Aiko
I lost my beloved Aiko 5 years ago. She was 13 years old. All of the sudden I have horrible guilt about her last days. I got sick and I feel I did not give her the quality time I should have. I had to go to a lot of appts in the evening after work for my illness. One day she started throwing up and that was very unusual for her, she never got sick. I took her to the vet that same day and they gave her fluids and nausea medicine and we thought she had some kind of flu. She seemed to get better the next day but then she threw up again so she was rushed back to the vet who recommended an MRI. They found she had a big mass in her intestines, cancer. I did not want her to suffer and had her put down there when we learned about the mass. The vet said they could try and remove it but given her age her intestines were very fragile and she may not make it through the surgerry and if she did it would be long term healing and it may only give her a short time of survival. I was so busy before she became ill and i did not take her for walks at the park etc and I was not home a lot. I feel so guilty for not spending the quality time at the end. I ruminate if I knew she was going to go so soon I would have spent more time giving her the attention she deserved. I was with her constantly when she became ill and spent all evenings with her the two days she was sick and slept on the floor with her as she would not want to be on the bed. But it wasnt enough in my mind. Why didnt I realize the precious time and why did I put other things ahead of her? I feel I neglected her and she was home alone a lot during this time. I dont know why the guilt is so insurmountable now being 5 years later like it just happened today. I cant get relief and ruminate about it every minute that I am awake. I dont know what to do. I hurt so much for her wondering if she thought I neglected her and why I changed my life so she was left home alone so much. Then she was gone. I wish I could get this time back. And there is nothing I can do about the past. That doesnt help the guilt I continue to feel. I know it was a short time that I got too busy and for the most of her life she and I were inseperable. But thos final months haunt me.
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MAlcindor
Lisa I am so sorry that after 5 years you are still struggling with guilt. There's nothing anyone can tell you to make the guilt you feel go away, but please know that your Aiko knows how much you loved her and still do. I'm sure everyone on this forum has the same thoughts as you, if only we had known we had such little time left with them we would have done things so differently. I torture myself all the time with the same thought. If only I had known, but I didn't, and that's what hurts. But one thing for sure is that our babies feel the love we have for them and that's the one thing I think you can be sure about, your Aiko knows you loved her with all your heart. 
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CKMP
Aiko's Mom,

 So so sorry - first and above all else for your loss of your sweet girl Aiko...and for the guilt you carry.  Ah, guilt...it is the most tortuous companion of grief, sorrow and mourning.  It is the first to come and seemingly for many of us the last to leave, if ever.   We are burdened with the could haves, should haves and the what we dids and what we did nots...It is a self-punishment over and over, clearly seen by those on the outside as to be unwarranted but to ourselves a punishment perhaps springing from the belief that we are responsible for everything that happens to our special fur ones...And, in reality we are...as they dependent upon us for so so much - unfortunately too often when they become ill there is very little we are able to do beyond just love them.   You did your best for your girl Aiko at the time, in that moment - and there is no possible way she harbours a sense of neglect nor would feel she was not loved by her Mom.  She knows she is loved and always was.  Time is really not our 'friend' through this loss and journey through grief...and guilt rears its head in tenfold strength as time ticks by.  Why does it?  Perhaps because we too become older, see things a bit more clearly as we can not when living those moments.  Maybe because it is fed by the love and is inherently irrational...guilt and blame shadow us because we feel if we could have been more attuned, more attentive, we could have saved; when rationally we understand 'bad things' happen to our fur ones that are out of our control.  The 'if I had only known' become the 'I should have known'...Guilt becomes tied to regret - and perhaps that is what the guilt is for - for us to learn something from our fur ones always - they always were teaching something, weren't they?   Lisa, I do understand this 'haunting' - this 'demon' that rises up - Maybe it is tied to our desire, at times our desperation to have 'concrete' proof of our fur ones closeness to us even now...And, when we discount those 'little signs' as coincidence it is because of guilt leading us to feel we have lost our special fur one forever rather because of what we did/did not do, rather than listen to our hearts and souls.  Guilt, regret, remorse all get jumbled together with that indefinable love and bond created between ourselves and our fur one...It seems that too often the only tangible 'thing' we have left of those days together is indeed our guilt, our self recriminations whereas those spirits, and their signs are so fleeting, and again too easily do we persuade ourselves that these are not possible. Maybe within our guilt are those lessons - life learning and perhaps this is part of our fur one's purpose [for I believe every fur one does come into our lives with purpose] - to teach us more about ourselves, good, bad and indifferent - to teach us how to be, what to be...
If we could have wishes...if we could turn back time...ifs...will drive us to feed that guilt.  Our fur ones do not experience guilt, regret or remorse - they live within the moment and for each moment of Aiko's time with you she felt your love, your care and accepted you for being you - and never expected anything else.  She celebrates her Mom and is still with you each step of each day...Her love is forever and her bond with you has never been severed nor broken.  
Lisa, this is a terribly difficult road that is paved with the 'false' promise that 'time heals'  - you lost a special friend and companion - Aiko made a difference to your life and her touch continues to do so -even five years later.  You love her, plain and simple - and you miss her, plain and simple...But there is nothing plain and simple about the grief and sorrow that the loss brings...it like your love for her and hers for you, is timeless...
Aiko's Mom Lisa, talk to people here on the forum, talk to Aiko...and talk about Ailko - do not go this alone.  There are indeed 'ruff' days - days filled with calm, peace and the assurance your special girl is with you and then those other days...Wishing for you those days of calm and peace within your heart as you feel the touch of those Aiko angel paws upon you.
[Apologies for the rambling...]
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Aiko
Thank you so much for your kind words and support. It means more than words can say
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