13-year old Golden Retriever

MY dog is my best friend and I love her more than anything. She seems to be getting near to the end of her life, she cant walk to far and is breathing very heavily constantly. I am only 19 and my parents are going away for 2 weeks. They tell me I have to be the one who decides if she gets too bad and needs to be put down. I don’t think I can do it, what should I do? how am I going to deal with her death without dying myself?

Answer #1

I’m truly sorry to hear of this. I know what it’s like to lose a pet. I cried when my female finch Tweety died. This poem may help you to grieve for when you have to let go:

                                                            Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends, so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food and water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable. All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigour; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing: they miss someone very special to them who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. The bright eyes are intent; the eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to break away from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart. Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together.

I always shed one single tear for every time I hear that someone else has lost their pet. Don’t be afraid to cry. People will understand how hard it is to lose a friend. God bless. <3

Answer #2

Wow I am sorry, one of my dogs is really old too but I have been in your situation but it was with my like 2 or 3 year old jack rustle dachsun mix he bit my sister in the face because he had problems and I was told by my mom that I had to make the decision of whether to put him down or to just give him away, and it was really hard but I had to think of other people around me and I also had to think of the dogs mental health and health in general and I was the hardest thing I ever had to do but I decided to put him down because he was my best friend and I knew that if he couldn’t live with me then he might not make it but for your questions,

first off you need to think about the dog and if she is suffering and looks as if she is in pain you need to think that if you do put her down she won’t feel the pain anymore and she will be in a better place where there is no pain

second it will take time to get over the death but you will not die yourself use your friends to your atvantage and always remember that it is okay to cry about it but it helps, just remember the good times you had with the dog to make me feel better I sometimes draw something or write it down so I don’t keep feelings locked up inside of me.

third you need to do what you think is best for the dog and everyone else in your family and if you need to talk just FunMail me

Answer #3

Thanks Phrannie, excellent answer as usual. Pain is one thing, labored breathing is another. Once I had a lovely, sweet Shar Pei, Brutus. He developed a systemic e coli infection and was extremely ill. I had only been going to my vet for a few months and he wanted to put Brutus down. I could tell that it wasn’t time. He had a look of life about him and kept trying. THe vet was nice but kept pushing me. I picked Brutus up and drove to another vet. It was the best thing. My new vet, Dr. Mattice, kept him for a few days, put him on an I’ve, and told me what to do. He never suggested putting Brutus down, instead telling me that I would know. Well, a happy year later, I knew. Brutus looked at me and I knew he wanted to go to sleep and rest, forever. So he did. When he and I knew. and I still go to Dr. Mattice, even driving from out of state to let him give my dogs their yearly check up and shots.

Answer #4

Quality of life is relative…My little Westie is 14…she has congestive heart failure, and her breathing is more labored than even 6 months ago…However…we have taken a walk with her doggie bro, MoJo, every morning for years…She LIVES to take that walk in the morning…she gets excited and happy, even tho she might sleep for hours after. Old dogs have good days and bad days, just like old people.

Don’t let anyone who doesn’t KNOW your dog, try to tell you about HER quality of life…only you know if she’s still got a spark in her eye, when you do her favorite things…is still happy when you come home, etc. etc…that’s quality!! Old dogs maybe sleep A LOT…but you can tell the difference, when it’s just old age sleeping, and a lack of interest in life. Hang in there with her, as long as she’s still enjoying the parts that she does.


Answer #5

This would be a pretty heavy load for anybody…my condolences…

My guess would be that the heavy breathing is due to congestive heart failure…it’s a slow progessive thing, but dogs can live a long time with it. Chances are, that you won;t have to do anything while they are gone…Also, they give dogs with congestive heart failure diuretics and digitalis. Maybe have the vet check her…he can tell by listening to her heart if she could use a drug to ease her breathing.


Answer #6

I’m so sorry to hear that you have to deal with this. I definitely understand how difficult nearing the end of life with a cherished dog is. There are actually pet loss support groups out there that may be able to help. Here’s one resource: http://www.pet-loss.net/

It’s hard to let go, but sometimes it really the right thing when there is no longer a good quality of life. I hope you get the chance to spend some good, happy time with her before you have to make any decisions.

Good luck, and take care of yourself, -Eliza

Answer #7

Ah man that’s horrible! I have a golden retriver puppy thats only 14 weeks old and I could never deal with what you’re going through, all I can say is if she is getting really bad then I think you should put her down, I wouldn’t want any animal to suffer. Thats horrible that your parent’s are leaving you alone with this thats so eh wrong I don’t know.

Answer #8

I know its hard but you need to look at the quality off life your dog has at the moment… Is she able to move about with pain or too much effort, can she participate in normal games, does she have trouble sleeping or have a chance of injuring herself if she cannot get out of a bad situation…

Sometimes it is better to just let her pass, it could be a better end, without weeks of suffering and pain. It is really hard but she has had a good long life now. Consult your vet for advice and talk to other members in your family or friends.

Just do what is best for your dog.

All the best

Answer #9

I had 2 go threw it myself when my schnauzer aria got hit by a car this was 5years ago it was difficult 4 me but now I have a new one precious 2 get threw it you will have 2 take some time out of your daily life and pray that God will watch over her/ him and take care of her/him! if you need anything funmail me !!! good luck with the decision and if you have to put her down stay strong

Answer #10

omg I am so sorry!!! I had a jap. akitta and he lived for 12 years. he got althritis in his legs and couldnt walk he was a big dog to like 3 1/2 feet fall and my dad would have to carry him evrywhere. we had him since he was born. and so we didnt want him to suffer so we put him to sleep. it isnt painfull for thm. and at least your dog knows you loved her!! so do what is best for your dog think how she feels. would she want to be in pain???

Answer #11

grrr…why does this site always change I.v. to I’ve

More Like This

Pets and Animals

Pet Care, Animal Behavior, Veterinary Medicine

Ask an advisor one-on-one!

The Spore Depot

Mushroom cultivation, Research supplies, Biotechnology


Pets R.I.P - Pet Cremations T...

Pet cremation services, Pet memorial services, Pet loss support


Bearded Dragon Reptile Center

Reptile Care Supplies, Reptile Habitats, Reptile Accessories



Pet Care, Animal Care, Pet Services


Glamour Doodles

Pet Breeder, Animal Services, Pet Sales