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When is enough enough for my precious dog?
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When is enough enough for my precious dog?

Hi,

I have a dog, Ragga who will be 16 in May.  He is a very beautiful cross collie. He had his spleen removed last April in emergency surgery and recovered very welll.  Even the vet was amazed at how well he has been doing since then.  However, just lately he has become very slow and is frequently off his food.  I took him to the vet and was told that he is now coming to end of his long life but that I have to be the judge of when he is ready to go.  I am finding this  very hard as although he is very slow and has days when he won't eat he is still very happy and wants to play with his friends when he sees them.  He still wags his tail  He also does not appear to be in any pain.  He does sleep a lot but is alert when it is time to go out.  I don't feel it is time to say goodbye just yet but I am worrying that I am just avoiding letting him go as my heart is breaking at the thought of him not being around anymore.  He really is my best friend and has helped me through some really tough times.  

He hasn't eaten since yesterday morning but he did eat a lot at the weekend, much more than he normally eats so I'm trying not to worry too much.  People who see him say they think he  seems fine considering his age and they don't feel he is ready to go yet.  I don't mind that he's slow as long as he is in no  pain.   I will let him go but only when the time is right.

Please if anyone can give me any advice I would be really grateful.  Also, how do you cope with the loss of your dog and best friend?  I am feeling upset and tearful all the time at the moment and don't know how I will cope.when the time comes.
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Avatar_f_tn
If your dog is still eating and drinking and walking around, I would wait.  If you think he might be in some pain, I would ask the vet for pain pills to help him through the day.  When he no longer wants to eat anything, even favorite things, and will not or cannot get up, you'll know its time.  We put our dog to sleep last Monday, and I still see her everywhere.  It is extremely hard, but so is watching them suffer.  Try not to let him see you upset, it will only make it harder on him.  Just enjoy what time you have left, and spoil him rotten.
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Avatar_m_tn
no i dont think he is even nearly to go yet, if he is still eating and walking around there should be no problem with him, 16 is a very old age normally meaning in human years that he would be in his 80's so he would be just like us when we (if) we see that age, everything will slow down and he will sleep more and maybe eat less.

take him to your vet just to be sure and get his bloods done to double check and enjoy and spoil him rotten, i lost my babes of 12 years on sunday night so i wish i was in your shoes still
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for your kind replies. | am very sorry that you have both lost your precious dogs.  I know that their loss is very hard to bear but they give us so much that it is worth it all the way.

I know that I am very lucky to still have Ragga and really he is pretty good for his age.  I will appreciate the time we have left and take on board your advice.  He has always been a bit funny when it comes to food and has never been a dog that wants to eat all the time so I have to stop getting anxious when he doesn't eat.  He does tend to have a pattern of not eating for a day or two and then he eats again.  

Thank you again and I hope you find strength to cope with your sad loss.  
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Avatar_m_tn
Jos I of all people understand the love of animals. I know how you are feeling and I also understand your pain and deep concern. Love is all around. Like the others said make sure your dog is checked at the vet that you tell them exactly what you have noticed in your dogs daily change make sure they run a full blood and stool. The most important thing here is that like in any relationship this should remind us how precious life really is and that we should embrace life and the seconds,minutes,days,months and years that we have with our loved ones. give your dog a big hug and kiss and tell him/her how much you love them everyday. Also make sure that that the dogs water bowl is cleaned properly and fresh water and that you clean the dogs food bowl very well. Want to keep away whatever bacteria that is around the food. Elderly dog's that have come from a good home as a pup and brought up around loving people and people who take care, feed,walk and give love too these animals, our pet these are our best friends you give the best life you can for them just as they are your own child. Remember when an animal dies they are not different then us when we go out of this world we remember the one who loved us and that we loved. Remember when it is time to say goodbye try to remember all the good times and moments that you have shared remember all the good and love and frienship. Be well best wishes.
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Avatar_f_tn
People always told me, "You'll know when it's time," and when the day came that it was time to help my friend pass, I did know.  

For right now, you might just think of Ragga as being retired.  He doesn't have to do a whole lot, he sleeps in, and he eats when he wants to.  

If he's not in any pain as far as you can tell, and if he still seems pretty content, then you just enjoy his being around for as long as this special time lasts.  I'd let him keep on keepin' on, and take it a day at a time.  

Thanks for posting, jos45.  Reading about you and Ragga makes me remember how much my old girl and I loved each other, and it's a very sweet feeling.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you all again for sharing with me.  It has helped me a lot and I have finally relaxed.  I know that I am very lucky to still have my best friend and I am also very happy to report that since the end of last week Ragga has perked up a lot and is eating better and more steadily as I have found some food that he seems to really like.  He is being very affectionate and I know that I am blessed to have him with me still.  Maybe, he has perked up as I am not constantly worrying about him.

Skydnsr, I like the idea of just thinking of him as retired.  You are right too that I need to take it a day at a time and I am.  I'm glad if hearing about me and Ragga helps you remember the good  times you had with your old girl too.

Wishing you all a good week.
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Avatar_m_tn
I had a miniature red poodle for almost 17 years.  I never thought I would never have to put him down.  I too asked advise from vets.  They all said you will know when.  He was my baby I took him everywhere with me even on vacation at the beach. Every was geared around him.  He was my third son so to speak.  He developed altimiers.  This was so heart breaking he didn't know us anymore. He would walk around in circles.  I did everything I could have medications etc.  One day I came home and he couldn't get up and was panting hard.  My husband said it was time.  I thought I die I am crying right now. It will be 3 years this July.  I probably should have put him down sooner maybe I was selfish.  You will know the time when you look into their eyes and you will see they are so very tired.  Everyday you have with Ragga Thank God and live every moment as it was your last.  Hug and Kisses
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Avatar_f_tn
when hes ready to go he will let you know, he will have a look in his eyes, he will let you know,

your lucky you have had so long with him, i lost my baby in august, a freak fight with another dog, her eye got badly damaged, and what not, , and we had ot put her down i never got to say goodbye, i do however have her daughter, and she reminds me of her every day

but i have had alot of loss in my life, and i know they always give you a look, sometimes a pleeding one
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Avatar_f_tn
It is with great sadness that I have to let you all know that I let Ragga go yesterday.  He had deteriorated very badly since the weekend.  I took him to the vet with the plan  of getting him some treatment and while I was there and the very nice vet told me all the things that were wrong with him I made the decision then and there to end his suffering.  I saw the pleeding look in his eyes and he was so sad and it took all the strength I had but I let him go.

Now I am so beside myself with grief and I feel like my heart has been ripped out but I know that I did the right thing.  I know that I am very lucky to have had nearly 16 years with him but that just makes the hole seem even bigger.

You have all lost your 4 legged best friends and I want to send you all love and best wishes to cope with your grief.  I am getting Ragz ashes and when they come I am going to have a memorial for him with all the people who loved him and there are lots of those.

Thank you all because you did help me cope with this rollercoaster ride.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am so sorry.  Thank you for telling us.  Ragga was a very good dog.  I believe you and he will be together again, someday.  I can feel the love between you and Ragga.  Thank you for giving a gift to all of us by sharing that love.  It flows like waves of blessings.  Bless you and Ragga.

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Avatar_f_tn
I'm sorry to hear about Ragga.  I'm sure he knew he was much loved.  Sixteen years was a good lifetime, and I'm sure you have some great memories.
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Avatar_f_tn
I just can't stop crying and I now know what it means to be beside yourself with grief.  I never knew that feeling before and I've lost a lot of people in my life.  This is the worst pain ever and I feel so lost.  I know that Ragz had a great life and that I have nothing to feel guilty about but I still can't help feeling like I have abandoned him. I have a lot of wonderful memories and they are bringing me comfort but then I remember he has gone and the tears come all over again.

I know I am not alone  and that you are all going through the same thing and know how i feel.  Wishing you love and happiness in your lives.
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Avatar_f_tn
its amazing how they let you know, im sorry for your loss
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675347_tn?1365464245
It does sound like the vet is right here. Your dog is growing old as gracefully as he can. Age is like that. If we're lucky, it takes us gently along until we sleep one day and don't wake up.
Oh it's difficult to face the approaching time when he will finally leave you, I know. It is a real shame dogs don't live a good deal longer. But the time they have with us is so precious. It is like a blessing. It is better to have had even just one day of a blessing like that, than to have never known it at all.

Good luck and God bless
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675347_tn?1365464245
I am sorry. I read your question, then scrolled down quickly to reply.....I didn't read the rest.
I'm deeply sorry about the loss of your dear Ragga. And sorry for giving you that clumsy answer.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi,

please don't worry, you meant well and what you said was very true.  I miss my Ragz so bad but my time with him was a real blessing and I wouldn't have been without him.  The bond we had was very strong and I know that I was very lucky to have him with me for nearly 16 years.  The pain of losing him is very painful but at least he is out of pain and suffering now and had a very happy life with many people who loved him.

Thank you for posting.  
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