Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My heart is breaking

How does one know when it's time to put a pet to sleep? Please help me here. I am really struggling with this one.

Bliss is 14. She just lays in the same spot all day until I think she must probably need to use the bathroom. I have to help her up. Sometimes she falls several times on her way out the door. Then she struggles back and lays down in her spot again. It seems like it is time.. Several people who have seen her recently have urged me: "It is time." Then again, her tail still wags when we pet her and when she sees her green tennis ball.

HOW can I put down my sweet girl when her tail is still wagging? :( I sat outside with her on the porch yesterday and had a good cry. I am sure going to miss her.


Anonymous said...

MY heart is breaking for you. This is not an easy decision to make. Bliss will be in doggie heaven where it sounds like he needs to be. Just remember all the joy he has brought into your life and celebrate that and not the fact that he will be gone. Your heart will break, gradually heal and you will be left with nothing but beautiful memories of Bliss.
My prayers go out to you and your family.

Cheryl in Tn

Amy L said...

I am so sorry Charissa. We had to do the same thing with our Brandy a few years back. She was almost blind and could barely walk anywhere without falling too. I will be praying for you and your children, this is one of the hardest things to do in life I think...letting go of a pet.

The Monroe 6 said...

We also did this a couple of years ago when our dog was 14. To tell you the truth, my husband and I regretted it. It was devestating. It haunted me for almost a year.
If you feel he is in pain and miserable then you might want to do it.
If he is just old and blind, but happy and content....don't do it.
I was holding my dog and felt her heart stop beating. I started having a panic attack.
Gosh do I love animals.
They are so precious.
I am sorry you are having to go through this.

kirsten said...

:(( tail still wagging? Oh my, Bliss has been so faithful. I'm tearing up thinking of her. She will be missed.

Anonymous said...

This is so sad!
I remember being 12 and I came home one day and my Dad had put my dog down because he had heartworms and was very sick. Although I knew he had been sick I never got to say goodbye and even now years later it still makes me sad that I never got to hug him one more time!

Mannford, OK

Lacia said...

Awww.that is just so tough. My dog died in her sleep unexpectedly (I got up in the morning and found her dead on the floor in front of my bed where she always slept). It was horrible. I wished that I could have put her down, but many people that I have talked to wished that they didn't have to make the choice of putting their pets down. I worried that she suffered through the night without us knowing. After reading your post though, I'm not sure I could have made that decision. Hugs to you and you will know in your heart what is right.

Larsen Family said...

You will be in my prayers. I haven't had to do that, so I am not sure what those feelings would be like, but incredibly hard. We have 2 dogs, and I dread the day when they might not be with us any longer. Yes, they make messes and leave dog hair in my house, but they are my 4-legged kids. Not sure what to tell you, but if she isn't in pain then maybe she will just go to heaven when she is ready.

Tilly Cat & Pip-Squeak said...

You know what, I WILL pray for you... To know if Bliss is feeling happy or not. At this point, she is surrounded by love... And she can still bask in that love (the tail wagging, I think.) The question you have to make, is how uncomfortable she is, and just how important the things she can't do any more are to her, compared with the things she can still enjoy (love, hugs, strokes, your presence.)

I hate these times... My dog died 7 years ago... He was 14 and started getting strokes. He had a stroke, for a day or two couldn't get up or support his weight... Then got better. A week later, another stroke... etc. It got worse every time... It was very difficult to draw the line of enough is enough as long as he kept recovering. Hugs to you and Bliss.


Leah said...

Here is a good article with things to consider when trying to make this decision. It's EASY for someone else to say, "it's time" because THEY don't have to take the dog, and be the one to end your pets life. Anyway, read this article, and hopefully it will help you with your decision. Based on what you wrote in this post, as a pet owner, lover and fosterer, I would say it's time.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear that. I know how heartbreaking it is for you and the kids. Wish I knew a way to ease the pain.


Dalene said...

I think the fact that her tail is still wagging is GOOD. You don't want to wait until she is sad, in pain, and frustrated. She knows you love her...and really, she'll be put to sleep peacefully, right?

I'm sorry to be Captain Practical. But you'd be doing the right thing...the hard thing, but the selfless thing.

Love Ya!

Mandy said...

I'm praying for you Charissa.

adoptyaroslav said...

So sorry that you have to make this decision. We just did that for our dear Nala Bear a little over a month ago.

No one else can tell you when the right time is, but just know that no matter how painful the decision is, whenever you decide is really the right time.

We've done this three times in the past 3.5 yrs. Only the first one was easy (16 yr old cat with heart failure causing extreme difficulty breathing); the next two were not so easy (16 yr old cat withering away to nothing - 4.2 lbs; 13yr old dog with hip dysplasia). One day our dog could walk, the next day she couldn't. My husband waffled over the decision more than I did, but I knew when I asked her if she wanted to go for a "w" word (and showed her leash) and all she could do was wag her tail, that it was time to go.

Even now, when I walk the other three dogs, I sometimes see a black shadow at the corner of my eye, limping along and wagging her tail, and I know it's Nala Bear taking a "w" word with us, in spirit if not in body. My husband thinks I'm totally nuts, so I don't tell him anymore.

Please make sure that everyone who wishes to be present at the end is there. I believe that closure makes all the difference in the world.


JUST A MOM said...

:( It's never easy to say goodbye to part of the family, even if they have four legs. Praying you will receive God' perfect timing.

grammygwen said...

I am in tears here feeling your pain. Our Chelsea was 12 and had diabetes and Cushings disease. We had given her insulin shots and meds for her cushings for a year. One day she got down and didn't get back up. It was the weekend so our vet wasn't in the office, we took her to an animal emergency hospital. We had decisions to make as to start her on chemo for a tumor and we knew that we didn't want to do that. When we left her for the night we both kissed her and told her goodbye. We asked God not to let us have to make the decision to have her put to sleep. The hospital called that night and said that she had passed away. We were so grateful that we didn't have to make that decision.
I read your post to my husband and he says to go to They have some products that may be helpful for pets. May be worth checking out. We just started our Daisey who is 11 1/2 on one of their products.
Praying for you.

Ssejors said...

Awww.. I don't know what to tell you hun.. I think maybe it's good that her tail is still wagging.. I wouldn't want to wait so long that she couldn't even do that any more.

Sonia said...

I'm a new follower and first time poster. This post really pulled on my heart strings because we went through this 6 years ago with our Buddy Boy. Buddy Boy was only 4 years old and was dying of kidney failure. We spent money on specialist and they all gave us the same answer.

For us, his pain was visible and it hurt us so much to see this. He did wag his tail when we were with him, but we knew he was hurting.

His best mate, Angel, is still with us and she is now getting old.

I think deep down you will know.

Our prayers and thoughts will be with you and the family.

Amy said...

Oh Charissa I am so sorry!
Our Cocoa was 14... she was struggling as well to get up, to walk and to function... we today know that we waited too long. A few winters back, she slipped on some ice and feel and broke her leg. Being so old - her bones were pretty weak and brittle... it was a really sad day. We knew that we waited too long... she was happy and very loved - but she was not as happy because she could not run and play and swim - the things she loved.
If you feel in your heart that she is suffering, you will know that you should consider making the choice. Bliss is a wonderful part of your family that you cherish - and the choice is so hard to make!
My thoughts and prayers are with you!
Big Hugs!

Anonymous said...

Charissa, My heart is breaking too. We had a beautiful Dalmation - her nme was Annie. She developed epilepsy (sp?) at a very young age and her medications caused her to go blind and incontinent. We struggled with this same dilemna. I can only tell you this - you and Johnny will just know when the time is right. Bliss has had a most wonderful life living with you and your family. Those days are memories that will live forever. Love you, Jen Banks' mom, Nancy

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry, I had to make the decision a couple of years ago with my dog who was almost 17 yrs old, it was devastating and I couldn't stop thinking I shouldn't have done it, so please don't do anything until you are really really sure , if he's happy and wagging his tail and not in pain he might still be fine.

Deb D. said...

Oh, Charissa, it is so bitter! I had my kitty Calli for
15 1/2 years. I wept and wept when she was put to sleep. I held her and kissed her while the solution was injected. Then I wept more. It is so bitter.
My only advice is that you will know. And YOU need to know. It has to be something YOU know is right or you may struggle with your decision once your baby is gone. It hurts enough without having to add any doubt to it. My gauge is that if my pet isn't in any pain and can function, then it isn't time yet. Calli wasn't able to eat nor drink, nor walk, and had a very blank look. She almost looked at me as if to ask for relief. For me, then, I knew it was time. Blessings to you and God's peace as you grieve this season. The pain is real. I'm sorry for your sorrow.