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I'm losing My best Friend

Hi, I'm new to the board but I need to write. My best friend Sampson is a 9 yr old GSD. He's the smartest dog I've ever owned. He has liver disease and puts on fluid around his belly. The vet has him on diuretics it's hard to mantain he shrinks up then swells out when I back off. I have to back off sometimes because he shrinks up too much. He won't eat anything but fresh meat. My problem is I would put him down but he is so alert, he still wants to go on our morning walk we have done for 9 years never missing a day. Some days he wants to play ball but some not so good. Sometimes his back legs swell up and testicles from the fluid and gravity. Its a stressfull situation but I keep plugging along. Its hard to put a dog down when he's wagging his tail at you and wanting to play. I've owned dogs for 40 years but this one has been so loyal to me . He will only walk with me if My wife try's to take him by herself he won't go. He's been our protector and our 3 disabled cats. He protects those cats. We have on 3 legged cat and she likes to go hide in the woods. I can say Sam go find felicity and he tracks her down. She can't protect herself very well and there are coyotes and other wild animals out there. Anyway I'm glad I joined, I didn't mean to ramble on. Why does love got to be so hard? I just don't when it's time to put him down, I wrestle with this daily, I cry buckets of tears, right when I say Ok it's time he comes to the back glass and looks at my feet to see if my shoes are on, if I slip them on he jumps and runs he knows I'm coming out to play. He has the heart and mind of a champion but his body not so well but he keeps trying. God has blessed us with many cool dry air days of late and that helps him when he is more swollen during walks. All I can say what a dog. I don't know if I want another but I said that before him when otto died of cancer.
 

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Re: I'm losing My best Friend

When My 1st shepherd had cancer I asked the vet when would I know when it was time. I did not want him to suffer. she said to me to think of all the things that make him happy once he is not happy doing those things then you will know it is time. Please never apologize for talking about your furkids. We all love ours and love to hear about others. If you need to talk more please write to us. We are all here for you and Sampson.
 

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Re: I'm losing My best Friend

the very unfortunate part of owning a dog is that they will likely die before us and it is devastating.most of of us here know the pain & suffering from losing our best friend.In june it will be a yr that I woke up and my glorious cesar was dead-I cried for 2 weeks non stop, actually at one point I wanted to just not wake up anymore but since I had 6 other pets and a kid i had to.I have come to the conclusion that owning a dog is bittersweet-but mostly sweet. right now you spoil that dog rotten,personally if the dog was able to eat/walk and wasn't in pain I would probably hold on as long as possible.One thing i was always happy about is the day before cesar's death i had taken a bunch of pics and told him so many times how much I love him.About 3 weeks after his death I went to the shelter and adopted a shepthat mix we named travis.
that little bugger gave me some joy again,I still cry about cesar but I do love my travvy boy and don't regret getting him.there seems no avoiding the pain but i ask you this-have yu given this dog an awesome life? sure sounds like you have,he obviously adores you.there is nothing in this world like a GSD,nothing.My recommendation is to make his last days great,mourn and get another dog and honor your dog by giving another a great life.Cesar's death made room for travis-I would never have wanted it that way but we have no choice-our only sensible choice is to love another dog in the future.
Suzy
 

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Re: I'm losing My best Friend

So sorry to read about Sampson's health issues. From what you wrote it sounds like you're putting Sampson's best interests first which, IMHO, is extremely important. I get the impression that he's having a lot of good days where he's enjoying life. It's such a tough decision, trying to decide when a dog no longer has a quality life. My prayers and best wishes are with you and your family.
 

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Re: I'm losing My best Friend

Brick, I wish I could say that I understand how you feel, but Rocky is my first pup and I just have never gone through something like this before.

I am sorry your pup is having problems, but it does sound like you are doing the best thing you can for him right now. He sounds like he is pretty sick, but it also sounds like he is not willing to let that stop him either. Sure he will have good days and bad days, but so do humans when they are sick.

Maybe if you can take one day at a time, and let him determine what kind of day, maybe lounging around one day and out playing fetch the next it will make things a little easier. I am sure it is hard to watch him on his bad days, but think of all the bonding you can do.

Considering I have not been through anything like this I culd be wrong, but I say just love him and take care of him the best you can. From the stories I have seen on here, I think he will let you know when he can't handle it anymore. {{{Hugs}}} to you. Thanks for sharing your story.
 

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Re: I'm losing My best Friend

The absolute worst thing about our dogs is that they do not live long enough. When he stops enjoying life is the time to make the decision which is never easy. Enjoy him while you can, and spoil him as much as possible.
 

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Re: I'm losing My best Friend

Brick, you will know when Sampson has had enough - you will see it in his eyes. Hopefully, this will happen before he suffers but sometimes our dogs soldier on despite themselves.

It sounds as if Sampson is still enjoying his life but be aware that this can change suddenly. All you can do is enjoy what time you have left and then have the courage to help him pass peacefully.

I know it took me a long time to come to grips after making that decision for my old dog but I know I had made the right decision - she could have lasted longer but she would not have had a pleasant time.
 

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Re: I'm losing My best Friend

Thanks so much for the kind words. Today his eyes look a little different. I just fed him a raw steak he ate it well. I cried the whole time I cut it up and fed him. He surprises me though there are bad days that I think well this is it and the next thing I know he's at the back door looking at my feet to see if my shoes are on. I'm ready if he's ready. I know I'm spinning my wheels sometimes, hoping and praying for a miracle. Sometimes I think I can't keep going like this , but I realize if he wants to I will. I have liver disease myself. Sometimes He smells my side where my liver is. I have heard of dogs detecting cancer, I wonder if he keeps going thinking he has to take care of me. My only regret was I never bred him. I never could find the right dog or anydog basically so I kept thinking I will eventually. It doesn't seem so now. I was always wanting another sampson, I know everyone has the smartest dog but this guy is amazing. He has always been by my side. I guess what hurts so much is I've always been so proud of him and still am. My daughter Graduates college this week but it's bittersweet. I know when he does go there will be a relief that its over but at the same time such terrible sadness. I keep saying I'll be at his side when the vet euthanizes him but I'm not sure I can handle it, I break down just talking to the vet about it. I told the vet also he probably will have to inject him with a relaxant first, he will not go anywhere that I don't and he will not not allow anyone to poke his vein, we have always had to muzzle him, but I told my vet I can't do that this time, it's like a muderer on death row being strapped down to be killed, Samsposn hates the muzzle he opens his mouth fully where you can't get it on him. He will tolorate shots and really nver knows he's had one, but when taking blood oh no, he was 105 but with fuid he's around 120 he's a handfull. I'm hoping it can be semi pleasant for him and me and a relief to him. I know he hates the way he is. Well I must go because i just tear up as writing. Whats bad is I've been a brick mason for over 35 years and i'm a mans man, I have never been through so much emotion as this, I know I'm getting older and my daughter softened up my old tough heart but Sampson reached in and stole it. again Thanks to all. Till the next time.
 

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Re: I'm losing My best Friend

Brick, tears do not detract from a person they often add to them.

My old girl needed a muzzle for the protection of other people. Well, maybe she did not but I used a muzzle to ensure that she did not bite a person out of fear.

I travelled a long way to put my girl to sleep with vets I trusted. I asked if it could be done in a park that I had seen on the way there. He agreed and said he would meet us there.

So, I took her there and took her for a little walk until the vet arrived. When he did, a council worker started up a ride-on mower and it was noisy and horrible. I went up to the guy and asked him to turn it off for a short time as we needed some quiet time and he did. I muzzled Cisco and put her in a drop. She growled softly when the vet approached but laid quiet. He tournequed her leg and found a vein. She was very calm, then she was gone so peacefully and quickly and I held her and spoke to her the whole time.

Please try to do this for Sampson when it is time. It is very sad but it also a way of saying goodbye - but if you cannot, be assured that the vet staff will care for Sampson in the same way.
 

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Re: I'm losing My best Friend

Thankyou qyn, I thought today was the day, one of his eyes look bad yesterday and I thought it was getting time. I found he had some dirt in his eye but it looks better today. we went for our walk not as far because he has alot of fluid but less than yesterday. We have been out to the garden and we filled all the bird feeders. He his always by my side. I was letting him come in the house but every time I moved he got up and I want him to rest until we remove more fluid. He ate breakfast and I gave him his meds. He is acting okay I'm going to give it one more run withthe diruttics if not I'll put him down. I had prepared myself for today to be the day, but he surprises me each time I think he's ready, he says i'm not. So i cross that bridge when it comes. Thats a nice story about your dog.The vet told me he'd be glad to give him a shot first and he's done it many times. I just can't muzzle him to put him down. He gets along very well with our doc and he likes him well. He doesn;t like the fill in vet but Doc Wilson is the best he has such a calming voice. I probably will be with him until the end and I'll bury the big guy in my backyard, but for now Sampson and I continue on. Its so hard to know when as long he as he can go so will I. I will not let him suffer, I know the extra weight is hard on him but he seems to be very strong alot more than I thought. I'm very tired but I want to make sure I'm not doing for me. The vet said if I can ever get him to eat the prescription diet again he may live for quite awile. Thats my new goal, we may not make it but I'm going to try one last time. Thank you keep us in all your prayers
 

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Re: I'm losing My best Friend

Originally Posted By: brick get him to eat the prescription diet
Try the a/d food - you can actually stir it up into a slurry if chewing becomes too much. We use it for super sick parvo puppies or doggies at end of life because it is so rich in nutrients. Good luck.
 

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Re: I'm losing My best Friend

I am so sorry to hear about what is going on.. It is such a hard decision to make.. Just from your postings, there is no doubt how much you love your Sampson.. I think that both you and him are strong for what you are both having to endure.. It is truly devastating when something like this happens.. My thoughts and prayers are with you both.. Just know that the life that you have given Sampson has given him as much unconditional love as he has shown you... That will never change no matter what.. You are doing all that you can with what you have.. No one can ask any more .. Keep strong and know that you are not alone in this.. Take care ..
 

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Re: I'm losing My best Friend

I'm new to the board as well, and I'll introduce myself as soon as I have more time. I just wanted to respond to brick's post "I'm losing my best friend".
First of all, my thoughts and prayers are with you. Anyone who has to go through this stage in a dog's life knows that it's the high price we pay for years of a great friendship. But in the end, your decision will me made easier by knowing that a dogs' quality of life is suffering, and you'll never regret your decision.
I lost my 9 year old male, Bayshek, one year ago. He had a seizure and the cause was undetermined. When I looked into his eyes, I knew that I could spend years treating him with drugs that might never make him better, or I could make a choice based on what was best for him. As humans, we sometimes feel guilty that we might be "playing God" when we choose to euthanize, but some of the most devoted dog people I know would never let guilt hold them back from doing what's best for a dog. Sometimes all the money in the world and the best veterinarians can't bring back a good quality of life. The best thing to remember is that you've done your best.
I hope that the encouragement and the kind words of the dog lover's on this forum will help you get through one of the hardest times in your life.
 

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Re: I'm losing My best Friend

I think your dog will let you know when its time.

I have our first dog now, but I have had a lot of cats. My first was amazing cat, well behaved, loving, loyal. She taught all her fellow cats, and I think they all passed their knowledge down the line, many cats later, being brothers and sisters.

Have you thought about getting another dog right now, so Sampson can pass along some of his qualities? It has more to do with the upbringing than their genes.
I don't know if this would be good right now at this stage though.
 

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Re: I'm losing My best Friend

as a pet sitter i have unfortunatly said good bye to many dogs. i have encouraged even the most freaked out client to be by their dogs side when euthanized and everyone has thanked me for it later-EVERYONE.you can handle it,i am the biggest freak ever when it comes to animal death-you CAN handle it.no you really don't want another sampson, he is his own dog,but you will want another GSD.they are all unique but they all have that same velcro quality that we love in this breed.you will have a huge hole in your heart-forever-but please someday love another dog-and consider a rescue.

cherish the day
 

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Re: I'm losing My best Friend

I can feel the pain in your posts and know all too well what you're going through. As many have already said, most of us here have been where you are right now and totally understand the heartbreak of watching our furkids' health decline and having to make that last decision for them.
I don't have any advice, but I found this article shortly after Ray left us. It doesn't really say anything that we all don't already know, but I believe it's a poignant tribute to all of our furkids and wrestling with that final decision. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your wonderful Sampson.

http://www.karashome.com/stories/browneyes.html
 

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Re: I'm losing My best Friend

We know exactly how you feel. We put Condor down several years ago due to a brain anuresum. Shepherds are a special being not breed and they never leave you even when they leave you. Play, Play, Play ! He will tell you when he is ready.
 

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Re: I'm losing My best Friend

I read your post about 2/3 thirds of the way through I had to stop. Because I know that at some point I will need to make the same decisions regarding my dogs.

What can I say, I do not look forward to having to make that decision.

But, a few quotes from a oomment I have above my GSD.

The exact title is Lend me a pup and I was fortuante to find the entire saying on the net.

Lend Me a Pup

I will lend to you for awhile
a puppy, God said,
For you to love him while he lives
and to mourn for him when he is gone.
Maybe for twelve or fourteen years,
or maybe for two or three.
But will you, till I call him back
take care of him for me ?

He'll bring his charms to gladden you
and (should his stay be brief)
you'll always have his memories
as solace for your grief .
I cannot promise that he will stay,
since all from earth return,
But there are lessons taught below
I want this pup to learn.

I've looked the whole world over
in search of teachers true
And from the folk that crowd life's land
I have chosen you.
Now will you give him all your love
Nor think the labour vain
Nor hate me when I come to take my pup back again.

I fancied that I heard them say
"Dear Lord Thy WIll Be Done,"
For all the joys this pup will bring,
the risk of grief you'll run.
Will you shelter him with tenderness
Will you love him while you may
And for the happiness you'll know forever grateful stay.

But should I call him back
much sooner than you've planned
Please brave the bitter grief that comes
and try to understand.
If, by your love, you've managed
my wishes to achieve,
In memory of him that you've loved,
cherish every moment with your faithful bundle,
and know he loved you too.

Lord knows these dogs love us. So please get another.
 
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