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Thread summary:

How to cope with guilt about putting dog to sleep, putting dog to sleep, grieving loss of dog, overcoming guilt about putting dog to sleep

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Old 02-10-2008, 09:11 PM
6 posts, read 14,091 times
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I am new here. I came looking for comfort. I had to put my good, good dog, Champ to sleep yesterday. She started coughing about a month ago. The vet diagnosed a lung tumor. She was a Golden, Chow mix. Her temprament was all Golden - sweet and loving. She was very protective of me, always staying close when strangers were near. She was 12 years old. I could have taken her to Ames IA or Kansas City for chemo, but I chose not to, because you can't explain to a dog why they feel so bad. I told the vet I wanted to make her comfortable and give her good life quality and when we couldn't do that it would be time to let her go. Fri. night she vomitted and refused to eat, Sat she had diarrhea and vomitted 2X, then wanted to go outside and lie in the snow. She wouldn't get up. I had to pick her up, before she'd walk in the house. I took her to the vet. I knew it was time. The vet said so too.
Besides missing my sweet girl something else is really bothering me. When the vet put the med. in after the saline, our eyes met and for one instant she looked so surprised. Then she was gone. I feel as though I let her down in some way. I don't know what this feeling is. I know i did the right thing. I know I couldn't let my sorrow keep me from taking care of my baby. but why did she look surprised? And how do I deal with this feeling? She was such a good dog. She was always with me. Wherever I went, she'd come and then lay at my feet. Can someone help me?
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Old 02-10-2008, 09:25 PM
Location: Texas
692 posts, read 3,587,430 times
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I had to put down one of my dogs a little over a year ago and it was the hardest thing I ever had to do. I understand why you feel this way; it's just hard to explain.

You did the best thing for her and even though she's not there in body she's there is spirit. She sounds like she was a great companion and as loyal as they come. It's always hard to do, but for her well being it was the best decision in the long run. I had to tell myself they're running free at the rainbow bridge and no longer in pain. They get to dow hat ever and eat whatever they want; it's what every dog wants. To live in a dog park the rest of their lives.

I'm so sorry for your loss.
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Old 02-10-2008, 09:39 PM
167 posts, read 238,852 times
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I'm sorry for your loss. It sounds like you have a lot of good memories of your dog. I hope that they will help to comfort you during this difficult time. You did the right thing, and because you where brave enough to do what was best for your dog, she isn't suffering any more. That kind of love is very special and can't not be erased by death. I'm very sorry for your loss....God Bless, Lisa
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Old 02-10-2008, 09:51 PM
Location: Jax
8,204 posts, read 32,236,948 times
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The vet felt sure it was the right thing to do, I think you can rest easy as well.

I think you may be feeling the weight of the responsibility. The fact that we can actually do this for another being - release them from their pain - is a blessing, but it doesn't make it any easier to process.

Try not to dwell on that last moment - it was a transformative moment and the reality of the moment might not always be pretty.

Try instead to remember the good times.
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Old 02-10-2008, 10:14 PM
Location: McKinleyville, California
6,413 posts, read 9,135,559 times
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When O'shota's time came to let her go, it was of her choice and she resolved herself to going and closed her eyes and let her self go . Ursa was another matter entirely. At 15 her heart was going to congestive heart failure, we made an appointment for the vet to come to the house to put her down. She just about covered the whole yard before we took her to the deck and her bed. He gave her an over dose of a pain killer to make her sleep and then the euthanasea drug to put her down. I believe what your dog felt was the euthanasea drug hitting like a shot of adrenalene. You did the right thing for Champ and the reason you hurt is the love you have for him.
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Old 02-10-2008, 11:43 PM
Location: Ohio
2,178 posts, read 8,084,633 times
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I've had to have a few dogs put down over the years since I have had dogs all my life and keep them from pups untill old age.
The "surprised" look you seen in your dogs eyes seems to be a normal reaction to something in the process. I have seen that in every dog I have had a vet put down. I never ask about it. It doesn't seem to be pain since I have never heard a yelp. I don't know what it is but from seeing the same reaction from different dogs I guess it is common.
You didn't let her down. Don't feel guilty. You did what was best for your friend. She isn't suffering anymore.
Do a search on this site for "Rainbow Bridge" and read the posts you find under that search. Maybe it will help you feel a little better.
I have a dog that was born in this house 13 years ago and I know that her time is running out. I hate thinking about when that time comes and I know it will be for the best to let her go but it sure is hard to do no matter how many times a person has going through it.
You have my sympathy. I know how you feel.
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Old 02-11-2008, 12:36 AM
Location: Ostend,Belgium....
8,820 posts, read 6,368,976 times
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Peaceful1, I think feelings of guilt and doubt are very normal and as the days go by that'll make room for the knowledge that you did what was right for your dog, Champ. She would have ended up having no life quality and how sad is that? I let my cat go nearly two years ago and at first I had the same type feelings, we love them and hate to see them suffer, yet hate to let them go. When they're ill and can't have a good life, what's the point?
I'm sure all of us animal lovers understand how hard it is for you, but it'll get better and you'll have all those great memories. Do you have any pictures? There's a picture thread here somewhere and I'd love to see a photo if you feel up to it.
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Old 02-11-2008, 07:46 AM
Location: Ladysmith,Wisconsin
1,587 posts, read 6,698,430 times
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Champ was looking at you and saying Goodbye I love you and surprised made the right choice as loving them it is so hard to put them down and stop their suffering. Do not feel guilt as Champ is watching down on you as a special angel and will wait til you are together again.
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Old 02-11-2008, 12:11 PM
Location: North Carolina
265 posts, read 1,155,824 times
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Peaceful1, my heart goes out to you. It's never easy to lose someone you love so much, and with dogs especially, the bond just goes so deep. You know in your heart you made the right choice, and I'm sure that Champ remains with you in spirit. Hold on to that, and the love you shared. BTW, there is a new forum for just this topic, for people whose pets have passed: Rainbow Bridge Rainbow Bridge - City-Data Forum: Relocation, Moving, Local City Discussions
You might find comfort there reading others' stories too. Sending light and healing wishes.

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Old 02-11-2008, 01:21 PM
155 posts, read 880,242 times
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Peaceful, I had my Golden put to sleep just before Christmas, She got that surprised look for just a second and then she smiled like she did so many times before when she was happy.I firmly believe it is their way of saying "thank you, I'm happy again"
I'm sorry for your loss. Joe
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