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Ending My Little Ladies Cancer Battle

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I had a little yorkshire terrier and 2 days ago she died in my arms after putting her to sleep. she was 14 years old when i discovered a small lump on her ne ck. upon visiting the vets i was told she had an incurable type of bone cancer and i was devasted.

She suffered on and fought for a year but i was left with the hardest decision in my life to let her die in pain or in sleep. after seeing her die in my arms in fear i now feel remorse and guilt and feel like i murdered her.

Lady my little yorkshire terrier was my shining star and i loved her like a daughter and i feel like i want to die in place of her. i am so sad and know i will never get over her.

Is there anyone who has gone through the same thing and can help me with the sorrow and self hate i feel?

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Dear Friend:

On June 9th of this year, I had to make the same decision you just made. I share all the feelings you are experiencing but I am still not ready to talk about them. All I can tell you is I believe that, in spite of our doubts, in the fullness of our love and selflessness, we did the best we could at the time for our precious children. I also believe that our babies (mine was 13 yrs. old) are receiving the message that we love them and are grieving them severely. Your baby, and mine, are now whole and healthy, and I'm sure they are wishing they could lick away our tears and assure us that all is well.

I am a religious person and I look to the story of Noah's Ark to confirm my belief that a loving God loves ALL of His creation and He will reunite us not only with our two-legged loved ones (in my case, my husband) who have gone before us to prepare a place for us, but also our four-legged loves ones who miss us as much as we miss them!

My friend, there is a precious little book called "A Travel Guide To Heaven" by Anthony DeStefano. It's a cheerful, uplifting book about the joys and material/physical experiences we have to look forward to when we are bodily reunited for all eternity with those we love. I mention this book because the author devotes an entire chapter to "Do All Dogs Go to Heaven?" I read and re-read this chapter. It gives me comfort. I also return often to this forum because, though I cannot bring myself to talk about my experience, I weep with those who mourn and I find comfort in knowing that I am not alone in my own feelings of extreme sorrow and guilt.

I send you my hugs and my prayers are with you and your precious little baby! And, no matter how much we suffer emotionally, at the end of the day I believe we WILL all be with our family again!!!!!!!! As for me, I count the days, the minutes, and even the breaths I take until we are reunited again.

God bless.

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You are not alone in how you feel. Just over 3 years ago I put my cat to sleep. He was in kidney failure. Like you, it was the hardest decision of my life. He died in my arms. Afterward I doubted myself. I cried for days. But I know I did the right thing for him. You were Lady's mom and only you could have made that decision and I'm sure you made it from your heart. It is always hard to see your babies in pain. Try to think of how she is pain-free now and looking over you. Maybe she will come to you in a dream like my boy did. It was awesome. He told me he was good and that it was ok to let him go because he was tired. I know it's hard but stay strong and you'll always have the memories. Good luck to you.

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Dear One, I am so very sorry for your loss, but you are so not alone in this situation! I'm reprinting here a message I posted to another animal lover in this forum a few months ago. I hope these words will bring you some measure of comfort:

. . . my heart goes out to you as I read your sad story, and I hope as time goes by you'll come to see that you made the right decision for your beloved William. I'm not sure if anything we can say will alleviate the guilt you are carrying, because guilt in the aftermath of making this god-like decision to euthanize a cherished animal companion is nearly always present. It's understandable that you are second-guessing your decision, given the clarity of hindsight ~ but that does not mean that you made the "wrong" decision. Given the enormous costs involved, given William's grave condition and the poor prognosis, I would have made the very same decision that you made ~ but I doubt if that makes you feel any better about all of this. This past summer I had to make a similar decision with my own precious dog ~ you can read the details here: http://hovforum.ipbh...indpost&p=54791. We could have put him through all sorts of expensive diagnostic tests to determine the cause of his nosebleed, but we too decided there was no point in making him suffer through all of that. Like you, we released him from his pain, and took that pain upon ourselves in the form of the grief we felt (and still feel) after letting him go.

I think it's good to share your story with the members of our Loss of a Pet forum, as I think it will help you to work through your own feelings about all of this. Oftentimes just telling your story helps, as does hearing from others who can offer their understanding and support. In any event, please know that I am thinking of you and holding you gently in my heart.

I'm also attaching an audio clip of an interview that I hope you will find helpful (see below).


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I went through something very similar to what you experienced. It will be 3 years September 16th that I decided to put my 14 year old lab/husky mix Callaway to sleep. He had been diagnosed with lymphoma 6 months prior and started to go down hill quickly a month before I made my decision. I decided that I would have the vet come to my house to euthanize him because he was very nervous when we went to her office. I thought by making the decision to have the vet come to my house it would eliminate the fear but it didn't. He also had that look of fear in his eyes and I was left with the same guilt you are experiencing. I too felt like I murdered my dog and was completely devastated. It took time for me to get over that guilty feeling but it does go away. Both you and I only did what we did for our babies, we didn't want to put them to sleep, we did it because of our unconditional love for our animals.

I still love Callaway as much now as I did on the worst day of my life, September 16th when I had to make the decision. The love never goes away but the pain you are feeling does. My heart breaks for you because I know exactly how you are feeling. A friend of mine said something to me that made me feel much better when I was going thru the guilt, she said, "Even if Callaway was in fear at that moment just before he passed the next moment he went to the rainbow bridge where he is completely happy and waiting for me to join him. I found comfort in what she said, I hope you do too.

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I just lost my Boo Bear therapy dog last weekend. I heard some yips during the night that I thought was a neighbors dog but I now believe was Boo Bear. He was dying when I found him. Let me assure you that it serves no one to let them suffer in pain. He died shortly before we arrived at the vets, suffering horriblely. I abslolulely feel that they do not reguard death as the big monster we do. As I have become more comfortable with the ending and death. my last three dogs have graced my with dying just before dealing with the vets and euthanasa. leaving me to wonder - do they stay and suffer becuase we are noit able to let them go?

The hardest act we do and the gift we give them is to be there at the end. I feel it is so inportant that ny dear ones know that they are loved going out. They take a piece of our heart for sure. No other animal can take thier place ever. I take another in so that I save a life in honor for what the last one gave me. Each new soul brings me a new piece of heart. I dont make the mistake of trying to replace them, because it is not possible. Please dont allow your grief which is aboslutly just at their not being a part of your life any more with guilt or blame because you were ______. Trust your realtionship with your yorkie that you decided together when it was best. I am sure her little spirit is around you and if you can quiet your grief you could feel her close to you! Hugs and I am so sorry for your loss!

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