Bev37
Please help. We put our beloved dog kandi to sleep yesterday. She was 15 and just moped around, looking fed up, issues with eyes.. Dry eyes... Even though we were putting drops in daily. Her eyes would crust up and she would snap or cry if we tried to clean them, so we had to take her to the vet to get anesthetic to clean them. Last time she had this done, she came home crying allnight and sick, so i vowed never to put her through it again. I just feel as though i rushed my decision to put her to sleep, and want ger back so much. I just felt she wouldnt get any better so it was cruel keeping her alive. But i cant stop wanting her back, and thinking msybe i should have given her more time. The guilt is killing me, and ive never felt upset like this before...... 
B. Eaton
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West_Texan
Hi Bev.  I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your dog Kandi.  We're in the same boat, and that's what spurred me to look about for a support network.  Some years ago, my father had to put down his 15 year old Golden Retriever, and mourned his death for months, and still gets choked talking about him.  I never understood this until recently.  He swore off owning pets, because he never again wanted to experience the pain he felt when he euthanized his dog.  He compared his pain to that of a parent losing a child, and I always thought this to be way over the top.  I just couldn't muster an appropriate amount of empathy or sympathy for him.  In my childhood and 20s, I owned pets, and they invariably exited my life, but I never more than paused to acknowledge their departure.  My thoughts on this matter recently changed.  

When my wife and I were dating, we agreed to take in a 1 year old Terrier mutt that somebody deposited at my place of business on the outskirts of town.  There's a special place in hell for people who drop their pets off in the country to die.  Anyhow, a year later, we decided he needed a friend, so I adopted another Terrier mutt from a no-kill organization.  Molly was 9 when we adopted her, but she was full of energy, reasonably healthy, and ready to love.  Her previous owner surrendered her to a vet after Molly began digging in his backyard.  That creep left her alone in his backyard for most of her life, and then threw her away.  Molly had terrible anxiety, but found solace in my lap while I petted her continuously, and allowed her to lick my face and head.  Unfortunately, our first Terrier mutt and Molly never bonded.  Molly's fur made my wife's skin itch, and the kids never took to her.  She and I, on the other hand, were boon companions for one another.  I took her everywhere with me.  She was underfoot most of the time when I was doing something in the house or the yard.  She went to the bathroom with me religiously.  If I didn't grant her access to the bathroom or bedroom, she would be standing vigil outside the door until I emerged.  I took her on short errands to the gas station or to pick up food.  I also traveled with her - just she and I - on weekends to go fishing or camping and the like.  She sat with me while I did homework (I didn't start college until I was 34) or watched TV, and was a significant source of comfort during the many trials and tribulations my family experienced in the 3.3 years I had her. 

She developed breast cancer, a benign "skin cancer" disorder, and arthritis about a year ago.  Due to the cost, and the fact that she does HORRIBLY in a cone due to her anxiety, we opted not to aggressively treat these conditions.  She had a hernia operation shortly after we adopted her, and it was an absurd task to keep her from ripping open the surgery incision.  She had to be tightly caged during her recovery to keep her from removing the cone and infecting her wound.  We didn't want to put her through that again, and the vet seemed optimistic about the stage and lack of progression of her health issues.  Sitting, walking, or jumping became a challenge for her recently.  She wouldn't stop licking these "moles" that were swiftly developing on her body, and many were open sores.  Then last week, a mammary gland tumor ballooned up.  I took her to the vet to get additional pain, anxiety, and anti-inflammatory medications for her.  The vet informed me that if/when the tumor ruptured the skin, it would be a good time to consider euthanizing Molly.  He wasn't optimistic about the duration of time she could survive - especially not comfortably - giving her a month or two.  The very next day, her tumor/inflammation expanded more, and ruptured.  I bawled for hours.  My wife drove us to an emergency clinic.  After my futile attempts to reason another outcome with my wife and the clinic staff, I finally agreed to cradle my Molly as she was sent on.  I keep having unexpected and uncontrollable bouts of weeping.  Sometimes, I just burst into tears and sobs.  I'm a grown man.  I'm 37 years old, and have seen/experienced some reasonably horrendous things in my life, yet the passing of a dog I owned for 3.3 years, has brought me to my knees in a way I never dreamed possible - short of losing my wife or one of our kids.  

You mentioned your guilt being uncontrollable and unreasonable.  That statement is what triggered my desire to respond to your comment.  I, too, am grappling with insane guilt.  I feel as though I stood idly by and allowed my dog to have her life taken from her.  I feel like I killed the most innocent creature I've ever met - and she was my best friend (sans my wife).  There is no logic to my feelings.  Beating myself up like this is completely irrational.  It is for you too.  You can't hold yourself responsible for the eye condition your dog developed which caused it so much pain.  No doubt, something like that would've led to blindness and infection.  My wife told me something that I haven't been able to fully embrace yet, but it makes sense.  She asked me, "Brandon, do you want to keep Molly alive for you, or for her?"  I wanted Molly to live for her, but I based my opinion on this in terms of a human life.  Molly was not aware of her existence, and outside of basic instinct, had no desire to continue on.  Your dog was the same.  My wife explained that keeping Molly alive was akin to torturing her.  Her ailments had reached a point where suffering was occurring and/or imminent.  I've been driven crazy with sorrow and guilt, but I know this is temporary.  Eventually, I will have grieved the passing of my friend, and though bittersweet, I will be left with a host of fond memories, and as this website suggests, I will again be prepared to love another animal.  You, too, will reach this point.  It's just difficult for us to imagine this, as we're still in the throes of sadness. 

I hope you find some comfort in knowing that others understand your pain, are experiencing it alongside you, are praying for you, wishing you well, and that you will soon find absolution.   
- Brandon Cochran
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Bev37
Many thanks for your reply Brandon. I am in tears again. I too am 37 years old, have two children and a husband, but seem tk be the only one grieving like this. I agree, its the feeling that i basically decided to kill my beloved dog, but i do take comfort in your wifes comments, that keeping her alive would be like torture, which it indeed was. I loved kandi more than anything, she came before my children, and am absolutely heartbroken.

Thank you for reaching out to me and offering kind words and advice. I feel comforted also knowing im not the only one trying to come to terms with this horrendous guilt and upset. 

Lets hope things get better. It cant possibly get any worse. 

Yours

Bev
B. Eaton
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Bev37
I meant she was alive before my children, not that i put her before my children. 

Thank you once again. 
B. Eaton
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Kristie777
I’m so sorry for your loss. I lost my dog Zack last Thursday to bone cancer. It’s so heartbreaking and I can’t stop thinking about him. 
Kristie
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Buddy_Mama
Bev, Brandon, Kristie: I share your pain... feeling trapped in grief, and unreasonable guilt, and often unbearable pain. I lost my almost 10-year old boy Buddy on Saturday night, and I feel like I'll never get over it. I know that's not rational, because I've lost 2 other cats previously - and even though I felt the same grief, guilt and pain, I did eventually deal with their deaths. But it feels different this time, because Buddy should have had so many more years with us. My other cats each lived to be 19, and their decline was more gradual. These horrible feelings only seem to be lightened a bit by being able to talk to others who are going through the same thing, and all of us sharing our pain together.

Brandon, I especially want to thank you for your eloquent post here. It articulates so much of my thought process and struggle too.

Hugs to all of you as we find our way through this, and cherish the memories of our wonderful babies and the special bonds we had with them.

Cindy (Buddy's mama)
Cindy (Buddy’s mama)
My baby Buddy 5/4/10-3/7/20, rescued March 2011
My sweet Mandy 11/27/91-11/2/10, rescued November 1992
My beautiful Barney 4/28/73-9/7/92, adopted May 1973
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Kristie777
Thank you Buddy Mama and I’m so sorry did your loss. 
Kristie
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Bev37
I am so sorry for all your losses.... Its been nearly 2 weeks now since we lost Kandi, and it has got slightly easier, im able to smile a bit and remember the good times, but if i go back to that final day with her i am still full of guilt and despair. I miss her so so much its unbelievable, and i definitely feel as though its been like grieving a human, if not worse, as kandi was here all the time and relied on me 100%. I do still cry every single day and i do believe ueve my heart is broken.

I do find comfort knowing others are going through the same.

Lots of hugs to you all xxxxx
B. Eaton
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Buddy_Mama
I’m feeling all those same things too, Bev. We are in this together. What I hate most is that I can’t do anything to change this, I can’t go back in time, I can’t bear the finality of it all. I’m glad you’re able to smile a little bit. Take care of yourself and keep posting here.
Cindy (Buddy’s mama)
My baby Buddy 5/4/10-3/7/20, rescued March 2011
My sweet Mandy 11/27/91-11/2/10, rescued November 1992
My beautiful Barney 4/28/73-9/7/92, adopted May 1973
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