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When It's Time For The Bridge


Guest sheila
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does knowing in advance help/not help  

269 members have voted

  1. 1. I would like to know ahead of time

    • I would rather not know
      58
    • not sure
      79
    • I would rather know
      134


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Guest sheila

I have been thinking so much about Natashas sudden departure from our lives this weekend. Part of what stunned me is that while part of having seniors is understanding I won't have them long......I always expected Kiowa would go first. He is 12 (Natasha was 10) Kiowa has heart issues (Natasha was perfectly healthy) Losing her was such a shock and the grief is different than if I had known in advance and had planned for the moment.

 

I'm also starting to wonder though...which is best (not for the hounds but for us) If I had known for days in advance that Natasha was going to go, I think in some ways the grief would have been worse. On the other hand.....if I had known.....I could have had the chance to spend some extra time with her giving her extra love

Edited by GreyTzu
Fixed poll, I think.
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I think it's probably easier on the human (and maybe the hound, too) to not know. Having to make the decision for them is so hard and you always second guess yourself...even years later.

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Michelle...forever missing her girls, Holly 5/22/99-9/13/10 and Bailey 8/1/93-7/11/05

Religion is the smile on a dog...Edie Brickell

Wag more, bark less :-)

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Guest Tenderhearts

That's a tough question Sheila, and I don't know if knowing in advance would truly make it easier. I know the last 6 months before I lost Lori Ann, it was always in the back of my mind as I watched her starting to fail. How do you 'prepare' for something like that? I have no idea. When she took the bad fall, I just knew in my heart she wasn't going to be better in the morning, and she wasn't.

 

With Bart, my first greyhound, he was in ICU for a week, and by the time we had scheduled the myelogram and back surgery for him at K-State Vet school, he went downhill in a few short hours and became paralyzed in all fours and we had to let him go. We didn't even have a chance to get him to K-State. He was only five.

 

Skittle was also only five, and I still have brutal days emotionally. That one kicked me in the teeth :(

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6 of one, half dozen of the other.

 

The 5 months we knew Batman would die ... can you say "ocean of tears"? and the worry he would have some horrible sudden painful crisis .............. But then I got to spend that time spoiling him even more than he already was. :wub:

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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I still can't answer the poll. The shock of an unexpected death is what seems to be worse to me. But then having weeks or months of knowing a beloved companion is leaving soon is so incredibly hard.

Missing my sweet girl Scout. My snuggler, my chow-hound, my kissy girl.
It never thunders at the Bridge, and your food bowl is ALWAYS filled.

So strange not living in Atty World. I was a love struck handmaiden to your every whim.

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Guest SoulsMom

I don't know. Both situations have their instances of regret. I have not lost a pet that I loved this deeply, but I lost my Mom, and I know in that situation I've gone over and over this question in my mind. She'd been in ICU a month before she died, but she was so much better, back at home, on the road to recovery, and her sudden death was such a shock. She actually died in her sleep at home. Would I have preferred that she had been in the hospital, or that I had *known* she was not going to get better so I could say my goodbyes and be prepared? I just don't know. News of her death literally knocked me to the floor, but I think if I had known what was coming I would have still been on the floor. We never react in the way we think we will. Actually, just typing this I think I've come to the conclusion that now matter if you are prepared or not, it still hurts just the same . . . . .

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I guess we have seen both ends of the spectrum this year. We lost Dixie suddenly last July. While it was shocking and heart-breaking, we grieved and more or less mover on. With Dylan it was a long and arduous ordeal. Kevin and I made the decision together to send Dylan to the bridge, but it was heart-breaking. We are still grieving his loss.

 

With Dixie it was a bit easier because I think we both feel Dixie more or less made decision. We knew she was happy and she had no clue that anything was wrong. One minute she was running in the backyard and the next she was gone.

 

I guess if we have a choice we would rather have a dog "Do a Dixie" than have to make the decision.

Wendy and The Whole Wherd. American by birth, Southern by choice.
"Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup!"
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Guest PhillyPups

Oh Sheila, I feel your raw pain in your post and the poll :bighug This is one that I do not have the answer to, and have been in both situations.

 

I remember the morning I woke up and took Runner to the M&G at the International Speedway as if it was this morning, the sun was bright, a typical beautiful Florida day. I remember talking to him as we went, him resting his head on my shoulder as I drove, and me looking into his eyes (his favorite way to ride anywhere), I was telling him how handsome he was and how special he was to me and how much I loved him, and feeling my world was perfect. I remember as if it was today, his walking around the M&G, strutting his stuff in the way he had, winning people over. I remember him sliding his head under this mans hand, and next thing you know the man is casually petting him, then looks down, shakes his hand, pets Runner again, looks me in the eye and saying "I don't even like dogs, but this boy is special" I said, "I know". I remember as if it was today, Tony Stewart coming over, petting him and telling me how stunning he is. I remember as if it was this moment in time standing there, scritching his ears, him leaning on me, then hearing a thud, as he left me, his knees did not even bend, that is how sudden it was. I remember the total agony, and crying take me with you Runner, I want to go with you, I feel the pain writing this as intensely as I felt it when he left, and yes the tears are still flowing. The only consolation is that he went doing what he loved most, leaning on me, and had the day been any different, I probably would have been doing laundry and come home to find him, at least I was with him.

 

The other end is The Divine Ms. SugarBear. My beautiful silent golden lady. Never one to complain, just happy to have one more marshmallow. Many times I would tell my friend when I lose Sugs, Runner will need a partner. Her pain of losing Runner was as intense as mine, and I almost lost her over it, hence Stepper joined us.

 

I took Sugs our for a pee run late one night, she was getting a dental in the morning. She stumbled, and I thought she stepped into a slight hole in the yard. I mentioned it to the vet when I took her in and asked him to look at her leg. I remember his face as I went to pick her up. He said, I need to show you something. He had the x-ray up, and it was like I was sucker punched in the gut, I could see the shadow of osteo. She was 14.5 years old, she was spry and sweet, I was not ready to have her leave and she was not ready to leave me. This was the Thursday before GIG, I was going for a day trip, we still went, and she "held court". The Divine Ms. SugarBear had the dreaded osteo. We opted for pain management, and each moment I knew was getting closer to the end. I remember the drive the day I took her, going down the highway towards the vet, looking at telephone poles thinking if I floor the SUV and turn it towards the left I can take us both out and not have to make this decision. At that moment a dear friend called and talked me through it. I remember as if it was this moment, holding her, rubbing her head and ears, and telling her how much I loved her, as she crossed to the bridge.

 

Ah Sheila, having done both, neither is easier, neither makes sense, but I do know I gave Sugs the gift of letting her go before her pain got too bad. Both have ripped me to the core, and I know I will be traveling one of the 2 paths again a few times in my life, but as the song by Garth Brooks goes:

 

Looking back on the memory of

The dance we shared 'neath the stars alone

For a moment all the world was right

How could I have known that you'd ever say goodbye

And now I'm glad I didn't know

The way it all would end the way it all would go

Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain

But I'd of had to miss the dance

Holding you I held everything

For a moment wasn't I a king

But if I'd only known how the king would fall

Hey who's to say you know I might have chanced it all

And now I'm glad I didn't know

The way it all would end the way it all would go

Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain

But I'd of had to miss the dance

Yes my life is better left to chance

I could have missed the pain but I'd of had to miss the dance

 

 

Ah I would never have missed the dance I have had with my hounds.

 

I am sorry if I got too far off the question, and I don't have the answer, just know that we are here with you. :bighug

 

 

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Sheila,

I can't answer either. With Rex, it was sudden, and with Vinnie... we treated for months thinking it was an injury. It wasn't. Rex was three months short of his 13th birthday. Vin was 3 1/2 days short of his 10th birthday. I believe it hurts something awful either way :(

Sending hugs to you and Kiowa,

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Tonya, mom to May, and my angels Vinnie, Rex, Red, Chase, and Jake.

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Guest FullMetalFrank

I think, for me, knowing in advance might be easier. I have lost two loved ones, one my late husband, and the other my greyhound Iberia, both very suddenly and tragically; the shock lingers on for years; not being there to help, not being able to say goodbye (although I did get to say goodbye to Iberia before he passed)... I don't know. I just think it's easier if you have time to prepare yourself.

Edited by FullMetalFrank
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Guest david_42

I can only compare the impact of my father's death (8 weeks in ICU) to my mother's, which was two hours after the initial heart attack. We knew dad was dying & it was a release. Mom had just finished a 3-day intensive exam, which said she was ok. Three days later, dead. Much harder.

 

My dogs, I've always let them go them when their quality of life wasn't.

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Guest vahoundlover

I voted I'd want to know....but I'm not so sure....... After losing Dolly so quickly and unexpectedly last year, I KNOW I don't want to go through that again. I wish I could have held her one more time, spent more time spoiling her with all her favorite foods and things to do. The last 12 hours I had with her was a flood of tears and prayers that the EVet could save her, I wish it had been full of hugs and kisses and telling her how much I loved her.

 

It's so hard to lose the ones we love so much, but I wouldn't trade whatever time I have with them for anything else in the world.

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Guest PiagetsMom

I'd like to vote, but really I can't. I've done both, and neither one is easier than the other, they're just different. They were both absolutely heartbreaking.

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First off I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful baby. :grouphug With the exception of BrookLynne all of our babes are seniors. We always treat every day as if it were our last together. I think your sweet baby girl knew it was her time and she left you swiftly and gently on golden wings. She did not want you to have to make that decision in her behalf. :grouphug While it is hard at any age...I think I would rather have them leave me swiftly than to have to watch them suffer and make that decision for them like we had to for Angel Sophia and Angel Queenie. :cry1

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Patti-Mommy of Lady Sophia 7-28-92 - 8-3-04... LaceyLaine 8-2-94-12-5-07...

Flash Gordon 7-14-99 - 8-29-09... BrookLynne...Pavé Maria... and 18 Bridge Kids.

WATCHING OVER US~SOPHIA~QUEENIE~LACEY LAINE~

CODY ANGELO~FLASH GORDON.

 

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Shelia I am so sorry your Natasha is gone. :candle I didn't know until I saw this poll. :grouphug

 

I think I would rather know. It's never going to make it easier, but at least you would have those last few days to cherish.

 

When my hearthound Molly went, it was very sudden, from one day to the next. Molly had cancer, but not osteo, her cancer wasn't what took her, a stroke did. :(

Molly was 12 years 10 months.

 

Maggie also went suddenly, from a stroke. Maggie had been diagnosed with cancer, also not osteo, but she was doing well, then suddenly she wasn't. :( Maggie was 11.

 

Casey went down very quickly too, and there were so many things we didn't know then that we wish we would have. We were ignorant about so many things as was our then vet. If only we had known about tick diseases. If only we had known....something, anything. Casey was our first greyhound and we let him down due to not knowing. We will never know what took Casey, but I will never stop wondering. :( Casey was only 8 and was DH's hearthound.

 

Charlie had osteo. Diagnosis to the Bridge was only about two weeks. :( Charlie was only 6.

 

So yes I guess I would prefer to know. You can never prepare but you can maybe not have some of the regrets. :(

Edited by Greytlady94

Greyhound angels at the bridge- Casey, Charlie, Maggie, Molly, Renie, Lucy & Teddy. Beagle angels Peanut and Charlie. And to all the 4 legged Bridge souls who have touched my heart, thank you. When a greyhound looks into you eyes it seems they touch your very soul.

"A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more then he loves himself". Josh Billings

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I think I would rather know. I'm still second guessing myself over Oliver's stroke and death. Certainly there must have been some sign I missed. I would trade anything to have protected him from his last hour on this earth. I don't think it was painful, just bewildering to him. I thought I was done crying over him but ........... :(

 

Hada the podenco maneta, Georgie Girl (UMR Cordella), Lulu the podenco andaluz, Rita the podenco maneta, Howie the portuguese podengo maneto
Angels: Charlie the iggy,  Mazy (CBR Crazy Girl), Potato, my mystery ibizan girl, Allen (M's Pretty Boy), Percy (Fast But True), Mikey (Doray's Patuti), Pudge le mutt, Tessa the iggy, Possum (Apostle), Gracie (Dusty Lady), Harold (Slatex Harold), "Cousin" Simon our step-iggy, Little Dude the iggy ,Bandit (Bb Blue Jay), Niña the galgo, Wally (Allen Hogg), Thane (Pog Mo Thoine), Oliver (JJ Special Agent), Comet, & Rosie our original mutt.

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6 of one, half dozen of the other.

 

The 5 months we knew Batman would die ... can you say "ocean of tears"? and the worry he would have some horrible sudden painful crisis .............. But then I got to spend that time spoiling him even more than he already was. :wub:

 

 

I agree! We knew Kona was declining and they day was in our future, so we did what we could knowing our time was limited. But, making that decision was the WORST! I know it was the right one, but not one I ever want to make again.

 

as the song by Garth Brooks goes:

 

Looking back on the memory of

The dance we shared 'neath the stars alone

For a moment all the world was right

How could I have known that you'd ever say goodbye

And now I'm glad I didn't know

The way it all would end the way it all would go

Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain

But I'd of had to miss the dance

Holding you I held everything

For a moment wasn't I a king

But if I'd only known how the king would fall

Hey who's to say you know I might have chanced it all

And now I'm glad I didn't know

The way it all would end the way it all would go

Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain

But I'd of had to miss the dance

Yes my life is better left to chance

I could have missed the pain but I'd of had to miss the dance

 

One of my favorite songs with great meaning. It does sum it up nicely.

 

So sorry for your loss!

The Girls

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So very hard to answer. I'm even having trouble finding the "right" words. Knowing in advance might give us time to prepare, but how do you really prepare. I haven't had to face it with my hounds, but I have been faced the loss of treasured cats. In all three cases, I had advance warning, but watching them go down hill was hard - especially with K.C. By the time I decided to help him over, the cancer had left him a mere shadow of himself. On the other hand, there was the chance to say goodbye. So, in I end up where I started - I just don't know.

 

I'm sorry for your loss - pretty inadequate words.

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Marc and Myun plus Starbuck (the cat)
Pinky my AWOL girl, wherever you are, I miss you.
Angels Honey (6/30/99-11/3/11) Nadia (5/11/99-6/4/12) Kara (6/5/99-7/17/12) Cleo (4/13/2000-4/19/2014)

Antnee (12/1/2002=2/20/17)

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Guest Snazzy_Chloe

Difficult question - when the dog departs suddenly it is a sudden shock to your system. When you have a little time of advance knowledge it is better for you and your pup as you get to spend some special time with the dog, which helps you to rationalize to yourself and to your dog why the decision that you are making is for his/her best interest.

Looking at it from the dog's point of view, suddenly may be quicker and less painful for the dog - especially as some owners may wrestle with the decision longer than necessary - as one always hops that whatever condition the dog has may clear up. Both are equally heart rendering after the dog has departed.

I think the first case leaves one wondering "Why me? Why at this time in our lives?

The second leaves one wondering "Did I do everything that I could for my pup?" "Should I have prolonged the pup's life a little longer"

There are NO right answers, both are questions that people ask as part of their grieving process.

 

I would rather know in advance so I could spend a little extra special time with the dog before it is that time.

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Guest PhillyPups

In reading this thread over and over, and still not sure of the answer, the outcome for me, is the lesson I learned with Runner to cherish each moment as if it may be the last, for it just may be. Whether or not our pets have something that we KNOW is terminal, life is terminal, so treat them with the love, kindness, and respect they deserve each and every moment, and cherish the very second we have now, for we are now making tomorrows memories, I try to make them all good ones.

 

 

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Guest GreyKat

I lost my Luna unexpectedly last week. She was 11 and had been suffering from recurring corns and what we thought was general slowness w/ age, but suddenly she quickly seemed to go downhill, and w/in 24 hours we had to put her to sleep (and we still don't know exactly what it was- we ony know she was in lots of pain w/little hope of a cure). We were in shock, devastated, and had to deal w/ grieving the loss before we knew what hit us.

 

We had a bit of a mix- we at least were able to choose the time for her and be by her side, which I think helped us tremendously. I think I would have been far worse if she had gone during the night at the hospital when we weren't there. But I actually just asked my husband today what he thought. I was thinking about the same thing you asked in your post- would it have been better had we known for a longer period of time? My thought was no, that my thinking about a loved one dying *while* I was still seeing her everyday...I just think I'd want to quit my job and never leave her side. Also, I feel that there is likely pain for anyone dying (not always, but I often imagine there is), and I wouldn't want to live with her knowing she was in pain I couldn't cure. We already accept (although it's incredibly hard) that their lives are shorter than ours. I'd love it if we could change that, but we can't. So, knowing that, we have to assume they also accept that. They enjoy their lives until they can't, and then it's best for them to move on to another world.

 

In the end, what's best for them *needs* to be what we want, and even though we struggle with it, we need to constantly appreciate the beauty they brought us and appreciate even more that they are more comfortable now. They are where they need to be.

 

That said, I'm all for a doctor finding a way to extend the life (and quality of life) of a greyhound to that of a human. I wish mine could be with me forever.

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I really don't know, Sheila.

 

Marcus was a very sudden illness (probable stroke), very shocking, and quite frankly, if I hadn't absolutely trusted the vet who told me to let him go, he probably would've suffered. I was pretty incapable of making the decision on my own that night. He went from perfect health to his death in less than 24 hours.

 

With Tyler and his cancer, we made his appointment almost a week in advance. We couldn't do too much physical spoiling because we were afraid his leg would break, but he did get some steak and some extra treats in the few days beforehand. And you know what, it actually felt kind of odd to do it though.

 

With Frazzle, we knew he was declining and that we would be making a decision at some point, and most people would probably say we were spoiling him (feeding him people, cat, or dog food and offering him multiple food options, the cart...) but I would say we were doing what we could to keep him happy. The thought never crossed my mind to do anything other than what we did. Thankfully, our decision was made much easier by his frightfully sudden decline in a matter of hours - really no second guessing as I had feared would happen.

 

I guess, to some extent, I try to "spoil" them in some way every day. We go for walks, go camping, go to these large gatherings, go to meet and greets, feed them a raw diet, try to make sure I give each one individual attention each day. Even though I had a different amount of foreknowledge of their deaths for each one, I can honestly say that I have never thought, "Oh, I wish we had done X with/for the boy." I have had no regrets. They lead a fairly full life here, and do more than most dogs ever will.

Deanna with galgo Willow, greyhound Finn, and DH Brian
Remembering Marcus (11/16/93 - 11/16/05), Tyler (2/3/01 - 11/6/06), Frazzle (7/2/94 - 7/23/07), Carrie (5/8/96 - 2/24/09), Blitz (3/28/97 - 6/10/11), Symbra (12/30/02 - 7/16/13), Scarlett (10/10/02 - 08/31/13), Wren (5/25/01 - 5/19/14),  Rooster (3/7/07 - 8/28/18), Q (2008 - 8/31/19), and Momma Mia (2002 - 12/9/19).

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Guest MountainHounds

I'm not entirely sure it makes much of a difference, it's heartbreaking either way. A little over seven years ago I came home early from work to find my beloved 11 year old terrier mix dead of a ruptured tumor in the muscle tissue of his heart. He had seemed perfectly fine the day before and I was so much more devastated than I ever thought possible. Now I'm having to make the decision for Kavana and it's ripping the heart out of my chest, even though I've known it's coming for the last four months and I've savored every moment I've had with him since his diagnosis in March, I've got to call tomorrow to make the appointment and I can't stop crying. Knowing that I can be there for him in the end and tell him goodbye helps, I never got that chance with Sammy, but I'm also second guessing myself so much. Am I making my decision too soon? Or did I wait too long, he hasn't been himself for the last few days.

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Guest GreysAndMoreGreys

No easy answer :(

Dave, bone cancer, got to spend the week end with him then let him go 1/8/07

Weenie we found out just before Christmas she had Hemangio and had to say goodbye on 1/24/07

Cassie, Came home to find her with a broken back leg, not even 24 hrs at a vets office and we had to say goodbye, 6/1/07

 

 

I questions myself day in and day out on each and every one of my choices. With Weenie I swear I cried every day from the time of learning of the Cancer to the day we said goodbye.

Dave, I cried every day until I said goodbye

Cassie, I cried for the day worried sick and the final outcome.

I continue to cry each and every day for the loss of my hounds.

 

If I had to chose, I would say yes I want to know ahead of time, cause I'm finding that I'm having the hardest time coming to terms with loosing Cassie

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