I feel absolutely miserable. Yesterday we lost our baby boy of 15 years and 3 months. He was a 15 1/2 year old Shih Tzu named Joshua that we got at 12 weeks old. 

I'm regretting the euthanasia now and thinking I failed him and could have done more. I really don't know what to think.

He started going downhill a couple of years ago with the loss of his sight and hearing. If not totally blind and deaf, he was very close to it. He also got to the point that he didn't recognize us much of the time and would nip at us when we tried to pick him up in the back yard to bring him back to the house because he was lost after a potty break. He had bone cysts in his legs and they were now deformed and caused a lot of limping and a strained gait, but he still moved around on his own. He was starting to have trouble getting up on his own but could do it. He had also started having accidents in the house which was not like him. 

We worked around the deaf and blind aspects, gave meds for the pain in his legs, and got him diapers for at night so he wouldn't soil the floor. We felt that was fine and that he was mostly happy even though he never played with toys anymore, lost interest in treats, and didn't care for exercise or companionship anymore. He spent most of his time sleeping or sitting on his bed panting heavily.

Yesterday morning after letting him out to go potty my wife was cleaning some puss from his eye when it ruptured. Blood and water came running out of the eyeball and he screamed over and over. We panicked and took him to the emergency vet as our vet wasn't open yet. They didn't do much but tell us the eye was ruptured and talked about surgery to remove the eye and said the other one had the same type of ulcer and would end up rupturing as well.

Poor Josh was so scared, disoriented, and hurting. I just couldn't take it. We had discussed euthanasia and were prepared to do it when necessary. We took him to his regular vet and he thought that euthanasia was appropriate considering all his other issues. So 3 hours from the eye rupturing, he was put to sleep in my wife's arms in the exam room. I miss him so bad.

I'm afraid I jumped the gun on this or made the wrong decision. I didn't want him to hurt anymore and there was no possibility of him getting his sight or hearing back, his cysts going away, his legs healing, etc. It just seemed like it was the right time. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that way anymore today. I just want him back.

My wife, daughter, and I are all devastated. My daughter was only 4 when we got Josh and she doesn't remember life without him. This is so very hard for all of us. I miss him and just want one more day with him.

Here's a picture of him curled up and napping on the futon a few years ago before he started his downward spiral. He use to sleep on all the furniture but hasn't been able to get on any of it in a couple years. Even when picked up and placed on it he seemed to be anxious and wanted down. I think because he could sense he was up higher but couldn't see.


Quote 0 0
I am sorry for your loss! You had so many years together so I can understand the pain you and your wife are feeling.  I adopted my dog when she was about 1yr and I loved her more then words can explain.  She suffered from a ruptured spinal disc and as a result became paralyzed.  She was roughly 7-8 years old at the time.  Like yourself I felt like I was rushed into make the decision and now I really regret it...specially considering how I have seen other dogs in similar situations thrive with such a handicap.  I don't know that my dog could have been as fortunate as those dogs but I wish I had explored that option. 

After reading about your Joshua's health issues as he aged I really think you did the right thing.  Given the fact your dog was going or was blind/deaf along with the cysts I really do think you made the best decision for your pup.  You should be incredibly proud that you gave him so many years.  You also gave him love and medical attention to accommodate his needs as he aged. There is no doubt that your family cared for him deeply and you all gave everything to make his life a happy one.  Sadly though a day comes for every family with pets to say goodbye.  You chose the right time to do so I really believe that.  After my dog first passed I was and still am incredibly heartbroken! The what ifs eat me up inside and I wish I could do many things different.  With time you will have better days and learn to cope with your loss.  Give yourself some time to heal...My girl has been gone since September and I'm not as depressed as I was but I'm still trying to deal with my loss.  We are all here for you. Just know you did the thing even if it doesnt feel like it.
Quote 0 0
I am so sorry for your loss, and it sounds like you made the right decision.
Quote 0 0
I am so sorry for the loss of your little boy. We lost our 7 year old Cali yesterday also so I know how raw your pain is at this point. I wonder if life will ever feel normal for any of us again and if, at some point, there are no more tears to be shed. My thoughts are with you and with all those suffering from the loss of their cherished furbabies.
Quote 0 0
I am so sorry that you had to say goodbye to your beautiful boy, Joshua.  He is a sweet little guy.
The feelings of guilt and regret that you describe seem to be a normal part of the grieving process for us all, no matter what the circumstances of loss.  I know that when my family made the decision to let our gorgeous beagle, Bella, go to Rainbow Bridge 11 months ago, I knew it was the right decision, but after it happened, I did exactly what you are doing.  I questioned everything.  It almost drove me husband actually suggested that I go and see a psychologist because he thought I was tormenting myself so much.  I understand how difficult it is when you feel that you let your treasured companion down.
I would also like to let you know that after some time, my feeling of guilt and regret have subsided.  I KNOW that we did exactly what our girl needed us to let her go.  After reading your post I think that you should be proud of yourself for being able to put Joshua's needs ahead of your own.  I know that you wanted to keep hanging on. You wanted to keep him beside you, but you knew that it was time to release him from his suffering.    In time, I think you will know and accept this also.  I think it is the fight that our head has with our heart.  In our head we know that it was right, but our heart just wants them back.
Your comment about wanting "just one more day" is so familiar to me.  I have said it every day for the past 11 months, but truthfully, one more day would never be enough.  I want a whole lifetime.  I don't know what your spiritual beliefs are, but I believe that we will get our "lifetime" when it is our time to be reunited with them.  We will just have to be patient until then.  Joshua and Bella will play happily in Paradise until we can hold them in our arms once more.  It will be worth waiting for.
I wish you peace and healing and I hope that soon your memories of sweet little Joshua will bring you more smiles than tears.  Be kind to did a good thing.
(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."
Quote 0 0
Before Luther Vandross, the man with the most beautiful velvety voice, who sang R&B died, he wrote a song dedicated to his father that died when Luther was 8 years old. One line in the song says "If I could steal one final glance, another stance, another dance, I'd play a song that would never never end, how I love love love to dance with my father again". When I hear or sing that song I always put my precious Beauty's name at the end " . . . how I love love love to dance with my Beauty again. . . "
Quote 0 0