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  1. #1
    Registered User -SEEKER-'s Avatar
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    Default Crying my eyes out

    I just spent half the morning at the Vet with my dog. She is a 13 1/2 year old Irish/English Setter mix. She has had Laryngeal Paralysis for several months now. It was originally being treated as anxiety and congestive heart failure, but that was not accurate. I am supposed to leave tomorrow to hopefully complete the last 660 miles of the AT. I was told at her age there is really nothing that can be done. I have to make the dreaded decision tonight. I feel like I would be killing her just so I could go hiking, but I know that really isn't the case. The heat and humidity and the stress of my being gone would probably kill her. I don't want her to suffer and my husband said if anything happened while I was gone he would not be able to have her put to sleep. I'm considering just cancelling my trip, but I know that won't help her health wise. The Vet would not commit one way or the other, but he did share that he would be concerned with her heightened anxiety in my absence. When you Google Laryngeal Paralysis in dogs it is horrible to read. I just don't want to be hiking feeling like I killed my dog so I could finish the trail. Sorry for the negative post. I just needed to get it off my chest to my fellow hikers.
    Seek, and you shall find.

  2. #2

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    SEEKER, so sad. Do what your heart tells you. the trail will still be there should you choose to psotpone. I pray you can find a solution you can live with.

  3. #3
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    I am sorry for the terrible news. In my opinion there is no wrong decision in this matter. It is hard to put watch a family member suffer or be put to rest whether human or not. I think you would also have to factor in when a future hike would take place. Depending on your work schedule and other family obligations you have. But you also should remind yourself you can keep your pet around for too long. I have regret of keeping my shepherd around about 2-3 months longer than I should have, the quality of life combined with the suffering was NOT worth it. I say pray about it, sleep on it, and hopefully you will make peace with your decision.

  4. #4
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    So sorry to hear. As wonderful companions it is so hard to see them suffer. Do what your heart tells you. You will be doing the right thing for the dog, not for yourself. Guilt is always part of it but everyone (including yourself) knows that you will only do what is best for your beloved companion.

    One wisdom I've always heard: It's better a week too soon than a day too late.

    Best wishes, and you have my sympathies.
    Everything is easy until you do it.

  5. #5

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    this hurts all dog lovers. i feel ya. 13 and a half is a wonderful gift. thats alot of love. and warmth. and all those warning barks. thems some good memorys you can keep in your special place in ur heart. your dog knows whats going on fully, and cares more for your worrying than anything. be the best happy dog master for your time together. this will put your dog at rest if you are at peace. just focus on the good.
    matthewski

  6. #6
    Registered User -SEEKER-'s Avatar
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    hikerboy57,
    Thank you. It has been tough for almost two years now, but she doesn't complain. I have to lift her into the car and carry her up un-carpeted steps because of her hips. It has been so hard lately watching her labored breathing and seeing her lay down in the yard while walking around trying to find the "just right" place to potty. She is okay if my husband and I are sitting in the same room, but if one of us gets up she runs back and forth in a panic. It was just suggested by a Vet Tech that, that may be her way of telling us something is wrong and that we all need to be together.
    If this does happen I will have to do it on my own as my Husband cannot handle the thought of it. She is the first dog he ever had.
    Seek, and you shall find.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by -SEEKER- View Post
    hikerboy57,
    Thank you. It has been tough for almost two years now, but she doesn't complain. I have to lift her into the car and carry her up un-carpeted steps because of her hips. It has been so hard lately watching her labored breathing and seeing her lay down in the yard while walking around trying to find the "just right" place to potty. She is okay if my husband and I are sitting in the same room, but if one of us gets up she runs back and forth in a panic. It was just suggested by a Vet Tech that, that may be her way of telling us something is wrong and that we all need to be together.
    If this does happen I will have to do it on my own as my Husband cannot handle the thought of it. She is the first dog he ever had.
    My Sister had 2 dogs a chocolate lab and a golden. Blondie had developed arthritis so bad, she would just cry most of the day, until my sister had her put to rest, she could no longer walk..For the last 6 months, Buddy has wandered around the house, and continues to search for Blondie, and I fear he will die of lonliness. Buddy just turned 14 last month, and hes been my sisters support system through her divorce and a ton of other issues. Putting a pet down is a most difficult decision, but sometimes is best for all.Follow your heart.

  8. #8
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    I feel for you and you are in my prayers today. I can understand the load you carry. You will find a solution and even peace with whatever decision you must make. Don't beat yourself up over this.

  9. #9

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    It sounds like your dog doesn't have much longer. Maybe waiting a little will let you make the best decision.
    Some knew me as Piper, others as just Diane.
    I hiked the PCT: Mexico to Mt. Shasta, 2008. Santa Barbara to Canada, 2009.

  10. #10
    Registered User Old Boots's Avatar
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    I had to make such a decision about my 141/2 year old Old English Sheepdog. She was blind, deaf, arthritic nad incontinent. As I struggled with the decision about her future the vet asked me one question. Are you prolonging her existence for her sake or yours? The answer was extremely difficult and yet very simple. She needed to be released from a life being lived solely for me. Love is not always easy.

  11. #11
    Registered User weary's Avatar
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    I only wish we were as kind to humans when we face this situation, as we are to domesticated animals. My greatest dread at this stage of my life is the thought of living months or years in pain, maybe dementia, and partial consciousness before the end.

    Recently a guy died who had spent eight years in prison for trying to persuade society to treat dying humans as well as we treat dying dogs. There comes a time when all creatures that we have control over should be allowed to be put down. My advice is to do the kind thing to your dog, regardless of the pain that decision begins.

    I cried when I left my last dog at the vets, and have not chosen to have another dog. The pain was too great, and I've reached an age when a pet would likely outlive my ability to care for it.

  12. #12
    Hike smarter, not harder.
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    I was always raised that you don't let an animal suffer. Hard to do though. It does seem odd that we don't allow humans the same consideration.
    Con men understand that their job is not to use facts to convince skeptics but to use words to help the gullible to believe what they want to believe - Thomas Sowell

  13. #13
    So many trails... so little time. Many Walks's Avatar
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    Seeker, I feel so sad for you being in this position, but I know exactly how you feel. We've had to make this same decision a couple of times and sadly see the time coming to have to go through it again fairly soon. Companions such as yours give their love freely, faithfully and with no conditions. Their only expectation is that you'll give them your love in return and you'll make the best decisions for their care.


    It's hard to make the decision to end the life, but my rule always has to be what is best for the dog and not how badly I'll feel in the end. If she is obviously in pain and her quality of life has severely degraded, wouldn't it be best to ease her into a place where the pain and discomfort isn't unbearable? If she is hurting I would spend some time scratching her favorite spots making her as comfortable as possible saying goodbye and remembering the wonderful 13.5 years you've had together before you let her go. It will be hard, but she will be in a better place and you'll know it was in her best interest.


    As for you, after that, a good hike will probably do you some good. You'll be able to quietly reflect on all the joy you've had with your best friend. Sometimes you'll probably just be crying in the woods, but that's ok. Anyone who has gone through this will understand. The problem with being deeply in love is that at some point it all must end and the memories are all that is left. I wish you the best in dealing with this difficult time.
    That man is the richest whose pleasures are the cheapest. Henry David Thoreau

  14. #14
    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
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    I had that with my dog, the larangeal paralysis. Developed bad pneumonia because of it. Was awful. We decided to let her go. The most awful thing I had to do, but I took comfort in knowing we gave her 8 terrific years and she had fun.







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  15. #15
    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skinewmexico View Post
    It does seem odd that we don't allow humans the same consideration.

    Please save this kind of issue for another web site elsewhere and give this hiker the comfort and understanding he seeks.







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  16. #16
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    I'm going through a similar situation now with my 14 y/o Jack Russell! I know that when the time comes I will not let him suffer unnecessarily! The hard part is knowing when that time has come! My heart goes out to you!

  17. #17
    aka -OvertheEdge- :)
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    I'm a critter person. I can kill and not think but I will not tolerate cruelty. I've been cuffed and stuffed, protecting a dog, and I'm a cat person. I have made your decision many times. If your pup suffers let it go do your hike and bawl your eyes out (I would). The one thing I have had to ask my wife when it came that time for one of the cats is " are we hanging on for him/her or you."
    Alcohol was involved!

  18. #18
    aka -OvertheEdge- :)
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    OH, and if we meet I'll tell ya about Skittles.
    Alcohol was involved!

  19. #19

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    Better a day too soon than a day too late. I am sorry. I just went thru this earlier in the year. You'll figure out what you should do. Best wishes.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by skinewmexico View Post
    I was always raised that you don't let an animal suffer. Hard to do though.
    It is indeed very hard. We don't want to let go, and the animal of course still has the duty to watch out for you.

    There comes a point at which the last best thing you can do is to say goodbye, to allow the animal to retain some dignity, but deciding where that point is, amidst all of the emotional turmoil of facing the death of your best friend, is a very difficult decision to make.

    Best of luck to you, Seeker, and remember that the trail will still be there for you.

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