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Saying goodbye

(20 Posts)
blonderedhead Sat 15-Oct-11 13:22:05

I'm waiting to take my dog Fred to the vet to have him put to sleep. It's the hardest decision I've ever had to make and I am terrified it is the wrong one, but after months of illness he seems to have lost his fight and even the few moments of enjoyment he has are short lived and outweighed by his sadness the rest of the time.

The sad thing is we have never found out what is wrong. He's never been well enough for a biopsy but the vets suspect maybe it is a cancer. Still part of me is terrified it is something more simple and a cure is just around the corner.

Some people on this page were very kind when I initially posted asking for advice on chronic diarrhoea and I am very grateful for their support. I think though we and the vets have tried everything. He was originally aged at 3-5 by Battersea and the vet agreed but he is now wondering if he may have been a lot older than that, covered up by some Jack Russell joie de vivre. We have only had him for 2 years and expected to have him for such a long time. He is my first pet and I never knew it was possible to feel so strongly about a dog.

As you can tell I am going round in circles a bit. It feels like the right decision but I don't think I will ever feel 100% certain.

He is so beautiful.

Oh I'm so sorry sad. All I can say is you have to do what you feel is right. If you think that Fred has had enough, then you're making the right decision for him. That said, if you think another vet might be more help and give you some answers, maybe you should try and see one? The result might be the same, but it would at least put your 'what if?'s to bed.

coccyx Sat 15-Oct-11 13:39:57

Thinking of you.

3cutedarlings Sat 15-Oct-11 13:51:41

sad Im so sorry, there are few words right now that i can offer that will give you much comfort.

I had my dear old lab Holly PTS in May of last year, she was 12 and although it was expected, i certainly didnt think when i went to sleep the previous evening that my darling friend would be gone by the following lunch time sad. She too had lots of problems with both her bladder and bowel and at times she was incontinent. We could have got her more anti sickness drugs and some steroids to build her up. Like you we had done this again and again and there comes a time where you have to make a very selfless decision and say enough is enough.

Taking your beloved pet to be PTS is the very last kind thing you can do for them. I have to be totally honest here with you as i personally wish i had been better informed but when the vet injects the drug it works almost instantly, i thought it would take 5mins or so and i would get chance to hold her and say good bye. I turned my back (DH was holding her) and by the time i turned back she had gone.

Take comfort in knowing that you gave him a place to call his own in his (what it now seem to be) twilight years.

My heart totally goes out to you i understand totally how heart broken you feel right now.

Oh bugger im welling up now (((((hugs)))))) xxxx

blonderedhead Sat 15-Oct-11 14:03:06

Thank you vey much. Freddie saw a couple of vets when he was originally in hospital and has seen his regular vet as well as a couple of others since then. They all give pretty much the same prognosis.

He's just had a bit of apple - usually forbidden but I figured it didn't really matter any more and he loves them so much. Of course the fact that he ate it after two days of refusing everything gave me a glimmer of hope again but yes I know it is the right decision and as you say at some point it is more selfless to say enough is enough, rather than prolonging his sadness and confusion in the hope of a few more moments of happiness for us. He's had the steroids, special diet, antibiotics, probiotics, Immodium and still his little body can't seem to absorb any food. He's such a skinny little mite now and even our small back door step is like Everest.

Anyway thanks again, I hoped some people who would understand would read this. So hard to sit here and wait, just watching his little chest rise up and down.

Then you have done your very best by him, and now you will be doing the ultimate kindness. It does sound very much like cancer sad How lucky he is to have found a home where he is loved x

blonderedhead Sat 15-Oct-11 18:44:29

We did it and are heartbroken. Such indescribable pain. Thanks so much 3cute for the information about the procedure, it really helped.

Such a cliche but he didn't look any different, just like he was sleeping.

Dh and I are devastated, just feels awful being in an empty house. Can remember so clearly the excitement and amazement we felt when we first got him that there was another little being here. Made it seem more like a home. Not sure how we are going to get through but everyone keeps telling me we will.

ladyintheradiator Sat 15-Oct-11 18:48:19

Oh how sad for you sad thinking of you, be kind to yourself. Farewell Fred x

Lilyloo Sat 15-Oct-11 18:49:27

I am so sorry sad it does get easier be kind to yourselves , you did the best thing for Fred . RIP Fred

Rudawakening Sat 15-Oct-11 18:52:06

I am so sorry he is gone and you are going through this, I have been there before and I know that I will be there again in the future with my 2 dogs but the pain is worth it for the joy and love that they bring, it is amazing and to me nothing compares to what they give.

I hope you feel better soon and take comfort in knowing you did the right thing for him and came through twice when he needed you.


solidgoldbrass Sat 15-Oct-11 18:52:20

I am very sorry for your loss.

And I was in two minds about posting this, I really hope you don't find it crass of me (and please ignore if you do) but....

I am just starting up as a pet funeral celebrant: I have held funerals for friends' pets and found that for some people it's a comforting thing to do. If I can help, feel free to PM me.

Pancakeflipper Sat 15-Oct-11 18:52:59

Oh I am sorry but I am so happy your doggie had you to look after him. He'd have been so grateful for you thinking of him and his pain and not you.

I can remember when our first darling dog was put to sleep. The tears... A walk felt so empty. And the leads stayed there for years. But it's funny cos although the pain was horrible, I never regret a second of it.

Just hurts so much doesn't it?

Be kind to yourself and just accept it's agony.

nogoodusernamesleft Sat 15-Oct-11 18:53:10

Am so sorry blonde , we lost our Staffy Buster suddenly in August and I know exactly what you mean about the house feeling empty. sad

It does get easier I promise, but I still find that things can set me off, like sorting out the cupboard with the dog bowls in this week. I howled for ages.

You did the right thing by him, he knew you loved him and were doing what you could to help him along. Big unMN like hugs from me, will be thinking about you.

Joolyjoolyjoo Sat 15-Oct-11 18:56:55

So sorry to hear about Fred sad. I hope you can take some comfort in the fact that you did everything you possibly could for him, by the sounds of it. It's a horrible decision to make, but a brave one.

My old boy is 16 and really on borrowed time. He is thin, senile (doesn't know who I am sad and incontinent, and is getting wobbly on his back legs when he gets up). But he also eats really well and is excited about his food, and trundles along happily on his walks, sniffing everything and greeting other dogs with enthusiasm. I am hoping something will just give and make the decision easier. It makes it slightly worse that I am a vet and will let him go myself, so I need to feel it's the right time.

See, even vets go through this!

You will get through. In time your memories of Fred will make you smile, and you will be happy you knew him. We never have them long enough, but the joy they bring in their short lives is worth the pain. Be good to yourself.

blonderedhead Sat 15-Oct-11 19:40:52

Thanks so much for all your messages and sorry to those of you who have also lost pets. Jooly I am glad your dog is still able to enjoy sniffing on walks, we knew when Freddie lost the ability to do this he really was running of out enjoyment in life, although we managed a few slow little steps in the park this afternoon before we took him to the vet. I hope yours continues a while yet.

Solid gold I don't mind you mentioning the funeral business at all. Having had the last few weeks to face the possibility. we have decided that we are going to scatter Fred's ashes in the park under a tree that was planted for my grandparents. His favourite place to be.

3cutedarlings Sat 15-Oct-11 19:42:12

Oh bless you sad please be kind to yourself like other have said it will get easier and you find yourself smiling again about the joy little Fred brought to your home. Dont have any doubts you did the right thing for him.

I am so pleased that you found the information i gave you helpful, i re type and delete that a few times as i was unsure if it actually appropriate or not.

My children found the Rainbow bridge poem comforting when we lost Holly.

Rainbow bridge

Run free to the bridge Fred xxx

solidgoldbrass Sat 15-Oct-11 21:45:44

This is a piece written by Eugene O'Neill about his dog (from the dog's perspective)...

I ask my Master and Mistress to remember me always, but not to grieve for me too long. In my life I have tried to be a comfort to them in time of sorrow, and a reason for added joy in their happiness. It is painful for me to think that even in death I should cause them pain. Let them remember that while no dog has ever had a happier life (and this I owe to their love and care for me), now that I have grown blind and deaf and lame, and even my sense of smell fails me so that a rabbit could be right under my nose and I might not know, my pride has sunk to a sick, bewildered humiliation. I feel life is taunting me with having over-lingered my welcome. It is time I said good-bye, before I become too sick a burden on myself and on those who love me. It will be sorrow to leave them, but not a sorrow to die. Dogs do not fear death as men do. We accept it as part of life, not as something alien and terrible which destroys life. What may come after death, who knows? I would like to believe ... that there is a Paradise where one is always young and full-bladdered; where all the day one dillies and dallies with an amorous multitude...; where jack rabbits that run fast but not too fast are as the sands of the desert; where each blissful hour is mealtime; where in long evenings there are a million fireplaces with logs forever burning, and one curls oneself up and blinks into the flames and nods and dreams, remembering the old brave days on earth, and the love of one's Master and Mistress.
One last word of farewell, Dear Master and Mistress. Whenever you visit my grave, say to yourselves with regret but also with happiness in your hearts at the remembrance of my long happy life with you: "Here lies one who loved us and whom we loved". No matter how deep my sleep I shall hear you, and not all the power of death can keep my spirit from wagging a grateful tail.'

Scuttlebutter Sat 15-Oct-11 23:47:01

SGB, that's a really lovely piece that I haven't seen before and it's got me filling up.

Blonde, it's such a hard thing to do but it sounds like it was the right thing, and you were brave for Fred because you loved him. Thinking of you.

horsemadmom Sun 16-Oct-11 01:36:39

Dear Blond,
It's been a month since we had to make the same decision. We loved our Goldie dearly but the thought of prolonging his pain was impossible to bear. It is awful now and will be for some time but now we are starting to laugh when we think about him and are looking for a new dog to love.
I am sending you healing vibes and standing with you in cyberspace- we are the good owners who put our pet's needs above our own and let them go when they were ready. We are brave and willing to face the empty house when we come home. We are the people whom our dogs could depend on to make the hardest desision. We did the right thing.

SolidGoldVampireBat Sun 16-Oct-11 01:43:58

Think of it as the last kindness you can offer: to put an end to bewildering misery and pain and bring peace. In time you'll be able to think of Fred and smile, and the worst grief will have mellowed.

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