The name ReXena is a combination of my 2 dogs names. I have been using it as the gift giver on Christmas gift tags for many years now. Sadly, this year, will have to be different.
The book ReXena is a product of our sadness over the loss of Rex, and worry for the well being of our remaining dog, Xena.
If you have not yet read the book, please click the image to purchase directly on Amazon.,
Rex was a 12 pound Chorkie.
Half Yorkie, half Chihuahua.
He was “all dog”, full of big dog instincts and personality. He was 11.5 years old when he died. Rex suffered from congestive heart failure among other aliments.
Xena is a 6 pound Yorkie-poo.
Half Yorkie, half Poodle.
She is her brothers opposite. At the time of this writing, she is 8 years old. Xena is healthy and very timid.
Update on Xena's adjustment
Xena is doing well, yesterday she actually seemed “normal” and she has been eating! It has been 19 days since she last saw her brother. She still has obvious bad days, as do we.
Quick 1 year update:
Xena has become quite attached to me. Our concern over her eating has caused us to develop bad habits, and her to gain weight. She is still terrified of grooming, but overall she is ok. We talk about Rex a lot. Too much in fact, but it is largely because he had so much personality. All is well.
The Reason For This Page
When the time to put your pet to sleep draws near, and if you have never had to do this before, you may find that you are somewhat numb. Give yourself some grace.
You may be unaware of a few things. You may think that you’ve thought it through and you are high functioning, but there will probably be something that takes you off guard, whether you had already thought of it or not.
Experience and Observations
There are many places to get valuable information about putting your pet to sleep. I am not trying to compete with such information. Here, I can only share my personal experience and advice based on my first and only experience to date.
On the morning that we knew we were going to put Rex to sleep, we gave him lots of love. And bacon, and chicken, and more love.
The dogs were scheduled to be groomed that morning. Rex had been described to us as the model grooming customer. So much so, that when it was her turn, they placed him on the table with Xena to help calm her. The groomer is located in our veterinarians office and there was a “Stay At Home” order in place. Our vet wasn’t allowed to have people in the building, so we had to drop her off and take Rex to a veterinary hospital a little farther from home.
When we arrived at the animal hospital… more bacon, more love. Rex was a very inquisitive, confident, outgoing boy. As always, he was calm and accommodating. He was taken in the back and an IV line was put in his leg.
They brought Rex back into the room to proceeded with the euthanasia.
My husband cried. He is allowed to cry. Rex was is first dog. He and Rex were the very best of friends. I cried too. As soon as I felt the impact of the building without him.
Regrets? Sure. Always some, right?
Because the veterinarian stands on the side of the table where the IV line is, Rex was facing a wall instead of out into the room. That was dumb and had I been thinking, I would have changed sides with the Vet so that Rex could be looking at us, not a wall.
I used to sing silly jingles to the dogs… I should have sung a song for my boy. I also should have done some of the things I’ve listed below.
- Have your pet sit. Praise them profusely for doing so.
- Now have your pet lay down. Praise them for doing so and during that praise indicating what an amazingly good dog you have; gesture to the veterinarian to administer the shot.
- If your pet can’t follow the commands or is a cat who might prefer not to, simply get in their face and shower them with love and praise.
- Your pet will become limp and fall over to one side. Keep praising and petting while the Vet listens for their heartbeat to stop. This may take up to a minute or two.
- Your pet will fall over. It is dramatic. Be prepared by holding them and laying them down yourself. They may also eliminate, bleed from their mouth a bit, their tongue may hang out, and their eyes may remain open.
- Close their eyes, kiss them and say your goodbye.
- Expect to be upset. It will happen. My breakdown was in the parking lot walking away. Do not drive until you know that you are safe to do so.
- If you are a man, or a man will be present, please give 100% permission to let it out. Cry! It’s sad. Tough guy or not. It’s just heartbreaking.
I hope that following some or all of these steps helps you avoid some guilt and regret.
Our boys remains.
Expenses and Creamation
With no idea of what to choose, when we were offered a couple of options; We chose to have Rex cremated. We did not want to bury Rex anywhere, so it was just a matter of how they would do the cremation. The option of receiving his remains back made us feel like his body might be treated a little better. I have no reason to believe that is true, but that’s what we did, just for a little piece of mind. Also, the price difference between the two was too close to matter. We paid about $350.00. No, putting your dog to sleep is not an inexpensive thing to do.
I will say that when we received Rex back, I was surprised to get his ashes back already in an urn. He will stay there. I thought I had to shop for one, and I wasn’t looking forward to seeing his ashes, so this is great. A part of the cost mentioned above included a clay impression of his little foot.
As for your remaining pet(s)
Please try not to make our mistakes! Leave the food and water bowls, cages, beds, gates, rules and routines, in play for a couple of days. Try for one adjustment at a time. I believe we made matters worse.
When your dog won't eat
We were given some advice and some advice worked. Ground beef and white rice is what she’s having right now. Next it will be chicken and less, or no rice. So far this is all we’ve been able to get her to eat. She’s too small to wait her out, so we will continue to feed her like this.
Update on Eating
So our Veterinarian advises that meat is not enough and we can’t feed her in this way only. Dogs need additional nutrients. We will again try to get her to eat dog food. Unfortunately she is not consistently having a bowel movement (too much rice?), and we’re trying to deal with that first. Canned pumpkin and baby food squash were recommended by our Vet. Xena is not interested. I went so far as to smudge a little on her mouth so she can taste it. It took her a good hour before she forgave me.
If you are reading this because you are about to lose a beloved pet, please know that I am genuinely sorry.
I miss my boy more than I can say. It is hard to breathe when I really think about it. It has been 3 weeks and I feel like a good cry is still just under the surface. Even though I’ve been typing this in short sessions, tears have managed to roll down my face from time to time. I can only assume this too shall pass.