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Cody's Death


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Hi everyone. I lost my first dog, my beautiful baby boy, my best friend on Monday. I have been absolutely devastated. I haven't been able to eat or sleep all week. He was only six years old and he died incredibly tragically. A growth was found on his liver three weeks ago after I saw him behaving strangely one night, and now he is dead. I had him every day for six years and had to move to Boston to go to an inpatient mental health treatment facility. My family said they would look after him and take him to get surgery but the cancer got to him before surgery was even possible. The growth ruptured, his stomach filled up with blood and he was in excruciating pain. Surgery was not possible. My mom told me that the surgeon wanted to do a CT scan and she said that he wouldn't even survive the anesthesia. He died so quickly. I am devastated and have so much guilt and grief for choosing to go into treatment and not being able to hold him, smell him, kiss him one last time, especially in his dying moments. I had to watch his death over FaceTime. It was the worst experience and worst day of my life. I have developed PTSD from it and I have been replaying the moments of him dying over and over again in my head. I am in absolute agony. I cry every minute of every day. I would really appreciate any support. I have never felt this kind of pain in my life and I am desperately trying to cling on and to keep going. I loved him with all of my heart. I would really appreciate any support at this time. Thank you all.

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I’m so sorry for your loss and what a beauty he is.You’ve taken the first step in your grieving process by coming on here as it has greatly helped me and I’m sure most people on here come to terms with our losses.You did your best and you should remember even though it’s no consolation right now the 6yrs you had together.We or I did take their lives for granted thinking they will never get sick and live forever as in reality compared to our own theirs to us is a short existence but you should feel no guilt whatsoever.Let the tears flow and all your emotions out as often as you like as speaking from a personal point of view the pain,sadness and sorrow will not go overnight as nearly 6mths on from losing my boy I still cry nearly everyday.May time bring you peace.Sending you prayers🙏🏻and hugs

Frankie

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I am so so sorry for the loss of your beautiful Cody.  He is beautiful, he reminds me of my former granddoggy, Mozzy, who was White German Shepherd and Husky Mix.  What you are going through is the hardest thing in the world, as you well know.    I hope you know that you are in no way responsible for his death, nor was your family.  It's more than unfortunate that it occurred while you were gone, I'm so sorry, but this was not something you could have foreseen.  I do hope you'll continue getting the help you need...when we are grieving, especially in the early time, it's so important to try and focus on taking care of ourselves, now more than ever!

It helps to express yourself and not bottle it up so I am very glad you found this place.  This place literally saved me when I lost my husband unexpectedly (barely 51) 15 years ago, and again when I lost my Arlie (Husky/Golden Retriever) who was my soulmate in a dog.  Losing Arlie felt very much like losing my husband, we were so close and he was the perfect dog for me, I miss him each and every day of my life, and it's been 14 months now.  

I do hope you'll continue to come here and post, vent, cry, whatever you are feeling.  We want to be here for you, we understand and get it.  You're in my prayers.

I hope this video bring you some comfort, I truly believe we will be with them again someday and that thought helps.  Also knowing they are no longer suffering and in pain, but it seems their pain has traded for our own.  Eventually as we process our grief we begin to adjust bit by bit and get better at coping but it can take a long while so try to be patient and understanding of yourself as this takes what it takes and it is not easy learning to live with this.  I wrote this article of the things I've found helpful over the years, since the loss of my husband, I hope something in it helps you, either now or later on down the road.  The biggest help for myself was learning to take one day at a time.  The other was to look for good in my day and eventually it led to a change in my outlook to one of embracing it, no matter how small, and helped me with living in the present moment so I don't miss what bit of good there is.  Today is a real challenge in our world and it truly takes LOOKING for some good to find it!

TIPS TO MAKE YOUR WAY THROUGH GRIEF

There's no way to sum up how to go on in a simple easy answer, but I encourage you to read the other threads here, little by little you will learn how to make your way through this.  I do want to give you some pointers though, of some things I've learned on my journey.

  • Take one day at a time.  The Bible says each day has enough trouble of it's own, I've found that to be true, so don't bite off more than you can chew.  It can be challenging enough just to tackle today.  I tell myself, I only have to get through today.  Then I get up tomorrow and do it all over again.  To think about the "rest of my life" invites anxiety.
  • Don't be afraid, grief may not end but it evolves.  The intensity lessens eventually.
  • Visit your doctor.  Tell them about your loss, any troubles sleeping, suicidal thoughts, anxiety attacks.  They need to know these things in order to help you through it...this is all part of grief.
  • Suicidal thoughts are common in early grief.  If they're reoccurring, call a suicide hotline.  I felt that way early on, but then realized it wasn't that I wanted to die so much as I didn't want to go through what I'd have to face if I lived.  Back to taking a day at a time.  Suicide Hotline - Call 1-800-273-8255 or www.crisis textline.org or US and Canada: text 741741 UK: text 85258 | Ireland: text 50808
  • Give yourself permission to smile.  It is not our grief that binds us to them, but our love, and that continues still.
  • Try not to isolate too much.  
  • There's a balance to reach between taking time to process our grief, and avoiding it...it's good to find that balance for yourself.  We can't keep so busy as to avoid our grief, it has a way of haunting us, finding us, and demanding we pay attention to it!  Some people set aside time every day to grieve.  I didn't have to, it searched and found me!
  • Self-care is extremely important, more so than ever.  That person that would have cared for you is gone, now you're it...learn to be your own best friend, your own advocate, practice self-care.  You'll need it more than ever.
  • Recognize that your doctor isn't trained in grief, find a professional grief counselor that is.  We need help finding ourselves through this maze of grief, knowing where to start, etc.  They have not only the knowledge, but the resources.
  • In time, consider a grief support group.  If your friends have not been through it themselves, they may not understand what you're going through, it helps to find someone somewhere who DOES "get it". 
  • Be patient, give yourself time.  There's no hurry or timetable about cleaning out belongings, etc.  They can wait, you can take a year, ten years, or never deal with it.  It's okay, it's what YOU are comfortable with that matters.  
  • Know that what we are comfortable with may change from time to time.  That first couple of years I put his pictures up, took them down, up, down, depending on whether it made me feel better or worse.  Finally, they were up to stay.
  • Consider a pet.  Not everyone is a pet fan, but I've found that my dog helps immensely.  It's someone to love, someone to come home to, someone happy to see me, someone that gives me a purpose...I have to come home and feed him.  Besides, they're known to relieve stress.  Well maybe not in the puppy stage when they're chewing up everything, but there's older ones to adopt if you don't relish that stage.
  • Make yourself get out now and then.  You may not feel interest in anything, things that interested you before seem to feel flat now.  That's normal.  Push yourself out of your comfort zone just a wee bit now and then.  Eating out alone, going to a movie alone or church alone, all of these things are hard to do at first.  You may feel you flunked at it, cried throughout, that's okay, you did it, you tried, and eventually you get a little better at it.  If I waited until I had someone to do things with I'd be stuck at home a lot.
  • Keep coming here.  We've been through it and we're all going through this together.
  • Look for joy in every day.  It will be hard to find at first, but in practicing this, it will change your focus so you can embrace what IS rather than merely focusing on what ISN'T.  It teaches you to live in the present and appreciate fully.  You have lost your big joy in life, and all other small joys may seem insignificant in comparison, but rather than compare what used to be to what is, learn the ability to appreciate each and every small thing that comes your way...a rainbow, a phone call from a friend, unexpected money, a stranger smiling at you, whatever the small joy, embrace it.  It's an art that takes practice and is life changing if you continue it.
  • Eventually consider volunteering.  It helps us when we're outward focused, it's a win/win.

(((hugs))) Praying for you today.

 

 

 

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I am so sorry for your loss. I know guilt is a natural part of grieving, but I absolutely PROMISE you that you did nothing wrong by seeking treatment for your mental health. As someone who has also struggled deeply with my mental health I really admire your ability to seek treatment. It took me years before I was ready, and many people never make that leap of faith. You did something that took incredible strength, and that decision does NOT characterize or change the love you had for your dog, or the love he had for you.

Your baby knew that you loved him. He was such a beautiful boy, thank you for sharing those pictures. I hope you will remember that love and be kind to yourself the way you were kind to your beloved dog. Please know you are welcome with open arms here, to speak about your grief and to speak about how your mental health plays a role in that grief. I'm so sorry that you had to experience this, I hope this forum is therapeutic for you and I hope we will be able to help hold you up when you need it.

Much love to you

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Thank you all so much. Today I called the vet who euthanized him. I have been having an incredibly hard time understanding what happened, even though it has been told to me so many times. I am in a state of shock. There is a part of me that expects to see him when I move back home. I saw him dying on FaceTime and yet, I have been in disbelief. I called the doctor asking her to go over everything with me again. She told me that the reason why the tumor spread so quickly is because dogs lives are significantly shorter than ours, so cancers spread much faster. One year in a human is like one week for a dog. It made me even more devastated because it made me think that maybe there was something I could have done to save him if I scheduled a surgery immediately after the growth was found. But I was also told by doctors that because the tumor was on the right side of his liver, the surgery would be risky and it would likely require a blood transfusion or the removal of his gallbladder, or there was the potential of him maybe not surviving surgery. I asked my family to please get a second opinion once I was in my treatment and they said that they would, but it was too late. In only a few weeks the growth had ruptured and blood leaked into his abdomen. I wish that I had done something sooner. The thought of it is just killing me. My poor baby boy. I am in so much pain.

I asked the doctor if he was in any pain when he passed away. And she told me that she put him under anesthesia and then euthanized him, so he just peacefully went into a very deep sleep. I miss him so much. I wish I could kiss him one more time. My poor baby boy. I feel like I have failed him. I wish that I had not waited and that I had scheduled a surgery for him right away. At least then he would have had some chance of surviving. How do I forgive myself??

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Hindsight is always easier.  We don't know what we don't know, period.  I had no idea Arlie had cancer!  He had a physical just two weeks prior and they never said a word.  Just two weeks later I took him to the vet so they could do dental cleaning, they ran all these tests and that's when it came back, liver shutting down, inoperable cancer, too late for anything.  Instead of a routine cleaning he got a death sentence.  I was in shock.  I would have given my life for this dog!  He WAS my life!!!  My heart and soul!  How do we know when even the vets don't know?  If he was in pain at that point, he disguised it well.  He'd always had cysts, being half Golden Retriever, but I counted on the vets to let me know what to worry about/remove and what was okay.  They let us down.

Oh I know how you're feeling, I FELT like digging up Arlie's body two weeks after we buried him because I wanted to see his sweet face one more time...I didn't but that's what I wanted to do.

http://media.wix.com/ugd/0dd4a5_e934e7f92d104d31bcb334d6c6d63974.pdf
http://www.pet-loss.net/guilt.shtml
http://www.griefhealing.com/article-loss-and-the-burden-of-guilt.htm
https://www.griefhealingblog.com/2019/08/pet-loss-when-guilt-overshadows-grief.html
https://www.griefhealingblog.com/2017/07/pet-loss-when-guilt-goes-unresolved.html

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