Yesterday I had to help a beautiful dog named Remy reach the Rainbow Bridge. She was the dog of the owners of the house we live in. It's a long story, so bear with me. We moved in a few months ago. The owners live right next door and Remy was, according to them, an outdoor dog. To this day I don't believe she willingly was, as they said.
They frequently go away to their home country and that is what they did a few weeks ago. I of course said I would take care of Remy. It was hard for me, because she had a massive tumour, the size of a tennis ball on the inside of her back leg. I knew this was wrong, i knew she needed medical attention, and i spoke to the owner about it. She said they had once gone to the vet who said it was just a fatty lump. I then politely said this was seriously not a fatty lump. A big red tennis ball sized growth, is NOT a fatty lump and it would be best to go to the vet. She said they would. They never did.
For weeks on end I watched Remy walk around with this awful tumor, and I could do nothing. It broke my heart. Then they went away on vacation. One night there was a bad storm with torrential rain. Remy was outside of the veranda looking at me. Of course....I let her onto the veranda (it is screened in) and she went straight under the staircase where I put pillows down for her and a blanket. She was in heaven! That for me is not a dog that willingly wants to be an outside dog. I asked on a dog forum people's opinion of what i should do. Most said to mind my own business and that it wasn't my "right" to let her inside, take her to a vet, or do anything. I was shocked.
In the back of my head I knew she was on a death sentence anyway, so what harm would it do to treat her as she should be treated....with love and affection. I did that....but knew the day would come. And that day came yesterday. I woke up and went out with my coffee. My partner had just come home from a night shift. He told me Remy was in bad shape. I felt like saying "no kidding sherlock" as i had said it time and time again but nobody would listen. I was told to keep quiet. I hate myself now for keeping quiet.
I went outside to see her and she was covered in blood. The tumor had burst, not entirely, but enough to cover her poor legs in blood and I knew this would be the end. I cannot tell any of you how disgusted I was with these people for letting it come to that. She had to have been living with this for months, if not longer, in order for it to be that big.
We rushed her to the hospital, where we were told that it couldn't be removed where we live, but somewhere about an hour away. That would require her leg to be amputated as well. The owners chose to put her to sleep, they are not here, still on vacation, so this was all done over the phone.
My heart broke and is still broken. Her daughter and son's came to the hospital...all of a sudden Remy mattered, they all saw the massive tumor but said nothing to the parents. They at least had the decency to see me as the carer and it was also me that asked the vet if we could please be in the room with her when she was put to sleep. It was me that sat with her, kissing her head, stroking her, and letting her know that it would all be ok. They however spent most of the time putting hand sanitizer on themselves!
Then came the dreaded moment, that we all dread....but I was there, I held her in my arms and she quietly went to the Rainbow Bridge, knowing she was loved, at least by me. I am torn because I believe I failed her. Even though I know I gave her a month of a beautiful life with my love and care, I still feel that I failed her. Deep down I know that I could never have fixed the tumour, it was too far gone. It wasn't my call either. I had to respect their choices, well....not respect, but accept. I was so influenced by callous and cold people on a dog forum, who told me to mind my own business and leave her alone. I still cannot believe their way of thinking. My partner didn't take it seriously either. So there I was thinking that perhaps i was mad. I wasn't.
One night it got quite cold (we live in a warm climate)....and i put down some foam for her and she went right onto that.....a true outdoor dog would not do that. I then put a blanket over her and she looked into my eyes as if to say "thank you, that's just what I needed".
I can't bear to move that "bed"....I cry so much that I can barely see anymore. Every sound outside makes me jump thinking it is her, but it isn't. I need to wash her bowls, they are in the sink but I can't bear to do it. The son's and daughter came over to the house with her and buried her in the back yard/garden. They sat outside with the kids and were more concerned about whether to get BK or McD's to eat. The guys digging the grave laughed and had "fun" laughing and joking whilst they did it. I wanted to throw them all out.
Amongst the sadness, i feel guilt, although I know i shouldn't. I'm not sure how to stop those feelings. She is buried in a place in the back yard/garden where I can see her from the living room, or when I am washing the dishes, or sitting on the deck. I have made a wooden plaque which I will finish tomorrow and I will put that at her place of rest. I'll get a small tree to plant there as well. I am hurting so badly because I know I should have done more for her, but at the same time what more could I have done. She was on death row when I first saw her. I'm sorry.....but my heart is once again broken.
Rest in Peace sweet Remy.....