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Dad can no longer manage his 14 year old Dachshund that is messing indoors several times a day. He has a second, much younger dog that is well behaved. He does not care that his apartment in the assisted living facility smells like a kennel nor that no one will come to visit him any longer. The facility cleans the carpets frequently and is unhappy with the situation but will not make the ultimatum that would allow me to make the move to put the dog down & I cannot bring myself to be the grim reaper without some backing. I am the only child that is in contact with dad. Caregiver guilt is paralyzing me. We went together to the Veterinarian last spring. The Vet explained how the dog is blind & not aware enough to control himself & that it would be kindest to put him down. Dad would hear none of that. Dad has no outside contact with the world except me & I don't want to destroy our fragile relationship. What advice can you offer me on how to do anything but walk in & take the dog away while dad isn't there?

Dad is a 5 year pancreatic cancer survivor who lost his wife just months after his final treatments. He descended into drinking himself into a stupor every day & I had to remove him from his home, commit him to be detoxed & then moved into this assisted living facility. They have been nothing short of wonderful there & have offered to include him in all sorts of field trips and activities. Unless there is alcohol involved, he brushes it all off. He is completely apathetic on all levels. It pains me to watch him throw away the gift of life with both hands. He has nothing to say to me & I regret that I am running out of things to talk about in one sided conversations. He is on an anti depressant but it does not seem to help. His MD will not prescribe counseling unless dad asks for it. That won't happen.

I know what needs to be done, I just don't know how to accomplish it short of kidnapping the dog. Dad will never forgive me.

Thank you for listening.

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Sunshine you did the right thing for Max. Our companion animals have a special place in our hearts and, in the end, we have to love them enough to let them go.
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I think you did the right thing for the dog. Has it impacted your relationship with your dad?

Hugs to you. What a difficult thing to have to do!
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Sunshine, that was not my intention. I was attempting to make a suggestion that would allow your father to keep his beloved pet and possibly find a solution for the mess the pet was making.
I realize it is an emotional issue. RIP Max.
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When a well house-trained dog of 14 starts losing control of its toilet habits, it's a sign that there is something terribly wrong physically, emotionally or both. Since this poor little dachshund (I'm sorry. I'm English. This is extremely distressing to me) also had the companionship of a younger dog, it seems very likely to me that he was indeed suffering in a way that could not have been managed kindly, and Sunshine was therefore absolutely right to have him put to sleep. If she'd waited any longer, the next thing Max would have endured would probably have been paralysis in his back legs (with their long backs, dachshunds are prone to this, I believe), which he would have found terrifying. There was no other humane choice.

I think it's probably best if people read the whole of a post before they comment on it. Max was blind, elderly and probably in pain. He wasn't being executed for the crime of incontinence.

Sunshine, how is your father, and how is Dog II? I expect they will both be missing Max very much. Will they be able to stay together for the foreseeable future? My condolences to your father. When an old dog dies, it takes so many joyful memories with it. Reassure him that it is natural and proper to grieve. If it helps, you could tell him that my 26 year old Army officer son wept his heart out when it was his beloved Cindy's turn to go.
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Sunshine, you absolutely did the right thing. We had issue with our pet as she aged and lost control and did have the guts to do what needed done for her well being -- instead I think about how SHE suffered losing control and not wanting to wet her bed or have an accident. She was old and anxious and had given us a wonderful life and yet we couldn't put her at peace. It is very hard, we admittedly waited too long before putting her down.

It is merciful to put them out of their misery. I wish we could offer same for elders. Sorry you are having to now do all this cleanup. Hope dad appreciates it.
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@ loretta,
the dogs QOL is whats most important? idda knocked that crappin dog in the head months ago so dad wasnt living in a filthy dog pen. people. people are more important.
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Loretta1& Debralee - Thank you for speaking from your hearts. JessieBelle & PinkLA - Thank you for the guilt trip. Do you seriously think people come here to hear that they are not doing the best that they can with people who are not able to make rational decisions or follow through with directions? This is supposed to be a support network. Max is gone now. We went in & told him it was time to say goodbye & took the dog to the vet's office. Up front & honest, anything else would have further haunted me. It was a difficult decision & it will have its ramifications. Meanwhile, I must have all of the carpet torn out, the cement floor sanitized & sealed at our expense. The sofa, mattress & bedding must all be replaced & the leather seat of his chair sanitized, sealed & reupholstered. Waiting this long had serious financial ramifications. The emotional cost of his friends not coming around, the staff cutting short every visit & his constant exposure to urine & feces were very high. I should have take charge long ago but it was the fear of his grief that stopped me. The fear if his isolation should have given me the strength. Hindsight is always 20/20. Please don't judge me, rather find it in your heart to be supportive of all of us who are caring for people whether they want us to or not. Someday, it will be our turn.
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Please search for a "mobile vet" in your area.
Make the appointment for during Dad's nap time.
The whole process could be over in 15 minutes.
So that he is not suspicious, you could take the dog to the vet hospital after, to be cremated.
This is not just cavalierly "putting the dog down" , this is about what is best for this poor dog.
He needs to be freed of living in squalor, it is about quality of life for these dogs, not about how hard or sad it is for the "people".
Unfortunately we have to face and take care of these things for the animals we have domesticated, and they depend on us to do so.
I wish you the best, please consider this method and good luck with your father.
The quality of this dog's life is not optimum at this point and the vet is right.
Sometimes people do not understand how euthanasia IS the most humane option in some cases.
No disrespect to the commenter who offered that the dog wear diapers, but I think this woman has her hands full enough without adding that to the mix.
The father would no sooner change the poor dogs diapers than what he is doing now.
Please know that euthanasia is painless and made as stress free as possible by the vet.
A sedative will be given so that the dog has no awareness of being put down when the final injection is given and falls into a blissful sleep.
I was a surgical tech for Vets for years, what is inhumane is people who think that keeping animals alive no matter how much they suffer.
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If the dog is suffering because of his negligence, tell your father what is happening to his dog and what could happen if you don't take care of the dog.
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Have you tried putting a belly band on the dog? It is a band that has velcro on it that you put around the dogs belly to prevent it from peeing on things. You use a woman's maxi pad on the inside and replace it when it is soiled.
If the dog is not in pain and suffering then there is no reason to put the dog down.
Would your father be willing to allow someone else to take the dog and care for it. There are organizations/rescues that take older animals and would be happy to find a home for him. I am doubting that your father will give the dog up. Try to find a solution for him to keep the dog. Bellybands are a great help. Also, there are doggie diapers.
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If the dog is not suffering, I see no reason to put it down. This question bothers me on every level. You don't put a pet down because it has lost bladder or bowel control. You make arrangements for it just like you would a person who lost bladder or bowel control. Your father loves the dog, and if the dog is not suffering, there is no need to take the dog's life from it.
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The trouble is that he never goes away any longer than to dinner & the only time he leaves the facility, he is with me. The logistics of arranging the unnatural death are troublesome. Lifespan is 12.5 years. At 14, I wonder how much longer the energizer dog can keep going...
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The love and bond between a person and a companion pet is so strong, it goes beyond understanding, especially in your father's situation. Your father's grief over losing his wife has caused him to hold onto what it dearest to him most. For him to comprehend the kindness of putting down what is most dearest to him is more than he could bear. The only advice I cold offer is to say you found the dog deceased while he was away and hopefully he can accept a false natural death as to having to face knowing the dog had to be put down. It is never easy to have a pet euthanized, but nor is it easy to watch them suffer. I wish you luck in your difficult decision.
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