SteveM
On Monday I had to say goodbye to my big pups Chaos. 

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He had a weekend a couple of weeks ago where he wasn't his normal self, but had bounced back on the Monday and was out in the yard running around, barking and chasing whatever he heard in the bushes.  I had thought it was a just a quick virus and didn't give it another thought as the week progressed and he was his usual self.  Sunday I woke and came down the stairs and he seemed off, his tail was wagging but he didn't get up and run to the door, and as the day went on I knew there was something wrong.  He was seen by my wonderful vet first thing on Monday morning and a couple of hours later I got the devastating news that he had a huge mass on his liver that was bleeding out, leaving him without enough oxygen, and was likely in considerable pain.  After discussing the options, I asked the vet to give him pain meds and scheduled his sleep time later that afternoon to give my older daughter enough time to come and see him as she doesn't live at home anymore.

My wife and older daughter came with me to the vet but could only stay a few minutes - even with the pain meds I could see it in his eyes.  So they left, I lay down with my pup and he went to sleep for the last time.  Being with him at the end I knew I had made the right decision, he was licking my face as if to tell me it was ok, but part of me died right there with him.  I was so glad I decided to stay with him to the end, knowing that during his last breath he wasn't feeling any pain and he knew he wasn't alone.  I wish now I had slept downstairs the night before, but I think most of me was hoping the visit to the vet would result in a prescription and a return to normalcy.

Chaos came into our life during the Hurricanes in Florida in 2004.  We fostered him and two of his brothers during Hurricane Frances as the shelter had experienced considerable damage during Hurricane Charlie a few weeks before, and hadn't had time to repair their facilities to hold their dogs through another hurricane.  We fell in love with his ears and he was destined to stay.  He was always a nervous dog that disliked men other than myself and my son, had a crazy fear of storms (his litter was rescued from woods in the middle of a Florida thunderstorm), but he was a dog that showed endless love with his licks, wags of his tail and constant need of attention.  Sadly he associated the camera with the flash (lightening) so shied away from pictures so I have very few.  I work from home, and Chaos has been my constant companion for the last ten years.  Life has just changed, and not for the better.

I have suffered from anxiety and depression most of my adult life, and for the first time ever that is helping me.  I already know how to deal with panic attacks, and have played this scenario out in my head a million times before, so when I break down every ten minutes in tears I know why and know I will make it through until the tears dry, and I already know how mornings where you don't want to get out of bed feel.  There are so many things that I dread in the upcoming days and weeks - the first visit of the pool guy where Chaos would bark endlessly until he was gone, the first pizza night where my son's favorite part of pizza was giving Chaos the last piece of crust that he had been sitting waiting for patiently, the next thunderstorm.  Pretty much everywhere I look around my home I see him and for a few seconds it makes me smile, and then I lose it.  I haven't been able to sit down in my favorite chair yet, I  lose my breath even just thinking about it.  But that's ok, that just reminds me how much I loved him.

Not sure why I am posting here, other than I needed to find a place to say it with people who understand.  My wife is dealing with it a lot differently than I, which I understand but it makes it difficult to talk about, and I am struggling to talk to my kids.  My younger daughter who is 6 really doesn't understand what it means yet and has a lot of questions, and my son who is 9 is devastated.  All I can tell them is whichever way they want to deal with it is fine, it's ok to cry, it's ok not too; everyone handles it differently and there isn't a wrong way.  My daughter asked me last night if I could kill her so she could go and play with Chaos.  Even in my anxious mind I hadn't been prepared for that discussion.

As odd as this may sound coming from a big 280lb guy, the thing I think I will miss most is how safe he made me feel.

Thanks for listening :)
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Apollo_the_great
I am truly sorry for your loss. Reading your post made me cry. We had to put our big beautiful boy down on 1-11, it is so difficult to accept.  If you ever need to talk, I'll talk to you.  It does make it easier.  But the sadness is just beginning sad to say.  Its OK for 280 pound men to cry, you are crying for your baby.  Let it out, that is the only way.
William
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indcolts18288
You're posting here because something led you here and the people here are so wonderful. I lost my baby a week ago today, I was also with her as the vet helped her to sleep for the last time. She was also very calm and in that time I know she knew and it was ok. I know the pain you're enduring, it's the worst pain imaginable. A week has felt like a month for me. I have days where I just want to stay in bed and cry and days where I feel like she's guiding me telling me to get up and smile. I'm so sorry for your loss and remember that you're not alone. This place is full of great people who's pets were their entire lives. I hope you eventually find peace and comfort in the days to come. Your baby is in a good place, the same place we go. You will see Chaos again. But for now Chaos is pain free and happy as ever. So sorry my friend and thanks for sharing your story.
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loft2111
You've come to the right place, we all understand what you are going through and been there or going through a recent loss.  Like you when I lost my Little Man in October I dreaded all of the firsts.  I cried when we first ordered pizza, he too loved the crust.  The first day I made eggs and didn't have him to make for, the first day I bought a chicken from the store and he wasn't there to feed.  I work from home and for the past five years he was by me every minute of the day.  He knew when lunch time meant a long walk and when it was his treat time during the day.  The loss was and still is devestating.  All I can say to you is that with time you will learn to live with the grief, it will lessen in its intensity but for me it is always there.  I still cry over my Little Man and miss him so very much, but he was so sick and in so much pain that I find comfort knowing he is happy and healthy again.  Give yourself time and don't hold your grief inside, it helps to talk about it.
Take care
Little Man's mom
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SteveM
Thanks folks :)  I am sorry you all had to go through this too.  Spent a while going through some stories on here and its just amazing the love and joy these furballs gave to us.  Going to have to take it a day at a time, but I do appreciate you lending me your ear of support.

Steve
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Dalidog
I'm so sorry for your loss.  The love you have for your Chaos comes through so vividly in your post.  You are here because it is good to be with those of us who understand. This forum literally saved my life.  It is so hard when that unconditional love is not there with you.  The loss is more devastating than losing a human many times.  They love us no matter what, they keep us company, they KNOW us.  Your post made me cry, it was so touching.  Please take care of yourself and grieve how you see fit.  We all grieve differently, there is no "right" amount of time or things to do.  Life is different and will never be the same.  I am thankful for the time I had with my angel and know that we will be together again one day.  Your Chaos will be waiting for you too....  Hugs to you and Chaos from me and my Dali

Dali, as much a daughter as any human...  pure love
Until we meet again

http://rainbowsbridge.com/residents/DALI003/Resident.htm

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SteveM
Thanks for your kind words Dorothy.  Today is another day, and I am doing ok in 10 minute increments.  Crazy how it's the small things that set me off so much - so used to looking back when I roll my chair away from my desk in case his tail is laying there, probably done it dozens of times a day for years and never realized it, but today its a big deal.  I struggle with the whole together again thing, I have never been a believer in an after life or such.  I would be perfectly happy to be wrong.
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Apollo_the_great
It seems that we never really know how much we love something, really love it, until it is gone. I knew that I loved Apollo, I just didn't know that it was this deep.
William
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