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Thread: Dealing with the end of life!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Unhappy Dealing with the end of life!

    No matter what the situation is that has resulted in the loss of your dog, there IS NO EXCUSE for not being with your loved one when he or she has to go, due illness, accident or just old age!

    Sure it is emotionally draining and at the time you just 'don't want to be there', but you HAVE TO!

    This dog has been your faithful, loyal and loving companion from day one, loves you, knows your smell, your voice, your face, your cradling arms and the way you look at him/her.

    In other words the dog is saying "you are with me and I know everything is going to be alright now!"

    You OWE your dog that much! It doesnt matter if you have a good cry or simply act like a human who has lost a wonderful and loving pet - NEVER EVER LEAVE YOUR LOVED ONE ALONE WHEN THE TIME COMES!

    I have no time or respect for those owners who say "Oh, I couldn't stand to be there, I would get too upset!"

    Hold your dog in your arms, pat it, kiss it, reassure it things are OK. If possible pay the Vet to come to your (and his/her home) and not just dump him in a cage at the clinic!

    If for some REALLY GOOD REASON you cannot physically be with your dog, have someone help you out, DO NOT LEAVE HIM/ALONE when the time comes!

    It's going to hurt sure, we all know that, but he or she deserves this last responsible, mature and loving act of courage on your part.

    Don't be a coward and whimp out because you will get upset!

    NO EXCUSES!!!! Yep, I do feel kind of strongly on this subject! My last beautiful thirteen year old Cocker lay in my arms, gave me a lick and 'went to sleep' - I made me feel so damn proud I had summoned up the courage to see it through with her!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011


    My old dog died at home. In my arms. With me muttering the nonsensical phrases that I used to tell her when we were having "a moment". Pretty harrowing memory. But I was happy that she did not die alone in a vet's cage, as she died in the middle of the night.

    But personally I have never met anyone who chose not to be with their dog at the end?

  3. #3


    My mothers dog is getting PTS this coming Wednesday and she won't be there. She says she just can't do it... I'm going to be there though, and so is my dad. She loves me more than my mother so I will be able to comfort her more than what my mother could anyway.

    On the other hand I couldn't be there with my cat... There is no way you could "calm" her. She was pretty feral, hated everyone except me but turned on me in the end.. She had to be sedated before they could even start. I hate myself for not being there, but I wouldnt have let them done it.. I wasn't ready for her to go, mum just decided thats what was getting done and i didnt really have a say in it. Yes i was 15 so I should of been able to be in the room but sometimes it can be better if your not, expecially if they are going to be more freaked out if your in the room....

  4. #4


    I so wish I could post this thread to one of my clients. She left her 13 year old dog with me whilst she went overseas for 6 weeks. On the day the little guy was dropped off (Saturday) I just knew something was not quite right with him. I had minded him regularly over a 7 year period and only 4 months prior to this mind. On Sunday the poor little guy was throwing up litres of water/phlem and not eating. I could not get him to keep his medication for Cushings down. Monday we went to the vet and the vet did a blood test. This poor little thing had chronic kidney failure and the vet assured me he had been sick for a very long time and that the owner MUST have known he was sick before he came to me. Yes, there is always a risk an old dog may get sick or die but to leave your dog with someone when he is in ill health is a crime.

    The sad ending to this story is this poor little dog who had given his owner 13 years of unconditional love and company had to be euthanised on the Tuesday whilst his owner was overseas enjoying herself. I cried before going to the vets, I cried even harder when he was put to sleep and then preceeded to cry for the next three days. I strongly believe this little guy should have been with his family at his end of time. I cried because I believed the owner did the wrong thing by her dog and by me. She has since got herself another dog and as a matter of principle (for her old dog) I refuse to continue having her as a client of my business. She also sent me a two sentence email thanking me for caring for her dog! - I thought this was inappropriate. A phone call/visit was warranted. Even a few tears from her would have been better.

    I kept some of the little guys fur, his collar and took some beautiful photos of him for the owner before he was put to sleep. I still have them and the owner will never be getting them.

    It still makes me cry when I think about it - poor little guy. What a miserable way to end your life. The only saving grace I have about the whole situation is at least he was with me - not total strangers - at the end whether the little dog felt the same well I don't know. I did love him and he loved me (he loved everyone). I did care about him and
    think it was an absolute disgrace to go on holidays, knowing your dog is sick. Unfortunately the poor little guy struggled with the vet at the very end and this still continues to haunt me and probably always will.

    Hopefully this thread will get pet owners to think about how their pets should be treated when they are unwell or near the end of their lives. This incident happened to me August last year and I am still deeply affected by it. I have stopped taking on new clients and cut back on old clients. I have (and still am) considering shutting down my dog minding business of 8 years - something I used to love and have nurtured over a long time. I have bookings up to January next year and then I will see. Hopefully by then my faith in humans will have been restored even if just a little bit.

    It is amazing and sad how the death of one funny, sweet, little dog can affect you. RIP Benny.
    Last edited by ratbag jrt; 04-15-2012 at 01:53 PM.

  5. #5


    How absolutely gut wrenching Ratbag

    I would never ever consider not being there at the end ....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012


    When I was 20, my family dog had to be PTS. It was a Friday afternoon, he had been hit by a car after an escape, he was in a lot of pain and was over 15 years old. The vet recommended he be PTS, but she had to do it immediately or wait till Monday - he was in pain, we couldn't do that. Unfortunately, I was working in the city - an hour away and I had no car, I had to get the bus. They couldn't wait for me. It was the worst thing. Even though he was a family dog, he and I had grown up together and I was the one he was most bonded to.

    I have never forgiven myself for not being there - despite doing my best to get there and it would have been cruel to wait. I used to have dreams about Buddy, looking for me while he lay there, waiting for his final sleep. It's been 11 years and it still makes me sad.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Logan, Brisbane QLD


    At 14 i use to work part-time at a vet clinic & use to do work experience with them in the school holidays.

    I distinctly remember a black lab named Baxter who arrived at the clinic on my very first day of work experience with a badly broken leg from a fallen tree (owner was a tree feller)
    The owner couldn't afford the surgery which consisted of placing a metal rod and couldn't come up with the funds to amputate the leg either so sadly poor Baxter was going to be put down.

    Baxter sat in the vet clinic for nearly a week in pain as the owner wanted to be there when Baxter was to be PTS (or so he says). Eventually he said he could not make it but he would send a friend to sit with him & collect his body. Friend never showed up.

    So the vet asked if i wanted to sit with him whilst he put him to sleep. I remember being in tears - partly because he was being PTS when he didn't really have to be, and partly because no one had bothered to see him off. I couldn't understand it! Nobody ever came to collect his remains either.

    It was the first time i had ever seen an animal be PTS so the memory will stay with me forever.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Perth, WA


    I stayed with my dog last year, he had a heart murmur and just deteriorated overnight, it was terrible, we sat in bed watching tv and I kept him as calm as I could when he struggled to get his breath, I talked to him through the night, through my tears. The next morning I was waiting at the vets at 6.45am for the nurse to get there at 7am and they put him on oxygen and I went back at 9am and stayed with him while he was PTS, i rang in sick from work and cried in bed all day and night, then told myself he was in a better place, with his best mate, and thought about all our happy times. I never thought I could do it, but I'm glad I did, we had eye contact and hugs to the end...

    My husband stayed with our other dog who was nearly 15 years old, just 12 weeks earlier and held him while he was PTS.

    My friend had their two dogs PTS together 2 years ago (they were old and sick), and asked the vet to take them away, she couldn't stay with them - she can't get over it now and the guilt is eating her, I've told her it's done, they're together, but the after effects of her not wanting to stay haunts her.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Southern NSW


    We have always stayed with our dogs..And sadly because of our age, there have been a few.

    We cradle our dogs and we talk to them, they fall asleep and we cry. But they deserve us to be there for them to the end...the only dog we were not with was our last kelpie, he fell asleep never to wake in the sun, in his favourite Winter spot. I still feel sad , that he was alone.
    We have even done the same for our older horses that had to be PTS.....It is horrible and sad and it brings tears to my eyes now, but i agree it is the right thing for our loved ones. It is not always all about us
    Pets are forever

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2012


    OMG I am so sorry but death in an animal and a person scares me..
    My husbands father died and I freaked out.
    My grandfather died and I freaked out
    My dad died last year and I flipped out totally.
    My mum called me about 2 weeks ago and told me grandma is in hospital
    come down and say good bye..I couldn't go I get so so scared..

    My Male dog just died in the back year from a snake and I freaked right out...
    Some people act differently I guess.
    But when it comes to death I am sorry but I can't deal with death at all...
    When it comes to death

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