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paula__

I put my dog down yesterday and I feel so guilty and confused

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Hi everyone, I had to decide to put my so loved dog to sleep yesterday. She was a part of me, I grew up with her and now that I'm 20 I was always by her side, taking care of her. She was the sweetest. Lately she started getting worse, she was 14 years old, and I try to think I did the best decision. Her last moments were actually nice, I held her in my arms and she fell asleep on me and I'm so glad I was with her. The moment the vet asked me what I wanted to do my head was all foggy, I said yes to communal cremation and now when I think back I'm all worried and confused about it. I can't stop picturing her little body, and I wonder where she will be now, how the procedure of cremation will be. I fear people not being careful with her body even if it sounds irrational... I'm sorry for the description but I picture her being thrown in a pile of other dead dogs and it breaks me... I guess it isn't like that but I can't find any info on how the process works, and my mind tricks me. She was just so fragile and I keep seeing that final moment in my head, leaving the room when she was gone and thinking I left her there, and she's not coming back. And her little body was left there, separated from me... I don't know what to think, I'm sorry if I got too sensitive but any advice would be appreciated. Thank you, I'm sending love to all of you

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3 hours ago, paula__ said:

I keep seeing that final moment in my head, leaving the room when she was gone and thinking I left her there, and she's not coming back. And her little body was left there, separated from me...

I'm so sorry for your loss, Paula. I hope you will come to realize that when you left your dog's body in that room, you were not leaving behind all the love you shared with her. As you say, she was a part of you, and the love you shared will live forever in your heart and in your memories of her. I am reminded of an article I wrote in response to a mom who was at a loss in explaining this concept to her six-year-old whose dog had died. In that piece I share a story that I hope you will find meaningful too:

A mother was trying to explain to her young son Ben what had happened to his beloved dog Raisin after she died. As he was getting ready for bed one night, the boy asked his mother, “Where is Raisin now?” When she explained to him that his dog had died, the boy asked again, “But where is Raisin now?” Suddenly aware of how helpless she felt to explain, the mother answered, “Raisin is in Heaven.”

With this little Ben seemed satisfied, and he quietly went to bed. Next day, when Ben went out in the backyard to visit Raisin’s grave, he saw the grave site covered with flowers. He looked up at his mother and asked, “Is this Heaven?”

Again Ben’s mother was at a loss to explain the difference between Raisin’s being in Heaven and visiting Raisin’s grave. That night, as she tucked her son in bed, she took a chocolate candy bar from her pocket, carefully removed the wrapper, broke off a chunk and handed it to her son.

“Let’s talk about Raisin,” she said. “Tell me what good memories you have of Raisin.” The boy’s eyes brightened as he told how he’d gone exploring by the river with Raisin, took her to bed with him every night, and played fetch and chase games with her in the backyard. As he shared each happy memory, he munched contentedly on the rest of the candy bar.

When he’d finished with the good memories of Raisin and the candy bar, his mother pulled him close and hugged him.

“Honey,” she said, “your dog Raisin is a lot like this candy bar. You know the good, delicious, wonderful and enjoyable part of Raisin that you remember? That’s the part of Raisin that’s in Heaven.”

Then she held up the empty candy bar wrapper.

“This is the part of Raisin that’s buried in the ground — just Raisin’s wrapper.” Just then a beautiful, peaceful look came over the little boy’s face as he realized what his mother was saying.

This simple story teaches us that the enjoyable part of those we love is never forgotten. We lose only the physical part of the relationship, not the emotional and spiritual parts. What seemed like a puzzle for a boy and his mother just hours before had become a clear picture of the new relationship that’s possible when someone we love has died. Such is the power of story.

[Source: Using Story to Explain Pet Loss to Children]
 

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5 hours ago, MartyT said:

I'm so sorry for your loss, Paula. I hope you will come to realize that when you left your dog's body in that room, you were not leaving behind all the love you shared with her. As you say, she was a part of you, and the love you shared will live forever in your heart and in your memories of her. I am reminded of an article I wrote in response to a mom who was at a loss in explaining this concept to her six-year-old whose dog had died. In that piece I share a story that I hope you will find meaningful too:

A mother was trying to explain to her young son Ben what had happened to his beloved dog Raisin after she died. As he was getting ready for bed one night, the boy asked his mother, “Where is Raisin now?” When she explained to him that his dog had died, the boy asked again, “But where is Raisin now?” Suddenly aware of how helpless she felt to explain, the mother answered, “Raisin is in Heaven.”

With this little Ben seemed satisfied, and he quietly went to bed. Next day, when Ben went out in the backyard to visit Raisin’s grave, he saw the grave site covered with flowers. He looked up at his mother and asked, “Is this Heaven?”

Again Ben’s mother was at a loss to explain the difference between Raisin’s being in Heaven and visiting Raisin’s grave. That night, as she tucked her son in bed, she took a chocolate candy bar from her pocket, carefully removed the wrapper, broke off a chunk and handed it to her son.

“Let’s talk about Raisin,” she said. “Tell me what good memories you have of Raisin.” The boy’s eyes brightened as he told how he’d gone exploring by the river with Raisin, took her to bed with him every night, and played fetch and chase games with her in the backyard. As he shared each happy memory, he munched contentedly on the rest of the candy bar.

When he’d finished with the good memories of Raisin and the candy bar, his mother pulled him close and hugged him.

“Honey,” she said, “your dog Raisin is a lot like this candy bar. You know the good, delicious, wonderful and enjoyable part of Raisin that you remember? That’s the part of Raisin that’s in Heaven.”

Then she held up the empty candy bar wrapper.

“This is the part of Raisin that’s buried in the ground — just Raisin’s wrapper.” Just then a beautiful, peaceful look came over the little boy’s face as he realized what his mother was saying.

This simple story teaches us that the enjoyable part of those we love is never forgotten. We lose only the physical part of the relationship, not the emotional and spiritual parts. What seemed like a puzzle for a boy and his mother just hours before had become a clear picture of the new relationship that’s possible when someone we love has died. Such is the power of story.

[Source: Using Story to Explain Pet Loss to Children]
 

First of all, thank you for the quick reply, it helped me to think in a different way. That's such a sweet story, I should focus on feeling that the emotional and spiritual parts as you say are forever in me... I wish her little spirit is at peace now. 

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We love their bodies, even when deceased and want to honor them, but remember, your dog's spirit, the being that is him, is not part of his body anymore.  We think of them in it because their whole life they inhabited it, and we've come to correlate them with it.  But your sweet doggy is in heaven and I totally look forward to the day I can be with mine again.

I am so sorry for your loss.  I got my first dog when I was five and lost him when I was 20, but I never got to say goodbye because my parents didn't tell me they were having him euthanized...he was fine except just old age.  I'm glad you got to be with yours when he passed, I'm sure that made it all the more peaceful.

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3 hours ago, kayc said:

We love their bodies, even when deceased and want to honor them, but remember, your dog's spirit, the being that is him, is not part of his body anymore.  We think of them in it because their whole life they inhabited it, and we've come to correlate them with it.  But your sweet doggy is in heaven and I totally look forward to the day I can be with mine again.

I am so sorry for your loss.  I got my first dog when I was five and lost him when I was 20, but I never got to say goodbye because my parents didn't tell me they were having him euthanized...he was fine except just old age.  I'm glad you got to be with yours when he passed, I'm sure that made it all the more peaceful.

I'm sorry about that, having the chance to say goodbye is really important... I wish you got to feel better over the years and keep him in your heart always. Thank you for the kind words and the reminder, they mean so much right now. I'm grateful that I found this forum, it's such a nice place for comfort.

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This feels like a support group, we're really there for each other through everything.  And now you're part of us!

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Paula you have just described the exactly same feelings as I had on the day my boy left this world.Did someone just come in the vets and throw his body in the back of a van?Why didn’t I stay to make sure he was handled with respect?Could I have requested watching the cremation just to be sure it’s him?Is it just him in the urn?So many questions and guilty feelings I have but I have now accepted I cannot go back in time and what’s done is done.I can only pray he was handled with respect but i do agree with everything Kayc has said regarding our dogs spirts and that makes it for me personally a little easier to put all my guilty feelings away in a little part of my brain but having said that they will always be there until I take my last breath on this earth.Sending you love.

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20 hours ago, Coco Forever said:

Did someone just come in the vets and throw his body in the back of a van?

We requested his body go with us so we could bury him...I had planned to do cremation but my son had concerns so he helped me bury him instead, I'm glad I have him here one way or another.  They were very careful with his body...I wish they'd been just as careful when they gave him the shots...their scale was off so they under-anesthetized him and his fatal shot was excruciating to him, I will never get over that.  I'd wanted him to go gently.  :(

 

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No but that’s what I now have on my mind as I left him when he’d passed.I don’t no the process regarding when a pet dies at the vets but it fills me with horror every night I go bed how was his body treated when I’d left him.I can only pray the people who collect our dead pets ready for cremation treat them with respect.

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4 hours ago, kayc said:

We requested his body go with us so we could bury him...I had planned to do cremation but my son had concerns so he helped me bury him instead, I'm glad I have him here one way or another.  They were very careful with his body...I wish they'd been just as careful when they gave him the shots...their scale was off so they under-anesthetized him and his fatal shot was excruciating to him, I will never get over that.  I'd wanted him to go gently.  :(

 

My heart truly bleeds for your terrible experience but at least that is the only comfort I have is that my boy went peacefully with me holding him until his last breath.

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I would rather they had treated him with more care when he was still alive and could feel it, but I hear you, We love them, dead or alive, body or spirit.  They are our beloved.

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It seems as though the last month since he passed on has emotionally  played havoc with my body and mind as I’m now starting to blame his death on myself and my partner as we used to let him lick our dinner plates and hands after we had eaten and looking back there would have been salt on these and he mainly died of heart disease so are we to blame for his death?I accept we’ll never know but maybe just maybe he’d still be with us if we had not done these unhealthy habits to him.

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IDK, I've always let my dogs lick my plate and none of them had heart problems but I don't add salt and didn't give them fat/grease.  Try not to beat yourself up for the unknowns you don't know.  (((hugs)))

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On 5/23/2020 at 10:09 PM, Coco Forever said:

No but that’s what I now have on my mind as I left him when he’d passed.I don’t no the process regarding when a pet dies at the vets but it fills me with horror every night I go bed how was his body treated when I’d left him.I can only pray the people who collect our dead pets ready for cremation treat them with respect.

I understand you, that's what I tried to describe, thinking about how I left her there and feeling guilty that I didn't have the option to bury her and that getting her ashes was too expensive for me, it breaks me not having a place to go and talk to her, feel that she is there.

I've been thinking of creating some special place for her where I can go and honor her or keep her memory... I don't know I miss her so so much and I keep having dreams that she's alive and that I want to keep her no matter what, and they feel so real. I wish we can get to feel this peace with their absence, feeling a connection with their spirits because it's still them

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On 5/24/2020 at 5:27 PM, Coco Forever said:

It seems as though the last month since he passed on has emotionally  played havoc with my body and mind as I’m now starting to blame his death on myself and my partner as we used to let him lick our dinner plates and hands after we had eaten and looking back there would have been salt on these and he mainly died of heart disease so are we to blame for his death?I accept we’ll never know but maybe just maybe he’d still be with us if we had not done these unhealthy habits to him.

I know it's so hard but it's important to avoid those feelings... You would have done anything for him and I guess you knew he enjoyed doing that, having those habits, so it wasn't something bad when you did it. I mean focusing on the good things and good moments with him are the best you can do, I'm sending you love

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 @paula__  I hope you do create that spot.  Remember, as their spirit is energy and doesn't die, we have hope of being with them again or even them being here possibly with us, it brings me comfort to think that.  But the spot to go to, that is for us, and I think that's important, whether you do a rock garden or plant a rosebush or order a memorial stone...I got mine here and you can google promo codes for it and possibly get free shipping, I've dealt with them several times, they're great and inexpensive.
https://www.personalcreations.com/product/pawprints-in-heaven-memorial-marker-30192930?q=30192930&start=&spell=&srchSuggestion=y&trackingpgroup=pid

 

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Yes I’m going to order a memorial stone in a couple of days and have been thinking of a water fountain but for pet sympathy items the Etsy app is brilliant as I must have spent quite a bit of money on there in the last month but the sellers are based both in the USA and over here in the UK.

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18 hours ago, kayc said:

 @paula__  I hope you do create that spot.  Remember, as their spirit is energy and doesn't die, we have hope of being with them again or even them being here possibly with us, it brings me comfort to think that.  But the spot to go to, that is for us, and I think that's important, whether you do a rock garden or plant a rosebush or order a memorial stone...I got mine here and you can google promo codes for it and possibly get free shipping, I've dealt with them several times, they're great and inexpensive.
https://www.personalcreations.com/product/pawprints-in-heaven-memorial-marker-30192930?q=30192930&start=&spell=&srchSuggestion=y&trackingpgroup=pid

 

Thank you, I'll check it out! Sending you a hug

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