I lost my sweet big boy a week ago. I am so distracted with grief that my mind is foggy and I feel like I am walking around in a daze.  Max was a rescue mutt, we believe he was part border collie and grey hound.  He weighted 80 pounds and was solid black except for his 4 white socks, a patch of white on his neck and the a white tipped tale.  He had the body of a grey hound and the temperament of a border collie.  He was 12 years old.  He was strong and healthy as an ox, was never sick one day in his life.

My situation is even more complicated because 2 weeks before Max passed I had 3 dogs in my house. The 2 other small dogs who were a bonded pair moved with my daughter out of state.  I knew Max was getting older and slowing down (just like me) and I was looking forward to it just being the two of us.  I expected Max to have a reaction to the departure of the 2 small dogs.  I had witnessed how he had responded when our Chihuahua passed.  He was depressed, moped around, wouldn't eat for days. So I was not surprised when he was not his usual happy self.  I was determined to help him thru his grief and increased on walks and rides.  The Saturday before he passed he was happily chasing squirrels in the back yard.  On Sunday, when I returned from church he was quite and didn't want to eat.  I took him out for a walk in an effort to cheer him up.  On Monday morning, he was still not himself and I decided to take him to the vet just to be safe. When I opened the front door he ran down the stairs and once he got outside it was clear that he was disoriented and he collapsed on the driveway and could not get up. After a few minutes I managed to get him in the car, but it took to vet techs and a stretcher to get him out of the car.  He died 6 hours later.  After his death we discovered that his spleen had ruptured and although we did not have the tumor tested my vet believes that it was cancerous.  Max had been to the vet only 2 weeks before and was fine.  My vet has tried to reassure me that I did nothing wrong and that spleen tumors often go undetected and often produce no symptoms until they rupture and then it is to late.  He has told me that even if they had been able to do surgery (max was to weak)  typically by the time there are symptoms the cancer has already spread to other organs.  I never dreamed for a moment that vet visit would be the end. I keep beating myself up.  Maybe he wasn't depressed but was sick and I missed it because of the sequence of events.   This is not my first loss of a pet. I have gone thru this now 3 times. My first loss was a 14 year old Rottweiler named Casino that I had raised from a 10 week old puppy. He was diagnosed with an illness a year before his death and in my heart I knew when it was time to put him down.  I also lost a 12 year old Chihuahua named Cheech who we rescued when he was 6 years old.  I made the decision to put him down after a month long illness with renal failure when it was clear that he was suffering and was no longer able to enjoy all the things that he loved most.  And now Max who had been with me for 10 years.  I have grieved them all and in my darkest moments I always say that I will never go thru this again because I cannot bear the pain.   I have always made it my practice with my beloved humans and furry babies to move on with life after death.  I usually clean up, and pack up their toys, beds, bowls and donate them to the local shelter because I believe that life goes on and that each of my pets deserve to start new in my house and in my heart.....and I did this with Max.  But this pain with Max is the worst I have experienced. I can't eat.  I tried eating an apple this evening. I use to share and apple with the dogs every evening (the 3 of them) and used it as a training opportunity, making them sit patiently while I sliced their individual piece. Max use to sneak in a lick which was him telling me to hurry up!  I bit into that apple and nearly threw-up.  When I am downstairs I hear Max jumping off the bed upstairs. When I am upstairs at night I hear him bumping around downstairs.  My energy level is minus 10 and I am dragging my body out of bed to go to work every day praying that I don't have to make any tough decisions cause my brain is in a fog.  I believe that God willing, there is another furry baby in my future. But right now I am in a black hole!
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I am so sad reading your forum you are not on your own belive me i am so heartbroke sometimes i cant breathe my boy cancer took him from us within 4 week he was the apple of my eye my best freind ever big hugs x
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Dear Denise:

I am so very sorry for your loss of Max.  Our fur babies add so much to our lives and give us so much love and joy.  I have found that as I have gotten older, retired and my son has moved on with his life, I have bonded and loved my fur babies Mia and Shadow even more that when I adopted them 13+ years ago.

Your Max brought you joy and love and you gave him a wonderful life.  Don't put guilt on yourself for not knowing his condition, you did everything you could and Max knows that.  I think that sometimes our pet children hide from us their illnesses because they don't want us to worry and they love us so. And sometimes the illness just happens suddenly and there is nothing we can do to heal our beloved pet.  I like to think the even with our veterinary care system for our fur babies, perhaps our fur babies wisdom is greater than ours is when it comes their time to move on.  

My Mia, lived the last 3 months of her life diagnosed with an inoperable heart condition and cancerous tumour on her lungs.  Like your Max she was playing a few days before her little body gave out almost 4 weeks ago and I had to have my angel euthanized. 

My thoughts and prayers are with you and Max at this time.  Be gentle with and take care of yourself.  Cynthia.  
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I can fully relate to this sad news.

My Dal, AJ, passed on Sept. 24th.  Just 10 days earlier, I took him to the vet as I noticed he was being a picky eater - only eating his absolute favorite items, but leaving the rest - and drinking more.  This was odd for him.

The vet determined his spleen had a large mass on it.  I opted to have the surgery to remove the spleen and the mass.

AJ seemed to recover well from that initially, but then a secondary tumor was found on his spine.  It is unknown if the two are related (rare for a tumor on the spleen to go to the spine), but there were also spots on his liver.  The tumor on his spine was inoperable and apparently a heartbeat from doing serious damage (it already caused some limitation in his mobility in his front legs).

But a steroid helped him regain quite a bit of mobility and he seemed to healing.  I knew his time was limited, but felt I had weeks or even months.  Sadly, the day after I saw the most recovery and significant improvement, he passed.  A mere 10 days from diagnosis to death.

Had I done nothing, the spleen would have ruptured as it did with your beautiful pet.  Sadly, I still lost him anyway.  Sigh.

I wish us both nothing but healing hugs as we both recover from our shocking losses.

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As I've shared, I been down this path 3 times now.  But the pain seems so foreign.  I guess my heart does fully recover so that I can fully love my next furry baby.  Don't get me wrong, I have strong emotional memories, fond memories and lots of pictures of all of my babies who have crossed the rainbow bridge and can talk about their special characteristics with joy today.

The day of Max's death, when I took him to the vet I prayed and asked God to give me guidance what to do.  I asked that if surgery could restore him back to health to give the vet the wisdom to be successful.  I also asked that I be given the wisdom and courage to make the decision to put him down if that was best for him since I loved him to much to watch him suffer. Of everything, having to make the decision myself is the worse and I end up second guessing myself for years.  Maxx was very weak in the end, but he was not in pain and he quietly and peacefully slipped away without even a whimper. Max was my protector and even in the end he protected my heart.

Well folks, I can tell you that we will all get through this.  I can tell you that the dark cloud does lift eventually.  And I think we can all say with certainty that our furry babies lived in the moment and would want us to do the same.

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I am sorry to hear about your Max. Having recently lost a my Maxx, I totally understand how you feel. Thank you for replying to my post and understanding. We will both get through this grief with prayer and faith.
Maxxs Mom
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so sorry for your loss and like you we love them all but there's always one that holds on to your heart and doesn't give it back for me that was my littleguy he passed on 9/14/2016 he was just my special boy always just the best never expected him to go so soon and so sudden he was almost 7 and had just been to the vet 4 days before he passed and got a clean bill of health and like you I'm in a fog since then its a struggle to do anything and I do hope we all do get through this as its the hardest time of my life so far ,prayers and thoughts for you and your max as I actually still have my max he's a boxer/pitbull mix and just the sweetest,

littleguys mom  
pamela meadows
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