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Please Help Me Get Through This


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Well I'm new to this site and I wanted to post a bulletin so I could get some help in the grieving process of my 13 year old Golden Retreiver Lucky Bear. Lucky Bear was the best dog anyone could have ever asked for. He guarded our family, slept with me when I lived at home, let me cry on him when times got tough, listened better than any dog in the world and was just an amazing dog in general. It all started back in 1996 when my dad and my now ex brother in law found him along the road covered in mud and burrs, starving to death. The only thing that saved him was he was left by a creek and my brother in laws sharp eye sight. Well June 8th I lost my buddy. Thursday is when the hell started. He couldn't walk very well and his appetitie was next to nothing. We called the vets and they decided to put him on a steroid, which seemed to perk him up. The next day we took him to the vets where they did blood work and said everything was okay that he may just have a stomach problem other than his existing enlarged heart; at that same time they clipped his toe nails which consisted of musseling him because he hated people playing with his paws. Maybe that was too much.They said to put him on an antiinflammatory starting Wednesday. Well Monday I recieved a phone call from my parents saying that Lucky Bear was not doing all that well and he was going back to the vets at 845am. Me and my fiance went over to my parents and I saw the most heart breaking scene. My Lucky Bear was laying on the floor. He couldn't move, he wouldn't eat or drink and his breathing was very shallow. My dad and fiance scooped him up in a blanket where Lcuky Bear started defecating on himself. I knew the end was not that far away but I still wasn't ready. We took him to the vets where they gave us 3 options: euthanize him, take him to a specialist in Pittsburgh where it would cost $2000-3000 or have them do whatever they could. We opted for them to do whatever they could. We came to find out he was running a temperture of 107 and that he could possibly have an infection or a tumor. Well we said our good byes and left and followed the instructions to call the vets around noon to check up on him. Noontime came around and we called and they said his temperature dropped and that he was resting comfortably and that we were to call back in 2 hours. Well 40 minutes rolled around and the phone rang, I looked at the caller ID and saw that doomed number where I knew the end was here. Sure enough they called to tell us that Lucky Bear had passed on. The news was unbearable; my dad went up and got his body to bury him next to a dog we lost before we got him. Seeing his motionless body was enough to send me into a screaming crying rage. I was just hoping he would wake up and be okay but I knew that was not going to happen. It has been 24 hours and I'm sitting here wondering what happened. How he could go from doing okay at noon to being dead 40 minutes later. I called the vets to reaasure my mind that it wasn't their fault, and indeed she said he passed on peacefully in his sleep which in my heart I believe but my mind doesn't want too. More feelings of guilt left me thinking if me moving out in November caused him to feel heart broken since he slept with me and was left to sleep with no one else or maybe was it from my mom getting 2 new puppies; could he possibly have felt betrayed? Did taking him to the vets Saturday put his heart to the test when they cut his toe nails? Then the worst feeling in the world is we left him at the vets for them to treat him, did he feel like we left him there to die? I know what I'm feeling is normal but these thoughts are killing me. I went to bed that night crying cause I was in my nice comfy bed while he is in the cold ground. I have a picture of him on my TV and everytime I look at it I cry. I just need someone to help me get through this. I have a 14 year old dog as well and I was sure she would have been first to go. Please help me...please.

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Dear Shortbabydea,

Oh, Sweetie, I know exactly what you are going through. I lost my boy cat Dinty on May 3, 2009. I made the decision to have him put to sleep. He was diagnosed with chronic renal failure in June 2008. I did everything I could for him with medication, TLC, etc, but I still feel I could have done more and that I let him down. It has now been 5 weeks and 3 days and I still cry every day. (I'm getting teary-eyed as I write this) It helped me at the beginning and even now to read these posts to know that I am not crazy in how I feel. It just seems so unfair that such loving creatures, who mean the world to us are taken from us all too soon.

Lucky Bear was lucky to have you!



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  • 4 weeks later...

Dearest Sweet Baby dea,

I completely understand the grief you are going through and I'm so sorry about Lucky Bear. I am going through almost exactly the same thing right now. I lost my 12 1/2 year old beautiful, perfect Golden, Daisy Belle, last Thursday. The circumstances were so similar to yours it was eerie and that is what prompted me to write. I had been searching everywhere for comfort as I've been crying uncontrollably. It's the most horrid, empty feeling and I know how unbearable the pain is. Honestly, there are times when I wonder how I'll survive this.

Daisy Belle also stopped eating and we thought it was just a gastrointestinal upset. She got sick Sunday night 3 weeks ago, we took her to the vet's Monday as she wouldn't eat even home made chicken and rice and was lethargic. They did blood work and said everything was fine and sent us home with an antibiotic and did 1 liter of saline, sub q to help with her fever.

Still, no appetite. Thursday came and we took her back again. Still running a fever. Again, a few more tests including an adrenal test, thinking she may have had Addison's but it came back the opposite. Too much cortisol which they said could be from a pheochromocytoma she had had on her right adrenal gland but then again that didn't explain all the symptoms. I mentioned to the vet that she appeared to have labored breathing but they said they couldn't hear anything. They did x-rays and they were clear. They said she may be panting more because of the fever. Another liter of saline and we took her home. She seemed to perk up some.

Saturday she ate a little bit of rice with some wet food and I was so incredibly happy. I thought that she was getting better. She was moving around really well, even playing toys. I had to go to work and leave for just one night the next Sunday but she was eating special treats I had bought at the vets. I was happy she was eating something. She was drinking a lot during the whole time and the vet said it was because of the fever.

Monday night she stopped eating for good and not even peanut butter or turkey helped. In fact it seemed the thought of food sickened her. The vet told us there was nothing else they could do as she had antibiotics and everything was coming back normal. Tusday she slept a lot, no breathing problems. Wednesday morning we took her to a specialty center as she still wasn't eating and it was so hard to get her in the car. She could barely move. They had to wheel her in on a stretcher. Even then, I was optimistic as the vets there said they would do IV antibiotics as they thought this was just a bad bug. Her pulse ox though was 81 and their x-rays showed fluid in her chest. Her cortisol levels were high but they told me that could be from stress of the illness. They gave her oxygen too and late that night her pulse ox came up to 91 and her fever dropped a little. We were so, so excited. We thought in another couple of days we'd take her home. She had been doing so well until this happened. Thursday morning we were on our way to visit and they said she took a turn for the worse, her fever was up to 105.9 and they think she developed a clot in her lungs. When we saw her she was barely conscious and heaving to breathe. It was the hardest thing to watch. And I had to make the hardest decision in my life. She was already dying. The vet said we could take her to Penn and have her put on a ventilator but that wouldn't change anything. I could never do that to her but I didn't want to lose her. We had to put her down last Thursday at 1.45pm ET. A part of me went with her. We took her home with us. I didn't want her in a refrigerator, away from me. I stayed downstairs with her until Friday morning we had to take her little shell to a crematorium. We got to see her one last time and they opened up the box. She looked so incredibly peaceful. I kissed her again and again. She was so incredibly soft. I had her remains cremated so I'd be with her until my time, which I truly believe is coming. I'm not sure if I can survive this pain. I prayed so hard that she would allow me to come with her.

I always knew I'd never be able to function without her. We loved her so much it was scary. I have horrible guilt feelings over a few mistakes I made in the early years. I had always asked her to please forgive me. I feel guilty I took her for granted so much. I was so incredibly blessed to have her for the time I did. I feel guilty over the vets. Should I have taken her to the specialty place sooner? The vets can't give me answers as to what happened.

Think of how fateful it was that you found Lucky Bear. He was meant to be with you and your family. Where would he have been without you? Lucky Bear was truly blessed to have you and you were blessed to have had him for so many years. He knew how much you loved him. He still knows. I truly believe they are in heaven now. My father, who was in the medical field, would always say that every living thing is comprised of energy and since energy can not be created, nor destroyed, where does it go when you die?

Sweet Baby, I don't think that the nail clipping and muzzle did this. Don't blame yourself. How many nail clippings had he had in his lifetime? A 107 fever is very high. His normal temp was around 102. There was something more going on. At 14 his physical body just couldn't fight like it used to. You did everything you possibly could and I am convinced your angel felt your love as he returned to heaven. He isn't in pain anymore.

I have moments where I'm somewhat ok and then moments where I cry and shake uncontrollably. My father is also very sick. I have to return to my job at the airline tomorrow and I'm worried about how I'm going to manage. I had gone through the death of my beloved grandmother almost 8 years ago but looking back on it Daisy Belle was my strength. I had to go on for her. She needed me and I needed her. Then we lost our cat last Christmas to kidney failure. Again, Daisy Belle was my rock. I concentrated everything on her. Now she's gone. I still expect her to be here. Everything I do or see reminds me of her somehow. We did everything together. My whole life rotated around her. I've not been able to eat for a week. I tried last evening but it didn't take. I don't even want to drink. I think maybe eventually I'll shrivel up and then I won't hurt anymore. I know deep down this isn't right but the pain and emptiness is THAT bad. I miss so much cuddling with her, kissing her, her smell, her warmth.

Today at 1.45, a week later after she returned to heaven, I knelt down next to her and said a prayer and told her how much I loved her and missed her here with me. How much everyone loved her. I asked our Lord to take care of her. I will keep Lucky Bear and you in my prayers.

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