When is it time to say goodbye?

I was hoping that I would not be faced with having to decide if and when I should put my dog to sleep. My dog, Carmina, is 15 years old and has been fighting osteosarcoma for about a year.  Now, it finally seems to be getting the better of her.  I simply cannot decide what is best.  Let her go naturally or have her put to sleep at home.  Just the words “euthanized,” and “put down” make me cringe.  On the other side, as she starts to have a harder time to breathe, it hurts me to think of her dying from lack of oxygen.

Right now, she is resting comfortably.  She still barks when I come home, she still eats like a pig, and can walk very short distances on her own.  I do have to carry her across the house and to the yard, as she get winded and weak very quickly. She lost 10 lbs since the cancer took hold and is now only 50lbs, but lifting her is still difficult.

I asked my vet for guidance, and he told me, “Go with your gut. Your gut is always right.”  That is probably the best advice anyone can give.  I take it day by day.  I watch her, then listen to my gut.  Today, it says not yet.

I don’t think my heart yet understands what my head knows, that time with my girl is short.  Probably only days.  I wish she could tell me what to do, and what she wants.  Or maybe she is, and that is what my gut tells me.  For tonight, I’ll tell her goodnight and see what the morning brings.


One thought on “When is it time to say goodbye?

  1. I ran across your blog looking for a groomer in my community called “My 4 dogs.” I read a little bit of your last blog post and this one caught my eye. We, too, are trying to reconcile the love of one of our pups with the knowledge she is becoming more debilitated almost by the day. It hurts and I don’t blame you for deciding it was time to stop writing, as it surely brings back a lot of memories. You’ll probably never see this but I just thought I’d throw it out there into the interwebz, hoping you’ll appreciate that someone else found comfort in your words. I hate the phrase “Rainbow Bridge,” but wherever these amazing souls end up, may they run without tiring, gorge without gaining, and play with abandon for eternity.

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