Blessings to all the members of this forum. I wish to offer my sincere condolences to those who have suffered the loss of their best friends. I also wish to thank those who have created this forum to help those of us who are grieving. I am brand new to this forum, and I wanted to communicate the recent loss of our Jake on Saturday September 18th. 2010, easily the WORST day of my life, and I am 47 years old. Jake was our beautiful Rottweiler mix who was our Christmas puppy in 2000. This Christmas he would have been 10 years old. My wife and myself are deeply grieving and mourning his loss since that day. I have been blessed and fortunate to never have experienced death of anyone close to me, until now. Yes, I have known people who have died, including relatives, but no one close until we lost our Jake. I now know what it means to mourn the loss of someone close. Perhaps God allowed this to occur to teach me how to deal with the losses of close loved ones that will inevitably occur in the future to all of us. I do not question God's plan, however it doesn't make this any less painful. Losing a pet is like losing a child. We raise them like our children, and love their innocence and their loyalty. Many folks who aren't pet owners really do not understand the bond that develops between their pets, and themselves. Losing a pet is losing a member of your family, I don't care what anyone says. 

Jake was our Christmas puppy, a beautiful rottie mix who we got in 2000. When we got him, he was smaller than one of my hands. He grew into a strong 95 lb beast. We loved him so much. We had so many fun and crazy times over the years, but now that he is gone, the pain of his loss is almost unbearable. It's not just losing our beautiful boy, it's the circumstances of his loss, that is causing me so much added grief and guilt. I am still functional, but the shock of Jake's loss is on my mind almost constantly. I was hoping that someone here on this forum could give me some words of wisdom to ease the pain perhaps. I know that nothing could ever bring him back, but perhaps someone with more knowledge and experience of this kind of thing would be kind enough to help me deal with this. I have spoken to well meaning friends, but nothing seems to help relieve the pain and strong guilt that I feel regarding Jake's passing. Let me explain.

We had 3 beautiful pooches (now 2) and our Jake was always the strong and healthy one. The other two are diabetics and sickly, and Rocky our German Shepherd mix is almost 13 years old. So losing Jake, the big strong healthy one was utterly shocking in and of itself. We were not mentally prepared for his loss. If God forbid we were to lose Rocky, I think we are mentally more prepared, but we were not prepared to lose Jake so suddenly. Jake had a ruptured disk in his back which caused him to lose the use of his back legs. We worked with the vet to get him back on the road to recovery, but while he initially seemed to get better, he took a rapid turn for the worse. He couldn't get up, and if we lifted him up, he would just fall back down again. We tried and tried using a towel to get him up to go out, but it was just about physically impossible to move him at 99 lbs, and no use of his back legs at all. We went back to the vet on 9/18/10 to get him some type of steroid shot, that the vet explained had maybe a 10%-30% chance of helping him. We struggled to get him in the car, and by the time I got to the vet's office, I was so distraught and crying, since it seemed this was lost cause. I had a long talk with the vet, and the clincher for him was that his bladder was distended and overly full with urine, as he believed that Jake had limited feeling in his bladder that he had to pee. The vet was not telling me to put Jake down, but was not painting a very good picture. The night before on Friday 9/17/10, I had located a special rear lift harness that looked like it might help. The problem was it would take at least 5 days to get here, and we didn't know how we were going to lift him to get him out. The doctor talked about having to catheterize him to drain his bladder out. He made his recommendation that he be put down. I reluctantly agreed, and made the decision in the moment, which may have been the right one, but one in which I have been tormented ever since. 

So not only have we lost our Jake, I have the added GUILT, that I may not have done everything possible to save his life. I keep revisiting that day, and wondered why I just didn't tell our Veterinarian, ' Doc, I can't put him down right now, I just can't do it. Do what you have to do, put in a catheter or whatever, and I will wait until that harness arrives, then we will go from there.' But I didn't. I just relented and agreed to put our beautiful boy to sleep. To make matters worse, my wife wanted us to be present during the euthanasia, which for me was definitely a mistake. I can't get the image of him losing consciousness and dying in front of me, out of my head. Then looking at his lifeless eyes, and body. This was our beautiful boy and we loved him so much but I am wrecked with guilt that I should have at least waited and tried the last few things to save his life. I also feel like, if I could have got him to at least semi-walk using the harness, his urge to urinate normally may have returned. I am so deeply depressed that I didn't do more to save his life. PLEASE SOMEBODY HELP ME IF YOU CAN. God bless all of you.
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I am so, so sorry for your loss. I lost my Jack on the 23rd. I have too been second guessing my decision by saying goodbye, I completely understand what you are feeling. What we have to remember is the vets know what is best and have provided us with their best educated recommendation. They think with their heads, we think with our hearts. I'm not saying vets don't have hearts or feelings for the animals, but they put the animals well being/quality of life first. Sick or not, I don't think we are ever prepared to let them go. I have relived Jacks passing right in front of me over and over again.  I know it's terrifying and haunting, but please find comfort that you and your wife were there and the last thing he heard and saw was you. Our babies will always be in our hearts. I'm having trouble imagining my life without Jack, but I have gotten up every day and forced myself to do stuff. Believe me, there have been hours of crying, staring at pics, smelling his bed, etc.. But We do have to move on.. You are the only one that knows the best way for you to get through this. There are very kind and supportive people here. I recommend doing the candlelight vigil. I let everyone I know what time it was and asked them to participate. I'm looking into local support groups, google it, you may find it will help you. Talk to your other babies, seek comfort from them, they still have tons of love to give! Bless you and your wife, big hugs to you..

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Oh!  The pain you are feeling is so evident in your post.  I'm so very sorry for you.  I wish I knew how to help you to relieve the guilt you are feeling.  I know what you're going through.  I'm so sorry you are enduring such grief and guilt.  It makes me so sad for you to be burdened so.

I do understand how you feel.  Losing a beloved furbaby is like losing a child.  I lost my beloved cat/child not quite a month ago.  She had just turned ten years old.  I also had to have her euthanized.  I stayed with her, and yes, it was very hard to see it.  I had to be with her to comfort her.  But I will always be haunted by the images of seeing her go.  I, too, have been racked with guilt.  I'm not sure I did enough to save my girl's life.  I've been assured that the vet was the one with the extensive medical knowledge and to trust her decision.

Maybe the vet thought in Jake's case that it was the most humane thing to do for him as it was for my Tootie.  I know it hurts like a son of a gun.  I second guessed myself and the vet and tried not to despise the vet.  Maybe God didn't want Jake to suffer anymore either.  I know the pain is intense Pete.  My heart goes out to you and your wife.  I wish I knew how to take the pain away for you.  Please believe that you did everything possible to help Jake and keep him with you.  I wish our beloved babies could live as long as we do.  It's a cruel, tragic loss to lose our precious babies.  I know it is.

Yes, indeed, it hurts worse losing a beloved pet/child than it does losing a human relative.  It didn't hurt as bad losing the loved ones that I've lost as it did with my girl Tootie.  Your precious Jake will always live on in your heart and you will always have the love you and your wife had with him to cherish.

I know that doesn't make it any easier losing him when you want him with you.  I won't say that it gets better in time.  But it does get easier in time.

Bless you and your wife.  You will both be in my prayers.


Tootie ~ Sep. 1, 2000 - Sep. 4, 2010
Shine on you beautiful diamond!
Blueboy ~ Feb. 14, 1989 - Dec. 31, 1993
Always in my heart!
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I am so sorry for your loss.  I understand the intense pain you are feeling.  I lost my precious poodle mix Ted on 7/7.  I can tell you though, that my son-in-laws mom had a lab who blew a disc.  They tried everything, like you.  They were not able to give the dog any kind of quality of life.  They tried everything and in the end, wished that they had let him go sooner.  So take comfort knowing that there really isn't much that can be to ensure a high quality of life with that kind of injury.  I think you made the most courageous decision you could and you have given Jake the gift of freedom from discomfort and humiliation. 
Barbara Lyngarkos
My Beloved Ted 8/7/2005 - 7/7/10
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Thanks for all of your responses. May God bless you all.
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how are you doing pete?

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Pete: I, too, have the guilt you feel. I think it is part of the process of grief. You and your wife gave Jake a long and loving life. I hope you can take some comfort in that. That is what is getting me through my darkest hours. I will pray for you both.

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Pete, I think you did the right thing. A catheter is no picnic in the park and neither is a harness. And animals are very aware of being incapacitated. He would not have had a good life that way. As someone has said..."better a week too early than a moment too late".

It's we who are left behind who suffer. Our beloved friends no longer suffer. I have so often thought about this or that that I don't think I did well enough for Boogie over the years (who am I kidding, I completely - and happily - arranged my entire life around my two dogs for their entire life, but of course I had momentary errors in judgment, it would be unnatural if I didn't). But then I go "she's no longer in any pain". And that's a good thing and the thought comforts me and stops my thoughts from spiralling downward.

I really think you did the right thing. Sometimes life requires us to make quick decisions and neither our head or heart can move at that speed. Because those decisions reach so deep inside of us it would take years for us to decide if we had all the time in the world. IF we could even make the decision, because it's really an impossible decision to make; it goes counter to all we believe in. 

Thank you for releasing Jake from his pain. And hugs to you for your pain. 

My Boogie died on 3/25/2010. She was the best dog anybody could ask for. I will be with her again when my time comes.

A drawing of Pax by Heather Spears. She specializes in bereavement and is wonderful to work with, she understands how we feel. She can be reached at
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