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My dog is a little over 11 years old now and last year was diagnosed with cancer. I chose not to operate at that time because he is already quite old and really would not be able to recover. So we decided to let him be comfortable for as long as he could. I noticed today that his lump has grown considerably and a visit to the vet might be in order.

If given a choice between him going through countless surgeries and medication and being put to sleep, I would choose the latter but the thought of my dog not being around anymore is unimaginable.

My question is, have you ever had to put your pet to sleep? How did you cope? How did you explain it to your child/children if you have any?
 

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Ah, Pammy. I feel for you.

Death. This is a terribly sad situation, but a fact of life. It just simply.... is.

When it is a case of being terminally ill, especially animals, then I would not blink at the thought of euthanasia. But that's just me.

As for what you tell your kid, I would tell the truth. No fairies. No heaven. No anything. Which is why I believe that life is so special in the first place - without all the make believe. But again, that's just me.

Meantime, nothing can describe the emotional value in this situation. I wish you every deepest sympathy.
 
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When you are keeping your pet alive only for your own comfort or gratification and it is suffering, then it is really time to let go.

It's a tough call but one you'll know is right deep down. Thoughts are with you at this time.
 

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All Dogs Go To Heaven
I have never seen the movie, but from the title, I think it will be a good start....

I agree with HubblyBubbly, in that you should just tell your kid straight up and be honest with him/her. They will understand eventually.
 

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[It's a tough call but one you'll know is right deep down. Thoughts are with you at this time. /QUOTE]
Very turn in my book and I think its best to tell the truth to your family.

Good luck I feel for you as I have had dogs all my life and have been lucky in some respect that all have passed away in their sleep apart from one and I still miss him now after ten years.
 

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When I was about 19, we had to put down one of our family dogs, she was a mutt, who lived to be 17. We noticed she was getting pretty old but she still seemed to be in good spirits, even if her joints were acting up and she struggled to get up and run about, even though she still did it. Then one day, we noticed she wouldn't even get up to eat anything, and then eventually just peed in her bed. We decided to put her down right away. It was like she'd finally just given up. We all took it hard, but my mom took it the hardest. It was her favorite dog. I would rather put them down than see them go through pain.
 

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Could not have put any better, seconded.

& my thoughts will be with you and your kids.

When you are keeping your pet alive only for your own comfort or gratification and it is suffering, then it is really time to let go.

It's a tough call but one you'll know is right deep down. Thoughts are with you at this time.
 

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I wish you and your kids the best it is a rough thing but in the end you know when it is the best choice.
I had to put my dog of over 14 years to rest right as I moved here. Moving forced my hand which was good because my friends had already been trying to get me to accept what I needed to do, and just could not.
 

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Pam,

Warning, sad story...

We had 2 Border Collies since birth and lived with them Internationally for 13+ years in 4 countries, and traveled with them all over Europe. They were our first children.

About 5 years back, one of them had cancer while we were in Abu Dhabi. And we took the vet advice to try a fairly new chemo drug (I forgot the name) since operation was not an option. And it turned out to be the worse decision we did for her. She immediately developed ulcer and couldn't hold down anything in her stomach - even water. So, a week after diagnosis, we had to say good-bye with both my wife and I hugging her tightly during the injection.

Hindsight, the alternative to the drug was to make her comfortable and give her as much love as possible for as long as she was not suffering.

We had her cremated and brought her ashes with us when moved from UAE.

Two years ago (in Egypt), her brother sufferred a heart attack seizure and didn't even recognized us for days afterward. His health went down drastically soon after. And eventually, we had to say good bye as well and buried him in our garden with his sister's ashes.

Our son (now 9) knew that both dogs were sick both times. We spared him the last vet visit and creamation / burial events, but told him that the dogs "went to heaven and live with Jesus" the first time (he was 4) and "went to live with his sister" the second time. He understood both times of what had happened.

We always have dogs in our lives for as long as I can remember. But after the last 2, beside not ready to love other pets yet, we have decided not to raise any more dogs until we are back home and settled. Personally, as rewarding as it is to have the uncondition love from our pets, we found living and moving Internationally with pets difficult and most of the time not fair to the animals.

I still miss both of my babies every single day, especially in the evening (they would be laid down right next to us watching TV) and on week-end (play ball / swimming at the beach, etc) but we are trying to remain strong.

Make the decision that you think is best for your baby, he knows that you love him dearly.
 

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You can always foster ;) Temporary homes are always needed and you get the benefit of having a dog around.

CCR, can understand your situation. I too wont get a dog until I arrive back home. Sending my cats was trauma enough for them. I cant wait to go home and get another saint bernard puppy though.

May your baby live out his last months surrounded by his family. My slobber bucket ate more cheeseburgers from mcdonalds in his last month then he probly got to his entire life. Give him whatever he wants!!!!
 

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My baby suffered a stroke when I was pregnant back in 2006 and at that point the emergency on-call vet said this to us, "He's 6 years old. How long do you expect boxers to live? Be thankful he lived this long and be prepared." We came out of that clinic outraged but didn't give up. When Ray's actual vet was available after the weekend, she suggested some homeopathic medicine and in 2 months time, Ray was back to normal, jumping all over the place and getting ready for the new arrival!

Ray seems to be doing as fine as can be expected I presume. He does suffer from an upset stomach more than usual and has got really lazy but that's probably because he's an old man now and can't keep up with my 4 year old.

I haven't gathered up the courage to take him to the vet yet but will not procrastinate for too long. Thank you all for your posts. It's comforting to know that there are people here who understand and have been through similar situations.
 

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Oh, I am so sorry to hear this. I had to say goodbye to my boy a few weeks ago. He came to me when he was about 18 months old in 2000, so he was almost 14 (approximately). We thought he had been developing kidney problems as he got older but it turned out to be Cushings Disease, which is often difficult to diagnose. By the time, the vet found out what it was, it was too late to do anything. It all happened over two days. I took him and brought home the first day and then back again the next day. As I was driving him to the vet, I could see how poorly he was and, in my heart, I knew. I received a call from the vet to tell me that afternoon and then I went with a very good friend and we said goodbye to him and sat with him until he went. It was terribly sad to lose him. He had been such a big part of my life for so long. My poor maid, who is Buddhist, wailed when I told her. Trying to explain to someone who won't use Pif Paf to kill an insect that you are going to do this was one of the hardest things I have ever done. We had to make her sweet tea, she went into a state of shock. Thankfully, she has been able to rationalize it and now says that she knows it was his time. Out of all this sadness, however, there was a little girl who had been rescued from one of the palaces because she was so malnourished (she was too small to get to the food at mealtime) so we have now welcomed this bundle of boundless energy into our home. She is the brightest, cutest little thing. She schnuffles, schnorts and talks all the time and everyone who meets her is smitten. I am having huge separation anxiety while I am away. But one of the first things I did here was to go to a particular shop that has these fab pet beds, which are like houses, and buy her one! As I have written this, I have gone from being choked up with tears running down my face as I think about Max to having a smile when I think about Lola. I feel almost disloyal that I could love another dog so quickly but writing this has been quite cathartic for me because it has made me realize that that's not so.

I think children should be given the chance to say their farewells to family pets. I can't think of anything worse than coming home from somewhere and the shock of not finding your beloved pet there. I think if a child understands that an animal is not well and the vet cannot make him or her better, then the vet can help by making him or her go to sleep and where he or she wakes up, they will be in a place where they are better and not in pain. I would like to think there is a doggy heaven, where my boy is bouncing around like a pup and stuffing his face full of all the things he was not allowed to eat when he was alive, as he got older and that he has all his teeth back too .

Sorry, I have rambled on for far too long, but I truly am thinking of you and hope that something in here will go some way to help you.
 

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Pam,

Such a difficult time and an equally difficult decision.

We had to say goodbye to one of cats 7 months ago - and it was an extremely tough decision. However, as some here have already said, when you feel you're keeping them going for your own good, perhaps it is time to let them go.

In fact the vet that we used (back home in the UK) was excellent, and as someone who is not too proud to say that I was in tears when in the days leading up to the inevitable day... what he said to me was both compassionate and logical...

He explained that the difference between animals and humans (well, certainly those in the UK and other countries where euthanasia is illegal) is that you can give them the dignity they deserve - without all the pain and suffering that us humans have to go through when medication etc 'is just keeping us alive' without any quality of life.

They don't have to suffer and you do not have the watch them quickly go downhill - you can remember them as you would like to - the colourful, chirpy character with a unique personality. Of course, it is also the best decision for them too, which is perhaps even more important - as it is unquestionably a difficult to put our best interests to one side.

My thoughts are with you during this time Pam ... it is the one drawback with animals that this day invariably comes... however I am sure he's provided many great memories and much entertainment to you and the family - and those memories can never be taken away from you or them - god bless.

Simon
 

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My slobber bucket ate more cheeseburgers from mcdonalds in his last month then he probly got to his entire life. Give him whatever he wants!!!!
Never fed my dog human food for the first 13+ years of her life (although she did help herself off the counter a few times). The last few month she eat more steak than I do, though
 

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Unlike people, with animals we get to do the right thing when the time arrives.

But as with people, some are taken much too early... and just as sadly some are taken much too late.
 
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