A week from Tuesday ... my dog ...

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by TerryJ2, Apr 24, 2009.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    My border collie mix, Taffy, is so arthritic she can't go up and down the stairs any more. I carried her up last night and tonight. Originally it was just her back legs. Her feet are splayed out east and west like duck's feet. But now her front legs are getting weak and she can't pull herself up any more. She's got neuropathy and narrowing of the spine, which in humans is excruciating but in dogs is mostly painless ... although when she falls, her hip twists sideways and there's no way anyone can tell me that doesn't hurt. She poops as she walks and doesn't even know it.
    She's almost totally deaf.
    My husband has Tuesdays off so we decided to make an appointment a wk from Tues. to have her put down.
    I hate this.
    She sleeps by my bed and I love petting her when the lights go out, and I fall asleep with-my hand on her back.
    As a kid I always wanted a dog, especially a collie, and especially, one that would stick to my side like glue, and look up at me adoringly. She is all of those things.
    She was a rescue. She was abused. A fear biter. Fought horribly with-my other dogs. Bit little boys -- mostly blonde haired, blue eyed--clearly her abusers at her former home (funny how you can figure these things out from behaviors). She took yrs to train, was terrified of car rides and vacuum cleaners, but ended up being an excellent, amazingly intelligent dog.

    I've put down two other dogs, and chickened out on another, who died at home, very uncomfortably. My husband will never forgive me for that one. But he rallied at the end so I cancelled the appointment. (The dog, not my husband!)
    I won't cancel this one. I'll just have stomach aches and headaches and go through with-it because it's the right thing to do.
    Help me be strong.
  2. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Oh Terry.....HUGS.

    We kept putting it off last summer with Taz to the point that at the end, he couldn't walk at all. I hate myself for that so I understand the total reluctance. In our case it was the other way around. husband wanted to keep trying one more thing until it became obvious that nothing was working and he was getting worse. The day before, husband sat on the couch with Taz's head in his lap and just petted him while the tears rolled down his cheeks. Taz was the first dog I've had to do that with as an adult. It really really hoovers but it will mean no more pain. There just comes a time when that's all you can do for them.

    If you're up for it, take lots of pictures during the next week. I did of Taz and while I know what shape he was in when I took the pictures, I'm glad I have them.

    Sending lots of HUGS.
  3. Jena

    Jena New Member


    Your having a rough time of it lately with-stuff. I"m so sorry. Getting rid of a pet is such a hard thing to do. I had to put one down one time and i thought of it just as you are, she was urinating on herself, same going to the bathroom thing and walking everything was just shutting down.

    I wanted her peaceful. I sat in there with-her and held her while she got the injection. It was the right thing to do. I love the idea of taking pics.

    my parents just put our dog down about 4 mos. ago a beautiful german shepard, he was such a good dog they had him since i was 18. he was amazing. so trustworthy. they actually had him cremated and have his ashes in an earn in their living room.

    sending you lots of hugs to you and Taffy, i know how hard it is but you are doing the right thing and you gave her a good life.

  4. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Aww, Terry, such a bad thing, but maybe a needed thing. I'm so sorry. I know leaving Rock was such a hard thing for me, especially in the hands of 5 guys, Ugh.

    Hugs to you during this.

  5. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    hugs. so sorry that you have to do this.

  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Sending very understanding hugs. It has taken us two years to get over
    the loss of our boxer. I'm sending a prayer to comfort you. DDD
  7. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    :9-07tears: I'm so sorry. I understand how difficult this is. :9-07tears:

  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am so sorry. Hugs.
  9. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    My 4 legged friend (a golden) is pushing 12 - and I know we are facing this inevitable decision soon. I know how hard this is. But, YOU ARE DOING THE RIGHT THING!! If she could - she would thank you.


    Here is a "letter" I read in a newspaper over a decade ago. It so moved me that I saved it. Here it is for you:

    Dogs Don't Have Souls, Do They?

    I remember bringing you home. You were so small and cuddly with your tiny paws and soft fur.
    You bounced around the room with eyes flashing and ears flopping. Once in a while, you'd let out a little yelp just to let me know this was your territory.
    Making a mess of the house and chewing on everything in sight became a passion, and when I scolded you, you just put your head down and looked up at me with those innocent eyes, as if to say, "I'm sorry, but I'll do it again as soon as you're not watching."
    As you got older, you protected me by looking out the window and barking at everyone who walked by. When I had a tough day at work, you would be waiting for me with your tail wagging, just to say, "Welcome home. I missed you." You never had a bad day, and I could always count on you to be there for me.
    When I sat down to read the paper and watch TV, you would hop on my lap, looking for attention. You never asked for anything more than to have me pat your head so you could go to sleep with your head over my leg.
    As you got older, you moved around more slowly. Then, one day, old age finally took its toll, and you couldn't stand on those wobbly legs anymore. I knelt down and patted you lying there, trying to make you young again. You just looked up at me as if to say that you were old and tired and that after all these years of not asking for anything, you had to ask me for one favor.
    With tears in my eyes, I drove you one last time to the vet. One last time, you were lying next to me. For some strange reason, you were able to stand up in the animal hospital; perhaps it was your sense of pride.
    As the vet led you away, you stopped for an instant, turned your head and looked at me as if to say, "Thank you for taking care of me."
    I thought, "No, thank you for taking care of me."
  10. Mayapple5

    Mayapple5 New Member

    (((HUGS))) Terry

    I know how you feel. I had to make the decision to put our cat of 13 years, down, it was like he was looking at me and saying "do something mom, I hurt so bad". No one else in the family would make the decision, they didn't want to be the 'bad guy'. I held him in the vet's office until he was gone and cried my eyes out. We then brought him home and put him in a box my dad had made and buried him in our flower garden. That all took place five years ago, and I still miss our Zoomer.

    You are doing the right thing by not letting him suffer, each day will get easier and you will have wonderful memories to hang on to.

  11. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    {{{Terry}}} We'll be there with you in spirit. You are doing the best loving thing you can.
  12. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Terry, I'm so sorry you had to make this decision. I know how hard it is. When you have pets, you run the risk of this happening, and it can be the most difficult but kindest, most loving and unselfish thing you have ever had to do.

    Five years ago (has it really been that long?) I agonized over this decision with my first Boston, Rudy. I raised her from a baby and she had been my constant companion through thirteen very difficult years, the dog that grew up with my kids. She was my baby. She survived cancer and heart disease and made it more than two years longer than her vet ever thought she would, but I could tell that she was just 'winding down' like a clock, getting weaker and weaker until I was carrying her down the steps to get outside. I hesitated because she didn't really appear to be in pain. She took the decision out of my hands one day by passing away peacefully in her sleep in her favorite chair.

    We will all be with you in spirit. Sending lots and lots of hugs, and please remember that you are not doing the easiest thing, you are doing the right thing, the loving thing, for her.
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you all. Pictures are a great idea. I would never have thought of that.
    This morning she couldn't get up and when I lifted her up, her hind legs just hung there (you know how mud wasps fly with-their legs hanging down?). After about 30 min. of working out the kinks, she was much better. She needs to warm up every day.
  14. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    My collie mix is on the same road....

    He is only 9, but already the arthritis is making it difficult to walk and do simple things like scratch himself behind the ear. He is losing his hearing and I can see the cataracts beginning to cloud his eyes....

    But, he is my snuggly-soft dog, my best companion....! I am not ready to lose him just yet, but I know that the time will come.

    Sending ((((hugs)))) your way....I feel as is we could cry on each other's shoulder!!

    It will be OK....

  15. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Terry, many hugs for you.
    I put Honeysue down a couple of weeks ago. It is because of stories like Mustang, Donna and Suz, I knew that I needed to do what was right for her and not what I wanted. I wanted her to stay forever with me. She ate like a champ that morning and went for a routine visit but she had 2 nights where it was obvious that she was oxygen deprived and anxious from it. The dr. knew I knew it was time. I hated it but I loved her more than I ever thought I could love a pet. It was the best gift I could give her.
    I figure she is turning her nose up at regular dog food and watching her new flock. It is the only way I could visualize a life without her.

    I hope the years she has given you make up for the pain the decision will give you. You have been blessed with many good years and she has been blessed with an owner who loved her and thought of her as more than an animal that gets chained in the back yard 24/7.

    Hugs to you and hugs to your puppy.
  16. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I'm so sorry about this. It's such a painful, emotional thing to go through. But when you know that their quality of life is deteriorating so fast, then you know in your heart that ending their suffering is the humane thing to do.

    It's good that your husband will be there with you. Hugs to your family!
  17. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Being the right and "kind" thing to do doesn't make it any easier on you or husband. I'm so very sorry. :crying:

    I know I'm facing this in the future with my Molly girl. Oddly enough, she aging faster than Rowdy who is a year older. Molly is the epitome of the perfect dog. I don't know what I'll ever do without her, regardless of the fact that there is still the other 2.

    When the time comes for Molly I hope I can be brave enough to follow it thru and be there with her when she passes.

    I'm so sorry.

  18. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you Daisy, Fran, Gcv and DaisyL.

    Lisa, I like to be there with-my dogs because I want them to see me and smell me and feel secure. Taffy is very nervous at the vet's ofc and it would be 10X better if the vet could come to our house. But this one won't. So I want to hug her and hold her and be there for her, no matter how hard it is for me.
    Our old vet was very discreet and walked into the rm with-the needle behind his back.
    The last one was a young woman who walked into the rm wielding the needle like a weapon and I was afraid she was aiming for my arm. Gave me a bit of a start.
    This will be yet another vet, and I hope he does a good job. I prefer the one who's my age (50-ish) and unfortunately, he's not in that day, so we'll have the younger guy, 20-30-ish. I hate to sound prejudiced, but there's just something about people who have been in practice a while who do this better.

    I have to work on not thinking about it.
  19. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Oh Terry - I am so sorry. My heart is with you.
  20. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    Terry I'm so sorry this is one of the hardest things to go thru as a pet owner. Our vet sent a sympathy card after Molly had to be put down that said "when a beloved pet must leave us it is to sit on God's lap"; it's been more then 2 years and Angel still has that card with Molly's little Christmas stocking in her box of treasures. Angel and I were both in the room and everyone even Molly knew it was time (19yo with a broken hip). When there is no longer quality of life this truly is the most humane choice. May peace be with you and your family in your time of sorrow.