Otisthedog
Hi, everyone.  My sweet beagle/basset mix, Otis, was euthanized yesterday morning. He was 13 yrs old - best guess, based on age estimate by local shelter when I adopted him in early 2007.  Otis was such a sweet, gentle, loving boy. As he aged, he developed arthritis in his leg joints that continued to progress. He was on meds for the last several years, which helped some, but he was still very stiff. He lost his sight about 6 months ago. Most recently he was having trouble walking and I had to pick him up and take him out to potty. Part of me thought I should continue this, but most of me was already grieving over his decline and i thought I'd be facing his death soon. He didn't seem to be enjoying anything. It was my choice to release him from his bodily prison, but it hurts so much. Is it normal to second guess this decision?  Should I have let him decline even more?  I was thinking it would be selfish. I live alone and Otis was my constant companion.  I would love to hear from others who have had similar experiences and feelings.  
Carolyn
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judylinn
You absolutely did the right thing. I had to do the same with my beautiful Maddie. I could have let her go on, but she was suffering. I knew it was the right decision, as did you, but we always second guess ourselves after. I did too. Maddie was also my only companion and I don't have any family, so it was a great loss as is yours. It was an act of pure love, releasing your beloved Otis, from his painful body.
I posted a poem, called the last battle, if you read it I think it will help you.
I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet Otis. It is just so painful. Maybe you could do some things that will help you in this hard time. I put up Maddie's picture and lit a candle, put flowers by it...just to honor her and the love we shared, and still do share. It's going to be 5 years in August since Maddie passed, and the love in my heart for her is as strong as when she was here. Otis is as near as your heart... Blessings to you...Judylinn
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Otisthedog
oh thank you, Julylinn. I've tried to keep busy, escaping in movies, did yard work today.  2 years ago, a friend helped me build a ramp for Otis to use (instead of the deck stairs) and it was excruciating to look at that ramp today - I could only picture his cute self going down it - but it represented his frailty and it had to go. I took it apart and removed it and sobbed while doing it. Hopefully, i'll be better tomorrow because I have to be at work and my mind will be occupied.  Right now it just seems the pain will never end.  thank you for posting and I'm going to read your poem now.
Carolyn
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Otisthedog
Judylinn, your poem does help.  Thank you.
Carolyn
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judylinn
It's going to take a while..these little ones are like children to us and the loss is deep. We all grieve in different ways, so doing what feels right for you is just fine. Allow yourself to cry out the tears, it will help with the healing...Blessings..Judylinn
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Bellamum
Dear Carolyn,
I am so sorry that you have had to say goodbye to your precious Otis.  I know the pain that you are feeling and I also know the guilt, regret and questioning that you are putting yourself through.  I know those feelings so well because I lived through them too.

I made the decision to let go of my gorgeous beagle, Bella, nearly 1 year ago (3rd April).  She was diagnosed with a brain tumour and then kidney failure brought on by the tumour medication.  She fought bravely for some time and medication worked for a while, but then she started to decline quite quickly and my family and I did not want her to reach a point where she was in constant pain....we made a promise to her when she was diagnosed that we would never knowingly leave her suffering and we were determined to live up to that promise.  We loved her far too much to prolong her suffering.

Even though I knew that our decision was the right one and I felt at peace with it when we made it, it was a different story once it happened.  I felt so guilty and I regretted it.  I thought we may have acted too hastily, even though our vet thought we acted at exactly the right time.  I questioned everything we did for her.  I almost drove myself mad.  The guilt and the questioning added another terrible facet to my already overwhelming grief. 

Eventually, though, I got past those doubts and negative feelings.  I now feel that we gave Bella the greatest gift of love that we could ever give her.  We ignored our own desires to have her with us as long as possible and we focused on her needs.  You did that for your Otis too.  Be proud of yourself.  As our vet put it, "It is better to have acted a week or month too early than to be even a day too late."  I totally agree with him.  As devastating as it is when they go, we would never want them to suffer for us.  We don't want to be selfish.  They gave us all they had and then it was our turn to give them their last gift.

I would love to see a photo of your boy.  Bella was a beagle too and I have such a "soft spot" for them. I imagine a beagle/basset hound is adorable.

Try to let go of the guilt/doubts and let yourself grieve.  You have lost a family member and it hurts.  It will take lots of time to adjust to your "new normal".  Give yourself time.  This forum is a wonderful place to come and "talk".  We all understand your thoughts and feelings and it is also a great place to pay tribute to our beautiful Otis and Bella.  People are prepared to listen and they do not judge.
I wish you peace and healing.  I hope that your precious memories of Otis will soon bring you more smiles than tears.
Karen
(Bella, Charli and Buddy's very lucky mum)

My gorgeous girl, Bella  26/07/2004 - 03/04/2014
"You were once by our side, but you will be forever in our hearts. Until we meet again baby girl."
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NewtonsMom
I'm having the same problem. I just put my basset down today and question if I did it too soon or did I wait too long? I think guilt is a normal part of the grieving process. I'm hoping we can both find confidence in our decision with time. Good luck to you.
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Otisthedog
Thank you, Bellamum.  Yesterday was my first day on this site and when I saw Bella's picture, it took my breath for a minute - Otis looks very similar in the face.  Everything you say rings true and my heart agrees that it was kind for my boy, but my mind still questions.  Just when I feel a little better, suddenly tears a streaming again. My cat, Bella, is hugging me now.  I know you know this....it is soooo helpful to chat with others who know exactly how i feel.  Thank you so much.
Carolyn
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Otisthedog
NewtonsMom - I'm so sorry for you.  I have thought that I want this pain to go away, but we must go through the process and honor our babies. I think our babies understand our sadness, but want us to be happy again, as soon as we are able. Good luck to you too. 

Carolyn
Carolyn
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Otisthedog
This is my sweet Otis, aka Doodle.

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Carolyn
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judylinn
Otis is just soooo beautiful.. I love the look on his face.
Sending you healing hugs...Judylinn
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Bellamum
Otis is so sweet.  I love those beagle eyes...they melt my heart every time.
You are right...Otis and Bella are quite similar looking....both absolutely gorgeous!
Karen
(Bella, Charli and Buddy's very lucky mum)

My gorgeous girl, Bella  26/07/2004 - 03/04/2014
"You were once by our side, but you will be forever in our hearts. Until we meet again baby girl."
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