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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey fellas...

I put my dog down last week and I am devastated. She was 13 years old, had bad hips, a bad back and cancer. The Vet said the lump was probably breast cancer but I didn't bother with the biopsy. I wouldn't have put her through the surgery at that age anyway. He said the cancer was a long term concern it's her hips and back he was worried about.

I'm having a real hard time dealing with her being gone. I was offered a job in another city but could have stayed with friends till I got some cash saved so's I could get my own place. The prob there was that their dog and mine didn't get along. Their dog always attacked my dog.

So, with the other health probs and the job offer I elected to put her down. Thing is..the Vet said she would have lasted (at the most) another year. She got around OK although she couldn't jump up on anything anymore without a boost and mostly slept when she wasn't with me. On the first visit he gave me pain meds for her and a prescription for Oxycontin. I always took great care of her and protected her, and she protected me a few times. I NEVER hit my dog...ever, she went everywhere with me and most of the pictures in my photo album have her in them somewhere.

I was so overcome with grief after I put her down, I quit the job. I couldn't believe I put her down for a damn job. Yes, she was already quite ill I know and maybe her hips could've gone out in a week, a month or a few days. Thing is I made the decision so fast. I always am so careful about making important decisions like this and this time I wasn't. She is definitely at peace but I am having horrible bouts of depression over it.

I did adopt another Lab/Border Collie mix (what are the odds of finding another Lab/Border Collie mix that's 8 months old, the same age Samantha was when I got her) but I feel guilty about having her. Like I am replacing or trying to cover up the huge mistake I now feel I made.

For those of you with a wife and kids this may seem real strange to feel so strongly about a dog. But, I have no family and few friends so I doted on her. She went everywhere with me, even my roadtrip from Florida to Alaska she was with me. If I went to the corner store she wanted to go. I'd leave her in the truck, best burglar alarm ever, and when I came back she greeted me like I was a long lost friend.

Sorry, just had to vent....I miss my friend...
 

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I undestand EXACTLY HOW YOU FEEL. Dogs treat you better than most people you meet in life. Don't feel bad about the new dog; she needed a home & love that ONLY YOU COULD PROVIDE. She isn't taking Sam's place; she will make a new place in your heart, let her in.
 

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It is claimed that George Vest was a 19th century lawyer defending a client.

Gentlemen of the jury, the best friend a man has in this world may turn against him and become his enemy. His son and daughter that he has reared with loving care may become ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our happiness and our good name, may become traitors to their faith. The money that a man has he may lose. It flies away from him when he may need it most. Man's reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees and do us honor when success is with us may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its cloud upon our head.

The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his DOG. A man's dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground,where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master's side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer, he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounter with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wing and reputation falls to pieces, he is as content in his love as the sun in its journey throught the heavens. If fortune drives the master forth an outcast into the cold, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him to guard him against danger, and to fight against his enemies. When the last scene of all comes, and death takes his master in its embrace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by his graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws and his eyes sad, but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even to death.

-Senator George Vest, 1870.
 

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Ed,
I know exactly how you feel as my wife and I had to have our Rottweiler Max put to sleep last December.

Max had bad hips,herniated discs and other problems too.

He got so bad that all he could do was drag himself around and towards the end he would not hardly even raise his noble head up.

He also lost his voracious appetite that he once had.

Max was very precious to us and it hurts deeply to think about him sometimes.
We take comfort in knowing Max had a good life and lived longer than most Rottweilers do even though fourteen years sure seemed short for us to have to part with our friend.
I surely do miss him,as I know you miss yours.

We have three other dogs,a German Shepherd and two beagles that grew up with Max too and his passing also affected them too the point that I believe they were grieving for him too.
Especially the female Shepherd,as she will sometimes pass by his container of ashes which has his collar around it and she will lay there in front of it for long periods of time and sometimes sniff at it and whine.

Take care,Mman......
 

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Ed... Hang in their brother! It sounds as though live has dealt you a couple of unfair blows but I believe Samantha was taken care of with love and you made one of the toughest decisions us dog guys face. Samantha may have lived another year but how would her qualitiy of life faired? Dog's don't understand the surgery and followup care that humans put them through just to extend their life so that WE can continue to enjoy their presence. I don't see the prospect of a job entering the picture here. You put your Samantha down because the quality of her life based on her health would not be worth living. You know that and every dog owner knows it.

As for the new pup... good for you but give her a chance. Just remember she isn't Samantha and probably doesn't want to be. She will want to show you that she is going to be the best dog you have ever known if you just give her the chance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanx for the kind words. I figgered there'd be afew of like mind with me. I am still having a hard time though. I feel if it weren't for the job offer I wouldn't have put her down so soon. It is a horrible guilt that overcomes me at times. I still feel I should have waited till at least after the holidays. It really sticks in my gut that I made the decision so fast...
 

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ED said:
Thanx for the kind words. I figgered there'd be afew of like mind with me. I am still having a hard time though. I feel if it weren't for the job offer I wouldn't have put her down so soon. It is a horrible guilt that overcomes me at times. I still feel I should have waited till at least after the holidays. It really sticks in my gut that I made the decision so fast...
Ed... sorry fellow but all that thinking is about YOU. The dog doesn't know the holidays from Adam other than it tends to be a happy time of the year for you. I suspect this quick decision was the correct one but your mind is now simply playing tricks on you... a human thing.

I've had to put a lot of stuff in perspective in my life because I lost my spouse in a very untimely accident. It causes a fellow to do a lot of deep thinking. The bottom line, as I see it, is that we really are the unlucky ones that are left here to deal with all the world shovels at us. Your dear dog was no different. She was fixing to have a whole heap of stuff shoveled her way. You did what a responsible person does to protect her from the pain. Your just reward, here on this earth, is to deal with the doubt this kind act caused... that is just the unfair fact of life. What you have to do is come to grip with the fact that the right thing isn't necessarily the easy, warm & fuzzy thing. I wish I could buy you a beer or let you share my campfire but all I can say is that I truely believe you did what was right.

My parents recently moved to my ranch. For over a year I had been maintaining their dog through vet bills (cancer) because they couldn't afford it. It really surprized me that they couldn't make the decision to end the dog's life because it was living through absolute hell. I could hardly stand to visit because the dog would sit there a look at me with "help me" written all over it's face. When my parents surprized me with the news that they wanted to move to the ranch, after years of offering, I had a sit down with them about the dog. I paid and put it to sleep. A lot of tears but I know that fellow was tired of what humans caused him to experience. I have some guilt over letting it go on like it did but I've learned from that.
 

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I don't think a dog sees the "Light At The End Of The Tunnel"....all that surgery and care is just torture to them and they think Master is doing it to them....it's a kindness to put them down after a certain point.
 

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Sorry to hear about your dog. Mine is eleven years old this month. I'm not looking forward to the day when she is gone. A fella never has a better friend.
 

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welll....:-(

ed, sorry to hear about your friend!.....
i work with terminally ill people, and i have come to understand ONE FACT in life: everything has it's time on this planet.
that is, from the moth born to mate and die, to the great blue whales that live for over a hundred years in the deep.....we have a clock. what you did was to help everything concerned, it was to be THAT time....nothing could of stopped it, nothing could of prolonged it.....i have had to do the same thing. suffering to humans is a bad thing, but to animals, who don't understand why....it has to be awful!
new dogs! thay help us heal, and they need a careing master~ another life to care for is a PRIVALAGE! treat them as such, and heal...... :wink:

 

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I can't think of a harder thing to do. I have kids, family and friends and I would feel pretty much the same way. We've lost some good dogs in our family and even after many years I can still remember them very well.

As I sit here typing MY dog Bailey is sitting here with me. I got her about the time I retired and after Dad died. Day in and day out she's always there. We took her on our 19 state 23 day road trip this summer. Now 5, I try not to look ahead.

Frankly, I can't imagine heaven without dogs. I'm looking forward to seeing/being with all my good friends in heaven.
 

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Ed-don't beat yourself up so bad about the decision you made as it was the right one. In putting your friend down shows the love you had for her that you brought an end to the suffering. Be thankful for the good years you had together. I'm sure she will be waiting for you in Gods domain when the time comes. Hang in there and things will get better. You have a new friend that needs your love and attention now.
 

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Ed,
There is no “right choice”. I’ve put some down (dying with head in my lap as I held and stroked them) and let some run their course. Regrets if you do and regrets if you don’t. They can go a long time with hips that hurt to watch, but the back is another thing. When their back enters into it, they have a very short time before a bone spur grows into their spinal column. Talking multiple experiences at just about that age. Cancer also grows quick, much faster than expected once you can see it, also multiple experiences but younger. I suspect she had MAYBE weeks, not months and certainly not a year. The job was just the last straw to make the decision you knew you had to make, not the actual reason. Gone the other way, would also have broken your heart to see what she went through. Part of grieving is second guessing ourselves.
Most blessings have a price. The price of the years with our dogs is that we must also lose them, way too soon. The bond you will create with your new dog is also part of the grieving process. We get very attached very quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the kind replies. I think I am slowly getting over the guilt. Samantha was such a huge part of everything I did. She was literally fearless.

She loved to go out and play in thunderstorms and loved being wet, which is why she never had fleas. If there was a pond, lake or puddle nearby she was in it. She got excited by the sound of gunfire, if you picked up a gun in the house in her presence you had best be going shooting or hunting with her. She retrieved birds and chased rabbits for me. One time I had gone dove hunting and left her in the truck because she got so excited she'd run way out ahead of me and scare em all off. I left the window open at the most 8 inches. I could hear her 200 yards away just yipping to get out. The yipping stopped and I figgered "thank goodness!" when I turned around...there she was wagging her tail. Don't ask me how the heck she got outta that lil gap in the window. She went a couple of rounds with a feral hog, killed a few snakes in her time and once got a gator by the tail...much to my dismay.

She just wanted to learn. She took hand signals in the field and water, if she could see me I could get her to go left, right, further out or come back to me. She never would have won a field dog trial though cuz she didn't always get it right. Up until she was about ten years old she could run all day and loved the taste of cow turds. I always walked her without a leash, she just really wanted to be near me.

I did hold her when the Vet put her down and a friend of mine offered for me to bury her in his backyard. He spent allot of time with Samantha so it was fitting. I was gonna post a pic of her here now but my pic posting site seems to be down.

I adopted another dog named Lucy. She's a real learner too. She has allot of the same mannorisms that Samantha had. First day she learned to sit, lay down and shake with either paw. I can walk her without a leash already, as long as their are no skwerls around..we are working on that. She loves kids and has been to the "dog park"..a couple of big dogs tried to beat her up but she fought back hard, not bad fer an eight month old. I guess I'll always have a dog.

You can check my yahoo photo album for pix of Samantha...

http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/crowb...photos.yahoo.com/ph/crowblaster2000/my_photos
 

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I still think about Siegfried. I had to put him down in 1980. 25 years and I still think of him several times a day. Hip Dysplasia (sp) takes many larger dogs. Sig was my German Shepherd. I was a K-9 handler in the Air Force in the mid 60s and I still think of Tye, SN# 5F58, 1958-1967 And Ceazer, SN# 553F, 1960-1969, Danang RVN. All 3 will be with me forever in my memories. You are not alone Ed. I wish I could tell you it gets easier but I can't. :cry:
 

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Ed, Don't despair for what you done, believe me I had a 13yr old Dalmation that wound up with cancer and the bad hips, I opted to let her live until I could no longer stand it. The guilt I felt was overwhelming, until the day I carried her to her grave site dug it while talking to her, sat down and cried until I could not anymore. I then calmly put her down with one shot. Buried her and then cried some more, I do wish I would have not let her go so long, as she could not even get up to go out doors and she would cry when I would come in and clean up her messes, I do mean it she would whimper and moan as if sobbing. You see she never went in the house no matter what, and she knew it was wrong but could not help herself. That my friend is something you would not have wanted to go through with a life long friend, you did the right thing whether you know it or not. May God bless you and your new pup, keep her and cherish her.
 
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