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Preparing for the end


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My boy as some of you know has a nose tumor and I know it’s only a matter of time I will have to take him to the vet one last time.  I want to be ready with whatever has to follow to give him a good resting place because I know I’m going to be broken into pieces on the day and won’t be able to handle any decisions.  I’m balling my eyes out just thinking about this day.
 

im hoping someone can share the process.  I’m not sure what happens at the vet, do I leave him there after the procedure or do I have to arrange for cremation before hand? How long can I stay?  The vet probably won’t kick me out or rush me but Im mindful they have a business to run and I don’t want to be a nuisance taking up their consultation room.

 

what options do I have to store him in?  Can I buy my own urn or is my option restricted to whatever that cremation company offers.  Is cremation the only way to go?  I read somewhere that pet cremations are done in bulk so that the ashes you get back aren’t necessarily all your pet, is that true?  How much should I be setting aside for this day?

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This is such a sad time for you and your boy @giraffez.  The day will indeed be very sad, confronting and scary even if you know totally that it is time for him to go.  I will try to help with some answers based on my experiences.  

 

1.  Talk to your vet to ensure you are comfortable that he/she will make the time as gentle and as smooth as possible. 

2. Ask about the companies they use, either for burial or cremation, or interment at your home or whatever you want to happen.  Research the companies your vet uses as you are right in that some are better than others and I know first hand, the RSPCA used to just cremate all the animals so you just ended up with ash that could have belonged to anyone.  

3. You can definitely buy you own urn which I have done because the ones offered by the companies my vet used are very plain.  I can recommend www.petcremationurns.com.au who have really beautiful ones and have supplied several of mine.  I’ll post a couple of pix.

4. I understand what you mean about taking up your vet’s time by staying there, but they should offer you a separate room where you can be with him.  Stay as long as you like - but it will never be long enough.  Eventually you have to walk away and that is damned hard. 

5. The vet can come to your home, of course, and you can make the arrangements for certain times:  ie the vet at 2pm and the pet services company at 3pm.  Or you have your boy put to sleep at your home and drive him to the vet clinic for him to be collected from there by the company of your choice.  If you go down either of these routes, discuss the the vet what you want them to do and whether they or you are arranging the cremation company.  

6. As for the actual procedure:  I have always held my dogs on the consulting table with lots of soft bedding.  My vet gives a sedative and then inserts a cannula through which the solution will flow.  They use a cannula so there can be no mishaps or obstructions to the needle.   They will ask me if I am ready and when given the go ahead will administer the solution.  They leave us alone for a few minutes, then come back to test that the pet is truly gone, detach the cannula and any other apparatus such as breathing mask (if the pet has been being treated).  They then leave and I spend as much time as I can with my pet.  I had to have one pet put to sleep during the height of covid, so they had set up a spot outside where I nursed Jeune out in the fresh air.  

 

Pix of two of my urns in separate posts.  

 

And as @Snooksaid, I always take bedding or favourite toy or something that the means a lot to your dog and to you.   

Edited by Loving my Oldies
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Thank you both so much for the detail replies.  It makes it so much clearer.  I’m sorry for the loss you had to go through with yours.   
 

@Loving my Oldies the urns are beautiful!  Thanks for sharing.

 

33 minutes ago, Snook said:

elected for their Eco urn, which is basically a cardboard tube with a removable lid. Having ashes on display in an urn isn't my cup of tea but I didn't want to not have his ashes either, as I wouldn't be able to undo that decision if I changed my mind later. 

@Snookim not so sure myself whether I want an urn to display.  I think it will make me really sad when I look at it and remind me he is gone.  I don’t like the idea of a group cremation so I’m probably going to pick the individual one where I can get his ashes back.  Do you mind telling me what you ended up doing with his ashes?  
 

Burying in our backyard seem like a good option but then I’m thinking what happens when I move house.  The last thing I want is someone doing renovations and unknowingly dig it up.  So I’m not sure that’s what I want to do either.

 

 

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I don’t have my urns on display (would you believe I have 17 since 1997?), but I keep the most recent ones on a bookshelf in the study because I do like to look at them, reminisce and remember how much I loved all these little dogs and one cat.   

 

I could not countenance even the thought of burying any of them.  

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Loving my Oldies
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7 hours ago, Loving my Oldies said:

I don’t have my urns on display (would you believe I have 17 since 1997?), but I keep the most recent ones on a bookshelf in the study because I do like to look at them, reminisce and remember how much I loved all these little dogs and one cat.   

I don’t know how you went through this 17 times!  I don’t know that I can ever do this again, it’s too painful.

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I'm so sorry giraffez. I've been there a few times now. About half at home and half at the vet office. Mainly cremation but I do have some buried at home. I actually switched to cremation because the yard was getting a bit full. As the years have passed I find I am ok with moving and leaving the skeletons behind ( no plans to move ). The ones cremated, I have 2 in nice but plain boxes, not on display. They are to go with me when I depart. Others came back in much plainer boxes that could be opened and those ashes have been placed in the back yard as well and one had his ashes spread over the local greyhound track, forever first over the line. One was buried on a friends farm amongst her own dogs.

All of mine did peacefully slip away but there was one whose body, mainly legs, kept moving, for some time. It's normal and they are not alive, it's just something that happens. I knew it happened and the vet explained it so it didn't freak me out but it was still a touch unsettling. I'm glad it was not my first one. None of mine had sedation prior and only one had a cannula and that was a Greyhound who didn't sit. He stood up in the centre of my loungeroom.

None of my remaining dogs appeared to take much notice that the pack was now one less. Even when that pack was reduced to one. I do know that when I had my last cat put down that the 3 dogs did look for her for a few days. It was very obvious.

Big hugs to you

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We have over 20 cremated .

These days your choices are many not just urns .

You can  do necklaces,bracelets,ear rings,diamonds ,,rocks eco friendly,plaques,funky glass,wood boxes or plastic tub ( we had these for some as there ashes where spread )and other options .

 

The company we use only does your dog .

We don’t like who our vet uses .

 

Yes its easier to have a plan of what you want as to the wording on the urn ie Dogs name ,wording etc and even prepay .
Granted know we just phone when it happens as we now the routine & it gets easier in some ways after the first few .

It is easier to know what you want so even if written done but suddenlt being asked what you want at the time & making a decsion there and then is overwhelming

 

You can ask your vet if they do an at home PTS service or they may suggest a vet that solely does it BUT keep in mind you have the body at home until collected ,this isn’t for everyone .

 

Ask your clinic manager if they have a preferred time if your wanting to be with him after .

They may have a time allocated or room they can block from consults often clinics have multi rooms but not all in use .

 

And also consider a driver if your emotional state may affect your driving ,it’s a hard time afterwards 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Dogsfevr
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45 minutes ago, Snook said:

So glad that I spoke up and didn't just go along with the normal procedure. It made a world of difference to saying goodbye, knowing my boy wasn't distressed when it happened. 

Which is why Sam was euthed standing up. Forcing him to sit or lay down would have been so distressing for him and me both. He stood as I knew he would, rock solid, and I lowered him as the drug took hold. 

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I have over 20 little teak boxes with brass plaques. :( Everyone is together the way they would be at the bridge. 

 

I agree, prepare first. Talk to your vet, unless it's an emergency (and even then in my experience) they will be able to arrange a nice quiet room for you to spend time together. Sedation is a very personal choice, most of ours have been sedated and I get time to snuggle and cry as they drift. 
Choose your urn or box or scatter-box. Choose what you would like on your plaque and make sure you specifically select individual cremation. Pay in advance so you can just walk straight out when you're ready.

 

The wait for them to come back home feel like the longest time. Typing this is making me cry I'm so sorry I can't help any further. 

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I've just paid pets at peace last week for my cat. Once she leaves I'll call them and they will come and get her for me

 

All my urns are kept in a big pot in my front garden. Once we have our forever home we will bury them all together. 

 

 

 

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I’ve had just 2 schnauzers euthanised and then cremated. Both are in urns sitting in a bookshelf in our lounge room where I can see them and think about the good times with them. I admit at first it was difficult seeing them like that but I now like to know they are still close to me. And it wasn’t an option for us to do anything different as they still deserve to be in our company. It’s where we like them to be. I used a cremation company, ( one I researched and chose myself) the same one for both. They did a brilliant job. They rang me once they had picked them up from the vet and brought them home a few days later. Always willing to talk and were just so professional and lovely in such a sad time. Individual cremation too. Wouldn’t want anything else. The cost wasn’t too bad. Just can’t remember how much now though. Less than $500 though. 
At the time of euthanasia it was all done very peaceful. Neither of mine were sedated first. We just held them on the table, on blankets, and talked to them the whole time. The vet administered the injection and both went within seconds. Quietly with no fuss. Obviously beforehand we were told of the procedure and that they may make little movements, although they have passed. That’s quite normal. We got to spend time as much time alone with them as we wanted. We certainly weren’t rushed out or made to feel like we had to leave. We also paid and did any paperwork first so we could just leave. 
It’s certainly a hard, sad time but it is wise to be prepared. Take care. Xx

Edited by Kazm
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thank you everyone, I’m very grateful for all the tips and experiences that you have all generously shared.:heart:

 

3 hours ago, Powerlegs said:

Sedation is a very personal choice, most of ours have been sedated and I get time to snuggle and cry as they drift. 

Can you tell me a bit more about this.  I was of the impression it’s part of the procedure (unless it can’t be done like in @Snook’s case with Justice.).  When they are sedated they are just calm right and still conscious, they still can willingly move their legs too?

 

what’s the pros and cons of sedation?

 

 

47 minutes ago, Kazm said:

 I used a cremation company, ( one I researched and chose myself) the same one for both

How does this work.  Do you call them afterwards and they come pick it up from your vet?  I’m also worried that doing this way the vet would mind because im not using their supplier.  I don’t know what it’s called but do all vets have the facility to store the body in a freezer room before it can be collected?  Or does it have to be collected on the same day?  

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25 minutes ago, giraffez said:

 

Can you tell me a bit more about this.  I was of the impression it’s part of the procedure (unless it can’t be done like in @Snook’s case with Justice.).  When they are sedated they are just calm right and still conscious, they still can willingly move their legs too?

 

what’s the pros and cons of sedation?

 


I'm not sure if it's got to be specifically asked for or if it's standard. It probably varies. I ask though.

They seem dreamy but conscious. Like human twilight sedation I imagine. They do know you're there and respond. They can't hold their weight but can move just not struggle. By moving their legs.. are you worried about a kick at the wrong moment? :heart: No they don't make jerky movements.

One boy couldn't have it because of his heart/veins (I can't remember how it was explained) and it was still peaceful. He was so tired and ready to go.
My pointer was the same. We had her done at home for a few reasons, she was so tired we didn't need sedation.
 

That was what I meant by it being a very personal choice. No dog is the same. 

:grouphug: 

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38 minutes ago, Powerlegs said:

By moving their legs.. are you worried about a kick at the wrong moment? :heart: No they don't make jerky movements.

Thanks. 

 

No I was just worried they are conscious but won't be able to move their legs (or any part of their body) as though they are paralysed.   That would break my heart.  But I think that's not the case and you have described it well.

 

5 hours ago, Powerlegs said:

I have over 20 little teak boxes with brass plaques.

@Powerlegs seeing you are also in NSW, do you mind telling me which company you used?  I'm putting a list together to go through and decide, i've added the one @Loving my Oldies and @Teebs recommended as well (thanks for that!)

 

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I don't know if this is helpful or not but we did all the right things in advance, we had organised the company we wanted to collect her, chose the wooden box, pre paid for it all but the one thing that held everything up was that we hadn't decided what to write on her plaque.

 

I wish we had thought about it before we lost her because afterwards the grief was so strong that finding only a few words to write for this amazing dog that had seen my husband and i grow from 20 something year olds to 40 something year olds with 2 kids who also loved her so much  that they referred to her as their sister was too overwhelming. 

Edited by JOLEY
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Depending on the area you live, you may find that there is only company you can use.  I have quite a few pets cremated over the years.  Some I have scattered and others that I will scatter soon.  I have some urns, but once the ashes are scattered I'm not sure what to do with them so I prefer they go into a scatter box now.  

 

It is a difficult time but it helps to go in prepared, as you area.  Take care.

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