My dog has been put to sleep

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by MatthewA, Jul 29, 2003.

  1. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2001
    Messages:
    37,679
    Likes Received:
    5,308
    Location:
    Rensselaer, NY
    Paul:

    That's great.

    I remember you writing that you wondered about Stanley's back story...how could he have ended up alone, etc. It's something we wonder about each of the dogs we've rescued. It's when you really wish the dogs could talk so they could tell you about their past life. Did they miss their former family? Are they glad to be away from their former family? What was it like in-between the former family and you... It's something that's with us all the time. We always just hope that we are giving them the comfort, attention and love that they deserve and that they are happy to be with us.

    And it is not an uncommon thing for the dogs to be "different" a long time after than when they become part of the family. We are told all the time by the rescue group and by our vets that we will be discovering a dog's true personality for months after they come to us. Often, they start out on their "best behavior"--actually, they are just a little stiff at the beginning of the relationship as they are learning the rules of the house (what's allowed, what isn't. What's expected...). But then, as they become more comfortable and more used to their surroundings they start to become their true selves and test the limits. But that's usually a good thing because they are that much more relaxed and happy.

    I LOOOOOOOOOOVE that picture of Stanley with Monty's toy. He's down in "play" position (butt up, front end down) and tail furiously wagging. Soooooooooo happy that his people have come home. :thumbsup:
     
  2. Paul D G

    Paul D G Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2001
    Messages:
    1,731
    Likes Received:
    54
    Whenever Stanley is keenly interested in someone walking on the other side of the street I have to wonder why, if they remind him of his old family. Just this afternoon I was walking him and he spotted an Indian woman (with colorful, distinctive clothing) walking about a block away. He immediately started crying and was desperate to catch up with her so we ran up the street. Did he recognize her? We slowed as we got closer and as we walked passed he merely gave her a little sniff then continued on his way. We have no idea where he was actually found other than it was in our village. So somewhere there's someone he knows.

    Stanley made himself quite at home after a day or so. He settled right in curling up on laps and sitting on the back of the couch. And walking on tables. We managed to stop that pretty quickly.
     
  3. Dick

    Dick Producer

    Joined:
    May 22, 1999
    Messages:
    5,343
    Likes Received:
    1,395
    Real Name:
    Rick
    "Put to sleep" is one of those euphemisms that we all use to anaesthetize ourselves to what is really going on. The dog is being killed. It will no longer be sleeping. Sorry to sound so callow, but let's face it -- euthanasia is death. It is unpleasant and very, very sad for us. It is usually done for humane reasons, to relieve an animal of undue suffering. The animal feels nothing and will drift away without protest or pain. They haven't the cognitive ability to know what is happening to them, unlike humans strapped to a gurney being injected with lethal drugs when sentenced to death. That is a blessing. I know we all like to think that our animal friends are dying painlessly, and in most cases I believe that is true. The real pain is being felt by us. It is no different than when humans are disconnected from their life support (or are helped along to death by Kervokian methods). They die, we feel the pain. They don't. They're wherever they are (either in animal heaven or simply nonexistent, depending upon your beliefs). We have helped them out of pain and physical disability. That's fine. But "put to sleep" is a self-soothing way of saying we killed our pets. And I don't think we need to be ashamed of that -- most often, we are sparing them of suffering.
     
  4. Radioman970

    Radioman970 Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2006
    Messages:
    6,864
    Likes Received:
    723
    Location:
    Could be anywhere
    Real Name:
    James Perry
    ^^ no offense, but nothing has to be defined so hard-edged. Especially something as painful as that. "Put to sleep" is fine. Who says "I just had my dog killed because he was in too much pain to go on"? Why does it matter that most people don't?
     
  5. Paul D G

    Paul D G Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2001
    Messages:
    1,731
    Likes Received:
    54
    Well, if we insist on being technical, we're euthanizing our pets, not necessarily 'killing' them.
     
  6. Dick

    Dick Producer

    Joined:
    May 22, 1999
    Messages:
    5,343
    Likes Received:
    1,395
    Real Name:
    Rick
    I didn't mean to sound so insensitive. I am having to make this decision in my life very soon as well, and I guess sometimes I just get angry about cancer (which took my parents, my brother, and is now taking both my sister and my dog) and I want to emit a primal scream. But you're right, James, that was pretty harsh. Of course it doesn't matter one whit that most people don't use the term "killing." But if I don't "kill" my dog, the cancer will. Given that option, I suppose I would prefer to simply "put her to sleep." I haven't that option with my sister. Your point is well taken.
     
  7. rich_d

    rich_d Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2001
    Messages:
    2,025
    Likes Received:
    50
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Real Name:
    Rich
    Matthew ... so sorry for your loss.

    Dick, so sorry to hear what cancer has done to your family.

    We lost our chocolate lab (April) to a form of cancer. I was traveling five days a week and my wife called me to tell me that it might be time to put April down. I came home and she looked good (under the circumstances) to the point that I was a bit upset with my wife's judgement on the matter (and for the hours I spent thinking about the issue, seemingly needlessly). Then the following week I came home again after a week on the road. What a difference. My dog was in pain. The pain you could see in her eyes kind of pain. That made the decision the hardest easy decision I could make.
     
  8. Radioman970

    Radioman970 Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2006
    Messages:
    6,864
    Likes Received:
    723
    Location:
    Could be anywhere
    Real Name:
    James Perry
    I should have known. My apologies. Hang in there.

    My mother is a cancer survivor and she was very lucky. All women should have the yearly thing to checks.





    ------------------

    I lost my dog Goldie to cancer. She was like a kid to me and it was among the saddest days I'd ever had. 5+ years later the hurt has gotten easier to bare but it's still there. But I also have memories that make me smile.
     
  9. joshEH

    joshEH Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,227
    Likes Received:
    822
    Location:
    Room 303, The Heart O' The City Hotel
    Real Name:
    Josh
    Just saw this thread.

    We were forced to put our 15-year-old beagle, Mercedes, to sleep yesterday morning at the veterinarian. He was always so full of life and energy (a rambunctious troublemaker!), even when he finally slowed down somewhat, that we thought he'd go on for at least another couple of years.

    So, it was utterly shocking when he just started going completely downhill Thursday night, with his rear legs and hips both completely giving out, coupled with a total lack of will to eat food or drink any fluids. Despite our efforts to get him to drink, we basically knew this was it, and were simply stupefied that it could happen so damn fast.

    We called the vet on Friday, and set up an 11:30 AM appointment for Saturday morning (they were going to be closed the entire weekend after that, due to the Columbus Day holiday, and we didn't want Sadie dying of thirst over the weekend).

    That final night, I slept on the floor with him, holding him all night long (he was having trouble holding up his head sometimes, and wanted to place it on top of my outstretched arm), and generally just trying to spend one final, quiet evening with my old friend (whom we'd raised since the day he was weaned from his mother, back in early March, 1998).

    It's a night that I will always remember, now. But it went by so incredibly quickly.

    When morning came, I took him outside one final time for a last "walk" -- but with his back legs gone, it was basically me holding him in my arms while I "walked" him up the block to some of his favorite haunts, and we finally settled down in our backyard in our central garden-park area.

    I placed Mercedes on the ground, and just sat there with him, taking in the cool morning, sunshine, chirping birds, and everything else. I wanted everything to be perfect for our last outdoor memories together.

    A bit after 11:00, we took him in to the clinic, and Mercedes suddenly showed more lucidity than he'd displayed in days -- eyes wide open, squirming and looking around in a panic. He realized where he was (at THE VET'S, where all the needles and weird-smelling chemicals live), and wanted no part of it.

    It took four of us, including the vet and an assistant, to restrain Mercedes long enough to administer the first dose of anesthesia, talking to him, petting him, soothing him, telling him we loved him dearly, and about a minute later, he drifted off to sleep.

    The vet then administered the second dose, and another minute or so later...that was it. He was on the other side.

    I can't type any more, guys. Sorry.
     
  10. joshEH

    joshEH Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,227
    Likes Received:
    822
    Location:
    Room 303, The Heart O' The City Hotel
    Real Name:
    Josh
    Here are some pictures of Mercedes (taken in a different house than the one we live in now, back probably in 2005, when he was around 7-8 years old):

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    (Mercedes rolling around super-fast on top of his Cozy Cave!)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Radioman970

    Radioman970 Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2006
    Messages:
    6,864
    Likes Received:
    723
    Location:
    Could be anywhere
    Real Name:
    James Perry
    Sorry to hear about your loss. I actually wish i couldn't relate. It seems like just yesterday I took Goldie. But it's been years. I miss her but it's not as bad as it was for several years after.

    Great looking Beagle. Ours only lived to be about 8. Heartworms weakened his heart. He was also made to stay outside since I still lived at home with my parents and dad isn't a pet person. :( ( I'll never ever have an outdoor dog again. Anybody who cares more about carpet and furniture shouldn't have one. )
     
  12. davidHartzog

    davidHartzog Cinematographer
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Messages:
    2,832
    Likes Received:
    801
    Real Name:
    John smith
    I too am sorry to read about your loss. I have had several dogs and cats over the decades, and they were all wonderful in different ways, unique. I have a cat now, getting up there, she is 14, and when she finally goes, i know it will be no easier than the other times. I still miss all of them.
     
  13. joshEH

    joshEH Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,227
    Likes Received:
    822
    Location:
    Room 303, The Heart O' The City Hotel
    Real Name:
    Josh
    Thank you, David...it's funny, before Mercedes (and his slightly-older "brother" beagle, Jake), I hadn't owned a dog since I was much, much younger, but the loss of both of them just slightly more than three years apart (Jake passed away in December, 2009) is really hitting me in the heart right now.

    I know intellectually that what we did yesterday for Sadie was probably the only thing we could have done for him in that moment (his rear legs were just gone, and he likely would've died of dehydration by the end of the weekend), but it doesn't make the pain any easier to bear.

    Just a year or so ago, I would've sworn that Mercedes would've been around for years to come -- he was so invincible and indomitable, and his spirit dwarfed most other human beings I've ever known; he was the most puckish person I've probably encountered, human or otherwise.

    Funny how much a week just changes everything.
    Thank you for the kind words, Radioman -- Mercedes always was a real cutie-patootie, even when he got older; he somehow always managed to get you on his side through his beagle-face, despite the fact that you were upset with him over some caper or stunt he'd just pulled.

    I often suspected he knew this full well, and consciously manipulated us into letting him off the hook whenever he got into the garbage or grabbed a piece of food sitting atop the counter, etc.

    As you can see in that first photo (and in the one where he's rolling around on his back on his Cozy Cave), he always had such a mischievous glint in his eye just all the time -- "Who, ME??" :lol: :cool:
     
  14. joshEH

    joshEH Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,227
    Likes Received:
    822
    Location:
    Room 303, The Heart O' The City Hotel
    Real Name:
    Josh
    Also, 100 percent agreed, Radioman, re: "outdoor/indoor" dogs.

    We kept Mercedes and Jake indoors all the time, and were always aghast at people who penned or chained up an animal in the heat of the summer, or in the freezing cold of the winter.

    We tried to give both dogs (Jake was a rescued stray who had a very rough life during his first year, as we understand things) as pampered and spoiled an upbringing as we could give them -- maybe TOO spoiled, as in Sadie's case (in later years, he'd frequently expect food and other treats as a regular thing), but then again, that was always part of the plan. ;)
     
  15. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2001
    Messages:
    37,679
    Likes Received:
    5,308
    Location:
    Rensselaer, NY
    Hey Josh.

    Rest assured. It was tough...but you folks did the right thing. Dogs are so stoic about their pain. They just don't let on like humans do about their pain and suffering.

    I counsel people on this all the time. The amount of hurt is directly proportionate to the amount of love between the pet and its owner. The more you two gave each other, the tougher it is to say goodbye.

    Embrace the hurt. Remember Sadie (I love the fact that your male beagle answered to "Sadie"--short for Mercedes. Very cool!) and mourn him. It will be awhile for you to get used to the fact that he's not there any more. The process of mourning a pet takes a very long time. As it should. They are very important in our lives.

    My Golden Retriever, Brooks, was diagnosed with cancer one day earlier this year and was given a few weeks to live. He died while suffering seizures the very next night. That part can happen fast.

    Sadie reminds me a lot of my first dog as a young boy, Cleo. Cleo (a beagle/basset mix) walked up to our summer camp in the Adirondacks one day and adopted us! :D

    Here's a picture of the two of us from 1972 that was recently scanned:

    View attachment 4995
     
  16. Stan

    Stan Producer
    Supporter

    Joined:
    May 18, 1999
    Messages:
    3,070
    Likes Received:
    274
    Don't mean to sidetrack this thread, but are there symptoms with heartworms so I could stop them in time?

    My dog lives inside about 99% of the time, but could she pick up something on her brief trips to the back yard?
     
  17. Radioman970

    Radioman970 Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2006
    Messages:
    6,864
    Likes Received:
    723
    Location:
    Could be anywhere
    Real Name:
    James Perry
    @ josh. He was full of life most of his life. That's the sure sign of a happy dog. My dog Bear, amazing dog, was the same way. She only slowed down the last year of her life and became part of the background. We let her have her quiet time. Even Goldie and Scooter knew to leave her alone.

    My mini-pin Kayla is spoiled already. She likes my chair (should stress the "my" in that...lol). It wouldn't be a biggie, but she also likes my side of the chair. :( I have to shove her over. If I give her "a look" she'll roll over showing her belly... so I shove her and her belly over. lol
    Best to get her on heartworm preventive. Have her checked with your vet first. Give her the prev every month and you can sleep at night. (prev is very cheap on the net, much more so than your vet) Took losing my beagle and my childhood irish setter to school me about hw. I had my 3 checked a month ago and all were clean, even the mini-pin I got from a lady up the street who just moved here. Horrible town for hw here.
     
  18. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2001
    Messages:
    37,679
    Likes Received:
    5,308
    Location:
    Rensselaer, NY
    Stan:

    You really do want to keep the dogs away from heartworms. The treatment is a nasty, lengthy business. Just like James says, have 'em checked at the vet and then do the monthly preventative. You don't want to mess with hw.

    And you have to have them checked for it first because bad things can happen if you give them the preventative and they are hw+.

    Can your dog pick them up if it ONLY makes trips into your backyard? Yes. it is a mosquito-borne illness.

    Even though it has gotten much cooler here in the northeast, the mosquitoes are still hanging around.
     
  19. Michael_K_Sr

    Michael_K_Sr Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2005
    Messages:
    1,358
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Chicago 'burbs
    Real Name:
    MichaelK
    Well, this has been one of the hardest days of my life. This morning I had to say goodbye to my best buddy of 16 1/2 years…my black Lab, Shadow. :( Ultimately the vet and I believe he succumbed to a condition called degenerative myelopathy…similar to ALS, where the hind legs start to weaken and then become paralyzed. Although we suspected more than two years ago that he was afflicted, the progression of the disease was slow moving and, up until April, he had been getting around okay. But his mobility began to deteriorate more rapidly after that and by Friday he couldn't walk much without falling over. He also had a diminished appetite and had been unable to poop normally because of the lack of muscle strength in his back legs.

    Over the weekend, I had most of my friends and family over to see him one last time. There was a lot of love sent his way. By yesterday he wasn't eating any food except for the dog treats I offered him and by this morning, he wouldn't even eat those. We estimate he was close to 18 years of age, which is not something that is often seen in Labradors. My other Lab had to be put down when she was 13.

    Shadow had a hard start to his life…he was abused and presumably tossed out of a car. My co-worker found him injured and shivering on a railroad overpass in January 1998. Her dogs would not tolerate a newcomer (thankfully) and so she asked me if I would be interested, having become a new homeowner the prior spring. I went over to see him and it was love at first sight. From the get go, he would follow me everywhere and that was one of the reasons I found the name Shadow appropriate. He had the sweetest disposition and was definitely undersized for a Lab, never weighing over 55 pounds. He kept his cute puppy face (albeit with a healthy gray beard in later years.) for his whole life. He had some speed bumps (he had a cruciate ligament repair, cataracts and the occasional digestive problems) but through everything he always kept that wonderful disposition.

    It's so quiet in my house now. For so long I have been used to hearing those nails clicking on the kitchen floor, the tongue lapping up water and the licking of his chops following a meal. :( He loved everybody and everyone that knew him loved him in return. It was a remarkable journey with a ton of great memories and he will be greatly missed. I hope nobody minds me sharing a few photos of him.

    10380688_10203935309930603_1091851089810650782_o.jpg 10557654_10203935288290062_8385471090114907375_o.jpg 10556944_10203935301530393_659262395991822262_o.jpg 10452908_10203935309610595_3896439785852490474_o.jpg
     
  20. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 1997
    Messages:
    20,692
    Likes Received:
    1,821
    Location:
    Aberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ
    Real Name:
    Sam Posten
    Sorry to hear Michael, he looks like an awesome friend, that final picture is world class. Deepest condolences!
     

Share This Page