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Posts: 5
Hello everyone, I'm so glad I found this place. I'm not sure if posting this will help me or not but its great to be among people that understand what I'm going through. First off let me just say I'm 53 and this was the first dog I ever bonded with. and even though I have shih tzu that I love and adore too, Bo was my first pet. And like all our kids even..we love them all, but one can't make up for the loss of another. I'm thankful to have my pretty girl Zoey, but I miss Bo terribly. I've been crying for 3 days now, the house feels empty, and I don't know how to fill this ache in my heart. Bo was my friend when I had some terrible trials in my life, and even though he only a dog, he loved and comforted me when I needed him. My life will never be the same without him. He started life out as my sons dog, but we adopted him when my son could no longer care for him.

Three days ago we lost our 12 yr boxer. He had a long life but I'm afraid I failed to see how very sick he was. I am trying not to blame myself because even the vet failed to see it. Its all I can do not to place blame on him either. Anyway we took him to the vet often, as he had arthritis, bad teeth & gums, various lumps and bumps that had to be removed, etc... About 2 weeks ago, I noticed he was drinking excessively and having to go out about every 2 hours or so to do his business. It was taking him a long time to 3 minutes or so. So we took him into the vet who did a blood test, said his white blood cells were elevated and that it was probably just a kidney infection or something. We gave him all of the meds but that didn't help at all. When my son told me that Bo almost bit the vet upon examination of his side, I knew in my heart something was very wrong. Bo would never try to bite anyone, he must be in pain for some reason.

We made the decision to see another vet. The vet felt a huge lump in his side and recommended an ultra sound. The test showed he had a huge tumor. She told us then that if it was cancer it would probably be best to start thinking of putting him down, but if it was benign, she could probably remove it..but the only way to know would be to schedule him for surgery. She said he was in a lot of pain and prescribed pain meds. She told us to take the weekend to think about what we wanted to do and to let her know. She said surgery at his age was going to be hard on him but there was a chance we might be able to save him for awhile longer. However he was getting up there in age. Over the past few months, he'd moan and groan alot. She said he was in a lot of pain.

We took the weekend and talked it over. I told my husband we had to give him chance, even if it meant we lost him. We decided to we had to give him every chance. So we setup the surgery for Tuesday morning past. On Monday night I said goodbye to my dog just in case, as my husband had to bring him in the night before so they could fast him and prep him for surgery the next morning. I barely slept that night, I had that awful feeling I'd never see my Bo again.

She told us she would have to xray his chest before she'd even think about opening him up, that she would call us in the morning. If the xray was clear on his heart and the mass hadn't involved his heart, she would go ahead with surgery. If not, then we might have to think about putting him down. The doctor calls and tells me his xray was clear so I was optimistic, thinking that everything would be alright. About 30 minutes later she called me back. That is when she told me Bo was in bad shape. She said he had two on his spleen, and another the size of a basketball in his tummy. She said it was attached to multiple organs and she could not remove it. She said it was so big his diaphragm could not expand anymore, that it was pressing up against his lungs and how he managed to eat even was a miracle. She said he must have had a very strong constitution because many other dogs would have succumbed long before that. She said we had to make a quick decision. If it were her dog, she'd put him down while he was still under the anesthetic. However if we wanted, she would sew him back up and send him home. We could bring him in later to put him down or we could let him die on his own. She said he had days at best, he had lymphoma.

Of course the selfish side of me wanted to bring Bo home. I was not ready to say goodbye. What she told me took the wind out of me. I was alone that day, and it was decided beforehand that I'd have to make the decision. I thought for a moment how much he was going to suffer, first to try to heal with a huge tumor inside of him, then to end up dying a miserable death anyway. I just couldn't bare to think of him suffering anymore, so I asked that he be put down while he was still asleep. I hung up the phone and literally fell apart. I wanted so bad to call her back, and tell her I changed my mind, but I knew that was the selfish thing to do, I had to let him go.

Now its three days later and I miss him terribly. The house is too big, its too empty, and I lost my best friend. He was like one of my children. I have no idea how to move on, how to stop crying. Bo was part of my life for so long, he would have been 13 in December. I know he had a long life for a boxer but my heart doesn't understand. And then there is this whole guilt thing I have going on. Why didn't I see he was so sick. I knew he had arthritis but no idea he had a tumor, might as well cancer. If I was a better mommy, shouldn't I have seen this? We often had to scratch him because he couldn't even lift his back leg high enough many times to scratch himself. He'd come to us and whine until we scratched him. My head tells me that his days was numbered regardless, but my heart doesn't understand that kind of logic. I'm just besides myself, he was the best dog ever. Anyway, thank you all for listening to me.  


Posts: 72
I am so sorry for the loss of your wonderful Bo. Please don't feel guilty. I believe you did the right thing, to send him to God while he was under the anaesthetic, so he didn't have to come round to the added pain of stitches.
You will come to see on this site, most of us, if not all, say "what if..." and "I should have..." and "why didn't I...." but we ALL loved our babies to the moon and back and would have done everything in our power to keep them healthy, but sometimes, accidents happen and illnesses go unnoticed because the symptoms were just like something else.... this is unfair and heartbreaking but true. It sounds to me like Bo's symptoms were just like those of old age, aches and pains and muscles with less strength than years gone by, just like old people we see and know! Your care for him for his arthritis and teeth prove that you would have done anything for him, and you did, you sacrificed a few more hours/days of time with him so that he didn't have to suffer, THAT is the most selfless thing we can do for our babies. We are hurting now so that they didn't have to. That makes the pain worth it for me.

Again, I am so sorry for your loss, and I am glad that you have found the wonderful group of people here at PL.

Claire xx 

Posts: 282

I am so very sorry to hear about Bo.  He sounds like the sweetest dog.  I know exactly how you feel. And what you say is so true - even though you have another dog,  one can't make up for the loss of another.  You absolutely did the right thing.  For Bo to wake up and have so much pain,  would not have been right.  You would have taken him home and grieved about every ache and pain you saw him suffering with.  Imagine knowing that even your hugs may cause him pain,  with those terrible tumours pressing against him.  Mine also died of a tumour, and I did not know he had it at all.  I beat myself up about this for months.  What a terrible Mom I was,  not knowing he had something like this.  But then I look at my other dog and realize that it's not that cut and dry.  When he has aches and pains I console him and if it gets bad I take him to the vet,  but never would I think "please dr. , check him for tumours".  No-one thinks to do that.   I'm sorry you are grieving so deeply.  I never knew that pet loss could be this devastating,  but I've learned first hand that it can cause very deep pain.  Come back and tell us more about Bo.  I think it helps.  Please be consoled that he had a great life.  It's you who is suffering now,  not your beautiful boy.


Posts: 26
I am sorry about the loss of your sweet Bo. I agree that you made the best decision for him. I fully understand all of the questions and doubts about all of the signs we "should've" seen... now that they are clear to us.

Please try to be kind to yourself. Bo knows you would've moved heaven and earth for him.

I will be thinking of you and Bo.

my Sushi's story:

Posts: 2,123

My heart breaks as I read your story about Bo. My eyes spilling over tears. I feel your deep ache, because I went through it too.

What you've written about your feelings is exactly the right place for someone only three days into the grieving process. We don't know how to even put one foot in front of the other, let alone have a life without them. And the guilt ... it's part of the grief process too, unfortunately.

Bo is not "only a dog." Bo is your four legged son. Your love goes deep for each other and there is nothing "only" about that love.

I know you feel guilty, and that should subside with time. We humans think we can control everything. We are supposed to be smarter than our pets, right? We think we should know everything and fix everything. Unfortunately, not everything is fixable. None of us dies of old age ... our bodies just can't fight off things as we age.

You said that Bo had a long, good life. You were happy together. Eventually, you'll be able to focus on those good times. You just need time to grieve. My Australian Shepherd was my only child. I was unable to have children and he became my son. He was my first dog, and my first deep down, unconditional love that goes both ways. Hang in there ... I'm making it somehow ... you will too.

Keep coming back to talk when you need to.

Hugs of comfort,


Posts: 5
Thank you all for your hugs and support, I appreciate all your help. As you all know first hand, this has been a rough week for me. I'm feeling slightly more together today than I have been but its still been hard. Tears threaten to burst forth but I've been able to control them most of the day except for early this morning. I still miss my Bo but I realize nothing I say or do is going to change what has happened. Again, thank you all.  

Posts: 100

so sad to read about bo, i am very sorry for your loss. its so hard because they cant talk to us and tell us what hurts and how they feel. and as humans we could only do so much. you made the right choice and did what was in bo's best interest! he knows you were trying to keep him around longer and just couldnt. and he now is out of pain! and in the end isnt that what you wanted...its so hard lossing someone we love so much. at least we will all be together again one day! until then i wish you and your family peace with your loss...


Posts: 233
I'm so very sorry for the loss of your precious one. Twelve years is a good long life, but it is also a long time bonding and those bonds are so hard to break. I truly believe that it's when our dogs become old that the bond becomes strongest. Maybe because they need us so much more than when they're young and active? I don't know but my Molly was also twelve years old and I also was faced with a very sudden decision, to try and save her against all odds because I didn't want to let her go...or to end her suffering and say "so long, until we meet again." You made the right decision for Bo. He will be always in your heart. And you will meet again. Be gentle with yourself during these dark days. Wishing you peace. Anne

Posts: 11,059
Your story is so heartbreaking.  I am so sorry precious Bo has passed on.  He sounds like a very special dog and I know how painful life has become.  You wake up each morning with a dull ache in your heart and a deep sadness that only time can ease.  You were blessed with 12 years of love with Bo. So many wonderful and sweet memories to cherish until you are reunited.

precious Christoph ~ my sweet bunny boy ~


Posts: 9

Hi there, I joined this site only about a week ago for the same reason you did...I was looking for support, answers or simply for someone to listen to the screaming I have inside me saying "don't you understand, this is my child"! I personally have always had cats...but cats, dogs, rabbits or whatever pet each person loves is unique and special to them...I just put down my 18 year old cat, and the very next day my 7 year old cat got sick...she never had a sick day in her life, she was vibrant, young, energentic and always looking for her next opportunity to get into trouble...I did the same thing you did, trusted the vet who made me believe she would be fine...she was hopitalized, treated for diabetes and hepatic lipodosis and sent home with me to recover...but long story short, she didn't...she died in my arms last wednesday....I understand your guilt...I'm still feeling it too...I thought to myself many times since then, how could I not know? I'm her could the vet not know that this could even happen? I was so angry at the vet and myself...these animals have been there for me through thick and thin and without them, I don't know what I would've done because they were the only thing that gave me hope...I lost so much sleep, I cried so many tears, and I still am...but I had to give up the blame, because I realize now that even if she survived, she would have been struggling with a chronic condition that would have changed her longer would I have my beautiful little calico racing around the house chasing the other cats, or beggin for her favorite foods...she without a doubt would have had a quality of life that was so dimished that it would have taken away her ability to be the vibrant kitty that I loved with all my heart...she would no longer be able to enjoy her favorite foods because of a drastic diet requirement, she no longer would be able to have the energy to bounce around and the worst thing of all, she would have been most likely in pain, or having to be subjected to multiple vet visits, daily needles and medications that she was never subjected to a day in her I wish I could go back and be supermom and know she was sick? yes, do I want my baby in my arms right now? More than anything! but would I want my baby to go through the rest of her life like that, no...even if it means that I have to face this awful reality of losing my two babies in a week, and coming home to an empty house that normally would be so full of's hard, but you absolutely did the right should be proud that you gave your baby so many wonderful years and I'm sure if he was asked, he would thank you because he must have been in pain and you gave him the ultimate act of love by ending that pain and suffering at the cost of your own's so hard to do...I know...but none of us who love our animals unconditionally want them to feel pain or ended the inevitable fate that was coming, and that is something that is a gift, even though it doesnt' feel like it now...and I'm sure in your heart you know you made the right decision...but when the pain in your heart is so fresh and raw, you just want everything to be different and for none of this to be question every decision and blame yourself over and over...but the truth is, we are only human and animals DO hide their pain have many wonderful memories to hold onto, and I believe they are all in a better place, looking down on us, with no pain, and just waiting to be reunited with us once again...please don't blame yourself, just hold the memories tight...take care :-) ♥♥


Posts: 628
I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet Bo.  Believe me I know how empty the house can become without our sweet pets by our sides.

We lost our Beagle, Bonne Lou this past June.  She had congestive heart failure.  She was in misery plus she had a host of other medical conditions.  She suffered and suffered.  I prayed to God to take her in her sleep so we would not have to make that decision.  But that was not to be.  We had to make the decision to help her to the RainBow Bridge.

Even though we knew we made the right choice, it was the hardest decision of our lives.  Just like your Bo, Bonnie was like our child.  There are no words to explain the grief you are going through.

When we lost Bonnie, I found this site.  It was a life saver for me.  They helped me so very much, just knowing that I was not alone and was a nut for having the horrible greif over a pet.  Please come back and let us know how you are doing.

You will be in my prayers tonight.


Posts: 8
Bo's Mom,

Your story is almost the same as mine.  I lost my Sydney girl just today.  Same age 12, same miserable prognosis.  A tumor the size of a volleyball, lots of pain, and little hope of recovery.

You did everything you could.  I know in my heart I did everything I could.  However, it doesn't make the pain of grief any less.  Remember happy times has helped me some, but nothing but nothing will heal you but time.  I know this and I know it's hard to make it through each minute of the day. 

It's so sad that we get them for such a short time.  They are our angels from God that he lets us borrow for a time. 


Posts: 5
I still miss my Bo very much but today was a tad better. I have a hard time looking at his pictures but I have been remembering some of the good times we had. And you're all right, in that I do think I did what was best for my Bo rather than letting him suffer. I've let go of some of the guilt, and in time my heart will heal. Until then I have my precious Zoey to look after. She's prone to allergies and I'm going to pour all my love and care onto her and hopefully someday I can remember Bo without getting all misty eyed. Again, thank you all so much. You have all helped me more than you know. 
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