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We lost our wonderful chocolate lab, Loki, last week. My husband and I raised him from a pup and he was our child and best friend. Loki was 13 years old. He lived long and had a good life. We miss him more than we can say. But it isn't that he passed away that is tearing me up, but how he passed. It was a series of mistakes we made on the last day of his life. Loki was on a slow decline, but he wasn't sick, if you know what I mean. We had gone out of town and got the call from our petsitter that he was in bad shape and we came directly home. We then made what I believe now to be a bad medical decision. I won't go into the details. I think we were just tired and not thinking straight. Loki passed during the night. I think he may have experienced an unpleasant death because we did it all wrong. I am having a tough time getting beyond it and celebrating his life. I am wondering if anyone else has had this experience of feeling at fault for the manner in which your dog died?
 

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I'm so sorry. It is what it is though, and so please don't beat yourself up over it. I know it's hard not too.

To answer your question, I had an elderly (15 yo) Italian Greyhound who was declining too. I came home one day and she was on her side on the floor, scrambling round and had blood all over her. She had fallen, hit her mouth (hence the blood) and couldn't get her feet underneath her to stand up. I have no idea how long she was down before I found her (I had been at work). She was in shock and I had to have her euthanized. She did not go peacefully, and I feel awful about it to this day. She had a good life though, and I think that's what matters the most.
 

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my sweet little mixed breed was put down when she was suffering. It was quick and peaceful but I was still second guessing myself. I think it is part of the grief process. I had to fight the urge to tell myself it was all a mistake and I wanted to bring her back home. I couldn't of course but the logical part of myself was battling with the emotional part.
 

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I am so sorry. Many decisions are made that are fraught with exhaustion and emotion. However you came to your decision, you did not make it with the intent to cause pain or his passing. If there really is a rainbow bridge,and I believe in some form or other,
Loki just wants you to be as happy as you made him.

I hope you allow yourself to grieve while you honor him with all those wonderful memories.
 

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I think we all, but me for sure, second-guess the decisions we make to help them pass on, no matter how tough or peaceful they go. In these second-guessing moments we forget how well loved they were and that we made that decision at the moment that we thought was the best one, maybe because we just didn't know of another option or because life (and death) just happens. There is never a good or wrong time when you love a dog that much. Heal well.
 

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Max, my yellow Lab, loved to eat and I always said that I would know it was time when he stopped eating. When Max was thirteen, going on fourteen, he became very frail and would fall if I didn't hold on to his harness. He started having accidents of bowel and bladder and I don't think he could see or hear all that well anymore. It was hard to watch him get up or lay down because of arthritis and just old age. But he still liked to sniff around outside a little bit and he still was eating like food was going out of style.

My husband kept telling me that it wasn't fair to let Max suffer the way he was and so, long and short, I agreed that the time had come. We arranged to have Max put to sleep at home. Max scarfed down his last meal that night and licked the bowl the way he always had. Max knew no fear, he just went to sleep in my arms, but I still wonder if we made the right decision in doing it when we did.
 

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Yes. A thousand times yes.


But what you can keep in mind is that you were there. You came to him when he needed you. I had a thread started when My G was dx with hemangio. SO many things happened during the week he was dx to when I decided to call vet for that moment (she came to my home and he passed away on his fave spot on the deck)...but the stuff that led up to this decision (incl using pain meds and questioning if that skewed his decline and my perception)...I never posted about. But the doubt a year and half later, still weighs on me. However, he was doomed, and he passed away with his head in my lap and seemed ready. So some solace there.


Death leaves a pain, no one can heal
But love leaves a memory, no one can steal.


Hugs
 

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Ive been through this myself. I was young, my collie had pyometria, my vet should not have been allowed to practice and she did not die a good death. But I learned from it and stopped being so respectful of vets that I don't protect my dogs. I question everything and my current vet likes to teach and is pleased to explain things. Loki gave you a lesson, so take it and be grateful to him for this and everything else he gave you during his life.

The only thing that you really can do i to get the best possible understanding of what went wrong, how it could have been avoided and learn from it. You aren't psychic and you aren't a vet. All you can do is your best. Remember that hindsight is 20/20. That might be a cliche but it's also true. What you know now, you didn't know at the time. If he passed at night then he didn't suffer for long and yes I know, that any suffering is far too long. You can beat yourself up over this or you can promise that nothing like this will ever happen again. Celebrate his life and try to smile again. He wouldn't want you to be sad.
 

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You both loved him and only had his best interests. Hold that to your heart and how much he loved you also. It's all we can do.
 
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Thank you all for responding. I haven't been able to talk to anyone about this much. It feels good to get feedback. I regret but am fighting guilt. I think guilt is useless, but regret helps you learn. Will not make the same mistakes next time. We miss him so much.
 

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My sincere condolences on your loss. We make decisions and in those decisions are mistakes! It's over and be blessed for the time you had and look forward.
 

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The bit they don't tell you about owning dogs is that you will either have to make the choice for them whether they live or not, or something will happen where the choice wasn't yours. Either way, you will have a lost a best friend and you get to second guess every decision you made. Very sorry for your loss x
 
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