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This is the right time isn't it?

(25 Posts)
Brewster Sun 16-Feb-14 10:32:57

Our beautiful bernese mountain dog is now 9. She has epilepsy and severe arthritis.
The last time she has an inflammation flare up - a few weeks ago - she began snarling at my other dog and around us all.
She has never snarled before now even years ago when she was diagnosed with the epilepsy (we diagnosed that through her behaviour and growling and acting very aggressive and scared)
The dogs had a fight a foot away from my two year old during one of these snarling periods the other week and that was quite scary.

She is not in a flare up at present but each evening her growling gets a bit more so i know one is not too far off.

We have her booked in to be put to sleep on tuesday as we feel we don't want her to be in anymore pain and we don't want to risk the children.

I feel in my heart that it is unlikely she would ever hurt any of us but you just never know. i know she wouldn't do it out of malice but there is alway that tiny percentage chance that one of the kids could touch her just in the wrong place at the wrong time and that would be that.

We would never forgive ourselves if something happened to the kids and i don't want that to be our last memory of our gorgeous doggy.

Please tell me you agree that now is the right time.
To let her go in peace while she is not in too much pain.
she has had a good happy life full of love and cuddles, the best healthcare money could buy and so many lovely walks and special memories.


LaurieFairyCake Sun 16-Feb-14 10:39:36

Yes, the snarling is very clearly about pain - and no one deserves to be in pain.

I would take her to the vet and get a strong painkilling injection and then take her for a walk/a cuddle/her favourite food. Then I would say goodbye and have her pts.

I'm so sorry for you {{{hugs}}}

Goldencity1 Sun 16-Feb-14 10:43:14

She is telling you she has had enough. I am sorry, I know how you are feeling. It is the last thing we can do for our pets, ending their pain. Give her lots of cuddles, you will see her at the Bridge.

Brewster Sun 16-Feb-14 10:44:09

yes we have been giving her lots of yummy food and treats and extra cuddles these past two weeks .
it is breaking my heart. i never thought it would end like this.
She is such a beautiful, soft, fluffy sweetie and we will miss her soo much


Brewster Sun 16-Feb-14 10:46:27

she sleeps zoo much these days and is always laying down but then sometimes she look so young and runs about it the woods having fun.

it is zoo hard but a part of me knows what the right thing to do it but another part of me has so many 'what ifs' telling me we could be wrong.

this is the hardest decision i have ever had to make

YouLoveItDoreen Sun 16-Feb-14 10:47:13

I'm sorry that you are having to let go of your girl, Brewster. But I think this is the right time too. Will your children want to be there, are they old enough to understand?

Brewster Sun 16-Feb-14 10:54:52

my kids are 5 and 2 so no they won't be there but we will tell them in the morning and let them have cuddles and say goodbye.
i have been reading a few books with my son about this very thing that he teacher lent me just to get him ready ish and thinking about heaven.

he is smart boy and think he will be very sad and will have questions which we are all ready for.

my 2 year old will prob realise and ask where the doggy is but obviously too young to understand at the moment.

i read somewhere that you should let your other dog see their friend gone so they don't wait for them to come home…anyone else got experience of this?
we were going to put her on the garden office while it is happening and the let her in once it is done before they take her away so she can have a sniff and realise she is gone…

YouLoveItDoreen Sun 16-Feb-14 11:07:54

We had 4 dogs in total, when the oldest male needed to be PTS, we didn't take the others as our vets was a small one, and trying to keep them all calm would have been tricky, but they seemed to be okay, they gave us a very thorough smell when we came back without our old boy. It's good that you have been able to prepare your children, would they like to make a picture for your dog, or make a little bag up of her favourite things?

Goldencity1 Sun 16-Feb-14 11:11:09

If you have little ones, the book "Goodbye Mog" might help...

Brewster Sun 16-Feb-14 13:03:40

Thank you.
we are doing it at home as i don't want to do it at the vets.
on the morning of i will suggest doing a picture or a letter.
they will get to give her a special treat each.

Owllady Sun 16-Feb-14 14:10:43

We had one of ours done at home and I think if it's not an emergency it's the best way to do it. I am sorry though, it's so hard but you Have to trust your instincts and what you think is the best for HER. as owners we always want to give our dogs a chance but we also have to act in kindness for them and it sounds to me like you know it is for the best.
The other dog/s will pine but they do get on afterwards. The children will be devastated but just let them talk about it. Lots of love x

EvenBetter Sun 16-Feb-14 15:45:38

I'm so sorry to hear this.
You are lucky in that you are getting to cherish her final days, and are sparing her the horror of going to the vets.
We knew it was time because our old lady had a very definite look about her that she had very much given up. It was glaringly obvious, and she was in pain, only till we gave her a wee bit of aspirin, but it was time. No doubt.
Not to upset you further, but ask your vet if they take the body away. Ours didn't , and we didn't know this, we had to put her body in our car and transport her to the vets to be cremated. It was awful, and unexpected.
Sending you love.

EvenBetter Sun 16-Feb-14 15:47:38

Oh, p.s.- I heard that dogs understand death, but not a disappearance. So our collie attended our old girls final few hours, and death.
He seemed to realise to keep in the background and didn't once ask us to throw his toy or anything like he normally would. He must have smelt the change in her, and our crying etc.

Brewster Sun 16-Feb-14 16:02:51

our doggy is on tramadol twice a day and previcox at night and i have another drug for really bad days too.
lots of drugs and the only other option now drug wise would be to pretty much knock her out all the time.
she does enjoy the walls still and all the cuddles but she looks so tired.
i don't want her to suffer and i don't want any chance of anything happening to the kids.

Thanks for all your kind words

yes they said they take her away and have asked for her bed to go with her and we will shatter her in the woods by our house and place a little memory on the tree to go and visit her.

bought flowers and treats for her today.

WimbledonDogs Sun 16-Feb-14 18:06:44

I'm sorry that you are in such a difficult place now. Trying to decide when is the right time for our companions to be put to sleep is one of the hardest decisions we have to make as their guardians.

I think you are being brave and responsible in putting her needs above your own. Many people can't. It's harder still when you see such dramatic changes with a normally gentle breed - it must be very discombobulating. If she is in pain that can't be medicated, or she is distressed and can't be treated, the kindest and most caring course of action is to end her suffering.

A word of warning. You will feel guilty. Try and minimise it as much as possible:

- Spoil her rotten - with treats, walks, toys, comfort, attention - anything she is still able to enjoy.
- Say goodbye - spend time telling her how much you love her and thanking her for the life she has given you.
- Make her last moments as easy and comfortable as possible.
- Double check with your vet that you have done all you can do for her.
- Confirm with your vet that they would take this course of action with their own pet.
- Make all the arrangements and take care of the practicalities before she is put to sleep. Paying the bill, giving instructions for cremation, etc. You will be too devastated to do it afterwards.

Be prepared to mourn and grieve. Back-up your photos. Keep some of her lovely fur, etc. Either the Blue Cross or the Dogs Trust runs a grief telephone support line, phone them if you need to cry.

If she is suffering - you are doing the right thing. That should be the basis of your decision.

Give her a cuddle from me.

You have my greatest respect.

MarthasChin Sun 16-Feb-14 18:12:19

You are doing the kindest thing for your dog. Even though it may not feel like it now.

Brewster Sun 16-Feb-14 19:19:52

Wimbledon - I have felt guilty for weeks knowing this day was coming.
it kills me and breaks my heart.

I have had her for 9 years. my husband and i bought her together before we were married - our first dog together (our other dog was mine from before we met)

we are treating her and cuddling her and taking photos.
been for some good walks and will do a last few before the day too.

Got some pics of the kids with her.

yes should pay vet before i guess - terrible thought.

she is just so beautiful she melts my heart every time i look at her!!

WimbledonDogs Sun 16-Feb-14 20:44:19

I wish there was something I could say, or do, to make it better, or easier, but there isn't.

Of course you feel guilty, we are in no way equipped to cope with taking the life of those we love. It is totally alien. Which is why I think you are being incredibly brave to make the decision.

In preparing the way you have, you are displaying a high degree of emotional intelligence, so hopefully you can get through it and come out of the other end able to enjoy her memory.

She has clearly had a good life with you and your family for 9 years, that isn't such a bad innings. If she's at the point where she is in so much pain that her temperament is changing, it's time to release her. I don't think the issue should be that she is a threat to your children - you are managing that, it's that you must do the best thing possible for her, just as you have always done.

This may well be one of the hardest and most conflicting things you ever have to face. Be kind to yourself.

Brewster Sun 16-Feb-14 21:10:34

Thank you Wimbledon those are kind words.

She has just snarled again so we are in no doubt it is the right time.
I can feel the sharp bones of her spine, hips and shoulder blades poking through.
She has lost quite a bit of weight lately through muscle wastage i believe.

Her ears are still so silky soft and she is such a lovely puppy - we will miss her so terribly.

WimbledonDogs Sun 16-Feb-14 21:35:24

With those physical symptoms, it must be hard to doubt that you have made the right decision.

If the snarling is aimed at your other dog, it would be kinder to keep him/her in another room - the anticipation of a painful interaction is enough to make them show aggression. That way your girl can be restful instead of worrying about anticipated pain.

Give her the option of various sleeping spots, so she can lie in a position on a substrate that helps with the pain. Try a warmth pad.

I had it in my head that you were having the vet visit you, but I can't find any trace. If you haven't, give it some thought, it will be less stressful on you and her.

Yes, you will miss her and it will be painful for you.

Brewster Sun 16-Feb-14 21:42:46

yes the vet is coming to the house.
will cuddle her during it all and say our goodbyes.

she is allowed to sleep wherever she likes and she is very fussed over.
i tried to buy her a new bed ages ago and was tho ing about an orthopaedic bed etc but she won't sleep on any bed but her one she has had since a puppy. she has a have spots in the house and sometimes takes a sofa.

WimbledonDogs Sun 16-Feb-14 21:50:36

Thought I had seen it.

Pesky dogs, we buy what we think they'll enjoy and they are contrary!

Might hurt to get up on the sofa, if you have sofa cushions you could try putting them on the floor.

It reads as though you have done everything to ensure she is as comfy as possible.

WimbledonDogs Tue 18-Feb-14 15:54:44

Hope you are coping on this very sad day.

Brewster Wed 19-Feb-14 21:28:44

thank you wimbledon

it was peaceful and calm for her
we fed her treats while the anaesthetic started to work and then we stroked and kissed her and told her how much we loved her while the vet injected the rest.

we cuddled and cried over her and i laid flowers on her

she has left a huge hole in our lives and the tears come in waves and the sadness totally engulfs and overwhelms me.
i feel a piece of my heart has gone

WimbledonDogs Thu 20-Feb-14 05:05:56

A tough experience, but such a comfort to have the time to say goodbye.

I don't think anything can prepare us for the sadness that engulfs us when our companions leave us.

If you find you need any support outside mumsnet, the Blue Cross runs a pet bereavement support service. Telephone: 0800 096 6606 8.30am - 8.30pm. Further information at:

It's OK to be sad.

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