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justsomeguy

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hello, this is my first post here so I don't know anyone here, but I really need to get this off my chest.  Please bare with me this will probably turn into a long post.  I don't have anyone else I can share it with though, so I'll give it a try here. 

My first and only one out of two dogs that I have ever had, died last night at home, she would have been 17 years old in june, and I'm 23, so I've had her basically my whole life (had her since she was a puppy).  She was a german sheppard/chow mix.  I love that dog more than almost anything or anyone in the world.  She got me through so many hard times in my life, she was there for me when my brother died, she was there when my grandparents died, and she was there for me when her own son (and my only other dog) died, and she was there for me countless other times when I just needed a friend.  She was always there for me no matter what, and I considered her to be my best friend (I know that might sound lame but I don't care it's true).  I don't think there was a single day in probably the last 10 years that I went without telling her that I loved her. Whenever I was home, she would be right there by my side.  She was the most loyal pet/friend I could ever ask for, and I was loyal back to her, I treated that dog like a queen her whole life.  My family has also nursed her back to health and taken care of her through many threatening ilnesses  including parvo, a broken leg, 3 litters of puppies, and a crushed hip that had to be reconstructed from when she jumped out of a moving truck trying to bite passerby cars (lol),

She developed a cancerous mammary tumor about 8 months ago, and it just kept getting worse, but we didn't want to put her through surgery because she was so old, it would have probably just killed her.  In the recent months she got so bad that she could barely walk anymore, although she still did eat healthily.  In the last week or so she got even worse, breathing trouble, and could barely get up anymore.  I knew it was time for her to be euthanized, but I loved that dog so much I just couldn't bring myself to go through with it, so I just kept loving on her and talking to her and trying to make her comfortable (I'm a selfish A-hole, I knw).  That's not even the bad part though, the worst part of all is that the night that she was dying (we could just tell that she wasn't going to make it through the night), I decided that I needed to go out and get drunk at a friends house to get it off my mind, because I couldn't stand to watch my best friend die in front of me.  I talked to her for a few minutes before I left that night and told her how much I loved her, and how much I would miss her, and told her how she had made my life so much better, although I also told her this often even before she was dying, because I knew she was old and her death was inevitable.

Anyway, I left and went to get drunk all night, and when I came home in the morning, she had already died, and my mother already burried her in our back yard by the time I got home...  Now I feel so guilty for not staying there with her when she was dying... Its making me physically ill to think of how I willingly abandoned my lifelong friend in her last hours and moments just because it would be too painful for me...  I wish I could go back and be there with her, I'm sure this pain and guilt I have now is much worse than what it would have been if I had stayed and held her as she died...And also add onto that the fact that she'll never be here with me again... and this all happened just last night. I know about death and I know that it's going to hurt even more in the coming days and months and possibly years.....I'm really hurtin right now... can someone please give me some words of encouragement or something, i just feel so bad about what I did........the guilt is almost unbearable.

Thanks for taking the time to read my long ass rambling post by the way, but I have nobody to talk to about this.

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espresso

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Reply with quote  #2 
I was overwhelmed with guilt too after my cat died last week. The guilt was even worse than the grief. She died at home, but alone, as I was sleeping with my bedroom door closed. I beat myself up over the fact that she died alone, but a friend told me she didn't die alone. She died at home, knowing I was there, and with her two brothers by her side. You mentioned wishing you could've been there with her and held her as she died, but this might not have been better for either of you. A lot of animals hide when they are dying. She might not have wanted you to see her that way. And it might have been more emotionally upsetting for you if you'd been there in the final hours.

Everyone grieves differently, but for me, the first week was almost unbearable. I thought I would die of heartbreak. I couldn't eat or sleep well, and really only left the house to go to work. I cried pretty much non-stop, even at my desk at work. Now nine days later, I am definitely in a better place emotionally. I couldn't believe this last week when people would tell me this, but time really does help in dealing with the acute grief.

Please don't beat yourself up with the guilt. You obviously gave her 17 wonderful years, and she was able to die in the comfort of her own home.

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larryboy

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Reply with quote  #3 
Just some guy, 
I am so very sorry about your loss.  What was her name?  All of us here feel so much sadness when our pet babies die.  She loved you so much, and knew that you loved her too.  You were a good doggie dad to her for her whole life.  She was lucky to have you as her best friend.  I agree with Expresso that she probably was trying to hang on for you, and that when you left, she knew that it was okay for her to go.  It's hard, I know.

Losing your furbaby leaves us with deep grief for awhile.  We had to euthanized our big kitty, Larry 4 weeks ago, yesterday.  I still miss him a lot, but I remember the good things about him more and more.

What was your baby's name?  When you feel up to it, post a photo of her.  We'd love to see her, and hear more stories about her life with you.

This is a good website for you to be.  It has helped my husband and me a lot.  Check out the Monday night Candlelighting.  It's so wonderful, and helped us honor our Larry.

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MagzMom

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Reply with quote  #4 
I am so sorry for your loss justsome.  It sounds like you gave your sweet dog many years of love and care. You need to cut yourself some slack.  What you were dealing with was devastating at best and the stress sometimes gets to be way too much to bear.  You needed to decompress.  You did what you thought was right by your dog.  You did come to the right place.  Everyone here understands. 

My Maggie WAS my best friend, she WAS always here for me, and she made my life better.  The loss is devastating.  Please find it in your heart to forgive yourself.  I am sure your dog does.  I wish you peace.
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dalmatian

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Reply with quote  #5 

Some-times they are so sick that all you can do  Is "Let go".    Doesn't mean that you don't care.  Some -times God just takes over and their Isn't alot you can do.   

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eliza

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Reply with quote  #6 
I understand how hard that must be. But your girl may have chosen to leave while you were out. Both people and animals have some sense of when they will leave in these sorts of circumstances. Maybe she thought it was the best way for her, and for you. Take comfort knowing she was home, your mother was there, and she may have thought she was making the right choice to go when she did. Take care. I know this is terribly painful. Know that you were there for her in many ways up until the end. She loved you.
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Mia870

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Reply with quote  #7 

I know that guilt, I wasn't with Mia when she died, she was alone, and for the first week I could barely function I was so sad and guilty. But I have come to realise that she was at home and her home was the place she was most comfortable, so it wasn't so bad afterall. Just try and take it one day at a time and know that we all understand how you are feeling and to come and post when you can. I wish you peace xx  


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damselfly1213

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Reply with quote  #8 

My Lucy was my best friend - nobody needs to be ashamed to admit that. Friendship with an animal is a special category of friendship. I had to have my dog euthanized, and I didn't want to watch her breathe her last - just couldn't bear it, so I gently passed her to her vet -- I knew he'd be gentle and kind with her. There's really no easy way to lose an old and beloved friend.  You're a 23 year old guy - it doesn't surprise me in the least that you'd want to go get drunk to escape the pain of losing your dog...we all deal with it in our own way.

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justsomeguy

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Reply with quote  #9 
Thanks for all of the kind thoughts everyone, a lot of what was said has really made me feel a little better.  I keep looking in places in my house and yard where she used to sleep/be lazy, and I know that she won't be there but I keep looking there anyway every time I walk by that certain place, etc. or when I pull in the driveway and expect to see her there running up to my car with her tail waggin like she always did.  That sucks when she's never there, and I realize for the 500'th time that she'll never be there again...  That dog meant a lot to me, it's gonna be a lot different now with her not around after 17 years.   One thing that I am majorly relieved about though is that at least she isn't in pain anymore, and hopefully she is in a better place.  I guess that's all that matters in the end?

This is so weird, writing that makes me realize how similar the feelings are between now and when my brother died 4 years ago.  Dogs really do become a part of your family. 
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p_im

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Reply with quote  #10 

I am so sorry for your loss. You are right, when a pet dies, it's like a part of us has died..I know how hard it can be. I am sure your furbaby understood why you were not there. Once when I was moving interstate, we could not immediately take our furbaby, Shampoo, with us. I was only a kid then. We thought we would settle down and would come back to collect him within a month. We left him with our neighbours. However, when dad went to get him after a few weeks, he had already passed away. He was young, beautiful, and so wonderful...and it’s so many years now, still I can’t help feel guilty and wish we had moved him with us. And it hurts whenever I think of him...and I often pray to God and tell HIM that he should tell Shampoo how much I still love him and miss him, and how we never meant to leave him like that. I can understand exactly how you feel. If only we would wish things away or make things different...but please don’t blame yourself, you only did what you thought was best. Dogs are very sensitive, and they can pick up their master’s moods very easily. Maybe if you had stayed with her, she would have been more distressed knowing you were upset. Maybe it could have made her passing away more painful. I know that your best friend is safe, happy, and healthy at the bridge...probably, she is chasing my pet bird, Motu, who passed away a few days back. I wish you peace, and though it is difficult, please be happy that your baby is in a better world now...

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damselfly1213

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Reply with quote  #11 

Justsomeguy -- yes, dogs are members of the family, and you bring up a good point -- losing a beloved pet will bring up memories of other loved ones who have passed. When my Lucy passed, I, too, re-experienced much of the pain I felt upon losing other family members. I also relived the deaths of previous much-loved pets. So you have old grief and new grief coming down on you all at once. If it would help, you might be able to find a pet loss support group in your community. My local humane society has one --  I'm thinking of going to it.

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JoeysMom

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Reply with quote  #12 
Dear Guy~
The wonderful thing about this forum is that no matter what time it is you can log on and find comfort. For the first couple of days I was on all night because I couldn't sleep. I agree with Eliza that maybe she chose when to leave, to spare you the pain of watching her take her last breath. Consider it her final gift to you. She knew how much you loved her.
Please post some pictures to share with us. I found it very helpful to make a memorial page for Joey-- click on the link below if you'd like to see it.
Also, maybe you could donate some money, even if it's just the price of a case of beer, to your local animal shelter in your girl's honor.
Take good care of your Mom~ she's been through her own hell.

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http://rainbowsbridge.com/residents/JOEY028/Resident.htm
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