It’s a Jungle in Here

Living with animals

Putting your dog down November 9, 2007

Filed under: Grief and death,pets,Uncategorized — Irish chick @ 6:05 pm
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Well, the time finally came. My golden retriever, who had cancer in both her lungs and her kidney, started finding it very difficult to breathe. It was too much of an effort to even eat after she had just stood up. We decided that night that in the morning it would be time to put her down. It was the saddest decision of my life. All night we were just petting her, crying, and reminissing of all the times we’ve had together.  Her eyes were wide and lost. We knew she understood, though.  That night two of us slept with her in the living room, bursting into sobs every couple of minutes. We stayed up fairly late and when I woke up in the morning a time had been set to put her down at ten thirty. I went upstairs to cut some stuff out of magazines, clean my room, get ready, anything to pass the time and forget. Yet then the time was changed to 9:40.

I went downstairs when the floor was empty to talk to my dog alone. We all were just talking to her now-you’d be surprised how much you really want to say to your dog.  I told her how she’d feel all better in heaven.There would be so many hot dogs and all of them would want to meet her. She could go swimming all the time, anywhere she wanted. She wouldn’t have to eat diet food any more. And then, it was time to go.

The car ride was horrible. All I could do was lean over into the back of the car and stroke my dog and she huffed from being carried into the car. Everyone was crying including me. The ride seemed to take forever yet then seemed so short as the car pulled into the veterinary parking lot. Two people came out to greet us, avoiding our red puffy eyes. One of them was an awkward pale skinned teenager, probably not much older than I. They muttered how sorry they were-the girl was much more sincere. The boy didn’t really know what to do and I felt sorry for him. He does not want to see this family mourning over their soon to be dead dog. Carefully they rolled her onto a stretcher and brought her into a back room. They told us not to worry, they were just getting the IV in her, she would be fine when she came back into the room. Then it began.

Everyone was very quiet around the room we were in. I wish they were louder-they could hear us all crying. The same girl came in to give us some paperwork, get the credit card for payment, and hand us a very large box of very soft tissues. I laughed through my tears because of the tissues and also because of the fact that we’re paying to have our dog killed off. But maybe that’s just me. Then a kind woman came in and gave us a blanket that was set upon the floor. Then, slowly, the door opened and my dog was lifted through, huffing again. She was laid down upon the blanket and for a moment she sat up and looked normal again. She always loved the smells of the vets office. Yet this tired her and she lay down again, huffing rapidly. They gave us a good 15 minutes or so alone with our dog. We talked to her and pet her, lying with her on the floor. Time went quickly, every five minutes was a second. And then came the needles.

 The vet explained what was going to happen. She was first going to sedate our dog so she couldn’t feel anything. Then she would give her an anesthetic. Finally, the drug that killed her. She said it would go by quickly, which made me feel like crying again. Time was going so quickly already. She moved the box of tissues towars us and stuck the sedation in the IV in our dogs leg. I pet her soft fur, vowing to remember everything about it. I took in her body and her eyes, her soft ears. Then her body began to go limp. I gave myself a small laugh, she looked comical for a moment as she brought up her head. She was probably confused. Then she rested her head on her paw. Then came the bad part. Her eyes started to roll up. Then came the second part. I’ll always remember this. Her head just slipped off her paw, all control gone, and hit the floor. I cried again. It was like she was dead although she was still breathing. And then came the killing shot and she was gone. Her body limp, her heart stopped, we all just hugged her, crying. As I type a tear trickles down my face. The woman left and we all just cried and cried. and then it was only me, the one who never cries, just sobbing and sobbiing. Taking in her lifeless body. And then we left and I know I’m never going to see her body in full form again. Only in ashes.


17 Responses to “Putting your dog down”

  1. I am so sorry to hear about your pup! We had a golden die of cancer (at the age of 5) a couple of years ago. I can still hear my oldest crying as his Dad pulled the car away with our pup that we would no longer see. Our beloved pets are such a gift to a family!! I pray you will have some peace over this very difficult time!
    Debbie aka The Real World Martha

  2. miraclepooch Says:

    My heartfelt condolences for your loss.
    May you find some peace and strength in the difficult days ahead knowing the pain you feel comes from having loved and cared for your pooch so well.
    The love you shared never dies.

  3. curiositykilleddacat Says:

    Oh I feel so bad I feel like crying…I agree, the love you shared never dies

  4. Kelly Says:

    Hi , im glad i found ur story im hoping its not too late for u to respond to this… My dog is about 17 years old… I am 16 i took my first steps holding on to her back…shes my baby…
    recently she began to act strange, wanting to stay outside ALL night in mid winter, barking at nothing, making the same paterns over and over again …
    my mother informed me we would have to put her down… Ofcourse ive been sobing every day ever since has i am now from reading ur post…
    i wanna know.. do u think u would have regretted not going in with her while they did it ? … i live half an hour away from the vets … the drive will b extremlly hard… but i dont want her to die alone , i wanna be by her side… shes my baby i wan her to know i didnt wanna hurt her… i dont know if i should go in with her i need advise… please.

  5. Kelly Says:

    incase u cant see my email its … please respond… thank u

  6. Nicki Says:

    I have a 16 year old mixed breed that I’ve had since son was a little boy. Someone beat him and dumped him when he was a puppy and I’ve had him ever since. He has known nothing but love for the last 16 years. Nolan Ryan can barely walk, barely see, barely eats, has a hard time going to potty, has a hard time getting up off the floor, and has a hard time walking on our tile floors. I keep him in my room which is carpeted on a soft mat. I know in my heart that it is time to let him go and I am having a hard time with that. If you had to do it over again would you stay in the room?

  7. Irish chick Says:

    Dear Nikki,

  8. Irish chick Says:

    Dear Nikki,
    I am so sorry for your dog being sick and I know how hard it is to make the decision to put your dog down. Yet, it is better for your sake and for your precious pooch. I definietely think you should stay in the room while it is being done. It’s very quick and, although it’s sad, you will always wonder what it was like for your dog if you didn’t stay in the room. You would feel guilty for not being there for them when they could have had their last moments with you. I think you’ll regret it if you don’t stay. Don’t remember your last moments with your dog, remember all the times you shared with them.
    Irish chick:)

  9. Curt Says:

    We just put our doggie to sleep this afternoon. I was never very much of a dog person until my wife and son got this dog. She was not pretty to me, but she was to them. But, over the last 11 years her personality and all those other things that make you love your dog, came through. Putting this dog to sleep was maybe the hardest thing I’ve ever done. (She was a English Pointer). Though I could hardly control myself I wouldn’t have left her and my son there alone. My wife couldn’t stand to be there, and so I am one way and she is the other. We both have our own way to deal with it, neither is right nor wrong. I now have a much greater appreciation for what others have gone through and it will make me a more compassionate person. I don’t think I’ll ever get over our dog Sandy, but we will live forever with the good memories she has brought us. My deepest sympathy to all who go through your loss. May God comfort you and give you peace.

  10. mare Says:

    I just put my 12 year old precious “found at the pound” down 3 days ago. That is why I found this website – I am searching for others who have done this, so I can have some kind of solace. I am in awful pain emotionally, but better it be me than my dog. He was dying, I could see it – not eating, having more and more difficulty walking, throwing up… I was hoping God would take him in his sleep, but it didn’t happen that way. If I had waited, I was afraid the suffering would get worse, or that there might be an emergency situation that would have caused greater pain and fear and suffering for him, so I went to the vet and asked her if we could do it outside. I didn’t want my dog to be in that room – I felt better, and I know my dog felt better, outside. I held him and then, sat down right in the parking lot under a blue sky with him on my lap and that’s where the vet gave him the shot through a catheter in his leg. I am having tremendous trouble dealing with this – I see his face, his eyes looking at me – he did look scared in his last moment and I can’t bear to think of that but it’s haunting me. I think he knew what was happening, and I kept telling him that I’d never leave him – and I never will. I will keep open to his spirit forever and ever.
    If there is anything you ever do in your life to help your dog – don’t let him or her die without you. You being there will bring comfort. It will be difficult, but more difficult, I think, if you don’t – for both of you.

  11. Wendy Says:

    I had to have my dog put to sleep 6 days ago and it was the hardest and most terrible decision I have ever had to make. Reading other stories is the first thing that has helped me in a small way to deal a bit better with this, and at least to know that there other people who know the pain and grief I feel.
    I held him on my arms and felt the life go from him. He loved and trusted me implicitly and I still feel so deep down that I have betrayed him.
    I have had him for 9 wonderful years. He recently had a cancerous tumour removed, but his separation anxiety increased and could not be without me. I had downsized to an apartment to prepare for my retirement, and put money away each week. Because I could not go to work, shopping,or socialise without him, I was paying extensively for dog care. I had him on homeopathic remedies, and even tried first Prozac and then valium. He still would not stop barking or howling when left. I started getting the threatening complaints from neighbours, one after the other.
    As a last resort and at huge expense I sent him to a dog training boarding kennel for 10 days. They said the problem was that I spoilt him but there was every possibility that new tumours had started. He came back seemingly happy to be left…. but I was told he had to be an outside dog only. I followed all instructions and started to go out, leaving him outside with the lights and TV on, for only short periods, and was not aware that he still barked and cried, as no one told me.

    However on Easter Sunday night, feeling confident, I actually went out for the evening to a friends birthday dinner. When I arrived home at 11.30 pm I could hear him howling and barking so loud that his cries echoed in the whole neighbourhood , and he sounded in such pain… I had never heard anything like it.

    When I got to my apartment the threat letters were under my door, but also I a note from the local police to ring them urgently. I did and found that the neighbours had called the police. Two police cars with 6 policemen had arrived and broke into my apartment , thinking that I had collapsed.

    I knew then that the situation was irreparable. I tried to rehome him, but because of his cancer I was told no- one would take on the grief and expense. I was told by vet that euthanasia was the kindest and most painless option. He was suffering, both physically and emotionally.

    I am overwhelmed with grief and guilt… I can not put into words how much I miss him.

  12. Bob Says:

    We put our 10 1/2-year old dachshund, Zoe, down Friday (March 28). It was the hardest thing for me because she was my dog.

    Zoe suddenly went blind a year ago and then developed Cushings disease. On top of that, she had heart and thyroid problems.

    Over the past three days, she had stopped eating and drinking and could not take the 10 prescription drugs she had, and was constantly vomiting.

    Zoe was the light of my life, but I saw the light go out of her eyes when she could no longer respond to me and struggled to walk. I didn’t want to let her go, but I couldn’t stand to see her in that condition.

    The odd thing was that she was boarded for a few days at our university veterinary college clinic, which had been caring for her all her life, while my wife and I were on a long weekend trip. When we picked her up last Tuesday night, she seemed normal. She wagged her tailed, licked us all over, came home, drank water and went outside and did her business.

    But then, she just went straight downhill the next day.

    She was MY dog, in that she bonded to me from the day we got her in August 1997. I’ve wondered if she waited until my return from our trip before her collapse. There was no doubt that it was time to put her down.

    Zoe was a brave little dachshund that overcame a serious back surgery at age 5, and endured blindness the past year.

    The terrible thing is that six months ago, we had to put down our 16-year-old dachshund, Max. I cried my eyes out both times. It’s a terrible experience to hold your beloved dogs and watch the life go out of them.

    I only buried Zoe yesterday; she was a great dog in so many many ways (too many to describe here). I am totally devastated that she is gone. My heart is broken and I am writing this with tears in my eyes. But still, I know I did right by her.

  13. demi rae Says:

    I just wanted to say that this made me feel alot better, we found out that my Labrador peewee has cancer in his liver spleen and kidneys, we just found out lastnight.I’m 15 and I’ve never had to go through this type of thing. Were going to put him down tonight at 6:00 I searched google on these types of stories, and this one made me feel so much better. I hope you are okay, I just need to be positive. I’ll miss him but I have to stay strong and know that these kinds of things happen all the time and there is no way of getting around it.
    Thanks again


  14. Today is wed. the 18th of Feb. It is 1:30pm. Our wonderful loving dog Sam is going to leave us at 5:30 today. Our hearts are broken beyond belief. He has been our loving companion for 10 yrs. May God bless his sole.

  15. Aaron Says:

    My 12 yr old weimaraner, Floyd, likely has neoplasia. he just spent a week in the hospital and now i’m happy to have him home. But i know that i must let him go soon. My vet is ready with just a phone call and she will come to us. He has been home for three days w/out much improvement. I just can’t bring myself to make the call bec he is my best friend and a huge part of who i am. Also, out of nowhere he’ll just start playing with his stuffed animal and my mind goes back and forth. My heart is broken!

  16. Ramona Says:

    It was hard to do but, my dog Rosie went peacefully. Reading your story reaffirmed that it was right. They put on a metal table (I put a small blanket down) and they shaved her front leg to expose a blood vessel and gave her the injection and she was gone. No tremor, no incontinence, just stopped breathing and she laid her head in my left arm as I leaned over to hold her. It was sad but peaceful and I cried. But I know she is in heaven running in the grass and drinking water from a pure spring and she is seeing her first owner (I adopted her for her last 2 years) I will see her again in Heaven with Jesus!

  17. snowborbercp Says:

    You poor, poor thing. I

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