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  #1  
Old 11-08-2002, 12:33 PM
BENZ-LGB's Avatar
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Unhappy Last night I had to put down my dog

Last night my nine year old akita ("Pepper") had to be put down. Earlier in the day she had tried to jump over a fence in our backyard and her hind legs got stuck on the railing. When I finally found her she must have been dangling for hours.

When I got home with my son I heard our other dog whimpering. So I went to the side yard to see what was wrong. That's when I saw Pepper dangling from the fence from her hip. She was still alive, but she looked so tired and her breathing was shallow and labored. I took her down from the fence. The poor baby was in shock. There is a tree by the same side of the fence where she got stuck and in her panic she chewed the bark off the entire bottom 2 feet of the tree. There was blood and fur all over the place.

With the help of some local firemen I was able to put her on a stretcher and take her toher vet. The back of my daughter's 300TE is usually full of laughter and happines as she carries her friends and their backpacks and sport gear and other girlie stuff. This time, however, the cargo area carried such a sad cargo.

At the vet they estabilized her, gave her painkillers, antibiotics and took a bunch of x-rays. Amazingly, the x-rays showed no damage to legs or hips, but apparantly hanging upside down for so long had caused her stomach to get all twisted and it was now pushing into her chest cavity.

The vet could not do no more for her but she suggested that I take her to an acute care animal hospital, which I did. When I got her there they took more x-rays and for a brief moment it looked like she would make it. But then her heart rhythm became very erratic and the doctor told me that it didn't look good. She also told me that there was nerve damage that the other doctor had not caught.

She told me that my options were few, spend thousands of dollars on emergency surgery, with no guarantee that Pepper would survive the surgery and even if she survived the surgery, there was no guarantee that she would have a meaningful quality of life with a paralyzed back. My other option was to do the humane thing and put her down.

I asked to be left alone with Pepper while I agonized over what to do. My wife had stayed back home, with the kids, so it was just Pepper and me in the tiny, sterile hospital room. I looked at my old friend and I never felt so alone in my entire life. She looked at me with her big, soft, sweet brown eyes and in her eyes I saw the answer. She didn't want me to put her through more procedures. She licked my hand one last time and then turned her face away from me, turning her shoulder to me.

I bawled my eyes out like a kid. I pride myself on being a tough SOB. I am a prosecutor and I have seen so much pain and misery in the cases that I prosecute that nothing ever gets to me anymore, or so I thought. But in those few moments when I was saying good-bye to Pepper I was a little boy again. It was just me and my dog and I am not ashamed to write that I cried and cried.

I said good-bye to Pepper and I walked out of the room. I just could not be in the room when they gave her the shot.

Then I got myself togeher for the drive home. There was a storm blowing through. The pounding rain obscured my visibility to just a few inches in front of the hood's silver star, my tears made it hard to see even as far as the windshield. The howling wind was a fitting final tribute to Pepper, it wasn't that long ago in time when dogs and wolves were indistinguishable. Now it seemed that nature was welcoming Pepper's soul back to the fold. The now-empty cargo area made the drive home seem longer than it really was.

That big dumb, sweet, gentle Pepper was like a big baby. Things easily frightened her, specially the rain. I used to compare her to CP0 from Star Wars, big but easily scared, always trying to get out of dangerous situations. My other dog, an Australian Shepherd (Jasmine) is like R2-D2, small, but very brave, always ready to jump into danger. Now my R2 doesn't have her CPO to hang around with anymore.

Getting home was the hardest part. It was so hard to act strong for my kids, so they could not see my pain and thus not add to their own pain.

The house seems a lot emptier now without her 90 pounds of fur getting on the way. And I will never be able to enjoy rainy days as much as I used to do. Now the rain only reminds me of Pepper and her mortal fear of rain.

I apologize for carrying on like this. Perhaps it is unseeming to get this way over the loss of an animal, especially when there are many other things to worry about in this world. But Pepper was truly, truly a gentle soul. She enriched our lives and gave us so much and asked for so little in return.

Thanks for letting me pour out my feelings.
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Last edited by BENZ-LGB; 11-08-2002 at 12:48 PM.
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  #2  
Old 11-08-2002, 12:40 PM
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That absolutely bites. I can't remember the medical term for a twisted stomach, but it is something every canine owner/handler needs to knwo about. Happens most often when playing rough, but can easily happen in the event you described.

Good thing it is raining here, I'm at work and fixing to hit the road. I think I'll stand on the shoulder for a bit
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  #3  
Old 11-08-2002, 12:40 PM
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Sorry my friend!!!! I couldn't even get through your whole story. Hope brighter days are ahead for you. Take care.
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  #4  
Old 11-08-2002, 12:49 PM
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Im very sorry for your loss. Loosing a friend is soo sad and painful......
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  #5  
Old 11-08-2002, 01:08 PM
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I'm sorry to hear about what happened.

Regards,

Don
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  #6  
Old 11-08-2002, 01:10 PM
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That is so terribly sad. They contribute so much and ask so little in return. But you did the very best thing you could for Pepper - you gave her a loving home, and you were able to end the pain and suffering when it was time. It has been 1 year, 3 months, and 15 days since we lost our 7 year old golden retriever to cancer, and we miss him every single day. But we wouldn't want him here if it meant his having even 1% of the suffering he endured at the end.

Please accept our heartfelt sympathy to you and your family. Try and remember just the good times and the love Pepper brought to her family, and the good home you all provided for her. Dogs do feel emotions ( Understanding 'Dog Mind': Dr. Bonita Bergin), and Pepper knew she was loved, and knew it was time. She let you know you needed to be "a tough SOB" and make the right decision for her. And you did.
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  #7  
Old 11-08-2002, 01:39 PM
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My condolences at losing your companion. I cried at that story too. Good thing I'm working at home today. It's an especially poignant story to me; I'm sitting here with my old, really really old, Dalmation asleep at my feet. I know his last ride in the family station wagon isn't all that far off. I dread the day that it comes.

In the meantime we enjoy what time we have together. Today is a gorgeous fall day in North Texas. So we snuck out and walked over to the dog park earlier this morning for a little socializing, sniffing, romping, whatever. (Noone tell my boss...)

- Jim
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  #8  
Old 11-08-2002, 03:09 PM
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I am so touched by the vivid story that a emailed it to my wife at work. She emailed me back with a few other coworkers. They, along with me, say we are so sorry.

I have pups too and they are just as part of our family as our 1 yr old child. I just hate that they are more vulnerable than us and they usually die before we do. Everytime I have lost a dog(2) I hate to think when I will have to do it again. It is very hard to get over. I hate seeing the hair, bowls, toys, etc you know the stuff left behind that they loved so much.

Take care man, I hope the family is okay!
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  #9  
Old 11-08-2002, 03:57 PM
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I am so so sorry for your loss. I actually shed a tear myself reading that because its so sad and I am a sensitive person.
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  #10  
Old 11-08-2002, 04:32 PM
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Hey, take care man.

My eyes are welled up with tears after reading that story.

I have been blessed with beloved dogs my whole life, and it is always terribly hard to lose a part of your family.

I absolutely love my little weenie dog, Pee Wee. She is the most fun-loving, gentle, smart, affectionate dog I have ever owned. She understands me when I talk talk to her. She is only 6 years old, but I know that I will be crying like a baby when we lose her.

I'll be thinking of you the rest of the day....
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Last edited by suginami; 11-08-2002 at 07:13 PM.
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  #11  
Old 11-08-2002, 05:39 PM
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The danger of love is loss. I can truthfully say that if sharing sorrow would help, then you are among the most helpful people in the world on this forum. Right now, grieve for the loss of your friend. That's all that you can do. We grieve with you.
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  #12  
Old 11-09-2002, 12:13 PM
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Thank you....

...dear friends for your messages of sympathy and support. This is such a great community-family. Although we often disagree, sometimes vigorously, about issues when it really matters we all come toghether and pull for each other. Thank you and God bless you all for your understanding and support.

Going to work yesterday was not easy. Of course, my wife had it harder because she is the one who stays home and spends the most time with Pepper and Jasmine. I felt bad for her.

Later this morning I have to go back to the vet to take my daughter's bunny for his check up (our house is a lot like Noah's Ark). It is the same vet where I took Pepper and I think it will be tough to go back so soon.

But life goes on and with the support of friends, near and far, we can rise above all adversities.

Again, thank you and God bless you all.
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1989 300TE "Alice"
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Res non semper sunt quae esse videntur

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Not in this weather!
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  #13  
Old 11-09-2002, 07:22 PM
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I just saw your thread. I sit here with a heavy heart, as I know the pain of putting down a member of the family. I know I would go crazy over losing another one of my dogs. As I am single, they are why I have a reason to stay in one place and go home at night. My heartfelt condolances to you and the rest of your family.
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Old 11-11-2002, 03:00 PM
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Sorry to hear about your loss...Dogs are wonderful companions, and love their owners unconditionally...It can be very hard to lose one.

Mike
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  #15  
Old 11-12-2002, 05:32 PM
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UUUUughh... Well,I had to put down my german sheppherd-Golden retriver (aka Bear) 6 weeks ago. I saved him fro SPCA death in 1992, and in five minutes he became "my" dog. He was with me through a marriage, a divorce, a second marriage (a better one), endured three cats and two other dogs in the house (1st wife was whacked...), protected the house, my (2nd) wife after she got pregnant, my son when he was born. he even formed a love-hate relationship with him (the Kid annoyed the heck out of him, but he never even growel). lately my son started building a relatonship by throwing food on the floor and watching "doggieee" eat it up.

But something started to be really wrong with him lately. he lost balance and his bodily functions were all over.. the house. Then one day i came home and saw him on the floor-apparently he fell down and could not stand back up. My son was calling to him "up, doggiee, up!" and then said "daddy doggiee help." my wife told him that I'll take him to the doctor to make him better. Well, my vet took an x-ray and showed me a tumor on his heart-the same size as the heart. as he was explaining to me that it was terminal, nurse was prepping the syringe. Long time ago I decided that I will not leave him alone when the momemnt comes. If anyone of you is considering doing the same - DON"T!!!

It's still unbearable, and the last 5 seconds keep playing over and over in my head. Needless to say that for a week my son kept asking where did "doggiee" go. And even now, almost 2 month later, he still remembers and what's worse, refuses to discuss it, although he gets very, very said when talking about his "doggiee'. And so do I.

Sorry, just want to let you know I can relate.
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