Dog Euthanasia – What Would You Do?

I came across a story that I am rather reluctant to share.

This story was submitted by one of PawshPal fans recently.

Margaret is asking for an advice regarding her dog Echo, but I am not sure what the right response is.

So intead, I asked Margaret if it’s ok if I forwarded her story to the entire Pawshpal community and see what the people have to say, and she’s fine with it.

So without further ado, here’s margaret’s story.

Dear PawshPal

My name is Margaret R. from venice, CA.

I’ve been a fan of PawshPal for over a year now. You guys have some insanely funny, crazy, inspirational, and tear jerker pet stories. I look forward to your stuff every day. Keep up the good work.

I am writing to you because I need an advice for my 11 year old golden retriever Echo.

He was your everyday, happy dog. He was fine until he turned around 10 years old, which then, he started acting kind of strange.

For example, we used to play a game where I would show him a treat and I would put the treat underneath one of the three bowls turned upside down.

I would do this in clear sight so that he can see what I am doing.

He was fine picking out which bowl had the treat, usually by sniffing around it.

Then one day, he started to act funny.

He would look confused. He even looked as if he wasn’t interested in the treat at all, as if he had lost his sense of smell.

What’s worse.. his walking started to look funny.

Often I would take him walking and randomly, he would fall as if he were losing his balance.

At first, I thought nothing of it because well.. I thought it was just because he was getting old.

Then, as time progressed, he looked more and more disoriented.

One time, I let him off the leash in the backyard, where he would normally run around and just be a merry dog doing his doggy things.

Usually, he would run off for about 10 minutes or so, and then, come back.

Last time we did this, he did not come back. Instead, the neighbor called us and I had to get him.

When I got there, he looked confused.. as if he didn’t know who I was.

A couple of months later, we had him checked out at the vet.. and it turns out he had a malignant brain tumor that was developing fast.

The doctor said that we should be prepared for his death sometime within 5-12 months.

It was a shocking news to us.

I wasn’t sure if this was happening really… it felt like a dream… and that I would wake up any moment with Echo next to me, all healthy and bubbly.

Ever since then, Echo has been getting worse and worse. I am not sure what to do at this point.

Every day feels like a struggle for Echo.. and for my family.

He is in constant pain. He has trouble breathing nor does he have much appetite. I give him some medication daily by nothing really helps.

We can’t help but feel helpless watching our (four legged) family member suffer all day and night.

My 5 year old daughter Joanna doesn’t sleep till 1 AM or so every day just to make sure Echo falls and stays asleep.

Watching her cry to sleep every night brings wretched pain to my heart.

In fact, I can’t say for sure, but I think he’s starting to lose memory of who we are (i.e me and my family).

I told Joanna that I would like Echo put down and that he would go to Doggy Heaven.

But surprisingly enough, this 5 year old is very aware what this means.

She would cry and throw a fit when I mention the word “put down”.

I came across a hospital in LA that provides “humane euthanasia” for dogs that are suffering from long term illnesses.

It’s supposed to be painless and quick.. on top of that they have counseling for children.

I am not sure what to do. What do I do?

Each and every day, his pain grows.. and him recognizing who we are is fading fast.

Do I let him die naturally even if he’s in pain so that he can be with us longer even if he can’t recognize who we are, or do I end his pain and let him die in peace?

– Seeking Help

What do you think Margaret should do?

Leave your thoughts in the comment box below.

PS: We have an update from Margaret on what she decided for Echo’s fate.

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Showing 2 comments
  • Stephanie

    Usually I would adovcate letting the dog stay with you for as long as possible.But in this case I think for Echo letting him go will be better for everyone. I am not not saying I understand what you are feeling but I can sympthasize. Since he is having such diffculties with simple tasks and is forgetting who you are. He has lived a long and wonderful life. I’m sure as you read our advice your heart is telling you they don’t know what it is like and we may not. But that doesn’t mean we don’t care. If it were me in your place I would be like how dare you tell me to let him go. But at the end of the day I would tell your little girl that Echo was a good friend and it is her turn to be a good friend to Echo and let him go to a better place and this is not good bye forever just untill they get to play together later. I hope what ever discison you make you will find peace and comfort in knowing that you did what was right in your heart. I pray for you, your family and Echo. Much love to you all.

  • Msgt Raymond Varney (Retired USAF)

    I am so sorry for your loss of echo!! I truly feel your pain as I had to do the same for my beloved Co co. When I read your final letter the tears just flowed from my eyes and I could hardly breath with the pain in my heart. Even though I know that it was the right thing to do it doesn’t lessen the pain of loss for a loved one. My prayers are with you and your family, God bless you and Echo and may you meet again at the rainbow bridge.

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