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Charlottesmom

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Posts: 2
 #1 
I lost my first baby, Charlotte last Thursday 11/21. Her 17th birthday is tomorrow. I never imagined when I got her at 7 weeks old that I would be blessed with so much love and such a strong bond. Charlotte has seen me through really sad times, never left my side. My shadow. She was there when I met my husband and there when we brought our daughter home from the hospital. She was the best dog and loyal to the max. She was so smart and loved her birthdays and Christmas and loved any kind of food! 4 years ago she was diagnosed with liver cancer. The vet told me with medication and a liver diet food change she would probably live another 1-2 more years. Well she lived another 4! I know how lucky we are to have so many years with her and we are so thankful that other than her arthritis, hearing loss she was doing well up until a few days before she passed. We had made the decision that when we knew she was in any kind of pain that could not be helped with medical intervention we would let her go. Only because we love her more than anything. About 5 days before she passed she started dropping her food out of her mouth and not finishing her food. This dog loved food and pretty much sniffed for food all day. My husband thought it was her teeth and possibly an infection. We took her to the vet and he prescribed her antibiotics and a baby food diet and did her blood work. The next day she started acting different. Not drinking much and only eating small amounts. Her urine turned completely clear. The vet called at 4:30 Wednesday and gave us horrible news that she was in the late stages of kidney failure. He said we will know when she stops eating that it’s time. She never ate again that night.:-( I know it sounds weird but it gives me some comfort at how fast she went downhill vs. a long drawn out sickness. I even asked the vet do all dogs stop eating because I found this to be impossible to imagine With the love my dog had for food but it really happened. I know she was letting me know she was ready. But it’s so hard. My husband and I had already decided when the time came we would have her put to sleep at home. She hated car rides and going to the vet. We had all day with her on Thursday and that evening we said goodbye. We were with her until the very end. It was unreal because as I held her body she still seemed very much alive. I smelled her and kissed her and wished we could keep her. I had my husband take pictures of her after she passed and the next day I couldn’t look at the pics because they didn’t look like her to me. But now I look at them every morning and every night and I love that I have them. She looks so peaceful and her legs are so relaxed. We are still waiting to get her ashes back and I’m hoping this will help me. The first two days I was a mess and cried all the time. But now my emotions are in waves but I’m not able to sleep and feel constant anxiety. I know I’m depressed. My daughter is 10 so I must carry on with life but I feel like I’m just going through the motions. My husband seems to be doing better and has his mind focused on work etc. We have another dog who is almost 15 and she actually seems to be doing well. I was expecting her to be in a bad place since she was so attached to Charlotte. The vet said some dogs do better when a sick pet passes. They are relieved of stress etc. Can anyone relate to their second dog acting ok? I really have no words for the feelings I have. Life is just going on around me but I still feel like I’m in a dream.:-(

Eriksfurrbabies

Registered:
Posts: 28
 #2 
Hello Charlotte,

My condolences for your loss. We all went through this difficult times and even though the sad moments drift further apart, it takes a while before it becomes bearable. Even as I write this, tears stream down my face for thinking about my Nani that I had to let go 6 months ago. But that is not the reason I replied.

Even though my pets are cats, my second cat seemed to be dealing with the fact Nani was no longer here far better than I would have expected. They were brother and sister, same age. After a few days of what I would describe as confusion (sniffing on where Nani would usually lay, or looking around the house) he just accepted that Nani was no longer there. At a certain point I even felt as if he was happy that the situation had returned to normal, no longer me worrying constantly and he being able to lay with me without being pushed away by Nani. (Nani was the boss of us two boys)

We often forget that animals act on instinct. They share with us a love that you hardly find with a human, unconditional love. Its therefore difficult for us to accept that they, on appearance, do not mourn the loss of a partner in their life. They do however, shortly in most cases, and accept the fact of what is. They see everything around them return to normal. There is no more stress in the humans that care for them, all that is different is that all the attention goes to them and is no longer split with someone else. Please do not think bad of your second dog, she just acts on instinct.

I have lost a few pets in my life, but none have hit me as hard as saying goodbye to my Nani. My emotions are ok most of the time but on days like these my memories of her only bring tears because I miss her little baths she gave me.

Please stay strong and let those tears flow when needed because even if the world is moving on around you, you world is not ready yet and that is perfectly fine.
Charlottesmom

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Posts: 2
 #3 
Thank you so much for your kind words. I believe you are right about my second dog. My first dog, Charlotte, like your dog was the boss. My second dog, Savannah was always pushed to the side because Charlotte thinks she was the queen! It makes it much easier on us knowing Savannah is able to go on just fine and actually has improved with her energy and eating. I think Charlotte did receive the most attention and Savannah excepted that but is now ready for her time. It’s so hard because I’ve always been the closest to Charlotte. Charlotte was my heart dog. Her energy was big and now it’s so quiet.
Eriksfurrbabies

Registered:
Posts: 28
 #4 
I believe that in time you will see that Savannah will fill that energy that is now vacant. I did not believe at first, but Nikki (10 years) is now acting like a young cat again full of energy at times.
I did take in a much younger rescue cat (Mindy, 2 years young) and she is just a ball of energy zipping through the house. Though I took her in thinking it would be better for Nikki to have a companion in the house, I now know I did it for myself.

I pay more attention now to Nikki and Mindy, feeling guilty in a way I did not spend more time with Nani and Nikki. I refuse to close down my heart and instead opened up to Mindy, a personality of her own and in no way a replacement for Nani.
I know Nani would not want me to be sad, that she would want me to keep loving my cats, so I do move on and it helps to be distracted by two other cats.

Do not feel guilty to show Savannah more attention, I am sure Charlotte would want you to! I have talked so many times to Nikki about Nani not being there anymore and it made my love for him greater. 
Shower Savannah with that attention and think fondly of the moments that Charlotte would intervene and demand the attention would be spend on her.
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