Human/Animal Bond

After the Loss, Pet Owners Tell their Pet's Story

Grieving people talk about their pet's life at euthanasia

Published: July 29, 2013

Photo by Tony Johnson
I am facing the loss of one of my own pets very soon. Our 16-year-old pit bull, Nyse (yes, named after the stock exchange; it’s a long story for another day) is fast losing ground. She has no firm diagnosis – she is just wasting away, and spends her remaining days shuffling around the house, searching for something she will never find, like a ghost in a gothic horror tale.

‘Cognitive dysfunction’ and ‘sarcopenia’ are as close to a diagnosis as my wife and I (both veterinary specialists) can come to after several rounds of testing, but those terms are descriptive and not really diseases. There is no shot, pill or form of therapy for either one. My wife and I are struggling to find the right time to euthanize her. She is not in pain (that we can detect), is still eating and gets around, but to look at her is to look at a skin-draped skeleton, and her eyes long ago lost the mischievous sparkle that they once had. She sleeps a lot, and when she is not sleeping she just paces relentlessly and seems perpetually confused. She is alive, but not really living.

How this will play out, only time will tell – I doubt we will get the gift of a peaceful passing in the night; the one that everyone hopes for and no one gets. She’s too tough and crotchety for that sort of namby-pamby end to her life. More than likely, she will continue to grind down and we will have to step in and say enough, time to go. We’ll have to see, and we have made plans for the where and how it will happen (probably at home with meds I have brought from work; I will be the one to give the injection), we just don’t quite know the when or the why.

She used to be able to jump five feet straight up in the air, and if a canine face can express joy that was the expression she was wearing while doing it.

Facing this has made me think of the countless times that I have been with pet owners during their own experience with euthanasia. Euthanasia is a big part of what emergency and critical care veterinarians do. I have seen euthanasia and family reactions in many forms – quiet, angry, distraught, sullen, screaming, accepting, relieved, even (once) morbidly curious. (A family had gathered to euthanize a sick pet. After I gave the injection and their pet had breathed its last, the tween son of the family, who looked to fancy himself a bit of a Goth, said one sotto voce word: “cool.”)

Despite the variety of emotions surrounding these many euthanasias, I have noticed a phenomenon than happens during many of them: the pet owners’ need to tell the story of their pet and the pet’s place in the family. It truly seems like a need – they seem compelled, in many cases, to recount how the pet came to them, notable or funny things that their pet did during its life or some other factor that says "he was here and we loved him." They need to mark the moment somehow and commemorate the loss of a friend.

We lack the formalized rituals for animals that people undergo when they die. Pet funerals happen, but they are definitely not the norm and only a tiny fraction of pets have an actual ceremony. I can only think of perhaps four or five that have happened in the 16 years I have been in practice, and I have been involved in literally thousands of euthanasias and deaths. Pet owners don’t often get societal permission to grieve the loss of a pet; they are seen as emotionally weak, overly attached or somehow defective. For a human, the ritual of a funeral is part of the healing process; pet owners just have to suck it up and move on.

Telling the tale, there in the exam or grieving room, in a private sanctuary, allows them to grieve and come to terms with some part of the loss, if only for a few minutes. I am not a big believer in ‘closure,’ but I do think this ritual that people go through, this recounting, helps them move on and live.

It usually goes like this: The injection has been given, and I have confirmed with a stethoscope that the heart has stopped and the pet has died. When I let the owners know, they often cry for a moment or so, then dry their tears and start in on the tale; “You know, we got him from the shelter at about 3 months old, and he could fit in your hand.”


“He always slept at the foot of my son’s bed – never left his side, even when he was so sick.”


“He had this stuffed hedgehog that he loved like it was his baby. Damn thing smelled like a pigpen on a hot day, but he loved that thing.”


“He loved to chase after cars in the driveway and bark like a madman, but he was so gentle. He would come up when we were watching TV and just put his head in your lap.”


“She is all I have left of my wife – she died last year.”

The stories are heartbreaking, funny, cryptic, touching. Even if I am very busy, I make time to listen. I rarely say anything unless asked – my job is to pay attention and serve as another person to remember. There will be a hole in a household, and telling the tale makes it a little more bearable. Someone knows, someone remembers, someone retains the memory that she loved to chase dragonflies or he barked at shadows or she would swim in the lake with the boys until dusk.

I have many important jobs as a doctor – making treatment plans, calculating doses correctly, checking for tumors on X-rays – but listening, and in particular, listening when it comes time to tell the story of a pet and a family, is the most important.


October 7,2023

This morning my heart broke when I had to say goodbye to my little man Winky. Winky was my Sphynx cat that I rescued 2 years ago from my old work, an animal shelter. He was my foster boy to start, and then he became my forever boy. At least, his forever, which was not nearly long enough.


Sphynx cats are known to be inquisitive, very social & sweet, and somewhat of a character. Winky was no exception to that, and more. He was the funniest dude I've ever come across, so gentle and kind, chatty and playful, but also loved the rough and tumble. We got along like a house on fire, and our bond was unbreakable. I'm a single female with no current ties, so I made the big decision recently to move hours and hours from home, to live near my sister and get a job in town. A fresh start with Winky, just me and him in a new place of our own. The move was organised via road trip, in my solo camping van alongside my parents in their camper van. Winky was very good in almost any situation. He adapted very well to any environment, he was well trained, walked on lead/harness, and to be honest, he was a little too curious and often didn't give people their personal space. He was nosey but one of his many charms I adored. He was just full of life. The only thing holding him back was his travel sickness. I had completely prepared the trip, just a little over a week long, with his travel sickness management medication prescribed from the vets from my old work, a comfortable travel crate, all his belongings including bedding, grooming equipment etc. No matter how much I convince myself that I did everything to make his travel as comfortable as possible, I still guilt trip myself and ask the questions - did I play the music too loud in my car during the road tripping as I was excited for the final destination? Should I have been more conscious of his reduced appetite and not just tell myself he's probably not as hungry due to the travel, and finally, was it a mistake to give him his travel medication so many days in a row? I think no matter what, there is always a level of guilt when it comes to the death of a loved one. Yesterday he was perfectly fine, his normal self, stopping to stretch his legs and take walk breaks between travel. A little tired looking, but understandbly. Last night was our final night of camping before we reached our destination and we would begin our new lives. Our camp spot was basic and in a rural town. My parents were in bed in their van, Winky was asleep in the front of my van in his bed, and I was scrolling tik tok, thinking he was probably just too tired from the days travels to come and cuddle with me like he usually would. Suddenly he jumps into the back of the van, where my bed was, and seeks out his litter tray on the ground. I start to smell very potent flatulence and know something is wrong. He starts resting in his litter tray which he would never do. He then begins to look weak. He then begins to start dry retching and moaning, nothing coming out. He also started leaking from his behind. I panicked and started searching the nearest vet, and due to the rural location of my site, the vet in town was closed for the weekend (this being a Saturday night), and the nearest help was miles and miles away. You can't really drive along rural highways late at night in outback QLD, you are likely to have a run in with a Kangaroo on the road or a late night trucker. I woke my parents up and they helped me nurse him. He found a comfortable spot on a blanket my Mum lay out on the grass outside, I made sure his water and tray was nearby, and all I could do was cuddle him and make sure he was warm. Couple hours went by and I didn't sleep a wink, I just watched him, and he was still battling on and shuffling around, coming up for what would be one last cuddle with me. He then begin to make a choking sound and I woke my parents again, heart in my throat. I told them I needed to go to the nearest emergency, and I went back to Winky and he looked lifeless, eyes rolled back. I held him in my arms, tears in my eyes and I asked my Mum what was going on, she just hugged me and told me he was passing. I couldn't, and still can't accept that. I told them I should go to the emergency, but my Dad reminded my of the logics. This help was miles away, Winky was passing in my arms, if we want a peaceful send off, it would be in our company, me holding him gently, not a 2 hour bumpy car ride in the middle of the night along a dangerous stretch of road, in hopes he would maybe make it. My Mum wrapped him in a blanket and held him close to her, she said he was breathing peacefully and his heart rate was slowing. He looked comfortable. I got comfortable in my van bed, and my Mum handed Winky to me, still wrapped in a blanket. We actually thought he had passed away, but I could still hear his little breathes. I hope it doesn't haunt me for too long, wondering if I should have made the drive. My thoughts ran wild, and I begin to tingle all over and felt like my stomach would come through my chest. I talked to him and told him if he wanted to pass, he should, and that it's alright. I also prayed for a miracle, which never came. I guess heaven needed him more. Sometime in the wee hours of the morning, I heard him cough a few times, and take his last breath, while I had my arms wrapped around him. I'm now at my final destination and it's very bitter sweet. I was meant to start my new temporary life here, me and Winky. But Winky has now been taken by a lovely man who offered to pick him up, on a Sunday, to get him cremated and in a couple days, I will receive his urn and a mould of his paw print. I type this with tears in my eyes, hoping this traumatic loss does not hold me back too much, from me finding my feet around this new town, with a new job, new faces. I have my sister, her family, and the rest of my immediate family here visiting, which is so comforting. But once I get my own place, there will be a big hole in my heart, and a very quiet and empty room that was meant to be his. We don't know his diagnosis or what caused this, possibly he had an underlying medical issue that was not known to us. But, nothing prepares you for the moment you see your best friend, limp and lifeless, cold. Perfectly normal this time yesterday, now over the rainbow bridge today.❤️ Rest in paradise little man, I love you and will see you on the other side one day.

July 14, 2023

On Wednesday morning (7/12/2023) I lost my Brandy, a beautiful pit bull who I thought had years of love left to give. On Tuesday night, she started to seem a little off but I wasn’t sure what was going on, and nothing I thought was emergent. Early Wednesday morning, she was having trouble walking and I took her to a 24-hour vet clinic just to be safe. It turned out she had hemangiosarcoma and it was already too late for her. Within 12 hours of her showing any signs of distress, she was gone. A rumor had ruptured on her spleen and she was bleeding out in her abdomen.  It was so sudden. I had just gone to get her food and a new toy on Tuesday afternoon. Nothing could have prepared me for what would happen the next morning. I am devastated beyond what I thought was possible. I loved her more than anything in this world. I knew I would see her pass at some point, but I thought I had several years before having to go through this. She passed surrounded by those who loved her and will always be remembered in our hearts. It just goes to show that nothing in life that we love should be taken for granted, ever, as we simply don’t know when we will lose it. I’m thankful that spaces like this exist to share our pain and see that we are not alone in our grief.

Pavani V
December 27, 2022

Today I lost my beloved Ray( he was really only hope i had in my life), He was just one year old.I remember bringing him home and the first time I took him into my arms I told myself , that i would protect him with my life.He was a playful , courageous,kind,goodest boy( never bites), has sweetest meows.From month of September he reduced his intake we all thought he is bored of the same food and we kept on changing the food we gave him and nothing worked he started loosing weight,he stopped playing.we went to the vet they said he has got fever and we gave enough medication.He was okay after that ,I remember feeding him his favourite chiken for the last time and he ate.I really had bad feeling about him as if something bad is about to happen.we took him to vet again they hve said there is this hair ball stuck in his abdomen which needs to be removed ASAP.They gave some tablet with will make it come out ..we followed the medication but that made him extremely week.In a day his body changed to yellow and he was extremely week we took him to vet and ray got jaundice .we wanted him to survive this.He was living with intake of seline for past three days which was horrible to watch for me.we came back home till now my siste and brother were taking care of him.I was staying somewhere else and had a bad feeling so I came back home, I had feeling that Ray gona survive this but this week will be tough, on my way on the bus i got a call from my brother saying Ray has passed, I felt that my heart got stabbed for four seconds i couldn't cry, I got numb.then I came home to see him lifeless that made me so week. I hugged, kissed and thanked him for one last time and told him it's okay to leave ,you have given us enough happiness..seeing him life less made me so feelings got numb I did loved him but i couldn't cry that doesn't mean i had no attachment towards him..he was my baby..I am trying to think that his suffering is ended and he probably in heaven playing!! Mommy loves you..Ray will never be replaced..I hope to see you again at heaven!!

Suprina Kinsey
November 30, 2022

your guys pet will always be in your soul through watching you in heaven

November 25, 2022

In January of 2010, I found my beautiful Munson. You see, we had just bought a house and my husband wanted to get a dog. Me being a cat person, knew nothing about training a puppy, but we went to North Shore Animal League and found this beautiful lab/husky with one blue eye and the other brown. My Munson. As a little puppy he started to have severe allergies. Allergic to everything. He would chew at himself until he bled. Finally, after finding the right vet we had his allergies under control. My husband had gotten very sick when Munson was a puppy, so I was on my own training him. It has always been him and I. Everywhere I went Munson went. Fast forward to 2019, Munson starts drinking an excess amount of water. Always having to go potty. We took him to the vet and found out my boy came down with diabetes. I was devastated for him, but we would keep pushing forward. He took his insulin like a champ. On New Years Eve he lost most if his vision. I immediately took him to his dr. and found out he can see shadows. That did not stop my boy. We left everything in it's place and he got around for nearly 3 years as a blind diabetic dog. He played and barked it was beautiful. Now, it's November 2022 and I notice he didn't want to eat. It wasn't his diabetes I tested him all the time. We call his dr. We tried medications, nothing was helping. November 10,2022 we rush him to his dr. and come to find out he had blout. (GDV) My poor baby was suffering. His dr.always told us he would tell us when it was time. This day after everything his dr sat us down and told us it was time. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. He was just 1 week shy of being 13. Not my boy. He could of had surgery, but probably wouldn't of survived is what his dr. said. So, I made the hardest decision I had ever made in my life. I stayed with him and didn't let go. I thanked him for being by my side and always loving me. It has been 2 weeks I cry everyday. I just received his ashes back from his vet with a paw print. My heart is broken in pieces. My beautiful Munson. I love you always and will see you again...xoxo

August 11, 2022

I had to say goodbye to my beloved Chihuahua Bitty. She was my daughter dog after my daughter moved to her apartment she couldn’t have dogs . So Bitty can to live with me. We had a special bond I loved ❤️her so much. She had cancer had two surgery’s but it spread to other parts. As I am writing this I am crying. I miss her every day  she was my little angel . I love ❤️ you darling. My sympathies goes out to all the pet parents.

September 7, 2021

My apologies for the length. I tend to be very detailed in my writing. Two days before Christmas, December 23rd, 2020, at 3:57am to be exact, was the most excruciatingly painful moment of my life with more similar lingering pain shortly ahead. This is when my wife and I lost our dog of 11 years, Max. He also goes by Mr. Max, and B.D.E (Best Dog Ever). He truly was the best dog ever. We adopted him from our local ASPCA when he was only weeks old and coincidentally, the day we could take him home was our one-year anniversary as boyfriend and girlfriend. We were all young, I myself had just turned 23 and still had a ton of learning to do. Something about Max, a gut feeling, told us he was he was meant to be with us when we saw the litter of pups that day. He was a character, unparalleled facial expressions and demeanor. Extremely intelligent, we taught him only a couple of tricks which he had down solid in about a week and anything else, he just did. He learned silent hand gestures with absolutely no direction. He also would react to my own facial expressions such as eye movements when I would be implying for him to look in a certain direction. He was of the charts smart. Naturally protective and great with all children, all other animals, adults, elderly, absolutely everyone and everything. He loved everyone and everyone that met him fell in love with him as well. Not a bad or hateful bone in his body. We grew a lot together. He was beside us for some rough waters. I used to talk to him as well. Ask him his opinion, jokingly of course, although it would not surprise me in the slightest if I found out he understood. When I had a rough day, didn't know where life was taking me, or just felt down and didn't know why, I could always count on Max to see me through it. I knew that if we had him, nothing else mattered. I have an incredibly strong bond with him closer than that of my wife’s, no disrespect to her, it just is. Occasionally At times, when I would unfortunately think of that fateful day, as much as I tried not to, I would imagine a scene with him comfortable at home, wrapped up in blankets either on a sofa or the bed honestly, his two favorite spots, with the entire immediate family present to say goodbye. This, very sadly, was not at all the case. My wife was working overnight that night. As I was getting ready to go to bed around the night owl time of 2am, I smelled at 1st what I believed to be dog flatulence (we also have 2 other dogs). 2:10am (will never forget the times) As I was beginning to shrug it off, I saw Max walk around the corner of the foot of the bed. He stopped and looked at me and I said "Max, was that you?" He laid down. Seconds later the smell intensified, and I knew it was not just gas. I got up, turned on the light and went to investigate. He had soiled the carpet on my wife’s side of the room. Upon further investigation, there was also urine. I was not mad at all, but I said to him in somewhat of a helpless tone, "come on Max really". As I walked back towards him, I noticed he hadn't moved an inch which was completely unlike him when he had an accident, stole food and similar situations. I asked him if he was ok. Not even a look. Asked if he had to go out. Nothing. Asked him to get up. Nothing. Tried to lift him up. He Slowly slid and laid back down, like a rag doll. I knew. I'm convinced. Not in conscious thought, but I knew. 2:15am, I began to cry as I called my wife and father and rushed to get dressed to go to the emergency vet. 2:20am, Every minute felt like an hour and felt like it was being wasted, precious time. In a panic I had to clean out the backseat of my truck for him, big toolboxes etc. Between 2:25 & 2:30am, I shuffle the other 2 dogs in their crates. They knew something was wrong and stalled which panicked me even more. About 2:33am, I get Max to the truck, he managed the courage to get up on his own and even walked out of the house and half the distance to my truck. I did not ask this of him, he just did it, and it gave me hope. 2:35am My father arrived with perfect timing to go with me. Off I sped to the vet. 2:50am, We arrive at the vet who right from the start handled things completely disgracefully but that's another topic but Briefly, Max did not go in for about 10 mins because the receptionist was taking ALL info from me over the phone, including payment, and wasting time. 3:00 am, they finally took him. My father and I sat in the truck, waiting we were not allowed in due to Covid. I tried my hardest to be positive, but my stomach was doing flips and I’m surprised my heart wasn't honking the horn with every beat. 3:15, The call. With very few words to choose from I imagine the vet introduced himself and then said, "I wish I had some better news". I cannot describe the feeling at that moment. I began to tremble, sweat, inhale and exhale with every cubic millimeter of my lungs both within every second. I was literally numb, tingling. He explained that it was hemangiosarcoma and it was too far along, his spleen had ruptured, and he was dying. the vet continued to say that time could be 2 hours or 24, no certainty for a minimum but more than likely no more than 24. I frantically replied by saying "Is there anything that can be done, anything at all?" Having just gone over the options, with a slight under tone (like I said, disgrace) he very briefly recapped the likely outcome of a surgery and an estimated time to live if he made it through, of not more than about 2 months. I fell to pieces. I do not show too much emotion in public, I’m shy and private. I was BALLING in the parking lot. I wouldn't be surprised if I was heard 2 miles away. I didn't care. 3:30am, My wife arrived. She spoke with the vet over the phone as well... Idk why but he wasted more time with that. 3:38ish - 3:56am my wife and I discussed an organization near us called lap of love. They will do in home euthanasia but also home services with immediate family. Just for him to be comfortable and say goodbye. 3:57am December 23rd, 2020, my phone rings displaying the vet’s number. He is crashing. I handed my wife the phone and I ran to the door and rattled it. The staff told my wife that they would bring him out for us. When they did, he was already gone. My last goodbye to him was with me kneeling and him lying lifeless on an ice-cold sidewalk. I was and am still destroyed. Almost 9 months later and there are times when it still hits almost as hard as that night. When it does hit that hard, it usually lasts almost 2 weeks and includes random bouts heavy depression and anxiety, usually not continuous but often. Overall, I'll just be in pieces all over again. I will never forget him.

July 31, 2021

I've been searching high and low all over for some relief. Bereavement support groups, blogs, anything. I'm glad I stumbled on this page as everyone's stories made me feel less alone. I lost my 8-year-old cat Max on Monday to CHF. It was a very traumatic experience for me because as I was driving him to the emergency hospital he was struggling to breathe and urinated on himself. I keep replaying his last hour in my head over and over again, torturing myself. The vet recommended eunastasia; she said she's never seen CHF so severe. So, I made the choice that still haunts me, the one I have guilt over, I let Max go. At least he died in my arms while I was kissing his little forehead and telling him how much I loved him. I can't imagine not being there for his final moments. We had Max for two years after adopting him from a shelter. We knew he had some health issues but we thought we could give him a long life regardless. Allergies were the most severe of his issues. Every vet kept saying allergies on his check-ups. Turns out his rashes, itching, weight loss, lethargy, e.t.c were something more. I wish I did more for him but I keep reminding myself that I did all I could and I loved him with all of my heart...and he loved us so much too. How do I get past this guilt?I've never experienced so much love from a cat, or any animal for that matter.  Our bond was so unique, so special. He was the sweetest boy.Today is Saturday and I can finally eat something. Do, I'm healing.  I can't wait for the day that thinking of Max makes me smile thinking back on all of the memories instead of breaking down crying, with my heart breaking into pieces, unable to breathe from the pain.RIP, baby boy. Mommy will love you forever and ever.

Karen Dynarski
April 16, 2021

To Kathy and Ashley.....thank you very much for the kind words on the loss of my dog Olivia....i am sooooo very sorry for the losses you both have had also! I guess even tho we dont have closure i think i can say all three of us loved our babies so very much and we did all we could for them! ❤️take care!!!!

April 7, 2021

I was homeless and Todo my 12 year old yorkie was the only thing that kept me going. He did not do well in the heat but I had a lady that would come get him on the hottest days. I was walking next to the community center when I saw 2 people sitting at a table so I asked if they could call the lady for me.  A phone was held up and one of them said " not one here we can use". Still having Todo to worry about I continued to walk away from the 2 and said " son of a bitch". The next thing I know I'm tackled so hard my shoes are knocked off ,I'm being covered in pepper spray, handcuffed and drug back to the table the 2 were sitting and chained to it. Almost 3 hours later when cops arrived I am set free. I didn't know how badly I was injured. I paid down behind a walgreens and couldn't move anymore. The next day it got hot again ,I held Todo while he died and until I was loaded in an ambulance. I spent the next week in the hospital and after loosing everything I had left when they loaded me that ambulance I had to wear the same clothes I was wearing when Todo died for many days after leaving the hospital. Nothing has been done to the people who did this to me and Todo ,nothing

Sage F
March 26, 2021

Her name was Misty- a German Shepherd/collie mutt. God knows how old she is, but our best guess is 11-12. Misty was my dog. We adopted her from the shelter in 2011 and me and her had been best friends since then. Misty was a troublemaker. She was probably the most stubborn dog that existed, and she outsmarted everyone in so many ways. That dog was crazy for the frisbee. I swear, she could jump 5 feet in the air to catch that thing. Her favorite thing to do was to torment her blue Weimaraner sister, Bella who also crossed the rainbow bridge later on. Bella didn't dig having a 70 pound Shepherd mix try to play bite her, but Misty probably wasn't going to take no for an answer. Her favorite thing on earth was cars. Most dogs get stressed out when they are in the car- that certainly wasn't the case with her. Whenever we were in the car, she would stick her entire torso and head out the window- it was the most hilarious thing that existed. She thought she was a lap dog, and no one could change her mind. That part wasn't so funny all the time, cause it can get pretty annoying having a 70 pound dog thats way stronger than you sitting on you. At the time, I hated that but now that I am looking back, I would do anything to have her sit on me like that one last time. In December 2019, when me and my family had just gotten back from a 2 week long camping trip and left the dogs with a dog sitter, Misty was very thin and started peeing all over the house. Her ribs were extremely visible and she had lost over 10 pounds. She always weighed around 70 pounds, and when we got back she weighed 56. We took her to the vet. Misty had Lymphoma (cancer in her lymph nodes) and we caught it too late- no treatment would be able to save her. Ever felt that helpless feeling? Like your in a room on fire but your tied up so you can't anything about it and your pretty much just waiting for it to reach you? That is exactly how I felt.She had cancer- we knew she had cancer, but there is nothing we can do about it. Even though we couldn't do anything about it, we were able to spare Misty one last month because she wasn't  sick yet. One last month to take her to the beach, one last month to feed her whatever she wants to eat, one last month to take her to the dog park every single day. One last month with Misty. Her last month was blast- we did everything she loved, but one day that came to and end. Misty had entered stage 4. She was miserable, never got up and had to be tube fed water. It was time, this isn't humane to keep her alive like this. I hugged her as she got the injection. I am so sorry Misty. She may not be at my side anymore, but always in our hearts. Goodbye Misty, you deserve to have as many treats and toys as you want up in heaven because you gave me unconditional love for so many years.

March 13, 2021

My parents and I had to put our 6 year old cat to sleep on Valentine's Day. Even though I'm in my late 20's, he was the family cat. He was very vibrant even through his two month battle with liver disease. He had just regained his appetite when he started throwing up everything he tried to eat. The vet tried to move his feeding tube into his stomach, but she couldn't get it down. He had a stricture and there was no treatment, just dilatations that would temporarily make it go away for the short term. It was a choice between euthanizing  him or letting him painfully starve to death. When we were saying goodbye to him, he was vibrant and moving all over the place, even playing a little.  We knew most of it came from being hungry and that he was a sick cat, but ourtwardly, he wasn't acting like one. We know we made the right decision as he would have started to get weak and uncomfortable if we'd waited longer. We always expected to have to put a weak cat to sleep one day, but we were not prepared for this.

Manuel Martinez
January 23, 2021

Cathy you didn't mention your cats name. It's nuts not knowing. Did I jump the gun, he might of just been thirsty, was it really Dude x ray... Dude is ,was my cat, it's still unreal to me . this is my fourth night not sleeping with him. Two of the nights he was at the hospital and these last two, cat heaven. He was an amazing friend, i dare to mention cat around him. He always thought he was a lion. Hed chase dogs home if they got loose,  climb the tree when I would say,"climb the tree boy". There he goes, half way up dude would stop and look at me. "Go higher boy, oh your my little lion". Higher he went. He would come down after a while then we would play fetch with his favorite fetch toy(The plastic ring around the gallon of milk". I miss him so much. I want to remember him always it's just so painful. I wish it would stop. We have great memories, it's just trying to get there without loosing it. He was only six. Everyone says he lived a great life, like a king they say. I did kind of spoil him, but why can't I we were buddies. The look he gave me moments before they put him down is so clear in my mind. I'm sorry dude I'm sorry for nut keeping you a live and not listening to you when you were letting me know what was wrong. Please forgive me mister.

Sheila D Phariss
January 22, 2021

Charlie's Story: I am a cat. A rather handsome cat. My name is Charlie. I was  born 4/21/2005. I was adopted by Jennifer in June of 2005. I was loved so much by Jennifer. She was the only mom I knew for the next 11 years. Jennifer unfortunately became unable to take care of me and had to go away for a while. I lived in a boarding kennel for the next 3 months. I was sad and confused when Jennifer never came to get me. Jennifer loved me so much that she knew I would be better off with a new mommy. Jennifer met Sheila in a treatment place and asked Sheila if she could adopt me. You see, Sheila loved loved loved cats. Sheila, of course, wanted to take me home and talked with Terry about giving 11 year old me a new home and a new mommy...and DADDY that would love me and take care of me in my old(er) age. Terry was overjoyed at the thought of having me come live with him and Sheila. So, on her day off, Sheila drove to Sunnyvale to pick me up from the boarding kennel where I had been living for the past 3 months. That was a very long drive for a cat I think. It was a Friday. I finally met Sheila. At first I didn't know what was going on and i was a little bit scared. Sheila was very, very sweet and nice to me. It was then that I knew that i was safe and I loved her so much. I was so excited that I peed all over my carrier and the seat of Sheila's truck. More about my peeing problem later. Sheila took me to a place that she called work because she had what she called a meeting. There were people there that were allergic to me and we giggled because we thought that was a little bit funny. After the meeting, Sheila took me to a place that she called home. When we got to "home" I finally got to meet Terry. Terry was loud and laughed at silly things but I wasn't scared. I had never been around a person with a deep voice and who was hairy because my other mom Jennifer was married to a girl but when I met Terry he was cool. He was still loud but I got used to it. By this time, I already loved Sheila. She was my new mom and I was happy about that. Mom tried to keep "home" quiet for a little while so that I wouldn't get scared but Terry was still loud. I jumped up on this thing called a bed and Terry rubbed me and petted me so much. I liked Terry and he liked mom so Terry was ok in my book. One day, while mom was at the place she called work, I spent some time with Terry. It was that day that I loved Terry and made him my dad. Terry kept saying that he was proud that he got to be with me during my "golden" years. I didn't know what that meant but I didn't see any gold anywhere. It wasn't long before my new mom and dad realized that there was a little problem I had called hyperthyroidism and that thing made me pee...ALOT! I had to take 2 pills every day that tasted icky. So mom being a rockstar found these great little things that we called "snacks". They were yummy and she gave me 2 per day. I think she thought I was dumb but I knew she put the pills in these "snacks" but I didn't care because they were so yummy. I LOVE SNACKS! Sometimes dad would give me the "snacks" too. Hahaha that guy. After they gave me the "snacks", I felt much better Anyway, back to my pee problem. My dr. Told mom andd dad that my pee problem was from my hyperthyroidism. Mom noticed that I drank a lot of water that made me pee alot. My mom cleaned my litter box soooooo much. I had bad litter box manners and always made a mess. It was so bad that my mom kept saying "oh Charlie" every time she scooped my box. My mom never made me feel bad though, I peed...she cleaned...I peed...she cleaned. She took care of me so super good. She was my favorite. I loved my dad too but my mom was very special to me. We talked and cuddled every day and every night, I slept on her pillow. She snores so loud that I sometimes would have to go sleep somewhere quieter. I felt bad for dad. For over 3 years, my mom and dad took care of me and loved me so much. I was very happy. Sometimes they would talk about losing me and I didn't know what they were talking about because I wasn't planning on going anywhere. They seemed to get sad when they talked about it and after they were done, they would pick me up onto the bed and love me and cuddle with me and I was happy and they were happy and everything was ok. Well last night something bad happened. I got hurt or something. I felt pain and couldn't move. Dad is the one who heard me and he told mom this morning. Mom checked on me and she thought I was just sleeping cause I did that alot. She saw my tummy move up and down so she said I was ok. I was not ok. Mom and dad scooped me up and tried to help me. Next thing I know, we were in the car on the way to a place called "emergency room". Mom was crying and dad was worried. When we got to "emergency room" a man came and took me into the back. I still couldn't move. The "emergency room" person called my mom, who was still outside crying and told mom that I probably had a thing called "stroke". Next thing I know was my mom and dad were in this room and "emergency room" brought me into where they were sitting and crying. They handed me to mom and dad and I started to purr...I purred very loud because I was very happy to see them. They cuddled me and petted me and mom even kissed my head. Now mom and dad were both crying but I kept purring because those guys make me happy. Mom and dad both kept saying "I love you Charlie". And I looked at them with my big green eyes. That's how they know I love them too. Then I went to sleep and I didn't feel icky anymore. I know my mom and dad loved me so much and will miss me and they were the best mom and dad I could ever ask for.

Stephanie Carafa
December 25, 2020

Her name was Ruby. A beautiful Blue and white colored Chiquaqua. She was my Angel on earth, my companion,  my purpose. She had been through two horrendous surgeries and made it through. After the last surgery a year ago she developed pancreatitis and those bouts would come and go. I would give her support, warmth and comfort for several days and then it would pass. But this last time was so very different. She just had a routine check up with Internal Medicine the week before. Everything was looking good. She was still drinking water, going for short walks but the nausea was preventingvher from eating. After about 5 days of eating very little I took her in to check for dehydration.  Sure enoughthey felt she needed fluid and administered some pain meds to keep her comfortable through the night until she could see her Internist in the morning. I took my little Angel home to keep her warm and comfortable through the night. The change was quick, just a few hours later I foubd myself rushing her back to the hospital as her breathing was labored. She was such a tiny little girl but the last week of little no or appetite made her small frame look like skin and bones. When I took her to the hospital, they met me at the car (covid protcol). They were going to keep her overnight for observations until her 10am appointment. 7 hours later I recieved a call that changed my life. They were rushing my Ruby to ICU, she could hardly breath on her own, she was struggling. They put her in an Oxygen tent and could not obtain a vein for the  catheter. I was in disbelief.  Her Interist worked swiftly and diligently to find cause. Tested blood, looked fir infection, ultrasounds of the heart, liver and  kidneys. But nothing.... nothing! But yet her tiny little body was struggling to breathe. She was weak, she couldn't breathe and she was dying and an entire team of Internists could not tell me why. Finally, just 20 hours after I handed them my precious girl wrapped in her pink blanket, the doctor told me she was suffering. He called me at home where I sat waiting with the phone in my hand. He explained that she was struggling so hard to breathe that he was afraid she could have a cardiac arrest in the middle of the night. My heart and head had a battle inside of me all day while I waited for test after test. My head was saying I dont want her to stuffer and my heart was holding out for one more miracle. When I heard the doctors words, I couldnt bear the thought of her being in pain and suffering. I instantly said "put her to rest, relieve her of this suffering now." I begged him to tell her how much I love her and what a good girl she has been for 14 years. And with tears streaming down my face and the pain in my heart I asked the doctor to please make sure shes warm after its because she hates being cold.Its been 5 days and today its Christmas. It haunts me that I didnt get to say goodbye. That she didnt hear my voice, feel my touch as she took her last breath. My heart and home are empty and filled with sadness without her here. The griefing is more than I can bare and I am riddled with guilt. Its so hard to imagine there will ever be closure when I have no answers, "what happened to my baby" I miss her.... every minute of every day but try to remind myself that  I am so lucky to be her momma

November 26, 2020

Karen - I am in a very similar situation as you. Though my story involves a cat, his symptoms were very similar as those you describe for Olivia, and he too died without a firm diagnosis, which is absolutely haunting me. He had started losing weight (very slowly) about a year ago, became lethargic, and during the last month or so was frequently constipated and licked his anus. His abdominal ultrasound revealed an enlarged spleen, enlarged lymph nodes, a small lesion on his liver and severe intestinal inflammation, so the vet suspected either IBD or lymphoma, but even additional tests didn't provide the diagnosis we sought. During the last few weeks of his life, he grew progressively weaker, including his hind legs; he would sometimes collapse after walking just a few feet. I saw him spin in little cirlcles a couple of times. He also developed a terrible sneeze. So many symptoms, none that added up to a single disease but rather, it seemed as though his little body was just tired and breaking down. He also had a heart murmur and his heart issue may have been progressing - we just don't know. The vet recommended euthanasia when she discovered a small amount of fluid in his abdomen, and after a week or so we decided to move forward on that recommendation, but now I am second-guessing that choice--largely because we lacked a diagnosis. My boyfriend says he didn't need a diagnosis to see that our sweet cat was dying, but like you, Karen, I feel I would obtain more closure if I had more answers. I search the Internet endlessly, reading about different cat diseases and trying to make sense of it all, but of course we will never know exactly what happened. I sympathize with you and I hope both of us can find peace of mind in time.

November 10, 2020

Hi Karen. I read your story. I posted on Sep 29. I am so sorry for your loss. My heart broke when you said Olivia turned to you and said Mama I'm done because my cat did the same thing too. I heard his cry, a different meow that I never heard before. I still grief. I miss him so much. Your experience with the Vet is almost the same as mine. I took my Cat in to get help, hoping the Vet will tell me why he is not pooping because my Cat made every effort to do so. I even tried to wipe him which stimulated him to go to the litter box. I hate to feel that I fail as a Pet Owner but I know he said his good bye to me by his meow he told me it was time so in a sense I didn't fail I granted Him peace.  You also granted Olivia peace she told you. Stay strong.

November 6, 2020

When I read ALL of these stories I cried for 1 hr STRAIGHT.

November 4, 2020

On March 31,2020 I had to have my 10 year old yellow lab,Olivia put down. I am still struggling horribly with losing her and I am hoping by putting her story out there of the six months she was sick that someone can give me an idea of what it could have been that she was sick from....Six months before I had taken her for a walk as I regularly did but on that walk the stopped to urinate and we continued to walk but she stopped to urinate 8 more times with nothing coming out...I had assumed a urinary tract infection so I immediately set up a vet appt...took a urine sample..came back no uti...the straining continued I took in another urine sample...a little protein found in urine nothing substantial but I asked to try antibiotics anyways...ten days later no change..went in X-ray was done blood work done...nothing..the vet was stumped and sent us to a more specialist type vet...they did their own urine test...urine culture..complete blood scan....could not find a this point Olivia had been sick for six month...still straining to urinate ...also at this point straining to poop also and when she did poop it came out like pencil thin stool...she no longer wanted her dog food (which was odd she loved food) I gave her boiled chicken mixed with rice which thankfully she did at least eat that...she was losing pounds...becoming weak and wobbly, slept a lot...constantly licking vulva area even tho there wasn’t anything noticeable that I could see (another uti symptom but no uti)...the day I had her put down I went back to the same vet and told them she was there anything else they could try? The said other than start over with all the tests that they were stumped just as the first vet....the morning of that horrible day her back legs gave out from under her I am guessing weakness...and she just gave me that look like “momma I am done” and it broke my heart but I knew what I had to do....PLEASE if anyone reading this has had a dog with similar symptoms and it was diagnosed please let me know...I know it’s not going to bring her back to me but without closure I just can’t seem to handle this.Three veterinarians we had seen....I just dont know !

Shirley J. Howe
October 18, 2020

I have had many animals in my life. Now being a grandmother, I only have grand animals. My husband has a hunting dog I won't let myself get close to. Reading all your stories makes me cry cry cry also for your loss. Thanks for sharing.

October 11, 2020

My best friend Riley. Yesterday I was faced with the unfortunate reality of putting my best friend for 6 years to sleep. I adopted him when I was 13 and fell in love with him instantly. He was the first dog I had ever had. I am now 19. Nothing can explain the terrible feeling I have. The only thing I can do is cry. I came here hoping to find something that might help me feel a bit better. I am sorry for all your losses.

September 29, 2020

Its been 5 weeks that I had to euthanized my beloved cat. He was just an amazing cat. I adopted him and spent 8 years with him, he was almost 16 years old and he got ill. He was beginning to have seizures just comes on without any  warning, he was on meds for thyroid. In 2018 we took him to the Vet but they wouldn't find out why or what was causing it. The seizures stopped but in Aug 2020 it started up again. We fed him and noticed he couldn't poop out, he was peeing but not able to poop. He stopped eating but drank water and continued to pee but no poop. I heard people saying some cats don't have to poop everyday, that upto 5 days was normal. So we gave him some time to see if he would poop. He was still not eating but became very quiet, not active, went to our washroom and stayed there. We had his fav spots to chill but chose our washroom to chill.  It was 4 days now no poop, he had made attempts to go in his litter box. I was beginning to notice a smell but thought it could be urine soaked in his fur. My cat was an indoor cat so he hated going to the Vet but I had no choice took him to the Vet. Long story short we agreed to put him down due to his conditions.  My Partner and I requested to be there with him during his final moments (since the Clinic was not accepting people in during covid), they made the exception for us. Thank you for having this site up. I read people's comments and it is helping with my grief process. For those who has lost their pet...stay strong. It hurts but know you provided your best to your fur baby/babies

September 18, 2020

It just happened yesterday. It was all very sudden, no warning. I can't talk about it yet, I can only cry, cry, and cry some more. I am heartbroken and devastated. Reading your post and the comments through tears streaming down my face, but, it may be helping me. Thank you for sharing. I'm sorry for all of your losses.  

September 4, 2020

I’m thirteen and Today September 4th we put our beloved family dog down. Though I was allergic to him I still loved him and miss him already. He was old and had been going downhill for months. He used to be so energetic but no longer. He was diagnosed with arthritis months ago and we had been giving him steroids which helped a bit, but then a disk broke in his poor little back and his hind legs were paralyzed. He could still move them but couldn’t feel them and fell over all the time. His fur even started to fall out and my mom decided it was time. On the way to the vet he was so happy, just playing with his toy not knowing what was coming. In the vet they came to give him the shot and I felt so guilty. He looked happy even in so much pain. I felt we were betraying him. When they injected him he started whimpering and I broke down. I tried to stay strong  for my Brother, who had a special connection with him, but I couldn’t. When he stopped whimpering and fell over with his tongue out I ran out of the room and went outside. He was such a good boy, he didn’t deserve it. I know he’s in a better place put I still feel guilty. He had a will to live and I feel like I personally took his life away from him. Rest In Peace Chester.

September 1, 2020

Today August 31 I held my best buddy-dog as the injections were given. The moment the first one went in and he dozed off into super-hard sleep (his little head clonked on the vets table even though I was holding it up) a wave of “reality” washed over me and I wanted to say “stop! Never mind, I’m taking him home and we’ll try something else! I have only felt that kind of finality a few times in my life, where I didn’t know what the hell I was doing making this decision, but it was committed. As the second injection was applied nothing happened, I continued to pet and rub him, telling him in his now-closed eyes how much we loved him and I was so sorry about this. The look from him the whole time he was there in the vets office was “what’s going on here? What’s happening to me? This is a totally different vibe from the other times” and now with his eyes closed he couldn’t communicate anything to me anymore, the windows onto his soul shuttered, but he didn’t look like he was sleeping. The vet confirmed his heart stopped and placed her hand on my hand, then her other hand on my other hand, both on top of Sox’s back and shoulders. He had gone down from an overweight 23 pounds to a trim 21 normally and had slid to about 11-12 - he lost weight and couldn’t/wouldn’t eat sometimes. We had two failed hernia surgeries to correct a situation where he over-strained and blew out the muscles in his lower tract, and no further surgery was feasible because there is no way to tell a dog “don’t strain” - we used to take him for clean outs 2 times a year, to having to give him an enema every other day, and he began to equate the pain of getting water squirted into him as the pain of having giant BM’s stuck in him that he couldn’t ever push out. At the end he would bite me, I think once squeezed manually and so much came out but he was back to a puppy for a few days! His energy, his appetite. Even at the worst of it he might sleep all day, and then walk around with that big lump in his behind, but I knew he was miserable. It was so much harder because if he had cancer or was in liver failure I would know by looking in his eyes (he had the most expressive brown eyes - like you knew someone was in there looking back) that he’d be tired exhausted, begging me to give him relief. Instead this was miserable because here was an otherwise healthy 13yo tweener Black and Tan long haired Dachshund. That couldn’t poop. And that’s terminal - if you can’t poop you cannot live. But I always knew “when he’s sick someday he’ll tell me with his eyes” - and today even though he had a half-pound of poop stuck, he didn’t want to go. So I’m just sick because I felt like there was no solution, but it was before his time. I’ve had cancer in my family and know about that misery. This dog from the hind legs forward was a perfectly in-tact dog. But pooping is life-threatening, and there was never going to be a fix.  So I feel like a took a life before it’s time, and I held him and comforted him as I would have a small child (I have 5 children and it would be the same) and told him I was sorry and I would always love him and he was my best buddy boy. Our vet tech and the vet were both sniffling, and I don’t know when my home will not feel incomplete. Thanks for listening- just know that there are situations that aren’t obviously terminal and that the decision is still the right one, but still just as painful. If you love something, set it free.

August 16, 2020

We put our beloved 15 yr old  puppy down recently. He was really the heart and soul of our family. He was small in stature but had a huge personality. He had liver disease and we watched him slow down and fade away until it was time to euthanize him at our house. All I can say is that I’m utterly devastated and inconsolable. Each of us had a different relationship with him and we all are shell shocked and crushed that our little guy is gone. My house is silent and depressing and we keep expecting him to be sleeping on his bed or come running up the stairs. I know they say time heals all, but I don’t think I’ll ever get completely over his loss.

July 29, 2020

My dad ran over our dog smashed her little head and I can’t accept it and I refuse bc she was sick a special dog she had such a big heart and was very protective and idk how to stop crying

July 9, 2020

My beautiful special dog name was Cotton. I wish you could have met her. She’s was the perfect dog for me, the eccentric look, perfect temperament, and a perfect fit for me. She made me happy for 19 years and 6 months. All I can say is I wish you could have met her.

Betsy Frazier
June 18, 2020

I had to say goodbye to my best friend Leo 2 days ago, it still doesn't feel real , he hadn't been feeling well for a couple of months he was 14yrs old l knew that someday l would have to face saying goodbye, but still unprepared how painful it would be but l knew he was suffering, he could no longer walk, eat or go to the litter box on his own it was killing me to see him this way beyond words his kidneys were shutting down and l made the decision to euthanize him , the most painful part was saying goodbye l will miss Leo forever he can never be replaced we loved each other unconditionally rescued each other, its lonley here without him and l am still in disbelief hes gone my best friend , RIP Leo mommy loves you

Ben Hound
June 20, 2020

I came here trying to ease my pain of loss, it didnt work but thanks anyway

Manuel Vega
June 5, 2020

I stumbled on your site looking for a way to help me ease the pain of my loss. Today i had to say goodbye to my little boy Peanut, he was my first dog i had adopted from an adoption facility ( humane society )  and when i first met him i instantly fell in love, i picked him up and was very nervous of what the future held. 2014 was when i adopted him, we had our share of sleeping together, walking around the neighborhood and car rides for days, he loved being in the car and the motion of the vibration would instantly put him to sleep. I got married the following year and included him in the bridal shower, he was with us when he adopted his brother in 2015 and he was with us when we bought our first home! During 2018 we noticed his eye was beginning to bulge and he was having strange skin issues with tags , when we took him to the vet we were told he had cancer and surgery to remove the mast could help. It did short term but as the months and years went on he began to have growths over the rest of his body. He would sleep and go days without so much as drinking water. We knew he was in pain, a few months ago my wife noticed he would walk around in circls and stare at the wall, he had his own doggy door to the outside and would go out and not be able to come back inside like he would before . After days of wimpering and throwing up bile we had come to the conclusion that the cancer was taking his life one day at a time so we decided to end his suffering and had him euthanized, we held him in our arms saying good bye , my wife with tears rolling down her face as well as myself. Going back and learning what we learned we might have made the decision sooner, but the thought of losing our baby was too much of a burden so we delayed the inevitable. He died today June 5 2020, and as the tears roll down my face i can not help but to feel pain and relief that he is in a better place, certainly a better place than where i sit today dealing with his loss. Goodbye my beloved Peanut, you were the best dog anyone could have asked for , i love you

May 23, 2020

If anyone reading this story has doubts about vaccinating their pet, I hope it will clear your doubts. Pets can easily contract dangerous infections like FelV even if they are always inside. Condolences and compassion for all the other posters' friends.

Alison Swann
May 13, 2020

My eighteen year old standard poodle, Zulu, died just before lock down. I cannot let him go. I see him and hear him all the time. I am alone without himnext to me in his place on the settee. How can I ever get over this

April 23, 2020

Hi your a very strong person with an enormous heart may God bless you always

Sheri Grace
April 18, 2020

Peace and comfort to all of you grieving your furry family members in this time of the pandemic crises. I just said goodbye to my sweet Romeo.  He seemed mostly well, though he was 11, and had a few days when he didn't eat much a few weeks ago.  He had thrown up during the night two nights ago and yesterday was lethargic and then started having trouble breathing.  I took him to the emergency vet, hoping they could help. My sweet friend had already grown too close to death.  There was a tumor near or on his heart,  and the fluid near it,  around his lungs,  and his abdomen made it likely he'd suffocate before morning.  We said goodbye.  The vet and technicians were loving and merciful.  I will forever miss my sweet Romeo. He was a rescue,  a loving pit-labrador mix who only days ago went on our run with sister Juliet and I,  he taking the lead spot ahead of us.  At home he dutifully stayed nearby,  a loving companion.  I am so grateful for his love.

April 14, 2020

My dog name Sam .had him 13yrs .he would actually take my sisters eye glasses off too wake her up cause her granddaughter would roam house....ester night he was panting.his skin got cold..went hospital did ultrasound but wouldn't let us in cause Corona virus...said he was going in heart heart is broken so heavy he was boxer and bulldog mix his soul is I'm visulizing Jesus walking with him easter.tears are flooding my looked so scared before putting him sleep I keep thinking did I do right thing..I love him so much.thank- u letting me poor my heart out.i have too trust in Lord.cause my daughters cat kidney diease vet said cat do anything I took him home and I saved him cause I knew he didn't want too die.

Robert Verholek
April 8, 2020

I happend across your site and wanted to share.  Yesterday I had to make the decision to help my dog pass from this world to the next and it was a hard one. "Paddington" was a Wheaten Terrier that I had to adopt when my Mom passed away two years ago.  He was 10 years old, not trained and I resented him at first.  I had never been a dog owner.  Somehow along the way he ended up being trained and well behaved, it just sort of happened, Then we became best buds.  He started throwing up in January and we discovered he was running fever.  The first veterinarian I took him too gave me antibiotic pills which didn't work as he threw them up.  I went back and he gave him a shot and found a tumor on his hind hip that had died and was rotting but told me that wasn't the problem.  I took him to a different vet and had it removed,  the incision was 5 inches long and there was barely enough good skin left to sew it up.  I had full testing done prior to the surgery to be sure there was no cancer  inside him before we did the surgery and they told me the vomiting would stop but it didn't.  I worked with them for a while because I knew he was starving but was told that a dog would not starve themselves and they basically blew me off.   I watched him for a few more weeks throwing up so hard he would fall on his face,  in desperation I found another vet who took him and  coached me through the past 6 weeks trying to stop the vomiting.  Three weeks ago we finally discovered that he had a small tumor growing in his inner ear, we tried with medication to control what was going on but it didn't work.  My dog lost 15 pounds,  he went from a beautiful 50 pound dog to a 35 pound skeleton, he was still beautiful, but I could not watch anymore.  The hardest part was me eating dinner and him watching and not able to eat and being hungry.  He would still play with his toys,  take walks, but he was getting weaker.  I finally made the decison when he fell and bashed his head on a stone,  the vomiting had gotten to a point that it was just water and I knew he was dying.   It was very profound,  the vet was not able to let me in the building because of this epidemic but he and his assistant came outside,  it was me the vet and the assistant sitting on the grass in the sun with the birds singing.  I asked him for a kiss and he nibbled on my nose.   I didn't know that a vet would cry when he did his job but he cried and put his hand on "Paddington" and said rest in peace my friend.  If it had not been for this wonderful person and practice I would have been lost because nobody would help us.   I am at peace with my desicion but will forever miss my friend.  I know where he is though and he is not suffering anymore.   Thank you so much for letting me share my story.  I wish all of you peace.

Susan Griffin
March 26, 2020

I'm glad I found this website.  I put down my "shadow" - as I call him - 2 days ago, Tuesday, March 24, at 7:20 (or so) p.m. Louie, a 16.5 year old chocolate Schnauzer was truly like my baby boy.  He was originally my (college age) daughter's pet, but she couldn't handle the responsibilities of school & a dog, so I took him. Actually, before I "adopted" him from my daughter, I used to babysit him at my house while my daughter worked nights.  I will never forget the first time he stayed with me, after my daughter got him into her car & pulled away from the house, he stood up on his tiny hind legs at the passenger seat window & kept looking at me on the front porch as they drove away.  He was only 8 weeks old at that time.  Eerie, but it was like he knew that we were supposed to be together.  And we were about 2 months after that.  And he truly was like my shadow, never straying far from wherever I was while in the house; sitting at the front window patiently waiting for me to return home when I was gone, and being so vocal & happy when I returned. He adored his long walks around the neighborhood & riding in the car with the wind blowing on him.  The car rides stopped a couple of years ago as he didn't have the strength or stability to stand on his hind legs anymore.  And the walks he so loved stopped about a month before his death.  He had a LOT of health issues, but still loved to eat & knew me.  He sustained a third (since the beginning of the year) - and massive - seizure on Mar. 24 at around 4:00 p.m. That & all his other health problems finally pushed me to give him some peace.  I miss him so much, dilapidated as he was, and I know the pain of losing him will pass, but I can't seem to stop crying for now.

February 28, 2020

26th February was the six month anniversary of my husband's passing, and the next day, 27th February, I lost my loving fur baby companion of sixteen and a half years. A great age for a small Lhaso Apso/Maltese who gave us so much love, joy and happiness during her lifetime. Selfishly I procrastinated a couple of weeks unable to make the final call, so the grieving had already commenced. Once I partially came to grips with "it is time", arrangements were made. As I am on my own there was the final resting place to organise, thus I dilligently prepared the site, not seeing terribly well through my flood of tears. The time arrived for her journey to the "Rainbow Bridge", the procedure occurring at home in familiar surroundings for her.  The transition, if you can call it beautiful, was very peaceful for her, sedation pain relief first and once in deep sleep, the final injection. I watched her breathing decrease very slowly, at all times stroking her, talking to her, telling her how much she was loved. After a short while she was gone, she was at peace, but my life was suddenly very empty, with so much unbearable pain from a broken heart and tears which refuse to still. She is so worth all this pain and every tear drop which falls,  as she gave so much love and joy. The next stage was to bury her in our garden, once again a job I would never recommend. Apart from sight and hearing failure later in her life and dementia rearing its ugly head Shilo had a good life and was very much loved. Over the last month she lost muscle tone from her back and hind legs making walking quite difficult, lost her appetite yet continued to drink and eat small amounts only. I was on her radar constantly possibly because of my constant blubbering which she picked up on. I changed my behaviour in her presence and wish I'd had the power to make her better..I did not want to let her go, sadly there was no magic answer. She has no doubt crossed the "Rainbow Bridge" and would have heard my husbands familiar whistle. I love you my beautiful girl. Rest in peace Shilo.

January 18, 2020

Thank you for sharing this. I just lost my cat about 5 hours ago at the pet hospital. I believe he stayed here for my family but mainly for me. I had to be strong for my family but it’s starting to hit me. Tears wanting to fall but I know he can rest now , which brings me peace.

Grant Gaffney
November 26, 2019

I lost my partner my dog Mary on November 25th.She had been suffering for the the last 3 weeks, and when we took her to the vet they said her spleen had a tumor.I decided I would take the spleen out, even though she was in poor health. So I took her to a vet hospital and asked to have the operation.They did a quick ultrasound on the liver to make sure it had not spread, and they found several nodes.The diagnose was grim.That was Friday, she had not eaten that day, and by Sunday with no food and only a sip of water, we knew we needed to let her go.Mary was the families pet, my wife and daughter will miss her.But for me, she was my dog, I fed her I walked her with my wife, she was the most special dog I have ever owned. With only 3 days to say goodbye it was horrible, no words can express our sorrow for not having enough time to say goodbye, but Mary was sad, not for herself but for her family.Never will I forget her, my heart is broken, there is nothing I can do but talk to her everyday,and tell her we are fine and I miss her. I hope she hears me.

November 23, 2019

Yesterday I lost my beloved Riley. Just a month ago he was his bouncy playful self. He started going down hill about 3 weeks ago. After numerous vet appointments and treatments for what started as an eye infection, he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and a slight case of pneumonia. He started treatment for this on Monday and I had to make the decision to end his suffering on Friday. He had just turned 13 on Veteran's Day. I am so devastated. He was the most wonderful, goofy sweet, lovely dog that I have ever met. Even people who didn't like dogs loved my Riley. I have never experienced this profound of a loss in my life. He was truly one of a kind and I miss him so much. It is true that a dog gives you your happiest hello and your saddest goodbye. Rest in peace my baby. I will always love you and will never forget you.

Keun-Wan Park
November 2, 2019

This past Halloween day My wife and I had to put our 16 year old angel Mopsy to sleep, with no kids she became the center of our universe. She found us through my sister and shortly after I was sent to Iraq. Her bright warm personality lite up the hearts of everyone who met her. She even made the rounds at a nursing home to brighten the days of the patients old and young. She loved to go on long walks, especially in the woods where we could take off her leash. She would often run ahead and look back to make sure we were within site. She always seemed to know who needed comforting and stayed by your side when you were sick. Mopsy seemed to always know when you were sad or sick, and she would always brighten my day when i got home, I haven't been home yet since I had to go away after she passed away, but my wife has had to come home to the empty home. I am not sure how I'm going to be when I get home, but I know she'll need me in this terrible time and I'm sure it'll be hard for me as well. I know we did the right thing, Mopsy was diagnosed with Cancer and it spread through her body like wildfire. Within a week, she was skin and bones, I was desperate to get her to eat and she got whatever she wanted, even though she would only take small bites here and there. Only supplement gel and pureed beef stew seemed to have some effect, but in the end, all she would do is sleep, drink some water and flop around ... long gone was my spunky, loving dog. All my wife and I can do is remember her unconditional love and her ability to push us around .... tell us when it was time to go to bed, when she needed to go outside and when she wanted our attention. She was the bright light that lit up the darkness... Some say our 4 legged companions stay by our side after passing away ... I hope this is true for life without my Mopsy has certainly dimmed. Thank you for providing this portal for people like myself.

August 10, 2019

Just had my cat put down a few days ago, complications from diabetes. The pain I feel is unbearable. The worst is coming home not having him meow when i am near the door. I miss him so much I feel like my heart is broken in half.

Jaime Blunier
February 11, 2019

This past Friday I had to make that gut wrenching decision to let my boy have peace finally. I never intended on making that decision! Had decided against it. I would not decide it was time to end a life! I refused. I helped deliver my precious Goliath a little more than 10 years ago. He was the smallest which is why we chose that name. Little did I know he would grow into his name! He was a beautiful boy, full blooded Chihuahua. I ended up keeping him and from the day he was weaned, he was all mine. We had such a special bond, deeper than I knew could exist between a dog and their owner. He was certain he was human and he was definitely my baby! I rocked him in my arms every night. He was always with me! About five years ago he began to gain weight, mostly in his abdomen. I was researching what it could be, always pointing toward Cushings. I had taken him to the vet at least 9 times that year and every year since. I paid thousands for X-rays, blood work, testing, and was always told he just needed to lose weight. We tried numerous diets, had him on an exercise routine, limited his treats, all to no avail. At some points he actually gained. He struggled so much on our walks! His breathing labored, determined to stay as close to me as possible. I didn’t know until it was too late those walks probably did more harm than good. Last Monday he couldn’t even greet me, unable to get up as hard as he tried. I laid next to him and stroked his fur, crying, afraid. As I began my morning routine, he found his way to me. Again unable to move I laid next to him again. This time I noticed a huge mass on his leg. Called the vet and took him in. They said he had a bacterial infection. Put him on antibiotics and pain meds and sent us home. I asked about testing him for diabetes because he had been drinking a lot more, seeking food, urinating while lying, vomiting and because his daddy has it. She told me we should treat the infection first and to bring him back in 2 weeks and we would test him then. We went home. I noticed the meds caused his breathing to become more labored. But figured it was just a side effect. By Friday morning he was really struggling to breathe. Paws constantly moving in front of him, turning his head back and forth. I kept a close eye on him and thought maybe he was in pain. Attempted to feed him lunch early with his pain pill. He refused to eat. At one point nipping at me. I called the vet again and took him right in. As soon as we got there she put him in the oxygen room as he was very pale. Took an X-ray and drew blood and came back in with the devastating results. He had a very enlarged heart and was in congestive heart failure. He was anemic, kidneys were failing, he was in respiratory distress and diabetic stress. He needed immediate 24-care. They didn’t provide that. She wasn’t sure he would make it through the night. I was crushed. Devastated. Not prepared for any of this! We were just there! Why couldn’t they have figured one of these out in the dozens of times I was there! They just seen a fat dog and blamed me! They brought him back into the room and I knew he was literally suffocating to death. I couldn’t bear to see this. He couldn’t even acknowledge me. They had provided oxygen through a hose but he still couldn’t breathe. His eyes were begging me for mercy. My poor precious boy! I wish I could have taken it from him! They injected the deadly needle and he immediately collapsed in my arms. That’s where the wailing began. Then the guilt, anguish, and anger. I’m just so lost! On top of it all, he didn’t even pass until the next morning. Even though they told me he was gone, he wasn’t. He stayed warm to the touch and was breathing slightly for over 10 hours after they injected it. These vets need some serious retraining! I’m beyond angry! I received a phone call from the vet this morning, thinking that maybe they do care, we’re concerned how we were doing. But it was only to tell me that the check I wrote that ended my babies life, I had wrote the month July by mistake. I’m still shaking my head. What happened to compassion?

January 10, 2019

Our female American bulldog of 14 years passed away a month ago of lymphoma cancer. She passed away at 2:45 am by my husband's side at our home. Monster was rescued by my husband on a snowy day in the woods of Northern Michigan. That was 12 years ago. She was a 113 pounds baby in her healthier days. Last visit to the vet she was 92 pounds. She loved pig ears and bacon like crazy. She would always be by my side in the kitchen while I was cooking. I met Monster five years ago when I met my husband. We made an extraordinary connection, and I basically took over her. She was a very alpha dog. She played rough with other dogs. However, she was a sweetheart and loved to be petted by strangers. She would destroy squeaky toys in seconds. Monster loved to lay on the couch between her momma and poppa, and slept by our feet in our bed. She was VERY spoiled. Her cancer diagnosis came on Thanksgiving weekend after a week of strange breathing, extremely short walks, and loss of appetite. My husband was away hunting. I couldn't take her to her regular doctor because the office was closed for the weekend. The emergency clinic doctor gave her a two weeks to a month of life. We put her on steroids, and saw her regular vet two days after. Diagnosis was the same. We just wanted more time with her and it seemed the meds were making her feel better. Two weeks after on December 8, 2018 she had brunch with us and went outside potty. She did not want to go inside anymore. She stayed for a long time laying on the grass on a cold day. It was like she knew... At night she started having a lot of trouble breathing and could barely stand up. We decided to call the vet the next day. Imagine a 90 pounds dog at 9 pm ... We didn't want to move or carry her to the emergency clinic to help her cross the rainbow bridge. She was sore and had no energy. So my husband was with her as we used to take "shifts" to sleep with her in her last days. Finally she crossed the rainbow bridge at 2:45am on December 9, 2018. To see her lifeless body in our living room is something I cannot get over it. It was/is devastating and traumatic. We buried her at my inlaw's backyard in Northern Michigan. I am still emotionally destroyed. The house is an empty vacuum without her.

December 29, 2018

I don't know if anyone will see this but I keep thinking about her and this might help so here it goes... One day my dad came home from work and in his arms he held a black and white dog skin and bones covered with fleas and dirt shaking due to the cold winters night. Her large ears poked up from her small body letting us know she was okay and alert. That night we went to get some flea bath wash to clean her. As soon as we put her in the water they started to fall off of her. Poor thing. We got her warm and dry in her own kennel with a bed and a small heater facing towards her to keep her warm. We got her some food but soon realized that she couldn't eat it due to the fact that her teeth were rotten. Who knows how long she had been on her own. We got her some wet dog food in gravy and introduced her to us for the next couple of days. After she got used to us we introduced her to our other dog "spot". He lord her but she wasn't sure about him. After a while they grew closer and fell in love with eachother even thought they would always be jealous of eachother.after about 2 weeks we decided to keep her and named her Ally. (My dad found her in an ally) things were going great she was getting healthier eating more gaining weight, everything was perfect. Her and spot were so close that they ran away together and he made sure she was okay. (They got home safely) She fit in amazingly. She would watch over me and if anyone were to even lay a finger on me she would let them know that she was there and they better be careful. She was really spunky. A few years went by and she started to get sick. She stopped eating lost weight and was always tired. The vets had no idea what it was and we tried EVERYTHING. We tried wet dog food, normal dog food with gravy, hamburger meat, expensive food. I'm pretty sure I know every brand of dog food out there by now. It came to the point where she was to sick to live a happy life. She had to have a coat just to go outside in fall cause she would get too cold. We ended up having to euthanize her after a tree month battle for her life. It wasn't fair for her anymore. I held her as she took her last breath and tears dripped down my face. She was buried in a pink baby blanket with rabbits and I will never forget that blanket. My dads friend had a lot of land so we put her a few yards away from the river with a peony bush above her. She was my baby girl and the only thing I can think about up to this day six months after she's gone. I can't call my new puppy baby girl cause guilt gets to me. I love her and just wanted the best for her.

Gloria Skinner
December 29, 2018

Thank you for your article.  I found it comforting.  Yesterday we had to say goodbye to our sweet Cody who was almost 14 (bishon-mix).  We rescued him 13 years ago after he had been in several homes - he had been abused and had some issues we had to work through.  But he ended up being the most affectionate, loving dog we have ever had. Tons of personality and very smart! He was like a little "love addict".  He loved lying next to you or in your lap.  I think he was so thankful when we found each other and he knew he had found his forever home that he showed us that special love every day. Some of his symptoms were very similar to how you described your dog.  He had some type of neurological event a year ago and his rear legs were very weak.  We thought then we might loose him but he got stronger although not totally back to his former self he did quite well and was able to go on short walks.  Several months ago he lost interest in food and after a visit to the vet we were told he had Addison's Disease so meds every day seemed to help.  A month ago he experienced a seizure but recovered from it quite soon but then he seemed to start to decline rapidly.  Always a good little eater (he weighed 18 lbs) he lost interest in food and we would entice him with special canned food mixed with his dry food.  A week ago that no longer worked so I bought the best "natural" turkey from the deli.  He liked that OK for a week but would no longer eat his morning meal but would eat at night.  Finally Wednesday he stopped eating altogether.  I even bought lean, ground turkey and cooked it and he wasn't interested even with a little chicken broth over it - nothing.  Thursday night he did eat a little of his dry food but it didn't stay down.  We knew then if he couldn't eat he wasn't going to last long.  He had been losing weight - looked like his skin was hanging on his little bones - his face had even gotten narrower.  He constantly paced and didn't want me out of his site (I stay home most every day).  His hearing and eyesight had diminished considerably.  It was so sad to watch him declining.  Our vet of 15 years provided a calm, peaceful goodbye with my husband holding Cody while I cradled his beautiful face with his big brown eyes looking at me.  Our hearts are broken!  I can't believe he is gone and I keep expecting to turn around and see him right behind me.

November 14, 2018

One day I was recovering from a surgery.  My dog was out on the porch sleeping and this lady came onto my property ignoring I had a dog on the property sign as well as an invisable fence sign posted. (she claims she did not know what those signs meant) Due to him being surprised of this person and her throwing the vase of flowers at him and hitting him he bite her.  She claimed dangerous dog and we went to court. Though I had a sign up that wasn't sufficient as a property owner is responsible for stupid people no matter what happens. She knew I was recovering from surgery, she saw a sign stating dog on premises, had my phone number and yet proceeded onto my property not making herself known.  Yes the courts agreed dangerous dog yet he was protecting his home and myself.  doesn't matter. I refused to do all the things required for 'dangerous dog' as that was an insult to him.  yes i chose to put him down but the above sentence is why.  i am heart broken and suffer everyday with this lost. my neighbor even played a part in all of this. it is a terrible way to live now but my heart will be broken forever.  her wound will heal, mine will not. People that do not pay attention should be held liable for their actions, not the animal!  People need to pay attention or better yet the companies they work for should teach them what to look for if they are that stupid.  .

November 8, 2018

My Grandmothers dog is very sick and there's no cure sadly. I'm devastated she's my BEST friend! We might have to euthanize her.

October 21, 2018

Today we had to euthanize my bunny. His name was Pepper, and he was a small, grey bunny with perky ears and soft fur. I know it’s easy to think of smaller animals like rabbits and ginuea pigs as unimportant, but Pepper was my family’s first pet so he meant a lot to us. We would have had him for a year on the 30th. Within the time we had him, he had gotten sick 3 times with a common illness in bunnies called GI stasis. He had been able to get treatment from the vet the past times, but it was bad this time. The vet took a couple x rays this morning and determined that there was a foreign object in his stomach rather than gas bubbles (which is what GI stasis is). She did a procedure where she put a tube down his through to pull out whatever was in his stomach, which was a few hair balls as they groom themselves. We brought him home after but he was still doing very bad. He stayed in the same spot, hunched over and shaking for about 5 hours. We thought it was just the sedation wearing off at first, but then the vet told us to bring him back in. This time we got really bad news- his digestive track is still being blocked by something- either gas bubbles or more solid objects, like hair or carpet fibers- and the only way to fix this would be surgery, which would cost almost $3000. He is prone to getting sick and having health problems with his digestion, and there was no guarantee the surgery would prevent it, it was merely to fix what was wrong with him this one time. We decided to put him down. We got to say goodbye, but he was just hunched over in his carrier with his eyes almost closed, and I could tell how much pain he was in. I feel better knowing we were able to end the pain, but I know I’m going to miss him so much. Bunnies aren’t the most affectionate animals, but Pepper always let you pet him and sat down for you, he got so excited when anyone gave him treats and when it came to dinner time, he was mischievous and always dug at the carpet and got into places he wasn’t supposed to, and was just a good bun. Him and my other bunny also always plopped down next to each other to keep warm and were best friends. We rescued them from a shelter and I am grateful to have been able to show him what being loved is like, and take good care of him. I wish we could have spent more time together and it was too soon for him to go, but we had to think of his quality of life if he was going to be getting sick all the time. I love and miss him so much, and I hope he’s in a better place.

Phyllis DeGioia
September 14, 2018

Tim, Thank you for sharing Mufasa's story and your love for him.

Tim Stack
September 14, 2018

A year ago on sept 10, 2017 we woke to what we knew was coming...our boy mufasa's back legs were purple and his gums white..he was 10.5 and a huge part of our lives..especially son and me loaded him into the van along with our other was a sunday morning and the only vet opened was 35 miles away..we drove and picked our daughter we drove, mufasa lived rides, we spoke to our boy...we pulled up to the vet and my son gently picked up mufasa, he weighed 90 lbs, mufasa looked at me as he did when he needed to pee..I told my son to put him down..mufasa pulled himself up the curb to the grass and peed...he looked at us as if to say I'm ready...ryan picked him up and carried him in..they were expecting us and put us in a nice sunny room with a soft blanket on the floor...we sat with him...they came in and gave him a shot to relax him..after 1/2 hour or so they came back to give him his final shot...there wasn't a dry eye amongst that point he'd already let go..the euthanasia shot was to be sure...we sat with him for another 1/2 hour...we then removed his collar..this past monday I spread a bit more of his ashes around some of his favorite places
until we meet again...

Gine Oquendo
September 9, 2018

Sorry  for your loss and I hope you will find peace. By the way,my ever dearest Ganner died 2 weeks ago because of accident and like you I don't know how to start and it's very traumatic. Even after the cremation in Hampton Roads I can't look at his picture. Thank you for 12 years of happiness and sweet memories.

July 24, 2018

There's my loving buddy miggy. He died yesterday, he was a very caring, loving, overly protective dog. He was the best buddy I've ever had. He wasn't eatting for 4 days straight, and the moment we decided to take him to a vet, they injected him anti biotics and hours from it, he started to say goodbye. Like barking, crying, saying his regards. I didn't leave his side, I still pat his head and tummy saying "You'll get better, fight please" And unluckily, it was his last moments of his life. And now, I'm feeling shit. I miss the messy terrace we had when he was alive, the traces of his feet, the feces on the left side, his annoying and loud barks every midnight. I miss those. If he was still alive, I wouldn't complain anything again. I love you miggy, you were the best. I could say that I'm really proud to be your buddy, you were the best thing. I won't forget you thank you for everything..

April 8, 2018

About a week ago, i was walking (artificial leg) my dog with a leash outside.  I tripped and fell, heard something break in my body. My dog sensed that i was hurt and heard rustling across the apt. He pulled on the leash so hard that my finger broke from grasping the leash and he went after what he thought was coming after me...which was another dog. He killed it, the owner had the dog on leash unattended on the deck. I crawled over to my dog to get the dog out of its mouth. We were able to get the dog back to my apt. I hobbled to the apt feeling numb. My dog felt he did nothing wrong, and this was the first time he had every been this way. The dog warden was called, i explained what happened and i went to hospital.  i broke my pelvis, ribs from the fall, and my ring finger from the leash being pulled afterwards.  I had my dog euthenized because he killed another dog. I had him for 5 years, and am lost without my best friend. crying alot and sad.

March 29, 2018

We just lost our dog, Sissy last Monday. She had to be put down due to kidney failure which was the last of her health issues. She was a hand-me-down from my mother in law and she became a huge part of our lives. Such a sweetheart and she loved us so. Grief is such a hard process but you folks make it feel like we have company. Thank you all for your shares.

March 27, 2018

I just put my 17 year old rescued Chihuahua Maya down a few hours ago. She saved my life when I was battling life threatening depression in middle school due to bullying. At least she's now reunited with her brother who we put to sleep in October.

March 22, 2018

March 10 adopted the most adorable Ausie Shepherd. He was always sleepy & searching around & hiding. We thought he was just getting to know his new home,but actually he was dying of liver failure.On March 20 he had cluster seizures. The vet told us he would not make it through the night. He only lived 3 months,only ten days with us,but he made such an impact on us. I can't tell you how adorable his little face was,how fluffy his little head. He had big floppy paws. He was beautiful & sweet & we'll love him forever

March 7, 2018

I just lost my Chihuahua to old age, after 2013 I noticed he was not up to playing or up for walk, he was suffering from arthritis, and a big bump on his spinal cord its been so hard I had the gift that he died on his sleep from heart failure...

Kelly Yang
September 29, 2017

I just lost my Mochabear to tumor yesterday at 1pm... It was very sudden and even though we made the right choice and fought for him for as long as we could...  we knew the end of was near and we still wanted to keep him longer with us if possible...  his tiny little body on the operating table… barely holding on and we just had to end his suffering. I just cannot believe he's really gone now and letting him go I feel that I could've done more and feel so guilty. The loss of a pet is unbearable. His bed is empty now and i do not hear his footsteps in the home... everything reminds me of him. I thought I felt his presence yesterday on the sofa with me, and I immediately burst into tears because I feel like I see or feel him still but he’s not here anymore. My entire family is still in shock and we feel so lost and sad. We miss him so much :( :( :( 14.5 years is very long life for a Yorkie I know... go be an angel now my love.

Bruce Bosche
September 27, 2017

This year I had to put down my Maine coon cat named Rocky. His was the love of my life...He lived for almost 14 years and was such a sweet boy. The day before I took him to the vet, I laid down with him telling him it was okay to go, that I loved him with all my heart and that I would always miss him. Later the same day, because he had broken a blood vessel in his chest and was bleeding internally, he could barely walk, he came up next to me on the sofa. I helped him up on the sofa and he licked my hand, acknowledging what he knew would be the last few minutes together alone. He was such a sweet boy. A gentle giant as Maine coons are described. I held him while the vet gave him a muscle relaxer first then the final injection, As I held him the only thing I said was I love you, boy. I hope he knew how much.

September 18, 2017

I recently lost my Pomeranian a couple days ago. She had babies and had complications after that and we took her to the vet. The vet said she was going to be ok after antibiotics and stuff but I believe it was too late. 5 weeks in after giving birth, we found her with her babies lifeless.... It was the most heartbreaking experience I have ever had in my life. The night she died, before I went to bed she gave me a look of confusion while she was with her babies. I thought as if she felt better but waking up in the morning said otherwise. Knowing what I wish I knew then, I would have stayed with her all night and maybe made her comfortable. Now I believe that the look she gave me was a goodbye and that “you got from here, take care of my babies ok?” I will carry on that belief until my last breathe. Today would be the 5th day she will not be greeting me when I get home and so far I have not had my daily cries but I'll eventually have it. It is hard to be home when I know I will not hear her bark or even see her stare at me when I'm having dinner. This hurt is a different hurt and it cuts you all the way deep inside where it will not heal for a long time. I miss her so much, she was an 8 pound Pomeranian with a German shepherd attitude. I love her still and she will always be in my heart. I will never forget how soft her coat is or how loving she was to us. No matter the mood she was always smiling and it was a good sight to see. I miss you Moxxi and you will always be with me in my heart and thank you for loving me unconditionally even if I got mad you at times. I wish I let you sleep on my bed more often, I wish a lot of things that I could have done to have made you happier. I wish you were back. Every night I wait for a sign to let me know you are ok. Every day I wait and listen hard enough to maybe hear your bark again. Every second I wonder if you are ok. I hope you are not in pain anymore. I wish I could have been a better owner and gave you hugs always. You are my baby Moxxi and will always be! I will take care of your puppies. You were a good mama my girl. You took care of your babies until your last breathe! I truly miss you and nobody will ever understand the pain that I am going through. You might just be a dog to everyone else but to me you were my baby. I lost my baby, I can’t get her back and I’m lost without her…… RIP My Moxxi Girl!

February 17, 2017

I just returned from the vet after having my beautiful little cat  Luna euthanized, my heart is shattered. she was the sweetest girl and in her youth she loved to climb and jump onto my shoulders. what makes it so difficult is that she was 24 years old and shared her life with me for 18 years. Even though she had been experiencing  health issues for the last year she always seemed to defy the odds and bounce back. This morning she wouldn't eat and seemed confused and weak meowing constantly for water no matter how many bowls i put out for her. It was so hard to watch her suffer so i had to make a terrible choice....but i made it for her sake not mine because she was dying and i didn't want her to be in pain or afraid at the end. I will never forget my little girl little Lunatic.

October 23, 2016

I bought a beautiful female pug puppy who was full of life and very playful, even though we only had her for a week we loved her so much. I noticed that she had been pretty tired a lot of the time but I thought it was just because she was a young puppy, but two days after that she was vomiting a lot so we brought her to the vet. The vet kept her in for two nights, and while her stay she had to get exploratory surgery and they figured out that she had gastritis. She came without papers, but with a vet card that said she had her first vaccination, which was untrue as the cards were fake and the signature wasn't really by a vet, but by someone that was running a puppy farm. She wasn't eating much for the first few days that we had her, but on the last day she wasn't eating or drinking at all. She had to be given fluids with the nutrients and vitamins that she needed, and also antibiotics and painkillers. When we went to visit her she was very very tired, we stayed a while with her and then we went home as it was getting very late even though we didn't want to have to leave her. The next morning (today) we got a phone call from the vets saying that she wasn't going to get any better and that she was getting worse instead, and even though we didn't want to do this, she needed to be out of pain.. They asked us for our permission to give her the injection to put her to sleep. My household is completely devastated and heartbroken at the fact that even though we only had her for a short time, we became very attached to her. We will love and miss her forever I really don't know how I am going to get over this, I feel like I'm going to feel the way I am forever, does anyone have any ideas on how to get over the death of a puppy/dog? I know we will never get over it fully but I really hope I can have some comfort knowing that she is in a better place.

November 26, 2014

I am a veterinarian as well, so I know those conversations you are talking about very well.  A little over a month ago I lost my 13 year old Yorkshire Terrier to congestive heart failure with secondary mainstem bronchial collapse.  I had been treating her for only a few months before her condition worsened and euthanasia was needed to spare her further suffering.  I was devastated.  I saw her for the first time at three days old.  She had seen me through all of my undergraduate courses, veterinary school, and several relationships.  I adored her and she adored me.  It was awful. After the euthanasia I moped for days, crying at every little thing.  I was hoping and praying that I would get a sign to let me know that she was safe on the "other side".  Four days after the euthanasia, I got my wish.  It was homecoming at my Alma Mater.  A local radio station posted a picture on their Facebook page and the post included a picture...of my dog.  I was absolutely floored.  I thought about it and the picture had been taken during a homecoming parade FOUR YEARS prior!  I knew this was my sign.  My girl is safe and waiting for the day when she will see me again.

May 25, 2014

t is all so true when losing a pet is a loved one so dearly  to your heart, it leaves you heartbroken.  My dear pepe of 14 years

Cathy Moore 
August 2, 2013

I, too, have had to make this difficult decision, but just once.  I must confess that I was very conflicted about realizing that my beloved Sheltie of 14 years, Charlie, was failing, and that I didn't want him to suffer.  But, turns out, I was the one who didn't want to suffer.  I heard an interview on NPR with Nicholas H. Dodman, author of "Good Old Dog: Expert Advice for Keeping Your Aging Dog Happy, Healthy, and Comfortable", and that interview really made me think about what I could do for Charlie.  It's a great book, with really good advice and information on your aging dogs, but could be applied to just about any pet.

August 2, 2013

I cried too when I read this article.  I had to let my Skye go. She was months shy of 16 years.  It was the least I could do for her.  I always thought it was the kindest, but the hardest thing I could do.  My vet was wonderful - I was crying, my son was crying, my husband, the wet, and the vet tech were all in tears.  My first dog, Mitch was sick - stomach issues, cataracts, arititis, a different vet at the time would not put him down...boosting he had alot of years left. Mitch got so mean, biting my children who were 3 & 6 at the time, he bite me too when I moved to fast near him. We took him to the Humane Society and asked them to let him go.  I always regretted that decision to take him there... he was alone and probably so scared.  I was younger than and I suppose that is an excuse, but I was looking for the kindest thing for him and it wasn't my wisest decision.  I often think that if we can decide when it is best to let go...I hope when my time comes, the laws will change and I will be able to be "let go" with dignity, free of pain.  I have 2 dogs currently and when the time comes for them, I hope with all my heart, I can let go once again.  I rest in the knowledge that I will see them again, just as I will see my parents, grandparents, and friends who have gone before.

August 1, 2013

I cry as I read this.  I have a 16 year old lab with arthritis and a 19 year old cat with kidney disease.  Both are living on borrowed time and it breaks my heart. My cat is going downhill fast and the daily fluid injections are not helping as they once were.  Trying to decide when to euthanize them is terribly difficult and I am trying to decide the right time for them and not for myself.  They are the loves of my life and it is killing me.  All part of being a pet owner- its worth it, but terrible as well.

Rick Christmas 
July 31, 2013

I just laid my Nacho to rest, he had the symptoms you listed for your Nsye. Its broken my heart. He was 11, the symptoms came in steps until his last day, his back legs didn't work anymore. He couldn't stand at all. He tried, he wanted to go out side and pee as he had since I showed him how, but it wasn't possible. Before his hind legs gave out, he would pace the house in various circles, getting stuck behind an open door or in a corner by my desk. When I could get him to lay down, he would sleep a heavy restless sleep, then wake up and pace. He ate until his last 2 days, if you put water in front of him he would drink. Asking my vet to put him down was the hardest thing I've ever done. Everyone who ever met Nacho, loved him. He was a wonderful, kind soul. I wish I could say something that will make your experience easier but as I don't know what it would be. You are in my prayers and I wish you all peace. When I posted on Facebook about Nacho's passing I quoted something I'd seen some where - I strive to be all the thought I was.

July 31, 2013

I've had three cats that have passed.  One was 15 and was euthanized when I was away at college. I still harbor anger over that one.  The other two were my babies, here for years.  My tortie was 20 years old and had liver failure once at age 17, but the vet helped her heal and she lived for another three beautiful years.  I treasure that!  She died at home but it was the most awful few days and I wouldn't do it again.  The other was 15 and had cancer.  I knew he was beyond sick even though he was eating and using the box. He was really bad the last few days and I had called a mobile vet clinic to come euthanize him in a few days.  However, I came home from work and found him gone.  Thus, I never had to euthanize them.  I should have but I couldn't do it.  I don't think they were in pain, but with cats it's so hard to tell.  I appreciate the care and compassion of our vets.  I wish all vets would take just a few moments to be with the owners when a death occurs.  It is one or two minutes out of their day.  On a last note, both times I received a note and card from the vet that was signed by the entire staff.  It was a truly kind gesture that made me cry.  If we all realize that we're human and we need some compassion, the world would be a better place. Animals make life so much more colorful and forgiving.

Diane Suddeth 
July 30, 2013

I lost my buddy when he was 14 yrs. old. we had a wake for him an my husband built him a coffin he was my baby. hes been gone now a while an I still cant talk about it without crying I loved him like a child. the only time he would not cry for me when I had to leave is when I went to church, tell me tht was not of god!!!! we had his wake I sit an held him. had candels going an gospel music. just like a funrual!! an I have a little book of him in his coffin with his bigbird in his arms!! pictures of his brothers an sister an mom an dad his shoe he loved an football. an a red rose!!! so yes we do love our babies!! god bless you, ur in my prayers!!!

July 30, 2013

Thank you for your deep understanding of this process. I wish your baby NYSE a peaceful and dignified passage to the rainbow bridge.

July 30, 2013

God bless Nyse, your wife and you as you travel this last road.  Wishing strength and comfort to you all on the journey

Janet E Kropat 
July 30, 2013

May you find comfort and peace when the time comes.  It is so very difficult to suffer the loss of a beloved pet. Mine, and I imagine yours have become members of the family.

Mary Dehart 
July 30, 2013

God bless you and your wife for the work you do. I have always had a dog in my life and have had to let them go at one point or another. I have a 10 year old lab/pit mix who I worry about daily. She is in pain from her back legs/hip area but seems to still enjoy life. Hopefully  she will still be around in another four  years when we retire. We also have to male pits both around 4 yrs old. The newest one "Brick" was apparently the runt of the litter from an idiot to did too much inbreeding. He has a hard time breathing (sounds like an asthmatic) and his hips and shoulders were not formed right. He drags his rears toes on the ground when he walks. I just wish to give these gentle animals a life of love, happiness and no pain. I often thought of working in a vets office but I would be crying all the time with the families of sick and dying pets. I pray God continues to give you and your wife the strength to continue doing to wonderful work you do. Thank you again for performing the work of a true healer.

July 30, 2013

I just lost my baby sissy Girl and still am not sure why??? She was 10 and had diabetes and just crashed one day and the next thing I know she has pancreatitis and lost weight from not eating and I was told MAYBE I should let her go??? My heart is filled with guilt did I let her go too soon could she of gotten better!!! I can't stop crying and it's been a month!!!

July 30, 2013

It is our job as their friends to give them the best life we can and the best possible death we can. It is the most heartbreaking decision that we have to make. We put our dear Sadie down a week ago, today. She had congestive heart failure and we, as you so eloquently put we're hoping for her to pass at home, with us. Ultimately we had to take her to our wonderful vet. I had an appointment for a week, for a check up, as she was holding her own. A few days before the appointment she started failing. We knew that she probably wouldn't be coming home so I took her for a long walk, the night before. She trotted the whole way( this from a dog in failing congestive heart failure) and was so happy to go for a long walk again. The next day, before the appointment I told her to let me know if it were time. When she walked into the vets she just laid down(she never did this before). I knew she was telling us it was time. I was holding her and fed her lots of marshmallows and she had a very peaceful death. We are heartbroken and sick to not have her with us, but I know we did the best for her. Thoughts and prayers in your difficult days ahead but know you have given a wonderful life to her.

Jeannette Pastrana 
July 30, 2013

Your story made me cry. So sorry to read about the dilemma you face with your "baby". May you be strong enough to do what is right, soon. Your pet deserves a quality life. I know it is hard to let go.  I was an "Auntie" to my sister`s beautiful Golden, Allie. She was the light of my life. She had to be put to sleep due to cancer. The decision for my sister and husband was not an easy one. She was one of a kind, so sweet, so adorable.  Her passing away made me unconsolable. To this day I think of her daily and tears stream down my face. Good luck in your decision. My heart goes out to you.

Dee Douglas 
July 30, 2013

Hello from southern Illinois....I am a beloved pet owner too of a pitbull named heart goes out to you and your fur baby is a big part of my family too...we love  him dearly...he sleeps in our bed on our comfy mattress....he loves to play with his 'Kong' bones...he don't like cats or other animals because he's never been socialized that way...I am overly protective of him...he is my sweet boy...folks just don't understand that...I know you got a hard decision to make...I would wait till the very end, give him lots of love and kisses till the very end..well, just maybe, he might die in his sleep...I hope you find some peace in all this...after all, they are our kids, aren't they????  God Bless you, Dee

Lee T. 
July 30, 2013

How can we love them so, KNOWING that we will pay the ultimate price... grief.  Yet our heart tells us we will survive to love again, and we do it again, and again, and again.  I am grateful for the lessons of love and compassion my animals have taught me.  Wishing you peace and comfort as you face this most difficult time.

Marilyn Williams 
July 30, 2013

I had to have my feline companion, Tristen, euthanized at 18 - I had had him since I adopted him at the Humane Society at 5. He was quite independent, but not too aloof. When I was sick in bed, he would remain by my side the entire time.  The last year of his life, he did not SEEM to be in any pain, but he was a trooper, so who knows for sure.  He got dementia and at night he just yeowled - he was in the front room - I just called to him and he came to bed. He spent the last year of his life barfing a lot, but the vet didn't give me any indication of anything serious, so I just chalked it up to old age.  Then, he barfed a rather large, neat circle of blood.  I took him to the vet and was told that he had cancer of the intestines..or some such - I was hardly listening because I knew my Tristen was not having it easy.  He had lost 2 lbs. since last seen - there were treatments but they would only have postponed the inevitable and I didn't want him to whither away - his quality of life was gone, so I let him go to the Rainbow Bridge.  I was expecting this necessity for quite a while, so I wasn't surprised.  I kick myself for not being at his side at the end - he had always been there for me - but I was just too weak, God help me, to say Good Bye in that atmosphere.  He knew and understood me, so I am sure he's not mad at me.  He's having a ball now with other critters and we both know we'll see each other again - at the Rainbow Bridge.

July 30, 2013

A lesson I learned on my journey through life, sadly and difficult to forgive and forget, is that to be with your pet when they get their angel wings , is a  p.e.a.c.e  of mind I am thankful for each time I have to say good-by. Till we must physically part, overnight perhaps, these moments I will cherish. The sadness does not stop there and each time I think of how I will have to go through this again...  ***IN MEMORY OF *NIKA* MY 1ST GRANDDOG WHO HAS JUST GROWN HER ANGEL WINGS***

Sandra Peters 
July 30, 2013

May you and your lovely NYSE find peace in the near future.

Adrianne Welborn 
July 30, 2013

What you do for people at one of the toughest times in their lives is wonderful.  I have been blessed with only 2 vets who did that and I still remember them.  One let me cry on her shoulder and I will love her till the day I pass over "The Bridge".

Cindy C 
July 30, 2013

 I sit here with tears in my eyes knowing the pain in your heart for your baby! I'm sorry you must bear this pain but we do if we love our babies. I think about a lot of things when it comes Time to decide. Mostly its "Can an open ended no limit credit card give my baby a Quality Of Life with little to no pain?" Sadly the answer is normally No! So next I ask myself "Can I Love them enough to let them Go?" I have done this with 4 babies I've had their Whole Life from 6 wks on the longest 17 yrs the shortest 12 yrs! The pain with each was different but still hurt & still does hurt! They were all Different & Loving. I remember them all & have cremated them all. They are here in the Living room with me! At Home, Their Home! They after a while I "Honor" each of them by loving another 4 legged babie with all my heart & Soul! Time helps, but the loss & pain are always there but so are the Memories & the Pictures of those lost. It never fails when I'm Sad or Teary Eyed there's a wet nose, a wagging tail to bring back a Smile & Dry-Up those tears. I tuck them Safely back into my Heart & Memories! Then I see some of those silly things they have all done in the pass in the baby I have come to love anew! A baby who would have ended up God Only knows where!!But for me its My Home & Their Home!! My Thoughts & Prayers too All Who Have Loved & Lost.

Kay Burnette 
July 30, 2013

I am so sorry about your pet, I had to put my cat to sleep yesterday and this article was what I needed to read. She also had lost her love of life. I am hurting today and have looked for her several times in her favorite place she loved to lay. Your pet is so fortunate to have her family and your patients are also very fortunate to have you and your wife.

July 30, 2013

Reading your message about your sweet fur baby brought tears to my eyes.  Not too long ago, we had to put our baby down - encephalitis (idiopathic.  He was at the emergency MRI center.  Only wish, like you speak of, he would have gently gone in his sleep.  Thinking of you and praying that you can get through this.  It never gets any easier, the tears just don't flow as frequently.  God bless and thank you for all you do for our animal loves.

Tawny Maus 
July 30, 2013

Dr. Johnson, thank you for your personal story. I am always amazed at the inner courage it takes for Veterinarians to euthanize a beloved friend; my Vet is also a wonderful, caring person who spends her time to share the lives and the ends of dear friends. My cat, Grace was euthanized last Monday after my Vet spent the last 6 months trying to fight the Auto Immune Disease that showed up at Grace's last well check up. She did all she could and ultimately allowed me to help end my girls suffering. Over the last 4 years, my Vet and I have shared all the little things from Grace's kittenhood until the day she died and I appreciate the time and kindness that my Vet gave both myself and my friend. In my eyes, a caring and compassionate Vet is a hero because that Doctor shares not only the good times and well visits but also the difficult times and heartbreaking decisions. I'm so sorry for decision you will one day make for your own friend and I know the pain and loss you will feel; nothing but time heals this loss. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

July 30, 2013

It's always been a comfort to me at the time to say.."you gave them the best life any dog could dream of" I hope you might draw comfort from that also. Thank you for writing your blog.

Carole Elderton 
July 30, 2013

If you have ever lost a pet or had to have one put down, you need to read this!!  Read the entire article, and if this doesn't describe 'your' have the wrong vet!!!

L. Haynes 
July 30, 2013

I have always been a "rescuer" of every animal on the side of the road or in the parking lots and still am.  The loss of my horse nearly killed me and that was at the UGA hospital.  The this past year I lost the last of my three girls I picked up or the kids brought home when they were all 6 weeks old.  Betsy was 16 when she died and I about cried a river and could not stop.  I hate the way we have to put our dogs down in a "clinic"  - vets who know your animal should be willing to come to your house and do this in the comfort of their home.  That is something that needs to change in my opinion.  So sorry for your loss but when it is their time it just is.  It is like they have mentally already crossed that bridge and are looking for the friends on the otherside.  God bless you for being so caring.

Lorri Redmon 
July 30, 2013

Thank you for being the one who "listens"  Now we are listening to you about your beloved NYSE.  Bless you and your pup.  Don't ever forget, you WILL meet again!

Sharon B. 
July 30, 2013

Such a beautiful piece.  When I get home,  I'm hugging my Pit mix Dood in memory of all the precious moments with him and the others who needed that same decision.   Thanks!

Alice Antonelli 
July 30, 2013

I stayed with one of my Labs and I felt like I had murdered her!!!  I remember the look she gave me til I die.  I dream about that still and it  was years ago.  I will never stay with again.  :(

July 30, 2013

I too had to face that same decision with my pit as she grew older and she had broken her leg and lived on pain meds since she was 6 and I had to put her to sleep at 14. I realized I was keeping her living for ME not her, the pains meds had begun to eat away at her stomach as she was on 3 different ones, it took me 3 months to come to grips with what I had to do...God Bless you as you travel this road and I pray for you and your family and Nyse to have peace when you decide the time is right. It won't lessen the heartache, because Nyse has been a huge part of your lives...I will pray for you all...Sounds like you are a wonderful pet parent.

July 30, 2013

Bless you for your compassion and love of animals.  Wonderful, if sad, post.

July 30, 2013

I am so sorry for the illness your pet has. When an animal has an illness like cancer or kidney disease it is with heavy hearts that we make the decision for our pets to go on without us. Your decission will be doubly hard & my heart breaks for you. Know that I will pray when the time comes it will be easier than the decision to end NYSE's confusion. It must be so difficult for her. Please keep us up to date on her progress.

Linda Virnig 
July 30, 2013

This is a beautiful message to all who care and love their pets. My heart goes out to you....we are facing the same dilemma with our Maggie Mae....she is blind now and confused....she wanders around bumping into things and seems so lost. Our vet has advised us to euthanize her, but I just can't seem to make that decision.  When I talk with Maggie she wags her tail and listens to me intently. She still loves her food and is excited when I call her to eat.
Well, I guess I am like your pet-patients' owners....I am telling you all the ways Maggie has mattered to us and made our lives special.

Carla M 
July 30, 2013

Dr. Johnson, I am sorry you are having to face this grief.  THAT is what it is, grief.  Our pets are part of our families and they become a living part of them.  We share in their joys and sorrows.  We feel for them when they are in pain.  May God bless you and your wife for caring for not only your pet but also all the others that have come into your lives.   I think, who else would take care of them if we didn't?   Who would sit up all nightin a recliner, holding and comforting this little love... who else would run out in the rain to carry her back inside, because she is now blind and cannot find her way to the door.  There are jokes, teasing, even times of impatience; yet we love and care for them with compassion and true caring.  Remember how they have unconditional love for us, their owners... so can we NOT have the same unconditional love for them.  As puppies or kittens they may have slept in your tennis shoe, slept upon you chest as you sat watching tv in you favorite chair.  They sneaked up onto table and jumped off with your sandwich in their mouths or stretched their paw out and played with the cereal floating in you bowl of milk.

Marilyn E 
July 30, 2013

So sad. I have gone through the pain with several dogs I have loved and couldn't bare to loose. My last Pom was diagnosed with kidney failure at the age of five. She lived for 3 years after that, and at the end of her life, I feed her and gave her water with an eyedropper. When her kidneys shut down, she died in my arms. That was 5 years ago, and I still cry for her to this day. So sorry for your pain.

Debbie McGee 
July 30, 2013

It's good to know that vets understand. It is no different that loving a human companion/best friend. I live w/ 3 dogs-2 are my daughters and 1 is mine. I love them all like children. Sometime when I am watching them sleep, or play or just look outside the window, my mind "goes" there, and my heart will ache and eyes spill w/ tears. "How will I ever endure it when her time is over?" She has been a most excellent companion to me. I love her so dearly. So I really understand the heaviness in your heart seeing your loving companion go through these sad changes. I know that you will know when enough is enough. How blessed you will be the one at her side to administer the shot that will take her out of her misery. God bless you and your wife. I pray he will give you the strength to watch Nyse in her last days, and offer plenty of love and affection. I pray he will keep her from pain and distress. And I pray in the times ahead, God will brighten all the memories you've made together as a all her funny little "quirks" that made her, her.

Catherine Messina 
July 30, 2013

This has flooded my memory with all the wonderful pets who have come and gone throughout my life, and no matter how many times one faces the loss, it never gets any easier.  My heart is with you as you are going through this.  I once read something written by Fiona Apple when her aging dog was dying.  It has stayed with me and I hope you find it comforting "... But I know that she is coming close to point where she will stop being a dog, and instead, be part of everything. She’ll be in the wind, and in the soil, and the snow, and in me, wherever I go..."

Becky S 
July 30, 2013

So sorry you are facing the loss of your beloved NYSE. I have lost many pets in my life. Only one was euthanized a cat who clung to life much longer than should have been and I had to let him go for his sake. No matter how you lose your loved ones it hurts and your caused me to shed tears for you and all the other families who have to say goodbye.

Patty Gross 
July 30, 2013

Dear Dr. Johnson, My heart goes out to you and your wife as your face the impending loss of your beloved Nyse.  There are no words to soothe the pain of losing a beloved pet, anymore than there are for a human who you deeply love.  You have all my prayers and condolence as you grieve so great a loss.....and I feel perhaps you are both in what psychologists call "anticipatory grief."  It is such a necessary job you are doing, and I agree wholeheartedly when you state that we are made to feel we have no business crying or grieving over a pet.  All people who have had the joy of loving a pet and losing it must grieve in order to heal.  Thank you so much for your very enlightening and so heartwarming message.  Patty from Maine

Robin Yale 
July 30, 2013

I support this totally and couldn't have said it any better!

Sue M 
July 30, 2013

I'm sorry that you and your wife have to go through this. We had it happen in April. My husband is a trucker and he left the day before she died, and yes for once I had one that made the decision for me and me not having to make it. I think he was waiting for me to make the decision for him and because she was his dog I wouldn't. I have had 4 in my life that really were special to me and 3 of them are gone now and one that is only 2 and cuddles more than the rest of the group. Please know my heart goes out to you and your wife as this is the hardest decision you will ever have to make.

July 30, 2013

I am going through the same thing with my 14 year old boston terrier.  Several times he has even just stopped and urinated on the rug as if he is outside, something he would never do before.  I have tried several holistic remedies but none seem to work.  Just trying to keep him comfortable as I can. He is practically deaf but luckily he had cataract surgery a few years ago so he can still see.

Mallory Cook 
July 30, 2013

We are very sorry to hear how sick your family friend is and feel your pain..our pit, Jack, I could hold him in the palm of my hand, has recently gone blind and at the same time has lost so much weight you can see each bone in his tail.. he still eats and everything so we are at the same place as your wife and you about when is the right time.. he isn't showing pain yet..
I'm glad we get to share these wonderful souls in our lives

Terry Hill 
July 30, 2013

Thank you for the article.  We too have a cognitive dysfunction dog exhibiting pretty much the same symptoms you describe.  She's a Havanese cross, 17 years old. We've had her for 11 of those.  I'm a songwriter.  Some 6 years or more after the passing of my old red lab George, I wrote a song about him, telling his story, and hoping for a future time when we might play ball again.  I realized that creating that musical poem was a healing thing for me.  More than two years later, our precious Gracie developed a large growth in her heart/lung area and became too ill to continue.  Only a couple of days later, I wrote what I consider to be my best song, about dreaming of Gracie, then waking to find her gone.  It was cathartic and once again, healing.  My heart goes out to anyone who faces losing their precious pets/friends and my hope is that they too can find a way to reach that catharsis I found.  My best wishes to you and your wife.

Germaine Rihacek 
July 30, 2013

This made me cry!!! This is what my puppers is doing, and how she looks. She is 17!!! Like you, I know the time has come, but I don't know when!!! Prayers and hugs are with you!!!

July 30, 2013

I cried for Nyse, for your family and for all the people who have given their pets to the light.  One thing I remember reading about euthansia is that no matter when you decide to do this you will always feel you did it one day too early or one day too late.
I didn't want my last one to suffer from the heart attacks he was having even though sometimes in between he was his old self.  But every time I think it was too soon or too late, I know he forgives me.  When giving up Coco 9 years ago, I spoke to a pet psychic on the day she died.  She had an ear infection and was treated with Rimadyl which led to her demise.  The psychic really described things about my dog that no one could have guessed.  But the most important things she told me were ones that concern compassion and love for our pets.  She said first, animals do not fight going over to the other side.  They know it's their time and they just go.  Sometimes they will stay around just to make sure you are ok and then when the pass they may stay for a while as well.  She told me Coco would come back to me but not right away and it would not be a puppy, it would be an older dog.  For a couple of years no dog seemed right to me and then Chucky came to me as a rescue and it seemed like he just knew me and belonged here.  His age was just right for when Coco had died.  Even if you don't believe in this, at least believe that your pet will be there in heaven with other people and pets you love and who love you and he will come back in some way.  So just give him your best and let him know it's ok to go now.

July 30, 2013

I know and feel your pain, I remember my Queensland who was 16 when she passed, more than my dog, my best friend, side by side always, and waited for me everyday from work. I cry today, she was part of me! I pray for you and your loving pet. May she go easy. God bless you three!!

July 30, 2013

What separates us from those folks who have never loved an animal? I think most of us who have lost a pet would agree that in spite of the heart ache, it is worth it to have been on the receiving end of pure, unconditional love & trust. My sympathies on the decline of your dear Nyse, and thank you for being an exceptional vet. I have one and I am grateful.

July 30, 2013

We went through a very similar situation. Our boy had very little use of his back legs and slept the majority of the day away but still kept eating. Come to find out, when his Dr. came to our home to see him, she stated that he was still eating to please me! Upon her arrival, he barked 3 times and proceeded to lay down on his cushion that he longer was comfortable laying on. He laid down as if to say "this is it, I am ready to go and be well again!" People told us that we'd get a sign from him and we took that as his sign. That was 5 yrs ago, we've not replaced him and it's still hard for me being that he was our only "child". I know that one day we'll be together again and I can't wait for that day. I miss him so.....My thoughts & prayers are with you and your pooch. (As my Grandma told me the day we lost our boy, you'll never forget him, but it will eventually get a little easier as time goes on.)

Kathy Tracy 
July 30, 2013

Thank you for your beautiful words - I wish more Veterinarians were like you. I worked in vet clinics for years as a receptionist and haven't seen many vets who showed your compassion. It wouldn't hurt so much if we didn't love them do much...

Linda Kitchens 
July 30, 2013

I feel your pain and sympathize with you.  I agonized for a few months last spring about my maltipoo who was 14.  He had hypothyroidism, developed cataracts almost overnight and January 2012 had to have one eye removed due to what almost looked like a rupture or ulcer of that eye. Within a month or two, he lost vision in the other eye and went deaf.  He had been on medications for skin issues for a long time.  He became aggressive and wanted to just be left alone.  I even had to remove my chihuahua from sleeping with him.  We did some bloodwork and it suggested Cushings disease. I just would not put him thru this treatment.  He had also had a benign tumor removed from rectum.  I appreciate what you said about Nyse still eating but not living.  That is exactly what I said about my Drake.  Upon approaching him, I had to carefully and quickly scoop him up from behind or he would bite me. He would start fear snapping like he was surrounded by coyotes.  I decided although he was still eating/drinking and eliminating, he was not living.  He had not wagged his tail or enjoyed giving and receiving affection in a long time. The decision literally made me sick for 6 months.  I relived those last moments many times.  However, I saw a picture at the kennel where I occasionally boarded him that she had moved to the designated area for deceased pets.  I realized just how bad he looked and that along with adopting a two year old Shihtzu mix and seeing what a healthy happy dog's life is like, I finally accepted that I did the best thing for him.  I feel literally sick sharing this and tears are flowing.  I know I love animals too deeply I suppose. My brother made me feel better when I told him that after the injection to relax him I was cupping his face and he actually kissed my had three times as she was giving him the last injection.  My brother said he was saying thank , I love you and goodbye.  I believe he was. I know this is long but I just wanted to reach out to you as I can feel you pain and agony in this difficult time.  God Bless you both.  I also find comfort in believing that we will see our pets again.  God made them before He made us after all.  Perhaps they do wait at the Rainbow bridge until we are joined again.

Chris Dorman-Fox 
July 30, 2013

I completely understand how you feel. It's such a personal, emotional journey you are on but many know it. One thing is that your dog knew love, she gave love and will be cradled in your arms in the end and that is something to be grateful for. My son had to let his Shadow go 2 yrs ago. She was nearly 16..and she also refused to go quietly, peacefully in the night. You hit home because I am going through the same thing right now with my 12yo rottie , alert as he is, those back legs. I often have to towel-sling his back legs to get him up. He barks at us if he can't get up. He is on medication and it has helped a lot but not enough so we are enjoying our summer together  but we don't know when we will do this either..and it is a dread I guess I have to feel he is ready, and that I can handle it. Give your Nyse a hug from me, I will say a pray for all of you.

Donna L 
July 30, 2013

Dr. Johnson so sorry about NYSE, I recently had to euthanize my cat who was 23 and it broke my heart! I know she needed to go but it didn't make it any easier. I did appreciate my vet when she said "it is hard but the last kind thing you can do for her". When they are ill there is no quality of life. Thanks for sharing!!

July 30, 2013

I am so sorry you are facing a loss of your beloved pet.  I've had many dogs and have loved them unconditionally as they have loved me and most of them passed of old age, some I had to have euthanized because they were so sick..We never get over the loss.  My last one was this last January and the only thing that gives me solace is holding her collar close to me and our new dog, Sabrina.  We are lucky we have our pets for as long as we do and must make the most of it.

July 30, 2013

I found your writing the beginnings of closure. Perhaps now you can begin to understand its importance in the healing process. You posted. We "listened." As you say, "I have many important jobs as a doctor ... but listening, and in particular, listening when it comes time to tell the story of a pet and a family, is the most important."

Eva Flores 
July 30, 2013

As I sit here w/ tears streaming down my eyes feeling your pain and joy of having NYSE, I can only think about my and my sister's pain when the inevitable comes for our beloved dogs.

July 30, 2013

I am so sorry for this time that you are facing, it is never easy. We had two little Chihuahuas, Mikey and Maggie, they were our babies, but Mikey died 10-10-11 and Maggie died 2-7-12, we don't know what happened, but Mikey left us during the night, but not Miss Maggie, she got in my lap and lay down for a bit and got up and went over to my husband and loved him and came back to my lap. She lay down and in about 5 minutes, she passed, in the peace and love of us both, with her.
They were both a little over six years, and Maggie was named Maggie,by my Moma who passed away on '06. They are still in our hearts, and still in our thoughts. Now, we have Kota, she is a blessing to us, she makes me laugh, when I don't feel like smiling.
Again, so sorry for your situation.

July 30, 2013

Thanks so much for your thoughts, Dr. Johnson. It has been the fourth time for our family to say farewell to a beloved dog. Who ever told me it would get easier! Being absolutely certain that there IS a Rainbow Bridge certainly eases the pain a bit.

Tamara L. Keegan 
July 30, 2013

I'm facing a similar situation right now with my 13-year-old "soul dog".  He's been dx with vestibular disease.  It's an awful thing to treatment.  He's 13.  I'd make a deal with the devil to exchange my soul for 10 more healthy years with my baby.  But alas, that's not an option.  I wish the vet's in my area would come to homes ... it's awful having to bring them there ... leave them there ... and be sent to the front desk in sobbing tears to pay.

Jacqueline M. Jakle 
July 30, 2013

Dear Doctor Tony, I have lost 11 dogs over the years, and only when they were sick beyond hope was euthansia used to take them out of their pain and suffering. I did the same things...cry, reminisce, hold my beloved dog and kiss and pet them, speaking to them softly even though they could no longer physically hear me. I had my dogs cremated and I have their ashes here, with framed photos of them, and I love and miss them every day. With living life and going through all kinds of experiences, I have to say that the sweetest, purest love I've ever known came from my dogs. I am sorry you are having to face the upcoming loss of your Nyse, but I pray the love you have for your sweet dog, and your memories help comfort you before and after you have to say what is one of the hardest of good-byes a human has to experience. Wishing your sweet Nyse a peaceful transition, and I just know she'll be greeted by all my fur kids - Buddy, Barney, and Nicholas to name a few. My heart feels for you and your family as you say your farewells. I wish you peace for your hearts and your special girl.

July 30, 2013

I am so sorry about NYSE.  But how wonderful it is that she has such a caring family who have treasured her all of her life. I hope that NYSE will go quietly and peacefully into the night. Thank you for taking the time to listen to bereaved owners who have just lost their furkid...what a blessing your gift of time to listen has been.  Grace and peace to you and your family and Nyse!

Sara Bajger 
July 30, 2013

Please check out my page on Face Book, Pet Loss/Beravement Groups. Most of the animals are mine. But you will find Bible Passages, that show scriptures revealing God's wonderful eternal plan for his Non-Human Creatures. You can send me an email or send me a friend request on face book email is or Sara Bajger on Face Book

Anita Epperson 
July 30, 2013

I am so sorry, because I too have a tale. My Alex had cong. disfuction too. She was 14 had everything wrong, stomach problems, constant ear infections, hip dysplasia, anxiety, and acted as if she did not even know us near the end (much like my grandmother did with dementia.) I prayed for her to die in her sleep, it was not meant to be, when she could no longer stand on her own I had to make the decision. I still tear up thinking about it after many years. I know it was best for her but not any easier for me. We have a pet cemetery at home where our past loved ones are placed each have their own little rock and place in our heart.

July 30, 2013

Quite literally, tears are running down my face as I am writing this to you.  I cannot imagine what you and your wife are experiencing right now with NYSE, and the thought of having to face the same fate someday with my two boys (kittens) is almost overwhelming.  I don't know how one makes that decision.  It must be heartbreaking.  My thoughts and prayers go out to you, your wife and precious NYSE.  I ask God to bless all three of you with a peaceful ending.  Thank you for sharing your story with all of us.

July 30, 2013

Thank you for sharing. As with all of us pet parents you and your wife will know when the time is right to let go of Nyse.  She will cross the Rainbow Bridge and wait with the others until you are reunited again.

July 30, 2013

I understand how you feel. I lost my beloved boxer Headezs two years ago, and I miss him dearly it helps me when I talk about him and we had a small service for him.

Linda Hilferty 
July 30, 2013

God Bless you and your wife for what you both do for the animals and may he be by your side while Nyse crosses. I have a 15 yr old pit and cry just thinking about that day ( I will probably loose it when it comes ) God Bless you all! <3

Pat Lerch 
July 30, 2013

My own vet is understanding like you, as have been the ones who've euthanized some of our dogs in places like Tufts.  It is a tremendous loss and they have realized what it meant to us.  We lost all three of our dogs in 2009 and I am still on antidepressants from that.  Time is helping...

Michelle Nelson Statham 
July 30, 2013

I am so sorry for pending loss. I too am going through this with my 9 yr old JRT . Jazzy has stage three heart failure and while the vet has he on meds she is responding well however her breathing is so raspy now when she gets excited. I have days I just cry and days I try and stay positive . Each Day is a blessing with her .

Jane Clements 
July 29, 2013

Thank you so much for sharing your experience & love of animals.  I have always said, "Everyday is a Blessing with my dogs!" & it is!  Our last Berner, was a true Peter Pan, Nana,who grew up & care for my children (taught my 1 year old to walk by allowing her to hold his fur, got up slowly & then took baby steps right along w/her while she gripped on tight, followed my son & daughter thru teen years & was their best friend & lean on when they needed an ear, a paw around or a head in their laps to console them.  Travis waited for all of us to be together,& then left us, but not before we had all gathered around him. He looked up @ us, thumped his tail twice & died. Thanks for letting me remember him - he was a GREAT DOG & well loved by all of us!

Jennifer Z 
July 29, 2013

Dr. Johnson, I am so sorry that you and your wife are facing the imminent death of your dear NYSE. You are a wise and compassionate veterinarian, and your patients and their families are fortunate to have you. I am grateful for having such veterinarians in my life as well. Thank you Dr. Kay for sharing this blog post.

Ellen Wildfeuer 
July 29, 2013

You are quite the man!  Your words brought tears (to most of us I am sure).  And of course dredged up my very fragile emotions about losing our Weim last year.  Still hurts-still so close to the surface.  Had many dogs but she was THE one.  I know you know.  God speed to Nyse--I really had to laugh at what you said about dying in their sleep versus making THE decision to euthanize.  I am 70+, had pets since a child and never had one just die--not even the pet rat.  Always had to make that gut wrenching decision.  I hope my family is as good to me as I was to our animals when the time comes.

July 29, 2013

My vet told me one time about a dog who I had that was sick with cancer I was afraid he would die while I was at work . The vet said to me he's not going to be that kind he will let you know when it's time. He did and went peacefully and gracefully in my arms after he was injected  by the vet.

July 12, 2013

Beautifully written, very touching. Thank you.

July 29, 2013

My last euthanasia was in the middle of the night at an E.R. I'd never been to before.  I was referred there for specialist treatment, but the specialist didn't think it would help.  I really needed to tell her and the tech just how special Murphy was, how I'd adopted him at age 14 and how he was a happy, seemingly healthy boy for over a year and a half until just days before.  They'd told me the clinical reasons why it had to be this way, and I think I needed to make sure they understood that he was more than just a sick, old dog.  He was a momma's boy who loved his life.

July 29, 2013

I am sorry to hear about  your nyse. I had to make that same decision a few months ago.    It breaks your heart.   My little guy was a chi  named  Lilbit. I had to let him go.  I could tell  he could not control his back legs very well, and mainly  the lights went out of his eyes. He was 1 month from being 18years old. I will be crying with you. God bless you for the good lift you gave   RIP nyse

Carol Clark 
July 29, 2013

My Hannah was such a sweet soul. Her last few months were a trial, and I kept hoping for a miracle. At the end, she still smiled, gave the most incredible hugs, and loved to chase a ball. I will always be grateful to Dr. Billingsley for helping her to go so gently; and I will miss her forever.

Dr. Nancy Kay 
July 29, 2013

What a lovely blog post and a tribute to all of us who have participated in euthanizing a beloved pet. Thanks for sharing this with us.

Virginia Rudd 
July 29, 2013

Thank you Dr. Johnson, for reminding us that sharing those last moments of a pet's life with a family is not just our job, it's also an  honor.....

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