We had to put our 8 year old German Shepherd to sleep this morning. He was diagnosed with a hemangiosarcoma of the spleen. As much as I could not bear to see him suffer and be in pain, I have spent the entire day praying that I made the right decision.

I sat with him on the floor of the vet's office while she gave him the injection and whispered to him what a good boy he was and how much I loved him.  While I'm thankful I was able to be with him and let him know how loved he was, I cannot seem to stop crying.

We rescued him and his brother (a "lab") 8 years ago from the Humane Society.  We originally went to adopt Jackson, the German Shepherd.  However when we went to visit Jackson at his "foster" Mom's home - we discovered that Jackson and Cody were found together.  I believe they came from the same litter as if you looked close enough you could tell that neither are full blooded.  I did not have the heart to seperate them, so we adopted both of them.

I know the pain and grief will eventually subside but memories of my sweet  boy have been flooding my thoughts all day.  Thankfully some have made me smile, like how when we would take him and his brother to the lake Jackson would stick his head under water and blow bubbles (I called him my scuba dog), how no matter what treats I tried to bribe him with he refused to speak on command or do any other tricks beside sit and shake paws for me (he would look at us like really I'm much to regal and refined for tricks) or how when he and Cody were puppies he loved to irritate his brother by tugging on his tail.

I know he is at peace now and free of pain/suffering but my heart feels broken! Thank you for letting me share. Sorry to be so long winded!

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Dear KSD,

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss and about the doubt you feel now. That's absolutely normal, but I hope the doubt will pass soon. You have enough to deal with just adjusting to life without Jackson by your side physically. He will always be with you in spirit, but we all know that's not the same.

You did make the right decision for Jackson.  When I first came to this forum 6 years ago, someone posted something I will never forget.  He said, "I would rather assist her (on her journey) a week too early than a moment too late."  In other words, he would have done anything to have prevented her having  even a moment's suffering.  When we assist our best friends, we release them from the prospect of suffering even though we know our own immense suffering will just begin.  There is no greater gift of love we can give them.

I had to assist my cat, T.J. (aka: the Heart of My Heart" on March 9th.  I had never had to make that decision before.  My previous kitties had gone on their own.  T.J. wouldn't have left this life on his own, he loved it so much.  But his body had betrayed him, and a brain tumor had demolished any ability to navigate by himself. A dear friend whom I met here several years ago told me that he needed me to walk him to the gate and ring the bell for him.  I love that analogy!  It's so true.  I am fortunate to have no regrets about any of the decisions I made on his behalf, or about when I made them, but then, I had more time to adjust to the idea that his time was drawing short than you did with Jackson.  I also had the benefit of having been a member of this forum for a long time, so I knew ahead of time that I had all the support I needed and more from my forum family.

Please come back and tell us all about Jackson and Cody and the wonderful stories of their life together.  It really helps to tell their stories to other people who get it, and everyone here really does get it.  I love his dignified attitude, and I'm so glad to hear that some of the memories have brought you smiles today.

I'm just picturing your boys together.  I once had a dog named John (Long John Lennon) who was 3/4 GSD and 1/4 Black Lab.  He was absolutely adorable, and had the best qualities of both breeds.  I hope he is cavorting and galavanting around the Bridge with Jackson, and introducing him to everyone there.

Give Cody all the love you can and let him comfort you.  He will bring you limitless comfort in these early days of adjustment.  It's his job, and he loves it.  He would do anything for you.

You, your family, Cody, and your beautiful Angel Jackson are in my thoughts and prayers.

My heart is battered and bruised, but I will not let it break. It holds such precious cargo, I must protect it now. (Susie Squillions)

"Memories of loved ones are like songs in our soul." Margaret Wakeley




In one of the stars, I shall be living.
In one of them, I shall be laughing.
And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing when you look at the sky at night.
~ The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery
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ksd197, I'm so sorry for the loss of your beloved Jackson. I know all too well what you are going through. We had to put our 11 year old Husky, Dakota, to sleep a week ago today due to the same illness (I posted the full story on a thread below). We had no idea he was even sick....brought him to the Emergency Vet thinking it was something else and was told he had it and could die at any minute. We spent a couple of hours there saying goodbye and crying our eyes out. And in the end, had to leave without our precious Dakota. I still cannot believe that it happened.

I too stayed in the room with Dakota. There was no way I wouldn't be there for him, after all the times he was there for me. I told him many things, thanked him, and gave him a huge hug. And then the Dr. told me he was at peace. I stayed in the room with his head resting in my arm for a long time afterwards. It was so hard to leave.

I want you to know that the fact that you are crying all the time is completely normal. Up until Friday, the only time I wasn't sobbing was when my body was literally too exhausted and I would feel numb. It was and continues to be unbearable. I will say that now, one week later, I'm not crying as much. I wish the feeling of shock would go away....I still somewhat feel like he could or should be here. But I have longer stretches now of feeling at peace with what happened.

My whole goal in Dakota's life, as I'm sure yours was in Jackson's, was to keep him safe, happy and comfortable. The disease that Jackson and Dakota has is an awful one...in that it takes them SO suddenly from us. I found it very hard to reconcile that Dakota looked o.k. Yes, he was a little shaky and was walking wobbly. But he was my boy, kissing my face and looking the same. The Dr. kept gently reassuring me that although he looked fine on the outside, things were not fine on the inside. But the one positive about that disease is that they truly are not in pain or uncomfortable right up until the end. They don't even know they are sick. I can find some comfort in the fact that Dakota lived a quality life his whole life. I never would have wanted him to get to the point where he had to be carried around or couldn't do things for himself. So we both did one last thing for our precious Dakota and Jackson, and let them go. It was truly the most loving act we coudl have done.

Today is a hard day....as I'm sure every 1st holiday this hear will be. I can't even imagine him not being here on Halloween. He LOVED walking around the neighborhood and seeing all the people. I'm hoping that by then I can think of that and smile, and not cry. But it will be a long time.

I hope that most of this made sense, I have to admit that a lot of the time I am still in a fog. But this place helped me so much those first few days....everyone here is so supportive. You can go onto the Monday Candlelighting link and have a candle lit for him tomorrow night. Much Peace....
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Dear KSD~
Please accept my sincere condolences for the loss of your beloved Jackson. Other than the loss of a child I can think of no harder thing to go through.
l had to let my Joey go on March 9. His story is on the "hemangiosarcoma" thread of the cancer forum.
I'm still crying every day, ever since he got sick last December. Little things, like the pug head cover of my golf driver, the last little pile I found under the melting snow, the bulbs I planted last fall with him next to me that are now blooming, remind me of his absence.
I'm keeping you, your family and Jackson in my prayers.
May his memory remail for a blessing~
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So sorry to hear of your loss of jackson , its such a difficult time for you now , i found this site very helpful after losing my Mika on tuesday , i feel it does help to share your feelings and know that you are not alone ,, my thoughts are with you at this sad time x
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Dear KSD -
I am so very sorry for your loss.  I feel your pain as I went through the same type of thing.  My Abby collapsed in November at 6 years old and it was Hemangiosarcoma.  Up until that moment she I didn't even know she was sick.  Such a terrible illness that doesn't discriminate - takes old and young alike.

I too was with her in her last moments.  You did the most unselfish thing you could do - you made sure he did not suffer.

I am sure time will help you to accept it but, in all honesty I am still crying...
Keep thinking of those good memories....

My heart goes out to you.

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hi KSD,
So sorry about the loss of your Jackson.  My dear sweet Teddy, an 11 year old chow, died last Tuesday (I had him put to sleep) - he was diagnosed with
pancreatic cancer and starting having seizures.  I understand about the crying; for about 4-5 days after I cried constantly.  I felt the most pain I have ever felt even after losing my husband, mother and father and my other dogs and cats.  His illness came on so suddenly - three weeks from when he first went to the vet til he died.  It hit me like a ton of bricks and was totally unexpected.  The tears will subside after a while, if only from exhaustion, but the memories and reminders will be there forever. 
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Thank you so very much for your kind words. I apologize I am just now responding to everyone who left me comforting and kind words.  It has been a hard couple days!

I am feeling much better about my decision regarding my sweet boy, Jackson.  Although I still have those feelings of guilt try to creep in - I remind myself that I was giving Jackson the last act of kindness and love possible.  The least I could do for a wonderfully sweet, gentle and kind soul that brought so much joy and happiness to our lives.

I also like the visual image of my Jackson running and frolicking with your John Lennon (love the name).  That image brings a big smile to my face.  I like to think that Jackson has already made lots of new buddies! He was a very easygoing dog so it would not surprise me!

It has helped me to still have Cody to focus on.  Of course, I worry as Cody has never been apart from his "buddy".  I am trying not to overdo my affection and attention as I do not want to cause anymore stress than what Cody is already experiencing with the loss of Jackson.

Once again, thank you very much for your words of wisdom!

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I know how you feel as so many of us can share in your grief.  I had to put my 7 1/2 year old yellow lab down (Emma-Girl) 2 months ago and the grief is still overwhelming at times.  Everyday that I drive home I look over where we used to walk and say hi to her. I still see her and feel her with me. 

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