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Posts: 3
The above picture is me holding Jagger for the very first time!  The breeder was far away from us, and flew Jagger across the country to be with us.  I thought he was going to be terrified after the flight, but he was totally chill and relaxed, immediately giving us kisses, and finding his way deep into our hearts!

This past Tuesday, 11/13/18, at approximately 11am, my wife and three children and I, tragically lost our dog Jagger.

Jagger was a Bichon Poodle and was only 5 years and 8 months old. He died while under general anesthesia for an eye procedure. He wasn’t supposed to die. The call that came in from the doctor was supposed to be the update that he was now awake, how everything went, and when I could come get him and bring him home. Instead, I was told that he went into cardiac arrest, CPR was unsuccessful, and he didn’t make it. I became hysterical almost instantly.

He suffered from excessive tearing, in addition to not having functioning tear ducts. Rather than most of his tears naturally flowing into his tear sacs and through the inside of his nose, they dripped on to his face and would collect on his lower eye lids and just below. With his excessive tearing, his eye lids and skin under the lids were constantly wet, which caused bacteria to form, which would lead to infections, sores, and raw skin that would turn bloody. We worked with a specialist, a Veterinary Opthamologist for most of his life. We tried every medication, as well as drying his eyes constantly and multiple warm compresses each day trying to remove the black sticky goo that would form in the corners of his eyes. If we tried to pick it off, it would just rip open his skin and bleed. It was an uphill battle that never stopped. It seemed to get worse and worse as time went on.

The Opthamologist said we were out of options, other than having a surgical procedure called a Dacryocystorhinostomy. During this procedure, a hole is created between the tear sac and the inside of the nose on each side. The only real risk (other than a less than 1% risk from being under general anesthesia) was that it could possibly not work, but she felt it was worth a try to hopefully correct this problem and make Jagger more comfortable and happy. If he was uncomfortable or in pain you would never know it. Jagger was the happiest dog I have ever known! His tail never stopped wagging and he loved everyone he ever saw or met!

His sudden death at such a young age, has my entire family in deep mourning. However, I am beyond devastated. In addition to him being taken from us, I feel an overwhelming amount of guilt in that I could have prevented his death. I could have done a better job with his warm compresses and trying to keep his eyes as dry as possible. There were times I rushed. There were times I skipped it because I was tired or feeling lazy. I was pretty consistent but not as good as I could have been. Maybe if I had been, I could have kept his eyes okay enough, to where the doctor would not have said that she felt it was time to try the surgery. She didn’t take the surgery lightly. She wanted it to be a last resort. This was not a life or death surgery. That’s what kills me. He was a happy and healthy dog. I just wanted him to not have to deal with this anymore. As much as I didn’t want to deal with it, he dealt with it too. I would have dealt with it forever as opposed to losing him. I’m sure he would rather be here also.

Maybe she messed up. Maybe she wasn’t experienced enough and it took her longer than it should have. She hadn’t performed this surgery in a while she had mentioned a while back. She actually brought in a second surgeon to assist. He went into cardiac arrest as they were suturing him at about 2.5 hours under anesthesia. If she was just a little quicker, would he be alive? 2 minutes went by before they realized his heart stopped. Is that too long? If they caught it immediately would CPR have brought my little man back to us? Did they kill my dog? Did I kill my dog by not looking for a second opinion? Or for not seeking out a more experienced surgeon in regard to this specific procedure? Or for even having the surgery done at all?

Did the surgeon and her team do everything right and it was a freak thing? Would it have happened eventually no matter what? I don’t have answers and never will and that haunts me. Could I have prevented this? Could anyone have?

I drove him to his death that morning and didn’t even get to say goodbye. He literally jumped into the arms of the technician that took him from me and handed me his leash. He had previously been jumping up and down and a woman who worked there, joked saying “are you so excited for your surgery?!” I was told he was wagging his tail up until the second he was asleep. He was trusting and helpless and died a tragic death way too many years too soon. He had well more than half his life left. The night before I joked around when I fed him dinner. I said, “come on buddy, come eat your last meal.” It was a joke about him having to fast until after the surgery. And it was in fact his last meal.

The morning it happened, my wife and oldest daughter said a good luck goodbye to Jagger, while my son didn’t get to because Jagger was outside and he was late for school. My youngest daughter and I took him. The drop off happened so quick. When we were doing paperwork, they told me they had to ask me if I agreed to CPR in case of an emergency. I said of course. They assured me not to be freaked out as they just have to ask but there is nothing to worry about. Well it made me uneasy. It made my daughter uneasy. I cannot believe it actually happened.

Later that afternoon, my wife and I went to go see him for one last time. We owed him that. Although I wish that wasn’t the last image I had of him. They had his eyes open. He was shaved all over his face and swollen and bloody and my little boy didn’t even resemble the cutie pie I dropped off hours earlier.

I’m sick to my stomach picturing him being cremated. I’m waiting for his ashes still. I want them and I don’t want them. Is there an afterlife? Does he know what’s happening? Is he scared? Is he lonely? Is he at peace? Does he know much we love him and miss him? Or does he know nothing and he is just gone? Did he know how much he was loved?

I am sick to my stomach. I can’t stop seeing him in my mind. I can’t move or touch any of his things. I see him everywhere. I talk out loud to him. I look at all his pictures and videos on my phone and I just cannot even deal. I love him so much. I miss him more than words can ever describe. I hurt so bad.

I’m so sorry Jagger. Please forgive me. I will love you forever. I will miss you forever. I will never stop thinking of you. You will always be my little man.

Posts: 9
I don’t know what to say except I am so sorry for your loss of your Jagger. My dog passed 5 weeks ago from pneumonia which was a surgical complication. I do question the vets and my decision to have decided to have a few procedures done at once. I question my decision to have his stomach obstruction and tumors as well as his rhinoscopy done at once, if he had two surgeries instead of one would have not gotten the aspiration pneumonia complication, if I had gone with another vet (the place I took him was suppose to be good), or had I questioned the treatments etc, asked more questions, done more research... all the what ifs, should haves. All the questions you have sound like ones we all are having; they are so normal. But, you cannot beat yourself up, that won’t change your loss and bring your Jagger back. You have your dog a loving home; you loved and cared for him. He loved you and would want you happy. Think about the good times. I know it’s hard, but you need to take care of yourself and your family who are grieving too. It will get easier. You guys are in my thoughts that you may find peace soon. Again I am so sorry.

Posts: 394
I am so dreadfully sorry about your tragic loss of your beloved Jagger. Please accept my deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences.
I am a Born Again Christian and I believe that the Bible is the Word of God. The Bible teaches that ALL animals, unlike all people, go to Heaven. The very instant that your beloved Jagger left this world he found himself in the loving arms of Jesus. He is young and perfectly healthy again and is running and playing and leaping for joy in the gorgeous green fields of Heaven. I am not making up something just to try to make you feel better--it is a fact. Here is a link to a post I wrote. It is a true story and well worth reading. It also has links in it so that you can see for yourself what the Bible teaches about animals and Heaven and it also has some wonderful links for comfort. If the link doesn't take you directly to my opening post just scroll up the page to the top. Click here: GOD CARES DEEPLY ABOUT THE LOSS OF YOUR PET - Pet Loss Grief Support Message Board
And if you are not sure if the Bible is the Word of God or not here is a really wonderful link so that you can know for sure without any question that it absolutely positively is and thus that your beloved Jagger really is in Heaven
I know how horrible the pain of separation from our beloved fur babies is (even though it is just temporary in the grand scheme of things) and I hope that your being able to know where your beloved Jagger is will bring you at least a little bit of comfort.
Once again I am so deeply sorry for your devastating loss.and will keep you and your family in my prayers.

Posts: 3
Thank you so much for your kind words and support. That means a lot! I am very sorry for your loss as well.

Posts: 3
Thank you so very much for all that you said. It means a lot to me! I sure hope you are right about my Jagger. He loved being outside and just laying in the sun taking it all in.

Posts: 123
Hello SVP,   Know in your HEART, Jagger knew he was Loved and that he had his Forever home.
                    The Love we feel for Our Beloveds, deeply embedded in ''Our Hearts''
                    In Life, all we have are Memories-- TO cherished Times.
                    Peace be with You,
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