October 17th, 2004, 12:11 PM
:angel: I have a couple of Heros to mention here, :angel:
But I'll start with how the need for this thread came to my mind...
I was reading a thread in which one member recounted her difficult experience with her beloved german shepphard; it had to be euthanized after it's second attack on a person. As a dedicated and courageous owner, she stayed with her dog when the euthanization was carried out, to calm and comfort him so that he might pass on close to the family he knew and loved, and be at ease.
I wrote her a note, thanking her on his behalf and sympathizing with her loss.
After writing that note, i realized that there are potentially hundreds of other pet mommies and daddies that have been forced to make this difficult dicision, and then been dedicated enough to stay with them during euthanization.
So, in that case,
:angel: You Are a Hero :angel:
I would like to post this thread in gratitude
To all pet owners who have ever been forced,
for the benefit of their four-legged friend,
to make the painful and difficult decision to euthanize an animal.
But first and foremost
I would like to Thank,
on behalf of all the four legged friends
that have slipped quietly away,
feeling safe and loved in the arms of their family,
Every pet parent that has ever
accompanied their animal to his or her passage from this world.
Nothing could ever be more comforting
than having you there: You are strong, and brave,
and selfless and dedicated, and there is no replacement
for you in the final moments of the lives of these
creatures whose very existence in fact rotates around YOU!
Thank you for doing the right thing, in the right way.
I congratulate you for your selflesness and devotion,
and sympathize the loss of your beloved pet:
rest assured that they left this world knowing and understanding
that you loved and cared for them.
I pray that all pet owners can show your courage in this dicision.
I would also just like to add a note to parents:
Some of you may think that your son or daughter is not ready to witness the death of their companion animal,
and for some I agree that this may be true,
But if your son or daughter is in their early or mid teens, and has a good understanding of the process and why it is being done, as well as knowing and understanding the specific emotional needs of animals,
i urge you to let them make a decision about staying with their pet during its final moments,
and to encourage them to act in the way that is best for the emotional wellbeing of their cat or dog.
When i was in my mid-teens, I had a beautiful brilliant white cat named Phoenix who was given to me by my father as a tiny kitten,
but after just a few short years,
he was plagued suddenly with the paralysis of his lower body.
My mother accompanied me to the vet, where we learned that he was suffering from severe clotting in his main artery, and his back end has simply suffocated to death.
There was no permanent cure, and the best way to ease the incredible pain he was in was to have him euthanized.
When asked if i would stay with him, my mother responded that it would be too difficult for me,
and i let her lead me away by the sleeve.
As i looked back over my shoulder,
I can still see him... wide eyed, craning his neck to see me out the service room window as i walked away.
All the light of the moon and the stars shone in his beautiful amber eyes, and they reflected to me every ounce of pain and fear and confusion and abandonment and betrayal and desperation that was trapped inside his tiny fragile heart that he could not express in speech.
I am plagued with more guilt for that decision than possibly any other decision i have ever made in my entire life,
and I will never,
be able to forgive myself for betraying him so selfishly.
SO please parents, if your son or daughter loves their pet, let them make the choice whether or not to stay with them,
and encourage them to do what is best for the animal.
*Please feel free to share your experiences*
October 17th, 2004, 12:48 PM
In 2002, I had a cush job so I went to animal control and adopted a beautiful male rottweiler. He was about a year old, had been tied out in a yard his whole life so he had no household manners whatsoever. He seemed to do ok with the pound cat, so no problems.
I worked about 6 hours a day, so he had crate time. Since going in was accompanied by a yummy treat, this was no problem. The problem was, he bent the heck out of this metal crate to get out of it on day 1 and I came home to a huge mess and two terrorized cats hiding under my bed, up in the box spring.
Ok, out comes the e-collar to teach the boy about chasing cats.
Of course, just as he is starting to come around, all hell breaks loose at work. My 6 hour days are now 10 to 12 hour days. I am not spending as much time with Oliver as my then 15 year old daughter (who is plenty big enough to handle him). The rules are pretty simple. Oliver is not to be off leash in the house when I am not home.
Well, Oliver bit me once. It was totally my fault. He had his foot stuck in my van door and I had a couple of options to get it out. Since he was screaming in pain, I knew that I was going to get bit, I just had to decide where. I could turn my back to his face and pull his foot - giving him plenty of shoulder muscle to rip into. I could grab him by the scruff of his neck and pitch him back in the van, thereby removing his foot from the sliding mechanism of the van door. So I grabbed him by the scruff of his neck, and heaved. Grabbed a towel off the van floor, skid the door shut, and went in the house to assess the damage to my hand. It took 5 stitches to close both wounds and he missed the tendon "with surgical precision" as my emergency room doctor so elequently put it.
For a good couple of months, we had minimal problems. Then I get the dreaded phone call from my daughter. Oliver bit Quinten. Quinten is my son. At the time, he was 3. Seems he had walked through the living room with just a bit too much energy and Oliver jumped up and tagged him.
There was no blood, but a nasty little bruise. My SO was FURIOUS! He is very indulgent when it comes to me and my dogs but he will not tolerate a biting dog. Period. Since I had been working with this dog and trying to find him a new home with someone who was able to work with him more then I was, my time was now up.
I had two options.
Option 1: take him to Animal Control, tell them he was a stray I found and maybe he would find a new home. This was not a good option. He had snapped at a child. Had he not been leashed to my daughter at the time, there is no way of knowing how bad the bite to my son would have been or if it would have stopped at just one bite. I certainly couldn't let this dog go to another family with children.
Option 2: take him to Animal Control, pay the fee, and have him put to sleep.
Needless to say, we went with option 2. My daughter and I took him in. I held his beautiful head in my lap while he took his last breath. We both cried so hard and held each other when it was over. The vet tech that administered the shot was crying too. She said it was a rare thing to see a family hold their pet while this was done. Most people just dropped them off and left.
I am not a hero. I am a pet owner and a mother. I have had 3 dogs put to sleep in my adult life and I have held every one of them. It is the least I could do for them. They certainly deserved enough of my time to go to the bridge knowing that they were loved beyond measure. My daughters have been there, too. It is part of teaching them to be responsible for those creatures in their care.
October 17th, 2004, 01:12 PM
you are too a hero.
Not only did you teach your children the responsability in taking care of animals, but you made a difficult choice that may have very well saved someone a lot of pain and bloodshed, and would have ended up with the dog suffereing needlessly as well.
If you are not a hero, then why do so many animal owners just dump their pets and leave?
You are so strong for being able to stay with Oliver, and so many people could not do that.
October 17th, 2004, 04:17 PM
I am certainly no hero,but I have had 4 cats put down,due to old age and disease.Although it tears your heart out,I was not about to leave them with strangers in their final moment,I kept them in my arms or on my lap,cuddling their little faces until they peacefully took their last breath.. sad
After it was done,I took them home and buried them in their favourite place to be,my backyard :love:
October 17th, 2004, 06:04 PM
i once had to put down several of my chickens myself (i am trained in this procedure for avifauna and native australian animals, i am not qualified to do domestic animals or similar and couldnt, i knew what i was doing) any way they had been struck by a nasty soil disease as we lived on a flood plane and our soil was dirty. it was terrifying, at first i hoped they would live out the illness and be tough (i loved them all and wanted them to live so badly they were my little babies), but after watching one slowly bleed to death internally (i put her to sleep before the end, once i realised what disease it was) i coulddnt leave them and the soil was terrible and there was nothign i could do but move.
i rang the agricultural institute and had a chat to the scientist who took samples(for free great ppl) , (vets here dont generally care for chooks unless you are a hatchery, generally you find an old man who breeds chooks and they are as good or even better than vets as it has been a life time thing for them)) and the lab confirmed my worst fear of coccidiosis, a nasty disease which makes them bleed to death slowly and painfuly. so crying hysterically till i could nto see, i had to do it, i even dug their graves myself, they were my babies and that was my sign of respect to them. but i made sure i was touching them at all times during the procedure (really quick, secounds) just to make them know they were not alone and i really think it helped them nto to be scared. god it hurt, and god im tearing up, i miss them and they loved me and followed me every where.
but i know i did what was right for them, oh i was so temted to wait it out and see, how could you not, but i knew what had to be done and did it, i had to destroy my whole flock, i was devistated and still find it hard to this day..and great, now im crying, oh im a sooky lala. sad
but i know one day we will all be together on that happy farm in the sky.
and my lovely hubby has promised as soon as we get our farm i can have a really big flock (only this time i will get big reds who are ral tough chooks and take all most anything, not bantums, too sensitive), and now i know so much about chook care and soil remediation i will hopefully avoid disease again.
hey i have even have a list of 10 names jsut waiting for their owners to ocme along. so their death was not in vain, it has helped to set me up to make some lovely chooks a wonderful long life and it has also inspired me to fight for better treatment of hatchery chooks..
thanks for starting this thread, i have never talked about this except for with hubby (he is good about it but it makes him sad when i am so sad so i try not to talk about it), and it is good to get it off my chest to someone who will be empathetic, a problem shared and all that......
October 17th, 2004, 06:45 PM
This thread is very sad......I am so sorry for all of your losses! I am crying right now just reading your posts. I have never had to put an animal to sleep, but I have lost 2.
My first pet ever was a hampster I named Gizmo when I was 11. I loved her very much. I was told she was a he when we bought her, but a few weeks later, she had babies! I knew it was a girl. Anyways, one night we came home after going to Costco. I was putting away some new socks my mom had bought me, and I saw Gizmo lying next to her food dish. She never slept there. So I gently blew on her as I always did to wake her up, but she wouldn't move. I kept trying, but she just wouldn't wake up. I remember telling my mom, and we cried for hours. My dad put her in a shoebox, and we burried her in our backyard. For weeks after that, I would put little stuffies in her cage, pretending they were her, until I could finally move on. She is always in my heart.....
My next pet was a dwarf bunny named Jacob. (I named my little orange tabby after him). I got him when I was about 13. He was just a baby, but I'd still take him out of his cage and let him run around. He was a happy bunny, and I'd even take him out for walks to the park. Well, 2 months after getting little Jacob, I noticed he was having problems with his teeth. We had chew blocks in there, but he never used them. I took him out one day to jump around, and he was jumping funny, so I held him. He was squirming in my arms, but he wasn't trying to leave, just writhing. Then, he just stopped. His big brown eyes were just looking up at me, but he wasn't breathing or moving. We rushed him to the clinic, but he was already dead. We have no idea what happened to him, but at least he died in my arms, knowing he was loved.....
I dread every passing day because I know Red's (my oldest heeler) time is coming to pass on. I hope I can be strong for her, but I am affraid to say goodbye. I think about the day she has to be PTS and I cry for hours, just hugging her. I know I will be there for her, as she has been here for me. She is my baby and I will be with her to the end....... :(
October 17th, 2004, 07:12 PM
WoW,this thread really opened up the floodgates...first Lr's Rottie then my kitties,Sammy,Peppi,Cookie and Tigger(Rip)then Mels CHOOKS(chickens!!)and a wee little hamster and wabbit sad :love: sad :love: may they all rest in peace knowing we loved them :love:
October 17th, 2004, 07:23 PM
I will always be grateful to my vet for coming to my home to do it after he got off work. We had taken him (Den-Den2, 13yo) in for emergency surgery because of a bowel blockage. It was discovered he had a tumor. They did a biopsy and took him home hoping it would not be malignant and we could control the bowel problem through diet. When the vet called and said it was malignant and, in his opinion, inoperable, I was devasted! The vet said it was my decision. If I chose to have him try to remove it, he would, but that it would involve splitting his pelvis to be able to get at it. At 13yo, I just couldn't put him through that. I accepted my vet's judgement. I took the day off and spent one last day with him until the vet came. He wasn't frightened as I know he would have been if we had taken him to the vet's office. He died at home in my arms and it was the hardest thing I have ever done. My hubby just couldn't handle it and couldn't be there. It eventually caused some serious problems that he wasn't there for me and I had to go through it alone. When Den-Den3 died 18 years later, you can bet we were all together.
October 17th, 2004, 07:54 PM
GlassLass,it's funny you should say that,I had the same problem with my husband,he just could not be there sad but he is the one who dug all four graves and he did say his goodbyes....especially to Peppi,he was his baby,taught him all kinds of tricks.He did get a little emotional when I had wrapped Sammy in his white terry-cloth robe and it was buried with Sammy.
I think women are a little stronger than men,when it comes to emotional issues.Although I certainly broke down each time...and will again sad when the time comes.I LOVE my 3 cats and cannot imagine losing them,but they are young 8,6 and 2 yrs old.Sammy,Cookie and Peppi were 19,17 and 16 yrs old when they died,Tigger(my Maine Coon) unfortunately only 3yrs old.
October 19th, 2004, 06:39 PM
People keep opening up with a line that says: "I'm no hero but..."
And to that i say,
"Yes. Yes in fact you are. "
a hero can come in any shape and size. Be they our animal companions, doctors, children...
I started this thread to point out something to people on this forum, and I'm so proud of all the responses i've seen so far.
Everyone everywhere for ever will always be faced with some difficult dicision in their life. Sometimes it's hard to do what's best,
but when you take a faithful companion into your arms to say your goodbyes,
you're a hero to them
and that makes you a hero to me.