Karensmith
It’s been a week since my 9 year old loving dog died. He was acting completely normal all day. Did his usual activities. Had a couple walks. Ate all his usual food. Layed in the shade for a while in our yard. Several neighbors saw him and petted him when they walked by. he was a very popular boy. Said he seemed fine to them as well. 30 minutes later he was laying on his dog bed resting. All of a sudden got up and took about 8 unusual steps. His back legs weren’t working right. He had the look of panic on his face. My husband stopped him and tried to calm him. He pulled away with all his strength and hobbled down a short Hall, ran halfway up the stairs and collapsed on the landing which was one of his favorite sleeping spots. He was gone immediately. His eyes had rolled back and his tongue changed color. The odd behavior to death lasted about 2 minutes. We are heart broken. Last vet appointment a couple months ago the vet remarked that he was in great shape and to keep doing what we were doing. He had slowed down in the last year but he was a 9 year old 90lb dog after all. He went from 3 walks a day to only 2 but I attributed that to age. I just don’t understand how this could happen. I miss so many things about him. He made life better in so many ways. We keep wondering if we missed signs of a medical problem.
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Iwalt22
I lost my Apollo in much the same way.  Very good energy, always happy and active, the most eager for our daily walks.  He was around 9, perhaps a little older.  He spent a week in an open pen kennel.  I had daily pictures of him enjoying himself.  The day I picked him up he was so excited to see me he had a heart attack or perhaps an Addisonian episode (Addisons is difficult to diagnose and usually discovered when they have an episode).  I foolishly took him to his normal vet across town.  He was too long in the car.  I wish I had taken him to a vet just down the street.  I didn't understand how serious his condition was until it was too late.  

Its so hard to know if they are having issues.   They hide their pain well and there is only so much a vet can do.  

You are completely unprepared to lose them.  You think they will slowly deteriorate and you dread the day you will have to make their end of life decision.  You don't think you will lose them with no warning.

There are a few others on this forum with similar stories of their precious friend dying unexpectantly.  Perhaps in its own way it is a blessing.  There are many on here who had to watch their little friend suffer for a long time before they came to the end.  

The first week or two is the hardest.  They are such a part of your daily routine.  You think they are just around the corner.  Every street is a street you walked down with them.  

For me personally I have found the Stoic philosophy to be helpful.  If you google "Death and Stoicism" you will find a couple of articles that are useful.

Stoicism is an objective way of looking at life.  It breaks life down into what is and what is not in your control.  It says to not let things that are not in your control take control of your life.  

A true Stoic thinks always on death so that it does not catch him unprepared.  A true Stoic has total control of his mind and does not let things that are not in his control disturb him.

Of course it is not that simple.  But I have found some comfort in knowing that though my Apollo is gone, and while he feels no joy any more he will never again feel pain.  

I choose to believe there really is a Rainbow Bridge and one day I will see him there again.  

I hope you find some method to find some comfort while you are learning to live without your sweet boy.  There are many kind people on this forum you can lean on for support.  

I know you must have done your best to care for your boy and had it been in your power you would have done anything to save him.  So many animals have such difficult lives.  What a lucky boy to have had a family that loved and cared for him.  

Big hugs to you and I hope you find peace.  Know that it does get easier with time.  


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Karensmith
Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I always assumed he would live to at least age 12 and may be longer. I really don’t know a dog that is better cared for. I was a stay at home mom for most of his life so he had constant attention many walks and trips to the dog park. It is because of him
That I know many neighbors. Your right I’m glad he didn’t suffer over a long period of time but I do wish he didn’t die so young leaving a huge void in my family.
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Tankie12
Karen I’m so sorry, I know how painful this loss is. Here you will find many, many people that understand exactaly how terrible the pain can be. My girl was also large, 117lb’s at one point. Yes their live span is shorter, and yes I’d desperately hoped she would live to a longer age. She died shortly after she turned 10😔 It sounds like your baby had a heart attack, mine did and the symptoms were very similar. What you saw, ‘ the odd behavior ‘ that happens After the heart has stopped. The body is trying to oxygenate the international organs. It’s horrible to watch. But I want you to know he was not alive at that point, his heart had stopped, he felt nothing, even if you heard noises. The shock of this happening is hard enough to bare without those final moments haunting you.
My heart goes out to you and your husband and the grief that follows Can’t be denied, it’s real and it hurts like hell! He was a huge part of your life, a living, loving part of your family. I’ve had a hard time with “ what, who is the new “us” our family. He gave you a purpose, a reason to stay on schedule, wake up for walks, for hikes, for feedings. And the unconditional love is the gift they give back everyday, wonderful love.
Please write as often as you want, you are not alone, take care of you,,,,,
Lynn, Tankie’s mom, forever
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chrisnj
Karensmith wrote:
It’s been a week since my 9 year old loving dog died. He was acting completely normal all day. Did his usual activities. Had a couple walks. Ate all his usual food. Layed in the shade for a while in our yard. Several neighbors saw him and petted him when they walked by. he was a very popular boy. Said he seemed fine to them as well. 30 minutes later he was laying on his dog bed resting. All of a sudden got up and took about 8 unusual steps. His back legs weren’t working right. He had the look of panic on his face. My husband stopped him and tried to calm him. He pulled away with all his strength and hobbled down a short Hall, ran halfway up the stairs and collapsed on the landing which was one of his favorite sleeping spots. He was gone immediately. His eyes had rolled back and his tongue changed color. The odd behavior to death lasted about 2 minutes. We are heart broken. Last vet appointment a couple months ago the vet remarked that he was in great shape and to keep doing what we were doing. He had slowed down in the last year but he was a 9 year old 90lb dog after all. He went from 3 walks a day to only 2 but I attributed that to age. I just don’t understand how this could happen. I can’t stop crying either. I miss so many things about him. He made life better in so many ways. We keep wondering if we missed signs of a medical problem.


Dear Karen,

I am so very sorry for your loss. There are no words to describe the feelings experienced after an expected death.

I just lost my wonderful boy, Monte, on Monday night also unexpectedly. I know exactly how you feel. It hasn’t been easy these past couple days.

I had taken him to see the vet a couple months ago for a routine check-up. He was the perfect weight, full of energy, and was given a clean bill of health.

Like always, I took him out Monday morning for our walk before I went to work and everything was normal. There weren’t any changes to his eating or drinking habits. No indication whatsoever of what would happen that afternoon.

While I was at work, my boyfriend called me to say that Monte had started shaking, threw up yellow foam, and urinated on the floor. He was breathing very heavily. He rushed him to the animal hospital where they discovered a tumor by his spleen. There was a 50/50 chance it was malignant or benign. They discovered that he had an aggressive form of cancer that had started to spread. I was faced with the most difficult decision I ever had to make, which was to let him go peacefully. Otherwise, as the doctor said, he would have died a few weeks after surgery and would have suffered.

I can’t tell you what a shock all this was. From being seemingly healthy and energetic to being gone in 12 hours is something I am still trying to wrap my head around. The doctor said that his blood work was good and that he was fit, but this cancer could only be detected through an x-ray.

While I am trying to keep it together, I cannot help but feel incredible sorrow for him. He was not ready to go yet. He still had a zest for life.

I will always love and remember him. What I wouldn’t give to go on one more hike with him.

I wanted to reach out and share my story to let you know that you are not alone.

I hope that you will find peace eventually, on your own terms, and in your own time.

Best,
Chris


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Karensmith
Tankie12 wrote:
Karen I’m so sorry, I know how painful this loss is. Here you will find many, many people that understand exactaly how terrible the pain can be. My girl was also large, 117lb’s at one point. Yes their live span is shorter, and yes I’d desperately hoped she would live to a longer age. She died shortly after she turned 10😔 It sounds like your baby had a heart attack, mine did and the symptoms were very similar. What you saw, ‘ the odd behavior ‘ that happens After the heart has stopped. The body is trying to oxygenate the international organs. It’s horrible to watch. But I want you to know he was not alive at that point, his heart had stopped, he felt nothing, even if you heard noises. The shock of this happening is hard enough to bare without those final moments haunting you.
My heart goes out to you and your husband and the grief that follows Can’t be denied, it’s real and it hurts like hell! He was a huge part of your life, a living, loving part of your family. I’ve had a hard time with “ what, who is the new “us” our family. He gave you a purpose, a reason to stay on schedule, wake up for walks, for meds, for feedings. And the unconditional love is the gift they give back everyday, wonderful love.
Please write as often as you want, you are not alone, take care of you,,,,,
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Karensmith
Thank you for your thoughts. It’s nice to have people who understand. My teen and I were on a trip when it happened so I didn’t get to say goodbye. My husband got to witness all of it by himself. It was traumatic to see for sure. He’s says it’s good we weren’t home but part of me wishes we got to say goodbye.
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Karensmith
Oh Chris that is aweful. I don’t know what’s worse sudden death at home or having to make the decision to euthinize.
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Eileennellie
I went through almost the same thing. My 8 1/2 yo Dobie was totally healthy and happy, we were at the dog trainers and he was running and just fell over and died before he hit the ground. It was a heart arrhythmia, we believe. I blamed myself at first, thinking that the other dogs nearby was too much for him, as he was very anxious and aggresive towards other dogs. But in hindsight, anything could have caused his heart to give out, or even nothing. It was going to happen, no matter what we did. And he was whining a bit in his crate on the way there, so maybe he wasn't feeling good prior to the event. He hid things extremely well, he was tough! Please don't think that you missed any signs of trouble, there often are none to see. It will be a year on 7/11 since I lost him, and I still think about him every day. It was literally the worst day of my life, but it has helped to think about the fact that I gave him the best life possible and to know he was happy and loved every day. It will get easier for you, In time. I had to say goodbye to my 12 1/2 yo female Doberman, Paris, 3 months later, and I can say that it was 100% harder to deal with the sudden loss. Not getting to say goodbye is an awful feeling. I sorry you are going through this, I know it is very traumatic.
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antgna00
I am so sorry for your loss. We lost our milo on Monday and we cannot imagine our lives without him.
I hope you know your not alone im your grief. It’s heartbreaking and we hope our pets get to meet on the bridge.
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Karensmith
Eileen, thanks for sharing your heartbreaking story. Loosing two dogs so Close together sounds painful! It’s nice to know other people can empathize with me especially with the sudden death.

Antgna sorry to hear about your very recent loss of Milo. It’s 2 weeks tonight that we lost our boy but I can say it has gotten better each day. Talking to others that have gone through this has helped. I still shed some tears everyday but I’m not walking around with swollen eyelids like I was the first week.
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antgna00
Thx Karen. I’m hoping it gets better even though he will never be forgotten.
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TamiD
I am sorry for your loss.
My australian shepherd died 2 days ago while out on his morning walk. He was 10 years old. He seemed very healthy. I feel like I did something wrong. He was happy on his walk and they were rounding the corner heading back to the car. My Eriko yet out a Yelp, kicked his leg out and died instantly. The vet said cardiac arrest. I just dont understand how or why. The pain is excruciating and it is hard to do anything.
I pray for healing for you and your family.
Tami
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Karensmith
Tami, that is heartbreaking. Sounds very similar to my situation. Our vet said either heart or stroke based on the symptoms but we will never know for sure. I can say that 16 days later I am not as consumed with grief as I was the first week. Don’t get me wrong I’m still sad and I’ve had moments of tears everyday thinking about how much I miss him.. I started a journal which has helped when I’m feeling especially sad. I’ve written down some funny memories through the years. Things about him I never want to forget. We are having a new tree planted this week in his memory and I am going to get a stone engraved with his name for under the tree. Sorry you have to go through this sorrow. It’s so hard! Our vet said there was nothing that would have changed the outcome even if it happened in the vet office with all the medical equipment and expertise.
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