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Right or wrong, I made the choice


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I feel guilt.  She was 14, so I had a wonderful 14 years with her.  We knew she was slowing down.  1/12/2020 my grandma called me that she found Li’i out in the rain.  It looks like she tried to come to the door where my grandma feeds her (her concoction of dog food and some sort of chicken gravy soup bc as my grandma said she was getting old so the softer food was easier to eat) every morning but this morning she didn’t make it.  She couldn’t move her hind legs.  Her eyes seemed to focus then not.  My husband and I rushed home. She nipped at us when we tried to move her lower bottom.  So we know she was in pain.  Her eyes sometimes wouldn’t follow us.  Everyone said goodbye, just in case, but I still wasn’t accepting that was an outcome.  We placed her on the backseat of the truck and I sat on the ground holding her and telling her what a good girl she is and how much we love her.  When we got to the vet they took her from us, then came back out to say she was critical, pale, low blood pressure, low temperature, and in pain.  It could be her back, Cancer, or a uterus infection.  They said based on her age that means she’s about 95 in human years.  If she needed surgery she wouldn’t survive.  The humane thing to do was to euthanize.  We agreed.  If the professional thought that was a good idea then we agree.  N yes we would be by her side.  I took the stupid muzzle off her.  N we just pet and hugged her.  She was having hard laboring breaths and my husband and I looked at each other and cried.  We were being selfish keeping her in pain and saying our goodbyes.  We didn’t spend as much time as we should’ve with her (after reading posts I realize many people have these feelings) and keeping her there for our faults was wrong.  We called them in.  They gave her the anesthetic then immediately the overdose.  (I read that there’s a doctor that does the anesthesia allows you to say goodbye then does the overdose.  I wish we could’ve had that option.) I looked Into her eyes the whole time while petting her, my husband held her, and I repeatedly told her she was thee BEST dog.

Afterwards I had regrets.  Did I put her down too soon.  Did I not understand the options? Was there really nothing else to do? But it was too late.  Too late. I know she was an older dog but she was trying to lift her head.  Was that her way of letting me know she wasn’t ready to go? That she had some fight in her to live? The doctor had said she was shocky and in and out which might have been when she would lift her head.  I’m just now hoping it wasn’t her fighting to live or saying she wanted to.  If I could’ve given her 3 more months to be her same self in no pain, I would have, even for the $10,000.  But to just extend her pain for my selfish reasons I couldn’t justify.  And at the time I was distraught.  I hope I made the right choice but my dog nor God was able to tell me.  So I am here.  She is not.  And I replay what happened and what I didn’t do with her the hours before she passed and I’m riddled with guilt and sadness. 

My loving Li’i girl.  I miss her every minute.  We will soon get the call that her ashes are ready to be picked up.  My husband says it will be like bringing her home.  It won’t be.  It isn’t her.  It can’t replace her.  Even so, it’s what remains of her, and we will keep her.  Forever with us.  Until it’s time for us to say goodbye to this Earth.  I know my crying will eventually stop.  Even if the reason is because I just have no more tears to shed.  But my heart tightens every time I have to open my door to my room and walk out knowing she’s not around the corner waiting for a treat, affection, or just simply and quietly walking by my side.  I hear people say she’s waiting in heaven and I hope that’s partially true.  I don’t want her waiting for me.  I want her happy and running around.  When it is my time, I do hope she will be there to greet me and I can apologize for being human. 380C811B-14B0-4435-9E2D-75D777EFD707.jpeg.10c45e1acd5dc8416b6520a638964824.jpeg

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My dear, I hope that reading through so many of the threads you'll find in this forum will help you come to terms with the momentous decision you had to make. I don't see how any true animal lover can make the euthanasia decision without feeling the guilt and regret that you so accurately describe. After all, this is a life and death decision, and once made, there is no going back. If you do some reading here, you'll find links to several helpful articles about this. See, for example, Guilt in The Wake of the Euthanasia Decision ~ and be sure to follow some of the links listed at the base.

 

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19 hours ago, Nixie1984 said:

she was trying to lift her head.  Was that her way of letting me know she wasn’t ready to go?

I rather think she was telling you how much she loved and appreciated you.  Dogs have a way of knowing when their time is come.  My dog had cancer, I provided palliative care for him at home.  He lived two months ten days beyond diagnosis.  He really went downhill the last 1 1/2 months. Two days before he died, he wanted to make the trek down to his best friend's house, and he went through the motions of trying to play with him, but really was too weak.  On the way home, he had to stop and rest a few times and we took it slow.  I understood this is something he wanted to do, NEEDED to do.  He knew his time had come.

You didn't have much time to process this, and I'm very sorry for that.  Sudden death is hard.  But then so is lingering death.  No loss is easy.

19 hours ago, Nixie1984 said:

Did I put her down too soon.

All of us seem to second guess ourselves.  It was the hardest decision I've had to make in my life to set the date for Arlie's euthanasia.  The vet goofed up and didn't give him enough sedative so the shot to stop his heart hurt him tremendously.  I will never forget that image of him crying out horribly in pain...then dying.  Their scale was off, eight pounds, I just found out when my friend got on it and weighed less than she did at her doctor and elsewhere.  My heart dog,  he will never be out of my thoughts and my heart.  I love and miss him so much...five months ago today.

I see Marty just posted an article for you I'd planned to share.  Here's a couple more for you:

http://media.wix.com/ugd/0dd4a5_e934e7f92d104d31bcb334d6c6d63974.pdf
https://www.griefhealingblog.com/2014/04/pet-loss-guilt-in-wake-of-euthanasia.html

I am so sorry for your loss.  What a beautiful smile!

And the waiting around in heaven?  I imagine they ARE enjoying themselves while they wait for us to join them.  Something like this:

 

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Sometimes it can take a while for us to process our grief and thus think clearly...in the beginning it's our feelings dominating.  I know I went through all the what ifs with Arlie, I just did not want to let him go!  It took me a while to see that I did the right and kinder thing and that the timing really was right for him.  Bottom line, I didn't want him to suffer any more than he already had.  Yes, I could have let him live one more day, but at his expense.  I did the right thing.  You'll see that for yourself too, once you've had time to work through it.  (((hugs)))

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  • 6 months later...

Hi all, 

My Shih Tzu , Cupid, was 15 year old , who passed away 3 days ago. He was my first dog, he was so gentle and obedient . I really loved him and treated him like my son.
For the last 1 to 2 years, I noticed that he had been slowing down. He used to like going for a walk, but now only did it for his potty. Then he started having cramps , sometimes from his sleep or sometimes he just flopped down to the floor. It happened like once every 2 months. For the first time it happened , I had asked our vet what happened to him, the vet just said to monitor further , if it gets more often then bring him in. He never told me it’s was probably seizure, even though I had describe my dog’s symptoms. So as days gone by, Cupid had very little such attacks. Maybe once every 2 months and every time, he recovered very quickly , like within a min while I was soothing and stroking him. And then he would become normal and cheerful as always. So all these times, I was only thinking Cupid was getting older  and sometimes having a bit of cramps. It never occurred to me again to bring him for more check up.

Then, last Sunday night, he had this seizure again. And this time, it won’t stop. I knew he was suffering . I immediately sent him to a 24 hr vet clinic. After the diagnosis, I learned that it was seizure, for the first time. The vet gave Cupid medicine and the seizure stopped . But he had to be hospitalised for 24 hr for observation. 
The next day , the vet said Cupid has no more seizure and can return home to rest and observed. But he was very weak and could not stand. He even do not want to eat nor drink. The vet told me I need to use syringes to feed him food and meds if he still do not want to eat by his own.  Until this point, it never crossed my mind that Cupid could be dying. 
Next morning , I was cleaning his urine and Diarrhea, Cupid was awake. Eyes brighter than before , looking at me while I was cleaning him. I thought  he was  feeling better. I could not bear to leave him for work even though I have a helper at home. But work is work, I cannot cancel the work meeting. 
I told myself I will finish the meeting and then took a half day off and come home to stay with him. As I was on my way home, my family phoned me that he had passed, about 1 hr ago before I can reach him.

i do not know how to describe my feeling when I heard that. When I reached home and saw his dying body, something inside me died too. I cannot believe this 36 hours, since he had seizure and then now passed away. It happened so fast. 
I keep blaming myself for not staying and keeping him company for his last moments . At least I could hug and soothe him to make him feel less lonely or scare. At least I could say I love him for the last time. Now I even started blaming myself for not spending more times with him. 
I cried so much this few days, I cannot stop crying , whenever I think of him, my tears will start rolling down. 
 

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