I lost my best friend to kidney failure on June 19th, and I sobbed for hours last night knowing it was time to go back to the vet today and get his remains. It’s been a rollercoaster of emotions since the day we lost him. I keep hearing sounds and think it’s him, and I keep thinking I see him because he was this sweet cream color that matches so many things in my house. His absence is more apparent than I ever thought possible, and being stuck at home without him feels like the purest form of tortue. The hardest part I think, is the thought that I will never again hold his little face in my hands and kiss his head. I’ll never catch him looking for me and see him be so happy when I come up behind him. I’ll never see his sweet eyes looking back into mine, knowing we both felt such love for one another.
I have had so many thoughts about the end of his life. We stopped getting his blood drawn after last July because it was so hard on him, that we knew he would die of stress if we did it again. Truly, he was a pomeranian, and last time it took 6 people to hold him down while he screamed as if they were killing him. But a week before we had to put him down, I couldn’t bear it anymore. I had to call the vet to see if there was any other way to get his blood. He had lost far too much weight despite eating well, and I spent 100% of every day trying to get him to gain weight. She said they could sedate him to get blood, but maybe we should just try again the normal way since he’s old and may tolerate it now. So we tried, and he did tolerate it. He didn’t resist at all, and he seemed to be unaware of what happened when they brought him back to me after the appointment. That worried me, but I couldn’t wait to see once and for all what was wrong with my boy so that we could finally help him adequately. They called with his test results the day after he took a bad turn in the night. Maybe his stomach flipped or the rest of his body just finally gave up. We’ll never know. We called in the morning to make an appointment for him since he wasn’t feeling well, and to see what his results were. She said it was extreme kidney failure and that we need to put him down as soon as possible.
I don’t suffer with regret of opting for euthanasia too soon, but actually the opposite. I thought we were doing him a favor by not taking him to get his blood drawn anymore. But what if he was suffering for this whole past year and I never took him in. He really seemed alright other than the weight loss. He just seemed very old. The idea of sedation never crossed my mind until recently. What if it was because I didn’t brush his teeth enough and it was his gum disease that caused his kidney problems. I read that can happen. I know all these things now for future dogs, but I wish I knew them then. It isn’t fair. He was the best dog and I’m not sure when I’ll ever be okay. I miss him every second of every day, and it feels wrong to even consider ever getting another dog. He had a beautiful life, and we loved him so well, but I can’t help but constantly dwell on what we could have - should have - done for him in his final chapter.
Despite all these thoughts and all this pain. I did get a sign that I know he sent me the day after he passed. I cried a lot that day of course, and I kept thinking that I wish he would send me a sign so that I know he’s okay and he’s here. I was even thinking about getting a tattoo of popcorn because that was his true love in life. When he heard the first pop in the microwave, he went completely nuts until our bowls were empty and his belly was full. That night, the day after he passed, we went out to eat, and they served us popcorn when we sat down. I know that is a thing some restaurants do, but I’ve never had that happen to me in my life. So I knew it was my sweet boy. I cling to that every day, and I hope you all know that your babies are with you too, even in the loneliest moments we face every day without them here on earth.
To everyone in this unbearable position, know that you loved your pet fiercely, and they you. Nothing can change that and nothing can destroy the countless memories you shared over the months or years you spent together. The pain we feel is only a reflection of the love we had for our companions, and that truth gives me so much peace. Such strong love is worth the pain, for how else can we know how truly beautiful it was.
“The bond with a dog is as lasting as the ties of this earth can ever be.” -Konrad Lorenz