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A year and a half ago I had to make the hardest decision. My dog was having seizures every other day, his health was waning and his time was short. To make matters worse, my wife had just left me and he was her dog. Oh he loved me too, but Spike was HER dog which made her leaving even harder on him.

It was a simple, but cruel fact of life for us humans. We WILL outlive our dogs.

I had all kinds of advice, but I think one of the worst was being told to "take him to a shelter."

Personally I think as dog-owners we must come to terms with what we have. Great dogs that we will outlive. We cannot merely dump them off on someone else and let them deal with the heartache. It's easier, but not ethical in my opinion. We owe it to our dog-friends to do what is best for them...right up to the hardest decision ever.

In the end I took him out to an island (where we have a second home), let him run around and then had a fisherman-friend put him down. Of course the dog was not showing his sickness that day because of all the excitment of the trip. This made the trip even harder. Watching the offshore breeze toss his ears around was not easy, and he chased rabbitts like a puppy again, but the reality was, he was sick and had been for a long time.

The thing was, after the final act was carried out, I was sort of relieved, the decision was made and the weight was lifted. The decision had been in the making for 2 years. My dog's time had come, and my final act as his owner was for his best interest. I had not merely dumped the heart-ache and final act onto someone else, I had taken it upon myself, and in the end I have fond memories of my dog...and our last day together.
 
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i understand were you are coming from. we had a coonhound ,young, but had a bad medical condition that we couldn't do anything about and had to put him down. to see him you would never had known but he would chase his tail barking all the time at home and it was very hard on me . then last march we had a lab. he had diebetes(He was 11 yrs) we fought the good fight we fought long and hard and the battle was just a hard one on him and us then had to come to the decision thatit was best to put him down. we went to the vet to have this done and of course that was his favorite place and they all spoiled him and gave him all kinds of treats, he was not allowed before and he was realy happy it made it sooo hard (and yet comforting knowing his last moments were happy ones and i even skipped his shot for that morning so he wouldn't have to endure that) (know i am crying again) we had him cremated and he is sitting in my living room where he belongs.
Its soo hard to let our loved ones go and sometimes the tough decisions have to be made sometimes its more humane then being selfish and letting them suffer for our own sake. hope you are healing and can find some closure to your heartach.
 
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When Toby was so weak, that he didn'teven digest water, and really wasn't moving, I had the vet come to my house. He probably would have died on his own by that night, but it was very peaceful, no suffering and he knew i was with him to the end. It is the hardest thing to do, butwe all have to face it.
 

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It's much more humane to put them to sleep than to allow them to die of natural causes.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I think the key point that I was trying to make, but maybe missed, was that MAKING the decision was so hard, but once it's over, it was a relief. I fretted about making the decision, but never questioned what I did once it had been carried out.

It's kind of a catch 22. It's tough to let your pets go, but on the upside, that is what allows us to have so many different pets in our lives. My life has been so enriched by the last point, that's all I can really say.
 
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I'm really with you on this on floppyears. I have cared for animals my entire life and have held them as they breathed their last, never wanting to let them go, but no longer able to watch them suffer when their time came.

What helped me was actually being there with them at the end, stroking them and letting them listen to my voice tell them it is ok to go. It is the hardest thing you can ever imagine, however it gives you the greatest sense of peace and relief when it is over. I was even at the hospital for the death of a dear friend this past September, he was dying of cancer and his breathing very labored. When I sat by him and took his hand, his breathing immediately calmed and the doctor said he passed much more quickly because someone who loved him was there to tell him it was allright to go.

I find the feeling similar with my beloved pets. Seeing them peacefully going to the bridge, though sad, has been what I have known was the best and most loving decision I could have made.

Susan
 
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