I never realised it would be this hard

(17 Posts)
ABC1234DEF Fri 16-Nov-18 11:12:59

Yesterday we said goodbye to our dog. He was never an easy dog, but he was my best friend and constant companion for the 17 years that we had together. I've had him since I was a teenager and he's been through every life event with me, and got me through the dark times.

Euthanasia was the right decision, I have no doubts about that. He was getting frail, he could easily have had another 3, 6, 9, 12, however many months but I'm heavily pregnant and having a baby in the house would have ruined his life, he never would have coped with the stress so I decided not to put him through that upheaval for whatever time he had left. This decision was backed by 2 independent behaviourists I've worked with over the years and my veterinary colleagues.

I'm on maternity leave so he's had a lovely two weeks at home with me, and this week he's done all his favourite walks and they've been totally stress and incident free (which is rare at best!). Yesterday he had his final walk in his favourite park, sniffed every tree, peed on every bush and was loving life. Then he went to McDonald's for his tea (nuggets and milkshake!)

The euthanasia process itself was probably the smoothest (particularly given his temperament in such situations) I've ever seen. He was sedated, fell asleep in my arms and the injection was given and that was that.

What I'm really struggling with is the aftermath. I haven't slept, I can't eat and I feel like part of me is missing. The space on the sofa next to me is huge. It's so quiet without his gentle snoring. I know his bed will be empty but it's the first place I look when I enter the room. I still anticipate his tippy tappy toes across the floor when I enter the room. There's no little face to pop up from the boot in the rear view mirror of the car when I pull up on the drive. I just don't know what to do with myself.

There's zero point to this, just wanted to get it out.

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BirdyBedtime Fri 16-Nov-18 11:22:09

You must feel bereft. After that length of time undoubtedly your dear dog must have truly felt like part of the family. You are entitled to grieve and feel the huge gap. You can comfort yourself that he had a long and happy life and that you made the right decision to say goodbye before he started to suffer.

You obviously have a new arrival to look forward to and I'm sure in time you'll remember the good times without sadness. When you're ready you can bring a new dog into your family and your DC can grow up with him/her and make new memories.

I'm at the opposite end of this journey with a 6 month old pup (my first) and can't imagine how hard it's going to be to say goodbye even now.

flowers to you

DeadCertain Fri 16-Nov-18 12:13:10

I am so very sorry; I had to say goodbye to one of my own dogs a short while ago - it hurts like anything. Wishing you strength x.

Biggles398 Fri 16-Nov-18 12:16:14

I'm so sorry. We had our old boy pts this summer and I know it was the right thing to do but it still hurts like hell. Even after all these months, I often catch myself coming in the house and looking for him on his bed.
17 is a great age with lots of good memories I expect!

Florries Fri 16-Nov-18 12:16:47

Oh darling. What a lovely life he had with you. He was such a lucky boy.

You're so valid in your feelings. It will get easier.

Best wishes.

BiteyShark Fri 16-Nov-18 12:17:02

So sorry flowers.

ABC1234DEF Fri 16-Nov-18 12:19:53

I don't know what to do with all his stuff. I absolutely need to get sorted and organised, I'm being induced next week but it seems too early to just get rid of stuff. There's some things I want to keep (his lead etc.) but what do you do with them?

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BiteyShark Fri 16-Nov-18 12:23:06

Can you box or bag his things and put them somewhere safe like the attic so you can sort through them at a later time?

FitzChivalryFarseer Fri 16-Nov-18 12:30:42

I lost my old girl just after having my baby. The appointment was booked and he decided to turn up early, so I had to delay long enough to be able to get her to the vet. That destroyed me, having reached the decision, then having to put it off, knowing she was suffering. The guilt of feeling I was PTS because I was nearly 9 months pregnant, rather than because she had no quality of life left. I felt like everyone would be judging me, even though rationally I knew it was the right time (she couldn’t get up unaided any more, had to be helped outside, coaxed to eat, her world had shrunk to the size of her bed). So, I completely empathise with how you are feeling.

I had a drawer with old collars and leads that I wasn’t able to part with for months. I might even still have one over 8 years later. I did get rid of her bowls and bed as it ripped me apart to keep seeing them. I gave her food to a neighbour.

flowers

ABC1234DEF Fri 16-Nov-18 12:44:06

I've got some food and bits left that mother in law's dogs will eat. I'd like to "do" something with his stuff rather than just leave it in a box and forget about it. His treat jar (one of these - literally, his is in one of the photos www.chelseadogs.com/personalised-ceramic-spotty-treat-jars ) has been sent to the crematorium and his ashes are being returned in it

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Flippetydip Fri 16-Nov-18 13:36:12

Oh bless you - so so hard but you have done absolutely the right thing. Be kind to yourself and allow yourself to grieve - what you're feeling is entirely normal.

Thinking of you at what must be a hugely turbulent time and wishing you all the best for the new arrival.

poppy196 Fri 16-Nov-18 14:01:01

Thinking of you op 💐
It's so bloody hard isn't it , be kind to yourself though as you did the right thing by your darling dog .
Sounds like he wasn't the easiest dog in the world and you gave him the best you could where others just give up and pass dog on .
Loving the last walk and glad It was incident free , I know exactly what you mean .
The mc Donald's tea sounds like a perfect end to day .
They do leave such a huge dog shaped hole in our lives .

ABC1234DEF Fri 16-Nov-18 14:31:29

*Thinking of you op 💐
It's so bloody hard isn't it , be kind to yourself though as you did the right thing by your darling dog .
Sounds like he wasn't the easiest dog in the world and you gave him the best you could where others just give up and pass dog on .
Loving the last walk and glad It was incident free , I know exactly what you mean .
The mc Donald's tea sounds like a perfect end to day .
They do leave such a huge dog shaped hole in our lives*

He was difficult from day 1. I got him at 7 weeks old and he had issues from the beginning. I could do anything with him but no one else could. There was no way we could have impromptu visitors, he couldn't be around other dogs, but he was well managed and despite the fact that no one could actually touch him (besides a select few people!), everyone seemed to love him! He has had a massive impact on my life in terms of being unable to have a dog sitter/kennel him but in reality what that meant is that he came everywhere with me and we rarely spent a day apart. He used to be looked after occasionally by my mum but his separation anxiety ramped up whilst my husband and I were away on our honeymoon so he's never been away from me since then. He has hugely limited what I have been able to do in my life, but I loved him.

I guess in a week or so, I'll have another cling-on. A baby can't be any harder than the bloody dog was!

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poppy196 Fri 16-Nov-18 14:51:39

I'm sure a baby must be easier , at least with children they can go most places but with dogs it's so hard if they need to be with you and dog friendly places are great but only if your dog likes other dogs , which yours didn't and ours doesn't either .
It's hard isn't it when you have a dog that you can't leave with anyone else , we can never leave ours as couldn't enjoy anytime away from him as would be too worried that they wouldn't keep him far enough away from other dogs and kennels are no option as don't think our boy would ever trust us again if we left him .
Try and enjoy your bit of freedom before baby safe in the knowledge you DID the best for your boy .

Kennycalmit Fri 16-Nov-18 15:40:59

So sorry, OP. I did this journey almost two years ago when my best friend was just 5.

I would highly, highly recommend a private cremation for him. I was lucky and found a wonderful cremation service. We got to spend time and say goodbye to her before she went through. We got the urn etc.

Speak about him as much as you need to! Look at photos, laugh about the funny things he used to do. You’ll probably end up in tears but it’s good to cry

I found it so difficult. Even little things like going for a wee and not having her sit outside the door waiting for me.

Thinking of you flowers

ABC1234DEF Fri 16-Nov-18 15:56:33

I would highly, highly recommend a private cremation for him.

He's being cremated this afternoon. I know the crematorium well and they've been very helpful.

Once I stop the little automatic behaviours I'll be fine (waking up and putting a hand down to his bed, yesterday I almost went to take him for his final walk before bed that we'd usually do)

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user1471465525 Fri 16-Nov-18 21:06:23

So sorry for your loss.The first week after they have passed is truly awful and even now after two months I still find myself going into the dog treat aisle forgetting for a second she is gone.I think when his ashes are returned you feel some comfort that he is with you again ,I did.Take care.

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