Dogs/When to Let Him Go?
We have a year and a half old lab/pit bull/shepherd mix who is a magnificent dog. He is our little boy and gentle as a lamb, smart, part of the family, even protected me once from serious harm at his own risk. We owe this dog everything, even though he has been alive less than 2 years.
After a couple months of health troubles the pathology report came back. Stage V Lymphoma. The lumps are even in his eyes. He can see but they stick out and it looks like raw meat. He rubs them against walls and anything he can find because they itch? I don't know, but the blood goes all over. So unfair for a dog his age. Our vet go several opinions so there really is no doubt here. we have giving him the best medical care and spared no expense (but chemo is out, we have seen how it destroys people, plus it is too late for it to do much good).
His body is covered in lumps and his breathing is very labored on and off from the tumors in his organs/lungs, at times its fine, others he sort of pants with his mouth shut. He trots not runs and cannot jump up on the bed any more. Mostly he lays around the house rubbing his eyes and doing nothing where he used to follow me around, play, chase squirrels, etc. We have already signed the papers and paid the vet so when the time comes we can just go in and say goodbye.
Here is the problem. he is definitely my husband's dog. When he sees him its like al his energy gathers together and he looks happy, follows him around in the yard, even tried to chase lizards like he used to. For a while, until he gets tired, you would barely know he was sick except for how horrible his eyes look.
We also have a new puppy. She loves him and before he got real sick they played but now he just snaps in her direction to get her away, he is not up to play. I spend my time trying to balance making our dog's end of life as special as possible and not ignoring the puppy because she will be here when our dog (Sirius) is gone and I want to raise her properly. This is also quite stressful on both me and my husband, not only watching him suffer but not knowing when the right time is to put him down.
So that is my question. When do you know? It doesn't look like this cancer is painful and the vet said it will be more his breathing than real pain. He is not happy but he is not terribly unhappy either, from what we can tell but who really knows, its a guessing game unless he could talk. We do not want him to suffer but we do not want to let him go too early either, and do not want to be selfish by letting him go now just because it is hard on us. (I cry all the time and my husband is a wreck).
So is there some kind of secret formula or something so we know when to put him down? I do not trust my or my husband's judgement fully right now only because we are so wrapped up emotionally, yet asking friends is hard because they do not love him like we do.
Do you have any advice on this?
Please answer as soon as you can, thank you so much.
It looks like my reply was not sent. Please forgive me.I am having some trouble with my internet. I know how much you need to talk to someone about this and i am really glad you picked me. This will be my 3rd try and i sure hope it gets to you.
First i know exactly how you feel. I had to put down our 15 year old rhodesian ridgeback a few years ago and it was the biggest decision i ever had to make. part of me wanted him to stay alive with me but i knew it was not fair to him. I had to do what was right for him. We live in a 2nd floor condo and one day he could not go down the steps,his rear end was way low and i knew he was in pain but i still did not wanna make that call. I talked with my wife and kids and we all cried with him next to us as we talked about his future.
The vet checked him over and said it was time,not in a lot of pain yet but he is hurting. My wife would not go back with me i had to do this alone. As the dr put the needle in his paw i cried out "I am sorry Skipper i am sorry" and then his body went back to normal, no longer in any pain. We buried him in the woods near my ifes grandmothers house. We still take flowers.
I am sorry that i am typing out a book here but your question brought back a lot of memories...most of them are good.
You really have to think about what is best for your dog. Is he able to eat and drink and go up and down stairs. Does he look like he is in pain ? Do you ever hear him whine when he lays down or gets up ? I think that we know when the time is right and believe me he wants you to do what is best for him and of course so do you.
If you feel his quality of life is good then it might not be time. If you step outside and look in does this dog look like he is hurting too much ? There is a place called the rainbow bridge. this is where we will meet our pets when we go to heaven. We will be on 1 side of the bridge and our dog will stop playing and look over and see you and come running so fast,so happy to see you. He is healthy and so happy to see you. I'm not trying to stand on the church soap box but i do believe someday i will see Skipper there.
If you think you already have the answer then you should follow through...good or bad do what is best for him. Before we took Skipper i cooked him a steak we all had some alone time with him. If you go to critters.com and look for skipper (the 1 with the pics) We took the outside pics just before we took him to the vet. Just be there for your dog,that is all he wants. Do what you feel is right. I really hope i helped you and again i apologize about my stories about our Skipper but it did feel good to talk about him so THANK YOU for reading.
We just got another rescue dog a few months ago,thats his pic on my profile,His name is Buddy. He is a great dog and it feels good having a dog again.
This poem helped me make my decision. Please send me a quick note and let me know what your plans are. Forgive for the lateness of my reply. I try to reply in under 4 hours .
Will You be There for Me?
I remember the day when we first me,
The day you chose me as your pet.
You have fed and cleaned and cared for me.
I have been a better friend than any human could be.
You have given me rides in the car and walks in the grass,
New chew toys and puppy class.
You have shared your dinner and shared your bed.
You have given me baths and put bows on my head.
I have watched over our family and guarded our yard.
It was my pleasure so it was not very hard.
I have been making you smile for many years.
I have kissed your face and tasted your tears.
Have you noticed lately how I have aged with grace?
I am getting clouds in my eyes and gray in my face.
It is harder to hear you and harder to see.
And sometimes I cannot make it outside to pee.
We both realized someday we would part.
But my memory can always stay young in your heart.
I have been the best friend I could possibly be,
So in the end will you be there for me?
I want you to choose when my passing is due,
And be there for me as I was for you.
Stroke my ears and tell me how good I have been,
And how we will see each other someday again.
I know how sad this day will be,
But, thank you my friend
For being there for me.
-by Carol Rayne