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Our 19 year old Jack Russell is standing on the bridge today. He is weak, his breathing is starting to get labored, and he can no longer walk. His heart is giving out. We knew this was coming, but still....How does one "get ready"? He does not seem to be in any pain, but I have the vet on standby just in case. I want him to die at home, he loves home and he hates the vet's office. He is comfortable here next to me as he waits on my hubby (the world revolves around my hubby according to Hector). So, we just wait.

Hector was born in our home (19 years and 5 months ago) and, God willing, will die being held by the same hands that helped deliver him. When he was born, I broke the sac and placed him on the teat. He was adorable.......looks like SNOOPY! He spent many years as my husband's faithful hunting buddy, treeing squirrels, and trailing rabbits. He diligently protected us from groundhogs, and taught my Bella about the evils of groundhogs, so that they could hate them together. Hector watched my kids grow up, and sat with me when we buried Bella. He was your typical jack.......full of energy, bullheaded, stubborn and with a great sense of humor. My hubby is at work, but he is pretty tore up. 19 years is a long time to love a dog. Good boy, Hector.

The cat will be next. Turtle is also 19 and was born to a stray in our bathroom. I've put her on nutra-cal and am adding some electrolytes to her water, but she is going downhill fast. I hope that she will give us a couple of weeks to grieve Hector first. But, it won't be long for her either. She sleeps all the time, and isn't eating much any more. Still she purrs when I rub her head. I hope she will wait.

Right now, I will wait on that final sigh from Hector. His tail still wags a little, and he seeks my hand with his head, but it takes so so much effort. He is so tired.

Genali is confused. She keeps licking up my tears and whining at me. She is being wonderful, tender and gentle with both Hector and me.

So, I'll just sit with a full of life pup on one side and an old tired dying dog on the other. This really sucks. I hope he doesn't linger.
 

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I have done the following: et a valium from the vet, give that to the dog a few hours before the vet comes to the house. By then the dog is fully asleep and when the vet comes he won't be aware. These have been the most peaceful transitions. I didn't want the vet to be the last he saw. By the time they are ready to go the vet isn't a good association for the dog.
I wish you strength. Age doesn't matter when you have to part with your buddy. I hope he goes peacefully all by himself.
 

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****...crying as I read this. Such a hard place to be in!

You gave him a wonderful life. At least you know that for sure! {{{HUGS}}} to your and your hubby.

I used to do palliative care nursing for humans. We'd often give Valium to patients that were struggling to breathe. It helped to ease their anxiety, and the sub lingual form doesn't have to be swallowed. It can be absorbed through the mucus membrane of the mouth.
 

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I have done palliative for humans as well, and sat by my grandmother's side while she died. I think it is easier with people because they understand what is going on.

He is sleeping now, and his breathing seems a little better. He drank a little water (sweetened with chicken broth). He may not go today, but he is close. THank you all for the kind words. I have some strong sedatives from the vet that I can give him if I need to, but I am hoping that he just won't wake up.
 

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Lots of hugs, we understand this pain :(

I had a Jack Russell. Lost her oh..almost 12 years ago now. Her name was Comet, hence my screen name. She made that much of an impact on me. She was the 1st dog that drove me to professional training lol, and as a result made me realize how valuable it is even if you don't need it. She also saw me become a mom for the first time, and was great with the baby and subsequent 2nd baby though they said the breed tended not to be. She was a pet store puppy mill purchase by a boyfriend that was trying to repair our relationship (didn't work). She went with me right through many other things in life in her 10 short years. She passed at 10 due to diabetes. Not uncommon especially for not well bred JRTs

So I know how unique, smart, quirky, and intuitive they can be. You have my condolences and hope for a peaceful passing of your beloved dog and cat <3
 

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I have done the following: et a valium from the vet, give that to the dog a few hours before the vet comes to the house. By then the dog is fully asleep and when the vet comes he won't be aware. These have been the most peaceful transitions. I didn't want the vet to be the last he saw.
Did the same. The only time my dog wore a muzzle was at the the vets and told them she wasn't going to bloody die in one.
Wishing you all the best at this time x
 

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My deepest empathy and sympathy, I'm sharing your tears, so many of us have done this journey. For both Hector and Turtle to have reached 19 years of age, wow, that's both amazing and wonderful.
 

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I am so very, very sorry. I don't know that there is a greater gift we can give those we love than to be with them and hold them when they die.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you all. Its nice to have doggy people that understand. We live in a pretty rural area, and most people just view their dogs as, well, just dogs. Our dogs are farm dogs, they have jobs to do, but they are so much more than "just dogs".

Hector hunted with us. I used to be a licensed falconer, as was my husband. Hubby and I both had multiple hawks, and most of them were rehab birds. Chance was my first hawk. He came to me too weak to hunt and was near the point of starvation. @ years later, Chance was released into the wild! We had others, one hit by a car and needing to develop flight muscles after his injury, others with different problems, but each in need to time to heal and develop the strength to be able to hunt or just to be taught how to hunt and survive on their own before we released them. Hector helped us with these birds. He played a vital role in teaching them how to locate their prey and how to follow that prey. He could locate a squirrel, put it in a tree for the hawk, and the hawks would watch him and learn. Hector helped us teach these fabulous hawks vital survival skills.

I guess that is not really a common dog-job, but it was his and he was good at it with his snoopy looking self. I can hear the jingle of the hawks bells and his panting in my head right now, and I can see the look of joy in my husbands face to see his dog and our hawks working together.

I am gonna miss the old man, but I am happy that he got a good death. He is buried down by the creek, under the hemlocks. Its a good spot for him.
 

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I am so sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you and your husband. 19 years of memories. I hope with time those wonderful memories will help comfort your broken heart. Run free and wild at the bridge Hector.
 

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I'm so very sorry. Your husbands last words painted such a vivid and full of life vision of your boy doing just that.

When our old girl passed, I envisioned her play bowing to us pain free and then running like the wind. I hung on to that vision and it helped a lot during the grieving.

May your husbands vision of your boy help all of you through this time.
 

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Shortly after 5 pm, Hector gave a sigh and ran peacefully across the bridge. Lol, the last thing he heard was my hubby telling him "GET THAT SQUIRREL!"
Atta boy, Hector.
And now you've got me crying AGAIN! One of my shepherds lived to be 15. The picture below shows her at age 13, at the high point of a very rugged hike in Algonquin Park. My husband got her ears up for the photo by saying the one word that never failed: "SQUIRREL, Tasha, SQUIRREL!"

Even if it was dark outside, you only had to say the word, and she'd run to the window and look out, trying to find the pesky 4-legged critters!

I miss her, and my husband SO much! :crying:

Very glad Hector had a peaceful, natural death. Run free, little man!
 

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My sincere condolences to you and your husband. Hectors sounds like a true friend and companion. I'm so glad you had these years together. We had our Lucky for 13 years and I still miss him today but now I can tell stories about him and our Daisy and laugh often through tears. Take care
Maggi
 
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