Tobysmum
A month ago my Toby was euthanised, and i made the decision.
He had been suffering with painful hips for sometime and seemed to be managing it with meds, he then started odd heavy breathing so i took him in and the vet said to rule out any infections she'd give him anti-biotics, if it was still no better to bring him back.  he was like a puppy again for two days then back to heavy rapid breathing. I went out on the Friday night with friends, came home and for the first time in his life he did not get up to greet me but laid where he was. I knew something was very wrong.
I took him in at 11am and by 11.30am he was dead.
The vets founds a large tumour on his spleen that appeared to have spread to his lymph glands, and had also hemorraged.  He was starting to be in pain.  The vet told me that he could operate and remove the spleen but felt the news of the spreading would be bad and they probably wouldn't be bringing him round again.  I was in shock, i was hoping for meds to control his pain in his hips not to put him to sleep, i was a mess, sobbing, not able to fully understand why it hadnt been picked up before, why it was so bad etc etc.  I asked if i had to have him euthanised there and then and the vet told me that if i took him home he could well hemorrage again and be in incrediable pain, and bleed to death!
I know i had no choice, none whatsoever, but it was all so unexpected, sudden and quick i had no time to think properly, no time to prepare.  I made the decision to end his life, i wanted to be with him at the end rather than him going during an operation.
It was awful, the worse thing that has ever happened to me.
I am devastated.
He was only 8 years old and very affectionate to me, i loved him dearly with all my heart.  I held him as he went telling him i loved him and thanked him for finding me when he was a stray.
But i am not dealing very well with the knowledge that it was ultimately me that sent him to his death, i hate it, i hate that i did it and that it happened that way.  I want him here so i can ask for his forgiveness.
How do i get through this, how do i know that what i did was the right thing, how can i forgive myself?

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MagzMom
Tobysmum.   I can tell you I have the very same feelings.  I feel like I was Maggie's "executioner", like I think I am God making the decision that she should not live another day.  I cry, I punish myself.  Those were the first words out of my mouth when the vet looked at me and told me "I am very sorry, she's passed away."  I sobbed to her that I was sorry.  What you are feeling is normal...you loved him deeply.  It was the worst decision, signing those papers was agony. Your sweet boy was in pain, he was suffering.  You loved him enough not to let him suffer anymore.  Take some comfort in that please.  Please try to forgive yourself, I am trying to.  You are not alone.  I am not sure if the pain ever totally goes away, but it becomes more bearable. Hang in there.  You are in my thoughts.
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Susie_Squillions
Dear Tobysmum,

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss.  Everything happened so fast for you at the end, you had no time to prepare for what was to come.  I have no doubt that Toby was ready to make that journey.

I am so sorry to hear that you're second-guessing your decision.  What you're feeling is absolutely normal, and I think more people have felt the way you do than have been able to escape it.  First, I want you to know that our animals help to guide us in making  those decisions.  They know when the time is right.  

Everything happened so seemingly  fast for you, and you had little time to prepare for what you heard from the vet.  The progression of  Toby's condition wasn't so fast for him though.  It took a long time (in doggy time) for him to get to that place, so he was ready.  They are so good at concealing their pain until they can't conceal it any longer.  It's part of what they do in the wild, and that instinct can't be taken out of them.   I absolutely know that you did make the right decision and at the right time.  It's natural to regret it, to hate ourselves for it, etc., because of the pain we are in without them next to us.  We are the ones now in pain, they are not. 

You also mention that Toby was only 8 years old.  But what kind of breed was Toby?   Some breeds, at 8 years, are the equivalent of a human who is over 80.  The time goes all too fast for us, but for them, it's an entire lifetime.

When I first came here a long time ago, someone who was posting at the time said, "I would rather assist her a week too soon than a moment too late."  In other words, he would rather prevent his girl from suffering at all than allow her to suffer for even an instant.  Very wise words.

Please come back and tell us more about Toby.  It helps to write about our Bridge Kids, and to tell the stories of how we met, their silly/amazing/entertaining youth, and their favorite things to to.  It helps us remember the best of times as we're going through the worst of them. 

You and Angel Toby are in my thoughts and prayers.

My heart is battered and bruised, but I will not let it break. It holds such precious cargo, I must protect it now. (Susie Squillions)

"Memories of loved ones are like songs in our soul." Margaret Wakeley

T.J.'S RESIDENCY:
http://RainbowsBridge.com/residents/TJ006/Resident.htm

BUDDY GUY AYRES~LYNCH'S RESIDENCY:
http://www.rainbowsbridge.com/residents/Buddy128/resident.HTM

KING BING THE GOD CAT'S RESIDENCY:
http://rainbowsbridge.com/residents/BINGO009/Resident.htm

In one of the stars, I shall be living.
In one of them, I shall be laughing.
And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing when you look at the sky at night.
~ The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery
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Shireboy
Dear Tobys Mum

I had to put my little boy Bailey, a West Highland Terrier, and my best mate for the past 11 years to sleep last Thursday. I to am finding it very hard to deal with the decision I made to put him at rest. He was a diabetic and his kidneys started to fail him. The vet said we could try to improve his situation short term. He was constantly throwing up and moaning. He was a very sick little boy. The thing I cant deal with is that I couldnt bring myself to be in the room when it was done and now I wish I had held him till the end. I did spend some time alone with him talking to him and telling him how much I loved him and was going to miss him. I held his head and looked him straight in the face. I kissed him and squeezed him. I said my final goodbye and left him with his vet of the past 11 years. To carry your little mate out to the car in a plastic bag was so surreal. His little sister Bonnie also a Westie is still with us but she is constantly looking around the house to find her little buddy. It is breaking my heart. The pain in my chest makes me feel sick. Everything you are going through is normal. 12 years ago I lost my first Westie when I put him down on the ground at age 5 for one second and he ran onto the road and got hit by a car. I saw the whole thing. It took me months to get over that day but it did happen. Stay strong and remember the good times you had with Toby and think of the fantastic life you gave him. The hardest part is getting used to the fact that when you walk in the door they are not there anymore. I keep finding little things around the house that Bailey had hidden or his hair were he had had a scratch. I just loose it. Time will heal and I sure wish it would hurry up. Bye.
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Tobysmum
Thank you for taking the trouble to write to me.  I am in torment but it does help to know that this is normal.....i have no-one to talk to really, my husband never really bonded with the dogs (i have two others who i love as deeply as Toby) so he has no time to listen to me, my mother loved Toby greatly but she is terminally ill and gets very upset easily when she sees me hurting so much, i dont want to cause her anymore worry than she needs right now.
Toby was a mixed breed.....he was black and tan a bit like a dobermann, with the chunky build of a lab, he had wiry ruffly fur around his neck and chest and a long tail that curled in a complete circle at the end like a donut.  I found him dumped riddled with heartworm disease and poisoned, the vet said he was lucky i found him just in time for her to reverse its effects.  That drive to the vets with him, no name, that day he crawled over and rested his head on my lap, and looked at me with his big brown eyes and i prayed out loud for God to spare this one.  We became so very close, he was my baby because of his poor start, we were inseperable, he was so very devoted and protective of me, his 'brothers' and when my children came along too.
Deep down i know he was asking for my help, the way he looked at me that night i walked in i just knew, the next day i could see the pleading in his eyes.....i just wish i had more time to prepare, to tell him everything i wanted to, it was a whirlwind and i didnt know what had hit me, i was there in the vets physically shaking with shock, shivering unable to take it all in that this was to be our last few minutes together. And yes i nearly collapsed when they gave me that peice of paper to sign, i was trying to be stoic the whole time and it didnt work.
I miss him so much.
I look at my other two boys and wonder how the hell am i going to face it when their times comes, of course i'll be there for them too and fingers crossed its a way down the road yet.
Please forgive me Toby i did it because i loved you. I miss you.

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AndreaNewEngland
Hi Toby's mum,  It's often a delicate balance when it comes to deciding when to let go.  But let me be blunt, for you there was very little choice. Letting things go on could have meant suffering for Toby, but the outcome would have been the same.  You cannot be so hard on yourself.  You clearly loved him very much and no doubt he knew it! 
 
We can't control how long we grieve, but knowing it was your only choice should make that part of the equation easier.
I lost my precious boy Tony, just this morning.  He'd had 2 or more strokes and his very slow decline had us just used to carrying him all about, hand feeding him and all that.  I had to be absolutely SURE that he was ready to go.  It had nothing to do with any inconvenience on our part.  And a couple of days ago, we got that from him. The light went out of his eyes.  He didn't really wag when I walked over to him any more.  And that made it so much easier to take. 
 
It just takes time to get over it. It does help to have other dogs; i have three more that I love dearly.  Take care, and good luck.
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tikibarb
The pain and agony of losing a beloved companion is overwhelming no matter what the circumstances.  You truly had no choice.  In your heart you know that.  It is just so very hard to move on without them. But please find comfort knowing that your previous Toby is suffering no more.  He and Ted and all the other furbabies are waiting patiently for us to come to them.  Until it is our time, they have each other to play with and love.Please visit Ted's site.  It may bring you some comfort.

Barbara Lyngarkos
My Beloved Ted 8/7/2005 - 7/7/10
http://rainbowsbridge.com/residents/TED001/Resident.htm
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Tobysmum
Thanks for all your support and kind words, especially when you are all hurting so much too.
I think i did in my heart know the end was near for Toby, although we thought he was suffering with his hips getting slower on his walks etc, i had a feeling something else was wrong, hence the first visit to the vets, then that night when he didnt get up to greet me i knew i really did and i even woke my husband up and told him that i was going to loose him soon and i cried then, i didnt realise how soon i'd be loosing him though.
The other thing i am having trouble with apart from that awful decision, despite being the right one to help Toby move on without suffering/bleeding to death, is that i had Toby cremated, i had the ashes returned to me and planned to bury him in the garden - he loved his home and family more than anything else on earth so felt it right he should be here with us and not scattered somewhere.  I have placed some of his ashes in a locket in case we ever move so a part of Toby can always be with me, but i cant bring myself to bury him?  I went with my mum and we selected a beautiful rose, it was an old fashioned English rose, big and floppy bit like my boy, and smelt so beautiful and sweet - to mark his grave, but i cant face burying his casket and saying those final goodbyes, to 'let go' i dont ever want to let go really. Anyone else had this problem?
My favourite saying about Toby which sums up his loyalty and love was if i walked through the gates of hell, Cody and Pepe would run back tail between their legs, but my Toby would walk right in next to me!  As it is he is someplace different and one day i'll walk in to that place to be right next to him once again.

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jasminesmom
Tobysmum,

I am so sorry for your loss. And yes, they let us know they are ready by the look in their eyes-a look I will never forget.  It breaks your heart, you want to scream Why God! but you know in your own heart it's up to you to cease their pain and suffering.

Find comfort in knowing here you can say what you feel when you feel it. There will be times where grief will engulf your life and times when you will be able to remember your wonderful life with Toby.

My Jasmine, with her sweet personality, was there to welcome Toby to The Rainbow Bridge.

Hug Cody and Pepe extra tonight for they miss him too.

My thoughts and prayers are for you and your family.

Hugs 
Cheryl and Angel Jasmine
Jasmine was loved
Jasmine was given ProIn
Jasmine is now gone
http://RainbowsBridge.com/residents/JAMIN001/Resident.htm
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tikibarb
The first dog I ever lost, Casey (12/1/2003) was cremated with the idea of burying him when he came home.  He has a spot on to of the TV cabinet in my bedroom.  I don't think I will ever bury him.  There is something about the coldness of being in the ground that really bothers me.  Ted is on my desk for now.  I feel as though I need him close to me. You will know when and if the time is right to bury him.  No need to rush it.
Barbara Lyngarkos
My Beloved Ted 8/7/2005 - 7/7/10
http://rainbowsbridge.com/residents/TED001/Resident.htm
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judylinn
What you did for Toby was give him the ultimate gift of love. You stopped his suffering. It takes great courage to do this, believe me I know from just last week.
Its the suddeness of it all....its like being in shock.
I felt the same way about Maddie. How could I take her life, then I remembered the pain she was in, and I now feel okay, about that part of the desicion. Please don't berate yourself, what you did was unselfish, and pure love for Toby. You did not want to see him suffer. You have great courage!!

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judylinn
oir Maddie, I am planting a gorgeous flowering cherry blossom tree. I hear you tobysmom, about wanting some part of his ashes with you. I will put some in the tree, some at her favorite places, and I bought a miniature urn to save some for when I move. But we all have to do it in the time that is right for each of us.  I still have all her blankets and bowls etc.  you do what is right for you.  we are here to support you.  Judy :) 
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