I've got to put my baby down today - I've only got 3 more hours with him.  He's fallen a several times in the past few days and his breathing is not labored but not easy either. Vet says that he may have cancer in the lungs, but at 16 yrs, 1 mth, 2 wks, I'm not going to put him thru any tests.

Last night I talked to him and reminded him of the good times we had together and of the furbabies that he knew and had gone before him.  I also told him about furbabies before him that he didn't know.  I also told him that I knew he was tired and confused.  I promised him that after today there would be no more pain, tiredness or confusion.

I went to bed last night at about 1 in the morning.  Wanted to sleep with him or have him in the bed with me, he'd have nothing to do with it.  I woke up at 3 and came out to the living room where he was.  I laid down with him and we just talked.  I reminded him again of the good times we had had together.  For the first time in days, he licked my hand and my face.  Then he curled up more next to me.  My other furbabies also joined us.

Then at 6 he wanted to go out.  Again, for the first time in days he gave me a good tail wag and while walking in the yard he held his tail high like he used to.  My other furbaby started barking at something and again for the first time in days, he joined her.  It was soooo good to see and hear.  But I didn't have the camera with me so I missed it.  And he's getting up easier than in the past few days.

Why do they put on this good show for us when we have made the decision?  I know in my heart and mind that he won't get any better and that he would continue to fall and have a hard time breathing at times.  But he is making me really second guess myself big time.  I know that when he is at the RB that he'll be able to run, spin circles, climb large boulders (over 6' tall), be a mountain goat in the streams, sit up pretty, clap at the ceremony circle (bark when everyone is cheering or clapping), open gates for the other furbabies and then sit there saying that he's a good boy cause he didn't go out of the yard when they did, swim the pool.  But I want him to do that with me at his side like it was for 15+ years.

already missing Ammi
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I'm so sorry that you have to make this difficult decision.  I, too, went through the same decision, and was not happy that I made it.  However, my boy wasn't having trouble breathing, which I think is a big quality of life issue.  You said he hadn't licked your face or hand or barked with his siblings in a long time-to me that says he was living a lower quality of life for a while, though you would know this better than I.  I have to say one thing though...regardless of when you make that decision, you will second guess yourself and possibly feel guilty, because you love your boy.  It is a decision only you can make...for instance would you want him to go on a day that he is happy, his mind is present, he doesn't appear to be in pain, or on a day when he is mentally not there, in pain, and so sad?  I realize this would make your decision easier, but would it be better for him, easier for him?  Maybe they show flashes of themselves after you have made the decision because they understand what you are saying and want to show you that they are ok with your decision-maybe they do it so you won't remember the wheezing and painful version of themselves-I can't answer that, but know that no decision made in the best interest of your baby is a wrong decision.  I wish you much peace in your soul right now!
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He's gone.  He was so peaceful looking when he went to the RB. I know it was the right thing to do, but it hurts.  I got an extra hour due to the vet being behind on the appts.  We went outside under the tree in the grass so that he wouldn't be so stressed.  I didn't want his last view of the world to be the vet office that he detested so much.  He was outside and he was happy to see the vet, he always loved seeing people that were coming to love on him.  I told him that this would hurt me way more than it hurt him and that he would be able to run the agility courses again.

Now to wait for the healing to start and the pain of missing him to be gone.  Although, the pain of missing him had started a while ago.  I realized that many of the things he used to do weren't being done any longer.  Spinning in circles at the door when I came home.  Sitting up for a treat.  Breathing easy and calmly.  Barking at the window with his sister when his sister thought she saw something, lately, he was still laying down and barked.  Not being picky about food, he used to chow down anything in front of him.

Now to spend time with his sister and kitty sisters.

Still always 2 Dog (my camp name at living history events).

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Jaz I am so sorry about your loss.  I feel it with you believe me.  Maggie would have been 17 tomorrow.  I had her outside the morning she died.  She was still able to hold herself up to go outside and use the washroom.  She was unable to stand much longer and would slowly fall to a sitting position, then couldn't maintain a lay down and would totally lay down on one side. Our babies show us how strong they are, by not letting us know they are hurting.  I was sobbing holding her that last week, and was agonizing over the decision I knew I had to make.  She counted on me to make the right one, she counted on me, the person who knew her and loved her best, to not let her linger for my sake, because I needed her with me.  It will be 3 weeks in two days that I have been without her.  I am empty, beyond sad, and I am overwhelmed many times per day with sobbing over missing her.  You have some other babies to console it sounds like, and they to console you. Part of me wishes I had that, my house is empty, when everyone is gone, which is most of the time, it was Maggie and me against the world.  Now its just me, seeing pieces of her fur everywhere, her pawprints in the carpet, and her heart embedded deeply in my heart. I wish you peace, I wish us all peace as we come to terms with the reality of life.  I hope that one day I can hold her again and kiss that beautiful face as I did multiple times per day for the last almost 17 years. 

Mom loves you and misses you my sweet Maggie, forever.
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My heart aches for you.  I went through a similar situation with my kitty, T.J., on March 9th.  He was the Heart of My Heart, and I will miss him forever. 

I believe that one reason they rally right before death is a biological one.  I remember hearing that humans tend to get a burst of energy, clarity and wellness for a short time before the end comes.  I believe it is the same for our best friends. 

Right before we took Teege to his last appointment, he ate the biggest meal he had eaten in months.  He purred as loudly as ever, and he snuggled and cuddled for all he was worth.  Just typing this is bringing me to tears, or "Love drops," as a dear friend calls them.  It's been a rough time, adjusting to life without T.J. constantly by my side.  When I read about how long you were together, it really hit home.  T.J. and I had exactly 16 years, 4 months, and two weeks, almost to the minute.  I would relive them in a heartbeat, even if we both had to endure the same ending to our time together.  I know he would, too.  He and I were meant-to-be, a match made in heaven.  Like your best friend, T.J. had such a peaceful crossing.  We were gazing into each other's eyes, and I was whispering to him all the words of love that I hold in my heart.  The love continues to grow, even as the tears flow.

Give yourself time to grieve.  All tears are healing tears.  They help to wash away our sorrow and allow the first buds of happiness to blossom in our hearts.

You and your Bridge Kids are all in my thoughts and prayers, and I'm sending you squillions of virtual hugs today.

My heart is battered and bruised, but I will not let it break. It holds such precious cargo, I must protect it now. (Susie Squillions)

"Memories of loved ones are like songs in our soul." Margaret Wakeley




In one of the stars, I shall be living.
In one of them, I shall be laughing.
And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing when you look at the sky at night.
~ The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery
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I have heard of that with people and seen it.  They get 'better' just before they go.  I feel that he did it cause he wanted me to remember the better days and that he also had a load taken off cause Mommy was going to make it better.  Mommy promised.  He had hidden the discomfort from Mommy for so long.  Mom and Dad said that he would show it with them, but then be brave for me.

Soon I will have to look for a picture to send to the crematorium.  I picked out an urn that they will paint his picture on.  I will need to do it this week.  That will be hard.  I have hundreds, if not thousands of photos of him.  Mom and I decided that we will use an older photo that showed his coloring at his prime.  In his old age, he had grayed at the muzzle but darkened everywhere else.  He was a beautiful copper and black with splashes of white when he was young.  He was more black in his older years.  Wish I had known about spinning when he was younger.  But at least I know about it now and have 2 gallon-sized bags of his fur that I can spin and make a fitting rememerance of him.  Right now I'm thinking hatband and/or sash.  He is already in two shawls that I made that have or are being donated to rescue groups for auctions.  The shawls also include his sister and some co-workers' pups and another living historian's pup.  I have to now change the booklet that goes with it to include "In memory of:" on Ammi's page.

Right now there are few tears, I don't think I have many left in me right now cause I have been crying non stop since Thursday when Mom called me to say that he had fallen and wouldn't let her help him up.  I work 2 hrs from the house and to keep the furbabies comfortable, I leave them at the house while I am at work and my Mom takes care of them.  There were no decent jobs in this area and I'm fairly close to retirement at where I am.  The worst of it is that I leave on Monday mornings and don't get back until Friday night.  I feel guilty that I'm not able to spend more time with him/them.  I keep an effiency near my work.  During the winter I took a couple of the furbabies with me, but now it is too hot and they are better here at the house.  And my scent is everywhere here and the big furbabies have a large fenced in yard, the effiency doesn't.  But someone has to work to put the kibble in the bowl.

I'm taking Monday off, I don't feel that I will be ready to face things at the office then.  Likely not on Tuesday or any other day either, but someone has to make the kibble money for the furbabies.  It will be hardest when I come home on Friday, Miss J will be hopefully be talking to me when I get home - she howls - but Ammi won't be there barking at me to hurry up cause he wants to see Mommy and then go outside right away.  I'll miss the bark that he started a while ago, it sounds like 'Where's mommy? Where's Mommy?'

Earlier today, I heard the snore/breathing sound that he and his kitty sister make.  I looked for his kitty sister, I though she was in the living room with me, I didn't see her anywhere.  About 2 hrs later, she is snoring up a storm in the tower - she wasn't there before.  I wonder if my baby was here for a little while?  Neither of the other furbabies were in the living room either.

In fact, they are doing little to comfort me right now, other than being in the house.  I think they need some time to figure out what is going on and why their big brother isn't physically here.  For a little while the other kitty was with me at the computer.  She sat down behind the chair and was watching where Ammi always laid.  It sure doesn't seem right without him right behind the chair where I could just turn and rub him with my feet.

I know there will be another furbaby added to the family, I just don't know when.  I told Ammi to help his sister and I to know when the time is right and to lead us to the right one and help in the training.  I know that his kitty sister Sasha (who was with us for 4 years) led me to the right kitty to help fill that void in the family and it was only a month later, and she did a bang up job of it as well.  I don't want to wait too long due to his sister's age, she is 12, but still quite active.  Yesterday she was jumping up at the pecan tree trying to get to the crows.  I had already talked with him about it several months ago as well.  I know that he had already had me look on petfinder.  I found one that would have been a good match to the family, but couldn't take on another with him being so old.  I felt it wasn't fair to him.

Always 2 Dog and missing Ammi
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Today my other furkids are spending more time with me.  Miss J gave me a good morning kiss.  It's been almost 24 hours for Ammi.

This morning when I got up, I heard slurping in the water bowl.  The furkids weren't in the kitchen.  Am I crazy or is my baby already trying to let me know that he is good now or is it just wishful thinking?

Last night I was brushing Miss J.  I know that she was a bit worried cause she had seen me brushing Ammi, and he didn't come home.  So I reassured her that she was getting brushed so that I can give her a bath.  I tried to explain to her what happened as well.  She and I have been going out for walks in the yard together.

Well, about time to give her a bath so that she doesn't smell like campfire.  Ammi went to the Bridge smelling like campfire from our last camping trips.  I think I will keep a small bit of his fur unwashed so that I will have the smell of him at his best.  He did so love camping.

She did well with her bath.

They mention that if you are having your pet cremated to include a favorite toy.  Ammi didn't have any favorite toys.  So I included his favorite breakfast treat, a Whole Meals Bar (stocked up when the stopped making them) and used tissues.  He loved to get into the garbage and pull used tissues and shred them.  These tissues had tears for him, I think that is appropriate.  The vet tech thought it was appropriate as well.
I love you Ammi.

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That is a good idea to include a toy.  We have surrounded Maggie's ashes with all her toys.  I am still trying to find a more appropriate urn for her so I can include her picture and some words I'd like to add. 

Take care of your other babies jaz.  I think maybe Ammi is celebrating Maggie's birthday with her today. 
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I'll bet he is.  Next to camping and hiking, he liked birthdays too.  He liked it when I had parties at the house.  "Mommy, are all these people here to see me?"

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My buddy Jake, 17, whom I'd had for 15 yrs, I had to help cross the RB on Feb 3rd 2010.  I was very lucky to get to spend the last week of his life with him at home.  He was having seizures,was diagnosed with CHF and was not responding to medication. He wouldn't eat and would barely take water and the last day could not stand.  That's when I made the heart wrenching decision to help him cross the bridge.

It is almost 4 months now and I still miss my little punkin.  He was my only furbaby and the sound of being alone was too terrible to endure so after 2 months I adopted Fritz from a Miniature Schnauzer Rescue like I did Jake.  In fact right now Fritz, for the first time I've ever seen is laying in Jake's dog bed in my bedroom.  I adopted a schnauzer a different color and with different ears so as not to make a comparison to Jake.
I have two poems to post....I copied them from others who have posted here so I cannot take credit.....may you find the healing and peace you need.....

The Last Battle

If it should be that I grow frail and weak,

And pain should keep me from my sleep,

Then will you do what must be done,

For this, the last battle, can't be won.

You will be sad I understand,

But don't let grief then stay your hand,

For on this day, more than the rest,

Your love and friendship must stand the test.

We have had so many happy years,

You wouldn't want me to suffer so.

When the time comes, please, let me go.

Take me to where to my needs they'll tend,

Only, stay with me till the end

And hold me firm and speak to me,

Until my eyes no longer see.

I know in time you will agree,

It is a kindness you do to me.

Although my tail its last has waved,

From pain and suffering I have been saved.

Don't grieve that it must be you,

Who has to decide this thing to do;

We've been so close,we two, these years,

Don't let your heart hold any tears.

Author Unknown 

I Haven’t Left At All 

I saw you gently weeping as you looked through photographs 
You paused for just a moment at one that made you laugh. 
But as you turned more pages the tears began to flow 
You whispered that you missed me but I want you to know; 
I softly licked those stinging tears that down your cheeks did fall 
I want to help you understand I haven’t left at all. 

On those days that you are overcome with sorrow, pain and grief 
I rest my head upon your leg to offer some relief. 
When you take our walking path I’ve seen you turn around 
Because I know you surely heard my paws upon the ground. 

At night while you are sleeping I snuggle at your side 
You stroke my fur as you touch that place where I used to lie. 
You said it’s just your heart playing tricks upon your mind 
But rest assured I’m really there, my spirit’s left behind. 

I know your heart is hurting; it’s like an open sore 
You think my life has ended and you won’t see me anymore. 
But for those of us bound tight by love, death is not the curtain call; 
It’s really the eternal beginning that waits for us all 
So, dear Master as you live your life I patiently await 
For us to be together when you pass through Heaven’s gate. 

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thank you very much for the poems.  they do help so much.

I've been looking thru old pictures of my boy.  I found some from 3 and 4 years ago taken in the back yard.  One of them was of him walking thru the wild flowers (asters) when we first moved back to the house where I grew up.  I also took a look at the picture that I took of him on Friday last week again in the back yard in the asters.  Other than the coloring and knowing that I took the pictures, you really wouldn't have known that it was the same pup - or you would have thought they were taken about 10 or more years apart.  After looking at those two pictures, I know without a doubt that my decision to end his discomfort and confusion was right.  He was NOT the same happy pup of yesteryear.  However, I do have to say that there is a difference in the pictures that I took on Friday and on Saturday morning.  He was happier and seemed like he had a burden lifted off of his shoulders on Saturday.  Even knowing that he was happier and that he wasn't the same pup, doesn't make it any easier without him, it just makes it easier to realize that yes, we do have to let them go - for their sake.

Now a question, do they seem to take a while to come back for visits or does it really depend on the furkid and the bond you had?  I wonder because since Saturday, I have had 3 or 4 experiences that could very well be my boy.  The first was on Saturday after coming home from the vet.  I could have sworn I heard him snoring in the living room, thought it was Bastet, but she was in another room.  The next was Sunday morning, I went the the kitchen and no one but me was out there, just before I got to the kitchen, I heard slurping in the water bowl.  The following was Monday afternoon when Jazzie and I got back from the botanical garden, I thought I heard him barking at the window, only one or two barks, but there just the same.  The most convincing of all was Monday night though.  I was in bed, curled on my right side as I usually do with Phoenix getting ready to curl up next to my chest and put her head on my elbow.  She stood up and started staring over my shoulder to the other side of the bed and kept looking up and down.  Then I felt a weight pull down on the sheet on my shoulder toward my back like one of the furkids laying down against my back.  This happened twice.  Jazzie was on her pillow next to the bed.  Since I've been at the efficency, I haven't had any of these feelings, but then Ammi was in it only once.  Jazzie has been here several more times than Ammi was, and Phoenix spent almost all winter down here with me.

Either I'm loosing it or my boy is letting me know that all is well with him.

Oh, and everyone at my office that saw the dog hair shawl that I made thought it a fitting tribute to Ammi.  I changed the booklet to read "In Loving Memory of"  for his page.  Many were saddened to hear of his passing as they knew him as well, I've worked there for 18 years and he was with me for 15, so kind of hard for them to not know of him - especially with the pics all over the place in my cube and the volunteer coordinator having me bring him and the others in for different events.

Missing Ammi
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Jazmateta--Some times the kindness thing that we can do for our fur-babies Is to "let go".  They are tried and wore out and live only for us.  What a beautiful baby.  I loved his ears.  May-be some day God will allow our fur babies to live longer. Only time will tell.  Don't second guess your-self.  He was suffering and you put a stop to that.  I WISH for only peace for you and your baby.    Yesterday, my cat of 12 years, I WAS TOLD HE HAS A VERY RARE CANCER AND TO SAVE HIM I have to have his whole back leg removed.  I need time to think about this. He Is so meek and always has been. Do I do It for him or do I do It for me!!  That Is a huge question. Do I LET him go or try to fight a diease that has already taken so many?   Marty

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He was tired, but he tried so hard not to let me know.

And he was a most handsome boy, up until the last year to year and a half his ears always looked like that or the tips just slightly flopped over.  I called him my Devil Dog.  But in the last year or so he had gotten one of the hemotomas (cauliflower ear) in his ear, since it was cosmetic only, we left it alone.

That is a very tough call on your kitty.  We had a collie with jaw cancer, one surgery was done and then it came back about six to nine months later.  We couldn't put her thru it again, she was also 12 -13 or so.  On the other hand, kitties and puppies do well with three legs - even chinchillas (had one).  I think I would be more concerned about the anethesia first due to his age and second the chances of the cancer recurring.

My thoughts are with you and your kitty and know that whichever decision you make is the right one for your particular instance.  I wish you and your baby peace as well.


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Jazmateta...I heard from my Jake within the first week....he was my only furbaby and because he was deaf would bark for me to come and "find him" since he couldn't tell where I was...I definitely heard his bark several times.  In dreams he would be there on my bed at my feet....

I wish I had thought to include a favorite toy with Jake when I had him cremated.  I didn't make the desicion to cremate him until the day I took him to the vet to put him to sleep.  Originally I was just going to bury him in the backyard.  Next time i will know more about the process...

Jake struggled so much the last couple of days that the decision to put him to sleep became clear.  I tried taking him out to potty but he was so weak he could hardly stand..he would cry out and then poop in his bed...I knew he didn't want to do that.  Bless their hearts..they don't want to let us down...
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