My wife and I lost our beloved Dachshund, Autumn Leaves on Saturday 9/28/2019 1:45 PM. Autumn was diagnosed with TCC bladder cancer on 9/16/2019 after 4 UTI infections within a years’ time. Each time we visited the vet the vet gave her antibiotics and each time the UTI cleared up, except for the final UTI. The normal course of antibiotics did not clear the UTI.
Autumn was also straining to relieve herself on potty breaks. I noticed blood in her urine and took her to the vet. The vet ran an ultrasound on her and found that she had a tumor in her bladder TCC bladder cancer.
Four months earlier the vet recommended an ultrasound, but I thought that the vet was ordering unnecessary test and the test was $350, so I declined and now I regret that decision and feel so guilty and shellfish that I didn’t let the vet do her job. I don’t know if it would have made a difference or not but a 4-month head start on treating her could have meant the difference of life and death. I feel that I failed Autumn for not letting the vet run the test. I haven’t asked the vet if that would have made a difference or not because like the coward that I am I am afraid to know.
The vet prescribed pain meds and piroxicam to shrink the tumor, although the piroxicam reviews were not encouraging. I followed up with the Vet in a week an there was no improvement in the tumor. In fact, Autumn’s pain medicine was only effective for 5 or 6 hours before she showed signs of pain again. The vet said I could shorten the interval between doses from every 8 hours to every 6 hours this worked for one day and then Autumn started showing pain after only 3 or 4 hours. Autumn was bleeding on the bed sheets every night; a few nights were worse than others.
Towards the end she only bleed a little each night. But Autumn started limping and lost the use of her left leg. I took her to the vet and the vet said she felt a deterioration of the bone in her spine near the tail bone. Another ultrasound showed that the cancer had spread to her bones and lymph nodes.
Autumn was not able to carry herself outside to relieve herself, so I carried her each time she needed to go, usually every hour or two night and day. Every time, she strained to relieve herself and many times, I saw no urine or stool. Toward the end when I would take Autumn outside which she always enjoyed, she would just lay down in the grass as if she had no energy and was just worn out. Autumn’s quality of life was not there and she would look in my eyes and it was just sadness, pain and exhaustion that I saw.
I wanted the medicine to work but it was clear that it wasn’t working just keeping Autumn is a sedated state seemed wrong to me. So, on Saturday September 28 at 1:45PM I took her to the vet for one last time to give her the shots that would end her suffering and pain. I hope it was the right thing to do, but I feel very guilty about letting the vet end her life after all of the loyalty and devotion she showed me in the 13 years. I hope that my pain goes away and I hope there is a heaven for dogs and I hope my sweet Autumn is there, whether or not I will ever see her in Heaven I don’t know because I am a sinner and don’t deserve to go to Heaven unlike Autumn.
The grief, pain and guilt are overwhelming to me, like I have never felt before in my 63 years on this earth. I try to think positive thoughts of Autumn but they are quickly overcome by thoughts of grief and so much guilt. I have cried off and on for almost 4 days now, missing my sweet Autumn Leaves. My stomach aches for all of the crying that I have done, my back and arms ache from digging her grave down to 3 feet in clay soil. I am unable to concentrate for any period of time. I have to take sleep aides to get to sleep, because the nights are the worse for me because Autumn slept beside me in the bed. Autumn had 80% of the bed and I was lucky to have 20% but that was OK for me.
Autumn was so loyal to me, before she got sick, she was my constant shadow wherever I went in the house or in her backyard. When I was sitting on the couch she had to lay next to me and physically be touching me, usually she would stick her right rear leg out and touch me with it, It looked like an uncomfortable position for her but when I would move her leg back to where I thought it was comfortable for her she would just move it back again. I sometimes feel that I took her love and loyalty for granite and wish so much that I could go back and tell her how much I love her and how sorry I am for not being a better parent. Now I know why the LORD never blessed me with children. I have never ever felt an unconditional love as I felt from my sweet Autumn Leaves.
On Autumn’s next to last day as she was sitting next to me on the couch, she crawled up to me and laid across my chest, we were both exhausted, so I covered her with her favorite green blanket and we both went to sleep with my arms crossed underneath her to keep her from sliding down. It must have been an hour or so and when I woke up Autumn was still laying across my chest. This is one memory that I will forever cherish.
I have ordered a memorial stone with her picture engraved on it and some solar LED Lilly flower lights and a figurine replica of a Dachshund holding a solar lantern to place on her grave in her backyard. I can’t wait for it to arrive. I readjusted my surveillance camera in the backyard so that I can keep an eye on Autumn’s grave.
I don’t know how long that I will grieve, but I suspect it will be a long long time. I have lost all interest in things that I used to love, everything even the simple things seem so overwhelming to me. I know this is depression cause I went through it when my grandparents passed, I went through it when my grandson moved away, I went through it when my sister passed, I went through it when my niece passed with cancer and I went through it when my dad passed with cancer, and I feel very confused because while I loved very much the members of my family that passed away I never grieved for them like I have for my dog Autumn Leaves.
I have prayed to GOD to show me a sign that Autumn is in heaven with him and that Autumn is OK, but I am still waiting, patience hasn’t been a virtue of mine