So sorry to read this. Enough us enough, to me, when there us no quality if life left for your pet due to chronic illness, pain, etc. you know your dogs more then anyone which help you make this often difficult decision.
As there are two dogs that are so close, you have a pack and probably one is more the leader. No way to tell fir sure how Brandy will cope. She may go off her food, be lethargic, look for the other one, etc. yes, you have to stay strong as you will be her pack leader, if you aren't already. Spend more time with her. Get in a routine of taking her on extra car rides or walks with you, even if just to the mail box. Have some play time each day for her to look forward to. This will help her restructure her day. Have fun little training sessions with rewards.
I have held almost all my animals when I had to let them go. It can be traumatic but I was glad I was able to hold them and comfort them one last time. You need to think of it as possibly the last act of love you can do for them. Take comfort in the fact they have a peaceful passing compared to so many others that go through worse.
I am in no way making light of this situation! Many of us have been there and it is not easy. Done with compassion by you and the Vet, it should not be traumatic. My Vet will even come to my home, if I choose, and take care of things here. You might want to consider that and let your other dog be present. Animals do recognize death.
You will cope. Of course, you will grieve but time will pass and healing will begin.
Wish I could be if more comfort. Unfortunately, when we get our beloved pets, chances are we will outlive them.
Look up the poem The Rainbow Bridge.
Hugs to you
Hi Tony & Tricia. I am wondering about the diagnosis ... why is Tess suffering with frequent diarrhea and blood in the stools? Has anyone told you why this is happening? There are lots of potential reasons, including inappropriate diet, allergies, ruptures, blockages, and more. It may be that these symptoms can be resolved completely, if the diagnosis suggest something treatable or preventable.
I have had a dog with severe arthritis. She was a greyhound, nearing 20yrs old, so perhaps not surprising. How old is Tess? There are many things that can help arthritis in dogs, including a number of supplements. Again, the important thing to identify is what has caused the arthritis. It can be caused by old age (joints get worn out just like humans), but sometimes it is caused by an infection, which is treatable. Has your vet told you whether Tess is suffering from Osteoarthritis or Immune-Mediated Arthritis? The treatments for these differ, so it's important to get a good diagnosis. Your vet should also be able to tell you what part of your dog is affected ... for example, the hip, leg joints (front or back) or spine. Has your vet taken X-rays to assess the condition?
I think pack dogs are very good at overcoming grief (they actually don't suffer grief quite like humans, though they certainly can get very anxious and depressed following a pack-member's death). But let's deal with that one, if and when it is of real concern. For now, perhaps you'll get back with a response to what I've written and we can proceed from there. I don't think we need consider The Rainbow Bridge just yet, hopefully, but as Margot has said ... you know your dogs better than anyone and it's your decision at the end of the day. Tony Xxx
My only suggestion, which will be nearly impossible to do, is to try to act as calm as possible around Brandy afterwards. She'll cope a lot better if she doesn't see you upset all the time. Take her for rides afterwards, do her favorite things, it will be good for you and her.