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DavidG

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Posts: 8
 #1 
I was on this message board over 5 years ago when I had to put down my beloved cat Macavity. I did find comfort for a while but I slowly stopped posting. A few months after Mac's death, we had the opportunity to take care of a wonderful little Yorkie named Paris. I thought why not. We wanted something to help with the grief and this could be good for our family. Actually what I meant was good for me. I had taken Mac's death extremely hard and had terrible guilt issues for whatever the reason. And it was just for a month so I couldn't get too attached. It was just what the doctor ordered. Well the month came and went and of course i grew very attached. I am an animal person. always have been. When i was a kid my mother always used to say 'here comes David with a trail of cats and dogs behind him'. I befriended every animal that I could find. Sorry getting off track. My friend and his wife were retired so they were traveling a lot. At first Paris went with them but he became more difficult to travel with the older he got. So over the next year, we took care of him more and more until we had him most of the time. I encouraged it. I was in love with the little guy. I work from home and am by myself for most of the day so he helped me with my loneliness. Soon he became my best friend and a welcome distraction from the daily grind. Well, my friend and his wife separated and divorced soon after that. My friend had custody of Paris but he was still traveling a lot and lived alone in the penthouse apartment. Taking care of the little guy was difficult for him. So I encouraged (almost begged) for him to let us take care of him. Sort of a shared relationship. We had a nice home and yard and lived on a quiet dead end, dog friendly street so it was perfect for him. Very soon he was a full time guest. So fast forward to today. When we first started taking care of him, he was about nine and a half years old. Now he is fifteen. Over the last year or so, he had started loosing his eye sight and hearing. He used to jump up and bark at the slightest sound but now he rarely heard anything. He did hear me come home though. Somehow he knew when my car pulled in and instantly started barking. He also still tried to follow me around. I was his caregiver so he wanted to know where i was at all times. He would go around and check my office, and two places that I usually sat in the living room until he found me. Well he was getting old after all so this is to be expected. But I never thought he would die. Something in my mind told me maybe in a few years. maybe at 16 or 17. Not now. A few weeks ago he started having what the vet called collapsing episodes, related to the heart. I immediately rushed him to the animal hospital and they did X-rays. He had to be sedated which made him upset and in turn made me upset. I was given meds which I put into little pieces of meat for him. I was advised to see an animal cardiologist. I went through a lot with my cat many years ago. some of it was beneficial but most was not. And they don't understand. I can just hear them say, 'Dad why are you letting them hurt me?' It breaks my heart. Anyway, he was having more seizures so I agreed to one more set of X-rays. I never should have but I thought it was just X-rays. And of corse he was very scared and upset. That was the last thing that i wanted. i decided at that moment that this was enough. He will not go through all the medical procedures that Mac had to endure. After all, it was his life, not mine. Was I doing this to help me? So he went on having a few seizures. when he did, I held him till they subsided. Over the last few days of his life I slept with him to make sure when he got up I could be there for him, just in case. But you know, I never accepted the inevitable. I grabbed whatever small piece of positive news that I could and went with that. I knew though, in the back of my mind, that this was the beginning of the end. Just didn't want to accept it. The night before his death, I spoke with my brother in law who is a veterinarian in the US. He is very good and told me what I should do and when it should be done. It sort of filled me with positive energy like, we are going to get through this. The next day, he had another, his last seizure. I picked him up in my arms and held him waiting for the seizure to subside but it didn't. I put him down to see what the problem was. His breathing was very erratic so I picked him up again and try to encourage him to keep going. But it didn't work. he died in my arms. People say to me, what a wonderful way to go, in your dad's comforting arms but I am wracked with guilt that I could not help. Paris was like my child and I could not do anything for him. What was I supposed to do? I don't know. Something different. I go over and over those last few minutes. What could I have done? I just was not prepared for this. I was on a high after talking with my brother in law and expected nothing to happen. Not this soon. I am in shock, severe grief, overwhelming sadness. After Mac, I said I could not go through this again but I am. I know this is fresh but it feels worse that ever before. I just want him back so badly but of course that will not happen. Sorry so long but had to get my story out for anyone who would like to listen/read. Thank you for you time.
ItWillTakeTime

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Posts: 43
 #2 
I am so sorry to hear this. We all ask ourselves what we could have done differently . . . as you spend time on this board, you will see that everyone does, regardless of how their animal passes. It is because we really love them and we want to do the best for them, but we don't control everything, and often we don't even know what that best thing is. I had a similar experience with vets and invasive tests. I did not feel that vets weighed the costs and benefits of them, and opted not to treat my dog for his final illness, especially because the treatment came with a lot of side effects. We can only make the best decisions we can for them, and no amount of time with them is ever enough. I am sorry for your loss.
DavidG

Registered:
Posts: 8
 #3 
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my story. And I am very sorry for your loss as well. This is very new so it is extremely painful as I am sure you already know and are feeling. The guilt and grieving is so intense. One day.
lovemydogs

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Posts: 6
 #4 
I’m sorry for the loss of your dear Paris. I’m having similar thoughts about what I could’ve done differently with my dog that recently passed. You obviously cared very deeply for your dog and loved him so very much. It’s so hard to know what to do when they can’t tell us how they feel or if they’re hurting. You cared for him very much and did all that you could do. I wish you comfort and peace in your heart
DavidG

Registered:
Posts: 8
 #5 
Thank you very much for your kind words. They mean a lot much to me. And I am very sorry for your loss as well. Lots of feelings of guilt and grief to deal with. This is so difficult.
twinkiesmom

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Posts: 839
 #6 
I am sorry for your loss of your beloved Paris. All of us here understand too well the sadness and overwhelming grief you are suffering. Paris knew how much you loved him, you showed him that love every day. And he loved you unconditionally in return. When one we love dies I believe most of us blame ourselves but the truth is that you did nothing wrong but everything right. When these precious little ones come into our lives we wish it could be forever but sadly their little bodies begin to wear out much too soon. I think it was wonderful that you were able to hold Paris as he passed. I like to think they can feel our presence as they pass and are comforted. I have always felt these precious little souls do not fear death as we humans do but that they live every moment with utter joy and that is something people should aspire to do. Be gentle with yourself and remember love is eternal. We may not be able to see or hear them but they remain in our hearts forever.



DavidG

Registered:
Posts: 8
 #7 
Thank you so much for your very kind words. I really appreciate your message. I don't know why I feel this guilt but he was my responsibility so I wanted to take care of him and I could not. As he was passing away in my arms, I was trying to figure out what to do. I assumed  that it would be like the other seizures and we would work through it. But it was not to be. This is very new to me. I miss him so very much like I know that you miss your Twinkie. Perhaps in time but for now it is devastating. 
doglife

Registered:
Posts: 69
 #8 
David,
My deepest condolences on the loss of Paris. I know the pain is so deep right now, so soon after such a loss that its hard to see clearly. You gave Paris a beautiful life & he in return gave you unconditional love. You Did take good care of him, you took the best care of him & you gave him your love. That is the greatest gift anyone can ever give. I know its a shock when they leave us & its hard to understand. Paris would not have wanted to leave you any other way than in your arms. He wouldn’t have wanted to die being poked & prodded at the vets. I know how helpless you must’ve felt, but he only felt your love & comfort. Let that comfort you now as he wouldn’t want you to blame yourself for his passing.
I just read what Twinkies mom wrote & it was also just what I needed to hear. I just recently took my other 2 dogs to a hiking trail that we just to take my Jada to. Even though it’s going on 6 months, the place reminded me of her & how she loved going on hikes. Then a song came on the radio that reminded me of her & I found myself crying & missing her so much. Suddenly I was reliving her last day in my head. The day was like any other day & I never knew it was going to take that tragic twist. Everything was normal & then suddenly everything changed in a moment. She went from excitedly playing in the hose , to running up to me & collapsing with a thud. I didn’t know what to do, she wasn’t breathing. I looked into her beautiful eyes & I knew she was gone, just like that. There was nothing I could do, & I felt so helpless & like I let her down because I couldn’t save her. I know people say she died doing what she loved, but it doesn’t stop my sense of guilt over not being able to save her. The pain still takes my breath away when I think about it, so I have learned to dwell on our happy moments together & that helps, but every now & then the memories of that last day come flooding back & along with it the tears.
I hope you will be able to have happy moments remembering Paris in his good times.
Wishing you peace & comfortt
Jada’s mom
DavidG

Registered:
Posts: 8
 #9 
Thank you so very much for your very kind words. I know that all I could do was be there for him but as his caregiver, I felt that I owed it to him to make sure he is OK. Sadly, you have experienced the same and not too long ago. I can only think that it must have been unbearable for you. I suppose helplessness is the best way to explain it. It is happening and there is nothing that we can do. Just be there. I don't know what the answer is but many in the same situation seem to express the same feelings of guilt or helplessness. I suppose in time it will make more sense. Thank you once again for your kind words. I am sure that Jada like my precious Paris is watching down on us from heaven. Take care.
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