Putting Down Your Dog

Discussion in 'Quackenbush's' started by Mike_Tyson, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. Mike_Tyson

    Mike_Tyson 500+ Posts

    This is the suckiest decision so far in my 25 years on earth. Tomorrow marks the last day my precious 13-year-old dalmatian, Major, will be alive. He was diagnosed with cushings disease a while back and has had it about 9 months now. To say the least, my dog is a shell of his former self. He cannot keep anything down and he simply skin and bones. He has horrible balance, falls, and pains to get up.

    He is a proud dog, the most confident individual (dog or human) I have ever seen. He does not want to go out completely frail and weak, I just know he wouldn't because he has too much pride. He's too headstrong to stop doing the things he was perfectly able to do in years past but you can see his body labor in doing it. He wants to "perform" but it just pains him so much in doing it.

    That's the thing that is getting me over this, his little personality is still there. He wants to keep living so much but his body is just simply giving out. My mom commented on him, saying that watching Maj is like watching my Paw-Paw (her father) die of cancer 2 years back. Both have so much fight in them but their bodies just cannot give much more.

    I am in a surreal state right now because I am essentially scheduling his death. This sucks more than OU. I don't want to go the route of cortisone shots because I saw how my Aunt's dog did with him. He lived 3 more weeks but they just weren't 3 good weeks for him. To me, that would selfish on my behalf and not fair to Major. It has to be done for Maj's sake because his quality of life is disappearing at an alarming rate. I think if I wait much longer he won't be able to stand to pee.

    Any wisdom you can bestow on me or any kind words would help greatly.
  2. ScoPro

    ScoPro 1,000+ Posts

    That's one of the toughest things we had to do. A couple of years ago we had to put down our ol' dawg Squirt at age 14 because her hind legs could no longer function.

    She was always terrified of going to to the vet, so we had the doc come to our house and do it.

    Squirt passed on peacefully in her favorite spot in our living room with her head laying in my wife's lap. It still brings me to tears as I type this.

    I hope you can do the same for your little four-legged family member.
  3. longhrnfan

    longhrnfan 500+ Posts

    We have to put down our 12 year old Golden soon. Brain tumor she is his resulting in heavy bleeding and seizures.

    Maybe our dogs will be doggy heaven neighbors.

    Its very tough, like losing a family member.
  4. LadyHornAustin

    LadyHornAustin 100+ Posts

    I've had to make that decision more than once in my 45 years on earth. By far, it sucks worse than just about anything else, but it is also one of the kindest and most selfless acts in life.

    It will be normal for you to have regrets and feel guilty, and wonder if you're doing the right thing. When I was struggling with the decision to put my last dog (Bogie) down, the vet told me that it's better to be one day too early than one day too late. That made a lot of sense to me.

    Also, I don't know if you plan to be there at the end, but it is very peaceful. They literally go to sleep. It gave me comfort to know that the last things my precious babies knew were my scent, my touch, and my voice telling them what good doggies (and kitties) they were.

    Oh ****, now I am crying. The worst ******* thing about dogs is that they don't live long enough. Prayers & good thoughts to you & Major.
  5. mihm_rules_mom

    mihm_rules_mom 25+ Posts

    LadyHornAustin, that is so eloquent.

    Mike_Tyson, I'll be thinking about you and Major. I saw this on the internet a while back, and I thought it was very comforting. Major will be waiting at the Rainbow Bridge.
  6. pmg

    pmg 1,000+ Posts

    My heart goes out to you, MT. There is nothing tougher.
    I held my boy and talked to him when he went to sleep for the last time.
    He seemed comfortable; but there is a little bit of guilt, as you're the one he trusts. It's hard to even think about it, it was so difficult to contemplate.
  7. Mike_Tyson

    Mike_Tyson 500+ Posts

    Thank you to everyone. And LadyHorn, you hit the nail right on the head. I will be with him for the exact reason you stated. It is weird to know that come 5 o'clock tomorrow he won't be with me anymore...but it really is for his best.

    And MR's mom, you are still in my prayers. While I never met your son and only read what he posted on this site, Gary was an awesome young man.
  8. ShadowNinja

    ShadowNinja 100+ Posts

    That's tough, I don't envy you, but I have gone through this with my dog and a cat (I don't even like cats except for the one I had). At least you had a long time together, both of mine were put down before the age of 4. My condolences. [​IMG]
  9. unpaintedhuffhines

    unpaintedhuffhines 1,000+ Posts

  10. HoosierHorn

    HoosierHorn 500+ Posts

    Know that you've done what you can for your dog for 13 years. If you have done that, and he can't make it anymore, as mentioned earlier, you'd rather be early than late.

    My dog, Jazz, died on 12/31/07. I knew she was sick around Christmas, but I didn't know how sick. I was too damn busy with work to take her to the vet. I had planned to take her on the Friday after Christmas, then again on Monday morning, but I ended up trying to work end of the year deals. My wife came to my home office door around 11 and said, "I think Jazz is gone." She knew Jazz was gone.

    You don't want to see your dog suffer AND see your dog laying there dead... trust me.

    To me, it was a sign... Too much work, not enough QT with the ones that love me. Jazz loved me like my son loves me. My other dog, Indie, is still looking for Jazz.

    Sorry to threadjack.

    Back on topic. Don't let your dog suffer, bro.
  11. hullabelew

    hullabelew 1,000+ Posts

    Mihm_Rules Mom, Nice to see you posting on here.

    A lot of us think about your son often. May God bless and the rest of your family.
  12. jt09

    jt09 500+ Posts

    Sorry to hear that MT, I miss my dog from my HS days terribly and can't wait to get another one. I only hope I can get 10+ years of love out of her like I did my Brandy.

    Dammit. I'm going to be stuck here at my desk for a while so I don't have to explain to my coworkers why my eyes are all jacked up.
  13. capnamerca

    capnamerca 500+ Posts

    Man, I tear up every time this topic comes up. I agree with everyone on this thread - being a responsible pet parent carries with it this duty, to ensure that the quality of your pets life is as good as it can be. It is the final act of love.

    To share, when I was 20 my dog of 16 years slipped and dislocated his hip. Despite being physically repaired, he never recovered, and wouldn't eat or walk. We did everything we could for him, but had to put him down several weeks later. I cried like a baby on the way into, and the way out of the vets office (and I'm crying right now). But the above posters were right - he just went to sleep. There was no more pain, no more loss of dignity. I miss him every day, and I am SO thankful that I got to be with him every single day - he lived an entire, full life that had me in it.
  14. Longhorn_in_LA

    Longhorn_in_LA 100+ Posts

    I suggest you cook Major a nice steak tonight or tomorrow afternoon before you go. My roommate did this for his dog of 12 years before he had to be put down. Seemed like a nice gesture.

    I know you mentioned your dog has problems keeping food down, so this may be difficult. However, I think it would be nice if you could feed him something good, or just hang out with him a lot on his last day.

    Best of luck to you. Definitely a tough thing to go through. [​IMG]
  15. LongIslandIceSIP

    LongIslandIceSIP 500+ Posts

    We had to put my dog down at age 14. She went blind and her quality of life went down the drain. Kept running into things and getting hurt. She was a big ol' Rottweiler so it wasn't too safe to have her running blind around the house.

    Anyway, we were all devastated, specially my little sister. My baby sister was only 13 at the time, so she had never been around without the dog. She took it the hardest. [​IMG]
  16. bighornfan32

    bighornfan32 100+ Posts

    This is a very fresh experience to me too. We just had to put down Lucky after 12 years. He had to have alot of cortizone shots earlier in his life because of his allergies. They wrecked his liver and he stopped eating much, and by the end he had heartworms. It was the only right thing to do. He was such a good dog. He would sit with you all day and get pet. He was such a loving dog all the way to the end.
  17. Lat22

    Lat22 1,000+ Posts

    These threads really get to me. I probably should have already done this with my 16 year old lab. It is the most gut wrenching decision that I haven't been able to make yet. I wish you and Major the best. Now I've got to keep people away from my desk for about 10 minutes. [​IMG]
  18. DeadHorse

    DeadHorse 1,000+ Posts

    Why is it that as grown adults, we go years and years without crying but when it comes to losing a dog, we cry like babies? (I'm talking about myself here, too.)

    God bless, MT.
  19. Burnt Orange™

    Burnt Orange™ 25+ Posts

    Man, I am sorry to hear that. My dog is only 2 years and I couldn't imagine putting him to sleep when he is 10 plus. I hope that never happens, I rather the dog die on his sleep than having to schedule an appt.

    Stay strong and make sure you spend this evening next to him. [​IMG]
  20. BooDog

    BooDog 100+ Posts

    I can barely make it through this thread. I'm remembering all the best friends I've had to let go over the years.

    I'll be thinking of you and Major tomorrow. Be strong for your boy; he needs you now more than he ever has.
  21. Praise of Folly

    Praise of Folly 100+ Posts

    Peace and Best Wishes mi amigo. What you're going through is very tough.

    I lost 2 cats in the last year. I hated having to deal with it. I buried them in my backyard. That wasn't fun. I have 2 more cats, one is 15 and the other is 16 years old; so your comment about 'scheduling their death' strikes a chord with me.

    The 15-year old is very lethargic; the 16-year old is arthritic and just seems to be struggling with life. I don't think they have much time left. That will suck when they leave me.

    Anyway, I wish you the best. Sometimes your best friends will leave you.

    I can't give you any wisdom other than that animals can be a very important part of our lives. As far as kind words, just remember your dog and the important role he/she played in your life.
  22. aflatoon

    aflatoon 25+ Posts

    Reading your post brought back some really old memories. My parents never kept a dog but my grandparents did. He had to be put down, I must have been 3 or 4 at the time. I remember him howling in the backyard. Didn't understand what was going on at the time but it all makes sense now.
  23. judgroybeanbag

    judgroybeanbag 500+ Posts

    Tough topic... Good luck, MT - it is tough to deal with but you are doing the right thing. I went through this with both my dalmations - Groucho at 12 and Harpo just a couple months ago at 14. I got them when they were abandoned at about 4 weeks - had to bottle feed them. They lived with us in the country and had great lives, but in the end they were like Major and couldn't stand on their own. After going through that twice in the past 2 years, I can't imagine what it must be like to lose a child.

    Anyway it does help some to remember you're doing it for him.
  24. Captain Murphy

    Captain Murphy 250+ Posts

    Sorry, Mike_Tyson. Been there myself. You're doing the right thing, ending the suffering. Condolences on the loss of a loved one.
  25. Gardner Barnes

    Gardner Barnes 250+ Posts

    Godspeed to Major. It is a difficult thing to do and judging by your post, by now he has passed over the rainbow bridge

    I had to put my dog down a year ago today and it was extremely difficult. She had cancer of the anal glad that literally doubled in size over 4 days. Every now and then you think about it and wish she/he could still be here, but at the end of the day it is not fair to your friend to keep him around. I know she was in pain and the end was difficult, but peaceful.

    Over the holiday I was in the hospital and they gave me morphine. As I felt it rush through my body all I could think about was that this was probably how my dog felt. It was relaxing and comfortable - and considering the amount of pain I was in, a relief.

    One suggestion:
    I still have a small pic of my dog on my nightstand and there is another one downstairs with the rest of the assorted family pics. Perhaps ypu should do the same. It makes me feel better and it helps to remember her - perhaps it will do the same for you.
  26. uisge beatha

    uisge beatha 1,000+ Posts


    Sorry to hear this. I had to do this with my Bonnie in Aug '06. I'm too late to give any advice now if you went through with it but hope he went peacefully. You had time to prepare for it which is a good thing. When Bonnie was diagnosed w/ cancer, I couldn't put her down yet. It came on totally unexpected so we had to do the emergency surgery. When it came back 3 months later, we'd had our time to say goodbye so it wasn't as hard as if we'd had to do it when she was first diagnosed.
  27. RoundhouseKick

    RoundhouseKick 250+ Posts

  28. aflatoon

    aflatoon 25+ Posts

  29. MissingInAction

    MissingInAction 100+ Posts

    Man, I've been hittin this thread, then clickin off, then hittin it again.
    Just love brother.
    My mutt is nustled up against my feet, any noise and she is ready for action. I know the day will come where she wont be.
    My thoughts and hopes are with you.
  30. Longhorny630

    Longhorny630 1,000+ Posts

    This stuff sounds far too familiar. My childhood dog (got him not long after he was born when I was around 3-4 years old) was diagnosed with diabetes when he was about 10 (and with it eye cataracts and some slight hair loss) but he was still as lively as a 10 year old dog was, and with regulated diet, exercise, and bi-daily insulin shots and some pills hidden in snausages he had a great time. When he was about 12 though, we noticed some lumps on him and it turned out he had several tumors, and he was given about 6 months. About a year later, my mom got me out of school early (freshman in high school) and took me home because he couldn't walk or stand up straight. Took him to the vet and they said we had to put him down and they asked me whether I wanted to stay with him or not and, I did and that was tough to watch. I mean, petting him and holding him while he just went to sleep was, is, still hard to think about.

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