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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We found out from an Ultrasound that our almost 10 year old Jaxon has a tumor on his left kidney. The only sign we had was noticing how much more water he was drinking. We took him to a Specialist yesterday and had more blood work and a CAT scan done. She called me to tell me that he was having some internal bleeding so surgery was not an option. She really wanted us to let them put him down while he was under anesthesia. I had minutes to make a decision. He was fine when we dropped him off so we had no idea there was the possibility we would not see him alive again. I made the best decision I could. I told her not to euthanize him. We where not allowed in the building due to Covid so we could not see him or be with him when he passed. I could not live with that. I told her we wanted him to be in our (his) home where he feels safe when transitiones and we can be holding him and loving him when it happened. Today he is eating and drinking and acting like himself. I know there's no hope of him surviving this and every second we have with him now is such a gift. i do not want him in distress or suffering. When he passes, I want him to be at peace. I need to remember him that way. I just don't know when to say it's time. I've always heard they will let you know because they will stop eating and drinking. My gut feeling is that doing it too soon would be better for him than doing it too late but its hard to imagine doing it when he is acting like a healthy dog. Any words of wisdom?
 

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This is such a tough thing and I am sorry that you all are going through this. As you know, there is no formula to when it's time. Personally, I think it is when you can tell he or she is no longer finding joy in life. I know it sounds silly but even the little things. Our Rhodesian mix died in January 2020. I was traveling for work and my husband brought him home. When I arrived, I realized it was past time - he was having a hard time breathing and was simply laying there. While I'm glad that I got the chance to say goodbye to my sweet boy, but I wouldn't have put him through that (or more likely would have high-tailed it home from our trip - the vet had said he could live up to two weeks).

I don't know how much wisdom is in this, but I will say that with all my dogs, I have been the one to say it's time. My husband who is in a million ways stronger than I am can't bring himself to do it. Why can I do it? Because when I bring a dog into my life and my heart I make a promise to them not to hold onto them for me and to let them go when it's best for them. So, as I say, when Jaxon no longer is finding joy then holding onto him is just for you.

My thoughts and prayers are with you. This is the hardest part of loving a dog, but aren't we blessed to have gotten the chance to love them anyway?
 

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I'm very sorry about Jaxon, I'm also sorry you are facing with making this decision.

Over the last 26 years, I've had to set free 6 dogs, it's always been the hardest thing I've ever had to do, each dog was so special in their own way. It was unbearable thinking of not having them in my life but seeing or knowing they were in pain or suffering was even harder, I felt the ultimate gift of love I could give them, would be to set them free.

I've always had my guys cremated and got their ashes. I have taken several to the Vet Clinic to euthanized, one to the Emergency Clinic that had to be euthanized at that time unexpectedly. My Vet Clinic offers at home euthanasian, I've had one done that way. I have found having the Vet come to my house to be more peaceful.

Here is a Quality-of-Life thread that may be helpful to you-

Quality of Life scale | Golden Retriever Dog Forums (goldenretrieverforum.com)

My thoughts are with you.
 

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We found out from an Ultrasound that our almost 10 year old Jaxon has a tumor on his left kidney. The only sign we had was noticing how much more water he was drinking. We took him to a Specialist yesterday and had more blood work and a CAT scan done. She called me to tell me that he was having some internal bleeding so surgery was not an option. She really wanted us to let them put him down while he was under anesthesia. I had minutes to make a decision. He was fine when we dropped him off so we had no idea there was the possibility we would not see him alive again. I made the best decision I could. I told her not to euthanize him. We where not allowed in the building due to Covid so we could not see him or be with him when he passed. I could not live with that. I told her we wanted him to be in our (his) home where he feels safe when transitiones and we can be holding him and loving him when it happened. Today he is eating and drinking and acting like himself. I know there's no hope of him surviving this and every second we have with him now is such a gift. i do not want him in distress or suffering. When he passes, I want him to be at peace. I need to remember him that way. I just don't know when to say it's time. I've always heard they will let you know because they will stop eating and drinking. My gut feeling is that doing it too soon would be better for him than doing it too late but its hard to imagine doing it when he is acting like a healthy dog. Any words of wisdom?
As others will say, there's no right answer. For me the bottom line is that our pets should not suffer. In my opinion, the vet should not have put you in the position to make such a difficult decision in a few minutes. I really question the wisdom of that clinic. I'm glad he is with you. It really is important to be there in person when our beloved friends pass.
 

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I'm sorry for you and Jaxson. It's hard dealing with end of life issues with our furdogs. I agree with Carolina Mom's post and would like to add that a day too soon is better than a day too late for Jaxson. My wife and I have lost 3 over the years and I don't think it matters as much whether it's at the Vet's or home..... the important thing is to be there with him.
 

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I'm so sorry you are going through this. I have to say, my heart went out to you with that decision. I would have done the same. It would have destroyed me not to be able to say goodbye or be with my dog in her last moments.

I hope you have many more good days with Jaxson. For me, with my last dog who had cancer, she let me know when it was time. It was black and white. She was good and then she wasn't. Something changed. Even though I had been telling her she could go if she needed to, even if I was at work, that she shouldn't try to wait, she never did. I knew it was last days and I stayed home from work with her Monday, and then on Monday night into Tuesday, there was a definite change. I called the vet first thing and told them and they said to come in right away. It was brutal, but I was with her and she knew I was with her and I let her go peacefully. I hope you have that with Jaxson.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm so sorry you are going through this. I have to say, my heart went out to you with that decision. I would have done the same. It would have destroyed me not to be able to say goodbye or be with my dog in her last moments.

I hope you have many more good days with Jaxson. For me, with my last dog who had cancer, she let me know when it was time. It was black and white. She was good and then she wasn't. Something changed. Even though I had been telling her she could go if she needed to, even if I was at work, that she shouldn't try to wait, she never did. I knew it was last days and I stayed home from work with her Monday, and then on Monday night into Tuesday, there was a definite change. I called the vet first thing and told them and they said to come in right away. It was brutal, but I was with her and she knew I was with her and I let her go peacefully. I hope you have that with Jaxson.
Thank you for sharing your experience. I had to read it thru tears. I've told Jaxon that we will be ok so he can go when he is ready. what I didn't tell him was how our lives will always feel a void without him here. Who will greet me at the door with a toy in his mouth when I get home from work? Who will sense when Im feeling down and come cuddle with me? I can't imagine ever going thru this again but I also can't imagine not having a Golden to share our lives with. I wouldn't know how to live in a house without Golden hair floating around 😊

Im reminded of that Garth Brooks song "the dance" where it says........ "I could have missed the pain but I would have missed the dance". The pain is real but I would not trade anything for the 10 years Ive had the joy of dancing with Jaxon 💔
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm very sorry about Jaxon, I'm also sorry you are facing with making this decision.

Over the last 26 years, I've had to set free 6 dogs, it's always been the hardest thing I've ever had to do, each dog was so special in their own way. It was unbearable thinking of not having them in my life but seeing or knowing they were in pain or suffering was even harder, I felt the ultimate gift of love I could give them, would be to set them free.

I've always had my guys cremated and got their ashes. I have taken several to the Vet Clinic to euthanized, one to the Emergency Clinic that had to be euthanized at that time unexpectedly. My Vet Clinic offers at home euthanasian, I've had one done that way. I have found having the Vet come to my house to be more peaceful.

Here is a Quality-of-Life thread that may be helpful to you-

Quality of Life scale | Golden Retriever Dog Forums (goldenretrieverforum.com)

My thoughts are with you.
Thank you. Im about to read the link that you shared. I really want Jaxon to pass here at home. The only problem I am finding is that most mobile vets that offer that service require a 24-48 hour notice. If he takes a turn for the worse and is obviously in pain, I can't let him suffer that long. At the same time, if I schedule it 24 hours from now and he is happy and pain free like he is right now, I would have trouble going thru with it. I have to figure that out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm sorry for you and Jaxson. It's hard dealing with end of life issues with our furdogs. I agree with Carolina Mom's post and would like to add that a day too soon is better than a day too late for Jaxson. My wife and I have lost 3 over the years and I don't think it matters as much whether it's at the Vet's or home..... the important thing is to be there with him.
Thank you. I can't imaging going thru this 3 times! I was just discussing that with my partner. I don't want to be selfish and wait until he is suffering. He has had the same vet his whole life but Jaxon has always gotten very anxious hearing dogs in the other rooms. Thats why I was really hoping for him passing at home but if he is in pain I will take him to my vet. We have a good relationship with him so he may be willing to come out to my SUV.
 

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Thank you. I can't imaging going thru this 3 times! I was just discussing that with my partner. I don't want to be selfish and wait until he is suffering. He has had the same vet his whole life but Jaxon has always gotten very anxious hearing dogs in the other rooms. Thats why I was really hoping for him passing at home but if he is in pain I will take him to my vet. We have a good relationship with him so he may be willing to come out to my SUV.
Sometimes circumstances dictate how you have to handle it, but I can tell how much you love him and I'm confident you'll do right by him when it's time.
 

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I'm so sorry about your Jaxon! We have been where you are several times with our previous goldens and know how painful that decision is! I think you made the right choice in letting him come home and when his time comes, you will be there for him. I'd never let a vet (or anyone else!) tell me I couldn't be there when my dog passes on! That is cruel! When our first girl was dying, we knew how bad she was suffering and I think we waited a bit too long, but we treasured those last few days with her. It was amazing how she prepared our other golden that she was not gonna be there with him much longer. He grieved with us, but also took over her "jobs" and helped us so much! He was younger than her and always followed her lead so we were concerned how he would deal with it. He surprised us! Two years later, we lost him suddenly due to a ruptured spleen. He died at the emergency vet without us holding him, but we were allowed to say our goodbyes and stroke his beautiful fur. The following year we got littermates, and when the first one got a heart condition at age 10, we brought him home and he died in our arms, with his twin brother at his side. A peaceful passing, but oh so hard for us! Four years later, his brother just got old and at 14, we knew he was at the end and made the decision to let him go, but we were there with him. The vet sat on the floor with us and she cried with us as he left us.

Now, we have a one year old golden, who is the joy of our lives! He is beautiful, healthy, funny and sweet, and we know one day we will have to let him go, but for now, we are enjoying every day with him! By the way, his name is Jackson! Spelled different, but said the same way! Best of luck to you and I hope you get a little more time with Jaxon, and try to love every moment you have left. And when you can think of him without tears, and can laugh at his antics, you will know that another golden should come in your life. At least that is how its been for us each time. We still laugh and remember how all 4 of them enriched our lives. I'm sure that each of them is glad we have Jackson!
 
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I am sorry for what you all are going through. I would have made the same decision you made and since your pup is eating and drinking, that confirms he has time left to enjoy!

I have had to put down five Golden's over the last 25+ years, they all had some form of cancer. Many people above shared, 'good signs' and ways to tell when it is time. With ours it was any one of these signs...stopped eating or drinking for 24hrs., could not get up or out of bed/ crate, could not hold themselves up to pee or poop or walk far without falling down...these were the signs, when I would take them to our vet (one time at night I had to use a 24-hr. emergency vet location). None of our dogs died at home, although our last one, Maddie girl, passed-out on the way to the vet's and lost her bowels as I carried her into the office. I only share this so you will be prepared, just in case....

God Bless and good luck!
 

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Dear Jaxon's Dad and family, My heart is with you. I have had similar experiences. All I can add to ease your suffering is "when you know you know" Jaxon will somehow help you with that decision. That one is hard to explain but subtle signs will be there. Our last Golden did not fit many of the parameters of the end of life scale, But I do see how valid those charts are and certainly have merit. . Bailey barely showed signs and symptoms to the unknowing eye. Up to the last day he appeared to be healthy, happy dog with lots of energy. Which made our decision that much more difficult. He had a very aggressive mast cell tumor in his right nasal cavity. His difficulty breathing at night worsened in just a week. Both my husband and I are medical professionals. He had an extremely difficult night breathing. We held him up to breathe and sedated him to ease his anxiety, knowing that could have ended his life. The next day he was back to his old self. We all know Dogs "live in the moment" Our decision was based on the biggest fact - He would not ever get better, he was getting worse by the day. We knew his muzzle hurt. We didn't want him to get to the point where he could have a seizure or panic again in the middle of the night. He could not sleep comfortably in the day and had to sleep with his head up. It came down to asking ourselves what is best for him. Reiterating @FurdogDad, Be with him, ask your Vet for some type of sedation first so he is relaxed and you can all help his passing. And stay with him is the kindest and most loving thing you can do for him. We all know how much THIS SUCKS . Hugs and Prayers to you
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
As others will say, there's no right answer. For me the bottom line is that our pets should not suffer. In my opinion, the vet should not have put you in the position to make such a difficult decision in a few minutes. I really question the wisdom of that clinic. I'm glad he is with you. It really is important to be there in person when our beloved friends pass.
Thank you for your insight. I can not even imagine not being with him when the time comes. I've known a couple of people that did not stay with their dog when they passed. While I can't understand that, I try not to be judgmental. We all grieve differently.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Dear Jaxon's Dad and family, My heart is with you. I have had similar experiences. All I can add to ease your suffering is "when you know you know" Jaxon will somehow help you with that decision. That one is hard to explain but subtle signs will be there. Our last Golden did not fit many of the parameters of the end of life scale, But I do see how valid those charts are and certainly have merit. . Bailey barely showed signs and symptoms to the unknowing eye. Up to the last day he appeared to be healthy, happy dog with lots of energy. Which made our decision that much more difficult. He had a very aggressive mast cell tumor in his right nasal cavity. His difficulty breathing at night worsened in just a week. Both my husband and I are medical professionals. He had an extremely difficult night breathing. We held him up to breathe and sedated him to ease his anxiety, knowing it could ended his life. The next day he was back to his old self. We all know Dogs "live in the moment" Our decision was based on the biggest fact - He would not ever get better, he was getting worse by the day. We knew his muzzle hurt. We didn't want him to get to the point where he could have a seizure or panic again in the middle of the night. He could not sleep comfortably in the day and had to sleep with his head up. It came down to asking ourselves what is best for him. Reiterating @FurdogDad, Be with him, ask your Vet for some type of sedation first so he is relaxed and you can all help his passing. And stay with him is the kindest and most loving thing you can do for him. We all know how much THIS SUCKS . Hugs and Prayers to you
[/QUOloved
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Bailey was a lucky boy to be so loved. "Our decision was based on the biggest fact - He would not ever get better,...". That hit home. We had such a wonderful day today with Jaxon. He had a great appetite and brought me Simba (one of his 999 stuffed animals) to play take away. He even let us know that he was ready for a walk this afternoon. He seem so much like himself today that it would be easy for me to slip into denial and think he might get better. I had to have a reality check and remind myself that he will never get better. The tumor/cancer is not going to magically disappear. But just being able to spend today with him and seeing him enjoy life meant so much. We may never get another day like today but I am so thankful at least we had today.
 
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