At homeEuthenasia or at Vets? Backyard or ashes? - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 09:49 AM Thread Starter
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At homeEuthenasia or at Vets? Backyard or ashes?

Hi my first post! There a lot of small detail I’m leaving out here for the sake of brevity...
Our boy is 15 and shouldn’t be around much longer...
My vet has given me some options for when we bring him in when it’s time. He gave me some “Ace” tranquilizer in pill form. I could give to our dog over the course of the day and then bring him in after the third pill. That way, He would already be deep asleep when we bring him in. We would be able to spend the day with him and make the ride to the vet “less traumatic.”
Or I could get an at home euthenasia. I’m not sure if these Vets do this service where the dog can be tranquilizer over the course of the day with family instead of being tranquilizer immediately before euthanasia. (I have been briefed that he may have a contrasting reaction to the Ace tranquilizer)
I have some landscaping guys who I could get to dig a hole out in our yard or I could leave him at the Vets to be creamated and the ashes returned eventually.
Anyone have any experience or insights or thoughts?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 10:48 AM
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Welcome to the forum. To have had a Golden for 15 years is really a blessing. It is a difficult thing to give an opinion on your question because it is so hard no matter what you choose. My girl Tawny was euthanized at home by a very sweet vet who had, and loved, Goldens. She was almost 13 and had lost use of her back legs. We stuffed her with her favorite zucchini bread, everyone said goodbye, my son left the house and my daughter and I sat on the floor while she went to sleep. It was peaceful and about as good as that process can be. Last fall I took my little Bichon in to the office and they put her to sleep. It was harder but more because I had conflicting feelings about whether the time was right or not. I think it is important to be with them through the end. We owe them that comfort but it is hard remembering the sight of them after they were gone. If your boy is nervous about the vet I would definitely recommend doing it at home. My Honeybear died a quick and natural death at home and even that was horrible in its own ways. We have always chosen cremation. Do you have other dogs? I have always let my remaining dog see the other dog after death and I am convinced they know and understand what has happened. I think it helps them deal with the loss. I wish you a peaceful goodbye.

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Eva Bear (Bichon) 09/2005 to 11/2018
Tawny Bear 01/2000 to 10/2012
Honeybear 01/1987 to 07/1999
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 10:54 AM
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I'm sorry you're having to make these decisions right now.

For me, I prefer to say goodbye at my vet's. They have a special room, you can stay with your dog as long as you want, before and after. I would not want to see the bed in my home where my dog died every day, or see her taken from my home afterwards. That's just me. I know many, many people like saying their goodbye at home.

In terms of burial or ashes... I would only bury if you are positive you are never ever going to move away. And that's it's legal and you can bury deep enough. I didn't want to bury my dog (it would have been in a pet cemetery, not my yard) because I would never have wanted to leave her alone in the event that I moved. So I did private cremation and I have her ashes.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 11:59 AM
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It's a very personal decision. When my last Golden was euthanized, I opted for an in-home procedure because she hated going to the vet's and I didn't want her last minutes to be stressful. Our vet didn't offer the option, but made an exception for us. I've never regretted the choice of home euthanasia for that particular dog, but if my dog had been comfortable in the vet's office, I might have made a different choice.

As for burial vs. cremation, burial wasn't an option for me. I knew that we will eventually move out of our current home and couldn't bear the thought of having my dog buried in a place where I no longer lived. Also, there's a municipal by-law banning burials of pets in gardens. So cremation was our only choice. I will say that it was very tough to watch my dog being carried out of the house and put in the trunk of the cremation company's vehicle. And I still (four years later) haven't unpacked the wooden box containing her ashes from its cardboard wrapping. But it's comforting to know that she won't be left behind when we move.


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My dog of a lifetime. I'll miss you forever.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 12:16 PM
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As the saying goes, it depends. I've been involved in two pet deaths over the last couple of years. The first was Ruby our Golden. Her health had been declining a bit and she was diagnosed with cancer about a week before she passed. I came home one day from work and she avoided us at all costs and refused to eat. By the next morning, she had continued to deteriorate, so the kids said their goodbyes and my wife and I took her to the vet. The also had a private room with a separate entrance. She loved the vet, so she was not in a place of stress. It was a very calm experience. We gave her one last hug, to which she mustered up enough energy to wag her tail and then crossed the rainbow bridge. We chose to cremate her and she stays in our RV so she can go camping with us - her favorite thing to do.

The second was my sister's English Bulldog. He had a heart attack that the vets were shocked he survived, but let her know that his time was limited. One day a couple weeks later, he started breathing heavily and just a few minutes later collapsed and died. I went over to my sister's to comfort her and her husband. They hadn't yet decided if they were going to bury or cremate. Unfortunately, the clock was ticking and I advised them they needed to make a decision soon. Her husband was leaning towards burial, but there was literally no time, especially since they had not made any arrangements. In the end, we took him to the vet, who arranged for a cremation.

You will choose what works best for you, but it's good that you are planning ahead. Give your boy a hug from the rest of us and enjoy the time you have left with him. Cheers.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 01:01 PM
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I am choking back tears just reading this as it brings back the memories of all my furbabies and how hard it is.

When it was time for my last golden at 13 1/2, it was a sudden onset. He simply lost the use of his rear legs overnight. I was the only one home and I could not lift him into my car. Both my husband and son were on jobs that neither could leave from. I could not find anyone to come to my house. Eventually my son got home and I pleaded with the vet to stay until I got there at almost 5 pm. I could not let my poor boy go into the night. We buried him at home. It was so sudden that I didn't have time to even think. So pre-planning as you are is smart! In hindsight I wish I had him cremated.

Four years later when my GSD passed, again totally unexpected. We had taken him to the vet bc he was breathing funny. After being at the vet for 20 minutes he told us that we had to put him down immediately. Our poor pup was full of cancer, he had never showed any signs or symptoms. He was only 10. We chose to have him cremated. Since it was a Sunday, the vet kept him overnight and he was picked up by the crematorium the following day. Where I live the crematorium is about 20 minutes away. I had to know that it was my pup so I paid extra to see that it was my dog, and mine only going into the "thing". My husband could not handle that but I needed the closure. I went back for his ashes later that day.

I love that you are planning ahead and even have tranquilizers for him. I'm sure which ever way you go, it will be a well thought out decision and the right one for you all. Best wishes to you and your boy.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 01:12 PM
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I'm sorry you're faced with having to make this decision, it's never easy.

I've had to let 6 dogs go over the last 20+ years, they've all lived well into their upper teens. I've had to take them all into the Clinic with the exception of my last one. My Vet came to the house, I found it to be much easier, more peaceful and less traumatic for her as well as us.

I've always had my guys cremated, I wanted to keep their ashes.

My thoughts are with you as you make this decision, whatever you choose to do, it will be what works best for you.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 01:37 PM
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Totally depends on you. I myself prefer at home, but that's not always an option. With my angel boy, the vet came to my house. With my angel girl, we gave her (strong) sedatives (think opiods) and there was no reason for the vet to come out, we met him at the clinic the next morning as she was totally gorked.
We did ashes for my departed 2. They are in a lovely urn, along with the cat that grew up with them.
When it's Tito's time, I have an amazing one of a kind, hand carved (specially commissioned) pheasant for him, as he loves to hunt.
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CH Rosewood Little Giant VCD3 UDX VER RA TDX MHU SH MXP MJP MFP T2BP DJ VCX WCX CCA CGC FFX-OG (born 3-10-2007), also UCH HR UH UUD AN UJJ URO1 UHIT a.k.a. "Tito" (the Tito Monster)

waiting at the bridge:
My first dog, and my most special girl
Gibson's Golden Girl, CD, CGC, TDI ( 3-20-1997 - 11-22-2013) a.k.a. "Tiny", "Queen B"
and my heart dog
Gibson's Golden Guy, CD, CGC, TDI ( 01-31-1998 - 01-02-2012) a.k.a. "Toby", "HRH"
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 10:30 PM
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I am sorry you have to be faced with this situation. Fifteen years is a lifetime of wonderful memories I am certain. I recently lost my 3rd Golden and chose to euthanize her at home by a service (here in South Florida) called "LAP OF LOVE". It was a wonderful experience and I will never, ever choose to say good bye to another pet at a vet's office, ever. Miss Ellie was relaxed and comfortable in her own bed in our home. I was able to lay with her and cradle her and the vet who came to the house to assess her and then help us decide if we were making the right choice gave us all the time we needed. She encouraged us to tell her about Ellie and we even managed to laugh a little. She made a paw impression mold for us to have. Ellie was calm and relaxed and because the vet was in our home, Ellie seemed okay with knowing the vet must be okay if we invited her in. She got right down on the floor with Ellie and examined her and was so gentle. The vet took the time to gain Ellie's trust-not hard for a Golden! I didn't have to traumatize her by making her get into the car and then out again once we got to the vet if we chose to say good bye there. The vet told me to tell her when I was ready before proceeding and believe me, I took my time. After Ellie was gone she let me lay with her and pet her for as long as I needed and wanted. She was at out house at least an hour and a half, maybe longer and not once did I feel rushed. I have said good bye to my 2 previous Goldens and a cat in the cold, sterile environment of a vet's office and try as they might to be sympathetic and supportive, it is an office where business is conducted. Lots of people outside the door coming and going and other dogs and cats barking, yelping and crying! And since losing those previous 3 animals at 2 different vet offices in the town where we have lived for 23 years- EVERY TIME, still to this day, I drive past those offices where I left my pets, I remember the sadness of the days I had to say goodbye.There is nothing worse than leaving a vet's office with a leash in your hand and no dog! And that drive home? An unsafe eternity through tears. Yet in my home where I said my final goodbyes to Miss Ellie I still feel a sense of comfort knowing somehow she is still here with me. I would never euthanize in a vet's office again! It may cost more for this at home service but if I had to forgo food for my family, I would do it again. As far as cremating or burial, I personally choose having all my pets' remains cremated. Please be aware you will have to pay more for a 'separate' cremation for just your pet's remains. If you do not choose this separate cremation the ashes you get back are from a group cremation of other dogs as well. I also would not trust that even though I might have paid more for a separate cremation, I have no idea in fact that my pet was cremated separately. My personal feeling is when they are gone, they are gone. I know I have all my pets in my heart and in my home and I personally don't need to have their ashes to prove they were a part of our family and our lives. My best thoughts and prayers for you and your beloved boy as you say goodbye. It's been 4 months since I lost my sweet girl and I am SO looking forward to honoring Ellie's life (@2007/rescued2013/lost2018) as well as the other loves of my life: Buck (1999-2013) and Marley (1985-1999) as I await the whelp of my new love, my 4th Golden! Once a Golden girl, always a Golden girl...Thank you for allowing me to melt a little here. Those first few days, weeks and even months without my loving companions was something I was not sure I would ever be able to get through, but that day does come and I am so firmly committed to honoring the lives of my lost loves by opening my heart up again!
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 10:58 PM
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I just posted the L O N G one above and I just wanted to add that the service we used, "LAP OF LOVE" was not only a vet service that euthanized. They also offered end of life hospice for pets who might be terminal but not yet ready to be euthanized. Ellie had suddenly lost use of her hind legs and the vet from Lap of Love came to our home with the understanding that she would assess her and evaluate x-rays we previously had taken at our regular vet and offered us alternative treatment options and possible physical rehabilitation. Because Ellie was about 11-12 (she was a rescue so I was uncertain of her age) and because I was so adament about not keeping her alive to suffer because I didn't want to let go (as I might have done with my cat) we chose to say good bye while she had her dignity and I could remember her being happy. Lap of Love is not only a euthanizing option.
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