Am stuck in guilt

We put our dear Stoshu, 15 years old down last spring. He was a corgi, a fluffy, with wonderful personality. Stoshu was truly a member of our pack, and he lived as though his job was to do his duty for the family. He announced when anyone came home, and was always by our side to tell us what was going on. A little bit OCD, he would only go for walks if the whole family went. He was glue for our family - as tumultuous as it was having boys go through teenage years to young adulthood, Stoshu made that easier since he was the one we all were crazy about. But a couple years ago he started losing his sight, then his hearing, then his kidneys started to fail, and then the arthritis was clearly present. We hoped he would die peacefully but it's almost as though he believed it was his duty to be with us regardless of what he felt. So he was on meds - for his arthritis and kidneys. Then we had him on amitryptiline because he would bark out of anxiety, and sometimes for hours. That helped a little but not much. Then we had to move his bed downstairs and in a crate because we weren't able to sleep. (he slept under our bed for most of his life) Never really got to say goodbye because he couldn't see or hear, and because I was upset, he sensed that when I stroked him. So tremendous guilt - probably should have done it sooner, so he didn't have to go through all that anxiety. I don't know how to deal with this guilt any longer. I thought I'd feel relief when he died because he was suffering, but I just miss him terribly even after all these months.

Comments for Am stuck in guilt

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May 16, 2013
I, too, am stuck in guilt.
by: Harriett

Ten years ago, an abandoned, starving German Shepherd came into my lfe. She became the very best friend I have ever known. Molly was with me through the death of my four sisters, my nephew and most of all was at my side during the darkest of days following my son's suicide. In 2008, the first sarcoma tumor appeared - it was removed. But the cancerous tumors appeared again with a vengence. I chose to not continue with surgery to remove them.Maybe I should have kept the surgeries going - however many times we could. She also had a breathing problem which worsened quickly. Then, the enormous tumors weighed her down so it was getting difficult for her to walk. The tumors started to open and lesions appeared and drained - blood and other liquids. One opened close to her head and she licked it - often I could hear her licking it at night, licking that horrible ulcer. She became so thin - just skin and bones. She was on pain meds for one month. Then, I finally made the decision to put her to sleep. It was not a peaceful ending. The vet missed the vein on first try, gave her a sedative injection that made her scream in pain. Finally, the final injection and my best friend was gone. The guilt is unbelievable! I am 74 years old, live alone now with four cats, and in 2006 and 2010 lost my other two dogs to "old age". I never thought Molly's death would affect me like this - I just can't stop crying - and thinking I should have let her die naturally at home. I prayed and prayed that God would take her home when she was sleeping - maybe I tried to do God's work and really messed it up - maybe just waiting for God to take her home was what I should have done. And it doesn't help to have no one around that understands what my Molly meant to me - or how much it hurts. My sons think her tumors made her look "grotesque" and she should have been put down long ago, and my daughter thinks we keep our pets alive much longer than we should. I have found the comments here from people who understand the bonds of love that tie animals and humans togather so strongly to be very, very helpful. I can identify with your guilt, I can identify with the indecisions and the anxiety that accompanies our caring so much. I can identify with the "empty house" - the silence so deafening. I do believe that God's Kingdom is full of our beloved friends and that Jesus - the Good Shepherd - loves them even more than we did. May we be granted a measure of peace, sufficient to get us through another day. Thank you, my friends - human and canine and feline, birds and all.

Feb 16, 2013
to so sorry
by: Anonymous

Dear So Sorry,

I am very sorry for your loss. It's been almost a year that we've been without our dear dog, and I still think of him daily. So I can very much empathize. It was/is so much harder than I anticipated. What I have done that helps me, was to print off all the best photos of him and make an album of our life with him. As silly as this may sound to some, I don't try to forget him, but do try to remember his wonderful spirit. Probably not advice that is recommended - but it seems to work for me.

Feb 15, 2013
So sorry
by: Monique

My 11 yr old pitbull Loxe, was the love of my life, this past Monday night he suddenly had a seizer and died in my arms, my heart is broken... My house is so empty and lonely without him

Jan 08, 2013
thank you
by: Anonymous

Thank you for your comments. Of course a paragraph description doesn't fully cover all about our Stoshu. To be honest, I didn't want the burden of deciding when to end his suffering. I was the only one in our family who considering doing so. He gradually lost his sight, hearing, and developed arthritis - there was no abrupt change in his health. So no obvious time when it would be humane to do so. Our vet (and another) said it was a personal decision that could go either way. For me, it was his anxiety - clearly his loss of senses were frightening to him. In hindsight, I should have sought more help with dealing with his anxiety (3 vets gave opinions, but maybe they weren't experts in behavior?). He was such a happy dog, and I wished he had a peaceful end of life.

Jan 07, 2013
Am stuck in guilt
by: Doreen U.K.

When we get a pet it must be for the right reasons. It is a very responsible job to keep a pet. Sadly pets have a short life span that should be processed before purchased. As long as you give your pet a good home and lots of love you have done a good job. You have fulfilled a great need both for yourself/family/pet.
My son talked his younger sister into getting a bird. She came home one day with 2 cockatiels which became 6 then 7 and then 4 babies were born. My husband wasn't too happy. Cockatiels give off a powdery type of dust which gave me asthma. Which could cause fibrosis and death. I still kept the birds. I felt that if my husband died then I would have the birds for company. There came a time when the birds could not stay in the house. I couldn't keep them outside in our cold climate. I couldn't bear to see them suffer the small space of a cage. I knew my husband was dying and he would not be able to give me an aviary. So I PUT THE NEEDS OF THE BIRDS FIRST. I miss those darling birds so very much. But I am happy they have gone to a bird refuge with an indoor/outdoor aviary. They are having fun. They are happy. Even if I am not. It was a necessary SACRIFICE for their best welfare. Often the most loving thing to do is to give up what you can't keep to gain what you can't lose. Those Memories and all the Love. It is never easy losing a pet. It hurts. But we have to Love and be ready to hold loosely because God can prize them out of our hand at any time. God owns the world and everything therein. God taught me a hard lesson. To hold everything loosely because He could take it all out of my hands at any time. It is still very painful to lose our loved ones and our beloved pets. Life Hurts. So does Death.

Jan 07, 2013
Dear Stuck
by: Judith in California

I know all of us, who have to make that hard decsion to let our pets go be with God, feel some guilt . WE have to make the decisin base on quality of life. We don't want them to get worse in whatever illness they have. They would only suffer more. We can't handle that so we have to make the humane decision for them,
We love them too much to let them suffer just so we can selfishly to hang on to them. The poor animals can't talk and tell us how they feel but I'm sure Stoshu is grateful to be in Rainbow Bridge with all the other pets who's Mommy and Daddy's had to make the caring hard decision to let them go so they would not hurt anymore.

I hope this helps ease your guilt. You made the right decision for him. Give the guilt to God and let go. HE understands.

I had to put down 4 kitties in the last 2 years.With each loving one I prayed and thought on it for three days. Then held each one and told them I loved them too much to let them be in pain and suffer. I cried my heart out then and as I held them as they went to sleep forever. I miss them and will always remember them and all the joy each one brought to my life.

Jan 07, 2013
Letting Go of Our Beloved pet
by: Anonymous

The problem with us human beings, is that we want to have our pets with us, because they give us such unconditional love, and comfort & best friend too, but where we as humans fail is that we get selfish for our own reasons, and don't realize that they our (pets) are suffering just like any human being when they are sick & dying, but your pet knows how much he was loved, because they to remain around us spiritually. I wish I would have put my pets down earlier. The lesson here is that when it time to go, let them go, because they don't need to suffer.

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