Jump to content
Grief Healing Discussion Groups

Missing my 15 yr old sweet little chihuahua baby


Recommended Posts

Tomorrow it will be 8 weeks since I put Roxie, my teacup chihuahua to sleep at age 15 yrs. I cry every day, pretty much all day long, as it doesn't take anything to trigger the tears. I miss having her right here with me so much. I can't get past knowing she is gone. She was a little one at only 4lbs. She had been with me for soooo may life events, many moves, job changes, and through the ups and downs of life. It was just the 2 of us for a long time. Being so small, I carried her in my arms much of the time. She traveled with me on trips, and errands. She was a trooper having survived a broken front leg needing pins and a plate, pancreatitis and abdominal surgery, both at a very young age, and she was nearly deaf and blind at the end. My daughter brought her home as a puppy but she become my baby at age 1 1/2. She was showing signs of aging, stiffness, stumbled more with her bad leg, but overall doing ok until 3/15 when she had a seizure. She'd never had one before. I took her to the vet and they did lab work which was all normal, so no diagnosis. She seemed ok for the next 2 weeks, but on 4/1 when I woke up I could hear and see that her breathing seemed noisy and strained. I took her to the vet at 7am and they said I could leave her for the day and they would watch her and do an X-ray. My other choice was to take her to work with me, but I wanted to know if there was something wrong that could be fixed. I greatly regret that she spent her last full day there and not with me. They didn't have the results of the X-ray by 6pm when I picked her up, and they said she had slept most of the day. I brought her home but she was still having the same breathing pattern. She didn't want to eat and through the evening she just laid on my chest and slept on and off. I stayed awake all night with her. I gave her water with a syringe, and she did want to go outside to poop around 3am and then pee at 5am. She was able to stand for these 2 things but didn't really want to walk much. I took her along on a walk with my other dog, holding her inside my jacket knowing it would probably be her last outing. I thought she might pass away during the night but she didn't. The vet had called me around 7am to check on her and I told him about the night and that I thought she was telling me that it was time. I made the appointment for noon and held her the whole morning. She took a lick of peanut butter off my finger but was still lethargic. otherwise she seemed a bit more alert. My daughter and granddaughter come over and we took turns holding Roxie. Then around 11am, we drove to my mother's house so she could say goodbye to Roxie. Roxie's eyes seemed so wide open and more alert. They were ready for us when we got to the vet. My daughter and I held her and told her we loved her. The first shot wasn't strong enough, so the vet gave her a 2nd shot which caused her to yelp. This was horrible for all of us. I didn't want her to have any pain. Then it all happened so fast. He put a tourniquet on her leg but the hemostat was so heavy for her little leg and it was dangling, so I was focusing on trying to lift it up when he inserted the needle into her vein and injected the pentobarbital and she was gone so quickly that I don't think I was looking at her face and telling her how much I loved her in that moment. I will never get the image out of my head and have felt nothing but sadness, regret, and guilt since that day. I think I made a mistake to go forward with it as she did seem more alert through the morning. Maybe she was just tired all night, maybe the breathing was allergies and a tight trachea. She trusted me to love her and take care of her her whole life, and I feel like I let her down in the end by making the biggest mistake possible. She was SO much a part of my life and what I/we did every single day. I have reached out to a Counselor but needed to put my thoughts down on paper in a safe place. 

E4CB31CA-93AF-4B3C-AC22-91E995C6DDC0.jpeg

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I am so sorry for your loss.  My heart goes out to you as I went through it nine months ago with my Arlie (dog), he had cancer.  Then 4 1/2 months ago with Kitty (she was 25), she'd lost from 9 to 4 1/2 lbs. her liver and kidneys shut down.  With Arlie, he was 107 lbs when he died but I think he weighed more because when we went through it with Kitty my friend was with me and she got on the scale and said it was under by 8 lbs.  That would make sense as to why they under anesthetized Arlie and he had severe pain when they gave him the fatal shot.  It kills me, that image of him in so much pain, just like your little one, it shouldn't be like that for them!  We're doing this to RELIEVE them of suffering, not cause them more!  Be that as it may it was over and done with fairly quickly but still...it's something we will never forget the images of.

Your sweet little baby looks so precious, I know your loss is great and you miss her because I miss my Arlie tremendously.  My son brought me a new puppy before Christmas, conceived when Arlie died, born on my birthday, and he's wonderful but not my Arlie...still I have bonded with him even though I grieve Arlie, I love him for who he is, but Arlie is irreplaceable, they are just different and each made their own spots in my heart.  I always called Arlie my soulmate in a dog, and he will always hold that place in me.  I look out my patio door on the spot where his grave is, I buried him with his duck, his first stuffed toy, he chewed up a lot of toys but was more careful with that one, also a bone.  I have his leash and collar hanging by the door, no one else can use it, and his coat is still hanging on my chair, I stop and hold it sometimes.  I too know the tears all too well.  These are a testament to the love we shared with them.

It is common to second guess your decisions in early grief, we think, if only I'd waited another day/week they could still be with us, but it was their time and it's not uncommon for them to rally at the very end...that does not mean it was not their time.  Sometimes I think they put on a brave front for our sakes, they know we are hurting and going to miss them and they don't want us to be sad.  I walked Arlie every day, even the last, but he was going downhill fast and didn't want him to reach the point he couldn't get up as I have no one to help me lift him and didn't want him to keep suffering.  When my son drove here the night before, it was the first time ever that Arlie did not get up and greet him excitably, and my son sank to the floor sobbing beside him, seeing all at once how much he'd deteriorated.  Arlie managed a weak thumb of his tail a couple of times.  

I pray for comfort and peace for you and hope you will read these articles...also, please be kind and understanding of yourself....what would you tell a friend in this situation?  Tell that to yourself, because you know, now we have to be our own best friend.  Until we get to be with them again....

http://media.wix.com/ugd/0dd4a5_e934e7f92d104d31bcb334d6c6d63974.pdf
https://www.pet-loss.net/guilt.shtml
https://www.griefhealingblog.com/2014/04/pet-loss-guilt-in-wake-of-euthanasia.html
http://www.griefhealing.com/article-loss-and-the-burden-of-guilt.htm

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for responding and offering words of encouragement and support. I especially took heart to your comments, "It is common to second guess your decisions in early grief, we think, if only I'd waited another day/week they could still be with us, but it was their time and it's not uncommon for them to rally at the very end...that does not mean it was not their time.  Sometimes I think they put on a brave front for our sakes, they know we are hurting and going to miss them and they don't want us to be sad."  But Roxie's big eyes as we held her at the vet made me feel like she was scared and this has greatly disturbed me... I can't get that image out of my head... And I sooo wish that I had waited just another day, "just in case." But I am left with the decision I made that day, knowing I can never take it back. Right now I don't think I could ever make the decision to go through that again. 

I am so sorry for your loss of soulmate Arli and also Kitty, both within such a short period of time. You are completely right about certain dogs being our soulmates. I had a golden retriever that I had to put to sleep 12 years ago at age 13 when she couldn't stand anymore. It was horrific and I greatly mourned her, but I guess 12 years has softened the pain.  I currently have a 5 year old rescue mix (Zoe) that I LOVE VERY much, but Roxie was special. She saw me through a divorce, moves from Chicago to Phoenix to Chicago to Tampa to Chicago, to Houston and finally back to Phoenix. 15 years of being there with love, for me to hold, kiss, and hug. She endured many climates, houses, and even a few men in my life over the years... My granddaughter was born 9 years ago and has always had Roxie in her life. And my daughter for 15 of her 32 years. She was the one that brought her to our home!  It's been 8 weeks and I finally put her beds away, but I can't wash the blankets (she loved to lay in super cushy blankets like the one in the picture) because I can still smell her in the blankets. I also keep her leash on the same hook I always kept it, and her ashes, paw print, some fur, and one of many pictures are in my living room on a shelf. There is no place in this house where there isn't a memory. I've even thought that maybe I can't stay in this house, but then I think that this house was the last place she knew and that I need to stay here for her spirit to know where to find me. Crazy thoughts I know but the brain does that with grief. 

I also lost my 81 year old Dad 3 weeks before Roxie left meD500FF64-C6ED-4C67-A1D4-766940845145.heic, so I am grieving for him too.... It's been a rough 3 months. And today was my last day of work - I am retiring after 40 years in healthcare. I am nervous about having more time at home as when I am home I have less distractions... But I do have a Counseling session set up for this Sunday as I am trying to find ways to take of myself. You are right, I know what I would say to someone else going through acute grief, but it is harder to internalize those same words. Thank you for being a contributor on this site. I see that you have provided kind words and support to many others. Do you have a picture of Arli that you can share? 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

For some reason I can't open the link you have...was it pictures?  You can add pictures to your post at the bottom by dragging them where it says or you can click on it to where it is on your PC and then "open."

I had to wash Arlie's bed as the cancer has an odor.  But I keep his coat right here and I hold it often, it reminds me of him, he was a big dog and I loved holding him.  He had the perfect combination of Husky (goofy, fun) and Golden Retriever (gentle, sweet), the best boy in the world.

I also kept a lock of his fur, I have it in a small ziploc.  The vet didn't do a paw print but I tried to before he died...that was a funny event (I wrote about it in Memories of Arlie here.  It was an action print and I have it posted in my kitchen.  We also tried to get one after he passed.  I want to get a sign that says "Arlie's fence" and put it up on the fence, I had it built for him and he loved his fenced yard and the freedom and choice it gave him.  I miss that boy so much!

I don't think your thoughts crazy at all!  I do think she'd find you no matter where you are but I understand your feelings, I would feel the same way if I ever moved...this is where my husband and all my pets have shared their lives with me, and where I raised my kids.  It'd be tough to leave.  One thing I know, no one can take our memories with them away.  

The first is a picture of Arlie running at a friend's and the second was taken when he had cancer, you can see he'd already started going downhill but I like the picture because it depicts him smiling...always smiling no matter what.

541206384_Arlierunningfreesmall.thumb.jpg.d1f646c2c64f2a974cb7fc8e8480bcf6.jpg

Arlie 061619 sm.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Arli was a beautiful dog!  I can see how you would have to wanted to just wrap your arms around him for a big hug! He looks so happy freely running in the first picture. I picture him doing this every day now that he is free of his pain and limitations. I see what you mean about the smiling. :)  He was lucky to have you as his mom and to have a big fenced yard with the freedom to run. A sign on the fence with his name sounds like a wonderful idea. Would that be something you could make yourself? I know what you mean about doing special things (like putting up a fence) for them. With Roxie being only 4#, walking on the gravel (here in AZ most yards are gravel) was hard on her feet, so I moved gravel out of the way and made a path for her in the yard. I can still see the path now. When I lived in Chicago I had to shovel snow off the grass in the winter, and when I lived in Tampa she had to manage the St. Augustine grass which is very course and big. Here in Phoenix I put up lots of patio umbrellas to shield her from hawks and owls, and always watched her when she was outside in the back yard. I have a pool, so with her failing eyesight had to make sure she didn't fall in. I had throw rugs all over the house so she wouldn't slip on the tile or wood, and little doggie beds were everywhere. When on walks, she could only walk a very short distance (just to cross the street in her last weeks), and then I would hold her the rest of the walk. She loved being carried and enjoyed the chance to get outside. And of course we had our daily routine which is now completely shaken up. I suppose most people would be surprised at how we shape the moments of every day around our babies, but for me it was my life. So for me the loss Roxie, and for you, your Arli, and the other many pets in our lives is partially why the grief is so profound... Thank you for reading my words and offering support. Even though I don't know you, your compassion, empathy, and understanding are felt and very much appreciated. The picture of Roxie in the grass is on her last day... The 2nd picture she is with Zoe, and the 3rd picture from last November is one of my favorites because of the lighting and how she is looking right at me. It is the one I had enlarged to 8x10. 

IMG_6195.jpeg

IMG_5885.jpeg

IMG_3885.jpeg

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

That is so precious!  You have some good pictures of her!  I never thought about umbrellas but that's a great idea.  We have eagles, owls, hawks here too.  My Kodie is 12 lbs, so having a small dog is a new experience for me after one so huge.  I went from one extreme to the other but I'm turning 68 this year and can't walk/train a huge dog at this age.  Arlie was so well trained that I could walk him when I had a broken right elbow!  We walked on treacherous ice and he was so gentle and careful with me.  I miss him more than I can say.  Starting over with a puppy is really hard.

Thinking of you and the hollow spot in your Roxie shaped heart, hoping each day gets a little less intense...

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

So sorry for your loss and everything you describe especially about guilt as I’m going through and probably will for a long time yet those exact same feelings.Even the times my boy misbehaved as a young and hypo dog I shouted at him and this now deeply shames me and I talk and put my hand on his urn to say I’m sorry and I hope he forgives me.If only we could turn back time.Sending love.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I am so sorry for your loss of Coco. Labradors are such loving dogs, filled with so much energy. I am sure Coco knew that you were only helping him to become the best that he could be and that he LOVED you with all his heart. I also talk to my Roxie, all the time... at home, at work, in the car, when I leave the house, pretty much everywhere. I have her picture for my phone background and that helps me to think that she is with me when I am not at home. I have her wooden box of ashes on a shelf in my living room, with a 8 x 10 favorite picture behind it. I can see it every time I walk by or if I am sitting on the couch. Many times a day I hold the little box, give it a kiss and tell her how much I love her and miss her. Crying the whole time... Today I spoke with a counselor recommended by Hospice of the Valley. She was listed under their Pet loss resources. She recommended that I create a journal of letters that I write to Roxie every day. That way I can talk to her daily. I'll give it a try. I am learning from her and all of you that there is no timeline and that it is ok to feel whatever I am feeling. It really helps to know that others understand. 15 years together is a long time... I am in my early 60s and it was just the 2 of us for 10 of those years. She truly was my better half. The last 5 years it was 3 of us (I rescued Zoe, a little mix breed pup). Still... it was just our little family. Now it doesn't feel right, both of us miss little Roxie so much. Hang in there, take care of yourself, and I hope that you find solace in knowing others understand and wish they could do something to help. You are not alone...

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Coco, I agree with Dogmom, we have to let them know WE are the alpha of our pack in those early days, for their own safety and ours.  I know it's hard when we think back to an unpleasant memory and wish we could wipe it away but they long ago forgave us and that is not the memory they carry with them, they only know we love them, took care of them, and now miss them tremendously.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Well it's been 16 weeks today. There is a huge hole in my heart and I miss her more than words can say. I still can't believe she is no longer with me in life. She was the sweetest 4# chihuahua you could ever meet. She just loved to be held. She even gave "kisses" to strangers. She was not your typical chihuahua, she truly was special. We had 15 years together, but it was not enough... Our time together ended too quickly. I never imagined living without her but here I am having to do just that. It is the hardest loss I've ever had and it's going to take a long time to not be so sad nearly every minute of every day. She was such a big part of my life. I was lucky to have her and will forever mourn her passing. I love you my little Roxie. You will be forever in my heart.🐕 ❤️😢💔

 

2C6A493E-A110-4E64-89D7-3614521020C1.jpeg

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

"I greatly regret that she spent her last full day there and not with me." That line breaks my heart. I lost my 7 pound apricot poodle June 2. She was 14. Heart attack. I took her to the groomer that day and she wasn't the same after. Died that night.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and  wisdom to know the difference.

Love to you and your precious little one waiting for you in Heaven. Be good. Don't mess it up.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

We all have regrets when we lose them but the truth is we gave them the best lives possible.  Wishing you some comfort and peace as you travel this journey...it's hard.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Alex. I am truly sorry about your loss as well. It is such a shock when they leave us so suddenly and unexpectedly, no matter their age. You are in my thoughts and I am sending you a virtual hug. I know it's not the same thing as hugging your precious baby, but it is filled with understanding and comfort. Take care of yourself..

Kayc, you are also in my thoughts as I know it is coming up on 1 year that you lost Arli... Sending you a hug too... 💕

Michele

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...