Thatchersmommy, I'm so sorry for your loss.
You did the right thing. And you did it out of love, for fear that Thatcher would suffer more, for fear that your other dogs would have a traumatic experience. YOU are the one who is suffering now, not Thatcher. Thatcher has no more pain and he would likely have had far more pain if you hadn't let him pass over when you did.
My Boogie was also excited to go to the vet on her last trip where neither she nor I knew that she wouldn't come back. It was wonderful that you got the time outside in the grass...clueless as I was, I didn't even stop to sit down with my Boogie and it was during an uncomplicated surgery they discovered a huge cancer in her throat and I had to consent to having her put to sleep over the phone. They had even, minutes earlier, called me to ask if I could take her home after the surgery because she wouldn't be allowed to bark (the surgery was for a paralyzed trachea) and there was a lot of barking in the overnight room, so it would better if she could be at home. I was of course ecstatic, I wanted her to never be away from me. And then 15 minutes later my life fell apart.
My other doggie, three years younger than Boogie, had only known life with Boogie at her side for ten years. She was affected by it for many, many months. I don't know where the "attention span of 14 days" comes from. That was not my experience.
The urn. I can only tell you that when they called me to tell me that it arrived (three anxious weeks later), I hauled ass to get to the vet as soon as possible. I brought my younger dog for support and a big pair of sunglasses. I walked up to the counter and didn't need take a number and sit and wait....I would have screamed at the top of my lungs if they'd made me wait there so I guess I had that look about me. I HAD TO get Boogie, or what was left of Boogie's EARTHLY REMAINS (and I'm capping those words, because I fully expect to be together with her again when I myself pass over) home, home, home, they needed to be with me and not anywhere else. She belongs at home. And for the first three or more months I slept with her urn cradled in my arms and kept the urn under my comforter during the daytime. Now I have her urn (it's a big urn, I think it's intended for humans, but it's white and feels organic, made of plaster or something like that) on the nightstand next to my bed.
When I die, I'm going to have my two dogs' ashes cremated with me. And buried together with me. That decision is one I made many years ago.
I, too, am single and my dogs are my children. I couldn't have asked for better children. It's heart-breaking that they don't live as long as "regular" children, but the love they gave me in the too-short years we got to spend together is more than most parents get from their children during a lifetime. I'm grateful and humbled that I got to experience a love so deep and true.
I started a diary a few days after Boogie died. The first several entries are just a few words, I was so stunned, simply out of my mind with grief. But then I started writing to her using the many different names I had for her, Boogiebaby, Bestboogieintheworld, etc, and telling her about my day and how I was feeling. I write in the diary every day and it is a tremendous comfort to me. It's where I sit down and quietly just think about her and what I feel. I connect with her through my loving and searching words.
It is probably too early for you, but keep yourself open to receiving signs. Too early because the pain is so great for the first long time that you aren't able to be open to receiving. It was for me. But then, one evening while walking for miles and miles with my other doggie, sad, distraught, feeling awful, I suddenly and definitely unexpectedly felt a warm and happy calm come over me. That was my first sign.
Thatchersmommy, my heart goes out to you. This is one of the toughest moments you will experience in your lfe. All of us here understand, because all of us here are going through it. It is hell on earth. But the love we had and still have with our pet is worth going through ten hells on earth before we are together again with our beloved pets.