Miss_my_pug
It's been almost three weeks since I had to put my 13 1/2 boy to sleep. I cry everyday. I miss him so so much. My heart aches. Mornings are the hardest. It's like waking up to a bad dream.

He had a reoccurring pneumonia (that's what vets thought though they weren't 100%), an enlarged heart (wasn't in CHF according to cardiologist), neuro problems caused his hind legs to finally give in and he wasn't able to pee on his own after a while. He also started barking at bedtime and whenever we left the room. It was all within a 3 month span of quick decline. The first time he went to er they weren't sure if it was pneumonia or his heart problems so they gave him antibiotics and continued regular heart meds and it seemed to get better. A month later, it came back with a vengeance and hospitalized him for three days. He turned around and the last re check with his cardiologist she was elated he had recovered so well. A month after that, I started hearing major congestion through his nose and he started panting at night and in the morning again. Then the terrible wet cough came back.

Even as I write this, it's so obvious he had problems on top of problems yet I still ask myself, did we do enough? Should I have given it at least a few more days? When we took him back for emergency for the third time, He was stable in oxygen but when he was outside of it, he struggled to breathe again. After 24 hrs had passed and I didn't see any signs of improvement after the IV antibiotics and lasix (which he was already on weeks prior) we decided to put him to sleep so he didn't have to struggle to breathe and be in pain anymore.

Three weeks later, I go in and out of guilt and regret. What if he had gotten better? What if I had given it a few days and we could of at least spent his last few weeks together at home, doing the things we loved to do together - sleep on my lap and love each other. When I look back at that moment when the er vet told me that Ling was a really sick dog - that was the moment it had hit me how hard he was struggling his last few weeks. I had spent our final weeks together going to vet after vet and getting no clear answers when I should of been preparing for the inevitable and enjoying every last moment together. The regret is unbearable. And then when that leaves me for a moment I am left with overwhelming sadness and pain from his absence. The pet loss grief counselor I've been seeing told me that guilt is a way to deflect all that sadness away - an escape from that emptiness. She's right.

Ling was my My pug soul mate, the love of my life. We got him when I lost my mom to cancer when I was 19 and he was always by my side: first apartment, graduating college, living through my 20s, moving to new cities, new career etc. I always knew saying Goodbye would be one of the hardest things I've ever had to go through, but I felt like his ending was so quick and I wish I could of gave him a better final goodbye. Maybe those few days extra with him would change the depth of my grief.

Getting out my story helps. Hearing others story comforts me knowing I'm not alone. People who come here are the ones who know exactly the pain I'm experiencing and the bond with their pet that is like no other.

Has anyone been through this type of experience before? Heart problems and pneumonia in their dog? The guilt of euthanasia? Pet parents, does it get easier?
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Antonia
I had to send my beautiful 3 and a half year old girl Poppy to sleep on the 10th September. The regret you speak about is what I am struggling with the most that and the total heartbreak of her not being here anymore and the devastating thought I will never see her again. Although the illness isn't the same the situation before having to say goodbye was similar and I have all the same questions. I haven't seen a grief counsellor would you recommend? Iv spent the majority of tonight sobbing. Praying the pain eases. Appreciate you sharing your story and I'm so sorry to hear Ling isn't with you any longer I do truly believe they go to an amazing place of peace and that's all we can ask for xx
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Miss_my_pug
I'm so sorry about Poppy. I understand that connection we form with our pets and the pain your going through. I would absolutely recommend talking to a grief counselor if you don't feel yourself getting better. That's where I was at. Everyday got harder so I reached out to Sandra Grossman: http://69.195.124.95/~petlossp/about-us-contact/
She lives in my area so I was able to set a face to face appointment. She also does over the phone and Skype sessions I believe. Talking to her has helped me tremendously. She's a wonderful person who completely understands this pain were experiencing. It's something I needed since I didn't really have anyone in my life who could understand what i am going through. Again, I'm so sorry about Poppy. If you feel up to it, tell me about Poppy and your story. I would love to see a picture. Remember, You're not alone in this.
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Bailey15
Hi Miss_my_pug,
I read your post on Kasey's topic and it really touched my heart so I looked back at your story. Wow! Ling was so special to you. I'm so sorry about your mom! It had to be so difficult losing her at only 19 yrs - and then Ling was there for you through so many important milestones in your life. I know you must have been dreading the day when you would have to say good bye. I remember feeling that way about Bailey, my little Shih tzu, worrying about the time when he would have to go and thinking I would never survive it. We had to let him go on Nov. 10/15 and I couldn't think past what was best for him at the time but afterward it was the worst pain I have ever felt. From everything you described it sounds like Ling was suffering. You did everything you could for him and when it became obvious he wouldn't get better you made the selfless choice to let him go. Please do not question that decision. If he was struggling to breathe, his life really had become too difficult. What you did for him was "your last gift". The gift you gave to him for so many years was a wonderful life filled with lots of love and I know he reciprocated by giving such devotion and love back to you. Please try and remember that. I know how very difficult it is now - regardless of what others think. This was a huge loss, a real trauma and you need to be kind to yourself but also allow yourself to mourn your beautiful Ling because even though it is so incredibly hard, it is an important part of the healing process. Keep coming back to the forum. It will validate your feelings and you are also among people who care because, sadly, we all know the terrible pain and devastation of losing your best friend. Also, know that in time it will get better. You will always love Ling and carry his memory in your heart but over time your memories of him will more often bring a smile to your face. I know how painful it is right now but you will get there! Thinking of you,
MJ Xxx
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Monty13
Sorry you lost your beloved Ling Ling. I lost my dog in May and it took a long time for me to feel better. I did feel guilty but it really is best because you will look back and be happy you didn't allow your dog to continue on in pain. Hang in and things will get better slowly. We never forget our cherished pets but we do enjoy all of their sweet memories. Take Care!
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Miss_my_pug
Hi MJ-
Thanks so so much for reaching out and your kind words. Your msg couldn't have come at a better time since I've been having a very difficult week so far. It's been over two months and some days the pain feels fresh as new. Like you, I always dreaded the day I would have to say goodbye to Ling. I'm struggling between places of sadness and anxiety. The guilt has started to subside a bit. At work yesterday I felt a slight panic sweep over me thinking about how i will never get to hold my sweet Ling again. That is the hardest part of the grief- accepting the physical loss. I miss him so much and replaying those last moments in my head- it is so painful. It means so much hearing that you have gotten through this grief with your Bailey. I sometimes wake up and wonder if I will ever find joy in life again. It really feels like a piece of me is missing. Thank again MJ for reaching out.
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Miss_my_pug
Hi Monty13-

Thank you for your wonderful msg. It sounds as if you have found peace since you lost your dog and it truly makes me feel hopeful. Sometimes it feels as if my heart can burst. Like they say, grief is just love inverted. My love for Ling was so great and sometimes I think that I never truly wrapped my mind around a world without him. As if he would live forever. thank you again monty13 for taking the time to reach out to me, your words give me hope.
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furevercasey
I'm so sorry about the loss of precious Ling Ling.  My dog had different health issues but I totally understand the guilt and regret you are feeling.  Now looking back at pictures, I think that I should have noticed her health problems sooner and done something about it.  An emergency vet recommended that I euthanize her and I agreed because I didn't want her to suffer anymore.  Now I think I should have waited at least until she saw her own vet.  He knew her medical history and maybe he could have helped.   Even if I could have kept her just one more week.  To make my guilt even worse, there were times in the last weeks of her life when she required so much care that I actually thought my life would be easier when she was gone or some times I would fantasize about what I could be doing if I didn't have to take care of her.  Now that she's gone, I don't feel like I'm ever going to be happy again.  Like you, I have been seeing a counselor.  The counselor has assured me that my feelings were perfectly normal and the fact that I continued caring for her even though it became so difficult shows how much I loved her.  I still can't forgive myself, though.  I just miss her so much. It sounds like you did everything you could do for Ling Ling.  I wish you peace.
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Miss_my_pug
Hi Furever Casey-

Thanks so much for your kind words...especially since you are also going through such difficult time. And i'm so sorry about your sweet Casey. I'm glad you have reached out to a counselor. I know that the first weeks after losing Ling were indescribable - I felt as if I was losing my mind. And she also assured me the same thing - everything we feel and think during this grieving process is completely normal. I'm sure also told you that feelings of "relief" after they pass, especially if they were in need of round the clock care is totally normal and understandable. I'm sure a lot of that relief comes from that fact you don't have to see your baby struggle any longer. Another thing the counselor explained to me about guilt and regret is that is the emotion that comes through when our minds no longer want to think of the sadness and pain of losing the physical presence of our pets. So guilt is always there ready to fill those empty spaces. One think I've come to realize about the what if's and if only's is that the outcome would of been the same, no matter how we try to re-write the story in our head. I hope you find peace soon. I totally understand all the emotions you are going through, please know you are not alone.
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furevercasey
I guess we are lucky that we have access to counselors.  I live in a fairly large town and I was surprised there are no pet loss support groups.  Thank goodness for this site and the comfort I have found here.  I hope we will one day find peace and acceptance.
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