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Regret Consumes Me


LittleDogMacy

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I have posted in other places, I’m not sure what I’m hoping for anymore.  For something to click?  For this devastation to stop?

I feel like I’ve cried more these last couple days than ever before.  I guess being stuck inside with nothing to occupy my mind is really taking its toll.  

I really wish I could stop replaying everything in my head.  I don’t know why it came back so suddenly.  Have I have been looking at her pictures too much?  Did I start fearing the chance of being completely alone any day?  Is her being gone bringing the fear of my mom also leaving to the forefront?  All of the above? 

 I’m old enough to be fine, to not feel so attached.  The norm has always been get married, start a family.  However, it has only been the three of us since my father passed.  My mom, myself, and Macy is all I’ve known for 15 years.  I guess I have always been happy that way.  The reality of it disappearing any day is paralyzing. 

Macy was such a funny dog.  She was always a troublemaker when she was younger.  Stealing socks, paper towel rolls, anything she thought she shouldn’t have she wanted.  We got her from a pet store 15 years ago, we were still ignorant of all it entailed.  I would never change that for the world though.  We got her a month after my father’s passing my senior year of high school.  My first and only dog. The little American Eskimo (standard).

She was very sick when we got her, only a few months old with kennel cough.  It was our first dog so we were also a little lost in how to raise her.  She was a stinker and if the door was open she would zoom out like a rocket.  She luckily only ran wild in the front yard, but it was still scary that she could hurt herself.  We used an electric fence once just for the front, but the first time she experienced it shook everyone.  Hearing her yelp and run back was too hurtful.  We immediately tossed it aside.  Fortunately, that one incident also stuck with her and she didn’t bolt out the front door anymore.

She was really an inside dog.  She loved going under the beds, jumping on my mom’s bed to wake her up or demand something.  She couldn’t get onto mine so she would cannonball on to the side with her little head peering over the side.  I would have to bring her up or she wouldn’t stop.  She would appear randomly with something she shouldn’t, hoping we would chase her.  If food appeared, she would show up like the little food goblin she was.  Even later when she had a hard time getting around, couldn’t hear anymore, she would show up.  My last picture was of her showing up downstairs, I remember finding it funny, but also annoyed that the gate wasn’t up....could have hurt herself.

Her trade mark later was to sit on her back legs with her paws up.  She did that for everything, so we never knew what she wanted.  Attention? Outside? Food? Play?  I always said she wanted to be around us more, but when we would sit with her she would leave and go over to her spot by the fans.  

She couldn’t get around as she could these past two years or so, but could still go up the stairs and walk on the hardwood.  She also had trachea problems where she coughed every time she would drink water, which I guess just happens from what I heard from the vet.  It wasn’t until around July 2019 that she had this little cyst on her bottom eyelid.  I guess the vet just thought it was fine since it didn’t cause pain.  Sure enough she ended up pawing at it and scratched her cornea.  For the first time in her life she had to wear a cone.  She looked so miserable, and I felt so bad we couldn’t do more.  It was around that time we watched movies at night, something cheesy like hallmark.  She would lay there with her toy and much to our chagrin fall asleep right as the movie ended.

This was also when the problems started.  With her cone on, one day we saw her head tilted.  A million things popped in my head, and soon took her back to the vet.  I can’t remember the vet confirming, I don’t know why, but I guess it was vestibular disease.  She always has ear problems, but before and even then we never had to have any scans or X-rays.  She just had more meds she had to take and now had to deal with her eye and her wobbly little body.

As the days went on she could take her cone off, but it still always looked to me like she never completely healed that eye.  She also seemed to permanently have a little wobble.  It wasn’t until a few months later that another nightmare happened.

One day we noticed that same side with her eye and ear infection was now dropping.  She also wasn’t able to blink that same eye.  Again we go to the vet, and again I can’t remember ever having a definitive on what caused it, only that it was facial paralysis and that it could go away over time.  We continued pretty normally until March of 2020, still doing our nightly ritual, she still moving around with only a slight wobble.  

When COVID happened I guess everything changed.  Now we were truly stuck at home, and all did was worry about somehow giving it to my mom, who is 71.  The fear was intense, and maybe that was also why we stopped watching movies at night.  The only other added routine was me randomly checking to make sure she didn’t have any food stuck in her cheek, which she usually did.  I don’t know when we started putting the gate up, maybe July?  We also built that little runway for her with rugs from the stairs to the back door so she wouldn’t slip on the hardwood.  I also made a little step stool so she wouldn’t have to jump out the door.

Time went by, I would only go out to get food for us, and try to attend to any thing that needed to be done.  She still had her paralysis, but now her third eyelid almost functioned as her normal one, blinking over to protect her eye.  However, the nightmare soon broke out.

All of a sudden she seemed to cough more, we took her to the vet and she said it was allergies, as I guess she did have them over the years.  Gave her a shot, and some more stuff for her ear as it looked not as healthy as it should.  A few days later I was rubbing behind her ear, and I felt a mass.  I thought, ah it’s probably her matted fur she randomly gets when we aren’t careful.  The more I felt, the more worried I became.  It felt like a strip of swollen area starting from the back of her ear where it connects to her head, all around the ear to the end of it near her jaw.  This was also the same side she had her eye, her tilt, her ear infections.

We ran to the doctor once more, the 13th of October.  She stuck a needle in after shaving and looked at the sample.  She came back and said she didn’t think it looked good but she was going to send it off to have it analyzed.  The car ride home was devastating.  A few days later, the 16th maybe, we are told it was a soft tissue sarcoma, and that it was probably there a long time.  I was shocked, how?  If they performed surgery they would have to take her ear and part of her skull, with her health and age it wouldn’t look good.  It was also extremely expensive.  We were told we should just watch it, and check if it doesn’t get infected.

A million thoughts ran through my head, I need to spend a lot of time with her, we need to to so much.   However, she was still sick with her cough and only seemed to feel comfortable at her spot by her fan.  I distanced myself, hating to see her like that, anxiety and fear brewing.  The cough seemed worse, I called again and they said it wouldn’t be connected to the cancer.  They brought up some cough medicine with decongestant, so I quickly went and got it.

I guess I thought that she just needed to get over these allergies, then we can spend the rest of our time together.  The next two days it just got worse, she started not eating much, I went and changed dog food, got a variety of wet.  If I spoon fed it, she would eat, but now she wouldn’t drink water.  She would look at it, but not bend her head down to drink.  So I would try to give her water now as well.  It was the 19th, we called since it was finally no longer the weekend.  She wasn’t any better, now she wandered around, hiding in closets, I was terrified and had no idea what to do.  I just kept laying next to her, seeing if she would take water. My mom hinted to the vet if it was her time, the vet said they could take X-rays, but they knew we were spending a lot trying to micromanage.  That we would know best if it was time.  

I was in complete shock and denial, how? HOW? It’s only been a week, didn’t she just have allergies?  Eventually, my mom left a message saying we would bring her in tomorrow morning to go to sleep.  I left the room as I definitely can’t handle any of this, especially death.  A few hours later at night, like I always do I went up to check on them.  I confirmed my resolve to not leave her side until morning.

I walked in and saw her sprawled out on her belly by her spot.  It was how she always used to fall asleep when she was younger.  For a brief second I thought wow she finally got some rest, and then the gut wrenching punch of it not being possible.  I went by her and she was stiff, no heartbeat, no breathing.  I couldn’t believe it, I look over at my mom trying to fall asleep and told her.  She came over and kneeled down saying her name, she was already deaf I wanted to say.  I left and cursed as I reached the bathroom, crying.  Then I calmed and went autopilot.  I drove 45min away at midnight with her wrapped up with my mom in the backseat.  No idea where I was or the area I was going to.  Waiting in the back parking lot for a nurse who didn’t know us to take her to keep for the cremation company that would take her tomorrow morning.  Not sleeping, waiting for their call, doing it, getting her ashes.  It was now the 20th of October, I lost everything in a week.

All I think about it not spending enough time with her since March of 2020.  I feel like all I did was take her out and then see her at night when I check on them.  Having to force her little head down sometimes as she popped up to see me.  She was always panting, so I thought she needed to be by those fans.  Why didn’t I just lay there with her?  I know my mom was always in the room with her, but was that enough?  Why didn’t I go to multiple vets?  Why did I think she was be able to get better?  Why didn’t I stay with her the whole time and not leave?  Did she die alone and scared at her spot?  I feel like I completely failed her, that all she will remember is that horrible year.  
 

I stare a the pictures and question if I spend time with her.  Did I play with her when she showed me those toys? I wanted to do so much with her, but I became complacent.  That she would always be there.  I want her so bad.

An essay I’m sure, I don’t even know what I expect.  I don’t feel any better.

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That's beautiful little dog, it sounds as if she had a fantastic life with you and your family. My little cat Bluebell died two days ago, and I can relate to your feelings. It only natural to take the ones we love for granted, not knowing how much we love them till they're gone, and hating ourselves for not spending more time with them, or taking more photos, or doing more for them, it goes on and on. They're always there and we feel there's going to so much time before they go.

Macy knew how much you loved her, and loved you in return. Animals will usually find a quiet place to pass away and giving her the space she needed to relax as much as possible at the end was a good thing. I'm sorry for your loss and I know how you feel.

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I am so sorry for your loss.  It's one of the hardest things I've ever been through as they are an integral part of our everyday life and so sweet and loving and forgiving, we grow naturally attached to them!

Dogs pant for more than one reason but one can be they're in pain.  When my dog had cancer it was one of the signs I looked for.  I had him on CBD oil and that helped, also SAMe, and other things.  I am sorry your vet didn't catch the cancer sooner and didn't better manage her ear/eye problems which can be connected as infection spreads.  You loved her and gave her a good life and it sounds like she lived quite a while, I hope you take comfort in having her ashes.  It helps to memorialize them in some way.  I lost my Arlie 8/16/19 (Husky/Golden Retriever) and still hold his coat, have his leash & collar hanging by the door, bought a grave marker for his grave.  I miss and love him each and every day of my life.  My son brought me a Klee Kai puppy 13 months ago, conceived when Arlie died, born on my birthday, and the tag he brought with him had the same name on it that popped into my head when I first saw his pictures/video!  Klee Kai are Huskies bred with American Eskimo and I can see both traits in him (my sister has always had American Eskimos, we've had Huskies).

I love your sharing stories about her, she sounds very spirited and so much personality, I love it!  It's good to express yourself, helps grief processing.  

Sick and tired, so sweet of you to respond when you are thick in the throes of grief yourself!

I'm glad she was able to die her way, at home, rather than in a clinical setting.  I also carry with me the pangs of the vet not catching Arlie's cancer in time...he'd had a physical just two weeks prior and they didn't notice or test for anything!  They're trained to, I'm afraid the onus is on them, not with you and your mom.  Wherever she is, she is no longer suffering, she is at peace.  I hope this video brings you some comfort...

 

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I can so relate to your feelings.  I lost my dog of 14 years 9 days ago..it was the most horrible feeling.  The sadness, the emptiness and the regrets, the constant what-ifs and the why didnt I? I should have...  I keep relieving the last two days of his life.  It just consumed all my energy and beings.  I cant sleep and I cant eat much.  

make a Macy corner for her, put up some happy memories, photos and etc.  I found it somehow therapeutic,  knowing and keep reminding yourself she is now free from any pain and is happy running about in the rainbow bridge (although I dont know if this is true, but I need to believe it to relive my pain).  Hopefully, as times go on, we can learn to live with the pain and sadness of losing our best friend.

 

 

 

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@Tonkafiffy I am so sorry for your loss as well.  It can take much time to adjust to the changes it means for our lives and the pain subsides enough for us to bear it but always, always, I will love and miss my Arlie (soulmate in a dog).  It's been 1 1/2 years.  I have an Arlie place too in my house, but I still have all my sympathy cards displayed on my dining room table and his coat on my chair in my computer room, I hold it sometimes when I especially need a dose of him!  I have his collar and leash hanging by the door, retired.  Still have his bed and some of his toys...I buried his first and favorite with him, a stuffed duck.  The only one that made it through his puppy-hood chewing intact!

I believe they'll be the first to enter heaven, by way of Rainbow Bridge.  I love this cartoon Marty posted for me when he died.180569211_Dogsgetfreepass.jpg.1a24d394bddcd13778068e1d0be81f96.jpg

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Hi Kayc, thank you for your post.  I cant bear to throw his things out, I have decided to keep them all.  I occupy my mind by decorating my Tonka's corner. put up photos of happy times when he was young, funny and energetic,  I keep talking to him and somehow I found it can relieve some of my pain. 

I loved the cartoons.. . Dogs are truly amazing how they can impact our life.  I am so thankful my dog was in my life for the last 14 years.

 

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5 hours ago, Tonkafiffy said:

I am so thankful my dog was in my life for the last 14 years.

Me too, I'm glad you had each other. :wub:

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  • 1 month later...

LittleDogMacy, how are you doing? Your experience sounded traumatic and swift. So many thoughts about regret. Interestingly, a pet grief counselor told me this week that turning guilt into regret is a positive step. I hope you've recovered and been able to make peace with the passing of your sweet Macy.

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