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I was wondering how rare it was for a dog, especially an old dog, to die on their own vs. telling us humans they are no longer comfortable and being put to sleep. The very first dog in my life was quite old when she went to the bridge, but showed no signs of pain. One day she and I took a walk around the farm, and then she went in an empty horse stall and laid down for a nap (totally normal for her) and never woke up. I've never heard of another dog dying on their own, and every senior I've owned since has needed to be PTS. Is this really rare? Or have I just only encountered it once?
 

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I would also like to know this, as the whole idea of having to put a dog I have owned and loved for years makes me cry just thinking about it.
 

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My collie(farm dog), Lassie (what else!) when I was a kid, loved to lay in the cool dirt next to the house in the flower garden.
At the age of 14, she laid her favorite spot and took a nap and didn't wake up.
It was a fitting exit for her.
Karen
 

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Love my Golden Boys!!
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I have mixed feelings about this. We lost our dog Phoenix in March of this year. When we took him to the vet, we fully expected to be picking him up again to bring him home. While he made it through his surgery, he wasn't able to recover and passed 2 days later. We didn't have the chance to say a good-bye to him and to tell him how much we loved him. That still bothers me to this day. On the other hand, I had to make a decision in 2000 to put my 9 year old Samoyed down....with Dakota, I at least had time to spend with him before that dreaded moment and was able to tell him what a good friend he had been and how much I loved him. I also worry about that with my current 9 year old GR. It bothers me to think that my beloved pet would go off somewhere and pass on his own (which I understand dogs tend to do). I want to be there with him!!!
 

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****** was the neighborhood dog, we all fed and gave shelter to her, as I grew up. She disappeared one day, the idea being she went off to die.
Maude died of kidney failure, while under treatment.
Abby died in her sleep at age 10.
Mandy, Reuben, and Ben were helped across.

Ben was the most traumatic, as he fine on Thursday, collapsed on Friday. This started 4 days of he's treatable, not treatable - repeated cycle. Sometimes the change in prognosis occurred several times in the space of an hour - especially toward the end. We tried every reasonable option, but finally had to let him go. Fortunately, money was not the deciding factor.

Mandy and Reuben were quality of life - old age, unable to get around without pain, appetite for favorite foods. The issue of incontinence didn't affect the decision. We had time to get used to the idea of life without them. And we could see it was time.

They were all hard.
 

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That's so sad. I really hate thinking about this but I have to sometimes. It's a thing I'll probably have to do with Molly... Again. I did put my other golden to sleep 3 years ago. It was the hardest, most heartbreaking thing I ever did in my entire life. But she was in pain. She had a really hard time getting up and wouldn't eat anymore.. We also started to see blood in her urine. We could tell she wasn't herself... So we thought it was time to let her go.

For Molly, I really hope she'll be healthy enough to 'go' with us, in our home.. In her sleep... Okay now I'm going to give her a hug....
 

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The criteria for the pts option for my first dog, the original Paco, who made it to 16, was when the tail stopped wagging.
You could see the saddness in his eyes that he just felt rotten, that there was nothing we could do for him anymore and that he knew
it was time to go.
He couldn't walk and was eliminating right where he was laying.
You could tell he was loosing his dignity.
If it was also a situation where they were in distress from pain or not being able to breathe, that would be a type of death they dont deserve.
Imagine yourself in his place.
His last moments with us were spent giving him his fill of steak and Kit-Kat chocolate bars and holding him well after his heart stopped.
 

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Debbie
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It is sad no matter how it happens. Our golden of 14 1/2 years showed signs of her back legs weakening to the point we knew some day she would not be able to walk. From the time she turned 14 we knew her days were numbered. We talked about putting her down but felt it wasn't time and that we knew when it would be. Sure enough, in April of this year she woke up one morning and couldn't walk any more. We told the kids, let them say good bye to her while we got dressed and then took her in. We were prepared and were able to say good bye. It was a good way. Same with my first kitty. He was 17 and sick and we knew it was time.

Then one of our cats died suddenly in his sleep. He was only 11 and it was a surprise. My daughter was 11 at the time and she found him. It was very traumatic. He was the only pet I have ever had that died naturally.
 

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Lost Her Mind
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I never had pets growing up so I've never had to experience a death. When I think about it... with them now... I always cry. No matter how long I think about it. I'm going to take it extremely hard and I know it will kill me as well.

Sometimes... I actually wish I never got Mittens or Mojo or Maxie. Because then I wouldn't have to go through the pain of their death.

But then I realize that I would also never have the unending love they give.

I hope I can be there when all three of them pass. I've heard of people just dropping their pets off at the vet to be PTS... and then leaving them alone. I think that is probably the cruelest thing anyone could do.

My FIL was on his way to the vet to have their 13 year old beagle PTS because he pretty much said it was time... and as he picked him up and started carrying him into the clinic he died in his arms.

That's the only dog I've ever heard of dying from natural, old age causes.
 

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Daisy - my heart
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I think about this a lot now that Daisy is getting up there (she'll be 9 in January). I would, of course, prefer that she passes on in her sleep, comfortable at home and with me near. But I do realize it could go different, and could possibly be entirely out of my control.

Last winter when she was so sick and I thought I would lose her, I was given the option to put her to sleep but I wasn't ready. Then she got worse and she was in so much pain, it was horrible beyond words -- at that time I was very upset with myself that I didn't take the oppotunity to let her go while she was still semi okay. But now look, it's one year later and she's fine. I'm glad I didn't and it scares me to death that I almost did. Hard to know sometimes what to do, we never want to make the wrong decision with this.

The most important thing for me now is to be there with her when she dies. My heart would sink inside me forever if I missed the chance to say goodbye to her the way I want to. I think at some point I will be more likely to have her put to sleep, just so I can have more control over those last moments.
 

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When our golden Skokie passed away 3 years ago, she went on her own. She had been diagnosed with Lymphoma 2 weeks earlier and she was 4 years old. She spent her summers at the cottage with my stepdad but he had brought her home the week before her last so we could all say goodbye. Back at the cottage, she laid down for a nap in her favourite spot next to the cottage, overlooking the lake, she peacefully passed away in her sleep next to my stepdad. :--sad: We couldn't have made it any better for her, so that's what eases our hearts.

She is now buried in the same spot and we have turned it into a flower garden that blooms all season while we're up there! :( I miss her so much...
 

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Griff's a Muffin Thief!
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The criteria for the pts option for my first dog, the original Paco, who made it to 16, was when the tail stopped wagging.
You could see the saddness in his eyes that he just felt rotten, that there was nothing we could do for him anymore and that he knew
it was time to go.
He couldn't walk and was eliminating right where he was laying.
You could tell he was loosing his dignity.
If it was also a situation where they were in distress from pain or not being able to breathe, that would be a type of death they dont deserve.
Imagine yourself in his place.
His last moments with us were spent giving him his fill of steak and Kit-Kat chocolate bars and holding him well after his heart stopped.
Oh gosh - that sure brings it all back. When a Golden's tail stops wagging, it is surely past time to say goodbye.

We waited that long with Jake - his last 6 months with us were not all good days although a good day would pop up here and there. His tail did wag every morning until his last morning with us. We believe Jake had a stroke the night before I made the decision to let him go - and for the first time in his whole life he was unable to make it to our bedroom to sleep and lay on the kitchen floor shaking all night. It was so heartbreaking and the next day he did start to rebound some - but I couldn't let him go through that again. It was clear that he was in pain. We said goodbye to him on his 17th Birthday.

OK - got to get off this thread, the waterworks have begun. :(
 

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One of my goldens had to be put to sleep--she had hemangiosarcoma of the heart. If we had not made that decision, she would have passed away, most likely within hours, and this decision certainly eliminated any further suffering. Alli was 9 years old. We had a good month with her after diagnosis, and I'm so glad I had a chance to say goodbye and enjoy her during that time.

Our other golden died during surgery to repair bleeding in the stomach. He was close to 13 and had been slowing down. He still had a certain spirit, but his body was breaking down and I could tell that he was starting to lose interest in the world, to be honest. For what I think were maybe months, I would tell him what a great dog he was, and that I was so lucky to have had him as a pet. Before he went in for surgery, I was able to lay in the crate with him and tell him how much I loved him, and to be strong. He was doped up with morphine for the pain, but he managed to pick up his head and put it on my knee. It was good that I also had a chance to say goodbye. I know my husband was so disappointed when he didn't pull through the surgery, but I always remember the line from Forrest Gump, when his mom tells him that she's getting old and that "it's just my time Forrest!" It was just Jake's time.
 

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Carmella's death was really awful. We still feel guilty about it. One night, after days of her not eating well and acting weird (spending a LOT of time outside all by herself), Carmella fell in our house. She was still alive, but was never able to get up on her feet after that. I spent the rest of the night crying and trying to get her to go outside or eat something, but all she did was lay there, breathing heavily and not doing much else.

The next morning we made the hard decision to call in the vet and have her come to our house to have Carmella PTS. We spent several long, agonizing hours waiting for the vet to come; meanwhile, Carmella's breathing grew more labored and (this was horrible) we could feel all of her extremities growing colder and colder. Anyhow, long story short (too late), when the vet finally came, she told us that Carmella's heart was barely beating and it was really difficult to find a vein she could use for the injection. Shortly after that, Carmella basically died on her own. So yeah, she died naturally, more or less (she did have a bit of the injection), but it was just terrible.

It was awful. I wish I had begged the vet to come the night Carmella fell, because watching her suffer like that was definitely the worst thing I have ever had to do in my life. I know from that experience that if Flora ever begins to show suffering like that I will NOT delay giving her what she needs. No way.
 

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years ago DH's old labx was found laying in the woods -- we were so glad (& lucky)we found him

had app't to have a cat pts -- came home to take him to app't & he had gone in his sleep

I currently worry so much about my old guy (almost 13) - he still makes trip upriver to his legal home to visit & I'm prepared for the day he stops to rest & doesn't make it - & we just won't know
 

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Old Gold is the Best Gold
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I've had a number of seniors die in their sleep or whatever, but all were dogs with suspected heart conditions. I've also had to PTS plenty.
 

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Our collie died many yrs. ago. She went down to our basement and just went to sleep. I cried for many hours. Then in 1999 I chose to have my golden HoneyBear PTS after our vet found that she had kidney shutdown. She was 10 yrs. old. I took her to the vet and stayed with her on my lap till she was gone.
We are now having kidney problems with 4 yr. old Mandy and she refuses to eat any of the HD foods wet or dry. So, we chose to feed her what she wants(except protein) and to let her enjoy what ever time she has left. The vet says she is in no pain. It has been difficult to get her to eat much but she is still moving around and wagging her tail. We dread the thought of losing her so young. We feel she must have gotten into anti-freeze while out walking somewhere, we just don't know.
Please keep her in your prayers.
 

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I've never had an animal die on me. When I lived in Cali they would get stolen or my freakin' parents gave them away (they told me a few years ago MY dog from when I was younger didn't run away they gave it to the shelter because they were tired of it barking... gee..thanks....)

I got a horse when I was 10 and had her shipped from Cali to VA to be with me. Had her until I was about 18 and I stayed in VA and my parents moved to NC and took her with them. Well after a few months I got an e-mail from my mom stating she gave my horse away. Yeeeaaa I cried FOREVER.
A year or so went by and I finally moved to NC to live with my parents because I lost my job and all that fun stuff. I was there for a while when my dad said he had given my horse to a guy he works with and he said I could visit whenever I wanted to. A year later I finally got the nerve up to go see her.
She looked HORRIBLE!!!! She was SO skinny and her fur was falling out. I started to cry. I asked the guy if I could please have her back and he said yes. (Although he kept my freakin' saddle and everything else my wonderful parents gave to him).
By now Lady was about 18 years old. I worked my butt off to keep her at a local ranch and could only afford to keep her in a pasture. Well she ended up gaining weight and her fur grew back.... then one day the barn owner called me stating Lady kept trying to run and just falling down. I got the vet out there and she ran all kinds of tests (the guy never gave her shots).My bill got to $1,300 and still no answer.

I couldn't afford to keep her like this and I knew she was a fighter and wanted to live. So I found a WONDERFUL lady who rescues horses and gives seniors a place to live. I was crying like a baby to see her leave but I REALLY don't think I could have been around to see her die.
I had this horse through my life and she helped me A LOT. My parents were NEVER around, always working "so we could have nice things"... would have rather had my parents.... But during my teens i'd run into her stall after a bad day and if I was crying she'd put her head on my shoulder and just make me feel SO much better.. Granted she had her moments!!! She was an arabian with a lot of aditude but I swear she was JUST like me.

When my DH and I started to get VERY attached to the cat we would say he CAN'T die. And now i have my wonderful Hayden. I have a feeling they'll be my first to live out their lives with me. And yes it scares me to death.
 

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I wish humans had this option of being PTS when we are suffering horribly, like we do with our beloved animals.

To die a peaceful and painless death would be what we all would want for ourselves and our loved ones. But it doesn't always go that way.

Every dog I have ever had has been put to sleep to end it's horrible pain or to quicken what would be a painful death. I have heard of a few dogs dying peacefully (like Logan who died in the mountains he loved) but my friend told me yesterday of an 11 yr old golden being boarded where she works. The dog went for it's morning walk,seemed fine and was found dead in hit's kennel a couple hours later. How sad this dear golden died alone and away from his family. I find this story sadder than my dogs who were with me when they went.

I pray I know when it is time for any dog I love and don't keep them around for my own selfish reasons. Because I would never want to say goodbye.
 
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