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myreeses

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Posts: 5
 #1 
I've stumbled upon this forum after desperately trying to search for validation and support via the internet. I'm so glad I did.

Yesterday I was given a total of 9 hours between my dachshund/terrier mix, Reeses, losing consciousness and being diagnosed with a cancer that had already spread past the point of treatment. 

Reeses was thirteen. She was diabetic and had recently been dealing with a severe UTI, though I'm only now learning that my parents had kept a few details under wraps in the hopes of sitting me down at a later time. She didn't make it that long. They didn't know it was cancer, only that she had developed a lump near her stomach that needed to be monitored.

I had gone into my parents' room to check on her prior to leaving to take my brother to an appointment. She was laying lifeless out of her bed and her bladder had seemingly lost control. Not the biggest issue–– at this point in her life, we were used to finding spots on the carpet due to her diabetes and old age. But, when I picked her up to relocate her, she went absolutely limp in my arms. Head lolling to the side, eyes wide open and completely unresponsive. It was the second most terrifying sight of my life.

The first was seeing her in the backseat, staring straight ahead, still unmoving and unable to even perk her ears as I screamed her name. I urged my brother to keep a hand on her ribs to ensure she was still breathing as we sped to the hospital.

She had to be put down within the next few hours as her organs were shutting down.

This dog was my entire world. I struggle to type this as I keep looking at the clock and replaying yesterday's events in my head. Logically, I know her cancer was terminal, but I beat myself up for not checking on her earlier in the morning. For potentially stressing her out during the carride as I was hysterically crying and screaming, thinking my puppy would die in the backseat of my car. For not being able to see her one last time and say a proper goodbye. I was stuck at home, waiting on updates from my parents as they continuously called the vet. It was agonizing, and I was torn between trying to come to terms with the fact that she wouldn't come home, and hoping that they could treat whatever had happened.

The day before she had stood on her hind legs at the edge of my bed––a habit she did when she wanted to sleep there. I refused to lift her onto my mattress as I feared she would have another accident. I wish I had just let her do it, because now she'll never get the chance to sleep with me again.

I just needed to get this out. I'm angry, I'm devastated, I'm sad. My dad put her food bowl and water bowl away with the rest of her things in a box in the basement. The house feels empty. I keep trying to tell myself she's no longer in pain and doesn't resent me for not being present when they had to give her the shot. I wish I had told her I loved her more. I feel bad for getting frustrated at times when she misbehaved. I was her favorite; everyone in my family agreed. She only slept in my bed (until old age had her sticking to the bed in my parents' room). She would follow me around the house prior to the cataracts diminishing her vision.

I genuinely cannot see myself moving on within the next month, or even the next year. This is the first Christmas without her in 13 years. I miss my baby so much. I hope she knows that I loved her unconditionally.


4JakeyWithLove

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Posts: 9
 #2 
My thoughts are with you... hugs. I am sure Reese knew you loved her and did all you could for her. Sadly your story sounds a lot like mine where although my boy Jakey was already a senior, just short of 13, and already with numerous health issues, I had no time to say a proper goodbye. I rushed my dog to the vet only to hear that he wasn’t going to make it and given no choice for a good outcome. I put him to sleep a month ago. I keep replaying that day in my head and am full of anger and regret. Yet, I know I gave my dog the best, I tried my hardest. I know that he knew I loved him and he was my boy. I know he like your Reese loved you unconditionally. Try and think about the good times, the things about Reese that made you smile. I know everything is all fresh and new, but you will get through this. Reese will always be with you. My thoughts are with you, healing thoughts and peace; please know your dog loved you and hang on and focus on the good memories.
mendy8

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Posts: 2
 #3 
I too am dealing with a situation kind of like this one. My furbaby is almost 15 years old and seems that everything starting going down hill fast. She has always been a healthy girl no problems at all and smart as a whip. I noticed her stomach was getting larger and she was gaining weight so I took her to Banfield. They diagnosed her with oversize liver and put her on meds for that and then pain meds. This has only been like 6 months ago. I thought everything would correct itself but nooooo. Seems now she is experiencing memory loss, confusion, a slue of medicine to take, overlarge liver that keeps getting bigger, and now arthritis in all 4 legs, and now seems she is going blind. All I can do I sit and hold her and rock her and listen to her cry and whining. What makes it so bad is seeing her go outside to use potty and get lost and not be able to see and then cant find her way back in the house. I wonder if she wonders what happened to her? I just sit and cry everyday, longing for the older days for her and wishing there was a magic cure to where she could never leave and never get sick. Im sick myself and I know this is not good for me everyday but what can I do she is the great love of my life. I adore her.
myreeses

Registered:
Posts: 5
 #4 
4JakeyWithLove,

Oh gosh, thank you for the kind words. They mean more than I can begin to describe, and my heart goes out to you and Jakey tenfold. Interacting with other pet owners on this site is so cathartic.

After thirteen years of being inseparable, it seems so crazy that it felt like mere seconds after the vet visit, right? I hate it so much. It hurts. It's so hard to cope with the grief when you were ripped of the chance to say a proper goodbye. I tear up every single time I think of Reeses being alone in the vet room before she passed. I keep trying to tell myself that she had nothing but happy thoughts in her head, and she was aware that she'd be okay again very soon. I want nothing more than to completely eradicate these feelings of guilt and frustration.

Your pup sounds wonderful, and he was blessed to have such a loving parent. I'd like to to think Reeses and Jakey are in a really beautiful place, restored to their full health and without a care in the world. Maybe they're even together. 😉 

Thank you again for reaching out. My thoughts are with you as well.
myreeses

Registered:
Posts: 5
 #5 
mendy8,

Your response brought me to tears. I can relate to the feelings of helplessness so much. You want nothing more than to take your pup's pain away with a quick fix, and the world seems completely against you trying. Please know that your furbaby loves you! Even if she can't articulate the words, and she's struggling, her adoration for you hasn't faded one bit. Reeses, too, would bump into things around the house and mainly rely on her nose to sniff her way around. I remember times where I'd get frustrated when I called her, and she'd turn and walk in the opposite direction due to her hearing going, too. Now I look back and grimace, knowing she was trying her best and it was wrong for me to be anything but patient. 

Watching them get old is so bittersweet. I think the best thing you can do is continue giving her the same love she's received for those fifteen years; she'll never forget a single one of your affectionate gestures. Animals have hearts of gold.

And please don't forget to practice self-care, too. She wouldn't want you hurting. Keep us updated. I'm sending all my well wishes to you both.
mendy8

Registered:
Posts: 2
 #6 
Those were very kind words from you. I just wish I could stop crying. I wish I could be strong for her. How do you know when it’s time to put her to sleep. Sometimes when I think about it I say well she’s not as bad as the other stories you hear at least she still gets up and moves around but then she spends a day whining and crying and your like omg I should do it. I feel so selfish for keeping her here and wanting her to stay.
myreeses

Registered:
Posts: 5
 #7 
Dearest mendy8,

You can cry and still be as strong as ever. There's no reason why you shouldn't be able to express valid emotion as you watch a love one age.

Based on what I have read from other pet owners here, I think you just know when it's time. It's like a silent agreement between the two of you that it's time to let go. When their quality of life diminishes and it seems like they're having more bad days than good. I, of course, can only advise so much as it's such a personal matter between you and your baby and I do not know the specifics of the circumstances. Maybe ask your vet for input as well?

Had I been given the choice to put her down rather than cancer making the decision for me, I don't even know if I would have been ready to see Reeses go. It would have destroyed me, but I also know I'd be firm in my choice if prolonging her life would only prolong the suffering, too.

It's a selfish want, but not uncommon––our pets should have the right to live forever. 

You're being the best parent she could ask for right now. She knows you care and she knows you're doing everything in your power to keep her comfortable. I'm keeping you in my thoughts and hoping you'll be guided onto a path of how to proceed from here. I'm sorry it's so hard, but we're all here for you.

Be well.
Mare

Registered:
Posts: 11,059
 #8 
I am very sorry your beloved Reeses has passed on.  It is never easy saying goodbye to a pet that has meant the world to you.  The early days of loss are unreal and it's very normal to question everything that happened.  My heart goes out to you as you mourn the loss of your precious pet.

Mare
precious Christoph and Heidi ~live on in my heart~
myreeses

Registered:
Posts: 5
 #9 
Mare,

Thank you, I needed to hear this right now. On top of having a dream about my puppy this morning, I'm sitting here having dinner and every creak of the house makes me jump. I'm half-expecting Reeses to nudge her nose through my bedroom door and sit at my feet waiting for scraps. I'm waiting for the jingle of her collar as she wanders about. The little things I'd come to normalize are gone. 

I appreciate your reassurances so much, and my heart goes out to you and those precious pets you've lost as well. 
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