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Posts: 14
The 2nd day of 2020 we were faced with the terrible decision to say goodbye to our best friend of 8 years, Max. Its unknown how old Max actually was, he was a tiny yorkie who I heard 8 years ago that the owner couldn't handle the pressure of his neediness anymore. I immediately took him, as I meet him 2 years prior and said one day he will be mine. And he was. However, the previous owner changed how old he was several times. That didn't matter because his age would never affect how much I cared for him.

Max was always a fighter, attacked a pitbull and Akita on seperate occasions, all 5 pounds of him never backed down from a fight. He would go to my parents house and relentlessly try to start a fight with their great Dane.

In 2018 he was first diagnosed with lymes disease which we handled immediately. Since then he was doing great. In June 2019 he was restless one night (unlike him) so we took him to ER to see if maybe he ate something. After xrays, the vet said he was fine but looked like his had an enlarged heart but said it was most likely due to his body shape in xrays. That was a huge mistake.

Come August 18, we rushed him to ER vet again. He followed me around with a helpless look on his face and I knew something was wrong. Vet said all his symptoms aligned with congestive heart failure, but after xrays of fluid in his lungs opted to call it pneumonia and we treated him for that. In two weeks time, I looked at him and his tongue was completely blue. Again, rushing him to our primary vet this time, he was in heart failure. They gave him medication and so forth.

Since then, hes entered heart failure 2 more times. Was hospitalized and put on oxygen. The 3rd time he was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension. He was doing great, we celebrated Christmas and new years day I said to my husband "i think this cocktail of medicine is right. Maybe we will see another new year with him." At midnight he couldn't get comfortable but that wasn't unusual given his history the past few months with being on lasix. So we took him potty and went back to sleep. At 4:30am he was laying so close to me breathing extremely hard. I knew something was wrong. He refused medication (red flag, he loved pill pockets), when we tried to force them he collapsed 3 times. We ran to the car and he seemed to feel better but I insisted we still go to the vet. They put him in oxygen immediately and unexpectedly, this was the first time the vet came in and said you've done all you could. This is his 4th time in heart failure, and hes essentially drowning from the inside. It's no life for him. So with that, we followed their recommendation, we didn't have to discuss as we both knew it was time and he held on for the holidays and we couldn't ask him to suffer any longer. By this time the vet already administered a sedative to help him stay calm and breathe, so when we got our moments alone before his sendoff, he was just a shell of himself. There was nothing in his eyes, but he was calm like he had already said goodbye and we didn't know.

I think the thing I'm struggling with the most is, I'm 14 weeks pregnant and not once during all this did I think I'd welcome my first human child into this world without my first baby and love of my life meeting him. I keep thinking if I knew it was so soon, I would have taken him for one last walk on the beach, despite new england weather. Or maybe a chow down of his favorite food at mcdonalds I restricted him from because salt and heart failure don't mix. I know I can't think that way, but it's hard not to during this grieving process.

It does feel good telling his story and making others aware of how hard he fought to keep us happy. I know now, he is continuing his hikes in the national parks over the rainbow bridge as he loved to do. Breathing normal, finding his cousin, maybe even playing peacefully with my parents great Dane (but I know better, hes to tough for that) and I pray he comes to give me a sign at some point so I know i did the right thing.

Max, i love you and i will forever love you. One day I'll replace those last horrible visions and only remember the 8 years of sheer bliss and love you brought to me and everyone who encountered you. I hope you look after your brother who is having a really hard time without his little big brother telling him what to do. I hope you help your dad find peace, even though he is staying strong and together for me. I will cherish every memory and moment we had together for the rest of my life, I promise.

Posts: 599
I'm sorry for your loss.  Making decisions for medical treatment for our companions is always difficult and heartbreaking.  I lost my beautiful handsome boy Leo about 4 weeks ago so I know how sad you must be.  Take care and remember that time will soften the pain.  

Posts: 8
I am sorry for your loss, I too am grieving.
I am sure time will soften our grief, but we will never forget our special little pet.
There is no bond like the one we share with our fur babies.
I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

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