ives

Sorry, I just really didn't know where to go. It's been a long three days. 

I'm an Airman stationed in Nebraska. A year and a half ago, I left the house I lived in my whole life, along with my parents, my autistic older brother, our two dogs and two rabbits. 

Several months ago, we lost our eight year old rabbit Jenny to an aggressive neurological disease, which hit my brother incredibly hard. He has incredibly overwhelming social anxiety and suffers from daily panic attacks. My parents are older and work full-time, and my leaving home did not help him very much, and so I've been trying very, very hard to be strong for him, but it's wrecking me. 

Three days ago, I got a call from my dad crying. My seven year old Labrador, Totoro, jumped off my parents bed that morning, and he woke up to her painful screaming. After a rush to the emergency vet, the obvious was realized. She had broken her back leg. But then came the worst news; she had been suffering from bone cancer, and it had spread to her brain. Suddenly the diagnose of an inner ear infection two weeks ago made sense. 

These past three days has been filled with so much grief and pain. At seven tonight, they will be putting down my precious girl, who I've loved so thoroughly and yet not enough. No words can describe the painful tightness in my throat nor the heaviness in my head. 

Toader was my soul dog. She had come into our lives after the sudden death of our first dog when I was thirteen. I had chosen her from a litter of small, eight week old puppies for her almost intense affection. Every day since then, she was my lapdog, my movie buddy, my hiking partner, my companion for random car rides through rural Oregon. She was my best friend in every way someone would have wished for; she was trusting but protective, she was incredibly intelligent, but not independent in any way. I would wake up in the morning with her next to me, her head on my arm breathing her warm smelly breath into my face. She would grunt her unsatisfied grunt as I got up for school or work, and would lay in bed until she heard the rattle of car keys, and she would see me off, and when I returned, she would be the first "welcome home", waiting by the bay window. 

She was the one I missed the most through all the horrible days of BMT, and my entire flight knew it; From crying when I talked about her without end during our little free time on Sundays, to sobbing that time I saw a stray dog at an obstacle course. My biggest joy was the letters I'd receive from my folks or my brother on the weekend, because it'd almost always include a photograph of my beautiful girl, which I would (dangerously) carry around with me during those seven weeks. The first time I came home was during Christmas, seven months after I had left. On the long ten hour journey back home from Texas, I spent half of it crying in excitement to see her again. My precious, wonderful girl. I wanted so much to tell her I was coming home, that I missed her more than anything. 

There was no greater happiness than coming home to those cries and kisses of "I missed you so much", or waking up again with her head next to mine and her cold lil body tucked under my sheets, and laying there just loving her presence, of being reunited again, just as there was no greater pain than those horrible goodbyes as I hugged her neck while she wiggled furiously to get out the front door. She knew what packing meant; we were going somewhere! and no way were we going to go without her. 

But time and time again, I had to leave her, with a promise of "I'll be back soon, okay?"

But I will never make that promise again, nor will I ever fulfill it. I will not be able to hold her as she closes her eyes again, kiss her little cold brown nose or give her a well-deserved ear rub. I will never fulfill my promise of taking her to the river when the weather gets better, or once again buy her another cup of frozen dog yogurt. There will be a bone I got her for Christmas that will never be finished. There is a quilt on my bed that will be washed but never again soiled with her muddy paws. There's the tattoos of her paws on my arm that will never again be matched to her little feet. 

We were suppose to have so many more Christmases, so many more trips to the dog park. She wasn't old enough, it wasn't fair, it's not her time, we had so many more things to do, I had so many more kisses to give her, and my heart aches and I feel like this whole in my heart will never be filled again, not with all the dogs in the world. The promises I make with another dog will never satisfy the broken promises I made with her. Of all the dogs I've had, none has ever filled my heart the way she has. Of all the friends I make, there will never be one like my sweet girl. 

My heart is breaking, breaking, breaking. I just want to hold her again and tell her how much I love her. She doesn't understand why I'm not there with her, she doesn't know. I won't be the one kissing her face as she slips away, I wont be the one giving her one last ear rub. Everyone keeps saying "I know it's hard, but your family will take care of her." I know that. I know they will. But I will never see her again. 

It's not fair, I came home less than a week ago, after not being home for over half a year. It's not fair that she's only seven years old but she already has to die. It's not fair that I got to be with her for every hard moment until now. It's not fair, it's not fair, how could this be fair? She was my soul dog, my best friend, the one I loved so much, the one who taught me how to put others first. She was patient and kind, she never even chewed on furniture, not once. She never did anything wrong. So why? It's not fair that my brother is losing one more precious thing, when he barely has any to begin with. It's not fair that all he can say is "They're all I have, they're all I have, she's dying but she's all I have." it's not fair that I can't be there with my mom, who can't even say one word without breaking down into tears. It's not fair that our other dog Truffy, who's already eleven with health problems herself, will have to spend the rest of her life without her best friend, who should have outlived her. It's not fair that, while my sweet girl is eating her last breakfast of pancakes and chicken, I have to be a million miles away laying on my couch with the flu. I would suck it up if it meant I got to see her one more time. I would do anything. 

I loved her so much. There's just not enough to describe this horrible, heavy, suffocating grief. It's just not fair. I loved her so, so much. Why is that never enough? Why do these things never end as they're suppose to?

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Joyboys
I am so sorry for you, your family, and your Totoro. It's not fair. It's never more true than now. Life is fragile, all life is painfully fragile. And we live it and know it. That we love despite it is the beauty of it.  I wish you moments of peace in this time of tremendous pain. Totoro is in your heart, and you are in hers. She knows. 
"The wound is the place where the light enters you."
-Rumi
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jimmy17
Ives, I`m so so very sorry about your beautiful Toader, I really don`t know what to say to you - as you say yourself. its so unfair - unfair for you who cannot be there for her, unfair on your mum and brother. Sometimes life is so cruel, only 7 years old.  The only thing I can say is that I know so much what you are going through. 3 weeks ago we lost  our beautiful boy Jim, he was a rescue dog, and yes, he was 17 years old and had had a fabulous life since we got him at 4 months old. He really was our baby, we`ve no children and our lives totally revolved around him. As he was so old, he had numerous problems, over 3 years ago he was diagnosed with a liver tumour, but with medication he plodded on. He went downhill so fast though and in the end it was touch and go as to whether or not we would actually reach the vets, but we stayed with him to the end and it was so peaceful. At the time and during the next 2 weeks, I didn`t cope too well, people meant well when they tried to be kind, but not all people are true dog lovers and I think some of them got a bit fed up with me. It was joining this site that has really helped me, so I`d say to you to keep coming on here, talking to people who are genuine doggy people is so helpful. I am now coming to realise that Jim is in a better place, free from pain, though I would give anything to look at his beautiful face again and stroke his fur. We`ve had dogs before , but like you with Toader, Jim was the special once in a lifetime dog. I know your heart is breaking, but a friend said to me that each tear shed is a testament to the love you have for your dog. I honestly didn`t think I`d ever stop crying- still do most days and probably will for a long time. I`ll be thinking of you and your family, hugs to you all. Jackie. xxx
J Taylor
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rlov60
I first MUST thank you for your service to our country. With that being said, it really hurts to lose such a beautiful family member as Totoro. Pleas stay close to this website, as it has helped me heal from the loss of my two puppies this year, four months apart. We are all family, a family that only we understand. God bless you and your Totoro, until you meet again.
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camunki
so sorry for your Toader, and yes, will will always ask why? I still ask to this day why? You know i wish dogs could live say til they are 20 or 30 in dog years, thinking that somehow someone would come up with this miracle drug to keep dogs around alot longer. Unfortunately, dogs do not live as long as we wish they would, and sometimes our precious pets are taken away at such a young age. Remember you gave Toader a great 7 years, don't ever forget that, loved for a full 7 years.

In my past, i had to put down my dog Dakota, she was only 4 1/2 years old, yes, she was shorted in her life, she was such a happy dog, a loving dog, a loyal dog, my baby, and her life was taken at such a young age. At that time, I did not stay thru the "procedure" of putting her down, i was not ready, yet after she was put to sleep, i walked in the room and her eyes were open, yet her heart was stopped. To this day, i always make sure i am with my babies til the very end, the very last needle, holding them, loving them. I still wonder to this day....why? cuz i had a crappy vet who was taking care of her, obviously they didn't take good enough care for her, and it was too late, her body gave up and she was gone, at 4 1/2 y/o. I hope someday, when its our time to meet, i can find out Why.....

As for now, you are grieving for your soul dog, Toader.....and yes, sometimes life does not seem fair, but remember, you gave Toader so much love!! and i love the pics you have of him posted. Remember, believe, that you again will meet up with your Toader. And please know you are not alone on this grieving path.

Cam

Cam


 
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MissingTaco
Firstly I want to thank you for your service too.  Secondly I just want to say how sorry I am you are going through this horrible grief.  Totoro is a beautiful girl.  

I lost my dog Taco, and I would say he was my soul dog.  I love how you used those words to describe your relationship with your sweet girl.  I had such a strong bond with Taco, I know I will never have the same bond with another dog, and it is one that no person could give to me either.  I still cry two plus weeks later because I still can't believe I lost him.    

I was so angry because he caught cancer I cried every single day until his passing because of that diagnosis.  Everything looked fine in September when we had his senior wellness checkup, and I thought "Oh yeah he will live another 10 years for sure!"  He was 11 1/2 and he passed December 21, 2015. :(  I know that is kind of old for a dog, but there were other chihuahuas in his blood line that lived to be almost 20 or longer.  But my sweet boy got Cancer.   I couldn't understand why I had to lose him because he was such a good boy and such a sweet dog.
It is the most painful grief I have ever felt in my life, and I'm very sorry you are experiencing it too.  I don't know what your beliefs are, but the only thing getting me through losing my Taco is the hope of seeing him again in Heaven someday.  

I send my hugs to you and hope you will find some comfort as well. 


Donielle Taco's Mom
*I love you forever my sweet Taco Beavy*
 
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JerseyNonna
ives, as expressed above, I also thank you for your selfless service to our country.  boy do I know how you feel and so sorry about dear toader and the fact you are so far from her at this time breaks my heart even more than it is already with the loss of my service dog Roxie.  ask your family to have the vet do a paw print clay cast, cut a lock of her hair for you and then you try to take a meditative moment to think of rubbing her ear.  don't say goodbye but rather a "see ya later" because you will see her again.  she will be waiting for you and when she senses your footfalls coming she will be running toward you faster than the wind and then you two will never be parted again.  and yes, your family is still there for toader but that isn't going to really make you feel better tonight.  please know that you are in a wonderful forum here filled with the most caring, compassionate of fur-baby owners and right now so many of us have that pain of loss so raw and the wound so wide open that we know your feelings.  I can say your post hit me hard and of course i'm crying again so if any one of us can ease your pain a bit, just let us know.  many hugs, warm thoughts and prayers for you and toader and your family.
JerseyNonna
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Bahoomba
I am so very, very sorry. I'm going through the same thing somewhat, as I lost a 15-year-old mixed breed last week.

You're so right - it's a suffocating, horrific pain. It is. We can try to soft-soap it all we want, but it's as bad as physical pain, at least to me. 

Your dog was utterly beautiful - but she was that way because you're an exceptional person, too. Don't forget that. I lost a seven-year-old dog some time ago, and yes, it just doesn't seem fair. But life isn't fair; that's the hardest lesson we all learn. But even in the depths of your grief - hey, I've been teetering badly this past week - keep that spark alive. Think of your best friend at its best, and remember all those amazing times you shared together.

Ives, you're a hero. Not just for your service - you're also an obviously intelligent, caring, and loving human being. The world is a better place because of people like you, and don't you forget that for a minute. Thank you.
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Idahosmom
Ives,
I'm so sorry for your loss. Yes, the pain is horrific. I'm sorry that you didn't get to say goodbye to your babygirl. No, it's not fair. It's not fair that she passed away. None of it is fair and makes no sense. How could life be this cruel. People like us, who love our pets so dearly, should not have to be put through this agonizing pain. But, it's part of life…so unfair. I hope my baby boy Idaho finds Totoro and that they can keep each other company. I'm sorry you're going through the same pain I'm experiencing. My thoughts are with you and your family. 
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ives

It's been really hard... Totoro was put to sleep last night, surrounded by my family. It was a very long night and I am so tired. My heart is so heavy, which is ironic since she's gone. There was still a little piece of me that was hoping that the emergency vet was wrong, that our vet would say she'd be okay and had many more years left, but she didn't say that. Instead, they were told she may have had two other types of cancer that were much worse than her diagnosed osteosarcoma, but there was no way of knowing without tests, and they didn't matter anyway. They said there was no way of knowing she was sick, and even if we had, it was so aggressive and uncontrollable, she was doomed from the moment it began. 

My heart hurts, hurts, hurts. There will be no one there to scramble onto my mom's lap the second she sits down in her recliner, or climb into their bed at night without permission. Truffy will wait at the window for them to come home alone. Next time I come home, she wont be there jumping up at the door, or howling when she sees me. 

It's lonely. I appreciate everyone's support and kind words, and understanding as I go through this horrible, horrible loss. I'll make sure to stay involved in the forums. 

Thank you. 

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