I lost my beautiful little Max a couple of days ago. The grief is searing and unbearable, worse than I have a ever grieved for any human being. 

People keep telling me to remember the good times and that I rescued him from a terrible life when he was young but all I can see is the end. This is Intensified by the sheer guilt that I feel. 

not only did I allow him to have the awful lepto 4 vaccine which intimately killed him, ( I had no idea that thousands of dogs had died from the effects of the vaccine) but at the end , the vet said he would come to my home and that he would be given a sedative. Everything would be pain free but when he injected the sedative, instead of doing it in the scruff of his neck where he wouldn’t feel it, he did it in his back. Max squealed in pain and jumped off the sofa. He looked at me for a long time as if to say ‘ mum why did you let him hurt me’.
i was utterly distraught and I am now guilt ridden that the his last moments on earth were painful due to the needle. 

When he stared into my eyes at the end, was he remembering the pain of the needle and 5 days in intensive care with scans, needles, tests etc ? Or was he remembering good things? 

Does anyone know? I have looked for some answers but I can’t see much research into what and  how dogs remember things, 

Quote 0 0
Max_mummy - I am so sorry for your loss.  I am pretty certain he was remembering all the love you gave to him.  He looked at you because he wanted to feel comfort in your presence.  In your post you mentioned you rescued him from a terrible life and gave him a wonderful, loving home.  That is what he knew and that is what he took with him.  Do not feel guilty about the last few days - you were trying to do what was best for him and he knew that.  All pet parents feel guilt when they have to deal with the end of life of their pets.  We do the best we can for them.  We wonder why we could not have fixed them, but it is just life.  It hurts a lot right now because the pain is fresh.  I had to "give my cat back to God" a month ago and at first the pain was so intense I did not know how I was going to deal with it and move forward.  But after a few days, it started to subside a bit and I could remember my boy in his better days (he had kidney failure and went at the ripe old age of 19).  I knew it was time, but it still did not make it any better.  

Don't feel guilty.  I know it is hard but maybe if you wrote down some wonderful memories you had of him, it would help.  It is ok to feel bad - you are supposed to.  There is a hole in your heart that will not be filled.

Bless you and hugs.
Quote 2 0
Thank you for such a kind reply and lovely words. I very much hope you are right about the good things he remembered and about the pain easing.x
Quote 0 0
Max Mummy: I understand your pain and guilt as I am going through something similar. I think though, dogs know future events before they transpire (like how animals knew to flee before the tsunami hit in 2005 Thailand) they have a sixth sense that is stronger and more defined than ours, so imho, I think perhaps Max knew you were trying to help him, but he knew his time would end soon.

My little baby did something similar. I was in denial about her being close to death and she just kept looking at me with sad eyes, seemingly telling me it was time to say goodbye, but I wasn't ready. I'm in so much pain thinking about it, and how I wished I could've rewinded the last 6  months so that she could've gotten the proper treatment she needed. 

I don't think she was thinking of the good times, but she held on for me until the end because I wasn't ready to let her go. Even at the end, she was worried more about me than about herself and I will miss her so much. She knew it was time, because she turned around to look at me one last time as I held her in my arms before she passed away. 
Quote 3 0
My LaGata ran to me 3 months ago today.  She jumped up on the bed, made her little muffins, circled around, and laid down on my legs looking at me.  I had only enough time to stroke her from head to foot, smiling at her beautiful face and laughing a bit as she rarely did what she did.  As I went back to stroke her again she took a deep breathe, raised her head to look at me and it was all over.  I will never be the same.
Quote 0 0
At 15, Angel, our Cockapoo, had experienced a few surgeries. (She battled Cancer) She knew she was loved, and I firmly believe she was so used to needles and sleep that she probably felt this was just another surgery to make her feel better. I doubt it occurred to her that she wouldn’t wake up.

We also surrounded her with love that last time. Anxiety dissipates when you’re loving and calming.

if you calmed her, told her you loved her, and even gave her a familiar look... she probably left you knowing she was loved.
Quote 1 0
I believe similar to what Angelsgift said. I don't think they realize that the needle is anything more than what normally happens at the vet especially if they've had those experiences of getting IVs, shots etc... My boy Cody had dentals and small surgeries like neutering where he had an IV and was put out so I don't think he realized when we brought him in for the last time that he wouldn't wake up. We sure did.  It was the most terrible day of my life. He had a brain tumor and we needed to end his suffering so we had to let him go.
Julie 💔
"Grief only exists where love lived first."
--Franchesca Cox
Quote 1 0

My hope is that they remember the years of love that we gave them before the end.

I lost my beloved Coco just shy of three months ago. She was a strong, healthy, feisty ten year old yorkie. I left her at her boarding house for a weekend getaway only to come back to find her in pain. I took her straight to the vet. She survived the hernia surgery, but not the night. I believe it was a mistake on the veterinarian’s part for not providing/recommending overnight care. 

Those where her last four days...away from me and dying alone, at night at the vet. To say that I am tormented is an understatement. I loved that little girl with all my might. She was always by my side and I miss her so much. 

Quote 0 0
Max_mummy wrote:

He looked at me for a long time as if to say ‘ mum why did you let him hurt me’.

I sincerely believe with all my heart that he looked at you because you are his safe place. It is like something wrong or unfamiliar happening to a child and they will seek out their parent first because that human, they know and understand that human. I am sure he left knowing you loved him with all your heart all his time with you and will continue doing so until the end of your days and even beyond. He was loved and he knew it. My baby passed just 2 days ago and when I don't know what to do with this unimaginable unbearable pain, I tell myself that my baby knew he was loved desperately. 

Quote 1 0
My daughter rescued Sadie from a shelter.  Two months after Sadie became very ill with viral meningitis (not contagious to humans or other dogs).  The doctor then told us to consider putting her down.  Really?   To make a long story short, she suffered with a bout of shaking, fever and pain a year later.  We tried different vets and finally came upon one that told us she was allergic to shots due to the meningitis (and why didn't the other vets know this and save her from feeling crappy every time she got a shot).  Once we stopped the shots, she was fine.  I really question these shots for our animals, let alone for us.   If I ever get another dog I would question each and every shot.

If my daughter did not rescue her, she would have surely been put down.  We gave her 8 years of unconditional love and she returned the same.  While she was only 9 and passed 3 weeks ago from what the emergency vet thought was a burst tumor unbeknown to us, we have to comfort ourselves that we were really blessed having her in our life.  Don't get me wrong, I cry every day.  She was my buddy.  I still see her smiling, wagging her tale and going crazy when she knew were were going for a walk.  My heart is so broken but I would not, like all of you who are hurting too, do it any other way.   They are our furry kids, our life, our loves.   
Quote 0 0
Thank you for your kind words. I do hope that you are right. So sorry for your loss.
Quote 0 0
Dear Max_Mummy,

I've been scouring this site to ease my own pain of what happened when the vet gave my Bracken the needle. I don't know if it helps you to know that the same thing happened to my Bracken. He was given the needle in the back and screamed in pain, then the vet tried again, same scream. I didn't know what was happening. I wasn't even holding my Bracken because the vet had come to our home but told us to stand 6 feet away for the injections. Oh, dear God. I have the same last memories and questions as you do. My Bracken in pain and fear, just what I had tried to spare him from. People tell me don't worry, he knows I was there and I was good to him for nearly 14 years, but like you, Max_Mummy, the final moments are seared into my heart and mind and are overriding everything.
Quote 0 0