IloveMax
I finally did it, I posted on here a few weeks ago about how my dog Max was not doing well lately. He had been struggling with severe arthritis and Cushing's in the last year of his life.  

I chose to attempt pain management and various therapies.  It was very successful and what allowed him to live the last year of his life with as much ease as possible.  We pushed eachother as hard as we could because we valued every second of eachothers company.  

In this last month, he deteriorated.  My lower back is sprained from lifting him everywhere so that he could walk comfortably. 2 days ago, he entirely lost the ability to walk, he was defecating and urinating on himself.  He was crying out in pain, he had never done that before.

I opted to have in home euthanasia.  In our last hour I hugged him so hard and cried and kept telling him, "Max it's our last hour together, I'm gonna miss you so much."  I just kept crying and telling him its our last hour together I love you and thank you for everything you did.

When the vet injected him, he died so quickly, he used a preanesthetic to prepare him for the actual shot to put him down.  He practically died on the preanasthesia, the vet said, he was barely holding on by a thread and he was probably doing so because he loved you so much.  For a german shepherd collie mix, 16 years is very rare.

I have lost people in my life, but I have never felt as broken or empty as I do tonight.  My heart goes out to all of you who have gone through this, I feared this day from the moment I laid eyes on him, I feared this day everytime someone told me they just lost their pet, but now that its here it feels so surreal.  

RIP Max, you were my brother not my pet.





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IloveMax
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Bellamum
I am so sorry that you are going through this overwhelming grief after saying goodbye to your beautiful boy, Max.  What a sweet face he has.
Know that you gave your precious boy the most loving gift that you could ever give him...a final gift to show him how loved he was and always will be.  You ignored your desire to keep him with you forever and let him go because you knew that he needed to go.  He left this world knowing how treasured he is.  You will love him and miss him every day, but it is because you were so privileged to be chosen to be his family.  This grief is a price we pay for the love, laughter and loyalty that they give us.  I know that I would not give up one second of that with my gorgeous beagle, Bella, even if it meant I could take away this pain.  I willingly pay this price because I was blessed beyond my wildest imagination and so were you.
Grieve as hard and as long as you need to.  We grieve hard because the love runs so deep.
I wish you peace and healing.  Hold your memories in your heart....they are yours to keep forever!
Karen
(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."
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Katel
What a beautiful boy Max was, and those eyes!   I am so sorry you had to go through this and I
understand the anguish all too well.   There is nothing quite like it.  As Bellamum says We grieve hard as our love runs so deep. You gave Max everything you could.  
It is love our pets want and need and Max obviously had it in full and more.   One day this thought will comfort you but for now .you must grieve and express it in any way you need to.  Come back and tell us more about Max if you like, I'd love to hear more about this gorgeous boy, you would have so many memories and stories from living with him for 16 years.
Sending you warm thoughts and blessings
Kate   
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Lilimarie
Max is beyond beautiful. I am so sorry for your loss. You did everything you could for him and he knows. He loves you and thanks you for everything you did as well. It is so painful I understand it too well. Shepherds are amazing dogs. I was lucky enough to share my heart/home with one when I married my husband. He is such a sweet and gentle boy. I was sad when I moved away from them this past year. I think about him often. I moved away with little Benni and he missed his shepherd mix brother so much he developed separation anxiety. They were the best pair together. Marshal, the big, strong shepherd who is quiet and gentle and my little Benni, a french bulldog, chihuahua mix who was silly, rambunctious and rowdy. They loved eachother so much. I lost Benni weeks ago in a terrible accident and I still cry in private all the time. The hurt is strong and so intense. It weighs on me daily and I try to manage my moods through out the day to avoid judgement. Benni meant the world to me. Moving back home, he became such strength for me as I started my new beginnings and the day I walked up my porch and saw him lifeless on the floor, I froze in fear. He was gone and he took a huge piece of my heart with him. He was young and healthy and it was such a freak accident that I go over that day in my head too many times some days. This is just so hard to recover from because they never hurt us and loved us unconditionally. I wish I could tell you something to make the grieving softer on you, but it helps to share their stories. I'm sending you peace for this difficult journey you're on. Allow yourself all the time you need to grieve. They were our family.
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kkflynn75
Max was an absolutely stunning boy!  I can tell you two had a very special relationship and were lucky to have each other.  I know how bad you are hurting right now.  I put my German Shepherd down Feb. 15th, she was 16 years and 3 months old and our situations sound very similiar.  I was helping her get up as she could no longer do it on her own either and I too carried her outside and sometimes from room to room.  Although she always managed to get up to follow me as much as possible, she was my shadow. She had problems with her back legs for some time, but her front legs were starting to give out too and they would almost fold over when she went to walk on them.  She was urinating and defacting in the house also and I, like you, went to all lengths to control the pain. (Metacam, Herbs and Acupunture)  She was also drinking a lot an vomiting often, so I think she had some renal failure as well.  I chose in home Euthanasia also and our experience with the two shots was similiar too. I was shocked at how fast in went.  I wasn't ready for her to be gone that quickly, the whole thing was surreal. But Peaceful, very peaceful.  It sounds like Max's was the same and with time you will find comfort in that.  She was actually walking better that morning than I had seen her walk in months and I struggle with that often, wondering if I should have waiting just a bit longer. Not sure that it ever feel "right" thought.  Grieving is a process and you will experience times where you start to feel normal again and then out of nowhere it just hits you - hard.  I like what one of the other posters said about our grief being hard because we loved so deeply.  I think that is so true.  I wouldn't trade one minute of our time together and the trade off for that is having to say good bye.  We were both so lucky to have such a long time with our angels. (especially considering most people don't get 16 years with these large breeds) I do think in some ways that makes the transition to life w/out them that much harder though.  Come back here and update us on how you are doing.  Everyone here is great and we all know how much it hurts and understand.  You lost a family member and only time will ease the pain.  Hugs to you during this difficult time. - Kelly
Kelly
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IloveMax
Thank you all for responding so much, as I prepare to tell you a bit about Max, please send me a link where I can read more about your loved ones as well.  

Max was a rescue from a shelter, it was 1999 nearly 2000 January and a local shelter wanted to put him to sleep.  He was already 11 months old and the shelter warned us he was rescued from an abusive owner and had lost trust in people, they also warned us he may be too much too handle but were happy to let us give him a permanent home and keep in touch to see if he was manageable.  

In his first two years with us, Max was terrified if we came close to him with any inanimate objects.  When I would eat cereal he would run thinking it was a tool to hit him with, or if I put on my shoes he was terrified.  It broke my heart, but we spent 2 years rehabilitating him to trust humans again.

Once we did, the rest of the 12 years together were beautiful and great adventures with eachother.  We went on walks every single day for all those years, rain or shine, flu or healthy I took my boy out for several walks a day.  I can't say I have any regrets in that department, not a day went by that I didn't treat him with love.  So often, we would walk down the street for 14 years together and notice how the neighbors never walked their dogs, not once.  I would always pet him as we walked and say," See how lucky you are Max, people think dogs are just backyard props."

When we put him to sleep, it all happened so fast, in our last hour I said so much and in a way wanted to have that 1 golden moment with him before everything, but alas he was in so much pain it was unmanageable to see him that way.  Max not only motivated my life, he's the reason I'm going to vet school today and almost a veterinarian.  I never saw Max as just a dog but family, he's the reason why I chose my career and why I realized animals do have souls and are worth all this.

I did want to make 1 comment to kkflynn, please don't beat yourself up.  Even though Max was able to still walk, it wasnt until his last week he had lost that ability and I immediately realized it was time.  Max's body was done but his brain was still there, and he was miserable relying on me to carry him around.  Please know you did not do this too soon even if she looked good that morning.  He was sleeping like a baby before the vet, a friend of mine, came over the house to euthanize him.  However, just an hour before, he was in agonizing pain.

As I said, I dont know how to move on from this, I know time will make all this workout somehow but I just dont love life without Max.  I haven't slept in 3 days and I actually didn't sleep very well for 2 weeks prior to this knowing the end was near, my family is definitely worried.  Despite all this, I don't feel overwhelmed as I thought I would, I just feel numb.
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Lilimarie
I understand feeling numb and not sleeping. I have yet to return to my bed. I sleep on the sofa because it's easier for me for some reason. It's such a lonely, painful journey. Today is 6 weeks since Benni's accident and I feel like it's only become harder to deal without his presence. I wish you peace and comfort.
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kkflynn75
Wow! What an amazing story of how Max came into your life and became your "brother".  He certainly was meant to be with you on some deeper level and has had such impact on your life and your career path.  What an incredibly special animal.  No doubt that will make the grieving process harder in some ways, but he will live on in everything you do.That numb feeling is very familiar and is also pretty well documented as  a common coping/defense mechanism when deeling with grief. Sadly, it is a part of the process.  Thanks for your kind words about not "beating myself up".  Oh, if I had a dollar for every time someone said that.  Easier said than done I suppose.  I can give that advice but struggle with taking it myself.  The first few weeks are the hardest and then after that, for me anyway, it seems to come in unexpected waves.  I won't lie, for the first 6 months I cried daily. I also avoided sleeping in my bed, where she was always right next to me, for the first few months.  The last four months I seem to have a few good weeks and then it hits me again.  Sydney's birthday was Nov. 23rd (she would have been 17) and this is the first Xmas without her so the last few weeks have been a bit rough.  Of course 98% of people in my life probably don't even realize I am still mourning the way I am.  That is one reason this forum is so helpful.  My thoughts are with you as you maneauver this tough road of grief and a new life without Max.  He will live on in your memories and heart forever.
Kelly
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loft2111
Max is truly a beautiful dog, my brother had a German/Collie mix and he was so smart and loveable.  I rescued my Little Man from a shelter in 2009 and just like your Max he was terrified of objects.  I remember my first walk with him, we were taking the elevator down to the lobby and I lifted my foot up to knot my shoe lace and he ran to the other corner of the elevator and cowered, he thought I was going to kick him.  Every time he displayed this fear I would literally breakdown and cry thinking of someone abusing my baby.  I bought him a ton of toys and he was terrified of all of them so I ended up donating them.  For the first few months he would hide under our dining room table and just watch me and my husband.  Like your Max, it took a lot of love and effort to bring our Little Man out of his shell, but so worth it as he was an amazing dog and soul.  I too walked him a lot, it was our bonding time together and he never went without a walk.  Even wen we moved to our house with a yard and fence he was walked 4-5 times a day (I work from home).  You treated your Max so well and he knew you loved him and that's all that mattered to him.  The grieving process is very complicated, you will go through a lot of emotions and feelings, just know you are not alone.  We have all been there and are there now.
Take care
Little Man's mom
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IloveMax
Thank you all for the responses, it helps me alot, when I feel overwhelmed by the moment I remind myself how I'm not alone and how lucky I am that I got to see him live to the 100% mark.

But still, I miss his presence, I miss him so much.  I can't even look at a picture of him right now and yet force myself to.  I spend a lot of my time with my sisters dog who lost both of his best friends in the span of 1 month.  It helps me to have a dog with history but I dont believe in getting a new dog asap and I just feel its like replacing a child after they die, it would be ridiculous to think you could replace them.
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