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NTB

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Reply with quote  #1 

I lost my best friend early on 4/2.  Domino was a 12-year old terrier/shar pei mix with an almost a human like personality.  He seemed to be very healthy and I thought we had another 5 years with him.  I did not know 12 years was a long life for his breed.  He was not feeling well after eating the night of 4/1, but was fine up to around 6 pm.  All his life he would occaisonally not feel well and would eat grass and vomit and would feel fine again, so I was not too concerned.  I was watching him when he got up and walked outside and vomited and layed down. He usually would feel better and would come back in, but this time he stayed outside which he also occaisonally would do. I checked on him and put a blanked on him.  He would lift his head and looked at me but was not overly responsive.  I took this as he stomache was just little more upset that usual and was going to bring him to the vet the next day.  When he would not get up to come to bed, I picked him up and he was limp.  We rushed him to the emergency clinic after a few tests and x-rays were told he had internal bleeding from a large mass/or tumor in his abdomen and his prognosis was grim.  The vet though he would not survive the anethesia and said from her experience 10% chance he would make it and that with the tumor if he made it that the tumors usually come back and that he would have maybe 3-6 months.  When Domino was 5 we had put him through a lateral ear canal resection which was extremely painful and we did not want to put him through another surgery with such a poor prognosis.  My wife and I decided to let him go.  This was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.  My wife and I visited with him and told him how much we loved him, but our children did not get a chance to say good bye.  The vet said we could stay with him for as long as we wanted.  I could have stayed for weeks but it was time and finally I told the vet it was time and with him in my arms he passed peacefully.

I am full of grief and anguish that I did not react quicker, although the outcome probably would have been the same.  I am haunted by seeing him laying on the floor in distress and watching him take his final steps.  I would give anything to have that day back so that I could of devoted my entire attention to him instead of working late.  I regret and feel guilty for not playing with him more and for not taking him for more walks during his life.  I work from home and he was a constant presence.  He was always at my side laying in my office and it is hard to be in there now.  I cannot be in the family room where he layed before he went outside since it brings back the memories of him looking up at me.  The house feels dark and lonely and I have visions of him throughout the day.  Sleep is getting a little better each night, but when I wake up the first thoughts are of him and if I get on that thought pattern I lay awake crying for hours.  We have other animals but they help only a little.  He will be remembered and loved forever and I hope I can eventually look at his photos with a happy feeling without bursting into tears. 

His time came too soon and without warning.  I will forever cherish all the years we had together.     

     

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Gabby

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Reply with quote  #2 
Dear Domino's Daddy,
I am so very sorry for your sudden loss of Domino,and I can totally relate to your post.Having gone through something very similar just over 4 years ago.the very loss that brought me here in fact.
I have actually lost another 2 Babies since then and I have to say it never gets any easier.But I can tell you this,no matter what the circumstances of our loss are,we always question ourselves,beat ourselves up. Domino may have gone suddenly,and you may not have known what was going on inside of Domino's Tummy,but is'nt that better than knowing and Domino being ill over many months? Cats and Dogs eat grass,all my Kittys go out like a heard of Cows daily and chew grass, it often makes me smile,but I believe its something that healthy animals do.
The loss I had similar to yours with Domino took me a very long time to adjust to,some days I still go back to the hours before and punish myselve,but then I tell myselve my Little Man would'nt want that,and he knows I would have walked on water for him if thats what was required.We do our very best for our fur babies,please dont punish yourselve with the woulda,coulda,shoulda's.Thoe even they are part of our journeys whilst we are in pain through our losses.
I hope in time that you will find healing,and another thing I realised far too late was that I spent so long going through those last 24 hours that I had started to forget all the wonderful times we had had together.Please try to remember the happy days with Domino,thats what he would want I'm sure....

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Fairy Kisses for your precious Baby xxxxxx
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shmoobear

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Reply with quote  #3 
NTB, I feel like I could have written your post....I'm so very sorry about Domino. It's such a loss. I just lost my 11 year old Husky a week ago Sunday under very similar circumstances. He was healthy up until the Saturday before, started acting lethargic, threw up twice, by Sunday morning was walking wobbly. We brought him to the Emergency Vet and they determined that he was bleeding into his abdomen and his chest cavity. And x-rays confirmed that he had masses all over his body. They gave us the poor prognosis that even if the lived through surgery (he was already having trouble breathing because of the masses on his chest), that it would only give him a few more painful months. It would basically be trying to prolong his life for us, not him.

We had to make the horrible decision that you did. I was in the room with him and hugged and kissed him. As you said, I finally had to answer the Vet that I was ready (we had been there for hours), and he went peacefully. I still can't believe that I was ever able to answer that question..."are you ready?".

Like your Domino, Dakota was prone to a queasy stomach....but it always got better after a day or two. We were very careful with what he ate and all of that. It was really when he started not being able to walk right on Sunday morning that we got very alarmed. I am still not over the shock of it all. Even as I write his name on here, my stomach flips over...like, it really happened? The first week was awful....there wasn't a time I wasn't crying...or if there was it was just because my body was exhausted from it. Even now, I'm not crying all the time, but I feel like I could be, and it breaks out here and there (I had to cancel a dentist appt yesterday and started crying on the phone). Everything seems so empty and blah...like what's to be excited about? I started picking up around my house and after I cleaned a room I thought "well, that's nice"....but instantly into my mind came "but Dakota's still gone". It's unreal. I always appreciated and loved him, and I know that he knew that....but I still wish I spent more time with him. I wish that I always spent 10 more minutes everytime I ever patted him or kissed and hugged him. I just want more, that's it.

Funny thoughts fleet through my mind....the last couple of days I find myself thinking that if I do well at this grieving thing, that my payoff will be him, like he'll be back. It's not something I dwell on....it almost comes in and out of my mind like a sneeze....and then I'll have to think "wait no, that's not right". I think it must be similar to what they describe as the "bargaining" phase of grieving. I guess I'm still not ready to let him go yet.

It sounds like you and your wife were so caring and gave Domino a fantastic life. You gave him surgery when he needed it....and you let him go when you needed to. You made the hard decisions to let Domino be more comfortable and feel no pain. That's how I'm trying to think of it, that we took the brunt of this pain so that Dakota could be free. I never wanted him to leave me...but I know that no matter how long he lived, I would have wanted more. And I'm finding that no matter how we lose our pets, everyone seems to feel a measure of guilt, remorse, and definitely emptiness and sorrow. They just leave such a gaping hole where there huge presence used to be. I hope for us that someday we can fill that hole with smiles and laughter....but right now that seems a very long way off...wishing you peace
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Susie_Squillions

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Reply with quote  #4 
Dear NTB,

Like Schmoobear, I might have written your post.  I first arrived at this site six years ago today, on April 6th, after losing my little Bengal Cat, Buddy Guy, to intestinal lymphoma.  The last time I saw Buddy was on Friday, April 2nd, 2004 as he was going in for the surgery to remove the section of his intestine that was affected.  We so hoped he would be coming home the following Monday, but it didn't work out that way.

Bless you and your wife for putting Domino's needs ahead of your own by releasing him from this life to go ahead to the Rainbow Bridge.  We assist them on that final journey in order to end their suffering, but we never fully understand that our own suffering will just begin, or how deep it will be.  Still, I know that we would make the same decisions again if it meant that not doing it meant that our furs would have to suffer. 

I hope you will be able to release the guilt you are feeling about not getting Domino in to the clinic sooner.  You did the best you could do with the information you had at the time, and he knows that.  He was hard wired to hide signs of weakness or illness, and he did it well right up until the end, when he just didn't have the energy to hide it any longer.  When that time came, you did everything you could possibly do and more.  He was so blessed to have spent his life with your loving family.

I have no doubt that the first thing he did with his beautiful new wings was to fly by all of the family members who didn't get a chance to say goodbye so he could whisper in their ears to tell them he loves them forever, and to thank them for giving him such a beautiful life while he was here.  I have always heard that when our loved ones leave us, whether they're human or animal, they remain close to us for a while so we will feel their presence.

You, your family, and your handsome Angel Domino are all in my thoughts and prayers.



__________________
My heart is battered and bruised, but I will not let it break. It holds such precious cargo, I must protect it now. (Susie Squillions)

"Memories of loved ones are like songs in our soul." Margaret Wakeley

T.J.'S RESIDENCY:
http://RainbowsBridge.com/residents/TJ006/Resident.htm

BUDDY GUY AYRES~LYNCH'S RESIDENCY:
http://www.rainbowsbridge.com/residents/Buddy128/resident.HTM

KING BING THE GOD CAT'S RESIDENCY:
http://rainbowsbridge.com/residents/BINGO009/Resident.htm

In one of the stars, I shall be living.
In one of them, I shall be laughing.
And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing when you look at the sky at night.
~ The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery
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NTB

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Reply with quote  #5 
Thank you all for the kind thoughts and strenght.  With your similar stories and courage and support I know I can get through this.   It has been five days since Domino went to heaven. Today was a little better but still filled with tears.  Almost started crying when having a meeting with a client.  Nighttime is extremely tough since it was when he would track me down to take him for a walk.  I cannot drive out of the neighborhood without crying looking at the various paths we would take.  I find myself wanting to hold on to his physical presence and got mad at my wife for getting my car cleaned since I wanted to see his fur in the back seat and the nose rubs on the windows for as long as they would last.  Thought about collecting his fine white hairs and placing them in a small bottle as a permanent keepsake.

Again thanks for the support and I am greatly sorry for the losses you have all suffered.  All of your pets were blessed to have such wonderful caring owners.        
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shmoobear

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Reply with quote  #6 
NTB, I feel the same way about holding on to things. I wore a dark blue fleece on the day we lost Dakota. His fur was always all over everything (never a good idea to wear dark clothes!).....that fleece is is a plastic bag in the bottom of my closet. I know that I will never wear it, or wash it again. Dakota didn't smell, but I can smell him on it....and of course, his white and gray Husky fur is all over it. Perhaps you can save an item of clothing, a pillow, or something that you know hasn't been washed. I'm sure there will come a time where that fleece will stay in it's bag for a long, long time, but for now, I pull it out quite often.

I too long for Dakota's physical presence....I look at his picture and think how lucky I was to not only be able to touch him, but to crawl all over him. It was fun having such a large dog let me treat him like a teddy bear. He just put up with my constant attacks on him!

Today is 10 days for me....the tears have dried somewhat, but they still come. Last night I sort of sank down into the depression of it...but this morning feels a little better. I put my favorite picture of him as my wallpaper on the computer. It's a HUGE new computer screen, so he's kind of big as life on there. In fact, when I first did it, I gasped when he appeared on the screen. But now when I turn the computer on an see him, I smile. I give my fingers a little kiss and touch his nose....sometimes I can see the truth of it....Dakota was only meant to be with us for 11 years, 5 months....he was on loan to us from nature, and we enjoyed every second of it. If we got him with a tag that said "enjoy this puppy, he will be gone on March 28, 2010", it wouldn't have made it any easier...in fact, we just would have lived our lives dreading that date. I thought, as you said, that we would have at least another couple of years with Dakota. I thought that if I had another baby, there would be pictures of Dakota will him/her. It makes me sad that my 2 year old will only remember him from pictures. But I hold Dakota in my heart so dearly, that I will never let myself forget what he meant, or how lucky I was that I had him in my life. One of the toughest things for me is to imagine that life will ever be as good without Dakota. I know that there will be good times, but how can they ever measure up. I'm sure you think that about Domino. All I can come up with is what a testament that is to how much Domino and Dakota were loved....how much they were treated like WAY more than just pets in a house. In the end, the cruel truth is that dogs are not meant to last as long as we can last. We are blessed to have them.....and some of them are blessed to have us. Can you imagine what a success Domino's life was, to have had an owner who's heart is breaking like yours is? What a lucky, lucky boy he was.

O.K., now I'm starting to cry...but i think they are good tears. We are all in for a long, rough ride....I looked up the stages of grief and they seem to be very true...and also that you bounce around them, you don't go through them in a linear fashion and then graduate...we need to remember that.

I hope that each day gets better....I think that it must...it's just that in some days its such a small step, we can't even feel it. Some days it makes me feel better to "do" something for him. We had a plaque made up to put on his favorite spot in the backyard. It was under the shed that he loved...because of all the field mice and who knows what that lived under there. We called it his "hunting grounds". We would love to know if he ever actually got anything under there. So the plaque will go on the shed and read 2 lines from the poem that I posted a few days ago. It will say "He's now returned to Nature, This always was his place" and have the year 2010. Maybe you could do something like that for Domino? It seems to help just a little on those days.

I hope that I haven't gone on too long...it's just that I have found such similarities in your story with Domino....it's very comforting. Take care.
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Susie_Squillions

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Reply with quote  #7 
Dear NTB,

Shmoobear's message to you says it all.  They are gifts that we only have for a little while, and that reminds me of one of my favorite poems, which I will post at the end of this message.

When you're ready, take that walk you always took with Domino.  Make it a "Prayer walk," as I always call them.  Speak to Domino while you tread that path, and thank him for the time he was with you.  Tell him everything you hold in your heart for him. He will be right there by your side, and you might even get a sign that he's there.  It could be anything ~ a peaceful feeling, a flood of happy memories, a feather or other object just when you need it most.  Just let the feelings flow, and feel his spirit with you.  It will help you to feel closer to him and it will also make it easier to pass by those special places in the future. Doing something like that serves as a small, personal memorial and it can be very cathartic.  You can even call that walk your path to healing.

Here's the poem that came to mind when I read Shmoobear's post.  I warn you ~ have a tissue handy!


WE ONLY HAVE THEM FOR A LITTLE WHILE

We humans are prone to chase rainbows,
always wanting that pot of gold.
But the wisest of us remember the joy
of just a small creature to hold.
Allow yourself to accept their great gift,
and know what devotion is worth.
If you've been loved by a dog,
you're the richest person on earth.
But their lives are lived in miniature
bright sun to palest moon.
They bless our days with innocence,
and faithfulness that's stilled too soon.
These precious lives are fragile,
as fleeting as a baby's smile.
So give them all the love you have.
They're only ours for a little while.
And in the lonely moments
when you pause to wonder why,
hold close those brightest shooting stars
that burn so briefly in our sky.
But then look deeper in your heart to know
all love must intertwine,
and when the night sky seems the darkest,
you'll see their light forever shine.

Author Unknown



__________________
My heart is battered and bruised, but I will not let it break. It holds such precious cargo, I must protect it now. (Susie Squillions)

"Memories of loved ones are like songs in our soul." Margaret Wakeley

T.J.'S RESIDENCY:
http://RainbowsBridge.com/residents/TJ006/Resident.htm

BUDDY GUY AYRES~LYNCH'S RESIDENCY:
http://www.rainbowsbridge.com/residents/Buddy128/resident.HTM

KING BING THE GOD CAT'S RESIDENCY:
http://rainbowsbridge.com/residents/BINGO009/Resident.htm

In one of the stars, I shall be living.
In one of them, I shall be laughing.
And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing when you look at the sky at night.
~ The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery
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Carol

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Reply with quote  #8 
NTB,  Thank you for your post about my Pilikia.  After reading your story, I cried for your loss.  You are a wonderful kind and caring Dad and I am sure that Domino knows how loved he is.  Cancer is such an ugly disease that can be such a quiet killer.  We all question if we could have done more, or changed some of our behavior to accommodate our furry friends, but in the end, it really is out of our hands.  We do the best we can and love them in different ways, but you can rest assured that he knew that you were the one that loved and cared about him the most.  You were there for him as he took his journey to a better place.  As I read your post, I , as well as the others can relate to the small things that affect you.  I thought I was crazy, last night, as I went around the house collecting all of Pilikia's fur.  He was long hair and would leave his fur in all his favorite spots.  I haven't had time to vacuum so I retrieved a lot, including his brush.  I put it all in a baggie and keep it near me.  When I need to feel he is around me, I open the bag and feel his fur, then I smell it. It still has that kitty fur smell.  Crazy huh!  It does give me some comfort.  You should keep things that will help you through this process.  Take care and remember that Domino is always in your heart.
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NTB

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Reply with quote  #9 
It was one week ago last night that Domino fell ill and was sent home.  I placed some flowers and lit some candles where he had layed down after taking his final steps.  I spoke to him telling him how much I loved him and how sorry I was for not noticing how sick he was and for not rushing him to the clinic as soon as he had layed down.  The thoughts of that evening still haunt me.  I need to find peace in that he would not have been happy going to the clinic while fully conscious and poked and proded.  He hated going to the vet and would start trembling when he knew we were driving on the street that led to the vet's office. 

Starting to focus on the good time and will be working on putting together a photo and video collage of his life.  Taking a short weekend trip to San Diego to get out of the house and spend some time with my wife and kids.  This should help since I am having a hard time being staying home.  I used to enjoy just hanging in the backyard with him.  He would just follow me around and then settledown for nap on one of the pool chairs while I attended to the backyard chores.  Now I can only be out there for a minute or two before I am overwhelmed with this empty lonely feeling.
     
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shmoobear

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Reply with quote  #10 

NTB, I think it's a great idea to get away for the weekend....I too am finding that I feel best when I'm out of the house and being active. It's usually around 6 or 7 p.m. when the day is winding down and I'm inside that the sadness really starts setting in. Enjoy the time outside and with the family. I think we will be able to enjoy those usual spots someday....it will just take time and will be different for each of us. Have a fun, peaceful weekend...

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NTB

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Reply with quote  #11 
Just got back from dropping off my daughter at school.  It was two weeks ago today that I was privilaged to take him on his last car ride, to have taken him on his last walk, and to have spent time with him in my office.  I so miss our daily routine.  I have found confort in going through our photo collection and finding all his photos.  So many memories and just reinforces how big a role played he played in our family.  It has been years since I have taken the time to look through the family photos and maybe his passing's greatest gift was that it reawakened the passion I have for my family.  The kids have grown-up so fast and I cannot belive my youngest is already 9.  I will not take things for granted and will try to enjoy each and everyday as Domino did.  I now make a point to spend a little time each day with our other pets just to make sure if they go suddenly that they will know I love them and to have a fresh memory.  I am gathering all his photos and putting together a few photo collages.  Last night I received the first set of photos and gave each of my family a framed photo of them with Domino and now have an 8x10 at my desk.  After the photos I will start on the videos and I am excitied to see what videos we have of him.

It was good to get away last weekend.  It was the first time I had smiled since losing him.  The greif comes and goes.  The tears still come and feel good when they do.  I miss him sooo much!!!!  It has been interesting to see how the other pets have reacted.  He was such a lover and kind soul and loved and was loved by our two cats, Bud and Charlie, and Chihuahua Bently.  Our newest cat Charlie had bonded with Domino when he was brought home about two years ago as a kitten.  They would greet each other every morning and would often sleep on the couch together.  Charlie has started sleeping every night in Domino's spot in our room and seems to be greiving.  Bently seems lost and while he and Domino would sit outside for hours he now only goes outside for a few minutes.  Bently now has taken up a positon on top of the couch upstairs to peer out the window.  Not sure if he is keeping an eye out in hopes Domino will come walking up to the house.  I know they all miss his presence. 

Many thanks for everyone's support durng this difficult tim.

 

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