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Posts: 1
As a 37 year old male, I've been incredibly fortunate in the fact that I haven't really had to deal with death in my life.  I've lost relatives and friends, and I've mourned, but man oh man, losing Brutus has absolutely rocked me to the core.

Brutus was my 11 year old English Bulldog.  I worked from home for the duration of having him, so he's literally been by my side.  Every day.  For 11 years.  

I knew he was fading, and my wife mentioned it to me, but we had recently taken him to the vet, and they said he was in good health.  I know bulldogs typically don't live that long, but I figured that he had at least another 2-3 years in him.

On Friday afternoon, he collapsed at doggy day care...took him immediately to the vet, and within two hours, I was in that horrible room putting my best friend to sleep.  They said that with medication and an invasive surgery, 10's of thousands of dollars later, maybe he'd live another 6 months.  I made the humane and brutal decision of putting him down, but I haven't stopped thinking about what if.

Before Friday, I can count on two hands how many times I've cried in my life.  I have cried every day, multiple times a day, and there's no end in sight.  I guess I didn't realize how much my routine and whole world revolved around him, and I can't stop thinking about him.  I feel like someone vacuumed my soul from my body, and my entire world is shattered.  

How am I supposed to move forward?  I have his old dog food, his bed, all his toys...I can't stand looking at them, but I also feel like I can't just put his stay away or throw it out.  

I go through times in the past few days where I feel okay, but then other times completely stricken with guilt and overwhelming sadness.  It's a complete rollercoaster.  I know people say it gets easier with time, but that time can't get here soon enough.  I'm sad, angry, confused, you name it.  

I'm not even sure why I'm writing this.  I know what I should do and need to do, but maybe I just needed to get it down in text?  I just know I could have never imagined this kind of unfathomable sadness and pain, and I just wish it would go away. I find myself looking at pictures and videos of him nonstop...not sure if it helps or tortures me more.   I'm completely lost and empty, and I guess just looking for an answer.  I don't believe in God, but I'd start to if somehow He could make this feeling go away.  

Posts: 14
I am truly sorry for the horrific pain you are experiencing with the loss of your beloved Brutus. One month ago I lost my Great Dane Maggie with sudden collapse and death as well. The grief and guilt were overwhelming to me and I searched in vain for a reason behind her loss and what I missed that could have given her more time. She was 8.5 years old and had just been to the vet for uti meds and a general look over. All was good although I had noticed her slowing down a lot that week Of course it’s hot on the coast of Georgia so we adjusted our schedule and her morning walk so we were at the beach at 6:00 am before the heat and sun were unbearable thinking that would allow for exercise without heat stress. I was devastated so today I took my other Dane to the vet to get a check up and start the baseline process for heart check ups which is most likely what took maggie. He was very informative in discussion and bottom line is Brutus and Maggie couldn’t be saved. It was simply their time. It sounds like Brutus had a wonderful life with his best friend and so lucky for both of you that he could have you work at home. Everyone has their own grieving schedule so be very patient with yourself. It’s especially odd that their things are still there but the pup is gone. Overwhelming at best. Don’t rush yourself in having to get rid of things, they may give you comfort at times. When the shock has worn off you’ll be able to make a decision easier about those items. I can promise you that the intense pain will diminish, but never the memories. I don’t cry all day anymore but each day something triggers tears but with less intensity. Looking at videos on my phone/iPad really helped because I could see that until her last week of life she was enjoying every aspect of life. Even if I took her to the vet for lethargic behavior, her Passing was inevitable regardless and I would not have wanted her hospitalized if something was scary for her. You made a responsible and loving decision and in time you’ll recognize that easier. I promise it gets easier, but it takes time. Allow yourself the privilege of tears and sadness. It just demonstrates the love you gave him. You will one day see him again and in the mean time, Brutus is playing with enthusiasm with other dog friends I did add Maggie’s name on the list this sight has and joined in with the candle lighting. I cried so hard as Ed did a journey prayer with all of us. When I blew out my candle with three wicks, it formed a heart. I knew my Mags heard my cries and was letting me know she was ok till I see her again. I promise you’ll be ok too.


Posts: 1
I totally know how it feels. 1 week ago, we had to say goodbye to our cat bootsie of 17.5 yrs.  He had started eating less and less each day, so we took him to the vet and the xrays showed a large mass by his spleen.  We thought the mass was removable but wouldn't know for sure until the vet operated. Upon operating, the mass turned out to be his bladder at 10 times normal size, but his bladder wasnt blocked. The last year or so, we would take him to the catbox twice a day to make sure he urinated. He had a few utis in his life, and when he would pee, he would drain for up to 3 or 4 minutes continously, so we took him to the box twice daily to make sure he wasn't full of urine. The vet also discovered his liver had fatty deposits due to his not eating, and the his colon was backing up. Our options were to temporarily have a feeding tube installed and a catheter. The vet believed their had to be another primary issue, possible a tumor or a stroke in the spine, which we think could have damaged nerves to the bladder, which would explain why he couldn't tell when his bladder was full. Between all that, and having to drive another 2 hrs for him to have an mri, we knew at his age, it would be hard on him.  So after the vet explained everything she had found during surgery, we had her wake him up long enough for us to say our goodbyes to him. Thankfully our vetrinarians allowed us to be in there with him while he passed on, even with the pandemic, i wouldn't have had it any other way no matter what they told us. It hurts everyday.  A few days later when we picked up his ashes, on the way home, we stopped at the stoplight, and in the lane next to us, pulled the van for the local animal rescue...maybe a sign.. so we went out there and picked up 2 more cats.  Having lost 2 others over the years, the pain will get better, but you'll never forget them.

Posts: 12
Its been just over a month that I had to bring my baby girl, Ruby to the Bridge. Every single word you wrote is exactly how I (a 62 year old man) felt for weeks afterwards. I cried often. I slapped myself to snap out of it. It is just plain grief, to lose someone that is so much a part of you, that it is like losing an arm, or as you aptly put it, like a part of your soul has been torn from your very being. It is that painful. I have had many dogs & I TRULY loved them all. Each passing was horrible. I had two dalmations taken from me as part of a divorce by a spiteful woman, that basically said “I hope you suffer”. But this time, Ruby, my beautiful English Cream Mini Dachshund, stole a part of my life like no other. My wife and I got her as a puppy and we shared a wonderful life together for over 13 years. We both loved her (and our others) but while she did cry a bit, in a week it was like, “We need to move on”, but I am still having a very hard time of it. She was my heart dog. My baby girl. It does help to write. And helps to read about others with the same feelings that we have. We are not alone. We just had that something so special that many never have and may never will. Take care.
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