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Posts: 27

My name is Jess, and I had to put down my sweet and loving dog, Braveheart, on this past Saturday morning, March the 3rd. 

I had rescued him from a puppy mill 3 years ago. They assumed that he was about 10 years old when I rescued him, and he was in pretty bad shape. It took me almost a full year to whip him into good shape. He had developed a heart murmur/congestive heart failure as an aftermath of being in the puppy mill for 10 years. We had him on a medicine called enalipril that seemed to help; however, this past October, he developed the disease that would take his sweet soul from me, which was Cognitive Disfunction (doggy dementia). It started off with him whining and crying all the time; he became very vocal. He also lost his vision 95% within the short period of a month (which makes me think it was actually a brain tumor). He would pace up and down the hall, for hours upon hours, back and forth, back and forth, until he was so tired and exhausted that he would fall asleep. After he woke up, he would begin the process all over again. He was in complete mental agony and torture, and as I witnessed him get worse and worse, to the point where he was having to take 5 anxiety pills per day just to cope, I knew it was time. I knew that it was time for me to send him home to God, to be with Jesus, and all of my other deceased loved ones. I knew that if I kept him here any longer, that it would only be for my own selfish reasons...and he deserved so much more than the state he was in. He deserved the upmost respect. 

When we took him to the vet Saturday morning, after they gave him the first shot that sedates them, as soon as the shot kicked in, he lifted his little head so high into the air and looked up. It was almost as if he felt a complete and total euphoria from that first shot. It was almost as if that was the first time he had been in mental peace ever since he got the dementia. He looked like he had a huge weight lifted off his shoulders. As the sedation kicked in, and he began to melt into bliss, he layed down, and layed his head in my hand. I kept kissing him, and I kept telling him how much I love him, how good he was, how beautiful and handsome he was, and what a complete joy he was. I told him that he didn't have to be brave anymore, and that it was okay for him to go be free. I was crying my eyes out. That is when the vet came in to inject the 2nd and final shot; the shot that would stop his little brave heart. I can't explain what happened once she injected the final shot, but I swear as I held his head in my hand, as he took his final breath, I felt this sensation on my face. It wasn't cold, it wasn't warm, it wasn't a wind or a breeze, but it was this sensation on my face that I can't even begin to describe. I believe it was his soul leaving his body, his breath of life, and he caressed my face as he projected upward to Heaven. He gave me one last kiss. I felt it. I felt him. Then he was gone, and I took him home in a little basket to bury him. 

It is the 2nd night that I have been without him, and I cannot sleep. I could not sleep last night either. I am so tired, but I cannot sleep! My heart is filled with the kind of sorrow that I cannot explain. Braveheart was my true soul dog, and I don't know how I am going to live without him. I think that we all have that one special dog, that one soul mate, and now that he is gone, I don't know how to feel. I am 26 years old, and it just feels like I am going to have to wait forever to hold his little face again. 

I feel so empty inside. I tried to sleep, and after only 2 hours of being asleep, I woke up in pure agony and heartache. I keep getting the lump inside my throat, and I feel that deep and hollow ache in the very center of my heart, and in the very center of my soul. I had set one of my favorite pictures of him as my wallpaper on my phone, but seeing it every time I open my phone became too much, and I had to change it. I know that this will get easier over time, but for right now, it is total sadness. The thing that hurts the most is that I only had him for 3 years; and it kills me to think that before I found him, he had to spent the first 10 years of his life in an un-loving puppy mill. I am so glad that I found him and was able to give him 3 years of the best love ever..but thinking about his life before I adopted him just makes me feel so sad right now. I wish I could have rescued him sooner. I wish that he didn't have to live the life that he lived. It also blows my mind, because you would think that a puppy mill survivor would be very mean, sad, and messed up....but not Braveheart, he was so sweet! And happy! And ready to be loved and give love! He was still able to have faith in humanity, and he loved me so much, and I loved him so much..and it breaks my heart. He was SO SWEET! My goodness, what a brave soul he was! 

I am sorry that this post has been so long, but if you are sitting here reading it, I just want to say thank you for listening to me vent. Feel free to comment and give me any kind of advice or kind words that you can; my heart could surely use some kind words. 

I am just ready to get past the total shock of it all, and I am ready to be able to sleep again. It was even very hard for me to eat today as I have completely lost my appetite. I am not handling this very well at all; and I do believe in Jesus, and I believe in the Word of God, and in Heaven, and I know that I will see my Braveheart again, and I know that he is in Heaven right now feeling good, and he has his vision back, and he is being taken care of by God..but it still hurts so much. I wish I could have just one more day with him. I wish that I could hug him in my arms and tell him just how much he means to me and how incredibly lucky I was to have found him. 

Oh my goodness, the pain is incredibly hard to handle. I feel as if I have lost a child. I can now say that I truly understand the old saying "Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all".  

Someone, anyone, please help me through this. Please offer your kind words to my heart. I am so sad.

-Jess; Braveheart's mommy.


Posts: 1,010
Dear Jess:

The tears are just rolling down my cheeks as I read your post about your special boy Braveheart.  I am so sorry for the loss of such a loyal and loving pet.

I know exactly how you feel because we have been through this twice now and it does get easier with time but that time length is different for everyone.

We had a little buff colored cockapoo named Brandy who we had for 17 wonderful years.  She was the light of our lives and truly our little daughter.  Having to say goodbye was the worst day of our lives.  She had been relatively healthy all of her life, but started refusing to eat and also had doggy dementia.  That was so hard to watch.  We knew we couldn't let her suffer so we had to let her go.  When her pain ended ours began....

We said never again because we couldn't endure that pain but about 4 months after Brandy left us we realized we were very lonely and the house was so empty.  We had been watching some rescue groups and thinking of adoption.  We adopted our snow white cocker spaniel Miriam in November of 2013.  She was like a light at the end of a dark tunnel for us.  She was a senior and we felt that she needed us as much as we needed her. She brought us so much joy.  She had a myriad of health issues including a heart murmur - in fact she was on that same medication as Braveheart. She had kidney issues too.  But we thought we would have her for much longer than we did.  Four years to the day that we adopted her we had to let her go on to heaven and to be with Brandy.  She had lost a lot of weight and we knew it was time.

I just want you to know that what saved me is this wonderful website full of caring and compassionate people who truly "get it."  So if you can, come here often and tell us more about Braveheart and maybe post some pictures when you are ready.  It really does help.

For now, hold on to those precious memories of your brave guy and know that you gave him the best years of his life.  You were with him until the end and he felt the love you had for him.  As his soul winged its way to heaven he passed by you first, the one who loved him the most.

I'm sending you thoughts and prayers of comfort at this difficult time.

Angel Brandy's mom
Angel Miriam's mom
And now foster mom to Clarissa

Posts: 27
Thank you SO MUCH for your kind words, Barb! I cannot explain how much better it makes me feel to have read what you just posted. I am so sorry that your little one Brandy had also gotten dementia; and I am sorry about Miriam. Reading your experience and story with your pets has really struck home, because it sounds like they were both so much like Braveheart. You said that Miriam was a senior when you adopted her, and that she was also on the enalipril. And Brandy had gotten very sick with the dementia. God bless you. I totally understand when you said "as her pain ended, ours began". That is exactly how I feel right now. I keep telling myself that I would rather be the one suffering than Braveheart, and this is how I am trying to comfort myself. I am so glad he is not suffering. I am also so glad that Brandy and Miriam are not suffering 😉 For that, I can be happy! 

Reading your story truly helps me to realize that I am not alone in this. And I will definitely be staying on this website, as your comment to my heartache has already helped me tremendously. It just helps so much to talk about it, especially like you said, with people who "get it". God bless you and thank you so much for your prayers!!! They are very much needed right now, and I am just very happy to hear from you. 
God bless you and your family, Barb 😉 God bless your Brandy and your Miriam, and your now Clarissa 😉 
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