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need help! Lucy is almost 13 years old. Blind/deaf but walking fine. She had to be spayed last week as infection in womb. Her kidneys and liver are fine. What illnesses/reasons do you let them go? I know that in my heart I'll know but would like some feed back. Any older setters out there??!!

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Comment by Dawn Riddell on December 18, 2011 at 6:53am

Hi Claire, it's horrendous isn't it, when we suddenly realise that our most dear friend is fast approaching their last weeks or months.


I have a 13 year old American Cocker here and I lost a 13 year old Irish last year, and there is no easy answer except to say that you should trust your instinct.


My own personal yardstick is that things are fine as long as they're eating and drinking normally and have some enthusiasm and ability to go for a little walk. If their physical condition falls below par on these things then it's time to say good bye. It tears your heart out but I really do believe the old adage ''better a day too soon as a day too late''

I remember saying goodbye to Duncan, an American Cocker with liver failiure. He lost his willingness to even go out of the house. There was no quality of life he wasn't eating, and it felt so bad to plan his demise because as long as he could lie quietly about the house he was seemingly content, but that's no life for a dog and how long could that continue? I just had to let him go I just felt that suffering had to be avoided.


Trust your instinct. Love and strength.

Regards, Dawn R.

Comment by Joel Sonnenberg on December 18, 2011 at 8:49am

Claire, ,I grieve for my bran every day. She was born 2-4-95 and let go 9-17-09.

I have many regrets,and what if's..I wish I could have had one more day with her.

You will never be sure if the time is right, for her or your self. I still struggle with the loss of my

best friend. Enjoy every moment with your Lucy.

It's her life, she will let you know.

My best to you and Lucy,


Post a picture,would love to see her.

Comment by Chantal McIlveen-Wright on December 18, 2011 at 9:35am

Claire no matter what we do, it looks like we will always have the "what if" in our mind because it is too hard to accept their departure and somewhere in the back of our head we cannot stop hoping for a miracle. However, if our emotional state is confusing our decisions, I think we should trust our vet who is only concerned about the well being of our beloved 4 legged friends. Unfortunately, no matter what you do it will be devastating, but many of my ES friends told me to look at the good time we had together, how lucky I was, etc. instead of staying with the horrible pain of loosing them. In my case time did not really help unless you count it in years  :-(

Comment by Marion Kroes on December 18, 2011 at 10:29am

I agree with Sue and also with the other ES friends. Think about the good live you have gave her. And Yes: you will know when the time is there. I called it: a decision made out of love, the last one.

3 Weeks ago we made ours and yes it is hard .... I will think of you. 

Love and strenght.

Comment by Finding_Beau on December 18, 2011 at 4:50pm

Dear Claire

I am going through this with Rose, my English Setter who will be 13 years old on 9 February 2012 if she makes it. Euthanasia is an extremely difficult, complex and personal decision. Personally I believe it is best to trust what you feel inside your heart. For instance I am meeting with an old friend of mine next week who is in her 80's. She can no longer go for walks, do her housework, lots of things but she still enjoys company and she still wants to keep living. Rose has been through hell since 9 days after Hammer died so it has been tough on all of us. My vet believes she has a brain tumour. What happens after a seizure, particularly if she has more than 1 seizure, is that she loses her eyesight, does not know where she is, cannot find me, has difficulty walking, and she cries for hours on end because she is lost. However, she has finally become accustomed to the medication so her digestive system has settled down, she does not have constant diarrhoea, her bowels are normal and she is eating well. Her heart beat is excellent. Her blood test and urinalysis is normal. Rose keeps fighting and she keeps coming back to us. Her walking days are over but when she has a break from the seizures, she is happy just to be with us, to sit out in the garden and listen to the birds, to come for rides in the car with us, to watch television with us. So, I feel I have no right, neither do I want this right, to take her life away from her. Every moment of every day Hobson and I have to spend with Rose is precious to us, and I know she feels the same way. We are grateful for her good days and when she is having bad days we are there with her, hoping she comes back to us again. We send our best wishes and lots of English Setter kisses to you and Lucy.


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