Millie

Ray Sachs

Legend
Location
Not too far from Philly
Real Name
you should be able to figure it out...
Millie was our dog - she died yesterday at about age 17, 13 of them spent with us. She brought more joy to our family than I can possibly explain. It was her time - her quality of life was reduced down way too close to zero for us to selfishly hold on to her any longer. She'd really been in pretty rough shape for the last year and a half or so, without much in the way of hearing or sight, being anxious or asleep most of the time, and needing more and more drugs not to be anxious. Having to make a decision to end the life of a being that you love so much is the hardest thing I've ever had to do. The past week as we came to grips with this terrible decision was among the saddest and hardest of my life. She was the same sweet sweet dog right up until the end. And when given half a chance, she was the happiest dog I ever knew. She had a good last weekend, with plenty of love and attention, but yesterday we tearfully had to say goodbye. Here are some memories of her...

She was also my most willing photographic model...

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XZ2 testing-12-Edit
by Ray, on Flickr

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P4240814-Edit
by Ray, on Flickr

In 2008, she was attacked by a much larger dog, who nearly killed her. But after a rough month or so of healing, she came back strong - this was a few weeks after...
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IMG_0326
by Ray, on Flickr

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Happy Millie
by Ray, on Flickr

Always the center of attention at the dog-park. She was in the center of the action before her attack, and a bit more reticent afterwards, but always a sweet-heart...
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PA104554-Edit
by Ray, on Flickr

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July 4th on July 5th
by Ray, on Flickr

Just a few weeks ago, with my wife, her very favorite person...
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Blizzard!-40-Edit
by Ray, on Flickr

-Ray
 

Luke

Legend
Location
Milwaukee, WI USA
Real Name
Luke
When we finally made the difficult decision to put one of our cats down last year, the vet said that it was a wonderful we were giving her (our cat Kiki). Hopefully you can take some comfort in that thought as I did. You gave Millie one last excellent gift. I'm sharing your photos of her with Lucy and Charlie.
 

Lawrence A.

Hall of Famer
Location
New Mexico
Real Name
Larry
Ray, I'm so sorry. I've been there more than once and know what a heart wrenching decision it is. No need to explain the joy she brought you; anyone who has lived with and loved an animal understands perfectly. The pictures you made of her with your impeccable photographic skills will provide sweet memories and comfort.
 

Briar

All-Pro
Location
Scotland
So sorry Ray. It does feel awful making that decision but take comfort that she is not suffering anymore. Went through this with our two dogs. Have an idea how you feel. Thoughts are with u and your family. Take care, K x
 

christilou

Legend
Location
Sunny Frimley
aah, I am very sorry for you and your family Ray. A friend of ours recently had to make the same decision for her 17 year old Jack Russell. I think when both hearing and sight become impaired, the world can become a very frightening place for a doggy and you must take some comfort in knowing that when the time came you were able to make a good decision for her. I know you must be heartbroken and Little B and I send our heartfelt sympathy.
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Location
Not too far from Philly
Real Name
you should be able to figure it out...
Thanks so much everyone. I've contemplated this moment for a few years, but nothing prepares you for depths of conflict you feel. I'd love to think that having been through it once might make it a little easier if faced with it again, but I'm pretty sure it will be just as gut-wrenching, heart-breaklngly difficult. I know we needed to do it, looking back we probably erred on the side of waiting too long rather than acting too quickly, but knowing that doesn't make it any easier. I've lost friends and both of my parents, so I understood how deep the sorrow would be, but to have to take the action to end a life is something I've never had to do before - it's a whole different level of painful...

-Ray
 

kyteflyer

~@¿@~
Location
Newcastle, Australia
Real Name
Sue
Oh, Ray, I am so sorry to hear about MIllie. She was a beautiful little girl and it seems like she had 13 great years with you. Making that decision is the absolute hardest thing to do, and I know exactly how difficult it is, and how you must be feeling right now. Please know my thoughts and sympathies are with you.
 
D

Deleted member 6640

Guest
I'm sorry too Ray. I've had and lost few smaller pets, from hamsters to bunnies, and letting them go has always been a hard spot. Now that we have a dog I can really see how they can be more of a family member than, for example, a bunny. I don't even want to think about how it feels to lose one... Be strong!
 

Ripleysbaby

supernatural anesthetist
Location
Cumbria UK
Real Name
Garry
Ray. I can't say any more than what's been said already. I am very sad for your loss. Buster is 17 now ,and when I looked at him just now I know exactly how you must feel. I absolutely treasure my time with my dogs as I'm sure you did with Millie. So sorry.
 

BBW

Legend
Location
betwixt and between
Real Name
BB
Oh Ray, I just heard of your heartbreaking news from Garry. I am so terribly sorry for yours and your wife's great loss. I do know how incredibly difficult it is, even when you know you did right by Millie. She was a soulful girl as well as a sweetheart I know.

Thank you for all these photos. I am so sad for you all.
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Location
Not too far from Philly
Real Name
you should be able to figure it out...
I'm not a real afterlife kind of guy. I don't firmly DIS-believe it - I just don't firmly believe either. There are some things in this vast universe I don't believe we can possibly know and somehow I take comfort in THAT, rather than buying into something I'd never be sure about. I'm kind of aggressively agnostic - not just a squishy I can't make up my mind kind of thing - I just find it somehow right and comforting to accept that I don't have a clue.

That said, Luke's story and the Rainbow Bridge thing can really get me weepy right about now. The idea of being reunited someday sure FEELS good, whether I believe it or not... I can tell you if any of it's true, Millie went to the best available afterlife... She always reminded me of my Dad in a funny kind of way, so I might have thought there was some sort of re-incarnation involved except that they overlapped for a couple of years and he loved her dearly too...

And Luke, I forgot to mention earlier, but I really like the idea that what we did was one final gift to her. It was hard to feel like it was, but I wish someone would be able to do the same for me if I'm ever in that condition...

-Ray
 

Lawrence A.

Hall of Famer
Location
New Mexico
Real Name
Larry
Thanks so much everyone. I've contemplated this moment for a few years, but nothing prepares you for depths of conflict you feel. I'd love to think that having been through it once might make it a little easier if faced with it again, but I'm pretty sure it will be just as gut-wrenching, heart-breaklngly difficult. I know we needed to do it, looking back we probably erred on the side of waiting too long rather than acting too quickly, but knowing that doesn't make it any easier. I've lost friends and both of my parents, so I understood how deep the sorrow would be, but to have to take the action to end a life is something I've never had to do before - it's a whole different level of painful...

-Ray
That's the thing that is so very hard. You know you are performing and act of mercy, but part of you feels it is an act of betrayal. It is one of the hardest feelings I've ever had to cope with.
 

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