ozziesmommy
Five days ago, my sweet Ozzie passed away at the age of 7.  He was a Chocolate Lab.   Ozzie was a better dog than anyone could deserve. He was the sweetest, most gentle dog we have ever known. Our son was born 6 years ago, our daughter 3 years ago, and he was the best brother to both of them. He never chewed toys that weren’t his, he wouldn’t eat things off the coffee table that weren’t his, he never went to the bathroom in the house after the first day we brought him home at 8 weeks. I have anxiety and he was there to help me sleep at night. He was more than just a dog to us, he was more like our first child. It’s hard to find photos of our kids that’s don’t have Ozzie in them. 

My husband and I went on a ten year anniversary trip to Cabo and left our two kids and (we thought) healthy dog at home with my mom.  She called us in the morning 2 days into our trip to tell us Ozzie "wasn't doing well."  Not knowing what this meant, we video called her and saw him in no way anyone would ever want to see their pup.  It was fairly obvious he had passed.  My mom had woke up around 7:30 am that morning and went downstairs with my son to find a few poops around the house and Ozzie collapsed, unresponsive by our fireplace.  She said he seemed like he may have been barely alive at that point. 

My dad came over and helped her load Ozzie into the truck and take him to the emergency vet.  By that time we knew he had passed and we had booked the first flight home that evening so that we could say goodbye to him. The emergency vet told us we could either do a necropsy at that point to try and determine cause of death, but we would not be able to see him when we returned that night because they would have to send him out right away.  We opted for them to not do the necropsy and to keep him cold there so we could say our last goodbyes.  They have no answer as to why he passed.  They said there was a little blood in his stool that was passed upon death.  Has anyone ever had anything like this happen?  I wouldn't ever change not getting a necropsy, because we needed to see him to get some kind of closure, but not knowing why is still killing us. The vet said this just sometimes happens...no reason why.  

I feel like I will never be a whole person again.  I can't stop crying.  I just want him back and I feel like he was stolen from us.  He deserved more out of life.  He was so amazing.  I have to be able to heal for my kids' sake, but I just feel like I am going through the motions in life.  

The thing that kills me the most is we weren't even here and he was all by himself downstairs for who knows how long in pain...struggling...probably so alone.  Missing us...I hate the idea that maybe he died alone...scared...and we have ZERO answers.  We left a healthy happy dog at home and came home to a house with no Ozzie. Just gone. Ripped away.
Christina
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CeeCeesMom
Dear Christina (ozziesmommy), I'm so sorry for the loss of your beloved Ozzie.  I wish I had some answers for you, some words of comfort.  I'm sure Ozzie always knew that you loved him.  He may not have felt alone.  Maybe he always carried the love you and your family had for him. Maybe all our pets do.  And maybe that way, they're never truly alone.

CeeCeesMom
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Memories_of_Marmalade


Dear Christina,

By the words you wrote, you can easily see just how much you deeply loved and adored your beloved Ozzie. He truly was an important member of your family. And I am positive that made him feel just that: "loved, adored and important." All dogs should be so fortunate and blessed to experience those three feelings in their lifetime. 

I hope you won't mind, but I am going to chime in here with some thoughts that have comforted others in the past.

It seems to most like dogs, like people, ALL live to their estimated lifespan. But that just isn't the case. Dogs, like people pass away early on in life. Some dogs pass in their first few years. Some at 5 years of age, some at 7 years old. There are posts here on this forum from who many have lost their dogs at an earlier age, than they expected. 

An average age for a dog in the wild is 10 years old. So at around 7 or 8 years old, a dog is biologically already becoming a "senior." We extend their lives by providing them with shelter (from natural predators and the weather / elements), regular food & access to water, trips to the Vet's (occasional treatments and medications) and love and affection (which is important to overall well being. ) But the truth is dogs did not naturally evolve to live past 10 years of age. We circumvent nature. We intervene. We help cheat fate. Websites will promote that dogs and cats all live well into their teens, and again, that is just not the case. Keep in mind many of these websites are corporate backed. And the Veterinary Medicine industry was built on people's faith and their fears of loss.
 
They say middle age for people is 45 to 50, but most people do not live to 90 to 100 years old. I've lost count of how many of my friends and family have passed away in their 50's and 60's. Middle age is more like 35 years of age for a human being. But we keep right on believing we are all going to live into our 70's and 80's. Which is simply not the case. Anyone of us can cease living at a moments notice when we reach pass 35 to 40 years of age.

Ozzie passed away of natural causes. There was nothing that tipped you off prior to his demise that you needed to delay your vacation. There was nothing that you could have done differently than you did. 

When it comes to Ozzie being alone when his time came? I used to wonder what my boy (a cat named Marmalade) used to think whenever I would leave the warehouse where we resided, and go out to pick-up groceries and supplies and such for the both of us. Marmalade knew what grocery bags were. Just as he knew what cans of cat food were. As I am sure your Ozzie did too. Our pets are very observant. I came to the final conclusion that Marmalade probably just assumed that I was  out "hunting" for food for us when I left. As I always returned with food. I must have appeared like some cave-man, going out on a hunt and returning with my kills.

Or Marmalade thought I was just doing what we mysterious humans do. Like us driving around in cars. Our pets may not understand the technology behind an automobile, but they know that we drive around in those contraptions. Or Marmalade may have thought I was out on "walk-about" (as the Aussie's have dubbed it.) And he could not accompany me each time I left. Perhaps do to the dangers involved.

We were the Alpha-leaders in the pack and in our pets lives. They knew that we were doing what we felt that we had to do, and they probably thought that they were protecting our homesteads while we were away. Doing their jobs. They loved us unconditionally. They did not judge us when we were present, or away. They may have missed us, but they did not judge us.

Your Ozzie may have been missing you when he passed, but he was still thinking of you with nothing but love & adoration. Any last thoughts of his would have been about how much he loved you and the rest of his family. Please know that, and most importantly be gentle with yourself during this difficult time.

Dr. Seuss said a great quote:

"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened."

My kindest regards & sincerest condolences,
James
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ozziesmommy
Thank you to both of you.  I appreciate your words.  Love the Dr. Seuss quote. <3
Christina
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