zuzant
I need some feedback - in the heart of a responsible pet owner, does there ever come a time when you say, " It's too much......I can't pay that amount of money!"??
 Shultzi, my 9 year old miniature Schnauzer collapsed on Saturday.  He had been running to greet a visitor at the door, when he suddenly fell over.  I thought he had had a seizure and was relieved to see him come around quite quickly.  The research I read said that seizures are faily common in dogs and often look worse than they really are, so I decided to watch him closely and hope he could make it til his vet opened on Monday (I'm a senior on a disability pension, so money is very tight and emergence vet care is astronomically expensive).  He was quiet all night, but ate some and drank, like usual.  The next morning he didn't get up.  When I tried to entice him off the bed, he just sat there, looking "droopy".  I picked him off the bed. put him on the floor and told him to come.  He walked a few steps, began to pant and fell over again.  We rushed him to the emergency vet and, after testing him, they said he had IMHA, an auto-immune disease and that he was in very critical condition.  They told me they could try to treat the a-i disease, but that the treatment was VERY expensive ($5800) and only 60% of dogs make it through the treatment itself.  Then the vet said that the a-i desease was only a symptom of what was really wrong with Schultz......she felt he likely had cancer and that the treatment for THAT is in the thousands.
I asked if I could just take him home with me but the vet reminded me of how sick he was and said she didn't think he would even make the trip home and so I kept my promise to him and let him go (when he was a tiny pup, I promised him that I would never make him stay here, just for me - if the time came for me to let him go, I would do that).
Now, of course, I'm filled with guilt and seconguessing myself.  I KNOW he was probably too sick to live through the treatment, but I wish so much that money had never had even a tiny consideration in my decision.  I wish I had never seen that bill!
This kind of thing must have happened to others who love their pets, are responsible pet owners but live on a very limited budget......thanks for any input you all can give me...............susan

Quote 0 0
Susie_Squillions
Dear Susan,

My heart breaks for you.  You did the right thing.  I know that it's normal to second guess yourself, but this isn't just bout the expense.  It's about the stress of wondering whether or not treatment would even be effective, and whether or not Schultzi would have had a chance at more happy time with you.  What if he had gone through all that surgery and recovery and then had only had a short time left?  Would it have been worth it for him to have put up such a brave fight to only enjoy feeling good for a short time longer?

Every one of us who has to make the decision second guesses, asks all the "What if"s, and doubts our own instincts.  You relieved Schultzi from suffering a moment longer, and that was a tremendous gift to him. You knew that your own suffering would just begin, but you never imagined how great it would be.  You gave the greatest gift of love.

The important thing for you to know is that Schultzi understands your decision, and he thanks you for it.  Dogs live in the moment. They do not live for yesterday or for tomorrow.  Not even for this morning or tonight. they live right now and give it all they've got.  You spared the "right now's of surgery and recovery that might have only led to a few, if any, "right now"s of happiness.

You and your sweet Angel Schultzi are in my thoughts and prayers.  Today is the first anniversary of my Angel T.J.'s Bridge Day. It's been an emotional few weeks for me, and today has been very bittersweet.  T.J.'s illness (a brain tumor) began with seizures that got progressively worse and left him more and more impaired each time he had one.  I have a feeling he welcomed Schultzi to his new realm of eternal happiness and health. 

xoxoxo
Susie


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

All tears are healing tears.  They help to wash away our sorrow and allow the first buds of happiness to blossom in our hearts. -- Susie "Squillions"

.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
.
A fresh start after 947 posts. March 7th, 2011. I've been coming to this wonderful site since April 6, 2004.
Quote 0 0
judylinn
I'm so sorry Susan. On the loss of your precious pup. Please don't feel guilty..if he was that sick, then you were his best friend in releasing him from his suffering. I did have the money for the treatments for Maddie, and she ended up needing releasing anyway. plus she went through alot of agony on her first cancer surgery. So Please don't feel guilty....you did the most loving thing for him. Sometimes there are things that can be done, and they might prolong our pets life, but at what cost to them. It's not really about money, it's about loving your Shultzi, and sparing him more suffering.
My thoughts and prayers are with you. Judy
Quote 0 0
zuzant
Thanks to you both for your prompt and supportive posts.  This afternoon I felt strong enough to do some research into IMHA and learned that Schultz was much sicker than I had imagined - they said he was really sick, but it had just happened SO fast that I just couldn't believe it was so out of control already.  One of the things that the vet said is that when she put a drop of his blood under a microscope, she found that it was separating into little clumps......the research I read today talked about some cases of IMHA where "anticoagulation" happens, where the blood clumps together.  The last sentence in that paragraph called these incidents "foreboding".  And I find that a pretty graphic word.  It really made me understand that, fast or slow, it was here and it was totally out of control in his little body.  So I feel more sure of my decision.  It really didn't have anything to do with $$.  In fact, I would have been remiss to try to save him when he was so sick and the prognosis so poor.
This is a very hard blow to my life.  My husband died a couple of years ago, I was diagnosed with emphysema in January, had to quit a job that I absolutely loved and had done for many, many years and now must struggle on half the income i used to enjoy.  Schultzi and I were supposed to grow old together.  And I can't get another dog, cuz I haven't the stamina to walk or attend to a dog the way it should be.  All in all, it makes me feel quite glum.  My youngest daughter is worried about me and my emotional health, although I don't think she needs to fret.  I've always had a pretty positive attitude and have made a lot of lemonade in my life, if you know what I mean.  And I'll get through this, too, although at this moment, I'm not really sure how.  I think that this place and you folks will help a lot.
I've posted a lot on FB.  My friends and relatives have been wonderfully supportive, but they're ready to move on and I know it.  I still want to talk about him and what has happened.  From reading the few posts I have on this site, maybe this is the place to come to talk.  And talk and talk and talk and talk!
Susie, thanks for backing my decision.....I'm beginning to feel surer about it, but I could so easily slide back into recrimination and doubt.  If that happens I'll come back and read your message again.  I know that anniversaries can be really bittersweet, especially the first one.  I hope you have felt as least as many smiles today as tears, when you think of your T.J.
Judy, although I haven't spent much time here, your posts are some that I have read and really enjoyed.  You have a good way of expressing yourself and say lots of the things that I feel.  I haven't read the whole "Maddie" story yet, but I will.
When the time feels right for me, I will tell you all about his.  He was the dearest little boy, but it hurts too much, just yet.
Thanks so much for your attention.  I really can use every bit of it.
Quote 0 0
Susie_Squillions
Dear Susan,

You're welcome here any time at all, and you can always, as you said, talk and talk and talk.  That's exactly what we're here for.

I am so sorry to hear about all the crappy things life has dealt you in such a short period of time!  I understand your reluctance to think about adopting another dog when the time is right, but there are options.  First, since you have emphysema, I would think a non-shedding breed would be a better fit than a shedding dog (although that might not matter at all). Second, a small breed that can get his/her exercise for the most part in the home without requiring walks. Third: What about an older/senior dog who needs someone to love?  There are so many in shelters and breed-specific rescue organizations. My sister is trying to find  good home for her mother-in-law's little Poodle, Mandy. She is a senior dog, but she is very spunky and loving.  She was a wonderful companion to Darline until Darline died peacefully just before Christmas at the age of 93.  There are so many out there who have lived their lives with elderly people and are now in shelters or rescue because their people have gone on ahead of them.  Wouldn't it be nice to find someone who understands your loss and wants nothing more than to comfort you? 

I'm glad to hear that your research validated the painful decision you made.  It would be absolutely natural to backslide once in a while. Schultzi's symptoms came on so quickly and that always throws us for a loop.  We need to remember that our animals are very good at hiding their symptoms. It's one of the instinctive survival mechanisms that serves them best in the wild. The weaker animals easily fall prey to the stronger ones, so they have the ability to hide the signs of weakness that would mark them as easy prey.  Try to remember that when you get to thinking things like, "Why didn't I see this sooner?" and other, similar thoughts that we always think.  The most diligent and observant dog or cat mom can still be fooled so easily.

I hope to hear from you again soon.  Thank you so much for your caring comments to me about T.J.'s anniversary. It was a bittersweet day. I know that the reason my sorrow is so great is because the love was that much greater, so there were a lot of tears, but they came through smiles for the most part.  T.J. was my soul cat and I just can't believe it's been a year.  I wrote a poem to him (or, rather, he sent it into my head) on the 8th, the night before his Bridge Day.  It's titled "Time Warp" and I posted it on Wednesday. Writing is a very therapeutic thing for me and I always find my way to healing through the activity.

You and Schultzi are still in my thoughts and prayers.  Take care of yourself and get the rest and healthy food you need.

xoxoxo
Susie


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

All tears are healing tears.  They help to wash away our sorrow and allow the first buds of happiness to blossom in our hearts. -- Susie "Squillions"

.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
.
A fresh start after 947 posts. March 7th, 2011. I've been coming to this wonderful site since April 6, 2004.
Quote 0 0
Lisasjf

Susan,

 Please, Please, Please, I beg you Please stop feeling guilty. I completely understand exactly how you feel because I went through the same thing with my baby. We spent over $4000 on my Halfie. Before my husband turned to me and said we can't keep doing this........My Halfie was also so sick it was just a  matter of time. I finally realized that spending the money was more selfish than anything else. We were spending it for us not for halfie. All we were doing was prolonging the inevitable.  Susan in hindsight I wish I would have done what you did. I should have let her go after the 2nd visit to the vet, after the oxygen tank and meds. Yes my baby did die in my arms, but I just wish I hadn't let her suffer for so long before she passed. That was needless! I did have the last minutes to let her know how much I loved her and I'm grateful for that. But what you did was right!

When God entrusts these creatures to us he's full aware of what our capabilities are, Mentally, emotionally and monetarily. If Shultzi wasn't meant to be yours he wouldn't have been. If God hadn't thought you were the best owner possible for Shultzi, he wouldn't have given him to you in the first place. You did nothing wrong! You gave your baby the best life possible while you had him. That's all god expected of you and that's all Shultzi needed.


Quote 0 0
Meghanm
Hi Susan, your story brings tears to my eyes. I am glad from reading further down the thread that you feel more at ease with your decision now. This is never a decision to be taken lightly and while I understand that money was a factor, I think that you were also most considering Shultzi's quality of life. Based on what you have written, it seems possible he would not have had much longer on this earth and you made the very difficult, very brave decision to let him go.

Your attitude is so admirable and I really feel even from reading the brief posts on this thread that you are a survivor. I am thinking of you and sending you my best wishes.

Meghan

"If the people we love are stolen from us, the way to have them live on is to never stop loving them. Buildings burn, people die, but real love is forever." ~ The Crow

"We don't "get over" our losses and just move on, we learn to live differently."
~ http://www.angelbluemist.com/frames/guilt.html
Quote 0 0
Leigh
Yes, Susan, there does come a time when financial reality hits a person upside the head and heart.  We, who love our fur babies so deeply, would climb the tallest ladder and strip a money tree bare to take care of our babies.  But...in the real world, there are no money trees and you have to realistically determine if you can spend hundreds or thousands on care that, in all probability, is only a temporary fix.  It seems cold and cruel to have to think about money when a baby's sick, though.
While we're beating ourselves up over the elusive greenback, in our hearts we know our baby is extremely sick.  Maybe our brains will even gloss over the fact that our baby is possibly terminally ill, but we don't want to dwell on that.  We want to able to do anything and everything to make them well but that little voice is saying they'll never be well.
It's hell.  Truly hell.
My Mary dog was sick.  The last stroke devastated her and she couldn't get up.  I made the decision to end her suffering (if indeed she was since she was a tough old broad) on July 28.  My friends here can tell you the depth of the torment I went through.  Even now, I have trouble dealing with having her put to sleep.  She was the best.
All that being said, we humans would do everything in our power, if this was a human, to extend their life using any and every mean possible.  My mindset was stuck in that place as far as Mary's care.  Mary couldn't say, "Mom, enough is enough.  I'm done.  I've had a fantastic life with you guys and I've been loved beyond belief, but...let me go".  We make the decision for our baby.  We have to live with it but that's not saying we have to accept it.  We do have to accept our baby is gone.
Memories are the thing that keep our hearts strong.  Over time, you'll laugh over the silly things Schultzi did.  You'll start remembering little things you'd forgotten about him, too, which will be a delight when remembered.
And finally, some day you will forgive yourself.
At the end, Mary taught me so much.  I believe she got me ready to take care of my terminally ill mother. 
Several months after having Mary put to sleep, I was still miserable.  My husband asked if another dog would help although he said he didn't want another one.  I wanted a dog that was different from Mary but still part dachshund.  Mary was a Rottweiler/dachshund and the shiniest black you've ever seen.  Into our lives trotted Annie, a little 3-year-old, yellow lab/doxie.  She has breathed life into all of us.  Mom moved in and she loves Annie...and Annie has been so good for Mom's health.  (Mom had emphysema, COPD, severe pulmonary hypertension).
Please consider getting another baby.  Maybe a cat would be better for you since they're independent???  Don't think that you have to live without a little furry friend.
You'll grapple with all your thoughts and feelings but eventually you'll accept that you did the best you could for Shultzi.  You loved him and he loved you...and he knew it!
Don't hesitate to come here and say what you feel.  Thanks to Regina, Judy, Donna Lee and others, I'm still walking this earth.  They literally saved me. 
loves and hugs,
Leigh

Quote 0 0
creampuff
Dear Susan,  I believe your Shultzi knew it was his time and he was ready to go.  He was so sick and not able to go on, just like my Inky who left me earlier this year.  Please know that all of our furbabies go to a beautiful meadow and are healthy again.  They wait for the day when they will be reunited with their earthly loved ones.  You made a loving decision and Shultzi knows that.   And when you're ready, it would be wonderful for you to adopt another furbaby, cat or dog.  You have been, and will be, a wonderful "mommy".  Blessings and peace to you.  Jane
Quote 0 0
zuzant
Thanks so much to all of you for your supportive words.  I have had a bit better day, mostly cuz I have been rather busy today.  There were actually moments when my little boy wasn't formost in my thoughts (I'd better not dwell on that or I'll begin to feel guilty for forgetting) although not many of them.  And a bad few moments when I spoke to my ex.  He loved Schultzi - the first house dog he had ever known (he's a farmer who doesn't much understand dogs who don't have any function other than being a loving companion).  He is helping me to pay for Schultz' cremation, so, I guess that makes him think he has a right to a say in what happened.  He believes that the vet wouldn't have offered a treatment plan if they thought Schultz wouldn't make it through one.  So I think he believes I decided based on dollar signs, and that brings much of the guilt back again.  He has always been a critical, negative kind of guy (I'm a Florence Nightinggale, and I tried, heaven knows I did, but that's the main reason our relationship never really got off the ground) and his attitude about the way I handled this is par for the course.  It still hurts, though.  I'm usually a strong and confident person, sure of my reasoning and decision making, but that has really knocked the wind out of my sails.......again 
I so wish I could entertain some thought of getting another pet, someday, but in my circumstances I truly doubt it will ever happen.  You see, right about the time that my husband died, my best friends sister (they shared a suite in the same building that my hubby and I lived in) also passed away.  We were both in need of a new living arrangement, so we took a 2 bedroom in the same building and have lived together ever since.  She has 2 cats who are both rather reclusive.  One of them only recently, has finally allowed me to pet her......the other seldom comes near me.  They both intimidated the heck out of Schultzi, too and I KNOW they wouldn't accept another cat.  Because we're on the 2nd floor of a walkup, and I have serious breathing problems, my BFF walked Schultzi for me.  She's no spring chicken and I can't ask her to take on the care of another of MY dogs.  I really wish it wasn't like this, but it is and I need to accept that.  I mean, I still buy lottery tickets and if I won, I would have a whole new set of plans, but the reality of my life says I'll not have another pet.
Well.......so much for any improved mood I might have had!!  If it weren't for American Idol, tonite would be just another crappy night.
Thanks for being here, everybody.  I am blessed to have found a place where I can say strange things and you all understand............
Quote 0 0
Susie_Squillions
Dear Susan,

Your reasons for not expecting to be able to adopt again are, well, reasonable. :-)  It sounds like you're really staying in the saddle on the wild ride that is the sorrow of a sudden farewell.  That's a remarkable thing.

Now, I want to address what your ex had to say.  It always seems as if any treatment offered is a ray of hope. That is not always the case.  The vet is pretty much obligated to tell you what your options are, they are not obligated to make decisions on your behalf without your permission.  So, the fact that your vet told you what might have given you more time with Schultzi means that (s)he wanted you to have all the information you would need to arrive at your final decision. I can't help but think that the vet made it very clear to you that none of the treatment options would be easy, and none of them would guarantee a good outcome. If you ask me, I would be willing to bet that your vet doesn't just think, but knows that you did the right thing. I know you did, too.  Your ex didn't have the benefit of being in the room with you and getting to share in the decision, and I imagine that would bring some hurt feelings that could lead to criticism, whether consciously or unconsciously, so I don't want to be too hard on him.  I'm trying to give him the benefit of the doubt and not judge his reaction or the motivation for it.  :-)  What's important in the end is that you made your decision out of the purest love for Schultzi with the information you had at the time.  That's the best any of us can do.

It sounds to me as if Friendly Kitty might just sense your sorrow and ~ who knows? ~ the two of you might end up becoming the best of pals.   Stranger things have happened.

I'm so glad you came back to let us know how you're doing.  Don't be a stranger, new friend.

xoxoxo
Susie




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

All tears are healing tears.  They help to wash away our sorrow and allow the first buds of happiness to blossom in our hearts. -- Susie "Squillions"

.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
.
A fresh start after 947 posts. March 7th, 2011. I've been coming to this wonderful site since April 6, 2004.
Quote 0 0
Bubsmom
Susan, I'm so sorry for your loss.  Many of us here know the pain and agony of having to let our babies go.  I had to let my Bubba cat go just two weeks ago.  During his trip to the emergency vet, where they were treating him for pneumonia, the vet said he had an "old mass" in his left lung.  She started making a treatment plan for a biopsy, possible surgery for removal, etc.  I told her to treat him for the pneumonia, but to not touch that mass.  Like you say, it's a huge amount of money, but it's not about the money.  I couldn't put my little one through that for no real improvement of quality of life.  In my opinion, our little babies just don't understand pain like that; all they know is that they're suffering (even if we think we're doing the right thing for them.)  I'm so sorry you had to put your Shultzi to sleep, but you released him from his pain.  I had to do the same thing, and I know it doesn't make it hurt any less knowing you did the best thing you could for him.  We're all here for you.  
Quote 0 0
zuzant
Susie, my logic isn't really remarkable......I just think that it would be more painful for me to entertain dreams that I know in my heart can't come true.  I will definitely try to cultivate a relationship with Fancy, the cat, although she is long haired and I must be careful about how much I pet her.  My roomie combs her every day, but she's a puffball and still walks in a cloud of fur!
My best friend has been wonderful.  She magically made he dishes, leash and food disappear.  I have some of his toys in my bed, and the rest are gradually being scooped up and put away.  She isn't throwing them away, just putting them out of sight, which I'm so thankful for.  She loved him, too, so this is a kind of therapy for her, I guess.
I went through a bunch of pictures and posted some on FB.  I'm no photographer and I know it.  But it was good for my heart to have a "project".  And it brought back lots of memories.  I have a picture of him in my hands when he was just 13 days old.  Oh, he was SO cute!!
This is a great place.  It's good to know I can come here over and over again, whenever I need to, and I can be sure someone will respond.  That's a blessing.....thank you all. 
Quote 0 0
zuzant
I hate nights.  Don't like days much better, I suppose.  At least, right now.  But mostly, I HATE nights.  I shouldn't - I have a wonderful bed and a lovely bedroom, full of all my favorite things.  But something is missing, something really important.  He's not there, and it all looks strange - sorta like looking at your kitchen from someone elses' chair.  Something is missing and it makes the house look skewed.
He always went to bed before me.  Tonight he's not there and won't be, ever again.  I always ended my evening with a rousing game of solitaire........tonight I have played dozens, trying to hold off the inevitable pain.
I haven't told this to many - it would frighten my kids, so they don't need to know - I learned my lesson and it won't happen again.  The first night after Schultzi died, I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep, so I thought I'd drink some whiskey to help me sleep.  Not being much of a drinker, I poured a drink and had to choke it down, so I knew I didn't want another.  Being a senior with a bunch of medical issues, I take a ton of pills every day, including a mild sleeping pill each night and finally decided I would take an extra sleeping pill, just one, just to help me get through the night.
I remember playing on my computer a little.  Next thing I remember is sitting on the john with the garbage bucket to my mouth, while I heaved my belly out!  Then I went to bed.  The scary part of this story is that when I got up the next morning, my roomie showed me some fish sticks I tried to cook and burned to the bottom of the pan and some crackers and butter that looked like it had been spread with a fork.  I DON"T REMBER ANY OF IT!!!!!!  That scared the beejabbers out of me - I've never done anything even remotely as scary as that.  I could have burned this whole apartment down.....the thought makes me shudder.  And I hope I never again look for excape by overdosing like that again.  It would have been awful if anyone had gotten hurt.
I'm going to go and try for sleep again.....wish me luck and thanks again for being here..................susan
Quote 0 0
Woodypatty
I understand. I took more nerve meds than I was suppose to the day after loosing Raven and stayed in bed almost all day. I was very fortunate that I didn't do anything dangerous. Still I didn't eat ( i'm diabetic) and I didn't take any of my other meds. Like I said I was lucky. I just wanted to get away from the pain.
   Cherish your pictures. I know I do and they help to erase the last images.
You will be in my thoughts. May you have some peace in this day.       Patty
Quote 0 0