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A friend called sobbing tonight and all but begged me to accompany her to her vet's office tomorrow afternoon to be present when her pet cat of 17 years is put down. I am happy to do this for her but I am not real sure how I might react/respond to this. I know I will be ok before and during and even after but when I drop my friend off at home....not so sure. This woman has been been through some tough times....and is fragile. I feel sad for her loss. I know this will be very tough for her...and maybe for me. She said she would understand if I said no but I also know no one in her life can do this better than I can.

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Oh Mary. My heart aches for both of you. I pray that the veterinarian involved in this case is a compassionate and sensitive one. I know this will be very difficult for you, for so many reasons. I also know that your friend made the perfect choice in asking you to accompany her on this sacred mission. You both will be in my thoughts tomorrow afternoon . . .

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Mary, I want you to be my friend. You are so compassionate and caring. I will be thinking about both of you tomorrow facing this really, really though ordeal. I have written on this site about my fears for my beloved Champion, so I think I understand how hard tomorrow will be. You are wonderful.

Anne

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Thanks to both of you. Your confidence strengthens me. As I sit with this decision tonight I find myself asking for the ability to be what she needs. I also find myself reliving the time in 2000 when Bill and I sat on the grass in my vet friend's yard when we said good-bye to our 14 year old Golden. Of course I see the life force leave Bill's body and that just puts me away. I find myself hugging my Bentley tonight. I know this post brings up pain and loss for both of you also and I reach out to you in that pain. This friend has just come through a painful divorce that involved betrayal in a rather public way in our small town. She is a public figure. She is raw. I am raw. Your posts mean a great deal to me.

Marty, you are right...tough for so many reasons...more than I can count or know.

I asked her if she asked the vet to come to her home but this guy does not do that. He is the reason I switched vets when Bentley ate the razor last year. So not sure what will occur. I just know I need to do this for her as she goes through the loss of yet another family member.

I Will invite her to come to our home afterwards as I remember when we returned from saying good-bye to Buffy, I could not go home. We drove from Ouray CO back to Phoenix where we were waiting for our RV to be delivered and ended up in Sedona for three days so we did not have to face the empty house for a while. Bill surprised me with a sterling silver necklace with a dog on it in memory of our fur baby. I will also go into her empty home with her afterwards.

Oh, I can see where this is going. Opening fragile wounds sitting just beneath a thin membrane that get torn open on a daily basis. I WILL do this, however.

Thank you. Mary

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(Pardon my 'goofs' while I learn how to reply without hitting the wrong buttons!)

Hello. I just read about your friend who is going to put her beloved 17 year old kitty down and it made me very sad as I know all too well how difficult that task can be. My heart goes out to everyone who will be involved in helping ease kitty out of this world and into the next. For humans who love their furry babies, losing a pet is akin to losing a member of one’s family. Everyone who grieves a pet is experiencing a deep personal loss. The need for extra love and understanding is very real - as the grief is very real.

Before he passed away four months ago, my husband and I took in “special needs” dogs, cats, and birds and they became the the center of our lives. For nearly forty years, helping needy animals was the driving force that made us feel that we were making a difference in this world. The same can be said for your friend who is saying good-bye to her kitty today. She made a difference in the life of that little animal! And I believe that will bring her a feeling of peace, as it did us. When she is ready, I hope your friend will consider honoring her beloved kitty by bringing another pet into her life. It would never replace the one that she is saying good-bye to today. Every new pet has an uncanny way of carving out its own place in our hearts and enriching our lives.

Your friend is fortunate to have you to help her. She will need to draw on your strength today. My thoughts and prayers are with both of you, and kitty, too.

Judi

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Mary,

I am glad you are there for your friend. Has she decided what she will do with the remains afterwards? It's good to have a plan beforehand, it's hard to think straight afterwards.

I had to put my cat, George, (19 years old) to sleep a few years ago and was alone, it was really hard, I had been hoping my then-husband would come be with me through it or one of my kids. It's very hard to do alone. I buried him in my back yard where my husband's ashes are scattered, and later buried my dog, Lucky, in the same place. We've since dubbed it "the family burial grounds" and it's where I want my ashes scattered when my time comes.

I know this will be hard for you as well, and my thoughts are certainly with you today.

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I just got home from helping my friend say good-bye to her 17 year old cat, Autumn. It was very tough. Small town so we know everyone. I used to go to this vet but when he did not come through a year or so ago when Bentley started acting out his loss of Bill by eating a Bic razor, then ear plugs, $5 bill, paper and more....this vet did not act fast enough the night he ate the Bic so I switched vets that night...the new one is one we had years ago but further away. I had not seen him since 1995 and it was Sunday night but he came immediately to the office that night and for three weeks we worked as a team ultimately doing surgery. The tech assistance today always loved Bentley and Bill and she reached out to me as well as to my friend. The vet was kind.

It was a long procedure....(15 minutes is an eternity sometimes) they do this more slowly (to prevent anxiety) than when I had to say good-bye to our last dog. We all cried, the tech included and the vet was clearly moved. So many memories and feelings flooded through me and I kept trying to put ME aside to be present to my friend...but that was hard to do but I did it well. Seeing this little kitty looking around....was so hard. Then she was gone....Watching life leave a body is so difficult and since Bill died in my arms it is huge as I watched his life leave slowly over years, then months, then weeks, hours, minutes, and finally seconds.

I did ok for my friend who just bawled her way through it. We went back to her house...that is what she wanted to do.... to help break the ice of entering the silent house. Her college age daughter came home yesterday to say good-bye to her pet who she has known all her life...and then had to return to Madison. We talked, cried, talked, cried. My friend was exhausted as she had been up all night so I left and told her to call me if she needs me. I can always go back over there. I will call tomorrow. Frankly, I, selfishly, hope that she does not call as I, too, am totally shot. I was honored to be there for her and she was sensitive to the frame of mind I am in also. I found/find my entire body reacting/responding/wrenching to this event. Way down deep inside I hurt so very much. This is the second friend this week who has had to say good-bye to her pet. Though I did not accompany the other one, I was there when she came home.

Thank you all for your support. It means so very much.

Mary A photo of Autumn Autumn.pdf

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Pam and Anne, thank you. I feel I did what anyone would do and I KNOW both of you would do likewise. I am fine now... Just needed some time. As you know we are all fragile where grief is concerned. Open it and all the pain comes flowing out. Thank you. I am humbled. Mary

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Just went out to feed the dogs....found Baloo the Standard Poodle...head stuck in the food bag......not able to get herself out.....poor thing when night fall comes......dementia sets in......will be faced with making decisions soon.....am afraid....came in to find your post.....so glad you were there for your friend..........bring me back to the time, almost 4 yrs ago...when I was faced with George, my beloved Aussie, ever faithfull, saved my life a couple of times. George at the age of 12 stopped walking.....I knew something was wrong...but then he seemed ok...then he stopped walking for 2 days...I would carry him a 100 lb dog outside to do his thing......I knew what was happening.......my gpa voice came to mind, the vet........who always preached to never put animals through....the hell we put each other through...tears are flowing.......miss George and gpa soo much........anyhow....knew what gpa would say...knew what George wanted.......and did what I had to...do............out of love had to......expedite what was to be....as to be my later experience with Mike.....

Anyhow as I cry right now,for your friend and you.......know that I am thinking of you and your kindness for your friend.......Dave

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Oh, Dave, I know that pain to well. It sounds like your dog is sundowning. Bill did that every afternoon....so hard to watch our pets and loved ones go through this. I watch Bentley and though he is healthy, he is a 75 pound dog and is 8 years old. In a sense he is the only living being that Bill and I nurtured together. I know this pain that we all face if we love pets. So difficult to let them go and one can not explain. I watched this kitty today, looking around at us and at the vet and there was no way anyone could explain what was about to happen. With Bill, there were moments towards the end when we could talk about his death and he welcomed it except for leaving me. Peace, friend, Mary

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Thank you, Marty. I know talk of our pets dying is tough for you as you so recently went through this. I know all of us would do it all over again, i.e. love our pets, even though these painful times must come. Thank you.

Mary

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Haven't changed my mind. I still very much want you to be my friend! Thank you for sharing the picture of Autumn. Beautiful kitty.

My beloved Champion, who I wrote about a couple of weeks ago, is recovering from a terrible ear infection. He is such a brave, stoic soul. The vet was amazed at how bad the infection was and how he never complained. (There is a message in all that which at the moment I am choosing to ignore. :wacko:). He is much better and his jolly, chubby old self. The thought of having to say good bye to him is still something I am working through.

I hope I have a Marylike friend to be with me with that time comes.

Thank you so much for being there!

Anne

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Haven't changed my mind. I still very much want you to be my friend! Thank you for sharing the picture of Autumn. Beautiful kitty.

My beloved Champion, who I wrote about a couple of weeks ago, is recovering from a terrible ear infection. He is such a brave, stoic soul. The vet was amazed at how bad the infection was and how he never complained. (There is a message in all that which at the moment I am choosing to ignore. :wacko:). He is much better and his jolly, chubby old self. The thought of having to say good bye to him is still something I am working through.

I hope I have a Marylike friend to be with me with that time comes.

Thank you so much for being there!

Anne

I am so glad that Champion is living up to his name....i.e. recovering so well. Yep, there is a message in there but we can both ignore that :) I also hope that when that awful time comes that you have someone with you and I hope I do also...and trust I will...just wish it would be Bill, of course. Peace friend, Mary

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Mary,

It is so hard, I've been there as I'm sure so many here have...we get so attached to our pets, they seem like our children, definitely members of the family, and the heartache we feel when they die...there's nothing like it. I am glad you were there for her, but I know it was so hard for you. You are an amazing woman, a wonderful example and friend. We love you.

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Thank you, Kay. Your words and sentiments are uplifting. I might say that we see in others that which is in ourselves, amazing woman :) Thank you.

Peace,

Mary

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I have finally been motivated to add an avatar. This is a photo of my late husband and the dog we used to babysit for at least a hundred times. Annie was going to be 17 years old this summer. But she was put down last week due to ill health. Rich dearly loved this dog. It has made me quite sad to know that Annie, too, is no longer with us. I wonder if Rich has been reunited with her?

Beth

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Beth, I truly believe that all who die...human, dog, cat, bird...will be reunited after death. Our consciousness goes on...someone told me that heaven is being united with all those we love or it would not be heaven. None of us knows how this happens but I do believe I will see my husband, our dog who died in 2000...it helps me a lot to choose that route.

Peace

Mary

PS The photo is so tender.

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Beth, what a sweet picture of your two dearest! There's no doubt in my mind we will reunite after death and I believe my George is now taking care of our pets that have since died, where they wait for me to join them.

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Giving up our pets, when the times comes is so hard. I lost two of Mike's cats this fall, one to old age, and one to cancer. It is like giving up a piece of Mike all over again, he so loved his cats. Still have one cat, Blackjack, who was Mike's favorite cat. Still have my two little Corgi girls. They are relatively young, so hope to have them with me for years to come. They, along with our old rescue shepard (who had to be put to sleep right after Mike died) kept Mike company after he died alone, until my daughter found him. They did not want to leave his side. Unconditional love from our animals.

Mary, you did a very special thing for your friend.

Mary (queeniemary) in Arkansas

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Mary, I am so sorry about the loss of your cats this fall....I agree..unconditional love. Bentley, our Golden, is incredibly important to me. Thanks so much, Mary

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