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Cindygirl

When will it stop hurting so much

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On Tuesday April 17, 2018 we lost our precious 16 year old chihuahua. She was adopted at the age of 3 by my grandparents. My grandpa died a few years later and my grandma died 3 years ago. She then came to live with us. I think she grieved the whole time for grandma but she adjusted well and took to our daughter. They did everything together and slept most of the day waiting for her to come home. That's when her day began. A year after having Cindy come to live with us she was diagnosed with congenitvie heart failure but took her meds and did well. In February of 2018 she started having sezuires and was put on phenobarbital. That was the beginning of her health really going down. She just wasn't the same. We were told because of starting sezuires at a late age she probably had a brain tumor. I began morning for her and she wasn't even gone yet. This first week of April we had to do bloodwork to check her liver from the phenobarbital. That came back good but we were told her kidney levels were way above normal and we're shutting down. We were told we had about a month with her and it ended up only being two weeks. We have lost pets in the past and I have moarned for them but with Cindy this seems exceptionally hard. The day before she died she had stopped eating and we took her to the vet. They gave her a shot to settle her stomach and some oral medicine. I really hoped it would help. That night she really went downhill and by morning couldn't even get up. Our vet was in surgery all morning so we had to wait 3 hours to get in. It was so hard to watch her not be able to get up and potty on herself. And when she did poop it was full of blood. I gently cleaned her and changed her blanket each time. But she must have been so embarrassed. When we took her to the vet she started having a mild seizure. I thank god that she came out of it so we could say our goodbyes. I really hope she could hear us. We have other dogs and I just keep thinking if she wondered why was she getting sick. I just miss her so much and don't know how to make it stop hurting. I keep replaying everything over and over in my head. I know she lived a long life but I really do still miss her so very much. She was such a good girl. 

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I hurt for the loss of your precious Chihuahua.  Your story paints a picture of love for your Cindy.  I am sorry she could not be with you still.  Your loss is still so very fresh and you will find that no matter how long it will be the ache in your heart will always be there only perhaps not as intense.  Those of us here on this Loss of a Pet thread are animal lovers and we do understand how painful it is to lose a beloved pet. 

Anne

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I am so sorry for your loss.  These dogs make their way into our hearts and it is so hard when we lose them.  I'm sure she knew how loved she was and am glad she found such a good home for her life.  I'm sorry for your other losses as well.  Sometimes it's just hard...

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Thank you Enna and kayc for your kind words. We do love her very much and always will. I knew when this time came it would be hard. I just didn't know it would be this hard. 

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On 4/22/2018 at 3:31 PM, Cindygirl said:

But she must have been so embarrassed. When we took her to the vet she started having a mild seizure. I thank god that she came out of it so we could say our goodbyes. I really hope she could hear us. We have other dogs and I just keep thinking if she wondered why was she getting sick.

My dear, I happen to believe that our animals just don't have the same awareness of and fear of death that we humans do. When our canine companions are loved and cared for into their senior years the way you clearly loved and cared for your beloved Cindy, they grow old and accept their infirmities and their mortality with an admirable dignity and grace. We have so much to learn from their example! When their bodies wear out and their quality of life is gone, we can choose to relieve their suffering and release them from their pain, but in exchange, we are the ones who are left with all the pain and guilt and suffering. I see that as a selfless choice and a final act of love for them, because it puts the needs of our precious animal companions ahead of our own need to keep them here with us. I invite you to read this article in hopes that it brings you some comfort: Guilt in the Wake of the Euthanasia Decision❤️

 

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Thank you MartyT. When I do read these articles it does help. I feel like what I'm feeling is the same feelings that others are having also. I feel the guilt of maybe something we didn't do would have worked, the guilt of I should have spent more time with her. The guilt of at the time of my grandmas death I was moarnng my grandma and I might not have gave her all the attention she needed. So many random things I think that maybe I should have done. Yesterday was the one week mark of when we had to let Cindy go.  So it was a rough day. I feel like night time is the hardest. I'm not sure if it's because it was the time we were all together and now she's not here. Or if night time is just harder in general. It's hard to go to sleep and then wake up and for a brief moment everything is good and it all comes rushing back. For the last two months I would take Cindy to work with me when someone wasn't home so I could make sure she was ok. And I hope for the most part she was ok. She was sick but not in pain. We did get days where she was feeling better she would bark and run a little like she used to. I cherish those moments. I would use potty pads for her because she had a hard time getting outside. One day she felt good and wanted outside. I took her out she pottied, looked around, smelled the air. She came in and went to her water dish to drink and fell over having a sezuire. The vet said stresses triggered them.  I feel bad that she was feeling good and wanted out so I let her and the cold air triggered a sezuire. We just miss the healthy happy Cindy. I know where she's at and we will be together again. It just hurts 

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I felt the same things when my husband died and two months later our cat took one long look at me as if committing me to memory and then left, never to be seen again.  In looking back, I probably neglected our animals...oh I fed them, petted them, etc. but my brain was in shock and it was hard to think or focus.  No way to escape the effects of grief, I'm sorry our distraction affects our animals.  We would have done anything for them, we love them, it's just a hard time for all.

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I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of your husband  Kayc.  It does effect our animals. I'm trying to give our others attention they need. But like you said it's just hard to think or focus. 

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It actually took my daughter to point it out to me...our dog was acting out, something she never did, and I was baffled until my daughter pointed out that Lucky was grieving.  Tigger missed George too, and that's why he left.  I made the effort to give Lucky extra attention once I realized how it was affecting her.

 

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My husband points out to me that our other babies are trying to get my attention. It makes me feel bad. But I'm just trying to do what I can do. And it doesn't help when someone says you should be over that by now. It was just a dog. I was so shocked I didn't even have the words to say anything. It's only been 10 days but allready feels like forever. I'm so sorry that your Tigger left. That would be so hard too. My heart breaks for you that's a lot to go thru. 

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I think I was too in shock from my husband dying to feel beyond that.  That whole time is kind of a blur, I remember feeling anxious, pacing, scared, pain beyond description.

Grief is a hard thing to get used to.  It wasn't "just a dog", it was YOUR dog, your baby!  And personally, I think the loss of your furry companion is one of the hardest losses we can go through to those of us dog lovers.

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41 minutes ago, Cindygirl said:

And it doesn't help when someone says you should be over that by now. It was just a dog. I was so shocked I didn't even have the words to say anything.

You may find these articles useful:

Offering Support: What to Say (or Not) to a Grieving Animal Lover

Pet Loss: Afraid to Love My Remaining Pets

Pet Loss: Why Does It Hurt So Much?

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After re reading my last post I should clarify it wasn't my husband that said the comment about being just a dog. He has been trying his best to help me. I can't even imagine everything you were feeling kayc. Yes grief is very hard. I felt like we were the only ones going thru this until I've been on here. I wish 10 years ago when we lost our do is there were these resources.

Thank you for the articles MartyT. The article why does it hurt so much makes perfect sense. 

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@Cindygirl I am going through the same thing, Cindygirl. I'd like to share my story with you. On April 20, 2018, my dog, Chewy, was fine all day. He was 13 yrs 7 mos old. (I got him when he was 10 weeks old.) He ate breakfast and seemed completely fine all day, with the exception, of course, of the slowing down due to aging that seemed to be getting gradually worse over the past several months. Around dinner time that night, he would not eat and I immediately knew something was wrong, as he has always had a hearty appetite. I kept an eye on him for the next hour and he seemed okay but would not eat, then he suddenly collapsed while walking through the kitchen and had a brief seizure. A month or so earlier, I woke in the middle of the night and noticed he was having some sort of episode, and at the time I thought it was a bad dream, and when it happened again, I suspected a seizure, but the episodes were mild and brief. A lot of what I read online about dog seizures did not seem to be what he experienced, at least I thought so at the time.  My husband took him for his annual vet check up in March 2018 and I could not go because I had to work. I told my husband to tell the doc about the seizure and he forgot, so I knew I had to set up another appointment soon, but just had not done so it yet. The night of April 20, we took Chewy to an emergency vet after the seizure at about 10 pm. The doc initially misunderstood me and thought I said the seizure lasted 30 minutes, and he wanted to put him on a 12 hour overnight emergency seizure drip. My husband was very reluctant to leave him there overnight. When I clarified the seizure was more like 30 seconds, the doc quickly changed his mind and recommended we take him home and get to our regular vet in the morning. I stayed up with Chewy all night and his condition deteriorated by the hour. He could not walk very well, and soon seemed to be having trouble even sitting up and he seemed to have trouble breathing. My husband thought he had a stroke by the way he was acting. By about 6 am I called the emergency vet back and said I needed to bring him in again since my vet did not open until 8 am and I was not even sure if the doc would be in that day or that early. I honestly did not think he would make it until then. The doc ran lots of tests. He had developed a heart mass, possible heart tumor, had water building up on the lungs, a few kidney stones, and developed acute pneumonia literally overnight. I just could not believe all of this happened so fast, as he seemed fine that morning and he just had his vet checkup. I am angry my regular vet did not notice a thing, even though he had no symptoms, that heart issue and lungs had to be developing for some time. Chewy was suffering and my husband and I did not think he was going to come back from this. He had another seizure on the way back to the vet, in my lap, in the car, and I was so scared and freaking out. The odd thing is the vet wanted to treat him one minute and then said euthanasia was the right thing to do the next minute. I was so distraught and confused. I was a wreck. I still am. We decided euthanasia was the right course of action and I am having terrible feelings of guilt. I am also replaying that entire episode over and over in my head, as you noted. I keep thinking of the "what-ifs" what if we insisted on treatment and he pulled through. I hate myself for this decision. I wish I would have insisted on treatment. I think he could have had another good year or year and a half with treatment. I know he would have had to be on heart and seizure meds for the rest of his life, but I will never know if they would have worked and if they would have provided a decent quality of life. The not know is killing me. I think I made a decision that I should not have made and I was just so scared he was going to continue to suffer. I was such a mess and had no sleep that I don't think I was thinking clearly. I do wish he would have died peacefully in his sleep but I cannot change what happened. My house is so empty and quiet without him. I spent every waking moment taking care of him for 13 years and 5 months. We have not left him alone for more than a couple hours for the past 4 years. When we used to go on vacation (rarely) we left him with my husband's parents who spoiled him rotten. My life is never going to be the same. I could not eat for a few days. I still cannot sleep. The mornings are very hard because he was the center of my routine every single day and going to bed is difficult since I used to carry him with me every single night. My heart is broken in a million pieces and I don't think I will ever be the same. I cannot imagine ever being as happy as I was and I cannot stand the thought of never seeing him again. I have been through this before. I had my first dog when I was in kindergarten and he lived until I was 19. I got my second dog when he died and she lived until I was 34, which is when I got Chewy nearly 14 years ago. Losing the first two was so hard but this time it feels worse, seemingly more painful. I am angry with my vet. A year ago, Chewy had to have a tumor removed from the base of his tail and the doc also had to remove his tail. He bounced back from that surgery and seemed like a puppy again for a while. His hair never grew back on his butt and he started losing more hair. When we took him to get his stitches removed, the doc casually told my husband, "oh yeah dogs lose hair when they have a thyroid condition and he is old." When my husband told me this I was a little freaked out and I said well, what did the doc say about treating him and my husband said the doc kind of brushed it off saying he is old. So, we figured we would mention this at the next appointment and also see about getting pain meds for arthritis, but the doc brushed it off and said we can talk about the arthritis after he recovers from the surgery. I could kick myself now and I should have taken him to another vet. I trusted that doc to know what to do and he did nothing. This past week, I have been researching and I see now (too late) that thyroid conditions are very serious and this causes seizures and heart tumors, and heart murmurs. I keep thinking if he had been treated last year for this thyroid issue he would not have had the seizures or developed the heart condition. I am very angry with the doc and with myself for not realizing the seriousness of his casual comment. I should have known to do something and if I had, I know my baby would still be here. This adds to my feelings of guilt and despair. I will never forgive myself for this. I just hope I did the right thing, when we decided to euthanize, but I will never know for sure and I will have to live with not knowing forever. I hate this feeling. I hate that I had to lose Chewy this way. It is so painful and I don't know what to do with myself. I feel your pain. I am so very sorry for your loss. I wish they could live with us forever and never get old, weak, or sick. 

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@Connie W  I am so sorry for the loss of your Chewy.  It's common to feel guilt when we've euthanized our pet, I hope you'll read this:
https://www.griefhealingblog.com/2014/04/pet-loss-guilt-in-wake-of-euthanasia.html
I personally feel you did the best thing you could under the circumstances...you were thinking of him rather than yourselves...we want to hold on to them every possible last moment but at what cost, their suffering?  You did the right thing.  It's hard no matter when or how we lose them, we love them with all our hearts and miss them unbearably when they're gone.  I've been through this too many times...the price of loving them I guess.

I hope you find comfort in this:

 

 

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Connie w I am so very sorry for the loss of your precious Chewy. My heart hurts for you. Try not to be so hard on yourself with your decision. You just didn't want him to hurt. Now that things are starting to clear up a little in my mind I know the right decision was made for our Cindy. But I do still question about if I would have taken her somewhere else to see what they thought. I really wish I would have. But deep down I know there was nothing that could be done. I feel like we question everything we did or what we could have done because we just want them with us.  It just hurts so much when they are gone. I will always miss and love her just like you will your Chewy. What I hold onto is I know one day I will see her again. Since I can't change anything I have been trying to just think of the happy memories.  That doesn't mean I don't have bad moments or bad days. It's a hard thing to go through.  Maybe that would help you to focus on happy memories. 

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On 4/30/2018 at 11:24 PM, Connie W said:

@Cindygirl Thank you. I have also been trying to focus on happy thoughts. I have my days and moments throughout the day. Three times hurt the most: Getting up in the morning without him, going to bed without him, and eating without him, as I shared nearly every meal with my baby. I still wish I would have taken him to another vet that awful night. 

 

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Cindy slept with our daughter but I would give her medicine in the morning and evening. My hard times are morning and evening. And I also took her to work with me. That's still a hard thing to get used to. I feel the same about wishing we had went to another vet. But I have to realize that we did the best we could. And the outcome most likely would have been the same. Im so sorry you are going thru this. I hate it. But it does help me talking with others. I hope your having a good day today. 

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@Cindygirl The days are slowly getting better. It's been 2 weeks and I still cannot believe he is gone. My husband made dinner the other night and was not thinking and made Chewy a plate. He realized it as he was bringing the plates to the table and then he went into the bathroom for a few moments. I know he was trying to hold back the tears. I hope you are feeling better too. 

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I'm doing better than I was. It feels like it's been a lifetime but it will be 3 weeks tomorrow that Cindy has been gone. I still find myself looking to see what she's doing. Or I think I hear her. Even with the other dogs I could tell her toes tapping on the floor compared to the others . My husband could never figure out how I knew lol. Awe yea it's hard to break away from a routine. Especially ones where we gave them love. 

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We continue to miss them long after they're gone, it takes so long to adjust to the changes in our routine that are a constant trigger for our grief.  :(  I hope it begins to abate for you soon, I know how hard it is.

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It feels like everything is a trigger. Some moments feel ok then others it feels like we just lost her. Then I sometimes feel guilty when I am feeling ok. Have you felt that way? I don't know how to explain it. 

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@Cindygirl,  I remember this article of Marty's and also another one that told us we needed to give ourselves permission to be happy.  It was years ago and I wish I'd kept it.  It can feel bewildering to us to be grieving...and suddenly feel a spurt of happiness or joy!  It's immediately followed by guilt.  How can we possibly feel happy at a time like this, when our loved one is gone!  The truth is, as Marty's article points out, we can experience more than one emotion simultaneously.  And it's okay, in fact it's normal, and to be coveted.  We do not want to stay in the state we were in on day one of our grief, we couldn't handle a lifetime of that!  The truth is, we'll always miss our pet/husband/friend, etc. but we have to continue our life, our other loved ones need us to...WE need us to!  We have the anticipation of being reunited with those we've lost and that helps, but even to those who do not believe that way, they still need to continue with their lives, and it's important to figure out HOW to.  

One of the things I like to point out to people struggling with this is it is not our grief that binds us to the one we lost, it is our love, and it continues still.

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Thank you Martyt and kayc. I have read that article along with some others that was mentioned on that page. That really helps. I now feel like everything I am feeling is normal. Hard to believe in 5 days it will be a month since Cindy has been gone. I've been working at holding onto her memory with love and not the grief. ❤️

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