We have a 12 year old GS who can barely walk now due to bad hips and knees. She's been struggling for the past 3 years with arthritis and we've had her on Rimadyl 2x's a day which has helped her a lot to function normally. But now, over the last 3 months she has gotten much worse and has begun soiling herself when trying to stand up to go outside. This doesn't happen everytime but it's at least 5 times a week. She has her good days but most recently her days are not so good. My husband has had her since she was a puppy, she helped him through a rough divorce and has been a loving devoted companion to him. I see sadness is Diamonds(our GS) eyes and she's petrified when she has accidents thinking she's going to get into trouble. Her average day consists of eating, going out twice a day and laying in her bed 90% of the time. To me this isn't the life a dog want's to live. How do I convince my husband to put aside his selfishness and to show compassion for her suffering? I've suggested having her put down but he doesn't want to hear it. He keeps saying she's fine. Can someone give me some advice?
I don't have advice, but wanted to say how sorry I am for you both. It was just about 2 years ago that we had to PTS our german shephard who was about the same age. It's just devastating. I am getting teary eyed just thinking about it now. The time will come for your husband, I am sure. Our GS was having similar problems (pooping when he barked, etc). He'd also have some good days too, though, although less and less as time went by. One morning he couldn't stand up and that was the day we no longer had a choice. Unfortunately, that may be how it happens for you too. I am sure he recognizes that the time is coming. It's hard because if she'll just have one more good day, you don't want to rob her of that. Best of luck with her.
I'm so sorry you are having to go through this. It is hard, and there is no way around it. Know that so many here know what you are going through.
That said, I suggest that you discuss with your husband specific criteria that would mean that "it's time." It's not surprising that someone would say "NO!" when first discussing it. Part of the problem may be good-old-fashioned denial. You just have to be more specific. If not today, when?
If the dog cannot stand for 2 days straight, is it time? If the dog yelps in pain for 3 days straight, is it time?
You get the idea? Eventually you two can agree on what is enough. Post the criteria in writing on the fridge so everyone knows what you agreed to, and the criteria don't slide around as the symptoms worsen.
I'm so sorry. Its such a heartbreaking decision when to know to let them go in peace.
We went through this a few years ago with my husbands dog of 14 years. He was suffering but my husband was in denial and refused to talk about it. I found this poem on line and printed it out to leave for him to read when he came home from work. It did help him see that it was time to end Barts suffering.
The Last Battle If it should be that I grow frail and weak And pain should keep me from my sleep, Then will you do what must be done, For this -- the last battle -- can't be won. You will be sad I understand, But don't let grief then stay your hand, For on this day, more than the rest, Your love and friendship must stand the test. We have had so many happy years, You wouldn't want me to suffer so. When the time comes, please, let me go. Take me to where to my needs they'll tend, Only, stay with me till the end And hold me firm and speak to me Until my eyes no longer see. I know in time you will agree It is a kindness you do to me. Although my tail its last has waved, From pain and suffering I have been saved. Don't grieve that it must be you Who has to decide this thing to do; We've been so close -- we two -- these years, Don't let your heart hold any tears.
To me, if a dog eats and appears to enjoy going outside (albeit with a few accidents along the way) and doesn't seem to be in a lot of pain, she's not ready to go. Heck, my perfectly healthy 6-year-old baby spends much of his time resting.
She's an older, arthritic dog, and they do tend to, as with senior humans, need more rest (and have a few accidents along the way). Just because a dog is suffering doesn't necessarily mean they're ready to leave this world, you have to look for other indications. Be sure to love on her as she rests, she'll appreciate the effort. She's been with you for a long time, she deserves every consideration, including patience when she has an accident.
Obviously, your husband's not ready, and based on your post, it sounds to me as if the dog is not ready either, but probably will be soon. Talk to your husband, let him know what you think. Decide together.
I am so sorry, I am going thru the same thing with my GSD..he has cancer, and will probably die any day, he's not eating or drinking anymore, but I dont believe he is in any pain. My husband tells me the same thing, but I just cant..I will sleep with him on the floor as long as I can, I know its selfish but Duke and I have a bond. You like my husband seem more logical..Just let him be..You husband and dog will know when its time..I know if my husband keeps bringing it up I am going to resent him for a long time.
What you are doing with your dog is probably the best thing you can do for him.
Staying with him during his final hours is in my opinion the most humane way to help him leave this world. If he is in pain, medicate him enough to make him comfortable.
I have noticed many times when it is time to go, your dog will have a "moment of clarity" right before he passes. His eyes will clear, he may acknowledge your presence and even lift his head or get up and come to you wag his tail kiss you goodbye then gently lay back down and pass. This may sound unbelievable unless you have lived it.
In time you will come to terms with your pending loss.
May God grant you peace and acceptance ...
You can't win if you don't play the game -- Me!
All cruelty stems from weakness -- Seneca
Sometimes a dog is as good as any man -- Bell/Houser
I'm so sorry to hear it, i have six dogs and in the past we'd had to put two of our dogs down. The first one wasn't an easy case since my friend had it since it was a puppy and even though we knew she would die, we waited two weeks until he was able to make a decision. It was very hard for him and i couldn't do anything about it. The second dog was 16 years old and even though he didn't have any obvious illness the last two months he was dragging his feet, he lost his appetite and in the end he just couldn't go out for his needs. We decided that it was hard to keep him like this and decided to put him down because he didn't have any quality in his life. It will be hard for your husband to accept it because this means losing his long-life friend, but eventually the decision must be his. If not he will hate you for making him make such a decision. All you need to do is support him and trust me, when the time comes he will do the right thing. Just don't force him on this!
I don't understand that when it's time, it's time and yet some people don't have a compassion for the dog. A dog that is soiling itself that much has no real life quality and I must agree with the original poster...it's time. I can't imagine her husband being the reluctant one. I have the big 5 Eat Drink Pee Poop Ability to rise without assistance 2 out of 5 is time to really think about euthanasia. 3 out of 5 IS TIME. However the level of suffering must be considered first and foremost. Since this dog has 2 of 5, it's time because of the level of suffering. I can sympathize with the husband, it IS the most agonizing decision you make as a pet owner, but one must remember these are animals and they depend on us for their care and that includes letting go. Your husband must be gently reminded that the dog provided him with so much love and support when he needed it, that now he must return the favor to this dog. I'm so sorry, I've had to make these decisions too many times myself and it never EVER gets easier.
I agree that making this agonizing decision is one of the hardest things to do in life. As the earlier posts have mentioned you must look at the quality of the animal's life and the level of suffering. I'm sure that I can safely say that none of us want to see our loving and faithful companions suffering. In January 1999 we were in the situation when we knew our Bonnie's time had come when she could no longer get up (she had bone cancer). My son & I stayed with her as she drew her last breaths. She actually passed away in my arms licking my face. I'll always remember those moments and I like to think of it as her way of thanking us for a good life. Nobody wants to make this decision, but it is a part of the circle of life and when the time is right, I'm sure your family will be able to make the decision.