Matthalperndrummer
My name is Matt and I tour the world in a professional band. I left for tour on November 9th for a 5 week run with a clean bill of health and a confident feeling for my 9 year old Cane Corso.

Three nights ago my girlfriend and his caretaker in my absence called me to tell me that Charlie was having trouble breathing and seemed uncomfortable. Over the course of only 5 hours, Charlie went from being happy and comfortable, to gone forever.

Doctors suspect that he had an internal tumor we didn't know about or could see that hemorrhaged, thus causing a loss of blood from the brain and heart. They say he simply went to sleep and in a way it's a blessing he went so peacefully and easily, but now I am left feeling awful because I wasn't there.

I rescued Charlie when he was 3 months old and raised him from then on. He was my best friend, my child, my confidant, my everything. I have to believe that he knew I loved him and that he knew I was coming home, and that when he passed on it was me he was seeing in his dream.

I just didn't get home in time to say good bye and hold my boy as he passed, which is how I always envisioned it. I wanted to be with him, and help him through it, but I couldn't, and now I have to try and move on.

If anyone else has lost a pet like this, unexpectedly while away, please feel free to share any thoughts. I'm lost in this right now and am being forced to tackle the most difficult loss I've ever felt.

Thanks for reading.

Matt
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shantismom
In 2008 my cat died while I was on a trip to alaska.  He had been checked over 3 weeks before we left and was consider to be "healthy as a horse".  He was a shy cat and would hide from my brother who was caring for him.  Therefore my brother would not be able to see when something went wrong.
I will never know why that cat died, he was such a special cat to be as he came into my life at a difficult time and brought me so much love and companionship.  To be honest, I still miss him and since he is buried in my yard, I will look out and say"I miss you Snicker."
MY advice is to just think of the fact that your Charlie is free from all pain, weakness, stress and all other problems now.  Being away at the end is difficult but it does not negate the many times you loved and cared for him.
The pain you feel is because of the love you had and your boy is worth it.
I will be praying for you, believe me I know the heartache and even the guilt you feel.
Marlene Wagner
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Matthalperndrummer
Thank you so much, and I'm so sorry you went through this with your cat as well. It's a pretty horrible thing to go through, but I know how much he loved me and I certainly know how much I love him. I'll get by. Thank you for the reply!
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Lavendar
healing vibes
He was surrounded by people he knew and cared for him.  It's commonly believed that cats know when their time is and would prefer to go off alone.  They may try to hang on with their owners around.

Also your story helped me as I had to make a difficult decision before I left for vacation. My 17 1/2 kitty had been on the decline for a year. He wasn't eating well and didn't eat when I was not there.  Hid from his caregivers. Two weeks before the vacation there were a couple of times he seem to be in pain, if briefly.  I was terrified something terrible was going to happen while I was away and, if not, he wasn't going to be in good shape when I returned. I felt it would have been cruel to abandon him only to come back and do the deed. 
We had a peaceful goodbye and even though it tears me upside, there is some relief that it's over and he didn't suffer long.

Don't do too much, be kind to yourself.
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tuppyanne
I lost my girl 4 months ago. She was only 8. Unlike you I wasn't away, but after becoming suddenly unwell I had to leave her at the vets and they lost her. Overwhelming is that sense of not being there for her, abandoning her when she needed me. This is what comes over from you....I envy anyone that had that last goodbye. Take care and face a range of emotions xxxxx
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lostlittleboy
I was away with my wife for the weekend almost 3 weeks ago, when our four year old saluki cross greyhound, Buddy, had an accident when our children took him for his usual walk.  He saw a rabbit, gave chase and hit a fence at full speed moments later.  He stopped breathing and his heart stopped within a minute or so and he felt nothing, from what I understand.
The children had to carry him home, so we could see him 'asleep' on his bed.

Part of me wanted to be there, but I can't ever remember him being anything but a happy, confident, cuddled, spoilt and fussed part of the family - even though I know this helps, it's still hurting like mad knowing he's not around.

Everyone here knows what the feeling of loss is like...take care
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Matthalperndrummer
I'm so sorry for your loss too. I've consulted my vets, one whom is a homeopathic healer who deals with terminally ill cats and dogs all of the time. She made a great point - it's a lot easier for humans to cope with the death of their pet after a more drawn out process where the dog may be ill or sick, but that scenario is terrible for the dog though. When it's unexpected like what happened to my boy, it's much worse for the human because we feel robbed of the chance to say good bye and comfort our loved one in their time of passage, but it is much better for the pet. They usually don't feel pain in instances like this and they go in peace. As much as it's painful, I'm hoping to eventually view his passing as a blessing in disguise, considering he went on his own terms, at home, and hopefully without pain or suffering. I hope this helps others with reconciling feelings too.
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andrearose89
Hi Matt,

I am so deeply sorry for your loss. Death is an extremely difficult thing to deal with, especially when it's a loved one. I have no doubts Charlie knew that you loved him with all your heart. I hope you can look back on the wonderful time you had with him.

Best regards,

Andrea
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Matthalperndrummer
Thank you so much, Andrea.
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MikeM
Hey Matt, man I hear you. There's something about not being able to say goodbye to someone who's played such a pivotal role in your life that is heart-wrenchingly painful and unjust. I lost my beloved mini-dachshund of 14 years while we were away on vacation 4 months ago...he passed in his sleep...I was devastated, we came home early to tend to him. He was just as you say...my best friend, he made my whole world come alive, no matter what crappy thing happened, he was there to greet me with his wonderful enthusiasm and the sweetest, purest unconditional love, he was just amazing. The one thing he hated was sleeping alone and the people who were caring for him didn't let him sleep with them so he died in his sleep alone...I have horrible sadness, guilt and regret about this, he didn't deserve that, like u I imagined I would be holding him as he passed, in tribute to our love. But what I really want you to know is that it does get easier with time...just in the last few weeks I've noticed I'm remembering more wonderful memories rather than the trauma of losing him, and had my first dream about him this week. Give yourself time to heal...Charlie will always be with you in your heart...that is where he lives now...sending you comfort and healing thoughts my friend....
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Matthalperndrummer
Hey Mike,

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. Your boy sounds like he was nothing short of awesome. They all are I think. Dogs possess a wisdom and kindness like no other creature.

Just like Charlie dreaming of me, I'm sure your boy was dreaming of you when he went on his journey. And you're right - Charlie is in my heart now forever, and I'll cherish the memories of every day we had together.

I'm still on tour currently and in the past few days there have been dogs hanging out at the venues. In Poland there was an English Bulldog named "Noodle" and here today in Prague there's a beautiful Shepard named "Petro". These dogs have been so therapeutic for me. I've spent as much time as I could with them, just hanging out, petting them, and feeling their energy. If you have any other dogs to hang with, do it. They understand what we're going through I think, and it's truly helpful.

Thanks again for your kind words!
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MikeM
Hey Matt, they really do...dogs are such emotionally wise creatures and they don't get caught up in their heads with all this distorted judgemental thinking that so often we humans fall victim to. My boy LV (short for Little Venice, an awesome neighborhood in London where I lived at one point) centered me, he just had this uncanny effect whereby 20 mins into playing with him I was able to just let the stress of the world recede, it was as if he was saying "Oh come on, you KNOW what's important...now let's play!" Lol. And I know ur right, like you I need to spend more time with other pups esp since we cant get another dog just yet. Good luck with the tour my friend, you make the world a more beautiful place by bringing music to people, it's one of the most noble endeavors there is...play in tribute to Charlie, he is part of the creative fuel that inspires the rhythms that flow through you into our ears, just KNOW that.
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Marleyboo
Hi Matt

After reading your story, although I havent lost a pet while away, i can relate to the bit when you said you always hoped to be there at the end with him to help him. That has happened to me in a way. 4 years ago my cat Jasper got to the ripe old age of 19 and I knew it was coming as he was losing more and more control over his functions. I took him to vet knowing this was it, hoping i could hold him in my arms as he drifted away. But he was quite upset with being touched so the vet had to sedate him beforehand in another room. So when she brought him back in room he was out of it and all i could do was stroke his fur while his heart stopped. I know at least i was there with him, but i so wanted to hold him in my arms when he took his last breath. I always told him i would be there for him till the end and i kinda was but it affected me so much that i couldnt hold him at that time. So i can only imagine how you are feeling.  Then this year I got 2 little kittens Marley and Monty and at 6 months old just after being allowed out I got a phonecall from vet saying a member of public had brought Marley in from a road accident and how sorry she was as he hadnt made it. It was the most bizarre feeling knowing he had only been in the house 1/2 hour before and he was only a baby, it cant be right. I needed to go be with him but was advised not too as he had horrific head injuries. It killed me to know he was on his own in pain. Trying to get to grips with it killed me for weeks. It just kept going around in my head, I wasnt there for him, he was on his own, he was a baby, i never got to hold him one last time and say goodbye. I was upset, angry, hated myself, hated person in car just every emotion was coming out. But ive just had to try and make peace with myself. I know Marley is with Jasper now safe, no pain and i carry that thought around with me.
Ihope you find that peace to soon, its just a process of grieving, but eventually the pain will ease and you know he is safe and not in any pain now.
Tracy
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George
Matt, I am very sorry to hear about your bud Charlie.

I find that I will beat myself up about the should have, could have, would have done. I will go over things many times thinking of the various outcomes if only I knew better or took control and forced another outcome. Hitting the wall with your fist does not help. The wall always seems to still be there. Instead I try to think about the fun times. Perhaps how he looked at you when you did something funny. The journeys that you had together. Even how he enjoyed just going down the block. May be how you shared a meal, just you and him. Those small moments bring a smile to my face and makes me forget for just a short time. But it is a start.

I remember napping on the floor with my Cockatoo, Tatoo. He would whine the moment I would nod off. I guess it was my job to watch out for the unknown so he could nap. Over the years he would let me sleep with him. Sometimes I would wake up and he would have his beak about and inch from my face just looking at me. I always wonder what he was thinking? Does this guy snore or what!

My loss is new like yours. I don't know how it goes away. I guess we all will find out.
"Fly Free My Little Too"
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Jessa
Hi Matt,

I had to send my cockatiel Charlie over the rainbow bridge on Wednesday.

I feel a horrible amount of guilt, every time I smile I wonder if I should be, every time I feel a tiny bit better, I wonder if I should be.

I wonder if I made the right choice, if I should have patted him for longer..

We were away too.. He'd been sick before we left.. I'd done so much to try and make him better as we couldn't cancel our trip. All I can think right now is that I wish I had.

The homecoming on Wednesday morning was awful as we had to go to the vets. Charlie looked so sad and ill, I knew it wasn't fair to keep him alive for my benefit and happiness.

I don't know when these feels of guilt will go, or when the tears will stop.. I want to remember all the joy Charlie bought into my life but grief seems to be clinging to me and guilt my constant companion.

You are in my thoughts, I hope knowing you are not alone in your pain helps you cope with how you feel..

Jessa

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