I don’t think, I can forgive myself….

By: chesshirecat

Sep 21 2009

Category: Uncategorized


Some of you know, I have (had) a dog named Jock.  He’s been my buddy through everything imaginable for the last 16 years.  He’s forgiven me of my sins…but I think he may not forgive me of my last sin that ended his life. I know I can’t.
Sixteen years ago, 2 puppies announced their arrival on our farm by chasing my boyfriend’s car into the driveway.  They were the cutest pair…one…was a female whose long curly coat was as adventurous as her own personality.  She was the most gregarious of the two.  
The other was a small male, whose long thick coat was straight  and fly away… it was hard not to fall in love with this guy too…he was shy, he was scared, and he kept only to his sister…except when it was time to eat.  
One evening (about a week after their appearance) the puppies were lying in the garage…that was strange, they always greeted us when we got homeThey were lying on the cold concrete floor, look stiff…almost as if dead!  It’s January in Southwest MO.  with snow in the ground…it was much too cold for these dogs to survive like this!  
They both were very sick. Throwing up…dehydrated, limp…horrid…they were dying.  We dragged in a bale of hay, found the big cardboard box the dishwasher came in…piled the hay and dogs in side the box.  We then took a work light, and hooked that up so it hung over the puppies…we did all we could to keep them warm through the night…except take them in with us.  
George and I went to our little travel trailer and ate…watched a little TV, then got ready for bed.  I went out to check on the pups.  The female was dead…my little Jocky was holding on by a thread.  I picked him up…cuddled him in my arms and brought him into our little travel trailer. 
My poor little Jocky…His sister died…I discovered they both had started to suffer from bowel disturbances…they were literally shitting their lives away….I stayed up with Jock all night…I cleaned him up…I took one of Mom’s syringes for her diabetes, filled it full of sterile water for wound cleansing and injected it under his skin.  It took ages to do…small syringe…rather good sized puppy of about 12 pounds.   I kept him warm, and cuddled, and loved…and he survived the night.  
After that, he was my dog.  Forever and always he was my best friend….who wanted nothing more than to please me….he would really get hurt feelings if he was corrected for something…and learned quickly the best way to avoid correction was not to do that thing….he was a very smart boy.  All he wanted was to be loved and approved.  He got plenty from every one in my life who ever dealt with him….he was such a loving and giving animal.
He was sixteen…his arthritis was horrible, in his spine, his hips, his elbows, his neck…if there was a joint there…it had arthritis.  He’s been on two types of pain meds for a while now…the second type kept him pretty well dopey…slept all the time except to eat and go to the bathroom. 
But last week, he became so weak he could not hold himself up to walk.  He could stay standing if we put him on his feet…but walking was out.  He would fall down, tumbling on his head.  His bladder was also weakening…as he couldn’t hold his water long enough for us to get him out the door once he let us know he had to go.  My poor little man was so embarrassed.   You could see it in his demeanor.  He was blind, and had been going blind for about five years now…he bumped into all the furniture…all the time when he was able to walk.  I was so sad for him…

Talking to my vet, she told me, that he would let me know when he was ready to leave.  Problem is…he wasn’t really ready to leave.  His heart was strong, his mind was set, but his body was so weak…how could I allow him to continue like this?  I wondered if I was doing him a dis service.  I still can’t decide if allowing him to live would have been all that bad…I think it is…but, if your not ready to die, if your love of food is zesty still…if your excited at the prospect of eating…how can you be ready to die?  I had to make a decision for Jocky though…

The Vet…I’m so upset, why don’t they tell you the injection they give the animal only freezes his muscles…so that he can’t breath?  Whey didn’t she tell me his mental abilities would still be there, that he would know he couldn’t breath…I knew I had made a mistake, when after she injected the second chemical, he took two really deep breaths…that was not like him.  I wondered about that…why would he do that?  Then he stopped breathing….and the vet waited a few mins. then listened to his heart.  She says: “He still has a faint heartbeat.”  WHAT?  AFTER TWO MINS. MY JOCKY, WHO HASN’T TAKEN A BREATH IS STILL ALIVE?   

I was crying so hard, I croaked out a wail and told the vet “I told you he didn’t want to die!”  It took my friend a good four mins. to die.  What a horrible death….I didn’t know Jocky…or I wouldn’t have let you go like that.  I’m so sad, I’m so guilty…I should have asked more about the chemicals and what they did.  I should have made sure my buddy would be comfortable and not know what was happening to him.  
I could hear him crying that night, after I went to bed.  I’m not the only one. My MR. got up at 4:30 and went in to work, because he couldn’t stand the crying anymore…the doggie cry….the sound he made when he wanted to get up…or needed to go outside…we both could hear him…it was horrible.

So now…that’s what’s going on with me right now… I haven’t even thought much on my bike for the last few days…I just want this hurt to be lessened…and I know nothing will make it less, other than perhaps time…. I miss my buddy….and I know I let him down by not asking questions…. I hope he forgives me….

I just found this on the inter-net.  It helps to relieve some of my pain…. http://stanford.wellsphere.com/pet-health-article/killing-me-softly-chemical-euthanasia-for-pets-101/372424


29 comments on “I don’t think, I can forgive myself….”

  1. Just wanted to send you a hug and sympathy for your loss. Losing a pet is harder than most people without any could image… they are the true meaning of a friend. Hugs to you. Jovi

  2. Awww Chess, as difficult a decision as that was 'n as painful as it is to have to make that kinda decision, I think all in all ya made the proper choice. One must really consider the QUALITY of life above 'n beyond all else. From what I read there really was no quality there anymore….'n sometimes that can be damn near as painful emotionally for the one who's sufferin' just as the arthritic bones are painful physically. As hard as it is to put our selfish wants aside 'n do what's best for others, it still hurts us like hell…..so I sure ain't gonna tell ya that it's all gonna be okay, cuz it ain't….not for a long long time, if ever. But as we all know whenever we lose a cherished loved one the pain will decrease lil' by lil' as time goes by. Hopefully someday, somewhere down the road, you'll end up forgivin' yerself for doin' what was a most selfless act of love…..just as I'm sure Jocky has already done. And I'll betcha if ya sit 'n concentrate real hard, you'll be able to almost feel his warm wet tongue lickin' ya as if to say "don't cry Mom….I'm really o.k.!".

  3. It's not your fault. And I don't think he suffered. He had a long happy life with you and wouldn't want you to suffer either. It's real easy to beat yourself up over this sort of thing; I know. A lot of people consider animals as disposable: If it breaks or you get bored with it, throw it away and get a new one. You clearly are not one of them. Maybe you made mistakes along the way; everyone does. But you cared, and that counts for a lot. Plus, he lived 16 years, which is really a long life for a larger dog, and he loved you, so no way you should count that as a failure.

  4. I just buried my boy of twelve years last month. one of the hardest things I've had to do. But when he couldn't walk or run and had a hard time even standing up, I knew it was time. I know now that he is chasing rabbits in Heaven with my dad watching.We all die Chessie, but from how you talk of him I am guessing that he had a great life with you and your man. My boy is under the shade tree out front where he loved to watch the world go by and he'll be there as long as I own the house.Shroomzilla (aka stu pidasso) out in West Texas

  5. I went through this a year ago & can relate to your pain. Sorry for this loss, but you did the right thing as hard as it is.

  6. Hi Chessie,Just read your post and am howling at your loss and remembering our Dog Daisy who died in 2006, still miss her as you will miss your buddy Jock.It will hurt you now like hell, what helped us was talking alot about Daisy and remembering all the fun times and the funny stories.Hope your pain will ease and you remember Jock with love and affection and no pain.Sending you a big hug.Love,Herrad

  7. 😦 im so sorry chessie. my heart goes out to you and yours. rest in peace jocky.

  8. You have me crying here….he was a beautiful doggy! I am so sorry for your loss. I know it is not easy, my heart goes out to you!

  9. Chessie- There is nothing I can say to make you feel better or take away the pain but please know that I will give a prayer for both you and Jocky. Given the situation, I humbly believe that Jocky is in a better place.

  10. I feel your pain. Loosing a pet is extremely hard. Putting one down while you are right there with them is even harder. I've done it myself. It is horrible. I re-live that moment still. He's happy now. Know that. He is also still with you in spirit.

  11. Sorry to hear this Chessie. It's never easy to loose a good friend, specially one that can't say what he wants to happen. But it's human to help him if he's in pain and has no life quality left. Keeping him alive is selfish, so you did the right thing.

  12. Losing your friend is hard. I lost my childhood friend after 14 years and it was hard for me. I'm sure your Jocky understands now why you did what you felt was right. He is no longer in pain and that is a good thing. I'd give you a hug if you were here, but this note will have to do.

  13. You acted out of a deep and enduring love for your friend. Never, ever doubt that what you did was because you loved him. It is your vet's fault that he was not allowed to meet his death in as loving and pain free manner as you thought he would. Jocky knew you love him, right up to the end and even now that he is gone. He loved you unconditionally and would not want you to suffer now.

  14. Oh Chess, I'm in tears on that one! I'm so sorry, but don't beat yourself up over it. Only time will heal your heart. Take care & best wishes!

  15. Chessie:I feel your pain. We had to put our dog to "sleep" 2 weeks ago. She could no longer stand, was whimpering all night due to pain and was not eating for a day or so. I like to think we did the right thing but I can't help but think that life is so precious, but in the end we decided to end her suffering. I am still thinking about it and am still saddened with the thought . . .bobbobskoot: wet coast scootin

  16. I've been where you are. Its horrible. I lifted my Nikki up and carried her around for over 6 months. Her hips had been deformed from birth and at age 10 she could not longer walk. I tried everything, she wouldn't use a dog cart, her feet were getting raw and she refused to wear booties on them, she'd pull them off. She had no life after a while. I look at her grave and the resting places of my other dog and 21 yr old cat and it shakes me up every time. I won't kid you, it will hurt for a while. It could take weeks or months before you feel better. But the hurt fades and you go on with your life. If I let the hurts in my life, the regrets, haunt me anymore than they do, I would not make it through life. In fact, last year, those feelings almost got the better of me, well, actually they did. You gave your baby a good home and life, know that. Know you gave that sweet baby the best you had to give.

  17. it hard when you you lose them…being a dog lover (i have 8) when you lose one..its as sad as losing a part of your family. *sending hugsi hope your pain lessens as the days go on…

  18. Try to think of the months; or possibly longer he would have suffered. I understand you feel guilty, it sounds like he had a real tough time of it for 4 minutes. In the long run, you did the right thing. I didn't know how they put them down either. With all our technology, you'd think they would have a more humane way. After all, some animals are more human than allot of humans. I lost a dog I was very close to and I still remember how I felt. I have not been able to get attached to an animal since. And you're right about time. Go alone, to where you buried him and sit there for as long as it takes and cry till there are no more tears left to cry. It could be hours. I've done this when I've lost people who were real close to me it seems to help me speed up the morning process. Sounds like Jock was family.

  19. I understand your pain Chessie, and my heart aches with you my friend. Time will help, I promise. As hard as this may be right now Hun, try to feel less guilt, and more gratitude for the time you had with him, and he you. Somethings will always be beyond our control. Peace and Much love Sweetheart, Sky…. xxxxoooo

  20. I'm truly sorry for your loss

  21. "Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole."(Roger Caras) Sorry to hear of your loss.

  22. All Dogs go to Heaven,“Ten Commandments for a Responsible Pet Owner as Dictated by the Pet . " **************************************************************** 1. My life is likely to last only 10-15 Years. Any Separation from you will be Painful. 2. Give me time to understand what You want of me. 3. Place your trust in me. It is crucial for my well-being. 4. Don't be angry with me for long and don't lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainments but I have, only You . 5. Talk to me. Even if I don't understand your words I Do understand your Voice when speaking to me. 6. Be aware that however you treat Me I will never forget it. 7. Before you hit me, before you strike me, remember that I have teeth that could easily crush the bones in your hand and yet choose not to bite you. 8. Before you scold me for being lazy or un-cooperative Ask yourself if something might be bothering Me. Perhaps I'm not getting the right food, I have been in the sun too long, or my heart might be getting old, or weak. 9. Please take Care of me when I grow old. You too will grow old. 10. On the difficult journey, on the Ultimate difficult Journey, go with me,… please . Never say you can't bear to Watch . Don't make me face This Alone . Everything is easier for me if You are there, because I Love You so. Take a moment Today to Thank God for your companions. Enjoy and take good care of Them . Life would be a much duller, less joyful thing Without God's Critters.

  23. Chessie:Thank you for stopping by the other day. Last night I was making home made pizzas and grating cheese. Some always makes it to the floor, and sometimes the end pieces don't mash in the grater that easily. My dog use to lick up the pieces that fell, and I used to slice a piece or two for her to eat, but no more . . . for now silence and no patter of 4 legged feet. I'm still saddened that I caused this to be.Take care. Time healsbobbobskoot: wet coast scootin

  24. Hey Chessie,Just checking in to see how you're doin. Hope you're feeling a little better today.

  25. trying to talk thru typing is hard, but here goes He didn't suffer for four minutes,just because his heart was beating doesn't mean he suffered.Any blame belongs to your vet!!Most vets give a sedative to put the dog to sleep, only then do they administer the final drug.Jock was crying for you to let him go.my father pass away this february in his bedroom we found a old torn and taped cutout :"When I am dead,Cry for me a little.Think of me sometimes.But not to much.It is not good for youOr your wife or your husbandOr your children to allow your thoughts to dwellToo long on the dead.Think of me now and againAs I was in lifeAt some moment which is pleasant to recall.But not for long.Leave me in peace.As I shall leave you, to, in peace.While you live,Let your thoughts be with the living."I don't know if I've helped or not.Be at peaceRay Bernache(xraybox @ hdforums)

  26. I could not read this at first. I think all have said good things. Mean Donna said it right. Sometimes we have to make a decision we question. I think you made the right one. I had to do that for our Tigger. An 8yr old boxer who's body was rejecting new tissue. A bad ass biker crying at the vet's. It was hard holding his head telling him it was alright. I know your pain Honey. But your Jocky is no longer in pain. He is now at peace. And if all dogs go to Heaven well then you know he is running in some field having a blast. I pray your peace comes soon.

  27. Chessie, I posted a blog about having to put my baby girl, Juliet to sleep. I wrote it after reading Fred's post about his beloved cat, who had wrote his post after reading your post about Jocky. I've now had a chance to read this post now that I'm caught up on my blog reading and I didn't know at the time he was talking of you.I know it won't make you feel any better, but I too feel guilt over Juliet's death. I won't go into detail about it, I'm sure that once you have a chance, you'll read about it on my blog. Just know that you're not alone and I understand your pain. Remember, dogs are very forgiving animals and I'm sure he forgave immediately with no questions. \After reading your post, I'm glad in a way that my Juliet was already under anesthesia in surgery. The vet told me that if my decision was to put her to sleep, it was best to do it while she was under…*hugs* to you…I hope the days get better for you my friend…

  28. To all of you who have written, leaving your words of comfort…I must tell you, because of this one particular blog, your words have helped many more than just me.I have received personal email from people who wanted to tell me how much the words they read here…both yours and mine have helped them to face the losses of their own beloved pets…and to actually deal the the grief they have hidden and shoved into unused corners of their lives. Only to have them pop up at unbidden times and places. I think the loss of our four legged, or feathered, and scaled friends with whom we share our lives need to be recognized and understood as valid and real losses with feelings that need to be acknowledged and allowed to see the light of day. To all of you, I send my best wishes for the lives of the friends you now share your lives with…and for the hearts you carry full of love and loss for the one spirit who loves you unconditionally, even now, in death. Your words, your recounting stories of your own losses, and the stories of love you possess for you friends is amazingly healing…for everyone who feels as we do. Thanks.Chessie

  29. I am late on this but am sorry for the loss of a grand companion to you. You gave the dog a wonderful caring, attentive and loving home for life. What more could a pet want from an owner such as yourself. It would have been more painful to allow him to go on living in his condition but it is so hard for us to let go. Your vet should have used sodium pentobarbital which is a fast acting euthanasia drug and is the most humane. (this use to be part of my job years ago) You did the most humane thing you could do Chessie. I hope my words come across in the right way because as a responsible caring pet owner you did what was best. You did NOT betray his trust in you in any form or fashion and you were with him at the end and he appreciated that.

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