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Pet Loss Grief Support Message Board
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bk63

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Posts: 4
 #1 
I found this site because of doing a google search 2 weeks after putting my 8 year old Beagle Lenny down after a long battle with Lymphoma.  I got Lenny when he was just a year old from a shelter.  He was put in a kill shelter in Tennessee because he was too timid to hunt.  I got him shipped to New York state and went to get him as I live in Connecticut.  When my dad died I was hurting for a long time and then one day remembered when I was little he had a Beagle.  I knew right away that's what I needed in my life.  I'm mid 50's and my kids are grown and I live alone.

Along came Lenny and I could never imagine the joy he would bring me the next 7 years walking in the woods and the parks.  He was such a gentle dog.  Children would flock to him.  Toddlers would put their hands in his mouth and he would never bite anyone.  He became very ill last year after a routine surgery to remove a non cancerous fatty tumor from his back leg.  Nobody knew he was already stage 4 Lymphoma.  He had no symptoms.  In the next week his health declined quickly.  Within 2 weeks we were seeing a vet Oncologist.  By that point they were giving him 2 weeks to live.  Imagine my devastation.  I was not ok with that so we started chemo.  7 months later he was finished and in remission.  He should of had another good year but only got 2 months of remission before he was sick again.  They put him on Prednisone.  He got another 2 good weeks from that and then all the symptoms were back.  Very sick, vomiting, diarrhea, and he yipped when I picked him up so he was in pain.  When he had a bad night of vomiting during the night I knew we were at the end.  He was suffering and I couldn't let him go on just because I didn't want to let go. 

I had a vet service some to my house because I didn't want to make him ride in the car to a cold vet office.  It was the hardest phone call I've ever made.  Sitting on the floor petting him while they put my boy to sleep for the last time has been the hardest thing in my life.  I come home from work at midnight to an empty house now.  He used to jump all around and greet me.  I've read stories on the internet for weeks now about "could I have done more", and I know the answer is no.  I spent tens of thousands on his treatments, thousands of miles back and forth to vets, special foods.  My life stopped for the past 10 months to take care of him.  I still feel so guilty like I let him down when I had the vet come to the house.  I know if he was still here he would be so sick by now, but it doesn't help me feel any better.  I've been trying to push on but I'm just so devastated.  I can't get that day out of my mind.  I miss him so much.  I'm a grown man in tears every day and it's just not getting any better.  I don't know what to do with myself.  I feel like a Zombie walking around in a daze. 
cosesmom

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Posts: 523
 #2 
Dearest Lenny's dad,
My heart goes out to you. In my mind and Lenny's you were his hero. You stayed by his side through it all. That's what we do when we have that kind of love that our fur babies give us. I know how hard it is to watch them go from a robust, happy and living life little guys to going down hill and suffering. They buck up so much and never let on how sick they are until it's to late. They go on for us and they remain brave and strong until they know that we will make the ultimate sacrifice for them. I can feel the love you have for Lenny in every word you wrote. I know that you think you let him down but you didn't and Lenny was happy to leave his earthly body at home in the arms of the person who knew and loved him best. Please, never feel you let him down. Lenny knows that you were always there for him even until the end. My beloved Termy suffered the last six months of his life and it was awful to watch. Old age caught up with him and it was his time to go, so I set him free. It hurts, oh boy does it hurt but know in your heart you were a great dad and Lenny will always be near you in spirit. He may have left his earthly body but he will always be watching over you and guiding you until you meet him at the Bridge and you will walk across, together, never to be separated again.
Bless you and peace to your broken heart.
Love and doggie hugs
Termy's mom
grievingmom

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Posts: 486
 #3 
All these emotions are normal.  I tried for a very long time...very long...to intellectualize my grief. I believed if I could "think" my way through it, that would speed things up. If I could come up with some 'rational thoughts', that would change everything and change it quickly. But that is not how emotional pain works.

Just compare it to a physical injury. No matter who you are, where you live or what you do, if you get seriously burned in a fire, the healing process is going to be very painful. No amount of anything on your part is going to cause you to skip over parts of the process of getting better.

You are feeling what you should be feeling given the circumstances. Keep telling yourself that. Given the circumstances, my feelings are normal.

God bless.
bk63

Registered:
Posts: 4
 #4 
I just want to thank the person that started the thread "To those suffering with guilt over euthanasia..." because a search of that is what brought me here.  That is the hardest part for me right now.  Thinking about that day over and over, that moment petting my boy and then he was gone.  I think the guilt of that is the worst thing for me even though I knew he was suffering and in the next few days/week to come he would have been much much worse.  It was 10am that day when the vet came, and he was still laying down.  Normally by 8am he's up and wanting to go outside but this day I knew after a hard night, he wasn't well.  I know it was time but it doesn't help me feel any better.  At least I know I'm certainly not alone in these feelings.
TazDad

Registered:
Posts: 18
 #5 
Dear bk63, please read my posts about the loss of my Taz. My story is so similar to yours, as I'm alone too and now in my mid-60's. Read the posts of others here too. This is a wonderful healing place since we presently have no pet heaven to visit our loved ones. God speed...

bk63

Registered:
Posts: 4
 #6 
I read your story on Taz.  Lenny went from walking for hours in the woods over the years to not wanting to go there when I took him, I think because he knew it was a long walk, so I started taking him to a quiet park.  He would walk about a half hour there, then eventually 15 minutes, then not even 10 minutes.  He was really slowing down, but I wouldn't push him.  Many times I carried him back to the car when he would lay down in the grass, too tired to go any farther, and we were never far from the car.  He was almost 40 pounds so I had to make sure we didn't venture far because I knew I would have to carry him back. 

Today I'm getting ready for work.  I work second shift.  When I'm making my lunch in the kitchen, he would hear me out there, come out and lay down on the floor and wait for a snack.  He always did this, and now making my lunch today, I realized as I looked to the spot where he would lay down.  It's just old habits now I guess but it's so hard.  We had dogs when I was a kid but none ever got sick and they were family pets.  I didn't spend time with them like I did with Lenny.  Every day we would get in the car and go some place, go for walks, visit people.  We did this for years.  I have to find a new normal now, and try not to feel so guilty that I had to call the vet to come to the house that day.  That is the hardest thing I can't get off my mind right now.  I will continue to read others stories until hopefully one day I can find a new normal life for me. 
TazDad

Registered:
Posts: 18
 #7 
That was a good thought, bk63. You just need to know that you're not in this alone, and many of us feel the exact same way (speaking for me personally). I wish I knew something that would take the pain away, but I don't. Every single day it still resonates back to me at the most unexpected times, 'I can't believe my Taz is gone.' Yet, he is. You said you were alone, well so am I, and I have to bear this pain all by myself, as you do. You try to prepare for it, but even that goes to the wayside when it actually happens. I'm having Tazs' cremated ashes returned to me which I'm hoping to get back by the end of this week. There, he will always be present in my den and I will still talk to him every single day. I know this will at least help me cope with all this. I wish you well and peace of mind...

bk63

Registered:
Posts: 4
 #8 
I chose not to do the ashes thing myself.  It just doesn't do anything for me.  It would just make me feel worse.  I know for some it's closure of some type and if that helps then do it but for me it would make me worse.  For the last 10 months I took lots of pictures and videos every day when we were out on our walks.  I narrated in the video what day it was, what treatment we were on, the weather, how he was feeling, where we went or were going that day.  I took the memory out of my phone and put it away to look at some time down the road.  I can't look at it right now.  I also have all of it online as any time I took any picture or video it uploaded online automatically.  When I feel better I will look at it all.  It goes back 10 months.  At least we had the last Christmas and Thanksgiving, and rang in New Years eve and I have it on video.  I have no idea when I will feel better and had no idea I would ever be affected like this but I know in time I will look back on those pictures and videos.  I can't have another dog.  There is no way I would be able to do this again.  I've also seen too many people at the Oncology vet office that have done this over and over.  I just don't know how they can do it multiple times.
TazDad

Registered:
Posts: 18
 #9 
I hear you. Nothing I can say will make it any easier for you. We just have to suffer and endure the pain in our own way. Hang in there...
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