We had to put our beautiful bloodhound Ruby down over the weekend. She had been diagnosed with lymphoma but we had been treating with prednisone for the last few months with good relief of symptoms. We new this was not a cure, but more palliative care. We new that the day would come, but even knowing all this I still wasn’t ready. She had been our faithful companion for 10 years. We got up on Saturday morning and she just was not herself. When we went to vet they said she was not doing well. We made the decision to put her to sleep. I somehow did not prepare enough for this. I am now feeling a lot of guilt over our decision and a lot of what ifs. I am finding it hard to move past this....did I do the right thing. Everyone says it was the right decision, but how do you move on from the guilt? It’s been 4 days and I still can’t stop crying about this....
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Hi Butterfly. I'm so sorry for your loss of Ruby.  I lost my baby girl in May, and the guilt is still there. But they are right when they say time helps. There are days I don't feel guilt. Not that it doesn't exist within me anymore. But more that I'm starting to learn, accept, understand. And then there will be moments when the guilt and grief is so heavy that overdosing on pills to be with her sounds like the only option.  The what ifs will always be there. It's sadly part of the process.  I started to see a therapist which helps. I spoke to her last week, and she had to remind me (as I now share her words with you) that we let our babies free from suffering. Their strong spirit wanted to be with us, and they knew how much we still wanted them to be with us. But their bodies couldn't handle the wear and tear anymore. We relieved our babies from suffering, and we took that suffering.  They are proud of us for doing one of the most difficult things in life because they know we did it out of love. Hold on to these words.

Another thing I have done, and I understand it's not for everyone, is that I started to live. For the past few years when my girl was sick, I didn't go anywhere but work/visit family nearby and go home. I didn't travel, I didn't take risks, I didn't take classes. All my extra time was devoted to her. I made a list of things that I always wanted to do/try/learn but stopped because time with her was more precious. Now that she's gone, I'm starting to do those things.  It does help me heal, and I have nothing to lose now that I'm no longer afraid of death and want to be with her. Now I take her everywhere to all my new adventures and new things to experience and learn. Begin to heal and don't let our babies go in vain.

May your heart find peace and the memories always stay fresh and near. Hugs, Kim.
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Butterfly,  So so sorry for your loss of your beloved Ruby.  Unfortunately, your story with Ruby is far too similar to one of my own.  The most difficult decision we make is that one which frees our furred one from pain, from loss of dignity and from more and more invasive tests, procedures and drugs....Canine lymphoma - words we wish we would never hear and never come to know...We are never, ever ready to make this decision or to say goodbye.  There is such a disconnect between mind and heart - we can intellectualize all we want but when it comes to the emotion and the bond shared with our special fur one there is never and will never be time to prepare...Guilt is perhaps the normal partner to grief as our furred ones are so dependent upon us to make the right decisions for them from what food to eat, to where to walk, to their health...We are responsible and so when we make this ultimate decision, we find ways to ensure we punish ourselves for the things that are now the maybes, could haves, would haves, and mights ... Realistically and intellectually we know the prognosis is not good - and we know as much as we wish, or hope there are few if any miracles coming.  The grief is overwhelming, it is like a huge abyss into which we stare - and see or feel nothing but blackness and the cold...Add to this guilt and it seems as if there is just a vast nothingness - which echoes the hole within our heart and the pain felt.  Grief is physical and emotional and is truly the reflections of our love and bond with our furred one.  It is part and part of having the joy, the comfort and the love your special pup brought and brings...No doubt our pups are strong,relisient and determined to live each day in order to stay within the 'pack' they so so love - to be with us and while their spirit is invincible, their bodies are not...Perhaps there is small comfort in knowing those spirits are indeed invincible and everlasting - Ruby walks with you still through each day - and while her body is at rest, her spirit still bounds with joy as she hears your voice and knows she is loved for ever and always.  Take care - these are difficult days and nights - with many twists and turns throughout this journey of grief, sorrow and mourning.  There are so many caring and compassionate people on this forum - lean on this for support and do not go through this alone.  
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Sorry for your loss of your Ruby and for the guilt you are feeling. I feel you made the right decision to take Ruby out of her pain. I have guilt for the opposite, 4th of July 2016, even though I knew it was time, I had her leave the ER vet and come home with me, hoping for a miracle, but she suffered for many hours unnecessarily. I just couldn't let go until I was forced to. I know my girl did not deserve to suffer and when I think about it, it kills my heart. She was my world and such a sweet soul, that she probably wondered how I could let her suffer that long. So I think either side of the spectrum, we have guilt. It is a lose-lose situation. It is one of Life's extreme heart aches. I know your Ruby loves you and is thankful to you for letting her go to Heaven peacefully. Please don't beat yourself up over this. You loved Ruby and would never hurt her purposely. You did what was right, don't worry. And you are right, even though we know what the end outcome will be, we still are never ready for when it actually happens. I am not sure of you believe in God, but I pray He removes the guilt and helps you get thru this raw heartbreak you are going through. It will take time and you will go through a few different emotions and over and over, but time is all that helps, and for me praying and crying out to God. I also asked for signs which I got and still receive and that helps me to know that my girl is alright and I am thankful for the 12 yrs I had with my beautiful girl. God bless your Ruby and you.
Denise (Sweet Ginger's Mom)
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Dear Butterfly, I am so sorry about your loss of your beautiful Ruby. I felt terrible about putting my baby dog to sleep until I read the Lap of Love website. I hope you can read it and that it will bring you comfort. You did what was best for Ruby and that is true love. Think about what Ruby would say to you if she could. She would thank you for 10 wonderful loved filled years and for finding the courage to give her a peaceful end. My Bella had 16 wonderful years with me. The last few she had congestive heart failure. No matter how much you try to prepare yourself it is always a terrible shock when your baby passes. I hope her love and your memories of your time together soon heal your heart. Sending you love and hugs !!
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