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PudPud

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Reply with quote  #1 
Three weeks ago my family and I let our Baby Boy Puddy go.  I say we let him go because we took him for a final trip to our local vet.  I wish I knew that was what he wanted.  He was 12.5 years old.

In the beginning of September this year he started doing an unproductive cough.  He has always hacked periodically so we did not think it was a big deal.  We were under a month away from returning to home to the U.S. from living in Asia for almost two years, so we thought we would take him to our vet as soon as we got home.  That cough continued so I took him to our vet in Japan.  They examined him and determined his trachea was getting weak due to age so they said to change from collar to harness, and gave him antibiotics and cough medicine also.  That cough got a little better.  But since we were going to be on a long flight soon and he was still coughing, we got him a second dose of those medicines.

We took him and our other dog to the vet at home within a month and Puddy got an x-ray to see what could be causing the cough.  That's when a golf ball sized tumor was found in his lung.  Since it could have been an [fungal] infection, he got more antibiotics and cough medicine.  And Chinese herbal medicine, which he hated and we abandoned within a week.  Since x-rays can only show so much, the vet recommended a CT scan.

We took him to another facility for the CT scan.  We were told and shown the mass was hollow and had a thick wall.  Since cancer is usually not hollow, we were hopeful and leaned towards having that mass removed as long as nothing had spread.  A couple of days later we received the radiologist report that the mass was likely cancer and that it had spread.  We moved away from removal surgery because recovery is very painful and long and would not rid what had spread.

Next we took him to an oncologist who did an x-ray and determined the mass had not grown, this was about a month after the first x-ray.  She recommended antibiotics to rule out it's not an infection and check back in several weeks.  Understandably he did not like going to that office, or any vet office, but he was pretty energetic and himself.  

I took him to the vet at least once a week over the next several weeks, because he was starting to not eat much unless I forced him.  He wouldn't touch his usual meal or chewie that he usually gobbled down.  He would eat ground beef I cooked for him, and some treats, but after a while I had to force him to eat the ground beef and he rejected treats he usually loved.  He also rejected cheese, and he loved cheese more than anything else.  He still had that unproductive cough, his breathing was noticeably difficult, and he couldn't walk more than 3/4 of a mile without slowing down a lot.  He got an appetite stimulant but never returned to his usual eating habit.

We went back to the oncologist and decided to start him on chemo in mid-December.  We had hoped it would help shrink his tumor and make his breathing easier.  No one thought it was crucial to start chemo sooner, and he got more antibiotics.  In hindsight I wish I had started him on chemo that day.  A round can be eight weeks or longer, and there was a possibility we would be out of town for a couple of days, so we thought later was ok.  This was less than two weeks before Thanksgiving.

The week before Thanksgiving, he had two episodes.  One was Tuesday evening, he was leaning strangely against a shelf and seemed like he couldn't balance.  He had something similar 13 months ago so we rushed him to the vet.  We were there nearly two hours while they did tests and when we got him back he was obviously displeased at being at the vet again but was bouncing around and they couldn't tell us exactly what happened.  He and his dad ran around the parking lot before we went home.  The vet told us he can have these episodes and recover without us knowing.  I was scared to leave him upon hearing that and tried to be home as much as possible.

Four days later, around the same time, the same thing happened.  We did not take him to the vet thinking he would recover like last time, but he only got worse.  In addition to not having full balance, he was turning left in circles, he bumped into things like his vision was affected, his breathing was rapid and hard.  I carried him in and out of the house to do his business.  

We took him to the vet two days later.  I wanted to see if they can tell what happened and to get pain medication for him.  We didn't know if it was a stroke and/or something else.  The vet, along with another vet, said he was very uncomfortable since he can't breath well and would likely not recover.  I read it could take stroke victims up to five days to show any improvement sign, and I wanted to give him more time.  I was also afraid if two more days pass it would only mean more suffering for him.  My husband thought it was time.  I convinced him to bring Puddy home for the night so our other dog can say goodbye.  The next morning I tried half heartedly to wait longer but Puddy looked even worse and we went.  We stayed with him until the very end.  It was one of the worst experiences in my life.

I know he is gone but I still expect to see him and hear him around the house.  Our other dog seems sad, but is mostly herself.  We are keeping a close eye on her.  I took her for an x-ray a couple of weeks ago and thankfully it was all clear.

I did not do much research online after finding out he had a tumor because there is so much misinformation.  Now I have read more about lung cancer and I am both confused and angry.  Puddy obviously had the more common lung cancer, it usually moves fast, and dogs as young as eight can have that.  And lung problems are usually not found until late because symptoms don't appear till later.  Why didn't anyone advise us to get him x-rays much sooner?  Like years earlier.  I know getting too many x-rays isn't good and they are expensive and this is hindsight, but all that was known.  Maybe we could have found the tumor much earlier instead of getting all those antibiotics.

My husband believes the stress of cancer affected his neurological system, which caused those episodes.  Otherwise we would have tried chemo.  We were hoping he would recover again, we were not going to put him on chemo while he was already doing poorly.  We didn't want him throwing up in addition to bumping into things.

We have heard lots of things that I think most people hear...he was an old dog...it was his time...he's not suffering anymore...these things happen...he had a good life...he was a good dog...at least you have your other dog...

I know they mean well and sometimes people don't know what to say.  The difference is, this is personal.  I hope he feels he had a good life.  I don't care if he wasn't a good dog, he was our baby.  And of course we are thankful we have our other dog.  I do find reading this forum tremendously helpful.  

I have heard many times letting him go was the compassionate thing to do, and I don't disagree.  I wonder why it's not that way with people though?  In most cases everything is done to keep people alive.  I know this isn't the place for that topic, but I think about it.

Instead of giving him massages and seeing him and hearing him I now talk to him and write to him.  I wear his pictures in a locket.  His ashes were returned and he is resting in an engraved urn in the house, I am so glad he is at home.  I framed one of my favorite pictures.  I cut some of his hair the night before and put it in a bag.  I take that when I take our dog on walks, because Puddy hates being left out.  Meal time, walk time, and bedtime are the worst because he was always there.  

I don't make certain meals that he loved, I can't eat certain things, I don't watch certain movies.  I stay at home and have been with him almost all the time for years, his absence is everywhere.  I like looking at pictures and videos of him happy and running around and even snoozing.  I know grieving is a process, I am just so sad right now.  I try not to think about what we should have done differently.


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MAlcindor

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Reply with quote  #2 
I am so sorry for your loss. Many people are not familiar with the pain we experience when we lose our furry companions/babies. I remember when my Max died many people told me he was in a better place and no longer suffering. I told them I didn't care about any of that, I wanted him back. People just don't know what to say. Grief is very personal and no one knows how it will affect them and all we ask is for others to understand or respect the pain we feel. It sounds like you did everything possible for your boy Puddy. Unfortunately sometimes there is just so much you can do and nothing can keep them here with us. It is very sad that their lives are so much shorter than ours. Like you, there were certain things I couldn't bring myself to do, eat or cook after my babies died. It just hurt too much. And their absence is felt in every aspect of our lives. My heart goes out to you. 
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PudPud

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Reply with quote  #3 
Thank you so much for your kind words.  It's very helpful to know I am not the only one who feels this way
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Sampson

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Reply with quote  #4 
My deepest condolences on the loss of your beloved Puddie. He was a handsome boy. It’s so hard when our pets are ill. We get so many differing opinions and in a state of stress, sadness and exhaustion it’s hard to always know the right thing to do. The main theme running through your whole story is that Puddie was very beloved. We can second guess ourselves to eternity but in the end we sometimes just need to accept that we did the best we could and most importantly our friends felt real love. Wishing you peace,
Sam
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JuniorsMom

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Reply with quote  #5 
I am so sorry for your loss, what a beautiful boy! I as you say had to let my missy go 2 weeks ago and am still feeling very much as you do. You are not alone. She would have been 11 in jan. We found a rapid growing tumor we thought was a mammary cyst that was removable but we were wrong. 3 weeks approx after her dx she had an episode similar to what your boy went through and I had to make that same decision to spare her anymore pain. I miss her beyond words and struggle with the emptiness. People say things to me such as it's been 2 weeks you need to get over it or just get a new dog. It's a very emotional time and I think sometimes people just dont get it. Everyone here has been more than kind and have helped by listening, I hope you are able to find some peace of mind by coming on here as well. ((Hugs))
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PudPud

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sampson
My deepest condolences on the loss of your beloved Puddie. He was a handsome boy. It’s so hard when our pets are ill. We get so many differing opinions and in a state of stress, sadness and exhaustion it’s hard to always know the right thing to do. The main theme running through your whole story is that Puddie was very beloved. We can second guess ourselves to eternity but in the end we sometimes just need to accept that we did the best we could and most importantly our friends felt real love. Wishing you peace,
Sam


Thank you.  I am probably still somewhat in shock and unfortunately tend to second guess.  I am working on accepting what happened and being thankful for all the love and good times.
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PudPud

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JuniorsMom
I am so sorry for your loss, what a beautiful boy! I as you say had to let my missy go 2 weeks ago and am still feeling very much as you do. You are not alone. She would have been 11 in jan. We found a rapid growing tumor we thought was a mammary cyst that was removable but we were wrong. 3 weeks approx after her dx she had an episode similar to what your boy went through and I had to make that same decision to spare her anymore pain. I miss her beyond words and struggle with the emptiness. People say things to me such as it's been 2 weeks you need to get over it or just get a new dog. It's a very emotional time and I think sometimes people just dont get it. Everyone here has been more than kind and have helped by listening, I hope you are able to find some peace of mind by coming on here as well. ((Hugs))


Thank you for your response.  I am sorry to hear about Missy.  It is a terrible experience to see your baby suffer.  You are right it is an very emotional time and I think some people understand more than others.  I listen to everyone and appreciate their comments.  I think we will always miss our babies, but it will hurt less as time goes by.  I am very touched by the kindness of people on this forum and how much love people have for their pets.
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Lrogers424

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Reply with quote  #8 
I am so sorry for your loss.  It is so difficult to lose such a loving and faithful friend and your loss is compounded by the extreme stress of the vetting in his final weeks and days and having to make the unthinkable decision to end his suffering.  Some people will never understand the pain of such a loss and the stress and devastation it causes.  You are in like company here.  We lost our sweet Daisy 5 months ago to cancer.  We also had to make that unbearable final vet visit and help her to go peacefully.  I relive that day over and over again and am still overwhelmed by her loss.  Everyone grieves in their own time and at their own pace.  Don't let anyone push or rush you through the process.  It is different for everyone and here you will find care and respect for the decision you made and the pain you are in.  I had to somehow break and step out of my cycle of grief as I felt it was consuming me. We did decide to adopt again and now have a new little one to care for.   I'll never get over Daisy's untimely loss, but having little Luna softens my broken heart and has helped me grieve and move through the pain.  

Take of yourself and take your time to process, grieve and, maybe eventually, celebrate that you had this wonderful little soul in your life.  They are a gift that we are only granted such a short time with.

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PudPud

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lrogers424
I am so sorry for your loss.  It is so difficult to lose such a loving and faithful friend and your loss is compounded by the extreme stress of the vetting in his final weeks and days and having to make the unthinkable decision to end his suffering.  Some people will never understand the pain of such a loss and the stress and devastation it causes.  You are in like company here.  We lost our sweet Daisy 5 months ago to cancer.  We also had to make that unbearable final vet visit and help her to go peacefully.  I relive that day over and over again and am still overwhelmed by her loss.  Everyone grieves in their own time and at their own pace.  Don't let anyone push or rush you through the process.  It is different for everyone and here you will find care and respect for the decision you made and the pain you are in.  I had to somehow break and step out of my cycle of grief as I felt it was consuming me. We did decide to adopt again and now have a new little one to care for.   I'll never get over Daisy's untimely loss, but having little Luna softens my broken heart and has helped me grieve and move through the pain.  

Take of yourself and take your time to process, grieve and, maybe eventually, celebrate that you had this wonderful little soul in your life.  They are a gift that we are only granted such a short time with.


Thank you for your kind words.  I am so sorry to hear about Daisy.  Like you I am still overwhelmed.  I still cry every day and can't seem to let him go.  I am trying to organize the thousands of pictures I have of him, and cannot get through them without breaking down.  I do like seeing the many happy memories though.  

I am glad Luna has come into your life.  Our dog is getting extra spoiled, but we know she is sad too.  I hope in time we will have a second dog again.
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PudPud

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Reply with quote  #10 
Good Morning P Dudds, I saw someone else on this forum writes to their dog and I thought that was a great idea.  Your dad, your sister, and I miss you so much.  You know I am always told not to second guess, but I cannot help wondering if you would still be here if we had caught your tumor earlier.  Maybe it would not have made a difference, but I really wish we had done some things differently.  We did everything we could after we found out.  Before that we did everything we were supposed to- annual vet visits, monthly heartworm medicine, flea and tick medicine, all the shots you are supposed to have, teeth cleaning, etc.  Not once did anyone recommend we get you an x ray once you got older.  Now when I read problems can start as early as eight, that lung problem symptoms don't show until late, that the common type of lung cancer is fast...all that makes me wonder why no one warned us about this.  I really would have liked to try chemo, or surgery if it was isolated.  I am just shocked you are gone and it happened so fast.  Your dad and I went to a support group yesterday, and we heard a similar story from someone else who lost their baby.  Early detection is so important.  Why isn't there discussion about this?  

Since we found out too late, your dad and I feel we owe you.  Please tell us how to make it up to you.  And please tell me if letting you go was the right thing to do, and that it was the right time.  Some day, somehow, please tell us.

Below is a picture of our walk yesterday.  It is just not the same without you.  I know no one can live forever, but we thought we would have you for at least another year.  Some people think it's better to go fast, to not drag it out.  I would have liked the opportunity to treat you.  We don't know why or how your neurological problems started, but the key was catching a problem early.  I will always regret not knowing more and acting sooner.

I love and miss you lots,
Your Mommy

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PudPud

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Posts: 114
Reply with quote  #11 
Good Morning Puds,

Your sister is going crazy at the Bay window at anyone and anything that goes by.  Do you remember the two bigger little white dogs?  They moved here while we were overseas.  They drive your sister crazy.  Lots of new dogs in our neighborhood while we were gone.

Today marks four weeks since we let you go.  I hope you are healthy and happy wherever you are.

No one seems to agree with your mom about early screening.  I suppose everyone is different.  

I cannot imagine not feeling broken hearted.  We had shrimp two nights ago, your favorite.  But I did not make the Mexican type because that was your absolute favorite and it hurts too much.  I miss you my little taste tester.

I love you,
Your Mommy


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PudPud

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Reply with quote  #12 
Hi P Duddy,

We had a long walk this morning.  We started at dusk.  The sky was very pretty.  You love our big yard and the big rock, known as "Puddy's Rock"

As usual we also went on a midday walk.  It's still painfully unusual that you are not on my left side, with your leash in my left hand.  

Your dad said last night there was more going on with you than we knew.  You seemed healthy and we were doing what we were supposed to do.  Dogs, including you, hide things well.  I so wish we can turn back time with this knowledge.  Nothing can bring you back but I feel like people who should have known better let you down.  And I want to take action.  I want to do something about that for you, in your honor.

Our life will never be the same without you.  We love you so much and we miss you so much.

Love,
Your Mommy

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PudPud

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Reply with quote  #13 
Hi P Dudds,

Today is one month since we let you go.  We miss you so much.  Your dad and I wish we knew what caused the neurological problems.  If those had not happened you would be here undergoing chemo.  I read on this forum other dogs had something very similar, and their families are in so much pain too.  I know some things you will never know completely, but I strongly believe more can be done.  I just don't know why no one seems focused on that.  I want to take action, even if it helps only one person a little tiny bit.

Please let us know you forgive us for not doing more early on and for letting you go when we did.  I would feel much better if you were 14 or 15.  It happened so fast and you were only 12.5.  Your dad and I thought we would have you two more years.

I still cry every day because you are not here.  And I miss having you come to me.  I don't even like your sister laying on the family room bed that you used to be on.  She misses you too, you were her buddy and partner in crime.  You guys didn't get along at first but you grew to love each other and have a bond.

I love you,
Your Mommy
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PudPud

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Reply with quote  #14 
Hi Puds,

We were talking about you last night.  We talk about you every day because we miss you so much.  Your sister is sad.  

I really miss having you in my life.  I miss seeing you, hearing you, feeding you, taking you on long walks, giving you foot massages, rubbing you behind your ears, having you come to me when you want something, watching you and your sister interact, there is a big hole in my heart from not having you here.  I have to believe that we will meet in heaven one day, and we will get to do all those things forever, and never be apart again.

I love you Baby Boy,
Your Mommy
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PudPud

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Reply with quote  #15 
Hi P Duddy,

Your family misses you so much.  We spend a lot of time in the family room and it hurts you are not there.  I miss hearing your paws walking in to see what we are doing and to tell us you want something.

Your dad said last night you have gone too soon.  I cannot agree more.  And that you will never know how much you mean to us.  You know we love you, but maybe you don't know how much we love you and how important you are in our lives.

Love,
Your Mommy

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