Yesterday I lost my best friend.  I few years ago she and my boyfriends dog got into a bottle of rimadyl that was prescribed for his dog and ate the entire bottle.  We took them to the emergency vet which induced vomiting and they warned us that there could be complications if we did not flush their systems.  Since we weren't sure which dog had ingested most of the pills, and because of the cost, we decided to wait it out.  His dog was fine.  A week later my dog was back at our regular vet with pancreatitis.  She recovered well, but I was warned she could have resulting damage.  She did well for a while, then a senior wellness test showed elevated renal values.  We put her on the prescription diet, and she had no problems for almost two years.  Then within in the last few months, she stopped eating, so we took her back and the test showed an increase in her bun levels.  The vet mentioned fluid therapy, but we decided to give it more time and a new prescription.  A week later we went back because her appetite had not returned.  An x-ray was done showing problems with her spine (from birth) and arthritis.  The vet prescribed her rimadyl.  I didn't want to give it to her, and mentioned the previous issue with pancreatitis, but I listened and tried it.  He told me to come back and have her blood work rechecked in a few weeks, but I let it go a little longer.  Then she completely stopped eating.  I thought it was because she no longer liked the rx dog food, because I was able to get her to eat other things.  After a few more days I took her back.  Her levels were 4 times what that had been a few months earlier.  She stayed on an iv for several days until yesterday her kidneys just weren't responding and I had to let her go.  It was the hardest thing I have ever done and I do not know how I will ever forgive myself.  I feel I could've done so much more and the thought of causing or prolonging pain is killing me.  Why didn't I put her on home fluid therapy as soon as her levels showed a slight increase?  Why didn't I refuse the rimadyl or seek a better option?  Why did I wait so long to reach out to others on facebook and learn about other diets and supplements she could've/should've been on since the very first test?  Why didn't I get her tested more frequently/sooner?  Could I have helped her?  Could she still be here and happy?  What if I didn't wait those last few days, could she have had more of a chance?  I am so upset and I miss her.  She was my first dog and my best friend for nearly 11 years.  I was 22 years old when I got her as a puppy and I just celebrated (if you can call it that) my 33rd birthday, with her in the vet on fluids, only to come home to find that it was too much and too bad and I had to let her go 2 days later.  Now I come home to a house that feels so empty and I see her everywhere, her toys, hair, bed...and I can't bring myself to move them.  I don't know how I will ever learn to accept this empty feeling or forgive myself for not doing more or feeling like I made the wrong decisions.  Part of me feels another dog may help the pain, but the other part feels I do not deserve one, or that it would be a dishonor to her.  How do forgive yourself when you feel so much blame?
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I did some very similar questioning of my choices in the final couple of months of our sweet Winston's earth journey.  It's dreadful enough to lose them, but to feel like you didn't make the right decisions about their care makes it even more unbearable.  Clearly, you are a loving and conscientious pet parent.  What you deserve is to be gentle with yourself and know that you did the best you could with what you knew at the time.  You'll never really know the answers to those questions.  I struggled with that concept at first but then realized that none of the answers would bring him back - and that angst was just blocking me from treasuring the happy and loving memories I had of Winston.  And he would want me to be thinking of him fondly and not with a guilt ridden heart.  I think your pup would feel the same and in time, a new fur baby could be the perfect way to honor her - think how happy she'd be to know that another lucky dog found a loving home with you!  Peace...Martha 
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I understand the "what if".   I think we all have them.  Realizing you made the decisions you did with the information you had is all you can do.  We love them and would never do anything to hurt them.  Your baby knows that.  I had no idea that guilt would be such a big part of the grief, but I was wrong.  I have a lot of what ifs, as we all do.  Your baby knew you loved them and made the decisions you did the best you could.  It is so hard to accept.  Our babies would want us to remember them happily, not so sad.  Easier said than done, but we must try.  Life will never be the same, but I know I would not trade one minute of the time I was given with Dali.  The grief and loss is terrible, but to have not had them would have been worse.  They are a gift and the spirit is still there.  We will see them again

Dali, as much a daughter as any human...  pure love
Until we meet again

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Dear Lolablue,

I'm writing because you've struck a chord with me. I put my 15 year old Collie to sleep last week and every day I wake up wracked with guilt over the decision... Things fly round my head like:
"If you hadn't made the decision she would still be here"
"Was she THAT sick? Nooooo..."
"You could've done more, she could've had one more Christmas."

Mavis (my dog) had early stage renal disease, irregular heart beat, low blood pressure and athritis/and or degenerative myelopathy. She was also losing her sight and hearing. Oh - and dementia too! Can't forget the dementia... But given all that, her quality of life, though slow, was good. Still happy, still wanted to play. Still wagged when we came home. Then she went downhill seemingly quickly... In a couple of weeks she was a different dog. Listless, no appetite, no play, movement suddenly much slower... And the worst thing for me - lying in her side staring into space at nothing. Like she was depressed/feeling awful or just didn't know where she was.

Sorry - I don't mean to break into a "look what happened to my dog" story... Just to say that I know in my brain that we tried everything, and letting her go was the right thing to do - but the heart fights against it. Every day it fights and it wants your friend who you've loved so much and would do anything for.

So try really hard not to beat yourself up. For what it's worth of it had come to fluid therapy for my dog's kidneys, I probably would've sent her to the bridge earlier. I've seen dogs go through that and it's not the nicest thing for them.

Letting them out of their painful bodies is our last kindness to them. I guess this anguish we go through is completely natural, and we must go through it to get to a place where we can remember them happily. It's funny actually - although I still cry every day - in my head I picture my dog a few years ago when she was still leaping over logs and streams. Not the tired old girl who need my help to get off her bed/go to the toilet/hold her chew etc. So healing starts whilst we're still sobbing I think :-)

I wish you all the best on this difficult painful journey. I have found this forum a Godsend. Yay - we're not crazy after all!!

Take care of yourself x
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