Registered: 1568962819 Posts: 3
It’s been 19 days since I had to put Rocky to sleep. It’s been 17 days since I brought him to the vet for surgery.
It’s been 15 days since I made the decision to get him the surgery based on what the ultrasound showed. I hate myself for doing the right thing. I know it was the right thing. He had a mass on his spleen. The vet said that the spleen wasn’t truly a necessary organ and he’d be fine without it. Then I got the call while Rocky was having surgery. It was definitely cancer and it looked like it might have spread to his pancreases as well. He asked me if he should euthanize him while he was under. I couldn’t do that. How could I make that choice on my own. My kids weren’t even here. They’d never forgive me. So no, just finish the surgery. A couple hours later I go to the vet to transport him to the recommended animal hospital where they would watch him. Hopefully he’d be able to come home by Sunday (this was Friday). My son and I drive him to the hospital. They admit Rocky. A couple hours later they let us back to see him. My son couldn’t handle seeing him this way and had to walk out of the room. I held Rocky’s paw and whispered in his ear that everything would be fine. I kissed him on the head and told him that he’d be fine. The doctor said she’d call me in a few hours. Saturday we go back to visit him. He was so weak. They were having trouble keeping his glucose levels up. They were having trouble keeping his blood pressure up. My daughter was crying and hugging me. My son wasn’t much better. I had to be strong for them. Couldn’t show weakness. Had to be the rock for them. We stayed as long as they would let us. Later that night I called for a status. They said he was doing better. He had eaten some baby food and some chicken. I was very happy and thinking this was a very good sign. The nurse seemed optimistic. She said his past 3 glucose readings were good and his BP was around 100. I was silently thanking God. Then about 2 am I got a call. They only call if there’s a problem. His BP went down to about 60 and they wanted to start him on Pressers. He already had to IV lines and was taking 7.5% glucose and his blood sugar wasn’t maintaining. I told them to start the pressers. Sunday morning I get a call. You’d better come here to see him. It doesn’t look good. I got both kids in the car and I was on autopilot. Driving and just thinking about him. The doctor took as back and as soon as he saw us he got up, was wagging his tail and was trying to get out of the cage. This is a dog at deaths door? I challenged the doctor. She said this is not an unusual reaction. It’s the endorphins from seeing us. But trust me, this is a very sick dog. Yesterday I told you to let’s give him more time. Today I’m telling you that if this was my dog I’d put him to sleep. I was so angry. So confused. I wanted to scoop him up and take him home. I asked if we could walk him a little bit outside. Of course they said yes. He seemed so normal. He peed so much. He pooped. He walked and walked and sniffed and sniffed. All the while I kept thinking - this is a sick dog? Should I just bring him home AMA and take care of him? We went inside to think. I was holding him in my arms on my lap. He was starting to go into a really deep sleep-at least it looked like that. The doctor said it’s the blood sugar coming down and he’s crashing - not a heart attack just like really really low blood sugar. So me and my kids are holding him, stroking his body, trying to comfort him. He started to snore. An hour or so later we came to a hard decision. Rocky wasn’t even waking up or opening his eyes when I was whispering in his ear and putting my hand by his nose. So I told the doctor that I’ll do as she recommended. I’m holding him in my arms. She told us to take all the time we needed with him. We spent another couple hours just holding him. But the kids told me to hold him the most. He was closest to me. When we all agreed it was time the doctor came back in. She had the 3 shots and explained the whole process. She said it’d be like he was going to sleep. He wouldn’t feel a thing. First shot. Second shot. Final shot. It took no more than a minute. Maybe two. I don’t know. I was holding him the whole time. I felt the life slip from his body. And I hate myself every day for doing this. I have to stop. I can’t see my screen anymore. Thank you for reading this. Joe
Registered: 1568057584 Posts: 25
I am so sorry for your loss. Rocky sounds like a wonderful dog. I read the whole post and you did everything right. We always second guess our decisions but I feel they are always done with the best of intentions, many times under extreme duress. I know Rocky was a big part of your family's life. I'm glad that you are in this Forum and hope you will post often and let us know how you are doing. We're all going through the exact same thing. You are not alone. Jim
Registered: 1158205770 Posts: 837
I am so sorry for your loss. Your post has me in tears. I know how heartbreaking this is and right now you and your family can't imagine life without Rocky but Rocky is at peace, no longer in pain. You gave him the joy of a last walk. He got to look around, head up taking in all the scents one last time, being with the ones he loved most in the whole world and then he went back inside to rest. In time you and your children will be able to talk about all the great times you had with your sweet Rocky with more smiles than tears. But right now let yourself grieve knowing your dear Rocky was so blessed to share his life with such a loving family just as you are to have shared his. He will always be in your heart and I believe you will be together again forever. Again I am so very sorry.
Registered: 1444060919 Posts: 639
Clearly this experience has devastated everyone. The end of life for our animal family members is no more tolererable than it is for our human family members. We are part of every second that transpires, every minute and every hour. Every call, every attempt to bring them around, every everything. And in the end they die. What an assault on our senses. Our heart, our entire being.
Right now this is the worst thing possible that could have happened. I was like you. When my Pearl was brought out to be "euthanized" at the recommendation of a vet I didn't even know, she perked up. I was such a mess I couldn't think straight and was relying on this stranger. I had taken her to a local vet as an emergency case as something was very seriously wrong with her. She fought to get off the table when the vet went to put the needle in and I had to hold her down with all my might. I was furious and still hurt that the vet did not bring in a technician and that I had to do "the honors" of holding down my girl to die. How cruel to put a parent in that position. And how sad for Pearl. To be fighting to get away but for her Mom to be strong arming her to stay still. I thought many times that if she was strong enough to fight me, she still had life in her. In reality she was very sick like your Rocky. Vets look a these situations much differently than we do. The vet in this case saw a hopeless case as far as any kind of cure. In his mind it was best to put her out of her misery. That was "his" perspective. As her mother, I was not thinking like that. That was my daughter on that table. Not a specimen! I angusihed for years that I went along with what the vet recommended. I can't say I am entiredly over it but I can say the anguish on a scale of 1-10 has eased up. Right now for you this is the worst thing in the world. The worst thing ever. You are having the most disturbing feelings in the world. I am sorry for you. In due time the torment will ease up, but for right now that doesn't matter. I wish you well. Godspeed.
Registered: 1192815206 Posts: 1,191
Joe, I am so very sorry for your loss. I read your whole post and am fighting back tears as I type. I know, all of us on this message board, know what it is like to lose one that is so very dear and special to us. Our lives are empty without them here. Our worlds have been turned upside down and for some, we struggle to find meaning in a world without our beloved ones by our side.
I hope you can eventually take solace knowing that Rocky left this earth in the place he loved - in your arms, feeling safe and surrounded by your love and your family's love. So many pass away not knowing love, not feeling safe, and not in a place where they can smile. Rocky was able to do that, and by releasing him from his pain and illness, you gave him what is perhaps the greatest gift you could - a release to a new life where he is happy and healthy and where he will wait for you to join him one day. In the meantime, I'm glad you found this message board. It's full of wonderful people that understand what you're going through. I hope you come back often and let us know how you're doing. I look forward to reading stories you have of the life you and Rocky were blessed to share with each other... - Kelly Angel Blackie's mom Angel Squeeker's mom
Registered: 1568962819 Posts: 3
I want to thank you all for your kind words, and I will really try to have faith. The logical part of me says that in time this will get easier. But right now the pain is still so fresh that it's impossible for me to actually think about it without getting emotional. And maybe one day, I'll stop feeling guilty and hating myself. Maybe. Again, thank you everyone, and I will keep in touch with you all here.
Warmest memories Joe
Registered: 1498611382 Posts: 580
I wish there were words to take away your pain but sadly there isn't any magical words to ease your pain. I promise you that you will heal, some. You will always remember Rocky. There will be tears but in time you will think back and smile. The tears will still fall but the memories that you shared will over shadow those last few days.I dealt with tremendous guilt for a very long time when I let my beloved Termy go over two years ago but as time passes you to will heal. You will never be whole again but you will live a new normal. Try to let the guilt go and don't be angry with yourself for what you had to do. Rocky sees you as his hero. You gave him peace and you let him go out of love. You were strong for him when you needed to be just as he was your rock all his life. One day you will be reunited with Rocky and never to be parted. Be gentle with yourself and give yourself time. Cry but also remember the journey that you shared with Rocky. Love and doggie hugs Termy's mom
Registered: 1568962819 Posts: 3
I've been reading through the other posts, and we all seem to be feeling, or having felt, the same guilt. What really through me though, was how the vet, in the months leading up to the fateful day, was telling me how good Rocky was looking, how he was gaining weight (albeit probably from the prednisone he was taking for problems he had been having walking), and just in general, looked like the Rocky that we all knew and loved. So in my mind, my dog was getting better, doing better, and in no way was he ready to depart. It was the little things that Rocky kinda stopped doing though - which had been brought to my attention after I had put him to sleep. When he was excited, he'd look for something to put in his mouth - a shoe, a sock, anything he could find on the floor, and bring it to whomever was walking in the door. That behavior kinda stopped but I didn't really make a conscious observation of it. He was also having trouble jumping from the back seat of the car to the center console - his favorite place to sit when we were parked - he just like looking out the front window at all the people. It was these little things that didn't register as being major. I mean, he was getting older - but he wasn't even 9 yet. But I know I feel my age, so I thought maybe he's feeling it some days as well. I was giving him glucosamine to help with the joints, and that did seem to make a difference - at least he LOVED to eat those chewables each morning. And like I said, his appetite had increased significantly - which I thought was a great thing - as Rocky was always a picky eater (literally I'd sit him on my lap and spoon feed him every day just to make sure he'd eat).
It was just the shock of going from what we all believed was a fairly healthy dog, to one that had to be put to sleep. And it all was because of the lump that I found and brought to the vets attention. And yeah, I know that I did the right thing - I mean who wouldn't point out a lump to their pets vet... and when the vet wanted to ultrasound his abdomen, that sounds like a normal procedure. And you guys know the rest, I'm not gonna make you go through it again. I guess the grief coupled with the shock and the brevity of the situation. Literally, on Thursday, from having a happy dog lying on the couch next to me, to saying goodbye to him on Sunday. I know that death doesn't play favorites, with pets or people... and when it's your time, it's your time. But knowing this doesn't make it any easier... and like everyone says, time heals all wounds.... within reason. Some of my friends and family tell me that Rocky & I were so close - that I really need to find another canine companion - because I just feel so alone without him next to me. Following me. Laying at my feet. Part of me thinks it's too soon. Part of me thinks that maybe sharing my home with another furry friend will help. I honestly don't know what to do. I go back and forth, as we've been looking at the shelters, but we haven't had any luck finding the right one. So maybe God's telling me to wait.... I just don't know. Thanks everybody for thoughts Joe