28 replies
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This one's going to take some getting used to. For almost 14 years Doodah has been my shadow as I move through the house. Whatever room I'm in - you'd find him there. We've walked hundreds of miles together. When I took him in I had 3 dogs already and he's the last of "the zoo" to cross the bridge.

This little dog rescued from the street had been abused and neglected and it took a full year to earn his trust. Once he decided I was "his person" his devotion was absolute. He wasn't an easy dog - he had quirks and fears and a flea allergy, too. Those were more than balanced by a personality that was bigger than his size.

Doodah was injured more than once when he challenged my German Shepherd (35 lbs against 120 or so is not good odds but Doodah didn't get that). He herded the cats and tolerated them to a point. He never learned to fetch. That's not quite right - he learned to fetch but "keep away" was his favorite game.

In the past year Doodah's age has been showing. He lost most of his sight and most of his hearing - yet even yesterday was able to follow me through the house. We couldn't stop the pain any more and we couldn't make him younger. I didn't care that he was old or needed help - but I couldn't watch him suffer. I've had to walk this road before but this one was really hard.

Poor Gracie (my pit) is inconsolable today. She watched me leave with Doodah and come home without him and she's been looking for him ever since. I'll probably adjust to the loss quicker than she will.
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    Oh jeez Kay - you know my heart goes out to you completely. I am just sick to hear you have to go through this. We always know this might be the possible outcome when we take a little guy into our homes. We are never really ready for the reality to hit us though.

    You and I might disagree very strongly in some areas - but pets as children has never been one of them. No matter what our differences - - I will always like and respect you for your love for your furry kids and the dignity of your care and concern for their well being.

    You gave Doodah something irreplaceable -- a life of love and interest. You have that to hold on to while you mourn your companion. You'll see him again across the divide - but not just yet. He will be patient so take your time.

    When the Roads and Paths end, learn to guide yourself through the wilderness
    Beyond the Path

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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    Sometimes an act of kindness for a pet is the greatest thing you can do for it. Suffering isn't good for anybody, human or animal. Your grief will disappear but the memories will last.

    Cheers, Laurence. Writer/Editor/Proofreader.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      disagree very strongly in some areas
      We fight like sisters - but a lot of caring and mutual respect there, too.

      Gracie is to be boarded while I'm out of town starting next week. It's a great kennel where dogs are taken out for play time several times a day and interact in a setting like a dog park. She loves it there and I'm hoping that helps her get past this.

      I know I gave Doodah a good life - and I know this had to be done. It doesn't get easier to euthanize a much loved pet - but it shouldn't be easy so that's OK.

      Thanks, guys, for being a shoulder.

      Saving one dog will not change the world - but for that one dog, the world will change forever.
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        Bonnie - I can identify. For some reason, the dogs that are the hardest to put up with are the ones you get closest to. Odd, isn't it?

        Sal -

        You'll see him again across the divide - but not just yet. He will be patient so take your time.
        That's funny - yesterday my vet said "if it's true your pets are spirits waiting for you to arrive - you are going to have one hell of a party some day".
        Saving one dog will not change the world - but for that one dog, the world will change forever.
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  • Profile picture of the author marketingva
    I'm so sorry Kay. I had to make that same decision last year on November 4 with my shadow Toni. She was the most annoying dog in the world but she loved me without fail and as I worked at home she kept me company. I'm really sorry for your loss but grateful that you gave Doodah a good life.


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  • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
    Worst decision to have to make ever. Well for me anyway.
    I had to do it twice. In order to never have to make it again
    I now only have pets that will outlive me. Sorry for your loss Kay.

    Selling Ain't for Sissies
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  • Profile picture of the author KimW
    Am so sorry to hear you had to do that, I know it is very hard.

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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      In order to never have to make it again
      I now only have pets that will outlive me.
      Birds? Elephants?
      Saving one dog will not change the world - but for that one dog, the world will change forever.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    Aw Kay, so sorry to hear that. We had to put our Collie down a few years ago. It's never easy. They really do become family.

    Just when you think you've got it all figured out, someone changes the rules.

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    • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
      I'm so sorry to hear that Kay and my heart hurts for you. As others have said, it is never easy and yes, they are members of your family. As a matter of fact, sometimes they know you better than some of your family members, they sense things people don't, and they love you all of the time, even if you make a mistake. Their loyalty is immeasurable. Definitely a member of the family!

      And remember, Doodah will be with you always in your heart and your memories until you meet again.

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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Singletary
    Sorry for your loss. One of my biggest future regrets (already in place) is when I have to make that decision. It gets to me even thinking about that future day.

    We just took in an another unwanted yesterday. This is my third. I sometimes wonder if they (the dogs) have the mental capacity to know that they are unwanted or if they just see it as another day without any emotional attachment one way or the other - eat, sleep, poop, play is all they know.

    Regardless, hang in there.

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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    Ya know, Kay... Sometimes I wonder. Is the sorrow worth it?

    The pain that comes at the end of such a friendship is almost unbearable. But in time it eases and you are left with the wonderful memories. And it's those memories that no one can ever take away. Each and every pet I've ever had still lives in my heart in a BIG way.

    So, yeah. There's sadness but the joy they bring while they're here and the memories we hold for having had them in our lives makes it worth it. Peace to you...
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  • Profile picture of the author Sarevok
    So sorry.

    I've been a dog owner all my life; and know what it's like.

    Dogs are awesome. Intelligence, wisdom, loyalty, even senses of humor.

    Speaking of wisdom..

    There is one best place to bury a dog.

    If you bury him in this spot, he will
    come to you when you call -
    come to you over the grim, dim frontier
    of death, and down the well-remembered
    path, and to your side again.

    And though you call a dozen living
    dogs to heel, they shall not growl at
    him, nor resent his coming,
    for he belongs there.

    People may scoff at you, who see
    no lightest blade of grass bent by his
    footfall, who hear no whimper, people
    who may never really have had a dog.
    Smile at them, for you shall know
    something that is hidden from them,
    and which is well worth the knowing.

    The one best place to bury a good
    dog is in the heart of his master.

    Ben Hur Lampman
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  • Profile picture of the author serryjw
    I Only Wanted You
    They say memories are golden, well maybe that is true.
    I never wanted memories, I only wanted you.
    A million times I needed you, a million times I cried.
    If love alone could have saved you, you never would have died.
    In life I loved you dearly, in death I love you still.
    In my hearts you hold a place no one could ever fill.
    If tears could build a stairway and heartache make a lane,
    I'd walk the path to heaven and bring you back again.
    Our family chain is broken, and nothing seems the same.
    But as God calls us one by one, the chain will link again.

    In Loving Memory of Doodah
    Namaste, Serry
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  • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
    I'm sorry to read this, Kay. The last one I had to euthanize, Nikko,
    still tried to leave the vet's office even though he was at about
    1/4 strength and his tumor had finally impacted his brain. Dan

    "If you think you're the smartest person in the room, then you're probably in the wrong room."

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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      Is the sorrow worth it?
      Oh yes, it's worth it. One of my favorite lyrics

      "I could've missed the pain, but I'd have had to miss the dance". The pain will fade but the dance was a great 13+ years.
      Saving one dog will not change the world - but for that one dog, the world will change forever.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sheryl Polomka
    So sorry for your loss Kay, I know the feeling only too well.

    Our pets are our family, our children, our constant companions. It is a huge impact on your life when they are no longer there. A huge emptiness :'(

    RIP Doodah..... say hi to my guys up there over the Rainbow Bridge!
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan Riffle
    Kay, I'm very sorry for your loss. Every pet is an opportunity to discover a better side of ourselves. Just attempting to give back half of what they give us is a losing battle, but makes us better nonetheless.


    If you want me to go on arguing, you'll have to pay for another five minutes.

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  • Profile picture of the author Big Rob
    So Sorry for your loss, Kay.
    Doodah was lucky to have you.
    Dogs are a reminder of unconditional Love.
    This,too, shall pass.
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  • Profile picture of the author ladybug252
    Bless you for rescuing and loving Doodah. I have run an animal rescue from my home for over 10 years and have adopted several of my rescues as my own. My 1st was an elderly Pom I named Ladybug who had been dumped in a high kill shelter when her owner died. She traveled everywhere with me when I was on transport and we visited all the beaches - the Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay, Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, Long Island Sound. She was blond and had a little pink bikini. She passed in her sleep, but my life had a huge hole for weeks. I feel your pain.

    Perhaps LadyBug and Doodah will meet at the Bridge.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jacqueline Smith
    I'm so sorry Kay, but I'm so glad you and Doodah (love the name!) found each other.

    It sounds like both your lives were better for having the other in it.

    I also have a "zoo" and know how hard it is on everyone when one of the family members passes away.......you and Gracie will get through this together.

    RIP Sweet Doodah
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  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    Sorry Kay. Like I posted on another thread, the thing that really sucks about dogs is that they don't live long enough.
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  • Profile picture of the author Don Schenk
    Kay, I am sorry for your great loss. Yes, it is best for our four-legged family members, but that doesn't make the process any easier.

    A little over a year ago my wife and I went through this with our Great Pyrenees, Stevie. Stevie's back legs gave out gradually, over a period of 6 months. Eventually she could no longer get up, much less stand on her own.

    I cried for weeks, because if almost felt like a betrail to be the one to make the decision for her, but over the past year I've learned to think about, and visualize the good times we had, and the love Stevie gave to us.

    I even found my eyes starting to cry just reading this thread.

    Of course you did the right thing, but knowing that doesn't make it any easier.

    My thoughts are with you.

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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      Thanks, Don. It was backs legs with Doodah, too, at the end.

      I'm going to meet a Great Pyranees puppy tomorrow - my new Granddog.
      He's about 6 months old now and lives in Ohio. I have a feeling I'll be trying to stuff him into my suitcase when I come home from my son's house:p
      Saving one dog will not change the world - but for that one dog, the world will change forever.
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