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tikibarb
You will find that the grief comes in waves.  Sometimes I am absolutely fine and the next day I am in the dumps again.  It has been 10 weeks for me.  Wilbur was a real cutie and I am sure you loved him very much.  It is excrutiating to lose a precious companion.  Everyone here knows what you are going through.  Ted was just shy of 5 when I lost him.  I feel cheated too.  I am thankful for the other furbabies in my life including new puppy Pippin.  While they do not really take the pain away, they certainly bring me joy in their own ways.  I think it makes it easier to cope.
Barbara Lyngarkos
My Beloved Ted 8/7/2005 - 7/7/10
http://rainbowsbridge.com/residents/TED001/Resident.htm
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Candie
We all truly understand your pain and loss. The emptiness I feel inside doesn't seemed to have faded at all. I lost my little Yodi man on August 11'th. I took him to his vet because he wsn't breathing well.His throat had swollen shut so they had to do a tracheotomy on him. He spent the night in the hospital. I kept calling through out the night checking on him, with a slight change. But when the phone rang at a little after 6 after I had just talked to them about 10 minutes before that~ I knew.... It just seems so totaly unfair to not know the cause. And the pain is so unbearable. So keep coming back here. These are wonderful good understanding people here. All the tears here could probably fill a river. So it is a good place to be where understanding is needed. My prayers are with you.
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shmoobear
Wilboodad, I'm so sorry for your loss. I love Wilbur's picture....what happiness he must have brought to your lives. I know the pain of the sudden loss. My 11 1/2 year old Siberian Husky, Dakota, was a healthy boy. Then one day he got sick, and the next day we had to make the heart wrenching decision. It was Hemangiosarcoma....a nasty cancer that moves quickly. You don't know it's there until the masses burst, and then it's too late. So now here we are, almost 6 months later (will be 6 months on the 28th). I can't say that it gets any easier....it just changes and shifts. I'm glad to hear you've come to peace about your decision. In the first two weeks I was having awful panic attacks that were gripping me out of nowhere. It was a Sunday when it all happened, so we had to take Dakota to the emergency Vet. We ended up with an amazing doctor....but even driving out of there I had an attack thinking "what did we do???? We just listened to one person's opinion and let him go???". But then, like you, I spoke to Dakota's regular Vet, who reviewed the records and said we made the right decision. I also emailed the Emergency Vet, and she sent me a lengthy email that made me feel that as bad as it was, we made the right decision for him.  

So I guess that is step one, coming to terms about that decision. When I first came on here I read a wonderful quote. I apologize as I don't know who it's from. But they said

"I would rather have sent him on his Journey a week too soon, than a moment too late".

I just found that really comforting. Our babies trusted us to make the right decisions for them. I spent Dakota's whole life making sure he was happy, comfortable, that nothing would harm him. I was perpetually afraid of loose dogs...and used to say that I would throw myself in the mouth of any dog who tried to attack him and get mauled instead. It struck me weeks later that that is exactly what happened. Except instead of a dog, it was cancer. I had to take the pain from him, as you did with Wilbur....and now they are free, and we are left with it. It hurts, a lot. And all the time. The worst part for me is thinking that Dakota will become a part of the past. He will become "a dog we used to have". I know it's ridiculous...because he never WAS a dog to us...he was our family. I just don't want to let him go. I'm having a lot of trouble with the seasons changing. It's as if time is pushing me further away from him. It was easier when winter changed to summer (it happened in March), because I could tell myself "oh, he would have hated this heat". But here we are, rolling into Fall and Winter, his favorites. Lots of memories during these months....he was born in October, we got him in December....and wow did he love the snow. Just not quite sure how I will get through it all.

I tell you all of this to just let you know that you are not alone. Don't put any timetable on your grief. You know the stages of grief that they talk about? You will go through them. But it's so not linear....you move back and forth. My advice is to take comfort from the things that give it to you at any given moment. What gave me comfort one day didn't work the next. Also, if you can set up a little place in your yard to just sit and remember Wilbur, that might help. We had Dakota buried in a cemetary and had a beautiful marker made for him. When I go there (once in a while), I really do feel such peace. I can see the bigger picture, which was that he had a beautiful life. He really never knew anything but love....there was never a harsh word spoken to him. I love that he left this Earth thinking that there was nothing but Love. I held him in my arms as he went, and he really did carry part of me with him.

The way you will make it is just minute by minute. I don't want to scare you, it does get a little better than those first weeks, when it's as if you are just an open wound walking around. I'm not exaggerating when I say that for the first 14 days, I openly sobbed almost every moment. The only time I wasn't was when my body just ran out of energy. Now we can sit around and tell funny stories about Dakota and laugh. It always ends with us all just kind of getting silent and looking off into the distance. But it's nice to be able to share those memories. At the same time, I tear up at a moments notice....and the open sobbing still does come. I think maybe after a year has past....after those first "firsts" are over...maybe that will help? Who knows....I've sort of stopped trying to figure out when I will feel better. I have a feeling that the word "better" will never mean the same thing.

But your heart is aching, and you are in so much pain because you loved Wilbur so fiercely. And if you loved him so much, that means that you took care of him so well....and that he had an amazing life. And that is what he brought with him....the love, the happiness and you. I have to keep telling myself that it would be a crime for me to be so upset, all the time, that Dakota's memories become permanently entwined with sadness and tears. I don't want to fill up the empty spaces that Dakota was in with such grief. I want to honor his memory with the beauty that he brought into our lives. It's hard though, and most of the time I just want to cry....I would give anything for just one more hug with him.

I wish you peace through this hard process....and many happy memories of the love you shared...
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BellesDaddy
I was heartbroken to read of your loss.

This Saturday, I lost my heart and soul, Belle, to sepsis. I was blessed to have her since she was a 4 weeks old kitten and for the following, cherished 13 years. She had a long history of chronic ailments, and had just been through major surgery in May to fix a gallbladder issue. While in the hospital, she had a relapse of hemolytic amenia which threatened to take her all 10 days in the hospital. It was torture and the most miserable week i'd ever experienced, until this one.

She had a checkup two Wednesdays ago and other than a recurrence of her anemia, all bloodwork was normal. We treated the anemia and it appeared to be improving. Last Sunday night, I realized she had a urinary tract infection, and brought her to emergency. Got antibiotics and all should be good. This past Wednesday I wake to find her passed out in the hallway in a puddle of urine. Rushed her to emergency and she was very anemic. After a transfusion, her numbers improved and the vet said she may be able to go home Saturday. I went to see her Friday night, and although her numbers were perfect, I knew she wasn't right. Saturday morning I got a call telling me her daily ultrasound showed fluid, and unfortunately, it was sepsis. The doctor explained my options, and none of them were good. I decided to let her go. While still on the phone, she went into respitory arrest and died.

She had been by my side everyday for 13 years, and with her ailments, caring for her was a huge part of my life. There is a huge hole now, and I find myself confused by feelings I've never experienced before.

You already know that you did the right thing for wilboo, but sepsis is hard to fight and even if they make it through, recovery isn't a sure thing. Belle saved me from having to follow through with my decision, but I know it would have been the right thing.

Like you, I'm struggling. Everytime I look up, I think she's in the room. Its hard to be in a house that now feels empty. She was always here. I hope over time, I will get used to not seeing her. I have no feelings of regret or guilt, I just desperately miss her. Watching videos of her and I together makes me feel better. It makes me realize that every second we did have together was cherished. We should have longer, but we never do. I'm trying to think of myself as the luckiest guy in the world for having had the privledge of caring for her. Ultimately, she was going to leave before me. Because it was sooner than I had hoped doesn't mean I wasn't blessed.

Jason
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jakessandy
Willboodad,

I just finished this process with my Jake today and so I feel a lot of things very similar to what you posted.

Maybe I can give the flip side of the equation a bit... Our Jake was a toy fox terrier from a puppy mill. He had seizure disorder, hip dysplasia and the various problems that come from long term seizure medications. We thought we lost him so many times over the years, first to pneumonia, then hernia surgery...

But, Jake was in control and he said nope, not yet. At the time I began to wonder as a responsible pet owner how I would know when it was time for my friend. All the vet workers reassured me that I'd know, Jake would let me know. No such sign was forthcoming and in fact Jake's will to live was stronger than I dreamed any creature could possess.

Finally, about a month ago, Jake started wailing at night, wandering around the house in a disoriented state. My husband told me he thought that was the sign. I called the vet and put them on alert.. and we STILL waited. Finally we made an appointment for this morning and during the last week Jake definitely deteriorated, doing the heavy panting, the three-part breathing... the whole mess.

The time was right... but it still hurts. Hopefully we were skilled enough at gauging it that we spared him too much pain. The vet reassured us this was the case.

So, I agree with the wise one who said better to send a week too soon, than a moment too late.

I appreciate everyone's stories here. We were all so blessed to have our friends with us.
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