Registered: 1534289880 Posts: 1
I'm 20. When I was 17, I ran away from home. At a friend's house, their parents' dogs had puppies... and one in particular saved my life.
Her name was Knockout, and I euthanized her six days ago. Everything was stacked against her. Her parents were BYB mutts with a lot of issues, behaviorally and physically. They should never have been able to breed. Her siblings were all given out for free w/o any vaccines by the side of the road.. I can't imagine where they are today. I was there for her birth, I helped feed her and raise her from the start. I tried to defy all of her background and give her the best life I could, given my background... I was hit, I was abused, always in fear, suicidal at the time, and I promised to make sure her life would be without fear. I got a job, a stable living environment, enough to pay for good food and all her vaccines and more (drove an hour out to her favorite vet on many occasions for ear infections, etc. She loved the car.). I knew a decent amount about dogs, socialized her every way I knew how and could find out how, showed her everything I could imagine she'd be scared of later... she even got approved to come to school with me on certain days. I have a few photos still from the photography teacher who loved her. She even lived with me in college, was task-trained for my disability, and for most of her life, interrupted my panic attacks. Around 8 months, she started showing fear and aggression issues... despite this, I did my best to work around it and to show her the world was safe and OK. Regardless of intervention, she steadily declined until she was no longer really a dog. The past few months, her issues started looking eerily like dementia, or a brain tumor, which I've never heard of in a dog 2 years old. She was seeing things, hearing things, making up terrors, wouldn't sleep, wouldn't eat, randomly threw up, paced endlessly, panted, and everything she used to love got no response... even me, and eventually, her quality of life, despite many interventions and help from many people and professionals and medication attempts and behavior intervention, I had to put her down when she could no longer function outside of the five minutes she was happy whenever I entered the room. She would forget things existed, and then be just as terrified and aggressive as soon as she remembered they existed again... there was no way to train her, at the end, or reason with her, for a long time. She wasn't even three. So whenever people tell me I did my best, that she had everything she could have and I gave her the best life despite the odds, I can't stop thinking about the few moments in her life that I wasn't patient and wasn't level-headed. Particularly, there was one time she pooped in the house near the end (a few months ago) and I lost my temper, yelled at her and got her close to it and told her NO. She had been doing this for a while, because of her progressing issues, and I was just so mad and tired and exhausted from it happening so much. Even though we did a lot of fun things after that and I always tried to make amends. My brain keeps playing that on a loop, over and over again. It keeps replaying the time she flinched from me, the times I've yelled at her to stop doing something, the few times she's been scared... even of me. They make me feel like I was a terrible person. That everything I did in the end doesn't matter because I scared her a few times, because I've lost my temper a few times. That somehow, all of this, all of these impossible things, were my fault. She was my daughter. Everyone knew that. I changed my entire life to revolve around her. My college schedule has been created for two years with her being the most important workaround. I tried to take her everywhere I could. I tried to make sure her life was fulfilled. But I still can't feel like a good person. Why do I feel like I failed? Why can't I think about when she was happy, and be happy I made her happy, but I think of the few times I didn't? She was my closest companion, she inspired me to live and to breathe and to eat and to laugh and to smile.. she was so unique. She was so special. I'm convinced I'll never have something like her in my life again, and despite constant reassurance, I feel like a failure. I feel like I'm evil. She was suffering and for a moment I made it worse. But I loved her so much. I haven't eaten in days, I've been so overcome by grief I can barely move. I miss her so much and I feel like my world has stopped and I'll never feel good again. I feel like I didn't deserve her, that I made everything worse. Has anyone else felt this way? Every time I see a picture of her I burst into tears and think about a million ways I could have been better but wasn't. That I can't forgive myself for the few times in a life where I tried to commit to being the best parent she could have ever possibly had but fell short and scared her or made her sad. I wish she could comfort me and tell me she loves me and I wish I could function again without thinking about these horrible thoughts over and over. It wasn't fair. She probably didn't even remember, but I do and I always will. I just miss her so much. I spent an hour on the floor today with a toy that smells like her hoping she'd forgive me.
Registered: 1237261022 Posts: 34
I am so sorry for your loss. Knockout sure is a cutie pie!! Please try to remember all the good times you had with her. I'm sure many of us have times with our pets that we could do over given the chance. No one is perfect and we all make mistakes with our fur babies. Forgive yourself and try to feel better.
Registered: 1392656387 Posts: 93
Jackary I agree with champsmom but I would add that I think you went above and beyond with Knockout as far as giving her everything you could,
all the love and caring and help with her medical problems. But I understand how you feel about beating yourself up over things you consider you fell short with. I do the same thing to myself. It doesn't seem to matter how many good things I did for my dog I just seem to concentrate on where I think I went wrong. I think it all has to do with the intense grief we are feeling. I'm still going through it myself. You are not evil you're far from it. You were a blessing to Knockout. Grief plays horrible tricks on our minds. This may sound silly but talk back to the grief playing that loop in your mind. Yell at it to stop and replace it with what you know to be true which is that you were a blessing to Knockout. We are all only human and not perfect. Give yourself a break. I am so sorry for your loss and yes Knockout sure was a cutie pie. Wishing you peace, Skmk
Registered: 1516890861 Posts: 92
I'm so sorry for your loss. It sounds to me like you did the best you knew how at the time. That you cared deeply and tried your very best. I know your pup would want you to practice 'self care', to have compassion for yourself too.
We can all look back at various moments in our lives and wish somethings were different. Wish we could change a thing or two. The only advise I can give is to try your best to focus on the positive aspects of your time with Bandit; the good memories. the blessing she was to you and you to her. God Bless you. ((hugs))