PumpkinsMama
Right now I'm sitting next to Pumpkin, my beautiful 13.5 year old white and orange spotted cocker spaniel. I thought she had plenty of time left and I found out 2 weeks ago her time may be limited. She was given some medication and was doing remarkably well after feeding her homemade dog food and anything else I thought to be healthy. I thought she was starting to gain a little weight, she was following me around from room to room as usual, never letting me out of her sight, going outside to potty etc., and on Saturday even walking onto the coffee table (something I USED to frown upon)...until yesterday (Sunday), things have taken a turn for the worse. 

Now I am sitting here on the couch not being able to make any decision, I feel paralyzed, like maybe I'm dreaming or having a horrible nightmare. She is still the cutest thing I have ever seen, she still looks like a puppy to me and looks younger, except underneath her fur she is very skinny. She has started not eating and I'm having to carry her out to the yard to pee.

There are so many good memories, last xmas taking her to look at xmas lights and she seemed to really love looking at them, her little pony dance when she had to go outside, always being on the other side of the shower when I got out, crying when I get home and giving me hugs. There are also memories that make me sad, like how many times was she staring at me and I didn't acknowledge her, and other things where I wished  I'd done better and wish I had more time... I NEED more time & I thought I did have more time. I did NOT expect this, now.

When I got her she was at a pet store, not ideal I know, but she apparently had a heart murmur and they were going to ship her back to the puppy mill states away. A friend and I worked out a deal with the store owner and bought her with the stipulation we would not complain if she weren't to make it. I thought for a couple weeks after that I might come home from work and find her no longer with me, she was very tiny and her hair was falling out. I fed her vitamins and eventually she did great. I told myself even if she lived a few days, at least she knew love and didn't die in a truck headed to S.Dakota. From then on she was my snuggly baby, like a real life stuffed animal. I could not have asked for a more sweet and gentle girl. AT the time I was going through some very hard stuff and if it weren't for her at that time, I don't know what might have happened. I've called her 'my angel' ever since.

I have always said I would not let this go too long b/c I did years ago with my beloved 20 yr old cat Boo, but I just can't seem to wrap my head around this, and I feel like I just can't do it. She is resting, doesn't seem to be in pain, is drinking water, but not wanting to eat now...& it shatters me when I see her wanting to get up and do the things she was doing just a few days ago even. I honestly don't know how I'm going to do this, how I'm going to ever be able to go to work, enjoy anything ever again or even just be in this house. Even with our 3 other dogs, not having her here is going to be a tremendous void for me and everyone in my family. Please pray for us and most importantly her. I guess we are going to wait and see if she improves any tomorrow, but for now I'm crying pretty much nonstop and the pain in my heart is unbearable and I fear its only get worse and I don't see how that is possible.                                                                Screen Shot 2017-07-24 at 5.18.17 PM.png Pumpkin a few years ago
DJ
Quote 0 0
lettersatlarge

Pumpkin's Mama my heart is heavy for you. So many of us have been in this situation, and its never "the right time" for us humans to say goodbye to our four legged loves.

It doesn't matter how you procured Pumpkin. You saved her life. As you said, she could've been shipped away and disappeared without ever knowing love. She gave you 13 and a half years of unconditional love in return...you could say she's repaid the favor, even though you never asked her to. Your job now is to follow your heart and to listen to Pumpkin. She, and your heart, will tell you when.

I can especially relate to your sentiment about your pup saving you. I was in a very dark place when my Dante showed up. He was already 10 years old, and long story short: he needed a safe home emergently, so essentially he fell into my lap out of desperate need for his safety. I didn't think I could handle a dog in the state I was in, I was depressed, had recently been laid off, gotten out of an abusive relationship, and was in tatters, but my Dante gave me a reason for getting up. He needed me, so I needed him. Knowing that he was sick also made me look back at our short 5 years together and I hated that sometimes I'd been gone on vacation without him, how sometimes I just wanted to be away in my room and he'd be with my family in the living room, but I loved him very much, and tended to his every need.

When he was diagnosed with his heart murmur and enlarged heart, the vet said he should be better with medication, but my gut told me I had little time, even despite Dante looking to be on the mend. I'd spend my nights just watching him, sleeping in whatever position I could to make him comfortable and so I could watch him, and sure enough he was gone a week later, despite what the vet said, despite his outward appearance looking better.

I'm rambling and talking about my experience a lot but what I'm trying to get at is this: you know what is best for Pumpkin. She trusts you to see her signs, her tiredness, her pain, her lust for life gone, and to guide her in peace and dignity into the great beyond. Just listen to her, and understand that you are taking on her pain to let her be free, then you'll know when.

You're in my thoughts, and so is sweet Pumpkin.

Quote 0 0
PumpkinsMama
Lettersatlarge thank you for sharing..for the past week I've been doing the same,no matter how bad my knees hurt or whatever else hurts, I won't move if I'm going to disturb her and stare at her sleeping all day/almost all night. So to make matters worse I'm prob sleep deprived. I think maybe I had a premonition of this, but also told myself, in denial, I had at least a couple more years. I will update our story when something changes, I know I'm going to need the kind people on this forum to help me somehow get thru this. For now I'm in a fog, this can't be happening, not to the sweetest dog I've ever known. She deserves better than me, but she loves me as if she couldn't live without me and I don't know how I can ever let that go at this time, I'm so afraid of making the wrong choice, bc it seems like i usually screw up when it comes to these things and this time it's the most important and dear thing in the world to me. Anyway I'm the one rambling, thank you for responding it means a lot...I'll be back to update. Keep us in your prayers
DJ
Quote 0 0
William
Pumpkinsmama:
I know this is a very difficult time and decision to make. It sounds like your baby is very sick. I know how much you love her. Have you called the vet about this decline in her health?

None of us here wanted to lose our babies. But if she's getting worse the vet may guide you as to what you should do at this point.

As hard as it is, there is a certain gift we must give our babies at end of life to release them from pain and sickness.

My thoughts are with you as this is never an easy place to be in. I had to let my 14 year old dog go two months ago. But I did it for quality of life reasons. I know he is at peace now.
Kim❤️

Kim
Quote 0 0
PumpkinsMama
Kim I took her to the vet, its been a little over 2 weeks ago now, (these weeks have been a blur) and they didn't really seem to know what was going on for sure. She had eaten a bag of treats when we took her to florida a few weeks ago, so I thought that may be the problem and the vet thought possible, after talking to her on the phone, that it could have been a gastric ulcer. They put her on prednisone and antibiotics and after a few days she was getting back to her old self. I was cautiously very happy to say the least, and hesitant to be sure the problem was cured.

Well, sure enough after giving less off the medication as the vet directed, she started getting worse again yesterday morning. So, now I am thinking it may be a tumor they suspected. I had a cat, Boo, who was 20 y/o and I let her go on for way too long, and said then I would never do it again. She is resting now, but I am waiting on a call, but I also know that I'm going to be hysterical inside having to do it, b/c every fiber of my being is saying I can't live without her, but at the same time something I love so much I will not let suffer like Boo did. The thought of having to make the call for Pumpkin is making me physically ill. I only hope that after all is said and done I will know I did the right thing, and possibly, somehow, lessen my grief.

I am going to miss everything about her, she is my shadow, and when she can't be my shadow she is waiting in the window and by the door for me to come home. I am trying to focus on the positives, like that she was never lost (I would not be able to go on) and that she was with me for as long as she has been and healthy all these years, but at this point its like standing here waiting to be shot with a gun b/c whatever happens that results in her not being here anymore is going to be unbearable. Thanks for your kind words & I am so sorry about the loss of your dog. Not being alone in and of itself is comforting. Bless you and bless us all. 
DJ
Quote 0 0
William
Pumpkinsmama:
I am so sorry you are going through this. It is the most painful and difficult decision I have ever had to make.
Like you and your baby William and I were never too far apart. He was the love of my life. The best unconditional love I have ever experienced.
He fell down the stairs and hurt his hind legs. We tried pain med but the vet was suspicious more was going on. William had been getting more anxious over the last year. Anyway, blood work indicated probable Cushing disease which would have meant more workup more rides in the car more anxiety. All he was doing was sleeping and had to be carried up and down the stairs and outside to go to the bathroom. He was eating and drinking. The prognosis without treatment could have lead to so many other problems. I was not willing to watch him deteriorate in front of my eyes. I almost passed out in the parking lot bringing him in. It's been two months and the pain and sadness feel like they will never go away.
But, I promised my boy the happiest life and told him years ago I would never prolong it if something were to go wrong.

It's going to hurt for a long time, you know that. There's no easy way to grieve that kind of love.

I wish you the best. With this decision.
Everyone on the forum understands
Kim
Kim
Quote 0 0
miztina249
PumpkinsMama,

My husband and I also put our beloved Polo to rest before he declined further, just lIke Kim is describing with her William. We got confirmation from 3 different vets, he was not going to make it through the summer. He was in pain and was just existing, there was no joy left in his world even though he tried. He tried to lift his head and wag his tail at times...He was just exhausted though. When they stop eating that is a major sign, he is ready. We will never be ready to make that call. It is awful to have to do, but I am grateful I was able to release him from his pain and see him off to the rainbow bridge on our terms. In our home with him sleeping on our bed with my husband and I both holding him and telling him how much we loved him.

Please keep posting here, there are so many people who understand.
Quote 0 0
William
Martina249
Sounds like Polo had a peaceful ending. I feel it's what we owe them. Before things get out of hand. Watching them linger or suffering is not fair to the beautiful life they have given us.
I don't agree with the theory of they are ok if they are still eating and drinking. Animals cannot verbalize pain. How do we know what they are feeling? They don't have to cry out or howl to show pain or nausea or stomach ache or headaches. They adapt to certain things.
Thank you for helping Polo to the bridge with dignity. I know it's not the answer for everyone.

Pumpkinsmama: I hope things go ok for you. In the end the pain of loss is awful. Nothing will change that pain.

Kim
Kim
Quote 0 0
miztina249
William wrote:
Martina249
Sounds like Polo had a peaceful ending. I feel it's what we owe them. Before things get out of hand. Watching them linger or suffering is not fair to the beautiful life they have given us.
I don't agree with the theory of they are ok if they are still eating and drinking. Animals cannot verbalize pain. How do we know what they are feeling? They don't have to cry out or howl to show pain or nausea or stomach ache or headaches. They adapt to certain things.
Thank you for helping Polo to the bridge with dignity. I know it's not the answer for everyone.

Pumpkinsmama: I hope things go ok for you. In the end the pain of loss is awful. Nothing will change that pain.

Kim


Thank you for that Kim. It is a very strange thing for me and my husband to experience this second guessing our decision and the guilt that goes with it. We didn't want him to suffer, we didn't want him to stop eating and not be able to keep food down as confirmation it was time. We had our backs against a wall, he needed surgery he probably wouldn't survive. His long time vet said she wouldn't do it, she said if it were her dog she wouldn't operate. But that left us with even less options. We could have kept him going for weeks or maybe more on heavy doses of Xanax and pain meds like Tramadol...But that would have just made his liver issues worse. They were poisoning his little body. Ugh, I can just slide right back into this cycle of questioning, I just wish it had gone differently. I miss him so very much, I always will.
Quote 0 0
tigerlight
I'm so sorry you have to go through this. It's hard making decisions in a fog. I hope you can spend a good amount of time with your love.
Angie Dallas
Quote 0 0
PumpkinsMama
I have realized through research the last 24/36 hours that my girl Pumpkin has IMHA, an immune disorder, which complicates things much more. The vet originally mentioned it could be something like that but it could be other things as well. This is a bad disease and so much more common that I would care to believe, its devastating and the problem is they can get well and the slightest thing can put them into relapse, which is what has happened to Pumpkin. The vet, not knowing for sure it was IMHA, told me to reduce the prednisone and it put her into a relapse. Currently I'm giving her the amount of original prescribed meds but she is has no appetite whatsoever now, but is drinking some water. 

This makes my decision even more complicated as there is a chance she could come out of it, and she is mostly just sleeping so I guess I will wait and cancel the home visit tomorrow. The home visit vet will prob not be happy about my indecision and not want to come out period, but I do hope she understands. I wish this home vet was more available, or there were others in my area, b/c it's really hard to schedule something like this, especially having them come to the house.

Please be aware of IMHA, it happens so quickly and the sooner they get to the vet I guess the better the chances. I was told she may need a blood transfusion, which didn't happen, and she came out of it anyway, but she may not come out of it this time. I wish i'd known what it was and done more research sooner I never would have reduced her meds. I pray to God to give me strength to get through this. 
DJ
Quote 0 0