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ben

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Reply with quote  #1 
I need help. I have been struggling for some time now and need advice from those that have been down this road.

My dog Ruby will be 17 on 10/23. I love her more than i can say. She has had a wonderful life and has fought through both a torn acl and Lyme Disease and survived.  She is a Shepard/Beagle mix around 40 pounds now.

We also have an year old mix named Max.

Ruby has not eaten dog food in over a year. My wife will cook for her half the week and she will eat the people food. Other times i have to cut up rolled dog food and shove it in the back of her throat. She takes Tramadol twice a day. Carprofen once.

She has been losing her bowels in the house for a long time. She has recently found it much harder to get up off her bed so i carry her out as often as i can. She takes some steps outside and does her business.

When i come home she barks but does not get up for the most part. I lay with her and she is happy to see me and kisses me forever.

My wife or i sleep downstairs every night with her to reduce her stress. How do i have the right to end her life?

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Benjamin Fox
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Stealthcat

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Reply with quote  #2 
Ben,

I am so sorry to hear about your dog, Ruby. It is so difficult when our babies get old. I lost my oldest on 9/21/2019, and my two surviving animals are in their teens as well. 

I wish I could say when the right time would be for Ruby or for you.  I made the decision because my cat Stealth was ill and not experiencing good quality of life due to cancer and related issues. I'll always want another day with them, always. But it was a trade off for me - I ended his suffering in exchange for my own because it was what was best for him. In my case, I don't think he would have survived very much longer, and if he did, it would have meant a lot of pain for him. It was torture holding him as he purred knowing a vet was going to come in to end his life. 

I know you are struggling because you care for Ruby a lot, and I understand. At the end of the day, for me, it was about the quality of life and prognosis. I know you'll make a decision that is best for Ruby, and I can tell that you gave her a beautiful life just based on your post. 
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pannklaus

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Reply with quote  #3 
I am very sorry that your precious Ruby is in poor health.   The question is not whether you have a right to end her life.  It is "what is best for Ruby"?  How much quality of life does she have?  Is she suffering? 

Making the decision is the most difficult one many of us will ever make. I have had to make it three times.  For me, when a beloved fur baby cat is having difficulty eating, cannot make it to the litter box and mostly stays in bed that is when I feel that the cat's quality of life is not good enough to justify keeping him/her alive for me. I know that going through the process will be very difficult for me and I will experience a long period of grief. But it is a gift I give to my precious baby--I relieve his/her suffering but begin mine.

You must be thinking about the decision since you have written us about it.  Focus on Ruby and decide what would be best for her knowing that you will experience a lot of pain and grief once she is gone.  Stay in this group to deal with that since everyone here understands what you are going through.

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Patsy
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redgirlraven

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Reply with quote  #4 
Call daybydaypetsupport.com. They have a hotline number on their website. It is a pet caregiver support hotline there to help you deal with situations just like this.
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JuJuBee

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Reply with quote  #5 
Hi Ben,

I'm so sorry to hear your dog is suffering. A week ago, I made the difficult decision to end the life of my cat, and like you, I had her for a very long time. For me, it just got to a point where the pain of watching her suffer became greater than the pain of losing her. It may sound strange, but moments after my cat passed on, I actually experienced a wave of relief. Seeing her slip away as peacefully as possible brought me some comfort after having watching her suffer for months. It was also a release from the agony of making the decision and all the apprehension that went with it. Of course, it has been very difficult to adjust to life without her. But I know that if I had held on to her longer, her pain would only have gotten worse and even more unbearable to witness.

If it's available in your area and you can afford it, I would strongly recommend you find a vet service that does house calls. It's a very difficult thing to go through, and it will probably be a lot easier on you and your Ruby if you can go through it in the comfort and privacy of your own home.

Know that you will find plenty of support and understanding here in this difficult time.

JB





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ben

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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #6 
Thank you very much. We have decided to have the Vet come to the house on Monday. My heart is broken. I know it will not get better and I am sure she is not happy losing her bowels all the time.  17 years of love and devotion.  I lost a son after 4 days of life 31 years ago and this hurts as much or even worse. Thank you for all your thoughts
.

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Benjamin Fox
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pannklaus

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Reply with quote  #7 
I know how difficult it is to go through that and will be thinking about you on Monday. Until then treat Ruby like the queen that she is and totally cater to her every need.  Try to enjoy every precious second with her.  You have made an unselfish decision to end Ruby's suffering even though you know the grief and pain that will follow.  We will all be here as you need us.
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Patsy
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JuJuBee

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Reply with quote  #8 
17 years... your dog has lived a long and happy life. You were both blessed to have each other for all these years.

Also know that it is normal and valid to compare the loss of a pet to the loss of a human being. Our pets are family members who provide us with unconditional love.

Take care of yourself during this difficult time. I hope you can find support from your wife and perhaps from other understanding friends and family members.

JB
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ben

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Reply with quote  #9 
Its done. The Vet came yesterday and took my Ruby. I held her face next to mine while she went away and felt her leave.  Even though i know she had no quality of life and could not walk without falling i feel like i violated the trust she had in me.

For the last year i slept with her on a mattress. Force fed her most days. Cleaned up after her most days as she had very little bowel control. The pain pills did not work well anymore and at night she had a high pitch bark and was restless.

She loved us for 17 years and we loved her even more.

I feel empty and do not want to go home today and see that empty bed. I know she has no more pain. My heart is broken. 


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Benjamin Fox
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JuJuBee

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Posts: 11
Reply with quote  #10 
Hi ben,

My thoughts are with you. I went through the same thing a couple weeks ago and I know exactly how you feel.

I know how heartbreaking it is to lose a family member who was there for so many years and who provided you with unconditional love. From what you describe, however, it seems clear to me that you made the best decision for Ruby. An animal who is in the condition she was in-unable to walk, feed herself, and control her bowels-does not have any quality of life anymore. As her loving owner, you made the decision to end her suffering and let her have her final moments in the peace and comfort of her home. That gesture alone shows how much you cared about her.

I hope you can find the time and space to grieve in whatever way feels right to you. We understand what you are going through and are here to support you through this difficult time.

Take care,

JB
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pannklaus

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Posts: 372
Reply with quote  #11 
You showed  your love for Ruby by giving her the gift of taking away her pain.  But now you have and will have the pain of grieving which everyone here is going through.   The house will be very empty and you will feel the loss very intensely since so much of your time at home was devoted to taking care of her.  Everyone here understands your feelings.  Write as much as you like as you go through the grief process.
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Patsy
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Tig2019Michelle

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Posts: 21
Reply with quote  #12 
Hi Ben I just put my buddy Tiger down on Friday..he was 14 and had thyroid issues. I'm sorry ☹️ for your loss ..it was the hardest thing I ever had to do. I feel your pain. The people on this forum are amazingly helpful and supportive .. I'm glad I found this support.. please keep writing it helps
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redgirlraven

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Posts: 132
Reply with quote  #13 
I am so sorry for you. I am sorry for myself and all of us here. It just hurts so much. It becomes less frequent with time. I believe in the ball in the box theory of grief. Please look it up if you are unfamiliar, I do a terrible job of explaining it- but basically the grief is just as painful regardless of time but with time it comes less and less often.
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LauriP92

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Reply with quote  #14 
Dear Ben
It is a very difficult decision but somehow we know in our hearts when they are ready. Selfishly we want to keep them alive because we love them so much. However, when you start to see suffering or pain, its time to say goodbye. I'm so sorry. We just went through it and its very very difficult. There is nothing to take the pain away. Please grieve for Ruby and just take your time feeling okay again. There is no timeline for this. I hope Ruby found my Ollie and they are buddies!
Sending you a big hug

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Lauri 
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