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      04-24-2018, 06:32 AM   #1
Peasley
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Dealing with grief due to loss of family pet

I don't know why I feel the need to do this but I just do.

On sunday night my wife and I had to make the hardest decision of our lives and put to sleep our beloved dog Dave. He was a 6 year old Dachshund who over the past year had been suffering with back problems. It all started 10 months ago when he suddenly had no movement in his back end. We took him straight to the vet where he was scanned. It turned out one of his discs had exploded causing pressure on his spinal cord. He was shortly operated on by a spinal specialist and the phone call that followed suggested we keep our fingers crossed that he would recover and gain feeling back. We resisted the temptation to visit him because we knew that would be harder for him when we had to leave. Luckily one of our friends is a nurse in the vet so she would keep us updated on his progress.

He spent the following two weeks recovering in the vet. When we picked him up we were so so happy to have him back. Once home we then cage rested him for a further few weeks and were delighted that he was showing signs of improvement. We did all we could to keep him comfortable and happy.

Fast forward a few weeks and he was running around again. He wasn't the same as he used to be but he was free, happy and mobile as a dog should be.

Unfortunately a few months later we were devastated to see him paralysed again in his back end. We had been so careful to stop him jumping on and off furniture and had put a gate up to stop him going up the stairs. Another scan confirmed that another disc had exploded. The vet was happy that he had built up sufficient muscle and was confident he could be fixed again. We had to give him another chance and a second operation took place. He was cage rested for another few weeks but I would pick him up and take him outside to go to the toilet. In the evenings I would lie on the floor with him in the living room to give him fuss and company.

Up until last week his progress seemed ok. He was able to walk about, albeit a bit wobbly but he seemed happy which was all we wanted.

On Saturday his mobility deteriorated again and he was clearly in discomfort. We took him straight to the vet who assessed him. It looked like yet another disc had exploded. The spinal specialist was away until Monday so we decided to take him home on pain relief and spent the weekend fussing him. On Sunday night he started squealing in his bed and I knew this was not fair. We took him straight in and we were advised that the kindest thing would be to let him go. Deep down we knew.

Since Sunday evening my wife and I have been completely devastated. We find ourselves sitting in silence just talking about him and consoling each other. We find ourselves with an overwhelming feeling of guilt that we should have done more to help him even though we knew that putting him through it all a third time in such a short timeframe would have been for selfish reasons. Given the pattern of events it was likely that even if a third operation had been successful that it would have been only a matter of time fore his spine gave out again.

Is it normal for us to feel so guilty? Have we done the right thing? We loved our little man with all our hearts and feel so devastated that he is no longer here. The world seems a different place and the house seems to empty and quiet even though we have two other dogs.

I think I needed to write this down to help process what has happened. My wife and I are very sensitive people who don't deal with things all that well. It all just seems so unfair, he didn't deserve this.

Rest in peace my little man. We loved you more than you could ever imagine. You were my best friend and brought so much happiness to our lives, as I hope we did yours.








Last edited by Peasley; 04-24-2018 at 06:51 AM..
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      04-24-2018, 06:51 AM   #2
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I love my dog, and all of those that we had before him. They bring such joy to your life but they bring such grief when the time comes to do them the greatest kindness. The very worst days of my life were when we had to put them down.

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      04-24-2018, 07:12 AM   #3
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I am very sorry to hear about Dave. It sounds like the last several months have been very difficult. It also sounds like you did everything you could possibly do to help him but the situation was not going to improve. Our dogs rely on us to make decisions for them that are in their best interest, including the final one. It is so difficult to deal with these situations even when it is clearly the right decision for them because it is in our nature to help those we love and keep them with us, even when that is not possible. But ultimately you and your wife made the right decision for Dave and placed his needs above your's, which is such a difficult thing to do.

The pain is real. I wish I had a way to tell you how to make it go away. You and your wife need to spend some time grieving in your own way and over time your thoughts of Dave should slowly gravitate towards all those good years and less on the final months / final decision. It is difficult and I am sorry you need to go through it.
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      04-24-2018, 07:17 AM   #4
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The hardest part of having pets is having to let them go, and the guilt you feel afterwards.

I lost my beloved King Charles spaniel 18 months ago, and still feel the pain today, it never goes away, but is replaced by the happy memories we shared together, and carry a photo with me everywhere I go.

Respect for your love of your dogs.
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      04-24-2018, 07:31 AM   #5
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Thank you for the kind words everyone. It was all so sad because he was so young and wasn't 'ill' so to speak. We were maybe living in denial that he was happy but he just couldn't do what he once was able to. He watched while the other dogs ran around playing and we had to stop him joining in in case he hurt himself. Life just isn't fair. I know time is the healer of these things but hearing from other dog owners/lovers helps.

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      04-24-2018, 08:23 AM   #6
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My family and I went through this twice in the past year, the latest being last Thursday. Your grief and thoughts are normal from what we all have experienced. It hurts, it sucks, so much “I/we should of...”, “what if I/we did...”, “why didn’t I/we...”, and so on. Both of ours were all of the sudden and unexpected. We are now animalless for the first time in 13 years, and not sure where to go from here.
RIP Cosmo, my road dog.
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      04-24-2018, 08:26 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DominicBro View Post
LOL

[-IMG]http://gshort.click/buluhidung/81/g.png[-/IMG]
Wow, nice move, spambot. Hey you may be click-stealing, but at least you are also being a total douche about it too. I mean WTF? Back to the AI drawing board on this one, bot coders.

Sorry, everyone, for the unfortunate and rude interruption from the auto-spammers. And sorry for your loss, OP.
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      04-24-2018, 09:00 AM   #8
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So sorry to hear. My 15yo Beagle is on his way out and it is so hard to watch. He had a great life, but the thought of letting him go is tough. He is getting worse and my wife and I know that he is going to have to be put down soon, we are just hoping he goes in his sleep on his own time.
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      04-24-2018, 09:05 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by twin fed View Post
So sorry to hear. My 15yo Beagle is on his way out and it is so hard to watch. He had a great life, but the thought of letting him go is tough. He is getting worse and my wife and I know that he is going to have to be put down soon, we are just hoping he goes in his sleep on his own time.
I think we all wish for that, I've had many dogs in my life and only one died suddenly. As they get old and sick I often have hoped they just wouldn't wake up one morning to save me the pain of having to decide when they should go....
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      04-24-2018, 09:08 AM   #10
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I read somewhere that only 25% of dogs pass on their own without our intervention. I’m not sure if that’s true, but in my lifetime, out of seven, zero have went on their own and many lived into mid-teens, other than my Danes.
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      04-24-2018, 09:14 AM   #11
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December 2016 my little Stella girl a beautiful piebald dachshund at 13 passed on in my arms. December 2017 we had no choice but to end Mimi's suffering from congestive hart failure, a beautiful long hair dachshund only 10 years old.
I still feel their presence in my home. When I come home and look up the stairs I still look for them to greet me. The loss is devastating to my wife and I. I have a full life, retired but still working, five grand children less than 10 Minutes away, seriously very lucky but that pain of their loss is palpable. My deepest regards to you and your family.
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      04-24-2018, 09:16 AM   #12
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I am almost in tears reading your story.

For sure, you have done absolutely 100% the *right* thing.
No matter how painful it was, and is for you, it was the kindest and best outcome.

Stay guilt free. You gave Dave more life than nature intended and lots of love in that extra time too.

It does hurt. Best thing is to remember the happy times and the funny times.

All the best. It gets easier over time.

Yours Aye

Mark H
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      04-24-2018, 09:26 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Violator View Post
My family and I went through this twice in the past year, the latest being last Thursday. Your grief and thoughts are normal from what we all have experienced. It hurts, it sucks, so much “I/we should of...”, “what if I/we did...”, “why didn’t I/we...”, and so on. Both of ours were all of the sudden and unexpected. We are now animalless for the first time in 13 years, and not sure where to go from here.
RIP Cosmo, my road dog.
That's terrible I am so sorry for your losses. When the time comes for our other two I don't think I could put myself through this again
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      04-24-2018, 09:40 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Rampant View Post
I am almost in tears reading your story.

For sure, you have done absolutely 100% the *right* thing.
No matter how painful it was, and is for you, it was the kindest and best outcome.

Stay guilt free. You gave Dave more life than nature intended and lots of love in that extra time too.

It does hurt. Best thing is to remember the happy times and the funny times.

All the best. It gets easier over time.

Yours Aye

Mark H
Thank you, your words really help. There were many happy and funny memories and over time I hope those come to the forefront of our minds and take the place of the recent tragic events.

Dave was my dog before I met my wife and on one of the first times of bringing Dave round to her house we looked down the stairs to see Dave pooing in her shoe on the door mat whilst staring at her. For a dog so small he had such huge character and personality. The house just doesn't feel the same without him
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      04-24-2018, 10:30 AM   #15
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Sorry for your loss, OP. You have done everything, it seems. As hard as it is to let them go, having them suffer is no life for them either.

My Daisy (or the "rat dog", as I affectionately call her these days) is going on 14 years.
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      04-24-2018, 10:32 AM   #16
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very sorry to hear about your dog.
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      04-24-2018, 11:08 AM   #17
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So sorry to hear.
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      04-24-2018, 11:20 AM   #18
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Man i can only imagine how hard it must be for you and your wife to go through this.
You both unfortunately have to feel the pain and go through the natural healing process and I am sure it will get better with time.
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      04-24-2018, 11:37 AM   #19
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I am sorry for your family's loss. It's never easy.
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      04-24-2018, 12:14 PM   #20
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Sorry for your loss. My pup is 12 years old and has started having trouble completely controlling his bladder so he is on the downhill. At least he still acts like a puppy and has no pain yet... that is always tough seeing them suffer.
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      04-24-2018, 12:14 PM   #21
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I'm sorry about your loss my friend. It is normal to have guilt but remember all the good times you had with Dave. You did everything you could for him and he knows it. You made his life a wonderful life. Time will heal all.
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      04-24-2018, 12:46 PM   #22
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So sorry for your loss. It sounds like you did everything you could for Dave. At that point you need to consider his quality of life and what his life would be like in that disabled situation. You did the right thing, as hard as it is to make that call.
I had to go through it back in October for my 15 year old bichon Cori. We knew it was the time but it still was so hard to go through. Just remember the good memories and laugh about them with your wife. It gets easier with time.
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