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My darling pug died Saturday - I am full of guilt!


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My 13-year-old pug Charlotte died Saturday and I feel full of guilt.

She had been having some issues over the past few weeks including bladder infection and ear infection. We had done full bloodwork just 2 weeks ago and had spent about $700 on tests, but they didn't really find anything (except some abnormal glucose and liver enzyme levels) and she seemed to be improving.

On Saturday, she woke up totally normal, went for her walk, ate, and had her treats. Then she cuddled with me until 11:30.

At 11:30, she howled several times which was unusual. Then she threw up and had diarrhea. I called the vet, and they said they could fit her in at 4PM. I called an online vet from San Francisco who told me to get Pepcid and Pedialyte in the meantime, which I did. 

When I came back from the store, she was resting. But when I tried to give her her Pedialyte, she seemed very lethargic and didn't raise her head. The next time I checked on her, I was absolutely devastated to find that she was not breathing. I rushed her to the vet around 2:45 and they said she was dead. They said it was probably something internal if she went that quickly.

I know she was old and had been having issues. But I can't help but wonder ... what if I had taken her to the emergency vet at 11:30? Could they have saved her? I know I will never know, but I feel just sick with guilt over this. I am thankful she died peacefully at home, but I am worried she was in pain (when she howled) and I feel like I let her down.

She was my baby. 

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I am so sorry for your loss...I lost my little boy (he was 11 1/2 Husky/Golden Retriever) 7 1/2 weeks ago (cancer).  It's the hardest thing in the world to go through imho.  That said, feelings of guilt are very common in grief.  I hope you will read these articles, they explain it better than I could hope to.  I also hope you'll keep coming here, it helps to express yourself as you try to make your way through this process.


We feel responsible for them but we're not medically trained and even if we were, there are some things we can't fix.  Believe me, I beat myself up plenty when my Arlie died and it's hard getting those thoughts to die down...as his mom I felt responsible for him and I love him more than anything in the world.  He'd just had his physical and the vet didn't notice anything askew, then I bring him in for routine teeth cleaning and the blood tests were a death sentence, he had inoperable cancer!  I was in shock, my baby was going, bit by bit and I couldn't stop it, only watch him going downhill and try to make him as comfortable as possible until it was time to relieve his suffering once and for all.  I only hope he knows how much I love him and miss him, how much I appreciate him as the best dog in the whole world...I will never get over this, just trying to live with it is enough.

I wish you the best, I know it's hard and so very painful.  When we love our dogs like this, you can bet we were great parents, but we didn't know...we just didn't know.  No one would have.  (((hugs)))

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It seems to me, my dear, that if you had taken your baby to the vet earlier in the day, it's entirely possible that Charlotte would have died anyway ~ but in the cold, clinical setting of a veterinary office instead of at home with you, where she knew she was safe and warm and dearly loved. So many animal lovers (like Kay and her Arlie) are faced with the euthanasia decision, which engenders enormous guilt: Was it done too soon, or did I wait too long? And when it happens as it did with your precious Charlotte, as her mom you feel entirely responsible for her care and guilty for not being clairvoyant enough to know your baby's body was shutting down and she was dying. Truly this is not your fault, and I see nothing you could have done to save your baby. I'm so sorry for your loss, and I hope it brings you some comfort knowing that you are here with us ~ fellow animal lovers who know how much this hurts ❤️ 

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We feel responsible to protect them, yes even from death, which we have no control over.  I lament that I couldn't protect my baby from cancer, or that I didn't know when he contracted it.  All I can do is decorate his grave now and tell him how much I love and miss him.  It's a horrible feeling!  My heart goes out to you because i know the pain you're in.  We may not be able to stop the guilt feelings but at least balance it by acknowledging how happy she was with you, how much you loved and cared for her.  Hopefully in time these guilt feelings will diminish some, they aren't fair or an accurate portrayal of our relationship with them.

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