3 S.R. Johannes: DogGoneDays

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Today is supposed to be a post for the Bookanistas but my heart is a little too heavy for it.

My dog, Bud, is not doing well.

My dog is losing his spunk, his zest for life, his bowel function when he sleeps, and he can barely walk, see or hear. The one thing that keeps me filled with hope is that he still eats and steals food from everyone. I always felt as long as he was eating, he'd be ok.

I always prayed I would not have to make a decision regarding my dogs' passing. I mean it's not my job right? Its not in my human job description. But as my dog withers away, I'm faced with the question -

how do you know when it's time to let go?

I'm conflicted. I dont want to help him pass out of this world and into another - out of convenience or even too soon. But I also dont want him to suffer in any way.

A couple years ago, my boxer went quietly into the night. He was fine one day, the next morning my daughter and I found him in his bed - he had died in his sleep. Besides seeing both my grandparents die when I was little, I hadn't faced death in a long time before my dog. At least not with anyone close to me. At the time, I took my Boxer's death hard. I had NO idea he was leaving us - he was happy the day before - and I felt like there was so much left unsaid. So much love that I hadn't shown. I felt guilty that I hadn't given him tons of time the days or weeks before b/c of the busyness of being a parent to young kids. Yet at times, I was thankful he didn't suffer at all. That he had a peaceful transition.

Since that day, I've coddled my Jack Russell (who has been mine for the last 15 years) for the last 2 years. I wanted to be sure that if to be sure everything was said that needed to be said.

But now, as part of me wants my dog to move on to a happier place where he can run and stay young forever, the other part of me is afraid of making the decision to let him go. Since this has really been my dog, my husband feels (rightly so) that it is ultimately my decision. But anyone who knows knows I cant make this. I cry at commercials. I cry when I hear sad stories on the news. I cry at songs, books. And any sign of anyone or anything suffering - whether it be a dog or other animal, I lose it.

So my question - how do I know? Everyone says I will but I am wondering if that is really true. I dont think we actually know when it's a good time, I just think we come to accept that its time. But what if i make the decision and not only do it too soon, but regret it for the rest of my life. Then what? I can't take it back or do a "do-over". I have to live with that forever and wonder if I did the right thing.

I pray every night that a higher power comes in and transitions my dog before I have to make a decision on my own. Yet then I feel guilty for cutting my dog short of what could be some extra time on this Earth with me.

I'll never have a dog like this one. He was my first dog. I'd grown up with cats my whole life. My ex-fiance bought him for me in 1995 and he has been a good dog. Bud has stood by me through thick or thin. He's traveled across the country in a carry-on dog bag with me. He's driven thousands of miles with me. He licked my tears when my heart was so broken that I wondered if I'd ever be the same. He moved to the beach with me for a few months and it was just he and I and the water. He filled a space that some didn't care was empty. He was there when I got married, when both my kids were born. He was by my side helping me recover through surgeries, sadness, and loneliness. Always with a smile on his face.

Any dog we ever get again will never be just mine. Will never be the same. because you see no matter what anyone says, you can never love a dog the same after kids. Its not that you love them less, its that you realize how much you can love something more.

So I feel like I'm losing more than my dog when he goes. I feel like I'm losing a piece of me, my history, my past, my innocence, my youth. A piece that will never be the same.

I'm reminded sometimes of his funny spirit and how full of life he has always been until now. Jumping, smiling, playing, barking, scratching, jumping, eating, playing jumping eating (did I mention jumping?). When I first saw him among a litter of Jack Russells, I knew he was spunky and the one for me. He came running around the corner, bouncing like a jack rabbit with a very tiny stick in his mouth. While all the other puppies milled around my feet, Bud was the only one that demanded I give him all my attention. Clawing and begging for my attention. For me to take that stick and throw it to him. For me to share a moment with him.

And he won.

Now as my dogs spots seem to fade quickly so does his strength. And with that, so does my hope that he can stick it out just one more year. So does my hope that he too will go quietly into the night.

And in comes the reality that no one or no thing lives forever. Yet everyone and everything will live on.

I could use any advice if anyone has gone through this.

Thanks for listening. Sorry about the heavy post. I'll be back and peppy tomorrow :)


Unknown said...

Oh, Shelli, my heart goes out to you. I've had my current dog for three years, and he is the first dog that is really mine--has been with me before I was married, and stays with me--and I already fear what will happen when his day comes.

Perhaps you should ask your vet what he would do if it were his dog--the vet will probably be more objective and have specific advice about your situation.

Artemis Grey said...

I don't know if anyone can actually give you 'advice' on something like this. They can just tell you what they'd do in that situation.

We recently lost a cat at the farm where I work. He was - bar none - the most gentle soul I've ever known, and he was young. Mistreatment and neglect (before he came to us) cut his life unfairly short, leaving him in kidney failure. We were able to help him sustain for a year longer than the vets expected. Then, overnight, his condition changed. He was in obvious pain, and we had to make a choice between sending him to live his last weeks in a cage, being kept alive by chemicals, or letting him go quietly at the farm where he was happiest. We chose the latter. I'm crying as I type this, I admit.

At home, I'm dealing with circumstances similar to yours. My dog, and my sister's dog (the dogs are sisters too... we're twins, what can I say?) are both sixteen and fading. They fall down, a lot. They have issues getting to the bathroom... They get 'lost' if you move farther than a few feet from them. They can't hear, and can't see well.

But... they run for dinner... when they can figure out which direction it's in... they get up and want to go to bed at night, and expect us to go too... they run (usually into furniture, or door facings, but still) when they see us come in the door, assuming they're close enough to see us come in. They wag their tails. They're happy. When they are no longer happy, I'll know that I'm being selfish by keeping them here. That's the way I look at it.

Hopefully that day is a long way off. But the truth is that 'that day' will always come too soon, no matter how long you get with your furlings.

Meredith McCardle said...

My heart goes out to your family. I can't really offer advice, since I just got my first dog only a few years ago, but I can't even imagine how difficult this must be. I am so, so sorry you're in this position.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

My sister got her dog when she was five years old. Callie died when my sister was a senior in high school. We all feared that day.

It's never easy, Shelli. There are no words of comfort to be given. Just love him while he's here. I agree with Beth. Both times I've had to make this call, I waited until the vet said it was time. The vet doesn't want him to suffer unnecessarily, but he won't want you to lose him when there is still quality time to be shared.

My heart aches for you, friend.

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

From Maria Zannini

I don't think I've ever commented on your blog, but your words moved me so much I had to write in.

I'm so sorry about your baby. It's true, everyone SAYS you'll know, but the sad truth is, you never want to believe it.

Many years ago, my 15 year old Samoyed had a stroke. I had worked for a vet for years. I knew the signs and I knew she wasn't coming back to us. But we couldn't bring ourselves to put her down right away. It's only when we realized she didn't even have the capacity to drink water on her own that we accepted the hard truth.

So ask yourself this:

Is Bud comfortable?
Does he struggle with pain? Dogs are stoic creatures. They very rarely tell us how much it really hurts.

Will holding on to him a few more months ease your conscience or make him feel any better?

I am deeply sorry, Shelli. I know how much it hurts. But this time you have to ask yourself: how much does it hurt him?

Sometimes you have to sacrifice your happiness for what little relief you can give him in return.

Take care, hon. I'll be thinking of you.

Susan X Bradley said...

Shelli, I'm so sorry you're going through this. I had a similar experience 5 years ago. My Shih Tzu was 17 years old and he had been with me my entire adult life. There are no words to capture the history he and I shared together.

He health had been diminishing, especially after a seizure but I couldn't let go. The vet told me it was time to start thinking about letting him go, but I just couldn't wrap my mind around life without him.

When I had my daughter, he stayed at the pet hospital that also offered bordering. I called to check on him and she detailed what his quality of life was. There it was. I had to face it. I considered him my first baby and it was my role as his mother to make sure he wasn't suffering.

I took some time to think about it. Lots of tears and lots of prayer. I think the question is what is his quality of life? Is there any chance for improvement or is it only going to get worse?

This type of decision is awful and one that no one wants to make. I still haven't been able to get another pet, but having a new baby really helped.

I wish you luck with your choice and it really is all about what's best for Bud.

Alissa Grosso said...

Shelli, this post brought tears to my eyes. I don't have any advice to give you, but I know that no matter what your dog is a lucky guy to have had such sweet and caring owner who has given him such a good life.

Dorothy Dreyer said...

Oh, Shelli, so sorry about your doggy. We had a Yorkshire Terrier for 14 years named Schnapps who passed away last year. I had the same thoughts - is he in pain, should we help him pass, or should we just let nature take its course despite what he's going through? In the end, we kind of knew it was coming. I found him in his doggy bed not moving and not breathing, and I had to call my husband at work to come help me because I didn't know what to do. A lot of tears were shed that day. I can't really say which "way" is better. I think you just have to follow your heart.


Shannon Messenger said...

Aw. ((Hugs))

I've never had to personally be the one to decide (well...I had to put a stray cat I'd been feeding to sleep, but his kidneys had shut down and he couldn't walk from the pain, so it was clear it was *time* But I still cried, and felt horrible that he died as 'stripey cat' cause I hadn't even gotten around to naming him.)

But my parents did while I was growing up. Twice. And both times, I could see why they did it. It really does become quite obvious. Or, it did for us. Our first dog had a stroke, and the vets said it might be time. But she still had a spark in her eyes. She still wanted her belly scratched and she still wanted to eat. She was limping and she wasn't the same, but she wasn't gone either. Less than a week later she had another stroke and then it was time. The spark was gone. She had no desire to get up anymore. And she just sort of stared at us. The vet told us that animals reach a point where if they were in the wild, they would go somewhere and just lay down and die. It was clear that she was to that point. So we put her to sleep instead.

With Buddy it was the same thing. He had a degenerative heart problem, but with medication we got 2 more years out of him. But they told us what to look for. That eventually fluid would build up in his lungs and he would slowly suffocate. He hadn't been himself for about a month, but it wasn't time. Then one day he refused to lay down, and when we tried to pet his chest he yelped. We called the vet and by the time he got there Buddy was struggling to breathe. Again, we knew it was time.

So, I know this comment is endless and rambling, but what I'm trying to say is that you really do *know* You don't think you will--but once you see the change you'll recognize it.

Sorry again. Sending warm thoughts and hugs through the blogosphere.

Shannon Messenger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Colene Murphy said...

Shelli, I'm so sorry! This made me tear up, I feel your pain. And am just so sorry.

The only thing I have ever believed, and this is MY opinion on the "putting down" matter, I don't think we, as humans, have the right to decide life and death. TO ME its like saying, "I know you are supposed to control such things, but you aren't doing what I think you should be so I'm going to go ahead and do this."

I'm not saying I'm right or wrong or anyone else is either, that's just what I think. And animals are very clever about death, too. I always felt I would let them and God decide what was best since I can't sit down and ask them what they want. You know?

I know you'll get through this, whatever you decide. For now, just love on him, let him know you always will, and give him lots of pets and attention. When I lost my 15yr old cat friend I thought my heart would stop beating, I had let him down(he ran out the back door and we never found him) and all I could do was cry for him. But, eventually, I prayed and asked that wherever he was God would tell him how sorry I was and how much his life and spunk and our relationship meant to me and I felt better after that.

You know what the best choice for yourself and your pup is. Here, you get advice and other peoples insight, but we truly don't KNOW you or your pup, how you two interact with one another and the relationship you have. Ultimately it's your decision on what is best for you and your little fella.

And, you seem like such a sweet, loving person, I'm sure he knows how you're hurting for him.

Susan R. Mills said...

I'm so sorry. This is a tough one. We had to put our lab to sleep several years ago. I think we knew it was the right thing to do when he got so bad that his whole existence was suffering. It's a hard decision to make. I'll pray that you make the right one.

Carol Riggs said...

I'm so sorry about Bud, but it does sound like you have many fond and wonderful thoughts of him--and those will never pass away. I had to make this same decision, a couple years ago, with my cat. She was NOT feeling well, and to my utter relief and surprise, my vet supported my decision to put her down, as a humane way to end her suffering (though my daughter was angry with me!) If you care for someone, be it animal or human, you don't want to see them suffer.

It's less about you and more about them, in my opinion.

Quality of life is so important. I didn't want to remember Cookie (my cat) full of pain and agony; I wanted to remember her as my soft buddy, my cozy lap-warmer. With people, God makes the end-of-life choice, but with animals, we often have to. I'm not saying you SHOULD make a decision to end Bud's life, but just telling you my experiences and feelings.
Anyway, good luck, and my sympathies for you.

Theresa said...

As I write with tears in my eyes the advice I can give you is the advice that you already have receieved. You will know. You just will. I got my dog, Lady, in 3rd grade and when I was twenty we had to put her down. I still cry when I think of her, she was my first dog, the dog I begged for for hours and hours to get and the dog who I watched my parents take away in a laundry basket because she was too weak to walk. It was a decision that was milled over for weeks and weeks and when the time came we just knew it. It's weird. How are you supposed to know when it's time, how can you possily be the one to make that decison when it comes to a life, but you just know and you do. I knew the time was coming and I spent as much time with her as I could. And the night before the day I walked over to her favorite sleeping spot, behind the couch, pulled it a little and laid with her. It's like losing a family member but just like with losing a family member you remember the good times. You cherish the times you shared and how he helped you learn to love in a way you never thought possible. As weird as this may sound after Lady was put down at night we could swear we still heard her nails on the wood floors walking in the hallways and I even heard her scratching at the back door and without a second thought opened it to let her in. It just shows that they're always with you and that's what is important. I feel for you I know exactly what it is that you are going through. Just remember you will know even when you think you can never let go you will know.

The Writer said...

I absolutely feel for you. It's a decision I never want to make. Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE my dog. I rarely leave her home. And as much as I never want her to die, she has proven one thing to me: she doesn't fear death. She shows more anxiety when I go to the store without her.

That said, you're dog loves you and will tell you the answer that's right for him. My ONLY suggestion is that you tell him that it's okay for him to go. I've witnessed death enough times to know that it makes a huge difference to be given permission to leave by the one you're most connected to.

Fi-chan said...

I have never had any pets, but I've recently reread Marley and Me, and I feel like I kind of understand (I know -__-).

but good luck! *hugs*

Anonymous said...

I've been through this with cats, and I know exactly what you mean about feeling like it's not your decision. Everyone says you're doing the right thing to let them go, that you're ending their suffering, and maybe they're right. But the fact remains that an animal can't tell you it's ready to die.

I don't think there's an easy answer for this one. I don't think there's any good advice to give. And I'm not sure you'll "just know". What I do believe is that your fear about regrets years from now is not going to play out. So long as you let your dog know you love him, and you stay with him while they're putting him to sleep, I think the rest of the details don't matter. I was clear across the state when one of my cats had to be put down, so he was with strangers, and I can tell you there are regrets about that. But I don't have any regrets about the other cats I had to make this decision for. I think you should do yourself a favor and stop worrying about that part.

As long as he's eating and he's not in pain, you're probably okay to let things continue as they are. But if he stops eating, or if he seems to be suffering, then I think it's best to make that decision for him, hard as it might be. Spend some time with him, tell him you love him, and then hold him in your arms as you let him go.

I had all my cats cremated and I kept their ashes. I think that helps a little. My thoughts are with you as you go through this tough time.

Carolina M. Valdez Schneider said...

Shelli, my heart is breaking for you. I've never lost a pet, not in this way, but I can feel your pain in all your words. I hope you'll find a solution soon, and that you'll be at peace with it. *Hugs*

Tere Kirkland said...

Oh, Shelli! Your struggle makes me want to cry. I've faced this decision before, and it is not an easy one. But if Bud is really suffering to the point it affects everything in his life—and I know it's breaking your heart to see him suffering—it may be time to say goodbye.

I wish I could type more without getting choked up, but we have an elderly dog at home, too, and I never want to think about what will happen when her time comes.

They start life as our babies, but then they become senior citizens before our eyes. It's sad, but remember that no matter what happens, Bud will love you until the end.



Amanda C. said...

I'm so sorry, Shelli! What a difficult position to be in. I lost my cat, one I'd had my whole life, but her death was sudden and totally unexpected. At the time, I thought that was worse, but I agree with you, it's more difficult to watch someone/thing you love deteriorate.

I do understand, though, how losing a pet is just like losing someone close to you. So many of my memories included Max, so it was hard to think that she was actually gone. But I came to realize that my memories weren't gone with her death, and neither was she, really. I still cherish all of our time we had together, and even ten years later she is still very close to my heart.

My advice goes along with what everyone else has said. I agree that you should think about Bud's quality of life. You definitely want to be ready yourself, but just try to make sure that Bud isn't ready and waiting for too long before you decide to let him go.

Good luck and my thoughts are with you.


Shelli (srjohannes) said...

Thx to everyone. I talked to vet today and we are going to try some steroids and pain killers and some anti-inflammatory to see if he can walk better.

as long as he is eating and doesnt seem to be in pain (that I can tell) - we are going to try and make him comfortable until he does deteriorate. I only want to help him IF it is whats best for him. Not b/c he is becomign harder to take care of

thank you so much for your wishes!!! so sweet - all of you!

Marilyn Peake said...

Hi, Shelli,

I was just about to post a long comment, and ask if you had a vet with whom you could talk over your concerns. I saw your recent commment, and am so glad that you were able to do that, and that the vet suggested ways to keep Bud more comfortable. Bud is very, very lucky to have a person like you taking care of him!

DL Hammons said...

I just read your latest comment and I'm so glad to hear you have a plan. I am so out of my depth when it comes to giving advice in these matters...but I didn't want that to stop me from letting you know I was thinking about you! I'm sending positive vibes your way. :)

Stephanie McGee said...

I'm glad to hear you have a plan. I'm just going to say this one thing: We lost two horses in the past couple of months and the one thing our vet told my mom when she was trying to make the decision was, "Better a day too soon, than a day too late."

Anyone who knows animals knows that the decision to end their misery is not a selfish one. It's made in the animal's best interests.

Vicky Alvear Shecter said...

Shelli, I'm so sorry you're going through this. I can only tell you that from my experience, a good question for yourself is, "Will I regret this decision?" My kitty was sick with cancer and I knew she was miserable but I couldn't--just could not--make the call. Who was I to play god? Yet, looking back, she suffered terribly because of my inability to act. So I regret the waiting (whereas, I don't think I would have regretted the act). I wish I could have let her go without the added weeks of physical misery. The pain in your heart is real and you should honor it. I never "just knew"--I struggled with the decision until the bitter end. But in retrospect, I wish I could have spared her the suffering...

Sending you light and peace, V

Kelly H-Y said...

Oh, Shelli ... my heart is heavy with you ... this just broke my heart. I even teared up when you were talking about your boxer. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Artemis Grey said...

Shelli I'm so glad you have a plan! :D Sometimes steroids and painkillers are just the thing to get your little furling to a comfortable plateau point where they can carry on for a long time yet. I don't know if you've ever heard of Adequan. It's a shot that helps with joint pain. We use it in horses, but it can be used for small animals too. It's expensive, but it works.

Best wishes to you and Bud!

Huntress said...

I don’t mean for this to sound cruel, but you will always regret, have second thoughts, and think ‘what if’ no matter what you decide.

I am writing this through my tears since I have had to make this terrible decision on dogs, cats, and three horses.

The ultimate heartbreak came at the side of my mother’s hospital bed.

As to the question of When. Is the bad overweighing the good for your sweetie? And ask yourself if your decision rests more with avoiding YOUR pain and not ending his. (I know…it makes me bawl harder with the thought of it)

It is the last responsibility, the last gift you can give him.

God be with you and know, when the time comes, you did the right thing. Say this over and over. You Did the Right Thing.

Alli Sinclair said...

Hi Shelli,

Your post brought tears to my eyes and I was lost in memories of my two boxers.

It sounds like you've had some good advice from the vet. I understand exactly where you are at with trying to make him comfortable and do what's best for him.

He's your best friend. Of course you are going to be sad and torn. I wish I could offer you a magic cure. Just know there are many people who know your pain and are sending positive energy and prayers to you and your gorgeous little best canine friend.

Jennifer said...


I've gone through this before, with dogs and with cats. It's hard, and it's never easy. I wish I could offer advice, but I really don't know what to say. I'll be thinking of you guys.

Julie Hedlund said...


I'm so so sorry about Bud. I'm overwhelmed by your story and the stories people are sharing.

I, too, have been through this several times, both with childhood dogs and more recently with my dad's dog, Sam. Sam was 12 years old when my dad passed away suddenly. After that, his health deteriorated so much that nobody will ever be able to convince me that a dog can't die of a broken heart.

But my stepmother really needed him, and he hung on for her. 9 months after my father's death, I visited her with my husband and kids. When we arrived, Sam was still up and around, eating and at least getting some pleasure out of life. By the end of the week, he couldn't get out of his dog bed to go to the bathroom. We decided to go ahead and put him down while we were there to support my stepmother and help her through the worst of it. I'm convinced he was waiting until she had the strength and someone to help her get through it.

In other words, I think Bud will let you know what to do. At some point, your heart will tell you. I know exactly what you mean when you say there will never be another dog that's just yours - that will share all of that history. Still, we just got our first family dog at Christmas, and while it's not the same as the dogs I had as a child, it's still wonderful. All dogs are special in their way, and your next one will find its way into your heart too.

In the meantime, you might want to pick up the picture book "Dog Heaven" by Cynthia Rylant. It's beautiful.

Take good care of yourself and enjoy your time with Bud - however long that is. I'll be thinking of you.

Christine Fonseca said...

I'm so sorry sweetie! I've put down two dogs - unavoidable in both cases. So so so hard. Take care of yourself through thisprocess and no my hearts and prayers are with you.

CHRISTIE said...

I know exactly what you’re going through. We have a cocker spaniel who is 13 years old. She lost her hearing 2 or 3 years ago. Now her eyes are cloudy. She has advanced dental issues, a huge tumor on hip, chronic ear infections. Now she is going potty on the floor at night. The only thing is she is happy. She eats great. Jumps all over us when we come home even though it takes her a minute to get off the floor. I know she isn’t 100% and has some discomfort maybe even pain. I just can’t bring myself to take that step as long as she seems coherent. The vet gave me the talk at her check up last month. He gave her 6-12 months. *sigh* It stinks. Our cat is also considered “geriatric”. His 14th birthday is in December, and we just found out he has a heart thing going on. They really become like family members and the thought of losing them hurts.

You and Bud will be in my thoughts. ((Hugs))

Jessie Oliveros said...

My family had a lab that was hit by a car while I was away at college, and she was my first dog love. It was so hard, but I didn't have to decide anything for her-she was gone in an instant and I was thousands of miles away.

Your post reminded me of that dog love. You are right-I could never be so devoted to an animal now that I have kids, but I didn't know my kids then.

I'll pray for you-that you can know what the best choice is for your pet right now.

Deb Salisbury, Magic Seeker and Mantua-Maker said...

Hugs, Shelli. That's the hardest decision I've ever had to make. Just remember that you're doing the best you can for Bud, and he will always love you.

Riv Re said...

*hugs* I'm sorry Shelli :( I think if he's actually suffering it might be time to let go, but if he is just sorta "fading" show him as much love as possible. What does his vet say?
I've never been put in a position like yours, for which I am thankful, but my heart goes out to you. If it helps, I can offer up a different view, though. My religion has certain beliefs when it comes to choosing life and death. A human can never be put out of their misery, or even taken off life support if they become brain-dead.
As for animals, they are supposed to be put out of their misery. I'm not sure if this refers to everything, but I know if you squish a bug and it's not quite dead you can't leave it to a slow death.
whatever you choose, I am quite confident that you will strongly believe in it, once you've chosen, and it will be right.
Remember: when all else fails, your Blogger Buds are here for you. *hugs again*

Natalie Aguirre said...

Shelli, I'm so sorry you're going through this because Bud has been such an important part of your life. I have sadly experienced a number of deaths over the last 5 years. My father died and then almost 3 years ago my younger and only sister died after a long battle with breast cancer. My husband is chronically ill and I've pulled him back from death's door a few times, most recently less than 3 years ago.

There are no easy answers, especially with a pet who maybe can't choose for himself. Luckily for my sister, she could chose and took off her oxygen mask when the battle got too hard.

Whatever choice you make or don't make, the loss will always be with you. Some days even though I am so grateful my husband is alive and I have a wonderful daughter, I do not feel like the totally happy, positive person I was before I went through all these experiences. Other days I am. I think it'll be the same for you no matter what you choose. Death and saying goodbye to those we love is one of the hardest parts of life. When I start getting too down, I remind myself of all the terrible tragedies others throughout the world have had to live through and survive with courage and an optimistic attitude. It helps me know I can get through this. And I do. You will too. Let me know if there's anything I can do to help.

Jemi Fraser said...

Poor Bud. My heart goes out to you Shelli. It's such a difficult decision - truly heart breaking. Good luck and take care.

Robin Mellom said...

That's such a tough decision. Listen to your vet's advice. I'm sure they can do what they can to make him comfortable.

Big, big hugs...


Carolyn V. said...

Shelli, I am so so sorry. I wish I knew what to do or some advice to give, but I don't. All I know, is that it's hard. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. (hugs)

Lisa Potts said...

So sorry you are going through this. Just reading your post has me blubbering.

I had to say goodbye to the first dog that ever belonged just to me five years ago. I picked him out from the shelter when he was a puppy and he blessed my life for twenty-one years.

It's so hard to know when it's time to let go. They can't tell you how they feel. In my case, he went into kidney failure and stopped eating. The vet helped me through the decision but I was a basket case for weeks after.

We have another shelter dog now, but my first will always have a special place in my heart.

Will keep you and Bud in my thoughts.

Rachael Harrie said...

So sorry to hear about your puppy, Shelli. It just rips at your heart, doesn't it, knowing what you need to do but not being able to bring yourself to do it. Sending you a big hug. Rach

Ishta Mercurio said...

Shelli, I'm glad you have a plan, and my heart goes out to you, now and in the coming months.

Sherrie Petersen said...

Oh, Shelli, that was beautiful. It's a huge loss when a pet dies. We had to put one of our dogs to sleep a couple years ago and my husband still gets tears in his eyes if anyone mentions it because he was the one that took him to the vet and came home empty handed. Sometimes it isn't so much that you know it's the right time, it's being able to come to terms with it in your own mind. ((hugs))

Sara B. Larson said...

Oh Shelli, I'm so sorry. My dog that I've had since I was 16 (he's now 11) is starting to show some signs of aging. He's not there yet, and I hope won't be for a long time, but I live in fear of that day when he will be gone. I know exactly what you are talking about. Charlie, my little maltese, has been there for me before I even knew my husband, or thought about having children, or had ever owned a car or anything. I wish I had advice, but ultimately, I think you have to follow your heart. Pray about it if you believe in that, and you will feel the right answer. Even if it is hard. Thinking of you and sending you *hugs*.

Melissa Sarno said...

This is such a beautiful post. I'm sorry I don't have any advice- I've never had a puppy before (I call all dogs puppies, even old ones). I feel terrible you're going through this. :-( Maybe you don't need to know when it's time to let go. Maybe your dog will let you know somehow.

Mim said...

It is so difficult when you reach this point with a loved pet. I hope you can find comfort in what you decide to do and remember him the best way you can.

kathrynjankowski said...

So sorry you're going through this, Shelli. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Anonymous said...

I feel your pain. Our Yorkie Beau Beau is getting old, has had a past head injury, and a bad wound from a fight from a big dog years ago. And he has athritis. Its sad to see your furry little friends decline. They are part of our families.

Stephen Tremp

cleemckenzie said...

Like all responsible, caring pet owners this is one of the hardest calls to make. I've had to do it several times and it never becomes easier. My thought are with you, and the only comfort I can offer is that Bud has been one lucky dog to have you as his companion.

Katie Scarlett said...

We had this same situation with Scout,our Jack Russell, two years ago. We had her for 18 years and she was a family dog, but she was really my mom's dog. Scout kept her from feeling quite so "empty nested" as my brother and I left for college, she comforted her though the loss of her parents, and was really a 3rd child. As her health began to fail my mom would always ask our wonderful vet "Is it time for us to make a decision" and the vet always said "She's got some more in her, I promise you I will let you know when its time." One morning we woke up and Scout no longer had the use of her back legs and she was disoriented to the point of being frightened. We took her to the vet and she said "its time to let her go". It was hard, but we are so thankful to the vet for taking that burden off of us and making sure Scout didn't suffer. I hope you have a vet with the same amount of compassion.

Kerri Cuev said...

Awe, Shelli I'm reading this late. How sad :( Having a sick pup is hard. After working at a vet's office and losing many fuzzy friends I feel your pain. Althought it is easier said than done I make my decesion based on the animals quality of life (the decesion always comes down to me the mom, sigh). I take comfort in knowing my fuzzy babies had the best life I could have given them. My cat has been sick too. I take each day at a time and savor every moment. I guess in life that is all we can do. I hope he feels better and you don't have to make any decesion. My heart goes out to you and virtual hugs your way (((((hug)))).

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