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Susanh

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Posts: 13
 #1 
3 days ago without warning my dog passed away. She was very lethargic in the morning and didn't want to eat, I just thought she wasn't feeling well. I left to go to work and when I came home she was dead. What's the weather except for the lethargic in the morning. she was fine and playing with my other dog the night before. There was no vomiting no seizures no swelling that I could see. Seems really out of it. I thought that she was just having some joint pain which she sometimes did. I was devastated when I came home and found her dead. How she may have passed so suddenly?
jrinphx

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Posts: 1,355
 #2 
I am so sorry for your loss.  From what you wrote I think she may have passed away because of hemangiosarcoma - basically blood cancer.  My heart dog Jackie died from it 7 years ago.  She was playing in the yard with the neighborhood cats in the morning.  She came in the house and she just seemed a little off but we had just changed her meds so I brought her to the vet.  An hour and a half later the vet called me and said she had a large mass in her abdomen.  I immediately went to the vet and when they brought her to me I knew something was very wrong.  She was bleeding internally and I knew she was leaving me.  There is a topic on here called "Hemangiosarcoma Why?".  It is filled with stories about dogs who have died from this disease.  They go from acting normal to dying in a short period of time and even with surgery and chemotherapy life expectancy is not long.  I take comfort in knowing my girl didn't suffer for a long time.  I would have probably put her through surgery and chemo just to keep her with me a little longer and I think she knew I would do that so she took that choice away from me.  

JoAnn - Jackie, Chan, Daphne, Scarlett, Noir, Stan and Thomas's mom and mom to many other Bridge babies.                    
Susanh

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Posts: 13
 #3 
Thank you so much for your reply. hemangiosarcoma occured to me.  I had a dog that died from it years ago, she was 13 and the symptoms were the same.  The only difference is that Ally was only 8 and died very quickly.  She was okay the day before.  My dog years ago who died from it, was diagnosed and did not die for about a week following the diagnosis.  That was torture.  The vet told me there was nothing I could do so I took her home and cared for her (force fed her with a syringe of liver) ugh..   and watched her slowly deteriorate.  This time was so different, I had no idea there was anything wrong.  I am very in tune with my dogs.  She was eating and playing with my other dog the night before.  It happened so fast this time, within hours.  I guess I should be thankful but it was such a shock to find her dead.
I do however feel a lot better thinking it was hemangiosarcoma, because in that case I know there really was nothing I could do by the time she was presenting symptoms.  I feel bad that I went to work thinking she would be fine and she died alone.  But I have to tell myself that is what she wanted.  She was in her favorite bed and her brother was here with her.  I had told her every day that I loved her so she knew she was loved.  She was a rescue dog and was my protector.  She was always very timid and was afraid of everyone but me, so she basically kept to herself and never demanded attention.  But I made sure she got it.  The sweetest dog ever.  I will miss her very much.  But I really appreciate your response, it gives me some peace knowing that my thought of what happened is probably correct and I could have done nothing to help her. I am glad I did not drag her off to the vet where she would have been scared and uncomfortable, she died how she wanted to on her terms. Thank you for your support!  This is a very tough time for me. Susan
Fionasmum

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Posts: 730
 #4 
I am so very sorry for your loss - I can tell from every word you wrote how much you loved her.  I wanted to say she did not die alone - love is not a geographic boundary - she felt and knew your love regardless of whether you were at the store or at work or right next to her.  I know it - and that's why she would have passed wrapped in the warmth and light of the person she trusted the most in this world.  I know how hard this is, and I know how much you'll miss her - forever.  But don't ever think she was alone, for she could not have been when the bond you shared was so strong and so powerful.  My heart breaks for you ..... and you, too, are not alone here.
Susanh

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Posts: 13
 #5 
Thank you for your kind words. It has only been 5 days. It still hurts so badly. Only today could I bring myself to look at photos of her. It was too painful before today. I'm going to a per loss support group at the local Humane Society. I appreciate you people!! Those who truly understand the pain of losing a furry child.
stronics

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Posts: 37
 #6 
I am so sorry for your loss, it is heartbreaking I know.
Bless you
David
Susanh

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Posts: 13
 #7 
Thank you David, I appreciate you all. I went to a pet loss support group tonight. It was helpful to talk to other people who love their furry kids as much as I do.
Time is the only thing that will make it better.  I still feel pain from dogs I've lost in the past.
Thank you all for your support!
Susan
doglife

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Posts: 69
 #8 
I am crying as I am reading all of your stories. I am so sorry for the loss of your fur baby. Its so hard when its so unexpected . You had no way of knowing, & like the others said she wasn’t alone. I lost my baby girl Jada this past May, & it was extremely sudden , because she was playing in the yard, ran up to me , collapsed & was gone. No warning, & that’s what’s so difficult for me @ this. I agree with Joanne & you on this . I would have dragged her to the vet, which she hated, & possibly surgery & who knows what else , only to have her suffer in agony because the Cancer ends up taking them no matter what you do to try to prolong their life. It was their time, they passed naturally & quickly.
Im glad to hear you went to a support group. I’ll have to look into that, as I am still grieving as well, & most people just don’t get it. I wish our dogs could live as long as we do. Its so hard to say goodbye.
Jadas mom
Susanh

Registered:
Posts: 13
 #9 
I'm so sorry Jada's mom.  The no warning part is so hard.  I did not get a chance to say Goodbye to Ally, I had no idea when I left for work that I would not see her again.
But I know that she knew how much I loved her and Jada knew how much you loved her as well.  After my grief group last night, I was in bed and as usual did not want to turn off the TV and lights because I would just think of Ally and miss her so much.  Suddenly I felt this wave of emotion like Ally was there and then extreme peace as if she was telling me "it's okay Mom, I'm good and you didn't do anything wrong."  I'm crying as I write this but it did give me some peace.  Thank god I still have her brother Moose to come home to.  Although, Ally was here years before him and always my favorite and most loving.  But it does help to still be greeted by a little being who loves you unconditionally and depends on you entirely.  
I wish you peace and healing, Jada would not want you to be sad.
Susan
doglife

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Posts: 69
 #10 
Susanh,

Thank you for your kind words.   They mean a lot to me.    I also have 2 other dogs at home.  Jada's big brother, not by blood, but he came from Germany, and a younger brother, not by blood, from a different breeder.  I am so lucky to have them still with me,  at home, to greet me and for me to have to take care of them.    Although, when Jada first passed I was so grief stricken , I could barely concentrate on anything, and felt like I was in a fog.  I had never thought that Jada, as young and vibrant as she was, would pass before Leo, her big brother.   Leo's had issues from the day we got him as a puppy.  He had so many genetic problems, but we fell in love with him from the very first day we had him, and although he couldn't do all of the things all of the other German Shepherds could do, due to his ailments,  he still had a zest and a love for life and for people.  He still does, but now that he's 9 and still has all of his issues, his arthritis is what's really hard on him now, that and his awful allergies to the environment.   I always expected that he would pass long before Jada, as every year with him is a blessing and a miracle. He was the one who wasn't doing well this year and I was trying to prepare myself for having to say goodbye to him.   Jada was the athlete and the competitor.  The boys are trying to figure out life without her.  She was the Alpha female who kept them in line.   There was a few issues with my youngest not understanding why Leo can't play like his sister did.  But they worked it out and now the younger one is extremely protective over Leo.  Jada was the one who was always protective over both of them.  

That is so wonderful that you had that experience of feeling the emotion like Ally was comforting you.  And that's exactly what she would be saying to you,  that you gave her a great life and that she can still feel your love, and you absolutely didn't do anything wrong.   She will be with you always,  and I hope you have more experiences like you did, because that is so healing.    I'm also glad that her brother is helping you to heal.  I'm sure he is grieving as well in his own way, and the two of you can help each other heal.  It is a process.    It has it's ups and downs.  
Jada's mom
Ducs23

Registered:
Posts: 9
 #11 
I am so terribly sorry. A yr ago, I came home from a concert to find my lab wasn't himself.  His back end had given out.  It happened so fast. One day he was fine and the next poof.  He was 12 yrs and 5 months old.  I can just imagine your shock. I was in shock myself.  I was out of my head. Felt like throwing up etc.  It is hard when they are relatively young dogs.  It is hard when it is sudden.  My heart goes out to you.
Susanh

Registered:
Posts: 13
 #12 
So sorry about your beautiful lab, that is sad.  It is quite a shock when they deteriorate in one day.  Jadas Mom, I know the fog you speak of, I've been in it all week.  Today is one week since I woke up and Ally was very weak.  If only I had known before I left for work that it would be my last chance to hug her and tell her I love her.  Talking about it helps a lot and her brother (not by blood, she was a border collie and he's a Jack Russell ) helps a lot.  Moose is a comfort but Ally was by far my favorite and closest to me.
My heart goes out to all of you and keep talking/writing about it.  It helps!
doglife

Registered:
Posts: 69
 #13 
Susanh,

The fog for me lasted about 2 weeks as I was desperately searching the internet for answers.  I'm sure it's different for everyone.  When you are so close to a dog, or your heart animal, it makes their departure from this earth very difficult, for us , the one's left behind.   It sounds like Ally was your " heart" dog.   I know the feeling of wishing that you knew it was going to be the last time you hugged her and told her you loved her.  But she passed knowing how much she was loved, and her love for you will go on and on.   Love never dies.   But oh how I know the feeling of wishing we knew it was going to be the last time, that I we ever got to hug or kiss, or play with or bring them on beloved car rides.   Jada's birthday was 2 weeks after she passed.   We always celebrated by taking her out for" bye bye" in the car, with a Burger and icecream.   She always licked up her scoop so fast, that I'd thought she'd get brain freeze, but no she would be trying to get her brother's icecream from their cups.   I would make her special homemade dog treats and she would get so excited for them to be ready to eat.  She was all about food.   If I only knew............    but like you ,  we had no way of knowing.  Thanks for letting me talk.  Thanks for listening.  Don't beat yourself up because you didn't know,  like I did.   I did for a month, and I blamed myself for not noticing any signs.   But after having many conversations with several veterinarians on the subject of dogs who die suddenly,  they all said the same thing. Sometimes cancer and other issues pop up quickly , and you could have had your dog pass his vet exam with flying colors and appear healthy , happy, and energetic,  only to have some type of cancer that has little to no symptoms growing undetected.   He said unless a dog was showing  symptoms for some period of time,  they wouldn't suggest doing an ultrasound or any other expensive testing. .  He said it could still be missed even with the most expensive tests.   He said that now a days, most pets die of some sort of cancer, and that there is no cure.    He said even if we had known prior to their death, that they had this fast growing cancer, depending on where it was, the only way to get more time is surgery, if that would've even been possible and that it's an even bigger possibility that they die on the operating table, after spending thousands of dollars. 

I guess you can think of it as , in their way, they gave us a gift of not having to make that decision.   That still doesn't take away the pain of losing them, out of nowhere, so suddenly.  They say that time heals all wounds,  I am still waiting for that time.   I am starting to believe that is not true.   Grief changes over time, but it doesn't mean it ever really goes away.    I will never stop missing my sweet girl.  She will always live in my memories.
Peace and love & hugs to you all,
Jada's mom
Susanh

Registered:
Posts: 13
 #14 
Hi Jada's Mom,

Wow, I can tell how much you loved her.  She knew it too, all the way to the end and she still feels it. Ally was very very shy, she was afraid of everyone but me.  But super super sweet, would bark at people but never once nipped at anyone or approached anyone an aggressive way.  She would act like she wanted to go for a walk but we would get to the end of the block and she would be too scared to go further and just want to go home.  And forget it if a kid on a bike or skateboard came by.  That would really freak her out.  My understanding is that before I got her (at 2 years old from the Humane Society where I worked) she was fostered and tied to a tree in the yard most of the day.  Of course she was scared.  What is wrong with people?  When I first got her she was so scared and so skinny.  She pooped and peed all over my living room.  I nicely and calmly cleaned it everyday.  Gave her chicken and rice until she finally trusted me and became my protector and a wonderful dog.  I felt sorry for her because she was so skinny, I fattened her up a little.  I'm very health conscious of not only myself but definitely my dogs but poor Ally was just a lost soul.

Anyway, she was too scared to walk but sure loved her food and snacks so she was a little heavy.  What made her happy was me and food so I made her happy.  About a year before she died the vet warned me that she really needed to lose weight so I cut back and she lost some weight.  So I felt good about how things were going with her health.  Now that she is gone, I feel a little guilty about letting her get so overweight but I really don't think that contributed to her death.  From what I saw, I am almost certain it was that horrible blood cancer and her tumor ruptured early that Friday morning.

Like I mentioned previously, yesterday was one week.  I was at work in the morning thinking this time last week Ally was dying and I didn't know it.  I would look at the clock and wonder "was she alive at this time last week."  I did that all morning until the time I went home for lunch last Friday and found her.  it was a very rough morning.  I miss her so much.  I think my biggest pain is my guilt.  I have to remind myself that she did not suffer, just fell asleep from weakness of blood loss and did not wake up.  She fell asleep knowing I loved her and she was at peace dying right where she wanted to be.

The fog is still there, I will find myself heading in a direction I don't know why I headed that way because I was not focusing on where I was going but thinking of Ally.  I've lost three dogs in the past 15 years and the pain is awful.

I wish you some peace of mind and know that you were a wonderful Mom to Jada and she loved you and felt your love to the end,

Susan
doglife

Registered:
Posts: 69
 #15 
Susan,

It sounds like you were her angel here on earth.  Thank God there are good people like you who rescue and save these poor animals from the life of abuse they once suffered.  Every little good or kind deed that you do for even an animal will be noticed by their Creator.  I am so glad that you found Ally and that she found you.  You were meant to be.   She felt safe with you,  and she got to live out a happy life with you.  She  was very well taken care of , and loved very deeply by her special human, you.   I hope in time that your guilt goes completely away,  because in reality , you did not do anything wrong.   She died peacefully, and in her own home, which is better by far than in a shelter or even a hospital.   I am sure that she wishes that she could somehow lesson your pain and kiss away your tears.   

  I think the fog also comes from the routine being completely changed.  You no longer have her there to feed, or walk or let out , or to hear the pitter patter of her little feet.  All of these little things add up to a lot of stress on a person, who loved their pet so deeply.  IF Ally were here , she would tell you that you were the best thing that ever happened to her and that she misses you too, and that she hopes your sadness will turn into happy thoughts of memories of the two of you.   I'm sure she is still watching over you from wherever she is.   Oh how I wish that we could see them once again,  just to see their smile and feel their wet nose and know that they are at peace and happy.     I guess you never stop missing someone who gets that special place in your heart.  

Wishing you peace and comfort,

Jada's mom

I
Susanh

Registered:
Posts: 13
 #16 
Thank you so much for your kind words and support Jada's Mom.  It's hard to close my eyes at night, all I do is think about Ally.  That's the most difficult time.  I'm still beating myself up for not noticing if she was declining, there must have been some decline on her part.  But she wasn't super active as it was, so it was hard to tell.  She was eating the day before and following me around like usual.  I guess I should be thankful it happened so fast, but I feel cheated.  She was only 8 years old.

Your support has helped a lot.  The fog has mostly lifted but when I am winding down my day and not working or whatever else and I stop everything to go to bed, that is the hard part.  She dominates my thoughts because she is not laying on the floor by my bed.

I know peace will come, and I do feel more peace I did last week so I think Ally is sending me peace vibes.

Thank you so much for listening to me and replying.  It's good to commiserate with fellow bleeding heart animal lovers!
Susan
Sprite1030

Registered:
Posts: 3
 #17 
I am so sorry about the loss of your furry baby. I just went through the same thing with my little girl, Sprite. She was fine that morning and I got home from work, and she was 100% different. I am literally heartbroken. We are here for you.
BKool

Registered:
Posts: 13
 #18 
The pain you feel may equal the pleasure you received. Approaching 3 months since "D Day" and I find that I don't break into tears now, it's just a numb pain in the heart to live with. Had a dream where he visited me, plain as day, and he seemed happy. Still find myself "ghosting", talking to him. His grave is covered with flowers, a statue, a name stone, and many toys and balls that people have laid there, a testament to his popularity. That our pets were chosen by this cancer will always haunt us, but I believe there is a scientific cause that will be discovered one day. In the meantime we grieve, but who is to say that death is not a joyous affair for the victim? Life continues, timelessly, one phase to the next, and we must all find our path, including our pets.
iheartdierks

Registered:
Posts: 20
 #19 
I'm so sorry for your loss.  Like others have mentioned when it happens so suddenly, you are just in disbelief and shock.  This happened to me with my cat a couple weeks ago. It's so devastating. Keep visiting this website, it does help.
Susanh

Registered:
Posts: 13
 #20 
Thank you everyone for you kind words and your support.   It is extra bad when it is so sudden.  I am very surprised that there is not some kind of research done on this horrible aggressive cancer that is taking so many dogs life's so suddenly.  I would think that some Veterinarian somewhere would be interested in researching the causes and prevention.
I still miss her terribly.  I put up a memorial on the wall above where she passed.  I don't want to forget her sweet face.
Dogsarepeopletoo

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Posts: 106
 #21 
I am so sorry -- I think sudden deaths have an additional component to deal with; that disbelief that a mammal can be fine one moment and in dire straights or worse in short order. And I think we all wrestle with that feeling of helplessness when our pet passes away; the struggle that we cannot do more; guilt that we did not notice issues right away. I suppose those feelings are normal as we all seem to express those thoughts. I know that doesn't help, but at least it might help confirm that you are not alone with those feelings.

Our dog collapse one day -- just out of the blue. Boom. I still have a hard time accepting how she went from happy and healthy, to death two days later.

I feel for you.

Hugs from Oregon
Susanh

Registered:
Posts: 13
 #22 
I'm so sorry for your loss dogsarepeople too.  that is super sad.  I do feel guilty for not noticing.. ANYTHING.  Until the morning she actually died, I had noticed nothing wrong with her.  She was eating just fine and playing with my other dog.  Then one morning she seemed tired and I thought she would be okay, came home hours later and she was gone.  HUGE shocker.. and such guilt for not knowing she was declining.  But dogs are biologically programmed to hide their pain or ailments so she did not show me she was not feeling well.  I try to think of it that way, she died quickly and she died where she wanted to, in her bed in a safe spot at home.  I still talk to her everyday, it's such a habit.  Then I realize she's not here.  It helps to know there are other people out there like me and the support helps. thank you all! 
Ducs23

Registered:
Posts: 9
 #23 
dogsarepeopletoo how well I know your grief.  I went out of town to a concert. My lab was fine. He was fine when the dogsitter was there. I came home to find his back end had given out.  That was bad.  I still miss him.
Dogsarepeopletoo

Registered:
Posts: 106
 #24 
Ducs: How awful. And so sudden -- wow. It was (apparently) the vertebrae in Annie's neck. The emergency vet dangled out some hope with meds, but there was no change after two days.

Susan: Guilt seems to be such a common emotion after the death of a loved one (human or pet). I have feelings of guilt that intellectually, I know are silly but there they are none the less.

It has been three months since we lost Annie. I got up yesterday morning and as is my routine, I made coffee first thing. Out of the blue, I got weepy because so much of my "getting up" routine is missing: letting Annie outside; standing on the deck listening to birds while she took care of business; laughing at her twirling in the kitchen waiting for me to hurry up and feed her; giving her fresh water; finally plopping in my chair with my coffee with her at my feet or on the chair next to me.

Grief is so funny how as time marches on, it still taps you on the shoulder once in awhile and says "I'm here!"
Susanh

Registered:
Posts: 13
 #25 
I know what you mean about the morning routine.  I would feed my dogs before coffee.. that was priority (at least to them) lol.  Today is 4 weeks since Ally died and I'm still shocked and confused and guilty for not seeing any signs.

Life does go on and I still have her brother Moose to help me through it.

Hold onto the love!
Dogsarepeopletoo

Registered:
Posts: 106
 #26 
Susan: Border collies are such awesome dogs. Many years ago, I signed up our dog for obedience classes; the first night was humans only. I remember the instructor saying "and those of you with smart border collies? You will need to tear them away from their math books for class." LOL. They are so smart.

Is Moose a border collie also?

Dogs really do determine our routines on a daily basis. I am trying to find some joy in the freedom that not having a dog allows. I haven't found it yet.
Susanh

Registered:
Posts: 13
 #27 
That's funny about Border Collies.  Ally was smart.  Moose is a Jack Russell Terrier.  Quite a different dog than a border collie
Dogsarepeopletoo

Registered:
Posts: 106
 #28 
Our neighbors have two Jack Russels. Those two dogs are night and day -- the male is calm and quiet; the female is a feisty, barking, dynamo.

Out of curiousity, how is Moose dealing with the loss? I was surprised how our cat was after our dog was gone; it was almost like he was grieving, too -- looking around the house, meowing endlessly, very different. The same cat barely blinked when we lost our other cat in November.

I hope all have a good weekend.
Susanh

Registered:
Posts: 13
 #29 
I think Moose is bored without a buddy. He seems more sbdued than he used to be. I had Ally for 6 years, Moose only two years. They were buddies and would play together but Ally was dominant. So I think he misses having a playmate but is also enjoying being the "only child"
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