How do you let go?

Bewitchednbeyond2003August 12, 2011

My little Molly is 11yrs old, she is a Cavapoo, Half King Charles and Half Poodle, She came into my life as a little tiny puppy when I was quite ill, we have seldom been seperated since.

When young she had several operations on her eyes, and then her skin to remove growths, Then a couple of years ago she lost both of her eyes to Gloucoma, She looked strange without her eyes bless her, and it took her a long time to bounce back, but I just loved her all the more and she was still a happy little girl, now she has Kidney desease, we were told about 18 months ago, slowly she has lost weight as we struggled with her diet, she was always a picky eater, she's painfully thin, refuses to eat much, is wobbly on her legs sometimes, but mostly seems happy and excited at times, I know her time is getting close, I can feel it, I keep hoping she will pass away in her favourite place during her sleep, if she doesn't, how do I find the strength to make the decision? I love her, she is my constant shadow, Ive cried every day for the last 18 months, already I'm totally wrecked just thinking about her not being here, we have loved and supported each other for 11 years, how do I do this? I just dont know.. :(

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You said the words that will give you strength: "we have loved and supported each other for 11 years"

That's a long, good life you gave her and that is the truth. You should not feel guilty about the choice you'll make, you'll know when.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 8:23PM
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I am so sorry for your struggle. Just about everyone here, including me last May, has walked that path. It is a very difficult one. I am so sorry for your pain. You will know when the time is right.
I think the fact that you are reaching out here, is a sign that perhaps you are almost ready.
Stay strong and give Molly hugs and kisses from all of us !

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 9:41PM
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Most of us know the pain you must be feeling, because we've all been there with a beloved companion. I suspect a lot of your turmoil is caused by wanting to do what is right in Molly's best interest and that involves facing decisions. None of us want to feel as if we've betrayed our animals by hastening the inevitable, neither do we want to cause them undue suffering by delaying it.

I am also sad because you've grieved for her for eighteen months, before she has even left. It's over the dam now, but that time could have been spent by enjoying the time you have left together.

Two years ago, I lost all six of my pets in a year's timespan. All were old, all died of natural causes. Hindsight is so much clearer than foresight and looking back on it the 'when' decision was so apparent, but it certainly wasn't that easy before the fact because I couldn't look at it so objectively when he signs presented themselves. It's very difficult, isn't it?

I don't think I erred with two of them in the timing of euthansia because their deteriorating conditions were abrupt and apparent. However, in three others they were victims of those slow chronic diseases where one is want to use every means at their disposal to buy just one more day, one more week. Those are the hard ones you struggle with. And the last one to go I waited too long, and he went into his last struggle in the middle of the night and I held him to comfort him until the dispensary would open. He died minutes before they did. I should have and could have spared him that but I was hoping he would pass in his sleep.

I'm not saying it's Molly's time. That is unique to each human and their animal and sometimes the vet won't even know, and mine prefer not to suggest when even if they suspect. I'm saying I know it's very, very hard and you will feel very empty. It's grief and it can be profound. You just don't want to compound that with regret and when the time will find the strength to do for her what needs to be done out of love. You've always done that for her as is apparent.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 10:52PM
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The last gift we give is letting them go while they still have some degree of pain relief and happiness. Waiting until they are in a painful crisis for one last horrendous trip to the vet is not love. We have to set our own needs aside when determining what is kindest for our companions. Better a little too soon, than a little too late.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 8:24AM
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When her suffering becomes too great,you will be able to let go out of mercy.
I'm so sorry you have reached this point...for me,losing a pet can sometimes be harder then losing a human.

It sounds cliche,but you have to tell yourself she will always be with you.The pain of losing her will never go away,but after a while it really does feel like they just become a part of you.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 2:38PM
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You've gotten excellent advice from caring, sensitive people here.

I'll just add an "amen" to this one:

"Better a little too soon, than a little too late."

The ones I've regretted are the ones from whom I couldn't bear to part, & I should have put their needs before my selfish ones.

When an animal has "bad days" & you know they're never going to get better, don't try to make bargains with yourself ("I'll do it when she can't walk by herself") or to rationalize it so you don't have to do it today ("She ate better today; she still enjoys life").

Dogs live in the eternal present;
when the present is painful or miserable & there's not going to be a full recovery, it's time.

I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 3:56PM
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I dont know if you have a traveling or mobile vet, but if your dog shows signs of having real trouble and you dont want to take her to the vets to help her cross over - you may want to set up a vet to come to your home.
This is the hardest thing in life for pet owners. You need to know that your story says alot about you as a pet owner. Several times during your dogs life her life might have been shortened and many owners would not have spent the money you did in order to help your dog live a better life without her diseased eyes. She has lived for 11 years - many of those years she would never have had without your help, care and love. You need to pat yourself on the back as a result of all you did.
When I lost my last dog, I carefully had set it up so he did not suffer and so the time was as least traumatic as possible for him. I grieved over the loss of my last dog for at leaast a year. My one friend has his dogs ashes behind his easy chair just as the dogs were when they were alive. My other friend placed the ashes of her dog under a dogwood tree, the ID tag hangs on the tree. My other friend has it in her will to have her dogs ashes be buried with her when she goes, and I wear my last dogs ID tag around my neck on a leather thong to this day. People ask about it all the time (there is a special story that goes with the tag)You can even put the tag on your key with the remembering. My spympathies

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 11:23PM
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This is such a sad situation to have to go through, and my heart goes out to you. I just wanted to say an 'amen' to what the others have said, and to second what Mazer recommended about the mobile vet if you have one in your area. A lady in our neighborhood had to make this decision recently about her elderly dog. The mobile vet came and took care of everything, including the burial (or cremation). This lady was relieved that her dog didn't have to be put into the car and transported to the vet's office.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2011 at 2:53PM
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Thank you all for your kind words they mean a lot, I will certainly look into a mobile vet as I would rather she went to sleep in the place she knows and loves.
I feel as if I have dealt with Molly's illness alone, Ive had conflicting advice from vets all along, in the early days one told me she may not live much longer another said maybe 5 or 6 years, diet wise one told me she couldn't eat lean meat just the fat and another told me to feed her lean meat, luckily I did my homework and found some good recipies online that worked well for quite a while. she was given meds for a severe ear infection which should not be given to kidney patients, these made her very ill, I know she doesn't have long left now and I asked what else can I do for her and was told.. "erm.. well.. I guess we could keep her in for a full day and refuse to give her water to see what that does to her" I decided then not to let them touch her again for anything, she's had her fill of pain and needles and such.. now she is enjoying peace and love at home where she is happy.. I'm sorry to rant on.. I know you are all people who understand my feelings .. I'm thankfull for that.. thank you all.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2011 at 8:20PM
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