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(National Geographic)   Actual Headline: It's Hard to Send a Pet to Heaven. Better Headline: I am having a hard time being a douche today, isn't that weird?   (news.nationalgeographic.com) divider line 30
    More: Sad, pets  
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8767 clicks; posted to Main » on 04 Mar 2013 at 12:59 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
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Archived thread
2013-03-04 01:07:46 PM  
4 votes:
Yeah, it's a tough decision, but it comes with being a pet owner. They can't make these decisions for themselves, so it's your job. Sometimes sooner is less selfish than later... I took my dog in last spring. We'd had him 12 years, and he was starting to develop kidney stones. A lot of them. We could have paid to have them removed, but it wouldn't have lasted long, and he would have had the issues come back over and over... Never seen anything as sad as the look on his face when the stones would finally break free, and he's suddenly accidentally peeing all over the floor. You'd have thought he'd just eaten the baby.

Anyway, some people might think I made the decision to put him under just to save money and trouble, and that I was just being cheap, but things were never going to get better, and were only going to get worse. It's a tough call, but if you've had your pet that long, you should already be mentally prepared...
2013-03-04 01:07:45 PM  
4 votes:
Putting a pet to sleep is an intensely personal thing.

Here, you've got a bundle of fur that you've had for years. They are a part of your family and you are a part of their pack.

I've always thought that, when their quality of life is extremely low and they are in constant pain; you owe it to them to act in their best interest.

If they can't ever get better and hurt all the time; that's when I think you need to say goodbye to your friend.

/ but, like I said; this is a very personal thing, and not everyone agrees about it
2013-03-04 01:38:07 PM  
3 votes:
When I was first married, we adopted a ginger tabby who was three months old. That cat was my buddy  for the next 17 years (and, at age six, was a  "mentor" to another kitten I adopted) . He outlasted a marriage and several girlfriends. When he died, I couldn't even talk about it for three months, his young buddy walked around the house for weeks crying and looking for him (that was really sad; at least a child you can comfort by telling them that their friend is in heaven or "away"), and pined away, dying 50  weeks later. The younger cat was only 12 and healthy. He just could not get over his buddy. It took me a while also. I buried them both beneath the same rhododendron bush so they could live on as part of the plant.


/Why, yes, I prefer cats to people for most purposes.
2013-03-04 01:31:47 PM  
3 votes:
I've had cats euthanized and I have allowed them to die naturally at home. This call has to be made on a case-by-case basis, depending on what is wrong with the animal. In some cases, euthanasia is the only course of action, but in most, allowing the animal to die at home is the way to go, especially in multi-cat situations. It is better for the cats left behind to assist the dying cat with their passing (and boy do they ever; it's amazing to watch) and they absolutely do get a sense of closure from being with the dying cat and witnessing its dead body. This doesn't happen when the cat is removed and taken to the vet to be euthanized. I can tell you the longer goodbye of allowing the cat to die at home is far less traumatic to me than the sudden loss by euthanasia. Yes, they usually do quit eating a few days before dying and quit drinking in the last day or so. But this isn't the cat committing suicide as the vet in the FA suggests. Rather, the cat knows that its systems are shutting down and food and water are no longer necessary. Cats will usually choose a quite place to die and may even begin sleeping there preferentially for several weeks before the event. When the time comes, they will go to this place, lay down and slowly drift away. Another thing a cat will do is say goodbye to its human companions by spending extra time with them and being extra, but calmly, affectionate. It's actually beautiful to watch. For these reason, I choose euthanasia only when absolutely necessary.
2013-03-04 01:27:50 PM  
3 votes:
Pfft.  Putting down a pet gets easier every time you do it.  The kids love a new puppy, so we get one every year, and put the old one to sleep.  After 7 or 8 years, it's just like recycling last week's paper.

-50/10. And, guess what? Wasn't funny.
2013-03-04 01:55:06 PM  
2 votes:

SploogeTime: "I don't quite get the headline? What makes him a douche?  Or what makes him a douche on all other days?
Most people selfishly keep their pets alive longer than they should; after the animal is clearly not having any kind of quality of life.  This author waited until the cat indicated that it was time by stopping eating and then didn't delay in having her euthanized.  He indicated that before that, she had still been a loving and engaged animal, even if she had elimination issues, and didn't appear to be in pain."

Agree, completely, and guilty of that, but no more. To me, pups & cats are family members, but they can be euthanized in a humane way and to wait too long because of the attachment is wrong when the animal suffers. Obviously, not everyone agrees.


I got the impression that the guy was a douche in the first paragraph (bolded), where he confesses that when other people have talked about how hard it was to put their pets down, and his response was "how hard can it be?" Which is a pretty douchey thing to say/think about someone who was was going through that decision. Understandably he's changed his stance, but that doesn't mean he wasn't a douche to begin with.

/not subby
2013-03-04 01:23:00 PM  
2 votes:
Has anyone had a pet just "die in their sleep"?  I'd like for the decision to be taken out of my hands just once, instead of having to go through all that trauma.
2013-03-04 01:22:43 PM  
2 votes:

Mikey1969: Yeah, it's a tough decision, but it comes with being a pet owner. They can't make these decisions for themselves, so it's your job. Sometimes sooner is less selfish than later... I took my dog in last spring. We'd had him 12 years, and he was starting to develop kidney stones. A lot of them. We could have paid to have them removed, but it wouldn't have lasted long, and he would have had the issues come back over and over... Never seen anything as sad as the look on his face when the stones would finally break free, and he's suddenly accidentally peeing all over the floor. You'd have thought he'd just eaten the baby.

Anyway, some people might think I made the decision to put him under just to save money and trouble, and that I was just being cheap, but things were never going to get better, and were only going to get worse. It's a tough call, but if you've had your pet that long, you should already be mentally prepared...


Can relate. I had to take my pup in 2009, he had hemangiosarcoma, and it was a farking brutal bastard, 1 1/2 months between diagnosis and death.

I had no idea how I would react. And we sat on a couch in the room at the vet, he put his head on my lap. They gave him the sedative and he fell asleep. Then they gave him the second shot. He breathed his last breath in my lap. And I sat there for 20 minutes, crying like a baby, petting him, telling him how much we loved him. I found out later that the vet techs wouldn't come in and bother me after the first girl came in, saw me crying, and came out of the room crying herself.

My wife was out to sea at the time (Navy), and I had to call her and tell her the news.

Soul crushing.

I still miss that goofy dog. Every day.

But he was in such bad shape, it was the right thing to do.

Little sob is making me cry my own tears again.
2013-03-04 01:11:48 PM  
2 votes:

ronaprhys: A quick scan of the article didn't really bring up anything douchey.  Seemed like someone who faced with the decision of what's the best thing to do, given all of the circumstances and the emotional issues that come with making that choice.

Am I missing something?  Or was this just subby trying to get another greenlight?


Subby is having a hard time being a douche because he's sad.
2013-03-04 06:00:20 PM  
1 votes:
My ex-wife rescued my cat Deckard from Animal Control some time in 2000. He was a stray and had pneumonia, but we got him medicine and he bounced right back. He was always a fairly sedentary cat and a bit on the large side (he topped out at 18.5 pounds).

Last spring, I felt a lump in his upper leg. It turned out to be a fiber sarcoma; basically a rock-hard mass that's very aggressive. It was caused by one of his vaccinations; one of those "rare chance but it might happen" things. The recommended treatment is removal of the leg plus radiation and chemotherapy. At this point, the cat was pushing 16, so I decided not to put him through it. It took him a day to fully recover from his last dental cleaning when it usually took him an hour or so. I knew he was slowing down.

For the next 8 months, a barely detectable lump slowly got bigger. Visibly noticeable. Bigger, then really big. I knew what the eventual outcome would be, and every day I started wondering how much longer we had with him. The same weekend that Hurricane Sandy hit (I'm in VA, so we just got a lot of rain), the lump turned purple. I'd thought it started killing off the surrounding flesh and possibly had gone necrotic. I steeled myself and took him to the vet, ready to put him down.

Turns out it was infected and filled with pus. The vet was able to drain 100ccs of fluid, improve his condition, put him on antibiotics, and sent him home with a follow-up appointment in a week. You'd think that was relief, but it wasn't. Now I was counting days and examining his wound every day. It gave me some serious anxiety because when I woke up every morning, I didn't know what I'd find. His death had gone from "sometime" to "soon" and was becoming more and more imminent and evident.

5 nights later, I noticed the area had turned purple again. Deckard climbed into the bed between myself and my wife and was extra affectionate as another poster has described. He stayed there all night. The next morning we woke up and the mass had broken his skin. He had a weeping hole in his leg and we knew it was time. The family said goodbye and my wife took him to the vet. I couldn't do it. Funny enough, we were due to visit my grandparents in North Carolina that day. When my childhood pet died in 1999, we were also due to visit them. My sister and I stayed behind to deal with the dog then. This time, my wife stayed, and I managed to make it through the visit, taking the kids with me.

Not once did he indicate he was in pain. He didn't stop eating, he didn't neglect the litter box, and acted 100% normal. If he didn't have a giant lump sticking out of his leg, you wouldn't have known anything was wrong. Since I got Deckard, I'd had a son, divorced, remarried, and inherited a stepson. The day I put Deckard down, I realized he had been with me longer than anyone else in the household.

Hard? Yeah, you bet. Awesome cat and glad he was with me all that time. Anyway, seems like the right thread to share that story. If I had image hosting somewhere, I'd post a pic too.
2013-03-04 03:12:15 PM  
1 votes:
On Christmas Eve, I had  to have my sweet little calico cat put to sleep, and I'm still grieving over her.  She had been a feral kitten in Indianapolis, when I took her in.  Her kidneys were failing, she wouldn't eat,  and she was getting so weak and, I think, a  little out of her mind from the toxicity of the kidney failure.  The last few nights, I slept in a chair with her on my chest.  She was almost 18.

What a sweet little cat she was.  My best friend drove us to the vet, stayed with me while I held her, and then drove me home.  We were both crying.  I loved her so.  I had my husband put her ashes in a safe place, and told him when I die, I want her buried with me.
2013-03-04 03:06:58 PM  
1 votes:
Our rescue greyhound Jack was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in his left front leg last September. Since he was otherwise healthy as a horse at 6 years old and the cancer hadn't spread, we opted to have his leg amputated. Our local vet did the operation, but was in over her head with a greyhound. After the surgery, he was very weak and had to be hoisted up with a sling to get him to stand. He managed to go outside to do his business, most of the time, but it was tough for him to do so. Unfortunately, the wound began to seep as he was using muscles in his shoulder that were no longer attached to anything. The seepage eventually turned into a full-blown bleed, and a week after the surgery, we had to take him back in to be patched up.

When the vet removed the bandage, a fountain of blood shot out of his wound. He was also turning yellow from jaundice, as his liver was shutting down. The vet immediately put in a call to the OSU Veterinary Hospital in Columbus to have him admitted. We drove him down to Columbus that evening. They told us that he needed a lot of work, with at least two more surgeries to repair the damage. He also had blood in his stool and two nasty infections. Then they told us the estimated cost of $5000 to $9000. My wife and I looked at each other, then looked at Jack, lying there on the floor with his big goofy eyes. He wasn't ready to go yet, so we pulled out the credit card and filled out the paperwork.

Jack was at OSU (which has a special program for greyhounds - there's probably no better place for a sick or injured greyhound) for over a week. It was dicey for a while...the vet there would call me twice a day with updates. They performed surgery to remove more muscle tissue and his shoulder blade, which should have been removed in the first place. The Rimadyl pain killer that he had been prescribed was causing the blood in his stool, as greyhounds are sensitive to Rimadyl (which our vet didnt know). They also got the infections under control. When we went down to pick him up, there he was, standing on three legs, wagging his tail like a whip, all bandaged up with a funny haircut and a feeding tube going into his neck. The vets at OSU loved him, as they said they had never seen a greyhound put up such a fight to live. The total bill from OSU was $9048.32. We took out a 4-year loan to pay it off.

Eventually the cancer will come back and get him. It might be in six months, it might be in six years. We're hoping he outlives the loan. But, he's back to normal now (well, he didn't grow a new leg, but the other leg has a HUGE shoulder on it, and his neck muscles are massive, too). He still does laps around the yard like he used to, and it makes us get all teary-eyed when he does so.

i3.photobucket.com

Every day that we have with Jack is a bonus. He just wasn't ready to give up yet.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zDlqGecnco
2013-03-04 02:39:37 PM  
1 votes:
from old BoCL:  http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/wdc/22822390.html


Why I Think My Cat Is On Acid

I had no intention of getting a cat.

I had every intention of buying a Christmas tree.

This is how it started:

I am home, alone, putting up ornaments in a vain attempt to feel like there is something special about December besides less bums on the street and less BO on the metro.

My first tree. Smells great. Looks pretty good. I tied it to the car myself.

But, it seems to be vibrating. Just slightly.

I reach the center of the tree and feel fur. Now I am not a complete wimp but this is unexpected and scares the shiat out of me. So I scream.

And my new cat says "meow".

I named him Scrooge. I think it's a him. I bought him food and a scratching post and litter and the box that comes with it and small fake mice he ignores and I am thinking maybe it will be nice to have a pet that lives longer than my plants.

But he is farking insane.

He attacks me at every opportunity. People think I am suicidal due to the scratches on my forearms. I own no socks without holes. I can't sleep at night because I know that little farker is waiting. He sits in the dark, quite and docile. Just when my breathing gets shallow and even and I begin to drift off to peaceful slumber, he attacks.

My feet seem to be his nemesis. And he is relentless.

He likes to wait under the couch when I get home. He waits until I have taken off my shoes and streach my weary toes before jumping out and diggin claws sharper than Gods wit into my flesh.

Then he runs.

And he is fast.

If I am not paying enough attention he will jump to my waist and scale my body like I was Everest until he reaches my shoulder at which point he screams: "Meaow!"

I love him. And I think I am going to kill him.

He has unseen enemies that plauge his existance.

I know because he will run around my apartment in a frenzy careening off of every possible surface. His little eyes wide. His little sphere-shaped head aware of movements in the furnature I cannot perceive. I imagine it is how I would act were you to shove a red-hot coal in my ass and blame it on everything in sight.

When he is actually still long enough for me to pet him, it is only a matter of minutes before his little ears go flat and he grabs my arm. He bites and uses his rear legs to scratch my skin as if it were a lotto ticket.

He is terrified of my basketball. I have no idea what great injustice a simarly looking basketball has done him in his past, but Christ, he hates that thing.

And plugs. He is not afraid of the vaccume (I have no idea how you spell that) but he hates the plug that goes to the wall. I can not afford the electrical tape to satisfy his prejudice.

Sometimes he just stares at me. And I wonder how he is planning my demise.

If I lay on the floor and look at him, he will run full speed and colide with my head. Then he will look at me like I am an asshole and run away. Back to the safety of under my bed where he will wait until I am naked and unprotected to seek his revenge.

If I try to read the paper when I am home he will attack the page. I have no idea what is going on in the world.

I take a shiat and he sticks his little arms under the door. He knows I shiat when I get home. Its usually quiet in there and this gives me a small heart attack every time. He will run into the bathroom as soon as he hears my key in the door. I have to tease him with a treat and run to close the door before he can get in there with me. This is what I am reduced to.

He is in love with my left work shoe and will defend it with passion every morning. Only the left one. I have no idea why. No other shoe precipitates such adoration from him.

I do not understand this creature.

But I like it when he purrs. I don't know where that sound comes from, but it's great.

He is now in a vicious, losing battle with the string that pulls my window blinds. And there go my blinds. Now, I am sure, he has retreated to under my bed. Only to wait to inflict further dmage to my ravished ankles.

My cat is Paranoid Scitzophrenic. He is Bipolar. Manic Depressive.

Maybe he is a she. Somehow that would make so much more sense.

I love that little farker, but I think I am going to have to kill him.

Or her.
2013-03-04 02:36:22 PM  
1 votes:
2013-03-04 02:24:14 PM  
1 votes:
Being a dog person and coming from a family of dog people we never really had the slow agonizing death by suicide that cat people seem to use a cue to make that dreaded appointment. Our pets just were kept as comfortable as possible and we would let them sneak in an extra treat, if they could stomach it, knowing that they didn't have that long. My childhood buddy, Shawna, was totally blind and deaf by the time I was 7 but she still had a keen nose for trouble. When she was 17 she was incontinent in her sleep because she didn't have that control over her body anymore. My mom recalls sitting at the table and watching her in the dog bed fighting to stay awake and as she'd nod off force herself awake and to sit back up because she knew that she'd wake up in a soiled blanket. Mom, who didn't like this dog when she met my dad, didn't mind it. She'd carefully lay her out on a clean blanket and throw the wet one in the laundry with hardly any fuss. We let her outside one day and she went straight to a dogwood tree and looked like she laid down in the shade for a nap. But she didn't get up for dinner and that's when we knew she was gone. It was one of only 2 times I had ever seen my father cry. The other time was when we rented My Dog Skip because dammit if that dog didn't remind him exactly of Shawna.
2013-03-04 02:21:50 PM  
1 votes:
I have a tendency to adopt older, less healthy shelter dogs (somebody has to) so I've had to do this quite a few times.  I've lost 3 in about the last 4 years actually.  Well I know where they are, they just don't wag anymore.

Last fall my father was in hospice and every other weekend I would drive the 500 +/- miles round trip to see him.  Just happened to be in town the weekend my domestic partner called crying and telling me I needed to come say goodbye to the dog.  Drove to her house, put him in the car and drove him to the vet for last rites.  Lost my dad and my dog in about 6 weeks.  The dog from a degenerative muscle disease and dad from pancreatic cancer.

I'll do it again too.  The oldest dog of them all...  RIP dad.

i174.photobucket.com
gja [TotalFark]
2013-03-04 02:17:37 PM  
1 votes:
Over the course of my life I have mad pets in my life. Cats. dogs, fish, a turtle, etc...
The three hardest, by far, was my first dog ever, and two very special cats.

My pup was the runt of the litter, shaking, scared, wincing at everything. I had to take her and give her a home.
And I did. And she grew into one of the sweetest Jack Russell terriers. And, strangely, one of the biggest anyone had ever seen.
They called her a 'badger class'.
Through 17 years we did things and had fun. So much so, I took her presence in my life for granted sometimes.
In her last year her legs were so bad she could no longer walk, and refused her food at times.
When she walked straight into the sofa I took her to the vet.
A day and many tests later I went back to see her and consult with my vet of decades.
I looked at Doc B and said "you know me, I don't give a shiat what the cost, but be straight with me".
He got a little choked up and said
"i wish I could tell anything but this. Her kidneys are shot, her liver function is so far off, and her blood panel is bad. You need to let her go J, shes 17, there's a limit to what can be done, and she might not live through some of those things anyway"
I took pics of my little pup as she drifted off to sleep for the last time in my arms, being careful she didn't see me crying because she always got upset when she saw me sick or upset. Once Doc B told me "that's it" I fekking lost it. Even Doc B cried. He has known me for so long and knew what she meant to me.
Sunday Oct 3, 2010 @ 10:50AM I sad goodbye to my first pup ever. I miss that dog every day. She was a big soul stuffed into a small frame.

/i cant continue right now....I just cant, maybe write about the kitties in later post, apologies
//a 51 year old man crying in his office with the door closed, quite the spectacle
2013-03-04 01:56:39 PM  
1 votes:
I've always held the firm belief that when you know the quality of your pets life is going bad, it's time to help them go.  In nature an animal will wonder off and nature takes the lead.

When my Blue Heeler, at the age of 14, lost his bowels and bladder in the house for the first time since he was a puppy.  He then had a couple seizures in the afternoon.  There were some other issues that come with the dog's aging, but this day, I knew it was time to help him along.
Luckily, my former boss had access to Euthanasia, and with the help of a Vet Tech friend, I was able to put my best friend down in the comfort of our own home.
I've seen so many friends keep their pets around far too long.
Right now a friend's Wiener Dog is on the verge of death.  The wind knocked it over the other day when it tried to pee.  My friend just wants "one more day" with the dog.
2013-03-04 01:53:37 PM  
1 votes:
This is rather timely for me too.

Today my husband and I dropped our dog Yuri off at the vet. She's not been eating much for the past two weeks and has been throwing up most of what she has eaten. In two weeks she's lost a quarter of her body weight. (She was only 20lbs to begin with.) Vet said sometimes they just get stuck in these patterns of throwing up, so now she's in observation and has an IV going to rehydrate her and get her some sort of necessary nutrients going. x-rays showed nothing. Now it's just a matter of waiting for the blood work to come back.

Yuri wasn't ever really my dog. My husband adopted her when he was stationed in Okinawa. She was 10 years old when I first met her, old enough that her black muzzle had turned white. In the past three years I've gotten amazingly attached to her.

I really, really hope she's going to be okay. I don't think I'm quite ready for the alternative yet. =(
2013-03-04 01:33:55 PM  
1 votes:

CheekyMonkey: Pfft.  Putting down a pet gets easier every time you do it.  The kids love a new puppy, so we get one every year, and put the old one to sleep.  After 7 or 8 years, it's just like recycling last week's paper.


i.imgur.com
2013-03-04 01:31:05 PM  
1 votes:
Just did this last week to one of our dogs. She deserved to die of old age, but that was not to be.

In the top 5 worst days of my life.
2013-03-04 01:27:28 PM  
1 votes:

ronaprhys: A quick scan of the article didn't really bring up anything douchey.  Seemed like someone who faced with the decision of what's the best thing to do, given all of the circumstances and the emotional issues that come with making that choice.

Am I missing something?  Or was this just subby trying to get another greenlight?


Seemed medium douchey - like "gosh I was surprised to realize that I experienced normal human feelings".

It's annoying that these "journey of self-discovery" style articles actually get published.  I sure hope nobody got paid more than 79 cents for that.  There's just no journalism left anywhere - all writing is now directed towards entertainment, just the first step to maybe making it up to writing for the next Jim Belushi sit-com someday.
2013-03-04 01:24:52 PM  
1 votes:
I don't quite get the headline? What makes him a douche?  Or what makes him a douche on all other days?

Most people selfishly keep their pets alive longer than they should; after the animal is clearly not having any kind of quality of life.  This author waited until the cat indicated that it was time by stopping eating and then didn't delay in having her euthanized.  He indicated that before that, she had still been a loving and engaged animal, even if she had elimination issues, and didn't appear to be in pain.
2013-03-04 01:22:31 PM  
1 votes:

show me: Whenever someone said they were going to "put down" a cat I would envision them with a sneer on their face pointing at the cat saying stuff like, "You're a worthless, no-good, meowing little turd! The best part of you ran down your momma's ass and ended up as a stain in the alley!"


Oooooh! That cat got SERVED!
2013-03-04 01:19:35 PM  
1 votes:
I've just been thinking about this recently.  My now 11 year old dog has had some minor issues here and there, and I worry that he's going to have something more "major" happen, which might make him suffer, and that I will be unable to make the call when the time comes.  He still is pretty spry but I know it could turn pretty quickly.

I've shed some tears already thinking about the future when he's gone, but anyone who takes on the responsibility of a pet has to realize that the odds are, you will outlive them.
2013-03-04 01:16:42 PM  
1 votes:

M-G: I've found my vet's office can get very dusty....


Just reading the article made me feel like it's a bit dusty in my office.

/going to go home and hug my kitties now ...
2013-03-04 01:15:53 PM  
1 votes:
Sometimes we treat our pets better than our family; knowing when it's been enough suffering and it's time to let go.
2013-03-04 01:08:03 PM  
1 votes:
A quick scan of the article didn't really bring up anything douchey.  Seemed like someone who faced with the decision of what's the best thing to do, given all of the circumstances and the emotional issues that come with making that choice.

Am I missing something?  Or was this just subby trying to get another greenlight?
M-G
2013-03-04 01:07:43 PM  
1 votes:
I've found my vet's office can get very dusty....
2013-03-04 01:05:43 PM  
1 votes:
Whenever someone said they were going to "put down" a cat I would envision them with a sneer on their face pointing at the cat saying stuff like, "You're a worthless, no-good, meowing little turd! The best part of you ran down your momma's ass and ended up as a stain in the alley!"
 
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