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Posts: 657

I will never hold her again--I don't know if I can live with that.  No matter what I find out about how she died, howmuch I was to blame, no matter what I will never hold her again or whisper in her ear that I love you.  I am not being dramatic nor am I trying to act like I cared more for my dog than anyone else--I am just stating the facts.  I have read other posts on here that have stated they feel prettymuch the same. When I have contact with people who have dogs, it tears me up.  Anyway, if I couldn't come here, I don't know what I would do. 


Posts: 258
Dear Becky,

I think that you are right ~ this is what it all comes down miss your girl with your whole heart and soul, and you would feel the same no matter what answers you would ever get to your many questions.  That is the truth of it, and yes, I believe that we are all dealing with that truth and struggling with it to varying extents.  I miss Max every single day.  Friday it will be 5 months since he left for the Bridge.  Some days it feels like years ago since I held his little self, and some days it feels like yesterday that I lost him.  I know that the pain of losing him will always be there, and I know that I have to learn what to do with that pain.  Not "get over it" or "leave it behind" ~ not for me ~ but learn how to live with it and still live.  Time is teaching me that, slowly and achingly.  It's the work part of grief, I guess.

Becky, my heart goes out to you.  I know how tortured you have been since you lost your beloved Libbie.  I have followed your posts and worried about you so much.  Please don't misunderstand, but reading what you have written here is a relief to me.  It seems like you are moving through the process.  It will be a series of ups and downs for sure, but I sense a little something different in your words. As I have said before, I am so sorry for your loss and I do understand your pain.  I am very happy that coming here is helpful and supportive for you.  I also am so grateful for this forum, and the wonderful people who come here.  That includes you!

You WILL hold your Libbie again, of this I am sure.  I will send up prayers that one day you will find the comfort of believing this too.  You are in my thoughts always.

Sending many hugs,
Joanne - MaxsMom

Posts: 846

Oh believe me I understand.  I think "what if" about Luna all the time and if things were different she still may be here.  I'll never hold her again and it tears me up when I think that - I understand so well.  I've thought so much about that over the past year.  I've asked God "WHY" so many times, crying myself to sleep, I've lost count.  I beat myself up all the time.  Why do we do that to ourselves?  It's interesting.  After long talks with God and after a year of healing, I think it comes down to this - all the second-guessing we do, all the "what if's - it's not going to change anything.  It was meant to be, whether we want to believe it or not, it is what it is.  God knows the reasons.  You can only argue with God for so long before you have to try to allow yourself to accept it.  I don't say that to hurt you please know that.  We all grieve differently and right now your pain is still so deep and so new.  Your baby is at peace now and that's truly all that matters.  She's happy and young and whole at the bridge and she has many friends there.  We want our furbabies here on Earth with us, and it really does take time to accept the fact that their physical body is gone, but their spirit never leaves us.  They know our hearts.  There comes a time when you have to honestly believe it was just her time, and nothing you would have or could have done differently would have changed the outcome.  When you can do that, you can perhaps begin to heal.  You didn't kill your baby - I really truly hope you know that.  God knows that, and your baby knows that.  I tell myself that every day - I did not kill Luna.  Cancer killed her.  It was just her time.  The devil tries to get in and tell me something different, so I start second-guessing myself, but I just shut that door in his face and turn to God.  Who knows what would have happened down the road.  What if I did discover the cancer years earlier?  Who's to say it would have made any difference?  Maybe she still may have suffered and died.  Maybe the Chemo would have made her even sicker. I'll never know, but I have to somehow find peace anyway.  Hindsight is 20-20 they say, and it's true.  Everything in life happens for a reason, and we have to know that what did happen was what was meant to be - it was their destiny.  We can't dwell on the "what if's", because they will haunt us and never allow us to be free.  I'm not saying to not care, of course we care and we wonder.  I'm just trying to help you understand that you did nothing wrong.  We'll never have the answers as to why our babies left us in the manner they did.  We just have to know there is a reason, and maybe some day down the road we'll know the answer - maybe when we cross over to the bridge ourselves, maybe sooner.  Who knows.  I believe Luna was sent to me to teach me what unconditional love is, and to cherish what you have while you have it because you never know when it will be gone.  I hope this post did not hurt you in any way and if it did my sincere apologies.  I know you're hurting right now, and I wish I could find a way to help you heal, even if just a little bit.  You are in my thoughts and prayers.  Hang in there.  Big hugs to you.  Gerlie (Luna's forever mom)


Posts: 174
Dear Becky,

    I know how much you are suffering over Lib and I also know how hard it's been for you just to keep on going and getting through each day but you know that we're all going through the same thing and are with you every step of the way.  I think that guilt is part of the grieving process but in your situation and mine it has overshadowed the process.  You're right when you get past the what ifs and trying to figure out medically what happened to end our babies' lives the bottom line is now we've got to figure out how to go on without them.

Rena (Sherry and Daisy's mom)
Taco, Belucha, Carina, Red, Stretch, and little Phoebe

Posts: 180
I feel exactly the same way you do.  But, I am trying so hard to sincerely believe that Dakotah and I will be together again when the time comes.

Everyday, I pray that God will have mercy on me and not make me wait too much longer.

Dakotah's Mom

Posts: 657
Thank you so much.  I know that I do not fear death and hope with all my heart that I will be reunited with her. I know you hurt every bit as much as I do.  I told my brother today Ijust miss her body--I miss her.

Gerlie, YOu in know way hurt me at all.  The things you say are so true.  It is overwhelming here sometimes how much people want to help others.  I have been dealing with this for five weeks and still people try to help. I hang on every word.

Rena, You never stop trying to help me, I appreciate it so.

Steffi, You said it all--I don't want to wait either. thank you for alwasy thinking of me

Posts: 19
Becky, you sound as despaired as I feel.  But I know one thing that must be true for you too:  my Maya brought me sooooo much love and happiness, she would not want me to be this sad.  When I would be sad, she would come to me and try to make me play.  If that did not work she would lay by my side.  I am sure you know the what I mean.  I always felt comforted.  So, try to find something happy and good every day.  I know that's what Maya would have wanted for me.  She always had a smile for me! I have lived only 53 hours without her and it has already stretched into an eternity. Let's just take it one hour, one day, one week at a time.

Blessings my friend. 

Posts: 3
I can't believe what you just wrote as I've been thinking the same thought over and over since yesterday.  I cannot believe I'll never be able to give my Nikki, a big Nikki hug, ever again.  All 80 lbs. of her big sweet, soft, warm self.  She was the softest, most beautiful dog ever and gave the best hugs.  She'd careen by me like she didn't care but would end up just by me at the perfect huggable level, so I knew she knew what she was doing.

I feel so sad, empty, sorry and heartbroken too.  Even though I know death is part of life, I've never felt it so totally fully until now.  Three months and counting and I barely feel any better.  I took my first walk on our normal route alone last night and cried the entire 40 minutes as I remembered her stopping places, the responses of certain dogs behind certain fences, her bouncy, happy walk so distracted I was hardly there with her.  I'm feeling like life will never be the same again and the warmest part of of heart ever is turning cold.  I hope we will be reunited. I couldn't have loved that dog one bit more.  I hope those of us without children, whose pets were truly like their children, will be able to get through this period and past the pain.  I don't want pain to pop into my head whenever I think of my dog and, except on a few better days, that's where my mind is taking me.

Good luck to you and may be all find strength to get through this.

Posts: 29
Dear Gerlie,

First - I am so very sorry about your losing Luna to cancer. i only recently found out (way too late) that per Cornell - 1/2 (yes, 1/2) of the animals over the age of 10 will get Cancer! AND? per Harvard - Cancer is either the 1st or 2nd most misdiagnosed disease (i think for humans too). I never knew, until after I lost my girl to undiagnosed cancer (they did not think a biopsy was warranted, and although I knew it prob was - I did not think it wise to force them to open her up at 13 1/2. esp. as like you I was not putting her through chemo, if they did find it...when I second guess myself - i say, yes - and if she had died because I INSISTED on intrusive procedure- well, more, 2nd guessing has to stop.)

I printed out the very, very thoughtful, & truly inspiring note you wrote.
My words here cannot explain how I am also thankful for your thoughts
and profound insight. I have just come to grips with the same thinking, as I sort of did then - God knows these things, he says when it's Time (for all living creatures) and the Devil is the one planting doubt in our very loving hearts and minds. We cannot let the Bad One win...Faith is a healer. I have actually gotten more spiritual thru this, so maybe that's the lesson for me and in fact, her gift (my kittygirl) as she was parting my world. Be well, Vickie

Posts: 71
The first thing I would do every time I came home is pick up Beau and give him a BIG hug and kiss his head, then carry him around the house as I put stuff away or put him down so he could investigate whatever bags I brought home with me.  I sometimes think I didn't pick him up enough, but he thought it was too much, because he would occasionally run under the dining room table when he saw me stretch down to hold him.

My favorite times though were when he jumped on my bed in the middle of the night, I would invite him to sit on my chest and we would snuggle for awhile, he thought very highly of those 2:00 am meetings.  He sure was a good cat, I miss holding him. 

Posts: 143
Dear Becky.  I am so sorry for your loss.  Words seem inadequate.

I miss holding our dear Pepe too.  The thing is, during the last weeks of his illness he felt pain everywhere and we couldn't pick him up or really hold him.  We could pat his head and scratch behind his ears but most anything else and he would yelp in pain.

My hope is that one day I will remember mostly the joy and happy times with him and the final days will fade.  I wish the same for you Becky and for all here.

Posts: 19
Becky:  I feel the way you do right now, raw and full of anger and hurt.  I was not ready to let my Maya go.  God's will or not, it is painful and I am having difficulty coping with it.  This is a good place for me and it helps.  My doctor has also recommended grief counseling.  Can you believe that?  What a better place we live in now to have our fur-babies places recognized. 

VAG048:  I read similar statistics as well.  I read that retrievers are one of the most prone breeds to develop cancer.  No doctor ever said that to me!  My Maya was 11, and a lab mix.  Her opportunity for developing cancer was greater than normal but I was never even offered an opportinuity for proactive screening.  This is where part of my guilt lies.  For as much time as I spend on my computer, I did not spend it researching my companion's continued illnesses.  I spent it on work or school but never on helping her.  I was her advocate, and I feel I let her down.  This is what I must come to terms with.

Posts: 29
Dear LifewithoutMaya,
I hear you and truly feel your pain (i miss my crazy little feisty kitty beyond words...even though she was different than most cats. i could never pick her up! only for like 5 min's...she was a rebel and a half...reminded me of myself....)

When I was first doubting the specialists (thinking ok, she may have cancer after all - let me look it up online...) THEN i wrote them back and asked are you sure, are you sure (even sent a note to the hospital director, trying to get another opinion there...) - i had remembered what my friends and I say ALL the time (about our own concerns for our own health, people stuff) - don't look up symptoms! i mean this from my heart, cause I took off two weeks of unpaid time from work after her intial testing to spend time with her. Did I use that time to look things up? Of course not. Dumb me, too then.

I said this on another post - there are just too many symptoms which can be confused with other illnesses. WE, as humans trust what out doctors tell us about OUR health. Of course, we were their advocates - thats one reason I lvoe animals so much (bugs, birds, you name it..all life is wonderful to me), but we did for them exactly what we do for ourselves (and more most times).
I had never challenged my OWN doctors as much as the last 2 dr.s she had seen!

I don't know about you, but i had only like three weeks between extensive testing ("all kinda ok with her") and very, very bad turn - then to 2nd dr. who said pts(!). I've now had four months AND 20-20 hindsight - that's how we are finding this info out now.

We must acknowledge,atleast - this truth, in our effort to stop the guilt game. As Loudpurring said in one post - it's very easy from this hindsight to say what we should've done. People do this with any loss of life, any. SOmeone else said we feel guilty casue we think eveything is cause and effect; meaning somehow we caused this effect. How very silly to think we are more powerful than Death, don't ya think?

I hope you understand I am telling myself this as well as you and are not offended one bit. My intention is only to help.../luv, vickie

Posts: 19

No offense can be taken at words spoken with love.  Thank you for them.  I had been taking Maya to the vet for many months for symptoms that appeared allergy-related until 2 months ago.  This is when she began to get sicker and still the vets did not come back with a cancer diagnosis.  On Friday, April 25 I took her to a different vet who suggested xrays.  The xrays showed nodules in her lungs.  An ultrasound was scheduled for Wednesday, the vet did not think it was an emergency.  The ultrasound confirmed cancer in the liver and kidneys as well.  It would take 2 days to get the results of the biopsy.  The results for soft tissue sarcoma:  hemangiosarcoma most likely was received Friday morning.  We scheduled an appointment with an oncologist, for the following Tuesday.  By Saturday night, my Maya was so distressed we rushed her to the ER where the oncologist was located.  Her blood pressure was at 220.  We left her in hopes they could reduce the swelling to her brain. We left her at 2 am.  We returned at 11 am to find her condition had deteriorated.  She could no longer see and could no longer walk.  We decided to let her rest.  It was
2:10 pm.  We had the cancer confirmed for 2 days before her passing. She never made it to that oncology appointment. 

Maya's dermatologist vet called to offer condolensces.  I asked her if there was anything that was maybe overlooked since Maya had been treated at a clinic and not by one single vet.  She was wonderful.  She explained how she had gone back through all Maya's derm records and lab work to see if there was anything she might have missed.  She offered continued support if I needed it.  I spent so much time and effort treating Maya's allergies and all the time she was suffering from cancer! You are right, I need to stop second guessing myself.  I will work on it.  Thanks. 


Posts: 657
lifewithoutmaya, I too spent hours on the computer researching everything.  When my brother' dog was hospitalized in December for a spinal disease, I checked it out for him.  Not so with my dog--if the xray said she had arthiritisthen that is what she had.

If my dog died of some unknown autoimmune disease as my vet emphatically says, then it could havae been dealt with so many times.  As I think of more things, I get sicker and sicker.  I have her records so as I go back through them she was constatnly being treated for allergies.  They were constantly telling me to havae her lose weight.  She was on crummy light food that I measured out and still she couldn't lose.  They weren't even going to take an xray until I said I wanted one.  There was my chance.  The vet said that if she didn't lose weight she would have to run a thyroid.  I didn't even know what that meant.  I jsut went home and continued to monitor weight, lift her everywhere, and never gave it another thought.  If they had run the thryroid, they would have discovered autoimmune. 

I am just a follower--never heard of the word proactive.  Someone tells me something I just continue to do it over and over.  I am disgusted with myself-abolutely disgusted.  Never entered my head to say let's just do it now.  Had her back a month later--ear infection tht I didn't get completely cleared up and it came back with a vengeance before she died. 

Ah, well, my opportunities were many. With my case, it borders on animal abuse.  ONe of the doctors I have been harrassing on the interne has been s patient--today she said "You've got to find closure".  Don't know how i will do that.

It sounds to me like you did everything and more.  I only wished I had

Posts: 29
dear becky57 and lifewithoutmaya,

both of your losses are so very,very recent - it is, as my mom said, surreal - as in how do i accept this new, awful, awful reality. it is 4 months since my baby passed (and lifewithoutmaya, it seemed to be the same timing for my girl - two months, bad signs - even after testing said she as a-ok.. and then she passed! still shocking, but time heals just a small bit.... granted, i had her on antibiotics for 1 -1/2 mos before that too...but they seemed to be working! and no one ever told me how common cancer is - their still trying to tell me how rare bladder cancer is...) i don't know about you, but ya know what? if my girl was that close to dying from cancer - i'm not sure what could've been done. would we have put them thru chemo? not likely for me (not w/my mcfeisty, phobia of vets girl...). i actually wish i had a firm diagnosis, i know that doesn't help you much, but atleast you know(?)
cancer just can't really be beaten - not for us or them. and lots of humans do not even want chemo. chemo can make them/us sicker.

if you haven't read it already, read Luna13's post on this thread. I have it printed out. read it a few times already. She has a year of healing and some very wise words. (Thank you again, Luna13) God Bless, give yourself time. be sad. just make it thru each day. i personally had to try meds finally (lo dose xanax, like valium) - it has helped me. never before did i take pills. but my heart was hurting beyond bearing. /vickie <3

Posts: 1,328

Becky--sorry about your loss of Libbie.


Posts: 19
I find I have more and more in common with all of you every day.  I too finally went to the doctor for "doggie downers" as I refer to them!  My partner also.  We are so shattered by the events surrounding Maya's passing.  Shattered because we had planned the next 3-4 years with Maya in them.  I am trying not to linger on the should haves and could haves.  I find comfort in understanding what all the symptoms meant, educating myself in doggie medicine.  It is too late to help Maya but it will help me with her brother, Cisco.  It will also help me with my own health.  I too am a victim of my own health.  My Maya and I had many things in common.  We suffered many of the same allergies.  Imagine, we were both allergic to cats!  Even funnier, I was allergic to Maya and she was allergic to me!  Truly my dog. :) And we both were on medications so we could enjoy out lives together! 

But Vickie really is wise, and Becky, sometimes it is hard for us to hear the people who speak the truth in its simplest form.  I don't know about you but Maya and Cisco are the first furbabies I have raised.  Maya is the first I have had to help over the bridge.  It is more devastating to me I think because she was my baby girl and knew it.  She was my partner's dog but claimed me as her own because we had kindred spirits.  I know this is how you feel about your baby.  You need to cry and grieve that your baby is gone but not because you did not do the right thing.  Those crummy lite foods usually cost more and you had to figure out which one to get.  All those vets visits take time, energy and money.  You cared.  Besides, how would you know what a thyroid test was or why it was important unless you had some knowledge of its value anatomically.  I myself know nothing of medicine.  I can not even clip my kids' nails!  (Maya was kind enough to chew her nails and spare me the expense.  Her brother goes to the groomer.)

We brought Maya home yesterday.  It was a hard day for us.  We found a place for her things and wrapped her in her favorite T-shirt.  We still have her dogbeds by the bed and in the family room and her food stand is still there.  It's not time yet to put those things away.  But we are talking everyday about what is upsetting us most, what we are feeling and what we can do for each other.  Do you have someone that you can talk to?  If not maybe you can go into the chat room or call someone.  That has helped me as well.  I find I can talk to my partner but not really anyone else yet.  I can not find the words.  That's why this website helps me so much. 

And as Luna's Mom gently points out, this is a time of faith; for all of us, for all our babies too. Take care my friend,
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