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i'm so sad, my 18-year old "puppy"

it's such a sad situation.
i don't know what to do.
i don't want to bring suffering to animals, i strive to prevent it.
but, sometimes, holding onto your "baby" brings them suffering..
Fifi, my 18 year old Lhasa apso, is in deterorating health.
she has terrible arthritis, causing her to limp; she's losing her teeth; losing all her body fat, so she always shivers; she's deaf; and has congestive heart failure (she's on medicine for it) and the cough (a symptom of it) is getting worse. 
i can't keep watching her suffer, but i also can't bring myself to put her down. :(
she's relatively feisty considering, and always lavishes people with "yucky" "slobbery" dog kisses, and wags her tail at the speed of light (however, it is bald of fur, and resembles a mere curved stick now...)
i know what i need to do, considering her physical health, but it's just so hard considering her still lively spirit. :(
what do i do?
I've had her since i was 8, I'm now 26, she's been a part of my life longer than not...

Oh CM, that's so tough. I've had to put down two dogs in my life, and they were each the saddest decision I ever make. Our dogs are quite young now (3 and 4), but I still dread that future day. :( *big hugs*

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oh ((((carmen))))

im sooo sorry.
. i had to put a dog down too a few years ago. it was the hardest thing i ever had to witness. i was with her when she took her last breath, i just laid on the floor w/ her and looked into her eyes. the only consolation was that i knew she was no longer in pain. it was the only humane thing to do, i realized later, after quite alot of second-guessing.

just remember that you helped your dog live a wonderful and fully loved life, whatever and whenever you decide.
((((carmen and your pup))))  :-*

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Hugs to you and Fifi. 
I have had to go through this more times than I care to remember in my life.  It never gets easier.  The most important thing that I learned a few years ago, release Fifi.  By that, I mean tell Fifi you know she is old and that is is OK if she wants to leave.  You can be crying, sobbing, calm or whatever you are feeling.  Often animals hang on because they know we aren't ready.  Tell her you love her and you will always love her but if she needs to go or wants to go, it is OK.  I have known a few instances where once a beloved companion animal has been released and knows it is OK, they go on their own with a day or two.  If they want to go. 
I have shared my life with 6 dogs (still sharing my life with Cali).  Like Fifi, Mickey was part of my life from the age of 4 until I was 21.  He was my life.  We had to put him to sleep.  My next three dogs also had to be put to sleep.  I only knew about the releasing from my holistic vet so only knew to release Teddy and Willie.  I knew when it was right.  I released Isabela but an animal communicator and my holistic vet who is also a communicator said Isabela wanted to die naturally at home but Isabela said she would understand if I made the decision to euthanize her.  Isabela died naturally at home in my arms.  She was a different situation.  She was dying of aggressive pancreatic cancer that spread to her liver.  She only lived two months after being diagnosed.  In my heart, I know I did the right thing for them all.  Had I not put the others to sleep, they would have suffered.  Isabela was in pain but I also believed the communicators because I could feel that was what she wanted.  A very spiritual death.  She died in my arms when I was sleeping.
Release Fifi and often (daily) and see how she is.  You will know. 
If she is enjoying her food, still doing things other than sleeping, maybe she wants to be around longer.  You will know after you tell her it is OK to leave. 
I have also gone through this with beloved cats and birds.  Only Boobie, my 20 year old cat died naturally in my arms at home.  So did a couple of my budgies and their deaths were also very spiritual.
Sometimes the greatest gift we can give our beloved pets is "eternal rest'. 
What ever you decide, Bach's Rescue Remedy is wonderful as it gives animals and people a sense of well being.  Gorse is for when things are overwhelming.  It helps animals find a peace while leaving this earth.
I also believe one of the greatest gifts we can give to our furred and feathered is being with them if the decision is euthanasia.  Don't let a vet convince you to leave the room.  Stay with your friend.  My vets have always put comforters or blankets on the table for this final moment.  Bring one in case your vet doesn't do that.  No one or thing should feel stainless steel. 
My heart goes out to you and I hope you make the decision that is right for Fifi.  Maybe it isn't her time right now.  Maybe it is.  When you release her, she will decide and you will know.
It was the best advice I have ever received.  I felt a sense of peace and so did my furry and feathered friends.

Hugs to you and Fifi big time.

Di

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Aw, I'm really sorry- I know how hard that is. My childhood kitty are passed away Nov. 3. She was 18 and had really bad kidney failure so my Mom had to put her down. I was in a meeting and on the break I called my Mom and talked to my kitty on the phone to say goodbye. I was so devastated I couldn't be there. We had her since I was little.
    Best of luck to you whatever decision you make. I know it's a really tough decision. In our case the vet thought it was best because our kitty was barely moving the days before she passed and the vet said that she was probably just very tired (not in the sleepy sense but old and tired)and nauseous. I think she was ready to go.  :'(I miss her so much.

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(((CM and Fifi)))

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It's a dreadfully hard decision, but I would Diver-Di - if she's still happy and getting involved in daily life, she's maybe not quite ready to go yet.  It's when the condition rules out a happy existence that it's time to let go.  Hard, hard thing to do though.  My best wishes whatever your decision.

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We went through this last summer with our dog. When I thought of the 2 scenarios (us choosing to put her out of her misery and being there when it happened, or us coming home from work and finding that she died alone) we decided to go with the former. It wasn't easy, but we brought her home and buried her in the back yard, which was nice. It was quick and painless and she was with the people she loves.

Here is a poem that I read on a friend's fridge that helped me decide. Its a bit sappy, but I like it.

PUT ME TO REST

Time to let me go my friend,
Because my life no-one can mend,
Its better to let me go this way,
Than watch me suffer night and day.

I'm happy to go, my time has come,
My quality of life is no longer fun,
Ive been so ill, so its not a bad thing,
To let me go forever resting.

Stay with me till I drift away,
Fast asleep forever I pray,
To relieve me from suffering and pain,
What more can I ask from my best friend.

Don't be sad, I'll be free from pain,
Never to be ill ever again,
I know you'll miss me being there,
But all the memories you have to share.

Thankyou for being my best friend,
And all my needs that you did tend,
Try not to be sad, try not to cry,
Now's the time to say GOODBYE.

I am sure you will make the right choice for you and your dog, what ever that may be.  :-\

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Oh, I am so sorry to hear about this...the old ones are always the sweetest, and it seems like at some point they develop the ability to live forever, they just keep on trucking through.  Unfortunately, it never works out that way (where is that damn fountain of youth?), and it's always awful to consider losing them after having them for so long.  I recently lost my 9 year old Ridgeback....she was happy and healthy until the day she wasn't and she had ruptured a mass on her spleen, causing bleeding in to her abdomen.  We lost her less than 24 hours later.  We didn't know she had the mass and it was all so sudden.  Splenic tumors grow very quickly and do not show up on bloodwork, so all of the recent testing she had had showed us nothing.  It was terrible and we could have taken her to surgery but we knew that she wouldn't do well with the hospitalization and the tumor had now ruptured and the malignant cells were throughout her abdomen, so why put her through all that?  We made the exceptionally hard decision to let her go.  That's how I have always referred to it when we talk about her, because I know she wanted to be released and we had to make the decision to not be selfish and just let her go.

I have seen dogs come to our clinic (I am a vet tech) in congestive heart failure that has gone too long and it's terrible and very difficult to get back under to control, if not impossible.  I've also unfortunately had to watch animals die of it because it was way too far advanced and it became an emergency situation.  It's an awful thing to go through for you and for them, and once they get to a certain point it becomes incredibly hard for them to breathe, causing distress.  I have always felt that if an animal can be spared a stressful death, it's the best way to go.  I am sorry to put it that way, but if you are starting to question her quality of life and think she may be getting to a point where she is uncomfortable with the fluid in her chest, it's likely getting close to letting her go.  Trust that you will be with compassionate people if you euthanize her and that she will go very peacefully.  Congestive heart failure is a hard death, and I truly wish that no one had to watch an animal leave like that. 

I hope that helps, and that however long you end up having with her is filled with good memories and lots of snuggling!

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(((CM and Fifi)))

I'm sorry, I'm in a similar situation with my dog.  She's 13 has arthritis, is blind in one eye, going blind in the other, all she wants to do is sleep, shivers all the time and has a tumor on her tummy...I only see her about 3 times a year when i go back to Cali, but it really hurts to see her that way  :(.  I don't know what to do as well, my mom says we should put her to sleep, but its so sad  :(. 

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OMG, reading this brought tears to my eyes, I can't cry, I am at work!

I lost my cat Shango, the best friend I have ever had, December 5, 2006.  I still am unclear as to why he had to die, his body got a massive infection, he filled up with puss, and he had to be euthanized.  I went crazy, no kidding.  I knew when I took him to the vet that he was going to die, I had this urge to run away, I just wanted to run away, as if that would of helped anything.  But when he died, I was the last thing he saw...I am crying now, have to stop, I miss him so much.  Since I have adopted a new kitten, but the relationship with my new kitten, and the existing cat was not like the relationship I had with Shango, it was special, I fell asleep everynight holding him like a baby, no other cat ever let me do that.  This was when I lived in Alaska, it was December so the ground was frozen, I could not bury him so I let the vet dispose of his body, I was out of my mind at the time, logical thought and reason where not with me at that time, if it had of been, I would tried to bury hime in the frozen ground.  It was hard. 

A week later I found this website where I put a memorial up for him: in Memory of Pets.  Great website by the way.

http://www.in-memory-of-pets.com/personalfamilystories.php?ID=63431

Maybe you can do something like this.  I don't have a grave that I can go visit, but I at least have this webpoage that I can visit when I am missing him.

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Sorry carmenmichelle,
I too have been down that path many times....
trying to know if and when it's the "right" time...
I always just try to look deep into their eyes...
and let them tell me if they are ready...
if they are suffering, the most humane thing, actually the most "beautiful" thing you can do for them....is help them end that suffering...
it's peaceful... it is...
if they suffer...
they will find peace...
and after your tears...
you too will find peace...

It's so hard to know at times...But just like they know when you're happy, sad, in pain, afraid, etc...
you too can read all those signs in them...

Leaving us is part of life....as painful as it sounds or seems...
you'll always remember...
always...

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I'm sorry that you're going through this.  It can be a very difficult decision.  I found these links helpful when I was in a similar situation recently:

Defining quality of life
Euthanasia: the most painful decision

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I'm so sorry to hear about your puppy. (((carmenmichelle and Fifi)))

My parents had to put down one of my childhood cats, Lucky, last week. We thought he could hang on until I got home to say goodbye, but he had stopped eating and drinking and we had to force feed the food/water to him. He had lost so much weight and just wasn't himself anymore. It was so hard because his health deteriorated so quickly (over the period of less than 3 weeks) and we felt helpless  :'(.

I'm sure whatever decision you make, your Fifi will know that you are doing what you think is best for her. Not that that makes the decision any easier...  :-\

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Im sorry that your doggie isn't doing well..it is a very hard decision , that we as pet owners face at one time or another. 

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OMG, reading this brought tears to my eyes, I can't cry, I am at work!

I lost my cat Shango, the best friend I have ever had, December 5, 2006.  I still am unclear as to why he had to die, his body got a massive infection, he filled up with puss, and he had to be euthanized.  I went crazy, no kidding.  I knew when I took him to the vet that he was going to die, I had this urge to run away, I just wanted to run away, as if that would of helped anything.  But when he died, I was the last thing he saw...I am crying now, have to stop, I miss him so much.  Since I have adopted a new kitten, but the relationship with my new kitten, and the existing cat was not like the relationship I had with Shango, it was special, I fell asleep everynight holding him like a baby, no other cat ever let me do that.  This was when I lived in Alaska, it was December so the ground was frozen, I could not bury him so I let the vet dispose of his body, I was out of my mind at the time, logical thought and reason where not with me at that time, if it had of been, I would tried to bury hime in the frozen ground.  It was hard. 

A week later I found this website where I put a memorial up for him: in Memory of Pets.  Great website by the way.

http://www.in-memory-of-pets.com/personalfamilystories.php?ID=63431

Maybe you can do something like this.  I don't have a grave that I can go visit, but I at least have this webpoage that I can visit when I am missing him.

Your tribute is beautiful.

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