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November 30, 2009
How to Kill Your Dog? - 82

 

When to put an ailing or geriatric dog down is a very personal decision dictated by many circumstances; the over-arching of which should be the quality of life of the animal. How you decide to end the dog's life is just as personal, if not more so. My question to you is: Could you shoot your own dog?

I ask this question after talking with a friend who did just that. He has known the time was coming; that his dog would only suffer through another winter if he didn't put her down. So, last week he dug a deep grave on the hillside behind his house, packed the dog onto the four wheeler (because she couldn't make the walk), took her up to the site and shot her through the chest. He buried her and when the kids came home from school he told them she had died that day. Taking the two youngsters up to the grave, they said their goodbyes and placed a cross as a marker. The boys cried. My friend did too.

For many reading this, the way he ended his dog's life might sound harsh, but you can't say he was a bad or cruel pet owner. He rescued the dog from the pound more than 15 years ago and gave it a good life running and hunting in the country. She had been with him from almost the day he returned home from college, had been by his side when the inevitable break-up with the college girlfriend came and was there when he met, married and had two little boys with his wife.

I'll be honest. There's no way I could ever shoot Kona. When my friend and I were discussing his inevitable task at hand this summer and I told him that I would have to have a vet do it, he looked at me and said:

"She's my dog. Why would I have someone else kill her?"

He said it with respect and honesty. He was trying to tell me that after 15 years together and all they had been through, he owed it to her to be the one. Why should he shirk from that duty?

It made me stop and think about the situation. There's no way I could do it, but the way he put it made my initial incredulousness seem very sanctimonious. Who am I to judge how a man goes about ending his dog's life? He was clearly affected by the act and loved the dog. In the end he found what we all seek: closure and a positive feeling of doing the right thing by ending the dog's life, as well as the manner in which it was carried out; she didn't suffer, he was the one to do it, their memories remained and she wouldn't face another crippling winter.

I'd just like to know what everyone out there thinks about a man shooting his own dog when the time comes to put it down. Could you do it? Or would you, like me, have to take it to the vet and pay someone else to do it for you?

Comments (82)

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from Sydney_deerhunter11 wrote 2 weeks 4 days ago

Hi my names Sydney. I'm 18 from Mississippi and yes I'm a girl and 3 days ago I had to put down my first dog ever. It was a Redbone name Layla I got the day I was born. She was 8 years old and healthy as can be. I took her with 3 of my buddies on a late night coon hunt and in my area we have cougars every now and then and it was just one of those random nights where the local cougar was around and she heard him coming before any of us did and took off after the beast. We couldn't figure out what it was and took off after her. By the time we got there shed already tried to tree the animal and failed. the cougar was going after her and I felt like a helpless mother as we watched in horror. We shot at the animal ever clear shot we could but nothing hit, as we were to scared to hit Layla. After 4 miserably shots we finally clipped the cougar and it took off. But it sadly had won and taken a chunk outta my sweet baby girl. She was bleeding incredibly and howling so I did the hardest thing I'll ever do in my life and I kissed my sweet baby told her I'm sorry over and over again and shot her quick and neat. We called my parents after and buried her under the first tree I ever hunter with her. I don't think I'll have a new dog for a very long time but shooting a dog is something I hope no one has to ever do unless it's needed. I have to agree with people though, I wouldn't want anyone else taking my best friend outta his or her misery when a dog is so loyal to a owner. It just wouldn't seem right. (Btw we did find the cougar and he's currently being made into a pretty little trophy)

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from James Kirk wrote 13 weeks 3 days ago

I shot my dog today. I didn't want to but he was suffering. We took a walk and at the end I shot him in the head where the diagrams say is the best place. I shot him again in the back of the head just in case.

I live in the country so I don't have the issues people living in cities and suburbs have. From what I've read a head shot properly placed stops the brain. There isn't time to feel pain.

It's a hard thing to kill an animal you love but its kinder than letting them suffer. It takes something out of you. You never forget it. I know this because I had to put down another of our dogs a few years ago. You pay a cost to do it.

But if you don't pay that cost you pay a different one when someone else does it. When something you love dies it hurts. At least I can tell myself that I ended his suffering.

But if you're thinking about doing it, do some research first. A body shot is not the right way to do it. The animal will suffer. There are diagrams on the web showing where to place the shot. Doing it correctly is something you owe your pet and yourself. You don't want to be haunted by images of pain, no matter how brief. A head shot is instantaneous.

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from James Kirk wrote 13 weeks 3 days ago

I shot my dog today. I didn't want to but he was suffering. We took a walk and at the end I shot him in the head where the diagrams say is the best place. I shot him again in the back of the head just in case.

I live in the country so I don't have the issues people living in cities and suburbs have. From what I've read a head shot properly placed stops the brain. There isn't time to feel pain.

It's a hard thing to kill an animal you love but its kinder than letting them suffer. It takes something out of you. You never forget it. I know this because I had to put down another of our dogs a few years ago. You pay a cost to do it.

But if you don't pay that cost you pay a different one when someone else does it. When something you love dies it hurts. At least I can tell myself that I ended his suffering.

But if you're thinking about doing it, do some research first. A body shot is not the right way to do it. The animal will suffer. There are diagrams on the web showing where to place the shot. Doing it correctly is something you owe your pet and yourself. You don't want to be haunted by images of pain, no matter how brief. A head shot is instantaneous.

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from jbow wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

I am at that crossroads now. Yesterday my old dog couldn't get up from her doghouse. She has been going downhill since last summer. The house is heated by a lighting fixture and has cedar shavings. I think she was slipping on the shavings and was right under the lamp. I heard her barking and went to see. Got her up and out and had to help her up a few more times. Yesterday was the first time I have had to help her up except for once when she got her foot tangled in something. She is 15 or 16 yrs old, she was (like almost all of our pets) a rescue. She is a border collie mix and very shy. She really does not even like for me to pet her, she has always been that way. I can pet her but she always shies if I try to come in from above, I have to let her sniff my hand first and forget anyone else petting her. So... I was prepared to do what I consider to be best for her and shoot her in the back of the head BUT my wife will not have it. I have to continue living with my wife so I reckon I will be calling someone. I just HATE thinking that her last moments will be spent in fear and anxiety from having to be somewhere she does not want to be. I will try to find someone who will come here but I don't know. I am 61 and have back problems but I still dig my own holes if it takes all day. I live in the county and have never heard of any law against burying your pet, how absurd and arrogant. Some laws just go too far IMO, I would bury my dog or cat no matter where I lived, unless it was an apartment, condo, or something like that, even if I had to do it at night. I don't recommend that for you, I'm just saying what I think. I guess I was nervous about shooting the dog but felt it was the right thing, the responsible thing, to do in this circumstance... but since the wife intervened, it is moot. Is it just me or does anyone else feel like you are a 19th century man living in a 21st century world? I better get to digging...

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from toyn2much wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

1st post. Found this site because Im trying to find the intestinal fortitude to put down my 15 yr GSP. We are both sitting here on the couch crying.. her from pain, me from saddened pain. Hole is dug... time is ticking down. I wish this on no man. I have 5 dogs... next one is 12 yr. All are/ have been faithful hunting campanions!

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from 1outdoorguy wrote 2 years 14 weeks ago

I just put down my friend's 13 year old lab. I put one of my own dogs down a few years ago. Much harder then. Both times I had a sense of respect and obligation to the dogs to end their suffering as quick and painless as possible. Like turning off a light switch. My friend lives in the suburbs while I live in the country. It is a sad situation whether you use a vet or not. I would certainly not criticize someone for using a vet, but it is disheartning to hear of people criticizing those of us who to choose to end our pets suffering without the use of a vet.

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from death wrote 2 years 14 weeks ago

if you kill you dog you kill god look
at god and dog

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from John Davidson wrote 2 years 26 weeks ago

Shooting a "friend" in the head is bulls!z!. Why any of you think you have the right to shoot someone who has been a loyal friend to you and loved you. Dog or human. In all reality dogs are just small children. Could your not give a little respect and have a painless death? If you have shot a family pet you are trash, the lowest of the low. You are a roach. And why would you shoot your dog in the chest anyway? Just to cause more pain? How sick. HumanS HAVE NO RIGHT TO KILL ANY LIfE FORM. It IS MURDER.

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from Cmethroughtoo wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

and to Jmor777 ..... If the impending death of the first dog was stressful on the drive to the vets office for the dog, wouldn't you take that as a sign that the dog "Didn't want to die yet?" I kinda see death as a When it's your time, it's your time kinda thing. It obviously wasn't the dogs time or it would have died naturally. Or dogs will give up on their own instead of fighting to stay alive....even with as much pain as they're in, or suffering they're going through....If they're not ready for one reason or another they will fight to hang on to life.
I kinda believe that if God was ready for the animal, he would take it on his own. So yes, there is conflicting feelings on this matter from all of us. We all have our own belief on this subject.
At times I feel we as the owner have no choice, the dog is our responsibility to take care of it, and cater to it's needs and if it can't walk, or isn't eating anymore, or is biting people, yes those may be reasons to take matters into your own hands and speed up the process of sending it home. But if it appears in pain or discomfort but can still get around and is still eating...maybe not so much. Because it's still alive....there must be a reason behind that, God isn't taking it just yet....Maybe that is reason enough to just make the dog as comfortable as possible and just let nature take it's course.
And besides there is really NO proof what a dog is feeling. Only theory. The vet only assumes the dog is feeling this or feeling that, but the fact of the matter is, the vet can not insert his spirit into that animals body to say exactly what the dog is feeling or going through. He can only make an assumption based on the way the dog is acting. So sometimes even though a dog is acting in pain or appears sick, it might be best to just wait it out. Because ya know, when your time is up you will die on your own. That's the fact of life. We as humans tend to play God instead of letting the real God handle what he has planned. Ya know what I mean? In other words the animal is still here for a reason...It's not it's time. And God isn't ready for it to die yet.

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from Cmethroughtoo wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

I don't know about anyone else, but I know that I couldn't personally take my beloved pets life, I'm the soft hearted kind where I try to take in all neighborhood strays, cat or dog, because I can't stand to see them suffer or be hungry.
In the event of it being time to go home, (which thankfully I haven't had to experience that heartache yet) I feel it would be more peaceful with the animal being shot with a needle to go to sleep followed by being injected with something that stops the heart RATHER than sticking a cold metal barrel to the temple and firing a bullet to take it's life, and watching it fall over, or if it was already told to lay down - watching it slump over and blood coming out of it's injury. I wouldn't want that to be my last memory of man's best friend. Or in some very rare but, very plausible instances.... the dog NOT dying instantly after being shot. And you are therefore making it suffer more, do you know how bad it hurts to be shot, let alone in the head? in most cases not. But then now comes the time if that happens, you must shoot it again, so by you taking it in your own hands to take it's life it is now in serious pain till the next or next few bullets finally does the trick. talk about a very bad memory....the animal not dying after the first shot! If that doesn't come to mind every time you think of the dog, I don't know what would. So yes, I am all for having it laid down on something soft and slowly and comfortably falling asleep from an injection while you soothingly pet it and gently sing or talk to it. That to me is 100 times more humane. I can to some extent agree with those who feel "It is your animal, it is your job to perform the task of taking it's life" or "it's your dog, why have someone else take it's life?" But you are still there by it's side comforting it while the "time you never wanted it to come to" is being done, but you don't need the last memory of your dearly departed friend being that of you 'taking the life that you was responsible for keeping alive all them years'. Right? Wouldn't you like your last memory of your ill- fated friend to be it falling peacefully asleep? In your arms or otherwise by your side while you talked to it and or soothingly petted it? Isn't that all our own wishes for ourselves is to die peacefully in our sleep?
Because I can't picture one of you NOT begging for your life when someone (a loved one or not) sticks a gun to your head. Am I right? Or not. That's kinda no different as a woman who's husband is holding a gun pointed at her, she's begging him to put it down...and she's loved him (the guy holding a gun to her head) all the years they were together. Just the same as that dog loves the person holding a gun to their head, only difference is....they can't beg you to put it down.

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from Jmor777 wrote 3 years 27 weeks ago

The drive to the vet to have my dog put down was a terrible experience because my dog sensed we were going to kill her. She could sense from our grief that this was the end for her and her grief and stress level was clearly visable. Bad, bad memory. When the time came for my shepherd to be put down, we carried her out to the back yard, and next to a prepared grave, fed her big chunks of turkey until it was time. She never suspected a thing. It was quick with no suffering. She never went through the grief of knowing it was her time, and the turkey was a final treat for her, and even though she couldn't walk, was still enjoying her rare treat. I have been criticized and condemned for putting the shepherd down this way. Strange how firing squads are (were) used to execute humans, and that is OK, just don't kill your dog this way, or you're seen as inhuman.

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from Buddy Hossn wrote 3 years 33 weeks ago

Two Goldens. 14-year old brothers. Six weeks ago we kept smelling something dead, checking the attic and eaves. Then we discovered it was one of the boys. Within a week he couldn't get up or use his back legs. Took him out to the 50-acre farm where it all started, and put him down. The breeder injected him with a morphine-like drug to make him loopy, then we dug a hole by the pond next to where his mama was buried, lowered him in a blanket and she handed me the .45 --I wasn't expecting to be the one. I thought she would do what she had done so many times before on a farm. To the back of his skull. One shot. He instantly went limp. Done. I was OK until my wife got home and freaked out. For weeks. Then cop friends (K9s) and others berated me for being heartless. Now his brother needs to be put down, but HERE'S the key: Ran into my vet and HE told me and the Mrs. a gunshot is one of the 3 BEST ways to euthanize. He told us to go to the American Veterinary Association website where you can read it for yourself. The bullets ends the electrical connections so fast there isn't TIME to send a signal of pain. I bawled my eyes out right there, and while losing my 2nd pup two days from now won't be any easier, I won't torture myself that I'm some kind of monster.

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from pb22455fh wrote 3 years 48 weeks ago

I put our family dog down this morning. He was in good health, extremely loyal to me and my wife, but he would in a very unpredictable manner bite everyone else. On previous occasions, I have taken the family pets to the vets but in his case, I decided to do what was best for him, not what was best for me. He hated going to the vets, especially hated wearing a muzzle. I wanted his last moments to be happy, in the back yard.

He never knew. Shotgun, back of the head. Gruesome yes, but I was doing this for him not for me and this was instant.

Haaard for me do it, but now I am strangely at peace.

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from GoodSense wrote 4 years 3 days ago

A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.Proverbs 12:10

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from GoodSense wrote 4 years 3 days ago

Mortsotruk didn't choose his words so eloquently as most everyone here has. but at least he didn't judge anyone unfit to be an uncle, or a father. I know that one has to choose for himself what the best way to cope is, weather to turn off your mind, in hopes of turning off your heart too; until you can do what you have to do. Or to go lay on your bed and sob like a baby in prayer for the direction and strength you need to cope with giving up a fiend that has ALWAYS looked to you as his dad. I have been researching taking my 13 yr old dog's life myself. Here's my thinking... I don't want anyone judging me for my decision. He's my dog, and he knows it. It's my choice, and I will be the one who will ALWAYS have to live with it the best I can. All my dog's worries will be FOREVER over. If i think about the cop that gave me a $150 ticket yesterday for not wearing my seat-belt, I get angry all over again. It's not good to keep on thinking about something you are trying to put behind you. I know that when we confess our sins God remembers it no more. It's us that cant let go of the things we have done that we regret. Not letting an unpredictable roller-coaster ride of emotions take to down paths you know to be false is definitely wise. sometimes you can't trust what you feel; you just have to go with what you know to be right. Your feelings can run away with themselves if not put in check. Everyone has two sides to them; if they nurture the beast in themselves too much, and ignore the love in there heart, they will become calloused, and hard-hearted. That's just a fact of life. I don't think animals are equal to humans. humans obtained the knowledge of good and evil at the price of stealing it. Now humans love to decide for themselves what is right and wrong from a corrupted mind with a distorted darkened view. It's humans that are born with there backs toward God. not the animals. The animal kingdom is just along for the ride in a fallen world. I am glad that Dogs have unconditional love. I am glad that it is said "the more people I meet the more I like my dog" in fact I think at times I like my dog better than I like myself. It's hard to imagine how someone could love us unlovable creatures at our worst. We all have done things we are ashamed to speak of in our lives. There was a time when God looked down upon man, saw that his thoughts were evil continually, and regretted that He had ever made man. Yet He did what He had to do, He took in some mutts at a huge price. His own price. Yet we never stop judging each other, and lifting our own selves up. It reminds me of a used car sells-man, who finds everything wrong with your trade in, and can never stop saying such good things about the lemon he's trying to sell you. Giving up a dog is the right thing to do if he is suffering. Keeping him living in pain so that we don't have to grieve for our loss is selfish. Sometimes we are so blinded by our selfish emotions that we can't see whats right and wrong. A fool gives full vent to anger, but a wise man quietly HOLDS it back. Ever noticed how people get so angry over emotional topics? Emotions can run away with themselves and take good judgment with them. Anger is to judgment what stomping around in the mud in a stream is to the clear water above.

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from only1cornerstone wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Humanely. It refers to the attributes of a person. I love my dog. I wish he hadn't bitten three people. The last one was my mother-in-law whom I love dearly. Scout has become unpredictable. Yes, these circumstances are different from the sick and dying examples that precede it, but I am still talking about taking my own dogs life. He is an animal that I adore. But I am not his peer. I am not his dad or his brother. I am his steward. Appointed by God to take charge of this animal. This beautiful dog. From cradle to grave. And yes this is easy to talk about because Scout is asleep at home right now and our walk into the woods isn't planned until tomorrow. I don't know what kind of heartache awaits tomorrow. Yet I know that I do not go alone. Many great men before us have carried this burden and I pray that I am up to the task. Scout has certainly carried his end of the bargain as faithful dog - I'll try and keep my end up as faithful steward.

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from Upcountry wrote 4 years 4 weeks ago

Some of the comments listed are on the edge of whacky, yet others are clearly well thought out and sincere. This discussion helped me come to a conclusion. My family loves that dog, but she is now going fast with seizures and loss of mobility within days. I brought her to my kindly Vet to assess/put down, he concurred with my poor prognosis. He, however, chose not to put down. I would rather she die comfortably in our home, in her sleep, as she does not appear to be in pain, just lethargic. I walked into the library to find her laying quietly on the couch, yesterday. In 14 years, she has never jumped up on the furniture without a great deal of coaxing, and never alone. I don't know how she accomplished this feat, as she has lost the use of her back legs and one front, after yesterday's event. I have put down many animals throughout the years, for science and in farming. I have grown to love her for her companionship, and respected her for her personality with other animals and people. I feel it is my responsibility to be with her. I chose to relax her with pill medication, then introduce ether as I gently comfort her. With all the blood I have seen, I did not want to have it as my last memory. Those who choose the clean brain shot, I understand, and believe it is humane, as well. I just wanted a peaceful sound, as she was a gentle one, rather than a sharp report. Good luck to all who choose. It is what is in your heart.

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from charlie elk wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

mortsotruk,
Your thought process is totally alien to me. Thankfully. I have reverence for all animals including the ones I kill in the process of a hunt. Your disregard of life makes me very happy I do not know you, I feel sorry for those who would call you friend, son, father, uncle or otherwise rely on you. You apparently have the ability to turn your back in the most callous of ways.
Bo's prescription that you are in dire need of counseling is right; please seek it without delay.

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from Bo wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

mortsotruk, never have I seen such a calloused, insensitive response to any post on this site. I have killed many animals in my tenure here on earth. None were killed lightly, or with the calloused disregard for life that you seemingly possess as you can joke in the manner you have. Having seen pets of mine over the years losing their time on earth has not changed my regard for the living creatures that inhabit our lives.
True, losing a dog is nothing to the pain of losing a child, I have done both. But to think that one can take the attitude that you display, leads me to believe that you, sir, are in dire need of counseling.

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from mortsotruk wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

This might sound awful, but you just have to detach yourself from the dog. Don't look at it as your dog, just look at it as some stupid useless creature. Then it will be easy to cave its' head in, stab it, shoot it, run it over, drown it, etc (the list goes on). Hope this helps.

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from WckedMidas wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

My dog had intestinal blockage back in november . it came down to ether putting her down or begging everyone i new for 900 vet bill. The day befor i planed to take her down the woods and put her down my girlfriends parents and one of my good friends loaned me the money. Shes happy as can be and healthy now. I cried almost everynight that week thinking about how bad it was gonna suck to have to put her down. My fatrhr offerd to do it for me but i insisted if it had to happen it was gonna be me. Im so gratefull for friends helping me. Im a firm belever if its your pet and you love it its your decission to do wich ever makes u and the animal feal best . Be it doing it your self or haveing the vet do it. its always better then makeing the animal suffer. Im sorry for my grammer public schooling sucks

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from billy36278 wrote 4 years 31 weeks ago

This is a real hard thing to do, to kill your friend. I recentially had to put down one of my dogs. I rescue dogs and up to the other day I had 11. I now have 10. One of my male dogs 125 lbs I rescue him and his brother from a shelter. They were to be put down the next day and they were only 4 1/2 months old. After almost 14 months later, one was trying to kill one of my 6 month old pups for no reason. I tried everything to get him to stop but a week later he almost killed one so I had to put him down, I held him told him I loved him and shot him. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. The vets here won't put a dog down if its healthy. I had to save my other 10 dogs. He was a great loving dog up to the last 3 weeks.My heart hurts real bad but I had to do it. May God foegive me..

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from phhunter wrote 4 years 32 weeks ago

okay, we all agree that sometimes a dog needs to be put down. But I hunt with my dogs. Some of them have delivered over 1000 birds to my hand, I could never shoot that dog that trusts me. When I have had to put a dog down at the vet's office, they let me hold the dog, let me take it home and let me bury it. The cost is not $200. Find a new vet! Tears are always shed but the thought of shooting that dog seems a little barbaric.

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from Ruckweiler wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

kolt30:
Sorry it came to that. You have my profoundest condolences. At least he's not suffering now.

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from kolt30 wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

had to take my dads dog to the vet yesterday to get put down for him cause he couldn't do it. had a stroke this summer and like the dog in the article was too old and would be suffering through another winter. cryied the whole way to town and the whole time in the clinic. removing one of your family members from your life is not an easy thing to do

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from Ted Greene wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

I respect anyone who makes the decision to take their pet to the vet to be put down... it is a humane and decent way for the animal to go. I also respect anyone who makes the decision to put the animal down themselves as long as they do it in a fashion that is quick and painless. I have experienced both ways of putting down a loved family dog. Honestly, I cried so hard at the vet that i had the staff in tears. On the other hand, in putting my other dog down myself...it was hard, but strangely, in this instance, I did not cry...I don't know why, but in her passing,I felt a sense of relief that she went fast and with dignity without the fear of being someplace she didn't ever like going to. In this case, I used a .45 shotshell at the base of the skull... not so much as a flinch. Not sure why I had such different reactions, because in both instances, the dogs were beloved family pets for many years.

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from Ruckweiler wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

Drjab:
Similar to the meds given to humans in pre-op, couldn't the animal be given something to relax them so that the trip to the vet isn't such a fearful event, if that's a concern?

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from Ruckweiler wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

Folks, isn't amazing the affect these friends, our dogs, have upon us? They ask nothing of us and return everything with pure love. They are God's gift to the world, I reckon.

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from 430 wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

Wow! What a response to your article. I too love my dogs and currently find myself in the position to make this all too difficult decision. A few months ago, my wife and I found a growth on my dog's under belly. After a trip to the vet and several hundred dollars later, the vet, very professional as he was, stated that he believes he got all the cancer. He called it a big word that I can't recreate, but in short, he had to take out my dog's left kidney. Well, yesterday I noticed another lump and plan to take Sergeant back to the vet. I pray it is just scar tissue but fear for the worse. Sergeant, my dog, was my wife's companion when I was over seas with the US Army and he kept her great company and gave her comfort. He is an obediant dog and was our child until we were able to have one. Granted, the love we feel for our child is so immense we cannot explain, but we still love our dog and cherish his companionship. My wife is distraught and I pray that I can carry through with what I have to do if need be. Oh well, I just had to get that out, thanks.

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from Jordan13 wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

If a dog is suffering I kill it

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from rodger parkhurst wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

Wow Brian you hit a cord with everyone. Good call Divine I thought this was the cover pic from national lampoon. I have a very strange admiration for those of you that can take this matter into your own hands. I freely admit there is no way I could do that to any of my dogs the bond is too strong(there are several of my nieghbor's mutts I would think about). My vet took care of my last black lab I cried lake a baby for 2 days. The vet (a friend) was good enough to let me take the body home as it is ilegal where we live. The bill covered the shot $50 otherwise it would have been over $300 for disposal. One thought I have for those that are saving a dollar what would the fine be in your area if gosh forbid the ASPCA got involved?

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from Drjab wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

After reading many of these post, I felt like I need to comment from a Vets. prespective. I respect the decision to euthanize you own pet and like many of you felt that it was my responsibility. I did with euthanasia solution however. For those that chose to shoot their own dog, I think that it needs to be well thought out. A chest shot is not a good choice. I have seen multiple cases of gun shots wounds to the chest, not all fatal, and the potential for suffering is too high in my opinion. Second, for those paying $200 for euthanasia, I suspect that that fee also include taking care of the body. For me, that means cremation, which unfortunately is expensive and only getting more so. Pet owners are not reqiured to have their dog cremated, and are free to take their dogs body home for burial, but for most of us living in urban areas, this is not an option.

In the end, the most important thing is quality of life over quanity of life, and that when the time comes, each dog is sent on his or her way, humanely and with respect.

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from huntinnut wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

Wow. This article couldn't have come at a better time. My family black lab Speedy has developed extremely bad arthritis in his hips and cateracts in both eyes. My dad, sister, and I have been contemplating putting him down. Being I'm 18 and my sister is 15, this is the only dog she can ever remember, so of course it is a touchy subject. But this has opened my eyes, Speedy is always afraid to go to the vet. I don't want our family dog and hunting companion to leave this world scared and shaking. Thanks OutdoorLife

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from snshdydm wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

Our beloved family dog Jack is going to be 14 years old in 5 days. He has cateracts real bad, is almost deaf-except when the can opener runs, and has had issues relating to his back. The vet said he has also suffered a stroke recently. For years, with much bravdo, I have spoken about "doing the deed" when the times comes--after reading many of the heartfelt stories I just don't know. I know it will be time when I can no longer get a hearty tail thump out of the old boy when I come home from hunting to tell Him of the days events (the wife stopped asking me about hunting years ago so now I mainly share with my buddy Jack) Not looking forward to the day when I have to decide to send him HOME to the land of slow rabbits and even slower game birds. He was never really trained to hunt either one but always made me a better shooter because of his flat out speed!!!

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from jleigh44 wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

I've owned dogs all my life since I was five years old and I am now 54 so I've owned many dogs in that time. I have lost dogs to accidents and to old age. I have thought about maybe shooting them but these dogs are also my friends and part of the family So, I have always taken them to the vet to be put to sleep and I've all ways cried when I lost my dog.

My Irish Setter that I own now is 9 yrs old and is having back problems I expect that I will soon have to take her in so she will no longer have to suffer since the meds she is on are not working very good.

I have hunted almost all of my life too and know how to handle guns. I have never had to shoot one of my dogs nor have I ever pointed a gun (loaded or not) at my dogs. It is the number one commandment in Remingtons, IDPA and everone else rules to NEVER POINT A GUN AT ANYTHING YOU DON'T INTEND TO DESTROY. I know of no one who has been accidentally shot when that rule has been followed.

The photo at the top of this blog is not only wrong in showing poor gun handling it is also tasteless. The dog in this picture also knows it's wrong.

I invite a lot of people to go bird hunting with me and those who don't watch where their muzzles are pointed are not asked to come again.

For those who don't agree you can go hunting with Dick Cheney.

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from DivineStrake wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Everyone who's up-in-arms over the chosen image, have you ever seen this: http://lh6.ggpht.com/weavernote/SHxCiq3zCSI/AAAAAAAAAFY/dH3uGOS28E8/nati...

Pretty sure the pic above is just a spoof on a classic cover of a satirical magazine.

Lighten up, already.

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from MTPete wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

When it came time for my lab mix Daisy to leave us we went to the vet. I lost a child PJ 20 years ago and let me say this: Losing my son was more difficult than Daisy but, losing that dog was hard too. A lot of emotions I experienced were the same. Just as I held my son when he died, Daisy was held by my wife and I as the vet administered the drugs that put her to sleep. I hunt and I do shoot all manner of game. But, I just couldn't bear to shoot one of my pets. I have an 11 yr old husky Sundance that is getting older and a two year old lab mix Remington who will probably be my last pet and all of my dogs have been rescued from shelters. This decision is a personal choice and for some folks pets are like children, some folks don't have kids but have pets they treat like kids. Just wanted to share my thoughts.

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from EWG wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I can't believe that after all of the expenses incurred in owning our dogs, and happily so I add, that we gripe about the cost of putting them down at the Vets office. Just because we own them does not make it the right thing to do in thinking up ways to save money in shooting them(hope you don't have to do it more than once), gassing them or whatever other idiotic way is devised. The vet is the only way to go. It is so fast and painless. I wish I had that option when its my time. If you have a special place where you would like to put the dog down, just ask your vet. You would be surprised at the Vets willingness to acodmodate your wishes. Nock off the smoking, and a few fast food trips and you have all kinds of $ available.

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from TSB3 wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

To jleigh44,

You're the idiot, however you are right about one thing. We are people who know how to handle guns, thats why our kids would never have a gun to point at a dogs head. I think the picture is very effective.

To all those who have lost a pet, I understand, I have cried over the death of a dog. However, the death of a dog is no different then the death of any other animal. Pets are not people, and they don't have a soul. Dogs and cats can be replaced, people can't.

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from birdhunter wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Folks, Dogs are wonderful I've had 5 great ones as hunting pards, and when the time comes they deserve the best you can give them. But like others have said an animals death (however sad) can't be compard to a human.

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from Daniel Ettinger wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Having paid $125.00 to watch a dog suffer from the humane euthanasia from a vet,I vowed never again. I have found a real humane method. I laid my dog down in my lap. I took a clean shop cloth and liberally coated it with starting fluid which is mostly ether. It took a few minutes and only a minor effort to put my dog under and hold him there until his heart stopped. No pain, no suffering, no fear. I will never send a dog to the Vet to die again and this way eliminates having to shoot one which is really hard to do in the city limits.

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from jleigh44 wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

To Outdoor Life, You guys are the biggest idiots in the world for posting that picture on the web. I breaks the first rule of safe handling of a fire arm "Never point a gun at anything you don't intend to destroy." NOT FOR EVEN A DUMB ASS PICTURE!!!

What if some kid looks at this picture and decides to just pretend to do the same think with Dad's gun. It must be OK to point a gun at my dog or maybe my sister or friend " I saw this the same thing on Outdoor Lifes website."

I am so pissed at you knuck heads for showing this photo for all to see there is no excuse for this on a site run by a group who should know good gun handling habits.

If you agree add your comments and let them know their readers are smarter than the editors of Outdoor Life.

From someone who know how to handle guns.

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from TRIPTRIGGER3 wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Take it from someone who has been there several times, but hesitated once & refused to put SAM (Locally Famous/Big Black Lab)down from cancer, believing I could keep him from suffering (shots every morning & evening, meds,vitamins, etc,I refused to accept the truth), came home from work & was told he had passed away, & he had howled & cried for hours before dying. He was the best dog I had ever had & was truly a devoted & dedicated friend, & I had no right to put him through that. I wanted to believe I was doing it all for him, & he was not really that close to dying, but in reality, it was just me in denial. I know it would have been more humane to take him to our farm one last time, & put him down quickly. At least I would have been there with him & he wouldn't have had to suffer. I could have taken him to the vet, (who by the way, had hunted with us & was even the one who told me SAM was sick with cancer), but I couldn't bring myself to take him to someone else to put him down, regardless of the cost. I will always regret what happened to SAM, & will never make the same mistake again. When it comes to animals, they depend on us for everything, including a peaceful (non-suffering) death, & a well placed bullet, leaves no pain.

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from BeardogRed wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Actually I cremate them myself. It sure takes a lot of wood and stainless steel screen! Light my fire and It sure is a funeral pyre! Definitely a passing of their soul for me to be able to always feel their spirit.

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from BeardogRed wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Used to be able to do it, but not anymore. I go to the Vet. Much easier on my soul. I do get them cremated and save the ashes!

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from jwd2 wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I understand bigjake's thoughts about a dog's death being trivial compared to putting your child in the ground. I had to do this to my son and hunting buddy. However, the euthanasia of our bird dogs past and present seems even more painful than before. I guess another "family" member's death, and the loss of another part of my son's life, makes the dogs' deaths seem monumental.

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from Warmil wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I sit here with tears in my eyes as I write and think about how I have put down strays and other animals both my own and friends over the years. It never bothered me until I recently had to put down my 3yo Maltese. It was the hardest thing I've ever done and I cried like a baby. He was suffering after being struck by a car and it had to be. I dread the day when I have to do my little Shih Tzu but I will because I love her too much and wouldn't want something going wrong. It's my duty to her.

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from badaddidude wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

When I first read the title of this article, I assumed the Author was being sarcastic, something along the lines of what stupid things one could do to hurt or kill their dog unintentionally.
Putting down ones best friend is something nobody wants to contemplate but sadly has to be done.

Bluntly put, the Author's choice of title sucks.

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from Brian Lynn wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Hey all, check out the front page of OL.com and vote in the poll dealing with this topic.

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from Codfather wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

As a veterinarian I have to say that most people do not know how to kill an animal humanely. I am an avid hunter and always go for the clean kill but I recognize that I am never going to shoot an animal with gun or bow that doesn't know it's been hit. I feel this is still better than what nature has in store but could never shoot one of my hunting dogs even though I could get a brain shot that would end things quickly. I have always, for my clients and myself, used a sedative/tranquilizer combination first, then a barbiturate injection. If you are going to shoot your pet draw a line between the right eye and left ear, then draw a line betweeen the left eye and right ear. Hold the muzzle perpendicular to the intersection of these lines. Use a hollow point or better yet a shotgun to be sure the brain is inactivated on impact.
I don't know what each veterinarian charges but to complain about money in this very bad situation is petty. If you don't agree with the charge shop around. I have to say that every euthanasia takes an emotional toll on myself and my staff so to think it should be cheap is ridiculous. I don't charge $200 (or $100) but I don't blame those who do. If you think about how much it costs versus how many years you have had you're dog (how much per year) even the most expensive veterinarian is cheap. None of us are rich, most UAW teamsters make more than we do. Certainly most plumbers and electricians.

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from toroscope wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I had to have my faithful Dobie, Caesar, put down two weeks ago. When we "rescued" him, he was a bundle of wrinkles and a very friendly pup. As he grew, we had no idea he was a mutant, and although a full blooded Doberman, he reached Great Dane length and height and averaged 150 pounds as an adult dog. He was a terrific friend and companion.

Two weeks ago (at a little more than 10 years of age), his back legs gave out completely (he had lived with hip dysplasia for a few years) and he was never going to stand up on his own again. My wife and I had to use a blanket to lift him into the bed of my truck and then called local vets but none would agree to come out to the truck to euthenize him when we arrived; I didn't want to make him suffer more trying to move him from truck to "inside" the vet office.

We finally found a mobile vet who came to our house to take care of business. I have to admit, my wife was tougher than I was and sat with him in the final moment; I had to leave when the vet started looking for veins. We both ended up crying but he is now in a better place, chasing squirrels and cats with no pain or loss of function in his legs. With him, I chose NOT to do it myself but if we had been living way out in the country where there was no mobile vet, I know that in the situation that existed, I would have been able to relieve his pain but would have ended up grieving even harder than now.

- Dan

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from Doc Brasel wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I am 54 yrs old and shooting my old dog Jack remains the hardest thing I have ever done. Bocephus is 15 yrs old now and his day is coming. Those in between have been handled in various ways but these two are special. I think what I will do this time is have the vet come to the house, give him a sedative to calm him and then hook him up with the real thing but allow me to actually give the shot. Bo is a great freind and he deserves to have his death be an act of love, not mercy.

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from wgiles wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I have had to put several dogs down over the years. I will take them to the vet, if they are injured and might survive. If I am certain that they are suffering and there is no chance of recovery, I will try to end their lives as quickly and painlessly as possible. It's not a pleasant task, but I will do it. Death is part of life and we can't avoid it.

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from RemsDad wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I have been present for 2 of 3 of our dogs at the Vet's when it came to be time for them to go. It isn't easy, it flat out stinks as an experience. But I think that as pet owners we owe it to our companions to be there and to make it as peaceful as possible. I too held them in my arms and spoke with them while they received their injection. The serenity on their faces as they went down replaced the look of the pain that they had been going through. I have a young dog now, he's a 15 month old Lab, already been told by our Vet. that he's lucky we have him, as we have already had to repair his knee where others may have decided to put him down in favor of another healthier dog because I bought him to hunt with, and he may not be physically able to as he also has elbow dysplasia. This is not looking for sympathy, not is it done to brag. It is to illustrate the love we can develope for a pet in a short amount of time. I'm going to enjoy him while I can, as long as he can be around without hurting him, yes I will get another pup as the breeder is going to "replace him" because of a warranty, but nothing will change the bond I have with that darn dog! To those who can shoot their dogs? It's your choice and I will not hold it against anyone, it's just something I can't do....I guess like the other guy earlier, I'm just an old softy too.

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from Big O wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

First off sir, the photo you used is HORRIBLE/HORRIFIC !
I had to stop crying before I could write this. (YES I AM A MAN, YES I MISS MY DOGS !)
I've gone "both" routes of this and NEITHER is a great thing.
My Min-Pin is 5 now( was abandoned/starving when I brought hin home). He's my wife's first dog and she is SCARED TO DEATH of when that time may come.
She was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor recently and was GLAD that it might take her before her "milo" died.
She's getting better, and I've made "arraingment's" with our vet to take the shot to our home and give this "gift" at home with her at his side.
As I said it's NEVER easy, PERIOD !

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from jfh wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

The blog title and photo are both pretty crude. Vets in my area charge $35 to euthanize pets. The charge does NOT go up if it's a larger breed dog, so $200 to put a lab to sleep is a sign to look for another vet. When to euthanize and how to euthanize are really personal decisions, especially when you truly care for your pet. To shoot a pet seems violent and crude - not something I could ever do. It would bother me for years after.

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from GerryBethge wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Hey Brian---

This is an incredibly, incredibly tough topic and one that I had to deal with just last fall with my turkey dog, Jake.
Frankly, many of my hunting buddies suggested that I 'take care of business' on my own. I agreed wholeheartedly, but could not find it within myself to do it. Whereas other hunting buddies volunteered to help out, I decided that going through a vet might be the best option. Thankfully, my vet was/is a hunter and understood my connection with Jake, making it all a bit easier. No matter how you slice it, however, it was a heart-wrenching decision.
Honestly, Brian? I wish I had the guts to take care of the matter myself. It's what Jake deserved, but I just didn't think that I was capable of doing it.

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from Brian Lynn wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Hey All,

Just been traveling the last day or two and haven't been able to weigh back in (internet was down this morning, too!).

I like the points everyone is making and tend to agree with most of them. Like I said in the original post, I couldn't do it for a couple of reasons.

1. That image would haunt me; regardless of whether the final moment was instananeous or not. I know I just wouldn't be able to get it out of my head.

2. As a fellow outdoor writer said in a email after reading this: "I couldn't guarantee she wouldn't suffer." Too much room for error for my taste. I would prefer a vet to push the meds with me holding the pooch (although, as BigRed pointed out, no method is foolproof).

IF, however, I HAD to do it, I do believe I would have to put the muzzle to the head and pull the trigger. Less chance of error and about as close to instananeous as you can get.

That of course brings me back to the point #1 and the image. I wouldn't want to see my pooch after that shot and it would haunt me. (This is all in context of euthanasia and not in a medical emergency ala GoldToyBox's point. In that case, you do what you have to do to relieve the suffering of the animal).

As an aside, my friend said that his dog didn't suffer. It was a matter of maybe 5 seconds from the time he pulled the trigger to her death.

Finally, I would like to address the chosen photo:

Originally I was looking for a scene from Old Yeller. That classic movie/story and the final outcome kind of sums up what we're talking about here. I couldn't find one besides the movie poster. Perhaps the poster would have been better.

However, I'm not, as you might have guessed, politically correct. You can ask anyone that knows me (that might be one reason I don't do well in office politics!). I prefer to say exactly what I'm thinking rather than rely on innuendo.

Additionally, a photo serves two purposes: 1. to get the reader's attention and 2. to illustrate the topic.

This photo does just that. Is it tasteless? Perhaps. That depends on each individual reader's definition of tasteless; something I'm not going to dictate or define (see above comments on political correctness).

However, if the photo is tasteless, then this entire conversation is pointless (which I think by the number of comments, stories and heart-wrenching emotions coming through, that it is anything but pointless). As I stated, if I HAD to put my dog down with a gun, I would, in fact, shoot it in the head. You might not like the photo, and I respect and understand that, but it is an honest representation of what we're talking about here and what would be required.

Thank you all for your comments, I've enjoyed reading your stories and input!

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from TSB3 wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I really appreciate Brian Lynn for writing this artical. We live in a society that puts to much value in the life of pets. Don't get me wrong, I love my dogs and pets deserve our respect. I would never want to kill either one of them, but I would do it if I had to. However, if I did have to shoot one of them I would not let anyone else know about it. In my area you can be prosecuted for cruelty to animals for doing it yourself(ridicules). Most of your readers are hunters and fisherman, I would assume. I am very suprised how many of them would probably talk about killing game animals, but they cannot even use the word kill in their comments. I find it absurd how many use the word's "put down" and "put to sleep". Silly!

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from Bobarn wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

This story brings tears to my eyes as I read it. Years ago, my golden retriever passed on the operating table when when we learned his cancer had spread and he would not recover and later my Jack Russell died in my wife's arms on the way to the vet. We have their ashes and they will be buried with me when I go.

I could not put my dogs down, I would have to let the vet do it. I don't have any kids, so my dogs are my kids and I love them unconditionally.

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from GoldToyBox wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I've been lucky and only faced with the situtaion twice;
First time it was my Brit with cancer, I couldn't do it and took her to the Vet (she could no longer eat or walk)
Second time was my daughters Golden, runover by the neighbors teenage daughter. I had no choice the dog was screaming in pain with an obiviously broken back. Never want to do it again but you do what needs to be done.
I've had to several feral dogs over the years. I didn't like doing it but a lot easier than one of our pets.
I also didn't care the Lead Photo.

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from BigRed wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

My small dog, rescued from a pound 12+ years ago, is now over 15, hearing pretty gone, cataracts developing. no pain, vet said she's doing very well for her age. (just spent 700 on dental for her. I have to face the reality that she doesn't have a lot of time left.

I plan to put her down myself. she is terrified of the vet. I had a vet put down once, something went wrong, didn't get the full dosage in and by the time they shaved the other arm and injected the rest she ended up suffocating to death more so than just fading out. the look of terror in her eyes asking me what was happening, that haunted me for a long time. they give us their best, least we can do is give them a good final moment.

Any advice on where? I would think through the chest might not be best, was thinking back of the head? I plan to cook her up some bacon, steak, then hold her in my lap and wait for her to nod off before I did.

thanks all.

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from bauhlich wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

First I would like to say the pic is terrible. I have had to put down and dog and my vet was amazing letting me hold my dog and also letting me push the medication thru the IV, it is a terrible feeling and thing to do, but is also has to be done at some point, have another dog 5-6 months old and not looking forward to the point in time when I have to do it again, makes me tear up just thinking about it

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from herbfarm wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Get a grip on reality, humane euthanasia vs. being shot to death? Your companion deserves to die peacefully and humanely in your arms. Most vets will even make a house call for euthanasia. Shooting dogs is barbaric.

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from Brooks wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I have put down more then one of my dogs. The last one got to me so much, I know, I cannot do it again. When they are your hunting buddies for so long, to me it just impossible task anymore. When I was younger I did not think anything about it. Now, I do. It is tough choice for anybody to make.

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from Scampwalker wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

There's no way I could shoot one of my bird dogs. Like others though, I've had my trusted vet put them down with me holding them. The last words they hear are, "birds in here, Stoney... hunt 'em up."

I hope I'm as lucky.

http://8moremiles.blogspot.com

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from MWK_MN wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Never done it but figure it would be one of the hardest things I would ever have to do if I did. I did find a lab on my property that was shot that morning before I arrived (snow had fallen throughout the night). Wasn't fun having that on the edge of my camp.

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from Mike wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

My last dog got put down by the vet, who also knew him well. We were both in tears, as were the ladies up front.

When I was growing up all our dogs, and friends' dogs, were put down with .22 pistols. Back then we had the land and the spots to bury them. That can be difficult for many to do when living in town.

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from NY Survivor wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I don't believe I could ever shoot one of my dogs. I have had a dog put down by a vet. However it died in my arms. I refused to just give it to them and insisted that I be with him when he died. I believe it at least could give him some peace to be with someone he knows rather than with a bunch of strangers. It was still a difficult thing to do.

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from jfreebo wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

did it once...don't think i could do it again

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from dneaster3 wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Considering the sobering nature of the discussion, I find the included picture to be rather tasteless.

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from chip laughton wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

It is an individuals choice, I personally bring them to the vet, but I am in the room and hold my dogs through the whole thing, it is very peaceful and quick. I used to work for a vet and had to hold alot of other peoples dogs while we put them down. Everyone of them was held as if it was my own. My family always thought it was easier on me because I was used to it so I was the grim reaper of the family and had to always be the one. It was never an easy job and it never will be.

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from Kody wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I put down one of our dogs a few years ago. She was a rescued mutt and was terrified go near a vet's office. When the time came I wasn't going to have her leave this world scared so I took her out to the farm. Sick as she was she was happy to be out for a walk and she died happy to be with me ... it was hard but it was my responsibility and I made sure she died quickly.
My old Golden Retriever was Kody. I raised him from a pup. He was my best friend for 14 years He thought of the vet as a opportunity to get a good snack. My wife and I held him in our arms as the drug took him. We still miss him. His legacy is the female retriever whose company he enjoyed for a few years and the little pup Blue who came after. I posted their pictures in the photo section of the forum. they are sure to put a smile on your face... I am going to wipe the tears from my face and go pat those two dogs right now!!!
It is an individual's choice but I say do what is best for the dog... whatever that might be must include you by his side.

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from Glorifiedmidget wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

The bond between a dog and human is of great proportion, unfathomable i'm sure in human eyes. After 15 years of being best friends, and watching our best friend, whome stuck by your side from thick and thin and made every attempt in his life to make you feel better, I personally would owe it to him/her to put her down myeself. Its a mystical bond between animal and human, you share secerets, emotions, laughter, and that dog trusts you. The two of you spend countless number of years hunting together, the memories you make with them. It is a mere sign of respect, to do it yourself.

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from BigBrownDog wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Brian - There's a lump in my throat thinking about this. I guess in a way I would chose whatever way is easier and least painful for the dog - whether it be by lethal injection at the comfort of a vets office, or by bullet as I coddle him in my arms on some distant hillside or favorite hunting ground watching the sunset. These dogs are put here on this earth for a purpose by the grace of God. as it is, their normal life spans are too short. It's a hard thing to do whatever you choose because you love your dog. I respect that with your friend.

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from charlie elk wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Brian your friend has it exactly right.
Your loyal dog deserves to die in the comfort of the one he or she has loved all their life - not some stranger.

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from patrick88 wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

bigjake your right ive been there done that putting a dog down is sad but losing a child is heart wrenching its something you dont get over!

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from seadog wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I agree with bigjake that you shouldn't have to pay a $200 vet bill to put a dog down. In some places, the animal cruelty laws include euthanizing an animal, so only a vet or a shelter can do it. To me, that's crazy--it should be a personal choice.

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from cjohnsrud wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I have had to shoot wild dogs that have strayed from the reservation close to a ranch that I worked on. I've also put down neighbor dogs that were suffering. I'm not sure if I could shoot my own dog though. That is a tough question, that I hope I don't have to answer anytime soon. I'm just an old softy, I guess.

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from Brittle wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

my dog is 8 months old and now will if the time comes but hopefully will be far far ahead

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from www.dropjhook.com wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Talk about hard too do. I did befor and it hurts deep down in a mans soul to put down a loyal friend who shared a big chunk of our life with us. But someone has to do it.

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from bigjake wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Done it in the past and probally will have to do it again in the future.Its over $200 to put a Lab sized dog down at the vet now.Im not an overly cheap individual but that is too expensive in my opinion.My dogs have always lived relatively comfortable lives, and think they could of had it a lot worse with a miserable master.
I hear far too many people that losing the dog is like losing a child.Well all I will say about that is this...The day you put one of your children in the ground, every dog you've ever owned death's will seem very trivial.
Dont get me wrong guys, I am very fond of a good dog and have never taken any joy in ending any of my pets lives.

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from bigjake wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Done it in the past and probally will have to do it again in the future.Its over $200 to put a Lab sized dog down at the vet now.Im not an overly cheap individual but that is too expensive in my opinion.My dogs have always lived relatively comfortable lives, and think they could of had it a lot worse with a miserable master.
I hear far too many people that losing the dog is like losing a child.Well all I will say about that is this...The day you put one of your children in the ground, every dog you've ever owned death's will seem very trivial.
Dont get me wrong guys, I am very fond of a good dog and have never taken any joy in ending any of my pets lives.

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from charlie elk wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Brian your friend has it exactly right.
Your loyal dog deserves to die in the comfort of the one he or she has loved all their life - not some stranger.

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from Kody wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I put down one of our dogs a few years ago. She was a rescued mutt and was terrified go near a vet's office. When the time came I wasn't going to have her leave this world scared so I took her out to the farm. Sick as she was she was happy to be out for a walk and she died happy to be with me ... it was hard but it was my responsibility and I made sure she died quickly.
My old Golden Retriever was Kody. I raised him from a pup. He was my best friend for 14 years He thought of the vet as a opportunity to get a good snack. My wife and I held him in our arms as the drug took him. We still miss him. His legacy is the female retriever whose company he enjoyed for a few years and the little pup Blue who came after. I posted their pictures in the photo section of the forum. they are sure to put a smile on your face... I am going to wipe the tears from my face and go pat those two dogs right now!!!
It is an individual's choice but I say do what is best for the dog... whatever that might be must include you by his side.

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from Brian Lynn wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Hey All,

Just been traveling the last day or two and haven't been able to weigh back in (internet was down this morning, too!).

I like the points everyone is making and tend to agree with most of them. Like I said in the original post, I couldn't do it for a couple of reasons.

1. That image would haunt me; regardless of whether the final moment was instananeous or not. I know I just wouldn't be able to get it out of my head.

2. As a fellow outdoor writer said in a email after reading this: "I couldn't guarantee she wouldn't suffer." Too much room for error for my taste. I would prefer a vet to push the meds with me holding the pooch (although, as BigRed pointed out, no method is foolproof).

IF, however, I HAD to do it, I do believe I would have to put the muzzle to the head and pull the trigger. Less chance of error and about as close to instananeous as you can get.

That of course brings me back to the point #1 and the image. I wouldn't want to see my pooch after that shot and it would haunt me. (This is all in context of euthanasia and not in a medical emergency ala GoldToyBox's point. In that case, you do what you have to do to relieve the suffering of the animal).

As an aside, my friend said that his dog didn't suffer. It was a matter of maybe 5 seconds from the time he pulled the trigger to her death.

Finally, I would like to address the chosen photo:

Originally I was looking for a scene from Old Yeller. That classic movie/story and the final outcome kind of sums up what we're talking about here. I couldn't find one besides the movie poster. Perhaps the poster would have been better.

However, I'm not, as you might have guessed, politically correct. You can ask anyone that knows me (that might be one reason I don't do well in office politics!). I prefer to say exactly what I'm thinking rather than rely on innuendo.

Additionally, a photo serves two purposes: 1. to get the reader's attention and 2. to illustrate the topic.

This photo does just that. Is it tasteless? Perhaps. That depends on each individual reader's definition of tasteless; something I'm not going to dictate or define (see above comments on political correctness).

However, if the photo is tasteless, then this entire conversation is pointless (which I think by the number of comments, stories and heart-wrenching emotions coming through, that it is anything but pointless). As I stated, if I HAD to put my dog down with a gun, I would, in fact, shoot it in the head. You might not like the photo, and I respect and understand that, but it is an honest representation of what we're talking about here and what would be required.

Thank you all for your comments, I've enjoyed reading your stories and input!

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from dneaster3 wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Considering the sobering nature of the discussion, I find the included picture to be rather tasteless.

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from DivineStrake wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Everyone who's up-in-arms over the chosen image, have you ever seen this: http://lh6.ggpht.com/weavernote/SHxCiq3zCSI/AAAAAAAAAFY/dH3uGOS28E8/nati...

Pretty sure the pic above is just a spoof on a classic cover of a satirical magazine.

Lighten up, already.

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from Drjab wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

After reading many of these post, I felt like I need to comment from a Vets. prespective. I respect the decision to euthanize you own pet and like many of you felt that it was my responsibility. I did with euthanasia solution however. For those that chose to shoot their own dog, I think that it needs to be well thought out. A chest shot is not a good choice. I have seen multiple cases of gun shots wounds to the chest, not all fatal, and the potential for suffering is too high in my opinion. Second, for those paying $200 for euthanasia, I suspect that that fee also include taking care of the body. For me, that means cremation, which unfortunately is expensive and only getting more so. Pet owners are not reqiured to have their dog cremated, and are free to take their dogs body home for burial, but for most of us living in urban areas, this is not an option.

In the end, the most important thing is quality of life over quanity of life, and that when the time comes, each dog is sent on his or her way, humanely and with respect.

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from BigBrownDog wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Brian - There's a lump in my throat thinking about this. I guess in a way I would chose whatever way is easier and least painful for the dog - whether it be by lethal injection at the comfort of a vets office, or by bullet as I coddle him in my arms on some distant hillside or favorite hunting ground watching the sunset. These dogs are put here on this earth for a purpose by the grace of God. as it is, their normal life spans are too short. It's a hard thing to do whatever you choose because you love your dog. I respect that with your friend.

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from GerryBethge wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Hey Brian---

This is an incredibly, incredibly tough topic and one that I had to deal with just last fall with my turkey dog, Jake.
Frankly, many of my hunting buddies suggested that I 'take care of business' on my own. I agreed wholeheartedly, but could not find it within myself to do it. Whereas other hunting buddies volunteered to help out, I decided that going through a vet might be the best option. Thankfully, my vet was/is a hunter and understood my connection with Jake, making it all a bit easier. No matter how you slice it, however, it was a heart-wrenching decision.
Honestly, Brian? I wish I had the guts to take care of the matter myself. It's what Jake deserved, but I just didn't think that I was capable of doing it.

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from wgiles wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I have had to put several dogs down over the years. I will take them to the vet, if they are injured and might survive. If I am certain that they are suffering and there is no chance of recovery, I will try to end their lives as quickly and painlessly as possible. It's not a pleasant task, but I will do it. Death is part of life and we can't avoid it.

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from MTPete wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

When it came time for my lab mix Daisy to leave us we went to the vet. I lost a child PJ 20 years ago and let me say this: Losing my son was more difficult than Daisy but, losing that dog was hard too. A lot of emotions I experienced were the same. Just as I held my son when he died, Daisy was held by my wife and I as the vet administered the drugs that put her to sleep. I hunt and I do shoot all manner of game. But, I just couldn't bear to shoot one of my pets. I have an 11 yr old husky Sundance that is getting older and a two year old lab mix Remington who will probably be my last pet and all of my dogs have been rescued from shelters. This decision is a personal choice and for some folks pets are like children, some folks don't have kids but have pets they treat like kids. Just wanted to share my thoughts.

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from patrick88 wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

bigjake your right ive been there done that putting a dog down is sad but losing a child is heart wrenching its something you dont get over!

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from chip laughton wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

It is an individuals choice, I personally bring them to the vet, but I am in the room and hold my dogs through the whole thing, it is very peaceful and quick. I used to work for a vet and had to hold alot of other peoples dogs while we put them down. Everyone of them was held as if it was my own. My family always thought it was easier on me because I was used to it so I was the grim reaper of the family and had to always be the one. It was never an easy job and it never will be.

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from jfreebo wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

did it once...don't think i could do it again

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from RemsDad wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I have been present for 2 of 3 of our dogs at the Vet's when it came to be time for them to go. It isn't easy, it flat out stinks as an experience. But I think that as pet owners we owe it to our companions to be there and to make it as peaceful as possible. I too held them in my arms and spoke with them while they received their injection. The serenity on their faces as they went down replaced the look of the pain that they had been going through. I have a young dog now, he's a 15 month old Lab, already been told by our Vet. that he's lucky we have him, as we have already had to repair his knee where others may have decided to put him down in favor of another healthier dog because I bought him to hunt with, and he may not be physically able to as he also has elbow dysplasia. This is not looking for sympathy, not is it done to brag. It is to illustrate the love we can develope for a pet in a short amount of time. I'm going to enjoy him while I can, as long as he can be around without hurting him, yes I will get another pup as the breeder is going to "replace him" because of a warranty, but nothing will change the bond I have with that darn dog! To those who can shoot their dogs? It's your choice and I will not hold it against anyone, it's just something I can't do....I guess like the other guy earlier, I'm just an old softy too.

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from TRIPTRIGGER3 wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Take it from someone who has been there several times, but hesitated once & refused to put SAM (Locally Famous/Big Black Lab)down from cancer, believing I could keep him from suffering (shots every morning & evening, meds,vitamins, etc,I refused to accept the truth), came home from work & was told he had passed away, & he had howled & cried for hours before dying. He was the best dog I had ever had & was truly a devoted & dedicated friend, & I had no right to put him through that. I wanted to believe I was doing it all for him, & he was not really that close to dying, but in reality, it was just me in denial. I know it would have been more humane to take him to our farm one last time, & put him down quickly. At least I would have been there with him & he wouldn't have had to suffer. I could have taken him to the vet, (who by the way, had hunted with us & was even the one who told me SAM was sick with cancer), but I couldn't bring myself to take him to someone else to put him down, regardless of the cost. I will always regret what happened to SAM, & will never make the same mistake again. When it comes to animals, they depend on us for everything, including a peaceful (non-suffering) death, & a well placed bullet, leaves no pain.

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from huntinnut wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

Wow. This article couldn't have come at a better time. My family black lab Speedy has developed extremely bad arthritis in his hips and cateracts in both eyes. My dad, sister, and I have been contemplating putting him down. Being I'm 18 and my sister is 15, this is the only dog she can ever remember, so of course it is a touchy subject. But this has opened my eyes, Speedy is always afraid to go to the vet. I don't want our family dog and hunting companion to leave this world scared and shaking. Thanks OutdoorLife

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from Ruckweiler wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

Folks, isn't amazing the affect these friends, our dogs, have upon us? They ask nothing of us and return everything with pure love. They are God's gift to the world, I reckon.

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from Jmor777 wrote 3 years 27 weeks ago

The drive to the vet to have my dog put down was a terrible experience because my dog sensed we were going to kill her. She could sense from our grief that this was the end for her and her grief and stress level was clearly visable. Bad, bad memory. When the time came for my shepherd to be put down, we carried her out to the back yard, and next to a prepared grave, fed her big chunks of turkey until it was time. She never suspected a thing. It was quick with no suffering. She never went through the grief of knowing it was her time, and the turkey was a final treat for her, and even though she couldn't walk, was still enjoying her rare treat. I have been criticized and condemned for putting the shepherd down this way. Strange how firing squads are (were) used to execute humans, and that is OK, just don't kill your dog this way, or you're seen as inhuman.

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from www.dropjhook.com wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Talk about hard too do. I did befor and it hurts deep down in a mans soul to put down a loyal friend who shared a big chunk of our life with us. But someone has to do it.

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from Brittle wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

my dog is 8 months old and now will if the time comes but hopefully will be far far ahead

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from seadog wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I agree with bigjake that you shouldn't have to pay a $200 vet bill to put a dog down. In some places, the animal cruelty laws include euthanizing an animal, so only a vet or a shelter can do it. To me, that's crazy--it should be a personal choice.

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from Scampwalker wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

There's no way I could shoot one of my bird dogs. Like others though, I've had my trusted vet put them down with me holding them. The last words they hear are, "birds in here, Stoney... hunt 'em up."

I hope I'm as lucky.

http://8moremiles.blogspot.com

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from Brooks wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I have put down more then one of my dogs. The last one got to me so much, I know, I cannot do it again. When they are your hunting buddies for so long, to me it just impossible task anymore. When I was younger I did not think anything about it. Now, I do. It is tough choice for anybody to make.

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from bauhlich wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

First I would like to say the pic is terrible. I have had to put down and dog and my vet was amazing letting me hold my dog and also letting me push the medication thru the IV, it is a terrible feeling and thing to do, but is also has to be done at some point, have another dog 5-6 months old and not looking forward to the point in time when I have to do it again, makes me tear up just thinking about it

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from GoldToyBox wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I've been lucky and only faced with the situtaion twice;
First time it was my Brit with cancer, I couldn't do it and took her to the Vet (she could no longer eat or walk)
Second time was my daughters Golden, runover by the neighbors teenage daughter. I had no choice the dog was screaming in pain with an obiviously broken back. Never want to do it again but you do what needs to be done.
I've had to several feral dogs over the years. I didn't like doing it but a lot easier than one of our pets.
I also didn't care the Lead Photo.

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from toroscope wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I had to have my faithful Dobie, Caesar, put down two weeks ago. When we "rescued" him, he was a bundle of wrinkles and a very friendly pup. As he grew, we had no idea he was a mutant, and although a full blooded Doberman, he reached Great Dane length and height and averaged 150 pounds as an adult dog. He was a terrific friend and companion.

Two weeks ago (at a little more than 10 years of age), his back legs gave out completely (he had lived with hip dysplasia for a few years) and he was never going to stand up on his own again. My wife and I had to use a blanket to lift him into the bed of my truck and then called local vets but none would agree to come out to the truck to euthenize him when we arrived; I didn't want to make him suffer more trying to move him from truck to "inside" the vet office.

We finally found a mobile vet who came to our house to take care of business. I have to admit, my wife was tougher than I was and sat with him in the final moment; I had to leave when the vet started looking for veins. We both ended up crying but he is now in a better place, chasing squirrels and cats with no pain or loss of function in his legs. With him, I chose NOT to do it myself but if we had been living way out in the country where there was no mobile vet, I know that in the situation that existed, I would have been able to relieve his pain but would have ended up grieving even harder than now.

- Dan

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from jwd2 wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I understand bigjake's thoughts about a dog's death being trivial compared to putting your child in the ground. I had to do this to my son and hunting buddy. However, the euthanasia of our bird dogs past and present seems even more painful than before. I guess another "family" member's death, and the loss of another part of my son's life, makes the dogs' deaths seem monumental.

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from rodger parkhurst wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

Wow Brian you hit a cord with everyone. Good call Divine I thought this was the cover pic from national lampoon. I have a very strange admiration for those of you that can take this matter into your own hands. I freely admit there is no way I could do that to any of my dogs the bond is too strong(there are several of my nieghbor's mutts I would think about). My vet took care of my last black lab I cried lake a baby for 2 days. The vet (a friend) was good enough to let me take the body home as it is ilegal where we live. The bill covered the shot $50 otherwise it would have been over $300 for disposal. One thought I have for those that are saving a dollar what would the fine be in your area if gosh forbid the ASPCA got involved?

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from Jordan13 wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

If a dog is suffering I kill it

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from Ruckweiler wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

Drjab:
Similar to the meds given to humans in pre-op, couldn't the animal be given something to relax them so that the trip to the vet isn't such a fearful event, if that's a concern?

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from Ted Greene wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

I respect anyone who makes the decision to take their pet to the vet to be put down... it is a humane and decent way for the animal to go. I also respect anyone who makes the decision to put the animal down themselves as long as they do it in a fashion that is quick and painless. I have experienced both ways of putting down a loved family dog. Honestly, I cried so hard at the vet that i had the staff in tears. On the other hand, in putting my other dog down myself...it was hard, but strangely, in this instance, I did not cry...I don't know why, but in her passing,I felt a sense of relief that she went fast and with dignity without the fear of being someplace she didn't ever like going to. In this case, I used a .45 shotshell at the base of the skull... not so much as a flinch. Not sure why I had such different reactions, because in both instances, the dogs were beloved family pets for many years.

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from kolt30 wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

had to take my dads dog to the vet yesterday to get put down for him cause he couldn't do it. had a stroke this summer and like the dog in the article was too old and would be suffering through another winter. cryied the whole way to town and the whole time in the clinic. removing one of your family members from your life is not an easy thing to do

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from Ruckweiler wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

kolt30:
Sorry it came to that. You have my profoundest condolences. At least he's not suffering now.

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from WckedMidas wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

My dog had intestinal blockage back in november . it came down to ether putting her down or begging everyone i new for 900 vet bill. The day befor i planed to take her down the woods and put her down my girlfriends parents and one of my good friends loaned me the money. Shes happy as can be and healthy now. I cried almost everynight that week thinking about how bad it was gonna suck to have to put her down. My fatrhr offerd to do it for me but i insisted if it had to happen it was gonna be me. Im so gratefull for friends helping me. Im a firm belever if its your pet and you love it its your decission to do wich ever makes u and the animal feal best . Be it doing it your self or haveing the vet do it. its always better then makeing the animal suffer. Im sorry for my grammer public schooling sucks

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from Bo wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

mortsotruk, never have I seen such a calloused, insensitive response to any post on this site. I have killed many animals in my tenure here on earth. None were killed lightly, or with the calloused disregard for life that you seemingly possess as you can joke in the manner you have. Having seen pets of mine over the years losing their time on earth has not changed my regard for the living creatures that inhabit our lives.
True, losing a dog is nothing to the pain of losing a child, I have done both. But to think that one can take the attitude that you display, leads me to believe that you, sir, are in dire need of counseling.

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from charlie elk wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

mortsotruk,
Your thought process is totally alien to me. Thankfully. I have reverence for all animals including the ones I kill in the process of a hunt. Your disregard of life makes me very happy I do not know you, I feel sorry for those who would call you friend, son, father, uncle or otherwise rely on you. You apparently have the ability to turn your back in the most callous of ways.
Bo's prescription that you are in dire need of counseling is right; please seek it without delay.

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from only1cornerstone wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Humanely. It refers to the attributes of a person. I love my dog. I wish he hadn't bitten three people. The last one was my mother-in-law whom I love dearly. Scout has become unpredictable. Yes, these circumstances are different from the sick and dying examples that precede it, but I am still talking about taking my own dogs life. He is an animal that I adore. But I am not his peer. I am not his dad or his brother. I am his steward. Appointed by God to take charge of this animal. This beautiful dog. From cradle to grave. And yes this is easy to talk about because Scout is asleep at home right now and our walk into the woods isn't planned until tomorrow. I don't know what kind of heartache awaits tomorrow. Yet I know that I do not go alone. Many great men before us have carried this burden and I pray that I am up to the task. Scout has certainly carried his end of the bargain as faithful dog - I'll try and keep my end up as faithful steward.

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from Buddy Hossn wrote 3 years 33 weeks ago

Two Goldens. 14-year old brothers. Six weeks ago we kept smelling something dead, checking the attic and eaves. Then we discovered it was one of the boys. Within a week he couldn't get up or use his back legs. Took him out to the 50-acre farm where it all started, and put him down. The breeder injected him with a morphine-like drug to make him loopy, then we dug a hole by the pond next to where his mama was buried, lowered him in a blanket and she handed me the .45 --I wasn't expecting to be the one. I thought she would do what she had done so many times before on a farm. To the back of his skull. One shot. He instantly went limp. Done. I was OK until my wife got home and freaked out. For weeks. Then cop friends (K9s) and others berated me for being heartless. Now his brother needs to be put down, but HERE'S the key: Ran into my vet and HE told me and the Mrs. a gunshot is one of the 3 BEST ways to euthanize. He told us to go to the American Veterinary Association website where you can read it for yourself. The bullets ends the electrical connections so fast there isn't TIME to send a signal of pain. I bawled my eyes out right there, and while losing my 2nd pup two days from now won't be any easier, I won't torture myself that I'm some kind of monster.

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from jbow wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

I am at that crossroads now. Yesterday my old dog couldn't get up from her doghouse. She has been going downhill since last summer. The house is heated by a lighting fixture and has cedar shavings. I think she was slipping on the shavings and was right under the lamp. I heard her barking and went to see. Got her up and out and had to help her up a few more times. Yesterday was the first time I have had to help her up except for once when she got her foot tangled in something. She is 15 or 16 yrs old, she was (like almost all of our pets) a rescue. She is a border collie mix and very shy. She really does not even like for me to pet her, she has always been that way. I can pet her but she always shies if I try to come in from above, I have to let her sniff my hand first and forget anyone else petting her. So... I was prepared to do what I consider to be best for her and shoot her in the back of the head BUT my wife will not have it. I have to continue living with my wife so I reckon I will be calling someone. I just HATE thinking that her last moments will be spent in fear and anxiety from having to be somewhere she does not want to be. I will try to find someone who will come here but I don't know. I am 61 and have back problems but I still dig my own holes if it takes all day. I live in the county and have never heard of any law against burying your pet, how absurd and arrogant. Some laws just go too far IMO, I would bury my dog or cat no matter where I lived, unless it was an apartment, condo, or something like that, even if I had to do it at night. I don't recommend that for you, I'm just saying what I think. I guess I was nervous about shooting the dog but felt it was the right thing, the responsible thing, to do in this circumstance... but since the wife intervened, it is moot. Is it just me or does anyone else feel like you are a 19th century man living in a 21st century world? I better get to digging...

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from Glorifiedmidget wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

The bond between a dog and human is of great proportion, unfathomable i'm sure in human eyes. After 15 years of being best friends, and watching our best friend, whome stuck by your side from thick and thin and made every attempt in his life to make you feel better, I personally would owe it to him/her to put her down myeself. Its a mystical bond between animal and human, you share secerets, emotions, laughter, and that dog trusts you. The two of you spend countless number of years hunting together, the memories you make with them. It is a mere sign of respect, to do it yourself.

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from NY Survivor wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I don't believe I could ever shoot one of my dogs. I have had a dog put down by a vet. However it died in my arms. I refused to just give it to them and insisted that I be with him when he died. I believe it at least could give him some peace to be with someone he knows rather than with a bunch of strangers. It was still a difficult thing to do.

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from Bobarn wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

This story brings tears to my eyes as I read it. Years ago, my golden retriever passed on the operating table when when we learned his cancer had spread and he would not recover and later my Jack Russell died in my wife's arms on the way to the vet. We have their ashes and they will be buried with me when I go.

I could not put my dogs down, I would have to let the vet do it. I don't have any kids, so my dogs are my kids and I love them unconditionally.

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from TSB3 wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I really appreciate Brian Lynn for writing this artical. We live in a society that puts to much value in the life of pets. Don't get me wrong, I love my dogs and pets deserve our respect. I would never want to kill either one of them, but I would do it if I had to. However, if I did have to shoot one of them I would not let anyone else know about it. In my area you can be prosecuted for cruelty to animals for doing it yourself(ridicules). Most of your readers are hunters and fisherman, I would assume. I am very suprised how many of them would probably talk about killing game animals, but they cannot even use the word kill in their comments. I find it absurd how many use the word's "put down" and "put to sleep". Silly!

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from Big O wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

First off sir, the photo you used is HORRIBLE/HORRIFIC !
I had to stop crying before I could write this. (YES I AM A MAN, YES I MISS MY DOGS !)
I've gone "both" routes of this and NEITHER is a great thing.
My Min-Pin is 5 now( was abandoned/starving when I brought hin home). He's my wife's first dog and she is SCARED TO DEATH of when that time may come.
She was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor recently and was GLAD that it might take her before her "milo" died.
She's getting better, and I've made "arraingment's" with our vet to take the shot to our home and give this "gift" at home with her at his side.
As I said it's NEVER easy, PERIOD !

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from Doc Brasel wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I am 54 yrs old and shooting my old dog Jack remains the hardest thing I have ever done. Bocephus is 15 yrs old now and his day is coming. Those in between have been handled in various ways but these two are special. I think what I will do this time is have the vet come to the house, give him a sedative to calm him and then hook him up with the real thing but allow me to actually give the shot. Bo is a great freind and he deserves to have his death be an act of love, not mercy.

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from Codfather wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

As a veterinarian I have to say that most people do not know how to kill an animal humanely. I am an avid hunter and always go for the clean kill but I recognize that I am never going to shoot an animal with gun or bow that doesn't know it's been hit. I feel this is still better than what nature has in store but could never shoot one of my hunting dogs even though I could get a brain shot that would end things quickly. I have always, for my clients and myself, used a sedative/tranquilizer combination first, then a barbiturate injection. If you are going to shoot your pet draw a line between the right eye and left ear, then draw a line betweeen the left eye and right ear. Hold the muzzle perpendicular to the intersection of these lines. Use a hollow point or better yet a shotgun to be sure the brain is inactivated on impact.
I don't know what each veterinarian charges but to complain about money in this very bad situation is petty. If you don't agree with the charge shop around. I have to say that every euthanasia takes an emotional toll on myself and my staff so to think it should be cheap is ridiculous. I don't charge $200 (or $100) but I don't blame those who do. If you think about how much it costs versus how many years you have had you're dog (how much per year) even the most expensive veterinarian is cheap. None of us are rich, most UAW teamsters make more than we do. Certainly most plumbers and electricians.

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from Brian Lynn wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Hey all, check out the front page of OL.com and vote in the poll dealing with this topic.

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from badaddidude wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

When I first read the title of this article, I assumed the Author was being sarcastic, something along the lines of what stupid things one could do to hurt or kill their dog unintentionally.
Putting down ones best friend is something nobody wants to contemplate but sadly has to be done.

Bluntly put, the Author's choice of title sucks.

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from Warmil wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I sit here with tears in my eyes as I write and think about how I have put down strays and other animals both my own and friends over the years. It never bothered me until I recently had to put down my 3yo Maltese. It was the hardest thing I've ever done and I cried like a baby. He was suffering after being struck by a car and it had to be. I dread the day when I have to do my little Shih Tzu but I will because I love her too much and wouldn't want something going wrong. It's my duty to her.

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from BeardogRed wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Used to be able to do it, but not anymore. I go to the Vet. Much easier on my soul. I do get them cremated and save the ashes!

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from Daniel Ettinger wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Having paid $125.00 to watch a dog suffer from the humane euthanasia from a vet,I vowed never again. I have found a real humane method. I laid my dog down in my lap. I took a clean shop cloth and liberally coated it with starting fluid which is mostly ether. It took a few minutes and only a minor effort to put my dog under and hold him there until his heart stopped. No pain, no suffering, no fear. I will never send a dog to the Vet to die again and this way eliminates having to shoot one which is really hard to do in the city limits.

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from birdhunter wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Folks, Dogs are wonderful I've had 5 great ones as hunting pards, and when the time comes they deserve the best you can give them. But like others have said an animals death (however sad) can't be compard to a human.

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from 430 wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

Wow! What a response to your article. I too love my dogs and currently find myself in the position to make this all too difficult decision. A few months ago, my wife and I found a growth on my dog's under belly. After a trip to the vet and several hundred dollars later, the vet, very professional as he was, stated that he believes he got all the cancer. He called it a big word that I can't recreate, but in short, he had to take out my dog's left kidney. Well, yesterday I noticed another lump and plan to take Sergeant back to the vet. I pray it is just scar tissue but fear for the worse. Sergeant, my dog, was my wife's companion when I was over seas with the US Army and he kept her great company and gave her comfort. He is an obediant dog and was our child until we were able to have one. Granted, the love we feel for our child is so immense we cannot explain, but we still love our dog and cherish his companionship. My wife is distraught and I pray that I can carry through with what I have to do if need be. Oh well, I just had to get that out, thanks.

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from Upcountry wrote 4 years 4 weeks ago

Some of the comments listed are on the edge of whacky, yet others are clearly well thought out and sincere. This discussion helped me come to a conclusion. My family loves that dog, but she is now going fast with seizures and loss of mobility within days. I brought her to my kindly Vet to assess/put down, he concurred with my poor prognosis. He, however, chose not to put down. I would rather she die comfortably in our home, in her sleep, as she does not appear to be in pain, just lethargic. I walked into the library to find her laying quietly on the couch, yesterday. In 14 years, she has never jumped up on the furniture without a great deal of coaxing, and never alone. I don't know how she accomplished this feat, as she has lost the use of her back legs and one front, after yesterday's event. I have put down many animals throughout the years, for science and in farming. I have grown to love her for her companionship, and respected her for her personality with other animals and people. I feel it is my responsibility to be with her. I chose to relax her with pill medication, then introduce ether as I gently comfort her. With all the blood I have seen, I did not want to have it as my last memory. Those who choose the clean brain shot, I understand, and believe it is humane, as well. I just wanted a peaceful sound, as she was a gentle one, rather than a sharp report. Good luck to all who choose. It is what is in your heart.

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from pb22455fh wrote 3 years 48 weeks ago

I put our family dog down this morning. He was in good health, extremely loyal to me and my wife, but he would in a very unpredictable manner bite everyone else. On previous occasions, I have taken the family pets to the vets but in his case, I decided to do what was best for him, not what was best for me. He hated going to the vets, especially hated wearing a muzzle. I wanted his last moments to be happy, in the back yard.

He never knew. Shotgun, back of the head. Gruesome yes, but I was doing this for him not for me and this was instant.

Haaard for me do it, but now I am strangely at peace.

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from 1outdoorguy wrote 2 years 14 weeks ago

I just put down my friend's 13 year old lab. I put one of my own dogs down a few years ago. Much harder then. Both times I had a sense of respect and obligation to the dogs to end their suffering as quick and painless as possible. Like turning off a light switch. My friend lives in the suburbs while I live in the country. It is a sad situation whether you use a vet or not. I would certainly not criticize someone for using a vet, but it is disheartning to hear of people criticizing those of us who to choose to end our pets suffering without the use of a vet.

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from Mike wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

My last dog got put down by the vet, who also knew him well. We were both in tears, as were the ladies up front.

When I was growing up all our dogs, and friends' dogs, were put down with .22 pistols. Back then we had the land and the spots to bury them. That can be difficult for many to do when living in town.

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from MWK_MN wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Never done it but figure it would be one of the hardest things I would ever have to do if I did. I did find a lab on my property that was shot that morning before I arrived (snow had fallen throughout the night). Wasn't fun having that on the edge of my camp.

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from BigRed wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

My small dog, rescued from a pound 12+ years ago, is now over 15, hearing pretty gone, cataracts developing. no pain, vet said she's doing very well for her age. (just spent 700 on dental for her. I have to face the reality that she doesn't have a lot of time left.

I plan to put her down myself. she is terrified of the vet. I had a vet put down once, something went wrong, didn't get the full dosage in and by the time they shaved the other arm and injected the rest she ended up suffocating to death more so than just fading out. the look of terror in her eyes asking me what was happening, that haunted me for a long time. they give us their best, least we can do is give them a good final moment.

Any advice on where? I would think through the chest might not be best, was thinking back of the head? I plan to cook her up some bacon, steak, then hold her in my lap and wait for her to nod off before I did.

thanks all.

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from jfh wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

The blog title and photo are both pretty crude. Vets in my area charge $35 to euthanize pets. The charge does NOT go up if it's a larger breed dog, so $200 to put a lab to sleep is a sign to look for another vet. When to euthanize and how to euthanize are really personal decisions, especially when you truly care for your pet. To shoot a pet seems violent and crude - not something I could ever do. It would bother me for years after.

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from TSB3 wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

To jleigh44,

You're the idiot, however you are right about one thing. We are people who know how to handle guns, thats why our kids would never have a gun to point at a dogs head. I think the picture is very effective.

To all those who have lost a pet, I understand, I have cried over the death of a dog. However, the death of a dog is no different then the death of any other animal. Pets are not people, and they don't have a soul. Dogs and cats can be replaced, people can't.

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from EWG wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I can't believe that after all of the expenses incurred in owning our dogs, and happily so I add, that we gripe about the cost of putting them down at the Vets office. Just because we own them does not make it the right thing to do in thinking up ways to save money in shooting them(hope you don't have to do it more than once), gassing them or whatever other idiotic way is devised. The vet is the only way to go. It is so fast and painless. I wish I had that option when its my time. If you have a special place where you would like to put the dog down, just ask your vet. You would be surprised at the Vets willingness to acodmodate your wishes. Nock off the smoking, and a few fast food trips and you have all kinds of $ available.

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from snshdydm wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

Our beloved family dog Jack is going to be 14 years old in 5 days. He has cateracts real bad, is almost deaf-except when the can opener runs, and has had issues relating to his back. The vet said he has also suffered a stroke recently. For years, with much bravdo, I have spoken about "doing the deed" when the times comes--after reading many of the heartfelt stories I just don't know. I know it will be time when I can no longer get a hearty tail thump out of the old boy when I come home from hunting to tell Him of the days events (the wife stopped asking me about hunting years ago so now I mainly share with my buddy Jack) Not looking forward to the day when I have to decide to send him HOME to the land of slow rabbits and even slower game birds. He was never really trained to hunt either one but always made me a better shooter because of his flat out speed!!!

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from phhunter wrote 4 years 32 weeks ago

okay, we all agree that sometimes a dog needs to be put down. But I hunt with my dogs. Some of them have delivered over 1000 birds to my hand, I could never shoot that dog that trusts me. When I have had to put a dog down at the vet's office, they let me hold the dog, let me take it home and let me bury it. The cost is not $200. Find a new vet! Tears are always shed but the thought of shooting that dog seems a little barbaric.

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from billy36278 wrote 4 years 31 weeks ago

This is a real hard thing to do, to kill your friend. I recentially had to put down one of my dogs. I rescue dogs and up to the other day I had 11. I now have 10. One of my male dogs 125 lbs I rescue him and his brother from a shelter. They were to be put down the next day and they were only 4 1/2 months old. After almost 14 months later, one was trying to kill one of my 6 month old pups for no reason. I tried everything to get him to stop but a week later he almost killed one so I had to put him down, I held him told him I loved him and shot him. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. The vets here won't put a dog down if its healthy. I had to save my other 10 dogs. He was a great loving dog up to the last 3 weeks.My heart hurts real bad but I had to do it. May God foegive me..

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from GoodSense wrote 4 years 3 days ago

Mortsotruk didn't choose his words so eloquently as most everyone here has. but at least he didn't judge anyone unfit to be an uncle, or a father. I know that one has to choose for himself what the best way to cope is, weather to turn off your mind, in hopes of turning off your heart too; until you can do what you have to do. Or to go lay on your bed and sob like a baby in prayer for the direction and strength you need to cope with giving up a fiend that has ALWAYS looked to you as his dad. I have been researching taking my 13 yr old dog's life myself. Here's my thinking... I don't want anyone judging me for my decision. He's my dog, and he knows it. It's my choice, and I will be the one who will ALWAYS have to live with it the best I can. All my dog's worries will be FOREVER over. If i think about the cop that gave me a $150 ticket yesterday for not wearing my seat-belt, I get angry all over again. It's not good to keep on thinking about something you are trying to put behind you. I know that when we confess our sins God remembers it no more. It's us that cant let go of the things we have done that we regret. Not letting an unpredictable roller-coaster ride of emotions take to down paths you know to be false is definitely wise. sometimes you can't trust what you feel; you just have to go with what you know to be right. Your feelings can run away with themselves if not put in check. Everyone has two sides to them; if they nurture the beast in themselves too much, and ignore the love in there heart, they will become calloused, and hard-hearted. That's just a fact of life. I don't think animals are equal to humans. humans obtained the knowledge of good and evil at the price of stealing it. Now humans love to decide for themselves what is right and wrong from a corrupted mind with a distorted darkened view. It's humans that are born with there backs toward God. not the animals. The animal kingdom is just along for the ride in a fallen world. I am glad that Dogs have unconditional love. I am glad that it is said "the more people I meet the more I like my dog" in fact I think at times I like my dog better than I like myself. It's hard to imagine how someone could love us unlovable creatures at our worst. We all have done things we are ashamed to speak of in our lives. There was a time when God looked down upon man, saw that his thoughts were evil continually, and regretted that He had ever made man. Yet He did what He had to do, He took in some mutts at a huge price. His own price. Yet we never stop judging each other, and lifting our own selves up. It reminds me of a used car sells-man, who finds everything wrong with your trade in, and can never stop saying such good things about the lemon he's trying to sell you. Giving up a dog is the right thing to do if he is suffering. Keeping him living in pain so that we don't have to grieve for our loss is selfish. Sometimes we are so blinded by our selfish emotions that we can't see whats right and wrong. A fool gives full vent to anger, but a wise man quietly HOLDS it back. Ever noticed how people get so angry over emotional topics? Emotions can run away with themselves and take good judgment with them. Anger is to judgment what stomping around in the mud in a stream is to the clear water above.

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from toyn2much wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

1st post. Found this site because Im trying to find the intestinal fortitude to put down my 15 yr GSP. We are both sitting here on the couch crying.. her from pain, me from saddened pain. Hole is dug... time is ticking down. I wish this on no man. I have 5 dogs... next one is 12 yr. All are/ have been faithful hunting campanions!

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from cjohnsrud wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I have had to shoot wild dogs that have strayed from the reservation close to a ranch that I worked on. I've also put down neighbor dogs that were suffering. I'm not sure if I could shoot my own dog though. That is a tough question, that I hope I don't have to answer anytime soon. I'm just an old softy, I guess.

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from BeardogRed wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Actually I cremate them myself. It sure takes a lot of wood and stainless steel screen! Light my fire and It sure is a funeral pyre! Definitely a passing of their soul for me to be able to always feel their spirit.

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from GoodSense wrote 4 years 3 days ago

A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.Proverbs 12:10

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from Cmethroughtoo wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

I don't know about anyone else, but I know that I couldn't personally take my beloved pets life, I'm the soft hearted kind where I try to take in all neighborhood strays, cat or dog, because I can't stand to see them suffer or be hungry.
In the event of it being time to go home, (which thankfully I haven't had to experience that heartache yet) I feel it would be more peaceful with the animal being shot with a needle to go to sleep followed by being injected with something that stops the heart RATHER than sticking a cold metal barrel to the temple and firing a bullet to take it's life, and watching it fall over, or if it was already told to lay down - watching it slump over and blood coming out of it's injury. I wouldn't want that to be my last memory of man's best friend. Or in some very rare but, very plausible instances.... the dog NOT dying instantly after being shot. And you are therefore making it suffer more, do you know how bad it hurts to be shot, let alone in the head? in most cases not. But then now comes the time if that happens, you must shoot it again, so by you taking it in your own hands to take it's life it is now in serious pain till the next or next few bullets finally does the trick. talk about a very bad memory....the animal not dying after the first shot! If that doesn't come to mind every time you think of the dog, I don't know what would. So yes, I am all for having it laid down on something soft and slowly and comfortably falling asleep from an injection while you soothingly pet it and gently sing or talk to it. That to me is 100 times more humane. I can to some extent agree with those who feel "It is your animal, it is your job to perform the task of taking it's life" or "it's your dog, why have someone else take it's life?" But you are still there by it's side comforting it while the "time you never wanted it to come to" is being done, but you don't need the last memory of your dearly departed friend being that of you 'taking the life that you was responsible for keeping alive all them years'. Right? Wouldn't you like your last memory of your ill- fated friend to be it falling peacefully asleep? In your arms or otherwise by your side while you talked to it and or soothingly petted it? Isn't that all our own wishes for ourselves is to die peacefully in our sleep?
Because I can't picture one of you NOT begging for your life when someone (a loved one or not) sticks a gun to your head. Am I right? Or not. That's kinda no different as a woman who's husband is holding a gun pointed at her, she's begging him to put it down...and she's loved him (the guy holding a gun to her head) all the years they were together. Just the same as that dog loves the person holding a gun to their head, only difference is....they can't beg you to put it down.

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from James Kirk wrote 13 weeks 3 days ago

I shot my dog today. I didn't want to but he was suffering. We took a walk and at the end I shot him in the head where the diagrams say is the best place. I shot him again in the back of the head just in case.

I live in the country so I don't have the issues people living in cities and suburbs have. From what I've read a head shot properly placed stops the brain. There isn't time to feel pain.

It's a hard thing to kill an animal you love but its kinder than letting them suffer. It takes something out of you. You never forget it. I know this because I had to put down another of our dogs a few years ago. You pay a cost to do it.

But if you don't pay that cost you pay a different one when someone else does it. When something you love dies it hurts. At least I can tell myself that I ended his suffering.

But if you're thinking about doing it, do some research first. A body shot is not the right way to do it. The animal will suffer. There are diagrams on the web showing where to place the shot. Doing it correctly is something you owe your pet and yourself. You don't want to be haunted by images of pain, no matter how brief. A head shot is instantaneous.

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from James Kirk wrote 13 weeks 3 days ago

I shot my dog today. I didn't want to but he was suffering. We took a walk and at the end I shot him in the head where the diagrams say is the best place. I shot him again in the back of the head just in case.

I live in the country so I don't have the issues people living in cities and suburbs have. From what I've read a head shot properly placed stops the brain. There isn't time to feel pain.

It's a hard thing to kill an animal you love but its kinder than letting them suffer. It takes something out of you. You never forget it. I know this because I had to put down another of our dogs a few years ago. You pay a cost to do it.

But if you don't pay that cost you pay a different one when someone else does it. When something you love dies it hurts. At least I can tell myself that I ended his suffering.

But if you're thinking about doing it, do some research first. A body shot is not the right way to do it. The animal will suffer. There are diagrams on the web showing where to place the shot. Doing it correctly is something you owe your pet and yourself. You don't want to be haunted by images of pain, no matter how brief. A head shot is instantaneous.

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from Sydney_deerhunter11 wrote 2 weeks 4 days ago

Hi my names Sydney. I'm 18 from Mississippi and yes I'm a girl and 3 days ago I had to put down my first dog ever. It was a Redbone name Layla I got the day I was born. She was 8 years old and healthy as can be. I took her with 3 of my buddies on a late night coon hunt and in my area we have cougars every now and then and it was just one of those random nights where the local cougar was around and she heard him coming before any of us did and took off after the beast. We couldn't figure out what it was and took off after her. By the time we got there shed already tried to tree the animal and failed. the cougar was going after her and I felt like a helpless mother as we watched in horror. We shot at the animal ever clear shot we could but nothing hit, as we were to scared to hit Layla. After 4 miserably shots we finally clipped the cougar and it took off. But it sadly had won and taken a chunk outta my sweet baby girl. She was bleeding incredibly and howling so I did the hardest thing I'll ever do in my life and I kissed my sweet baby told her I'm sorry over and over again and shot her quick and neat. We called my parents after and buried her under the first tree I ever hunter with her. I don't think I'll have a new dog for a very long time but shooting a dog is something I hope no one has to ever do unless it's needed. I have to agree with people though, I wouldn't want anyone else taking my best friend outta his or her misery when a dog is so loyal to a owner. It just wouldn't seem right. (Btw we did find the cougar and he's currently being made into a pretty little trophy)

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from herbfarm wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Get a grip on reality, humane euthanasia vs. being shot to death? Your companion deserves to die peacefully and humanely in your arms. Most vets will even make a house call for euthanasia. Shooting dogs is barbaric.

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from jleigh44 wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

I've owned dogs all my life since I was five years old and I am now 54 so I've owned many dogs in that time. I have lost dogs to accidents and to old age. I have thought about maybe shooting them but these dogs are also my friends and part of the family So, I have always taken them to the vet to be put to sleep and I've all ways cried when I lost my dog.

My Irish Setter that I own now is 9 yrs old and is having back problems I expect that I will soon have to take her in so she will no longer have to suffer since the meds she is on are not working very good.

I have hunted almost all of my life too and know how to handle guns. I have never had to shoot one of my dogs nor have I ever pointed a gun (loaded or not) at my dogs. It is the number one commandment in Remingtons, IDPA and everone else rules to NEVER POINT A GUN AT ANYTHING YOU DON'T INTEND TO DESTROY. I know of no one who has been accidentally shot when that rule has been followed.

The photo at the top of this blog is not only wrong in showing poor gun handling it is also tasteless. The dog in this picture also knows it's wrong.

I invite a lot of people to go bird hunting with me and those who don't watch where their muzzles are pointed are not asked to come again.

For those who don't agree you can go hunting with Dick Cheney.

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from mortsotruk wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

This might sound awful, but you just have to detach yourself from the dog. Don't look at it as your dog, just look at it as some stupid useless creature. Then it will be easy to cave its' head in, stab it, shoot it, run it over, drown it, etc (the list goes on). Hope this helps.

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from Cmethroughtoo wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

and to Jmor777 ..... If the impending death of the first dog was stressful on the drive to the vets office for the dog, wouldn't you take that as a sign that the dog "Didn't want to die yet?" I kinda see death as a When it's your time, it's your time kinda thing. It obviously wasn't the dogs time or it would have died naturally. Or dogs will give up on their own instead of fighting to stay alive....even with as much pain as they're in, or suffering they're going through....If they're not ready for one reason or another they will fight to hang on to life.
I kinda believe that if God was ready for the animal, he would take it on his own. So yes, there is conflicting feelings on this matter from all of us. We all have our own belief on this subject.
At times I feel we as the owner have no choice, the dog is our responsibility to take care of it, and cater to it's needs and if it can't walk, or isn't eating anymore, or is biting people, yes those may be reasons to take matters into your own hands and speed up the process of sending it home. But if it appears in pain or discomfort but can still get around and is still eating...maybe not so much. Because it's still alive....there must be a reason behind that, God isn't taking it just yet....Maybe that is reason enough to just make the dog as comfortable as possible and just let nature take it's course.
And besides there is really NO proof what a dog is feeling. Only theory. The vet only assumes the dog is feeling this or feeling that, but the fact of the matter is, the vet can not insert his spirit into that animals body to say exactly what the dog is feeling or going through. He can only make an assumption based on the way the dog is acting. So sometimes even though a dog is acting in pain or appears sick, it might be best to just wait it out. Because ya know, when your time is up you will die on your own. That's the fact of life. We as humans tend to play God instead of letting the real God handle what he has planned. Ya know what I mean? In other words the animal is still here for a reason...It's not it's time. And God isn't ready for it to die yet.

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from death wrote 2 years 14 weeks ago

if you kill you dog you kill god look
at god and dog

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from jleigh44 wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

To Outdoor Life, You guys are the biggest idiots in the world for posting that picture on the web. I breaks the first rule of safe handling of a fire arm "Never point a gun at anything you don't intend to destroy." NOT FOR EVEN A DUMB ASS PICTURE!!!

What if some kid looks at this picture and decides to just pretend to do the same think with Dad's gun. It must be OK to point a gun at my dog or maybe my sister or friend " I saw this the same thing on Outdoor Lifes website."

I am so pissed at you knuck heads for showing this photo for all to see there is no excuse for this on a site run by a group who should know good gun handling habits.

If you agree add your comments and let them know their readers are smarter than the editors of Outdoor Life.

From someone who know how to handle guns.

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from John Davidson wrote 2 years 26 weeks ago

Shooting a "friend" in the head is bulls!z!. Why any of you think you have the right to shoot someone who has been a loyal friend to you and loved you. Dog or human. In all reality dogs are just small children. Could your not give a little respect and have a painless death? If you have shot a family pet you are trash, the lowest of the low. You are a roach. And why would you shoot your dog in the chest anyway? Just to cause more pain? How sick. HumanS HAVE NO RIGHT TO KILL ANY LIfE FORM. It IS MURDER.

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