I'll start by saying I am 19 years old and I have just lost one of my closest family members. 2 days ago our German Shepherd dog called Max went into the Vets which turned out to be his last journey. He was 14 years old and had been struggling with his back legs for 2 years, Up until 4 days ago he had been fine. He was unable to run or jump but still able to get himself up and into the garden. Then 4 days ago I was woken by my mother who told me to come and see him (Max) I went downstairs and saw that he was unable to get up off the floor. We tried to get him up and succeeded, but he could barely walk a few steps. My mother was devastated but I wasn't, I guess I was in denial about the fact that he was nearing his end. Over the next 24 hours we would encourage him to get to his feet and help get him outside to do his business, this was enough for the time being but we knew he was suffering.

On his last night, I had no idea the next day would be his last. I sat with him and fed him sweets and a little chocolate, I knew eating junk food was the least of his worries. I went to bed and could hear him crying all night. I wasn't sure whether this was due to his pain or the fact that he couldn't get himself up, he always was a bit of a moaner. I got up early in the morning as my mother had gotten home from work, as I got downstairs to my surprise Max was outside having a wee all on his own. I gained a little faith but only a few seconds later he collapsed to the ground, we carried him inside knowing that he was in his last few days. This was a Saturday morning and we had planned to wait until the weekend was over before considering taking him into the Vet. 

My Mother and my brother both went to work, which left me alone with him and our other dog who is a 5 year old rottweiler. I had to get ready as I had a job interview, I made sure he was comfy and went off to my interview. I had gotten the job and was delighted. I told all my family and returned home thinking it was a great day. As I arrived I unlocked the door only to find Max laid up against the door, I managed to squeeze my way in and tried to comfort him. I tried to encourage him to get to his feet but with no success, over the next hour I had tried to help him up but he was a big dog and it was quite clear he could not hold himself up. He was reluctant to get up and had even lost the ability to prop himself up with his front 2 legs.

He then sat there and Peed himself, which really showed me how poorly he actually was. He had only done this 1 or 2 times in his whole life. I phoned my Mother who immediately phoned the Vet to book him in for an appointment, we were hoping for a miracle cure that would keep him with us. We put him on his bed and carried him to the car, we took him inside the vet centre and went into a room. We told the Vet the situation and he told us the worst thing we wanted to hear "There is nothing we can do". We had only 1 choice which we could not avoid, we had suffering and no dog should live without the use of his legs at aged 14. He had lost most if not all feeling in his back legs, My whole family(me, my 2 brothers and my Mother) sat there with him for around 20 minutes to say goodbye, he even had the strength to give me his front paw when I asked for it. The vet came in and gave him a sedative which put him into a deep sleep. We stayed with Max for another 10 minutes when the vet came in to see if we was ready, of course we weren't ready but we knew what was best for him. He was suffering and we had to do what was best, the vet then injected him with a drug that would put him to sleep for good. As he injected him he confirmed that Max's heart had stopped, we sat there in tears and said our final goodbyes.

That night I was ok, I knew it was the right decision for us and for Max. The next day I woke up and went downstairs only to find an empty dog bed and an empty room. My heart sank and it hit me that he was really gone. I am 19 and he was 14, we have had him for my whole conscious life. I cannot remember a time when we didn't have him, not a day had gone by over the last 14 years where I had gone downstairs and he was not there. 

It has now been 48 hours since he has passed and it is only getting harder to live with. My whole family is devastated. I always thought that losing a pet wouldn't be as hard as losing a human relative, but it is. I feel as if a part of me is missing, and a part of the family is missing. I keep thinking back to the days when he would run, jump and play. He hadn't been the same for the last 2 years. His legs had weakened and his motivation had fallen, but this didn't stop him being the most loving caring dog in the world. He never failed to put a smile on my face whenever he walked in a room.

I feel like my heart has been ripped in 2, he had been the most loyal beautiful dog in his younger days. He was always so playful from being a puppy and was always so protective of his family. I know that we did the right thing, but I cannot bear the fact that we will never see him again. I feel like there is no point in my own life, as I will come home to see that he is not here. I feel empty like there is nothing left to live for, it really is true you don't know what you have until its gone. I feel heartbroken, we also don't know how the other dog is feeling. He also has never known anything else but than to have an older sibling, he doesn't seem himself but there is no way to explain where his brother went.

Over the last 5 months I have had nothing to do, I am taking a year out of education and have been out of work. I have spent every waking minute in the house with Max, it was my duty to take care of him.This just makes the hole in my heart even bigger. Before I went to bed I used to go downstairs and turn on the light to make sure he was ok, now I turn on the light only to see he is no longer there. Our Rottweiler sleeps upstairs but Max cannot make the climb up the stairs, so I would always make sure he was ok downstairs before I went to sleep. 

Now everytime I go downstairs to an empty bed or an empty room I burst into tears, it feels as if it will never end and my life will never be the same again. I am unable to sleep or eat. I feel sick to my stomach and I cant sleep without thinking about him. I thought posting this on here might help as it would be nice to hear from others who have had similar heart ache. I have lost a brother and I cannot even bear to think about life without him. So there it is, the story of a beautiful German Shepard who had an amazing 14 years on this earth before resting peacefully in the arms of his family. R.I.P my brother.
d m
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d m

My heart goes out to you and your "brother" Max. He sounds like he was truly your best buddy. He surely was a handsome Shepherd. Trust me I know your pain. 1week ago tomorrow I lost the best friend I ever had, a true gift my baby girl Daisy Mae. Like you I find the emptiness and silence truly heartbreaking. She was a light that shined 24 hours a day. She was funny, loving and the best companion anyone could ever have. It hurts to not have her waiting at the door when I get home. Taking her out for walks and just running around dthe house outside. Sitting up against me while watching tv or reading the paper. And sleeping between my feet every night that she was alive.
Our babies are true gifts. When they leave us there is no worse feeling in the world. My thoughts are with you and I'll keep you and Max in my prayers. Thank you for sharing your story about your beautiful "brother"

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I am so sorry for the loss of your brother and best friend Max. He really is a handsome boy and looks so sweet. Your post was such a beautiful tribute to your buddy, you were both lucky to have each other. You have come to the right place, we all have compassion and understanding for what you are going through. We have all been exactly where you are right now. I had to put my 14 year old Boston terrier down and when it first happened, I was so heartbroken I wasn't sure how I could go on living without him. I was so devastated. The feelings of grief are awful. Unfortunately, you need to just get through it, and you will. I promise you you will feel better in time. It has now been 7 weeks for me, and yes, I am better, but I still cry for him almost every day, if only briefly, then I stop and try to remember all the good times we had together, and smile. He is still here with me, not in body but in spirit, and that helps me move on. Try and keep coming back to this site, it should help you. You and your family did the right thing for Max, it's what he would have wanted, to be free of pain and at peace. He is grateful. My heart goes out to you and your family, I am sending prayers and hugs your way
gayle zigmund
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d m

I, too, am so very sorry for your loss. Your Max was a handsome boy, your loyal companion for most of your life, and I know how terribly you miss him. He was indeed lucky to spend his years with a wonderful, loving family. Not all dogs are as loved and appreciated as your Max. It was a difficult decision for you and your family to make, to let him go, but you put his needs and comfort ahead of your own. He knows that and loves you for it.

This grief process is awful. There is no easy way through it, no shortcuts to take. You will go through feeling all kinds of emotions - shock, disbelief, numbness, denial, anger, sadness, and depression. All those feelings are normal when you are grieving the loss of your loved one. And just when you think you can't possibly cry any more, the tears will come flooding back. But please, please know that it does get better with time. You will always miss your dear Max because you will always love him. With time, you will spend more time remembering your happy times together, and that will help to ease your pain. You need to let yourself feel what you need to feel and go through this process in your own time and way. Know that we are here to comfort and support you. We understand your loss because we have been there, too, grieving for our beloved pets and companions. I don't know how I would have made it through all the pain without the understanding of the kind, caring people on this site.

Your beautiful story about the life you shared with Max touched my heart. I understand how deeply committed you were to his daily care. I lost my Arabian horse JR on September 10th, after a four and a half month battle with intestinal issues. He had a very compassionate vet who worked with me to provide him excellent care. He had days and even a week of good health, making steady improvement, then a sudden downturn followed by days where we weren't sure he would pull through. Up and down, again and again. He loved life and he was a fighter, so I didn't want to give up on him. I was off work (school) for the summer, so my whole life revolved around JR's care and the time I could spend with him. When I went back to work, I got up extra early to spend time with my boy and rushed home each day to be with him again. A month after I returned to work, JR had a bad night. I was there with him throughout the night, and in the morning light I could see that the fight was over. He laid down and passed, with me at his side, the vet on the phone. I was totally lost without him, and going on with my life has been difficult. I miss him so much! He was my friend, my confidant, my family for 16 years.

It is sad that our pets do not live as long as we do. The goodbyes are heartbreaking. We love them so very much and they love us unconditionally. What helps me most is to  remember the love we shared. That love is always here with us. Know that your Max loves you still and always will. His love is right there with you, to comfort you.

JR's Mom
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 I know the pain and the heartbreak you are going through. I had my beloved 13 year old furbaby, Pete, put to sleep 3 days ago after a short illness. The pain is incredible, but you will survive it. I have lost many pets through my 60 years and the grief does get easier to bear in time, I know right now it doesn't seem like it, but believe me, it will. It leaves a big hole in your heart that will never fill, but your heart will get bigger with each pet that you are lucky enough to love. As your heart gets bigger that hole will seem a little smaller. Max was so lucky to have been loved so much. You and your family showed him the ultimate act of love by ending his suffering. He's at peace now and playing and running again at the Rainbow Bridge. Keep coming back to this site, we've all been through what you're going through, some have been through it many times. When we tell you it will get better with time, believe us, it will. Maybe think about volunteering at an animal shelter, you have much love to share with animals. Be sure to give your other dog lots of love and attention now.  You can help each other get through this hard time. Most of all, remember all the good times you had together, I sure you wouldn't give up one second of those times to avoid the grief you're feeling now. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.  Shar
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