Blessings to all the members of this forum. I wish to offer my sincere condolences to those who have suffered the loss of their best friends. I also wish to thank those who have created this forum to help those of us who are grieving. I am brand new to this forum, and I wanted to communicate the recent loss of our Jake on Saturday September 18th. 2010, easily the WORST day of my life, and I am 47 years old. Jake was our beautiful Rottweiler mix who was our Christmas puppy in 2000. This Christmas he would have been 10 years old. My wife and myself are deeply grieving and mourning his loss since that day. I have been blessed and fortunate to never have experienced death of anyone close to me, until now. Yes, I have known people who have died, including relatives, but no one close until we lost our Jake. I now know what it means to mourn the loss of someone close. Perhaps God allowed this to occur to teach me how to deal with the losses of close loved ones that will inevitably occur in the future to all of us. I do not question God's plan, however it doesn't make this any less painful. Losing a pet is like losing a child. We raise them like our children, and love their innocence and their loyalty. Many folks who aren't pet owners really do not understand the bond that develops between their pets, and themselves. Losing a pet is losing a member of your family, I don't care what anyone says.
Jake was our Christmas puppy, a beautiful rottie mix who we got in 2000. When we got him, he was smaller than one of my hands. He grew into a strong 95 lb beast. We loved him so much. We had so many fun and crazy times over the years, but now that he is gone, the pain of his loss is almost unbearable. It's not just losing our beautiful boy, it's the circumstances of his loss, that is causing me so much added grief and guilt. I am still functional, but the shock of Jake's loss is on my mind almost constantly. I was hoping that someone here on this forum could give me some words of wisdom to ease the pain perhaps. I know that nothing could ever bring him back, but perhaps someone with more knowledge and experience of this kind of thing would be kind enough to help me deal with this. I have spoken to well meaning friends, but nothing seems to help relieve the pain and strong guilt that I feel regarding Jake's passing. Let me explain.
We had 3 beautiful pooches (now 2) and our Jake was always the strong and healthy one. The other two are diabetics and sickly, and Rocky our German Shepherd mix is almost 13 years old. So losing Jake, the big strong healthy one was utterly shocking in and of itself. We were not mentally prepared for his loss. If God forbid we were to lose Rocky, I think we are mentally more prepared, but we were not prepared to lose Jake so suddenly. Jake had a ruptured disk in his back which caused him to lose the use of his back legs. We worked with the vet to get him back on the road to recovery, but while he initially seemed to get better, he took a rapid turn for the worse. He couldn't get up, and if we lifted him up, he would just fall back down again. We tried and tried using a towel to get him up to go out, but it was just about physically impossible to move him at 99 lbs, and no use of his back legs at all. We went back to the vet on 9/18/10 to get him some type of steroid shot, that the vet explained had maybe a 10%-30% chance of helping him. We struggled to get him in the car, and by the time I got to the vet's office, I was so distraught and crying, since it seemed this was lost cause. I had a long talk with the vet, and the clincher for him was that his bladder was distended and overly full with urine, as he believed that Jake had limited feeling in his bladder that he had to pee. The vet was not telling me to put Jake down, but was not painting a very good picture. The night before on Friday 9/17/10, I had located a special rear lift harness that looked like it might help. The problem was it would take at least 5 days to get here, and we didn't know how we were going to lift him to get him out. The doctor talked about having to catheterize him to drain his bladder out. He made his recommendation that he be put down. I reluctantly agreed, and made the decision in the moment, which may have been the right one, but one in which I have been tormented ever since.
So not only have we lost our Jake, I have the added GUILT, that I may not have done everything possible to save his life. I keep revisiting that day, and wondered why I just didn't tell our Veterinarian, ' Doc, I can't put him down right now, I just can't do it. Do what you have to do, put in a catheter or whatever, and I will wait until that harness arrives, then we will go from there.' But I didn't. I just relented and agreed to put our beautiful boy to sleep. To make matters worse, my wife wanted us to be present during the euthanasia, which for me was definitely a mistake. I can't get the image of him losing consciousness and dying in front of me, out of my head. Then looking at his lifeless eyes, and body. This was our beautiful boy and we loved him so much but I am wrecked with guilt that I should have at least waited and tried the last few things to save his life. I also feel like, if I could have got him to at least semi-walk using the harness, his urge to urinate normally may have returned. I am so deeply depressed that I didn't do more to save his life. PLEASE SOMEBODY HELP ME IF YOU CAN. God bless all of you.