I put down my buddy of almost 10.5 years, Henry, on 10/11/19. The pain is so strong and raw it's making day to day activities so difficult to perform. 

Over the past year and a half or so I started noticing gradual weakness of his hips, particularly his right leg. I'd take him for a walk and every now and then the leg would give. Other times he's be chasing a ball and suddenly stumble, yet he never showed signs of pain. I attributed it to the fact that he was growing old and was getting hip dysplasia. I added glucosamine, turmeric, salmon oil, CBD to his diet trying to help as much as I could. 

Over the past month he had been fighting an infected cyst about the size of a walnut on his leg, and after 3 types of antibiotics it was finally going down. I decided to take him for a walk to his favorite beach. We walked to my car and I lifted him in so he wouldn't jump. Upon arriving at the beach, I brought him down and he started walking, but could barely do so. His rear legs were extremely wobbly and would easily give, and he'd just fall into a seated position. I put him back in my car and took him back home and made an appointment to the vet for the next morning. The next day he seemed to walk a bit better and we headed to the vet. Again, upon bringing him out of my car he stumbled and barely made it into the vet's office. 

The vet examined him and stated it could be a couple of things, a herniated disc or degenerative myelopathy. She asked if I wanted a referral to a neurologist to perform an MRI and determine the cause - but if it was a disc issue, it would require surgery followed by physical therapy. The last thing I wanted to put my Henry through after battling the infection on his leg was more intrusive medical procedures. I elected for in-home euthanasia the next day.

The next morning came and he walked a bit in the morning. His rear legs were once again extremely shaky, but he walked on his own. After about midday, he laid on his bed and would not get up again. The vet arrived at 5pm and put him to sleep.

I cannot get over the overwhelming sense of guilt now, that I euthanized too soon. I see posts of people putting down German Shepherds, but most are 13 to 14 years old. My Henry was only 10.5 years old... In my mind I was sure that it was degenerative myelopathy and nothing could be done. The sadness and guilt is so overwhelming that my body aches. What if I had gone to the neurologist? What if it it was a herniated disc that could have been fixed with a surgery? At the time I didn't want to put him through surgery, but looking back now, maybe I should have. Maybe rather than typing this as I cry, I could be sitting with him by my side, recovering from a successful surgery and on his way to walking and running again in a matter of weeks...


Quote 0 0
Sorry for your loss. I just put down my 13 yr old yorkie, Buddy, this morning. I can reassure you that it is never too soon. But there is too late. I struggled with the guilt of too soon when making the decision last week as well. I talked it out with some family members and we realized; even though he is not suffering ALL the time(he had frequent seizures, he was losing his hearing, his one eye was cloudy, and beginning stages of heart murmur) it is still ok to put him to rest. I realized, sure he couldve lived years! He was so happy!! But it would be a matter of time before an accident took his life or a seizure and it would have been heart wrenching to end like that. You made the RIGHT choice. It hurts. Your bud was still awareof you, still happy, and you couldn't ask for a better way to go. He couldve been in terrible pain, not recognize you, had a terrible accident, or more. You dont wait for that to happen. I couldve kept my bud for another week but the choice was inevitable. Thankfully his last days were seizure free and he was extraordinarily happy and energetic.
Do NOT feel guilty. You freed your sweet one from the pain and confusion. Dogs are like us, they all dont live to be 14, theyre all different. If i were in your shoes i would have done the same. I am grieving as well. Its ok to not be ok and to miss him. But you are not guilty of anything! You made the right decision.
Quote 0 0
Hi Jorge,

Thank you for your post, I know how you are feeling. You did what was best for your best friend, the guilt that you are feeling is something I felt as well when I helped my Romeo cross the rainbow bridge 11 years ago. To this day I still think " He would have been 20 years old in May", but I know if I had not euthanized he would have continued to suffer. In my opinion I feel you did the right thing, again, because you loved him so much, you did what you felt was best for him. I'm grateful you got to enjoy 10.5 years with him, we're here for you in this forum. Please don't hesitate to reach out anytime, continue to let us know how and what you're feeling.

Quote 0 0
Hi Jorge

I live in England and can’t sleep (it’s 3.15am) and I was feeling upset over my dog Peanut who we had put to sleep at home in March and she was only 7.  This is why I’m on here.  Your post caught my eye and by the end I was in tears reading it as you basically described how I felt.  I feel the same guilt and ‘what ifs’.  I’m struggling 7 months later.

Henry was a beautiful dog who you can see from his photo was well cared for.  You made a decision that was so hard because you loved him and you miss him.  The guilt is natural I think as we have to make these awful decisions about our furry friends which hurts.

Surround yourself with pics of Henry so it feels to a certain extent he’s still around.  If you need to chat email me  Take care
Be nice as you never know what someone is going through
Quote 0 0
Hi Jorge,
So sorry for your loss, its never easy losing a beloved member of the family. In the 2 months since losing my bff I have learned that the "what ifs" is a circular mindset that doesnt do me any good. The "what ifs" in my mind only are positive results that are contrary to reality, and there are many reasons to second guess my decision. Reality is that I made a loving and unselfish decision, so as to spare my bff from pain and suffering. Its my hope that sharing this somehow puts your mind at ease and you are able to find some peace.
Quote 0 0
Jorge, I am sorry for you loss.  I will tell you this everyone feels guilty, we all do.  Did I act too fast?  Did I wait too long?  It is a natural reaction to the decisions we make on their behalf.  You acted out of love and concern for your baby, what else would you be expected to do.  Your Henry is now free from any pain, any stress, he is free from any problems at all.  Try to think of that in the days ahead, it will bring a small measure of comfort.  We love them the best we know how and frankly you wouldn't be on this forum if you hadn't loved Henry so deeply.  You did fine for him.

Marlene Wagner
Quote 0 0
My heart hurts for YOU, your baby is not suffering. My Aussie was almost 15 when we had to put her down. She had been living with an aggressive cancer we weren't aware of. She was tough. So you was little guy. What a handsome boy!!

Our fur-babies are so loyal, so pleasing and love us unconditionally. He wasn't going to complain to you. They look to US to make that decision. I feel you made the right one. Our vet that put our girl to sleep told us he had 5 dogs over the years. NONE of them made it past 10. With big dogs too, they have a shorter life. Our German Shepard lasted a little under 10 years when I was a kid. He was prone to strokes. But he'd rally for awhile. 

We see our family members suffer with cancer and other horrid diseases. But with our pets, we can make the transition a peaceful and loving one. Is there ever a right time?? No. What if you did keep him too long and he truly suffered more?? You'd never forgive yourself. 

Time does heal. It helps you live a "new normal" without your companion. But in months you will remember and laugh and enjoy all the love and joy he brought you. And talk about him always. 

You did good, Jorge. He is forever running and playing. 
Sami's mom
Aussie 14 1/2 yr old female
Smarty pants and ruler of our home
Quote 0 0
Thank you all for the kind words of support and wisdom. The passing of my Henry - although I had seen it coming due to his progressive weakness of his hind legs - was totally devastating to me. Coming here and having your support has really helped, again, thank you. It hasn't been easy. It is a life more lonely without my walking buddy, a life more quiet without him welcoming home or him barking at the birds pecking at the persimmons in "his" persimmon tree. I think the worse is that for a split second I still try to make plans with him when someone mentions going for a walk, or doing an activity that would have involved Henry. Then the realization that he is gone sets in and I get a cold hollow feeling at the bottom of my stomach...

I'm scheduled to pick up his ashes today and it's bringing back those raw painful emotions again. I have prepared a shelf specially for him in my living room for his pictures, toys, and urn...

Although it still hurts, taking it day by day and allowing myself to grieve and talk about my feelings is definitely helping. 

Thank you for your support, everyone. I truly appreciate it. 
Quote 0 0