12 year old boy put to sleep, please tell me it gets better

(34 Posts)
lolbrador Fri 10-Jul-20 08:58:07

Hi all. I suppose I'm just looking for a handhold.

We unexpectedly had to get our old boy put to sleep on Wednesday morning. A big, chunky, wonderful, patient Labrador.

He was old, suffered with arthritis, his teeth were starting to crumble and he wasn't able to go far and we knew it was nearing the time to say goodbye. He ended up hurting a leg and couldn't stand up.

I feel utter despair. My chest hurts and I can't seem to go five minutes without bursting into tears. I just miss him. I miss his quiet and unassuming presence, I miss opening the fridge and seeing him wake up and rush through, I miss his big furry chest and sighs of contentment when he lay with his head on someone's feet.

I know my feelings are selfish. He's free from pain now, free from trying to please us and there's no more suffering.

DC are distraught. I don't know how to make it better. It's even worse when DH is here, he's so upset. The atmosphere is so heavy.

We have a younger dog, and I feel guilty every time I hug him or kiss him or give him a treat.

It will get better won't it? Soon I will be able to remember all the fantastic memories of this lovely soul without bursting into tears.

OP’s posts: |
TitianaTitsling Fri 10-Jul-20 09:03:11

Hi @lolbrador handhold here, we are about 5 months on from you, so l know how you feel- am now able to look at photos of DDog with out completely sobbing, but will still tear up, am now at the stage where can have more of the happy memories and think and smile, rather than the poor old sick dog she was towards the end. It will get better but it's definitely hard. Unmumsnetty hugs to you and your family.

TitianaTitsling Fri 10-Jul-20 09:06:09

How old are DC? We got the book 'The Invisible Leash' to read to ours to help try and explain.

Sailfin Fri 10-Jul-20 09:06:16

So very sorry thanks

Cyclebird Fri 10-Jul-20 09:07:45

So sorry to read this sad.
Yes, it will get better but it will take time. We're 18 months on from the same thing and we still miss him, but we remember him very fondly and I know we did the right thing for him at the time. We gave our younger dog lots of love, attention and walks - she missed him too - and that helped by keeping us busy.

Sunnydayshereatlast Fri 10-Jul-20 09:07:47

25th Feb here.. Ddog had a pancake for tea! We had booked appointment 2 weeks previously.. Evey 'last' was sob inducing..
Perfectly healthy on the outside. She was 10 and vet said sadly aggression episodes likely were die to brain tumour. She had beaten cancer last year. We have had some photos blown up and framed.. Can't look at them yet though and avoid the front room..
Haven't decided about ashes yet.
Our girl..
Local beach and enjoying her fish and chips..

lolbrador Fri 10-Jul-20 09:08:35

They are 5 and 9. The 9 year old gets it, she's terribly upset. The youngest keeps asking when he is coming back from his sleep. I've tried to explain that he won't but it's a struggle. I will look into that book, thank you

OP’s posts: |


lolbrador Fri 10-Jul-20 09:10:18

@Sunnydayshereatlast what an amazing send off for your beautiful dog thanks

OP’s posts: |
daisychain1620 Fri 10-Jul-20 09:19:30

Oh my goodness, reading this is making me tear up😢 I'm so sorry for your loss. It is almost 2.5 years since we had our girl put to sleep and I still think of her a lot but don't burst into tears now like I did for a good few weeks. It's the hardest thing I've ever had to do and I will never forget my kids reactions when it happened but it does get easier, I promise. Big hugs

Topseyt Fri 10-Jul-20 09:24:47

I am about 8 months on from where you are. I had to have my 15 year old labrador put to sleep last November and I can identify with everything you say. One of the hardest parts of having a much loved pet is when the time comes to say goodbye.

It is a pain like no other I have ever felt before, but yes things have improved and I have learned to live with what happened. The happy and funny memories have come much more to the fore, such as him when he was a mischievous young dog and the many ways in which he was capable of upstaging me. I still tear up at times, and probably always will, but it isn't quite as sharp.

I bought a nice keepsake box from Flying Tiger a few days after he died in which I have his collar and lead, and a tuft of his hair. I also have his ashes in an urn which has a lovely smiley photo of him on it. I keep them on a coffee table in "his" corner of my living room (where his bed used to be). I now think of it as "his" coffee table because it is the same one he used to manage to clear with his labrador tail so many times over those 15 years. grin

Take your time now. Get through one day at a time. You will learn to live with it and it will get easier. You are absolutely not alone though.

Ihaventgottimeforthis Fri 10-Jul-20 09:27:13

Oh OP I'm so sorry.
I've said goodbye to five dogs and it breaks my heart, I still get emotional 20 years on thinking about the first time.
It does get easier, but this is totally natural too, you've lost a dear member of your family.


Pelleas Fri 10-Jul-20 09:30:42

I am about a month on from you. The first week was by far the worst. We don't have another dog, so the routines we'd had for over 14 years were broken up. We are slowly adjusting to life without him. Talking and reminiscing helps us to remember the happy times.

IrmaFayLear Fri 10-Jul-20 09:33:32

My dog died four months ago and it was only last week that I took away his bed and bowls. I just couldn’t do it before. I even went and sat in his smelly, hairy bed!

The other day teen dd was crying her eyes out as she was a bit down and suddenly realised that someone who was always up for a snuggle
was missing.

I miss dog 100 times a day.

lolbrador Fri 10-Jul-20 11:24:31

Thank you all. It's making me see that there is light at the end of the tunnel. One day I might be able to think about him and smile instead of cry.

The irony is that if I'm this upset I usually would go and snuggle my boy sad

OP’s posts: |
muckandnettles Fri 10-Jul-20 11:25:36

We had our 12 year old lab pts a year ago and it was heartbreaking. As a couple we coped differently and took a while to get over it enough to look ahead. He was our only one and our dc have left home so the house seemed deathly quiet. Anyway, a year later we have a house of chaos with a new puppy (and one of the dc back at home). He reminds us of the old one sometimes, but we deliberately chose a different breed so it wouldn't hit us too much. My dh still misses old dog a lot and especially when new pup is being a pain, but I had to have a new dog, couldn't live dogless for much longer.

The way I thought of it was that it is a real privilege to be there with a dog for it's whole life and see it into old age happy and content.

Sunnydayshereatlast Fri 10-Jul-20 12:00:42

Not sure what your dc consider death to be. .. My ds 5 asked about a month after we lost ddog why she couldn't come home and had to stay at the vet's... I obviously did a rubbish job and added more guilt to my pile. Ds has never encountered a death before.. Was tough going dealing with it all.
My teens learned to exit a room very quickly any sign of a wobble..

IrmaFayLear Fri 10-Jul-20 12:05:21

I was wondering about getting a different breed, muckandnettles. I know lots of people have a succession of the same breed, but I’m not sure.

StarUtopia Fri 10-Jul-20 12:05:49

I'm so sorry. Ok. So 7 years ago my beautiful boy, a golden retriever, was pts. He was amazing. I can now talk about him, and look at photos and videos and smile but from time to time I will still have a complete bawl about him.

I honestly never thought I would ever get used to him not running to the door when we got home, but you do. Slowly. Very slowly.

Any who doesn't understand, hasn't had the love of a fantastic dog.

I was actually just yesterday looking at buying a new frame for a lovely photo I have of him in the lounge and found myself talking to the photo! This is perfectly fine!

Take as much time as you need (and shush..but I definitely grieved more for my boy than I ever grieved for a relative who has passed. Dogs are by your side 24/7. Totally normal to feel huge grief) Thinking of you

RuthW Fri 10-Jul-20 12:18:06

Sorry for your loss. Yes it does get better. We lost our greyhound a month ago tomorrow. We knew for about a week he was going and that was the hardest part. Once he had gone it got easier each day. I can now think of him without crying.

Last Saturday we got another greyhound to go with our remaining two. He's settled in lovely.

lolbrador Fri 10-Jul-20 12:49:24

I'm in tears reading all of your lovely words.

@muckandnettles what a lovely way of thinking about it. Thank you

OP’s posts: |
CrepuscularCritter Fri 10-Jul-20 13:38:17

Ah, OP, I am so sorry to hear this, and the suddenness of it must be difficult to bear too. Although it is many years since my yellow lab had to be pts, my memories of him are still so vivid. There was his ability to spot a body of water at distance, and not be content until he had tried to swim in it, that tail that left stripes on any wall and removed the contents of tables, the embarrassed chuffing noise when caught doing something unseemly, the response to the telltale clarion of the fridge door, the Labrador lean, and the tossing a toy over his shoulder to make you laugh when he saw you were upset. The memories last such a long time and become golden instead of sad. Yours clearly had a long and fabulous life with you, and that companionship and love is so hard to lose.

lolbrador Fri 10-Jul-20 16:05:58

@CrepuscularCritter your memories sound lovely smile I've been writing down some of my fondest this afternoon. Somehow seeing them on paper has made it easier, like they are safe and I can't loose them

You have all been a massive support today, thank you

OP’s posts: |
muckandnettles Fri 10-Jul-20 16:13:45

@IrmaFayLear we have a retriever puppy now, so similar size and breed to the lab, but just different enough. Still loads of hair though and the same happy smile and temperament.

@lolbrador having any dog live its life with you is a great privilege I think and the love of a good dog is one of the things life is all about to me. Crap, I've made myself cry now...

WinterBerry7 Fri 10-Jul-20 16:14:28

It’s coming up to three years since we lost our dog and occasionally I will still well up. We had her PTS on the Friday evening and I spent the weekend an absolute sobbing mess. My face was swollen and burning from crying - I have never cried so much in my life!
But, it did get easier and continues to. We can talk about her now and laugh and smile rather than it making us well up. I have photos of her round the house and her ashes are in the living room (occasionally I will talk to them!)
Still don’t feel strong enough to get another dog and not sure we ever will really. Losing her was heartbreaking, even though we knew 100% it was the right time and had discussed at what point we would make that final decision. Take it easy on yourself OP.

IrmaFayLear Fri 10-Jul-20 18:38:16

Muckandnettles - my dog was a golden retriever. I believe they are as close to a human being as any animal can be. I swear he could hold a conversation!

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in