Diane_M
I chose euthanasia for my dear Bracken because I wanted to spare him more pain and fear, but when the vet came to our house it did not go the way I thought it would.
If only I had been thinking clearly, maybe I could have given Bracken a sedative beforehand. He always was sensitive to needles. But that's not what I was thinking of as I was about to say goodbye to Bracken, with whom I shared a deep mutual love and caring for 13 years and 8 months. And if only the vet, who knew Bracken had thought of it.
But not it's just regret. The last memory I have of Bracken is him crying out in pain from the injections. Not once, but twice.
I don't know if I can ever forget this or forgive myself.
I spoke with two other vets afterwards, both who are exclusively end of life veterinarians. They both said that end of life care doesn't always go the way we hope or expect, not with people or animals. They gave me examples. The assured me that it was, for Bracken, just an instant of pain compared to a lifetime of love. Their kindness and knowledge helped briefly, but deep in my heart I had misgivings about the vet doing it, but he was the only one available due to the pandemic. Now, though I know euthanasia was the compassionate thing to do for Bracken, I blame myself for the way it happened and I don't know how to stop thinking about it. Yes, it was just an instant, but it's a moment I wanted to spare Bracken of.
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Solitaire

Diane_M:

I'm so sorry the euthanasia procedure caused Bracken a short moment of pain. I understand your regret about it, but if you think about the alternative - to let him pass away naturally - there's no guarantee he would have had a quiet ending. Many animals that die naturally are in discomfort and even pain at the end. Euthanasia is usually the better alternative, and in most cases the vet carries out the procedure swiftly and without any problems. However, there are occasions when things go slightly wrong. I'm a vet myself, although no longer active in the clinic, and I remember a few instances where the euthanasia procedure wasn't optimal. I was very angry with myself at the time, because I felt I let the pet parent as well as the animal down. But the fact is that sometimes these things happen, and in most cases it's nobody's fault. I think the two vets you spoke with afterwards are very wise, and even if it's difficult right now for you to forget Bracken's last moments I hope one day soon you'll be able to focus on all the love that was between you and him for many years, instead of those unfortunate memories. Please remember also that you were there with him when it happened, and even if he felt pain from the injections he knew you were there to comfort him. It was only a fleeting moment of pain, and then he didn't feel anything except sleepiness. Don't blame yourself; you did what was best for him, and he is grateful for his good mom and says thank you and I love you. 

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Diane_M
Dear Solitaire,

Thank you so much for responding to me with such insightful and reassuring words.
And even though I am despairing, deep down I know you are right, and I hope I can begin to focus on the years of love I shared with Bracken. And I truly hope Bracken knew I was there at the end and that he found some comfort in that, and that it out weighed his pain.
Right now, when I feel so shattered and self-blaming, I am grateful for people like you, who so generously offer kindness  when I need it most. I do have friends in my life, but most of them don't understand the relationship some of us have with out pets, so thank you, Solitaire, for validating my bond with my Bracken, and for your support now.
Diane
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Luke_03
Well said James. We people grow up knowing we will die and everything and everybody will also. Do pets understand this also? Do they learn this or do they not think that way?
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BoxerMomForever
I am very sorry for your loss and you had that bad experience.  I have heard this happen to others. Truly heartbreaking in the final moments.  Hugs to you.
Linda *Mom to two boxer angels* Lily {White Girl} 6/22/09 - 10/14/19  ** Ginger {Flashy Fawn Girl} 6/4/97 - 5/28/09
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Diane_M
Dear Linda "Mom of two boxer angels,"

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your compassionate comments and understanding. You have helped me immensely just now.

Sincerely,
Diane, Bracken's Mom
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codysmum102
Diane,
I am so sorry your experience was not a good one. When my first dog, Stubby, was euthanized it was not a good experience either. The vet had trouble finding a vein and had to keep poking him. It was terrible. But afterwards I realized that letting him die naturally would have been way worse for him so euthanasia was the best choice. I've had four other animals I've had to euthanize and they all went peacefully. If you ever have another animal that is suffering I would definitely not be afraid to end their pain this way. 
Julie 💔
"Grief only exists where love lived first."
--Franchesca Cox
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codysmum102
James,
I believe in everything you said 100%. I was glad to read it though as it just reconfirms that when I euthanized Cody it was the right decision. Since animals live only in the moment they do not understand what is happening to them. They only feel pain, fear, love, anxiety at the specific time they are in. That is why I decided not to do extraordinary measures on Cody when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Chemo and surgery would have only stressed him out and they could not guarantee that would even help and may have even made him worse. We got him medicine to stop his seizures and reduce the swelling on his brain which gave him and us two more precious months to love and spoil him. Then when the medication stopped working we took him in while he was still lucid and not in pain before he had more seizures. We wanted him to know we were with him and his last moments would be surrounded with love. It killed me to do it and even now I miss him so very much but it was for the best.
Julie 💔
"Grief only exists where love lived first."
--Franchesca Cox
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