LaylaForeverinmyHeart
It has been 5 weeks since I had to make the most toughest decision I ever had to make to let my Layla go. She was my whole life. Layla would have been 15 years old on July 23rd. I had her since she was 3 months old. I was 19 when I got her and I honestly don’t know life without her. She was my first baby and always will be. She was always so strong and hyper, so full of life and loving. She just had this amazing personality, she wasn’t your typical dog. She was like a person, understood everything and wanted to always be apart of everything we did. She loved going on car rides to the boardwalk and she loved cheese. She loved playing with toys and got so many toys on every one of her birthdays. She was always heathy, little problems here and there but nothing major. She lost her hearing about a year ago but that didn’t seem to effect her much. Then in February, she developed a cough, the vet gave her antibiotics which seemed to help a bit but then the cough came back. It didn’t seem to bother her much so we didn’t think too much of it. She was a puggle so she always sneezed and coughed when she got excited. Plus she always had allergies. But then the cough started sounding worse and that’s when we took her back to the doctor. He referred her to get a chest x-ray to rule out CHF. The x-ray showed that other than a heart murmur, her heart was fine but her left lung wasn’t. The vet said the lung appeared white on the x-ray but they couldn’t see exactly what was going on unless they did more invasive testing that required anesthesia but considering her age, he decided to give her antibiotics and steroids and bronchodilators to treat it as an infection and in two weeks come back to see if it got better. At first, she seemed a bit better but quickly took a turn for the worse. Not only was she coughing more all day long, she started having problems sleeping at night, would cry and bark and pace back and forth. Every night seemed worse and worse. She was also panting even when just laying down, so you could see she was stressed and having difficulty breathing. Her coughing started coming in spasms and she couldn’t stop until we gave her a cough drop to lick. Her last night, she didn’t even want the cough drop anymore which she always liked to lick. It’s like she was giving up. That morning, she just laid there and I knew it was time. She didn’t even want to eat (even though she was on the steroids which made her really hungry the days before). I didn’t want her to suffer, I wanted her to have her dignity as the day before she was still eating and walking. I stayed with her the whole time, I don’t even know how I survived that, I was hysterical but I would never forgive myself if I didn’t. She passed away while I was holding her in my arms. I have such regrets now thinking back that I should have kissed her as it was happening but everything happened so fast, I didn’t even realize it. I mean I kissed her so many times that morning and at the vet while waiting for him to come in the room but still. Also have insane guilt as she was trying to get out of my arms, maybe it was a sign that she wasn’t ready but she always was scared of the vet. I also second quess myself and feel like maybe I should have waited being that she was still eating and walking. I hope she knew how much I loved her and that if I could do anything to save her I would. I would give up anything for her to be here. Not a day goes by that I haven’t cried and talked to her. I miss her so much. It’s like I lost my first baby, the pain is unbearable.

Thank you so much for reading and sorry for the long post. I love this forum, I read it every night, it really helps me to feel that I am not alone. Praying for everyone and their fur babies. May God give us strength during this difficult time 🙏

I love you my Layla girl, always and forever! Until we meet again my sweet angel.

07/23/2005-06/11/2020
Layla
Always in my Heart 💔🙏🌈
Yana 
Quote 0 0
grievingmama

I'm so sorry for your loss of Layla. It is an incredibly hard experience to go through, especially after 15 yrs together. When I read your post I thought I should reach out, my recent experience may "help" as it had similarities. When you've lived with a smoosh faced dog you get used to coughs, gags and snores. When that it becomes an issue, we tend to expect it to be like all the other times, a few meds for a week and good to go. What we don't expect, and usually aren't told, is that our babies lungs were being progressively damaged throughout their lives because of their congenital breathing issues. 

I lost my boy of 13 yrs (pugxboston) on June 5th, and like you had to make that impossible decision to say goodbye. He also had allergies throughout his life along with the typical pug mix cough. His cough got worse 2 years ago (@11yrs of age). I assumed age related progression but after a year back and forth at the vets and trying standard antibiotics, allergy pills etc with little improvement I took him to a specialist. We did ALL the invasive testing like bronchoscopy, used all the bronchodilators/puffers/steroids, did home renos, added hepa filters ++ and the cough just got worse and worse. He was diagnosed with chronic bronchitis (copd). My boy who had always been strong and healthy was suddenly very sick. During his last 6 months he developed side effects to the longterm medications used to treat his breathing issues. His GI, liver, pancreas were all effected, then came massive weight loss, diabetes and finally, coughing blood. When my boy started coughing up blood I called his specialist who said "likely cancer". I was faced with more invasive testing at the emerg hospital (during covid - which meant I couldn't be inside should something happen) and at this point my boy was weak from all the other chronic illnesses. I couldn't put him through any more. Like you with your Layla, I tried everything I could and the health battles just kept on coming. My boys spirit was so strong but his aged body just couldn't keep up. We spent a final day together. We went for a good (slow paced) walk, I fed him extra food and treats, lots of cuddles, kisses and I love you's and then as he napped in my arms at home a hospice vet enabled us to say our final goodbye. He had a good life and a good death - which he deserved (because immortality unfortunately hasn't be figured out yet) but like you, it also makes it very hard to trust yourself when they are still "eating and walking". Please remember that breathing is just as impactful on life as eating and mobility - I have to remind myself of this constantly, too. And I can tell you from experience, that cough and those poor lungs weren't going to get better. 

I don't know how I got through that day or those final moments either. It's been almost 6 weeks and I cry ugly tears daily. I have experienced the insane guilt, second guessing, what if's and heart breaking grief every day since. I think that as devoted pet parents in moments like that our natural instinct to protect our dogs takes over and we do what has to be done for them, not us. At some point the heroic acts we have always done have to be balanced against quality of life not quantity. I would have given my own life for my boy, he was my everything. 

I hope you find peace, grieve as you need to. My best to you. xx

Quote 2 0
P_Mom
Dear Yana,  I'm so very sorry about the loss of your sweet Layla.  It's obvious the great love you have and utmost care you took of your baby.  I relate to both you and grievingmama's words.  It's so hard to know 'when' but we try to do what's right to spare suffering.  I second guess my decision everyday as my boy (just turned 15) had snubbed certain foods and was mostly not eating, but still eating some (scrambled egg and piece of meatball morning of) and walking.  But he was tired and not the same - within a few short days I could see his light dimming.  His big, beautiful, dark, soulful eyes were almost void the last day.  

He had heart disease and early CHF caught with meds, but any day could go full blown.  I told myself when he starts labored breathing, I know I have to say goodbye.  My mother passed from COPD - it was horrendous how she suffered so long and gasped for every breath.  Many months. And it progressively got worse if one can even imagine. There was a time I considered putting a pillow over her face to end her suffering, but we humans have to 'wait it out.' I made a commitment to spare my boy that suffering.  Fortunately he did not go into full CHF, but sadly had kidney failure which I feel tremendous guilt about with so much focus on his heart overlooking his kidneys.  When I was faced with this, I too thought could I do more, what if this treatment or that, but feared he would still suffer as the damage was not reversible. 

There is a quote and it's one I used to make the hardest decision of my life, 'a week too soon is better than a day too late.' While we want every longest moment we can possibly have on this earth with them and never want to say the dreadful, painful goodbye, we try to make the best decision for them and we usually have little time and information to do it.  When they are seniors, we can only push so much.  

I always 'planned' and wanted to sing a favorite silly song to him in his final moments to comfort him, but forgot with all going on. You kissed her everyday and she knew your love for her.  Majority of pups hate the Vet and want to get away from them.  You did not allow her to suffer, you did right by and for your Layla. 💖

Grievingmama - I'm so sorry for your loss too.  I'm a grieving mama too.  It's been 5 months and every day is still as hard as the one before.  I don't know how people can ever move forward.  Tiny baby steps  I guess.

^sending love and comfort to both of you
Jennifer
Quote 1 0
LaylaForeverinmyHeart
Grievingmama and P_mom, thank you so very much for both of your kind words. It’s people like you that brighten the days of others. I am also so sorry for both of your losses. Reading both of hour responses really gave me some insight as I haven’t read too many posts about people whose dogs had respiratory problems. Because I didn’t know for sure what Layla had made it that much more difficult for me to make that decision but what I did know is that I didn’t want my baby to suffer as I saw that her quality of life was no longer good when she stopped sleeping at night, crying and coughing her lungs out. That is no way to live. I pray that God will give us strength to remember the good times we had with our babies and smile and lessen the pain. I know that my heart will never be whole again as Layla has a piece of it and I am sure you both could relate. Again thank you so much for your support, it means the world to me. 
Yana 
Quote 0 0
LaylaForeverinmyHeart
Also, I really like that quote, I will try to remember it for when I have quilt and doubts about whether I made the right decision. Sending hugs to the both of you!
Yana 
Quote 0 0
DDs_Mom_12
Dear Yana,

I know the pain that you are going through because I just unexpectedly lost my beloved cat "DD" on Saturday, July 11th. He was fine the day before.  He urinated on our bed, which he never did, which indicated something was terribly wrong. We rushed him to the emergency vet to be told he was in very critical condition, was in shock, and probably had sepsis.  He was not the only one who was in shock!  Because of Covid-19, we were not allowed to be with him when he passed away.  We were not able to say any final goodbyes; we brought his lifeless body home to bury him above his sister.  

DD was like a dog - he followed me around the house constantly.  When I was folding clothes on the bed, he would roll on them and want me to pet him.  He would sleep up against me every night.  He even wanted me to pet him when I was on the toilet!  He would be on my chest while I was watching TV.  He constantly gave me head butts throughout the day.  He was a big part of our lives, and our homes and hearts are now empty.

However, Yana, I can tell you from past experiences, as I am much older than you, the pain will ease only to be replaced by loving memories of Layla.  I have lost quite a few companion animals in my life believing that life could simply not go on and that the pain would never go away.  Then other companion animals became a part of my life, but each of them were unique and none of them ever really replaced others that had passed on.  One quality that they did all share, however, was the unconditional love they gave.  You, too, will again find this, but you will never replace your Layla, who will always remain in your heart. 

Sue 


Quote 1 0
LaylaForeverinmyHeart
I am so sorry about your cat DD, it’s terrible that you couldn’t be there but unfortunately there was nothing you could do during a pandemic. DD sounded like a wonderful cat who was very loved and gave a lot of love in return. 
Thank you for your kind words and your support Sue. I long for the time that I could remember the good memories I shared with Layla and stop thinking about when she was sick and the last day which really haunts me. And you are right, Layla will always be in my heart and DD will always be in yours. Hugs to you, may you find comfort during this difficult time.
Yana 
Quote 0 0
LaylaForeverinmyHeart
Hi my girl, I miss you more than ever. I went to the beach today to get my mind off things and saw a yellow butterfly. I am hoping this was another sign from you. I have never seen a yellow butterfly before, it was beautiful. I love you so much my Layla girl, my heart feels empty without you💔😢
Yana 
Quote 1 0
LaylaForeverinmyHeart
Hi my beautiful Layla girl ❤️ Happy Birthday my sweet angel, you would have been 15 today and today marks 6 weeks since I seen your beautiful face and your precious big eyes. I miss you so much. I hope you got the balloons with the messages we sent for up for you. We also lit up a memorial candle in your memory. I wish you were here so I could buy you a bunch of toys like I used to. You used to get so excited. I hope you’re excited and celebrating up there. It hurts so much to not be next to you and kiss you and hold you. I hope you know that we all love you and miss you forever. And you are always in our hearts and in our family and in our home. Till we meet again Layla girl 💔🌈😢
Yana 
Quote 0 0
LaylaForeverinmyHeart
Hi my beautiful angel, it’s 7 weeks today since I last saw you. My heart is broken and I miss you more and more each day. You were and will always be my everything. I love you and miss you so much my Layla girl. You’re always in my heart. Until we meet again my sweet angel.
Yana 
Quote 0 0
Mdmoore
Oh Yana, I feel your pain as I can relate what you went through.  What a precious fur baby Laila she will always have a huge part of your heart.  This forum has been a blessing to me too.  I know the guilt and all the regrets.  We always feel like we could have done more and that’s because we love them so much that we would do anything for them.  I wish our fur babies could live as long as us.  Take comfort in the happy memories you built together.  🤗 
M moore
Quote 0 0
P_Mom
Yana, I see it was recently your baby girl's birthday.  That must've been a very tough day.  The balloons were a nice tribute to your sweet Layla.  It's so painful without them.  Life is so different.  Sending you big hugs.  Happy (belated) Birthday Layla - run, romp, and play with all our babies at the rainbow. 🌈🎈💖
Jennifer
Quote 0 0
LaylaForeverinmyHeart
Thank you so much for your kind words @Mdmoore and I am truly sorry for your loss as well. I am so grateful to have found this site and the wonderful people on here that understand the pain and guilt. And yes I wish they lived as long as humans do, they’re so innocent and loyal, such a shame 😩
Yana 
Quote 0 0
LaylaForeverinmyHeart
Thank you so much for the wonderful birthday wishes @P_Mom, really means a lot to me. It was a difficult day for sure but to be honest every day is difficult, I think about her every second of every day but I am sure you know how that feels. I am truly sorry for your loss as well. Life is definitely painful without them and will never be the same 💔
Yana 
Quote 0 0