We had to put down our 14yr old terrier mix, Sheena, Friday.  She had a heart arrhythmia that was just getting worse.  She also had arthritis that had curtailed her activity for quite some time.  It's been a year since she's even been on a walk with me because she just didn't seem to enjoy them anymore.  The vet also thought she had dementia.  She had started peeing in the house about a year ago, something she never, ever did before.  When I took her to the vet to make sure there wasn't a problem, the vet said that she was probably forgetting that she was house broken, that along with some other behaviors let to the diagnosis of dementia.  Then 2 weeks ago, she seemed to be having trouble controlling her bowels and we had to resort to putting her in doggie diapers which she hated.

Our vet said to me, "Shannon, we can extend her life for another year or two with meds, but the quality of that life not going to be good.  You need to think about letting her go."  I took me a week of wrestling in my mind to make the decision to have her put down.  It was the worse thing I've ever had to do. 

I've had dogs my whole life, but Sheena was the first one that was really my dog.  The other dogs in my life were really either my mom's or my husbands, but from the first day we had Sheena she attached to me.  She followed me everywhere.  I used to laugh because even when I was sitting on the toilet she would come and sit between my legs, look up at me as if to say, "Hey, can you pet me while your doing that?  Your hands don't look busy."

I was cleaning our glass doors yesterday and realized that this would be the last time I  would clean her doggie nose prints off the doors and just started bawling.

Even though I know in my head that putting her down was the right thing, my heart still feels so much guilt about it.  I keep saying to myself,  "What if I'd feed her a better diet, had her teeth cleaned more often, etc, etc.  Maybe she'd still be alive and healthy. " Does anyone else feel that way?

In way I'd lost her six months ago, she had really kind of withdrawn from us.  She would let you pet her, but she didn't seek it out anymore.  Almost like she tolerated it for our sake.  She still ate, but whereas in the past if you didn't get up and put food in her bowl first thing, she'd pester you till you did.  She always  had a sense for when it was 3:00pm because that's when she usually got a treat, and recently she just didn't seem to care.

I've read a lot of the post on this site and it's so helpful to know that I'm not alone in these feelings.  Luckily my mom knows exactly how I feel.  She had to put her 15yr old dachshund mix down a few years ago and Mom was just devastated.  So she had been really good at comforting me, but still it's nice to read the post here.

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Shani...Your post could have been mine.  Winston did the exact same things as your Sheena did.  He would come into the bathroom with me too, lol.  Winston also seemed to have dementia.  He would just stand in the yard, confused about why he was there.  I couldn't afford a lot of testing on him because I am on disability.  All I could see was that he just wasn't himself anymore.  He had a bad cough, was restless at night, and looked so sad. 

I pray to God all the time i spared him anymore needless suffering when I made my decision.  I also lost Winston a couple of months before I put him down.  He just wasn't Winston anymore.  It broke my heart to pieces.  He seemed to know how to tell time also, as he would bark for his dinner at the same time every night.  And know when it was bed time for us both by barking.  I grieve everyday for him.  He was my love and my Life.  I wish you peace at this time, and please come in often to express your grief.  Hugs  Sue
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hi, you did the right thing with Sheena, and yes your heart will ache and your head will always question if it was the right thing to do with the could haves and should haves, I think we all second guess ourselves. As pets are a huge part of our life and losing them is worse than losing a person (for me it is). You have to remember the 14 wonderful years you spent with Shenna, and yes we wish all our pets could live longer, sad thing is pets lives go by so quickly (compared to us humans) and it takes a toll on the heart. This is all new and fresh and the next few days and weeks will be really, really hard, emotions will be all over the place.

I am going on 6 months since i put my dog Munki down, and I still cry each day, I miss her. But, i do talk with her, I journal every day, i have so many pictures and try to think of one fond memory each and every day, to bring a smile to my face.  I still haven't cleaned some of the walls with her "smudges" on them, i still have her bowl up on the counter, haven't moved her dog bed, but sleep with her sludgy blanket at nite (that i am not ready to wash).

Please keep posting & know you are not alone..


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Hi Shannon, I am so sorry for your loss.  Its so sad when we see our dogs getting old and all the problems that come with that.   Sheena`s story sounds so similar to my dog Jim. he was 17 and we had to have him put to sleep 6 months ago - the hardest decision we`ve ever had to make.  Our vet thought JIm had doggy dementia, as he also started peeing in the house, and like Sheena he started to withdraw from us, and we were hand feeding him most of the time.   Although we know we are doing the kindest thing by taking away their pain, it is still the hardest thing to do, and the guilt most of us feel is horrendous.  
  I found a lot of comfort from this forum, everyone here understands the way you feel right now, and all know just how much we are missing our little friends.  I also started writing all my memories of Jim down in a journal, and I still write in it each day - just telling him how much we love and miss him so much. 

                                                                                 Hugs, Jackie
J Taylor
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Thanks to all of you.  I understand what your saying about how sometimes losing a pet is worse than losing a person.  My Aunt Doris passed about 2 months ago and I've cried more over my Sheena-girl, than I did over my aunt.  I've felt some guilt about that too, but my husband reminded me of something.  Our pets are part of our everyday lives, so when they are gone our lives seem empty.  Many times when a relative dies they may have been someone that you only saw a few times a year (it was that way with my Aunt.  I loved her to pieces, but I rarely ever saw her).  With Sheena, the first thing I did every morning was go let her out and the last thing I did every night, was put her to bed.  Before she got sick, she would be waiting right by the door when I got home, wanting a snuggle and a treat.  Every time I walk in the door I expect to see her.  I get up in the morning and I'm at lose ends.

camunki, I to have been sleeping with one of Sheena's blankets . I buried her in one and kept the other.  I've also been doing some journaling and writing poetry (I'll spare you, because it's really bad)and that has helped.  We live out in the country so we were able to bury Sheena not very far from the house.  I've gone out to her grave to talk to her a few times and put some flowers on it yesterday.
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