Tough Choice For Pet Owners

I wrestled with writing about this particular subject but I felt it might be beneficial to other pet owners facing this tough decision. I was faced with it in November 2019 and again in January 2020.

To euthanize or let nature take its course. It’s a very tough decision and when you do decide you almost always second guess yourself. Did I make the right decision? Who knows what the right decision is? We really don’t have anyway of knowing for sure. We have to ask ourselves if we are keeping them alive for them or for us. They can’t talk so we really don’t know if they are suffering.

In my case the first decision came when my Great Pyrenees, Eros, was diagnosed with lymphoma cancer. The veterinarian gave me my options. Treat with steroids, chemotherapy or euthanasia. I didn’t want to put him through chemo so I opted for steroids and pain pills.

Eros responded well the first 3 days. Then he had a couple bad days. He began to get worse. I knew I had to make a decision and it was gut wrenching. I weighed the pros and cons and looking at them I asked myself if I was keeping him alive for me or him. In my case I decided it was for me so I made an appointment for him to cross the bridge.

I almost waited too long. The night before he got down and the only way he could get up was if I lifted him up on his legs. I practically had to carry him to the truck and load him to go to the vet’s office.

They had a room for us to go to without going through the waiting room. It was nice but just seemed such a cold impersonal place for him to take his last breath. I got down on the floor and held him as the vet injected him with the death serum. It was over quickly.

My second decision came in January 2020. My beloved Australian Shepherd, my ride dog, had developed a strange cough. I made Kate an appointment at the vets. I was afraid it was heart worms but that test came back negative. They decided to take some X-Rays. Her lungs were riddled with tumors. This was a Wednesday and when I asked the vet how long he thought she had he said a week two weeks tops. With Eros fresh in my mind I made the first appointment they had available. It was for Monday of the following week.

The vet had prescribed her some pain pills to help make her comfortable. Friday morning I needed to go to town so I took Kate with me. She had a rough time getting in the truck. We headed to town. Little did I know this would be our last ride together.

Back at the house I had to literally pick her up and set her on the ground. That’s when I noticed the spark was gone from her eyes. She got worse as the night progressed. I am not going to go into detail but the last 15 minutes of her life was not pretty. She took her last breath at 12:21 a.m. at home with just me and her.

I had hoped Eros would pass in his sleep but the memory of his death isn’t marred by a death struggle. I will always have Kate’s terrible fight haunting me.

I don’t second guess myself on my decision for Eros anymore. I had made the right decision with Kate but the appointment was too late.

For anyone having to make this decision I hope my experience helps you with your decision. Most of all I hope you don’t ever second guess yourself.

If you choose euthanasia promise yourself you will be there with them when they take their last breath. You being there helps their anxiety. Please don’t let them take their last breath alone with strangers. You owe them that much.

In Memory Of



13 thoughts on “Tough Choice For Pet Owners

  1. I feel for you and your losses…I know what an enormous part of your life Eros and Kate have been. I’ve been there recently myself when I had to make the decision for my Doogie. Suddenly terminally ill, I was grateful for every minute, but realize I had been in a lot of denial even with the diagnosis, I didn’t want to let go. That we’ll see our beloved dogs again is helping but the hurt too fresh still. I know Eros and Kate are your guardian angels, as Doogie is mine. My heart ache recognizes yours and wishes I had the right words to help you. Sending virtual hugs and prayers that you find emotional peace soon. I hope you get a break in weather and can get to the River, I know you’ll find strength there. Hugs my dear friend.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you. It is easy to be in denial. At the moment it seems like a safe place to be and you think it’s going to be ok. It is a very difficult decision. I know how you felt about Doogie. It isn’t easy to make that decision.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve liked this post but I don’t like it.
    My heart goes out to you and your precious pets.
    We too had to do this when our dog Lucky developed cancer. The vet wanted to put him down immediately. We brought Lucky home, took care of him, let him enjoy his beach, took him on a coastal holiday.
    Sadly he worsened and we took him in. The vet prayed and a mantra was sung and my boy was no more.
    We cried. We missed him and still do.
    Be strong and know that there is no more pain for them.
    Im glad you shared your sorrow. May it be a sorrow halved with our support and compassion. 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I totally understand your struggle but am glad you shared your stories of your beloved ones. I can’t count on all my fingers and toes all the pets I’ve had from childhood to just this last year with my sweet kitty that I had to let go a few months ago. It’s a shame they both went so fast for you and so close together, oh my, may the good Lord mend you heart and soul. That’s a lot on one person to bear, and sweet Katie the hardest. Decisions like this are difficult and I to sometimes wonder “did I do the right thing” and then the clarity hits you and you know you did. ❤️

    I believe in my mind that posts like these are cathartic and will help mend your broken heart. The sadness will wain a little but each day as the sadness will be replaced with many beautiful memories. One day here, some cute little furry one will come to you and melt your heart again! I just feel it in my bones! 😊🥰

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s just not right, that the angels suffer so. We lose so many loves in a lifetime. The question to ask ourselves is perfect- is it for us our them, as is your advice. Admittedly, I struggle with that when I see even an insect that’s clearly dying. Do I let it have it’s last moments or is it suffering? If it’s clearly injured badly, I do the deed, otherwise, I rest them in the sun light or in one of my plants. [Sigh] Sometimes I even offer them drops of water… & sometimes they drink it. I may be alone in this : )

    Liked by 1 person

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