Putting your dog down – grief, sadness, guilt {VLOG}

Putting your dog down – grief, sadness, guilt {VLOG}

In today’s NJroute22.com VLOG – we talk about the highly sensitive subject of putting your dog down. Or any family animal for that part. But for purpose of this discussion, it will be about one of our pooches we recently sent to canine heaven.

Deciding to “terminate” life is awful. No matter how you slice or dice it.

Humans look for “justification” to some degree. Buzzphrases like “quality of life” or “happiness” are thrown around. I guess that is how we reason.

Finances also play a role, sadly enough. Caring for an elderly or severely ill dog is a costly endeavor. Some might even claim that the expenses are exorbitant, or that diagnosis’ are often inaccurate. Regardless, I can say this much – that if we were significantly wealthier, we probably would have been at the doggie doctor and veterinary hospitals a lot more. But our dog was pushing 16 years old. Even if you’re rich, is the money spent on an elderly dog smart? Would that money be better spent on a family in need instead?

How long can you wait? What if your dog was degrading consistently over the course of a year? What if they had extreme difficulty moving? Or needed almost full-time assistance? Lost their vision, hearing, and other senses? Or their ability to control bodily fluids?

Is that any way to live? For both the owner and the dog?

What do most people wait for anyway? We suppose it’s that moment when you can tell that “it is time.” And what if the animal is visibly suffering? I’ve seen a few people that kept their dogs hanging around way too long for what amount to what falls between selfish reasons and honest “hope.”

Each person has their own way of coming to that conclusion. Many factors come into play as well.

Everyone wants the family pooch to live forever. Unfortunately, that is not reality. And at some point in time – the inevitable has to be addressed. It certainly seems that many if not most dog-owners wait until the extreme end, often with life-changing medical bills as well.

A very fine line to walk. Because people for the most part are indeed compassionate towards their loyal four-legged friends. You certainly don’t see too many cold-hearted people who euthanize their pets at the first sign of trouble.

But each person has a cycle they go through before the time arrives. Some make it a major issue – others are a bit more objective about it. Many factors come into play, of course – and all are individual and unique.

Like we said in the start – choosing to effectively kill (or the sugar-coated way “put down” or “put to sleep”) your longtime friend just plain sucks. It’s a very “adult” decision and is rarely easy. And almost always sad.

In our case – we have understandable grief. And at the same time – our decision, whether it was “too soon” or not, now allows us to heal and move on as well. Yes – every single one of these rough choices is a personal one. And we can never judge anyone on how they choose what do to – nor would we ever expect anyone else to do the same to us.

In the end – it still sucks to go through that period where you miss your dog, and expect to see him or her in their usual spots. It really does feel like a part of you is missing.

Remember though, time heals all wounds.

About the author


NJroute22 (site admin) is an avid traveler along NJ Route 22 (and almost all of central New Jersey!) Family man, pet lover, and property owner who has a natural curiosity for everything around.