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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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I am in tears reading this as this is just always the worst decision to make or to be faced with making. Our 18 year old lab was put to rest at our home for the simple fact that it was what he would have wanted , he was far more at peace in the comfort of his home... he was such a calm easy going home body dog. Our other dogs have died in their own time. all buried in the backyard. it is such a tough and painful decision. and none of it ever feels right or good. but knowing they are free of pain and you have helped them to pass peacefully always does ease the pain. i wish you so much peace and im so happy you were blessed with so many years with your baby.
 

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I would say everything depends on you and your dog. Golden boy Scooter died in my brother's back yard in '99 when we were evacuated for Hurricane Bret. I had turned him and Buck loose and when time to eat, only Buck came to the deck. Found Scooter dead in the back yard, a heart attack we learned. he was 5. Being 200 miles from home, we ended up burying him along side 3 of my brother's dogs, so he was 'not alone". My Hunter passed at age 4 in the hospital after a horrid reaction to ProHeart6 in 2003. I had only been gone for 15 minutes, so was not there with him. No crematorium around so he is buried under the sycamore tree he loved to chase squirrels up in our back yard.. Buck woke me up in the middle of the night making odd noises, the same noise he woudl make when I left his side when he was coming around after a dental. As soon as I turned on the light I knew he was dying and I got on the floor with him, held him and he died in minutes. He as 12. This was 2007 and there was a crematorium in the area then, so son came over in the morning and took Buck to teh vet's to have him picked up to be reamated. I hung onto his ashes in the beautiful box.



Then just 1 year and 10 days later, in 2008, I had Hunter's litter mate sister in for you check up (she was almost 9) and a mass was felt. Surgery done that day, but it was so bad the vet was surprised she made it thru the surgery. I was with her 48 hours later when I knew she was going to do. It was Sunday and my vet's day off (we are a one vet town). I asked the tech to call him to come and let her go, no more suffering, but she was gone before he got there, she died with me holding her. I also had her cremated and then decided to bury her and Buck together out under the same Sycamore tree I had buried Hunter under. Buck had also loved to chase squirrels up and knew he woudl love to be out thereh "watching" with Hunter. And Kaycee never chased squirrels, but she and Hunter had been so close it seemed right for her to be there with him.


Honey was at least 13 1/3 (had adopted her fully grown, heat worm positive) and most took her to be 4-5 at most, so fully of energy, no hint of arthritis, etc. Suddenly she got sick and was diagnosed with lymphoma (Aug 2014. Two weeks later she wouldn't eat and we knew. She loved our vet. When we were be in the examine room and she woudl hear him on the other side of the door, her tail went to sweeping the floor (she always laid in there "froggy doggy" with rear legs splayed out. Had to lick all over him. So we took her and when she heard him, her tail did wag, but she didn't get up. I was on the floor with her when she was released. Also had her cremated. And believe it or not, 1 month and 10 days later, Aug. 2014, our Great Pyrenees, Shaggy wouldn't get up one morning. We barely got him in the car. He collapsed again at the vets, Vet was pretty sure what the problem was, did sonogram--tumor on his spleen had ruptured and he was bleeding out and nothing could be done. We said to let him go, no more suffering (he had been abused for 6 years before we adopted him). Again I was on the floor with his big blind head in my lap (blind hsi entire life) as he passed. We had him cremated, and then buried his and honey's ashes near where the ashes of Buck and KayCee and the body of Hunter were buried.

We adopted another 7 year old Pyr 2 weeks after losing Shaggy (2014) and then short time later, adopted an 11 year old golden girl who had belong to the same people who had had to give Moose up. We had her 20 months and then it was a repeat of what happened with Shaggy. This was 2016. Only her tumor was on her liver. We had her cremated and decided to keep her ashes to be buried with Moose when he passed as they were together for yers with theri previous owners, and then with us for almost 2 yers. When we evacuated Hurricane Harvey, we took her ashes with us as we didn't want to bury here alone. Then we lost Moose to liver disease this past Dec. This time, the vet came here and let him go with both hubby and I present. The vet took him to the clinic to be picked up by the crematorium the next morning. We know we are going to bury them together under the cedar tree where they both loved to nap together in the summer. We have since adopted another Pyrenees, almost 10 year old Jewel, who also loves to nap unde the cedar tree. We plan to keep the ashes of Sophie and Moose and then bury Jewel's ashes with theirs---which we hope is yers away.


Now some wonder why bury theri ashes. Well, they are all buries or will br buries in the back yard where they loved to be, in the places they loved to be in...Hunter and Buck where they chased squirrels almost daily, and KayCee because she loved her litter mate so much and always wanted near him. Honey and Shaggy near them as they both loved the outdoors She did chase squirrels, but poor blind Shaggy couldn't. But he deserved company. And then Sophie, Moose and Jewel never chased squirrels, but loved it under the cedar tree.


So each to their own way of thinking, what you think is right for you and for your dog when it comes to where and if to bury or not.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
At Home Euth. *UPDATE*

Hi everyone
We put our boy to sleep May 1.
It was very peaceful.
Thanks for all of the wonderful, heartfelt advice.
We elected to do the Ace/tranquillized and then take him in. Doing it at the Vets was what we knew so it made sense.
Thanks again folks
 
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