Tomorrow I'm sending my dog to Rainbow Bridge. I'm so hurt, confused, and guilty. Yesterday morning he could hardly walk. His arthritis is bad. Been on painkillers for years. He also has prostate cancer and a tumor on his adrenal gland...They gave him morphine at the vets. What a heartbreaking evening and night. He cried so much. Confused from the morphine. But today he is great. Walking playing eating. He hasn't been this way in days. I know it's because he's not in pain but it'll wear off. Is it worth giving him more morphine and putting him through nights like last night again just to keep him around? I don't know what to do....He's up every hour crying to go out to pee, difficulty pooing... Oh God, I guess I'm looking for someone to say it's time that I'm doing the right thing. This is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life."
First of all, you can FEEL guilty, but YOU ARE NOT GUILTY. (Guilt is something the human mind created. Heaven does not know of such things). He has struggled for a very long time and weighing his quality of life with his pain and his condition is imperative. Do not hold him to you with your love because the love won't die when he does. You need to look at everything else that is going on. How would you feel if you were him?
It is such a hard decision but the loving thing to do is let him go. Our Grady suffered for several years with chronic pain and was deaf and blind. We made the appointment to put her to sleep on a Monday. Sunday night and Monday morning she was better than she had been in many months. We thought of it as a final gift for all of us. Later when it was over, we wished we had done it sooner for her. She was so at peace. You will see and you will know then that you did the right thing.
Remember, "It's Not Putting Me Down, It's Lifting Me Up". (Get your FREE copy of our little book here: https://BookHip.com/DCSAKN ) Wishing you strength between here and there. <3
…How many of us have watched someone we love suffer for too long? They have spent weeks, months, years, declining and then, right after we make the decision to let them go, they surprise us by having a really good day? It can knock us for a loop.
One night Grady pee-ed all over our bed. Our bed was also our "den," and any dog knows you don't dirty your den. This is how sick she was, to not be able to honor that. She was 14. She had been incontinent (and arthritic and going blind and deaf over the years). Kate said to her that night, "I can't keep doing this." Kate was so tired from cleaning up after her and carrying her everywhere. Nonetheless, she did it for another two years. It was all because she was waiting for God to call for Grady because she didn't want to have to make The Decision.
She ultimately contacted the vet and scheduled euthanization for Monday. Sunday night we all slept on the floor with Grady instead of bringing her up onto our bed like we always did. It was the first time in many nights that she didn't get up every hour. She slept the whole night through! She got up in the morning, went outside with me with a wag in her tail! She gave a playful little awkward jump when I teased her... and she ate all of her breakfast! We couldn't believe it. Our hearts were full.
It would be easy to second-guess whether we were doing the right thing, to move forward with the plans for the day. Maybe if we just slept on the floor with her every night she'd sleep through the night.... maybe this, maybe that, maybe, maybe, maybe...
Fortunately, our experience working with people on hospice reassured Kate. We had seen it over and over again in our therapy work. Many times people linger on their deathbeds; their breath is slowing, their feet are turning blue... and then all of a sudden one day, they rally back! Where they were confused they are now lucid. Those who were lethargic are miraculously alert and clear for the first time in a long time. They give us the impression that they are not dying after all! Oh everyone is so excited! They are clearly turning a corner and they will be well again! Our prayers have indeed been answered!
Then, in 12 or 24 or more hours, they pass peacefully. It is not this way for everyone, but this has happened often in Kate's thirty years of experience. It matters not the age or the condition or the setting. I think perhaps it is one final chance for the body to have its Swan Song. When we know we can never do something again that we've always done, we always want to do it one more time. Sometimes that's what the final day is for. It gives us a chance to have one more time around before we transform into something else.