Hello, this is my first time at Rainbow Bridge and I have been reviewing the forums and read many stories and recognize the kindness and support that is in this virtual space.
I am struggling mightily — scraping the bottom of myself — to make sense of my own decision to euthanize my dog and wonder if there are others who have experienced a similar range of emotions: self-loathing, regret, resolve, confusion, a back-and-forth of right & wrong, etc? To be sure: my dog wasn't actually DYING. He was very sick and suffering, but he wasn't actually in the dying process.
I euthanized my dog on October 7. He was sick for 18 months, though it was unclear exactly what was wrong with him. He had tumors in his spinal canal that changed only slightly over time. He had tremors in his head that made his teeth chatter and he had these tremors on and off all day. He had bowel issues. He was a rescue dog, and was likely around 11 or 12 when I euthanized him.
I brought him to probably 8 different veterinarians, including 2 neurologists and oncologist, an internal medicine specialist. He was seen at UC Davis and Tufts. He had an acupuncturist and a few days before he died we saw a chiropractor. We did aquatherapy. I tried everything to ease what appeared to be his pain...I mean, I could go on and on forever here about the medicines he was on, the herbs I tried, etc etc. But the bottom line is that he WASN'T DYING when I euthanized him. He just seemed to me to be in great discomfort, for so many many months. After another night of us being up together and him not sleeping and just staring at me for a long time while we lay near each other, I felt this sense of "Enough." I didn't want him to be in this pain any longer. His vet of many years performed the ceremony in the yard and it was beautiful and peaceful and I sang to him and told him the whole day beforehand that this was going to be his last day alive.
I felt like I was doing the right thing. But since that next morning, I've been inconsolable. And hating myself and full of regret and just sobbing. Euthanasia is so complex: you take away another being's choice to live. It is a much bigger deal than is discussed. I am just weighed down by all of this. I couldn't heal him. I tried so hard for 18 months to feel like he was in a space of comfort. But it never lasted long to me. He seemed so uncomfortable for so long...a few times he fell walking with the dog walker when I was unable to walk him. We lived alone together for 10 years, he and me. He was my everything. We walked 4 times a day and he was my first thought in the morning and the last at night and even in the night i would go and check on him. To me, he was the happiness that is Christmas morning — but every morning. He was my sun and moon and ocean and air. So to decide to euthanize him - thinking it was the best decision at once, but thinking I made the wrong decision in the aftermath has been hell.
Anyway, this isn't well written. But I would be curious if ANYONE has struggled with all the complex feelings around euthanasia especially to remove PAIN (FYI he was on pain meds so it wasn't as though he wasn't on medicines; it seems all the vets really couldn't find out what was wrong with him; he had 4 MRIs, countless blood tests etc, etc. But I think: Maybe it wasn't the right medicines, maybe it wasn't enough, maybe it was too much, etc etc...the mind is full of question).
If anyone can provide any insight that would be appreciated. I have been in a state of absolute torment. Total despair. I feel gutted.
Thank you so much.