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Guilt12345

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Posts: 5
 #1 
I lost my 10 year old husky suddenly 2 weeks ago.
He laid down and breathe heavily and then stopped breathing...I was in so much shock that I didn't even think about rushing him to the vet hospital to see if they could revive him. Maybe they could have saved him. I am unable to forgive myself for not taking him in. Every morning when I wake up, I automatically feel guilty about his death. Maybe if I would've brought him to see the vet more often, maybe if I would've paid more attention I would've notice any warning signs, maybe if wouldve been a better dog owner he would still be here with me now...10 years is not that old for a dog...I failed him and it's unbearable to live like this. I wake up, breathe, eat, sleep...that's been my life for the past 2 weeks...I'm numb to anything else going around me. To make things worst, i have 2 little kids at home and I've been ignoring them during this time...I'm a crappy father. I don't know what I'm trying to get by posting this...maybe just someone to confirm that I'm a horrible human being.
Lu

Registered:
Posts: 22
 #2 
You're not a horrible human being, you're grieving the loss of your beloved pet. Guilt is a HUGE part of that process. I've read hundreds of stories like yours and it seems no matter the circumstances under which a pet dies, guilt is a part of it. It sounds like it was just your dog's time. :( I'm so sorry. i lost my Lulu about 5 weeks ago under tragic circumstances and feel so much guilt. I have another dog (we don't have quite the same bond) and I have tried to focus my attention on and spoil her a bit. Extra cuddle time, extra treats, etc. Maybe it would help if you focused on giving your kids extra attention. It really does help. Again, I'm so sorry. This is such a difficult time but it does get a bit easier as time goes by. Hang in there.  
Guilt12345

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Posts: 5
 #3 
Thank you for your kind words Lu. I've also read other peoples stories about their guilt so I know it's part of the grieving process....but it so hard to fight those thoughts in my head...No matter how hard I try to not blame myself, I just know that I could've done more and because of my actions, he's not here with me.

I try to block it out as much as I can but it eventually gets too overwhelming and I break down in tears. Mornings are the worst for me. I wake up and I remember that he's really gone..then I think about the ways Ive let him down..Its been 2 week and it's still eating me up inside..he was just 10 years old...he deserved better than me
Lu

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Posts: 22
 #4 
What kind of dog was he? My Lulu was only 9 so I know what you mean. She was also a Chihuahua so potentially only halfway through her life span. :( I know about the guilt. Lulu's collar was a bit stretched out and it got twisted in something and she choked when I was at work. I normally close the door to the room where it happened. It got twisted on the fabric handle of a laundry bag. :( She used to lie on the bag sometimes when I did laundry and often tried to take my socks out and put them in her bed. I think that's what she was doing when her pet tags got twisted in the handle. She was so tiny her tags dragged on the floor. I still know how she managed it but believe me, I have enough guilt to last a long time. :( She was gone when I came home from work, still caught in the handle. Poor baby. Its heartbreaking to think of what she went through and I wasn't there to help her. It has gotten better. I've been able to begin to think of it as a freak accident- its not something I would have predicted. I wish I would have been much more careful, though. :( Everyone goes through the "could have, should have" part of this process. It's the worst. :(
Guilt12345

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Posts: 5
 #5 
He was a husky...I miss him so much and can't stop thinking about him.Ive cried so much that I'm out of tears to cry

What a horrible thing you had to go through. And yes, yours was a freak accident and wasnt your fault but I don't think that makes you feel any better.



Lu

Registered:
Posts: 22
 #6 
Oh yeah, sorry, you said he was a Husky in your first post. What was his name? Thank you very much for your kind words.  I'm so sorry. Every time I think I'm doing better I have another mini-meltdown. I'm so sorry you're going through this. Fortunately you have found this corner of the internet where there are so many kind and loving people who understand what you're going through. Some say our animals come into our lives to teach us lessons. Losing my Lulu has made me a more compassionate and understanding person. I tend to be pretty selfish generally and this time in my life has really made me stop and consider that other people are going through heavy issues we may know nothing about. I have become more patient. Such a tiny dog and she has changed me in so many ways. I cried all the time too, and still do. I am at least able to hold it together at work and in public now. And then of course if I have a good time or find myself laughing there is guilt because I am feeling ok momentarily and Lulu is gone. :( I have two daughters and while they've seen me cry and be sad (which I think is healthy, it's natural to be sad when something sad happens) I have to put on a happy face a lot when I'm not really feeling it. Anxiety seems to run in my family and my girls tend to be anxious so I am trying to focus on the blessings in my life even when it is hard to do. One thing that has really helped me is meditating. There are a lot of guided meditations on Youtube. Short ones, too. It helps  to find a quiet space and just listen to the meditation and put yourself in a relaxed state. Grief is very stressful for us so I think it's important to find a bit of peace in all of this. My girls and I made a shadow box with Lulu's photos, her pet tags, and other personal items. Maybe you and your kids could do a project together to honor your dog. A collage, shadow box or photo album. Hang in there and hugs to you!
Guilt12345

Registered:
Posts: 5
 #7 
Unfortunately, I'm not as strong as you are Lu. I cannot say his name or look at photos of him, it's just too hard for me and I know I will break down in tears if I do.
I just can't do it.

I see that you reply to numerous post on this site...I just want thank you for doing that. It means alot to people like me knowing someone else in the world is feeling the same pain as I do.
Lu

Registered:
Posts: 22
 #8 
Aww, you’re so welcome. I know that I needed to hear from people who were going through the same thing, so it helps me too if I can help others. I couldn’t look at Lulu’s pictures at first either. Then I had to because I was haunted by the last image of her so i put her photos everywhere to try to get the other out of my head :( It definitely takes time. Sometimes i think i may still be in denial. :( They day that grief is the price of love. It sucks, doesn’t it? But we were so blessed to have them in our lives. Ok, now i’m crying 😢 hugs!
grievingmom

Registered:
Posts: 639
 #9 



I am really sorry for your loss. It's pretty obvious that your Husky was your best friend.  The gut wrenching loss of a dog you adored, worshiped, tightly bonded with, needed, depended on and loved and adored is to put it mildly, a living nightmare....horror story and hell on earth. 

My dog Tum was "euthanized" ( huge mistake and regret) when she was 16. I had adopted her as a puppy. I taught her everything. She had never walked up steps before or walked on the side of the road on a leash. She couldn't stay in a the "sit" position and would tip over. She was a baby...adorable. I mean beyond cute. Tum had a built in smile. She even smiled in her sleep. I shook my head the entire lifetime we shared about how of all the dogs in the world that needed a home...did I wind up with an extremely happy dog. It was a pleasure and blessing beyond words to share a home and life with someone who had her personality. I was truly and 100% stunned at how I "lucked out". I guess I was so blessed (by that I mean fortunate) in that way. The feeling and belief of "how did I luck out" never left. She was the epitome of what might be described the perfect dog. She was beautiful to look at..had a gorgeous face and beautiful, beautiful eyes. Everyone who ever came in contact with her could not stop praising and raving about her. Dogs who normally did not like other dogs immediately took to her. "If I ever have a dog, I want her to be like Tum" was not uncommon to hear. She wasn't a celebrity but it was kind of what I might imagine that to be like. She was noticed by people everywhere. The first time I took her to a vet office, as we walked into the busy and packed office on a Saturday morning, the whole waiting room at once said "Awwwww". I mean the whole waiting room. And it was packed. (They weren't doing that for other dogs that came in.)  So my point is, I never got over the wonderment of "how did "I" wind up with Tum". I was for our entire time together astounded as to "how did "I"......become her mother. Why not someone who was rich, someone who lived in a big house with a big yard. Someone who was married and had a husband and children to love her too. How did I...a single person in a tiny apartment with little money be the chosen one to be Tum's mother.  I will move on from this but the one thing too that never changed from the second I adopted her was "I know nothing about raising a dog but I know how to love". I knew nothing about training a dog or being responsible for a dog. NOTHING. But I knew how to love. And I always took safety and refuge in that. I knew how to love. And I was positive despite having never having raised a dog before that my love was going to make up for a multitude of sins. And I did. I made mistakes with Tum. And once or twice was even abusive by hitting her on her butt and being rough (very rough) with her leash so as to pull hard in a major way knowing it was bound to hurt her neck. In about approximately the last year of Tum's life, one night she was in a special place in our bedroom. The lights were all out in the apt. It was totally dark. I was in bed. Tum all of a sudden for the first and only time started to breathe so loudly and heavily like she was gasping for air. It was clearly not normal. It was beyond normal. I jumped up in bed and was stunned and panic stricken over what I was hearing. A hugely loud noise of Tum breathing abnormally. And then it stopped. Just like that. She laid back down. I was still in a panic and wanted to run over to her but I was too afraid to do so. Since the abnormal breathing had stopped I was afraid if I went near her I might cause it to flair up again.  Better to leave things alone since she was alive and appeared to be curling back up into her position. But I was freaked out. However being freaked out didn't last long because she didn't do it again that night or ever. My way of coping was to ignore it. If I took her to the vet over it, it would have meant "something was wrong". And I was too afraid to think that anything could be wrong with Tum. She was and had been healthy up to this point. So I tucked the incident away knowing something possibly dangerous had happened, but being too afraid to face it. I wanted it to be a mistake...that she hadn't breathed that way. And so I treated it like I wanted it to be seen to me. As nothing. Just as nothing. Nothing had happened. Dogs do weird things. It was nothing. Forget about it. 

So now, onto you.

You yourself know why you didn't rush your boy to the vet. You have told us why. You were in so much shock. Being in shock is a real experience. Not to go back to me but you will see why I am..on the day Tum died, everything went into slow motion while I was talking to the vet. Like a film that had been turned to slow motion. Though in front of me, her voice seemed in slow motion to be hundreds of miles away and I couldn't hear her. That's shock. And shock is very real. I really want you to focus on the way people function when they are in shock. People who are in shock are not themselves. And they did not ask to be in shock and they did not initiate  being in shock. Shock by the way is a normal response. It is not some abnormality that only sick, twisted or messed up people experience. Shock is a normal part of certain things and how we feel, act and think when we are in shock is 100% beyond our control. It's really important for you to realize and recognize that your behavior/conduct while you were in shock was not voluntary. Nor should it  have been. But it's very nature, being in shock robs of us of how we would act or think normally. That's why it has a name. Shock.

If you are really determined to know if rushing him to a vet would have made a difference, I would suggest you contact the nearest emergency vet clinic and see if you can make an appointment to come in (and pay for) and appointment with one of the emergency vets to go over in detail what they would have done for your dog had you rushed him to the clinic on the day in question. Listen carefully to what they say. Learn about what you know in your heart you as missing out on. Learn about what could have been. I did that with one of my pets who I did not rush to an emergency vet. I learned in detail based on her symptoms what would have happened once she would have arrived there given her symptoms.  I can tell you this. Despite all the labs done, oxygen given, injections and tubes with liquid coming in to her system ,xrays, scans etc...they told me that doing all of those things would not be a 100% guarantee that she would have survived and then gone back to normal. These things done at an emergency clinic are diagnostic in nature. Not treatment per se. After doing all sorts of tests as to why your dog stopped breathing..they would have made a diagnosis. And that diagnosis may not have been a diagnosis with a happy ending. It is possible your dog would have died that night at the emergency clinic. Or if not that night at the emergency clinic, at home within a few days if the diagnosis was heading in that direction. Just stabilizing your dog would not have been enough to save his life. He would have needed a diagnosis and treatment for follow up. The fact he died so quickly suggests that this would have happened during all the testing at the emergency clinic too. Maybe it would have slowed it down..for example if he was put on oxygen. However oxygen alone can't save and cure a diagnosis. It is a stabilizing element. Once off the oxygen, there has to be a diagnosis that can be treated. Oxygen in and of itself is not a cure for anything. You can google sudden deaths in dogs. Deaths that occur without any real prior symptoms. There are such conditions. 

We see our dogs as an extension of ourselves. Almost like a physical extension. Everything we say and do is reflected in them and onto them. But this is not reality based. Based on reality...actual scientific facts, a dog does not survive or die based on whether their parent was a good person. Good people have dogs die without a full understanding of why or how their dog died. That not understanding how how or why is what drives us crazy. As you begin to heal...learn more about what could have killed your dog. It will take the focus off what a horrible person who say you are and more onto real reasons why dogs die with no notice despite having been loved. Explore what could have happened. I think you deserve to have this understanding and I believe someday you will after doing some research and talking to people. I called an expert in another state to talk by phone about one of my pet's deaths. I needed answers that I could not get locally from the vets who had seen them. 

Right now you don't know why he died and so it's only normal to have "some kind of reason" because dogs don't die for no reason. So you have come up in the absence of anything else, that he died because you are a bad person. But again, that's not the medical reason your dog died. Until you get answers you will always say the medical reason your dog died was because you were a bad person. However again, your personality didn't crawl into your dog's bloodstream and create illness or cause death.

Of course it is unbearable to know know why your dog died and to think you are the cause. No normal person can live with that torture. I "lived"with it for years concerning all of my girls who died. I was positive that by osmosis my personality had caused their deaths. And again, that's because some reason is better than no reason.


It normal to ignore your kids while you are in this shape but I am sure they are getting food, clothing and shelter.  They won't die or become "damaged" by this break in what you might normally offer them. What's happening to you is a part of life and others reap the consequences of life too...consequences beyond our control. You children will be fine.

I know in time this torment and torture will ease. Just not right now. You are dealing with two things. Grief and trauma. They are not the same.  A sudden unexpected death is considered a trauma. You are dealing with what is called traumatic bereavement. I did too and the trauma symptoms can be worse than the grief.

If you need to talk more, just keep sharing. 

I am so sorry for your suffering.


Sincerely,
Stephanie

Guilt12345

Registered:
Posts: 5
 #10 
Thanks for your thoughtful post Stephanie..it has put me in tears
grievingmom

Registered:
Posts: 639
 #11 
My pleasure Guilt12345.

Peace to you in the days ahead,
Stephanie
Dog_Lover

Registered:
Posts: 9
 #12 
 I lost my 8 year old shih tzu about a month ago to a sudden fluke accident. He was a healthy, happy dog who had free reign of our home. He never got in any trouble when I left the house. That day, I was in and out of the house. My husband came home for lunch and didn't notice anything unusual. My dog was sleeping on his favorite couch when I came back home as well. I was sort of surprised he didn't want his afternoon treat, but he eventually took it. He started to throw up and then I noticed his breathing was shallow. I rushed him to our vet who took a chest xray and said he needs to go to the ER asap. He died on the way to the hospital. I found out he had a fluke accident of some kind while I was out and had a collapsed lung. I understand your guilt first hand. I know how hard it is to not wonder what you could have done to save your dog. I am very sad and lost without him. He went from a playful, healthy animal to one who died a few hours later from something I never witnessed! Please be kind to yourself as that is what needs to be done while you are grieving. So sorry for your loss.
Karmacat

Registered:
Posts: 167
 #13 
There is no good way for any pet to pass on, but I personally would rather have had my cat go the way your husky did. My Karma cat got a fast aggressive cancer, went blind and had to be pts. That was really a terrible way to go, for her and for me.

Having said that, the pain of the loss and separation will be shattering, however the death happened. From what you described, there was little to zero chance your dog could have been saved even if you had brought it to the vet, so you shouldn't feel so guilty for that. We often think that we can control everything, but the truth is we can't. When it's time for our beloved pets to pass on, we may be powerless to control that. But of course, we will all fight the outcome until we can't fight anymore.


Now that it has happened, things might be emotionally very tough for some time. For myself, two years on, I am still heartbroken over Karma cat's passing. Frankly, I don't know if this wound will ever heal, but I will defer to the experiences of the many people who assure us that the pain too will pass, in time.
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