Making tough decisions for furry friends

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Elsi, Dec 29, 2018.

  1. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    5139337E-4987-4A65-BCE4-C12A4A3F1A22.jpeg Our sweet, 16-year-old husky, Lady D, has gotten very tired and frail, and R and I are struggling to decide when the timing is right to let her go. She is a remarkable dog. She had spinal surgery 8 years ago after a child jumped on her and broke her back, and relearned to walk after being paralyzed from mid back down. Two years ago walking for any distance became too much of a struggle and we got her a set of wheels. She’s been wheeling around with great enthusiasm ever since. She’s the smartest dog I’ve ever met, and has a huge vocabulary of words and names she responds to and a few she tries to say herself. (This is a husky trait - if you look up huskies talking on you tube you’ll see what I mean.). If you tell her ‘I love you’ she says it back!

    But she’s having a harder time now, and I think she’s in substantial pain. She never complains, so it’s hard to know for sure. But she doesn’t want to get in her wheels anymore - I think it hurts when we lift up her hind end to get her into them. She can’t seem to get comfortable and sometimes needs help moving from a sitting position to a lying position. (She doesn’t sit like a normal dog - when she sits her back legs stick strait out towards her front, more like a little kid than a dog.) she’s restless and agitated a lot of the time, dragging herself around in circles. She’s worn diapers in the house since her surgery to be on the safe side, but now we’ve given up even pretending she’s able to hold anything to go outside. And she doesn’t talk anymore.

    It’s time. I know it’s time. The last two weeks we’ve seen a huge change in her responsiveness and mobility. But she’s still eating (a lot - she’s hungry all the time but still losing weight). And just when you think the decision is made she’ll seem to rally and have a good day. When she’s alert and responsive and smiling it feels like murder to have her put down.

    She was R’s before we were together, so the final decision belongs to her. I’m trying to just stay supportive and strong. But my heart is breaking, too. She’s been part of my life since just before her surgery. She fully accepted me into her pack from the moment she met me. Since I work from home, She’s always there with me in my office while I work.

    Oh, Lady D...

    :cry:
     
  2. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    We just put our cat down and it was a terrible thing to have to do. We had not planned to put her down when we took her to the vet. We have great vets, very caring. Our vet took all kinds of tests on our cat and it turned out that she was barely alive and probably in pain. She had had renal disease but until then had been doing well.

    Taking our beloved cat to the vet and allowing all the tests told us what we had to do.

    We called our daughtter. She got off of work to come. It had been her cat before she went away to school.

    It was so sad but all four of us were with her. We had her cremated and she is back home with us now.

    I think going to your vet and having the vet there for help and comfort and advice is good. Wr were there for two hours with her and the vet explained everything going on in her body. He even showed us the x rays. Then I asked what he would do if this were his cat.

    He is such a kind man. Very warm and caring. It helped.

    Please give yourself time to make an informed loving devision for your baby. I hope you have kind, understanding, empathic vets.

    God bless your baby and you and R.
     
  3. ahhjeez

    ahhjeez Active Member

    What a beautiful girl she is. I just wanted to send you ♥ as I know what a tough decision it is. It sounds like you know, but it's so incredibly hard. Not too long ago I had to say goodbye to my 22 and 23 year old cats within 6 months of each other. I'm so sorry. ♥
     
  4. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    I too just want to send you love and good thoughts. Our dog died under bad circumstances. She was this age. In retrospect, I wish I had done things very differently. It sounds like the time might be truly approaching. It’s so very hard. My heart goes out to you.
     
  5. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Oh Elsi. I am sorry. You only just said goodbye to your Stella Luna. I am so so sorry.

    I am with you. We are their voices, they entrust their lives to us. And they are our hearts. How to know?

    I think a time comes and when it does it reveals itself. It is not to decide. It is to accept what the heart tells us. Our hearts which have become one with theirs, know.

    PS She is so beautiful. Her spirit travels far.
     
  6. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Thank you all. We talked to our lovely vet and he is going to come tomorrow for a house call to help her over the rainbow bridge. He agrees that it is time, and this is the kindest thing we can do for her. I’m glad we won’t have to take her out in the damp cold to his office. There is no way to transport her without pain. I know it’s the best thing but it’s never easy. :cry:
     
  7. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    Please know are thoughts and prayers are with you.
     
  8. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I think its great to do it at home. Very kind. We would have if we had known it was our cat's time.
     
  9. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    What a kindness and blessing.

    I have only very recently begun to think a certain way. On the other thread about order in the house lil spoke of her beloved parents, and her deep sadness at how few people remembered these beloved and very special parents.

    I thought about that because I feel the weight of how I carry the memory of my mother and grandparents. And scarcely nobody else does. These vital and tremendously important people, I alone know.

    Very painful this. And as painful the reality that my life in its particulars will dim, as do I.

    So. What I came to is that my life's mission is to burn brightly the flame of those gone before. That I light and renew the past as does lady d and each of us. If we choose well.

    And that the past is not an end. It is a circle. That gives me peace. We each of us has a part and a mission. My job like lady D's is to do my job as well as I am able. And wow. Did she do her job in this life well!!

    Yeah. Lady d.

    I wanted to write to lil on that other thread, this: that her parents burn so brightly in her and through her, was so much. How proud she does them.
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2018
  10. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Copa, that’s beautiful. Thank you. Lady D did indeed do her job well these 16 years!
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  11. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    Thinking of you. (((hugs)))
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  12. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Thank you Nomad.

    It turned out to be very peaceful and even a bit beautiful. We spent the morning lying on the floor with her, petting and brushing her. The vet was wonderful. We let Lady D have some treats she hasn’t been allowed to have for a while because of her digestive problems - a can of salmon and a peanut butter bone. He slipped the sedative into her hip while she was on her bed licking her bone and she fell asleep peacefully within minutes with her bone between her paws. Then he left us alone to hold her and cry while she was sleeping before coming back to do the final injection. She never had a moment of fear and didn’t feel a thing.

    Our hearts are still broken but at deaths go I don’t think we could have asked for better. It was the right time, and the last gift we were able to give her.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 3
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
    • List
  13. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Dear Elsi

    What you describe is like she went to heaven on earth with her salmon and bone and love and attention and transitioned from there to celestial heaven. A straight shot.

    I am sorry.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 2
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  14. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    Dear Elsi, I am so sorry for your loss. Our pets should live as long as we do. I am so glad that your vet came to the house. he is a very special person. Lady D was very lucky to have you. I know you were lucky to have her too.
    As you can tell from my avatar I love my babies...oh um..kitties.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • List
  15. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am so sorry for your loss. The loss of a furbaby is one of the most painful, in my opinion. You and she were blessed to have each other for so many years and through such trials and tests and love.
     
  16. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    So sorry for your loss but you did the most humane thing in the most humane way.

    I honestly like animals more than I like most people.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  17. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    I'm so sorry for your loss Elsi! These beautiful little creatures leave such a big hole in your heart when they have to move on. May you find comfort in knowing she is running freely without pain now.
     
  18. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    So sorry for your loss, Elsi. You wrote a beautiful tribute and ensured that her final moments were full of love and enjoyment. We should all be so lucky. May her memory always be a blessing to you and yours.