My cat, Hootie had been suffering from heart disease and congestive heart failure for quite some time, which was controlled by meds.  Recently I noticed he was not acting the same and habits changing.  Long story short, I knew it was time to take him to the vet for the inevitable.  Being nervous going to the vet as most pets are, when we arrived, he was so sick and nervous that he was literally breathing out of his mouth and trying desperately to get comfortable in the carrier.  The vet confirmed what I knew, and the process of putting him down began.  The vet came in to administer the first shot to sedate him.  He then told me he was putting Hootie back into the carrier because that was his "safe place" unless I wanted to hold him.  I declined, figuring the vet was correct about the safe place and he could rest peacefully.  I spoke to my boy the entire time the vet was gone, telling him how much I loved him and touching him through the door.  I saw his paws finally relax and I knew he was in a good place. When the vet came in to give the final shot, he gently took him out, placed him on the blanket, listened to his heart and literally told me he didn't need the second shot, that Hootie had just passed.  i was so relieved he was finally not suffering.

My guilt in all of this is that I now feel I should have held him in my arms instead of putting him back into that darn carrier.  The entire event keeps replaying over and over in my head and I tear up every time.  I feel horrible.  I was so nervous myself, and I didn't want to stress poor Hootie out any more either.  Am I wrong in feeling such guilt?? Help!!!

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You know, there is a part of ourselves that we find really really hard to get around the fact that we are taking them there for the very last time. There's a part of us running slower. It might be to do with a kind of denial which sets in, that even though we know logically they are about to be euthanised, our minds are still geared up to behaving with them as if 'normal' was still happening.

If he'd been having anesthetic and the vet said that, putting him into the carrier would have been fine. It's just the tremendous impact of those final moments can sometimes overwhelm us, and we don't take those precious 'last seconds' on board. It seems only like a regular vet visit.....

That's because, for years, for their whole lives, we have NEVER been taking them to the vet to be put to sleep. Only for procedures.

I honestly think there should be more veterinary training in how to handle pets and pet owners in those final moments. I don't think they are schooled in that.
Nothing should be rushed, every step should be gently and clearly explained, there should be special 'quiet rooms' for the procedure, and vets should take the psychological/spiritual impact into account.
Except of course, in desperate emergencies when no time must be lost.

However your dear Hootie passed, it was very peaceful, and did not take very long. He would have slipped into gentle sleep, knowing you were right with him. The sense of hearing is the last sense to go at death, so even if his eyes were closed, he would have heard your voice speaking to him.
Now he is freed from his body and will feel tremendous.
Hold the love like a little light. It is all you have, or will ever have, to find your way home.

Misty's Blog..a Dogfight with Cancer http://www.mistysblog69.blogspot.co.uk

Misty's life after death: http://www.dog2spirit.com
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Karendu, I am so very sorry for the loss of your sweet Hootie. It is so difficult losing such a close friend, and many of us have feelings of guilt about some part of the process. I lost my cat Mucha just after Thanksgiving - I didn't know I would be putting him to sleep that day until we were at that last appointment, but once the decision was made I too felt nervous, anxious and unsure. It sounds like your vet was just trying to make Hootie as comfortable as possible - many cats do find their carrier to feel like a safe place when they are at the vet's office, it is enclosed and smells like home. And there was no way for you to know that the anesthesia alone would allow him to pass peacefully. He knew you were there with him, and he knew how much you loved him. You did a very brave and selfless thing. You have all my deepest sympathy and wishes for peace. 
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Thank you both for the kind words. It makes me feel much better knowing he could hear me and I do think it worked because that is when I saw his little paws stretch out like he was relaxing. I did put one of my towels in the crate, so I'm sure he could smell his home. A friend referred me to this site and I'm glad I took a look at it. I needed to let these feelings out. I know it will take me a long time to get over his passing, but this forum certainly is helping. I feel for everyone who has lost their babies. Thanks again.
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I am so sorry that you had to say goodbye to your precious Hootie. I know the depth of pain you are feeling and I can relate to the guilt you describe.  I think that we all experience feelings of guilt, for various reasons, after we have to let go of our dear companions.  We want to keep them with us forever and we want to be the best parents that we can and if we feel that we let them down in any way, we have difficulty letting go of that thought.

I don't think you failed your boy at all.  You were the last face that he saw, the last voice he heard and the last touch he felt.  He left for his journey to Rainbow Bridge with you in his heart and he knew how adored he was.  It sounds as if he was peaceful when he closed his eyes...that is how it should be.  Be proud of yourself for having the strength to be able to let go when Hootie needed you to, because that is hard to do.  Try to remember Hootie's life, not by those final moments, but by the many, many moments of pure joy and love that you shared with him.  That is what he will remember when he thinks of you.

You need to give yourself time to grieve now.  You have lost a precious member of your family and it is hard to come to terms with.  I don't think we ever get over it, we just learn to live with our "new normal".  I said goodbye to my gorgeous beagle, Bella, nearly 11 months ago and I still have times that I struggle through tears.  I think I will always feel the emptiness and have moments of tears because she is no longer by my side.
Hold your memories of Hootie in your heart...they are yours to keep forever.  I hope that soon they will bring you more smile than tears.
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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I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved Hootie
Please don't beat yourself up, you were with your boy and he knew that
The carrier probably felt safe to him , they always are more relaxed when they are put back into the carrier because they know they are going home.
It sounds like he went very peacefully.

Give yourself time to grieve, it will take time to adjust to the new reality. I lost my beloved boy Byron 4 months ago and I still have very bad days. I'll never stop missing and yearning for him. But this is the price we pay for the love we shared with these incredible beings

I wish you peace and healing in the coming days
Bee- "Good night sweet prince & flights of angels see thee to thy rest"
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I am sorry to learn of your loss and know well your feeling of guilt.  Hootie knew you were there with him.  He could hear your voice and smell you close by.  He passed peacefully with you near him.  Grieving takes time, so do not let anyone try to rush you through it or diminish you feelings.  I am certain you will always love Hootie and keep him in a special place in your heart. Hootie is at Rainbow Bridge now with all of our furbabies.  He is young and healthy once again and waiting for the day when he is reunited with you. *Hugs* 

My sweet Peanut, you are the sunshine of my life and I will love you forever
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Thanks again everyone, this really does help.  I know it will take a long time to get over...but as everyone says, I'll just take one day at a time.  Bless you all for your kind words and sorry for your losses as well.  Hootie's mom
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