid off her chest. One day she seems almost normal & then the next seems to struggle. Our mobile vet said as long as she is having more good days than bad we should just enjoy her, which is what we are doing. I do get frustrated with having to get up all the time & let her out or cleaning up floors, but small price to pay to have her with us awhile longer. Her older sister would be lost without her & might not be able to handle losing her since she is 13. I sure realize by hearing all your stories, Debbies & Cathie, that I'm not looking forward to the end times with her. I'm praying that we can just keep her home & let her die naturally if she isn't suffering too much. What a horrible choice to have to make. Thanks for the sharing.



posted by: Shelley (reply)
post date: 02.14.13 (5:11 am)

Reply to: DJM
I have just read all the recent letters on this site because it is a month since Gaby was put to rest and today I am feeling really upset and wanting to cry but I am at work so have to keep the tears inside till 5pm. Gaby had a spleen tumour and I wondered how I can join the Facebook group - I am in England, would that make it difficult? Please let me know what I need to search for on Facebook.

To Debbie: the poem "Loved You Best" is beautiful and I have printed it out so that I can put it in the Memory Box I have created for Gaby.






posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 02.14.13 (6:58 am)

It is special that we can encourage one another! It has been several years, and I still think often of Oreo. He was such a devoted friend- I cannot imagine that anyone could love me any more! But I do not grieve. He had a good life and I worked hard to be his friend. And I do believe there is more for us than just this time and this life. Besides, love is such a special commodity, meant to be shared. So I now have a couple of dogs. Big Dog is a stray German Shepherd who came my way around the same time as I lost Oreo. He was starved, abused, scared, and needed a home. Fast-forward to today. He sleeps in the house, takes daily walks with me. Sometimes he even comes to the office with me. He gets the finest food and regular vet visits. We are best friends. I affirm once again that a good dog makes a great friend.

You guys hang in there and work hard at getting through your grief. I read every comment. There is a lot of love around here. People like yourselves make this world a better place. I tell my wife- show me somebody who truly loves animals, and you are showing me a person of character and integrity. God bless!




posted by: (reply)
post date: 02.14.13 (8:36 am)

Reply to: Shelley
Reply to: Shelley

Hi Shelley - the group on facebook is
"Spleen Tumor in Dogs -Awareness raising group for dog owners" if you put that in the search you should find it. It is open to anyone, all you have to do is join the group. There are 287 members as of today and the stories are a mix of heart breaking and joy. (sadly more heart breaking)

I don't think it would be difficult at all for you to join and share your story. I will include a link below.

It has just been over a week for me and I cry driving to work, I cry sitting at my desk, and I can't even stay until 5pm - some how I feel a sense of comfort at home, so I have been leaving early and taking my work there. I cry driving home. When my clients ask me how Sparky is and I tell them, a few have also cried. They knew my struggle. He even came to work with me on occassion.

Your Gaby sounds like a really brave dog and just by what you wrote it is clear you shared a lot of love. Sparky was blind too - and was having trouble breathing, and walking, and so many things. The last few months were hard and I had lost my patience with him a few times, and I feel guilty over that. The last day he seemed so frail.

Like many have suggested we have to think of the good moments and not the last. It is amazing the bond we share with our pets. I hope your days get better and I hope you continue to feel Gaby's presence around you and smile.

Facebook link: (hope this works for you)
facebook (dot) com/groups/spleentumor/?ref=ts&fref=ts




posted by: DJM (reply)
post date: 02.14.13 (9:02 am)

Reply to: Lynn

I am sure you cherish every day with Sissy. Which ever the means, we share such an amazing bond with our pets, when they are gone it is as if a piece of is too.

Sparky had been down a long road of problems. He started with loosing his eye sight, and then seizures. At that time they thought he had a brain tumor, but then they later called it a "vestibular event". In 2009 (about then, I was told I only had a few months with him and the seizures would get worse) It was a real puzzle, but he adjusted well with meds and had a lot of good days. Later, more would go wrong, and we tried all sorts of treatments and tests and he seemed to have as you say "more good days than bad". Just the same I went for 2nd and 3rd opinions and compared notes with vets. In July 2012 one of the Vets said they felt sure Sparky had cancer, and they offered me the option to let him go then. I said no. Another vet said they did not think it was cancer, so I went to a specialist who said they did, but did more tests and consulted another specialist. The results were nodules on the lung and a tumor on the spleen (not cancer). Removal of the spleen was not an option due to Sparky being 14 so I decided not to. In the meantime he was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and put on steroids and thyroid meds. From July to February Sparky lost 20 lbs. We adjusted the meds in December, but he continued downward.

Over the last year I was getting up at night and cleaning his bed, first once a night, then twice, and then tree times. Like you I was constantly cleaning floors, and letting him out every two hours. I adapted my entire schedule around his needs and I was exhausted. But I loved him dearly. Near the end, I was loosing patience with him due to exhaustion. I have a lot of regret that it is possible he sensed my frustration.

I took him to the Vet 2/6 to analyze his treatment and see if there is something else we could do. The five days prior I was cleaning him and his accidents about 8 times a day. The vet told me that we were only putting bandaids on the situation and it would only get worse. I made the decision then and there - and I think that is the hardest part. I knew the day would come, and I had prayed it would be peacefully. Even still I was not prepared. In the end, it was peaceful, I held him and kissed him, and he looked so rested. The worry washed away from his face.

I really think that Sparky would have suffered greatly if we continued, and I think a lot of my distress was coming from watching him deteriorate and feeling so helpless. He had stopped eating and I had to coax him with various foods.

Blessings to you and your Sissy.



posted by: DJM (reply)
post date: 02.14.13 (9:10 am)

Reply to: Cathie

I am so sorry for what you are going through. Your story brought tears to my eyes. I am sure your beloved Conee has been a blessing to you all and came into your lives for a reason. The love shared with our pets if healing.

Sending you hugs and prayers as you journey through this difficult time.




posted by: Shelley (reply)
post date: 02.15.13 (1:48 am)

Reply to DJM
Thank you for the Facebook link, and all your kind words.



posted by: Doreen (reply)
post date: 02.15.13 (10:40 am)

I have been perusing the internet looking for links to tell me when it was time to have our dog of almost 16 years put to sleep. It has been such a difficult decision to make... I suppose in my head I've known for a while that it is the right thing to do but in my heart, it is so difficult. Meeka has been a member of our family since she was a pup. Her mother was literally a junk yard dog and she was one of 13 pups. She wasn't the spunkiest but she ambled over to my daughter (whose dog she was to be) and walked not only into our lives but into our hearts. Like pastor Dave's Oreo she was at least part border collie with the distinctive markings of one. She has always been the best dog, friendly with both people and other animals. She was obedient and would stay in our unfenced yard without wandering away. She loved to sit on the deck and watch people walk by. Well, my 4 kids grew up, went off to college; 2 are married (including my daughter whose dog she was originally) and Meeka and I became close companions. She followed me everywhere. No matter where I was in the house, she was there and she was always at the door with her tail wagging when I returned home after being out. She loved to go for walks with my husband and I in the evenings. Each year when I would bring her for her vet visits, I was always told that she was aging gracefully. She was doing well and I would know when it was time to put her to sleep. She started to slow down and would sleep more throughout the day but still would rest her head on my knee, look into my eyes and loved to lick me (doggy kisses). She loved to roll on her back so that we could rub her belly. About a year and a half ago, she strained herself and hurt her rear legs, or so I thought. The vet said it was probably arthritis but she seemed to go downhill from there. Her walking became labored, she seemed to be suffering from senility/neurological problem. The vet wasn't sure exactly which as she would walk in circles, get confused and end up in a corner. Her hearing had greatly deteriorated as did her eyesight. For about the last year she has had episodes of incontinence. I always swore that once that happened I would know it was time, but I didn't. We have cleaned up so many times from her that I know I need new carpeting. We often carry her up and down the stairs when she can't quite make it. She paces at night and we take her out in the middle of the night because we're afraid that she is going to have an accident. I tried confining her to the kitchen when I had to go out but often would come home to messes in there when I returned home after only a few hours. I spent the last year mostly home and not being gone more than a few hours because I did not feel comfortable leaving my friend in someone else's care. It wasn't fair to them or to her but it has been challenging. Both my son and my daughter have gotten married this past year and this was challenging whenever I had to leave her. On the day before my daughter's bridal shower, I was at the vets thinking that it was time, but we tried yet another supplement and she seemed to do better. We mad it through the holidays and the wedding but when I look at my friend I don't see the sparkle in her eye, no more walks, no more doggie kisses. She sleeps all day and seems to have sundowner (extreme restlessness) and paces in the evenings and throughout the night. Perhaps she is in pain. This morning, I sat down with her to ask her what the right decision is and she sniffed my hand and turned her head. I tried to pet her and she got up and went to lie down somewhere else. I found your web page and knew that it is the right decision to have her euthanized. I am so sad especially since after I called the vet she came into my kitchen and put her head on my leg and actually let me pet her a bit. Intellectually I know it's right but emotionally it is one of the hardest decisions to make. Thanks for allowing me to share my feelings and for sharing all of your experiences.



posted by: DJM (reply)
post date: 02.15.13 (11:49 am)

Reply to: Doreen

Oh Doreen I simply sobbed at your story. So similar to mine down to the kids moving on, to the incontinence issues and adapting your schedule. I even closed my business some days to work from home as often as I could.

Bless you. I just picked up my Sparky's ashes and of course had another release of tears. No it is not easy and the void is painful, but in the end it is the right thing.

This morning before going to the Vet I wrote a 3 page letter. It really helped me to gain perspective.

I am so sorry for your loss and for this time of sorrow for you. Just as your dog aged gracefully, you have described your life with Meeka in the same manner. All those memories will help you through.

Thank you for sharing your story.




posted by: debbie (reply)
post date: 02.16.13 (7:15 pm)

Reply to: Doreen

Doreen , having to put down my dog was the hardest decision I have ever had to make. I too knew it was the right thing to do, however that didn't make it any easier. I don;t think there is anything to prepare you for the loss of a beloved pet.

My dog also aged gracefully and then took a turn just before christmas. I realized he was still with us more for me than for him. He was almost deaf, his eyes were failing, incontinant and slept most of the time, there was little qua;lity of life though he was still loving and happy to be around me , when he was awake that is.

It was not an easy decision on my part but I felt I owed it to him to let him go before he suffered. He was such a comfort and a major part of my life for 17.5 years that it hit me very hard. That was 1 mth ago. I still miss Riley so much, but I picture him happy and healthy in heaven where I hope to see him one day.

There are lots of great support boards out there for loss of a pet where others that know what you are going through and can help you through the journey .

I am so sorry for your impending loss. Its never easy saying good bye to someone we love. You will be in my thoughts. Thank you for sharing



posted by: Fran (reply)
post date: 02.17.13 (10:55 am)

Pastor Dave, my heart was breaking last night when I read your story about your beloved Oreo, I spent a long time thinking about your words and I really felt your sadness.

Josie, my little girly is a Border Terrier/Jack Russell cross who we adopted after she was rescued from an abusive home by the RSPCA when she was 8 months old. We were instructed to collect her from a kennels near our town. When we arrived at the correct time she was brought out to meet us and we were introduced to this wriggly, waggy, licky, brown ball who promptly threw herself onto her back so we could rub her belly and fall instantly in love with her. When we stood up again we knew we were smitten and we had found our perfect dog. More than 14 years later we're still convinced she's the best, only these days things haven't been going so well for her healthwise. She's always been accident prone and we've had several instances of needing veterinary attention due to clumsiness on her part but more recently she's been suffering with her tummy. We were at the Vets just over a month ago as she had sickness and diarrhoea at new years, now this last week we've been back there again. This time she has Pancreatitis and has been a shadow of her former self. She hasn't been eating, or even drinking without us literally squirting the water into her mouth with a syringe several times a day. Pancreatitis is an extremely painful condition which can be fatal in severe cases and she's being treated with antibiotics and an anti inflammatory painkiller. The antibiotics my partner has had to push to the back of her mouth to get her to take them with quite some success, but the anti inflammatories are supposed to be given with food. We only managed to get one dose of these into her and she had a very bad reaction to them and was vomiting for the whole night again so we're unable to give her any more. We had reached a point this morning, where after a particularly bad day yesterday, with virtually no food or water going in and many vocalised grumblings and moans that can only be interpreted as pain we reluctantly came to the sad realisation that the time may have come to say goodbye. I went to talk to my son as he now has his own home to tell him the sad news only to return home afterwards to a doggy who seems considerably brighter. She's had several small meals today now and seems to have bounced back again so we can breathe a sigh of relief again in the short term. We have no way of knowing how long it will be before something else comes along and we have another heart wrenching time with her but we feel she has come through this episode and is on the road to recovery now. She's almost 15, can't see much, can't hear much and is a truly stinky pooch most of the time but she's still here and whilst we will very probably have to face the agony of recognising when her time has come in the near future, that time is not quite yet. So while I thank you for sharing your sad experiences and my heart goes out to you all, I'm gonna finish up writing this and go snuggle with my girly while I still can.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 02.17.13 (7:49 pm)

Reply to: Fran
Thank you for the kind words. Indeed it broke my heart to have to say goodbye to Oreo. And I do not regret waiting so long. But it was the right decision, and I feel very much that it was the most loving thing to do. Nobody could force the decision on me. It was mine, and I'm glad those who loved and knew me were willing to give me time.

Good for Josie, to bounce back and show some life. I hope you have a good vet, advising you and truly wanting what is best for your pet. Enjoy these moments. Give her a hug for me!



posted by: pat (reply)
post date: 02.18.13 (2:57 pm)

thanks pastor dave for a wonderful page..this sat we had to put our sweet 14 yr old serena(bobo)to sleep..it was very sudden..we have 3 dogs a small pack..we got serena from the humane society when she was a baby bouncing black ball of fur..border collie chow mix...my dtr was 6..today she is 20!6 months ago vet said healthiest 13 yr od dog hes seen!3 weeks ago she started vomiting bile..i thought it was from the dog food i was a nurse...then i saw blood....took her to the vet diagnosed ulcer...she lost 14 lbs...didnt want to eat...for over a week we syringe fed her..gave her meds...then hubby found black poop..i knew then it was trouble as thats blood...took her back to vet got xrays and my sweet baby had colon cancer and also went to her lungs...we were devistated...we kept her 1 more week..i cried every day as she looked sad wouldnt eat and looked out the front door almost like she was replaying her life...my 2 yr old dog buzz cuddled her every day...sat came i couldnt go hubby and 34 yr old son went..my son was so brave..he pulled a stool up to the table took her face in his hands and made eye contact telling her he loved her..her gaze never left his eyes.she was calm and she passed over with her eyes open gazing into his...her time had come..her job was done.she raised my dtr from pre-school until adult hood..she trained my other 2 dogs to go potty outside she knew lots of tricks and they learned from her as well..she was a very sweet pup...i know shes in heaven and i will never forget that cute little face bouncing around the back yard with my tiny dtr...thank you serena for bringing such love into our lives...when the time is right we will honor her memory by getting another little baby to join our pack and to love...ps...1 hr after she passed my dtr turned on her fone to play the sims game...to distract herself...the first instrution that popped up on her fone was...GET A NEW DOG!!!....i know it was from serena.....love you boboxoxoxooxoxoxoxo!!!love mom



posted by: Denise (reply)
post date: 02.18.13 (11:57 pm)

Well I was told by member of the family I need to look up sites to see what our options are and how we should do this when the time came. I just couldn't but decided today to do it and found this site. I have to admit the first 4 stories i decided I am not doing this.. Getting though the first half I am a mess just crying thinking no way I can do this. My snowy is 17 beautiful white mini american eski. She was doing great up until a few years ago. I had her last rabbi shot and she became strange after. Started to become blind in one eye full blind by the years out, the other eye went out last year. So ok decided she had time to adjust with the one eye and she did. I have to confine her to the family room, with her bed, food and water and since she is liter box train that moved into the family room too. She is a very smart sweet puppy.
She had a seizer last year, she has one once in a while. Only if i try to give her a bath or vacuum the family room. So no.. stress and she is good. I took her for a long walk a week ago and she takes a long time to calm down so I take her in the back yard for a couple slowing down walks. She started to howl and I screamed cause it scared me, it stopped her seizer some how. Her seizers start with a howl.. so It gives me a moment to get her out side to cool down and hold and talk her out of it. but... I still am reading all of these stories and can not do it. She does sleep most of the day and like other she is pacing in circles at night. She goes in the litter box about 10 times. she doesn't like going in it any longer so we do the back yard. I am blessed with being home. So I think I want to give her time. She gave all of us so much I have to give her the time she needs. I know it sounds selfish. I am like a puppy nurse and I am good with that since she gave us so much I can give her what she needs. I can see she wants to be here. I can feel it. She has these little skin things too, which I do put cream and clean. She doesn't bark any more just squeaks if she does like something. But I get my kisses and snuggles still. I just am not brave enough. I am so grateful I found this site. I think all of you are so brave and your bb's will be waiting for you. I am praying mine will go in her sleep but reading these stories I know it will not happen. I am going to opt for the vet to come to my home. I want her here at home. She freaks out going out in the car so that is not a good move for her. bless all of you. I will find this site again when it is time and I will let you know my story. Thank you for this site and thank you for all of your stories. I am still crying.. and I feel more confused but I know like you when it will be time..I just hope not for a few years or ever.



posted by: pat (reply)
post date: 02.19.13 (8:41 am)

denise i know how hard it is but 17 yrs old is very old for a dog....just think.if u were living her life with seizures howling blind would u want to continue?hardest thing we have ever done was put bobo to sleep..my whole family was a mess for a week..but look in your doggies face...my dog looked so sad she didnt want to go but she knew it was time..almost a pleading look like help me....you have to not think slefishly of your feelings and think how sick is your god?is it having fun?is it still eating or just laying around sleeping....its the kindest thing u can ever do for a suffering pet...its the ultimate act of love...i was a nurse for 20 yrs and ill tell u they should put huma ns to sleep like this!bobo went so peacefully..only took 1 shot of tranquilzer she didnt even flinch..the 2nd shot and she was passed over in 3 sec still staring into my sons eyes with love...she knew we loved her so much....do the right thing...love pat



posted by: Lynne (reply)
post date: 02.27.13 (1:14 pm)

Thanks DJM for you reply & kind words. Sounds like you have had a similar experience. We are in our 8th week now with my Sissy. She is still eating some, resting some & doesn't appear to be in pain. She is slowly losing all her body fat though & you can see her bones & ribs. Her spine down her body just pokes up. Makes me so sad to see her so thin, but as long as she seems fairly comfortable I'll keep doctoring her. I'm sad over all the posts since I posted about all the beloved dogs that have had to be put down or are the ones like me that are trying to figure out what to do. We are prepared - we have her grave dug - & our mobile vet will come out & put her to sleep when necessary. I just keep praying that God will just take her in her sleep one night. It's so hard to think about being the one to make a decision to end her life. This makes me wonder how I would handle a situation with my husband. He has a living will that states he doesn't want to be kept alive. If I can't make a decision over a dog, how in the world could I possibly do that for my husband? Tough stuff. I'm just trying to trust God to give me strength & peace about any decisions.



posted by: Staci (reply)
post date: 02.28.13 (4:00 pm)

Thanks for such a beautiful story. I had to put my dog of 15 years (since I was 6)and greatest friend down yesterday. I'm having a really difficult time, but your story really helped me look at it more positively.



posted by: (reply)
post date: 02.28.13 (9:27 pm)

Reply to:
Lynne

I feel for you, I was in your shoes about 6 weeks ago. I too prayed for my boy to go in his sleep but in the end I had to make the call for the vet to come out . It would be so much easier if the decision was out of our hands but it doesn't always work that way. You have done well by preparing yourself by having Sissys final resting place all ready for her and a plan in place.
One of the biggest signs for me was the loss of appetite and Rileys weight loss. Near the end I could feel his ribs too, and it felt like i was watching him starve himself to death and so I made the call before he got to suffer.

Something I had to ask myself in order to make the decision to put Riley down was whether i was keeping him here for me, or for him.

Once i could answer that question truthfully I was able to follow through, It is the hardest thing to do, but it is the right thing to do for the pets we love. The first weeks are very hard to go through but time helps. I am having good days again, though I still tear up when I think or speak of my Rileyboy but its taken 6 weeks tio get to this point. My prayers are with you and Sissy,
take care.

Debbie



posted by: Lynne (reply)
post date: 03.01.13 (10:05 am)

Thanks Debbie, I appreciate your kind words. I've asked my husband that very question about whether we are keeping her going for us or for her. Of course, he said it was sort of for him. He wasn't ready to let go, but she is doing ok for now, so we wait. She is still eating fairly well, scrambled eggs in the am, her dry food in the pm & fish before bed with her meds. She eats better than we do. Ha! She is also resting fairly well. I know she is on the decline. We also have a 13 year old dalmation who worships the ground she walks on. She will literally get up in the middle of the night to look for her. Once she finds her, she goes straight back to bed, but if for some reason she can't find her she will whine until we get them together. I'm not sure how she will be affected by the loss of our Sissy - so we are attempting to keep her going as long as she is fairly well & happy. Thanks for all the prayers!



posted by: Lynne (reply)
post date: 03.01.13 (10:08 am)

Reply to: Staci

Remember the "Rainbow Bridge". Take that friendship & pass it forward. So many sweet puppies to love & help. So sorry for your loss.



posted by: Alice (reply)
post date: 03.04.13 (2:14 pm)

I feel so sad after reading this, my lab is going to be 13 and i see the signs..It breaks my heart to no end. Thank you for your story..I know we have to do the right thing for him not us. I wish he could stay with us forever.



posted by: DJM (reply)
post date: 03.05.13 (6:42 pm)

Reply to: Lynn

I am so sorry for those going through what appears to be the final stages with their beloved pets. My heart goes out to those of you faced with decisions and those of you who have had to make them.

@Lynn - yes, it was so very hard, and a decision that came quickly. My friends tell me that we have a moment of clarity and well, I guess I had mine. For at least two weeks I agonized over it. Only now, is it getting slightly better. At least I do realize I did the right thing, now I just miss him madly.

My sparky was healthy at 65lbs. By Feb 6 he weighed in at 44lbs. For a year my family told me that I was keeping him more for me, and a very good friend of mine who teaches Vet medicine told me last summer that he needed help out of his failing body.

I was lucky to be able to work from home often, but on those days I was not at home, I was so afraid he would pass on all alone. A ruptured tumor can be very painful. At least this way I held him in my arms.

As far as honoring a living will. Well, I have had that experience with my mother. I honored her wishes, and she was surrounded by the entire family. It was a deeply sad time, but in the face of it, some thing deep from inside helps you handle it. (and lots of prayer) Having lost loved ones in tragic situations, I have to say it is an honor to be able to say good bye and hold someone you love close as they leave this world.

I still cry through the day. Have those moments where I wish I had just one more day , and my heart just aches. But as Debbie said it starts to get better. Especially as you remember all the good times.

I read some where when Pets are close to one another that it helps for the living Pet to be near the body? That it gives them closure? I don't know, you might want to research it.

My thoughts and prayers to everyone struggling. Give then lots of love while you've got them!




posted by: Lynne (reply)
post date: 03.07.13 (9:44 am)

DJM - I was wondering about whether to have my other dogs around when the time comes for Sissy to go. I thought it might help them to know she is actually gone, not just away for a day or two. I wasn't sure about letting them watch as we put her in the grave & have them sniff of her. Has anyone experienced this? I don't want her lifetime buddy to be whining all the time looking for her which is what she does now if she is even just outside for a time. If she wakes up in the middle of the night she won't go back to bed until she finds her. It would help to know if animals need closure too.

Thanks for your prayers & encouragement. I'm planning on having a slumber party Friday night, put up the blow-up mattress on the floor & see if we can all cuddle up. :)



posted by: DJM (reply)
post date: 03.07.13 (1:30 pm)

Reply to: Lynn

Yes! Have the slumber party. I think that is what hurts for me the most. I went in for a Dr appointment thinking I would come home with medicines and ended up making that decision there and then. I am thankful that I worked from home a lot the weeks prior, but on the other side I was really busy and didn't get a lot of quality time. The last day I held him quite a bit so I do have that. I wish I had brought him home and taken him to his favorite park to sniff the air - and let him curl up on the sofa next to me - and cuddle with him. Honestly, I would never have been able to go back in with him with the knowledge of what was going to happen. So Yes - have that Slumber party!

I am not sure about watching but in all my grief I read a few articles where others talked about at least letting the pet say good bye after. Maybe ask your vet or do some research. There is a great page on facebook called Spleen Tumor Awareness (link is above) - and I think someone there posted about it.

Well- Best wishes..




posted by: pat (reply)
post date: 03.10.13 (9:20 am)

During the last week of bobos life she looked out the front door most days...my sweet 3 yr old dog wold come lie next to her and cuddle her...he knew...my older dog who thought bobo was her mom stayed away..i guess dohs know when they are dying and seperate from the pack...both my dogs were depressed after bobos death...as was our whole family..3 weeks later i saw an add for a puppy..we werent replacing bobo just felt drawn..we went to look at this pup but it was way too wild..then i looked over at the back of the cage and there sat this adorable black and white border collie pup all alone..she looked like bobo!i picked her up she cuddeled in my neck gave me a million kisses..i swear bobo took us to this puppy!we named her doodie long story lol....anyway she is a bouncing bundle of adorable baby fur!my other 2 dogs have accepted her and we feel like a family again..i truly believe bobo knew how much we were suffering her loss and sent doodie to us!when the time is right you will all know when to get a new pup...it doesnt replace your lost pet but it helps with the grieving!love pat



posted by: tr313 (reply)
post date: 03.12.13 (5:51 am)

I put my 13 year old lab down about a week ago and just can't seem to get over it. I know we gave him a great life for 13 years and realize he lived a full life too.
However, I feel very guilty that maybe I euthanized too soon. Our vet said it was time 8 months ago, and most of our friends and relatives felt the same way. I couldn't see it because his head and attitude seemed good.
He has not been able to get up on his own or walk on his own for the last 6-8 months. We tried various meds, all of the natural remedies, underwater treadmill & swimming therapy, etc. Nothing seemed to make it better - in fact, he was slowly getting worse - starting to knuckle in the back, and rear legs were always crossing. When laying down, he couldn't even shift from one side to the other without help. He could not get up to drink, eat, or go to the bathroom on his own. I would make sure I could stop home every 5-6 hours to help him get a drink and go to the bathroom.
Anyway, so now you are thinking - are you crazy - it was time!
However, his mind and attitude were still awesome. He was happy to see me, was happy to eat and as long as I was laying with him on the floor (pretty much my wife and my bed as well for the last 6 months so he wouldn't be alone), he seemed content. He was starting to growl and snip when helping him get up, which I guess signals he was in some pain.
In addition, if I wasn't home, my wife couldn't handle him anymore because he was a big lab (95lbs) - not fat, just big. She couldn't get him up because he didn't help with the getting him up process willingly in most instances.
Well, I had asked God for a sign for when it was time (most people said the signs were there already). Then I won a trip from my company. We could not go on the trip and leave the dog in the condition he was in (and we never went on vacation in 13 years without him anyway). So, I thought maybe this was the sign and talked to the vet another 3 times to be sure I wasn't missing something because I could postpone the trip if I wanted.
Well, the vet said again "it is time and if it was his dog, it would have been done 6-8 months ago when we were there".
So I scheduled the appt, tried to make the last days as happy as I could with table food and never leaving his side. He could not go for walks, and car rides were pretty stressful for him because of his inability to move around well on his own, so we couldn't do those things he loved before.
Then we had him put down. We were with him the whole time and I held it together better than I thought. I did almost back out last minute, but the vet and my wife both said again, "it is time".
Plus, I have some travel for work coming up and if it is getting close, then I would not want anything to happen when I wasn't home, that would be worse. I definitely didn't want my bud to suffer any.
Well, it has been a week and I feel like I should have waited and am second guessing my decision and torturing myself. I feel like I did it because of this trip and I feel so much guilt over that. Now it may have been the right time, but I now view the trip as rushing my decision rather than "the sign" it was time that I was thinking before. Again, I realize he didn't have much of a life anymore, but he did seem generally happy. Alot of my friends who have dogs said that will always be the case because dogs just want to please you and will not show how miserable they really are - who knows...
I am typically the strong one who handles adversity well, but this has taken me down and hard. I hope I can get over this and realize I did the right thing. Have any of you gone through this? I appear to be the only one who feels maybe it wasn't time, which tells me my thinking is wrong and the decision to euthanize was the correct one. But then, he was mainly my dog and maybe no one could see the positives I saw? Or is my love of this big, goofy, crazy dog completely clouding my judgement? Other than work travel, we have been with him every day for the last 13 years - everything now feels so "empty". I am taking this harder than any human death I've been through - am I crazy???



posted by: Lynne (reply)
post date: 03.13.13 (9:56 am)

Reply to:
TR313 - Not crazy, just in love with dogs like all of us. They always give & never take, so they weave deep into our hearts. You did what was right, don't 2nd guess yourself. 13 years is a long time & not being able to get up anymore had to be killing him. All dogs love to be up & at'em all the time. Don't be so hard on yourself & allow yourself to feel the loss. If you haven't gone on your trip yet, go - use this time to cherish your sweet memories. God will give you healing in time. Don't rush it. So sorry for your loss & know that I will be going through the same thing before too much longer.



posted by: tr313 (reply)
post date: 03.14.13 (2:17 am)

Thanks for the kind words. It's weird, I'm like 50% I did it too soon and 50% I waited too long. There isn't a part of me that says "it was the right time".
Thanks again and hopefully time will let me be more happy with what I had than sorry for what I lost.
...and thoughts and prayers are with you as your decision gets closer.



posted by: Doreen (reply)
post date: 03.17.13 (7:10 am)

I first wrote about a month ago when it was becoming obvious that our pup of 16 years was no longer happy in this world. Her tail was always between her crippled back legs, no longer wagged and her incessant kissing stopped. She no longer enjoyed being petted or lying on her back to have us rub her belly. But despite my best intentions, I was not ready to say goodbye. But after a month more of carrying her up and down the stairs at night to our bedroom and in and out of the house to go to the bathroom, her incessant pacing at night as well as her regular accidents,I knew that we had to say goodbye. Yesterday, I was finally brave enough to bring her to the vet one more time...(I knew I had to wait until the same day or I would not be able to go through with it again). It was probably the most difficult thing that we ever had to do but my husband, my adult daughter (whose dog it originally was before she moved out)and I brought her to the vet. They were very loving, explained what would happen, allowed us to sit on the floor with her and say our goodbyes, She seemed to go peacefully and as hard as it was I am at peace with our decision. Our big house seems so empty, but she'll always remain a part of our hearts.



posted by: (reply)
post date: 03.17.13 (2:49 pm)

I had to have my German sheppard put to sleep 2 years ago it felt like my heart had been ripped out but he had heart failure so I didn't want him to suffer at least he died in my arms



posted by: Ron (reply)
post date: 03.17.13 (10:13 pm)

Dave I had two shelties that went everywhere with me daily 24/7. They would run out the back door to get to the van and go with me to work as I am a book vendor and go store to store daily. Last week on Wednesday all was well, then on Thursday morning we all got up and Chester was laboring in breathing so I took him to the vet and they said he was having a heart attach and put him down. I was alright until I left the vet now I am so disstraught I am lost and so is the other dog. I only pray that God has him with Him in heaven because life without my baby boy is hell. I truly miss him.



posted by: Debbie (reply)
post date: 03.18.13 (8:37 pm)

Reply to: Tr313

The only thing that will help you is time. My story is on this board, January 14th I put my 17.5 yr old bichon pup Riley down and suffered tremendous guilt afterwards even though everyone else told me it was definately the right thing to do. I just loved him so much that there would NEVER be a right time and so as much as it hurts us to do it, we have to be the compassinate ones and let them go when they are ready. You are grieving someone who was a huge part of your daily life, i missed having my old pup to care for and it had taken me over 2 mths to feel better about it. I do still cry talking about him and what he meant to me but the daily living will get easier as the weeks go by. The first 2 were the hardest. I put together a photo album and a collage of all Rileys best photos and I sat and looked through them every couple nights and let the tears flow. Love is love, whether its for anotehr human or a pet, who , usually becomea family member for most of us. The are dailey fixtures in our lives and its only natural that once they are no longer sharing our day to day lives that we will discover what a huge void they left,. I knew how much i loved my Riley , but I was not prepared for how gut wrenching it would be after I followed through on my decision. I can look back and see, that we were keeping him with us for my sake more than his, he slept all the time, was losing bladder control and barely touched his food. He wasn't enjoying his life the way he used to but his being here still meant alot until i saw that he needed me to let him go before he suffered more. Here is a poem I found online I really like. I have it posted inside my kitchen cabinet with Rileys photo:

I Loved You Best

So this is where we part, My Friend,
and you'll run on, around the bend,
gone from sight, but not from mind,
new pleasures there you'll surely find.

I will go on, I'll find the strength,
life measures quality, not its length.
One long embrace before you leave,
share one last look, before I grieve.

There are others, that much is true,
but they be they, and they aren't you.
And I, fair, impartial, or so I thought,
will remember well all you've taught.
Your place I'll hold, you will be missed,
the fur I stroked, the nose I kissed. .
And as you journey to your final rest,
take with you this...I loved you best.




posted by: (reply)
post date: 03.18.13 (8:49 pm)

Also Tr313, (and Ron) I wanted to say how very sorry for your losses I am. Be gentle with yourself, its only been a short time. Let you feelings out. Guilt is not going to change anything, it will only keep you stuck in your grief.Seond guessing yourself is natural but do not let it take over. When I let my guilt go, things started to get easier to deal. Here is another poem a friend sent me


As I sit in heaven
And watch you everyday
I try to let you now with signs
I never went away
I hear you when youíre laughing
And watch you as you sleep
I even place my arms around you
To calm you as you weep
I see you wish the days away
Begging to have me home
So I try and send you signs
So you know you are not alone
Donít feel guilty that you have
Life that was denied to me
Heaven is truly beautiful
Just you wait and see
So live your Life , laugh again
Enjoy yourself , be free
Then I now with every breath you take
Youíll be taking one for me




posted by: Debbie (reply)
post date: 03.18.13 (8:51 pm)

So sorry for your loss Darlene, its a hard decision but one made out of love .



posted by: Lynne Gann (reply)
post date: 03.19.13 (1:18 pm)

Reply to:

Doreen - So encouraging to hear that. I'm so dreading having to make the decision for our Sissy. So far she is still moving around, eating & wagging her tail. She just doesn't gain any weight & breathes very rapidly. I know the time is coming & I will try to remember what you said.




posted by: Doreen (reply)
post date: 03.21.13 (7:30 am)

Lynne,
This support board has been extremely helpful for me; trying to discern when it was time to let go. Enjoy those doggy kisses and tail wagging, they are a dog's sign of love. The decision will be hard and I kept on wishing that my Meeka, would just die peacefully in her sleep but as the vet said that very rarely happens. Even with her having accidents sometimes 2-3 times a day I was still holding on. My kids were ready before I was. When we finally brought her, the vet was wonderful and told me that the fact that we were bringing her in was just one more sign of how much we loved her. The days are not easy as I look for her as part of my normal routine or I rush to get home to take her out only to remember that she is no longer there. She has not left our hearts though. I hope that when you have to make your decision someday that you will also feel peaceful about it. God Bless!




posted by: Phil R. (reply)
post date: 03.22.13 (6:32 am)

Our little princess Dixie Lee has crossed the rainbow bridge. The heaviness of our hearts is measured by the love she gave and received. She was a good dog, a best friend, and companion. The memories we share will give us strength and I thank god for joining us in this life.

Unconditional love is the greatest love there is in this world. Our pets are so many things to us and thats why we care and feel the way we do. Knowing you did your best is the special gift you gave them, they know you gave it to them and so does god. Take solace that you were the one that raised, nurtured, and cared for them...

Amen.





posted by: pat (reply)
post date: 03.24.13 (10:17 am)

doreen im so glad u did what u did...it was def time as hard as it may be...when we put our dear bobo to sleep she was almost 14 had cancer and it killed us..we loved her so much....3 weeks later we saw a puppy..we werent really looking we were just drawn to this pup..doodie a border collie....well we got her and im soo glad we did!everyone loves her..even my other 2 dogs..shes a true joy..happy bouncing smiling adorable fun puppy!when u see the right pup u will know...i swear bobo sent her to us as shes a perfect fit!we still miss bobo but the grief was so much better with our little doodie!border collies are soo smart and fun!if you have the energy i def say get one!smartest dogs alive!shes 11 weeks old and can already sit paw lie down sit up and come...takes about 5 min to teach her a new trick!!it will get better!xoxoxoxpat



posted by: (reply)
post date: 03.31.13 (6:04 pm)

lost. Thanks ever so much..., was told that my message contained material that was not appropriate. That was not the case, and my message was lost.



posted by: Cheyenne (reply)
post date: 04.25.13 (9:37 pm)

I am so glad to have found this site. It comforts me to know I am not alone in this and I am not crazy for having these emotions and melt downs. I put my sweet and precious canine boy down on Monday. He was 16 1/2 and I don't think anything has ever been so traumatic as watching him take his last breaths. He was "that" dog in my life. We were like soul mates; we could pretty much know what the other was thinking. I miss him so much and have cried my eyes out four three days. Today was the first day that I left my house and tried to get myself back into life. My husband has been awesome but he did not have the same bound with my baby so it is something hard for him to understand what I am going through. That is another reason why I am so happy to have found this site. I had been praying for a "sign" because in my heart I knew it was time but I just couldn't make that call. The day he was put down I picked him up like I do a thousand times and founds a large lump on his backside. I took him to the vet knowing deep down he would not return. Turned out it was either a canceous tumor or an abscess that would require a painful treatment. I said enough...he needs to rest. I laid my head on him and told him what a good boy he had been and sobbed as they put him to sleep. He gasped a few times which I am trying to get out of my head even thought the vet said it was just his body's reaction and he had already slipped away. I believe I will see him again some day because I think how could God let us fall so in love with these beautiful creatures if we would not see them again someday. It's been three days and I still cannot look at his pictures without breaking down but I know there will come a day when I can look at them and smile and remember or the wonderful memories. Hugs to all.



posted by: Cindy (reply)
post date: 04.30.13 (8:16 pm)

Thank You!



posted by: Shelley (reply)
post date: 05.01.13 (8:57 am)

Reply to: Cheyenne
I wrote on this site 3 1/2 months ago about losing my dog, Gaby. I know, as do many of us, exactly how you feel and I want you to know that it is easier with time, although I still have very sad moments, but the other day I was able to look at all the photos I have of Gaby on my phone, like when she was dressed up for Halloween and her 13th birthday party and on the beach and I found myself smiling and remembering all our good times together. I am now able to think about getting another dog, although it will not be for a few months yet, and I also know that I will never forget my little Gaby, as you will not forget your baby too. xx



posted by: Debbie (reply)
post date: 05.02.13 (6:43 pm)

Reply to:
Cheyenne, hugs to you, I was in your shoes in January, i put my 17.5 yr old Rileyboy down. I never knew how bad it would hurt, it was so profound the grief but here I am in May and I am able to remember him with smile and a tear, I can go for walks again and remember the ones we took together and being alone in the house is not as painful as it used to be. I still miss him of course but I know i did the right thing, it was his time and I loved him enough to not let him suffer, as you did for your sweet boy. I found alot of comfort on pet loss support boards as my husband did not share my bond with Riley either and I was devistated by the loss. The first few weeks were the worse and then little by little it starts to get easier.

Just be gentle with yourself, allow yourself permission to be with your feelings and let them out. About a 5-6 weeks afterwards I wrote all my fav memories down and had a collage made of my Riley and it sits on my nighttable. I slept with his collar under my pillow for weeks. I will always miss my boy, i doubt I will ever have that bond with another dog in quite the same way but I know down the road I do want another pet . They bring so much into our lives and ask for so little in return. You will get through the darkness and emerge on the other side, the only thing that will help is time. There is a nice candle ceremony on MOnday nights at petloss dot com you might take comfort in

Hugs



posted by: George (reply)
post date: 05.03.13 (9:10 am)

Reply to tr313:
You did the right thing. It's Ok. Too soon/Too late, I had the same problem. Yesterday. Molly Maria Martina Medonna de Guadulupe (AKA Moliie) the black lab passed away yesterday. We made an appointment 10 days ago, 2 appointments actyually,
as we were not sure exactly what day was best; She stopped walking and breathed very hard and it was Friday and we said it is time, let's do it tomorrow. That night I dug out my personal prednisone from camping first aid (it was an ancient bottle) and she get one pill every 2 hours (15mg total); the next day she was her old self. So we cancelled the appointement. We continued the prednisone, got an official prescrioption from the vet, and she was up and going again. Very up and going. Practiaccly running. This lasted 10 days. People (the vet tech said this) told me this extension has lasted 6 months or more. Well it did not last that long. The vet saw her on Monday said she was ok, 'let's jsut see how she does'. She paced around the exam room like usual. 4 dyas later (Yesterday night) she had an internal hemorhage, let out a whimper which woke us up -and she was going fast. She looked glassy-eyed. This is why i write: Did we wait too long? We were at the vet's 4 days previous and she was 'fine'. Last night her organs gave out. I would say, if she suffered, it was for exactly 3 hrs only. in 3 hrs from the whimper she was at the vet's and in heaven. I sobbed like a baby. We were there with her. Her companion dog came with but was scared to look at her as she lay in labored breath. So the companion dog and dear buddie of Mollie (Biscuit) knew but did not want to look directly or be too close. We put Biscuit in the car for the final moments. My wife was with me as we said goodbye. If i can offer any wisdom, it is to not do it alone, you need the support of a spouse or others. And a dog of 16 has had a great life. Mollie, i'm so sorry about the last few hours. We didnt know it would end like this. Plse forgive me in heaven. And say hi to your buddies if there is a heaven. Love you. bye.



posted by: (reply)
post date: 05.07.13 (7:46 pm)

I walked into a pet store one ordinary day
with no intentions to buy or stay
but as we stood there looking at each other
I knew Iíd be your canine mother
Our love grew quickly over time
and soon we could read each otherís mind
The years filled in with such beautiful memories
and we soon developed that thing called chemistry
As the years flew by, the signs were first subtle
but it soon became clear, your life was a struggle
So I prayed to God to give me a sign, because making
that decision, just couldnít be mine
So I picked you up like I did a thousand times
and finding that lump I knew it was time.
The void is so deep now that youíre gone, and I pray that
my grief will ease with time.
So rest my sweet Monaco, so gentle and kind,
for those memories you left, will forever be mine.





posted by: (reply)
post date: 05.07.13 (7:57 pm)

Shelley and Debbie: Thank you everyone for sharing your experience and struggles. It is encouraging to know this too shall pass and what I'm experiencing is normal. My emotions went from grief to depression so life has been hard but I know I will come out on the other side. It has only been a little over two weeks. I need to remember this was a super close relationship I had for 16+ years. I think I'm trying to rush so I won't have to feel the pain but we all know that doesn't work. My husband doesn't understand since he wasn't his original owner so I grieve alone which makes it harder. I finally told my sister about what I was doing through emotionally and I think just finally telling someone helped. It just amazes me how much we love and are loved by these beautiful creatures. I miss just taking care of him but I know in my heart it was time because his life just got too hard and another few months would have been miserable. I too like many others have second guessed my decision have doing things to soon or too late. I have to believe everything happens when it's suppose too.

George, I felt you pain about the last three hours you talk about. I had Monaco go through a test that was extremely painful right before putting him to sleep. I still think WHY did I do that. I feel I was a bit selfish needing more proof I was doing the right thing. I think we will both heal when we can get past that guilt knowing we loved them and did the best we could. They knew we loved them!



posted by: Lynne (reply)
post date: 05.17.13 (7:30 am)

Reply to: "Cheyenne"

The poem is beautiful & I'm sorry for your loss. May you find comfort in the memories with your precious companion. I am now in my 4th month of dealing with our terminal pet. She is such a trooper & the meds are keeping her comfortable at the present. We will be facing soon all the stuggles of too soon or too late like everyone else. I'm just trying to love on her & enjoy each moment God gives us with her. Hugs to you!





posted by: Michael (reply)
post date: 05.21.13 (8:07 pm)

On Sunday I had my best friend in all the world euthanized. He was old and sick and I thought that I would be ok with it. Well, I wasn't ok. Far from it; I broke my heart in the office. I held my breath as he died, but loud sobs forced their way out of my chest. I cried like a baby as he breathed his last. He had been my constant companion for seventeen years. When I was confined to my bed he had stayed with me, as l lay in severe chronic pain. Now that he is gone I feel so lonely. The blackness engulfs me, especially at night, and the feeling of loss is like being at the bottom of a black pit from which I cannot escape. I sob and cry, I call his name, I just want him back, I cant imagine imagine that I will never see him or hold him again. This ending is so final. What the hell do I do now ?





posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 05.21.13 (10:55 pm)

Reply to: Michael
Michael. It's tough, no doubt about it. You are very honest about how it feels, which is refreshing and I think also healthy. I found comfort in reminding myself, over and over, that I was simply taking responsibility to do something that was right and good. For me, believing in God and in a life beyond this place was also very comforting. No more suffering, a higher and better place.
With time, you will have good memories and good life once again. Thanks for sharing.



posted by: Michael (reply)
post date: 06.02.13 (6:48 pm)

Hello Dave:
Thank you for your kind words. It is now two weeks to the day since my boy left. Time has started to heal the rawness of my feelings, but there are times during the day when I forget that he is no longer around the place. I forget myself and look for him, or I think that I see him, or that deep dark feeling comes back and I feel the loss so deeply. It feels as though I will never get over being without that boy. I have tried to fill spaces here and there with reading about others in the same position, who write on the net, or I look for old photos and place them into frames or albums. It helps to do things that fill time. The toughest thing is to come to the realization that he is gone and then I pray that he is in a better place, without suffering, and that we will all be there together one day. I know that I shall never ever get used to this loss, but the rawness will go in time. And one day we shall be back together again. That is the only thing that makes sense. So thank you for being there for us, because a pain shared with others, who are going through the same dark feelings, is a pain halved. God bless all those who have lost dear loved ones...I wish us Peace and Love...sincerely ~ Michael



posted by: Kristen (reply)
post date: 06.06.13 (12:45 pm)

Thank you for this and sorry about Oreo. We put my beloved Mackie down this week.



posted by: Mel (reply)
post date: 06.10.13 (6:34 am)

I can relate to everything you said, We said goodbye to our lovey girl Krissy, 6 months tomorrow, I think of her everyday. Miss her too much :(



posted by: Tammy (reply)
post date: 06.29.13 (11:37 am)

I had my beautiful collie cross Nugget put to sleep on Tuesday. The worst day of my life. Reading all your posts has helped me to know I'm not alone. Nugget was nearly 13 and my best friend. He was always here for me and now I feel so lonely with the house being so quiet. I feel so guilty because even though he'd been sick and he went down hill in a matter of days, I'd only taken him to the vets as a day patient for a blood test. The vet phoned me at lunch time to say he had liver failure and that the kindest thing to do was euthanise him. I didn't want him to be in pain, but I feel I let him down by making him spend his last day in the vets surgery. He probably thought I'd left him. We then went back at 3.15 to say out final goodbyes and put him to sleep.



posted by: Nancy (reply)
post date: 07.02.13 (9:39 am)

Reply to Pastor Dave:
Reply to: PastorDave
I just put my 13-1/2 year old German Shepherd, Kiki, to sleep on Saturday, three days ago. I am having a hard time because I feel like I should have done more with her these last several months, yet she didn't want to walk much because she had degenerative myelopathy (DM) and her backend had gotten weak, her hearing was either going or gone, and she didn't see very well. I don't remember when she stopped lying outside the shower in the morning when I showered, and I realized Saturday afternoon that she hadn't barked in a long time. Because of the DM she had some bowel incontinence and for the last several months she had to spend her days outside, which wasn't too bad in Seattle (but she had always been an indoor dog from the time I got her when she was four, so this was distressing to her). She had a nice soft bed under the eve by the front door, and lately when I would come home after work she didn't even know I had walked up the sidewalk and was standing beside her bed because she was in such a deep sleep. I only had 9-1/2 years with Kiki, and it wasn't enough time. And, again, I wish I had done more with her these last two years, whether or not that was really possible. It's just so hard to let our pets go, and I know that this was the right thing to do for Kiki--I suspect she was suffering more than I realized and now she is free. Your post helped me a lot--much of what you said about your little dog's last years mirrored how it was with Kiki, and I felt much better just knowing someone shared a similar situation. Thanks for your post. I know time heals all wounds, and I do hope that we will be reunited with our treasured furry friends when we reach heaven! :o)




posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 07.02.13 (12:04 pm)

Reply to: Nancy
Hi Nancy. It's tough, no doubt about it. No easy way to get through this. There should, however, be peace and closure knowing you loved Kiki and she very much knew it. You did your best. And, unfortunately, it simply was time for her to go.

Hey, what you say let's meet up in Heaven one day, and let Kiki and Oreo play!



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 07.02.13 (12:07 pm)

Reply to: Kristen
Sorry and Mackie. I wish you peace, and healing.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 07.02.13 (12:09 pm)

Reply to: Mel
6 months ago, and still hurting. Some folks would wonder about that. But, those of us around here who have so deeply loved our companions and friends very much understand. May God bless you! Thanks for sharing.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 07.02.13 (12:12 pm)

Reply to: Tammy
That is sad. I'm pretty sure Nugget loved you more than anything or anybody, by a wide margin. Such a big heart would hold no grudge against you. You gave him a wonderful friend for 13 years. He was blessed to have you. I'm sure you are looking forward to meeting up again. Until then, I hope your heart remains so full of love for all those around you. God bless.



posted by: Joanne (reply)
post date: 07.07.13 (12:32 pm)

Dear Pastor Dave, I am almost 52 yrs old, live alone, except with my 13 yr.choc.lab, "Bo", which I potty trained myself from a puppy. Bo was our family dog until 5 yrs ago, when I went through a divorce & kept him. My older children do not show that my interest in him, considering they're in college, & have their own responsibilities. 2 yrs ago, he was running for his ball, & Oohhh how he loved chasing that tennis ball & bringing it back. Well, after retrieving his ball, he came back limping, he layed around for a couple days, literally, even if i tried to attempt to make him feel comfortable he kind of growled,..looking at me, like "it hurts, please leave me alone. So, I let him rest, he did get up about once a day to go to the bathroom outside. On the weekends, i even made myself a little bed on the floor, so I could comfort him during the night. Eventually, I broke down & took him to the vet ( I had someone help me get him in my car, he was 120 lbs then) & he had a torn ACL. Long story short I opted not pay for the ACL surgery, considering his age, & just have been maintaining him w/ meds, anti-inflammatory, etc. He would sleep at my side on the floor next to my bed. He did manage to walk up the stairs about 2 weeks later after that. These past 2 yrs have been managing my choc.lab, "Bo". About 1 month ago he stopped going up the stairs to sleep at my side. I knew he couldn't take it anymore. During these last 2 yrs, he has put more weight on his back l.leg, to compensate for the right one that was torn 2 yrs.ago. These last few days, he hasn't been eating as much, I am at times, feeding him from my hand, & bringing him his water bowl to him while he's laying down. Even on the weekends, I try sleeping downstairs on the couch for a good bit of the night, so that I can be w/him & to let him know I'm there for him as well. Today, again he didn't get up even to go outside to potty. i went to/from church, & he couldn't get up, so I helped him by holding/ supporting his back legs & walking behind him while he went outside. He went & we came back inside. Five hours, he drank some water that I offered, & again attempted to take him. He couldn't get up. So, I ripped an old sheet long-ways & kinda made a tournaquet, put it under his belly & helped him up. His back legs are, or even have given out. He could BARELY support himself anymore, I held him up & walked him outside to go potty. We came back in.
I am having a hard time about this decision for my Bo. He is about 90 lbs right now, too heavy to support himself anymore. I work during the day, I have been coming home everyday during my lunch hr to let him out, then go back to work. What quality of life am I giving him, just laying around? He eats less than before, & still water when offered, but what about going outside? The tournaquet that I made, yes helped for the support, but it squeezed against his bladder & he went a little on it, so i have to throw it away. I have more to use. What does the Bible say about euthanasia? This is so hard for me. I love all animals, I even brought a few strays home w/me then I found their owners. Animals are helpless creatures, they cannot tell us what is wrong, what hurts, etc.
If Bo would possibly cross over the rainbow bridge during his sleep, that might make it easier on me. But in the meantime, how long do I use a homemade tournaquet to help/support his 90 lb body weight about 4/5 times a day to go to the bathroom? Emotional-Spiritual help needed.
This situation of Bo not being able to go up the stairs anymore, & not eating as much these last few days, has made me do serious thinking about his quality of life. I do not want him to suffer. But how do I know he is? I want to do right thing. What would Jesus do?



posted by: Arvind (reply)
post date: 07.11.13 (3:17 pm)

Like you, I have an old friend in my house...He is also not doing good...I am so sad to read this all...but death is the real truth of life, I guess. You are a really good man.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 07.11.13 (4:42 pm)

Reply to: Joanne
What dos the Bible say and about euthenasia? Concerning people, it says every one of us is made in the image of God and therefore of infinitesimal value. It says thou shalt not kill, literally meaning commit murder. So, I think, with human beings we have no right to take another life in the name of mercy. With an animal, though, I can't make such a clear conclusion. According to Genesis we are given dominion over animals, and throughout the scriptures we are caretakers/stewards of God's creation. This includes the animal kingdom. So, God brings a dear animal into your life to love and care for. It is a wonderful relationship, however not a relationship of equals. You can reason. So, you have to use your God-given wisdom to decide what is best, what is most loving, for your dear animal friend. Sometimes, I believe, the suffering is so great and the quality of life so diminished, and the earthly future so dim, that the ending of his suffering is the right thing. Has Bo come to this point? Sounds like it. But, that's your decision. I believe He trusts you to do what is best. And, I'd very much like to think that should his life end at your decision, one day you will see him again. And, as the Bible says the lion one day will lie down with the lamb and the young child play over the adder, so surely Bo will run and play again to your delight. Peace, my friend!



posted by: Gary (reply)
post date: 07.19.13 (2:18 pm)

I am euthanizing my dog, Scrappy, at 10:00 tomorrow. I have found great comfort in you sharing the story of Oreo. Thank you for these well-spoken words.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 07.19.13 (5:31 pm)

Reply to: Gary
Oh my! Many of us will certainly have you on our minds and hearts at this time. May God give you strength and peace.



posted by: Steph (reply)
post date: 07.22.13 (6:32 am)

This has given me strength to make a very difficult decision. I could barely read through my tears. My Lexi is leaving this earth soon..but will forever live in my heart. Thank you.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 07.22.13 (7:40 am)

Reply to: Steph
About 5 minutes ago I was talking with our church secretary about her dog. It's time. Her dog has many ailments and is no longer enjoying life. And everybody gently tells this fine and smart lady it is time. Still, the decision is so tough. So we all understand what you are dealing with. I believe you will have peace in the end, and in your heart you will know you did what was good and right. God bless!



posted by: Catherine (reply)
post date: 07.22.13 (9:00 pm)

I recently put my brother Peanut, a 12.5 yr golden down 2 days ago :( he was my best friend since I was 10. I now feel nothing but pain. The tears stopped because I don't have any left. My home is no place to be. The floors are too big without his huge fluffy body spread across them. I am still in such shock that I actually followed through with this decision. The two days before I got only a total of 8 hours of sleep taking care of him, with work during the day. The night before we put him down I slept in until 1045 (next to him on the living room floor..I have been doing this for months) ...his appt was at 1145 :( I only had one hour with him :( I stayed with him the whole time, he looked so peaceful I didn't believe the vet that he was gone. If I didn't live in such a popular area I would bury him in my backyard, but that is illegal here and so he has to be cremated :( I hate the thought of all of this. The worst is that every day that goes by is one day further away from the last time I hugged and touched him. My greatest fear is that my memories of his smell and mannerisms will fade :( I am sorry for everyone's pain. For people struggling with the decision, it's a peaceful ending for them and the right way. As my first pet I'm happy he went like this. The hardest part is him being gone from the home and life, that is the selfish thoughts...during decision making think of your pet not your selfish needs. I hope Peanut found love in my eyes in his last moments :( I hope I didn't wait too long. :( my grief hurts everywhere :(



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 07.22.13 (10:04 pm)

Reply to: Catherine
Thanks for being so honest with your feelings, experience. I especially appreciate your encouragement to those facing the same challenge. It's not easy, even when it is the right thing to do. The pain will lesson. Memories will be sweet. Hang in there!



posted by: Athena (reply)
post date: 07.24.13 (5:56 pm)

That made me tear up. I had to put my best friend Spooky to sleep back in 2011-over Labor Day weekend-and it's coming up on two years since she left this Earth. I still can't talk about her without crying. :( Putting a pet to sleep is the hardest thing you will ever have to do. I know this sounds a little crazy but I talk to her in my head a lot. I was with her when she departed this earth and I know I will see her again someday. So until we meet again, rest in peace, Spooky-I'm sorry you were in such pain during your last moments on Earth. Love you, sweetie. <3



posted by: Karin (reply)
post date: 07.30.13 (6:20 am)

We just put our Katie to sleep last night. She was a 13 year old beautiful chow chow that we rescued when she was 4. She was our little girl for 9 years. In my mind I see her in her mischievous younger years, out chasing squirrels and running through our backyard. I know it was time. Katie used to love to go for walks and no longer could walk a short distance. Her quality of life had certainly taken a downward turn. Beginning last summer she had 3 attacks of vestibular disease from which she recovered but still had the slight head tilt. For a while she has had trouble hearing, seeing, had been diagnosed with canine cognitive dysfunction, had an infection in her eye that wouldnt respond to treatment and produced a thick green mucous, began pooping while she was walking, and had to be coaxed to go outside to do to go to the bathroom. Many nights were spent with her pacing the floors and recently she began walking into walls and furniture. Most movement was getting hard for her. This Sunday, Katie could no longer get up. An X-ray yesterday revealed a dislocated leg. Our vet, a true animal lover, told us that this required surgery to heal and at Katie's age he didn't recommend it. My husband, son, and I made the decision to put Katie to sleep and have her cremated. Her ashes will be returned to us Friday. I am heartbroken over the loss of my good girl Katie. Your post was a blessing for me to read. Thank you for sharing about your Oreo. I especially liked the idea that Katie is up in heaven waiting for us to come home.



posted by: Adam (reply)
post date: 08.02.13 (5:49 pm)

Reply to: Mike
I share you're pain mate. I put my 15 year old cocker spaniel down today...his hind legs were finished...terrible decision to make....wouldn't wish it on anyone....the pain and grief is immense....



posted by: Jill (reply)
post date: 08.06.13 (6:55 am)

I am glad to have found this site because I cant get over having to say goodbye to my 17yr and 1 month old black lab, Duke. We were blessed to have had him so long because we thought we were loosing him a couple times, but I miss him so much and can't believe he his gone. I am having a difficult time getting the last moments at the vet out of my head. I was so nervous and could not believe the day had come. I hope he knew that we loved him and had to do this to end his suffering. My whole family was telling me that his "quality of life" was gone. My husband and I were holding,petting and kissing his head. It will be 2 weeks this Wed the 7th and I am still crying everyday. Mornings are rough when I wake up and realize he is no longer here. I have kids that have accepted it better than me and I need to be whole for them. I dont feel that I am. I feel like I loose my patience quickly. This summer has been a difficult one. I missed two weekend trips with my family because Duke could not travel which was my choice and I would not of had it any other way. I needed to take care of him. I made all his food for the past 2 years and slept on the couch for at least the last 6 months because he was getting up in the middle of the night. He was going to the bathroom in the house and on his bed for some time.They say dogs aren't happy when that happens. He could not control because of his arthritis and muscle loss along his spine. Towards the end he could not get up on his own and when he went out and went to the bathroom he fell right back and sat in it. As much as I wanted him another day, another week and another month I knew that was not fair to him. I started to see other signs the last weekend and was so afraid that he would suffer even more. I was hoping and praying that he would go in his sleep, but I read that it is rare for that to happen. I was so afraid that he would suffer even more as days passed. It is so hard to look through the pain to know if you did the right thing or to even accept it because you miss your furry best friend so much. So I need to read all these stories to help me come to grips with what happened and to know that there are many others sharing what I am feeling. I had to go through this same pain 2 years ago in the same week with my cat. Now we are petless which I dont like , but I am not ready. We had him cremated and I am not sure to keep him all in the box they gave me or spread a little in a couple spots. One being the lake he loved and next to my cat that he was with since the beginning.My husband and I opened the box just the other day and it was difficult.
What do others think.
Thank you to everyone that takes the time to share their stories.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 08.06.13 (7:39 am)

Reply to: Jill
At the lake sounds good, a place I'm sure he loved and of which you have fond memories. You had your dear friend for a long time, and treated him with great respect. Seems to me you have nothing to regret. It's too bad, but these wonderful animals are not made for long lives. We are caretakers. You have been the very best. God bless you as you move along in this journey.



posted by: Jill (reply)
post date: 08.07.13 (5:57 am)

Thank you.
This may be a silly question but is there a right or wrong with distributing ashes. I can not bare to part with them all and then I question if putting some in two different places and keeping some is the proper thing to do. I have heard some say let some of him be free then someone else said keep him whole with you. It is still painful to me and obviously I am confused on what to do. I miss him.




posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 08.07.13 (7:29 am)

Reply to: Jill
Interesting question. It would be nice to hear from other readers about this matter. I can give you my own personal opinion. Very much I believe, when a love one dies, the spirit immediately passes from the body. So that which is left behind is merely physical- the real "person" is no longer there. So cremation seems practical, acceptable, to me. As far as keeping the ashes together? I do not think it really matters. I've never viewed a cremation, but likely there is already a mixture of material in the ashes- container, clothing, mementos, etc. So if you want to release some of the ashes, and keep others, then great. Now personally I do not want to keep ashes around as a reminder. Photos. Items that were of value to the deceased, ok. But not ashes. For me, they would interfere with sweet memories. But, that's only opinion!



posted by: Jill (reply)
post date: 08.08.13 (5:15 am)

Reply to: PastorDave
Thank you.




posted by: Jill (reply)
post date: 08.08.13 (5:58 am)

Reply to: debbie
Not sure if you and the others will see this since your post was awhile ago, but I will take the chance. It helps to write. I have already writen a couple post but then ran across yours and I am feeling the same awful pain and not everybody understands.I had to say goodbye to my 17 and 1 month old black lab 2 weeks ago. I feel sick in the morning and my appetite has not been what it should for three weeks now. I am trying to focus on his wonderful life but i can not get the pain of making that dreadful decision to say goodbye. Yes, guilt, hurt, was it a day too early, a day too late, was he OK in the moment and did he feel our hands on him and know I was there kissing him. My husband is being understanding but says that now I am being selfish because he had a good long life and I should focus on that.I just miss him terribly. Lived longer that what the doctor thought. I did what you did cleaned up his accidents on floor and his bed for many months, slept on the couch for months so I was right there to take him out at all hours of the morning, made his food and would only leave him for 4 hours. He was 59lbs when I brought him in and he could not get up any more on his own, broke my heart. I was bringing his food to him so I made sure he would eat. Doctor said that they sometimes eat to please you. He ate really well the last day but when he first smelled it he would turn his head. I would help him. I am wondering if that was another sign of things getting worse. I had him on an antibiotic every morning for at least 2 years because he had a problem and was very sick 2 years prior. He developed a skin infection a couple months ago where his hair kept falling out and was spreading. Due to being on antibiotic for so long probably and not being able to fight the fungal infection. I put meds on him and bathed him with special shampoo. I think I did everything I could but one always questions themselves. His absence to me is awful, his bed still lays in the kitchen. Cant move it yet. My husband and 2 girls have are OK and have accepted it, but not me. I cry everyday. It helps to read other stories and I talk to myself about his quality of life and what he was experiencing at the end.(i am not crazy!)
Hope you see this.
Thanks for sharing your stories. I will keep reading different posts until I am in a good and comfortable place knowing he is ok and that someday we will see each other again. Oh how I hope.



posted by: Catherine (reply)
post date: 08.10.13 (7:16 pm)

Hi all I am returning to update on how it's been since my best friend golden retriever Peanut left my life. It is 3 weeks today. 1 week ago was my birthday. :/ I had people over for dinner and it took a lot to not cry while sitting at the dinning room table and peanut wasn't roaming below the table begging in the cutest way, or being a small ottoman :) I see everyone's new posts and I feel sympathetic. It is very lonely without our loved ones, and that is why I use this time to reflect on how I should treat those who are special to me like my brother Peanut. Life is full of time spent missing loved ones, so we need to take advantage of everyone who is still in this world with us by giving back. Peanut loved people. On his last days my friend came over to see him, he could not stand on his own so he barked until she came to say hello in the room he was in. It was sad because his favorite thing was guests and going to greet them as soon as they came in. I felt so sad he couldn't roam the house by choice. I will always love him. My mother gave me a wooden engraved box with his name no picture and dates 2001-2013. Inside the box is his leash, collar, toy, and pictures. This is wonderful to have. His ashes are at the pet cemetery. My best advice would be to keep treating others as important as they are and don't let death blind you from life. There are moments in the day that are appropriate to reflect that don't take over every waking minute. I love you peanut. These three weeks have been fast.

And also in reference to a "crappy summer"...I too have been engulfed in my pet this summer and did not enjoy it at all. :/ I'm gonna try and stay positive and say that there is still some time to enjoy it...although I love summer so this is one thing I definitely am complaining about :/



posted by: (reply)
post date: 08.11.13 (8:51 am)

Reply to: Catherine
Thank you for your post. I will probably read it over and over because reading some of these helps me to understand better that I did the right thing. Wed. will be 3 weeks that Duke has not been with us and the pain is still unbearable. As I mop my kitchen floor for the first time since he has been gone I cry. It seems like yesterday he was right there laying on his bed. As you said summer has not been enjoyable, that is how I feel. I can't wait till it is over. I know that is wrong because I have kids and I should be enjoying the rest of it with them, I am trying. Like you I also had a birthday which he was here for but not for my anniversary a week later. July now will always be remembered as loosing my 2 furry friends . My cat 2 years prior. I know this is what life is about and I should be greatful for the amount of time I had with them. I suppose as time passes the pain will lessen and I will come to a better understanding of all that. They are missed greatly. This is a great way to talk to people who understand the pain and will listen. Not everyone understands or wants to hear me talk and cry all the time. Thank you again for sharing and I will be thinking of you and hoping that for all of us each day gets a little easier. May all our furry best friends be healthy now. Running and playing happily.



posted by: Paula (reply)
post date: 08.12.13 (10:53 pm)

My dog zeta is 13 years old and has lung disease,
She is up all night coughing and my husband and i
Are having to make the dicision to have her put down.
But we are finding it to hard. Is she in pain. Is it the right time.
Can i ever live with myself. When we went to choose
A puppy we wanted another one but zeta, eyes still closed dragged
Herself to my husband so she chose us and i only want
Whats best for her. If only she could tell me.
I dont want my best friend to go and its braking my husband
And my hearts.



posted by: Jill (reply)
post date: 08.13.13 (8:53 pm)

Reply to: Paula
I wish they could tell us too. Not easy to make that decision. It took me awhile to come to the understanding that it was best for him so he did not suffer. It will be 3 weeks tomorrow that Duke has been gone and I cry everyday. I miss him so much. I did not want to let go but he was 17 and there was no making him younger and better as much as I wished. I had to think of his quality of life and happiness as everyone told me. Just make sure she is comfortable and that there is no other medications that will help. Talk to your vet about all options. Have you read the quality of life sites? some are helpful. Stay strong!




posted by: MM (reply)
post date: 08.18.13 (1:47 pm)

It is heartbreaking to read all of the stories of loss. What is also heartbreaking to me is to read how your dog, Pastor Dave, had to spend the last months of his life. You locked him out of the house after years of keeping him inside. You probably broke your dog's heart when you did that. There are ways to confine a dog to a certain area inside the house which makes cleanup easier. There are also products much like diapers that help with that problem. I think after a lifetime of unconditional love we owe it to them to take care of them with love and patience in old age. You also wrote that you were stroking his "dull and matted" fur. A matted fur is not a sign of old age, it is a sign of neglect.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 08.18.13 (3:52 pm)

Reply to: MM
Perhaps you are right. I admire and respect the length many of my readers have gone to show love to their pets. I guess I could have done likewise. Oreo had a good life, was treated with kindness and respect, and knew I was his best friend. I've known many, many dog/human friendships. Knowing how I treated him and loved him, and helped him to pass on, there is little guilt. Sorrow for sure. Currently I have two fine dogs, and I think I will be able to even better help them when that fateful time comes.

This is the first time I have been challenged with this- I'll consider your thoughts. Thanks.



posted by: MM (reply)
post date: 08.21.13 (2:43 pm)

That would be great if you would consider my thoughts, thank you. Not just for your current dogs' sake, but possibly for your own sake, too. Because, and think about this, how would you have felt if your Oreo had passed away on one of those nights when he was locked out of the house, when he was not allowed to be with the people he loved, when he was howling to let you know how sad and confused he was, and when you scolded him for it? It was fortunate that you were able to be there with him during his final moments, but, we really never know when their time (or ours) is up, when those final moments will happen. It is however in our power to make the last contact we have with our pets (or our loved ones for that matter) a loving experience simply by *always* being loving, patient, kind, and gentle.
Thanks again for considering this, and I wish you good luck and many years of joy with your current two dogs.



posted by: Catherine (reply)
post date: 08.22.13 (6:47 am)

Please don't forget that even dogs are our animal children...they are not children. When something happens to a dog they accept it. Humans have the ability to fight something emotionally. After one week days of the same routine a dog accepts his/her new routine without hesitation. I believe Oreo enjoyed being outside. Do you ever notice when your dog wants to come in if you leave it out just a LITTLE longer it had found new interest in new smells or other outdoor excitements. Peanut was an Inside dog, a true tv watching family member. But even with him if he stayed out five minutes longer than he requested he was already enjoying the outdoors again :) what makes dogs so special is that they are not human and all their traits are perfectly different. They forgive, forget, adapt, share, protect, comfort, and unconditionally love.



posted by: MM (reply)
post date: 08.22.13 (11:57 am)

Yeah sorry Catherine, but I can't agree with you on most of your post. Dogs may forgive, but they don't forget. Sure, when everything else goes well, little changes get accepted. But a dog that has lived inside with a family for most of its life, and is sick and ailing on top of it, put such a senior dog outside and it will suffer emotionally. Yes dogs adapt as in they continue to eat and function, but they can and will suffer emotionally. Read up on the following: Hachiko (everybody knows that story, right?); Capitan in Argentina (has been standing vigil over master's grave for 6 years now); Canelo in Cadiz (waited outside of hospital deceased owner for 12 years before he himself died); Constantine German Shepherd in Russia (only survivor of car crash, keeps going back to scene of crash where his family died for 7 years); Fido in Italy (master gets killed in an air raid yet for 14 years Fido keeps going to the bus stop where his master would get off every day after work); Shep the border collie in Montana; Greyfriars Bobby..... Dogs do not forget. Dogs adapt easily when the change is from bad to good. But even then, they don't forget. Ask anybody who owns a rescue dog and most will tell you that these dogs are especially loyal, as if they knew the difference between what they had before compared to what they have now. And when things go from good to bad (and to keep things in perspective, a beloved dog having to stay outside for 5 more minutes is really not anything bad), they can and will suffer emotionally. Please don't imply that I am some crazy dog lady. I know the difference between kids (humans) and dogs. But I have constantly had one or more dogs in my life for the past 45 years and I am fostering rescue dogs so I have had some experience and know what I am talking about. Thank you.



posted by: MM (reply)
post date: 08.22.13 (1:15 pm)

Correction/addition/clarification to my previous comment: I forgot the word "more as in "Dogs adapt (more) easily when the change is from bad to good". Because, sometimes you have rescue dogs that come from either puppy mills (and we are talking the worst of the worst of puppy mills), or from laboratories (animal testing), and some of those dogs are so terrified by their experiences that they are emotionally damaged for life. These are extreme cases but they proof that dogs do not forget, and they only just "adapt" to a certain degree.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 08.22.13 (7:46 pm)

Reply to: MM
OK, MM, let me clarify that Oreo was never a constant house dog. Most of the time he was outside. But, he thoroughly enjoyed coming in as a treat. And, as he got older, I tended to let him into the house more and more. But, when he came to the point that he would not or could not control his bowel movements, then he had to stay outside. I don't think this is unreasonable or cruel. As far as putting diapers on a dog, or simply allowing him to soil a confined part of the house, I think those are extreme alternatives that should not be expected of another person. If you want to do it, fine. I'll not condemn you- but don't expect me or most people to to do so. I can love my dog, and treat him with kindness and dignity, and still keep him outside on the porch when he has the unfortunate habit of soiling the house.
Another thing. I've been thinking about your judgment call concerning my dog's dry and matted fur. You say it is evidence of neglect? He's old and fragile, he aches from arthritis and likely a displaced hip- so I am certainly not going to subject him to a bath at that time. Would you? My error with Oreo is waiting far too long to have him put to sleep, because I could not bear to part with him. But otherwise I treated him kindly and lovingly. As I said before, i have few regrets.
Here on this site, a lot of people have opened up their hearts and shared their experiences very candidly. You've given your opinion about me, and I have responded. If you do not agree, that's fine. But you be very careful before you go about with a similar approach with others around here.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 08.22.13 (7:54 pm)

Reply to: Catherine
Thank you, Catherine. It's a good reminder and needed for the moment. As much as we humanize our pets, and project human qualities on them, they are not people. We love them and they love us. But they're different. Like you have said, we do not have to treat our dogs just like a human in order to be able to say we love them and are kind to them. Fact is, for me personally, I'm not going to put a diaper on a dog or sleep on the floor next to my dog or spend thousands of dollars which I do not have for medical care that may not help. Those who choose to do so- well, that's their business, and God bless them. They have very big hearts. But to insist that another person must go to such extreme, or else he is somehow defective- that's just not fair.



posted by: Catherine (reply)
post date: 08.22.13 (8:09 pm)

Thank you Pastor Dave. I agree with you. What people decide to do with their dogs is personal...and as long as love is involved I think our dogs will always agree with us :) I however did out diapers on peanut so he didn't have to stand up so often his last couple weeks. His hips were weak :/ and I did sleep with him :) because this made me happy it made him happy :) half of my family is very country and most of their pets are outdoor...they wouldn't typically do this. And their dogs are happy as well :) as the weeks pass since peanut left I like coming here and seeing how everyone is doing with their new personal posts. Like others have said, it's comforting. This is a great site of support and understanding. I hope it stays this way.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 08.22.13 (8:31 pm)

Reply to: Catherine
We're going to stay helpful and positive and kind around here! Right now I have my little Cassie snuggled up next to me. She's a Shitzu, and really not good for much of anything except loving. And Big Dog, my German Shepherd, lays across the room on his oversized pillow sleeping soundly but always listening for me to get up so he can follow me through the house. We all love dogs around here. They are more than just pets- they're family.
Sorry that you have lost Peanut. He was loved, and I'm sure a great friend. I'm glad this site is helpful to you.



posted by: MM (reply)
post date: 08.23.13 (12:59 am)

Regarding mats in a dog's fur - matted hair pulls at the skin and depending on the severity of the mats they can cause anything from irritation of the skin to discomfort, soreness, and pain. Mats can be combed out, no bath necessary! They can be combed out or even better yet *prevented* by gently combing and brushing the senior dog's hair when the dog is laying down, that way it is not strenuous for the dog. Work only just on a small sections at a time but do it just about every day. Takes only just a couple of minutes to do but the dog will not end up being matted.
So, should I be thankful now that you don't condemn me for treating my dogs with kindness at a point in life when they most need it, in old age? Should I be thankful that you won't condemn me for valuing their emotional well-being more than I would value some old, cheap scatter rug which can be replaced if/when it gets soiled?
I did not "condemn" you. If anything I wanted you to see things from a different perspective and maybe do things a bit differently in the future.
I don't "insist" that you go to "extremes" (and what you call "extremes" is considered "normal" for most of the people I know and socialize with), nor did I say you were "defective", that is just plain silly now. Here is what I did: I dared not to chime in with all the "helpful, positive, and kind" warm and fuzzy feelings around here. I dared to speak out for a dog. I never said you were a bad guardian for your dog, but I did dare to say you could have done better towards the end of his life. And just to get something straight, I did not "give my opinion about you". I don't know you and hence I simply can not have an opinion about you. I gave an opinion about something you DID or maybe FAILED TO DO, but not about YOU. Big difference!
So what are you going to do if your Cassie ever gets incontinent (and medicine does not help) but is otherwise healthy and even relatively young (spayed females can develop incontinence at a very young age)? Are you going to ban her from the house? Or your Big Boy who, according to your own words, follows you through the house, will he be banned from the house once he develops problems?
And by the way, I have enough social skills NOT to bring anything like this up to somebody who has just recently experienced a loss (so no need to threaten me "But you be very careful before you go about with a similar approach with others around here"). My mistake to think that after 5 years you could handle a little bit of constructive criticism. My motivation and goal was to potentially make things better for any current dog(s) once they become old and frail, not to make friends with you. If I hit a raw nerve, maybe you do regret more than you are willing to openly admit. For somebody who does not have any or only just minor regrets, you sure got very, very defensive.
Again, good luck with your dogs.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 08.23.13 (5:01 am)

Reply to: MM
Alright, you've passed along a perspective. I do not agree with you. Another place, I'd interact and challenge you as much as you would like. But this place, this particular blog, is for healing. Like you have said, this is a place to be helpful, positive, kind, even warm and fuzzy. I think it works. I want people to come here and share their stories and know they will simply be accepted and encouraged. It is devestating to lose a beloved pet. Part of the grieving process is guilt, sometimes quite raw. Here- you find love and compassion, hopefully help to work through the guilt and come to acceptance. And you know what? Even after 5 years, I still dearly miss Oreo. There is still a lot of raw emotion, and my heart still aches sometimes when I think about him. Here, this place, I have refrained from wagging a finger and telling folks how they can do better next time. And that's not easy given my profession! Be kind, be gentle, refrain from passing judgment. As I think about it, there is a lesson around here from all these dear dog lovers that can surely translate to other areas of life.



posted by: brenda (reply)
post date: 08.26.13 (2:35 pm)

I lost my coltrane on Friday and i dont know what to do...i screamed in grief when i found out that my baby died...and i feel guilty...i dont e en know how my life can go on without him...i am overwhelmed with sadness and grief.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 08.27.13 (9:22 am)

Reply to: brenda
A lot of pain. I know. Nobody can make it go away, but it will lessen with time. If you treated your beloved pet with kindness and love, keep reminding yourself of that. He was blessed immensely to be connected with you. And death, as we all know when we think rationally, is sometimes the best alternative given the reality of the moment. Share your grief with your friends, places like this, and I can assure you that time has a great healing effect. God bless you.



posted by: mary (reply)
post date: 08.27.13 (10:33 pm)

We took our little chihuahua to the vet to be put down. It's been 2 weeks. I still cry. Today I saw a clipping in the news about an issue related to dog pounds. They showed different dogs and I think I saw my little dog. Is it possible for the vet to have taken my dog to the dog pound instead of putting him down? I'm thinking of going to the dog pound just to check. My dog had a disease where he lost the use of his hind legs and he dragged himself to get around.



posted by: Jill (reply)
post date: 08.28.13 (8:28 pm)

Reply to: Mary
Were you not with your dog when you had to put him down? I cant imagine that a vet would do such a thing.It has been a month that I had to say goodbye to my beautiful lab and it still hurts and I still cry. I held his head and kissed him till I had to leave. I don't think I will ever stop missing him.




posted by: mary (reply)
post date: 08.31.13 (8:01 pm)

I couldn't take my dog. I didn't know someone could stay with them until I started reading on-line. I wish I had sat with him. My husband took him and he couldn't stay. It was too difficult for him. I didn't check the dog pound after all. I'm just believing that my dog is now at peace. My husband still misses him so much. I think I'm beginning to heal. He'll never be forgotten.



posted by: Jill (reply)
post date: 09.03.13 (8:28 pm)

Reply to: mary
I am sorry you were not with him. I wish your vet told you that you could be there to hold him.You must believe that your vet did the right thing and of course he is at peace. Our furry friends will never be forgotten. I think about mine everyday.



posted by: Joaan (reply)
post date: 09.05.13 (8:27 am)

I beleive that your doggy will be there in heaven , happy and enjoying. My rythem has just passed away in my arms at home being put to sleep yesterday. God is a loving god and he knows what we need to have perfect happiness in heaven .. Our furry family member will definitely be there waiting for us,,,



posted by: TRISH (reply)
post date: 09.09.13 (8:31 am)

I put my 11 years old husky the love of my life to sleep on 9/3/13.I will never forgive myself.She was sick for a while.The regret and pain I have now is unbearable.I want to shoot myself for what I did.I wish I had one more option somewhere,one more miracle somewhere but it is too late.I wish some body had talked me out off and waited more time without making this kind of decision.It is too late to bring that day back.I will never ever go through this option again if some body put a bullet to my head.When you are too sad and emotional please don't make any kind of decision and don't let any body else talk you in to it.That day was the worst day of life.



posted by: Jill (reply)
post date: 09.09.13 (8:32 pm)

Reply to: Trish
I am so so sorry. I know the pain of doing that is awful. I am still feeling it. :(
Talk to people it helps. Also, something that made me feel good and honor my dog was to donate and sponsor a dog at our local human society. When you are ready that is a wonderful thing to do. It made me feel good and cry to see my dogs name up on the cage helping another dog. Again, I am truly sorry.




posted by: Shelley (reply)
post date: 09.20.13 (6:37 am)

Hi everyone
You may remember reading about my dog, Gaby, eight months ago when I had to make that agonising decision to let her go. Time does help, but that doesn't mean I have forgotten her and I still feel the pain of losing her. I just wanted you all to know I am welcoming a new puppy into my home and my heart this weekend. He is also a Lhasa Apso and he will be loved a lot, but there will always be a place in my heart and head for Gaby, she will never be forgotten. I talk to her every day and say goodnight to her every night. Please don't say you won't go through the pain of losing a precious pet again, there are so many out there that want you to love them. My new boy is called George because he was born on 22nd July 2013, the same day as our new Prince.

A big thank you to Pastor Dave and all of you - this site was so wonderful in helping me through the pain of losing my Gaby, my baby. I will continue to read your letters from time to time and believe me, it does get easier with time, you just need to know that with time, you can smile at the memories rather than regret their passing.
xxx



posted by: Jill (reply)
post date: 09.20.13 (8:01 pm)

Reply to: Shelley
Thank you for sharing. It will be two months this week and I still keep coming back to this site to read and respond. It helps to to share with those who completely understand the pain. I am still feeling it and can't believe that my Duke is not in my life anymore. I tell him that miss him everyday. I agree with you that they will never be forgotten. I am not ready for another animal yet even though the house is empty without. Much happiness with George.



posted by: Diane (reply)
post date: 09.21.13 (2:41 pm)

Hello everyone,
This post has been such a blessing. Last night we put our Coobie to sleep - he was a 15 year old Havanese and the most wonderful companion in every way. Although his health issues convinced "my head" that it was the right decision, I still felt such a deep loss in my heart. . This morning I woke at 5 AM - and decided , when I couldn't sleep, to turn on the radio. What started play and right from the beginning /// ? - the song, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow". I know that this was Coobie's way of letting me know that he was there and happy. I feel sad but so much more at peace. This is the kindest thing that we can do for the beloved little ones that have given us so much. Bless everyone who has left comments on this site.



posted by: Trish (reply)
post date: 09.24.13 (6:40 am)

Reading all these posts have been comforting because I had to put my beautiful eleven year old golden retriever down yesterday. Even knowing it was time the pain I feel is not lessened. I know she's in a better place with no more suffering but I will always love and miss my baby girl Mia..



posted by: Michelle (reply)
post date: 09.25.13 (8:29 am)

Reply to: Trish

We have a very sad date in common. I had to put my 14 1/2 year old Golden mix Muffin to sleep on Monday, September 23. I, too, knew that it was time but it did not ease the pain. I had dreaded this time for years and it was very difficult to accept that the time was really here. I love her so much and will forever.




posted by: Trish (reply)
post date: 09.27.13 (6:32 pm)

Reply to: Michelle
I am so sorry to hear about your loss! It's such a difficult time and miss my Mia so much. Even knowing she's gone I still expect to see her when I open the door or next to my bed in the morning. I hope your hanging in there and hoping our pain will get alittle less every day...



posted by: Michael (reply)
post date: 09.28.13 (6:01 am)

I stumbled across this looking for something else today...and could not stop reading...or crying.

I had to euthanize my First Friend when I was 12 and he was 14. My grandmother could not stay with him, but I felt duty-bound to hold him until it was over...he would have done no less for me.

I have spent my life collecting strays...both animal and human, and I find that friends of the 4-legged variety are the only ones who have never let me down.

Will Rogers said it best: If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.



posted by: Michael (reply)
post date: 09.28.13 (6:04 am)

I stumbled across this looking for something else today...and could not stop reading...or crying.

I had to euthanize my First Friend when I was 12 and he was 14. My grandmother could not stay with him, but I felt duty-bound to hold him until it was over...he would have done no less for me.

I have spent my life collecting strays...both animal and human, and I find that friends of the 4-legged variety are the only ones who have never let me down.

Will Rogers said it best: If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.



posted by: Emily (reply)
post date: 10.06.13 (11:47 am)

I found this blog when I was reading about pet euthanizing. My beloved Ralph, a boston terrier, is going to be put down tomorrow. He is ten, and has a tumor. I am comforted in knowing that other people have gone through this painful event.



posted by: ~SaraJane~ (reply)
post date: 10.08.13 (10:06 pm)

Yesterday morning at 9:30 am I said "see you later" to my 16 yr old English Springer Spaniel Bandit . He was my Best Friend . He knew me and my thoughts when I would cry he would be there for me throughout the 16 yrs . When I was happy he was too. But for the past 2 yrs he had lost his hearing and his sight !! This past week he could not walk well when I would take him outside to use the bathroom sometimes he would just fall over !! Then he started peeing while he was laying there I knew then it was time !! This was on a Friday and I had desided to give the family the weekend to say there goodbyes !! My two boys who are 14 and 9 seemed to understand so that Sunday night I cooked Bandit a big juicy steak and he enjoyed it that made me happy :) all weekend I just cried,Monday morning the boys hugged and kissed him before they left for school, I called the vet and had an appointment made for 9 called my husband and he came home from work and we went together !!! The vet was a really sweet lady and she was even in tears with me !! I held him and said my see you layers to him and thanked him for be my best friend!! I wouldn't say goodbye because I believe when my time is up there he will be waiting for me and that makes me smile bc he will come running to me and will no long be in pain !! My heart is broken and my house is not the same ! He was my first child and we all miss him dearly !! I came home from the vets and found this site online and reading all these stories It comforts me knowing other people have gone through a similar situation !! I never knew so many people had to also make that same heartbreaking decision !! Thanks



posted by: Randomdoglover (reply)
post date: 10.17.13 (4:49 pm)

I feel you, buddy, I've gone through that stage before. It hurts.



posted by: Nadine (reply)
post date: 10.20.13 (3:52 pm)

I just lost my boxer two days ago. OK, so i am sad, so sad, crying on and off, and random times. Guilt, did I do enough? If only's, and all of the emotions I didn't expect. Yes, it's grief and loss, I get that, but I have had great struggles in my life, why is this so hard? I realized, after reading many of these stories, that it all makes sense. For eight years I shared my life with this beautiful, gentle little girl. My initial visit at the vet 8 years ago I told the vet that the kids were going to be her mommy, but the vet looked at me and said, no you are. I didn't want another responsibility, I didn't want to be another mommy, I was going through a divorce and I had two children! But, guess what, I became the mommy. This was the third child that followed me around and never left my side. Sometimes I would trip over her and get annoyed, and I wish I could do that one more time.... I was a wimp, I couldn't go to the vet for the last time, but my son did, and for that, I will be forever grateful. Something wonderful and horrible happens when there is a death. There's a bond like no other that happens, because now, you know. No words have to be said, just being becomes real enough. Amazing! All of this because 8 years ago we were blessed with a beautiful boxer.



posted by: Thomas (reply)
post date: 10.25.13 (10:00 am)

Hi Dave, my name is Thomas and I am 18 years old and have just lost a loyal companion myself. I am currently living on residence at the University of Ontario and was just informed by my dad this morning that my golden retriever named Sita had had a stroke last night which left her in a paralyzed state which gave my father no other choice but to bring her to the vet to get euthanized. Having said this I understand how it must have felt for you to let go of your dear friend Oreo. I am going back to Toronto tonight and my dad and I will give Sita a proper burial when I get there. I know that Sita is in a better place but to be honest I am still terribly sad that she is no longer in my life as we had spent a lot of time playing together when I was younger and my sisters and I would often take her on long walks. So to end this post I guess I would like to ask how you dealed with the depression after losing Oreo and what I could do to honour Sita's memory. Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 10.27.13 (12:49 pm)

Reply to: Thomas
Hi Thomas. Sorry for your loss. It hurts, no doubt about it. For me, the pain was tempered by the long decline and obvious suffering- I knew because of his condition that death would be a relief, a blessing for him. Now, the sudden loss of a pet without warning would be a harder situation. Time will help. Good memories, knowing you treated her lovingly and made her life the best it could be, these will stay with you and comfort you long after the initial pain is gone.

What could you do to honor the memory of Sita? That's a good question, and likely one better answered by some of the thoughtful and sentimental folk who come this way to read and comment. A gift to the SPCA or local animal shelter would be good. Perhaps you could volunteer a few hours every month to such an organization? Or, when the time is right, make your next pet one that has been abandoned- pick the right one, and you will have a great friend. After these many years I still think about Oreo, miss him a bit, but mostly just give thanks for the contribution his friendship made to my life.



posted by: pamela (reply)
post date: 10.30.13 (11:37 pm)

I lost my dear Abby a friend of 18 years. We went everywhere together and she was a better friend than anyone else in this world. She found me as a puppy and we truly needed each other. She has been gone a year now and the pain does not go away. I miss her like it was yesterday she was my truest friend.



posted by: Charlene (reply)
post date: 11.13.13 (2:21 am)

My 17 year old border collie mix, Topanga was put to sleep in August 2013. Her brother and litter mate, Foxy, a red heeler mix was put to sleep yesterday. I am devastated. I felt I did the right thing. I wrote to a cousin, who is a dog trainer and in her attempt to be helpful, sent me an article written by a vet about euthanasia and the quality of a dogs life. It had 6 catagories that could be evaluated from 1-10. I read it and I felt worse, because if I took the test and found out that my dogs qualitys of life were of an acceptable level, then I would never forgive myself. So I did not take the test and deleted the article. With both dogs, I felt in my heart that it was the right time. I am so sad and like I said before, devastated at their loss. They were wonderful dogs. Ever faithful and loving. Just wanted to write this in an attempt to feel better. The test seemed to focus on health issues that needed to be taken care of in a vets office, not issues that you could take care of at home.



posted by: Charlene (reply)
post date: 11.13.13 (2:24 am)

My 17 year old border collie mix, Topanga was put to sleep in August 2013. Her brother and litter mate, Foxy, a red heeler mix was put to sleep yesterday. I am devastated. I felt I did the right thing. I wrote to a cousin, who is a dog trainer and in her attempt to be helpful, sent me an article written by a vet about euthanasia and the quality of a dogs life. It had 6 catagories that could be evaluated from 1-10. I read it and I felt worse, because if I took the test and found out that my dogs qualitys of life were of an acceptable level, then I would never forgive myself. So I did not take the test and deleted the article. With both dogs, I felt in my heart that it was the right time. I am so sad and like I said before, devastated at their loss. They were wonderful dogs. Ever faithful and loving. Just wanted to write this in an attempt to feel better. The test seemed to focus on health issues that needed to be taken care of in a vets office, not issues that you could take care of at home.



posted by: john lopez (reply)
post date: 11.15.13 (4:32 am)

I had such a good dog well he try to be. I had to put him dow yesterday he running down the stairs and slip on thelast step he blew out a disk in his back I know ill get over but I hurt so much hewas. The one I hope to see him in doxie heven



posted by: john lopez (reply)
post date: 11.15.13 (4:33 am)

I had such a good dog well he try to be. I had to put him dow yesterday he running down the stairs and slip on thelast step he blew out a disk in his back I know ill get over but I hurt so much hewas. The one I hope to see him in doxie heven



posted by: Steve (reply)
post date: 12.20.13 (1:22 am)

I had my beloved Sam, a yellow Labrador of 14 and a half years put to sleep at home on 14th October 2013. The hardest thing that I have ever had to do. Sam's rear legs had gone and I supported him for 3 months. He was deaf and had prostate cancer which made it painful to lay squarely down. In the end, poor might couldn't swallow water or eat food. He was thirsty and hungry enough but as he tried, the food/water kept coming out of his mouth. Took him to the vets in the morning but got the 'theirs no hope' speech. The vet agreed to come to my home in the afternoon and at 14.40hrs Sam was gone. My wonderful wife kissed Sam on the lips as he was being put to sleep. I gently stroked him from his beautiful head to his rear. I can't stop thinking about that time and our loss. I am 60 years old and I can't stop crying. I have so much guilt and pain. Every day and throughout the day I cry, I'm crying now. I want to join Sam and I truly believe that the only way to end these feelings are to overdose on my insulin. Many people including my wife try to tell me that it was the kindest thing to do and that I wouldn't want Sam to suffer any more. Kind, well meaning words but which have little comfort. Sam was the life and soul of my family (we have no children). Sam was my son, my confident and my life. I have walked over 14,000 times with Sam which equates UK to America 12.5 times (a lot of bonding and pure pleasure).
All of you good people who have lost your best friends, I feel your pain and you have my deepest thoughts and love. God Bless



posted by: Alicia (reply)
post date: 12.29.13 (1:20 am)

Yesterday, I chose to euthanize my sweet & loyal friend, Gizmo after she battled blindness, high blood pressure, Cushing's Disease and seizures for several months. She was so patient with me as I took her to the vet to be poked & prodded time after time and as we tried various medications and foods to improve her health. Gizmo was the sweetest, smartest, most loyal friend I've ever had. She adapted to every limitation her little body faced with such grace & courage. She never gave up & she never seemed to get discouraged. She seemed to readily forgive me for every mistake I made in caring for her and to willingly try whatever I asked of her. Euthanizing her and the emotional aftermath have been harder than I could ever imagine. In my grief, I've doubted my decision and have felt regret and profound sadness. I can't tell you, PastorDave, how much your thought & heart provoking words have helped me restore peace in my decision and refocus my thoughts on how blessed I was to be Gizmo's human for nearly nine years. A few of your questions & words have helped me the most. In reflecting back to the past week, I was able to answer the question, "What is the most loving thing to do (for Gizmo)?" Her wonderful vet gave me other options to euthanizing her at the visit. Gizmo was in severe kidney failure by the time of the visit. As we discussed options, he offered putting her on IV fluids for a few days to flush her kidneys. Even though the vet said the chances of the treatment working in her case were slim, I have anguished over not giving that a try. Your simple question helped me think that scenario through. Gizmo would have spent 3 more days away from home in a strange place being poked & prodded. If the treatment worked, it would have possibly extended her life by days or weeks and only slightly improved the quality. She wasn't eating or drinking and struggled to stand and walk on her own. Her breathing was labored as she slept and all she was doing was sleeping. For me, even while reflecting back through my grief, putting her through more treatments wasn't the loving thing to do. The other very helpful gift you've given me was pointing out that the decision to euthanize beloved friends is always done with much thought and love. Of course I thought through my decision to put my beloved Gizmo down and of course the only reason I would do so would be to end her suffering. I've struggled to remember my reasoning since putting her down. Grief has a terrible way of skewing things. Now that I'm going into my second day without my sweet Gizmo, your gentle words to remember all the wonderful ways she blessed my life are helping me to replace her palpable absence with funny, sweet and happy memories. I've started pulling together pictures and videos of her to help me do this. There are still times when I need to just sit and cry and tell her, out loud, that I miss her, but that feels healing now instead of despairing. My mom gave me an adorable stuffed dog and in those moments where I need to cry, I hold that stuffed dog tightly and pretend it's my beloved Gizmo. I don't know how long her loss will hurt this deeply, I imagine it will be awhile. The difference now (compared to earlier today before I found you blog) is that I feel my faith and hope returning and this is helping me keep my grief in check. Gizmo was a happy, loving beautiful dog. It's my job to honor her by remembering her that way. Thank you for taking the time to guide us through the darkest parts of the grieving process and show us an alternative to despair. Eternally indebted to you!



posted by: Elaine (reply)
post date: 01.13.14 (3:17 am)

Shame but it appears that the good Pastor Dave no longer frequents this site. It is also a shame that he didn't realise the importance of supporting the poor souls who mourn their beloved animals.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 01.13.14 (4:38 am)

Reply to: Elaine
Point taken- I can do better!
And, Elaine and other readers, you are very welcome and encouraged to share your own words of encouragement and help. While I love my pets and have something to contribute, many of you have enormous hearts and insight when it comes to these matters. I read everything you contribute. Eventually! And will try to do better.




posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 01.13.14 (8:19 am)

Reply to: pamela
She found you as a puppy- indeed it does seem that our special connection with a wonderful pet is no accident. I know you will always remember her, but hopefully more and more the remembrance will be with a smile.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 01.13.14 (8:31 am)

Reply to: Charlene
I think part of the grieving process is to question your decision, analyze, second-guess. If you truly loved your pets and made the very best decision you could make given the circumstances, then no need to look back. You did well. May you work through this process and come out with peace and many happy memories.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 01.13.14 (8:33 am)

Reply to: john lopez
Blew out a disc in his back? Now that's a real tragedy, not easily fixable. What a shock to have to make such a decision- I can understand why you are upset. As far as seeing your dear pet in Heaven one day- I, too, would like to believe a loving and gracious God would give to His children that very opportunity. God bless.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 01.13.14 (8:38 am)

Reply to: Steve
I understand grief and pain at loss. But, this is surely no reason to end your own life. When grieving, we think with our emotions. You have very much to live or, including obviously a loving wife. Focus on the good times, the memories, and what Sam would want you to do- which would surly be to keep on taking those walks, and in time find another dear pet and friend with whom to share life.
These days, I like to take walks with my dear Big Dog. Although, we've a lot of miles yet to go before we can approach your record! Friend, obviously you have an enormous heart. May it mend well, and may you continue to share it with all who need a person of such caring.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 01.13.14 (8:44 am)

Reply to: Alicia
"It's my job to honor her by remembering her that way."
Hi Alicia. Sorry for the delay in response. I become focused on other things, and my experience was several years ago and sometimes I forget the rawness, pain, and need of that time. You are very kind with your words, reminding me of this value of this little blog. You have been blessed, indeed, to have Gizmo as companion and friend. Very few others could have given this precious pet such attention and love- so Gizmo has been blessed, too. Thanks for passing along your wonderful words- I've no doubt what you have written will prove an encouragement to countless others along the way. May God bless.



posted by: dinahpryde (reply)
post date: 01.24.14 (4:52 pm)

i had a very similar experience yesterday and had to put my baby Chihuahua to sleep. she was almost 19. i am so devastated. i am also a grown adult, but she was my only companion for all those years. it helped me relate to your story. thank you.



posted by: crystal (reply)
post date: 02.05.14 (9:44 am)

As I only stumbled onto your blog, posted so many years ago.. so long ago, looking for answers to my maltese restlessness after neutering. What a special read. Thank you for sharing such an experience.



posted by: Kathi (reply)
post date: 02.06.14 (2:06 pm)

I just put my dog down yesterday as well. He was a rescue dog I had for only 3 years. I feel the same way whether I have had a dog for a few years or many.I love them unconditionally and do whatever I can for them. It is hearbreaking, and I am heartbroken. I don't have childeren so my animals are my children to me. I completely understand the author's emotions. The loss is huge. FYi: Dusty became incontinent and I purhased a waterproof wearable wrapper for him from the pet store and it worked well.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 02.06.14 (8:57 pm)

Reply to: dinahpryde
19? Wow. A very long time to be blessed with such a friend and partner. May you find peace and man, many happy memories.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 02.06.14 (8:59 pm)

Reply to: crystal
Thanks friend! It's an experience so many, from such different places and backgrounds of life, can relate to. I hope we've been a comfort and perhaps a help with this blog.




posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 02.06.14 (9:02 pm)

Reply to: Kathi
Unconditionally. Exactly as your canine friend has loved you. I just finished a walk with my German Shepherd, Big Dog, as he faithfully walked by my side the entire 50 minutes. What a friend- can't beat it!
I'm sorry for your loss. Thanks for having such a big heart!



posted by: Lorraine (reply)
post date: 02.09.14 (9:37 am)

Yesterday my sweet dog Mandy of 11 years was euthanized. She became sick recently and tests showed she had liver and kidney disease in advanced stages. Vet said they cannot even guarantee any treatments would work. She passed with me next to her, i don't feel guilty, as I know she is better off. I am just so sad over it, selfish reasons.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 02.10.14 (5:40 am)

Reply to: Lorraine
11 years- that's great. Not feeling guilty? Well, obviously you are able to process this matter much better than most of us. I do believe such emotions as sadness, guilt, and even anger are natural parts of the grief process. To admit and work through them is healthy.
I know several people whose pets were in similar circumstances, who chose to invest lots of time and money into treatment,with no really good results. I'm glad they had the strength and means to try. But the choice you have made is just as valid, just as loving.
Thanks for sharing!



posted by: Kathi (reply)
post date: 02.11.14 (12:16 pm)

To Pastor Dave
I am still having a difficult time since I do not believe in taking a life, yet I had to make that decision to put my dog down. The only thing that is helping me right now, is the idea of Rainbow Bridge and that Dusty and all my other animals from the past and those in the future, will be waiting for me there.



posted by: Craig (reply)
post date: 02.12.14 (1:42 pm)

I want to thank everybody that posted their story about the loving pets they loved and adored. My wife and I made the decision on February 2nd 2014 to release our lovable sweet Diamond back to God. I have been in love with animals of all species since I can remember. I joined a rescue organization in 2005 and became very active within the group. Attending adoption events every Saturday and having the pleasure of placing rescue animals in loving and caring homes gave me such pleasure. One day a colleague called me and asked if I could rehabilitate a sweet dog within the organization that was recovering from being hit by a car? I answered absolutely "YES" her name was Diamond an 8-year old pit bull mix that had one of her legs amputated as a result of the accident. After just a couple of weeks giving Diamond lots of love and attention, I opted to adopt her and make her a family member. We had Diamond for 9 years so I think she was about 17 years old when she was diagnosed with kidney failure. On February 2nd 2014 I carried Diamond outside for some fresh air and received a message from God the time has come to relieve Diamond of her suffering. It is one of the most difficult and painful decisions a pet owner has to make!!! We drove Diamond to the vet and cried the entire way knowing it was the best thing we can do for our sweet Diamond. I am going to place pictures of Diamond on the wall so I can see her happy face everyday hoping that we will be reunited one day at the Rainbow Bridge. May God also let you know it was the right decision to do for your best friend and he/she will always love you and be looking down upon us making sure we are OK.



posted by: lol (reply)
post date: 02.14.14 (6:44 pm)

I had my15 year old loyal fiend put to sleep on 12.2.14 biggest mistake of my life the vet could not find a vein and it took almost two hours to pass. The vet kept telling me he had gone but he hadnt i seen him breathing and his heart beating in in chest. Never again. I will carry guilt and regret for the rest of my life. He deserved better.



posted by: Jane Brisbane (reply)
post date: 02.16.14 (5:35 pm)

That was a moving and helpful story Dave. Thank you for sharing your story about your wonderful dog Oreo.

It is just gone 11.30 am here in Australia and only this morning I made an appointment for our vet to call in at 5pm this afternoon to put our dog to sleep. I am scoring the internet whilst my dog has a few minutes sleep under the fan.

Like you I have sat on this for some time, debating if I should do it and if it's the right thing to do. Three weeks ago our vet confirmed Nina, our old girl of 13, had heart failure. She was in the last stages of her life. For three weeks since then I have slept in our sunroom with her, stroking her when her breathing has become laboured and her sleep disturbed. Last night was painful listening to her lungs take in what little air she could muster. Her constant inability to get a decent nights sleep proved as painful to me as it did her as I was powerless to help. Oh what I'd give to have my little girl back, full of life and collecting stones which was her favourite pastime. The reality is she's never coming back. The beautiful vivacious dog I once had is now an old lady, riddled with arthritis and a bad heart with limited breathing. So, like you, I have decided today is that day that I must do this for her, not me. My heart is truly broken. How will the house ever feel the same with no wagging tail and our excited Nina welcoming us home? Our home will once again become a "house" instead of a home.

Today I will continue doing all the things she loves the most, whatever that may be. I've made her favourite food and fed her in abundance, she's also had a whole bar of my favourite chocolate which she doesn't normally get and despite arm ache I am scratching her back with her favourite back scratcher, which she reminds me to continue by pawing my hand when I stop. In-between all this she sleeps here and there then wakes up out of breath again.....

Today is Nina's day and at 5pm she will cross over on rainbow bridge. Nina will once again breath easy and catch all the stones she likes in heaven. Hopefully we will meet again and do all our favourite things together.

Thank you for sharing Dave. RIP Oreo.

And at 5pm today - RIP Nina Ballerina, my beautiful, faithful dog. Good night and God bless xxx



posted by: Kathi (reply)
post date: 02.20.14 (10:20 am)

Hi Jane,
Nina will be waiting for you at the Rainbow bridge and you will both cross over together when the time comes. That is what I believe for myself and all my animals. I share in your pain and sorrow.




posted by: Jane Brisbane (reply)
post date: 02.25.14 (7:49 pm)

Reply to: Kathi
Thank you for your kind words Kathi. It is just over a week since we put Nina to sleep it was the hardest day of my life. I decided to stay with her as a last testament of my love for such a beautiful girl. I kissed her nose repeatedly whilst she fell asleep. Me and my husband are still heart broken - the house feels empty and yesterday whilst out shopping I remembered to buy dog chews which were her favourite and then remembered she wasn't with us anymore. I went to a garden centre to buy a Japanes lantern to place on her grave in the garden. The lantern is symbolic for peace, serenity and protection and returning her back to the natural elements to sleep. I speak to her as she's outside the front of our house over the balcony and when I open the French doors I say good morning and last thing at night when I close the doors I say good night to Nina. We live on an island - I walk to the beach and speak to her in private where no one can see the tears. Like you say Kathi one day we will meet our beautiful friends at Rainbow bridge where I can kiss her nose again, only this time it will follow with a walk to the beach together.

Thank you Kathi for your kindness

Jane and Nina Ballerina xxx




posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 02.27.14 (7:11 am)

Reply to: Jane Brisbane
What a lovely tribute to Nina and the amazing bond between the 2 of you. She enriched your life immensely and obviously was such a special friend. Oh I know it hurts, deeply. But you did well. Like I have said before, it would be ideal if a beloved pet would simply pass peacefully while asleep. But, often, we must help the process. You loved her and treated her with highest respect, and when she needed you the most you were there. There is nothing to regret.

With the several years that have passed since losing my Oreo, I've become less of an agnostic about animals. I still do not have strong scriptural argument one way or the other. But I have known the heart of God, so full of love. I know when we love purely, we are most like Him. Very few have been willing to love me as have my pets- unselfishly, totally. Surely, surely there is a place for that in Heaven? You and I will see our best little friends again. I believe.



posted by: Cathy (reply)
post date: 03.02.14 (8:15 pm)

Reply to: PastorDave
Thank you for your words about your beloved pet. I had to hve my Stubby put to sleep just a few weeks ago. She was seventeen years old. As I sit here now, I question the decision I made. I prayed about it when she seemed to decline. But it seems like I made my decision so fast...........and then she was gone, and I can't take my decision back. I was alone when I made that decision to put her down. I felt I had no other options. I couldn't afford to have her checked out fully by a vet. I just loved her SO MUCH! I did what I thought was the right thing at the time. I just wish I knew for sure that it WAS TRULY THE right thing. But there's no way to know that. I guess I just needed to share my thoughts. Thank you for listening. God bless you sir.



posted by: Mary blalock (reply)
post date: 03.03.14 (6:22 pm)

Reply to: Dave you helped me I just had to put my beloved dog to sleep I can't stop crying I am so lonely she too took a a piece of my heart thank you






posted by: gena (reply)
post date: 03.03.14 (9:47 pm)

Heart wrenching and beautiful! Thank you for sharing Oreo's story and yours as well!



posted by: Jane Brisbane (reply)
post date: 03.09.14 (5:58 am)

To Pastor Dave: Thank you Sir for your kind words - I agree there has got to be room in heaven for our wonderful pets who have loved us unconditionally. Like you say, one day we will meet again.

To Cathy: Please don't think you did the wrong thing, you didn't - you put your beloved Stubby to sleep yet she was 17 and you loved her deeply you know in your heart you did the right thing and you gave her the best life. It is natural to always wonder - I sought advice from our vet and still left Nina a couple of weeks as I just couldn't do it but eventually realised I was keeping her alive for me, not her. I still question if I did the right thing even though in my heart I now know she's finally at peace. I even dreamt the injection didn't work and she came back to me. So it's natural we question our decision even when we do it for them. We did our final good thing for our beautiful dogs and allowed them to finally rest in peace. Please don't question yourself but instead know that you did it out of love xxx

Mary: I hope your heart heals love - thoughts and prayers are with you ((((hugs))))



posted by: TJ (reply)
post date: 03.11.14 (7:47 pm)

I have read everyone's story and I must say... I sympathize with you and am sorry you all have lost such a great friend, companion and family member. I too lost my daughter of 16 years. She was the best dog. Mya never chewed on anything other than her own toys. She was very friendly till she turned twelve, then she was old and just didn't want to be bothered. She has gone through everything with my family and I. She also forgave us when we brought another furry friend in on her territory. Although, it took her a year to get use to the idea, and we thought we was doing her a favor. Silly us! Anyhoo, she is no longer with us. CHF, kidney disease and chronic arthritis is how she lived for 6 mos and I couldn't see her suffer anymore. Mya, my maltese is now with her God in heaven. I love you Mya and will always keep you in thoughts. You suffer no more!

TJ



posted by: Keith P (reply)
post date: 03.12.14 (6:59 pm)

Ive read alot of the stories about everyone pets they lost an i feel ur pain. Today @ 6pm i was about to grill sum chicken, i hadnt seen my cat Sylvester in bout 4 days he wasnt fixed he was about 1 1/2 yrs old. So while in the kitchen i heard him outside, i looked and his back leg was dragging the ground it was broken and he had lost weight, i gues he finally made it back hm frm his injury. I feed him and called the emergency vet, wen i got they they said i would have to pay the whole bill for him to b seen. $85 to be seen and $125 for xray, then they wud go frm there, i only had $100 to my name i have been unemployed since March 2013, due to my company closing dwn! i asked them what do i supposed to do they said the cud put him dwn for $25, i cried like a baby, he was in the kennel looking at me with those beautiful bright eyes that i fell in love with him over. That was the hardest thing i ever had to do! Im sick to my stomach rite now over it, if i was sick i wud want my family to come up wit sum money to save my life, i was his only family that could save him and i failed. Im hurting so bad rite now!



posted by: Dawn (reply)
post date: 03.13.14 (6:58 pm)

Thanks Pastor Dave and everyone for sharing your stories. I had to euthanize my beautiful Siberian Husky, Lightning, on December 28, 2013, and I still cry because I miss him so much. He was my heart. I actually got his ashes and scattered them along one of the 4 mile walks we used to take. It was in the middle of a snowfall, with lots of snow already on the ground - a perfect day for a Siberian Husky. Anyway, when I got the ashes back, they included a card entitled Rainbow Bridge. I'd like to share what it says for those of you who may not have heard it already: Just this side of Heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Author unknown...




posted by: Dawn (reply)
post date: 03.13.14 (7:21 pm)

Reply to: Keith P.

I am so sorry for your loss. And your pain. Sending hugs and prayers your way.




posted by: Kathy (reply)
post date: 03.22.14 (6:49 am)

Pastor Dave,I just went through this sad situation 2 days ago,and I cannot close my eyes and I need to have distraction in order to try to sleep. I miss my pup of 12 yrs horribly,and I was holding my best friend until his last breath and it has played and replayed in my mind,he was so very special in our lives I felt it would be one day,but it felt way too soon,he had been coughing and it was such a wrenching cough,and the vet stated it was old dog heart,he began lasix for him and as the days went by he got worse if he walked and ate and he would pant and pace ,it was very hard to handle ,I question myself ,was I thinking of him or my hurt watching him suffer, and feeling him go limp in my arms and I cried and cried hard and loud at the vet to a point where it was not a good place for anyone in the room,and today I thought,maybe I made it even worse for my darling Esau to go to the other side. My emotions ran overload. Coming home alone was very hard watching his buddy our other labrador search for his friend was and has been so very hard. I pray for peace in my heart,mind and soul, I pray the devil stays out of my head and I know it is only 2 days ago,and we are moving out of our home also ,just so much happening,this was not a planned situation with our precious Angel. I had to fix his food for him due to pancreatic inflammation for over a year and 1/2 . I tried all I could to help our Esau to stay with us,but it was my decision to make the appt. and have him euthanized. I am feeling so horrible for all the decisions I made the past few days , and I too felt how else could I be there for him other than being there and holding him during the shots and until he passed,but I wished I could have had more control over my emotions for him not to feel his mamas' stress and emotions,he always had been my best friend when I went through any hardships of my life. He was always there and I feel as if I betrayed him by making this decision ..I really need Gods help in this situation,it is really eating me alive . Tonight was the first real meal I had eaten ,but felt sick once I had finished since I had not eaten but one time a day since this took place. I feel it is my bodies way of grieving . Not that I am a thin person,my spouse knows that I do enjoy eating, and I feel it has concerned him with my breakdowns and not having any interest in meals at all,even drinking water,or my one cup of decaf in the a.m. I really need Gods power over me to release this guilt and vision I have when I try to go to bed. Thank You for your post Pastor Dave, I too believe God created such beautiful pets in our lives ,He has to have a place for them in Heaven too, they do HIS work for us ,they have that AGAPE' love ,TOTALLY UNCONDITIONAL.. Thank You for listening ..Kathy





posted by: Julie (reply)
post date: 03.22.14 (5:28 pm)

My Greek rescue boy Albie is no longer alive because of me. My choice my actions my decision. I want to change it.... I want him back. I can't feel the reasons I took him to the vet the ones that every day for months I acknowledged but put to the back of my mind. What happened 6 days ago was that he was crying so much and incontinent and wobbling about so somehow I went on auto pilot to the vet but didn't really believe I would be leaving without him. It's a blurr in my mind. My heart is breaking and I would literally do anything right now to see him one last time to try and reassure him how much he was loved for 12 years by his forever family. I had to take Albie alone and tell the children who are teenagers afterwards which was so heartbreaking and I know they don't believe it was the right thing to do. Albie is now next to his greek brother Spin in our garden as I couldn't bear to leave him behind. I cannot believe what I have done and I hate myself right now. That boy trusted me and I ended his life because I thought that was for the best? Who am I? God suddenly? I hope someone can say something ... Not just he knew I loved him... He can't tell me that now. I miss him so so much he was a character but his quality of life was poor and I felt he deserved better... Did I give him better? I guess I'll spend forever wondering and sorry... So so sorry. I love you my little friend Albie xx



posted by: Julie (reply)
post date: 03.22.14 (5:33 pm)

Sorry it's posted so many times!!!



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 03.22.14 (6:42 pm)

Reply to: Julie
Regret. Guilt. It's part of the process. You say you went on "auto pilot". So, this solution had been on your mind, considered. Was it recommended, approved by the vet? He could look at the situation objectively, tell you not just what you want or wish, but what is best. And if you did what was best, then you may feel badly that the situation was forced upon you and there was no better thing to do- but still, you can find peace with the matter. So, I suggest, was there a better thing to do? If not, then simply let go.

I wonder also, was the matter discussed with others who loved your pet as did you? If not, then why? These kinds of things need to be talked over and agreed. Maybe others who loved your little dog did not have the strength, could not talk about it, and knew deep in their hearts that only you would do what had to be done.
God bless you. I know you are hurting and sad. Time will help. Talk about it with someone who loves you, pray, and all will eventually be okay. For me, these many years later, I still fondly remember Oreo and still wish he was with me. But I do not regret doing what I now know for sure was the best and most loving thing.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 03.22.14 (6:53 pm)

Reply to: Kathy
Agape love? You know, I've never put it together until this moment- that's a wonderful insight, and so very true. These little friends that come into our lives and attach themselves to us are so full of singular and pure love. Readily and completely forgiving, ceaselessly focused- their very lives, total devotion, total love. It is indeed the purest love, perhaps the closest we will experience from any being of this earth of God's love. That's a great insight. Thanks!

It is part of the plan of God. Our lifespans, for whatever reason, are much longer than our pets. So they die before we do. So, I would think, God intends for you to carry on with life- including joy and peace and all the other good things this life can afford. Such is what is expected of us. And all along you have the wonder gift of hope- a hope that is much more than just wishful thinking. the resurrection of Christ gives us hope. Our god has overcome death. Now we may be off base, but I don't think so. A God who loves us so immensely and so purely could and most likely will give us our beloved pets to enjoy again, forever.




posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 03.22.14 (6:57 pm)

Reply to: Dawn
Thank you for passing along this wonderful vision. I wish and hope, very much, for it to be true! Any time you wish to be of encouragement around here- feel free. God bless.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 03.22.14 (7:02 pm)

Reply to: Keith P
Oh Keith, I am so sorry. What a sad story. Life can really be unfair sometimes, and how very unfair that an innocent little pet would be the victim. You were helpless, forced into this. Your little cat did not understand- but of course you could not leave him to suffer.
Personally, I believe in ultimate justice. One day. That can give hope and peace. God bless you, and thanks for sharing.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 03.22.14 (7:04 pm)

Reply to: TJ
How blessed you have been to have Mya for so many years. A loving, selfless friend. And yes, you did what was right and most loving. Thanks for sharing.



posted by: k (reply)
post date: 03.27.14 (11:24 pm)

I have a fox terrier named margo. She is 15 and has arthritis, a cough sometimes, and I don't think she can hear very well anymore. She usually lays in her bed on the porch or out in the sun in the grass when the weather is nice. She's always been strange since the day I picked her out of a litter. She was off in the corner away from all the other puppies and I guess I felt for her. She is still to this day afraid of many things and very antisocial. But she was a lot like me i guess. She still seems fiesty enough, scares the UPS man and ran through the pasture a few days ago following us to my parents house. Eventually she got tired though so we picked her up and brought her. She's been through a lot in her 15 years. When she was young my brother shot her with a bb gun and I dug it out with tweezers from her foot. She got bit by a snake and her neck had swollen up and I remember rubbing some cream on it that the vet gave us. She followed my dad across the highway to my uncles house when they would drive four wheelers back and forth and one day I couldn't find her and we were leaving and wanted to bring her inside. When we got to the front of the driveway I was yelling for her and she started running from across the highway. The traffic was pretty bad and I was running out to get her and she got just her feet ran over, bloody and scuffed up. Only one vehicle was kind enough to stop and let me run get her in the turning lane. It was a pretty horrifying experience watching your dog trying to cross a busy highway and trying to get to her. When we went on vacation she would leave her sitters house (usually my grandparents or aunt down the road) and she would go home. She would always escape somehow and they would find her back at my parents house, crossing the road to get there. A few months back my husband ran over her because apparently it was raining and she was scared and was staying under his truck instead of her bed. I thought for sure that would be it. I called my parents down the road and they were preparing me to put her down. But xrays showed no broken bones but did reveal her bad arthritis. So now we have pain pills for bad days but I honestly haven't seen her have one in a while. But anyway the reason for all this is that I don't believe she is to that point yet, although I know that can change at any time. But I came home earlier this evening and she is gone. I called my husband and he said look in the house cause maybe she came in when he left. I have searched all her spots in the yard, porches, house, etc and can't find her anywhere. Its not like her to not be sleeping in her bed or chair or the swing on the porch. Its been raining too so I know she wouldn't be out there gallivanting in the rain because she hates rain. I just have a horrible feeling that something bad has happened. Its midnight and I can't sleep. I had a dog a few months ago disappear for 6 days in the woods. Came home muddy and with tics all over. And I was a mess for 6 days looking for him. Walked through the woods from my house to my parents. Drove through there on four wheeler. Drove the back roads around my house every day yelling for him. But he is much younger and healthier and has a tendency to wander. My 15 year old doesn't and that has me worried. We are far off the road. The people through the woods have dogs that sometimes visit but she's not very friendly so I doubt she would go visit them. I'm just beside myself right now. The 6 days chester was missing was hell and I just hate not knowing. She's just so old and I don't know where she is. Please pray for my old lady dog to come home. I just dont think its her time yet. She still has spunk for an old lady. I cried every day Chester was gone and begged god to help me understand about animals and heaven because I didn't know if I would ever see him again and ive been told that animals dont go to heaven because they dont have souls. That was pretty traumatizing to hear. But my mom says that jesus will be riding a horse when he comes back and she says that leads us to believe there are animals there. I just can't fathom an afterlife without them. At least with people you know you will see them again and that's what keeps you sane... And now not knowing where Margo is.... she has been with me for 15 1/2 years. I've had her since I was 13. I just can't handle not being able to find her tonight. Sorry for the long post. Just needing to vent. And please don't judge me because my dogs live outside for the most part. They were inside until I had a baby 3 years ago and at different times both tried to bite him. Now there is a certain room they stay in the house if its cold outside. Its been hard because I've always had dogs cats turtles a tortoise and fish tanks. Having a child has changed a lot of things for me and now I have guilt inside me for not being able to give 100% to them anymore. And when they're gone I know I will have issues with that... I just want to look out the window and see her back safe laying in her bed.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 03.28.14 (4:44 am)

Reply to: k
No judgment. I don't know the specifics of your situation.
I am praying that Margo will come home. Please let us know what happens. Sounds like you two have had a long and good relationship, that you have been a steady friend. She has been very blessed to be connected with you, and not by accident. I too am hopeful our beloved pets will be with us in the afterlife. If heaven is Paradise, then it makes sense. God bless.




posted by: k (reply)
post date: 03.28.14 (9:07 am)

Thanks for the response and kind words. Luckily when my husband got home from work early this mourning he saw her laying in the swing like normal like nothing ever happened. I feel like such a worry wart now. I'm glad she's back but I do know she's old and when that time comes I will think of this site and know that I'm not alone in my misery. I really feel for each commenter and reading through everything had me bawling my eyes out.



posted by: Clayton Carey (reply)
post date: 03.31.14 (3:24 pm)

Reply to: PastorDave
I don't know when this was posted, and I don't believe it matters. Just got home from getting my dog euthanized. Felt the need to tell you I have read the story and I appreciate it. Candy was a 15 year old rat terrier. Smallest ball of energy, always happy to meet new people. Came home just an hour or so ago to a dog half paralyzed on the couch, whimpering. Doing the humane thing was euthanization, but the thought of ending their life on my own terms still seemed unfair



posted by: pat (reply)
post date: 04.03.14 (1:31 pm)

Last yr i posted here grieving the loss of our 13 yr old serena to cancer.it was very sudden unexpected..we really grieved hard esp my 20 yr old dtr who had had her since she was 6 yrs old..it was very traumatizing but we kept her at home comfortable for 2 more weeks until she stopped eating and drinking then we knew it was time...my dtr has her ashes in her bedroom in a beuatiful urn...all 3 of us have seen serena in our house since her passing!we were the only family she had ever known....the next day i saw an ad for a puppy and was drawn to it...i truly believe serena came here to tell me it was ok!we went to see the pup a beautiful bordercollie ball of fur and immed fell in love!i guess my point is they love us from here to there...we all did what was right for our beloved pets..when the time is right show your love by adopting another unloved animal..i feel that it is the perfect tribute to a life we loved so much!i know serena agrees!bless you all....pat



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 04.03.14 (1:48 pm)

Reply to: Clayton Carey
Yes, it is unfair. As I'm sure you know and acknowledge, a lot about life is unfair. Sometimes, best we can do is choose the most loving response. You've done that. Now, time to give yourself the gift of peace. Thanks for sharing.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 04.03.14 (1:49 pm)

Reply to: k
A happy story! Needed that. Thanks.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 04.03.14 (1:52 pm)

Reply to: pat
Adoption, I'm all for it. So many people, in the rawness of the moment, vow to never have another pet because they can't imagine going through the pain again. I think it is better to give yourself time to go through the grief process- very real- and then find another little friend that needs you as much as you need him or her. So many pets need our choice of adoption. if you've got a big heart, a love for animals, then by all means share it.



posted by: d.d.eves (reply)
post date: 04.23.14 (2:31 pm)

I just put my best friend over the rainbow bridge today. i know i chose right. he was only 7 but he had cancer and was very sick. But it is me that i am so worried about. I feel guilty for taking him in and i have a huge hole in my heart because he was a part of me that cannot be replaced. When will this pain dull to something that i can handle? How can i go on without him? And does he forgive me? I too am not so sure about dogs in heaven but i do know that people get to go. I wish i knew. i can hardly bare the thought that i will never see his little face again. He is a border collie mix that never left my side for 7 years. I miss him so very much. I dont think i want to ever get this close to an animal again. It is much too painful.



posted by: Becky M. (reply)
post date: 05.01.14 (7:44 pm)

Hi Pastor Dave!

Did you ever think a story you wrote in 2008 would still be going strong six years later? I think that shied exactly how much our pets mean to us. Six days ago I had to say goodbye to my 13 year old pug, Max. It was the hardest thing I've ever done. I was beginning to think I was crazy because I cried nonstop for 3 days. He was recently diagnosed with diabetes, and then developed diabetic ketoacidosis followed by kidney failure. He was hospitalized and the vet called and said we needed to have a heart to heart. I knew. I only wish his mind hadn't been so intact. Crazy thought I know, but i almost feel like Max was looking at me and asking "Why are you doing this?" I had to stop that thinking or I never would have healed. Strangely, my body will not let me cry. I asked God to come into my heart to help me with the pain and I believe he did. :) I miss him, but I believe I did the right thing for him. It wasn't fair for me to hold on and let him suffer so I could avoid my own pain of losing him. Thank you for your story. It was beautiful.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 05.04.14 (10:54 pm)

Reply to: d.d.eves
Clearly you are hurting. It is so very hard to lose someone you have loved for 7 years. So, obvious it seems, you have the right to grieve. And with time, comes peace. It'll happen. And you will always have the good memories of a good friend. These pets just do not have the lifespan that we have. So, inevitably we have to deal with loss. But, it is so very worth it.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 05.04.14 (10:59 pm)

Reply to: Becky M.
Hi Becky. You traveled a long and good journey with Max- never left him, and never let him down. You were faithful and loving to the very end. You could not have served him better. I believe, I know, God gives us strength for such trials. He does not remove the trial, nor keep us from pain- such things while not pleasant are necessary for a full life. But the promise for those who are trusting is that peace will come.
It was so good to have Max for so long. I hope you find comfort in sweet memories. God bless!




posted by: Denise (reply)
post date: 05.08.14 (3:33 am)

Well this morning our lil snowy was not doing well one of her booboo's were infected. The vet said she would not survive the operations to remove. she has been such a sweet trooper hanging on. the last few days I have been getting kisses on my ankles like she use to do every day but has not for awhile now but the kisses were incorporated with a couple nips.. not sure.. why but know she was trying to tell me something. we had a couple nice days with her lying on the grass sniffing all the flowers. But she was in pain squeaking a lot just not happy pacing.. more than normal yelping. Living to sleep and eat. With the infection I just felt it was time for her.. to much pain to many booboo to hard to be in a little room since she was blind. So I took her to the vet to go over the Rainbow Bridge at 630pm this evening. She had a pain injection fell asleep in my arms. I kissed her ears I kissed her paws I kissed her nose a 100 times and told her we loved her so much thank you for being the most amazing sweet baby no more booboo's no more blind no more pain. Than the last injections I kissed her 100 more times hugged her and ask Jesus to take care of our sweet lil Puppy until we join in Heaven. I know I did this for her because if it were for me she would still be here and that is just not right to make a sweet bb like her suffer. It doesn't make it any easier. I have never felt so much pain in my life. I will miss our lil Sierra Snowy Angel for the rest of my life. Our lil Angel has her white Wings now~ Fly in Paradise our lil bb Snowy~ I will be with you soon~
Go find the Frogy's... Lil Snowy Angel~



posted by: Denise (reply)
post date: 05.08.14 (3:40 am)

Good-bye Our Beautiful Sierra Snow Angel Snowy 5/5/2014

Well after a very long night and day crying non-stop. I knew I was not wired for doing.. the responsible thing for our Snowy. If anyone has done this you second third on and on your decision. Did I do this too soon why did I do this I should of waited. The thing for me she was so beautiful for her little last walk in front of the house. Than the thought should I have taken her for a long walk. We went for a good walk the night before we spent the day in a few outings in the back yard. She was so sweet to the end. With all the second guessing and crying.. it will never be ok.. ever for me... BUT Snowy was living a live Death. Snow was not happy not as herself. It broke our hearts because she could not do the things she use to.. due to he total blindness. And for me I think being with her every minute worrying about her it is a process of getting use to a life that you or we think is good, but it is not. The Challenge for her the only happiness she received was her little walks but even that followed by anxiousness for hours. I will never stop hurting I miss her and would take her anyway I could have her, but it was not fair to her. I will never know if she wanted to go, animals I was told do not know death... somehow I believe that I do know they grieve and can be sad. So.. again she was the sweetest puppy and a lil stinker in her day Thomas and Sophia called her the monster dog, than later they would sit and watch her like they were at the zoo too cute.. but so.. sweet to the end. I guess that is what is making this so difficult.. I don't want to think about anything else or do anything. But she was living a live death and I have come to the conclusion I could not do that to her one more moment. Would I take her back right now, yes in a flat second. But than I would be right back where we were. She would be in pain, infected booboos, blind and not happy. It does not make it any easier. And I can remember all the good times I just want her here now... but than that is being selfish. I don't know and I will never know I do know I could not see her like this any longer. Her bouncing feisty barking running up and down the stairs sitting at my feet every where I ended up but she was not like that any longer. No she just was in a little room comfortable kissed hugged eating lil walks and miserable. Not a life for lil snowy. It just not easy no matter how we grieve no matter how we justify no matter if it was a living death.. one kiss from our baby's make it all ok for US, so I will never be kissed again by my bb Snowy. But I believe in Jesus and My Lord I have to believe he would not give us something so special for them not to run in the clouds with him, waiting for us when we go over to the Lord. If not I am going to be a very upset lil Angel... when I get there. No one wants an upset Angel... I have to believe.. Wait for me My Beautiful Snowy~



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 05.08.14 (7:43 am)

Reply to: Denise
You're right, no one wants an upset angel!
Denise, you've done well, and done right. You made the hard choice, did what was best for your friend- even if it was not what was the immediate best thing for yourself.

I've read every word, really sensing your heart and love and pain. You will find peace. God bless.



posted by: Kathy (reply)
post date: 05.10.14 (12:47 pm)

Thank You Pastor Dave,I so appreciate this page, and yes Agape' is what kept me going with my little Esau, and Thank You so much for your encouraging words, I too pray one day when I go to Heaven I will have my precious Esau running healthy toward me with a joy he always gave me . God Bless You and I pray one day you and your Oreo will meet again. And God Bless all that have walked this path with their best friends ,God gave me a beautiful new neighbor once we moved to our new home just days after our loss,and she too had gone through the same walk with her precious golden retriever,God gives us those so many Blessings in our lives,we just need to see them and help others going through their hardships as well,just like you Pastor Dave paying it forward.



posted by: Carol (reply)
post date: 05.12.14 (10:45 am)

I'm glad I stumbled upon your accounting of your precious dog, Oreo. My husband and I are facing taking our 3 precious 15-year-old dogs, who are siblings, sometime this week to cross Rainbow Bridge. These dogs are like children to us, and have gone almost everywhere with us for the last 15 years. Our hearts are breaking with having to say good bye.

I hope and pray I can feel "at peace" as you mention above. It hurts so badly that my heart races sometimes; I can't "figure out" how to live without these babies. I look at them and each has their own failing-health issue (I mean, they are 15 years old I keep reminding myself....) and sometimes I think, 'they're ok for a while yet.' An hour later, I look at them, or I hear Chloe cough, and I know what needs to be done. Just when I think the decision has been made, the dogs seem a little perkier, and we delay the inevitable.

Please say a prayer if you think of it for our situation, and for anyone else who is facing this sad time. :(

Thank you.



posted by: PastorDave (reply)
post date: 05.12.14 (7:49 pm)

Reply to: Carol
3. An unbelievably tough situation. You will know when the time is right. Heart and mind will tell you different things, but somewhere in the midst you will know what is right. I have said a prayer for you, and am sure many readers will be praying for your wisdom and peace in this matter.


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