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Jay jay I failed you my guilt


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 I just put my 17 year old pug jaylo to sleep.Im heartbroken and guilty.She had many health issues bad arthritis in her back legs and spine her heart was pressing close to her trachea making it hard to breathe .She had dementia would pace back and forth get stuck in corners and try to squeeze into spaces.She had trouble getting up and was now peeing and pooping and lying in it most of the time but she would go out to pee when I took het but her meds lasix made her pee a lot.She would cry and whine a lot  not sure if it was pain or anxiety as she was almost blind.She still ate well by hand feeding and would drink water with some help.her breathing was getting bad and the prior few nights she would have trouble sleeping I thought she might pass.She coughed most of day .Last night she actually slept well and seems a little better so I had second thoughts about putting her to sleep but didn’t.She didn’t seem happy walking crying whimpering only time she was happy was when she ate which she always loved.I have doubts if I did the right thing.I hated seeing her cry and sometimes lying down and cry.and also sitting in her urine and poop but usually I clean it up quick.She was walking ok this morning and just whined a little which makes me wonder some.i know she would go back to her not fun probably suffering life tommoroe but making the choice to let her go bothers me and feel so guilty and failed her.She was on many meds but didn’t seem to work as well.just so sad and empty.was her quality of life enough to let her go?thanks for listening 

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Given what you've described, it seems to me that ~ as hard and as painful as this was for you to do ~ you made the right decision for your beloved Jaylo. Of course as a result of your having brought her suffering to an end, you are now the one who is suffering with grief. Still, you placed Jaylo's needs above your own, and to me, that is a most selfless act of love. I hope you will find it in your heart to forgive yourself, as I am certain Jaylo has already forgiven you.

I invite you to read this article, and pay special attention to the related resources listed at the base: Pet Loss: Guilt In The Wake of The Euthanasia Decision  ❤️

See these two especially: 

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16 hours ago, Jayjay said:

I have doubts if I did the right thing.

This is a common grief response, my dog had inoperable cancer, his liver shut down, he was suffering, yes he could still walk, but his quality of life leaving more each day, I kept him alive 2 months 10 days past diagnosis, STILL I felt the same as you, I thought, "He could be here with me right now if I hadn't put him to sleep."  But at what cost to HIM?  A friend of mine let their chow die of natural causes (also cancer), he was 19, couldn't walk, was in pain, I felt that was cruel and cowardly to let the dog suffer because THEY didn't want to let him go!  I vowed never to do that.

It is the hardest thing in the world to know/decide "when."  Even with the chow, I can't judge them, I only felt for me I would not, could not, let my Arlie go through that.  A responsible pet parent puts their animals discomfort ahead of what they want.  When they die their suffering ends and ours begins.  Our one consolation is that they are at peace and no longer suffering.

I am sorry you are going through this, I know how it hurts inside...it's a year on the 16th since I lost my Arlie and I think of him every day and miss him with all my heart.  I have to live with this heartache but I know HE is okay now.  I'd give anything to have him back, his life went too fast, he was only 11 1/2 (he was a big dog), it seems yesterday I rescued him.

You gave your Jaylo a good life and love her and cared for her and that was the best she could want.

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Thank you for your help and kind words.Yes Jaylo hopefully forgives me It is just so hard to do something like this and not feel I failed her.She didn’t have a terminal illness like Arlie but she had multiple health issues which made her life not much fun or to be able to live like a dog should.Her arthritis her dementia almost blind her heart pressing near her trachea really was the part I couldn’t see she would take deep breaths with her stomach expanding sometimes I know that must have bothered her so much.Then her starting to pee and poop and whine when she couldn’t get up out it it was heartbreakin She was able to walk a little off balance and fall a lot.It would have been an easier choice if she had a cancer or terminal illness but each case is different I guess.I will try to remember the happy times and maybe lose some guilt I feel.i know she had a long good life but just hate the end of it which is fresh in my mind.Thanks to all who respond and listen to my story .Take care

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My Lucky girl (whippet/dalmatian) did not have a fatal disease either, she was 14 and her hip kept giving out, bad arthritis in her leg where she'd had a break and surgery with a spring put in as a puppy, she no longer smiled the last two years (she'd always been known for her beautiful grins!) and when she started whimpering during the night, I decided it was time.  Could she have lived another month?  Yes, likely.  But why put her through that, she didn't seem to have quality of life left anymore.  She was such a good girl, so well behaved, I felt she deserved better than suffering.

15 hours ago, Jayjay said:

I will try to remember the happy times and maybe lose some guilt I feel.i know she had a long good life

Yes, this!

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Thank you Kayc  that’s sounds like the same situation as my girl so I do feel better and take comfort I made the right choice.She wasn’t the same dog whimpered most of day not happy confused with anxiety..Yes she could have gone on a little while longer but like you said what for to be unhappy stressed and suffer.Her quality of life was very low and she was such a good girl she deserved better than to struggle just to survive each day.Thank you 

5 hours ago, kayc said:

I felt she deserved better than suffering

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1 hour ago, Jayjay said:

I felt she deserved better than suffering

Yes. Sometimes in our efforts to prolong our animals' lives we are, in reality, prolonging their dying ~ and as you say, don't our fur babies deserve better than that? ❤️

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16 hours ago, Jayjay said:

Her quality of life was very low and she was such a good girl she deserved better than to struggle just to survive each day.Thank you 

Yes.  You are actually to be commended, you're a good pet parent.  Wishes for peace and comfort.

 

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Yes I hope to find peace and past the guilt part and into the missing my girl part .I can accept missing her as I know she was old and ready to pass and the rainbow bridge is the place where we can reunite..Good hearing support here I really needed it and I’m sure will continue to feel sad but will try to remember all the years we had together.thank you both

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One thing when you lose a loved pet you had cared for so muchLife might be easier now no cleaning up her soiled bed wiping poop off her backside moping the pee on the floor given her medicine holding her back legs up a bit so she could drink water hand feed her and have her nip me by accident helping her get out of corners picking her up when she couldn’t get up getting up in middle of night to help her out of bed of just to comfort her.Maybe life is easier but it’s Not better.I. Miss caring for her and she’s gone now and I put her to sleep to stop anymore possible pain she would have to endure.But I miss caring for her I guess that’s strange because it did put stress on me but life is not better with her not here with me.jayjay I miss you.

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21 hours ago, Jayjay said:

I miss caring for her I guess that’s strange because it did put stress on me but life is not better with her not here with me.jayjay I miss you.

I can relate.  Arlie had acute chronic colitis is whole life, I had to cook for him.  He got up to 140 lbs, he was a big boy so that's 4 cups/day!  I'd get up at 4 to do it.  I actually miss it, miss caring for him, he was so worth it and so much more!  I'd give anything to have that opportunity again.  My life was greatly enriched having him in it.  Sunday will be a year, hard to believe.  It shows that life goes on even though death occurs every day, sometimes I wonder how this can be, because part of me ended with his death.

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  • 1 month later...

It just is so hard to think life goes on without your loved one.I had jaylo for over 17 years now she gone and won’t be back.So cruel it seems.More so I have guilt I choose to end her time here even though I know she wasn’t happy but still feel guilt.Could she have stayed a bit longer even with her ailments was it right decision by me.She was still eating though hand fed and drinking.she was walking okay but did fall and couldn’t get up many times.Her arthritis in her back legs was bad and she began lying in her poop and pee.Her heart pressing against her trachea making it difficult to breathe pushed me to let her go as I was afraid she would suffocate one day and almost blind getting stuck in corners with dementia setting in.But is is better to not be here.how can I ever be sure? I know I didn’t want her to suffer and she wasn’t happy as a dog I know only enjoyed eating.but to make that choice creates so much doubt and guilt.I felt this before so I know the feeling will slowly go away but to love so much and then end with such pain is just something I don’t anyone deserves to experience.Thanks for those who took time to listen and I know many here have felt similar pain.it just isn’t fair.

 

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14 hours ago, Jayjay said:

It just is so hard to think life goes on without your loved one.I had jaylo for over 17 years now she gone and won’t be back.So cruel it seems.More so I have guilt I choose to end her time here even though I know she wasn’t happy but still feel guilt.Could she have stayed a bit longer even with her ailments was it right decision by me.She was still eating though hand fed and drinking.she was walking okay but did fall and couldn’t get up many times.Her arthritis in her back legs was bad and she began lying in her poop and pee.Her heart pressing against her trachea making it difficult to breathe pushed me to let her go as I was afraid she would suffocate one day and almost blind getting stuck in corners with dementia setting in.But is is better to not be here.how can I ever be sure? I know I didn’t want her to suffer and she wasn’t happy as a dog I know only enjoyed eating.but to make that choice creates so much doubt and guilt.I felt this before so I know the feeling will slowly go away but to love so much and then end with such pain is just something I don’t anyone deserves to experience.Thanks for those who took time to listen and I know many here have felt similar pain.it just isn’t fair.

 

Unfortunately I don't think most people or animals experience a 'great death' because if we were feeling well enough we wouldn't be ready to die. A friend of my mother died while sitting with his wife watching TV. He was there one second and gone the next. I guess no pain and suffering. Maybe that's a better way to go? I don't think any less traumatic for his wife though.

But from what you describe it seems like jaylo did not have a good quality of life and I think you know that. It was the same thing with my cat Mango. I found out his cancer spread to his kidneys and probably into his central nervous system. He went from over 10 pounds at his peak to 6.5 pounds. He had no or almost no sight and by the last day and I'm not even sure he could hear me. Maybe he could have lasted weeks or even a month or two I have no clue. But I knew he was miserable and wasn't the same Mango anymore. And it wasn't going to get better. Things would never go back to 'normal. That didn't mean I wasn't devastated. When I realized it was time to put him to sleep I screamed and threw and broke a few things. I still think about him every day. I still have pangs of guilt. I still get angry at the world for taking him away.

They had a clip of Joe Biden recently at an event talking to an older woman who showed Biden a picture of her son that she had lost. And of course Biden lost his son as well. I didn't hear everything but at one point Biden said to her it never goes away. And I think what he was saying is you never forget. There will always be a sense of loss. Don't expect to 'get over it'. You'll always remember the good times you had and you'll always wish you could have them back. But it can't be the overriding thought for you every day. I know that's hard for a lot of us on this board, but I think maybe things will get better once we accept that we did everything we could (and from what I've read on this board the people are great pet owners and loved them dearly) and that living the rest of our lives does not dishonor them. Unfortunately since our pets can't talk to us they can't tell this to us like a human would, but I'm sure if they could that's what they would say.

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JayJay I really feel your pain. I'm dealing with a lot of the same feelings of guilt and wishing I had been able to see clearly, the things I see clearly now. Why is hindsight always so good? That absolutely sucks. One thing I keep trying to remind myself of, is that my girl is no longer suffering. Whatever she hid from me, whatever mistakes I might've made, she is no longer suffering now...she is at peace. She will never suffer again. The guilt that lives on in me and is raging, is evidence of how much I loved her. My mind keeps trying to think of ways I might've saved her, so that she would never die. But I know that isn't reality. She was suffering, and in the end, some of the things I regret, were done in an effort to end her suffering as soon as possible. I know Marty has an article where she says that sometimes we feel a need to punish ourselves in some way, and with time, we will feel we have punished ourselves enough. Does this pain really fade, does the guilt really fade? I would love to hear people post more about that, it would be reassuring. JayJay my heart aches for you. I get it. We, here, all get it, and we support you 100 percent. We are helping each other to grieve, and this is my greatest support!! 

I sometimes think back and wonder "how in the world did I reach the decision to let her rest?"...and then I tell myself "I saw her in obvious pain and from that moment, there was no question. She needed to rest and stop suffering"...now I tell myself that the ONLY way my mind would've EVER reached that conclusion, was because it was the right one. She was in pain, her quality of life was gone. It was time. I couldn't end her suffering fast enough. I hope that one day my heart and my MIND will finally let that settle in, and be the knowledge I live with. I hope for you, too, JayJay.

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I feel for anyone going thru this and thank you for your help and sharing your pain.thanks gms Gracie and kayc for the article I read it and it brings some comfort.Its hard to get to the point to forgive ourselves but at least there is no more suffering for our loved ones.You never really know how much pain they are in and if they really want to be here anymore but in my case she wasn’t happy and her life as a dog was gone.Yes she was walking ok sometimes eating drinking but it seemed just to survive.her tail wasn’t wagging she wasn’t doing much to live like she should.I wanted her here to hold talk to take care of but I don’t think it was fair to her.she only was happy eating and even that had to hand feed at the end.The doubt still remains however and I know it time I will remember her in happier times and maybe agree it was her time to go.i hope and pray others will also forgive themselves for ending their loved ones suffering .I know easier said than done but we all did whatever we thought was best for our loved companions.

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You did the right thing for your sweet girl, JayJay. We all did. I need to keep telling myself, her suffering is over...her suffering is over...the only story I could ever be satisfied with is if I could’ve kept her healthy and forever.  So the guilt is what I’m stuck with, as of course, that could never be. But hopefully in time I will reach that point where the sweet memories take over...wish I could fast forward.

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8 hours ago, Jayjay said:

in my case she wasn’t happy and her life as a dog was gone.

That is your answer, you did the kindest thing you could for her...you took her own suffering on upon yourself.  The day they die ours begins, in a whole new way.  But I'm glad my Arlie didn't have to suffer one more day and is at peace.  I miss him beyond belief.

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6 hours ago, Gracie4ever said:

But hopefully in time I will reach that point where the sweet memories take over...wish I could fast forward.

It's so gradual as to seem imperceptible, but getting there little by little...in two days it will be 13 months.  It's hard to believe I've "survived" without him physically in my life.  It's been one of the hardest years of my life, that's for sure!  One day at a time...

Sending you peace and comfort!

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