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Toughest Thing I Ever Did...


conehead
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Non aviation related.

I have arranged for a veternarian to come to my house tomorrow morning to "euthanize" my old dog. I want to keep her as comfortable as possible, as she always hated going to the vet. She's a basset hound, blind, arthritic, losing control of her bodily functions, can't navigate around the house anymore, can't handle the stairs, and cries all the time I'm away from the house.

I feel I'm doing the kindest thing for her, but she is my first dog, and this is breaking my heart.

I would like to hear of other people's experience in this matter, if you'd care to share.

Mitch? You out there?

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Sorry for your loss.

I have been in the same situation a few times over the years.

I know it is not easy.

On the other hand having an old friend suffer is not right either.

Think of the good times and realize that you brought much pleasure into that dog's life,

that can't be taken away.

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The following was making the email rounds recently ... I'm normally not one to share or forward these sorts of articles but perhaps it is fitting for your situation.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A Dog's Purpose: from a 6-year-old.

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog's owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn't do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker's Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.

Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, "I know why."

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation. It has changed the way I try and live.

He said, "People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life -- like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?" The Six-year-old continued,

"Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long."

Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:

  • When loved ones come home, always run to greet them;
  • Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride;
  • Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy;
  • Take naps;
  • Stretch before rising;
  • Run, romp, and play daily;
  • Thrive on attention and let people touch you;
  • Avoid biting when a simple growl will do;
  • On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass;
  • On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree;
  • When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body;
  • Delight in the simple joy of a long walk;
  • Be loyal;
  • Never pretend to be something you're not;
  • If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it;
  • When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.

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I had to put down my in-laws dog and then our own a few years later. My in-laws dog was in much the same shape as yours. He had exceeded the age chart for his breed and out lived his offspring. The vet said I was doing the poor dog a favor.

Our own dog got very sick too and although she was putting on a brave face I knew she was in pain all the time.

Its a difficult situation cone head but your dog is not having much of a life.

Think of the good times......

bd

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Rainbow Bridge

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. T

he 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, never again to be separated.

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We can relate, having bred and shown German Shepherds for many years we have had to be there at the end for many of our beloved GSDs. We have even taken back dogs that we sold as pets many years prior as their owners could not face the proposition of taking the dog to the vet themselves.

The hardest thing I have ever had to do was to take Isa, the dog we imported from Germany $$$$ to be put to sleep. She was my constant companion for 10 years but the morning I came to take her out of her kennel for a walk and she couldn't stand up I knew it was time. Our vet was brilliant, I took her in, we sat in a private room and had some alone time, I KNOW she understood. The vet came and administered the drugs and she fell asleep in my arms. I wept like a baby. I am tearing up as I type this.

We found this story many years ago and have found it helped to read it when someone was going through the grief of losing a family friend.

All the best for tomorrow and remember you are doing the right thing.

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...

Looks like Kip just beat me to it.

Edited by Ex 9A Guy
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Several years ago my collie-shepherd cross, Daisy, developed cancer of the spleen. She was with me for 13 of her 14 years and the vet said that there was nothing she could do for Daisy. I held her as the vet gave the final needle, then just cried. The vet gave me a warm hug, which helped a bit, but I still choked up when I though of her over the next several months. I had several cats that needed me but somehow the loss of a dog just hurts, deeply.

It sounds like you gave your dog the best life you could Conehead. The pain of the loss will eventually pass and perhaps you can give a loving home to another dog or two. There are many that need one.

All the best.

Timothy

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Hey S, the heartbreak will slowly give way to the warmth of good memories. I'd say it definitely sounds like you're doing right by her. It's never easy to take, it just has to be. ... we all have to go sometime.

I feel for you mate. It hurts lots. I've balled my eyeballs out each time.... and even if it got harder every time, I'd still get another dog for the joy they bring to my life while they're here.

I really wish I knew some magic words that might help you cope, but I don't think they exist...

I find the smell of puppy breath can go a long way toward repairing the hole in your heart. ;)

All the best Conehead, I'll be thinking of the two of you tomorrow.

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Thirty three man years with two best friends. As I read of your unfolding tribulation, like everyone else that's been there, I re-experienced evey painful moment all over again and like Mitch suggests; although the experience of losing our friend is nothing short of a complete tragedy, it is only this way because of of the pure joy they provide during our limited time together. Kip beat me to it, but I did find the comfort I needed through a visit or two to the 'Rainbow Bridge' site.

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She gave you the best years ofher life, was a constant companion & a source of so much joy. You have repaid that with keeping her safe, warm, well fed and happy. Now you are about to give your best friend the greatest gift of all, a peaceful end. After it's all over, you may have doubts about having done the right thing. Put that out of your mind. You did what you had to do. Your friend was suffering. It's an act of kindness. You will grieve. Let it happen, let the tears flow.

It will get better. There even may come a time when you may wish to get another dog. It might be days,weeks or even years but I think your friend would always want one thing for you, to be happy.

We all hope that there's a Rainbow Bridge.

I'll be thinking of you two tomorrow. Take care.

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I know exactly what you've all gone through with your pets. Jan '10 my wife and I had to make this same decision with our dog Ruby. She was our beloved Duck Toller X and had lived with chronic liver disease since we found out when she was almost 2 years old. She was only 8 when she passed.

We dealt with this issue and to look at her you'd never know there was anything wrong with her. Late 2009 she developed a blood disorder where her platelet count was very low. We dealt with this as best we could and she fought it as hard as she could.

As Conehead said, it is truly the most difficult decision we as owners have to make but we have to put the dog's needs ahead of our own. We've given our pets the best life we could and would do anything to make them happier....even if that means the ultimate decision.

I'd never heard of the "Rainbow Bridge" until we lost Ruby. It does bring comfort along with knowing she's in a better place. I'll see her again one day. I think of her everyday and miss her terribly.

Her housemate, Buddy, is a 9 year old Spaniel X. He helps me get through each day. One day shortly after Ruby's passing, I was walking Buddy along a path that Ruby and he had both walked. At one point I was about 20 feet behind him when he just stopped in the path and was looking intently down the path with his tail up. I couldn't see what caught his attention but in my mind, I like to think he was looking at Ruby. She was telling him to take care of us and that she was alright.

That night, he moved into her spot on the bed and took over sentry duties from her.

Take care, Conehead. Remember your pet in all the great times you had together.

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Scotty

I am sorry for what you have to do today, never an easy task. I have had to do it a number of times myself and it is truly heart breaking. Many people will say that it is only a dog, well hog wash, that pooch is a member of the family and a very loyal friend and you are fully justified in your grief.

As Mitch stated, as time passes, the pain will ease.

When I put my Greyhound down a few years ago I sobbed like a baby, I loved that boy and still miss him today, but now I have fond memories of him.

I hope you are left with the same fond memories

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It is done, and she is gone. She was happy, laying curled up on her bed, while I petted and talked to her. The Vet slipped the needle into a vein in the foreleg, and while I was talking and petting, she put her head down and gave what sounded like a contented sigh. Within 10 seconds, she stopped breathing. Just like that, and it was over. God, I loved that old mutt!

Thank you all for your thoughts, comments, prayers and stories. I think you're a great bunch of folk!

Now, it's time to wipe my eyes (again) and go out for a walk. Lots of tears shed today.

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MAny people do not understand that a Dog is a member of the family, just like another child. You spend years caring for them, playing with them, snuggling with them and it leaves a very large hole in your life when they are gone. Always remember the good times with your friend not the sad ending.

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Re Conehead: Likewise put our dog down, you stole my words, exact same experience. However watched my father die of cancer. I wish it could have been the same expexience as the dog.

Same experience here. Watched both my Father and Mother die of cancer, 8 months apart. Near the end for my Mother, I was seriously thinking about helping her along the way. My dog had it much easier.

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I am sorry for your loss, Conehead. I had the vet come to my house three times in the last year and a half to do the deed. A 10 year old retriever, a 15 year old border collie cross and a 14 year old Golden Retriever. The last one was particularly hard on the whole family. It is corny, but I started a Facebook group to remember the dog. This way our family and friends could post their favourite pictures and memories of him. It is a good way to channel the grief, and something that helps the grandchildren remember them as well.

After a month, the house was too empty and I adopted a 1 year old from a rescue society.

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We just had to put my 13 year old Wheaton terrier down,last week actually

While waiting in the parking lot with him,I couldn't do the last trip with him.

My wife bailed me out,thank god.

I never had that with my other dogs,but this one I guess got to me.

I think now that I may have waited to long,

I guess I was thinking more about myself then the pain my dog was going through

It's a tough call,but the 13 years with him I would never trade

Having another dog at home helps us but she seems to be a little depressed

Hopefully over time all will heal

Will I get another dog?for sure,but not right now.

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This is about the most touching tribute to a pet I've ever heard... find a quiet place to watch it, and some kleenex. Good ole' Jimmy Stewart...

I saw that show when it first aired. Jimmy was always one of my favourite guests on the Tonight Show. The last minute grabs at your heart but the entire poem is a tribute to a friendship and love that most dog owners can relate to. Folks who don't love dogs could never fully understand.

Sorry for your loss, Conehead. I'm sure you have many good memories just like Jimmy Stewart. I hope they can make you smile when you think back.

Edited by J.O.
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Thanks again everyone. Greg, the Vet offered several options. In home or not, owner present or not... you don't have to be there. I know several people that preferred not to be present. I just didn't want her to be afraid, and she wasn't...

I really miss her today... :(

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Hang in there, Conehead. Remember the happy times and the great life you gave her. She's now running free with all the other pups we've talked about. She knows you're thinking about her and knows what you've gone through....and going through.

I couldn't imagine not being with my dog during that time. My wife and I wanted her to know we were right there with her the whole way. We even brought our other pup in at one point to see her. Don't imagine it made much difference as he was just happy to be out of the car. They were nose-to-nose at one point so maybe that was their way of saying goodbye.

Animals don't look at life and death like we do. They accept it for what it is. When it's their time, they go. We as humans sometimes prolong that because we can't imagine our lives without them. It's a terrible decision to make but we have to for our pets.

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