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Thread: Putting Your Pet "To Sleep"

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
    May 2003
    Northwestern Ohio

    Putting Your Pet "To Sleep"

    We grow so close to our pets. They become family. We laugh with them, enjoy their antics, clean-up after them.

    When it is time to "put them down"......it can be very difficult and emotional.

    This mroning, Katie and I took Murray (our 12-year old mixed breed) to the vet for that "final walk". It was Katie's first time.....my second.

    The Delta, OH, vet schedules these things at the end of their Saturday work shift, making it easier on the emotional basket cases that will be bringing the pet in. We arrived at 11:30 AM. Murray was sniffing another dog, as it came out of the vet's room.

    The vet's assistant gave me a meek smile and said, "We're ready."

    We walked to the small room with Murray. I had to lift her on the table and Katie and I stroked her fur and head. She stared at us, giving us those doggie eyes that I will remember for a long time.

    The vet explained what would happen. He would put a small catheter in Murray's leg and then inject the drug. Murray would settle gently down, her head would come down slowly and rest on the table, and she would be gone within about 10 seconds.

    It happened exactly as the vet said. Both Katie and I started crying, fumbling with Kleenex, stroking the black fur of our family member. The vet and his assistant gave us time with Murray alone, after she had passed. We cried for a few minutes, stroked Murray's fur, composed ouirselves, and left the office.

    Tonight, at the Corn Fest, we drank to Murray, cried a few more tears, and had a nice time recalling some of the highlights of Murray's 12 years with us.

    When we lived in rural Henry County she was run over by a school bus. It broke her hip and leg.....and we paid big dollars to save her. She went through life with a leg slightly shorter than the others.

    She was always scared of fireworks and thunderstorms.....and no matter how high or how strong I made the fence.....Murray (Houdini) would find a way to get out and come to the back door and scratch at it, demanding that we let her in the house.

    She followed me everywhere, even laying by the shower when I would clean-up.

    She was a great dog and we will miss her.

    It is tough to put a pet down. We were glad that she passed away so peacefully. The last two people Murray saw were this Bear and Katie.

    Have you ever had to experience putting a pet down? How did you handle it?

    Occupy Cyburbia!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
    Jun 2003
    De Noc
    My brother had the sad duty. I don't remember talking to him about it.
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)

    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
    Jul 2003
    San Diego, CA
    Quote Originally posted by Bear Up North View post
    Have you ever had to experience putting a pet down? How did you handle it?

    I haven't. But my dad tells stories about being a teenager and the very old family dog having to be put down. He was told to dig a grave site for the dog and then they drew straws to see who would have to shoot the dog. My dad got the short straw. It was apparently a really traumatic event for him.

  4. #4

    Oct 2001
    Solano County, California
    My sympathies go out to you, Bear. Max, my shepherd mixed breed, is still happy and eager (and stubborn), but he has begun showing his age (12 1/2) over the last six months. The time may be coming soon

  5. #5
    Cyburbian natski's avatar
    Jun 2005
    In my own little bubble
    Im such an emotional person, i burst out into tears when i read your post Bear. Having never personally owned my own pet, the only experience i have had was when our first cat passed away. We were expecting it to die, as it had cat aids, so it was a matter of time- but it was still hard when we found her.
    "Have you ever wondered if there was more to life, other than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?" Zoolander

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
    Aug 2002
    My sympathies go out to you, Bear. It's never easy to lose a pet.

    As an animal lover, I've had this experience several times now. In the late 1990s, my two cats had to be "put down" within 6 weeks of each other due to incurable (but unrelated) medical conditions. It was a very emotional time. I wasn't even there with the second cat, because she was still under anesthesia from surgery at the vet clinic. We buried the two cats in our backyard, and when we moved, we took rocks from the site and set up a little memorial with photos of them at home.

    Our dog was put to sleep a few years ago. We were at the vet's office with him and held him throughout the procedure until he was gone. Afterwards we had him cremated and buried the ashes with a small ceremony in the yard.

    Most recently our 20+ year old cat Peter had a stroke, and it quickly became apparent that he wasn't going to get any better. We consoled ourselves with the recognition that he'd had a long, healthy, and happy life. He could barely lift his head at the vet's, so we knew it was the right thing to do. Eventually, we adopted another older cat in Peter's memory.

    We keep pictures of all our beloved pets around the house. We will remember each and every one.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Queen B's avatar
    Mar 2003
    "Somewhere in the middle"
    Yes I had that experence a couple of years ago. We got a little border collie and he got parvo. My vet was really good about it but your heart is torn between trying to save their little life and knowing that yhou could spend hundreds of dollars for them to just die anyway. I had to make the choice to put him to sleep.

    We have a dog now that is getting closer to that time. I am not looking forward to making that choice again.
    It is all a matter of perspective!!!

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
    Sep 1999
    400 miles from Orlando
    I have had to have only 2 pets put down, the others died at home. I could not be in the room when it was done either time. I still feel bad about that.

  9. #9
    Jan 2003
    Santiago, Chile
    Well my dog almost died on us when he was a little puppy, he got Parvo, but lived to tell the tale... Now he's pushing 12 years (will be 13 by January) and he still acts quite lively... heck when you take him for a walk he still walks you... (of course less than before, but still)

    So he's only going to sleep naturally or if he gets a terminal disease....

  10. #10
    My cat, Sam, was 20 years old and we knew she was sick. At the vet, they said she was experiencing kidney failure. They could hydrate her and give her some more time, but the end was near. Mom and I were left alone to discuss it. We both knew what we had to do for Sam, so we're waiting for the vet to return and the piped-in music starts playing Barbra Streisand's "The Way We Were". I was a wreck by the time it was over.

    Boris, Norman and Lux are now approaching late middle-age. I dread having to go through that again.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
    Aug 2005
    sorry to hear about Murray. losing a pet is never easy. but it sounds as if you made the kindest decision for her. we'll keep Murray and the Bear family in our thoughts.

    have you heard of the Rainbow Bridge? it is a poem that has helped me and many other's who have experienced the loss of a pet.

    last October we had to put our beloved Hecubus (14 yr shephard-husky mix) to sleep. she had been suffering from kidney failure for almost a year and we made the extremely difficult decision to let her go.

    our vet was nice enough to offer to come to our house to administer the shot. neither my boyfriend or i felt that we would be able to drive home if we did it at the vet's office plus we didn't want to be around other people. the vet came over early in the morning, and put the catheter in her little shaved leg. she looked at us with those sad eyes and we pet her and kissed her and said goodbye to her. the vet, who is very religious, said a prayer for her (we aren't religious at all).

    then he pushed the drugs and we watch the life leave her old tired body.

    then we wrapped her up in a sheet and i helped carry her to the vet's truck. the vet took her back to the office to have her cremated for us.

    we spent the rest of the day crying, reminiscing(sp?), and telling ourselves that it was the right thing to do. she had lived a long and happy life.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Salmissra's avatar
    Aug 2004
    Central Texas
    My family had a poodle when I was growing up. We put him to sleep when he was 11, due back and kidney problems. My aunt had to take him in for us, and even the vet had to have the new guy do the deed. I cried myself sick, and my mom even stayed home from work with me.

    We were a dogless family for several years (both mom and sis are highly allergic to cats). Now there are 3 dogs past middle age in the family, so the thought is in the back of our minds.

    My dog is the youngest at 8. She's had a broken leg, a tumor (removed from her foot a week before Hurricane Rita) and seizures (we don't know what causes them - she's had 4 that we know of in the last 6 years - we know it's not epilepsy). I'd like to think that if she is to the point that it's really in her best interest to let go, I'd be strong enough to do it. I might have to have my husband do it, though - I might not be able to stay in the room.

    I know it's hard to even think about being without the family pet. I cry just thinking about it.
    "We do not need any other Tutankhamun's tomb with all its treasures. We need context. We need understanding. We need knowledge of historical events to tie them together. We don't know much. Of course we know a lot, but it is context that's missing, not treasures." - Werner Herzog, in Archaeology, March/April 2011

  13. #13
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
    May 2005
    The Fox Valley
    Blog entries
    Bear, that's so sad to hear. My sympathies go out to you and your family.

    It really is very difficult to have to do that. I've never had to, but my parents did. And often times, they could never tell us kids about what they were going to do. They would just come back from the vet one day, and it'd be like..."where's 'so-and-so'", and after the fact is when they had to break it to us.

    My parents have had to put down 4 cats and 1 dog, and each time was very difficult. The most especially difficult time was with my 9 year old black lab, just a week or two before Christmas of 2003. She had difficulty eating towards the end, as well as a history of digestive problems (i.e. vomiting). It was revealed she had cancer. After a number of failed treatments, medications, and such, I guess my parents felt it was time.

    All the sudden I get home from school one day, and my brother breaks the news to me. My parents were still at the vet at the time, but he knew. I was in complete denial about the whole thing, until my parents walked in through the door in tears. It was the first time I remember my dad crying in a long time.

    In one of my high school art classes, I created a painting of her. It now hangs in my family's living room and helps us remember the good times we had with her. Though she was only 9 years old, she had a good life, I think. Very spoiled of course, and she was much a part of our life.

    As we have always had animals in our home, we eventually adopted a yellow lab in my black lab's memory. We continue to remember our black lab, and continue to help out other labs in need by donating to the organization we adopted our yellow lab from. Our yellow lab was a little hell-raiser during the training, but he brings much joy to our life as well.

    It's never easy to lose a pet, though. I still have photos of both my old dog and current dog in prominent places in my room.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

  14. #14
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
    Jun 2003
    at the neighboring pub
    Quote Originally posted by Salmissra View post

    My dog is the youngest at 8. She's had a broken leg, a tumor (removed from her foot a week before Hurricane Rita) and seizures (we don't know what causes them - she's had 4 that we know of in the last 6 years - we know it's not epilepsy). I'd like to think that if she is to the point that it's really in her best interest to let go, I'd be strong enough to do it. I might have to have my husband do it, though - I might not be able to stay in the room.

    I know it's hard to even think about being without the family pet. I cry just thinking about it.
    My dog was having seizures about every month. The vet suggested we change to a higher quality food and he hasn't had a seizure in about 6 months. Apparently some dogs have problems with some of the preservatives found in the cheap stuff.

    When my mom put down her cat the vet had her call me to come pick her up because she was too upset to drive.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
    Mar 2002
    Im so sorry Bear, my heart breaks for you right now, sitting here crying like a baby. June 1 my baby girl Kia the Rottie went on to rainbow bridge after a short fight with cancer. I was not able to be with her in the end but I now have her ashes and collar in a lovely carved box, one day when her brothers (a 9 year old beagle and 10 year old mutt) go to join her in the happy hunting ground I will have all their ashes mixed and made into a diamond.

    I dread the day I know is far to close at hand for my boys, age is starting to show and you know when the vet says well you can have their teeth cleaned but the drugs for the surgery would be harder on them than the not so dirty teeth, its much closer than Id like.

    tonight I will light a candle for your furbaby and think of you all
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  16. #16
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
    Jul 2003
    Down by Dun Ringill
    Blog entries
    I had the world's best cat - Blackjack. He was a big, tough neutered male who was hell on wheels for dogs, squirrels and birds, but a kind and affectionate buddy for me. People would tell me that Blackjack had "personality." I often called him Knucklehead because he was a bit of a goof. From kittenhood to his death at age 15, he and I were best buds. He had a close call in a car accident when he was about five and that made us even closer.

    He got old. His strong, powerful frame withered until he was a walking skeleton. When it came time for him to go, I was very sad. People who knew how close I was to him said it must have been the hardest decision I ever made.

    No. It was the easiest decision I ever made. It would have been selfish of me to hold on to him any longer. I would have dishonored the years of companionship and affection he gave me to let him suffer because I could not bear to let him go.

    He received release from his infirmities. I had him cremated and kept his ashes in a metal box until such time as I had a place of my own to bury him. Now he rests in the shade of a lilac bush where the birds are within reach.

    I try not to think about that one final day when he broke my heart. I remember the thousands of days he made me feel good. Sometimes I even dream about him. Those are good dreams. He was always great company.
    Last edited by otterpop; 28 Aug 2006 at 12:05 PM.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  17. #17
    Cyburbian tsc's avatar
    Oct 2002
    Under the Table
    Blog entries
    Bear, sorry for your loss. It is a very hard thing to do.

    My old dog is 13. It is so hard to watch him slow down. He has bad arthritis..but is still motivated to keep plugging along. We had to make a decision about 4 months ago to have surgery or put him down. We choose surgery ($$$) but he was still too perky to put him down. Jordan had a huge hematoma...and the surgery was curative. I don't have kids...otherwise the $$$ would be hard to swallow. Luckily Jordan was able to make the drive to Cornell University for surgery...so it was about 1/4 of the price of my crazy expensive area.
    "Yeehaw!" is not a foreign policy

    Renovating the '62 Metzendorf

  18. #18
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
    Sep 2001
    skating on thin ice
    Spoke to my mother this morning, they are putting Molly down today. she is 12 years old and pretty sick.

    Her favourite game to play was steal the pillow. At my parent's I'd lie on the floor to watch TV in front of the woodstove, and she would try to nudge me off my pillow. Weighing about 100lbs, she'd sometimes win.

    For all of her flaws, she was a pretty good dog.

    This picture is from about 3 years ago, my mom said she is barely recognizable now (fat and saggy).
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  19. #19
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
    Apr 2004
    Blog entries
    I had to stop reading this at Post #12.

    After all, I am on call today and need to man the front counter.

    I'll read the rest from home.... it is never easy and I feel for all of you that have had to do this.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone

  20. #20
    Jun 2004
    Bear, Donk, everyone who has lost a pet I am sorry. My aunt had to put my dog down because she attacked and killed my aunts friends Yorkie puppy. Magnolia (my blacklab/greayhound mix) thought it was a toy, she wasn't trying to hurt it, but she did. Anyway, my aunt put her to sleep to appease the lady who's Yorkie it was. Broke my heart. My parents wouldn't let me have a dog as I got older (teens) because I was never home. So the day I moved out to go to college I went straight to the Humane Society and picked out a pup. She was all mine, went everywhere with me all the time. I miss her a lot.

    I have 2 dogs right now, Sandi is probably not going to make it through the winter. She is overweight, has lumps all over and is old (I am not sure how old, I didn't raise her), its hard for me to know when the time is right. She appears happy so I let her be.

    And Donk, that is THE single cutest dog I have ever seen.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Hceux's avatar
    Oct 2003
    In Wasteland of Cedar Trees
    Wow, I got teary-eyed after reading the first post and went on tearing and sniffling as I got to the end of this thread.

    Bear, yes, I have had the experience putting down a dog. It was on August 10th, 1999, during the summer before grade 13, when a vet came into our house to put our dog, Boogie, to sleep. I remember sitting with him for his last few moments with us, always rubbing his silky black fur ear, my favourite place to touch Boogie, with my thumb and index finger.

    Boogie was 18 or 19 years old when he passed away. We got him when he was 9 years old from a neighbour who travelled too often to look after dog (we were looking after him when the neighbour was on holidays anyways). The vet said that he wouldn't live past 10 years because he was obese. However, we went walking with him every day and did exercises with him too. He even learn to like some human food too!

    I can certainly say it was not a happy day. I had a very hard time for that day and for many weeks, and even months after this day. I do remember crying in the shower on that morning before the vet arrived. I remember not liking how Boogie was placed in the trunk of Mom's car, which we then drove up to our get-away place so that we could bury him at his favourite spot, which was a dirt dug-out underneath a small lilac bush. We've placed a bunch of stones that we've picked up at Lake Ontario, where Boogie used to swim a lot. He's now still there.

    A Cyburbian brought up an idea that I like: bring the stones with you and photos of the burial spot if you move. I have thought about what would happen if Mom sold that getaway place and I didn't want to betray Boogie.

    Oh man, it's hard to write or even think about Boogie as I'm crying and sniffling as I write this post.

    Boogie was/is special to me because, at the time, he beside my Mom,was my only friend I had for much of elementary school and perhaps high school.

    The town actually missed Boogie too. We lived in a small town, on the main street, where lots of people would walk past our house to go to the downtown for the post office, the grocery store, and etc. Ever morning and afternoon, he would want to lay down at the end of the verandah and wag his tail to each person who would walk by. After Boogie's death, I soon started my final year of high school. I also remember not wanting to return to my home because Boogie wouldn't be on the verandah porch to greet me back home. So, I would stay at the school and wait til it's dark so that I wouldn't have to face this head on. Somehow walking on the verandah porch in dark made it okay as Boogie was a dog with mostly black fur with some white spots. Strange how our minds make logic at times, eh?

    On Friday nights and on Sunday afternoons, when Mom and I were on the road to or from the get-away place that we'd spend our weekends at, Boogie would sit upright to watch for the black and white cows. For some strange reason, he stare at them and wag his tail. Who knows why?! And, he would also sit upright when Mom would get off the paved road onto a gravel road, the road to the get-away weekend place, and start getting excited to get out of the car. He'd get so excited that he'd want to get out of the car and run up the last final hill of the road; he'd often beat us home too!

    So, Bear, Donk, and all others, I am sorry about the death of your beloved animals. Try to focus on the positive memories and on the negative memories that are now funny stories, as you go on with your own lives. And, do think of your beloved animals every once in a while too.

  22. #22
    Wow what a sad story, Bear

    We have put three pets down between 2000 and 2004 - a rabbit, cat and dog.

    It never gets any easier

    Cinders: 1991-2000, Toonces 1990-2000. (Not pictured: Zorro: ca 1994-2004)

  23. #23
    Cyburbian sisterceleste's avatar
    Mar 2004
    No Where Man
    It is a very sad experience and brings tears just thinking about it.
    You darn tootin', I like fig newtons!

  24. #24
    Apr 2005
    Section 14-12-7, 3rd PM
    I don't know why I opened this thread up tonite. Just glutton for punishment I guess. Here's my story.....

    I never really was a pet person. As a matter of fact, I am severely allergic to dogs. So when I got married 10 years ago, my wife’s collie would have to stay outside. I loathed having to take care of him, but he came with the wife and I wasn’t giving her up.

    I wasn’t looking forward to sharing my backyard with the dog. I wanted a deck, a garden and free roam of the yard. I certainly didn’t want to watch my step when I took out the garbage. I built him a pen in the corner where he could do as he pleased. This lasted for about a day and it was my garden that ended up in the pen.

    I’m not sure when all that changed, but it wasn’t long before he was my dog as much as hers. In some ways even more. Maybe it was when he would stand with his front paws on the fence waiting for me to come home. Maybe it was the way he would jump at you and swing his paw in the air like he was hitting a tennis ball. Or maybe it was when he would sit faithfully by my side as I spent hours in the woodshop in the garage. He would have more sawdust on him then me.

    He was always excited when I grilled because he knew he was getting leftover bones or that burger that accidentally hit the ground. Sometimes that accident wasn’t so accidental.

    Squirrels would sit in the tree or on the fence and taunt him. This drove him nuts. Every now and then, one would wander into the yard and the chase was on. I never saw him get one, but he sure scared the heck out of many.

    While he chased the squirrels, he was really very kind to other animals. One time a baby rabbit from next door made its way to our yard and was trying to squeeze back through the fence. He made it half way through and was flaying its legs to get the rest of the way. The collie gently nudged the rabbit on through the fence with his nose.

    Four years ago, he got sick. I remember telling myself that I used to laugh at people who spent as much money as we did to find out what was wrong. All tests came back negative and we treated the problem and he was with us four more years. I never regretted spending that money because we were not ready for the alternative at that time.

    This morning was different though. We’ve noticed the last couple weeks, things were going downhill. He wasn’t drinking or eating as much and having difficulty breathing. Today, he wouldn’t eat at all. Not even being hand fed. I begged him to eat and told him if he didn’t I would have to take him to the doctor. I think he knew and was ready to go.

    I took him for a short walk to the neighbors who have watched him while we were away, and then put him in the truck for the ride to the doctor. We didn’t have an appointment so they had to fit us in. It took two hours. By then, my wife and oldest daughter were there. We sat on the floor with him and held him till it was done. We know it was for the best, but we will miss him.

    Rest in peace Mufasa, we love you.

    Gosh that was longer then I imagined, and to think of all the stuff I left out

  25. #25
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
    Aug 2002
    Savemattoon, you have my sympathies. Mufasa was lucky to have you and your family to love and spend time with him.

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