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Every Dog Owner's Nightmare


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I lost someone today, someone very special to me. My female Scottish Terrier, whom I've owned for twelve years now is now gone. I'm not too sure as to why I am posting this in here but I feel like I got to post it someplace. I don't have a blog or a myspace page or facebook or twitter or anything like that. I post in here.

I post in here because some people in here will understand the way I feel right now. Some people will understand the feeling of total helplessness when I had to bring her to the veterinarian this afternoon knowing that I would not ever return home with her again. She was sick and I couldn't help her and now for the rest of my life I'll never be able to pet her again and let her know how much I love her.

She developed a blockage by her bladder that prevented her from urinating properly. This went on for some time and we had tried some medication for it and some special dog food. Nothing seemed to help. While I was still in the hospital last week my wife informed me she was urinating blood. On Tuesday we had to go to the vet and X-rays were taken and we were advised to have an ultrasound done on her. All this time I was praying that there was some kind of medication that would help clear this up. I got her into the ultrasound yesterday and the results showed that some kind of a tumor developed near the bladder that was also starting to affect her liver.

Surgery was an option of course but there was no way it was going to fix this problem 100%. The vet advised us that something had to be decided before the weekend got here because if her bladder burst, she would have died a very painful death and that is something I could not allow happen to this dog.

So, after talking it over with my wife, she took a half day from work today and we took her to the vet together. But before we got there, I told her to go through the McDonald's drive-thru because I wanted to order a cheeseburger. This little dog loved the pickles that are in the McDonald's burgers. So I gave her all three pickles and a couple of bites of the burger. We threw the rest of it away.

The people at the vet were very nice because they could see my wife and I were emotional wrecks. From the very first time I saw this dog I loved her and all she did was love me back and now she's gone. And now I find myself going into a room with her and my wife to say goodbye to her. How did this happen?

After she was taken away to get an IV put in her leg, she was brought back to us to say the final goodbyes. The way she looked at me it was almost like she knew what was going on. She knew she was in pain. She knew she wasn't her normal self and she knew I couldn't help her. I've done two different stints in the hospital the past few weeks but I'd gladly go back in there again if it meant this dog would be still with me.

The last thing I told her was to not forget me because I never will forget her. I love you little girl.

Ariel, born August 26th, 1997, Died September 18, 2009

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I am so sorry to hear that man. I have 2 dogs myself (a Black Lab and a Beagle), the Lab (Casey) is almost 11 years old now and she is really starting to show her age. I dread the day when I have to go through what you and your wife just did. :(

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I feel your pain and wish there was a way I could ease it.

I very much dread even the thought of having to someday go through what you and your wife went through today. Unfortunately, it does enter my mind occasssionally as these beautiful little creatures become such an important part of our lives, they capture our hearts and make us better people I truly believe ........ they are so very special with the way they love us back unconditionally every moment of every day .......... and all we can do is love them for the time they are here with us ......... you know, that's all they really want from us anyway and I am sure Ariel was joyed to have been loved by you and your wife during her life and knows how blessed she was to have spent her life with ya'll.

I received an email just yesterday that touched me and I wanted to share it with you ............. I hope it brings you a little piece of mind.

Take Care,



A Dog's Purpose? (from a 6-year-old).

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog's owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn't do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker 's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker's Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.

Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, ''I know why.''

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation. It has changed the way I try and live.

He said,''People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life -- like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?''

The Six-year-old continued,''Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long.''

Live simply.

Love generously.

Care deeply.

Speak kindly.

Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.

Take naps.

Stretch before rising.

Run, romp, and play daily.

Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree

When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

Be loyal.

Never pretend to be something you're not.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.


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It's definitely sad to lose a pet that you have grown very attached to. We have contemplated on getting a dog for a few months now, but just the mere thought of having to lose someone that you will definitely grow to love just outweighs all of our reasons of getting one at the moment. Once a dog grows attached to you, his love for you will never cease to exist.

John Grogan said it best:

"A dog has no use for fancy cars or big homes or designer clothes. Status symbol means nothing to him. A waterlogged stick will do just fine. A dog judges others not by their color or creed or class but by who they are inside. A dog doesn't care if you are rich or poor, educated or illiterate, clever or dull. Give him your heart and he will give you his..."

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Y4L - I'm so sorry to hear this sad news. We went through a similar situation a few years ago when we put our 19 year-old cat to sleep. My wife had gotten him on her 21st birthday and I met him a few years later when I first met my wife. By the time he turned 19, his health had deteriorated to the point that he could not walk, and while we hated having to put him to sleep, it was a quality of life issue and not fair to see him suffer.

We've got two dogs now, and I dread the day when we have to go through this again.

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This will probably make you cry as it it did i, but I think it is appropriate:


I hope that you can reflect on the happiness your dog brought you and remember that without her you would not have the enjoyment in life that you have. She is a part of your life that will never be replaced. She waits for you on the other side, but I am sure she is in no hurry to have you join her. I hope that you are healing well.

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You're having a tough week (to say the least). We're a "dog family", so I easily understand your sorrow. Like Trues, we have dogs (3 of em actually), and one of them is getting up their in age ... and well, she isn't aging too gracefully. She's an Australian Cattle dog that we rescued from an animal shelter to be the friend & playmate of our other big dog. She has been a very welcome addition to the family. She's extremely kind, loving, and gentle around our 3 kids ... and follows my 5yo daughter everywhere, as if they had a string connecting them.

I'm not looking forward to the day when we have to make the same choice. I shouldn't even call it a "choice" because, like you, I won't "choose" anything but what is best for her. But, I know that day is coming no matter how much I wish it weren't.

But, I do emphathize with your situation and share the sorrow of your loss. If I could say something that would ease your pain, I certainly would.

I do have one request. Could you post a picture of Ariel? Posting a picture of her and telling us about the moment in the photo will remind you and us off all the good times with dogs.

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Dogs are so awesome. Y4L, your story really touched me. My oldest dog just turned 4 in August, so hopefully anything like this is way off for me, yet I already know what it feels like.

My parents put our family pet down just 3 years ago. She was buried out back, and there is a grave marker that reminds me of her every time I see it. I have lived in the same neighborhood as my parents for all but one year of my adult life, so she was always around. Living out in the country, she was always free to roam... And since she originally lived in the house I currently reside in, she visited often.... The loss hit my dad harder than it did me, but only because my wife and I already had a few "babies" of our own... And even though they could never take her place, they had already stolen my heart. I guess they helped ease that pain for me, a little bit...

I am really sorry for your loss.

@stecropper: Thank you for sharing that email with us. :)

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Everyone, thank you for your kind words. It means a lot during this really tough time. My wife and I own a few dogs and it is a joy to have them but this part, the cruel finality of it, is the worst part of it.

Yes I know I was very lucky to spend those twelve years with her. Each time I'd come home from work and after I took off my contact lenses, I'd call out "Little One", my nickname for her, and she'd come bounding over. No matter what kind of a lousy day I had, she made it better. I have a dog bed in my computer room that she would always come in when I was in here. So just about all the time I have been in here, this dog was lying down on that bed to the right of me happily sleeping away while we all were talking about God knows what.

But as I type this, it is is the early morning and the other dogs are asleep and I look down and the bed is empty. And I just don't know how to deal with that right now.

As CircleChange asked, I will post a picture of her as soon as I can get one. We have a lot of them, but I just need my wife to scan one so I can upload it here.

Thank you everyone.

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I am very sorry to hear about your loss. Dogs are more than pets, they are a part of your family. I went through the same thing back in 2003. My mom and dad had a miniature schnauzer they had bought in 1990 when I was a senior in high school. She was the best little dog in the world, always wanting to be loved by everyone. Man, I loved (and still love that little girl). In late 2002, her age caught up with her. She developed cancer, and all sorts of other problems. By the end, she couldn't even be picked up on the couch, she was in too much pain. I had to take her to the vet as my parents could not do it. I was crying as I did so. Even now, I have a tear in my eye.

I have a dog of my own now, a miniature schnauzer as well, and she is only 2 years old. I treasure every moment I have with her, as she is a great little dog as well. I still miss my Shadow, but I have my Baby now, and want to enjoy every moment with her. Again, Y4L, I am sorry about your loss, and I will be praying for you and your family.

Thank you,


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As requested, I am posting some pictures of my little Scottie. I found two of them that I like very much so I had my wife scan them and send them to me.

This first one here she is sitting to the left of my laptop when I was online on this website. I know I wasn't playing a game because the Saitek controller is on the ground next to her. She was always around me. Sometimes maybe I took it for granted. Sometimes I wish I would have stopped what I was doing to just let her know I knew she was there. What I'd give for five more minutes now.

Here she is outside walking in the snowpaths that I make for the dogs in the winter. The snow gets bad here in the Northeast, so when it gets deep, I go in the back yard and shovel paths so they can walk all around the yard without having to trudge through the snow that is taller than them. As a Scottie, she had very powerful legs, but sometimes the snow got to be too much. All the dogs enjoy running around out there on a nice winter day.

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Sorry for the late response, been away for a few days. Words alone can't express how sorry I am to read this. I've never even had a pet for more than a few months, but I'm not ashamed to admit that post brought a tear to my eye.

Keep your head up, my friend. It'll get better.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've all kinds of animals, including dogs. One of the hardest losses I ever had wasn't a dog I had for years, but a tiny little puppy, big enough to fit in my dad's breast pocket, who died because of complications with vaccinations. I know how hard it is to lose a pet, because they become family, and it never takes long for a pet to become family.

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Yankee,I went through the same kind of thing a couple of years ago with my basset hound. I came home one day and he wouldn't get up. Bassets are pretty lazy to begin with but he always ran to greet me. I took him to the vet for them to examin him. I got a call that night and it was much worse than I could have ever imagined. I thouht he was just sick but he had an enlarged heart. I held him as they put him under, there was nothing you could do. You get so attached to them,they are your family. I know how difficult today must have been for you. It took a while for the sadness to lift but it did. You never forget them.

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  • 8 months later...

I am bumping this thread again.

Not because I have a strange need to see this particular thread back up on the main page here, but because I have to add to it. About ninety minutes ago my wife and I had the terrible task of saying goodbye to our male Scottish Terrier. His name was Raider and he was the typical Scottie. Friendly, lovable, playful and loyal. Not one person who met him ever had a bad thing to say about him. In fact they would go out of their way to shower him with attention.

Twenty four hours ago it would not have crossed my mind that I would be in this thread today posting. But here I am. I'm home right now with an hysterical and inconsolable wife who has just lost her favorite dog. She doesn't understand what happened and neither do I.

Around 11 pm last night we woke up to the dog making noise. But that was nothing new. Every once in awhile he'd grr or bark at something outside or when it was thundering out he'd start to cry. But this was different. He was panting and he could not stand up. He was shaking and was disorientated. He started to cry out very loud and I am unsure if he was crying in pain or he was crying because he was afraid of what was happening to him. He had about six seizures.

Well I got dressed as fast as possible and we were out the door to the Emergency Animal Hospital that is open all night. These people charge you 95 dollars just to walk in the door so if any of you want to know what a definition of a racket is, now you know.

Well, after we got checked in they took the dog and they got him sedated and he had no more seizures. So far so good. But at the same time I knew something was terribly wrong just by what I saw at home.

He stayed overnight there and I called back today around 11 am, about twelve hours after this happened. The doctor said that the dog had a brain tumor and it was terminal. He said that there is a prescription that can be administered to the dog to make him comfortable so he would not have seizures but eventually his body would reject it and he would be having them. Oh boy. That's what we had to decide. We did not want to lose him but at the same time did not want to prolong his life by having him in misery. And, the icing on the cake? From last night until this morning, this little Scottie was blind. My good boy could not see. I don't know how long I cried when I got off the phone when I heard this but it was for quite some time.

My wife made the difficult decision to have him put down today so like we did with Ariel back in September, she got out of work early and we took the long and sad trip to the Animal Hospital to say goodbye to another wonderful part of our lives. She's not doing well right now and neither am I.

The technician brought him in and we had about 15 minutes to say goodbye to him and he did not look good at all. He was still shaking and looked disorientated. Finally the doctor came in and administered the shots and that was that. From once where there was a dog full of life and love lay a lifeless one with eyes looking at the ceiling.

These dogs are something. They love you. They love without condition. They are always there for you and they always leave you much too soon.

I love you little buddy.

Raider, born December 2nd, 1996. Died July 2nd, 2010.

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