Putting a pet to sleep

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-18-2013
Putting a pet to sleep
6
Thu, 01-23-2014 - 11:15am

My brother had to put his beloved dog down (dolly-16 years old) last week. I don't understand why he didn't just let her die of natural causes. Please help me understand why you put animals to sleep instead of letting them go naturally.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-07-2001
Fri, 01-24-2014 - 11:47am

I think that people believe that ending what they perceive to be the animal's suffering is a good thing.  As I'm typing this, my beloved 18 year old beagle is soon to cross the bridge.  My husband and I have decided to keep her here at home where she is loved and safe.  I have had pets put to sleep in the past....one was my darling dachshund who had cancer.  Unless the animal is in so much pain that there is no relief for it, I just can't help feeling that putting it to sleep is the same as sending it to its execution.  My sweet Lindy is in her spot in the kitchen...on a soft blanket....and slipping away.  I am beside myself with grief, wondering if even at her age, there was more that I could have done for her.  I am checking her every half hour or so and praying that her release comes quickly.  I know I will be with her again, and that my Dad and other pets are there waiting for her already, but it's just so hard to imagine that she'll be gone in a day or so.  She's been my most faithful friend through separation, divorce, death, remarriage, job loss, and three combat tours in Iraq for my only child.  She never failed me once, ever.  I owe it to her to keep her in a safe and loving environment while she crosses the bridge....not a sterile and strange place. 

Community Leader
Registered: 04-19-2008
Mon, 02-03-2014 - 2:01pm

Dear Marylizard, Welcome.  {{{hugs}}}  What a sweet soul you are to be concerned about ^Dolly's^ passing.  Gosh, in a perfect world, all our beloved pets would earn their ^wings^ at home, surrounded by everyone and everything they love.  But sometimes, that's just not possible ... or in our beloved's best interests. 

My heart is going out to your dear brother.  I know he must love sweet ^Dolly^ will all his heart, which is why he put her needs ahead of his own.  He must have known that ^Dolly^ was suffering, and understood when ^Dolly^ let him know it was her "time".  (Which is what happened when my ^Whisper^ was ready to go to the Bridge)  It's something a loving furparent will understand.  {{{hugs}}}  Because I knew my ^Whisper^ would stay with me forever, (he knew I needed him to much) even if he was in pain.  So I knew I had to release him from that burden. 

Oh Marylizard, I know ^Dolly^ will love her Dad forever for having the strength to release her from her tired little body.

Please do let us know how you and ^Dolly's^ Dad are doing.

With my heart,
Lin, Whisper's Mom
www.whisperintheheart.com
www.facebook.com/WhisperInTheHeart

With my heart,
 
Community Leader
Registered: 04-19-2008
Mon, 02-03-2014 - 2:07pm

{{{Lindy's Mom}}}  Thank you so very much for the sweet reply to marylizard's question.  You've truly spoken words of wisdom from your heart.

Since it's been a few days, I've been thinking of you and your beloved Lindy.  Please be sure to stay with us and let us know how both of you are doing. 

With my heart,
Lin, Whisper's Mom
www.whisperintheheart.com
www.facebook.com/WhisperInTheHeart

With my heart,
 
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-07-2001
Tue, 02-04-2014 - 11:06am

Hi there, Whisper's Mom---

Lindy crossed the Bridge late in the afternoon on the 24th.  My husband and I were (still are) heartbroken, but on the mend.  He's a tad worse because he missed her by about 10 minutes when he got home from work.  The next hurdle will be when her ashes come back.  We expect them before the end of the week, along with an impression of her paw print.  Her Siberian Husky sister, Katja, doesn't look for her quite as much as she did the first few days, but still isn't exactly sure where her little pack mate is.  I was so thankful that we were able to allow nature to take its course and didn't have to intervene at all for her to make the transition. 

Thank you so much for your kind words <3  I've had at least one dog at all times since I was 5 & I'm a few more than that now.  I know that Katja won't be an only dog for long, but we're not rushing out immediately to find a new family member.  When the time is right, I know one will be put in our path.  I imagine that will be when the quiet in the house becomes unbearable.

hugs,

Lindy's Mom

Avatar for rhawk4
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-30-2001
Sat, 02-15-2014 - 11:44am

Dear Maryizard,

 

Hello. It is hard to know what is best sometimes. I trust your brother did what he felt best for ^Dolly^.

 

Some people believe pets to be property and nothing more. I believe they are the ones who have no moral issues with putting a pet to sleep for the weakest of reasons. I once knew someone who put their cat to sleep because she began to pee on the carpets in the house. She brought her to the vet two times and after 2 months of the peeing she decided that her carpets were more important than her cat, and she had it murdered. I broke all contact with her after that and never looked back. I do not and never will understand this except to say that some people think of animals as property (as I said) and deserve to do with them what they like or amuses them.

Some people just cannot cope, I believe and after a while will convince themselves that putting their pet to sleep is the right thing. This could be as simple as having a pet with renal failure and after 5 months of having to give them sub-q fluids and meds they just do not want to deal with it and convince themselves it is in the interest of the animal to end it all.

Some people will put an animal to sleep to truly end the suffering. My cat ^Itchy^ had cancer. I spent almost 20 grand in surgeries, meds and chemo over about 18 months and finally had go let him go. Not because I gave up, but the night before he lost the use of his legs and I could see it in him, he lost the will to fight, and it was a losing battle and he was in pain. How could I force him to suffer simply because “I loved him and do not want him to leave”. He deserved to be at peace, with me at his side while it happened. Yes, it destroyed me and yes you end up questioning the decision later, but in the end it was humane and right to allow him to be at peace.

I hope the makes a bit of sense.

 

Sincerely,


David

David and the CoolCyberCats


Forever in my heart


Enter YOUR Cool Cat! A winner each month! 

Cats nap, only humans put them to sleep: Sterilize, don't euthanize.

Community Leader
Registered: 11-21-2001
Mon, 02-17-2014 - 3:47pm

I've had to put more than one beloved pet to sleep.  The one that died at home my beloved ^Jebu^ was in so much pain at the end; my vet at the time was waiting for test results and my DH just wouldn't let him go.  I kept begging him to have the vet end his suffering but he still had hope.

My dal ^Samantha^ was 16YO when we lost her.  That year in the Summer my vet told us that we should put her to sleep, but we knew that she still had some time left so we decided to wait.  By October we just "knew"...and we let her go.

No matter how you lose a beloved pet it is never easy....and no matter how often you go through this it never "gets" easier.

Laura