The Loss Of A Dog, Euthanasia Costs and Dealing With Grief

Estimated reading time: 12 minutes

Losing a dog, euthanasia, and dealing with grief may be part of owning a family pet.

Your pet is part of the family and deserves the best exit when ill or frail.

Thoughts about what to do when a dog passes away are not something that many pet owners tend to consider.

As humans, we do the same because we don’t tend to think of our deaths and preparation for a willing unit later in life, if ever for some people.

I’m not sure if we will ever own another pet when our beloved dog passes, but we know he’s had a great life, and we love him very much.

I would rather see our dog pass of old age in his sleep rather than pain and suffering.

How to deal with the loss of a dog, grief, and euthanasia costs in Canada
How to deal with the loss of a dog, grief, and euthanasia costs in Canada

Becoming A Pet Owner

When a pet dies, a part of the owner dies with the pet.

It’s a beautiful time when you decide to become a pet owner, and sad when they cross over.

There is a spot in our hearts that becomes the bonding of pet owner and pet called unconditional love.

Writing this post is bringing a tear to my eye as good memories flash back in my head.

The last thing you want to think about as a pet owner is the death of a dog.

Being upset with your pet or wishing you could go out with your friends but not because you didn’t want to leave your pet alone seems trivial.

Pet Ownership Is Costly

Owning a pet is not cheap, and I urge people to consider the cost implications of their budget before purchasing or adopting.

My parents have had to go through losing a dog not once but twice.

The dogs were like pals; wherever one dog went, the other followed.

When one dog passed away, the other dog became sad and lonely.

In some strange way, we think that pets know when their pal passes away.

When walking our dog, one neighbour I talked to said his friend paid $12,000 because they had an ill pet.

Some pet owners will stop at nothing to give their pets the necessary care.

It’s wise to invest in pet insurance when your pet is young.

Veterinarian Visit

Loving a dog is easy, especially when a pet loves you back.

Your pet relies on the gift of love, health, shelter, warmth, and food.

I’m sure many other things, but these are what came to mind.

We’ve had our dog for many years, and just this past week, we decided to take him to the veterinarian after we noticed some bleeding in his anal area.

Cancer Diagnosis

The vet found a lump inside his butt and wants to send bits of it off for testing.

He also had other lumps on his body that she wanted to examine further.

She told us that he may only have 5-6 months to live if it is cancer.

I don’t think I felt my heart sink so fast in my life, and I wanted to cry, but I held it inside.

Your pet stares at you like nothing in the world is wrong, yet you smile back, knowing differently.

They could do surgery, but the possibility of him not knowing that he is going number two is potentially a downfall for us, and steroids may be our option.

After-Surgery Pet Care

After his surgery, he was drugged but very relaxed and wouldn’t leave our side.

I had to carry him to the vehicle, careful not to upset him.

The veterinary assistant told us the pain medications should last 24 hours.

However, if he was crying to come back and get some other pain medications for the dog.

A week’s medication cost was $4, comparable to a Tylenol but for pets.

We opted to wait to see how things were before spending over the top on pain medications.

Thank goodness we did; he was a champ through it all; I wish I had his strength.

Saving For Vet Expenses

Everything at the veterinarian costs money, so if you are not prepared to save money in your budget every month, don’t own a pet.

I’m not talking about food, but tags, vet bills, and medications.

We saved $115.83 per month in our budget as a projected expense.

This veterinarian visit cost us under $600 but something that we didn’t have to put on credit because we had the money saved up.

We could have boarded him there for a few days for another alarming amount, but we opted to take him home.

He slept most of the day, didn’t eat, and was just very relaxed.

We spent this time with him and comforted him so he knew we were close.

You feel closeness when your pet is ill and want to ensure you do everything to ease their pain.

Related: The Best Online Pet Insurance Companies In Canada

A New Dog, A New Day

The following day was a different story.

You wouldn’t have known he had surgery and was stitched up.

He returned to his usual self, panting, tail wagging, and wanting food.

It was like he lost a week of his life being out for the entire day before.

We were thrilled to see the vigor back in his body, and two days in now, he is as active as possible.

No more bleeding, and he seems fine.

We still have to face the results of the tests next week and hope it’s an inflammation that can be treated.

We even received a phone call from the veterinarian checking up on our dog, putting our minds at ease knowing how much she cared.


While at the veterinarian’s clinic, we decided it was probably a good time to ask about the euthanization of pets.

I wanted to know what the procedure entailed (how to euthanize a dog) and the costs.

We also asked the veterinarian technician what if my dog passed away at home and what to do.

She said that more pet owners need to be actively involved in their pet’s life from when they bring them home until planning for dog loss.

It was odd asking about death as it’s just not something we were comfortable with.

  • Were we being cruel talking about it with our pet in the same room?
  • Maybe we would be jinxing his recovery.

All these questions were relevant, and we knew that planning was the right thing to do.

Given that he was ill, we wanted to know so we could make informed decisions beforehand.

What is Euthanasia?

The definition of euthanized is the act of humanely putting an animal to death or allowing it to die as by withholding extreme medical measures.

She told us that if we had to euthanize our dog (putting our dog down) because he was suffering, we had a couple of options.

I was getting a chill because I knew that if faced with this decision, it would be one of the most complex we would have to face in our lives thus far.

Euthanasia in Greek means “A Good Death.”

Please remember that costs to euthanize a dog may vary depending on what your veterinarian charges, but ours said it is a standard price for most.

Types Of Euthanasia

I’m unaware of free euthanization clinics or vets, but you could always ask your veterinarian.

  1. We could pay around $100 for a sedative for the pet. Doing so would give us time to spend with our pet, say our goodbyes, and do whatever else we need to do to make the process a bit lighter on the heart.
  2. I don’t think anything could take the instant pain away from watching your pet close its eyes for the very last time.
  3. We give your pet a lethal injection for around $90, and your pet will close its eyes as if going to sleep, stop breathing, go into cardiac arrest, and be gone in a few seconds.

There’s no colourful way to put this; it’s how it’s done and how she explained it to me.

You must decide when to let your dog go, especially if they suffer silently.

I was visualizing it happening, and my heart ached, and I didn’t know how I would handle this.

She says that not everyone wants to stick around and watch, as it’s just too painful.

Coping With The Loss Of A Dog

Grieving the loss of a pet will be something I will experience one day.

I don’t think anything can prepare me for that moment except knowing that he’s in a better place.

When your dog dies, every pet deserves respect, love, and dignity like any other pet or human.

If you know someone whose dog passed away and wonder, what do I say?

Well, the answer is simple.

I would say sorry for your loss, and you can address the pet’s name and reminisce about when you were around the pet.

I know that if and when our dog passes away, we only want to think of good memories of our faithful friends and our times together.

It won’t be easy coping if we are faced with losing our dog, so we will have to remove the pet bed, bowls, and leash all the memories surrounding us and put them to rest.

We have lots of photos and plenty of good memories in our minds, in our hearts, and surrounding us.

Pet After-Care

Our veterinarian mentioned places to hold communal cremation if you want to go that route.

I did a bit of research after she gave me some information.

You can have your pet cremated with other pets and have his/her remains returned to you or have your pet cremated alone and the ashes returned.

I also know some pet owners who have a burial ceremony on their property and bury the pet after their goodbyes, especially if a pet dies in their sleep.

It’s not uncommon to see pet owners set up a dog grave so the memory of their pet lives on.

Pet Cemetary

Through online research, I found a pet cemetery called Gateway Lakeview between Ottawa and Kingston on the shores of Graham Lake in Toronto, Ontario.

It was opened in 1987 after a family decided to give their pets a place to rest, and today 22 years later, they have revolutionized the aftercare industry for pets in Canada.

They adhere to the International Association of Pet Cemeteries and Crematories IAPCC.

Gateway provides services including communal and individual cremations, viewing and visitation facilities, and a variety of memorial products.

I don’t know the actual cost of the cremation, but they offer pricing on some of the products they sell.

You can choose from various granite textured urns priced at around $35 or a hand-crafted cedar urn priced from $55-$85 for larger dogs.

They offer many other memories of your pet, such as precious paws, which is a clay paw prints for reasonable prices.

Alternatively, you can search Amazon to see what products they offer for pet loss.

Remembering Your Dog

Gateway also has an accessible pet memorial online called the Gateway Online Memorial Park, where you can share memories of your pet.

We started The Bridge On-line Memorial Park as a way for you and your family to memorialize your pet, any time you want, any where you want.

Visit your own pet or someone else’s. Take a stroll through the Park and visit some close friends who’ve crossed over.

Check your area listings to see if you have a similar pet after-care facility near you offering the services you need after the loss of a dog.

Another great source of information on pet loss is at Pet Loss Matters, operated by Bunny Hankers out of the UK.

She is a pet owner who has spent the last few years researching everything about pet loss.

Related: How Pet Guardianship Works When You Die

Pet Loss Poem

The more I researched about pet loss I was finding, The Rainbow Bridge poem all over the internet.

I believe a blog post about the loss of a dog should have this poem for those who visit and are grieving their pet.

The author of this poem is unknown, but whoever wrote it had a deep love for dogs.

They knew those mourning a pet would find this poem to bring a smile and hope to their life.

Double Rainbow

The Rainbow Bridge

There is a bridge connecting heaven and earth.

It is called the Rainbow Bridge because of its many colours. 

Just this side of the Rainbow Bridge is a land of meadows, hills, and valleys with lush green grass.  

When a beloved pet dies, the pet goes to this place. 

There is always food and water and warm spring weather.

The old and frail animals are young again. 

Those who are maimed are made whole again. they play all day with each other. 

There is only one thing missing.

They are not with the special person who loved them on Earth. 

So, each day they run and play until the day comes when one suddenly looks up!

The nose twitches! The ears are up! 

The eyes are staring! And this one suddenly runs from the group! 

You have been seen, and when you and your special friend meet, 

you will take him or her in your arms and embrace. 

Our face is kissed repeatedly, and you look once more into the eyes of your trusting pet.  

Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together, never again to be separated.

Author Unknown

Being A Responsible Pet Owner

Losing a dog and dealing with the following grief will be tough for any pet owner.

Deciding to put down your dog through euthanasia may well break your heart.

As pet owners, we must be prepared to show our dog that we love him very much and will do our best to take care of him until the end.

We love you, buddy!


Were you prepared to pay for the costs involved with your animal’s illness?

Have you lost a pet and want to share your story or memories, please share them below.

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  1. I cried when I read your post, it brought back so many memories of our little dog, Lady. She passed about 18 months ago and we were devastated; she was 16 years old. I wasn’t sure my husband would ever recover, he doesn’t have children and that little dog meant as much to him as anyone’s child, he loved her with all of his heart! He cried every day for months after she passed away.

    We opted to have her cremated alone and have her ashes returned to us. We kept her ashes for a year until I was finally ready to spread them in her favorite park. We asked the city if we could plant a tree and affix a plaque in her memory, sadly they never bothered to respond in spite of a couple of follow-up emails. 🙁

    After watching my husband struggle with his grief for 2 months I made a very spontaneous decision to purchase a puppy; I did it without my husband’s knowledge, in hind sight it wasn’t the way to go, but I just couldn’t deal with his sadness another day. I purchased a schnauzer shih tzu cross and he was a firecracker right from the get go! What a change from our quiet and loving little 16 year old l’hasa apso!

    Unfortunately I made an unwise, and soon to be regretted, decision to postpone purchasing puppy insurance. I thought I would pay for the puppy plan at our vets which cost $600 and covered regular check-ups, immunizations for the first year, and neutering. Well a few weeks after we got Cooper he broke his front leg and we were advised that he needed surgery otherwise he would have problems later in life. Well he was just a puppy and we wanted to do the right thing so we agreed to surgery to the tune of $3000, which we didn’t have. We are still paying that bill! We now have puppy insurance but of course there are conditions because of the broken leg. This little guy has been so expensive, he has destroyed so many things – coffee table, socks, pillows, comforters, the console in my husband’s truck…the list goes on and on, but one thing he has done is captured my husband’s heart, he loves this little guy so much and he is finally able to talk about our little Lady without crying. I hate to think of the day when this little guy isn’t with us any more but in the meantime he has healed my husband’s broken heart.
    Cooper will never replace Lady but we have come to love him for his own crazy “personality”. 🙂

    Pets are very expensive and I agree that people make decisions to get a family pet without considering the financial implications; I didn’t plan on having another pet for that very reason.

    1. Thank you for sharing your story. We lost our dog in 2014 and I still haven’t been able to talk about it. I don’t think I will ever own another pet because it hurts too much to let them go. It was the hardest decision of my life. Like you we had our dog creamated alone and we got his paw print. He has his own little memorial in our house along with his photo and favourite stuffed animal. Too many people forget about pet insurance and how expensive a pet can be. They are like family so they must be treated like family. I always advise if someone doesn’t have the cash to pay for a pet then don’t bother getting one. It makes no sense why people continue to do this. They deserve so much more. Again, thanks for sharing your story. Cheers Mr.CBB

  2. I had a healthy Weimeraner. Bluey , my Best buddy for 11 years, daily hour walk in the fields,

    He was fun, happy, healthy till two weeks ago, hair falling out, seemed weak, took vet blood count white cells extremely high, in less two weeks I had to put him Down

    I miss him terribly, but he was in pain, shaking, legs gave out, , so weak, vet said it was most likely cancer.
    I cry cause he was my only house guest, I live alone 60.

    Should iget another dog, I feel like I could not love another dog like I did Blue, he snuggled under the covers on cold nights
    He wen straight to the shower on. Dirty dog command, he was so special my friend is gone

    1. Hi Theresa,
      We lost our dog in 2014 right after my wife and I found out we were having our first child. I haven’t even written about the experience on the blog because it hit me that hard. It does get easier. It’s up to you if you want another dog. You will never replace your dog but you may just have a new friend. Healing sent your way. Mr.CBB

    2. my Dane Bluey was put down almost 11 years ago because he could not walk anymore .He was healthy till he turned 11 and then started having problems with his hind leg,medications werent helping and he was having more difficulty with stairs ,so it was decided that he be euthanised .I was heart broken and couldnt be there ,but at 1.31 I collapsed while doing dishes .I ran back to ask when he had died and it was around that time.I knew it,we were truly soulmates and even now it makes me feel guilty but I can look at photos and talk about him with a smile.I now have to put my girlie Truffles down,she is old ,blind ,partially deaf ,and has been showing signs of dying,She looks at me like she has no clue who I am and has started to close down.I am not sure if she is suffering ,since she only whines once in a while but letting go is the worst part.I dont know if I will stay this time .or what my choice for her will be after but I will get another dog a loving ,caring home because I need the companionship of a living being in my home .It may not be right waway but it will be when the right dog shows up in my life

  3. June 2013 we had to put down our 12 yr old Smokey. A beautiful siamese cat, who was very affectionate.He had been living with his older brother, (my son, who lives in the apt below us) for 3 years. He now rests in our back yard with Mouse, our chihuahua (12 years) and Bandon, the cat (3 years). Bandon was abandoned and found trapped in one of our apt buildings garbage bin. We rescued him and he lived with us for 2 happy years, and then died unexpectedly in his sleep.
    Over the past 9 years of being a landlord we have re-homed about 14 cats, that tenants leave behind. Our family has taken in 2. Other tenants and neighbours have graciously taken others, and the SPCA have accepted the remainder.
    We travel a lot now that we are retired, so we are only home for the summer. During this time we are foster parents for the SPCA. We take in momma cats and her kittens, and other orphaned kittens, until they are old enough to be put up for adoption. At times we have had 12 little bundles of fur racing around our home.
    While we travel, we house sit (for strangers). Their main concern is that their pets are taken care of. We do it for free, and it’s a win-win situation for everyone. Their pets remain on their routine, and except for the electricity we use, it doesn’t cost the home owner anything. We save on accommodation, and get to sightsee the area.
    Consider being a foster parent for the SPCA. Sometimes their dogs need a home to stay for awhile, to get socialised until they can find a forever home.

    1. I can’t believe how people simply have no regard for pets. They are like family. We don’t just leave kids behind and bugger off… why do people do that? silly.It’s great that people have you to rely on my parents house sit as well now that they are retired.

  4. God! I’m crying just reading this post. We put our last 2 dogs down – gorgeous, adorable Golden Retrievers – when they were very ill and suffering. Sobbed our guts out and any mention of having to put a dog down elicits the same reaction – instantaneously. After the last one, we swore we were never going to have a dog again. Simply can not stand the thought of going thru that again.

  5. I’m sorry to hear your dog is unwell. Hopefully, your vet will have good news for you! Pets really do become family members. One of my good friends is still recovering from the loss of her cat. She was somewhat resistant to adopting a new cat, but she said it has helped her heal. Keep us posted, please.

  6. I struggled when my budgie passed away. I have no idea how I will cope when Ricky is gone 🙁

  7. I am so sorry to hear you are going through this. We had our vet put our cat down at home (nice since cars stress cats out so much).. I was grateful that the vet could be here in our home. She gave the sedative and then the injection. It was so peaceful and I wondered why some people suffer so much when they are terminally ill. I called my husband and said being at home and having the sedative was so worth the money. I was grateful to be able to pay for that.

      1. Our vet didn’t offer to do it without the sedative. I think it is a wise use of your money and would give you some peace of mind whe that day comes …. Hopefully many years from now. I do believe the sedative also helps the vet do a better job with the final injection.

  8. So very sad… It was hard to read this post because it brought back all of the feelings associated with my first cat who we had to put down a few years ago. He was so sick and in pain and there was nothing that could be done to save him. It was heartbreaking and truly devastating. Pets are family, no matter which way one looks at it. And I still miss him…

  9. An awesome article, with much good advice. We’ve only had the one dog in our marriage but she was a good dog. We did what we had to do when she lost control of her functions and was losing her sight as well. She enjoyed her last car ride….. Mostly we have had cats. They all have had different personalities as do dogs. Bulldog(yes she was a cat….a lovely tortie) was hubby’s cat. Whiskey, a pretty light grey with white whiskers and dark roots, Francis, my cat…her choice, we think was part siamese, she just had that meow…Mooch, she used to disappear in the house, finally figured out where she was disappearing to when we pulled the couch away from the wall to steam clean behind it and found a patch of fur in one spot in Mooch white with black hairs, Gunky………our sweet boy, nicest temperment, he was everyone’s friend, the Inspector…. Sapphire(Saffy) our chocolate point Siamese princess, hated the cold and loved sitting on the heating vent to be warm….Cookie, my little girl, had a few mice to her credit in this house!! Suzie, a little black kitten with the sweetest green eyes, she was only 4 months old when we lost her, from the Humane society, was never healthy and fought to live but we found her the day after she turned 4 months, limp and barely alive, a fast call to the local vet on a Sunday morning and Dr Larry met us at the door. I was crying my eyes out and Larry was almost in tears as well…. Right now we have Stuart the fat cat, he’s sleeping in the sun in the front porch right now, but shake the bag of cat treats and watch him come to life!!! He lives for food and attention. Our cats have all been house cats…. it’s safer that way, all have been loved and all have had a very good life. I believe they will be waiting for me over that rainbow bridge some day…….

  10. This is such a sad post. It was good to read but it certainly made me cry. I miss my parent’s dog who died just after I moved away from home. I have two dogs myself right now and I can’t imagine loosing them. My son will unfortunately have to deal with the death of a pet at a young age since he’s 1 and the dogs are 5 and 6. Most people have no idea the cost of owning a dog. We spent a lot of money on a surgery for our younger dog after he ate a sock and it was stuck in his intestine. We’ve spent lots each month on food and meds (heartworm and flea). Boarding them is a whole nother cost too, especially since my dogs are very large (80 and 90 pounds). I’ve thought many times as to what we will do when they do die. I’d like to burry them at my parents farm with their dog but I would have no way of getting the dog there after the fact.

    I hope you have some wonderful times with your dog before he goes and thank you for sharing with us.

  11. awe this is so sad. It’s the worst feeling in the world to lose a pet, and even worse when YOU have to make the decision. I haven’t had to do it myself, but I did lose family pets this way growing up. You feel so utterly guilty saying good-bye, knowing they don’t know their fate (or do they sense it?). I’m probably going to have to be medicated when Pepe passes, and he’s getting up in age so I just don’t know when it will happen. All you can do is love your pets to pieces and know you gave them the best life you know how.

    1. That’s exactly what I thought… because they have no idea what is coming and it hurts to think about it. At least as humans if we are ill and dying we know and communicate but animals… they only have themselves. Imagine being in a world where the only person that understood your thoughts, was you.

      1. Oh, you’re wrong about this. They don’t just have themselves – not at all. They have every one who has ever loved them. They sense it and they know it – which really just makes it all that more heart-breaking. Best of luck

  12. This is so sad! I never had a dog but completely understand how painful it can be to know they are living their last days. Like any close friend or family member, it is worth having shared so much with them, even with the pain at the end it will still be a positive life experience, they bring so much to your life.

  13. Thanks for the article. It helps to know others have gone through this with the same emotions as I. A long time ago when our dogs were pups, we made the decision to have a savings account for their health established instead of dog health insurance. I always have known that there were funds availble to buy the medicines and take care of the vet bills that we have had as they grow older. Our dogs just turned 12 years old in February and one is having stomach problems that have made me look into possible options if my Kryssie does not make another day. I hope with all my heart that he dies in the tall grasses on the farm looking over the land as he has done so many years with his sisters playing beside him. But if it is not to be, I pray I have the strength to bring any suffering he is in to an end. He is my constant companion and I will be there to hold and pet him to the end no matter what. My plan is to cremate him and keep his ashes to be buried with my own so he will never be far from me. Love you my precious Krysko!

    1. Thanks for sharing this Krys. It’s hard for me to read because the story comes to life in my head even though I don’t know where you live, what your property looks like or your dogs.. it just seems so real when we are faced with options that are something we don’t want to do.

  14. Aaw, this post is so sad. I’m glad to hear your dog is recovering after his surgery and I hope his results next week are as positive (in a happy way – not positive for whatever was being tested). 😉

    I teared up while reading your post. I love my dog and get a little choked up when I think about her passing away in the future.

    I’m glad you posted this – I always see a lot of ads on Kijiji for pets that have become too expensive, or too big for the family. It’s easy to forget what the puppy or kitten will grow up to be, or how much work they are, when you are blinded by the cuteness

    1. I know what you mean and it breaks my heart to see all these pets with no homes. It’s not rocket science, it’s common sense that pets cost money and more than just food. They are just as much a part of the family as anyone else. Thanks for your comment.

  15. I put my dog down when she was old and could barely walk and was sick it was so hard. Her name was Teka a very fat chiwawa. The thing with our dogs we never take to the vet unless we got to put it to sleep. We live on a farm so they have lots of friends and are free to run.

  16. They live such short lives, but there is so much love in those short years. My first cat was with me from when I was a baby until I was 16, he really was my best friend. It’s so hard to see them suffer, and it is the most difficult decision I’ve ever had to face when it came to putting down my own furbaby Maiden…she was suffering and it was awful. I couldn’t help but go through a range of emotions where I knew it would be better, but I didn’t want to let her go and I didn’t know if I was doing the right thing, or if she’d be angry with me. In the end I knew she was suffering and it was best for her to put her to sleep. I wanted to be selfish and hold on to her, but knew that was for my good, not hers.

    Animals bring so much love and joy, and ask for nothing in return but to be loved back and to be taken care of, which unfortunately includes knowing when to make the decision to let them go.

  17. We put our family dog to sleep when I graduated high school. She was old and in a lot of pain, and we didn’t want her to have to live with that pain. A close family friend who is a vet took care of everything and was very great through the whole process.

  18. I’m tearing up just reading this. My childhood pet didn’t die til after I graduated university, and well, she was never super friendly, so I was sad, but not overly so. But if my cat (now 3) dies..I’m gonna be a mess.

  19. Many years ago now, I had to put down my beloved Mimi… a free spirited, kind and loving miniature schnauzer. I didn’t choose to be a pet owner. My ex just brought her home one day with no prior discussion. Unfortunately, as the marriage deteriorated, he attempted to harm me by harming her and I ended up boarding her while I dissolved the marriage and got myself to a place where I could safely bring her home. I visited her at the veterinary office on a daily basis but keeping her safe was my number one priority and a driving force in my terminating the relationship faster than I might have otherwise. I can’t understand the mentality of a person that would harm either a child or an animal just to hurt their partner, but I am living proof that regrettably such people do exist.

    After several years, and thousands of dollars of health care expenses, I finally found a vet quite by accident in the United States that identified the root cause of all her health problems and not just the symptoms. I had spent several years treating one symptom after another… not realizing what was at the root of the problems. I finally learned that she had liver cancer and was in fact suffering silently. I was offered the option of surgery but the chance of recovery was slim and it would be a horrible post operative period for her. I couldn’t do that to her. I wasn’t selfish enough to put my beloved pet through absolute agony simply to postpone my grief. With no time to emotionally prepare, within minutes of receiving the news, I held her and we said our final good bye. I was glad I had a girlfriend in the area to have a cup of tea and a good cry with. Mimi died almost a year before my mother would pass on and I like to think of her playing with Mom in the after life.

    I had seen a relative allow their dog to suffer because they wouldn’t face stepping up and doing what needed to be done to be merciful. As a child, it made me very angry and I resolved never to treat my pet that way! Yes, putting my dog down was a gut wrenching experience for me BUT I didn’t want it to be about me… Mimi was the one that needed help to end her suffering.

    Did I make the right decision… a resounding YES! Did I grieve, you bet. I know I made the best decision available for her sake though. I’ve never had another dog, nor will I. That was a once in a lifetime relationship for me. I cherish the memories of her but I really don’t want to ever go through that kind of loss again. I never had children so she was literally my fur baby and although I am sure my hubby would love to have a dog, he was there and saw what it was like for me when I lost her. We weren’t a couple yet, but we do have memories of the three of us going for walks on the beach and taking trips with Mimi together. Perhaps the best way I can honor her memory is to hold her in my heart now and forever.

    As I was out of the country when the final decisions needed to be made, I was fortunate that the country vet offered me the option of having her buried on the farm property. I have not been back but I do know where her remains are. It’s comforting.

    I pray the time is not here yet Mr & Mrs CBB when you have to face the closing chapter of your pet’s life. If it is, there are many of us that stand ready and willing to support you in your hour of grief.

  20. Thank you for this Mr CBB. We just went through this in April with our amazing ShihTzu, Elwood. He was 15 years old. Our vets are/were amazing with both of our dogs ( we had to euthanize Jake in January 2011 at 14.5 years old), and we chose to stay with them as they were injected, holding them and hugging them til they were gone….they were such very very good dogs, it was the least we could do, in our eyes.
    It’s been 7 weeks since our Elwood left us, but his bed is still in the living room, and his dishes are still on the counter, the leashes by the door…sigh….we’re just not ready…. And I am crying my eyes out as I write this……

    For about 3 years before he passed away, Elwood was on special food (kangaroo based, as he was allergic to everything), and on antifungal meds for skin issues and prednisone..close to $200/month or so. We did have a pet budget, so we were okay, but I know so many who don’t.

    Both our Jake and Elwood were cremated and their ashes spread over a field west of Ottawa, that is strictly used for this…as soon as I was up to it, I made a PhotoBook for each of them so we would have many pics of them in one place. They were our first babies, as our son didn’t come along until a few years ;later. Jake was even in our wedding photos!

    I hope the news you get next week is good news Mr CBB, and that you will have many more years with your pet.

    1. I thought writing this post was difficult but I’m struggling to read the comments without a tear. It took me all day to read them because I knew it would be tough. I pray we get good news this week as well. Thanks for sharing your story.

  21. Tears in my eyes, a tiny 2 pound puppy in my lap and a 40 pound hound dog at my feet. It is a special kind of heartbreak when a dog leaves your life. They are so loyal, sticking by your side no matter what. Making the choice to put them down is so hard.

  22. We had to euthanize our dogs (they were both old, had spent their lives together, and we didn’t want Duce to experience the pain of being without Boomer) when one got sick, the other wasn’t well either. It was horrible, but it was the most humane thing to do in that situation. That was 10 years ago, and we’re just now feeling ready, emotionally, to consider another dog. Dogs truly do become a part of the family.

    1. This will be the last pet we own as we don’t think we will have the strength to go through all of this again. It’s not become a reality until we start hearing that the dog is potentially ill.

  23. This “if you are not prepared to save money in your budget every month then don’t own a pet.” My brother is a vet and it is really, really disappointing how often people get animals that they really cannot afford. People also lash out at veterinarians for the cost of things, because they aren’t prepared. I sometimes wonder if it has anything to do with our free healthcare, so that people do not appreciate what it costs to get an x-ray, or be hooked to an IV machine, etc.

    1. That is so true. We see people who can’t even afford to pay their bills yet they keep getting pets. It’s so sad… the pets deserve owners who can take care of them through thick and thin,

    2. You are partly right – some people do get pets without anticipating the ongoing costs and just as irrationally – blame the vet. However a growing number of people and their vets are involved in an irrational cycle of the athropomorphization of pets. Pet owners are now are asking for, and vets are offering, what I concider to be extreme
      medical treatments to animals. Treatments that are rediculously expensive and would be difficult for human beings to endure – asking an animal to endure them is cruel. In my opinion vets allowing this type of practice to grow and expand is inhumane for the animals they treat and is taking advantage of human emotional vulnerability in order to drive revenue streams. I love my dogs – I loved every dog I’ve ever had – but in the end they are dogs and I will not put them through needless surgeries, chemo treatments or dialysis just because I am sad about facing their end of life. I won’t treat myself that way and I think people and vets who do so are irrational and deluded about their motives.

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