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My decision is haunting me..


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In July 2018, my husband surprised me with a 12 week old blue brindle French Bull dog. I named him Georgie. I wanted a frenchie for years but anyone familiar with the breed know they are very expensive. We have never bought from a breeder, always rescued. After years of miscarriages and giving up hope of having a baby, my husband was feeling like I needed some joy. He saved and surprised me with my Georgie. I remember getting home from work and my husband coming out of the house dancing with this sweet puppy in his arms. I BALLED MY EYES OUT! I was so beyond happy, I couldn't believe it. From that moment on, Georgie was my everything. He even bought SO MUCH JOY into our lives that only 3 months later, we were FINALLY able to conceive my now 4.5 month old daughter. Georgie and her were best friends. It was beautiful watching him love on her. Fast forward to my last week of my maternity leave Aug 19, 2019 at 8:30pm, Georgie was sleeping at my feet as always on the couch. He woke up and started to have a FULL BLOWN GRAND MAL seizure. I started screaming my eyes out as my husband tried figuring out what was going on. I called the emergency vet and they told me to remain calm and stay on the phone until he came out of it. He came out and took about 45mins to come back to normal then was running and playing around. Next day, we bought him to our vet where they checked him. They informed us that this could've been a fluke and might not ever happen again. They said we wouldn't put him on meds unless they became more frequent. THAT WAS MY BIGGEST MISTAKE! RIGHT THEN AND THERE IF I KNEW 2 MONTHS LATER he would not be here with me, I would've done everything in my power at that visit. After the first seizure, he went seizure free for one month then he had another, then 2 weeks later another, then 1 week later another, then 24 hours later another then came that Tuesday Oct 22, 2019. I had been working with the vet throughout every seizure and on that Tuesday, the vet called in meds and I went to pick them up after work. My husband texted me around 5pm that when he got home there was puke, pee and poop EVERYWHERE in the dogs room. He must've been seizing all day long without me there. I hate myself that he was alone and I didn't know what was happening to him or even to catch him when he fell. I got home about 6:30pm and gave him the meds with some food. He wouldn't take the med and within an hour the worse night of my life started. He started seizing like crazy. I shoved the meds down his throat and I tried calling the emergency vet SEVERAL times with NO ANSWER from them!! My friend who's dog whose been having seizures came over with her rectal valium. That helped a little. In the morning, I bought him to his vet and they put him on IVs. This is where I CAN NOT FORGIVE myself and I can't sleep at night. They gave me the option to keep him there for the day on IVs and see how he does. I agreed but I couldn't leave. I sat in the waiting room. One of the vet techs saw me and asked if i wanted to sit with him. Natural, I said yes. I went back and he was all alone and as soon as he felt me (because I honestly don't believe he could see anymore), he started whining and becoming very agitated walking into the walls of the kennel. I started to get super upset because he seemed to be in pain. (But now with 3 weeks of research under me, who knows if he was in pain?? He might have just been in the post ictal stage and no one was educating me.) They gave me options: one of which was euthanizing him. I didn't know what to do. I balled. I talked to the vet, my husband and my best friend on the phone. In the end with his whining, I was so nervous to bring him home and him start the non stop seizures again, I choose to put him to sleep. They bought us into a room where they gave him a pain med as he seemed to be in pain and thats what knocked him out, which means I didn't get to say goodbye. They gave him the injection and I'll never forget his eyes and deep breath. I started screaming and holding him. I held him in that room until I could tell I needed to leave. I got home and held him more. I went outside and dug his grave then laid in the dirt with him and balled even harder. For days I couldn't eat or sleep. All I did was cry which has been very hard because I've been trying to keep it together for my daughter and 2 other dogs who miss him so much. Their whining was very bad for days after. All I can do when everyone is sleeping is look at his photos and videos and ball my eyes out with guilt that I didn't do more or I put him to sleep too fast because I wasn't educated. I've become not the best person to be around. I say good morning and good night to my Georgie every night as he is right outside my house in the yard he loved so much. I've been talking to the breeder and I have to be honest at first she seemed sympathetic but now I am wondering if this isn't the first pup she's sold with epilepsy. How can I get peace? I miss him so much. I wish I could talk with more people who have experienced grand mal seizures in young pets preferably Frenchies. I pray in the future I can long another dog as much as Georgie but I do not know if that will ever happen because I am so scared this will happen again. 


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@Georgie  I am so sorry for your loss, I know the pain.  I've been living in my own nightmare, three months ago today my sweet Arlie was euthanized (cancer).  He'd had a physical, they didn't catch it until he was going for a dental screening, then they did full blood workup and that's when they caught it.  His liver wasn't functioning, his kidneys affected, they said it was inoperable, both a tumor and lymphoma.  It was too late, all I could do was try to make him comfortable until his suffering said it was time.

I, too, bawl on his grave, in my back yard.  I've been crying a lot today, it started with me finding a bunch of treats I hadn't given him...now it's forever too late.  He was the best dog in the world, my companion, I've already lost my husband, it feels like I can't keep anyone.  :(

Your dog is adorable, I can understand your immense love for him, he's beautiful.  That sweet sweet face.

Since you have other dogs that are also grieving, I want to leave you with this article: https://www.griefhealingblog.com/2018/06/pet-loss-supporting-your-grieving-pet.html

To be quite honest, most of us that are grieving feel guilt...we go through all the what ifs as if we're looking for a different ending.  And euthanasia is hard...after I had my dog put to sleep I remember thinking the next day...he could still be here with me.  It's hard, but I did what was for his best, not mine, and I traded his suffering for my own, just as you have.  I wouldn't want him to suffer another day.  But I won't kid you, it's been hard, I was even tempted at one point to dig up his grave, I just miss him so bad, I know better than to do that so I didn't, but God it's hard knowing his beautiful body lay in the back yard and I can't see him!


What would you tell a friend going through this?  Tell yourself that same thing, give yourself the gift of love, understanding, patience.  You gave him the best time in his life, and I know I did Arlie too...I pray for that reunion someday.

I hope this brings you some measure of comfort to consider: 


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Hi. I am so very sorry to read of the complete and utter nightmare that you've just been through. It sounds truly traumatizing. I cannot imagine what it must have been like to watch your sweet boy go through that. Maybe, if you have the means, you may want to seek out a counselor who can work with you through this pain and guilt you're feeling. It may really help.

I also recently had to put my sweet dog to sleep as she was having recurrent bouts of vestibular disease...and back issues...etc. it was very difficult and I have many moments when I feel so full of guilt and like I gave up too soon...all of the "what ifs". In order to help myself through the grief process I ordered a book called "the grief recovery handbook for pet loss" which I found on amazon. I will work through it and hopefully it will help. If not, I will seek counseling. 

I think one thing to remember here is that the health of your sweet Georgie was dependent not only on YOU but also on a team.of professionals...some of whom sound as if they didnt really know what they were doing. Believe me, from reading your story I can tel you you did absolutely NOTHING wrong. Nothing. In fact, you did the most loving and humane thing for your sweet friend....you chose to end Georgies suffering, even knowing full well that you would suffer horribly instead...that is the most SELFLESS act of true friendship and love....please try to forgive yourself for anything you are feeling guilty about. Its needless and only makes your grief worse. I read somewhere that guilt is simply our minds attempt to create a different ending to this sad story.

Please take good care of yourself. Seek out support from anyone who you can rely on to give it...professionals included. Be kind to yourself. You sound like a wonderful, caring, most loving person and mother.

You are not alone. Hugs

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Kayc- thank you so much for heartfelt reply and telling me your story. I’m so sorry for your loss! One thing they you said that hit me was “you’ve thought about digging him up”. I am relieved you said this because I truly thought I was going crazy when that thought crossed my mind too. I know it’s wrong so no I wouldn’t do it but I would give ANYTHING to hold him one last time and kiss him and tell him I’m so sorry he’s not here with his mama anymore. My goodness I would give anything! My sweet Georgie has been gone 1 month 1 day. I’ve cried everyday. And I started to latch out on the wrong people. My husband and the breeder. Very wrong of me. 

Another thing I want to mention is when the “rainbow bridge” is mention to me. It’s not peaceful when I think about it. Makes me cry even harder and become even more sad. Everyone says “he is playing and happy and seizure free”. I don’t believe that. Up to last night, I’ve only had one dream.. well nightmare of my Georgie and he was still having a grand mal seizure in my nightmare. I woke up in sweat. Then last night was the first night I’ve dreamt of him and he was running around the house and following me like normal then I remembered in my dream he wasn’t alive anymore and I woke up. I didn’t even get to touch him. I want to believe he is at peace but in my mind he is sitting at the edge of the bridge waiting for me and trying to find me like he always did. Never away from my side, EVER!  

Dana- I also believe I’m stuck in the “what ifs” because I want to change the story too. Some quick moments I’ve thought “maybe I did the right thing” but mostly I hate myself because I feel like I made the worse decision of my life and should’ve given more time and testing. I’ve also have thought of the life both him and I would’ve lived if his seizures could’ve been managed through more meds but how I would’ve changed his life drastically. I wouldn’t of ever left him play hard in his fenced in yard, play hard with his best friend (older brother), walk long distances, leave a room without me, lay at the edge of the couch anymore in fear of falling off with a seizure. I already had stopped leaving my house on the weekends because I didn’t want him alone. I would’ve have extreme anxiety at work during the week not knowing what was happening.. the list goes on. Would that have been the life he wanted to live? But if the decision was as there again, would I make a difference outcome with being selfish because the pain I’ve felt since oct 23. The loneliness.. Just to stop this crying. 

Yesterday I ran into a friend who has a French bull dog (you don’t see many in Vermont).. I instantly jumped out of the car and held him and didn’t want to let him go and wanted to cry. But once I realized what I was doing, I put him down. I’ve been talking with the breeder and she’s suggested I take one of her pups and love on him and help me heal?! Would it?! Or would it make me more angry and sad that I have him and not my Georgie?! Would my Georgie be mad?! He was very much a mommies boy and wasn’t a fan of anyone touching me. I’ve emailed an animal communicator who was named on this website. She hasn’t emailed me back yet. I hope she does this week. 

What should I do? I’ve gone back and forth with picking one of Georgie’s brothers ups to have a piece of him. But then I think, how could I even raise a puppy right now with all what’s going on plus having a 5 month old baby. Georgie was the perfect age because he was trained and already knew how much he was loved before my daughter and wasn’t fighting for attention.  

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1 hour ago, Georgie said:

well nightmare of my Georgie and he was still having a grand mal seizure in my nightmare.

Oh Hon, your Georgie is free of pain now, free of the body that wasn't perfect, I'm told we get a new body but we'll know each other, that brings me much comfort.  We'll forever be a perfect age.  My Arlie won't have cancer or Colitis, and your Georgie won't have seizures.  THAT is the happy consolation I think of with the Rainbow Bridge, like they're young again and able to play, carefree...and at last we'll be with them again.  

Ever since my Arlie died, I have been walking a neighbor's dog, Joe.  Joe is a chow and he's deaf and blind.  He doesn't have Arlie's goofy fun personality, and is nothing like Arlie except he snorts like him and is the same color, has a curled tail and lots of fur.  But he's sweet.  I don't expect him to be Arlie, but he gives me a purpose to walk, I can't imagine walking alone after all these years.  And it helps.  The neighbor has offered him to me but honestly, I'm not sure I could do that, he's nearly 12 and I can't go through this again so soon,. I just can't.  I don't know.  For now I let him come over for a short time, he gets along with my cat, but he's nothing like Arlie.  I can't get a puppy because my cat is 25 and couldn't take a puppy bugging her.  I am not positive I'll ever get another dog, I just don't know.  I tried five weeks ago but that one bit me four times and I returned him to the rescue, can't have that.  It just makes me feel there's only one Arlie and it wouldn't be fair to another dog to compare all the time...but I'll keep my eye out, you never know.  It's an individual decision that only you can make.  I've had nine dogs in my life and loved them all but Arlie was perfect for me...

The animal communicator, is it the one Maylissa mentioned?

I understand your feelings...I was looking for a dog about two, one I could have a lot of years left with but wouldn't be a puppy, but I haven't found one that's right yet.

I wish you well, I'm so sorry for the pain inside your heart.  I think when they pass they turned in their pain and it resides inside our hearts now, but hopefully will fade with time and in time we'll be able to smile at their memory instead of this dagger through our soul.

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I am happy that you have your neighbors dog to give you comfort during this time! I do have two other dogs that I’m trying to show even more love to. But like you said, there was just something about my Georgie. I’ve had dogs my entire life. One of my first memories is with a dog. But throughout all the years and all the companionships, Georgie was my special connection. He was the baby I couldn’t ever have.. but then he brought so much joy and less stress that I truly believe he helped me be able to have my daughter now. One of my friends said something to me that bothered me and I have to say it here because I know there isn’t any judgement and who know if it’s truly.. So 2 days after being my daughter home, we had our first doctors appointment. The pediatrician went over medical and family history. Doctor found out my husband’s sister died of SIDS at 4 months old. The doctor then told me SIDS was genetic and I never knew that! I obviously freaked out! So much that my husband bought the “Owlet” am expensive sock that tracks my daughter O2 levels and heartbeat. Fast forward I have BEEN STRESSING OUT as my daughter was going to be turning 4 months and I knew everyday in that 4th month I was going to be paranoid. Well ONE DAY before my daughter turned 4 months old, Georgie passed away. My friend told me she believes he took JoRae’s place and was saving me from losing her and was her guardian angel. I lost it. Maybe that’s true but my daughter and Georgie both completed my heart and now one is gone. It’s empty. So like you said I really hope one day I can look at his photos and smile instead of feeling an overwhelming amount of guilt, what ifs and I’m sorry(s). 

This weekend, I ran into a friend who has a French bull dog (you don’t see that breed much in VT) and I instantly picked him up and couldn’t let him go. I wanted to ball my eyes out. I looked around and I could tell I was making everyone feel awkward so I put him down. This is why I don’t know if getting a puppy from Georgie’s breed would help bc I would have one of his siblings. I have mixed feelings if I would be able to love him fully or always expect him to be Georgie. Time will tell. 

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Oh wow, people say weird things w/o thinking how it could affect us.  I don't look for "reasons" we lost them, their body gave out, that's all.  I know people try to read meaning into it but that usually upsets me, like how can God just do that to us?  He knows how much we love them!  Like people say things like, "Well God must have needed them up in heaven."  I NEEDED HIM HERE WITH ME, NOW!  Anyway, chalk it up to another stupid thing people say to us, I'm so sorry, try not to let it penetrate you.  And I'm sorry about the SIDS concern, a friend of mine lost her baby daughter I think about five months, it's been years so can't remember for sure.  Just pray for protection over her.  Did you talk to the doctor about if there's a way to prevent SIDS?  The Owlet sounds like a great idea.  I know how you place them when you sleep makes a difference, it's been so long since my babies were little and I can't remember the recommended way, but could have changed over the years, who knows.  Will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

I guess I don't expect another dog to be like Arlie but it's hard not to compare and for the new one to fall short unless they too are just right for you.  I've never had a problem getting a dog before now, but it seems there's a reason this one or that one won't work, maybe it's just too soon, I love Arlie so much, still having a hard time with all this.  Maybe if you don't feel ready you could let your daughter help pick out the pup someday.  My parents let me get one when I was five, I got to name him, he lived to 15 so was with me all my growing up years.

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