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maria53577

unexpected loss of our beloved dog

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Hi,

I am really struggling. 24 hrs ago we laid our little guy Teddy to rest. My husband and I adopt senior dogs. We obviously know by doing so, our dogs are not with us for the length we would like them to be.. but they come from puppy mills and kills shelters and it gives us pure joy to see them blossom into loving pets. We feel the love we give them in this short amount of time outweighs the pain for us in the end. Knowing that they were loved right thru the end is the gift we can give them

We adopted Teddy 14 months ago with another guy (we had 5 seniors dogs, now 4) Teddy was a happy, shy guy. Beyond adorable and trusted me so much. On Friday he was fine. We went on a car ride and ran errands. Saturday morning he started wheezing and breathing heavily and wasn't finding relief. We took him the ER. They ran x-rays and found out he was in heart failure. At this time, we still had hope. They put him on meds. We spent the night with him. Around 3:30 a.m. yesterday they noticed he just wasn't getting better. He passed away in our arms around 5:15. I feel like I failed him. The images of him passing are burned in my head and I also feel as though I should have seen this coming.. how did I miss this?

This morning is so hard with our routines with feeding. Please help me get thru this awful shock and grief. It's debilitating.

Teddy would have been 13 this Friday.

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Maria,

I'm so sorry for your loss.  Teddy was a doll, and it's obvious in the pictures that he was a very happy little guy.  You and your husband are doing a wonderful thing, caring for these senior dogs, especially those from puppy mills. 

I've found that losing dogs suddenly can be even more painful than having time to prepare yourself - as much as we can actually do that.  First, there is the shock to get thru.  It's like one minute they're here and the next they're gone.  Very hard to accept.  With other dogs we've lost, we've gone thru those painful times of trying to make "the" decision.  They'd have a couple of good days and then a bad one.  So, you'd start trying to prepare yourself.  But then, they'd have many good days again, and you'd think it wasn't time yet.  It's so stressful and always in the back of your mind that the day is coming.  Somehow, when we don't go thru that, I think we feel like they will live forever - and then suddenly, they are gone.

I've been thru congestive heart failure with 4 dogs.  Sometimes it can be managed and sometimes not.  It's possible that other things were going on with the heart.

I know it's hard, but try to remember you gave Teddy 14 months of love and caring that he wouldn't have received otherwise.  He was loved.  That's what we have to concentrate on when we lose one of our dogs.  Not easy, I know.

Mary

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Kacy, I find great comfort in your response. The shock is just overwhelming.. I agree that is the worst of this. I just expected I would be bringing home with us, alive.

He knew we were right there until the end. His big eyes watched me as I talked to him or moved.

I am struggling with I should have known this.. I should have been more plugged into this, somehow.. this little one trusted me from the beginning and I feel as though I failed him :( I find some comfort knowing that you have dealt with heart failure and sometimes it can be managed and other times not.

He was loved beyond anything he could have ever imagined.

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Maria, my dear, I truly do believe that it is only the good people who feel guilty in situations such as yours. Clearly you loved and cared for this little darling and I've no doubt that your Teddy knew how very much he was loved. Remember that guilt is a feeling, and feelings aren't always accurate or true. Just because you are feeling guilty does not mean that your guilt is justified or that you are guilty as charged. I think the guilt you feel will diminish only when you find a way to forgive yourself. Are you doing anything to memorialize Teddy?

I share these articles in hopes that they may speak to you and ease the pain in your heart:

Pet Loss: Why Does It Hurt So Much?

Grief and the Burden of Guilt

A Dangerous Villain: Guilt

Memorializing Pets We Have Lost

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Maria,

Maybe your vet could offer some insight as to what happened with Teddy.  I have to admit though that I'm always left with more questions than answers when we have lost a dog, especially when it happens suddenly.  I have a very difficult time coming to peace with it.  I know that's not very encouraging, but maybe that's just me.

I do know this - you and your husband are very caring, giving people who willingly take these dogs into your home and care for them for whatever time they have left.  Not many people can or will do that.  Without you, Teddy might have left this world never knowing what it feels like to be loved.  You can tell from his pictures that he was a happy boy and knew he was loved.  And you were there with him to the end, and he knew that as well.

Sending good thoughts and strength for you!

Mary

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14 hours ago, maria53577 said:

Kacy, I find great comfort in your response. The shock is just overwhelming.. I agree that is the worst of this. I just expected I would be bringing home with us, alive.

He knew we were right there until the end. His big eyes watched me as I talked to him or moved.

I am struggling with I should have known this.. I should have been more plugged into this, somehow.. this little one trusted me from the beginning and I feel as though I failed him :( I find some comfort knowing that you have dealt with heart failure and sometimes it can be managed and other times not.

He was loved beyond anything he could have ever imagined.

There is just no way to know everything.  You are in shock and trying to figure out what you could of or should of done had you known.  Many of us go through this feelings on many different levels.  Your pictures express how much you loved each other.. completely and unconditionally. 

One of our beloved shelties, Simon had, congestive heart failure and told us that there was no predictor of how long he would live.  We watched him and cared for him and he told us when it was time to let him go over the Rainbow Bridge.  We were with him, looking into his eyes til his last breath.  

My wife died, while I was at work.  I went through all of the same thoughts, "If only I knew, I could do something".  I have learned that there are events in life that we do not have control over and that I need to accept my inadequacy of not knowing. It FEELS like GUILT but it is more like helplessness for me.  

I pray you will find Peace, Comfort, and Assurance in knowing that you did everything you could do at the moment and you both loved each other as best you could.  You have a great heart to open your home and life to such special dogs. - Shalom

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I'm so sorry for your loss. Such a beautiful dog. We can't always know, we aren't vets and they can't tell us what's wrong. It's hard. You gave him the best life you could while you had him.

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