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I Haven't Left The House Since She Died


saggybaggyeyes

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I found her stiff, cold, half opened eyes, black tongue Saturday morning when I came home from the Vet's office to get another bottle of BetaBlocker for her congestive heart. I knew it was coming. Her seventeenth birthday was last month. She was having convulsions coming out of naps and Friday afternoon when I got home from work she collapsed on the bed. I picked her upright so she could breathe better and I stroked her for hours until my arm ached. I didn't expect Saturday morning for her to be alive, but she surprised me. We had breakfast and she took her last pill. She had gotten up that morning barking at my husband like she usually did. She would hop over from the couch to a cedar chest and back over. She was acting very active.....then I left for the Vet's office....

She was a maltese. I found her at the animal shelter. They estimated her to be five years old and had been through a terrible life wading through maggots and feces at a puppy farm. The animal shelter had her listed as a 'white/apricot' maltese mix. I knew I had a diamond in the rough and after many trips to a groomer she magically became a snow white 'Babe'. And this Babe had found her mommy. She had been with me for twelve years. She became my shadow. We went everywhere a facility would let us in. She never left my side and would get terribly upset if she couldn't find me, which I believe was what took her down forever.

I've stayed home for four days doing nothing but uncontrollable crying. I have one more personal leave day before I have to go to work and face the outside world without my little girl. I feel frozen and dead and can still sense her presence but when I look around she's not there. I'm a believer in non-exclusion. I don't believe in hell and I can't believe that animals can be less valuable to this world than a human being for we are also animals.

I dug a grave in the middle of my garden, rolled her in a woven shroud of tulips and butterflies with her favorite toy and lowered her into the four and half ft. deep hole with a satin ribbon. I had dug and cried so hard my head felt like it was going to explode and I felt sick to my stomach and hadn't ate anything all day. I took a couple of tylenol and went to bed.

When my husband got home that night. I had to tell him and we both cried. He's now worried about me because I've still crying about her.

I've often wondered what I'm going to do with my time? I think my biggest dread is walking thru my front door and each time she isn't there. Maybe that's why I haven't wanted to leave the house?[attachmentid=96][attachmentid=97][attachmentid=97]

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My heart goes out to you in the loss of your precious dog. But I also bless you for rescuing her and giving her such a wonderful life for these past 12 years. I lost my precious Tawny almost 5 months ago and the pain is still there, but I will tell you that it gets easier. As hard as it is to feel the horrible pain you feel now and experience all the crying you are doing now, I truly believe that it'll help you "heal" sooner in the long run. I found the first days after we put Tawny down unbearable with such intense pain that lasted almost every minute that I was awake. But as the days SLOWLY moved on, the amount of time I spent in agony lessened, and eventually even the intensity lessened. I wish I could take away your pain, as I so hoped someone or something could take away my pain. But I knew no one could. But being on this board helps and that is one of the reasons that I am still here. Please know that everyone here understands and cares, and write again when you feel up to it.

I wish you some peace as you continue in this very difficult grief journey.

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I'm sorry to hear about your Babe. Thank you for putting in her picture - she is a very beautiful girl and looks so happy; she was certainly lucky to be loved so much. I know you are hurting and hope that your pain diminishes soon, and that you will be remembering the joys you shared with her. ~Stoo~

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Thank you for responding. I thought I was doing OK, but one week went by. Saturday morning I was coming back from shopping, about the same time as the Saturday before, listening to the same Celtic music on the radio, taking the same route...it triggered everything all over again and the tears were so heavy I had to pull off the side of the road to compose myself because I couldn't see the road.

Last Thursday and Friday at work a few paid their condolences and dreaded the day their own dog would have to pass on but those days just seems a blur I was still so numb.

I can still feel her watching me when I eat...(I always gave her a tidbit of something) She never lost her appetite all the years I had her.

I really wanted to be with her when she died but I walked out the door too soon! I didn't want her to die alone.

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I know it is very painful for you. One week is not much time at all - you had all those years of wonderful times and love shared with Babe -- certainly you are not going to recover from her loss in just a week. Give yourself time and allow yourself your grief. I can tell how much you loved Babe -- she surely felt it too. I'm glad that you have some people at work that recognize your loss and offered you condolences - I think that grief needs to be recognized and acknowleged.

Keep coming here and talking with us. We really do understand and feel your grief with you. ~Stoo~

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I agree with Stoo. Grief takes a long time to work through, and memories like those will trigger these intense feelings of pain. Please don't regret things that have already passed, as the guilt can "kill" you. You did a wonderful thing when you rescued her and gave her a terrific life, one I know gave her much joy and love, as she had for you. It does get easier as time passes, but it is not an easy road.

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  • 4 weeks later...

In the month that has passed I've wondered what to do with my new found 'freedom'. I often find the loneliest times are when I go to bed and when I get up in the morning. I can fill the inner hours occupying myself with work but coming home is the most difficult . Instead of coming straight home I joined a fitness gym. It's helped to keep me moving instead of sitting around depressed.

I took all her toys,her bed, pet carriers, her left over shampoos/conditioners, eye wash, ear powder, ear wash and left over beef and lamb baby food(it's lower in salt than regular dog food). Grooming tools and grooming noose for a grooming table. Nail clippers and sweaters to the Animal Shelter.

I collected all my favorite photos of her and made a collage in a 16 X 20 frame. It hangs on my bedroom wall with other table pictures of her and I burn a candle for her every day.

It's hard to say when I'll ever get another 'soulmate'. I could never expect the same relationship I had with her in another. Personality-wise,they are just like people.

All the dogs of my past have been rescues, whether stray, neglected or mistreated by others. All their deaths were profound and earthshaking. It's hard to put a time limit on grief but it averages for me about a year and a half, maybe longer for Babe, she was the best dog I ever had the pleasure to know deeply.

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You have done some wonderful things as tribute to your dear Babe and I commend you for that. You didn't say whether or not you live alone. I was only wondering because you mentioned the nights as being the worst. Although I live with my wonderful husband, and 3 remaining pets, I too find the nights the hardest. Although it has been 7 months since I lost my prescious Tawny, I still find myself crying many nights and missing her the most then. I also try to keep busy most days. I am glad you joined a gym because that is doing something good for yourself.

I hope as time moves on, you will start to heal, and some day you may be ready to take in another rescue pet. But only you can tell when that time is right. Just know I do care and do understand.

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  • 1 month later...

Yes, me and the husband have been together for thirty six years, but due to our snoring problems we haven't slept together for years. lol!

Time is passing by too slowly. The house seems so lifeless and dull. I've been entertaining ideas of finding another rescue. I almost took a trip to see one and the husband said it was too soon and he "doesn't want to go through that again". I can open my heart to another much easier than he can. I was looking for a toy breed that had a much more independent personality than a maltese. I always felt guilty when I left her home for any reason because of her separation anxiety. She used to wail like a wounded cow if I slipped out the door to work in the garden. Is it wrong to think of taking on another little lost soul so soon? Death is so much a part of living, no one will escape it. I might as well love while I can.

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No, I do not think it is wrong at all to take in another pet to love. I really think that each person must make this decision for her/hiself. Some may say you "should" wait for whatever reason or for "X" amount of time(?), but I think that you should let your heart be your guide. I did get a new puppy not that long after Tawny died. I wasn't sure that I was doing the "right thing." But I am glad now that I did. She was the only thing that could get me to smile or even laugh through my tears over Tawny's loss. I think it was a good thing for all of us-for Tanner to have a new playmate after losing his littermate, for my DH also (who was sad, but isn't one to show it) and for the new puppy-now 9 months old too! Hopefully your husband will soon be able to let a new pet into his heart and into his home. It is heartbreaking to loved a pet, but they also bring us so much love and joy that I think it is worth it!

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I am starting to think about a new puppy too. I felt it was too soon, and with my dad's illness I was worried I didn't need to add any more "work" to my life. But, I miss my 2 dogs so much..I think the dog we still have is wondering."where did everyone go?"It's so quiet and sad here. I think it's time to start looking now that spring is around the corner.

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[quote name='saggybaggyeyes' date='Apr 1 2007, 06:37 PM' Death is so much a part of living, no one will escape it. I might as well love while I can.

[/quote

I love that sentence that you wrote. Seven years ago, we had to put down our 4 1/2 year old Australian Shepherd due to a blood disorder. I was so devastated...he was such a baby still and didn't get to grow old. He was my first dog. My husband grew up with dogs and was well aware of the fact that they do indeed leave us and are not around forever. Six days later, we took a drive to the breeders home because I wanted to see my baby's family again and to get some closure. The woman was so sweet. She let us play with all the dogs. She never told us about the eight week old puppies prior to the visit (on the phone when I called her to tell her what happened and asked if we could take a ride out there to see Einsteins' family)because she didn't want to influence me on any decisions about a new puppy since is was only a week later. Well, we saw these adorable balls of fur and we had to take one home. That was seven years ago and Charlie is the love of my life just like Einstein was.

I don't know when we would have made a conscious decision to get another puppy. This situation just came about and I'm glad that we made the decision that we did. It was hard at first, but I'm so glad that we did what we did. I know...six days later from putting down one and getting another seems crazy, but it worked for us.

I wish everyone well on these boards. Losing a pet is losing a family member and only a pet lover can understand that.

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Lori,

It does not sound crazy to me at all. My situation was very similar to yours. We had to put down Tawny, who was only one and half years old due to kidney failure. It was devastating and part of the reason for that is what you said about Einstein-she did not get to live a normal doggy life and grow old. It was SO totally unexpected. This was almost 8 months ago and still it is difficult some times. But we also got a new puppy very soon after we put Tawny down-from the same owners (who had both the parents) as Tawny's and her littermate, Tanner. The only difference is that we did know about the puppy-the owner worked with Rick and had told him that he had one female puppy left from his latest litter. My idea was to just go look at her, but of course, I had to take her home once I saw her and held her, and I don't regret it.

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I would never rush into getting a new puppy just because someone else said to. But if you are ready to, it can be a blessing.

I lost a kitten that I let out carelessly and she was killed by a car in the parking lot. I felt so guilty, and so awful, but it came to me to make up for my carelessness by rescuing another kitten who needed me. I went to the shelter and they had so many kittens and puppies that they were lowering the fee, frantically trying to find them homes, and the place was very hard for them to keep clean. I found a pure black kitten with tons of fleas, feline flu, AND ringworm. I could tell he had been abused, too, because he flinched whenever you tried to pat his head. I took him home and had to quarantine him from my older cats because of the flu and ringworm for the first month. I nursed him back to health, and now at the age of three his fur is like black velvet, his eyes are bright and happy, and he is totally imprinted on me, and follows me everywhere, purring. He has the funniest tail, tightly curled over his back like a little pig or some dogs. I've never seen a cat with a tail like that, but it's pretty cute!

I sometimes see my other kitten who was killed out of the corner of my eye. I am sure her spirit is still here. Whenever I feel guilty for being so negligent that she got out, I also look at my black kitty and I can't regret rescuing him and giving him a loving home.

You have lots of love to give -- when you and your husband are ready, a different puppy with its own unique love to give will be blessed by getting to live with you.

Ann

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Guest daisy mae

I cried all through your posting talking about your sweet baby girl.

I am new to this site and immediately was drawn to your posting. It is incredible that your lost baby girl looks so much like my recently lost baby girl, also maltese. I was shocked when I saw the resemblence in your sweet picture.

My baby girl was named Daisy Mae. She was also a rescue that I got when she was about 3 years. She was 15 when I lost her just this March 10th. She too had a heart condition. But I didn't know about it till the last 4 days of her life. She only got very sick the last 4 days of her life. She was running around, eating (she too always had a good appetite) and didn't appear ill till the last days. She went very quickly on the last day of her life. I did have the opportunity to be with her, petting her, praying with her, singing with her, as her breathing came in short gasps till the end. But even though I was with her I still felt guilt. All the pain of the loss of that deep love. I didn't have enough money to take her to the vet often. So, my guilt comes from that. It's all been very shocking, the loss of my sweet angel so quickly. But I feel that no matter when they leave us it's shocking and too soon.

I have been able to connect with a Pet Grief Support Group. I have only gone to 1 meeting but have found it very helpful. It gives you a place to vent your pain and to hear other's stories. As well as connecting with a support group of people going thru the same thing. Perhaps it might help you too.

As with your sweet one my Daisy went with me everywhere too. Matter of fact I used to 'sneak' her into places where she probably wouldn't have been able to go if people knew about it! But she was so quiet and patient, that no one knew. We even went to movies together and shared popcorn! She even went to many meditation retreats and seemed to love the prayerful energy. Never a peep from her while other's were in quiet meditation. Everyone used to say she was such a beautiful angel.

About 7 years ago I got another 5 pound maltese puppy who I named Jasmine. I am incredibly grateful to have her. Both of us are still grieving the deep loss of Daisy. But it is helpful to have some relief when Jasmine and I play and cuddle and go here and there.

But I read your most recent post about getting another baby. I think it's great if you're thinking about it. The time is right when YOU think it is. Not anyone else. Of course no other one will be like your lost baby. But it you are correct in that we all have a limited time here and it is never the wrong time to share love with another little angel.

I am still in the crying mode most days and don't go out much as the grief is still so strong. But I too am thinking toward a time in the near future to get another maltese for me and Jasmine. My heart goes out to you.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ann,

What a beautiful story and so true. I am sorry for the loss for your cat, but I bless you for rescuing this cat and giving him such a good life.

Being careless for just a moment is a terrible burden to bear and I'm so happy you could save another.

I've had a few friends tell me that the next dog in my life might walk up to me and say hello when I least expect it...just like with a man, love at first sight. :D

When my spitz died, my husband and I grieved over him. Then a year went by and I heard about the puppy farm raid on the news. All the dogs and puppies were in pitiful condition and eleven of the fifty three had to be put to sleep immediately. There was a 'puppy lotto' of sorts by the animal shelter. People could take a number and have first pick when the court order was lifted. My number was fifty one. I thought I didn't have a chance so I forgot about it. About a month later,on the third of December 1995, I got a call that I could come pick out a dog, there were no puppies left. I told them my number was higher than the dogs they had and they said there were a lot of 'no-shows'. I told the husband where I was going and he scoffed that he didn't want another dog. I told him it was going to be my Christmas present. ;) She was 'my dog' till the day she died but he admits it was the best dog we ever had. There are times in my married life when I have to take that first step or it won't get done. (Just like home improvement projects...if I threaten to hire somebody he gets off his duff to do something. lol!

Opportunity will come knocking one day and I hope I have enough sense to see it coming. Thanks for 'listening'. :)

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DaisyMae, the picture I took of her was about a month before she died. She was losing weight fast and I could tell by the look in her eyes she was getting weary.

I was sitting here re-reading my own posts and 'reliving' it again but I am getting better at controlling my emotions. Having a full time job helps me occupy my time but when I get home I still feel kind of stuck in a rut. My motivation to get things done isn't as good as it used to be.

You're lucky to have a furbaby to hold on to, it does make it easier with some life in the house. I have a finch, but he's not the same as a dog, although he does 'greet me' when I walk through the door. :)

It does get easier with time and it does come and go at irrational times. In the meantime I'll be 'waiting for my prince to come'. I've been looking through petfinders and the animal shelter to see what pulls my heartstrings.

Take care.

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