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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings, this is rather a sensitive topic, so if you are going through having a sick pet or considering putting them down, know that this is about that subject.

We all know people who have had to send their loved furbabies over the Rainbow. We are coming to a year with Chipper's passing ourselves. Now I get news from a dear friend in the Yukon, who is having to do the same thing soon.
I know what I wanted to hear when we were dealing with a sick Chipper, and what I reeled at that people said to me.
But, please, you are all sensitive, loving people, what did you want to hear, and what did you not want to hear.
I want to say the right things to my friend, because I love her retreiver also, but I'm not there. I don't want to say something that will hurt more than help. Share your thoughts, if you can.

Thanks,
 

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I always need to hear that I am doing the right thing and not betraying or abandoning them. Sometimes I have waited too long because of my fear of making the choice too soon.
 

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I also agree. You want to reassure them and it's okay to let go to help with their suffering and that they are doing what's best for them although its very hard to accept.
 

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I have not had to go through this yet but Gunnar is 11 and I know it's coming but I think I would want to hear exactly what jassy said.
 

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I agree with everyone else. I wanted support from my loved ones about the decisions I was making. I can tell you what I did NOT want though. I had a friend tell me that I was just wasting my money and that I should just get it over with and put Amber to sleep.
 

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What I did want to hear was that I was doing whatever I thought was necessary for Maggie.
What I did not want to hear (and what I heard from my best friend ...) was, as Maggie got sicker and more difficult to take care of, wasn't it time to let her go. I understand why my friend said this -- I have physical limitations and my friend was concerned for my well-being. It was very difficult for me to take care of Mags as she required more and more support but her well-being came first as far as I was concerned.
 

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Every dog I've had has let me know when it was time. I can only hope I am as brave when it is my time as my dogs have been. Assure your friend that what the beloved critter needs is them, their support, their love, and their critter and they will know when it it time! What your friend needs is a compasionate understanding friend, nothing more is needed!
 

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This really is a good subject to talk about. There is so much wisdom being shared here. Like Jassy - being there-being supportive and letting people knowing they are doing the rite thing. Also like Bob - our dogs will tell us when it is time - with that tho comes responsibility on our part - we have to be willing to really look into their little faces and to listen with our hearts and mind to what they are telling us. And try to look past that comment it's time. Many people don't know what to say at this time - you can tell if they are really sincere and supportive. I too have physical limitations and Shiloh B. is a good size Beagle - I've already had to deal with well-meaning people (including sis) who thought he mite be too much for me and I should be thinking about getting a different dog. (As you can all see - didn't happen).

Finally, and you can all think of it the way you want but it really did help me make that final decision and I think it added a little connection - when I had to make that final decision for my little Oreo in February of 2007 (YorkiPoo who was incontinent, almost blind and deaf and had a small stroke the summer before - 16+ yrs.) an online friend of sis asked me, Would you want to live that way. Now to some it may seem harsh but it really made the decision so much easier when I held Oreo's little face in my hands and looked into those little eyes - even tho he couldn't see me he still knew and I saw a look that said, mom, I'm tired That was when my head AND my heart really listened to what Oreo was telling me.
You see, that connection came when I remembered at times before applying that same question to my own health conditions - Would you want to live that way whenever I would see others in various stages of severe and terminal illnesses.
 

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I agree with everyone else, too. My mind knew it was the right thing to do; but my heart told me differently.

The absolute worst thing to say (and somebody actually told me this) is: Oh, it's just a dog.

I almost lost my job because of that. My 15 year old newfie/lab mix went to the bridge 3/12/09. I stayed home that day and my boss said, Pull yourself together, it's just a dog. I almost kicked him in the --- (you know). Needless to say, he never mentioned it again, he knew I was not happy.

Most people want to feel like they're making the right decision for the animal, especially if they're suffering.
 

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Oh Shiloh's Mom - you hit one of my biggest pet peeves. By all means yes - if anyone wants to feel the point of my shoe or hear my wrath - all you have to do is tell me those 4 little words, It's just a dog. I am a single person - always have been and at my age - likely will be. I have no two-legger kids so my world pretty much revolves around my furry 4-leggers. No, that cute little furry 4-legger is NOT just a dog. (Luckily most people I work with and around know how I feel about my furkids)

Ok - stepping down off my soap-box now before I get fired for being on the Internet too much at work (don't wanna do something that might jeopardize losing those furry 4-legged kids of mine which losing a job might do - altho I'd live in a cardboard box before I'd give them up)
 

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I think it's also important to judge how a person handles death and keep that in mind too.

For instance, I've never had a problem talking about it and making preparations. On the other hand my wife doesn't deal with death very well; she would prefer not to discuss it. I have to be very sensitive with her when we do discuss any end of life matters-wills, final arrangments, pets, etc. I've always had to be the one to make the final trip to the vet.

That being said, I still tear up thinking about our dogs that we've had to let go over the years. Our dogs have always been our children as well as best friends, companions, buddies and comforters. It's heart wrenching to lose one, but I've always felt that how we face death is as important as how we face life.

It sure never gets any easier.
 

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I have had to put 3 dogs to sleep in the past 2 years. One due to old age (a 13 yr. old boxer), my CH. female great dane that I had to put to sleep after whelping a litter of puppies and complications, and my harl show boy that was put down due to his thyroid causing severe aggression issues even with medication.

The last thing on Earth I wanted to hear was, It was just a dog. That infuriates me more than anything!

Even when people told me I was doing the right thing it still hurt inside. My female dane and male dane were not as hard on me as my 13 yr. old boxer. The danes had medical issues and they would not/could not be fixed. The boxer was just old and not getting around and throwing up all his food all the time. I was hoping and praying that I would come home from work or wake up and he would have passed in his sleep. I dreaded making that final decision for him. He was miserable and I was miserable watching him deteriorate like that. Nobody could say anything to me that would make it easier or better. I was a wreck for months and months feeling guilty.
 

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I hope you all don't think I'm a cold person, but I cried more over my beagle mix Daisy and my Newfie/Lab Buddy, than I did over my own mother. I guess because my fur babies are part of my every day life and I feel like I am their mom. My mom and I parted ways years ago.

I don't think you ever get over a beloved pets passing. I think you learn to fill the void with another pet or volunteering to help other animals.

I still cry over my babies that have passed, just not quite as much as when it first happened.

On Christmas Eve I light candles for the babies that have passed away because they loved Christmas so much.
 

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Originally Posted By: Shilohs Mom

I almost lost my job because of that. My 15 year old newfie/lab mix went to the bridge 3/12/09. I stayed home that day and my boss said, Pull yourself together, it's just a dog. I almost kicked him in the --- (you know). Needless to say, he never mentioned it again, he knew I was not happy.
What a jerk.
 

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One of the things that helped me a lot was one of my friends on another site lost her cat a day before we lost Merlin. In her blog she posted all about Rainbow Bridge. I had never heard about it before and I loved to picture Merlin enjoying himself over there. One thing I think you can tell when people are sincere when they give their condolences and can tell if they are just saying words.
It's a very hard thing to lose a beloved pet but just give your love to your friend , sometimes someone just listening to what you have to say helps . Hugs ((()))
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thank you so much for your input. I think it's harder to know what to say to someone in this situation. We had a lot, I mean A LOT of horrible things said to us when we had to let Chipper pass.
Around here, dogs are farm animals and nothing more. People told us it was shameful that we were putting so much of our energy and money into an animal. What planet did they come from?

My friend wrote today, I am sure she couldn't talk, but they will be letting Tess go Over the Rainbow tomorrow at 2:00; please say a prayer for her. Tess has been a wonderful therapy dog for their daughter who has a brain injury, and my friend who needed to walk, talk and work things out...along with being a wonderful part of the family. My dh and I cried when we read her note, and know that it's not easy for anyone to do this. And whoever said, they hope they are as brave when it comes to their time...I'm with you on that one. I hope to be the woman, my boys think I am.

thanks again,

Cathy
 

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When my bf lost his long time family dog a few years ago, I had not yet had a dog of my own. He was going through a rough time and I was one of those people who actually said he's just a dog.

Now, two years after owning my own dog (Arty), it is one of those things that I still apologize to my bf for and totally regret ever saying. I had no idea that a dog could come into your life and become so much. Even my mom (who has NEVER been an animal/pet person) confessed to me that she would be very sad if anything ever happened to Arty.

I think that someone who is going through the process of needing to put their beloved pet down should be treated the same as someone who is at a hospital deciding whether to pull the life support on their beloved family member. It's a very difficult decision, and I think that it would be wonderful to give the owner all the support you can regarding his decision to keep or put down the pet (no matter what your own personal opinions are).

Oh, and about being an ignorant non-pet owner who didnt know any better- Prior to having my own dog I dont think i would have bawled like a baby after watching this short film:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGQVX8iGbgk
 

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To Artimus BW
I think anyone who has not owned a dog, does not know they are not just a dog - I don't think they realize just how big of a part that 4-legged companion plays in our lives. Well, I have to clarify that a bit - it's not just the owning a dog but welcoming it totally into our lives. And what you said -
Quote:I think that someone who is going through the process of needing to put their beloved pet down should be treated the same as someone who is at a hospital deciding whether to pull the life support on their beloved family member.

I had never heard it said that way before but it is a lovely thought and I am going to tell others this too. It is kind of like a wake up call or a lite bulb going off in your head - I think it really helps to explain the connection between a human and their furkid.
 

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As most of you know, my precious Shiloh is currently living on borrowed time.:( She was diagnosed with bladder cancer in Dec., and my vet said she could have weeks, months, even a year. Well, we're into our 5th month, and, after an initial rocky period while her tummy adjusted to her cancer med, she is doing pretty well, and I am so thankful. Still, I know the day will come when I have to make some very hard decisions. So I guess I'm lucky, in a way, that I have this time to try to prepare myself, if that's possible. One thing that people have said to me has really bothered me, and that is, Well, when the time comes, and you lose her, you can get another dog. It's been said different ways, but that's always the point. And these are well-meaning friends, dog lovers themselves. I know that, and I try not to take offense, but still. This is my baby--she's been a huge part of my life for almost 13 years; if she were one of my 2-legged children nobody would say, Well, you can adopt another child. If my husband were dying nobody would suggest that I remarry right away. So I would say that is the one thing that really bothers me--the assumption that my baby is going to be so easily replaced. Because she's not. Yes, I will get another dog at some point, but my Shiloh will never be replaced.

O.K., now I gotta go hug my girl.
 
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