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Posts: 2
It's now been 1 week since I had to make the difficult decision to let my best friend go.  Mickey was a 15 year old long haired chihuahua, and my best friend and companion.  I remember when I first laid eyes on him as a 4 month old puppy, it was actually a decision I had to make between him and another long haired chi.  Looking back on it now, it was the best choice I made as he has brought so much joy to my life and made me whole.  The past 15 years seems like a blur now, and it's funny looking back how much he had changed throughout his life.  He went from a feisty, sassy, stubborn dog in his youth, to the sweetest most loving dog I've ever known.  He spent every night sleeping in my arms, and the nights he didn't do that, I'd find him on my pillow with his chin on my forehead. 

Mickey was pretty healthy for 14 years, and this year right before he had turned 15, I had received the terrible news he was suffering from kidney disease.  This was the longest I've owned a pet, so I knew nothing of this disease.  I did my due diligence and did everything I could to prolong his life.  I took him to get subcutaneous fluids 3x a week, and I also mixed in his vet suggested K/D special diet with a homemade meal which I had researched extensively with all organic ingredients.  This was all at the start of COVID, and he was starting to do great.  Then around June, I found out he had pulmonary hypertension.  I found this out the hard way one day when he was panting, almost hyperventilating.  I rushed him to 3 different emergency hospitals (none of which had a cardiologist available at the time) and he started to slowly deteriorate because they were treating him for congestive heart failure which he did not have.  Their treatment of diuretics was actually making his kidneys worse by the minute.  I finally was able to bring him to see a cardiologist elsewhere and she immediately was able to diagnose his condition and get him on the right treatment.

This was his second chance at life!  I thanked god, and once he was home things slowly started to get back to normal.  I only had 2 months with him before his kidneys started to fail again. I believe this may have been due to the diuretics he was given at the emergency hospitals.  Although this may have been the case, I don't blame the doctors.  They treated him based on the best information they had at the time (they thought he had fluid in his lungs, when he didn't). The difficult part in all this was that it happened so suddenly.  Yes, I noticed he was walking slower, slept longer hours, but the rapid decline happened in the last 2 weeks of his life.  When he had gotten his checkup for blood work, the vet had told me his levels had drastically increased that she was extremely concerned and that I should be prepared just in case.  From the day I received that phone call, Mickey had diarrhea for the next 4 days.  He was then at the point of such exhaustion he was unable to move, and had even lost his appetite.  The dog that was constantly hungry, looking for food, and licking the floor was now no longer interested in eating.  This was when I knew I had a difficult decision to make.  I went back and forth in my mind..Do I just wait it out?  Do I give him anti-diarrhea and appetite stimulant meds?  Do I admit him into an emergency hospital again to get IV fluids for 3 days?  I was torn.  All I wanted was for him to be healthy, and for him to be with me for longer but as I looked down at him, I knew that I was being selfish.  I wanted him to stay around for me.  He was absolutely miserable, and probably in excruciating pain that I could never understand.  That day, Tuesday 8/18, I called his vet and told her I needed to let him go.  I had originally wanted someone to come to the house so that he'd feel more comfortable, but not many services were available during this pandemic.  I still felt comfortable enough bringing him to his vet's office because he was there 3x a week for the past 4 months.  Everyone knew and loved him there.  

When I brought him in, I started to freak out asking his doctor to please take one last look at him and let me know if she thought he could get better.  Unfortunately, she didn't think so, and so we had to let him go.  He went peacefully in my arms.  He was already so sick and tired at that point, I'm not sure he even knew what was really going on.  I held him in my arms as the first injection was made, and felt his small head droop down.  I broke down into hysterical tears as I knew there was no turning back now.  As his Dr. put in the second injection, there was no jerk or last sigh of breath as I've been told sometimes happens.  I'm glad and thankful for that.  It showed me he was in such pain he didn't even have any fight left in him. 

As I mentioned, it's been exactly 1 week since he left his body, and I am still absolutely devastated and heartbroken.  I find myself praying and hoping he appears in my dreams just so I can hold him one more time.  I want to see/hear these signs that some others have experienced of their lost one's nails tapping on the floor or seeing them out of the corner of their eye.  That hasn't happened for me yet.  I did want to let you all know that I've been reading a lot of the posts on this forum, and wanted to thank you all for sharing your stories.  Although all of our stories are different, one thing is clear.  We all loved our pets so much our heart hurts.  They most certainly came into our lives for a reason, and although it is too short of a time, they will still be with us....always.  Please think of only happy thoughts going forward as I'm sure they do not want to see us in pain.  

Mickey's mom

Posts: 32
That was a beautiful tribute to your best friend.  They take a piece of us when we leave.  You did everything you could and I'm sure he knew it.  It's one of the worst days of our lives when we have to say goodbye.  There are always second guesses and what if's but that's what comes with taking care of a loving friend.  Hang in there try to remember all the good times.

Dog dad.
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