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to think my colleague should not be cruel to her dog like this?

(24 Posts)
OscarLove Tue 19-Jul-11 20:26:10

My colleague was widowed a few months ago. I feel really sorry for her. She now lives alone with her pet dog who she's had for about 13 years. She's got adult children and grandchildren who visit daily.

Her dog has been ill for a while and is on a cocktail of drugs. It's something to do with his heart.

The dog has recently been diagnosed with cancer and the vet is doing what it can with medicine. My colleague tells me that until the dog stopped wagging it's tail at her, she won't ever make the decision of euthanasia, but yesterday she told me that most days the dog can't even get up from it's bed and doesn't eat at all, just drinks water. It's got so bad now that she's had to rush the dog to the vets, and they'll keep him in for a few nights to keep an eye on him, but the vets can't force her to euthanise him and as far as I can tell there is no way she'll consider it. She'd rather wait til he dies normally. I do understand her feelings. I had a dog who was like my brother, got treated better than some people treat their children and we had to decide to have him put to sleep. It's hard, but I feel she's being selfish and putting her needs before the dogs, who obviously can't speak his mind hmm.

CalamityKate Tue 19-Jul-11 20:31:24


I'm an animal lover but I tend to take a relatively pragmatic attitude when it comes to euthanasia.

I believe that if you've got to the stage where you're actually ASKING yourself "Is there quality of life?" then it's probably time to let them go. Stating the obvious - but they don't get any younger.

I would rather face the possibility of allowing an elderly animal to slip away peacefully a year too early, than live with the guilt of knowing I probably kept it alive for too long for my OWN reasons, and that it might have suffered.

everlong Tue 19-Jul-11 20:31:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bubblesincoffee Tue 19-Jul-11 20:33:10


I think people who say 'it was the kindest thing' are quite often kidding themselves. If it's really truly that kind to kill a creature that is ill, we would do it to people as well.

That aside, this woman just lost her husband. She is holding onto something that she gets comfort from, after she has just been widowed, and you are calling her selfish for that!?

I can see where you are coming from, because there doesn't seem much point in a dog suffering if it's going to die anyway, but I think you sound quite heartless. I can't imagine being widowed, even beginning to think about it is too upsetting. But if it happened to me and someone wanted to take my dog away too, I'm not sure I would want to stay alive myself.

takethisonehereforastart Tue 19-Jul-11 20:37:56

YANBU but I agree with everlong.

Your colleague is not in any fit state to cope with this. She sounds as though she is still in a dreadful state following the loss of her husband and she cannot see past the need to try and protect herself from another bereavement.

I feel very sorry for her and very sorry for her dog. Her grief seems to be blinding her from seeing what to do for the best, but as everlong has suggested, can you offer to help in some way and accompany her or reassure her she won't be alone afterwards.

emptyshell Tue 19-Jul-11 20:40:42

One of the few things that kept me sane with the year of supreme shit last year was my dog - that wagged tail can bring so much comfort.

If she's talking to you about the condition it's in - she's probably pretty close to making the decision herself anyway and doesn't need condemnation but needs support. And yes, if I was in her position I'd be clinging to every single minute I could before things hit the point where it became too much and the line had to be drawn and I think from the wagged tail comment that she's already got the line mentally drawn herself tbh.

And if the dog's drinking and in a comfy bed - I don't think that's such a bad way to be going towards the end!

Some people don't believe in putting animals to sleep as well - my mother's a firm advocate of the "if you wouldn't do it to your grandma you don't do it to your pet" school - her pets have all ended up going of old age, the last family cat died, as he spent much of his life, falling asleep in a patch of sunlight in the garden.

DogsBestFriend Tue 19-Jul-11 20:46:40

Jesus Christ bubbles!

Almost speechless. What a deplorable and selfish attitude.

Poor mite... whilst I feel for the woman and this news on top of her bereavement I can never justify cruelty to an animal. I have a very strong no-kill ethis regarding healthy animals but accept that euthanasia is the kindest option for a dog who is suffering beyond all help and have had to make that awful, heartwrenching decison myself.


OscarLove Tue 19-Jul-11 20:46:44

I have been sympathetic to her and I think that's all I can do. Her husband and her used to love walking the dog together and she says her husband had a fantastic bond with the dog. She's already talked about getting another pet once her current one has passed away, so if she decides to go through with it, I will be offering to go to the rescue centre with her to look for a new companion.

Bubbles, i'm not calling her selfish for holding on to the one thing that's been there constantly since her husbands passing, I just think that for her it's impossible to think what's best for the dog in this situation, because of her recent bereavement. When an animal is so ill that it is in pain and discomfort, I DO absolutely think it's best to end it's suffering in the quickest way, rather than let it have a long period of pain and living an unhappy life, don't you?

OscarLove Tue 19-Jul-11 20:49:03

Well said, dogs best friend.

FreudianSlipper Tue 19-Jul-11 20:52:01

poor woman she must feel she is losing everything at the moment

the kindest thing would be to put the dog to sleep, but he may not be in any pain, just let her let him go when she is ready

Andrewofgg Tue 19-Jul-11 20:53:36

I agree again, DBF, is this a record?

everlong Tue 19-Jul-11 20:55:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DogsBestFriend Tue 19-Jul-11 20:55:57

Maybe rejecting the advice of a body of independent vets (rather than just one vet IYSWIM) when they unanimously advocate euthanasia on the grounds that the animal is suffering and the condition incurable should be something which is incorporated into the Animal Welfare Act as a crime.

It won't help this dog though, will it? sad Yet the owner isn't even there with him tonight... he's suffering and dying slowly in a crate in a vet's surgery... sad

I hope that his release comes quickly, peacefully and painlessly. He's brought tears here, that's for sure.

OscarLove Tue 19-Jul-11 21:06:48

Thanks for your replies. DBF, i'm sorry, I didn't mean to upset you sad I'm silently praying that the dog will pass away in the night so she doesn't have to make the decision, as he is very ill. It would be much better if he passed away at home with my colleague, but unfortunately he isn't there. I think it must be serious if the vet wanted to keep him in the surgery.

My elderly dog started to get cataracts, and became deaf and blind eventually and I prayed almost every night over 2 years for him to die peacefully at home in his sleep ashe deteriorated. He didn't pass away in his sleep unfortunately, and eventually he got cancer and I found myself with the decision my colleague is facing. I wasn't widowed at the time and even then it was the most difficult thing i've ever had to consider, as my dog and I grew up together from childhood, through to adulthood. Gosh, it was so horrible, but I don't regret having him put to sleep one bit. He's at peace now and in heaven with all the humans and fellow dogs and cats we had throughout his life on earth. I just hope he's waiting at those pearly gates when my time comes. Gone off on one here, but I wish I didn't make this thread now. It's so upsetting losing a much loved pet sad

hairfullofsnakes Tue 19-Jul-11 21:09:03

yanbu - I remember when I had to have my cat put down - it will never leave me, the loss, the pain I felt, but he was ready and I had to let him go and be at peace. Poor lady and poor dog x

thefirstMrsDeVere Tue 19-Jul-11 21:12:06

YANBU but I feel for the poor woman. She is obviously suffering a great deal of grief.

But it is cruel to leave an animal alive when they can be quietly and painlessly 'put to sleep'.

bubbles I am sorry to be rude but you are talking bollocks.

If I could have given my DD one small syringe full of pentobarbatone (or whatever they use now) rather than watch her die slowly and in some considerable pain you can bet your fucking life I would have.

I have had to PTS many, many animals and its very quick and they just 'go'.
I have never allowed any of my pets to linger in pain. Why would you if you didnt have to?

Sandalwood Tue 19-Jul-11 21:12:30

Has the vet actually told her that it'd be kinder to put him to sleep?

OscarLove Tue 19-Jul-11 21:23:16

The vet cant tell her, or she could go back and say 'well you told me to do it, and I wasnt in a stable state of mind'. Even when I asked my vet the day I took my dog in to be put to sleep if it was the best thing, she couldn't say, but afterwards when he had been euthanised, she said 'you did do the right thing, if he could, he would thank you for what you have just done for him' and that gave me peace in my mind that he was free from the pain and suffering and was due a long while ago that chance to sit on the fluffy cloud, watching down on me.

OscarLove Tue 19-Jul-11 21:26:46

Oh DeVere, i'm so sorry sad I can't even ever imagine the pain you must be feeling loosing your precious dd. How old was she when she passed? So, so sad sad

GrimmaTheNome Tue 19-Jul-11 21:28:08

Its a terribly sad situation. Hopefully it will resolve itself soon - either the dog will die naturally or your friend will bite the bullet and have him PTS. But it must be awful for her. And whatever she does or doesn't do she's likely to be wracked with guilt as well as grief, so just carry on being kind to her (voicing your thoughts here rather than to her is good!)

I think its good she's planning to get another pet - glad you can support her with that smile

OscarLove Tue 19-Jul-11 21:30:05

Thanks Grimma smile

Thank the lord there is somewhere like here to vent, or I might end up going insane!

thefirstMrsDeVere Tue 19-Jul-11 21:48:44

She was 14.

Honestly I do understand your friends pain - l love my dogs and got great comfort from my ancient terrier after DD died but NO way would I have let her linger.

Seen enough pain in this house to allow it to go on if I can do something about it.

I know that sounds dreadfully melodramatic but its something I feel very strongly about.

Your friend will probably do the right thing but just needs a bit more time. You are right to be upset but also right to keep it to yourself. I expect she knows she has to do this thing anyway.

Poor woman.

maybells Tue 19-Jul-11 21:50:39

this women clearly has an emotional bond with her dog which will be another tie broken when it dies.
i have had to make the tough decision of putting my dog to sleep. my dog let me know he was ready the spark in his eye had gone and he couldnt get up. he had given up i scooped him up and took him straight to the vets to have him put to sleep. if i had not done that it prob would have taken days for him to die, something i was not willing to put him through. its the last act of kindness you owe your pet at the end.
this women is finding it hard to let go, she clearly loves her dog as she has taken him to a vet. i hope he goes quickly!

biddysmama Wed 20-Jul-11 09:48:43

yanbu, my mils dog wsas diabetic, blind,deaf,incontinent and its fur was falling out. all it did was sleep and pee and crap on the floor, my mil had to inject it every day. we all said she should have it put down but she wouldnt sad it eventually just died one day

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