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When is it the right time to say 'goodbye'?

My Springer Spaniel is 17 years old and has deteriorated over the last 3 months and I don't know if I am doing the right thing by keeping him going.  He has a very comfortable life but unfortunately he has now become incontinent both urine and pooping and my concern is that he is in pain, although he does not show it.  His is also wobbly on his back leg and occasion loses balance and topples over.  It's so hard as he always seems so happy to see you when you enter the room and eagerly wags his tail when we get visitors.  I always said that I wouldn't let him suffer but I am finding it so hard to make the correct decision.  Opinions from fellow dog lovers would be appreciated.
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974371 tn?1424653129
I see this was posted a few days ago so not sure what your decision was.  Yes, have been down this road more then a few times mysekf over the years.  This is a decision that is never easy to make but you have to think of the dog and not yourself.  He probably is in pain and what are his days like?  You know there will be no improvement.  You must have taken very good care of him for him to be 17 years old.  What a blessing for you both.  My decisions are always made on quality of life issues.  Remember that, often, the last act of love we can do for them is to give them a peaceful passing.  Hugs
Helpful - 0
10821430 tn?1439580883
For me, it is NEVER the right time to say goodbye,over the years
I've had to let one of my best friends cross over,too many times
and if has never gotten easier over those 30+ years so I know how
you feel and how this cuts into your heart.
Last month I had to make the choice to let Abby leave,she'd had
all of her teeth pulled 6 years ago( Abby was a 3 pound Yorkie)the
vet cracked her lower jaw bone when he pulled her teeth,from that
day on her 'lil jawbone receeded,Abby was healthy except for the
bottom jaw.The day she left us she could no longer eat,I'd tried
everything,I was feeding her ground chicken and veggies with rice
using a spoon but Abby was going to waste away,die slow,Abby
was 13 years young.
While my heart was still shattered only 6 days after Abby left us
Grizzly our 18 year old black, long coat Chihuahua's heart started
to show signs of giving out and the "big boy" left to join Abby...
I tell you this because IT WAS NOT A GOOD TIME TO LET GO
NOT FOR ME,they were a huge part of my life for years and the
ONLY REASON I COULD LET THEM GO WAS BECAUSE I DID
IT FOR THEM,BECAUSE I LOVED THEM,I OWED THAT TO
THEM. MY giving back to them was the last loving thing I could
give to them for all the special years we shared together,it was
MY LAST LOVING GIFT I could give to them.

Letting go was the LAST THING I WAS ABLE TO GIVE BACK
TO THEM for all the happiness,joy and fun times we had shared
together. They had always trusted me,loved me and knew when
it was time for them I would not fail them,no matter how hard it
was ( and it is) thier mom would not let them go on if their quality
of life was gone I would have to find the way to think of them first,
instead of me because for me, I would have held and loved them
for eternity if possible.
I try to look and see what they are telling me,eyes still bright,do
they have life's light in those eyes or is there a blank stare as if
they didn't see? Tails wagging,eating,drinking,not in pain,happy
and walking around,looking for us to walk in the door.
ONLY YOU can tell if your little man is in pain but you did not
say he was whining or crying so he may want to stay a bit longer.
He is wobbly in a back leg,he looses balance and can fall,this
guy at 17 has elder issues but ONLY YOU can consider his
needs and make one of the hardest choices in your life.
Stand back and really look,SEE how he is doing,look with your
eyes and heart,WHAT IS HE TELLING YOU?
I do understand,so many memories,so much love,100 % love
and trust for a FRIEND,companion who has been there for so
many things,adventures shared togethr over all the years.
I am so very sorry for the crossroads you are at. but as a loving
"dad" you will find  the right way for both of you.
LOVING THOUGHTS... Jan

Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Good morning,
I have two pups myself and one I have had for over ten yrs, so I understand how hard this must be on you. I personally would consult a vet see if they feel he is in pain and find out your options. I would take a serious look at his quality of life...and to be honest I would put myself in his paws. If he still able to eat and still somewhat playful then you may give him some more time. But if he seems less full of life and isn't eating normal and just looks like he is suffering then maybe it's time to say fair well for now. I am sorry this choice has come to you to make but I pray that The Lord guides you and that you take a step back and really take a hard look at the whole picture. Hope this helps...

God bless,
Kimberly
Helpful - 0
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