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Posts: 2
I am hoping talking about this helps come to terms with the loss of my lil girl Portia. She was euthanised in Feb 2017. I have been in a dark place ever since, depressed and medicated and have lost my marriage over this tragedy. 
She was only 4 years old French Bulldog, and the sweetest most loving, and speacial pet I have ever had. I have lost other pets and humans in my life, but none hurt as much as this loss. We got her 1 year after we got married and she was our fur baby. We planned our lives around her. The first time she got hurt, was a year prior. We took her to the best vet and she had spinal surgery and went through all the rehab/physiotherapy and recovered. I wanted to do that again, and I am devastated and guilt stricken about how she passed.. 
In Jan 2017 I left to start Medical School in Australia, and she was going to join us over there 3 moths later (government restriction forced a wait period, but she was traveling through a special company experts for her breed relocation). She was staying with my mother in the interim. Her back got bad again, and she was losing function of her hind legs, she needed surgery again. As soon as I found out I took the 24 travel home to be with her. I stayed 3 days and had to return to Australia for school. That week she got worse, I travelled back a week later. At this point I was heartbroken and jet lagged, confused and scared. My husband came home, was going to give up his job and live here, and was going to care for her and we were going to get her a wheelchair. Suddenly he changed his mind and said we had to let her go. I wanted to keep her alive and try rehab again, knowing she'd probably need a wheelchair for life. I was 'convinced' it was the best thing and we euthanised her at home. I will never forgive myself for this day, a real mother would not have stopped trying. The next day I had to fly back to Australia and go back to medical school. I did not grieve well, I had to push through school and keep going. As a result of the pain and stress am getting divorced and have dropped out of school now. I feel hopeless I will ever get through this, and I don't know how to hurt less.. 


Posts: 46
Oh, this is so sad. My husband and I had a labrador retriever many years ago, whose back end became paralyzed when she fell on top of a big log lying on the ground,while running to fetch a stick I had thrown.  From then on she could only get around by using her front legs, but it was amazing how fast she could move, dragging her rear end on the ground.  Anyone seeing her thought we were either crazy to let her live through this, or that we were cruel.  But the vet told us that she felt no pain in her rear end because her spinal cord had been cut from the fall.  My husband built a little wheeled gizmo that supported her hind end in a more or less upright position, and she could get around pretty well with that, under supervision, of course.  She had lost all control over her urination and pooping, so it was always a constant job to clean up after her.   The vet said she might not have a normal life span due to the injury, and she did die a couple years later, of what we don't know because we were then living in a remote location where there was no vet.   

I find it very sad that your husband changed his mind and insisted on the euthanasia, and that you had divorced because of that.  To me this seems like one of life's tragedies, the kind that drive you nuts because you can't go back and change anything.  I don't know how your dog would have adapted to a wheelchair, or how long it would live, or how much time and care would be needed to keep her going.  It might have been doable, or not.  If she would have been in pain, then it would have been better, probably, to let her go before her life became too miserable for her, and for you. 

I've had so many pets over the years that I wonder if I did the right thing when "their time" came.  I usually regret everything that I did or didn't do.  The guilt seems to accompany nearly every death.  I guess that's just the way it goes ...

All I can say is that I can empathize completely with you, and understand how bad you feel.  But at least your dog did not have to face any more hard times and challenges, or problems and pain from her physical problems.  I tell myself all the time that everything dies, sooner or later, and all we can do is try to make our pets' exits as quick and painless as possible, even though I've failed on that account a number of times, and always have long periods of grieving ad sorrow.  It sucks.  

But you loved her, and she loved you, and you probably saved her from further distress and pain and vet visits, and all the things that our beloved pets hate.  Try to think of that.  Try to not punish yourself.  You've suffered enough.  Maybe adopt another little doggie, one that will find its way into your heart and ease your pain.  I've found that having another sweet creature to focus on helps.  It doesn't replace the lost one, but it gives you some joy and can keep you from getting too sucked down into the black hole of grief.   


Posts: 580
I am so very sorry. I feel your pain and your heart ache. Yes, four is such a tender age to lose one's baby but I think you have done the right thing. Think of Portia's quality of life when the guilt gets you down. I am also sorry you quit school and your marriage couldn't survive this tragedy. My husband didn't support me while I nursed Termy through his final days. I miss him so very much but I am going to love and cherish his memory too. Please forgive yourself. I know it's easier said than done but your baby wouldn't want you to give up on all that is important to you. She may not be here physically to help you finish your journey but she will always be with you in spirit. She knows the love you gave and she returned that love. Hurting less? It takes time. I let my sweet Termy go last September and I truly didn't want to live without him. I have survived, I live a different normal now. He walks with me, in my heart. Cry and grieve but go on. As RF said, Don't get sucked down into that black hole of grief. I needed professional help to crawl out of that black hole. Here you will get understanding and compassion, we all care and have all suffered a heart breaking loss.
Love and doggie hugs
Termy's mom

Posts: 46
Hello again:

I hope you're feeling less depressed as time goes on.  I wonder if you will eventually go back to med school?  You have gone/are going through the kind of agony that many humans feel when they or their friends or relatives are sick or dying, and that kind of first-hand understanding and empathy are  good qualities for a doctor to have.  You would make a good doctor!

Wishing you the best.
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