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Handling the impending death of a beloved pet
April 4, 2007
12:39 pm
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realitygirl
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My beloved dog Rex is 14+. He is a german shepherd and the best dog ever. I know he isn't in any pain, but my heart is breaking waiting for him to just go to sleep. Taking him to the vet is just too stressful for him, and I love him so much. So depressed, didn't go to school today, can hardly move. Any suggestions on how to get through this? I have had my parents die in the last year too, seems like all I do is cry.

Thanks

April 4, 2007
12:44 pm
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Rasputin
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Hi hon...Oh how much I understand that. I am a great pet lover. My kitty is the 1st pet I've ever adopted. She will turn 6 on the 8th of June and I love her so much...I even pray for her protection and esp when she gets sick. All I can do is offer you soothing words and prayers to you and your sweet dog Rex by keeping you both in my daily prayers.

Keep us posted about you & Rex. My heart goes out to you sweetie!!!

(((Realityg + Rex)))

April 4, 2007
1:04 pm
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Shaney
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Oh realitygirl - my heart is just breaking right along with yours. I've been through this several times with my pets, and there is no magical solution or remedy to this situation. I've seen every one of my pets to the very end, and all you can do (which I have no doubt that you are already doing) is make them as comfortable as possible and talk to them.

I've always taken my pet in to the vet at the end. There was even a time that the vet came out to my jeep in the parking lot, where my dog was comfortably in the back lying down. I know that there are vets that will even come to your home. Just things to think about.

I'm so so sorry and will be thinking of you and Rex today. My dog is 14 now, and I've had her the longest of any pet I've ever had - she's the best. I know that the day she begins to fail, I will need to be committed to some institution for SURE - so I do understand.

April 4, 2007
1:40 pm
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atalose
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I am so sorry you are going through this. You say your dog is 14+ and not in pain but is it in need of frequent vet visits?

Do you have many pictures of your beloved pet around your house? I know it's sad but those younger wonderful memories will help you through this. Someone suggested that to a friend of mine who was losing her beloved dog after having him 12 years. It did help her to see and remember all the aspects of his life and how in the end he just rested in peace and not in pain and she was thankful to have been able to have had him in her life.

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

April 4, 2007
1:42 pm
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southgoingzax
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hi realitygirl,

it's really hard, I know.....I've had to put two pets to sleep in the last five years - it's really really hard. The last one, the vet came to my house so that my kitty didn't have to be stressed out in her final moments. She was able to be in her bed, on my bed, getting petted when she died. I'm very grateful for that, that her last moments were filled with love and hopefully, peace.

As long as your dear dog isn't in any pain, try not to worry about it - I started making a photo album of my cat before she died, and I think that helped, because I could document in a very real way everything that she meant to me. Doing something proactive like that might help to get yourself prepared. Or you can donate money in Rex's name to your local humane society. Just try to start doing something that will help you get closure when he finally does pass on.

I know it will be very hard, but you will get through it.

April 4, 2007
2:02 pm
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Helena_Handbasket
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Reality...
I know what you're going through. Back in 1992 my beloved Keesha had to be put down, I couldn't/didn't wait for her to go to sleep because she was in pain. She had a spleenic tumour and had lived beyond her life expectancy with it. I'd had her since she was 5.5 weeks old, and she lived to be 14.

I can remember being at the Vets office one day and he had The Dog's Prayer on the wall. I read it, then sat down and copied it out. I went home, and continued to read it for a couple of weeks, then knew what I had to do.

I held her while she went to sleep and it was the hardest, yet kindest thing I could do for her, and the bravest thing I've ever done.

I know you're hurting, especially after the losses you've already suffered through this year, but just know that when Rex does go (whether you take him in, or he just goes to sleep), he'll be in a much better place.

Right now, all you can do is love him and make him comfortable. Maybe soon you'll come to another decision, but you'll also need to do what's right for him.

H

April 6, 2007
8:15 am
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realitygirl
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Thank you for all the advise. He is still holding on, just drinking water, no food.

Last night we were eating dinner and I heard something, Rex got out of his bed and tried to come to us, but he couldn't, broke my heart.

I would love to read the dogs prayer. gonna try to find it on line.

Thanks again everyone!

Reality

April 6, 2007
8:35 am
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bevdee
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A DOG'S PRAYER

Treat me kindly, my beloved master, for no heart in all the world is more grateful for kindness than the loving heart of me.

Do not break my spirit with a stick, for though I should lick your hand between the blows, your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me the things you would have me do.

Speak to me often, for your voice is the world's sweetest music, as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail when your footstep falls upon my waiting ear.

When it is cold and wet, please take me inside, for I am now a domesticated animal, no longer used to bitter elements, and I ask no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth... though had you no home, I would rather follow you through ice and snow than rest upon the softest pillow in the warmest home in all the land, for you are my god and I am your devoted worshiper.

Keep my pan filled with fresh water, for although I should not reproach you were it dry, I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst. Feed me clean food, that I may stay well, to romp and play and do your bidding, to walk by your side, and stand ready, willing and able to protect you with my life, should your life be in danger.

And, beloved master, should the Great Master see fit to deprive me of my health or sight, do not turn me away from you. Rather hold me gently in your arms as skilled hands grant me the merciful boon of eternal rest... and I will leave you knowing with the last breath I drew, my fate was ever safest in your hands.

by Beth Harris

April 6, 2007
1:46 pm
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Rasputin
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Thanks Bev for your kindness!!!

I am wondering, could we apply this cute prayer for our feline/cat friends as well???

April 6, 2007
3:04 pm
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Anonymous
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(((((RG)))))

April 6, 2007
3:05 pm
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Anonymous
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(((((RG and REX)))))

April 6, 2007
7:31 pm
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chelonia mydas
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(((((RealityGirl))))),

What you are going though is so tough. I have been through it many times myself and haven't found a way to make it any easier. In addition to the wonderful suggestions already poster, here are a few other things that help me through things like this...

http://www.griefhealing.com

Some areas have pet loss support groups. I facilitated one in Montana when I lived there. Regardless of where you live, it helps to surround yourself with other pet lovers who understand that Rex is a furkid and not just a dog. I know that when a pet dies, for me the grief is the same as if I lost a child, because to me they are my children.

I have done picture collages, memory books, stories, poems and wakes for my furkids when they are close to dying or have already passed. I also have written a letter to the shelter that I adopted the pet from, sharing all the memories we had together and thanking them for such a precious gift- along with a donation in that pet's name. (for those that didn't come from a shelter, I still have done it for the humane society in the city I found the pet)

When I know a pets time is near, I give them everything I know they like and let them do whatever they want (I had a dog who loved to eat tacos- so when he had to be euthanized I let him do what he wanted including having his fill of tacos)

Sending you warm hugs and a shoulder to cry on.

Chelonia

April 6, 2007
7:33 pm
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chelonia mydas
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Here is a poem we used to read at every petloss meeting

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

April 6, 2007
8:32 pm
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gracenotes
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(((Realitygirl)))

Oh, I lost my kittie late last year. I wrote a lot about that here. We just have to go through the grieving and make some peace after awhile. Our pets just do not live as long as we do, so, if we are animal lovers, this will happen more than once. Already has for me.

It has helped me to think that our pets have had a long and healthy life with us, they lived a good life, and we were honored to take care of them. I believe that kittie is always with me in spirit, that we will meet again, and she is having a grand old time wherever she is. Maybe she was in pain, and now she is free of pain. When kittie disappeared, and I found out she died, I put up a lot of pictures of her in my home and talked to the pictures, telling her what an awesome kittie she has been, that she is missed, but I am sure she is happy, and we will meet again. I still sometimes feel she is with me, especially when I back from a trip in the evening to the mountains. I talk to her and assure her she is loved, and your dog does love you as well.

Peace.

April 6, 2007
10:53 pm
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((((Realitygirl))))

April 8, 2007
4:04 pm
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thedogsmom
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(((realitygirl)))

I'm sorry for the grief you are going through. I know the pain all too well. Animals are so vulnerable and so loyal--I really have a weak spot for them. It is not an easy thing.

When my older dog got cushings-disease and began getting very ill- I was a crying wreck. We both (dogs and me) were stressed out each and every time we went to the veterinarian. He would shiver and shake and pant and was very nervous about it. This made it more difficult for me to decide when the vet trips were necessary. It was difficult because my dog didn't complain much--even when I knew he was in pain. Sometimes my fear of his death and anxiety that he was suffering would make me WANT for him to just DIE so I wouldn't have to make that choice-- and then I would feel so GUILTY-- (the only think I am really good at 😉

I gave that dog a lot of love. I also was human and sometimes ignored or yelled or neglected his walks. But I know in my heart he had a good home and LOTS of love with me. I know I did the BEST I could with him. SO one day I just took him to the veterinarian and they euthanized him and it was in my arms and it was so peaceful. I consoled myself my reminding myself that HE truly was loved and that he was no longer in pain and suffering. I still miss him- but know I made a difference in this pound-dogs life.
Please try to remember the same about your dog. I found help on petloss.com.
great place to go.

hugs to you.
TDM

April 9, 2007
10:46 am
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sole
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This is my first time on the site.
I feel your pain.
I just woke to my pet lying on our living room floor on Good Friday, deceased. He was our German Sheppard - Dobe cross of 10 years. I've been crying the last four days
I've had other pet deaths however they were all put down by the vet.
I know your pet has fears and you may have the choice of having your pet put down at home with you, in it's familiar surrounding if this is a comfortable thing for the both of you. It is very peaceful. I wish you strength in what ever you choose.

April 9, 2007
10:55 am
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Shaney
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realitygirl - how are things going? Just thinking of you and Rex :o)

April 9, 2007
11:39 am
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thedogsmom
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Hugs to you (((((realitygirl)))) and to you ((((sole)))- I'm sorry for the loss of your friend. It is so difficult. Some people don't seem to be able to understand how much it hurts to lose a pet- and I just feel a bit sorry for those people because I feel they also were never rewarded loving a pet. Pets are so much a part of the family and the loss hurt me as much as losing any human. It is the loss of a life and a loved one. The change of routine.
It is sad. But it is life. And the best thing is to try--and I said try- (because it is much easier said than done) but to try to focus on the good life you had with your pet. Keep bringing the focus back on that. You have to keep living, going to school and the daily things life calls for.
It is sad and when we are sad natural to cry. But keep trying to focus your thoughts on the good times to capture a few moments of peace and joy for sharing your life with your pet.
TDM

April 9, 2007
1:33 pm
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Rasputin
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Still keeping you in my prayers (((RG & Rex))).

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