Does anyone have any advice on coping with grief after euthanizing a companion?

Today was my final day with my best friend. The vet had told me he only had a week or two left to live, and because of the diseases he was suffering, it wasnt going to be a peaceful ending. Although my friend still kissed me, still tried to enjoy life, I made the decision to put him to sleep, because I couldn't bear to see his health decline any farther. I know people say this is the final act of love, but I am still aching and probably will be for a while. The house already feels empty, my heart feels empty knowing I cant just walk up and kiss him or pick him up, that I wont ever see him in the living room again. I had him for 8 years, since my 16th birthday, and he has always brought me happiness in the toughest of times. I hope I find some way to move on, I will always remember him but things are going to be so hard without him. I pray I will see him again. The vet assured me that this was in his best interest, but I cant help to feel selfish and want one more minute or one more day with him. It has only been 2 hours he has been gone ): only 2 hours since my last kiss, and I know that the time will add up. I hope that he forgives me, and I hope that I can forgive myself.

Jade Melito
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I share your grief.  I went through exactly the same thing on Saturday with my beloved Bailey who was twelve years old.  I am going through exactly the same emotions as you.  Everyone on here as been very supportive and given words of comfort.  There is a thread called the Last Battle, read the poem there.  I have been reading it every day but although it has me in tears it has brought a little comfort.  We will always love our friends unconditionally and it will take time to heal.  We will always miss them and think of them every day.  They know we love them and they love us back. I see Bailey everywhere.  When my husband left and my children went to University it was the two of us and he helped me through a really tough time.  I will always treasure those last hours and am grateful that we were with him until the end.  I know he forgives you just like I am beginning to come to terms with Bailey forgiving me.  Please read the poem, hopefully it will bring you a little comfort in realising you did the kindest thing for your baby. 

Please come back.  There are some wonderful people on here and I am sure they will reply to your post very soon. We all understand how you feel. 

God bless you and your littie one.
Diana x
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I too, am having a hard time coping with the loss and emptiness I am feeling, not to mention the heartbreak. I had to put Taffy down in her "gentle Sleep" Saturday June 1st. The vet said her cancer was in her lungs and she was having a hard time breathing and actually suffocating herself. She didn't eat for 3 days only would take a drink. I just didn't want to be the one that said she must leave me. She never wanted to leave my side, and I couldn't bare to say go now. I am broken.
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So sorry for the loss of your little darling. I know you are hurting and feel your pain.

I am new here, having never lost a pet before, I was totally unprepared. We are reeling from the loss of our precious 11 1/2 yr old bichon furbaby, Lacey Belle, on 5-23-2013, 11 days ago! She was healthy and full of life then all of a sudden...

Lacey, too, had a hard time breathing at the end. She is gone, we are lost without her  Thanks in advance for listening to my story. It means the world...we are hurting...

Our little girl, loving, funny (sometimes a little bossy) with personality to spare was suddenly in ICU for 8 days bleeding internally- (her sides and abdomen looked like she was dropped from a 10 story building) diagnosed with ITP and IMHA with a small mass on her spleen! But really an insidious, fast growing tumor growing near her heart was missed by all the specialists and was the real cause of death.  At first she responded to the prednisone and cyclosporine. Our intention was to remove the tumor and spleen as soon as she was stabilized long enough thinking that may resolve the issue. She was checked each week for platelets and red blood cell count, which never really went back to normal.

We were so happy, we brought our sweet angel home! Her tummy healed up as the blood subsided and were blessed to have one last month with her for which I will be forever grateful! My last Mother's day with her...

Unfortunately she had to be re-admitted with more symptoms. She was in the hospital for 4 days this second time- gamma globulin administered this time, bone marrow tests, you name the test, she had it. The entire time, this tumor was growing near her heart.

Thursday, May, 23...while on the way to the hospital, we received an urgent call from the vet specialist telling us to hurry. What a wild ride in Atlanta traffic, heart jumping out of my chest! That baby waited for us...waited for her family to get there to say goodbye! It was the hardest thing I have ever done but I tried to stay calm- comforting her, speaking gently to my baby, my heart- telling her it was ok to go, assured her it would be ok we would be with her soon telling here over and over what a good girl she is when all I wanted to do was scream! She hemorrhaged before my eyes. In horror I asked the vet to do something and my little soulmate, my precious girl died in my arms.  :"""(

I feel so guilty for having waited! It was so confusing as she was eating the chicken and rice I made her just the night before. How do you know what time is the right time? Some say their pet gives them a sign...no sign here...we had only hope! Two days earlier, the vet told us it wasn't life threatening!  

I see Lacey's sweet face everywhere, I miss her so much my teeth ache.  Holes in our hearts! We had 2 bichon babies, now there is one.
Our little Sadie (8) is grieving too, right along with me and her daddy. Our grown children are devastated as well. My heart aches for Sadie as she grieves her sweet sister. I find myself being overly protective, fearful of losing her too. I think we need to have some play dates and a refresher fun obedience course at some point. 

I am a Christian and know we will be together in heaven. It's the here and now that hurts.
Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

God bless you for listening. Sorry this is so long,
Always, Lacey's and Sadie's mommy


Diane Still Lacey Belle's mommy
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I thought I would share my story. Although it is painful to tell it, maybe it will make you feel better. My dog was diagnosed with pneumonia and possibly a cancerous lung tumor. The vet wanted me to consider his quality of life, and subtley suggested putting him down. I told the vet well... I'm going for the antibiotics first, because he was just playing with his toys 3 days ago. I didn't believe that it was cancer. So he went on the antibiotics and he became like a puppy again.  I thought I had dodged a bullet. He had so much energy and wanted to go for a walk, so I took him out 6 days after he was diagnosed. It was a little chilly 60 degrees, and moist, but he had a wool jacket on that I usually put him in for the Winter. When I got home I dried him thoroughly too. But I was not prepared for the turn of events that would follow. First he had stomach upset, and I thought...of course its the antibiotics. So then he started vomiting with diarrhea so bad that I thought he would die from that. Then his chest started rattling, and guess what I was back in the emergency room.  Oh the guilt I had for taking him out. So he sat in an oxygen tent and was given an aggressive 3 types of injection antibiotics. This cost me $600 but I wanted him to live even if it meant one more day. When I came to pick him up, everyone said he was healing rapidly and they thought he would pull through. They said if he has problems again just take him into emergency and then we will try again tomorrow until we can get this thing to go away. So I brought him home.  Within 3 hours his chest was rattling, and within 5 he was gasping for air.  I picked him up to comfort him, and he passed out, I don't know if it was a seizure but he went stiff. I check for signs of life and there was nothing. No breathing, and he was staring straight ahead.  Then...like something you would see in a horror movie, he gasped 2 times and came back to life. Nothing in my 49 years of age has ever been so devastating to witness. I called the in home vet for euthanasia, but they could get there fast enough so I took him back into emergency to get him on oxygen. I hadn't slept in 48 hours. I didn't know how I was going to make it. I was getting disoriented. I said please just take him in and help him breathe.  I was so quick about it because I needed to go home and sleep for a few hours before I could pick him up again.  So I gave him a kiss on the nose and rubbed his little furry ears and told him I loved him. I went home and slept for 3 1/2 hours. When I woke up I called the vet and asked her how he was doing. She said he had slept peacefully and his lungs were back up to 93%. A voice my head said, "Lisa, it's time." So I said, " he is comfortable?" She said, "yes." I said, "Okay then I am ready to put him down."
I told her I would not be coming, as I truly believe it would have made it worse for him. I feel he would have held on. He would have looked at me with the way he always did, and probably lick my hand like he did the night before, just to let me know it would be alright. And I might not have been able to go through with it. I believe my dog did not want to die in my house as he and I were together 24/7. I work from home.
After he was gone, it was all I could think about, his presence.  Then I realized that's just the way he wanted it. That is what is helping me to heal. He wants me to remember him here. At first I thought I would have to move to escape the pain.  But now it is my greatest solace. The thing I have to say is you definitely did the right thing. I would have done it sooner but I was in denial that he had cancer. I'm just glad he went peacefully and not in a suffering state, I can feel him everywhere, and he is at peace.

bless you

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I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. This is a wonderful place, and will give you the support and comfort you will need to come to terms with the loss of your baby. 

I made the decision to have my sweet boy euthanized in November 2009 after a very short terminal illness. I don't know if it was the suddenness of his illness, or the fact that he was only 22 months old when he died, but I took it very badly. I was in pieces with guilt and despair. I was where you are now...I missed him so badly and basically didn't know what to do, where to turn or how to cope with the fact of his euthanasia. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do, and I still remember every second of it. Thankfully, he passed very quickly and peacefully in my arms but I was so horrified by the process that I was physically ill afterwards once I got outside.

Finding this place was my salvation. I found talking with other people who knew exactly what and how I was feeling so cathartic. It was the act of expressing the emotions I was experiencing with sympathetic, understanding people that helped me come to terms with Casper's death. 

I hope reading my story provides you with some comfort. Please don't feel guilty, or that you acted selfishly. You did what you had to do to help your friend. Time will make it easier.


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