Thank you to all who responded to my post when I lost Buster almost two weeks ago. Your words and support have been lovely. 

I know that time is supposed to be a good healer and that it's not even two weeks yet since we had to let him go, but I am in absolute agony and am riddled with guilt. 

My problem is that Buster was growing frail in front of me, and I didn't "see" it (probably denial). His arthritis was becoming more obvious, but he was a wee soldier and still liked to go for walks and run about in the garden. Unfortunately, living in Glasgow, Scotland, our weather has been dire and I didn't want to take him out - not because I couldn't be bothered or was too busy - but because I didn't want him to get badly soaked and become ill with infections. I think my "kindness" sometimes made him miserable, but I thought there would "always be tomorrow". I was sure, even at 17, that he'd go on a lot longer, that his arthritis was controllable, and that we'd have that perfect time together, full of love, hugs, treats and walks before he decided he was too old for this earth. 

Unfortunately, he deteriorated rapidly, and the discomfort of the arthritis became debilitating within a matter of days. The pain was causing him mental anguish and the onset of dementia was a possibility. We made an appointment for the vet on seeing this, but they couldn't see us until almost a week away from when we phoned. We were told to keep him as comfortable as possible and that they'd do their best for him when he came in. I knew that the next vet appointment (which would have been last Tuesday) was a big deal and could possibly have been the day we'd have to make the dreaded descision, but had held out hope that they'd be able to give a strong medication and allow him to keep going. I had planned that, should we be given bad news, I'd give him a day where the happy stuff would distract him from his pain before we allowed him to go for his final sleep. I wanted him to have some good moments before he had to go.

It didn't happen like that. We didn't even get to the vets appointment and had to take a frail and failing Buster to an emergency practice to help him on his way, in the middle of the night. No happy time. No last walk. No last treats. He was so ill, he couldn't stand and wasn't really responsive to anything. He was too sore for cuddles.  

It hurts that it happened that way, and now I wish I hadn't thought about "tomorrow", but just defied the weather (and the fact he was a little slower) so he had some happier moments before it happened. I know that dogs live in the present, and all that I can think of was that his last moments were spent in pain and that he might have felt I wasn't bothered about him anymore. I tried to keep him going because I believed that the arthritis and possible dementia were controllable. There's always "tomorrow". What a stupid person I am. 

I am just so gutted by the way it panned out. I'll never forget the look of pain and confusion on his wee face, and I feel like I failed him. I love him so much, I hope he knew that. But all I can think of was his last moments were in pain and that he felt neglected. What if he died feeling that I let him down? I can't get that out of my head. 


I love you Buster! I hope we'll be together again soon xx
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You must not punish yourself for doing what you thought was right at the time.

I believe that no companion animal who was loved by a person can feel let down by their human. They know nothing but your unconditional love for them. Yes, your beloved friend was feeling pain and confusion, but that was the result of his illness, not anything you did or didn't do. Animals cannot blame; it is not in their nature. Blame is purely a human concept.
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What a beautiful boy he is so handsome

Sorry your having a terrible time , I'm so , so sorry for your loss
I can relate to There's always "tomorrow " i to always thought that in the last month's before I lost my boy , maybe it's denial im unsure i just thought he would always be here .
Your story sounds sorta like mine , the pain in the end being the reason to put to sleep at, i had guilt cause i didn't have macky on his high normal dose of his arthritic pain medication , we had dropped his dose down as he was causing stomach issues which happened over the years he was on it , but he stayed on it as it helped tons .
My partner forgot to increase the medication after a week so poor macky was on half his normal dose for roughly 10 days . Untill i realised and increased it , though it made no difference to him being able to walk , it played on my mind I killed him .
Your boy knew 1000000000000% that he was super crazy loved , the long beautiful life that he had was a huge thankful to you , wow he lived a long life and you need to try your best to believe that he knew you cared and loved him , it doesn't matter about those last few days were human and we try i best or hardest when it came to them . Think of the years you cared and loved him all that you did for him " those many years ment more to him then that week trust me . Try not to beat yourself up nothings perfect when it comes to death of a pet , my macky had a bad month before he died and the last few days he had pain , that's why I choose to put him to sleep to end his pain but start mine .
You did the most loving unselfish act of true loyal love for your handsome boy " trust me he loved you and he knew with all his heart that you tried your best and that you loved him so so so deeply
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Thank you Boots and Mackysmum, you've helped to put my mind at ease. I could only see the last few days, which are repeating over and over in my mind, but you've helped me realise that he had a long life and knew he was loved (he really, really was and always will be). I'd still rather he was here, but deep down I know we did the right thing by him and that every decision, whether it was to keep him at home in the bad weather, trying to keep him going until we got the best advice from the vet, right through to when we finally had to let him go, was all done with his best interests at heart. Thank you for helping me come to peace with my thoughts. I will miss him so badly, but I no longer feel guilty. I can now focus on the good times. Thank you so much.

I have read all about your wee pals too, and I am so sorry for your losses. They were lucky to have kind, caring, loving and compassionate humans like you.

Mackysmum, you did not kill your treasured Macky. You did everything you could, and you made him as comfortable as he could have been. This place is full of wonderful people and you are one of them. I never trust anyone who doesn't like animals, and those who love and care for their wee companions have my utmost respect xx

I love you Buster! I hope we'll be together again soon xx
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Thank you busters mum
I feel the same about people that love animals as much as we do and there's something wrong with people that don't love animals , i agree i also dont them .
The time leading up to our fur babies leaving us , is so stressful and so terribly overwhelming that nothings perfect and things don't always go how we would of wanted it . And I think alot of us only remember or think about that time and that's the grief but we forget everything we did for them all the years we loved them and did everything we could possible for them .
We have to remember all we did , because when we have a sick pet it can't be a perfect death or time leading up to it , even more so if our pets were quiet aged , because we can't win that battle no matter what .
I'm so happy that we eased the guilt its such a terrible stage of the grief, i find the guilt the worst , and ive had thoughts all day pop in my mind of what I didn't do for macky but I push them.out and tell myself im bring silly and I think off everything I did do.
Take care
Good thoughts and strength
Hugs to you
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I'm so sorry to hear of your Buster's passing. He was so adorable!!!! I'm in love with that photo.

I, too, felt like I must have been an idiot to not notice my Mouseford's failing health. He hid it well. Anything I did notice I must have denied, just as I always denied his age. I never knew his true age because he came to me as an adult. I knew he was an older dog but I loved him so much that I always wanted him to be younger than he was.

Mouseford's passing was sudden, as well, with a frantic trip to the emergency vet. That sort of thing has a way of sending us into an intense kind of shock.

Just know, as I keep telling myself about Mouseford, that Buster loved you with every ounce of his being, & would never want to be the cause of your guilt. You loved him, & what a wonderful gift that was to him.
***Loving & missing my sweet Mouseford***
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Thank you Mouseford's Mom. Buster was such a handsome chap, he always had a look of absolute cheek about him and was a great character. He always made me laugh, and I miss him so much. I loved him with everything I have, still do and always will. 

I am sorry you had to go through the same with Mouseford, it's always sad to hear about a wee companion leaving us too soon. But you're right - he will have loved you with all his heart and you were both lucky to have found each other. Neither he nor Buster would want us to feel guilty because we had given them such a good life full of love and care. 

Thank you for your kind words. You've all helped me realise I couldn't have done any more and that he knew I loved him. I have managed to let go of my guilt. It's just the sadness of him not being around now, but I have great memories to treasure. 

I love you Buster! I hope we'll be together again soon xx
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