View Full Version : Is it time to say goodbye to pet?

10-27-2007, 03:41 PM
Hey everybody. I have a beagle, Ginger, who is 14 years old. I am about a year younger than her and she has been a family pet ever since before I was even born.

Lately, she keeps peeing on the carpet since she doesn't seem to have much control over her bladder anymore, and can't seem to hear at all. A couple times she has run into things so we think she may be losing her eyesight. About a year ago, she lost control of both her hind legs and the vet said she would never recover, but, miraculously, she did. Now we have noticed that she is having problems with her legs again and has a hard time walking. She doesn't even seem like a pet anymore. All she cares about is food and whenever we try to pet and stroke her she pulls away. It's like she doesn't even care anymore.

I love Ginger so much and she has been with me all my life. I, of course, don't want to see her go, but I'm starting to think that with the problems she's having, that it's time. I just wanted to know your opinions about whether or not we should put her down yet. Any suggestions?

10-27-2007, 03:52 PM
a hard time for you guys. your could use pampers on her... still take her out like always but the diapers will save the floor...carpet and your patience. If she isn't in pain it seems like it may be premature to think of ending her life.. If she's eating she still has the will to live... I think in this country many times if a pet having problems isn't convenient they are put down.. you have to follow you heart in this as in any difficult situation and you will do the best for all. Sending you hugs!!!

10-27-2007, 04:21 PM
Thanks for responding. The diapers are a good idea... I never thought of that... I will suggest that to my parents.
As far as the pain issue, I think she's in some pain from her hind legs, but I'm not sure to what extent. I know she also has minor kidney problems and I'm not sure how that is affecting her either. Maybe we should visit the vet soon to check her condition.

10-27-2007, 05:08 PM
our big dog had back knee/ACL problems.. she like some dogs will mask/hide their pain..vet visit is a good idea to make sure.. take care!!

10-27-2007, 05:51 PM
I remember the same situation in our house all too well. Our dalmatian was losing control of various bodily functions and almost looked sorry that he was doing that in the house. Then I thought, am I keeping him here for me or for him? His quality of life was going fast and it seemed selfish to make him hang on. I took a couple days to get used to the idea and say goodbye then my husband too him in to the vet. Yes it was hard, but the time was right and I knew it. Take care. :hug:

10-27-2007, 06:37 PM
Our Tyler, a lab-mix and member of the family for over 17 years started having the same kinds of problems. My daughter and son grew up with him and loved him dearly. I can still hear his toenails tapping on the floor and feel him nuzzle my hand in the mornings. I would take him to the Vet and they'd give me drugs for his arthritis and pain. I would see him struggle daily to get up and then, at times, he seemed okay. Wintertime was terrible for him, he'd get so stiff and at times, couldn't get up. His eyesight became worse and although he didn't lose control of his bladder, he expressed pain whenever he'd urinate or other. It was a hard decision, but like JCMom, we took a week to think about having him put to sleep and made an appointment in June of last year.

When we walked into the Vet's office, he told me that we could keep him going with drugs and that Tyler seemed okay. I know he meant well, but I don't believe in prolonging to suit my own need. I sat on the floor with him and he peacefully went to sleep with his head on my lap. I sat and stroked him until his heart stopped and cried for a solid hour. But, I knew that he was no longer in pain and I had done the right thing for him. Tears are rolling as I type this. It's a very hard decision but sometimes you have to let them go. Remember, if you decide to do this that Ginger will always be in your heart and memories of her will bring you joy. Mary

10-27-2007, 06:52 PM
:hug:It must be really hard on you. But only you and your family can take this kind of decision. You can ask your vet to know more about the pain/discomfort she is in, maybe that could help you take a decision. Sometimes old dogs just have less energy - they're not necessarily in pain, they just become lazy and their little brain is probably not functionning as it used to. No matter what you decide, you should remember that Ginger had a very full, long and happy doggie life. :muah: You can be proud of the life you gave her!

10-27-2007, 07:08 PM
I recently put my cat down. She was 21 years old and although she was still eating, she had a tumor on her jaw. The vet had to check her out just to be on the safe side and she agreed, it was time. It was so hard but it was the right thing to do. I know that purring in cats does not only mean they are happy, I have heard of cats purring when they had a broken leg and she purred all the time. So she did act a little happy but her quality of life was so far below normal, she used to play at night and instead of that, she slept. She slept almost all the time.

I would say look inside yourself and try to figure if she is happy like she was a year or so ago or does she seem to be just existing? Does she still give you the feeling that she is happy? It is a hard decision to make, I hope you are able to make the decision that is right for her and you and your family.:hug:

10-27-2007, 10:09 PM
Thank you everyone. :muah: My family and I all talked about it this evening and decided that she seems to be suffering and that it is probably time. Her quality of life is also pretty low. We are going to talk to her vet at the beginning of this upcoming week and get his opinion, but we know that he'll probably say yes.

10-27-2007, 11:02 PM
saying a prayer for you, your family and Ginger.
I love dogs .. and have had them my entire life .. and as such, have had to also make these heart tugging decisions. It is commendable that you are considering the best for your dog!
I had a beagle Penney .. we called her Hoover she was such a scrownge. She is in good company with our Yellow Lab Sacha and Chocolate Lab Dutch .. God bless their awesome loving souls .
My heart is with you and your family .. it is a terribly hard time I know, but time does heal your pain.
my best to you .. KC

Becky Morgan
10-27-2007, 11:28 PM
Sometimes there's an Alzheimer's-like problem, and when that's the case there are medications for it, but your vet will be able to tell you what s/he thinks. At 14, she's had a good life, but no good dog ever lives long enough. Prayers on the way for all of you as you face whatever comes.

10-28-2007, 01:52 AM
:grphug: Hugs to you. It is so hard to lose a pet. All mine have died of natural causes, but my last pet to go was a domestic rabbit that died while I was holding him.
There is a poem about the loss of a pet that I read on the wall in my vets office that I have since cross-stitched and hung in my house called Rainbow Bridge (link attached) http://www.petloss.com/poems/maingrp/rainbowb.htm
Each time I lose a pet I put their picture and birthday and little notes about their lives that I want to remember on the back. It helps me to know that I will never forget them and I will be able to tell my children about my first dog etc.
You, your family, and Ginger are in my prayers. I fully understand how pets become part of the family (we currently have a 13yr old dog that will not be with us too much longer)

10-28-2007, 02:38 PM
When a normally oving animal does not want to do the normal things that give it the rewards it has gotten all its life, something is wrong. In an animal that has had spinal issues before, pain is a big concideration. Quality of life can be improved a little bit with the right analgesic (pain medicine) but the wrong one will kill her in a horrible way (liver or kidney damage)
Communication with a Qualified Vet is an excellent idea.

I had to take the kids family dog to the vet to be put down, had my youngest daughter with me. The procedure of putting her dow was very clinical, and professional. the Vet was VERY supportive, the baby did not understand what was happening, she just pet the dog, as did I. When all was said and done, I was shaking and sobbing so much the vet asked if she should call my xH (I laughed at that) to come take care of me.
Good luck in yur families decision, No Decision is easy, and only you know what is right for you and your family.

10-29-2007, 04:59 PM
Thank you everybody. It is so sad to hear about your stories about your own pets that you have lost. Pets really become special part of our lives, don't they?

Well, we talked to her vet today and he said that if we kept her alive she would only get worse. So, I think my parents and I are all in agreement to have it done.

I have been working on a teeny tiny quilt for the past six years (I work on it about once a year when I'm bored.) I have been working on it lately so I can finish it and let her sleep with it until she is put down. When she is, I can keep it and remember her. Also, just working on it has kinda kept my mind off of things.
Thanks again for listening to me.

10-29-2007, 05:04 PM

10-29-2007, 05:11 PM
I'll be thinking of you. :hug:

10-29-2007, 07:13 PM
That is so sweet of you to make your doggy a quilt to use. We just had to have our dog put to sleep a couple of months ago. She was about 14 and it was such a difficult decision. She'd have good days and bad days, and toward the end it was many more bad days than good ones. She not only was incontinent, but she was also losing bowel control. (Needless to say, we didn't let her in the house anymore.) She had lost a lot of the muscle in both hind legs and had cataracts and was nearly deaf. She was still so sweet and loving that we didn't know what to do. My husband took her in and discussed it with the vet and we feel that we did the right thing. It really helps to get the vet's opinion on this one. I really feel for you.

11-01-2007, 07:52 PM
You have my deepest sympathies. It's never easy to lose a pet. I I'm facing the same problem myself right now...I have a nearly 14yo chow--with arthritis, glaucoma, worn out teeth and a bad back--this will almost certainly be his last fall with us.

11-01-2007, 08:32 PM
CountryKitty- I am sorry to hear about your dog. Even if it is his last fall, just make sure to try to make it his best and make memories. I was lucky and got one extra year with my dog. A year ago, we were going to put her to sleep, but the day before we decided not to.

Tomorrow morning Ginger is going to be put to sleep. I know it'll be hard, but I have friends and family that have been trying to comfort me. So, at least I have them. My heart just hurts so much that it's actually going to happen. It seems unreal.

misha rf
11-02-2007, 12:11 PM

Even when you know it's time, and it's the right thing to do, it's never easy.

My boy had serious colon issues. I was grateful for the extra year we had.

for you and your family.

11-02-2007, 12:49 PM
Hope today you have lots of friends, family and love to share this day with. I'm sending some positive vibes your way. :hug:

11-02-2007, 12:51 PM
What a hard decision for all of you. :hug:

11-02-2007, 01:03 PM
My heart goes out to you Alexandria. I have been thinking about you this morning, and I know you've got to be hurting. I've been there also, it is so hard, but you are doing the right thing for your baby by ending her suffering.

My prayers are with you.

11-02-2007, 02:37 PM
You poor baby. It is SOOOOO difficult. We have put to sleep um, 3 or 4 cats now. My sweetie is my 14 year old cat. The last cat we took to the vet, a wonderful doctor said " A good friend knows when to let go." That helped me so much. It's very important when you do it (I believe) that you make it a day of celebration. I know that sounds crazy, but the thing to remember is how lucky you were to take care of you dog and have him in your life. So afterwards, go out and celebrate his life and wish him well in his journey.

We let one of our cats suffer way too long (he was going blind) and I always felt bad about that.


11-02-2007, 02:46 PM
:hug: I hope you'll get all the hugs you need today! :heart:

11-02-2007, 02:51 PM
I hope you're having the best day you can have today, under the circumstances. I remember how awful it was to put our family dogs down growing up and it really really really sucks. :hug::heart::grphug:

Hope you get lots of hugs today and have good memories and pictures of your pup. The life cycle can be a bummer sometimes.

11-05-2007, 05:10 PM
I've been following this thread, but haven't yet posted. I've been thinking about you and your family, wondering how you are doing. :hug:

11-05-2007, 05:50 PM
Thank you everybody for thinking of me. I haven't had time to post lately, so that's why I haven't updated the thread.

Well, it was pretty tough. My parents and I took a bunch of pictures with her and set off for the veterinarian. We didn't stay for when they put her to sleep, but did get to say our good byes. I miss my sweet beagle, but I know that she's not suffering anymore.

After the visit to the veterinarian, my mom took me to petco and had a gold heart dog tag engraved with her first and middle name (Ginger Rose) and her date of birth and date of death. I put it on a ribbon and wear it as a bracelet to remember her. I thought I'd share some pictures of her that I had taken right before she was put to sleep.

11-05-2007, 07:43 PM

I'm so sorry for your loss. It's so hard to have to say good bye but as their guardians and caretakers, it's up to us.

I had a little chihuahua/toy fox terrier mix for almost 19 years before I had to put her to sleep. She was my baby before I got married and before my kids were born.

I didn't know how I was going to get through putting her to sleep so a friend of mine who worked with me as a childbirth doula came along to hold my hand and help me through it. I held my baby in my lap and we cried for her.

I had her cremated and now she lives in a pretty little red tin on my mantle. I was going to bury her in the backyard under a maple tree but we were doing construction and I didn't want her dug up.

The mantle was temporary at first. I remember coming home one day to find my son and husband trying to get the box open to figure out what was inside as I had forgotten to tell them it was her. :aww:

Then we had to pack our things up in a really big hurry and knock down our house (very long story) so she got put in a box and lost! One day my kids were picking through boxes in the garage we were using for storage and I heard my son cry "Hey, mom, we found the dog!" Can you imagine what the neighbors must have thought?

Anyways, since then she's been on the mantle and still with me in my heart. I could bury her in the backyard cause the construction's all done but I like her better on the mantle -- she's closer.

We have new puppies who we love and adore but my first baby is always in my heart.

Thinking of you in your time of loss,

Oh, and thanks for the pictures -- she was a cutie pie!

11-05-2007, 08:28 PM
Again, I am so sorry for your loss. Thanks for sharing the pictures - she's just beautiful. Cherish the time you had with her.

11-05-2007, 08:36 PM
Hi Hon:

I want you to know that although what you did was truly the hardest decision to make, it was the RIGHT one. She is in heaven now watching over you and she IS NOT suffering anymore.

I know these are only words to you, but you and your family made the only choice you could make for her.

Hugs and best wishes to you and yours. Keep her in your heart and that is where you are in hers!!!

11-05-2007, 08:47 PM
Thank you everybody for thinking of me. I haven't had time to post lately, so that's why I haven't updated the thread.

Well, it was pretty tough. My parents and I took a bunch of pictures with her and set off for the veterinarian. We didn't stay for when they put her to sleep, but did get to say our good byes. I miss my sweet beagle, but I know that she's not suffering anymore.

After the visit to the veterinarian, my mom took me to petco and had a gold heart dog tag engraved with her first and middle name (Ginger Rose) and her date of birth and date of death. I put it on a ribbon and wear it as a bracelet to remember her. I thought I'd share some pictures of her that I had taken right before she was put to sleep.
This is probably the hardest kind of decision to make. I had to make the same decision with my Beagle Sally about 5 years ago. But, like others have said here, you did the right thing. She is better off not in pain and she is watching over you. Great idea to get the dog tag as a reminder. I still have Sally's collar that I keep on my dresser. I still miss her but I know she is no longer suffering.
My thoughts are with you and your family.

11-09-2007, 01:29 PM
:heart::heart::heart: That's a great idea about the locket. I just love it. How thoughtful. May God guide your doggies's soul to the best place possible.