One of the Hardest Things in Life is Knowing Your Dog is Dying and Watching Her Do So…

My dog is old.  Very old for her breed.

Starting about a month ago, she started not eating a lot.  Then she refused the dog food she’s been eating for years so I switched.  Now, I have to spoon feed her to get her to eat.  I have to call her out of her bed.  She struggles to get up.  I choke up every time…

Last night, her breathing became labored.  I scoured the internet, looking for hope.

All I found was forebodings.

I realize every passing day is borrowed time with her.  I pet her every chance I get.  I pray over her.  I beseech God for a miracle even though I know it’s a pipe dream.  I wish I could do something to make her better.

She has been with me for almost 1/3 of my life.  She has seen all of my most cherished moments in life:  getting married and having my three beautiful children.  She was there through it all.  I cannot imagine her absence in my life…

The depth of my love for my dog is indescribable.  Her passing will devastate me.  It absolutely will.

I pray, “God, let her be the first thing to greet me in heaven when I arrive.”

It’s the only comfort I get.

And that’s not any at all…

30 thoughts on “One of the Hardest Things in Life is Knowing Your Dog is Dying and Watching Her Do So…

  1. My dog and best friend of 18 years Kira passed away in my arms today. I know what you are feeling. It is one of the hardest losses I has had to pull through yet. But God is good. I believe with all my heart and Spirit that are pets are waiting for us in heaven. God bless you. Christina Brown Sent from my iPhone

    1. My dear friend, my precious dog Woody died one year ago today–Oct. 13, 2011. He was the love of my life; I rescued him. He loved my husband and myself unconditionally. I pray for you and for all of us who have suffered the loss of our precious one.

  2. A Dog’s Prayer
    Treat me kindly, my beloved master, for no heart in all the world is more grateful for kindness than the loving heart of me.

    Do not break my spirit with a stick, for though I should lick your hand between the blows, your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me the things you would have me do.

    Speak to me often, for your voice is the world’s sweetest music, as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail when your footstep falls upon my waiting ear.

    When it is cold and wet, please take me inside… for I am now a domesticated animal, no longer used to bitter elements… and I ask no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth… though had you no home, I would rather follow you through ice and snow than rest upon the softest pillow in the warmest home in all the land… for you are my god… and I am your devoted worshiper.

    Keep my pan filled with fresh water, for although I should not reproach you were it dry, I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst. Feed me clean food, that I may stay well, to romp and play and do your bidding, to walk by your side, and stand ready, willing and able to protect you with my life, should your life be in danger.

    And, beloved master, should the Great Master see fit to deprive me of my health or sight, do not turn me away from you. Rather hold me gently in your arms as skilled hands grant me the merciful boon of eternal rest…and I will leave you knowing with the last breath I drew, my fate was ever safest in your hands.

    –Beth Norman Harris

    I love this prayer – I hope it gives you the courage you need to do what needs to be done when the time is right. I have never regretted being there – holding my friends, telling them what brave, wonderful creatures they are. I’m wrapping you in a hug – it’s so difficult. I believe our beloved pets will greet us when we get to heaven. Take care.

  3. Understand totally. I am going through similar with my cat of over 14 years. Lovey was recently diagnosed with cancer. Each day is a gift… and opportunity for me to be grateful he was in my life for as long as he was and to slowly work toward letting him go in my head. I watch him every day and believe I will know when it is time to euthanize… but not today. I do not believe he will meet me in heaven but he sure was heaven in my life here on earth
    I pray your hear will not be too heavy and he will not suffer much or long

  4. “We will never be the same as we were before this loss, but are ever so much better, for having something so great to lose.”

    I will pray for you and strength to get through. We just put down our 17 1/2 year old Maggie. She was a long haired Dachhound. She was an awesome dog. She is better off now in heaven. She was such a good dog and she did not deserve to go through the pain. Blessings to you and your family.

  5. i am also sorry for what you are going through….we have two pets and they are part of the family….take care

  6. I am praying for you and your beautiful beloved dog. Yes, I know our pets will be there in heaven when we get there. God protects his created. We have had two dogs during our marriage and they both lived to be a little over 15 years. We did assist in their – what we call Going to see Jesus. If this can be done at home it is easier on your baby dog. God Bless and Guide you!

  7. Blessings and prayers for you. I’m dreading when this time comes for my old boy, my heart dog, who’s just turned 13. Just remember when the time comes, there is no such thing as a day too early, but you can be a day too late. So helping your beloved dog dog over the bridge in a peaceful and loving way is probably the greatest and last gift you can give her, and final payment for all her love and loyalty to you.

    Here’s a lovely prayer I sent friends who recently lost their beautiful girl.

    I hope it helps at such a difficult time. Thinking of you, Catherine.

    To my beloved owner,
    there’s some things I’d like to say.
    But first of all, to let you know,
    that I arrived okay.
    I’m writing this from the Bridge.
    Here I dwell with God above.
    Here there’s no more tears of sadness.
    Here is just eternal love.
    Please do not be unhappy
    just because I’m out of sight.
    Remember that I am with you
    every morning, noon and night.
    That day I had to leave you
    when my life on earth was through,
    God picked me up and hugged me
    and He said, “I welcome you.
    It’s good to have you back again,
    you were missed while you were gone.
    As for your dearest family,
    They’ll be here later on.”
    God gave me a list of things,
    that he wished for me to do.
    And foremost on the list,
    was to watch and care for you.
    And when you lie in bed at night
    the day’s chores put to flight,
    God and I are closest to you…
    in the middle of the night.
    When you think of my life on earth,
    and all those loving years,
    because you are only human,
    they are bound to bring you tears.
    But do not be afraid to cry:
    it does relieve the pain.
    Remember there would be no flowers,
    unless there was some rain.
    I wish that I could tell you
    all that God has planned.
    If I were to tell you,
    you wouldn’t understand.
    But one thing is for certain,
    though my life on earth is o’er.
    I’m closer to you now,
    than I ever was before.
    There are rocky roads ahead of you
    and many hills to climb;
    But together we can do it
    by taking one day at a time.
    It was always my philosophy
    and I’d like it for you too;
    That as you give unto the world,
    the world will give to you.
    If you can help somebody
    who’s in sorrow and pain;
    Then you can say to God at night…
    “My day was not in vain.”
    And now I am contented…
    that my life was worthwhile.
    Knowing as I passed along
    I made somebody smile.
    God says: “If you meet somebody
    who is sad and feeling low;
    Just lend a hand to pick him up,
    as on your way you go.
    When you’re walking down the street
    with me on your mind;
    I’m walking in your footsteps
    only half a step behind.”
    “And when it’s time for you to go…
    from that body to be free.
    Remember you’re not going…
    you’re coming here to me.”

    Author unknown.

  8. Reading your post brought back memories of my own grief. My heart is breaking for you over the impending loss of your dear friend. I hope you can find comfort in knowing that you were a good friend to her in return. She is probably a lucky little girl to have had you for an owner. I have done some research, and I believe that our pets will be with us in heaven. Dr. Billy Graham said, “I think God will have prepared everything for our perfect happiness. If it takes my dog being there [in Heaven], I believe he’ll be there.” Also, there is a wonderful book by Randy Alcorn called “Heaven” that uses scripture to prove that our pets will to heaven. I am so sorry, AtoZMom, and I sincerely care about your pain over your beloved dog.

  9. Praying that Jesus will comfort you and help you through this time of distress. Not too long ago I remembered a dear horse friend of mine whom I gentled from abuse. Within an hour he was trusting me and following me. Every moment with him I felt he was longing to feel the love I had for him. I know it’s a God-given gift to heal horses. But sometime later I never saw him again. I never knew what happened to him. I still ache at the thought of him, it’s like he was my son or my brother. I was crying with the Lird about it and then he said to me “You will see him again, I promise.” I wept because not only was I comforted, but because of the love I sensed from Him when He said that. I remember seeing His face, He had it shining with love, joy, peace, all those beautiful things combined. His smile, though wordless, told me to hang in there. What a great God we serve. He knows our sighs and counts our tears. God bless you sister in Christ. Stay strong in Him. <3 Hebrews 12:1 and Job 23:10 gets me through everyday.

  10. I have had four dogs. Each one was like my child. They have all passed on. When the second one got older and started having age related illness our Vet put him on Steroids. It helped a lot. Then the third, same thing. The fourth one was our son’s dog, a Dalmatian. the sweetest dog in the world. We took her to the Vet to put her to sleep. I waited in the car with her while my husband went in to make the arrangements. I was crying and petting her and loving her. My husband came out the door with a big smile on his face and holding up a pill bottle. We had forgotten about steroids. So we ran a hospice for that dear dog for 6 months until it was finally time. I loved her so much. She was a gift from God to us. All of our dogs were. Now we have kitties.They are from God too.

  11. My heart breaks for you. Grief is very draining thing. Yet, I, too, have complete trust that the Lord will allow that sweet spirit to be a part of life beyond this one. In a little while, thinking about your friend will be easier, and you will be able to smile as you remember. My most sincerely sympathy, and my most ardent prayers are my offering to you. God bless.

  12. I will certainly pray for your beloved dog, I have a wonderful dog too and I know how special they are.  God does understand and care!  May God bless you and your sweet doggie!  Betty

  13. You have so much love to share. Nothing can ever replace what you are losing but finding others to share your heart with, will fill you with comfort and hope.
    So reach out to your family and other pets to feel the love.
    May God continue to bless you with wonderful memories and grace.

  14. Hope your dog has an easy passing And may God bless you and your family, Sincerely, Marvene

  15. I have been in your shoes before. I lost five animals in a year. I said I did not want any more. But family members had let some time past and now I have three animals that I love again. The animals I have now have been abused so badly they needed someone to show them there is someone out there than loves me. So remember the joy you pet has brought you and when you are ready another dog will come in your life when you don’t except it. And the love you have for your pet today will come back in your heart for the new pet. I know it is hard to believe but it will happen. It did to me and I thought I would never love another dog or cat the way I loved my animals before. My prayers are with you.

  16. I am so sorry. I lost my cat last year of 17 years and it was devasting. They are always there for you and make you feel so much better when you are blue. They love you unconditionally. My prayers will be with you and your precious dog.

  17. Believe me, I know what you are going through. I had to have my little Maltese put to sleep three years ago. He was only 13. But I still grieve for him, even though we now have another dog. I truly believe God will have them wait for us at the Gate. And what a reunion that will be. I will keep you in my prayers. Arletta Price

  18. My heart aches for you. We too lost our 16yr old dog who was our child before children, been there thru it all. When he started declining in a short week we knew. We warned the kids, we prayed…alot. I finally came to grips it was going to happen, so I whispered in his ear that I would stay with him thru the end. We awoke to him “crying out”, our daughter told me to go be with him since he would stop when I was near. I told him to hold on until the kids got on the bus (i didn’t want them leaving upset) they kissed him goodbye. My husband and I laid on the floor with him and 10 min. God peacefully took him. Just pray…that will help more than anything. Give him all the attention you can give and whisper in his ear that it will be ok. Hang in there, I will be praying for you and your family. The pain won’t go away but God will give you strength and hold on to those wonderful years you were blessed! Amy

  19. My heart hurts for you. Hold her, love her, tell her of your love for her until the time arrives to say goodbye. I have been in your place… it hurts terribly and truly there is nothing anyone can say to stop the pain. So please know you and yourover precious dog are surrounded with loving thoughts and prayers that God will give you strength and peace. Thinking of you alot today.

  20. Your piece touched my heart. I feel your pain. In June we had to put our 15 year old dog down. It was painful walking out of the vet’s office. My husband stayed with her till the end. What should have been a happy weekend celebrating my oldest granddaughter graduation was marred by Blue’s death. I live on 10 acres in California. We buried her that day and I have a little memorial for her on the hill. I feel silly that I still miss her and am crying while typing this. Pets are much more than objects that keep burglers off your property. They live in your heart. I went through our pictures and found a number of her and put them in a book. Her dog house was given away to another dog. These help a bit. I pray the phrase ‘All dogs go to heaven’ is true because I too hope to see Blue sitting at the gates welcoming me Home.

  21. I have a dog who has been with me for eight years now. I see him becoming older as the months go by. I try and keep him running and walking each day. It also helps me. However, I see him aging with the gray hairs. I have had him since he was two months old. He use to jump up in my big bed and sleep at the bottom. Now, sometimes, I call him and he doesn’t jump up on the bed. He stays in the living room on his doggie bed. When the time comes and he has to leave, I pray that God gives me peace.. He is a family member. My cares go with you as you travel this least traveled road.

  22. Until We Meet Again

    I know what you’re thinking. You think I’m dead. Because you cannot see me with your human eye, Cannot feel me with your hands or hold me in your arms you think I am gone forever. You recall how I looked when I left this place and you cannot remotely imagine that I could possibly be alive in another place. You are racked and torn by the pain of our separation and it blinds you to that which is right in front of you … me.
    How many times since I left your immediate sight have you been told that I’m dead and you should “get over it?” How many times have you cried yourself to sleep because you feel like an outcast, believing you’re supposed to get over me because that’s what people say is normal but somehow you can’t and no one seems to understand?
    How many times have you put yourself through such excruciating pain because you aren’t willing to consider that I am not, by any means, dead?
    I want you to do me a favor and go back in time with me. Remember the glorious day you brought me home – was I not the most intriguing creature you’d ever met? Did I not make you laugh and giggle? Did I not look at you with such adoration that you wanted nothing more than to spend the rest of your life with me? I wanted this too.
    Remember the days when I was in my prime and we did many things together. You were so proud of me! I was a good friend and I took care of you when you cried, were angry or felt down and unhappy. When you didn’t have a lot of time for me because of your obligations, I waited patiently for you. I was always there when you needed me. Did I not look at you with such acceptance and patience that at times you felt perhaps a bit unworthy? You were never unworthy in my eyes.
    Remember when age crept up on me, my bones became stiff and my movements slower. Still I met you at the door when you came home and followed you around the house. We’d been together for so long, I was your very best friend regardless of what you were doing, saying, thinking. Did I not look at you with such kindness and understanding that you felt overwhelmed? I couldn’t get enough of you.
    Remember the last time we saw each other with earthly eyes. You tried to be brave but I knew you were crying … I know you so well. Better than anyone else in the whole world. Did I not look at you with such pure trust and love that you yearned only to hold me close and keep me with you always? Did you not promise that you would love me forever? I believed you.
    If this is so then why have you let me go by thinking I no longer exist?
    Remember the depth in my eyes all those times I looked at you with adoration, acceptance, patience, trust and love. Who created this depth and love? Would the Creator diminish the song of our laughter which was created in the name of love? I am no longer an earthly figure, this is true. My body was only part of who I really am. My body would have been but a mere shell on earth if it were not filled to overflowing with my soul, my spirit, my loving light. When we met you thought I was cute, sweet, pretty and adorable. But what kind of relationship would we have had if this is all that I’d been? How could you have loved me if I’d had no spiritual substance?
    We are all made up of energy which resides far deep down inside of us, it is our core, our soul, spirit and loving light. It is the energy that is all of life … it has no beginning, it has no end. It simply is and always will be and without it there is no life. You can’t see it with the naked eye nor can you hold it in your hand, it is simply a certain knowing that this energy does exist. It’s a knowing just as you know that our love existed on earth – you couldn’t see our love in a solid sense, you couldn’t gather it all up and confine it to one place. But you *knew* it existed. There was no doubt in your mind.
    They demand you get over me, insisting that I’m dead and you’ll never see me again because animals don’t go to Heaven. Oh really? I’m here to tell you different. You were worthy of my love and undying devotion on earth as I was of yours. Do you really believe this love would be snatched from us *forever* by a loving Creator simply because I wasn’t human? Was I not a living, breathing creation with personality? How could I have been so if I didn’t possess the energy of soul, spirit and loving light? And if this energy is and always will be, then how can it be that I am dead? If my core is not of the energy that is all of life then I was never alive to begin with. But you know better.
    You cry because you miss me, this I understand. I miss you too – I miss the belly rubs, hugs and kisses that we shared. But life does go on beyond these wonderful, fulfilling physical connections. I came to this place to live a whole new life, not because I didn’t love you anymore or because I wanted something better. I came here because it was time for me to go to the next phase of my existence, something all living creatures must do eventually. It is the normal progression of life. I was not taken away from you because you cannot take away that which was never owned. My presence in your life was and is a gift to be cherished and honored just as I cherish and honor you.
    Life is not simply about being born into a body, living a certain number of years and then dying. Energy cannot die. We are blessed with time in a body so that we can learn, share and grow. It prepares us for the next phase of our eternal life. The body holds within it the true life force of our existence…our soul, spirit and loving light. Without these our bodies would be empty, blank, void of feeling and expression. Without our energy we would indeed be dead and could never have experienced our love for each other.
    You say that all you have left are memories. Not so. You see, when I took leave of my earthly body I left a little something behind for you. You can’t touch it, hold it or examine it for what I left behind is far too uninhibited for confinement. I left behind a piece of my soul. I placed it right next to your own which is quite fitting as we were always side by side in our earthly life together. I love you too much to have left you with nothing but memories which tend to fade and grow cloudy as the years go by. I love you too much to have vanished without a trace. How selfish it would be of me to remove love and light from your life.
    I understand your tears, each one you shed is testament to your love for me and I am honored and humbled. But don’t forget the good things we shared – remember and smile. This is an honor for me as well. And when you need me I will be here. Close your eyes, relax, take slow, deep breaths and picture me in your mind. Shut off the world and your notions of what death is and give me a chance. Look for the subtle signs I send you. Don’t stop being proud of me, I am a friend to be proud of, I am still your friend and soul mate. Don’t memorialize the death of my body but instead honor and celebrate my never-ending life for it is eternal and forever as is my love for you. Until we meet again…

  23. Every one’s word that have been written on this page I know must be a comfort to you. My pet, my dog, my jack, my best friend in the world is not long for this world. Although he runs around a lot and eats everything in the house, he is almost totally deaf. I already miss Jack, and he’s still here at my side. I ask the Lord for his health and help me to take care of him each and every day, I love him so much. I am full of tears at this moment, especially after reading the wonderful and exciting words that Mary Ann has written. Thank you Mary Ann, I will treasure those words of yours as if they were sent to me
    God Bless

  24. I am so sorry that you are going through the sadness that precedes the loss of a dear pet. I lost my beloved Emma in December and I still have so many sad moments and tears over her loss. She was a little 10 pound Min Pin and was my constant companion–we shopped together, traveled together and took car rides which she loved. She was a rescued dog–I think she had led a hard life and was fearful of people and other dogs. But she loved me and I loved her and there will never be another like her. I had only had her for 7 years and she was about 3
    when I got her–it was not nearly long enough. Enjoy every moment and love her forever. I pray that
    God will mercifully heal your hurt and allow us to be with our pets again forever.

  25. OMG!!! The tears I shed reading your blog!!! Know that she’s in Heaven with the best of the best. I hurt for you and with you. She will always be in your heart. This is so heart wrenching. Mary Ann’s words are so beautiful. I will keep you in my prayers. God Bless. -g-

  26. the day i had to put my dog timber down was one of the saddest i can remember. i sat on the floor with his head in my lap as he went to sleep for good. he was such a great dog that actually came into our yard one day and never left {a week later his owner found him, they were on vacation and the person watching him didn’t} but by that time they had gotten another dog and said we could keep him. wow were we blessed. Timber never liked to stray from the house and just lived to be loved. when i realized that his hips were failing and he was in such pain i knew i had to let him go. not a day goes by that i don’t think of him. in fact there isn’t a day that i don’t think of my dog Zhivgo, cat galice and zeus who went before timber. they are part of the family

  27. I feel your pain AtoZmom….I have had to put down 2 of my kitties….they were sick and struggling to breath or just function. Tuffy was my kitty; she lost weight stopped eating and if she tried to eat would vomit it all back up. The vet said she had a mass in her stomach….my heart broke when I had to bury her. You see I had just buried my brother and my mother then Tuffy. Too much…but God doesn’t give us more than we can handle…he has already walked the path we are going. Eight months later, I was putting Tuffy’s sister Spook down she was bleeding internally……I swore no more…then low and behold I get my daughter’s kitty which one of her dogs had tried to kill. I had Fred 2 years before he decided to play in the street….I found him as I came home from work. I didn’t know Fred even crossed that busy road let alone go that far from home….now that one nearly did me in. So I feel your pain….I pray when the time comes you help your favorite friend and not prolong her agony; but either way my prayers are for you, your pet friend and your children. ((((Hugs)))

  28. I do understand your feelings cause I got pets too ever since. My daugthers are pet lovers too. Praying that God may answer your prayer and His comfort!!! God bless!

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