Please help me.  My dog of 8 eight years was diagnosed with IVDD 6 days ago. The pain was horrible to see.  I went to the vet and got pain meds,anti-inflamatory meds - home rest - worked with support site. She seemed comfortable.  Then she became excited in the crate when my sister dropped by and rushed the door.
Soon after that the pain became extreme.  She trembled, whined, cried out.  I was able to lessen that with more pain meds.  But the next day she way worse.  DIdn't want me to touch her.  I was able to get her in a crate to bring her down to the vet. I left her overnight so they could watch her and find a way to get rid of the pain so she could get through the weeks necessary for inflamation in the disc to go down and believed once it did she would be able to live comfortably and back to her normal activities.  
 2 days later - I went to see her before I was supposed to take her home for recuperation.
THe vet did tell me on the phone that she still was in some pain even with pain patches, Tramadol, and other stronger meds. That she felt pain over her whole body, but it was anticipatory pain from fear of the pain that would happen when touched.
When they brought her to me, she was so fearful to be touched, she whined constantly, looked in extreme pain, I couldn't touch her or comfort her.  I was afraid to.  She would try to come to me and then move away if I reached out for her.
I couldn't let her be like that - we had never been separated in the years we were together. Not one day.  I told them her to put her to asleep.  I have been here at the end for all my dogs - all of them.  But, I couldn't for her.  She was crying out so much. When she needed me to worse I wasn't there. I can her her whimpering when I left the vets office and can't forgive myself. I hate myself for leaving her when she needed me.  Is there a way to forgive myself is there a way to not hate myself for being such a coward

Kris Olsen
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No you're not a coward.  People react differently in these situations.  I felt so uptight when I took my dog to the vet, I didn't really even talk to him that much.  I feel bad about that but it's a situation most people don't go through very much.  Your baby was in pain and that's what's important, that she's at peace now.
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Dear Kris, First of all, I am so very sorry for your loss.  My heart breaks for you.  I can hear your pain in your words and it brings me to tears.  Going through the grief that follows the passing of your baby is a terrible thing.  This forum can be a great place to heal and find comfort. 

Second, I want to assure you, you didn't leave your baby when she needed you most.  You are FAR from a coward.  A dog would never love and live with a coward....ever.  You WERE there for her everyday and on her last day.  You gave her everything she needed, you were sensitive to her needs, you knew her pain and challenges, and she knew you were there at the vet's office.  She saw you, came to you, and felt you.  Even though you didn't stay until the very last moments and it was so hard, she knows she was loved and cherished without a doubt.  Please don't be too hard on yourself.  You were a great mom and your dog knew that.  

Something that has helped me and others here regarding our babies at The Rainbow Bridge is to write notes to them.  I don't know if it will be too painful and fresh for you since it's barely been a week, but, perhaps, it's an idea to assist in finding closure.  Tell her how special she was and what she meant to you and yours.  Tell her what a good job she did and how brave she was.  Tell her that she was loved and adored and that'll you'll never forget her. 

I've said it before, but this time, I'm sure....there were plenty of members of the welcoming committee there for your girl when she arrived at The Rainbow Bridge recently.  My boy Memphis, Mr. Murphy, lovely Bella, little Charlotte, Kia, Buddy, Pal, Charlie, Jinx, Matilda, Hannah, and so many others were there to greet her and show her where to have fun.  They'll make sure she's ok.  She's at peace now, no longer suffering, and waiting for the days she is reunited with you, her beloved mom. 

Please be kind to yourself during these hard days. 
Thinking of you and all the best,
(Memphis's Mom)
If love would have been enough to keep you here, you would have lived forever.  (Memphis 2001-2014)
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Dear Chris:
I totally understand what you are feeling.
All my life, i had nothing but cats. The love i felt for them  all was beyond what most people feel.
Because i loved them so much, when the time came to let them go, i just couldn't be in the room to see them gone.
It left me with horrific guilt......
My cat Herbie passed away this coming February.
Again, i could not go in the room, because of the guilt after he was put down, i decided to go in the room to hold him, and say my final goodbye to him.
It was the worst thing i think i did. To goand see him lifeless.
Up until today, i cannot get that image out of my mind.
It left me so stricken, that afterwards i needed pet loss therapy.......
I am sure you have wonderful wonderful memories........
Please feel free to contact me, i am here for you to help.......
David brody
David Brody
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Dear Kris,
My heart goes out to you after saying goodbye to your dear girl.  I know the immense pain that you are feeling now without her by your side. I also know about the feelings of guilt that we put ourselves through.  We torture ourselves and add so much more to our feelings of grief. Many of us on this site have experienced the guilty feelings, for various reasons, and we know how difficult it is to deal with these feelings.  I know it is hard, but you need to try to let go of your guilty feelings and allow yourself to grieve for your loss.  Think instead about how you gave your baby the greatest gift of love that you could ever give her.  You put aside your wants and needs to have her remain with you, to concentrate only on her need to be relieved of her suffering.  That is a selfless act of true devotion and love.  Be proud of yourself for having the courage to do that because I know that it takes enormous amounts love and courage to be able to make that decision because I made that decision for my beautiful Bella too.

Your beautiful baby's life is not to be measured or remembered by the last moments, but by all of the many, many moments of love and devotion and fun and laughter that you shared. She left this world knowing that you adore her and you always will.

I wish you peace and healing.
(Bella, Charli and Buddy's very lucky mum)

My gorgeous girl, Bella  26/07/2004 - 03/04/2014
"You were once by our side, but you will be forever in our hearts. Until we meet again baby girl."
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Thank you all for your kind words of support.  It has been very painful - There are so many emotions right now.  The grief of losing her, but also guilt, great disappointment in myself, anger  that I wasn't more aggressive with the vet and anger at the vet for wanting to keep trying things he wasn't sure would work no matter how much pain she was in.
I couldn't take one more "let's try this" as she went days in pain.

I wish I could tell you all personally how much it means to hear from you.  This hurts more than any other dog I have lost simply because I couldn't hold her at the end.  It is going to take much time for that hurt to go away and allow me just to grieve for her loss.  I hope to just remember how special she was, how her personality showed such joy for life and love and acceptance of every person she met.  

Thank you,Thank you 
Kris  and Sunny, my love, my heart, my friend
Kris Olsen
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Dear Kris:
I'm torturing myself, the way you are torturing yourself, because I'm feeling that I gave up too soon and listened to the vet as he "pushed" me toward euthanasia.

After reading many posts here, I am coming to learn that so many of us feel we made the wrong decision, one direction or the other, because WE had to make the decision. Our beloved companions couldn't speak for themselves and it was left entirely up to us.

In all the heartbreak and turmoil following such a huge letting go, it becomes more and more apparent to me, that we love them with all of our heart and soul and always think, hope, wish that we could have done better for them.

Please do not blame anything on yourself; you were doing the best for your best friend with the information you had at the time. Your Sunny knew that you loved her completely and would never, ever do anything for her but the best you could do. I try to hold on to that thought when I begin to beat myself up all over again over my decision with my Buster.

We loved them - and still do love them. We want them back so badly and the last memories are the most vivid right now. But those memories will fade, I pray, and only the love and joy for them will remain.
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Thank you all for your comments.
I have PTSD and what happened with Sunny triggered a flooding episode.  It causes strong flashbacks that build up to anxiety and panic attacks.

Most of this is due to the fact that when I went to see Sunny, the back room vet tech brought her out on leash which is the complete last thing your do with a dog with spinal degeneration and IVDD.  I could tell by Sunny's pain and the way she moved that these girls that were supposed to be helping my dog had not been following the Veterinarian's Treatment for my dog.  If they had been, she would have had a chance to heal and have a few more years with me.  Instead, the vet clinic made it worse.  I made the decision to have her euthanized based on the amount of pain she was in and the amount of further damage that was created to her condition by them ignoring proper treatment.  

My guilt isn't just because I made the decision to put her to sleep, but leaving her with people who were creating more pain for her, for not checking on her to make sure they were taking care of her, for not just bringing her to another vet clinic instead.  It is every reason we all come up with when forced to make the decision.  My thoughts at the time were that I just waned to release her from the pain.  To continue it by yelling at the staff to do the right thing or by taking her in her pain to another vet just seem fair to her.  But, it still hangs on and I think it will for a long time.
I have 2 other dogs, which help me .  But Sunny, was as good as her name.  A smart, funny, bright light, who talked to me, was always by my side, always confident and moving with joy and excitement.

Kris Olsen
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