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shmoobear

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Reply with quote  #1 
Yesterday was the worst day I've ever experienced. Our precious 11.5 yr old Siberian Husky, Dakota, suddenly got ill and we had to put him to sleep. Over the course of a day and a half, he started to get sick, threw up twice, was lethargic and very wobbly when he tried to walk. We took him to the Emergency Vet yesterday morning. They found that his stomach was full of blood and he was bleeding into his chest as well. Ultrasounds showed he had masses all over his body. Funny thing is he didn't seem THAT sick. They said he was very stoic and wasn't showing us how badly he was feeling. He had Splenic Cancer that had metastasized all over.

Our mission his entire life was to make him happy, comfortable and safe. He was the center of our universe and we wouldn't have had it any other day. The last four years he has had diabetes and has needed twice daily insulin shots. We gladly did it and our whole schedules revolved around it. We never missed one shot for any reason. The Vets said he was doing excellent with it because of our care. If we had let him suffer now, with this, because we couldn't let go, it would have gone against everything we wanted for him.

So we said our goodbyes....I was the only one who was up to staying in the room with him. I felt that he couldn't be alone, and that it was the last thing I could do for him. I told him how much I loved him and thanked him for everything. Then I gave him a big hug, he rested his head on my arm, and it was over. He went so peacefully. I stayed in that position for many more minutes, stroking his head and telling him that it would all be o.k. I never wanted to leave him.

I really don't know how I will get through this pain. I know time heals, but that just means that we will get used to him not being here, and that makes me upset all over again. I woke up sobbing in the middle of the night. I know that life will go on, but at this point I just don't want it to without Dakota. Everything seems so empty and over.

How will it ever get better, when it getting better just means that he's been gone for so long? 
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shadoe18

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Reply with quote  #2 

Thank you for your thoughts. Don't you just wish you could put your face in their fur and smell them one more time? I'm sorry for your loss and I feel your pain today and I am sure we will for a long while. Dakota sounds special try to feel glad you had so many good years with him.

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Susie_Squillions

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Reply with quote  #3 
Dear Shmoobear,

I'm so sorry to hear about your sudden, devastating loss.  How you hearts must ache now.  We all understand how empty your home feels now, and how helpless and stunned you are.  Please come back and let us do our best to help you through this terrible time.  I truly believe that our angel animals lead us to each other when we need help finding our paths to healing.

Dakota sounds like the ideal best friend.  There's an added dimension to the grief when we lose a special needs fur.  There are so many times a day that remind us of them:  pill times; feeding times; making the special food times; etc.

Our animals are hard wired to hide signs of illness in order to survive in the wild.  The weak ones become easy targets of predators and even pack mates who would challenge them for position. 

It will get better, I promise.  I don't know exactly how it does, or when it will for you, but we do heal in time.  One thing that helps tremendously is having a family of like-minded people who understand the depth and scope of your loss.  That is precisely what I found when I first came here 6 years ago next week after losing our little Bengal Cat, Buddy Guy, to intestinal lymphoma.  Like Dakota's condition, the symptoms seemed to come on so suddenly.  We tried everything we could to help him, but it was his time to move on to his next adventure in the next dimension.  I was pretty positive my heart would never heal, but it did with the help of the wonderful friends I found here.

On March 9th of this year we had to say goodbye to Buddy's Uncle T.J., whom I always called the Heart of My Heart.  The bond Teege and I shared was surreal.  It will take me time to adjust to the stillness in our home without his rumbling purr ~ and to so many other things ~ but I am trying my best to focus on what a wonderful life he had with us, and how much love we shared.  The tears still flow through those smiles, but at least the smiles are there, and that helps.

I hope you will find your own smiles for Dakota.  He was as blessed to have found you as you were to have found him.  It was destiny for you to be together.  When the time is right, whether you feel as if you're ready or not, Dakota will send you a new best friend. 

Although you might adjust to Dakota not being with you physically, you will never have to think about getting used to him being "gone."  He never will be. He lives within your hearts forever and always a part of you.  When the time comes for him to direct you to a new friend to spend your days with, you will discover that your heart will grow to make room for the new one.  Dakota's place within will never be disturbed.  As a matter of fact, as you open your heart to new love, your love for Dakota will continue to grow, and so will the bond you share.  I promise.

You and your beautiful Angel Dakota are in my thoughts and prayers, and I'm sending you virtual hugs of comfort today.



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My heart is battered and bruised, but I will not let it break. It holds such precious cargo, I must protect it now. (Susie Squillions)

"Memories of loved ones are like songs in our soul." Margaret Wakeley

T.J.'S RESIDENCY:
http://RainbowsBridge.com/residents/TJ006/Resident.htm

BUDDY GUY AYRES~LYNCH'S RESIDENCY:
http://www.rainbowsbridge.com/residents/Buddy128/resident.HTM

KING BING THE GOD CAT'S RESIDENCY:
http://rainbowsbridge.com/residents/BINGO009/Resident.htm

In one of the stars, I shall be living.
In one of them, I shall be laughing.
And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing when you look at the sky at night.
~ The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery
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shmoobear

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Reply with quote  #4 

Susie, thank you so much for your kind words. It really does help. I'm sorry to hear about the loss of both Buddy Guy and Uncle T.J., that must have been incredibly hard to say goodbye.

I was doing better for a few hours, but the tears are flowing again. I tried to lay down and take a nap, and all of these thoughts just came rushing into my head. Different everyday things that were just a normal part of life for 11 years, and now no longer will be. Also irrational thoughts....like if we had just brought him home he would have somehow gotten better. Like if we just drove away from there it wouldn't have existed. Rationally I know that he would have ended up dying from it shortly anyways....but the part of my brain that's not thinking straight is arguing that. I held him as he went...I talked to him beforehand, but did I look into his eyes long enough for the last time? I don't think so. All of those things are haunting me.

It's good to hear that it will somehow turn into something happier. I know that it would hurt him to see a house full of crying people. I know that I need to stop thinking ahead. Like, he loved Halloween. We would take him out and walk around the neighborhood...he loved seeing everyone out and thought it was great. It's just going to be so sad this year without him, it will be a whole different day. It seems like everything will just be so blah now...even if we stop crying, it's just going to be different. I'm having such a hard time accepting that...

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dalmatian

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HI Shmoobear,  Cancer has no ryme or reason and will attack all.  Dogs have a different pain level than we do. They can go for along time In pain and you'll never know till almost the end.  They fight hard and need your help but then they also know when the fight Is over an they just need to move on to a more gental life as the "Rainbow Bridge". I hate the word cancer for have lost several to that terrible word and nobody has answers. So for those that I have lost to cancer, I am thankful for the time that I had with you. You made my life special as you were. I'M SORRY AND KNOW THOSE ARE HOLLOW WORDS, but I am-----------Marty & critters

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shmoobear

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Reply with quote  #6 
Dalmation, thank you, your words do help. I think that's why I'm on here instead of talking to people in my life. Not everyone understands the relationship, and I'm afraid of what my reaction will be if I hear a cruel remark. I know that people on here all can understand.

I think that is the hardest thing right now...I keep having to tell myself that he WAS sick, he just wasn't showing us. It's so difficult to put together how he seemed fine up until Saturday, and now is gone. The Vet and everything I've read online tells me the same thing you just did....they manage the pain until it gets to much, it's quick moving, and then it comes hard and fast. Such a quick end to such a long and deep relationship. But then again, I wouldn't have wanted to see him suffer just so I could get used to the idea. I keep having to tell myself that.

I'm sorry for all you have lost and wish all of us peace..
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dalmatian

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Reply with quote  #7 

Some times you just have to let go. Cancer Is a terrible diease. Maybe you can fight, maybe not  I see my family and my pets come down with this diease and bury more than I WOULD LIKE TO ADMITT TO.

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AnnetteinNC

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shmoobear
Dalmation, thank you, your words do help. I think that's why I'm on here instead of talking to people in my life. Not everyone understands the relationship, and I'm afraid of what my reaction will be if I hear a cruel remark. I know that people on here all can understand.

I think that is the hardest thing right now...I keep having to tell myself that he WAS sick, he just wasn't showing us. It's so difficult to put together how he seemed fine up until Saturday, and now is gone. The Vet and everything I've read online tells me the same thing you just did....they manage the pain until it gets to much, it's quick moving, and then it comes hard and fast. Such a quick end to such a long and deep relationship. But then again, I wouldn't have wanted to see him suffer just so I could get used to the idea. I keep having to tell myself that.

I'm sorry for all you have lost and wish all of us peace..

I posted a reply earlier to your reply of my post about having lost our four legged child. I know what you mean about them being fine one moment and then doing so bad the next. Our girl was barking and running at the neighbors dog on Friday,ate her dinner as usual and watched me weed in the garden earlier and sniffing at the dirt.Then just a few hours later she was gone...
I agree with you-everything does seem so blah now,I eat because I know I must but it feels like chewing cardboard. Like I mentioned in my reply on my post-when I tried to take a nap Saturday afternoon and must have dozed off a couple of times,during one of those I could have sworn that I heard her breathing and felt her laying next to me.
It seems like we all have to now find a way to find our purpose in life again,at least for me she was pretty much it.
I feel so sad for all of you too!
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Debi

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Reply with quote  #9 
Oh Shmoobear, I'm so very sorry for you...I understand as all the others on here do...and yes, all the kind words helps alot...especially when they care as much as we do....I know my co-workers don't get it...but my family does...I lost my 15yr. Yorkie Poohbear in a matter of 3 days...and he was fine the night before...on new meds and we thought we bought him some time...wrong...the next morning he started shutting down...or at least that's what I thought...to this day I still don't know if I made the right decision...but he didn't deserve to suffer...and we made that horrible decision. We can all do the "what if's" forever, but it won't help. It's been 4 weeks now...and yes, it is getting a little easier, and I laugh remembering his favorite things...I miss his little body cuddled next to me...and giving him his "Pooh belly kisses"...I still cry at night...but it is getting better, he would be so upset to see me crying...so I try to be brave for him..I know he is in a much better place now and I do know he knows how much I love him and miss him.
  Take your time grieving....for some of us it takes a very long time, but that's a good thing. Try to remember all the happy times, even though your tears and smiles...it does help...hugs to you....

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judy

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Reply with quote  #10 
Hello Shmoobear,
I know exactly the pain you are going through as I just had to have
my 11 year old chow Teddy put to sleep Tuesday; his illness came on
suddenly; and it was diagnosed as pancreatic cancer.  From the time
he became sick til he died was less than 3 weeks; he started with a
stroke and then seizures.  The pain is incredible; I lost my husband 2
years ago and it was just Teddy and me.  His death this soon was
totally unexpected.  I know about crying - you are not alone - I've
been crying for a week and a half now.  It seems life will just not
be the same with him gone; I am incredibly lonely, being by myself now
and have no one to turn to.
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Zoolander

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Reply with quote  #11 
Shmoobear - Most of us on this site can relate to the pain you are feeling right now, as many of us have recently lost our loved ones.  But let me say that I know your pain so well, having recently gone through this exact same thing with my 7 year old labrador, Zoe.  She had bouts of vomiting and lethargy for a week, we took her into the vet for some tests, and they were inconclusive.  So we continued to care for her with a bland diet, she got better then got worse.  It seemed that each week we faced another bout of vomiting and lethargy, until finally on February 16th I knew this was not okay.  I called the vet and told them I knew something major was wrong with Zoe, and that night my wife and I brought her in to the vet again.  An x-ray confirmed she was bleeding internally, her abdomen was full of blood (she had also gained over 3 lbs since the last visit, likely from the pooling blood) and it was determined that she had a tumor(s) and was gravely ill.  The likelihood of recovery was very low, even if we had opted to do surgery and spent thousands of dollars......and she just would have been miserable going through that.  So we let her go to Rainbow Bridge that night.  My wife and I stayed in the room with her, holding her, petting her and telling her how much we love her.  So I feel your pain, it is still so fresh in my mind and heart, I weep as I write this.........thinking of how hard it was to continue with my own life after seeing Zoe slip away. 

I think we all have a mutual bond, as pet owners, that separate us from others.  But in your case and my case, we may have an even deeper bond.........one of a dog, one of a big gentle dog, for which we both had uncompromising love and both lost them to similar unfortunate circumstances.

In the last 6 weeks since Zoe crossed over, I have had some very weak moments, moments of grief that I thought threatened my livelihood forever.  I asked myself, "How could I continue to be happy in this life without Zoe by my side?"  The answer to that question cannot be found anywhere but within your own heart and soul, as I have discovered.  You knew Dakota better than anyone, and in time you will answer that question yourself, your heart will begin to heal, and soon the thought of Dakota will only be positive memories and smiles.  He is here, you know.  He sees you, he will always be by your side.  Until you meet again. 



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bar

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Reply with quote  #12 
I am sorry for your lost. Sorry that this is coming alittle late as it is hard for me at times to get on and read about other pets that passed. Because even thou it has been 1yr ,2 monthes and 13 days since my Bubba left us. I still miss him dearly. In time it does get easier but, no matter how long they are gone things happen that reminds you of them and it is let they just passed all over again. So, all I can say is how sorry I am that you lost your long time friend and member of the family. But, just remember even thou they are gone they will always be in your heart and thoughts.

Sorry again,

Bar
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shmoobear

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Reply with quote  #13 

Debi, I'm so sorry for your Poohbear. When you said that he was fine the night before it really struck me. That makes it so hard to understand, doesn't it? Although, it is comforting to think that they didn't suffer for long.

Quote:
but it is getting better, he would be so upset to see me crying...so I try to be brave for him..
....I think this as well about Dakota. He would hate to see me so upset. If he ever saw me crying, he would come up to me and lick me and I could tell he wanted to fix it. I think no matter what, when you have to make this decision, there will always be a little doubt. I know that we had to do it....that otherwise he would have suffered. But there is this small part of me that thinks maybe he would have gotten better (with his condition, he would have died within a day or so). Thank you for your kind words and for letting me know it does get a tiny bit better as time goes on. It's been 1 week today and it's still very hard...

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shmoobear

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Reply with quote  #14 

Angiet, so sorry to hear about your Mika. It must have been very hard to see her go through all of that. You made the right decision for her, although I know it's very hard to see that clearly all the time. Dakota also had diabetes. He did well with it, although I think we always assumed that he would go from that....this came out of left field and has left us all shocked and stunned. You mentioned worrying about her being cold. That isn't crazy at all. We spent SO much time caring for the needs (and special needs) of our pets. How can we just turn it off on a dime? We never left Dakota in anyone else's care, not even to walk him. So I do find myself all of a sudden thinking "who has Dakota?". And then I have to remind myself that that is silly.

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shmoobear

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Reply with quote  #15 
Zoolander, your post brought tears to my eyes when you described Zoe's condition, the abdomen full of blood, etc....I'm so sorry for your loss...I can feel and relate to the pain. I agree, we pet owners have such a bond. I feel so sorry for all of us....however, I feel worse for people that never experience the joy of the kind of relationships we've had. In some way, I always knew it wasn't going to end happy. Really, how could it, unless I went first? But I wouldn't trade one minute of it.

When the Dr. described Dakota's condition to us, and I realized that the BEST case scenario (this was before they took further x-rays), was that he would have to have his spleen removed, and that if it wasn't malignant he would still only have another 6-8 months after that, it was like a punch in the gut. Like, so no matter what, it's over? Of course, they had to do further x-rays and tests....and I just somehow knew that it was going to be bad news. I cried so hard in the office, but not in front of Dakota. I didn't want him to be scared or worry about me. I don't regret one bit being with him, I had to be. I consider myself very lucky to have been in his life, and privileged to have helped him in his last minutes. But the reality of it is just all too much. Does the shock ever go away? Does it go away after 6 weeks? I'm getting used to it, but I still have to jolt myself sometimes and remember that he's not here, and he's not coming back.

The mornings are the worst for me. Instead of having that minute when you wake up and don't remember what has happened, and then it all dawns on you, I have about 5 minutes of confusion every morning. I have to sort out my  thoughts of what happened and where everything stands, etc. It's very unsettling and I don't look forward to it....

I know that I need to get to the point where I can see happy times without Dakota. I know we will have them. There will be holidays and laughter and all of that. But I think that I will never reach that level of happiness again....sorry if I sound pessimistic...I'm finding that during the day I can kind of pull it together, but as the night wears on things tend to get bad....




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