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Pandora's avatar

How do I pretend to be happy when my heart is being shredded?

Asked by Pandora (23204 points ) January 23rd, 2014

Today I took my dog to the vet and he is in renal failure. He can have treatment one day a week and it will be very expensive because he is also being treated for heart problems. If I stop the heart meds, his lungs will fill with fluid and he will drown. If he continues on his meds he done. It would just be trading one death for another. He just may last a few more weeks if treated for the renal problem but eventually we will run out of money or his body just won’t be able to take the treatments. So my husband and I have decided to let nature take its course. Which means we will probably have to put him down soon. I don’t know how to be around him without crying every few minutes. How do I make him feel loved and happy when I feel so lost and sad? I want him to feel as well as possible till the end. But I feel like my heart is being squeezed.

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19 Answers

Fmartine2433's avatar

Memories. That is all we can ever keep. I am deeply sorry. I know what ever i say i still whont feel your sorrow or pain. But you still have time. Be whith your dog. In his dark moments hell be in pain and looking for confort. Confort him and he will at least die happy. Again i am deeply sorry.

funkdaddy's avatar

Just so sorry.

I don’t know if this will help, but my wife’s grandma was sick this week. She’s 95 and not really the same person she once was. She’s in pain a lot and constantly worried that someone is going to hurt her. When we hear she’s sick, everyone wonders if this is the end for her.

I realized this time around that I just hope that she dies in some way that isn’t painful or undignified. She was always so proper and worried about what people would think. If she can have those two things, then I don’t think it’s sad when she passes. It really is her time.

I wish we could talk to the old grandma, when she was still there and just ask what she would like to go do. Take her someplace and make her at ease and happy one more time. Things moved so fast and everyone was worried about her health first, I sometimes wonder if we should have just seen how much fun she could squeeze in.

In your shoes, I would take a day and make you and your dog happy one more time. Whatever his limitations are, you probably still know of a few things that he will love and that you’ll love to share. Go to the park, feed him something he’ll love, let him swim, or lick your face, or run in a field. Whatever makes you two the happiest. Take pictures if you like, or just hold the memory.

After that, just make sure he doesn’t suffer and I’d say that’s all any one of us can ask for.

Pandora's avatar

@Fmartine2433 Thank you.
@funkdaddy Thank you, I’m sorry you and your family are also going through a difficult time. I think it is one of the reasons I won’t make this linger. My dad had a long lingering death and I know he just wanted it over with. So I can’t see making my dog go through treatments that may only make things difficult for him a lot longer.
For now, I guess I will just go to bed and snuggle with him. I just feel so drained right now.

rojo's avatar

You don’t pretend. You have a right to be saddened and to both accept and express your feelings as they are.

I have been in similar situations and always chose to put an end to my friends suffering rather than postpone the inevitable.

In such difficult times I like to recall a quote from Robert Heinlein:

“When the need arises, and it does, you must be able to shoot your own dog. Don’t farm it out, that doesn’t make it nicer, it makes it worse.”

I have taken my pets in when that time came and been there with them ‘till the end. It is a sad, mournful occasion but I own them no less and I hope that when the time comes someone will do the same for me.

Peace.

pleiades's avatar

I am so sorry for your ordeal. I know it may be tough, but when you’re around him, just talk to him and tell him how you feel. Tell him all your feelings. Try and have one hard session with him and let it all out, don’t hold back. I know he knows he is loved and that’s all he could ever ask for.

and wow I really like what @funkdaddy had to offer!

trinitymat2's avatar

I can relate… My 11 year old dog whom I shared most of my life with died. I agree with talking softly and softly petting him, if you know what he is most excited for do those.

janbb's avatar

Love him and hold him and cry. He will understand. And yes, do whatever you can that you both enjoy for the last times. I’m looking at my new little guy and crying for you.

syz's avatar

We hate combination cardiac and renal disease – the treatment for one worsens the other, no matter what you do.

I have a friend who faced a similar dilemma, and she actually created a fantastic blog about “Bailey’s Bucket List”. Together, they celebrated the last few months of Bailey’s life…and Bailey’s whole-hearted, uncomplicated joy in life allowed her a great deal of peace when it was time for Bailey to go.

Here’s a link to an article that she wrote

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Hey, has he given you unconditional love? I’m guessing yes, so that’s what he should get back. Yes it hurts, but only because you got so much from the relationship. He’s had the same thing from you. Don’t let him go through the pain and the fear, but let him go out with love.

josie's avatar

Why pretend?

Dogs are great and it is easy to get attached to them. But they are not immortal. So the truth is you have to say goodbye. Never easy, but it is that simple. Not saying goodbye is irrational and it just makes it harder. You are going to feel bad for a while anyway,so why not be up front and healthy about it?

See above. The dog is a critter, that might as likely have lived it’s life as a wild beast, infested with parasites and lice, chased by predators etc. Instead, it had a great time with you. You did it a favor by being a good owner.

If the dog is as sick as you say, I would put it down before it gets really distressed.

Coloma's avatar

Saying goodbye to out pets is always so hard. They are innocents that do not understand and we feel great responsibility for their quality of life. Yes, go ahead and let your emotions happen, stuffing them will only result in more tension and unhappiness. Just be with your dog and better to say goodbye a day early than a day too late.

Helping a pet die is the greatest gift we can give to something that has brought us so much joy and love. Peace to you during this difficult time.

gailcalled's avatar

It’s the price we all pay for loving; I hope that when my time comes, I am treated just as well as pet owners treat their pets when their moment comes.

Don’t worry about pretending anything. It is heart-breaking and therefore, your heart will break.

Since I became a pet owner, over five years ago, I sob at road-kiill.

Whzt’s your dog’s name? Do you feel like sending us a pcture or two?

filmfann's avatar

There is nothing wrong with showing heartbreak.

gailcalled's avatar

@Pandora: Thank you for the photograph. He is beautiful. Over the years, I bet that he often got that fabulous white coat covered with mud and stuff; did he enjoy being bathed?

Pandora's avatar

He doesn’t like baths but he equally didn’t like being dirty. After a bath he use to run around like a nut case to get dried but it was like giving him concentrated coffee. Now he just rubs his face dry and then just lays curled up. I have to wash him more frequently because he licks himself a lot these days and he smells like puke the last few days. He was puking his food up. Now he is on anti nausea pills and he can hold down his food. He doesn’t seem to be in any pain right now and he even played a little today but now he just seems very tired.

Pandora's avatar

Update: We decided let him go today rather than let him suffer. He was having trouble standing up this morning and wouldn’t drink water. He was a fantastic loving dog. His name was Boots. Funny enough. 4 days ago I met a dog named Midnight who the owner thought his dog was mistaking Boots for his pal Yuki. Then today I met a owner who was there to pick up her dog Ginger.
Yuki was my mother in laws dog, and Midnight was the first dog he ever met who belonged to my neighbor, and Ginger was my sisters dog. No mention of any other dogs. All three are gone and I prayed it was the right thing to do. I couldn’t help but feel this was a message that it was ok to let him go. I know many of you don’t believe in signs and so on, but please just let this pass. My heart has a huge gap in it right now and I need to believe he isn’t alone.

janbb's avatar

@Pandora There is a big hole in the heart and the house when a beloved dog is gone. I am so sorry for your loss but know you were right to not let him suffer.

longgone's avatar

Don’t worry about what anyone here believes. Any thought which comforts you is perfectly fine! I’m sure Boots was grateful for the calm goodbye…it sounds like this loving dog had a very loving owner. Hugs to you!!

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