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Thread: How do you know when to put a dog down?

  1. #13
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    Default Re: How do you know when to put a dog down?

    This is my sweet Molly girl. She sits and stares at the front door when she know one of the family is coming home. She knows everytime someone is on their way home. I cannot figure out how she knows.
    -20131218_181222-jpg-20131218_181215-jpg
    My smooshy face boy!

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    Default Re: How do you know when to put a dog down?

    Here's the thing dogs live artificially long lives in our care. In the wild they don't get arthritis and dementia they don't get crippled and old. If they can't hunt they eventually die. Or are picked off in some other way. I think keeping a dog comfortable is reasonable but doing things to prolon misery is unfair. We had to pu our senior bully down a little over a year ago. He was confused and one day woke up in severe pain and couldn't walk. I said enough is enough. I didn't feel a bit bad about it. I was sad he was gone but I knew I made the best decision for him. There was a lot of comfort in that. I feel like you will know when it's time. I had considered it before amd wasn't sure but at that point I was. Best of luck with your decision
    If tears could build a staircase and happy memories a lane, I could walk right up to Heaven and bring you home again!

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    Default Re: How do you know when to put a dog down?

    Quote Originally Posted by brutus77 View Post
    You hit it right on the head. I feel if I do all the tests and stuff, it is more for us. She looks at me with her sweet eyes and I can feel that she is just tired. My husband and I are going to take a few days to really think about this and to see what happens.
    Rosalie I know, I have been there more than once, and once is too often. Mostly all my dogs have lived to a good old age-and they had a good life. I have always believed(by seeing it...) that when you look into their eyes, you can tell when they are just ready. A certain spark is just not there any more. I am praying for you, because I KNOW how difficult it is(like you have to play GOD) but when they have reached an age, where they don't deserve to be tortured with testing and poking and prodding-and just deserve to be let go--you just know, and so do they. As @JeannieCO said it so well.
    Praying for you,and your family. I do feel your pain,I know how hard this is for you.
    "
    “It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough,all the components of my heart will be dog,and I will become as generous and loving as they are"

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    Default Re: How do you know when to put a dog down?

    MAY I GO - by Susan A. Jackson


    Do you think the time is right?
    May I say goodbye to pain filled days and endless lonely nights?


    I’ve lived my life and done my best, an example tried to be.
    So can I take that step beyond, and set my spirit free?


    I didn’t want to go at first, I fought with all my might.
    But something seems to draw me now to a warm and loving light.


    I want to go, I really do; it’s difficult to stay.
    But I will try as best I can to live just one more day.


    To give you time to care for me and share your love and fears.
    I know you’re sad and afraid, because I see your tears.


    I’ll not be far, I promise that, and hope you’ll always know,
    that my spirit will be close to you wherever you may go.


    Thank you so for loving me. You know I love you too,
    and that’s why it’s hard to say goodbye and end this life with you.


    So hold me now just one more time and let me hear you say,
    because you care so much for me, you’ll let me go today.


    ~~~



    Hi Rosalie, I'm so sorry you are going through this and facing such a heart breaking
    decision. I lost my Jack Russell a little over 3 years ago, she was 14 years old when she passed, but she lived the last 2 years of her life with cancer. In the beginning, she ate, played, did her duties normal, and still liked to go on her walks. She would have bloody poops sometimes, but didn't seem to be in pain, and was always happy. As time went on, she started to sleep more, her back end was wasting away, and she lost weight. I had many talks with my vet over when we should put her down. He told me that the decision would come down to her quality of life. The decision is never an easy one to make, but sometimes we try to hold on to our babies, because we can't bear to part with them. We worry if it as too early, or if it's too late. We have to ask ourselves are they suffering? , are they enjoying their life?, Can they still play fetch, run, play, go to the bathroom by themselves?, do they still have quality of life? Just because our pets are alive, doesn't mean they are living. Sometimes the most humane and selfless thing we can do, is let them go, even if it hurts, and to stay with them and comfort them when we send them to the rainbow bridge. In the end, my dog passed away in her sleep, just before I was going to have her put down, and she passed away at home.


    How do I know when it is time to put my dog down?


    I recently had a VERY long conversation with an old friend. His aged dog was suffering and he was trying to determine if the time had come to put his buddy down. Between the two of us, we put a lot of energy into the discussion, so I wanted to document the gist of it in case I ever needed to cover the topic again.




    Before I begin however, I must stress that I am not a vet and nothing I say should be construed as medical advice. You simply must have a conversation with your vet prior to reaching any conclusion. My father has always had dogs, and for that large portion of my life that I’ve shared with him, I of course have had dogs as well. And I’ve had to face these decisions with him on multiple occasions.



    Putting a dog (or any pet for that matter) down is one of the hardest things that a person can be called on to do. It is perhaps the ultimate price that a dog owner has to pay. But, really, if you put this task in context of the love, enjoyment, and myriad other benefits that you’ve gained from a lifetime with a dog – the weight of this task isn’t much. It is one of the costs of dog ownership. You knew it when you decided to adopt the dog. Dogs have a much shorter life span than humans, so the odds were pretty well set that you would have to face this day eventually.




    I don’t know if any of that makes the decision easier, but it does point towards your obligation to make the decision – and make it wisely. This is perhaps my most important point – as the owner of the dog it is your decision to make. It is your responsibility. Your dog, your faithful companion, your best friend is counting on you to do the right thing for him. He trusts you in this as he has trusted you in all things ever since that first day when he licked your face and stole your heart



    This means that you must dispose of the myth that your dog will “tell you when it is time.” Oh how wonderful and comforting it would be if that was true. But it isn’t true. In fact the exact opposite is true. Your dog is hardwired, genetically coded to hide this information from you. In the wild, a weak dog is a dead dog. So all dogs will do their very best to hide any weakness. The very fact that you are thinking about this topic probably tells you that your dog has already failed in this effort – which in his canine mind is a life-and-death matter.




    Only your vet can tell you if your dog’s condition is a temporary, curable situation. Even if it is theoretically curable, that doesn’t mean that it is practical to do so. I heard on NPR the other day the story of a man who has spent over $20,000 on radiation treatments for his pet duck’s cancer. Not very many of us can do that. And even if we could it doesn’t necessarily mean that we should. Is curing your dog’s condition worth losing your house over? Should your kids skip meals so that the dog can have his medication? Only you can make this decision. But do keep in mind that a dog is a dog and however much a part of your family he is, you have to consider the rest of your human family in the equation.




    On a more practical question, is your dog still capable of living and enjoying a dog’s life? Can the poor creature still sit, stand, and walk on his own? No dog is happy, or even still really a dog, if he can’t get up and defecate on his own power. Sure his tail still thumps that happy greeting when he sees you, but if he can’t take care of his own business he isn’t happy



    Understand that you will second-guess yourself. That is a normal part of the grieving process. And you will grieve when your beloved companion is gone. Delaying the decision will not change that one single iota. And your grief, or your concerns about the grief that is guaranteed to be coming your way, cannot be a part of your decision process. You will grieve. The loss will hurt. You cannot change that, and you don’t really want to change that. But this decision is not about you. Yes, one more day of chasing rabbits or playing fetch or whatever would be wonderful. But wanting it, which of course you do, doesn’t make it real.




    The only factor now is what is best for your dog. If he cannot live a dog’s life – feeding himself and eliminating for himself, then it is time to go. Hold him, love him, and let him drift off to sleep one last time in your arms. Do him that last loving favor and take him to the bridge.




    If you aren’t familiar with the Rainbow Bridge myth, remember that Google is your friend. There are many sites that feature this story, here is just one of them





    http://www.petloss.com/poems/maingrp/rainbowb.htm





    The basic story is that when a pet dies, they go to a place just this side of heaven. Nearby is a rainbow bridge that leads to heaven. Your pet is restored to his full health and vigor. He romps and plays there with other pets, waiting for the day that you arrive so that the two of you can cross the bridge together and live happily ever after. I don’t know that it fits into any sort of orthodox religion, but it has been a comfort to me – and that is good enough.





    My father, wise man that he is, tells a slightly different tale, but one that has also long been a comfort to me. It is the story of an old man who finds himself walking along a country road. From out of a nearby field comes his favorite old dog, who had passed away many years ago. The dog is healthy and very pleased to see him. The two walk along the road, enjoying each other’s company – as only a man and his dog can. It is a beautiful day, and although the sun is beating down on them, the joy of walking together is overwhelming.





    They soon come to a beautiful alabaster wall that surrounds a huge complex along the side of the road. Eventually, they come upon the gates to the glorious place. There is a man sitting at a desk outside of the gate. He tells the man that these are the gates to heaven, and the man is welcome to enter. Inside there will be cool water and a comfortable place to lie in the shade. The old man is thrilled. He pets his dog and says “come on boy, let’s go.” But the official stops him. He says that while the old man is welcome in heaven, there is no place for dogs in heaven.





    The old man is really torn. Of course he wants to enter the gates of heaven, but to have to leave his dog behind is an enormous price. He decides that he’s just going to walk a while longer with his old dog. So they proceed down the road.





    Eventually they come to a rickety old wooden gate. Just inside the gate is a very old man lounging along side a well. He calls to the pair and asks if they would like to come sit in the shade and enjoy some of his cool well water. The man says “I would love to, but my dog is thirsty as well.” The well-keeper says “but of course, you’ll find not only a pitcher of cool water, but a clean bowl for your dog there as well.”





    The pair sit and cool off in the shade. The well water is the most amazing, refreshing water they have ever tasted. The man tells the well-keeper of their travels, and the dilemma posed by the gates of heaven. The well-keeper laughs and says “You have to watch out for that old trickster by the fancy gate. That’s the devil and those aren’t the gates to heaven, but the gates to hell. This here is heaven.” The man appears puzzled, but the well-keeper continues “You don’t think that I would create a creature as magnificent and loving as a dog and then ask you to abandon him in order to enter my kingdom do you? That’s just a last test for you. Any man who would abandon his dog isn’t welcome in heaven.”
    LEARN A LESSON FROM YOUR DOG, NO MATTER WHAT LIFE BRINGS YOU, KICK SOME GRASS OVER THAT AND MOVE ON.

  5. #17
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    Default Re: How do you know when to put a dog down?

    Rosalie, I'm sorry you are having to face this decision. It's such a rough one. Just remember you owe her dignity. That's how i always have seen it since i watched my mom prolong 2 of our dogs passing. It was not fair to them after all the years they were so loyal. She had let them suffer before making the decision to let them go. I will NEVER do that to my babies as they deserve respect and the dignity to pass with me by their side. Sending lots of love and prayers to you and your family as you go through this.

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    Default Re: How do you know when to put a dog down?

    Quote Originally Posted by brutus77 View Post
    You hit it right on the head. I feel if I do all the tests and stuff, it is more for us. She looks at me with her sweet eyes and I can feel that she is just tired. My husband and I are going to take a few days to really think about this and to see what happens.

    Molly's a precious girl Rosalie. I didn't question my decision at all during that week I had to wait for that day. I wanted to be sure that I had plently of time to get my cuddles and alone time with Ace and I did, we did. When he got his first shot of 3, he was laying between my legs with me on the carpet and he was all snuggled in. I literally felt his body FINALLY relax. I can't emphasize enough on what that moment was like. It was then did I really realize how much tension he'd been holding in his body. I was relieved for him. We had given Ace a great life and we owed to him to let him go.

    It's so hard though. I don't even you one bit right now. Trust your gut.
    Three Hooligans and 1 Angel - Wilson, Sally, Emma & Jack

  7. #19
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    Default Re: How do you know when to put a dog down?

    It is never an easy decision, but I think you will know when it is time. As the others hve said, I think it is close to the time for her. We put our 14 year old Beagle down earlier this year. She had her good days and her bad days, but we knew it was time, before she got down too bad and was in too much pain. So sorry for you, as it is never an easy decision to make. After I put our Beagle down I was sad, but knew I did the right thing for her.
    Have a Great Bully Day.
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    Bully hugs from - BeBe, Hazel, Lucy Lu, JLO, Hillary, Henri & Katie


  8. #20
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    Default Re: How do you know when to put a dog down?

    I am sorry you and your family are going through such a difficult time and good luck with whatever decision you decide. We had to put down our Great Dane, Beast Dog this time last year and it was difficult on the whole family. She was 13 1/2 and we knew it was time; the vet won't do any tests on her because of her age so we didn't have to think about that ordeal but she had good days and bad and would lose control of her bowels more and more each day. We made an appointment, let her eat whaever she wanted the day before the appointment and she went peacefully at the vets office. Even just walking down the hallway in the vets office she lost her bowels but she was having a good day. The only thing I can say is you will know when it is time; just be there for them and good luck.

  9. #21
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    Default Re: How do you know when to put a dog down?

    Rosalie this is such a horrible thing to deal with but I think when its time you gut knows Our pug's Tei-Arnna and Pugsley we had to have put to sleep and it was such a hard decision and we probably left it a bit long with Tei-Arnna has she was suffering and Pugsley had a stroke we tried for a couple of days in the end he couldn't do anything pee, stand, eat and it was so hard it took us 7 years to get over it before we could bring ourselves to love another pet again until we got Ftse.

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    Default Re: How do you know when to put a dog down?

    I have had to put two dogs down. It is a tough decision, because they can't tell you how they really are feeling. My vet said the best thing to me though. It is up to us, their mom or dad to do what is right. They look to us for everything. They will not show pain, because to a dog, this is a sign of weakness. You havto look at quality of life from a dog's life. How do they feel when they can't go to the bathroom where they should, needing help getting up, laying down. I know, I went through this for over Six months. Your dog does not want to let you down and by keeping him around you are letting him down. One of nine was 13 and the other 16. It was tough. One we put down in the middle of the night because we realized she was suffering. The older one, we waited for a sign of pain that did not come. My vet came to the house and put him down. I was still debating what to do right up until he came. He said we gave the dog a great life, but it was time to let him go. Hardest thing ever. Your dog deserves fir you to do what is right. Let me say that if you go to bed hoping your dog passes away in his sleep, then u know it is time.

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    Default Re: How do you know when to put a dog down?

    I have had to put two dogs down. It is a tough decision, because they can't tell you how they really are feeling. My vet said the best thing to me though. It is up to us, their mom or dad to do what is right. They look to us for everything. They will not show pain, because to a dog, this is a sign of weakness. You havto look at quality of life from a dog's life. How do they feel when they can't go to the bathroom where they should, needing help getting up, laying down. I know, I went through this for over Six months. Your dog does not want to let you down and by keeping him around you are letting him down. One of nine was 13 and the other 16. It was tough. One we put down in the middle of the night because we realized she was suffering. The older one, we waited for a sign of pain that did not come. My vet came to the house and put him down. I was still debating what to do right up until he came. He said we gave the dog a great life, but it was time to let him go. Hardest thing ever. Your dog deserves fir you to do what is right. Let me say that if you go to bed hoping your dog passes away in his sleep, then u know it is time.

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