To all the angels here with compassionate hearts,

Last October, I had to put down my beloved 15 year old Yorkie-Maltese, Mandy who was the love of my life. Her final days still haunt me as they were very painful and she was in agony. I still have nightmares because of how she suffered. 

I could not be there for her during her final days the way I wanted to. Instead, I was in the process of a move out of our apartment and was busy packing with a friend so I can make my move out deadline. Mandy was dieing at the time. I did not have the time to hug her and cuddle her the way I always planned I would during her final days. I hoped I could get the move done and then spend time with her.

First, I noticed she started loosing her eye site. Over the course of a few months, other symptoms ocurred, like confusion and I thought I noticed seizures.  I attributed all this to old age. Eventually, she started loosing her balance and fell off the bed a couple of times, then fell down the stairs once. She squealed in pain and was limping so I took her to our Vet. To my surprise, our regular Vet only comes there once a month because she was starting her own practice. We had to see a different Vet at the same animal hospital. The new Vet misdiagnosed Mandy with a bulging disc and gave her a prescription to heal that condition.

In a couple of weeks, her limp became worse and she began to scream in pain. I went back to this Vet and she prescribed Rimadyl, (not telling me that one of the side effects was possible death.)

The Rimadyl helped to block the pain but I knew the initial problem was still there. What was causing the pain? I was not working and did not have the funds to pay for many more tests to find out what was really going on.

The pain continued and the doctor said I could double up on the dose of Rimadyl. It worked to lessen the pain, but then I noticed she started to become paralized on one side of her body. She slept during the day and would want to stay up at night. She would get stuck in corners and walk in circles.

I finally got an appointment with our regular Vet. She told me I should consider putting Mandy down because she thought Mandy might have a brain tumor and she didn't want her to suffer. I hate myself for this but, I waited to put her down because I could not deal with her death then.. I was in the process of moving at the time. 

A friend was helping me pack all my things to prepare for my move. She was not very understanding when I ran over to Mandy whenever she cried. We moved into a hotel and I was preparing to go the the storage unit with that same friend to pack things away. This was the only time my friend could help with this. After I  left, I heard Mandy barking very loud to get my attention. I went back in the hotel room to find that everything seemed to be alright with her. I wanted to take her with me for the car ride, but my friend told me she would get in the way. I gave her the pain medicine, put her in the bathroom where she liked to be and then left to continue packing.

I was gone 5 hours, 1 hour longer than I expected. I was 1 hour late for her pain med's. When I finally got to the hotel room, I found Mandy laying in a puddle of blood and a dark green smelly liquid coming from her end. I thought she was dead until I screamed and saw her yellowed eyes cross-eyed looking up at me. I raced her to the Vet, crying and praying for her.

The emergency Vet who examined her cleaned her up and said I should consider putting her down. She said her body was probably shutting down. She gave Mandy blood tests and checked her vitals which surprisigly all doing well. She had no liver or kidney damage according to blood tests and her heart beat was fine. She didn't suggest doing anything for her. She said if Mandy gets any worse, I should just come in and they can put her down. I waited until the next afternoon. Mandy looked like she was giving up. She did not potty and did not want to eat anything,  not even her favorite food. I did not even give her anything to drink. Perhaps that is another way I failed her.  

The next day at 3:00pm me and a friend took Mandy to the Vet and they put her down.

I don't know if Mandy's system started to shut down because of Rimadyl poisoning or as a result of a brain tumor. I can't get that picture out of my mind.

I blame myself for letting her suffer for so long.
I can't imagine Mandy ever forgiving me.

I wonder why Mandy had to get so ill during a complicated busy move.. I couldn't be there for her the way I wanted to because of time constraints.

I blame myself for not having a job and not being able to afford other tests to find out what was really wrong with her.

I blame myself for allowing Mandy to take Rimadyl before ever researching a history on this killer drug.  

I blame myself for going to this new Vet rather than waiting for an appointment with our regular Vet.

Has anyone ever been through an ordeal like this? How did you deal with it?

Thanks for any thoughts,


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I can hear the guilt and pain in your post. First, let me say how sorry I am that you lost your sweet girl. I had my baby 15 years and he was a Shih Tzu. His eye sight was almost completely gone, his hearing was almost gone and he had severe arthritis in his back legs. I'm sure, at 15, Mandy had some geriatric issues that just come with age.

In your situation, unless a necropsy (a dog autopsy) was performed, you will never know exactly what was causing her symptoms and pain. The vets can only guess and go by what limited tests show.

It is normal for us to have those "I should have..." and "What if...." questions and doubts creep into our minds. I didn't experience your exact story, but I did feel guilt because I wasn't at home to protect my dog when he was attacked by our Golden, which lead to his death that afternoon. I blamed myself for not being home. I could have come home earlier, but chose to go eat with some friends and then go to the grocery store. I felt extreme guilt and I apologized over and over again to him when I found him. I rushed him to the emergency vet and had to make the difficult decision to let him go. I wasn't prepared for that mentally or emotionally. I questioned myself....I told myself I should have done more.....I cried.....I apologized to him over and over (even after he died) was a dark and terrible place to be.

But the fact is.....I couldn't dwell on what I should have done. Chipper is gone and what happened is what happened. He knew how much I loved him and I knew how much he loved me. The great thing about dogs is they don't judge us or hold grudges like people do. Mandy loves you! And she knows you love her!

Your road to healing will start at the acceptance that what happend is what happened. You can't change it and it is done. Please hear me.....and don't stop at that point because it sounds so cold just to say "whats done is done." Accept the fact that you love Mandy and Mandy loves you! She knows you would have changed things if you could. She knows the pain you are feeling and she doesn't want that for you. Please don't dwell on the "should haves... and could haves...." because it doesn't change anything. All it does is keep you in that dark place.

Just to let you know how much I blamed myself.....not only did I go back to Chipper's vet 3 days after he died to seek confirmation of my actions.....I also paid to talk to an Animal Communicator. I know some people don't buy into that stuff and believe is something I never thought I would do. But this particular woman, who I had never seen or spoken to knew things only Chipper and I would know. The bottom line of our discussion was Chipper knew how difficult it was for me and did not blame me for what happened. She said he was ready to go and is so very happy now. In fact, she said that he was with my grandmother and other dogs we have lost. She described them exactly. She said he wants me to be happy and told me that he loves me (which I already knew). There were other aspects of the conversation, but just know that we shouldn't blame ourselves when we lose our beloved pets.

I apologize for the long post. I hope you found some level of comfort to help you towards releasing this guilt and falling back on your love for Mandy to help you heal.

Chipper's Mom
Chipper's Mom

Momma's Chipper Boy (9/19/95 - 1/30/11) My heart, my love, my buddy! I miss you and love you so, so much! I can't wait to see you at the bridge! Love, Mommy

Lady "Ladybugs" (8/2/03 - 6/5/17) My sweet girl. Thanks for the walks, playtime, sock collection, boo boo kisses and love you gave all of us. We will miss you dearly! Until we meet again...we love you!
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Dear Chipper's Mom,

Thank you for posting your reply and sharing your experience. Your thoughts were very much appreciated and truly brightened my day. I'm so sorry your Chipper also suffered so much and his master could not protect him, as was the case with my Mandy.  It does help to know that we are not alone in our pain and that others have lived through a similar experience.

I can tell from the picture, your Chipper was an angel on earth too. I bet our darlings are now friends at the bridge.

God Bless you,

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I think with grief,  whether it be for a person  or for a beloved pet,  a certain amount of guilt is part of the process.  When my husband died,  I suffered over a year of agony,  blaming myself for not doing enough research,  not having been kind enough,  not realizing his illness would actually kill him,  etc.  Now I am suffering similar over my cat who died Feb. 12.  I think they WILL forgive us,  they DO understand,  and you can speak with Mandy now, in your heart,  and let her know that you did not mean for all to be so complicated.  Sometimes life just sends us a big mess,  and we do what we can.  Please know your baby forgives. you.  
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Dear smkovalinsky,

Thanks so much for relating your personal experience with grief.. this has been very helpful to me.

Thank you for reminding me that we can talk to our animals, as they are just fine now.. Thank you for reminding me that our pets don't hold grudges - that they forgive.  

 I am so sorry you are dealing with the loss of your cat, after having to go through the loss of your husband. Please know that your husband and your cat are both at peace now and most likely are together, waiting to see you again.

God Bless you!

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