Rigby. He was a 13.5 year old Pom. I got him at 8 weeks. Even at 13 years, people asked me all the time if he was a puppy. He was my baby. I have (had) two Pomeranians. Conor and Rigby. And they were both a bit sick this past week. Both had gotten diarrhea but they both had pancreatitis so that was pretty normal. I just needed the special vet food (that they won't give you without a checkup). So I took them in and the vet gave them both fluids and an antibiotic and the food ($500). And they both improved. That was Sunday. Monday Rigby was still slow but no more diarrhea. I went to bed Monday night thinking that the next morning I would get him cleaned up and wash his bedding and everything. But on Tuesday morning he woke up breathing weird. He breathed weirdly a lot-- he had a collapsing trachea. But this wasn't that. And my response SHOULD have been...take him back to the vet. But I stalled. I thought maybe he was just having an allergic reaction to the medicine. So I didn't give it to him again. Instead I gave him a teeny dose of torbutol to calm his breathing. But it didn't change. And what I SHOULD have done was take him to the vet. But my husband and I have had so many experiences with vets being like "oh it's not big deal here's a really simple thing you could have done at home but we'll run six tests and charge you $1000 for it). So I waited some more. And then after 12 hours of this (12 hours what is wrong with me?!), I noticed Rigby had gotten out of his bed for water but not gotten back in. He was lying really strangely just at the entrance for his bed, still breathing in that heavy weird way. And I asked my husband to take him to the vet (I was cooking and had spent 4 hours there on Sunday so I didn't want to go). We got in a fight because he had just gotten home from work. I said something mean. Then I offered to go with him, but he didn't want me to go because I had been mean so I didn't go. And he picked up Rigby and he left.
A few minutes later he sent me a picture of a sign on the vet door "Closed at 2pm today, sorry for any inconvenience". They gave an emergency number but ...we didn't know it was an emergency. 10 minutes later my husband burst in the door yelling "I THINK RIGBY JUST DIED I THINK HE'S DEAD".
He was so so limp. We laid him on the floor to get a good look at him and listen to his chest. It was chaos and then he kind of jerked and moved so we made an insane dash for the emergency vet. Crying the whole time. Feeling like he must be gone but just refusing to be sure. When we got there, they were closed.
But we had passed an open normal vet on the way and so we doubled back. I ran him in, I passed him off, they ran him back. And then a minute later came out. And handed him back to me.
That was Tuesday night. It's Sunday morning. I haven't stopped crying since. And the thing that haunts me: Looking down at him laying strangely out of his bed. AND I DIDN'T PICK HIM UP. WHY DIDN"T I JUST PICK HIM UP?!?!?!?! My insides burn and scream with that question?!?! I accept the horrible reason: Because he was covered in diarrhea and I hadn't cleaned him up yet. What an idiot. What a monster. I could have held him close. I could have made him feel safe. I could have washed my shirt!!!!!!!! But I just left him there and asked my husband to deal with him.
The only thing comforting is that I know my husband was holding him and cradling him the whole way back from the vet. I know Rigby was at least with him. But did he even see me at all? I'm pretty sure the sudden jerk was not a living movement. But he looked so so perfect right up until they took him back for good. I just want to believe he saw me for a second but of course I can't.
I'll never forgive myself for not picking him up. I'll never be without that image of him laying there, breathing so hard, not able to get in his bed. 13.5 years of caring for him and loving him and I failed him completely right at the end. I don't know what to do with myself. I feel like complete garbage. I miss him constantly. I look around my apartment and see him everywhere. I know, he was old. He wasn't that healthy but he had his spunky excited moments. I was ready to be told he needed to be put down at any point. I was ready to hold him and sing him out of this world. But instead I looked at him, and not seeing the urgency thought "hmm that looks bad" and then DIDN'T JUST PICK HIM UP AND HOLD HIM WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!