It’s been almost 4 months since I had to let my sweet beagle go. This was the single hardest thing I have ever had to do in my entire life. It has broken me and left me empty and full of guilt. I am hoping that by telling her story on here that it might help me to heal and get past this guilt and remorse that has been consuming me daily.
We rescued her in the spring of 2012 when she was about 2 years old. She had been passed around from kennel to kennel and we weren’t sure how long she had been confined, but we assume it was at least a few months. She was the perfect little girl and we could never understand why she had never been adopted.
We brought her home and the poor girl must have slept for close to 5 days straight. I think she was just so happy to have a quiet place that she wanted to take advantage of every minute of it, not knowing if she was going to have to go back to the pound.
For the next 7 1/2 years, we spoiled her absolutely rotten. She had free roam of the house, had multiple beds around the house and in our bedroom, a plethora of toys and non-stop pets, belly rubs, walks and attention all day every day. She was very much loved by both my wife and myself. She was my rock, my center, my best friend. She always got me through my days at work knowing she would be there to greet me when I got home. I always looked forward to our long walks together on my days off. When we would go on vacation, she would stay with my parents who also loved her very much (And she loved them and loved spending time at their house). I would think about and call and check on her every day and I could not wait to get home to see her again.
About 5 years after we first brought her home, we noticed some changes in her and the vet diagnosed her with an auto immune disorder that did not allow her to produce red blood platelets. For the next year, we were at the vet at least once or twice a month getting her medication dosage (Prednisone) just right. For anyone that has ever had to put an animal on Prednisone, you know that it is a wonder drug, but it also changes a pet’s personality drastically, especially in high doses. We were so sad for her, but we soldiered through with her and after about 14 months, we were finally able to stabilize her disorder on a very low dose of medicine and we were back to normal.
For a little over a year, we went to the vet about every 2 or 3 months to get her blood checked and she had good results every time. She was back to her energetic self, tail wagging, playing and taking long walks. I was so happy to have my girl back all healthy and happy.
We went to the vet in mid-June of this year, and once again, an excellent blood test. Her red blood cell counts were the highest they had ever been and the vet said that she didn’t need to come back until her annual check-up at the end of the year (I was not planning on letting her go that long, I was going to have another test done within 3 months).
Around the middle of August, my wife was getting ready to go out of town for work and I had to work my job (My wife works from home), so pup was going to stay with my parents for a few days. For the few days I was with her between when my wife left and before she went to my parents, I noticed she was acting a little different. It was nothing too concerning, she just wasn’t acting like herself. I mostly contributed it to my wife not being around.
I checked in with my parents over the next few days to make sure she was doing ok. She seemed to be in good spirits and eating and drinking normally, but my mom said that she was licking the roof of her mouth a lot. I had never seen her do this before, so I wasn’t sure what my mom was talking about. My wife would be home in 2 days on Saturday and I made plans to take pup to the vet on Monday.
Pup came home and we noticed something wasn’t right with her and that she needed to get to the vet as soon as possible. She was still in good spirits, eating and drinking, but she didn’t have much interest in taking her normal walks on Sunday. I got her into the vet first thing Monday morning, but by now she couldn’t even walk down the stairs, I had to carry her and carry her out to the car. She didn’t want breakfast and had taken a major turn for the worse overnight.
When we got to the vet, she poo’d out fresh blood. The vet did x-rays and blood tests and found that her auto-immune had come back with a vengeance (Her red blood counts were the lowest they had ever been – Almost non-existent), she was bleeding internally, she had almost no microbials in her stomach, she had an intestinal infection and she had a huge mass the size of a softball around her stomach – My poor girl was in very bad shape.
The vet gave me the option of taking her home with a whole slew of medication and starting her back on a high dose of Prednisone or taking her to an animal hospital where the could perform surgery. The problem with the surgery was that she would have a very, very low chance of pulling through. She would have to have blood transfusions; thousands of dollars and she would most likely not make it through the surgery. After a lot of thought and discussions with my wife, we decided that we would bring her home and hope and pray that the medications would make her better – I could not bear the thought of her passing away on some cold table in a hospital, scared, with none of her family around.
We did not leave her side for the next two days, but by Wednesday morning she could barely breathe, and we knew it was her time. I called the vet to come out that evening, and we spent every second of that day next to her and comforting her. The vet put her to sleep peacefully that night with us around her in her home, on her spot on the couch, my wife and I petting her as she took her last breaths.
I am in such pain – I miss her so much. I’m a very strong person and nothing much bothers me. I’ve always been able to control my emotions, but for the past 4 months I cry every day when I think about her (And she is on my mind constantly). But more than just missing her, I feel a tremendous guilt that I let her down. I continuously second guess the decisions I made about not taking her to the vet sooner. I really didn’t know that she was that sick, I thought she was just depressed from my wife going out of town. But all I do every day is think about the ‘What if’s’. What if I did take her to the vet sooner? What if I opted for the surgery instead of just bringing her home and starting her on medication – Maybe she would have pulled through it? What if I would have given her a couple more days to try to heal before making the ultimate decision? She was just so sick and in so much pain and I couldn’t stand to see her suffer any more than she already had the two days prior. I just feel like there is something more that I could have or should have done.
Thanks for listening and taking the time to read such a long post. It helps me to tell this story and share what a special girl she was.