Two days ago I lost my best friend Charlie. He was my first dog and I can't believe he's gone. This will be long, I'm sorry, I just have to get this story out of my head.

I adopted Charlie a little over 6 years ago. My boyfriend at the time liked Cocker Spaniels so I found one to adopt. When we went to meet him he stole our hearts. Big brown eyes, blonde hair, a body that never stopped wiggling with excitement. He came home a week later although he was family from that first day.

There was a tough break-up and then I bought my first house all on my own. Charlie made us feel safe and slept with me every night as I stood on my own two feet. His calm eyes and cuddles were balm to my soul when I felt I was over my head. When I introduced him to my boyfriend (now fiance) they instantly bonded and we were a happy family of 4.

Almost 2 years ago we adopted a puppy mill breeder who was instantly attached to Charlie. Then, a little over a year an a half ago, Charlie's health started to decline. Bloodwork and Xrays showed that he had chronic renal failure. I researched and started cooking low phosphorous meals for him and he stabilized.

Thanksgiving of last year he tore his CCL in his left knee and needed surgery to repair it. That surgery almost killed him but he pulled through and did well until he partially tore the other knee. We carried him up and down the stairs to do his business. Our new normal revolved around his good and bad days and constantly assessing his daily status.

About 3 weeks ago, he started acting very strange. Getting up in the middle of the night and not wanting to be in our bed. It became apparent his vision was compromised and he was constantly stressed, panting and pacing all day and night. He'd fall down and not be able to get up, get lost in corners, stare at walls, food would fall out of his mouth.

He most likely had a brain tumor. We lost him so fast. Carrying him around, cleaning up his accidents, cooking for him...there's nothing we wouldn't do for him. But now he was constantly hurting himself, falling and crying and losing control of his bladder when we didn't get to him in time. He couldn't relax, he'd pace and get stuck places with us running after him until he passed out from exhaustion, only to begin again after an hour.

We hadn't slept through the night in weeks. We were exhausted and heartbroken to lose our sweet, affectionate, lazy cuddlebug... he had become an anxious, stressed, withdrawn shell of himself and we couldnt leave him alone.

2 days ago we held him as he slipped away on a hard table at the vet. I know it was the right thing to do but I'm so angry. Gutted. Devastated. I know I'm lucky to have had 6 years. I know I did everything possible to give him a great life. I know I had to let him go but it has torn me apart. I can't stop crying. I can't stop missing his presence. I can't stop thinking about how he will never wear his Christmas sweater or get excited for his stocking or beg for pizza crusts or snore in our bed again.

Our other dog Delia is lost without him. She is terrified every time we leave (we both work full time and my daughter is in school all day). She will need a companion but I can't bear the thought of another dog right now. A new dog will never be Charlie and all I want is to have him back.

Sorry this is so long and thank you for anyone who takes the time to read it. This grief is crushing, suffocating, relentless. I don't know how I'm going to move forward. Life will never be the same and I don't know how to accept that.
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Rescuemom,  I can feel the terrible heartache you are going through and everyone here knows exactly what you are talking about.  6 years doesn't seem very long, especially when we want them to stay with us forever.
Your Charlie no longer is struggling, no more panic or stress, no more discomfort, nothing at all to upset your sweet boy.  That is the only thing you can hang onto while you go through your grief journey.  Time really does help heal but for most of us it is quite a long time before we can think of our babies with a smile instead of tears.
Come here on this forum, you will find some wonderful people here just as I have.  We all know the loss, you can share your feelings here.
I will keep you, your daughter, and even Delia in my prayers.
Marlene Wagner
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Thinking of you today.  Wondering how you are doing.
Marlene Wagner
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Thank you Marlene. I'm back to work today which is actually easier because my mind is occupied. It's so strange to be at home and not have Charlie there, especially at the level of care he needed in the end.

Charlie is certainly not the first pet that I've lost but he was definitely part of the foundation of our family. This is a wound that will take a long, long time to heal.

Thank you for checking in. It helps to know that other people care and struggle to get through the loss of a pet too. I work in healthcare and it can be so hard to smile and pretend I'm doing great for my patients when I feel so sad.


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Sheri, I'm so sorry for your loss of Charlie. Your story is touching, I can feel how much love and care you gave, especially how hard your family fought to make him comfortable in those last months. It is amazing how far we will go and what we will put ourselves through to hold onto them. We did the same for our Nicky. I believe when you get into that part that requires 'above and beyond' care, the sacrifices you make, the sleepless nights, it just makes missing them harder in the beginning. It will take time, no one can say how long, but it will improve. I'm seven months past China and 4 months past Nicky, the tears still come but more gently. I can think of them and the good times without crying, but there still are days when a wave of sadness will come over me, but it too passes a little quicker than before. Blessings to you and your fiancee, I will be praying for your peace, and know that Charlie is still with you in spirit and always will be until you are united again.
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I am so sorry for your loss. It sounds like you gave Charlie a wonderful life. I lost my sweet Zoey on Saturday Aug 19. She also suffered from a brain disease and we did everything for her towards the end. The story you wrote touched me because it was so much the same with Zoey. These forums have helped me in this past week. It's devastating and I pray that it gets better for you. Sending hugs your way.
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Hi Sheri, I'm very sorry for your loss. I lost my soulmate furbaby just a month ago, at age 9, over his sleep and without any signs of sickness. Diego was a happy, funny and adorable bull terrier, playfull as a puppy, till the night of his passing. I never got to prepare myself for this, never got signs of decreasing health or any condition. Even the vet can't explain. His heart just stopped over his sleep and he left peacefully, without a goodbye. I'm devasted and heartbroken. Can't look at anything that reminds me of him without crying and feeling guilty for not seeing any of this coming. Can't sleep without dreaming of him crossing the bridge alone while I was on vacation with my family abroad. Can't find peace in this...
I hope you find your peace knowing that your baby is not suffering anymore, and even thou is so hard to loose them, he is better now, free and happy.
Sending you prayers and hugs
Diego's mom
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