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My dog has just died - please help me process this(46 Posts)
My elderly dog collapsed and died about 40 minutes ago. We think it must have been a heart attack. He'd just got back from a walk - my husband was taking his shoes off and I was in the living room, when the dog let out an awful, high-pitched yelp. We rushed to him and found him collapsed - my husband took him on his knee and we were stroking him and saying his name, but there was no response and a few minutes later he stopped breathing. There was nothing more we could do. We are both terribly shocked. He was fine and acting normally all day - he'd had a heart murmur for several years but it didn't appear to trouble him. We knew he wouldn't last forever, but we have never been in this position before - all my previous pets have had slow illnesses and ended up being PTS which was heartbreaking, but we were prepared for it. I feel very shaken and I can't stop thinking about his body, which we have put in a box until we can see the vet tomorrow to arrange his cremation. Please can anyone offer me some wise words - I just can't take it in that he is no longer here.
I'm so so sorry. I can't think of anything wise to say that doesn't sound corny, but offering a handhold. You were there for him in his last minutes, and it sounds like he had a long and happy life with you.
Oh op. That's sounds so awful. It must have been so comforting to him though that you were both there for him in the end. If he's anything like my boy he'd have died happy after a nice walk.
Cry and grieve and take your time to get over him.
No wise words but he would've had great comfort from feeling safe and loved in his last moments, what a huge shock for you both.
Thank you for your kind words. I wish I could cry, but I feel numb at the moment. He had a long life and I hope he was happy.
I’m so sorry for your loss
You obviously adored him and you are in shock. It is the suddenness, when your pet is ill and PTS, as you say, it is sad but are prepared for it and have a chance to hold them and say goodbye. You had no way to mentally prepare for this.
He had a good life with you and had a life full of love and walks. Take time to grieve, such a sad time. So sorry.
I don't have any wiseness to share. What a horrible experience for you
Take comfort in the fact he was loved and had a full and happy life right til the end xx
How awful for you but at least you were there with him and comforting him at the end and it didn't happen when he was on his own
The house feels so strange already without him. He was nearly 15 and we'd had him from a pup - we are used to him being part of everything we do - he always came on holiday with us, he was a part of every decision. I had never thought about the actuality of his death because I'd imagined he would have a slow decline - but he'd been pottering round all morning like he normally does, and then he'd been out for his normal walk - my husband said he'd been pulling on the lead to say hello to other dogs. It doesn't seem real that he has gone from that to being dead in the space of a few minutes.
Hi i am so sorry for the loss of your dog, i'm a vet nurse and i know what you have experienced is like, after seeing dogs at the very end so many times i am certain that it is a reflex / shutdown when they do this awful scream and not pain related .
His passing would have been so sudden and he would have been unaware very quickly.
Both you and he have been spared the vets involvement , it is far from ideal at the moment and wouldn't have been the usual calm , dignified way you would have wanted for him.
I hope as time passes you can think about all the love he gave and the happy memories he has left behind.
Dogs are without question a much loved member of the family and it is a true bereavement when we loose them. It sounds like he had a lovely life with you .
Have just re read my post , should say may not have been the usual way at the vets you would have wanted.
At the moment euthanasia is still carried out with the same care and kindness , but sadly its not easy for loved ones to be there as they could pre covid .
Thank you, tsmain - that is very comforting - I've relayed that to my husband as the scream was awful and thinking of him being in pain at the end is horrible, so I hope it is as you say and he wouldn't have been aware of very much. The worst thing is the suddenness of it. When my cats were PTS I spent a long time saying goodbye and tried to make their last days special. I hadn't paid the dog any special attention this morning other than letting him in and out and saying the odd word to him. If I'd known they were his last hours I'd have made such a fuss of him, but it's too late now.
OP I'm so sorry. His last hours and moments were spent doing what he loved with people he loved. I can't imagine your sadness but I'm sure every dog owner aspires for their dog to have a last day like your beautiful boy. Be kind to yourself.
I'm glad he'd just had a nice walk, and I'm glad he'd got back home before it happened - it would have been terrible if he had collapsed in the street. My cats seemed to know he had died - one in particular was good friends with the dog, and when he was lying in the hallway afterwards, he edged warily around him as if taking in what had happened, whereas normally he'd be rushing over to him for a good sniff. I hope that will help them adjust because when I have had a cat PTS the remaining cat has always wandered round looking for days. Both cats have gone to sleep now.
Hi OP I completely empathise with you & understand how you feel.
My dog died on Wednesday at home, with all us around her & stroking her as she died.
She has left a very large hole in our lives, but we are greatly comforted by the fact that despite a horrible start to her life, where she suffered horrific abuse (we got her from a rescue centre) The life she had with us was lovely x
I'm so sorry, bumpsadaisy. You're right - a hole is exactly how it feels. How lovely that you rescued her and gave her so much love.
So very sorry
I had an elderly dog with a heart murmur who suddenly collapsed and died when she was about ten. It was very traumatic and shocking.
So sad to lose a dear friend.
I'm so sorry to hear your sad news, your dog sounds like they had an amazing and loving family.
Although a huge shock, it sounds like it was quick in the arms of those they adored. Be kind to yourself xx
Tears streaming down my face
This happened to me Two years ago
It was so sudden
He also was old and very loved
Please be gentle on yourself
So sorry xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Just wanted to say how sorry I am.
It must have been awful. But rememember he died with you both stroking him and thats lovely.
Sending you lots of love
Thank you for so many kind words. It helps to hear of others who have gone through the same and it means a lot that you have taken the time to post.
Ah you poor love. You must be heartbroken. But what a great way for your old dog to go!
So sorry for you but as you say he was a good age and take some comfort from him having a great last walk and at home with his pet humans x
Aww such a shock. Big hugs to you OP. Be kind to yourself and take things easy for now.
I know it’s probably no consolation but if my dog was going to go, that’s the way I’d Probably want it - at home in our arms at a grand old age after a big walk with no horrid illness causing pain and suffering, but something swift and peaceful. I hope that doesn’t sound callous or horrid to anyone, I can’t Imagine how much of a shock it must be.
My dog was the bestest friend I ever had. Take comfort in the fact that you gave him a wonderful life full of love and nice walks! Not many dogs can say the same unfortunately. There’s another place after this world, it was just his time to go there, you’ll be together again xxxx