sweetbabylexie
i finally had to put down my 16 y.o. yorkie female.  she was so active, vibrant, healthy, and such a large part of my life.  taking her to the park daily, weather permitting, and letting her run was the best part of my day.  even at age 14, with the exception of some hearing loss, she showed no signs of slowing down.  then suddenly, over the course of several days, she went almost completely blind.  i was devastated.  her life and mine were suddenly drastically changed, with no chance of getting what we had back.  i thought about cataract surgery, but at her age, what a grind the process would be for her, and with no guarantee of results, it didnt seem like the right decision.  and i read that blind dogs can still lead enjoyable lives.  so i committed myself to making her days happy and comfortable, as many of them as she chose to live. i made a few sacrifices for her.  i slept on the floor so i wouldnt worry about her falling out of bed. and she was pretty healthy, ate well most of time, and had few accidents in the house.  i took her for a ride in my truck every day. im not sure it did much for either of us, particularly later on, but i liked to think it did.  but lately i felt the end was near, and maybe it was time.  she didnt eat well all the time, and seemed to wander about the house like her sense of where she was had diminished.  i made an appointment to see the vet, get his thoughts on whether he thought it was time  to ease her struggle to get through every day.  her day basically consisted of eating and sleeping, and a few minutes with me. she didnt even sleep with me anymore, (she slept in the chair), like she had her whole life.  the night before i was to take her in for advice she seemed to enjoy the truck ride more than usual, and ate as well that night as she ever does.  by that time id pretty much changed my mind about putting her down, but intended to keep my appointment anyway.  that night she woke me up breathing hard. i could tell she didnt feel good.  i let her outside, where she just stood on the step, and had a small liquid bowel movement. i brought her in and laid with her in her chair.  her breathing became increasingly labored, and eventually she had a seizure, after which she breathed very rapidly for 10 or 15 minutes.  i thought she was dying in my arms.  eventually it improved, but she was very lethargic when i got her up, could barely walk, and just looked miserable. i always told myself i would let her live as long as she wanted, if i knew she wasnt suffering.  id just witnessed her suffering intensely, so i took her to the vet and putt her to sleep.  i know i did what was best for her and shes comfortable now, but i miss her so badly that of course im having feelings of regret.  i just dont think bringing her back home alive from the vet was really what was best for her, but im questioning my decision.  i know that can be a normal reaction, but its tearing my up. i miss her so much . any thoughts from anyone to ease my mind would be appreciated. thanks for reading.  phil
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mayasmom
Hi Phil...I feel the pain of your loss and it is still so new for me as well...so sorry for your loss!  I am trying to figure out the same thing you are right now!
 Where to start... Just 4 days ago, we had to put our 4 1/2 year old English Mastiff, Maya, to sleep after having been diagnosed with bone cancer only 3 months ago. So many layers to the emotions that go with watching a young and vibrant animal go from diagnosis to death in only 90 days...each day seeing with your own eyes the tumor growing on her leg and knowing that the only thing that can be done is to "manage" her pain and love her for the time she has left. And so young!! Nothing that we are going through is fair at any age!  I'm not sure which is worse...losing your pet before their time, or one that has been with you for so many years where the mind is willing but the body won't cooperate! 
Within 30 days of diagnosis the walking to just get out to do her business was getting tougher.  Mastiffs don't like to walk very far at all, not like your yorkie, but just getting her to the front lawn and back in would take it's toll on her. Now, she was 160 pounds, so that's alot of body to haul around!  With that being said, she was still eating well, and all other bodily functions were still working the way they should. Her tail that never stopped wagging and the gleam in her eyes still told us that she was willing to go on.  (Having put to sleep two other treasured mastiffs in the last 4 years, we were aware of the signs and made sure to heed them!)...as soon as we percieved that she was not "happy" anymore, we would not make it about us....it was all about letting her go. 
Our children who live out of town had the chance to say goodbye and that is one of the things I worried about most...closure for all of us. Luckily, we made that happen.  So, this past week, the drugs began to take their toll on her stomach and we would frequently come downstairs in the morning to find that she had been vomiting overnight.  We continued to monitor the color of her gums....the key indicator of her heart health.  From Tue. night to Wed. morning, the color went from healthy pink to dull gray.  We knew it was time. Walking from one room to the next was too hard for her.
With her head on my lap and all of her favorite people around her, our friends and her doctor, we said our goodbyes.
This particular dog was our "empty nest" dog...the distraction we so needed when the kids went away to college and our other two dogs had passed away. My husband lost his job of 24 years two years ago as well as a job change for me as well, and this lovely animal was our constant in all of the change! Maya was the size of a human...majestic and so sweet. A fixture in our neigborhood and loved by all.
 Phil, what can you possibly say when you lose your best friend? I know that although we have been through this pain more than some, I can't see NOT having a dog as an option.  Probably not a mastiff...the giant breeds, even with their short life span under the best of circumstances, are prone to bone cancer and this is a heartbreak that we want to mininmize this next time. 
Just know that you are not alone out there...and that your pal and ours have crossed the rainbow bridge and are running free...free of cancer, pain, blindness.  You did the right thing...you knew your pet well and knew what was right for your loved friend.   In the end, it's not about us, it's about them.  There is a hole where my heart should be...keep talking about it and tell those funny and wonderful stories that we all have.Shed those tears too! It's all part of the process. And in doing so, we honor our beloved friend and they will continue to live on.  We WILL get through this!
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sweetbabylexie
thank you for your kind words.  i know it will get better.  i lost my other yorkie a few years back, but having lexie there for me helped me out a great deal.  i know shes better off wherever she is, buts its so hard right now.  i keep waiting for her to walk around the corner looking for me.  or, really smelling for me.  i hear a noise in the house and i thinks it her jumping out of her chair or finding her water dish for a drink. i keep thinking its time to carry her to the door to let her out but thats not necessary now.   my life was empty before, but now is totally void of hope ill ever get over this.  im thinking if i would have just brought her home for the weekend and then had it done monday id feel better, but i would have been doing that for myself and not for her, and chances are i would have had to watch her suffer further because i dont think she was going to get over what she went through that night.   pray for me
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mayasmom
We, too, are having a difficult time with the change of routine without Maya...especially when we come in from being out and look for her to greet us at the door with a familiar toy in her mouth for us!  I check the clock as if it was meal time...all part of our daily life that is so very hard to let go of!

Don't despair...it WILL get better...you absolutely did the right thing by not bringing her home for the weekend in my opinion--it was truely the most unselfish thing you could have done and you can feel good about that!

Take care...
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chipperboy
Phil....4 weeks ago today, I had to put my baby down. I say "my baby", because he was just that. I got him when I was single and we were together for more than 15 years....through ups and downs, marriage, 4 kids, etc. I'm not going to lie....the  pain and grief was unbearable at times. I couldn't eat or sleep....I cried, bawled and cried. I tell you these things because I want you to know that I understand how you are feeling.

Now, 4 weeks later, I don't cry (as much) but I miss him like CRAZY! I don't think I will ever stop missing him. He was to much a part of my life....a constant during many changes. I can, however, look at pictures and smile at some of the funny things he would do. But during those first few days to weeks, I didn't know how I was going to make it through. This forum is wonderful. It gives you an outlet to share your feelings where co-workers, friends and maybe family may not understand or provide the support you need.

The guilt and second-guessing you are feeling is very normal. I did the same thing. Lexie loves you and she knows how much you love her. I found that when I doubted myself....it was usually because I wanted him home so badly. It was my emotions trying to fight what I knew "intellectually" was the right thing.

You are correct, it is the routines we had together that hurt the most. Getting up expecting to let him outside to go to the bathroom, meal times, having him sleep at my feet while I worked on the computer, etc. You are probably experiencing these same things. Some things that helped me were to change my routines (if I could) and for those in which I couldn't, I would visualize him being there with me. I talked to him then and I still talk to him. Doing these things didn't "fix" my grief, but it took the sharp edge off a bit.

The main thing is to let yourself grieve. Whatever it is to get through those "moments"......do it. Release yourself from any doubts or blame. This isn't the end. Chipper and I walked our life journeys together. His path joined mine in December of 1995 and split to go to the Bridge in January of this year. When my path ends, I know Chipper will be there waiting.....tail wagging. I believe the same for you and Lexie (and your other Yorkie). Until that time comes, we will be here to walk with you.
Chipper's Mom

Momma's Chipper Boy (9/19/95 - 1/30/11) My heart, my love, my buddy! I miss you and love you so, so much! I can't wait to see you at the bridge! Love, Mommy

Lady "Ladybugs" (8/2/03 - 6/5/17) My sweet girl. Thanks for the walks, playtime, sock collection, boo boo kisses and love you gave all of us. We will miss you dearly! Until we meet again...we love you!
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4myStanley
I'm so sorry for the loss of your Yorkie.  I think you gave her a wonderful life and it did indeed sound like it was her time.  I wouldn't second guess your decision.  I think we all do that.  Wondering if we did the best for our beloved pets.  I know I am but I gave my Stanley a very good life.  I know what it feels like to miss them.  My Stanley died last month and I still miss him terribly.  He was my best friend. 

Let yourself grieve knowing you did the best thing for your best friend.
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sweetbabylexie
thanks to all who responded with kind words of encouragement and support.  im still very miserable today. ( i took an additional day off work because i just couldnt face the world just yet)  i understand it will take much time before i start to feel better, but hearing from  others out there who feel or have felt what im going through gives me comfort knowing im not alone.  i plan to pick up lexies cremains friday and spread them in the park where she loved to run, but hadnt been able to for so long because of her blindness.  it wont be easy for me, but i owe her a final act of love for all she brought to my life when she was alive.  having her physical remains reside in her favorite place that brought her and me great joy will hopefully bring me some closure so i can move on, remembering the good times we shared,  and knowing her mind is happy somewhere and her body is in a good place.  thanks everyone for your help
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creampuff

Phil, there are some things in this world we don't understand.  One of them is having your little furbaby, your soulmate, your companion, leave for a better place.  When my two little ones went across the bridge two weeks apart, after having them almost 16 years, I understood nothing.  I was in a black hole.  Empty.  But somehow I knew that the things we don't understand now, we will understand when we cross the bridge.  I believe that everything is somehow okay. Somehow.  Please know that you are here with people that are going through, or have gone through, exactly what you are going through right now.  We are all here for you, we all care about you and understand the depth of your loss.  Please stay connected to us.  It will get easier as time goes by.  I never thought I'd believe that, but it's true.  Take care of yourself.  Jane

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