Padric

Tink.jpg"Say hello to Dad for me. Until later Miss Belle."

Those were the final words I ever spoke to our sweet Tinkerbell on Wednesday as I passed her now limp body back to my wife. She was gone and while I keep reminding myself that it was for the best and that it was, realistically, the only choice to be made...somehow it just doesn't feel that way. My head understands it completely. My heart is broken in a million pieces, too hurt to even try and comprehend and keeps screaming back at me "How could you?! How could you do that to her?!"

It had started late Sunday night, about 9:00 pm. 9:00 pm was a special time for Tink and our other dog, Dobby. 9:00 pm was treat time and even though Tink was now 15 years old, she still acted like a little puppy, bouncing around and barking playfully. Lately though, she'd been content to anxiously await my return to our bedroom and let Dobby follow me out to the kitchen as was the ritual. Some days she would still partake in that ritual, but over the past few months those days were becoming less frequent. Sunday night, 9:00 pm was different though.

Dobby and I went through the usual routine, me going to the kitchen and retrieving the treats, him following along and then bouncing around when I pulled out the bag that held them. Of course, he had to have his first, something Tink never minded, so I gave him his and he dashed off to the bedroom to enjoy it. I brought Tink's back to her but she turned away from it. I tried again as I knew that her eyesight was just barely starting to fade. She turned her head away from it again. OK, no big deal, we've seen her have an upset tummy before. Even when she vomited an hour later we weren't too concerned. When she did so again shortly afterwards though, that was when we started to get concerned. Still, we'd seen her do this once or twice before over the years so at that point, it was just that: concern.

Concern became worry the next morning though. The dogs have always been sent out of the room when my wife and I go to sleep and in the morning they hear my alarm clock go off and are patiently waiting just outside our door to be let back in and say good morning to us. But Monday morning saw only Dobby waiting for us. Again, this wasn't entirely unusual over the last few months as Tink would sometimes wait for me to complete my morning routine of making my cup of coffee and getting things ready for the day before following me back into the bedroom.

Tink was an incredibly smart dog and over the last six months we'd started to notice the expected slow decline in energy of a 15 year old dog. But we'd also noticed that she just adapted to it. She did things more intelligently, saving her energy for when it was needed. She'd developed a cough during the winter, just as she did every winter for the past three years. This one was different though. It didn't go away on its own like usual. A trip to the vet, some medications and two weeks later she was back to herself again. So given the cough, the declining energy and eyesight we knew that our time with her was coming to an end. We just didn't think it would end this way. Everything had been a slow decline, but then Monday morning came and it felt like we'd gone from a slow, steady downhill pace to falling off a cliff in the span of a few hours.

You see, Tink didn't just wait for me to finish my coffee routine on Monday morning. She didn't move from her bed at all. Even after I called for her to come join us, she just sat in her bed. It was clear from the look in her eyes that she wanted to be with us, she just didn't have the energy. So I carried her and she gave me kisses when I sat her on the bed with us. Later that morning my wife called the vet. Wednesday was the soonest they could get us in.

The rest of Monday went pretty normally, actually. I came home for lunch from my work as I usually do to find her and Dobby waiting excitedly at the door for me just like always. She went out, did her business and soaked up the summer sun just like always. When it was time for me to go back to work, she came in and got a drink just like always. But that's also when I noticed something else: she hadn't eaten. Yes, we'd seen her not eat before when her stomach was bothering her but this time just felt different. My fear factor rose but there were such mixed signals. She had vomited twice, twice more on Monday morning, been too weak to follow me down the hall but seemed pretty normal now and was drinking just fine.

Tuesday morning was another mixed signal. She was waiting outside our door, just like always. Tuesday afternoon, however, was when I suspected the worst. I came home to find only Dobby waiting for me. I let him out and went back to our bedroom to find our Miss Belle. She wasn't there. I called for her. No response. I called again. Nothing. Panicked, I went to the living room, calling for her. Had she passed while my wife and I were at work? I started to berate myself when I heard the jingle of her tags.

She was so weak, she looked utterly helpless. She had vomited again and didn't even have the energy or desire to move out of it. It was the first time I cried for her. I knew this may be the end and was totally unprepared for it. All of us were unprepared for it. She had been fine, her usual though aging self just 48 hours earlier. The family spent the rest of the day, far into the night loving on her as much as she wanted. Occasionally she would go off to her own space, away from everyone as if she knew she was dying and wanted to spare us the pain by doing it somewhere alone. But after a time would give me that look like she needed us and so back to our loving arms she went, her grateful for the love and care and us grateful she let us love and care for her in her hours of need.

Wednesday morning finally came. By now our sweet girl had stopped eating and drinking. We knew her kidney's were in danger now. We arrived at the vets office and the doctor knew immediately her condition was serious. She didn't want to make any diagnosis before running some tests, blood work and an ultrasound of Tink's stomach, which we completely understood. The results would take about an hour. And so, we waited. We waited and prayed that it was something treatable. The truth is though, we knew. We knew that it would take a miracle to save her. She'd let us know in the last 24 hours by her behavior, the looks she gave us, her inability and lack of desire to do even the small things like sit up. She knew this was her end. But we hoped and prayed anyway.

The results came back and they were worse, way worse than we ever could have imagined. The blood work showed that every single thing they tested was high. Not just a little high, no, we're talking through the roof and in one case completely off the scale high. Some of the numbers also strongly pointed towards cancer being involved. Her liver and kidney's had either completely failed or would do so, likely within hours. The vet said the ultrasound was so bad that she couldn't be sure if Tink's gallbladder had ruptured or was massively enlarged. Either way, her body was filled with bile. 

My wife burst out in tears. Tink had been her sweet baby girl since she first came to us. She'd been there for my wife as she battled in her darkest days with Fibromyalgia and all the pain, depression and uncertainty that came with it. She'd celebrated birthday's with us, graduations, Thanksgivings, Christmas'. She'd comforted us on bad days, grieved with us when we lost my dad and then my mom six months later. She'd also celebrated with my wife when after years of different doctors and medications we'd finally found a mix that allowed her to function and more importantly, after years of doubt, found the courage to accept a job opportunity a friend had offered her. Even though Tink somehow knew this would mean less time spent with her human companion, she gave my wife kisses all over he face while she explained the new job.

But Tink had two other furry companions to help soften that blow and pass the time, Dobby, our other dog and our cat Major. Oh how she shined when it came to Dobby. We got him as a rescue when he was still very young. He was wild, rambunctious and mischievous in many ways. Unsure of him the first day, he quickly won her over and how. She showed him the rules of the house without us even needing to do much. She kept him in line but also loved play fighting with him, grooming him and curling up for naps with him. Tink had been fixed when she was a puppy so she would never have pups of her own but Dobby was her child in every way and she was his Mamma as far as he was concerned as well.

Me? I refused to cry. "Not yet", I told myself. "She's always been there for us and I don't want her last visions of us to be sad ones. There will be plenty of time for tears after she's gone". I couldn't deny though that all the grief and memories associated with my father's passing came flooding back. Like Tinkerbell, his passing had come suddenly when the signs of pancreatic cancer didn't make themselves known until he had less than a week to live.

The vet went on to explain that even if we had rushed her to an emergency veterinary hospital on Sunday night, that it likely would have made little difference. She told us they could do the surgery to remove her gallbladder and stop that problem, but as weak as she was it was doubtful that she would survive the surgery and even if she did, Tink would be looking at a lifetime filled with potential complications, medications and therapies never mind the question of was there a chance her liver and kidneys would start to function again. Was a there a decision to be made? Yeah, but not really. We could have tried for the surgery, but what would awake from that operating table wouldn't really be our Tinkerbell. She wouldn't be the Tinkerbell that   bounced with a puppy's exuberance at treat time, wouldn't be the Tinkerbell that played tug of war with you over her squeaky squirrel toy, wouldn't be the Mamma to Dobby she wanted to be.

My wife made the not-really-much of-a-decision-decision. We would help ease our sweet Miss Belle onto the Rainbow Bridge before we ever left the office. To delay it, even a day, even a few hours, would be to subject her to more pain and suffering than she ever deserved. She'd seen already been subjected to enough pain and suffering earlier in life.

Tink's original owner abused her. Her tail was broken in multiple spots and so instead of it having a curl to it, it stuck straight out. She also suffered from a collapsing trachea from repeated hard yanks on a choker collar. She'd come to my wife's grandmother as a rescue dog when she was four or five years old. She was meant to be a companion, someone to keep her grandma company. But grandma's health began declining about a year after Tink arrived there and she passed away when Tink was seven. My wife attended the funeral and spoke with her aunt, whom Grandma had been living with. Her aunt had multiple large dogs and had done her best to help Tink but they would often take advantage of her smaller size by eating her food or shoving her out of the way when they decided she was in their way and since she had been Grandma's primary caretaker in her final months, she couldn't always be there to stop then. I don't blame my wife's aunt or grandmother in any way. They did the best they could for her under the circumstances life was throwing at them.

So, my wife decided that it was time for Tink to have a change of scenery and a chance at a new life. She returned from California with this wonderful, loving creature. I still remember the first time I saw her. After the plane landed and I had gotten my wife's luggage, Tink popped her head out of the carrier and let out a little whine a because she needed to pee so badly after the long flight. I instantly fell in love with her. It was utterly amazing to see this creature discover over the next few weeks the freedom to express her love and affection, to watch her personality blossom without fear of abuse or of a bigger dog taking advantage of her smaller size. She had found her home and we were overjoyed to be the ones to provide it.

I'd never had a dog before. My mom didn't like them and so they weren't allowed in the house. My dad loved most dogs though and worked for a short time in his younger years at a veterinarian's office. At the time, both to help them and us, we were living with my parents. Tink was so incredibly well behaved, not to mention house trained, that mom never made an issue of her being there, ever and even came to enjoy having her around. My dad took to her quickly and she to him. In the warmer months he would have his morning coffee out on the deck and would "accidentally" spill some near her which she would lap up instantly. It broke our hearts when a few days after he died she went to the chair he normally sat in for dinner and whined repeatedly while bumping the chair with her nose. She wanted to know where here breakfast companion was and didn't understand why he wasn't there anymore.

After the not-really-much-of-a-decision-decision was made, I put out phone calls to the kids who couldn't be there and offered to put them on speaker phone so they could speak to her one last time and let her know they loved her. Our youngest son was with us and he chose to say what he had to then as well and would then wait for us outside. He didn't want any part of being there in her final moments and that was a decision I both respected him for and thought was for the best. Losing a pet at any age is tough. Losing one when you're 15 and already dealing with the teenage struggles of life is all the more difficult.

They took her one last time to prepare her and we went to the special room they have set aside for these moments. The staff was amazing from the moment we walked in the door to the very end. They showed every bit of care and concern for Tink and for us as one could ever hope for. We were given as much time with her as we wanted and as this was a short day for them in their schedule, many stayed after closing to provide whatever assistance and support we needed.

When they brought her back to us, she was wrapped up in a nice warm blanket and an IV tube was in place for the injection. We loved on her, OH did we love on her. Cuddled her, petted her, gave her scritches behind the ears, rubbed her belly and chest gently and told her how much we loved her. We tried to encapsulate eight years worth of love into those final few minutes.

The time came when we were as ready as we were going to be, which wasn't much but it was enough because it had to be. Truth be told, I think Tinkerbell was simply waiting for us. She had been ready to go since Tuesday. But she knew. She knew we weren't there yet and had held on so we could get to that place emotionally where we could do what needed to be done.

She was given the injection while my wife gently stroked the fur on her head and whispered to her how much we loved her, that everything was OK, that soon the pain would stop. The vet placed the stethoscope to Tink's chest a few moments later and checked her pulse.

"She's gone", she said quietly.

Our beautiful Tinkerbell breathed her last and set her paws on that Rainbow Bridge at 1:15 pm, Wednesday July 10th, 2019.

My wife passed her to me. Her body was at peace and became increasingly limp as I held her. I rocked her back and forth. I told her how much she had meant to us, how much we loved her. My wife and I have a quirk between us. We never end our conversations with "Goodbye" because Goodbye is a forever thing. We always say "Until later". So while I knew her body was now dead, I knew her spirit could hear me just fine and I wanted her to know there was something to look forward to at the end of that Rainbow Bridge and that this was not Goodbye.

"Say hello to Dad for me. Until later Miss Belle."

Dobby. Poor Dobby. He misses his Mamma. He grieves right along with us and its worse for him, I think, because all he knows is that she went out the door with us and hasn't come back. Not bringing him with us for so he could be there in her final moments is the one regret I will always have over this. Still, it may have made it easier for her knowing that he wasn't there. I don't know. Just as Tink was more my wife's dog than mine, Dobby is more mine than hers. And of course none of that is to imply that they aren't both loved with all our hearts by both of us. But as we all know, its our pets that chose whom they form the strongest bonds with, not us. So now its my job to be there for him as he's been there for me. To grieve with him, to try and help him understand. I think he's slowly getting there. I hope so, anyway.

Normally I would apologize for writing something this long. I'm not going to this time. They say that writing these things out can be therapeutic. All I know is I've cried repeatedly while typing this up. Maybe I wrote it all out because I want the world to know what an incredible friend and companion she was. How loving, kind, sweet and what an incredible surrogate Mom to Dobby she was. Maybe its the part of me that wants to help my buddy, my Dobby, understand what happened. Maybe its my head trying to explain it to my heart. Honestly, I mostly I think its because my heart demands answers that I just don't have right now.

 

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pannklaus
You have written a wonderful description of what it is like to go through the end stages of disease, then being at the vet's office, praying for good news but expecting bad and then getting the bad news and making the very painful but correct decision for your sweet Tinkerbell and then having the decision carried out.  Now you are going through the grief that occurs after your mind has made the courageous decision to end your precious baby's suffering but your heart doesn't agree and you are in great pain.  I have been through that experience several times as have many others in this group.

We cannot make the pain and grief go away but we will be here with you as you grieve for your darling Tinkerbell.  Please continue to write as often as you wish about whatever you wish to write.  You are will people who totally understand what you are going through.
Patsy
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Jan_H
I am very sorry for your and your wife's loss of sweet, special Tinkerbell. Clearly she was very much loved by everyone in her extended family. There are many wonderful, compassionate and understanding people here that know what you are going through.

Give Dobby lots of love and attention (I'm sure you already are).

Jan
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Jcunnane
Dear Padric,

I’m so sorry for the loss of your sweet Tink. She’s a beauty. You writing is beautiful and I have to admit I broke down in tears reading it. It’s all so very real and so very raw. I’m sorry you are now experiencing the heartache, the guilt, the what if’s, the pain, the sadness.

It was 4 weeks yesterday we had to help our ginger tabby boy, Bubby cross to the Rainbow Bridge due to end stage kidney failure/renal failure. He would have been 10 at the end of this month. The past 4 weeks have just been extremely horrible. I miss my sweet boy. We were in the same situation as there was a procedure that we could have done but it was a slim chance he would survive. His urine levels, like some of Tink’s, we’re off the charts...literally. If he was able to pull through we would have been in the same predicament...it wouldn’t be our same boy. He would need subq fluids, red blood cell therapy, pain meds, new diet. He’s already been through 2 major illnesses and survived them but we couldn’t do this to him again. We wanted to be there for him. We needed to let go and take away his pain and suffering. So was there really an option...not really.

We have his sister and littermate Lola. She’s grieving just like Dobby is. It’s so hard to watch but we’re just trying to give her as much love as possible.

Please know you’re not alone though. There are some very wonderful people here who will be there for you in your time of need. So please post as often as you feel. We’re here to listen, talk, or lend a virtual shoulder to cry on. We all get it. That’s why we’re here. We love these precious animals as children. Our loves always and forever.

Sending you and your family and Dobby lots of hugs,
Jackie

Bubby's (Milo) Mommy - Always & Forever My Little Man 💜

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Padric
Thank you all for your kind words, hugs, thoughts, prayers and condolences. Please now that they are all felt and appreciated very much.

Yesterday was tough for me, very tough. I have found that being home is so incredibly difficult because there are so many memories of Tink that come flooding back to me when I'm here, not to mention things that were hers. At work I have distractions, I'm not surrounded by her things, her memory. I can dive into my work and forget the pain for short periods at a time.

Worst of all the house just feels wrong now. Even after my mom and dad died it never really felt this way. I know that may sound horrible, but its true. You see, my mom had been diagnosed with a terminal form of cancer six months prior to my dad's passing. His death came completely out of the blue and I think perhaps its some of the similarities his death shares to Tinkerbell's that have shaken me so hard. 

The only sign with my dad that something was wrong was that his legs began retaining water. We thought it was a sign of heart problems because he'd had them for over thirty years. He even went to his regular doctor just to be on the safe side and she ran a full battery of tests; full blood work up, liver enzymes, ultrasound of his abdomen. Everything came up clean so she referred him to his cardiologist.

Labor day weekend he suddenly was sleeping all day, not even coming to the table for dinner. When he did this a second day my mom asked me to help take him to the ER. As soon as I saw him I knew it was serious as his skin had completely yellowed with jaundice and he had to lean on me to even walk. At the ER they pumped him full of fluids and IV antibiotics because they thought he had a stomach infection after doing a CAT scan and his body responded immediately. The jaundice rapidly faded, he became more alert, more energetic. Maybe he was out of the woods. 

Two days later he was back to the way he was only worse. He was mostly incoherent and agitated when he was awake. They tried doing an MRI but because he wouldn't lie still they couldn't get any good images. They did an ultrasound again and combined with the bloodwork were able to come up with a diagnosis: they were 90% sure it was Pancreatic cancer that had spread to his liver and kidneys. They gave him less than a week to live. Five days later he was gone.

So the similarities are there between his death and Tink's. The slow decline followed by a rapid deterioration of their health, the thinking for a short time that we were out of the woods, the realization that this was life threatening and then the confirmation that nothing could be done.

But my dad was 76 when he passed. I'd had, of course, those quiet moments over the years where I contemplated the reality that I was going to lose him. Plus when I was a teenager he'd had a heart attack and then years later a triple bypass so I'd always known that something could happen and I'd lose him at a moments notice. Add to it the fact that when he died my mother was still fighting her battle with cancer so I had to be there for her since I was now the "man of the house", our youngest son was still little (just 8 years old) and our oldest son who already deals with emotion issues was very close to my dad...needless to say I didn't have much time for my own grief.

Over the years I recognized that fact and slowly dealt with it or so I thought. Now I'm not so sure. For those who are familiar with the "ball in the box" theory on grief, my ball is ricocheting all over the place because someone has come along and put it into a paint mixing machine.

As for my mom's passing, that was much easier. She lived more than a year after her initial diagnosis and as a result of my dad's death I was spending more and more time with her. I had time to grieve for her, I knew what was coming. I often tell people that one of the small mercies of terminal cancer is that you have the ability to grieve with the person while they are still alive. Yes, when they finally do pass it hurts but that time to grieve and to do it with them is invaluable,

With Tink's death though the house just feels wrong. Part of it is just the expectation that she's just around the corner, because that's just the way the house has been for the last 8 years, being met with the reality that no, no she isn't. Part of it is not wanting to let go of the things that were hers because that means accepting the reality that she's gone. And part of it falls into the category of "something else", something vague and nebulous that I can't quite put my finger on.

For instance, there have been multiple times over the past few days when I get right to the edge of tears, be it while I'm at work, at home, in the car, it doesn't matter where but I will suddenly get this image in my head of her licking my face, giving me kisses as if to tell me "its OK". Yesterday I was standing at the foot of our bed as I often do when I'm playing a video game which is something I've been doing a lot of recently to have that distraction I need. I felt, not imagined, not dreamed or wished for, felt a cold, wet nose push me on the butt. At first I thought it was Dobby, then realized he was up near the headboard and that if it were him it would have been in the small of my back since he's taller than Tink. That exact spot was were she always used to nose bump me when I was playing a game and she wanted my attention.  I couldn't help but turn around and smile at the spot where she would have been standing on the bed.

This morning I had dream that woke me up. I dreamed my wife and I were walking down a city street (we live in the country) and came across a dog laying by the side of the road, between two buildings. She looked just like Tink, was even laying just the way she did. We knew it wasn't her but she was clearly abandoned. I went and searched for her owner while my wife stayed with her. I never found one and everyone I talked to knew nothing about her. We brought her home but didn't give her a name at first. Over the course of the next couple of weeks we saw that all her mannerisms, her behavior, her attitude, everything was just like Tink. Even though we knew that this was a different dog, we eventually named her Tinkerbell after much discussion because not only did she earn the name, she deserved the name because maybe, just maybe her spirit had come back to us. It seemed so real and felt so jarring that it woke me.

But I started all this talking about yesterday and why it was so hard. I think much of it has to do with the fact that, for as much as I tried to distract myself with mindless things, the reality that life is moving on without her is setting in. One of the very first things I did after coming home from the vet's office on Wednesday was to take one of the dog's bowls and put it up on the counter to be washed. I did it to help Dobby understand that it was just him now. I'm the one who handles the dishwashing in the house. I've done multiple loads of dishes since then. That dish is still sitting there, untouched and unwashed. I just can't bring myself to do it.

Yet when I let Dobby outside yesterday in the late afternoon I did remove something of hers, We have leads for the dogs that we put them on since we're not big fans of electronic fences and the collars that go with them. The leads are long enough though that they can still cover about 3/4ths of the front yard and we have a slightly above average size of a yard so they aren't missing much in the way of being able to roam. As a result of the long leads though, they often get tangled and someone has to untangle them. 

I knew they were tangled, had been for a little over a week. Dobby had gone outside multiple times yesterday and each time I would stare at Tink's lead, knew it had to be untangled but also knew there was really no point to even having it out there anymore. Finally, when he went out late in the afternoon, my head won the argument with my heart on this. I kept telling myself that it wasn't fair to Dobby to not be able to roam the yard as he would like and that even if I just untangled them now, I'd likely have to do it again in a few days and keep reliving the pain. So, I untangled them...and unhooked Tink's lead from the stake that held them. Now it's just Dobby's lead attached to it. I sobbed the entire time and for a good ten minutes afterwards, not wanting to do it but knowing it was the right thing to do. 

I still haven't moved her bed in the living room and we've been letting Dobby sleep with us. Tonight we'll resume having him sleep in the living room again. I honestly don't know how I'll react to that or how I'll react if he decided to sleep in her bed. Part of me feels that's perfectly right and part of me feels that's very wrong. 

Speaking of Dobby, my buddy seems to be far more emotionally resilient than I am. While he certainly took notice of the fact that there was now only one lead when he came inside after I unhooked Tinkerbell's, it was just that. He took note of it, sniffed it and moved on. Even afterwards as I laid on our bed crying he didn't stay huddled up with me like he has been, grieving with me. He moved off a little bit and sat, watching me as if to say "I'm here if you need me but that grief isn't mine now" and he now only occasionally during the day gives me that "I miss her" look. His head and ears still perk up more than normal when he hears the front door close though, so I don't think he's completely at the acceptance stage yet. Mostly, though. 

The worst part of the last few days has been the seemingly relentless scorn my heart keeps heaping on my head. My heart has moved on from "How could you?!" to "This is your fault!" You see, I mentioned in my fist post how earlier Tink had developed a cough and we had taken her to the vet for it. Part of that visit was that there was to be a follow up visit which would involve blood work as the vet we use does periodic blood workups after dogs reach the age of 12. 

But we ran into some financial difficulties that were completely beyond our control, like my wife's care getting totaled by someone who drove off from the accident and us suddenly needing to get a new vehicle at a moment's notice. It was an older car, so needless to say the insurance payout was not nearly enough to cover what would be needed for the down payment of a new car. The money for the blood work just wasn't there. Worse yet, the financial issues had recently finally gotten straightened out and on Saturday I literally had written a note to myself to call the vet on Monday to make an appointment for the follow up.

Still, I did ask the veterinarian who treated Tink on Wednesday if we had gotten the bloodwork done earlier like we were supposed to, could this have been avoided? I asked her to please be honest with me, if the blood work would have shown something than tell me. I'm a big boy, I can handle it but given that Dobby is also part Chihuahua like Tink, I need to know not just for his sake but also because I need to know the truth, regardless of how painful it might be.

She told me that it was possible, but unlikely. She said based on the blood work and ultrasound she did but more based on the fact that Tink had showed no signs of problems with her gallbladder, liver, kidneys or digestive system in the days and weeks before that it was her best guess was that what struck Tink was one of the more aggressive, fast developing cancer's or possibly an aggressive infection though she thought cancer more likely. So even if we had done the blood work when we were supposed to it's likely the results would have come back normal because nothing would have been there yet to elevate them.

My head understands this all completely, replaying the conversation over and over while my heart keeps saying, "Yeah, but she said 'possible'". My heart is yet to accept the reality that death, whether it involves a human or a pet, is often anything but a clear cut thing. I suspect that doubt it something I will just have to learn to live with and honestly, I'm OK with that because in my head I know that what this all boils down to something I've often told my kids to prepare them for the real world: Sometimes your only options are horrible ones and you just have to chose the one that does the least amount of harm. 

Oddly enough, as I type this out, my heart seems to have settled down. Maybe there is a truce to be had. Time will tell I suppose because there is still today to get through. I know that today is going to be far worse than any day since Wednesday because a week ago today is when it all started. I already know that tonight, at 9:00 that magical "treat time" will arrive and so will the tears because at those very moments will be the time that Tink wasn't feeling well became known to us at exactly that time a week ago. I'm OK with that too. I'm OK with crying then. If my heart can accept the reality that there was nothing we could do but what we did, then my head can meet it half way and accept that it was still a horrible choice and that least harm doesn't mean no harm.

So again, thank you to all who have replied and offered their support and even those who simply read and did not reply. It seems that posting here has not become just a way to share Tink's story and be an outlet for my grief but has become therapeutic as well. I do apologize this time for the length as I truly intended to just post a quick thank you and update. Evidently my head and my heart chose this time to conduct peace talks as well. Time will tell if the treaty gets signed.



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pannklaus
Continue to write as often and as long as you wish while your heart and your head battle things out.  The battle may last awhile.  You are really just in the beginning stages of grief.  The loss of  a pet seems to be different than when we lose people.   There are all kinds of rituals and support which go with the death of a person and people accept a long period of grieving.  With a pet the expectation outside of this group is that you are supposed to get over it. 

But if you had a strong connection and love for your fur baby and that baby was a part of your daily routine, then there are the reminders everywhere-- the emptiness in the house and all the specific times of the day when you did something that you no longer do which keep triggering intense feelings of grief.  We lost our Lenny cat in  February but there still are the reminders which hit me periodically.  I want him to jump in my lap; I am aware of his feeding time and when he woke us up in the morning, etc.  I no longer have the intense grief that I had in the first few weeks but it isn't over for me and I am still in this group. 

Let whatever feelings come when they come, even though they are painful.  Continue to write long messages when they pour out of your heart, even if your intention was to make it short.  People can chose to read them or not as they wish. Some people cannot bear to write more than a sentence or two; others find it helpful to write much more.  We all are different in some ways but we are bound together by the love we had for our babies and the grief we are feeling because they are gone.  And we know when we write that there are others who understand what we are writing whether they respond or not.
Patsy
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Memories_of_Marmalade


Dear Padric,

I too am sorry for your loss. You can easily see in your writing how much you adored, cherished and loved your Tinkerbell. Thank  you for sharing some of her, your, your parents and your family's story with us. And that delightful first photo of your "Tink." : )

So many of us here can totally relate to what you are feeling.

I have read hundreds and hundreds of posts, comments, blogs, essays, websites and studies etc. on Veterinary Medicine the past 7 or 8 months, in an effort to help my boy (a cat named "Marmalade) prior to, during his extensive treatment(s) and surgeries and then after his passing. Sadly, like you and your lady, I also felt I had to put him down in the end. He was believed to be around 13 years old when the time came. His final Vet (one of 5 ) thought Marmalade might have been a little older. I had adopted him as a stray.

What I can tell you, as you may already have discovered during your own research is, even with Ultrasound and extensive blood work (with Marmalade's last blood work I had it sent out to an outsourced laboratory) cancer can be missed. I've read of that occurring time and again. I obtained 2nd, 3rd and 4th opinions regarding Marmalade's declining health (including with 2 supposed Animal Hospitals) all within 1 year, and none were able to diagnose him or misdiagnosed him.

As I've discovered and written about on this forum, the truth is our beloved dogs and cats were not biologically engineered to live as long as we humans help them to live. A dogs average lifespan in the wild is estimated to be about 10 years. A cat's only around 2 to 5 years. We quite often, automatically extend the natural lifespans of our pets by simply providing them with shelter (from natural predators and the weather / the elements), regular feedings and access to fresh water, occasional trips to Vet's and at times treatments and medication(s), and love and affection (which is good for their overall well-being.)

When a dog is say 10 years old and becomes terminally ill, people are often completely shocked. But the unfortunate truth is, that is natural. Their bodies are supposed to start breaking down. It's nature taking it's course. For a dog to live to 15 year of age? It is totally remarkable. Your Tink was well taken care of and cherished and adored.

It is extraordinary to think too about how we human's have also extended our own lifespans through medical science!

I write you the above not to try and lesson your grief, as I know that is impossible, but to try and offer you an explanation that might lesson your 2nd guessing. And perhaps to try and help me lesson my own by trying to remind myself. : /

I am with you, as are so many with the feeling of emptiness in our homes and how things feel wrong. I am living that reality every single moment of the day and it is a living nightmare.

Kind regards & my sincerest condolences,
James
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Jcunnane
Memories_of_Marmalade wrote:
.

As I've discovered and written about on this forum, the truth is our beloved dogs and cats were not biologically engineered to live as long as we humans help them to live. A dogs average lifespan in the wild is estimated to be about 10 years. A cat's only around 2 to 5 years. We quite often, automatically extend the natural lifespans of our pets by simply providing them with shelter (from natural predators and the weather / the elements), regular feedings and access to fresh water, occasional trips to Vet's and at times treatments and medication(s), and love and affection (which is good for their overall well-being.)


Dear James,

Thank you for this reminder. I was actually telling my husband last night how you spoke of this and how much I appreciated it. With Bubby not making it to his 10th birthday, it’s making it really hard to grasp how the world did this happen. He was so young. But then you pop this in every now and then and I’m like yes... yes this is so correct. Their bodies aren’t made for the long years we expect them to live.

So THANK YOU! You’re always helping me and snapping me back to reality on how we extend their lives when we should be lucky if they are living over 5 years.

HUGS!
Jackie

Bubby's (Milo) Mommy - Always & Forever My Little Man 💜

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TaazyBoy
Awww Padric, I have read your posts and I can feel how much you loved your sweet Tinkerbell. Like you we also said so long for now to our sweet boy this week. The more I read through the posts here I see just how deep we all cared for our fur kids, how they are so interwoven into every fabric of our lives. They are our constant. About 6 weeks before Friday, we did take our boy for blood tests and they all came back normal and yet 6 weeks later after an ultrasound, his poor body was ravaged with cancer, his spleen, pancreas, liver, lymph nodes, and intestines. I have back tracked in my mind, asking how, why, what can we have done different. 6 weeks ago they told us his bloodwork was fantastic, especially for an 11 yr old dog. Where did it all go wrong? Even three days later I don't fully understand, a part of me wants to believe maybe that was Tazzy's boy's gift to us, that he was able to live a full life right to the very end. He had one terrible week, and I cried over him a thousand times that week knowing he was so sick. I don't know if we ever full accept any of these things, this is a first for me but I am trying to remember how he lived, not the one week he was sick. Boy did he live. I wish I had a way to take away the pain from everyone here, it hurts my heart so much but with all this pain I also have felt so much love and joy in these posts. Our special family members are truly a gift. Big hugs to you.....
LM
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