Copper was my best friend in the world and I had to say goodbye to him this week. I knew my time with him would be shorter than usual because he was an older dog (~7ish years old) at a rescue group. My wife and I weren't even originally there to adopt him but he picked me. After things didn't work out with the intended dog, Copper wormed his way in, getting on his hind legs, and pawing at me. Love at first sight.

A few months after getting him home and settled we discovered that he had a previously undetected heart murmur during prep to remedy his dental issues. Again, he'd been in a bad situation before he got rescued. It turned out that this heart murmur was a precursor for congestive heart failure. We got his teeth taken care of so he wouldn't be in pain and resolved to deal with his heart murmur as best we could. His murmur eventually manifested into the beginnings of CHF and eventually this past week, after just over two years with us and just shy of two years with CHF, he had an episode that he couldn't recover from and we had to say goodbye. I thought I'd have more time with him. 

Everywhere I look I see him. Everything reminds me of him. Even though I think I did everything I could for him I still feel like I failed him because he left too soon. The grief and guilt are making me useless. If I'm at home I just sit in the living room and look at his bed in the corner and cry. I cry getting ready for bed when I go to give him his medicine and he's not there. I can't make myself take his blanket off of our bed or put his things in storage but I feel like I can't start healing until I do. So many questions keep running through my head:

Did I do enough?
What if I acted sooner?
What if I tried one more specialist? One more diagnostic? 
Could I (Should I) have done something different?

I'm lost and don't know what to do.
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Dear Beagle Dad,

I am very sorry to read of your loss of your beloved Copper. He sounds like he was a very good boy and you can easily see the love and tenderness that you had for him in your words.

Please know that you are not alone. The endless 2nd guessing is something that it seems every single one of us goes through, no matter the circumstances at the end of our beloved's life. It is just unfortunately a part of the grieving process.

There is a saying that I came upon here on this forum, that I have found comforting. I hope it gives you some comfort too. It goes something like this: 

"By showing our pet's mercy, to end their pain & suffering, we agree to take on their pain & suffering onto ourselves. To absorb it. And through our grief and sorrow, to process it. This is the bargain that each of us makes, to end our loved ones pain & suffering and provide them with peace." 

I hope you continue to travel through time and heal. Your body, mind & body will do so. Although it will take some time. There are many people here who can attest to the fact that healing DOES eventually come. 

Kind regards,
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I'm so, so sorry! It's just the worst kind of pain, Beagle Dad. 

It's completely normal to second-guess yourself and all the decision making. You did the best you could with what you knew, when you knew it. Hope you can keep from heaping on any sense of guilt at all. The loss and grief are way hard enough without that. 

Be gentle with yourself while your grief is so raw. And healing takes real time. Wishing you much comfort. 
-Missing Marissa deeply
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Yes, you did enough.  More specialists, tests and all the rest would not have made any difference. You are grieving now and asking the questions that are very typical in the early, miserable stages of deep grieving.

It is normal to feel lost, unable to look at things that remind you of your best friend Cooper, to cry, not be able to function well and all the rest.  You will take care of his things when you are ready.  There is no hurry.  When the time comes you may want to give them to others in need, use some in making a memorial or other ways that people choose to handle this issue.

I am so very sorry for the loss of your precious Cooper and the miserable grief that you are experiencing. I cannot tell you the specifics of the grief journey you will go through since it is different for each of us.  But you are with people who understand because we are on the same journey.  This group of kind people will be with you for as long as you need support and comfort after the painful, terrible loss of your beloved Cooper.
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You did a commendable thing by giving Copper a safe home and making his life as pain-free and loving as you could. He sounded like an amazing companion and if I had the power to give you five more years with your buddy, I would do it unquestioningly.

I will never understand your exact pain, but I understand that you are in pain. You worked so hard to make Copper's existence with you a pleasant one, and no one would blame you for the one thing that you couldn't control.

I am so thankful that you entered Copper's life when you did because it sounds like he had someone putting him first, which he didn't have before. As you grieve, try to put yourself first. Copper would want you to feel as good about yourself as you made him feel about himself.
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