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Old 01-17-2013, 06:32 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How do you know when its time for the rainbow bridge?

This is not about my dogs but my daughter's 13-15 year old boy Cujo. He has bad arthritis and can't hold his stool anymore. He has a really hard time with the stairs and this morning his poop was like sand. She read that he may be dehydrated. Waiting for the vet to call her back. Do they ever tell you that its time or do you have to figure it out? Anyone have experience with having to put their beloved dog to sleep? How can you tell if the suffering is so bad? Thanks guys - I told her I would ask. She is heartbroken.
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm so sorry about Cujo. What a heartbreaking situation. Personally, I believe that dogs tell you when it's their time, but that sometimes we love them so much and want to hold on to them so badly that it's difficult for us to "hear" what they're saying. It's difficult to let go of the (sometimes legitimate) hope that they'll bounce back just one more time.

With Rusty, who passed away last April, he quit eating, and we chose to not force the issue. Instead, for his last few days, we cuddled lots, sat in sunbeams, and kept him comfortable with the pain meds he was on for arthritis. When, a few days after he quit eating, he woke up obviously scared, confused, and in distress, we knew it was time and we needed to help him on his way. I think, in retrospect, Rusty told us that it was time a few days ahead of that, but we needed those days to really understand. Good luck to your daughter with her decision.
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:13 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I knew when my boyfriend's last German Shepherd dog wouldn't even eat bologna or american cheese that I had brought for him that he was ready to go. It was harder for BF to see that than for me to see it. The dog died at home a couple of days later. He wasn't home when it happened, but found him looking like he had just gone to sleep. He was lucky that Becks seemed to have passed peacefully. All of my cats told me when they were ready and I took a day or so to plan for people who cared about them to have a visit before we made that sad one way trip to the vet.

I think it is the most selfless thing we can do for them to understand what they are telling us. Hard for us to let go, but very generous to free them from their confusion and discomfort.
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Well, it's hard to tell, 1. I would ask my vet, what they think is the going on , 2. your daughter,knows her dog, is he in pain, is the dog eating, drinking, playing, happy, sad,. Still the vet is your best bet, for help with this. I knew it was time to say good by to my sweet Ashley, she was 18, she just kept getting sicker, each day, no pain , her body was shutting down, the day came , I took her out side to lay in the sun, when it came time to go back inside , she could not get up, she just looked up at me , as if to say, Mom, it's ben a good life, but please let me go . My, heart just broke, she was my husband kens dog, she loved him so much, & he had passed away in July, this was in Oct. I stayed with her , they gave her meds to soothe her, I talked to her, when it was time, they came in gave her, the med. and she was gone. So fast, so simple, no pain , just my heart breaking.If its that time, I wish for your vet, a heart of compassion, and gentle hands. Love to you all, Kay
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm really sorry about Cujo. All I can say is he will tell you when he is ready to go. My old dog Patsy had cancer. We didn't have the money to treat her, so we just made sure she was comfortable, got whatever she wanted, and loved on her a lot. She was doing pretty well for about 6 months, just gradually slowed down more and more. It got to where she slept the whole time unless we were feeding her or going for a walk. Then one day, she just...quit. Didn't want to go on a walk or get up at all. I took her in a day or two later....walks had always been her very favorite thing in life, they possibly outranked food! I feel like that was her way of saying very clearly that she was done fighting.

He will tell you, you just have to be listening. Again, I'm sorry y'all are going through this, loss of a friend is always so hard.
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:30 AM   #6 (permalink)
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he is still eating but she is afraid he might be impacted - the sandy poop - so maybe its not time yet - he is still eating and going for a slow walk with her.
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:08 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default How do you know when its time for the rainbow bridge?

She will know when it is time. I have always seen dogs near the end that make decisions on their own. They either crawl and hide, quit eating or drinking, etc. If he is eating and drinking and walking I am not sure he is ready yet.


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Old 01-17-2013, 09:17 AM   #8 (permalink)
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he is not drinking and we will see if he eats tonite. poor Cuj - he is such a sweet dog! they love him soooo much and my daughter and her husband just lost his 26 year old son so it will be very hard if its time.
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:43 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default How do you know when its time for the rainbow bridge?

I am so sorry for them. It is so hard. It becomes more so after the loss of a child. How awful.


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Old 01-17-2013, 11:17 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I agree with everyone else that your pet will tell you and that the owner may not be listening to what they are saying. Sometimes it's better to get advice form others that may have a clearer vision. We have so much love for our pets and so involved with them that it can be difficult to hear what they are saying.

Looking back at my last dog, I probably waited too long. My wife had to let me know it was time. It can be very hard to let go.
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