• Thank you so much for asking this question! I have struggled with the quilt of this very question for at least 12 years now. I hear the comment "you will know when the time comes" numerous times. Like you I had to carry my dog down stairs and outside to potty. She had a hard time walking but wanted to go for walks. I don't remember what her appetite was like but I think I was OK. I do remember neighbors commenting on how they thought she was suffering too much when she walked. She was a Dalmatian and my first dog. I knew hardly anything about the medications she could have received for the prevention of arthritis and pain. She became incontinent and there are meds and I didn't know that. It was the incontinence that caused me to make my decision. She was always a elegant and proud dog. I felt that peeing in her bed was a real quality of life issue for her. I didn't mind cleaning up, but I think she have felt bad. I know I did NOT want to let her go but I am still struggling with the idea that I was influenced by outsiders and it not being the right time. I have a healthy 12 year old basenji who is getting very grey. I am really thankful for this discussion I want to be better prepared this time with appropriate medications and knowledge.

  • Hi to all of u B owners! They r the most wonderful creatures in the dog world! I lost my 18 year old girl a few years ago, it was so sad for me, she was a brindle and so beautiful! I rescued my boy, who is going to be 13 this year..he has his aging issues but people say he looks so young. I know there will come a time for him to cross over to puppy heaven...but we all love our B’s so much! I wish the best for all those who whom r helping our B’s as they age.

  • I have walked this path many times over the past years. It is never an easy decision. Mostly though, they have come and told me, its my time, please help.

    The main thing is not to prolong any suffering to avoid saying goodbye and causing yourself grief. We have to let these amazing animals go with dignity and without suffering.

    While he is eating well you may be OK for a little while longer, especially as he seems to be able to tolerate the indignity of being carried out to 'go'. Basenjis hate to be dirty and you are not letting this happen.

    I think I prefer to make the decision sometimes a tad too early than just once too late - saying goodbye is the last chance you get to express your deep love for the Basenji in question.

    Good luck - I am sure you will do the right thing when the time comes.

  • I lost 2 earlier this year, 15 and 16,
    Now we are dealing with a 15 yr old and every night we ask each other "Is he in pain?" No
    "Does he enjoy part of his day" Yes.

    The first girl, we waited a bit too long. I knew this, but forgot - the vet told us her brain was shutting down. She had seizures (for the last 8 mos) and was losing the ability to control her rear legs. He said if all else is healthy, they start at the rear of the body, and gradually lose control of the body, working up to the brain.

    So, we are letting the boy enjoy what he can. He sleeps a lot, but he did always like his pillow. When I show him where his food is, he enjoys eating it. Today he was just circling in a small circle. He has a bit of 'dementia' so my husband just grabbed him to sit with him for a bit.

    Like Zande said, dignity with no suffering. You just evaluate on a dog by dog basis. The second girl was 16 and the vet said "You just know."

    Give yourself permission to decide, and know you've loved him all these years, You just know.
    We let her cross the rainbow bridge.

  • When your heart is broken
    In a million pieces
    And you have no tears left to cry
    You lay your hand
    Upon his head
    And whisper in his ear
    Of times and fun gone by
    The pain is over whelming
    As you do what must be done
    Remember as he lies so still
    That his last race is won.

  • As our old basenji was getting up there in years, she lost a significant amount of hearing and sight, but still seemed good with eating, walking. She'd sleep so soundly at time we thought she had died in her sleep.

    All this to say we knew we were on the downward slope. One evening we went to the movies and when we came home,we found her entangled in the legs of a stool and she hadn't been able to free herself. She was exhausted and scared and we knew it was time. This was a proud and dominant little girl who I thought would fight us to the end, but she went very peacefully. Looking back, we did wait a couple of months too long.

  • @b5004ever said in Making The Tough Decision:

    Looking back, we did wait a couple of months too long.

    Something which is only too easy to do. But you did the right thing in the end - and can take comfort from that -

  • This morning we let our beloved Rocco go. It was his time. In two months he would have been 17. We are totally crushed!!! The vet tried to help and she was very understanding. The only comfort that I have was that I wrapped him in his favorite blanket and hugged him until he was gone. He lived a marvelous long life. We will miss him for a very long time. At the end he loved to sleep. He looked very peaceful when he was sleeping. Now he’s sleeping and in peace forever. Thanks for your support.

  • @davcoz tears welling up I'm so sorry that you have had to say goodbye to your pal. Keep him close by through your memories and the love you shared.

  • This is always the hardest time. Cry, grieve, do what you need to do. You loved him and did your best for him, and memories of the happiest times will stay with you when the grief is not so sharp.

  • Take comfort in the fact you gave him a good life and did the right thing by him at the end. Its never easy

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  • @davcoz
    So sorry for your loss - we never can keep them long enough. Please find peace and comfort in knowing you gave Rocco a fabulous life and cherish the wonderful memories you shared.🐾❤

  • @davcoz I can relate to every word you wrote. I hope you find peace in your decision and that your hearts heal. I hope good memories fill any emptiness.

  • Thanks to all of you. We are having a tough time with this right now. The house seems so empty with him not on the couch. We are fortunate that all our memories of him are great. He was with us all the time. A truly exceptional little guy.

  • Our Rocco came from @RugosaB. His mother was her Ibis. He was Ibis #5 from 2003. @RugosaB gave us a wonderful companion her dedication to this breed is second to none. We cannot thank her enough! Sorry I meant @RugosaB, not @BasenjiB. I apologize. Not thinking clearly.

  • Sorry for the loss. It's always hard. I agree with Zanede and Kembe that you should take heart knowing allowed him a great life. Also that the end was with you and not painful. Makes a terrible situation a little less painful.

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