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I Am Totally Beside Myself Tonigt


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Earlier today, i gave my little girl Darby, my husky of 16 years back to God. After a remarkable healty life, 2 weeks ago she was diagnosed with conjestive heart failure. We tried lassicks for 2 weeks with minor improvement for a few days and this past saturday she was so struggling to breath and coughing so deeply. Today it was unbareable to see here struggle. Tonight i am in such pain and despair, panic attacks and almost a feeling of terror about how she fought to the very last breath. I now feel that she may have been scared and that i was wanting to do away with her. I ache in my heart. Guilt is overwhelming me now. I am a 53 year old man and i have a heart condiition, I can not help but believe that she assumed some of heart problems. Right now my guilt is overwhelming me. can anyone please help?

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My friend,

I’m so very sorry to learn of the death of your beloved girl Darby, and I can only imagine how difficult it must have been for you to let her go. How empty your home and your heart must seem now, without your faithful companion beside you! These magnificent creatures have a way of weaving their way into every aspect of our daily lives, and the love they give to us is absolutely unconditional and irreplaceable.

It sounds as if, despite everything you and your veterinarian may have done to save Darby, her heart and lungs were failing her. Surely you would have done anything to prolong her life if you could have. Making the euthanasia decision for our cherished companion animals is one of the most difficult things we ever have to do, and I know this must have been terribly hard for you. Yet I'm sure your precious Darby knew how very much you loved her, and it seems reasonable to think that she would have understood that this was your final act of love for her.

I don't know if you've ever spent any time on my Grief Healing Web site, but if you go to my Comfort for Grieving Animal Lovers page,I think you will appreciate many of the writings you'll find there and I hope you'll find them helpful. See especially Rita Reynolds' beautiful piece, Euthanasia: The Merciful Release.

I hope, too, that you will give yourself permission to mourn this loss and to experience your grief for Darby as legitimate and real. Unfortunately many people tend to underestimate the pain of losing a cherished pet, but only you know what your precious girl meant to you, and only you can measure just how very much you have lost.

Sometimes it helps just to do some reading about this different kind of grief, as it helps you feel less "crazy" and alone. See, for example, my articles, Am I Crazy to Feel So Sad about This? and Loss and the Burden of Guilt.

Links to much of what I've written about pet loss are listed on the Articles ~ Columns ~ Books page of my Grief Healing Web site; see also my Pet Loss Articles page.

Finally, I want you to know that there are many pet loss resources available to you across the country, including telephone hotlines, message boards like this one, and chat rooms. You’ll find many of them listed here: Helplines, Message Boards, Chats. You will also find a great deal of empathy, comfort and support among the wonderful people in this forum, all of whom understand from their own personal experience the agony of pet loss.

No one can take your pain away at this sad and difficult time, my friend, but I can assure you that you are not alone. Please know that we are thinking of you and holding you close as you embark on this journey of grief.

Wishing you peace and healing,

Marty T

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Darby's Daddy,

I am deeply saddened by your loss. I can empathize with you as I have had many recent losses. Once of which, though it cannot compare with the depth of your loss, perhaps echo's it. When I took little Herbie to the vet with his brother and sisters I figured he would be placed on an antibiotic and he would get better. Not until the end did I realize his true suffering from multiple forms of Lymphomas combined with Feline Leukemia. I loved that kitten every day of his short life (he was brought to me at 2 weeks to raise and was put to sleep 5 days after he turned 3 months). I wanted great things for him. But alas…

Herbie spent nearly his entire life symptomatic, for only one week he was healthy. He was brought to me with an upper respiratory infection, which he recovered from and appeared healthy for one week before what I now know to be lymphoma appeared. It is terrible that he had to suffer so, and I know had the vet not put him to sleep he would have continued to suffer, even though his time on this Earth was clearly nearing an end.

I am handicapped and I suffer in pain on a daily basis, but Herbie did not suffer because of me and you should not feel that way about Darby either. She was a great dog who loved you very much. Her reason for struggling on could have very well to be there as long as you needed her. Ensuring you had the time you needed to say goodbye. Even now the spirit of Darby is in your home, it resonates all of the places you've been. Think of the special places you've been together. Times of great happiness you two have had. I know this because if she had been less wonderful you would not be so upset. Rejoice that she is no longer suffering. As you feel her pain very personally in your own body, she also understood yours.

You have found a good place here.

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Please try not to be filled with guilt. Easier said than done, but since we feel so responsible for our pets that depend us, we do.

You must have done an awful lot right for her to remain healthy and with you for so long that way. The end is always hard to watch and deal with.

You went the extra mile at the end "just in case" it would help her, but she died of old age, really: her heart was worn out.

You are transferring some of your own emotional feelings as a human onto her state of mind. I think she was grateful for your love and your presence.

I clipped a statement from an animal welfare organization that stated people sometimes feel they have more power than nature. Nature deals with life as it suits each thing.

I would be heartbroken right now as you are. Your life companion is missing. As a dog "owner" I have been through this several times. I own several dogs because I want someone there to take the place of the huge hole when one reaches its' G-d time. Your tears are a testament to her.

Cry- each drop will water the living memory of her.

So sorry- DoubleJo

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