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choosing the final arrangements

Discussion in 'Dogs - all breeds / types' started by Jamiya, May 26, 2006.

  1. Jamiya

    Jamiya New Member

    Can anyone comment on what arrangements they have chosen for their departed pets, and the reasons behind them? I find I am having difficulty with this issue, but I think I need to make decisions now so that I do not have that extra burden when the time comes.

    I have only had one other "large" pet die before - a dog, about 3 years ago. All the rest have been small critters like mice, who are all buried in the side yard. My dog is also buried in the back yard, under a tree that is fenced off from the current dogs so they cannot disturb her. She died very suddenly and it was a horrible shock and I wasn't thinking at all. My husband buried her and it all happened so fast, I forgot to retrieve her collar and tags. He offered to get them for me, but I couldn't bear the thought, so I went to the store and made a new tag for me to keep.

    I can't help but think that a cat wouldn't like the cold ground. Then again, mine were always indoors, so maybe he would enjoy being outside. If I choose cremation, do I want the ashes returned? If so, do I keep them? Do I sprinkle them somewhere? Where?

    I know this is a decision that every person needs to make for themselves, but I am hoping other people's stories may help, if it's not too painful for you to share. If it is, then I understand.
  2. DeLaUK

    DeLaUK New Member

    Ive never gone in for burials or cremation with any of my pets, I personally find enough in having a nice photo of the pet put into a frame, which initially I cant look at but after a while the picture will go on the wall. I do keep something of theirs, not really anything in particular but if they had a favourite toy or maybe it would just be their collar.
    When I had to PTS my Rott, her previous owner had handed me a pebble...he couldnt go into any great detail about the pebble (he was crying and weve talked about it since) and why it was specially to him only that I should have it, keep it and Babe (my Rott) will always be with the pebble, wherever it is. Maybe its just a psychological thing but there are times when things are not going so well that I take out the pebble and hold it, or carry it around with me for a few days and I do feel like she is with me.

    The way I feel about it is once they have passed away then it no longer matters where their physical body is placed, I sometimes feel their presence near me or Ill see them when Im dreaming.

    I know for some that it is important that they have a gravesite to visit or an urn in their home....like you said , its a personal thing and you should do what feels right for you.
  3. hermann muenster

    hermann muenster New Member

    When we said good-by to our beloved Golden - we had time to prepare.
    First we had a family discussion.
    We talked about how and when we would know it was time.
    Who was going to take that last ride in the car.
    Who (if anyone) would stay in the room for the last breath.
    How would we handle the remains.
    How we would handle our personal grief.
    How we would help our other dog adjust if she needed help.

    This is what we decided to do and what finally happened.

    We didn't have to make the decision about when it was time. Our Golden-boy "told" us. It was a little over 6months from the diagnosis. During those 6 months - we lavished him with love and attention.

    We had planned for everyone to take the last ride to the vet. But, as it turned out, my husband couldn't handle it. I went by myself, and stayed until the end.

    A family decision was made to cremate because we don't plan on living in this house for the rest of our lives and I wouldn't ever want to leave our old boy behind. I kept the cremains in the can that they came in and I bought a beautiful decorative wooden box and filled it with all of Charlie's things. His obedience certificates, pedigree papers, food bowls, birthday hats, collars, tags, pictures and his ashes in the can.

    We spent a couple of quiet days to meditate and celebrate his life. I recovered more quickly than my husband - he still griefs and can't talk about the dog. I think that because I went to the vet and stayed until the end - I gave myself complete closure. As hard as it was - I recommend it.

    Our other dog suffered tremendously from the loss. She began to get neurotic and fearful. She always had Charlie to let her know that everything was OK. So 5 months later - I got a new pup. This was the first puppy that my husband didn't argue with me about getting - he needed the puppy too.

    Every family has their own feelings about how to handle this painful part of dog ownership -- these are just the things that my family decided would be the best for all of us.

    I think the only thing that I regret was not making my husband come with me for that last ride. His decision to run off to work, left him with a lot of guilt and unresolved grief - and it really took a toll on our marriage.
  4. honeybears

    honeybears New Member

    you just have to do whats right in your heart. I have had to do this twice in my adult life. Both of my cats. Both of them had kidney failure. With Sam I couldnt let go, and finally I said to DH, its time but I cant do it. So I made an appt for the next morning and my husband wasnt with him and we cremated him and I kept his ashes for a long time and then buried them under a tree.

    With Midas I said I wasnt going to do that again. I had to be with him, I made my appt a week ahead of time knowing the last days were precious. My mom went with me, we brought Midas home and buried him on a hill with his favorite bed.
  5. elizavixen

    elizavixen New Member

    When I had to have Samantha PTS it was very hard b/c it all happened so fast. One day she was fine, the next she was dying. I'm still not exactly sure what killed her. She was at my regular vet for a day and he didn't know what it was, figured it was cancer but wasn't sure, but he didn't think she would make it so he first suggested putting her to sleep. I couldn't do it without knowing for sure what it was. So we took her to the emergency/specialty vet. That was an awful car ride b/c we had Samantha in the back and she could barely move and she had an IV in her leg and it was at 6 pm in Nov so it was pitch black but the traffic was a nightmare. Everytime it's dark like that and I'm driving in heavy traffic that is all I think about. Anyways, the emergency vet was a not so compassionate guy. They ran tests on her and said she needed blood/plasma transfusions and a bunch of other stuff and I had to pay up front. I just handed him my credit card and said do whatever. He at first said that Samantha couldn't get into see the internal med specialist until Monday (this was on Fri) but he decided to come in on Sat so she got seen then. He did an ultrasound on her and said she had liver failure and kidney failure, cirrhosis of the liver. He said there was nothing they could do. I asked about bringing her home to die but they said it could get painful in the end and I couldn't bear that so I went back to the clinic and they did it. They had to wheel her in on a stretcher cart thing and she did sort of wake up and snuggled up to me. I held her. They said they would give me time with her but I told them to just do it. Samantha already knew everything I wanted to say to her. They gave her the shot and she just went limp. It was the most awful thing. I'll never forget it. I still feel guilty. I know I shouldn't but I do. I don't have anywhere real permanent to live so I had her cremated. I would have preferred burying her but then I'd have to leave her and I couldn't do that. The cremation ppl asked me if I wanted her cremated with other animals (the discount version I guess) or by herself so I could get only her ashes. I didn't want her thrown in a big pile so I chose the second option. At the cremation place I got her an little box to put her in. It has a place for a picture on the front so I put in the picture of her and the cat. They were best friends. As far as getting over it, I guess it is individual. I'm still not over it. I was inconsolable for months. If it wasn't for Indy I would have probably committed suicide when she died. She was my only family really. But he was just a puppy and I didn't want to leave him. It took me about 10 mos to work up to getting another puppy. I tried once and couldn't take it and had to take her back. But Indy was real depressed so I finally got Maggie and she has been perfect for him. I keep Samantha in my little dining room cabinet thing, front and center. I kept her collar. I keep it in my car. I threw away everything else. Couldn't stand to look at it. Even her bowls and everything. Kinda stupid but those were her bowls and I didn't want anyone else to use them. Sorry this got so long. Just hadn't thought about this in awhile.
  6. MyPetTherapyDog

    MyPetTherapyDog New Member

    First I want you to know that my thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.
    I remember when my baby Jasmine ( my american pit bull terrier) was diagnosed with kidney failure thanks to a complication from Lyme disease.
    She was given 6 months to live. She was only 3 1/2 when she passed. I was fortunate to get 8 great months with her.
    She passed away in 2001 and I still get teary eyed when I think of her.
    I kept asking my vet how would I know when it was time? She told me "Jasmine will tell you". I did not understand that statement for many months until one day she took a turn for the worse and there was no turning back.
    I asked my vet if she would come to our home to put her to sleep in our bed where she was the most comfortable. She aggreed and after her working hours showed up. She must have felt rather odd because I was all in a black sweat suit and had candles lit and soft music playing. I still can hear the song in my head. Every time I hear the song, I get a sad feeling and cry. My entire family was crying. The vet was so compationate and caring. She too cried with us.
    Our lab Dakota was with her too. They were best friends. He laid his head on her body and stayed there until she passed. It was so dammm SAD!!! We all said our good bye's and when we were ready she gave the sedation.
    I then left with my son and my husband and daughter decided to stay with her. She passed very quietly and was finally at peace.
    My husband carried her out to my vets car and we had her creamated. I kept her ashes and put them in a special antique jar that I found at a second hand shop while I was awaiting for her ashes to come back to me.

    My cat Baxter passed away shortly after Jasmine, We had to rush him to the vets, unfortunatly he did not make it either. I had him creamated and his ashes are with Jasmine. Last year my oldest dog Brandon who was a shepherd/lab mix died suddenly of old age. His ashes are also with Jasmine's and Baxters.

    All of my animals ashes I would like burried with me when I pass away. Those are my final wishes.

    http://hometown.aol.com/prayersforpets/ ... nce-1.html

  7. Mary_NH

    Mary_NH New Member

    my pets have been cremated. I asked my vet once what they do with the bodies of deceased pets when their people choose to not take them home. They sent them to the creamatorium with all animals and they get cremated together. I couldn't do that.
    So I have them cremated and they come home in nice boxes. I have a large rock in my front yard and they are there. I haven't let go of Sadie's box yet. It's still sitting on a table in my house. Not ready to put her in the ground yet.
    If we ever sell the house and move I'm taking them with me. I can't bear the thought of some stranger digging up their remains and throwing them away.
  8. honeybears

    honeybears New Member

    Sue, what a moving story. Jimiya, one thing if at all possible can you vet come to your home?

    This thread has brought up huge wounds with Midas

    I still feel so guilty about Midas passing. The reason: My vet doesnt do house calls and I was dreading the appt. because Midas is a psyco cat at the vet. Not a way to spend your last moments with one of your loved ones. The vet was running bedhind, Midas is hisisng and growling, the vet tech came in about 10 minates later and sedated him to calm him and then the vet finally came in. I hated I had to do it this way.

    I was talking to a woman last week and she said she picked her vet soley because they come to your home when its time. She said her pets are getting on in age and that was the most important thing. Funny I did take Midas to this vet once just before he passed away for a 2nd opnion, now I have guilt why didnt find out if that was an option I could have done.

    We buried Midas because over a knoll because he loved being outside, that was his love. I think with Wylie and Jake though I may cremate.

    Jimiya take care
  9. Jamiya

    Jamiya New Member

    The vet will come to my house for an extra $100. I called my holistic vet for a second opinion because I started to be plagued by doubts that maybe there was SOMETHING I could be doing for him. She agrees with the diagnosis, but she will come to the house for only $35 extra. If it becomes necessary, we will do it that way.

    I am hoping he will be able to pass on his own. So far, it's not time - but he is getting very thin. :cry: :cry: :cry:

    I am going to try to use homeopathy and flower essences to help him pass if we get to that point.

    I don't like any of the options, but I will probably do an individual cremation. I know we will not live in this house forever and I really worry about Hocus, buried under the tree. I hate to think of leaving her. My sister's husband dug up his sister's dog and took him along when they moved, but that's too horrible to contemplate. I am going to get her a memorial stone and hopefully when we move, she will come with us with the stone.

    I slept on the couch with Patches for a while last night. I kept having horrible dreams that he was dead. I wouldn't mind him passing in my arms, but I kept feeling for his breath as I lay there with him.

    Here he is, in better days:


  10. Jamiya

    Jamiya New Member

    The vet is coming tonight to help Patches pass on. Please keep us in your thoughts. Patches has been a part of my life for my whole adult life. :cry:
  11. Nik

    Nik New Member

    We're all feeling for you right now Jamiya. You're in my thoughts tonight :(
  12. Jamiya

    Jamiya New Member

    Will the big, empty hole ever go away?? It hurts so much. :cry:
  13. hermann muenster

    hermann muenster New Member

    you and your family are in my prayers.
  14. honeybears

    honeybears New Member

    JImiya, big hugs :cry: :cry: it does hurt so much, time will heal you, and then Patches will always have that special place in your in your heart

  15. charmedagain

    charmedagain New Member

    My thoughts and prayers are with you at this sad time..

    I find comfort in knowing whenever i am down i can feel there presence which comforts me, Also remember they never truly leave there are with you always and visit you in your dreams..

    Again sending warm thoughts and prayers your way

  16. MyPetTherapyDog

    MyPetTherapyDog New Member

    I'm sending hugs, kisses and prayers your way. God be with you and your family during this difficult time.
  17. Samsintentions

    Samsintentions New Member

    Oh Jamiya, I'm soo sorry!!!
    Oh sweety I wish I could have been here... I've jsut been soo busy with school and the girls.

    sending lots of love and kisses your way..
  18. MewMew86

    MewMew86 New Member

    I didn't even get to know my part pug part chihuahua was put to sleep cuz i was in school when it happened. She was seeing shadows and i think having seziurs and things like that... it was like 3 years ago when we put her down. I was in school and i come home and waite for my parents and when they got home i was like " so how's pug" and they were both quiet so i was like oh no! then finally i think my mom finally told me i was like aww :( :( i still miss her. TO this day i still wish i could find out what it would be like to have Pug and my kitty Libby here together and i'd love to know how they would act together. I'm gonna go get a pic of her and put it in my post under the small dogs/ toy section if y'all wanna see her.
  19. Jamiya

    Jamiya New Member

    I had to go pick up his cremains at the shelter today. That was really hard. :cry:
  20. hermann muenster

    hermann muenster New Member

    I remember picking up Charlie's cremains. It was hard to do, but I did get a little feeling of comfort knowing that he was with me.
    I kept hin on my counter in the kitchen for a few days before I moved him to the fireplace mantle. Some time after that, I got a beautiful box to put the him in with all of his belongings. I still feel good when I look at that box (actually, it is pretty big - about the size of a foot rest.)

    I hope you get a little comfort knowing that Patches is with you.

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