Registered: 1526782612 Posts: 3
We recently lost our beloved dachshund Rocky. He would have been 17 next month and while he was old and had been showing signs of senility for some time (wandering around and occasionally staring at walls), he has always been very healthy. His recent blood work was fine and just had his teeth cleaned and everything was fine. We have two other dachshunds that have been his family for over 12+ years, they are 14 and 15 years old. Well, on Wednesday it was a normal morning, we woke up and let them out of the sunroom and into the kitchen. He bounces into the room ready to eat. We put him in the bathroom with his plate (so the other dogs won't eat his food) and when he finishes, we pick him up and carry him back into the sunroom and he wipes his face on the bed and snuggles back in and we get ready for work. During our lunch break we come home and check in on them and they were all resting comfortably. Well we came home from work around 6:00 we found that he had passed away in our back yard. We have security cameras up so I wanted to see if I could see what had happened. I wasn't able to watch much as it quickly became upsetting. I saw him go out the dog door like he ALWAYS does to go potty and while in the past he has had a little trouble getting back in the dog door, he always did within a minute or so. This time he circled around on the patio and did that in a slow wandering pace for a little while. Eventually he wandered further in the yard, still slowing circling and then I skipped ahead and eventually saw him appear to sit down. After a few minutes he seemed to struggle and I could see that he was barking. At that point I just skipped ahead quickly and saw that after a short time he slowly just gave up. The total time he was outside was probably about an hour and a half. It was quite warm that day and the other two dogs were resting in the sunroom. It tears me up inside knowing that in his last moments we weren't there for him, to try and help him. Even if it was his time to pass, we should have been there to comfort him. He didn't deserve to just die alone. We have always fed him well, got his teeth cleaned twice a year, had regular blood work done, and even recently had a full "senior" workup at a vet school to make sure something didn't sneak up on us. He has never had back/disc issues like our other dachshund, so I don't think he had a ruptured disc. He did have some arthritic symptoms, but I can't recall a time that he just couldn't stand up on his own. He even bounces into the kitchen when its time to eat! I can only guess that he either had a stroke or heart attack. The guilt is unbearable at times and I just don't know how to find peace with this. I would appreciate any words of advice on how to deal with this from anyone who has experienced something similar. The worse part is not that he is gone because at his age we knew it was going to be sometime soon. What is hard is HOW it happened. We didn't have any time to prepare. You just assume when you take such good care of them that the end will be a slow decline from some organ failure or something. We experienced a loss with Rocky's "wife" Mindy a few years ago. She had cushings and died peacefully at home, with us around her. This is how it should have eventually been for Rocky. Everything was absolutely normal that morning and at a lunch. Why did this have to happen like this? What made him not just come back in the sunroom after he went to the bathroom? Why did he just keep wandering around like that? I just keep seeing him struggle and calling out for us to help him and we aren't there. I'm trying to keep my spirits up by loving on our other two dogs and continuing to live as normal as we can.
Registered: 1498611382 Posts: 580
I am so very sorry for your loss. I wish I could help heal your broken heart and ease your pain but I am still struggling with losing Termy in September.He was just a bit over 16 years old to. There is nothing that can help us, except time. No matter what age we lose them it still hurts. I know watching the video is heart breaking. Please don't blame yourself. He left this world in place he lived not some place unfamiliar. The yard where he played and loved. I wish you love and sending you my deepest compassion for your loss.
Love and doggie hugs Termy's mom
Registered: 1526782612 Posts: 3
Thank you for taking the time to reply and I am sorry for your loss as well. We wish there was more of a support structure for helping with multiple aging pets. Little things to look for that would lead you to make serious changes or restrictions on their routine. He could have easily just walked back to dog door and be safe in the house but something in his mind kept him from doing that and we will never know. I have to tell myself that he wouldn't want me to sink into this dark place but instead to continue with life and love on our other two doxies. The loss is hard, but the HOW is harder to come to terms with. I have to keep telling myself that the horrible last hour or two of his life can't negate the years of a loving home we gave him. We rescued him and his beloved Mindy from an over-breeder when he was around 5 and knowing that if we hadn't have done that, who knows what horrible life he could have had. The good times far outweigh the bad, I know that, but the guilt still remains that I feel like we just let him down in the end.
Registered: 1516890861 Posts: 92
Doxieworld, I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved pup. I also wish there was more structured information / assistance with ageing pets. Believe if I'd had more information, we could've caught my Arby's kidney disease before it was so far advanced.