Steve_F
I lost my Benny on Thursday. He was a 12.5yr old italian greyhound. He had lymphoma and I tried doing everything I could for him. His liver and abdomen were affected.  It was also discovered he had a very bad heart murmur.

I went the conventional route with chemo which didn't work as he had a bad reaction to the second week of treatments.  I then then turned to homeopathic treatments which kept him relatively stable.  

These last two weeks though I knew he was declining. His appetite changed drastically and it was very hard to find things for him to eat. He turned away from his favorite treats too. He started having chronic diarrhea which I tried controlling with medicine and cooking chicken/rice for him.

I could tell the lymph nodes under his jaw kept getting larger and at one point he had three accidents in the house, one of which was just bloody fluid. I rushed him to the vet and the ultrasound revealed a mass on his colon now.  The vet said he was toward the end stages and I could euthanize him right then or we could try a steroid injection.  I opted for the steroid injection.  

I chose the injection.  I just couldn't put him to sleep right then. He was still so perky and happy.  After the effect of the steroid wore off he started declining again.  This past week I made the decision to call the vet and have him come to the house to euthanize Benny.

The morning I made the call, I think Benny knew.  He was always glued to my side since he was a puppy, but after I hung up the phone  he literally would not let me out of his sight.  He even sat outside the shower door waiting for me to get done showering.

I spent the rest of the day saying goodbye to him.  We went outside the backyard and took pictures together along with my other dog Mika.  I talked to him and told him it would be ok and that I loved him very much.  Showered him with kisses and let him kiss me back (one of his favorited things to do was to shower everyone with kisses).

The vet arrived that afternoon with an assistant. He told me they would put a catheter in first and then give him a sedative which they did.  Benny just looked at me as they put the catheter in.  I should have been holding him and I will never forgive myself for that! Once he was given the sedative he fell asleep within seconds.  I thought I would have a minute to say good bye but the vet injected the anesthesia right after and he was gone in less than 20 seconds.  It was all so fast.  I lay sobbing over his body, caressing him and lifted his little head and looked into his lifeless eyes.  I kissed his forehead gently and held his little paws which had already gone cold.  

They gave me some time to grieve and then came back in the house and I helped bundle him up in a warm thick red blanket and he was gone.

The emptiness, sadness, and regret I feel are just crushing me right now.  This is the second day and I haven't left the house.  My other dog seems to know something is wrong, but she is almost 15 now and has lost her hearing and some of her eyesight.  

Benny was still active and even on his last day he woke up wagging his tail ready to come downstairs for us to begin our normal daily routine. Though he still didn't want his food again and I noticed he didn't want to drink any water.  He still went outside to sun himself one last time. 

I keep wondering if I should have held off longer. He still seemed to have so much life left in him. Did I cut his time short? I am feeling so guilty about this right now. He wasn't showing signs of pain other than no appetite or thirst. He was having some trouble breathing because the lymph glands under his jaw were so swollen, but other than that he was the same Benny...though I could sense his energy was going and he showed no interest in his toys (he loved his toys so much! Even at his age!).

So now as I sit writing this with tears in my eyes, staring at his empty dog bed and all his toys, I am missing him sooo much!!  All of you have lost your special furr babies so I know you can understand.  There are no words to describe this kind of loss.  I've read other posts and can feel everyone's pain.  I guess having this in common with others is what may help me get through this time.  He is the first dog that I have ever lost so the feelings are overwhelming.  I'm almost 50yrs old and never thought I would feel like a kid again, crying over something I loved so very much with all of my heart and soul.  

Thank you for reading all of this and I send everyone my thoughts of comfort and peace on your loss. 

Steve F



BennysDad

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wendywoo
Steve, bless you and your Benny. Your post brought tears to my eyes. I understand that pain so well. Please don't try to second-guess your decision, you made the decision from love as we all do when we have to. Often said - better a week too soon than a day too late. Also often said is how dogs are stoic and hide their pain so what you see might not be what is going on underneath and how bad it is for them. I know with all of mine when they felt unwell they stuck close by to me - you said that Benny did this too. Maybe it's comfort / security, I don't know but think when I feel ill I just want my mum to be around, I sense it's the same thing.
For me it's nearly 3 week and I am still struggling badly. I don't cry and sob so much as I did those first few days but worse is a deep-rooted sadness and sense / knowledge that life has changed forever and I find that is the hardest thing. Emptiness. My house feels too big. 
I am so sorry for your loss and I feel and share your pain. I find comfort here being amongst people who understand.
Zippy 13/01/2008, Button 06/01/2016, Jake 11/05/2016
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ebbsmom
Steve - this is a great place for you to be right now.  I lost my best girl a year ago (Ebby's Story) and still feel the hole in my heart.  However, the pain is less acute right now (by the way, I was 65 when I lost her!!) but I will never forget those first few days, weeks and months!  My heart goes out to you as it does to anyone who has lost a loved one.  Just know that you are not alone and that the grief, while not going away, will get easier to live with.  I'll keep you in my thoughts.
Love you to the moon and back....
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Bailey15
Hi Steve,
I need to tell you that I really believe you did the right thing to let Benny go when you did. Animals hide their pain and from what you have described, Benny may have been in a lot of pain but: he was still able to enjoy a wonderful last day with you - all of the shared kisses and pictures with Mika. It is a day you will treasure! You were really there for him. I wouldn't worry that you weren't holding him when the vet gave him his sedative. He was watching you, he knew you were there with him and that's what really mattered.
Living without him now is whole different thing, I know. I found the grief when we had to let Bailey go overwhelming and I was pretty numb most of the time but in the moments when it became real, I couldn't stand the pain. So I do understand how you feel. I'm quite sure Mika knows that Benny is gone. She likely would have sensed how sick he was and she knows how sad you are as well. Perhaps you can try to comfort each other.
This is so sad and I am so very sorry for your loss!
MJ
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GeeAnn
Steve, the guilt and second guessing seems to be very normal for all here.  I think it is a part of the grieving process in losing a pet when we have to make the decision.  But, there are others on here who's pets have passed away on their own and they also feel the guilt, that they should have done something to prevent it.   We are our pets' protectors and caretakers, so when something bad happens to them we feel responsible for that.  I can tell you loved Benny very much and I know he knew that until the very end! 
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Steve_F
Thank you everyone for your kind words of comfort. I've been cycling between feeling numb and breaking down. I haven't left the house since Wednesday. My other dog is 15 and since Benny's passing I've really now noticed just how much she has deteriorated. I've focused so much on Benny since he was diagnosed with cancer in January that I failed to really keep a close eye on her. She suffers from periodic seizures and for the past year has had muscle spasms and loss of coordination.  There is no brain or spinal cord tumor and the vet has told me it's neurological changes in her aging brain causing it. Without Benny I'm more aware of how stronger they are getting now.

I know she is starting to miss Benny.  Last night she jumped in his bed and began sniffing, scratching, and licking the bed for a long time before settling down on my bed. Today between her naps she's gotten up and just stared around her and gone outside looking a little bewildered. 

Tonight I keep looking at pictures of my Benny and just can't accept that he's gone. I keep picturing him in my mind running in and out of the doggy door or rolling around on his back in the family room. I hear his barking. I see him waiting to greet me at the hallway to the garage with his favorite stuffed toy in his mouth and his tail wagging so much his whole body would move...I'm devastated...

Here is a picture of my baby on the day he crossed the Rainbow Bridge. We went outside to say goodbye to one another and I told him I loved him very much, and I was so sorry for doing what I had decided....

 


BennysDad

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CKMP
Steve
So sorry for the loss of Benny.  What big eyes - eyes through which you were always his "hero"!
This is rough - and as others have said - each day through is a struggle - some easier, some not.  Guilt is a terrible intruder and makes us doubt our decisions and our selves.  I am struggling with this daily, and like all still struggling to accept my girl is gone because of a decision I made.  Mika will be missing her buddy I am sure - and agree she would have known Benny was not well.  She needs you now more than ever - plus you will need her!  Our companions are masters at hiding or masking their pain, their aches and their declining health.  My girl too was so spunky and full of life and then just 2 1/2 days before I made the same decision as you she was not herself.  I too wonder every day if it was too soon, and maybe just maybe she had another opportunity to bounce back. .  .  Don't do this to yourself.  The guilt will creep in and rob you of the precious moments and memories you have - it will become an all consuming monster on its own!  You love Benny [and Mika] immensely and both will know this as sure as they know themselves.  Our dogs are the clever ones I always say - they are able to just know what life is all about - running, jumping, snuffing, begging, playing and barking - and they just know when it is the time in life for a new adventure - a new 'leash' on life - and know its time to say goodbye for a while to us.  Benny is never far though from you - and Mika - he walks beside you know, silently but steadily -full of health and always looking out for you and Mika.  
it is devastating and its is soul crushing - [and I too am in my 50s] - no matter how young or old we are.  It is the bond, the love, the co-dependency we establish with our special friends that drive us into the depths of grief and self-doubt.  
Take comfort in and with Mika - and in the love shared with Benny. 
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Roccosmommy
Please don't feel guilty. You made the right decision and had the opportunity to be with him through the very end. You have him the same loyalty he always gave you. The pain is crushing, I know. It will get better then worse then better then worse. I'm sorry for your loss.
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winstonsmom12
Steve I am so very sorry for yout loss of benny.  I had the same experience with both of my dogs.  My Max was on meds for his heart.  He was still having seizures.  The night I decided to put him to sleep he had a seizure and urinated in my arms when i picked him up.  When I broughht him to the ER hospital they gave hin meds and oxygen and he was fine.  But i jnew this wouldn't last  He was 13 yr old Mini Schnauzer i had since he was 8 weeks old.  I felt i kept him alive too long.

Winston was put to sleep 3/2/16 after 12 years.  That is a long life for a Bulldog.  I didn't have the money for a lot of testing because i am on disability.  But i could see him declining rapidly.  He had a nagging cough, vomiting and decreased appetite.  I just couldn't watch him suffer any longer.  I feel in both cases I made the right decision.  I know they are together over the bridge happy and healthy again.  I love yoy Max and Winston   Mommy  XOXOXO
Susan
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Steve_F
Thank you everyone for your kind words and thoughts. Feeling hollow and dead on the inside this afternoon. I'm trying to keep the same daily routine going for my other dog, but it's been very hard. I've done nothing but zone out on the couch and count down the hours until I can go to bed at night. I forced myself to go out to the store last night to get candles for tonight's candlelight memorial ceremony...felt like a zombie walking around the grocery store.  I worried about how my other dog would handle being all alone in the house.  She's always had Benny by her side for the last 12 and half years.  I knew they would keep each other company while I was at work or out doing something.  Now without him, I really worry about her because of her age and her declining health. She's been following me everywhere I go in the house which she never did before. I'm sure his absence has made her anxious.  Benny was the one that always kept an eye on where I was and I think as long as Mika didn't sense something was wrong from him, she felt secure. She's lost almost all of her hearing so it's more stressful for her now. 

I'm not sure how I will cope when I receive Benny's remains. I lost my wife 8 years ago this coming Wednesday to cancer and the dogs were the only thing that helped me through that dark period. Now it's just Mika by my side. Hoping that it will be ok. I am feeling so very lost at the moment...sorry for rambling....

BennysDad

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CKMP
Steve, I am so so sorry for your losses. Never, ever apologize for what you say or how you say it. I can understand your feelings, the sense of being adrift, sort of just wandering aimlessly around the house, the yard, a store. Once out, you want to be back home and once back home you encounter that lost feeling once more, Mika will be depending on you a lot more now - as Benny was her guardian as well. And you on her as well. It is very rough to gauge how the surviving dog is doing. We become so emotionally worn out and at the same time, not lis our worry heightens and we see every little thing we hadn't seen before with the still here companion. My girl too is changed a bit since the loss of her sister and I have begun to see her age s well. Nothing is easy in life, at least not he things that matter. Benny coming home might complete the pack circle once again as he will be back se that loved him the best and the most. It is clear how much you love both of your companions and how deep the bond is especially when they are the ones to help us through a bitter loss like you have endured. As we get older we having an increasing more difficult time with a loss like this. I think as our companion physically leaves our side he or she takes a huge piece of our own life with them - not to mention a huge piece of our hearts. It just hits you like nothing else - we keep losing too many pieces of our life and our selves. I wish I had the magic words of comfort - knowing Benny loved you unconditionally and you him is probably the greatest gift ever. Take care
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BeachieGirl33
Steve I am so sorry for your loss.  You have had some hard times but God will guide you through the darkness.  Just believe...

Hugs to you ...

Betty
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GeeAnn
Steve I am so sorry about Benny.  It is obvious you took great care of him and did the best thing you could so he wouldn't suffer and have pain.  The things you are doing are all normal for all of us here.  Dogs are such creatures of habit and their habits become our routines and when they are gone that makes it all the harder.  It's been 25 days since my sweet Riley passed and today I moved his dog bed from its place in our room.  I didn't move it far, just behind the chair.  Because I am not ready to remove it from the house yet, but I realized looking at that empty bed each day was hard on me and thought I was ready for that small change.  My point in sharing that is to say just let yourself take baby steps and be good to yourself.  I also find this forum comforting and come here as often as I need.   
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PeteysMomma
Hi Steve, I am so sorry about Benny.  I can tell from reading your posts how much you loved him and cared for him.  It sounds like you did everything you possibly could!  As far as feeling guilty I think we all feel that.  My head tells me that I did all I could to save my baby and we had no options left, but my heart still feels guilty for having to choose to put Petey to sleep.  It is a horrible decision to have to make, but I remind myself that I made that decision with his best interests in mind and that helps a little.  You and Mika hang in there.
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JerseyNonna
steve, I am so sorry to read about your loss of benny.  aaww it doesn't matter how old we are when we lose such gentle souls whom we love more than anything and we all understand how you feel.  you offered benny the last greatest gift your love could ever bring to him - freedom from the pain he was living with and allowing him to cross the bridge to a most wondrous place where he is young and healthy again, where he waits for you while he runs and plays with the rest of our furbabies.  you did a real solid for benny and I know he thanks you for taking his pain onto yourself.  bet he told st peter that you are the best dad ever!   ok, now if I can stop crying - many many hugs to you
JerseyNonna
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