Registered: 1542978125 Posts: 3
Last month, I lost Mack. My now husband and I adopted him over 5 years ago, in NYC. It sounds so cliche, but we fell in love with him the moment we met him. He had immediately come over to us, rolled onto his back, and we rubbed his belly until we left to apply for his adoption. The day we were approved, I went to get him immediately after class, even though my boyfriend wouldn’t be able to go yet. I was too excited to wait and go together.
Mack was the name the shelter had given him, and we just felt like it fit so we kept it. He responded to it. They told us he was 3. When we took him to vets, they confirmed he wasn’t. He was at least double that. We went through a lot with Mack. He was super defensive and thus extremely aggressive with other dogs. He was silent too. I told my BF that if we kept loving him and showing him he could trust us, he would one day realize that and he would be better with the aggression. And after a year, he was great. It was tough, but so beyond worth it. He loved other dogs and he barked for the first time with us at a dog park. Later, he got demodectic mange. And we got through that together too. After that, I think he and I grew such a deeper bond. He felt truly loved and safe. Like oh, these people love me and they’re not going anywhere. He became a smuggler after demodex. I graduated college with him, started my first job, explored NYC, my BF and I drove and moved back to CA with him. We road tripped across the country together. Five years, I loved Mack more and more every single day without fail. My husband said that for the entire time we’ve had him, I’ve said he was so cute every day. But he was. His cuteness never got old. I worked from home after we moved to CA. I was with Mack pretty much all day, every day. I got engaged. I had always dreamed of the day we’d be a happy little family in our own place in CA. We adopted another dog too. They LOVED each other. I drove down to my parents’ house, where Mack LOVED being because my parents spoiled him and their two dogs were his favorite friends. My now husband lived 6 hours away so Mack and I always drove up and down together. And I never hated the drives because it always felt like a little road trip with Mack. The past year or two, Mack had really aged a lot. And I mean, I’m not delusional, I know time is always limited. And this year, after a lot of my family and husband telling me to prepare, I had accepted that maybe this would be our last year with Mack. Well anyway, I drove down this time because my bridal shower. Everything was normal. We’d been there almost a week, and then Thursday night he had thrown up his food. I didn’t think much of it, because sometimes dogs throw up. I’ve lived my whole life with dogs. It happens. But the next day came around, he was normal. But after a while from breakfast, he threw up. I thought, hm maybe his tummy is a little upset from yesterday. Fast forward, I was rushing to the vet the very next morning. The vet said he was very dehydrated. There’s a lot going on. They did tests. It was worse than I thought. Husband liver and kidney numbers were off the charts. But the vet made it seem hopeful. Like let’s rehydrate his kidneys. And the liver regenerates. I said do everything possible. They did. He was more awake and lucid. They wouldn’t have anyone working in the weekend so I needed to transfer him to an emergency hospital. I did. We got there, they looked at what the previous vet had given, and this vet came in and told me the worst. There’s nothing they can do. That they didn’t know what the previous vet told me, but that no one in the world could do anything. That Mack wasn’t coming back from this. I asked them to run his blood test again since he’d had a day of treatment. Still the same basically. He said Mack was dying. And even if I paid a million dollars, there was still nothing. That’s how sure they were. I wanted Mack to know that I did everything I could. And finally I said okay. Okay, he’s hurting. I’ll agree to euthanize. And I had cried so much that day. I didn’t know how I was functioning. I cried a lot that day yes, but I was always thinking and discussing with the doctors on plans and numbers and statuses. And now this. I couldn’t believe how the week has turned so quickly. How our lives had come here. How the happiest dog, the love of my life was now here. I spent the last five years playing catch up and being cautious to keep him healthy. I spent alone time with him before and after. The actual procedure happened so quickly. Too quickly. When I was alone with him afterward, I pet him. And I touched his paws and smelled him and looked at his cute little face. Trying to soak everything of him in so that I could hold onto what I could forever. I felt so helpless. It’s the worst thing to come with your dog and leave without him. I slept without him and it was horrible. I usually fall asleep with him on my arm. Just like how my husband puts his arm under my neck, that’s how Mack would fall asleep to me. Facing me. And every night I would wake up because he’d readjust. Every morning I’d wake up with his face squished up against mine or under my chin. But that very next morning after his death, it was just me. And that was the day of my bridal shower. So I went to my bridal shower, with no one knowing. And I think it was all so unbelievable and surreal, I made it through okay. But that night I cried in bed, unable to sleep till I was exhausted. I woke up sad. Two weeks later, I got married. Both our dogs were supposed to be in our wedding, but I canceled that part entirely because I couldn’t bear to see one dog walk. I’d brought Mack’s ashes to the wedding. I know it’s just a box. I know it’s just ashes. And it’s not really...him anymore. But the thought of anything I have left of him being left alone hurts me. Our other dog had been living with my husband all that time, so I hadn’t spent much time with him yet. But when someone brought him in the room before the ceremony, I teared up. Because Mack was supposed to be there. We were all supposed to get married together. I had already planned where our little family photo from the wedding was going to go in our new apartment we’d signed on. But I wouldn’t even have the wedding with him. No wedding photos together. I couldn’t look at our other dog. My wedding was otherwise amazing. I was happy. And when I’m around people, I’m okay. I can deal with life as normally as can be. But I feel like a huge and vital part of me has died. And I realized the other day that Mack was my soulmate. We needed each other. Everyone always said he was so dependent on me. And this year, my husband had said Mack and I were so dependent on each other. And he was right. We were. I went to sleep so happy, with his little face. And I woke up so happy. I loved him. We had our little routines and mannerisms down. The way I’d pet him. I was always so excited when I’d get home because he would sprint and jump fearlessly with all his trust that I would catch him. And I would. He’d jump into my arms and I’d hug and hold him. Every time I’d come home. It was my favorite thing. When I was sad, I’d just snuggle up with him and feel better. Every moment I spent with him made me happier. For five years. We lived the fullest life together. There’s something that I feel like a lot of people don’t seem to get. They’re like I know you’re sad but he’s just a dog. Or whatever they say to me. But...okay. I know this is...maybe controversial. But I feel like it does feel like what I think a loss of a child would be. I loved him the moment I met him. And from that moment, I kid you not. I gave so much of my love to him. I worked hard at work so I could leave on time so he wouldn’t be alone too long. I took him to all the parks. He slept in my bed with me. After NYC, he was never ever alone. Ever. I had his own little bag when we traveled. All my love for this dog. And he gave all his love to me. For all of the life we lived together, constant full love. And then suddenly, I lost him. And now, now that the wedding buzz has slowly gone, I fall asleep sad. And I wake up sad. Not every day. But a lot of days. I still feel a sort of phantom feeling of his weight and fluff on my stomach, since he’d lie down on my stomach a lot. I remember the way he smells and the way his little nose felt. I remember every little thing about Mack. And when I close my eyes to sleep, I just see his happy little face. The way he would look back at me. Just so happy. I don’t take nice naps anymore like I would with him. I run through the past 3 months. Over and over. I replay the last few days with him again. Picking out every moment I could and should have done better. Maybe I could have prevented this. Maybe I could have had longer. Maybe I could have at least made his passing easier. I should have taken him to the vet sooner. I should have known. I wasn’t paying attention enough. What if he was trying to tell me he was sick. Did he know he was dying? Does he know I love him? Did he feel scared? Did he know I was there? That everyone was trying to help him? Is he in heaven? Does he still love me? Does he know I love him now? That I miss him more than I have missed anyone or anything ever. I feel guilty. I miss him. And I know it sounds so dramatic. And stupid. And everything. But this is the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. And no one seems to understand or believe that. But it’s been almost 2 months now. And here I am. Still missing him so much. I talk to him once in a while when I’m alone. I look at all the videos and photos and reminisce on our memories. Some of my favorite days were with him. Everyone tries to console me by saying he’s in doggy heaven. Or he lived a happy happy life. Or you gave him the best life possible. Or you ended his suffering. None of that helps me. I get all that. Yes. I know and made sure that he lived the fullest life he could with me. I know he was a happy dog. I put him to sleep so he wouldn’t be in pain anymore. I get that it was old age and he was about 13-14 and his kidneys and liver finally couldn’t keep it up anymore. Yes. But that’s not it. That’s not what makes me sad. I’m sad because he’s not here with me. And that he was happiest with me. And that I was happy with him. I’m sad because my heart was so full, and now it’s just broken. He’s gone forever. And I hope that wherever he is in heaven, that as weird as it sounds, I hope he’s happier there. Really. I wonder if he knows now how much I still love him. It’s been hard to be as loving to our dog Ozzie. Somehow I feel guilty. Like if I love Ozzie a lot then I’m replacing Mack or something. I’m still trying to get used to this new normal. Coming home is not the same. Holidays won’t be the same. I’m happy with my life. But it’s just not that extra level of happy that Mack brought. He was this little extra sun. When things got even remontely darker, he’d light it all up. But now I have to figure out how to just not have that. It’s just the three of us now when it should be 4. I’ve been suppressing this a lot. I don’t want to alarm anyone and I can’t bear the ridicule or judgment. Honestly, I’m okay in the day. I’m living life fine. But I used to be great. And inside, I’m all over the place. I’m up and down. And I don’t know when this gets actually better. I don’t know how normal this is. How crazy do I sound right now? I know he was a dog. But he was the best dog. And I loved him more than I’ve loved anything. It was different. We just loved each other unconditionally. When does this stop. When will I be normal.
Registered: 1540991322 Posts: 9
I am soooo sorry about your loss of Mack. E-hugs. Your words don’t make you sound crazy, but actually very relatable and made me think and remember my Jakey who I too loved and was dependent on. I lost him Oct 14th, and still get sad... when I see other dogs (I love dogs), I feel guilty for even giving them some attention, when I see dog items clothes, toys, etc that I would’ve bought etc etc for him, frames branded for dog lovers etc. All these remind me of him and sadly how he is longer here with me. I haven’t put away his things yet; I feel guilty doing so. I still talk to him as if maybe he can hear and or see me. I have his ashes and on occasion I put my hand on it, since it gives me comfort and strength. I look at the engraving of his paw print, and put my hand on it, paw paw shake, just as we did when he was here. Yes, I feel crazy at times. All normal. It is so evident Mack was your soul dog, your heart, that you loved him so and needed him just as he loved and needed you. You can feel the love and the loss and the sadness on the loss of your Mack. I can relate.... I understand, we in this forum all do. I know it hurts and at times you may be sooo overcome with sadness and feel a little crazy but all is warranted; all is OK. You will be OK. Just keep remembering Mack, his cute face and all the good memories... you will get through this... we all will. Hugs. You will be OK. My prayers and thoughts for your peace and comfort in getting through this.
Registered: 1158205770 Posts: 769
I am so sorry for your loss of Mack. He sounds like an absolutely wonderful dog and I believe you helped him to have the best life any dog could wish for. You did everything to keep him happy and healthy, showering him with love which he returned tenfold. As much as we wish we could prevent it, their bodies wear out much too soon and we release them from their pain no matter how our hearts are breaking because to do otherwise would be cruel. I don't believe they have a fear of death, they live in the moment. You were with him and that was comforting to him.
And now your life feels so empty that it is difficult to know how to go on without him. I have felt the same way when I lost each of my many furkids. Each time I have known that their bodies may leave us but a part of them remains. The love we share is eternal. The memories of their time with us are always with us. In time our tears and sadness begin to ebb and we can talk about them and smile as we recall so many special moments with them. I have lost several of my fur kids due to renal disease. My beloved Nugget kitty passed in May and my little thirteen year old dog Piper has just been diagnosed with it. She crashed two weeks ago and I thought she was going to die. I realize she could die tomorrow or a year from now. My heart aches and my tears are many but I will do whatever I can to ensure that she will be comfortable until that day comes. I believe we will be reunited when our time on earth is ended and that gives me great peace. Please take care. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Registered: 1498611382 Posts: 498
I am so sorry for your loss. Mack sounds like a wonderful heart dog. If I could write my life with Termy it would sound like yours. Termy was my heart dog and soul mate just as Mack was your. I feel the love in every word you wrote. You were the best mom to him and your love showed. Mack is waiting for you and he is happy and healthy again. The journey you shared was heart warming. Thank you for loving Mack. Be kind to yourself, Mack is watching over you and guiding you down a new path.
Take care Love and doggie hugs Termy's mom
Registered: 1516814460 Posts: 37
I am so sorry for your loss. I too went through the same grief, it never completely gets better. I do know exactly how you feel, loving them like we do.
I miss mine everyday. I talk to my boy everyday like he is still here. David
Registered: 1542120596 Posts: 14
Macks mom. Ditto ditto ditto!!!!!!!My King Charles Peanut was my soulmate. It was like he was a part of my body. The minute I held him in my arms we were inseparable. We latched on to each other. I rescued him at 9 months and loved him for 5 years. I work from home so I spent every waking minute with him. I recently adopted another dog; 2 actually, both King Charles. They are healthy puppies. I can now see Peanut had issues. God only knows what happened to him the first 9 months of his life that made him so scared of everyone but me. Bailey and Bella will never replace Peanut. The love we have in our hearts for Mack and Peanut can now be given to another fur baby. I believe Peanut would want that. I am hear if you want to talk xoxo
Registered: 1542978125 Posts: 3
Thank you all. Admittedly, I read each and every one of your helpful replies. But I’ve been so...I don’t know. Not in denial exactly, but more just wanted to avoid everything. So I was sort of okay (not crying all the time) for a little while. But it’s coming back in waves...