I just lost a very beloved pet. His name was Beauregard, and he was a buff cocker.

I got Beau when I was 21. He was the first animal I adopted as an adult and cared for without my parents help. He lived a very spoiled, loved life. In 2009, he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. The doctor told us that he could really go at any moment. But, with the right care and medicine, he could possibly live out his natural life. 

We took him to a specialist at Tuskegee University Teaching Hospital, and we started this journey. He was on a lot of medicine (6 scripts and eye drops) and we went to the hospital (which is an hour away) several times a year for testing and x-rays. We'd have serious scares, but after a night or two in the hospital and some adjusting of meds, he'd bounce right back. For years. In February 2014, he scared us very badly. He wound up with about a 4 day stay, and we thought that was it for sure, but they called us and told us to come get him. That was the beginning of our bonus time with him.

Even though he was so sick, he kept on going. He'd still get excited about dinner time. He'd still run after a trespassing squirrel. He'd still bark so hard at the UPS man that his little floppy front feet would come off the ground. He was mostly deaf, and mostly blind. (He had one eye removed due to a ruptured corneal ulcer, and had a cataract in the other one.) But he was still active and still acting like himself.

On 8/9, my husband called me to tell me to come home. That Beau was coughing more than usual and he'd pooped really badly in the house. I debated on coming home, because I'm an educator, and it was the first day of the school year. I finally settled on it, called his doctor at TU and we hit the road. I sat in the back seat with my boo bear to help him stay calm. His doctor took one look at him and had them come get him for some testing. She came back about an hour later and said that he'd had a stroke and he had pneumonia and needed to be monitored overnight, but the students hadn't come back, so we'd have to take him to the emergency vet to stay, then come get him to bring him back in the morning. My husband drove him over and we sat home waiting for a phone call.

It came at 11. He was so tired of fighting. My heart was absolutely broken, but I knew if anything could have been done to save him, he would have definitely been saved. I knew that Beau was such a fixture around the hospital, so I told his doctor that if they would like to autopsy him that was okay with us. So many vet students at Tuskegee helped him along the way, I wanted to pay them back some. If seeing his heart and lungs helped one of those students become a better doctor, that was a start. (If I had Warren Buffett money, several of them would not pay another dime for college out of their own pockets.) We had him cremated and got to pick him up on Tuesday. I made him a little memorial shelf in the living room.

I am at peace with everything about this. I know I did everything I could, the doctors and students did everything they could. I actually had to take a certification test for my Master's degree that morning at 8, and he crossed the bridge about 2 hours after I got home. He knew that if we had to come back up there to transfer him to the emergency vet for a second night, that the doctor wouldn't have recommended it, she would have recommended putting him to sleep. He knew that we couldn't make that decision, so he took it out of our hands.

So now, I'm just flat out broken hearted. I was already in therapy, so I'm working on it there. I have my husband and friends to lean on, but this is so hard. I lost both of my parents as an adult, so I know that there will be a time when my heart doesn't ache. I am just really having a hard time with his absence. Our other dog, Sammy did too. He seems like he's gotten used to it, though sometimes he walks in to a random room of the house for no reason and looks around occasionally.

I know that I just need time. I just miss him so badly. I thought maybe sharing my story, and hearing the stories of others might help with some of the pain.

Thank you for caring enough to read all this. <3
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I'm so sorry for your loss of Beauregard. What an absolute angel in those pictures! I lost my beloved cat Banks 2 weeks ago to cancer, so I understand your heartbreak and pain. He too was my first pet of my own that I adopted in college. It's really incredible to me how much he was able to help shape me into the person I am today. I couldn't imagine getting through my 20s and all of the transitions that come with those years, without him as my constant. 

I hope that time heals these wounds for both of us.

Megan x
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Thank you for sharing a little about Banks with me, Megan. I share your feelings. He was such an important part of my transition in to real adulthood. I expected the pain of loss, I don't know that I expected the intensity and duration of it.

Thank you for your kind words, and I hope you can find some peace.
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I lost my Chihuahua, Lucky, last month. He had cancer. We got Lucky when I was 12 years old. Lucky gave me and my family 8 years of immense joy. Lucky was my baby brother, the house is so empty without him. I'm also in school, I was taking a summer class and he passed away while I was in class. I thank Lucky for being there for me as I grew up into the person I am today. I know for a fact that I will see him again someday, and I know you will be reunited with Beau, too. He looks like a model in those pics btw! He is beautiful!

Thank you for sharing your story. I'll keep you in my prayers.

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Pam, thank you. Your memories of Lucky made my heart smile. The love they give us is really a gift, isn't it? And thank you, he was quite handsome, wasn't he :) The only problem was that he knew exactly how handsome he was and used it to his advantage regularly.

My heart is with you and your family. <3

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