When You Have To Say Goodbye

in Hive Pets4 months ago (edited)

For most of our 42 years of marriage, my wife and I have had a dog, three in all. Two of them were a huge part of our family when our children were growing up, the last one, Khan, was around to see our grandchildren. Looking after a dog is a huge commitment in both time and money. They quickly become a part of the family.

As far as I'm concerned having a dog makes a home. I loved coming home knowing that my dog would always be there to greet me and even seemed to know if I was sad. Yes, there are negative things about having a dog in your family. They tend not to respect nice furniture, they will occasionally steal food if given half the chance, they have to be walked a couple of times a day no matter what the weather or the season, but when all things are considered I think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

However there is one responsibility that comes with owning a dog that I find hard to bear. Unfortunately it is quite rare for dogs to just go to sleep and quietly die. It is nearly always the case that it's down to its family to make the decision to end its life. And if you love your dog it's one of the hardest things to do.

I recently had to make that horrible decision for my dog Khan.

We got Khan when he was 2 years old from a rescue centre. He had already been rehomed twice so it is possible that he may have been put to sleep if we hadn't taken him on.

He was originally called Grainger but we thought his stripes made him look like a tiger so we named him Khan after Shere Khan from the Jungle Book. He was strong, fast and a real handful when we first got him. He also thought he was a lap dog even though he was the size of a labrador. He could be very gentle and I soon had him trained to walk alongside my mobility scooter allowing me to take him for long walks to use up some of his energy.

Sadly he developed a large lump in 2020 when he was 12 years old. The veterinary surgeon thought it was likely just a fatty lump, and we didn't feel it was fair to put him through surgery at his age. Anyway, over the course of the next couple of years the lump grew and others appeared, but Khan was happy enough. But about June this year we noticed he wasn't doing as well, but he wasn't in any pain. However in early September it became obvious that he was struggling to settle at night because of the lump so we had to make the horrible decision to have him put to sleep.

My wife and I were with him at the end. He passed away peacefully, but it was very upsetting watching him pass go. I know people who don't have pets might think he was just a dog. But anyone who has pets know that they become much more than that.

Khan had been faithful to me. He kept me company while my wife was out at work which was so important to me while I was grieving the loss of our son. It's been a month and I still miss his company. I still expect him to be hovering around me when I'm eating waiting for scraps.

Part of me wants to get another dog but the thought of having to go through that final act again is too much to think about. I also have to think about the cost and my age. But no doubt some time in the near future we will succumb to the desire of having another dog to share our home with.

Rest in peace old friend; we will never forget you


This is probably one of the reasons why I don't want to get a pet, quite a lengthy and hectic process; even though there are way more positives, reasons, for me to actually go ahead and get a pet. Death is inevitable, and even though I'm quite "used to" losing a loved one, a pet, the pain one has to go through is immense; if you're someone who has strong memory, then it can feel torturous.

Just recently I lost two of my baby budgies, the friendliest, bravest, and yet, the smallest bunch of creatures I've known and taken care of. One day I woke up and they were no more, even though they were just fine on the previous day. So I ended up selling the rest of the budgies I had to a pet store, along with every other equipment that was related to them and their welfare.

I couldn't take it anymore, I was taking good care of them, and I wasn't the one to blame, but for some reason I just kept on blaming myself.

Rest In Peace to little Khan. 🖤 I wish you and your family nothing but the best for the future, you gave Khan a home and a life worth living, full of memories worth cherishing; he truly was blessed to have you guys beside him.

Stay strong and take care now. 🥃☮️

It's hard losing any pet, so I know your pain. They become part of our lives very quickly, but sadly they have much shorter lives than us. It's not easy lose a much loved pet, even worse when you have to have one put to sleep. I know I did the right thing because his quality of life was getting worse, but it still felt like I'd betrayed him. He had a good life with us, and 14 years old was very old for a dog his size.

14 years in age surely is a long time for a dog, just proves that he was well taken care of by you guys.

A pet needs and asks for nothing more than a bit of love, food and shelter comes after, those are necessities, but all they really want is a bit of love and attention, and they'll be ready, and by your side forever; especially dogs, we surely don't deserve these creatures and their invincible levels of trust.

I lost my dog that I grew up with and spent pretty much every single day next to back in July. The silence in the house, the familiar locations she loved and would pull towards during walks, even just that presence of having something so happy and excited running up to you and around you. It's a pain that never truly heals, you just sort of go about life.

Losing a dog seems very much similar to losing a child. Something you take immense care of, put everything into making happy, knowing it's fragile; but in a way you end up depending on each other. It's especially hard when you see pets look so young and having to go, also aware that while looking young, 12 years is an old age for them. Yet the age never really changes them, does it? They might get a bit more tired, a little more lazy, but they never really change their perspective of life, holding their curiosity and enjoyment of the simple things.

I think it's an important lesson that we can learn from them, even once they're gone. The simplicity of a happy life.

The hardest thing about making the decision about letting Khan go was that he was still begging for food and wanting to be with us. But it got to a point where I could see he was starting to suffer. I kept on putting off the inevitable but we decided as a family that it just wasn't fair on him. Especially when he just couldn't get comfortable when lying down and getting up again was difficult too. I have to think of the good life we gave him. I don't know what his life was like before he ended up in a rescue centre, bu I know that his life with us was good.

I'm sure I'll miss him for a long time just like you miss your dog.

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As a fellow dog lover, I understand how difficult it must be to lose a beloved pet, especially when they are getting older. My last dog passed away a few years ago and it broke my heart.

I hope you can find solace in the fact that you did the best thing for Khan by making the decision to have him put to sleep. It's so hard to watch a pet suffer, but it sounds like you gave him a good life.

Yes, it is difficult but as you say it's also good to know that he was given a good life. I will no doubt get another dog at some point as the house feels empty without Khan. But I don't think I could ever rescue an older dog because saying good bye is too hard. Which is sad in some ways as most rescue centres struggle to place older dogs with a new family, probably because of this.

I am very sorry about it.

- EvM

Thank you

I'm sorry for your loss. Yes, it's the worst part of having a pet but they bring you so much joy. RIP Khan. ❤️

Thank you

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I wasn't ready for such sad story. But understandable. You really loved him. Omg, I know what you write about. Had dogs and cats in the past and now a rescued cat.
Head up. He is with you in your heart and memories. Hope you still will have a good day so far. 🙏🏼

Thank you

That's incredibly sad and my heart goes out to you. Knowing you did the right thing doesn't help much in such circumstances.

Best wishes to you and your wife at such a bloody awful time.

Thank you

This is so sad.. We lost many pets before and I know the feeling... Im sorry for that..

Thank you


Sorry for your loss. Not looking forward to it when I have to make the same decision in the future.

It's a horrible decision to have to make. It's the third dog I've had to make this decision for. It puts me off having another dog, but I think I will get one eventually. It will be another rescued dog like Khan. I have to remember that had I not had him he may well have been put to sleep when he was only two. We were able to give him 12 more years.

So sorry for your loss, @kaazoom. From reading your post, I'm sure that you will get another dog in time, and I am sure that this is entirely due to the fact that you have enough room in your heart to love another dog, as it will never replace Khan (or your other dogs for that matter)

For now, sending hugs for you all. We are still grieving our ginger tomcat, who passed away peacefully at home with us at the ripe old age of 19 and a half...and that was 4 years ago!

Thank you.


I feel you, totally.....i had similar situation with my loved cat.....i had him for 14 years, all my adult life, he was my best friend ever.....and it was truly the worst pain i ever had, to see her fainting away in your eyes, day by day.......im even emotional writing this....and it was more than 2 year s ago.....and on some stage we had to make the same decision as you....she wasnt enjoying her days, i could see that....as much as i think it was hard and horrible i still think we shortened her pain.....
cSo i do understand you and know how you feel, some people would say its just a dog/cat but to you its a family member, nearly same as your own child.......
Anyway, stay strong, he will be with you ib your hart forever.....
Peace and Love!
In Lak'ech!

Thank you. It's a hard decision but I'm sure it's not fair to allow an animal to suffer just because it's too hard for you to do. I just wish they would die quietly of old age but I'm told that it's rare for that to happen.

I know the blog will be sad, based from the title. I know I'll be sad but I read it anyway, now I'm crying 😭😭

Sorry it upset you. Writing it and reading about other people's experiences in reply to my post has made me close to tears.

I don't have a dog but I felt your pain. It's not an easy decision really.
Such an adorable fellow.
Khan you will be missed. No more pain..

Thank you

Man, that was so sad. I've never had a pet before, but a couple of my friends have. I'm very good with animals and I love them. I guess that's the worst thing about having a pet. This last decision. Rest in peace Khan.

Yes, it's the worst part of having a pet. But I will no doubt end up going through it again.

Oh my! I am so emotional right now. I don't have a pet but I know how it feels to loose someone who has been part of your life for so long.

I am sure Khan is in a better place now. I hope you and your family heal from this loss soon.


Those days are the worst day ever. You gave Khan a nice life, in case you haven't heard it lately, you did a good thing by rescuing him. I'm sure he's thankful you stepped up and whoever says it's just a dog can't be trusted.

Thank you. He had a good life with us. I don't know what his life was like before he ended up in the rescue centre. I think he may have been given up because he was too much of a handful when he was young.

It's such a painful thing to say goodbye to a paw friend which in most of the cases is more friend than the people you have around you. I've never had a dog so far but I loved those owned by my friends and other members of the family and when that moment came I felt their pain equally because we were spending so much time together. At least he's in a better world now :(

Thank you

He knows very well that your dog will sleep peacefully where he lies. I am sure that he is proud of being in a beautiful family for the love and attention you show him.

Thank you

Nothing more painful, I feel you. Sorry for your loss.

Thank you

Ohhhh!!!🥲😩😭😭😭😭. This is very sad. I’m so emotionally right now. As a pet lover and dog owner I know how you must’ve felt.

Your story reminds me of Jack. I grew up with him and he was always there for me. He watched me grow and I did the same. He was always at the door to welcome me when I come back from school. I was so sad when he had to go (due to old age, I guess) I was just 10 years old when he died.

Dogs are like family members. They are the best. Unlike humans, they don’t judge you and they are always there for you.

It is so sad that they have a very short life span and they aren’t immune to diseases; very sad.

I’m so sorry for your loss. It’d be hard to get a new dog, but I think the best thing is to get another one and shower the dog with love.

Once again, I’m so sorry for your loss.

Thank you

"It's just a dog." Are some of the most infuriating words I've ever heard along with, "Dogs don't have souls."

I don't think people who say that understand the deep bond that is formed between a dog and its family. I haven't worked for years due to ill health so Khan was a constant companion. I have no doubt that he knew when I was down or struggling. I usually use a mobility scooter to get around, but occasionally I'm able to walk. Khan would pull all the time when I took him out on the mobility scooter but he would walk quietly beside me if I was walking, slowing right down if I started to struggle. He would even ignore any cat that he saw which he would never normally do.

I'm so sorry for your loss 😢 It does sound like he had a good life though! Perhaps by the time your next friend is up in years veterinary medicine will be advanced enough to keep an animal comfortable until he or she is ready to let go..."

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Thank you.

Awww, that's sad. I can totally relate to the story. We always had dogs in the house when I was growing up. They were part of the family. It was really difficult parting with any of them when there was need. I hope you get through the loss sooner.
Rest in peace Khan.

My condolences, I feel every word you share.
A pet gets to be part of the family, you almost share more time with them than with your friends. It is so hard to let them go, but it gives you an amazing time and experience while they are with you.
Big hug

Thank you.

Beautiful and deep post my friend.... You are a good soul... I cried reading this, it's always hard when they leave us.... In my family we have always had dogs (and more recently cats too)..... I am 52 years old and have never been without having at least one dog with me.... In our backyards there are 9 dogs buried throughout my life... And because of that I can fully understand your pain.... It hurts so much when they are gone.... But I wouldn't trade my experience of always having dogs for anything in the world.... No new dog can ever replace a dog that has gone, but it's always good to have a dog with us... Let the pain pass a little, I understand.... Surely the desire to have one again will bring another wonderful friend into your lives... They live a lot less than we do, so it's good that they have us even if it may hurt when they leave... I send you a hug and thank you very much for this post that has made my soul tender...

Thank you. The joy and companionship of having a dog does out weigh the the loss. I'm sure I will end up getting another dog. The rescue centres are full of dogs bought during the pandemic that people suddenly found they couldn't afford once they were back at work. At least my wife and I can give one a home. We just need to get over losing Khan a little bit more.

I know it will be so my friend... I send my appreciation and solidarity... Thank you...

last 2018, all of my puppies died because of parvo. it killed me inside, I cannot sleep well for like 2 weeks and I'm not doing fine depression attacks me and it was real bad during that time

I'm sorry to hear that. Losing all of your dogs like that must have been very hard. Grief is a horrible thing. Be gentle with yourself. I really hope and pray that things get easier for you.

Aw man, I'm so sorry to read that. Dogs are not "just a dog." They are definitely part of the family, and a welcome one at that. Losing a member of the family is never easy. He certainly had a good life and was happy to see you when you got home. Those are good memories.

Thank you

Oh wow, sorry for your loss, Khan looked so good with his tiger strips. His absence when you open the door, when you eat and when you go out walking must be devastating. Keep cherishing the memories and time will definitely heal that pain.

Thank you

El perder una mascota definitivamente nos marca la vida, más aún si tenemos que tomar la decisión de ponerlos a dormir. En mi caso he tenido 5 perros, de los cuales solo me queda una pequeñina malhumorada y juguetona llamada Layla, los otros ( Coddy, Hachie, Candy y Valiente, murieron hace 1 año y medio) el dolor y la tristeza nos queda y nos acompaña por siempre! Y como Ud dice seguimos experimentando la sensación de que aún moran por el jardín y los espacios de nuestra casa, y que siguen a nuestro lado! Realmente le acompaño en sus sentimientos!

Thank you for commenting. I translated what you said. Losing our pets is hard, particularly if we have to have them put to sleep. But they give so much to us. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before my wife and I get another dog.

Sorry for your loss. My dog Lota also died a few months ago.

Thank you. Sorry to hear about your loss. Our dogs are a very special part of our lives.

I'm so sorry my friend.
I lost my dog a few years ago before the pandemic. his name was Shogun and he was a very special dog and part of the family. a big hug and a lot of strength for your family.

Thank you.

I had a dog too when I was 8,when I turn 16 I lost the dog,it was too painful.i feel your pain

Thank you

I read this and tears in my eyes. Our dogs are already adults and I understand that this day will come sooner or later ... it's hard

I was dreading the day. The dread was worse because I had our dog George (we had him before we got Khan) put to sleep at home. He was really unwell and it was the kindest thing to do. I decided to stay in and be with him. It wasn't pleasant as he didn't just drift away, but sat up3, howled and died. It was terrible. But with Khan, we couldn't have it done at home because of covid so it had to be done in the surgery. We had him sedated first so he was fast asleep when the final injection was given, and passed away in his sleep.

It is a thought that invades me every day of my life with my pet, it has become my family, my sun, my eyes, today is 10 years old and have been the best, it is really very hard friend, having made that decision was not easy but sometimes it is the best for the welfare of them, I hope they are well and always remember all the beautiful things that happened with your beautiful pet Khan.

Thank you.

How painful😭

Yes, not pleasant

😞😢 I’m not ready for this moment

I don't think anyone is.

Rest in peace, Khan🙏

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