Hard to say goodbye

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jamo's picture
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Joined: 2013-01-14

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Hi. I am new to this forum but have been an avid reader of it for a bit now. I have a 13 yr. old blue Doberman. He is great and loves both our little boys (4 and 1 1/2). I believe at times he has tried to hold on one more day to just be with the boys. Jamo has cardiomyopathy, thyroid, arthritis and a slew of other ailments that seem to go along with dobes. The cough from the cardio depends on the activity or general humidity of the house. My concern here is the fact that he is pooping everywhere, hard to walk, and back/hind quarters are sagging. I am the realistic one here and trying to talk with my wife (rescued him as a pup) about letting go because it hurts me to see him walk and constantly fall in the house. We have to hold his butt up so he does not fall down the steps to go out and then do the same up the steps. Are we holding on and is it his time

DJ's Dad's picture
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Not a good time to say 'welcome to the group', such a sad circumstance.

I know what you're going through.  My very first doberman, some 30-odd years ago, had exactly the same symptoms and conditions as your boy.  She needed help standing up from a lying position, and when she tried to lie back down, she would just fall.  She would bump into doorways and cause big fatty tumors to surface all over her body.  Her front teeth were worn down to practically nothing. Her hearing was not sharp any more. She was incontinent all the time.  She had lost the luster in her eyes, but my family loved her so much, we just couldnt bear to put her down.  Looking back now, I would have stopped her suffering before it got that bad, I believe. 

Only you and your family can make the decision as to when or if to let him go.  It's a very difficult decision to make, I know, but you have to consider the dog's quality of life and whether holding on is making him suffer with pain and confusion. 

mackerboys mom's picture
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Joined: 2012-05-31

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First off do you know how lucky you are to have him for this long!My blue passed in march of last year of DCM at 5 years of age lord what I wouldn't have given to have him that long,with that said you owe him his right to die with dignity I know how hard it is to let them go but it really sounds like it is time to let him go as much as we are selfish, please think of him if you was going thru what he is would you want to go on? He sounds like and awsome boy,my prayers are with you in this decison you have to make.  Dodie & Hoss

jamo's picture
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Joined: 2013-01-14

Thank you for your words, indeed it is rough.

Lady Kate's picture
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Joined: 2009-10-28

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Ah Jamo.. there simply are no words that will comfort right now. Welcome to the group.. although as Paul said, what a terrible way to meet you and your Jamo.

We love our Dobermans to the point of obsession and mourn the loss of each and every one. Prayers will be said for you and your family

Katie and Sofia

Wolfgirl_121's picture
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Joined: 2010-11-08

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I am so sorry that we got to meet you under these circumstances. You are very lucky to have had Jamo as long as you have. Aging  and weakness go together like pb&j, there is really nothing you can do to stop it all together, just slow it down a little bit. When it is time for him to go, you will know... You've just got to have the wisdom to see it and the strength to let go. 

Sending prayers of strength and peace your way, Joelle

talisin's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-25

I usually answer this "is it time" question by asking myself would I want to live like my animal is living at the present time.....are there more good times than bad or more bad times than good? how are the waking moments spent - asleep, eating, pooping and repeat or is there time enjoying sofa time, car rides etc. if you can answer those questions honestly you will know when it's time. From the sounds of it, the time is upon you unless the above questions can be answered in a positive way.....letting go is about letting your beloved animal pass with dignity and with the least amount of distress as possible and when the daily routine becomes stressful and worrisome to a once fastidious dog, then you have to be brutally honest with yourself.....our animal family has dignity when it comes to soiling their beds or themselves so it becomes a high stress factor cause they "know" they shouldn't be soiling in the house or their beds but they don't understand why and they are disobeying by going in the house and the fretting over disappointing their person can cause upset; when their legs no longer work they don't understand that either and become frightened, I had a whippet that had leg/spinal issues causing him to fall all the time and I remember the fear in his eyes each time so you have to ask yourself if you are keeping him here due to your personal fear of loss or because he doesn't display the fear and anguish that comes from the body failing........I send hugs and lots of love to the family during this time, it is NEVER easy but necessary for us to make the decision when the time comes......keep us posted and let us know.....

jamo's picture
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Joined: 2013-01-14

Once again thank you for your words. I am sure everyone struggles the same way and I am sorry if there is redundancy here...I know its time, my wife doesn't though. This morning was a tough one because he just did not want to move, he sat in his bed waiting for us to come to him. I picked his hind legs up and we motored out to the frigid Chicago temps and he shivered like we all do when a cold blast gets ya. I brought him up the stairs and then went off to work. I received a text though from my wife and it sounded like we needed to make an appt. at the vet for this eve. My wife had a chat with our 4 yr old, inevitably they both started crying. Moments later Jamo shot up on the couch barking and acting his usual self, though not completely as he muscled his way up on the cushions. I tried to tell my wife it is time but we both can't come to grips with the fact that he is mentally aware...I am hoping the realization for my wife comes sooner than later so we can all remember the beast within that has terrorized numerous toys and furniture:)

DJ's Dad's picture
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Joined: 2010-10-04

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per jamo: ...'Moments later Jamo shot up on the couch barking and acting his usual self'...

This doesnt mean he is getting better...many times, animals and even  humans, get a last burst of energy before their bodies totally wear out.

jamo's picture
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Joined: 2013-01-14

I know, I was having a brief cathartic moment there.

talisin's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-25

DJ's dad said it before I could, sometimes that spurt is the last one you will be privileged to see meaning you need to help your wife understand that mentally yes the dog may be there but when the body begins failing to this degree your dog is "not there" and since they can't tell us how they feel you guys have no way of knowing how much pain your dog is in during this time, she needs to see the dog and try to understand how it would feel to be in your dog's place with those issues.....regardless I hope you will spend time letting your child say goodbye explaining Rainbow Bridge and so forth.....I always stay with my animals while they cross over, so be sure if you stay that you give your baby a hug from me and Ben it's really hard but it's why we are their guardians and caretakers so that we know when it's time and we do the right thing by them......they understand and trust us to make that decision for them .......so sorry .......:((  I went through this a year an half ago with my collie of 13 years and I am sitting here right now with my cat of 20 years and I know that she is on borrowed time and I will be coming in here with her passing in the next few months to a year.....just know we all know what it feels like and we are here.....

jpdobie's picture
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Joined: 2012-06-26

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My sister-in-law went through this with her mastiff and it took her a very long time to decide she was only thinking of herself, and not the dog.  I think everyone here has said everything you already know.  Good luck to you and your family.  I'll send well-wishes to you and Jamo.

talisin's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-25

How is he doing???? I think of him daily........

tess's picture
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Joined: 2012-01-28

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We have all been there and we go there again and again and again because we love our furbabies.  With that said Ill tell you what my vet told me.  He said that your dog will not tell you when its time, its your heart that will make that decision.  It sounds like yours is making it for you.  God bless and stay strong and you will be together again.  Heaven wouldnt be heaven with out dogs.

 

Tess

Buffysmom's picture
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Joined: 2013-01-22

God bless you, and I am so sorry to have met you during this horrible time. But thank you for reaching out and sharing your story with us.

When my Dobie passed, it was only after a month of being sick. I had fostered, then adopted her, and she was nine at the time she got sick. She started not eating, throwing up bland meals, losing weight, etc. After $2500 worth of tests in two weeks, I was told it was cancer, and had her put to sleep 3 days later. I could not watch her suffer any longer. It took everything I had - as she rescued me and I couldn't fathom living without her.

I'm still not over it, and it was two Christmases ago. I adopted two other Dobies, only to have gotten badly bred, neurogically unstable and agressive dogs which I also had to humanely put down. My heart is a wreck.

There will be no words to comfort you and your family, but realize how lucky your were you have him for so long! I only had my Buffy six years, but it was worth every minute, every dime, to have had her love.

Crud, now I'm crying for us all.

Thank you for being so unselfish in letting him go.

mackerboys mom's picture
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Joined: 2012-05-31

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You are in our thoughts please keep us up to date.   Dodie & Hoss