I miss my dog so much.  We had to put him down a week ago tomorrow.  We picked up his ashes yesterday.  I thought I would feel better having him home.  I just feel hollow. 

Max was a seven year old corgi.  We adopted him three years ago, and I can easily say that he was the best dog I've ever known.  Joyful and larger than life.  Four months ago he started to limp on his right front leg.  What the vets originally thought was a simple sprain turned into immune-mediated degenerative polyarthritis.  Basically, his immune system was systematically destroying his joints, completely eroding the cartilage and bone.  The treatment for this condition involves suppressing the immune system with powerful drugs, and the side effects were worse than the disease.  We nursed him through pancreatitis and several infections.  His liver began to fail.  The last two weeks or so, his pain was so severe that he couldn't walk on his own, or even stand without support.  It became an elaborate song and dance to get him to eat.  Finally, last Saturday he started having trouble breathing, and he had blood coming from his nose.  I don't know if he developed pneumonia, or if it was another immune problem (they have a tendency to snowball.)  I just knew that I couldn't ask him to keep fighting.

Four months ago I had a happy, healthy dog.  It still seems incredible.  I'm in currently studying to be a vet tech, and yet I could do nothing to slow the progress of the disease.  He was the most vibrant dog I've ever known, and now he's gone and I feel totally desolate.  My husband and I did everything we could; we followed his vets' instructions to the letter, and yet I feel guilty.  The doctors were world class.  This was no one's fault, and yet I feel angry.  His last act on this earth was to kiss my tears away.  That's just who he was.  Our ray of sunshine in dark times.  Now he's gone and I don't know what to do with all this grief.

I have a nagging fear, too.  While he was sick I was the one to give him his meds, coax him to eat, carry him around to use the potty, give him fluids, and bathe him when he urinated on himself (very often.)  Towards the end, he would look up at me with suspicion written all over his face, thinking I was coming to make him do something unpleasant.  I feel so guilty about that.  I'm afraid he'll never know that I was only trying to help him. 
Anna Blankenship
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I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved Max.  So much of your story mirrors the kind of deterioration my own dog went through (Mine was euthanzied on July 9)----

Oh, god, do I know about the haunting memories of the suspicious face!  I have a TERRIBLE memory of a few days before he died,   when he was going downhill and I was realizing I HAD to take him to the animal clinic again.  It was horribly hot and humid out,  just awful,  but I had to get him out to pee and poop.  I kind of had to lift his back legs up, and then get him outside,  and he began to fall outside, and i had to yank the leash, and he gave a little yelp,  and looked at me like, "What did you do that for?"---oooh,  its horrid, I can't bear to think of it.  Please accept my concern for you and your loss.  I know just how awful the loss is and the bone-breaking pain and sorrow---we must remain connected to them on the spirit level for now,  until we are reunited with them somehow :  Unbearable otherwise.  Once more,  so sorry.
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Thank you so much for your response.  It brings tears to my eyes, knowing that I'm not alone with these feelings.
Anna Blankenship
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I am so very sorry for your loss of Max.

Mine hated having to have anything "done to her" too. She tolerated things better when it was me doing whatever, than the vet....but she hated even having a Tick removed.
Fortunately towards the end I didn't have to do too many things "to her". But one incident really really hurts me if I think of it.
We had only just got her Hemangiosarcoma diagnosis (at the occasion of her first internal bleed, which she rallied from) As she started to pick up from that she didn't seem to be in any actual pain at all, but had some weakness, though she could still get around. But to be on the safe side I asked the vet for pain relief if ever I got a feeling she might need it. The best one he said was Paracetamol, because unlike many other painkillers, Paracetamol doesn't interfere with blood clotting. So I got them, and they were big tablets with square edges. 
Normally giving her a pill was so easy. I just wrapped it in brown bread, potato or cheese, dropped it in her mouth and it was gone. But as she was feeling a bit delicate (re-absorption of the blood causes slight anemia and jaundice) -her appetite, though not so bad, wasn't big enough, and she chewed the cheese instead of gulping it down. So that meant she tasted the bits of broken tablet.
I tried again but had to wrap the 4 quarters of the pill in brown bread with a little butter, and push it right to the back of her throat. She retched it up every time, and I kept repeating it because I didn't want her to be in pain! It hurt my heart so badly doing that, hurting her like that, when she only had days to live. I gave her a treat every time afterwards, because it must have tasted so awful!
There was a liquid Paracetamol for children, the vet said I could give it to her! It was full of extremely toxic additives for dogs! So Misty I know you probably don't even remember that by now....but I AM SO SORRY!
Hold the love like a little light. It is all you have, or will ever have, to find your way home.

Misty's Blog..a Dogfight with Cancer http://www.mistysblog69.blogspot.co.uk

Misty's life after death: http://www.dog2spirit.com
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