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Older family pets.

Discussion in 'The Breakroom' started by Ironman5517, Sep 30, 2010.

  1. Ironman5517

    Ironman5517 Loaded Pockets

    Apr 28, 2009
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    For the past 17 years our home has been blessed with our dog, Prince. Recently Prince has really shown his age. He no longer stands, gets up or goes outside without assistance. Im affraid it will be time to say good by and have him put to sleep. This does not agree with me at all but he is in a significant amount of pain when he does stand. How does this sit with anyone else? How can we decided when its really their time?
  2. bpa

    bpa Loaded Pockets

    Apr 24, 2006
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    We had a delightful cocker spaniel for 17 years, the last two of which she had doggie alzheimer's. Lost as she was (she would get lost staring at the wall), she still enjoyed eating, when she remembered to do so. We kept saying it would be time when she stopped eating. She didn't. We kept saying it was time when she couldn't make it up the stairs. She couldn't, so we kept her upstairs. There was never any pain, and she did not appear to be distressed or understand what was happening to her. Finally she fell down, and could not get up for a while. It was time. We all knew it, and agreed. 4 years on we miss her.
  3. somber

    somber Banned

    Nov 16, 2009
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    I had a cat that my family got when I was six or seven years old, after I moved out of the house I took him with me since all of my other family members had started their own lives or moved out of state. He lived with me for two years before he developed some health problems, mainly not eating (he was a very 'large' cat at 33lbs, so it was unusual for him to not eat) and defecating around the litter box instead of in it. It was incredibly sad to see him in this stage, and after taking him to the vet and finding out that he had diabetes, I decided it would be best to put him down. The choices I was given was that he would require a shot every day of insulin (@ $200 a week or something terribly high) or let him live as he was for the time being and eventually he'd die from lack of insulin, neither of these choices seem humane to me (perpetuating a sickness in an already very old cat, or slow death) but I didn't want to lose him either. He was such a proud cat, it would have been wrong of me to perpetuate his life just because I didn't want to say bye at that time...

    It was a difficult choice. Saddest thing I've ever done in my whole life was saying bye to him, coming home that night and that damned cat not being there begging for food. I can understand how you feel, I'm sorry.
  4. Valerian

    Valerian Tea-powered admin

    Jul 20, 2007
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    Unfortunately, if you think he's in significant pain, I'd say it is definitely time to let him go. Dogs generally have high pain thresholds, so if you can tell a dog is in pain, he really must be in a lot of pain.

    I know it's hard. Our previous dog lived to 16 and half. When she was younger, she was always a ravenous eater and we used to joke that when she stops eating, we know it's time to let her go. Well she got older and eventually pretty much did stop eating, but of course we still kept her "just a little longer" until there was no choice anymore. In retrospect, it probably would have been kinder to have had her put to sleep much earlier.
  5. VT-aroo

    VT-aroo Loaded Pockets

    Jun 1, 2006
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    We had a small do that had been with us for 16 years, all our married life, and she seemed to have a stiff rear leg. We took her to the emergency vet one night, because she was in significant distress. Blood transfusion and all night care, and she seemed beter. But a week later she was in to much pain to get up and too old for surgery.
    It is very hard, but when the time comes I think you have to act for your friend even if it hurts you. Everytime I have tried to provide a little more time to an anamal, it has ended with them suffering.
  6. hatchetjack

    hatchetjack EDC Junkie!!!!!

    May 21, 2006
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    Your pet trusts you for everything which, unfortunately, includes time to know when to say good bye. You will do what needs to be done for your friend and as always, he will be grateful. As time passes read "Dog Heaven" and you will see that you have done right for him.

  7. saniterra

    saniterra Loaded Pockets

    Aug 12, 2006
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    I had a dog, a border collie mix, from the time he was weaned until he was 17.5 years old. He was senile and had vestibular disease, an affliction that caused him to walk in circles for pretty much days at a time. I kept putting off having to put him to sleep until it was too late. Early on Sunday morning, he went into a sort of convulsive state, lost control of his bladder and bowels, was totally unreachable. Unfortunately, no 24 hour or emergency vets anywhere near me. I had to kill him with my bare hands. That grieves me still, even though he went peacefully and without any struggle. Don't wait that late.
  8. MM2000

    MM2000 Empty Pockets

    Apr 20, 2010
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    I've had to face this question several times over the years, and I guess the best way to answer it is to ask yourself if you are keeping your pet alive for the sake of the pet, or for you. Whenever you bring a pet home you have to know that someday you will have to face this. It's never easy, but it needs to be done.

    I just had a 6 month old kitten come down with a fever that was diagnosed as F.I.P., Feline Infectious Peritonitis. 39 days after bringing him home I had to say goodbye to the little guy. I know that I gave him a better life than he would have had if he had never been adopted. It still sucks.

    Sometimes you get 20 years with your furry friends, sometimes much less. Whenever you say hello, know that you will have to say goodbye, someday. It's what happens in between that makes it worth it.
  9. Skipperbrown

    Skipperbrown Loaded Pockets

    Mar 4, 2010
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    17 years is a good run for a dog. We lost a dog last year after 15 1/2 years of faithful service. It's very sad when the end comes and the decision you must make is very painful. You know Prince better than anyone and you will know the time has come when Prince no longer gets any joy from life. This may be when the tail no longer wags when you greet him or it may be sooner. Just remember he has given you his best his whole life and now he is relying on you to make the right decision for him. Do right by him and do not let him suffer needlessly.
  10. bltkmt

    bltkmt Loaded Pockets

    Oct 22, 2007
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  11. Brewtality

    Brewtality Empty Pockets

    Oct 5, 2010
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    My wife and I have a 14yr old German Shepherd Mix. In the past year, she has developed some pretty painful hip issues, and a thyroid problem. We are getting worried that she might be getting near the end, which is really hard for my wife because this was her dog since she was 12. It will be really hard on our 6yr old Husky too, he can get serious separation anxiety and we'll need to get a new pup quickly for him.
  12. GrumpyGrizzly

    GrumpyGrizzly Loaded Pockets

    Sep 10, 2010
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    This one always makes dust get in my eyes..

    The Rainbow Bridge

    inspired by a Norse legend

    By the edge of a woods, at the foot of a hill,
    Is a lush, green meadow where time stands still.
    Where the friends of man and woman do run,
    When their time on earth is over and done.

    For here, between this world and the next,
    Is a place where each beloved creature finds rest.
    On this golden land, they wait and they play,
    Till the Rainbow Bridge they cross over one day.

    No more do they suffer, in pain or in sadness,
    For here they are whole, their lives filled with gladness.
    Their limbs are restored, their health renewed,
    Their bodies have healed, with strength imbued.

    They romp through the grass, without even a care,
    Until one day they start, and sniff at the air.
    All ears :censored: forward, eyes dart front and back,
    Then all of a sudden, one breaks from the pack.

    For just at that instant, their eyes have met;
    Together again, both person and pet.
    So they run to each other, these friends from long past,
    The time of their parting is over at last.

    The sadness they felt while they were apart,
    Has turned into joy once more in each heart.
    They embrace with a love that will last forever,
    And then, side-by-side, they cross over… together.

    Dangit.. Dust got in my eyes again.. When I die, I wanna work on the animal side of rainbow bridge.. They can keep heaven.. I'll stay on the animal side and throw the balls and fill the water bowls.. I get along better with animals than I ever have with humans..
  13. hatchetjack

    hatchetjack EDC Junkie!!!!!

    May 21, 2006
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    Dog Heaven

    When dogs go to heaven, They don't need wings
    Because God knows that Dogs love running best.
    He gives them fields. Fields and fields and fields.
    When a dog first arrives in heaven, he just runs.
    Dog heaven has clear, wide lakes
    Filled with geese who honk and flap
    And tease. The dogs love this.
    They run beside the water and bark
    And bark and God watches them
    From behind a tree and smiles.

    There are children.
    Of course.
    Angel children.
    God knows that dogs love children more than
    Anything else in the world, so he fills Dog
    Heaven with plenty of them. There are children
    On bikes and children on sleds. There are
    Children throwing red rubber balls and children
    Pulling kites through the clouds. The dogs
    Are there, and the children love them dearly.

    And, oh,
    The dog biscuits.
    Biscuits and biscuits
    As far as the eye can see.
    God has a sense of humor, so He makes His
    Biscuits in funny shapes for His dogs. There
    are kitty-cat biscuits and squirrel biscuits.
    Ice-cream biscuits and ham-sandwich biscuits.
    Every angel who passes by
    Has a bicsuit for a dog.

    And, of course, all God's dogs
    Sit when the angels say "sit."
    Every dog becomes a good
    Dog in Dog Heaven.

    God turns
    Clouds inside out to
    Make fluffy beds for the dogs
    In Dog Heaven, and when they
    Are tired from running and
    Barking and eating ham-
    Sandwich biscuits,
    The dogs find a cloud
    bed for sleeping.
    They turn around and
    Around in the cloud.
    .. until it feels just right,
    and then they curl up
    and they sleep.
    God watches over
    Each one of them
    And there are no bad dreams.

    Dogs in Dog Heaven
    Have almost always
    Belonged to somebody
    On Earth and, of course,
    The dogs remember this.
    Heaven is full of memories.
    So sometimes an angel will walk a dog
    Back to Earth for a little visit and quietly,
    Invisibly, the dog will sniff about his old
    Backyard, will investigate the cat next
    Door, will follow the child to school, will
    Sit on the front porch and wait for the mail.

    When he is satisfied
    That all is well, the dog
    Will return to Heaven with the angel.
    It is where dogs belong,
    Near God who made them.

    The dogs in Dog Heaven who
    Had no real homes on Earth
    Are given one in Heaven.
    The homes have yards and porches and there are
    Couches to lie on and tables to sit under
    While angels eat their dinners.

    There are special bowls
    With the dogs' names on them.
    And each dog is petted and reminded
    How good he is, all day long.
    Dogs in Dog Heaven may stay as long as
    They like and this can mean forever.
    They will be there when old friends show
    Up. They will be there at the door.
    Angel dogs.

    by Cynthia Rylant
  14. Wolvee

    Wolvee Loaded Pockets

    Jul 18, 2010
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    The way I feel about my dog:

    One of my closest friends Ticked me off a while back. He called my dog a flea *Bleep*. HE is 10lb 7 year old Shih Tzu and has never had a flea in his life. I told him in my polite way that, "That dog means more to me that anyone that doesn't live in my house." (Prego Wife) "I would kill for my dog if the circumstances needed it." I value human life as much as I should but if I don't know you or more importantly, don't have any "Personal" emotional attachment to you, I would choose my dogs life without question over yours. I have never had a dog big or small that was so in tune with me, well mannered and trained. A good dog is harder to find than a human friend and when his time comes to be put to sleep or dies, I will cry like and shout at the heavens. This may be hard to hear for some. My life doesn't revolve around me, it revolves around my family which includes my dog.
  15. nuubee

    nuubee Empty Pockets

    Aug 13, 2010
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    I have a ~13 yr. old lab/setter mix. She's starting to get the white mask, but is still up for pretty much anything. She is the noblest and most forgiving creature I have ever known, and a far better being than I.

    Will Rogers once said "If dogs don't go to heaven when they die, I want to go wherever they go".

  16. saniterra

    saniterra Loaded Pockets

    Aug 12, 2006
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    I have heard it said that "if you really want to know who loves you (wife, mother, father, sister, brother, etc.), lock them in the trunk for the car with your dog for 30 minutes. When you come back, see who's glad to see you.
  17. zshiner

    zshiner Loaded Pockets

    May 25, 2008
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    I am very partial to dogs - over my lifetime I have had 7. One as a teenager, then 3 pairs in my adult life. My wife and I are now on our third pair.

    The question asked below is when do you know that it is time to put them down? It is an individual question but it is something I have dealt with 2 times - 3 of my dogs died naturally. For the ones that died naturally - it was their time and they just had a heart attack, but were generally OK, but old in the days before they died.

    For the other 2, One really slowed down and was not eating or drinking enough to sustain her, the second had cancer that we really felt that she was starting to have some pain.

    I think you just have to be very sensitive to them, and recognize that there will be a point in time where they can't take care of themselves, or won't get better and then it is time to put them down.

    It is very hard to lose them - they really are a part of the family.

    One thing we did do - was show the living dog the fact that the other one had died. It did help, I think, that way their friend doesn't just disappear on them.
  18. mike1031

    mike1031 Loaded Pockets

    Sep 28, 2010
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    It's one of the hardest things to do...I've been blessed to have a few dogs that have made the 14 - 16 year old mark. All were family and some of the best friends I have every had. With our last dog, you could tell it was time. We didn't want to see him suffer anymore, so my wife and I made the decision and made his last week the best we could. He could eat whatever he wanted and then on the day I brought him to the vet. I woke up early, wrapped him up in a blanket and took him for a long ride...He propped his head out the window and took in the scenery...Took him to the beach to hear the waves....Then I made the trip. One of the hardest drives of my life...and I stayed with him till the end. I probably sat in the parking lot for 2 hours...But I knew I made the right decision to let him go. For all the times he did right by me, I knew I had to repay the favor to him. I guess in the end Ironman, none of what I wrote probably doesn't help...but you'll know when it's right. Best wishes.
  19. Jbum

    Jbum Loaded Pockets

    Dec 15, 2009
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    To the op if the pup had to make the same decision about you he would take away your pain that is what they do....just sayin.
  20. silverbear

    silverbear Empty Pockets

    Aug 30, 2010
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    Good topic everyone - thanks for sharing. Our GSD turned 13 this September. He's been an inside dog all of his life and still in pretty good shape except for some hearing loss and an occasional shimmy of the the hips. I think we will know when its time.