I miss my dog!

kcwithayOctober 9, 2010

I put down my beloved Border Collie, Xena the Warrior Princess, yesterday. She was 12, and suffering from neurological seizures. It was horrible to witness her seizures, which lasted a day or two. Between seizures she had a lonely life at home all day while I work, and in the evenings I am in school. Today is worse than yesterday. I can't stop crying and feeling like I failed her. She is irreplaceable in my heart and in my home. I can't put her bowls up, because that would add to my grief. This pain is worse than I can put into words. I'm sick. I'm sad. I feel guilty, and I want to have yesterday back that included her being here. There is no other dog like her. She was my first dog, and I was blessed to have had such a smart one. She actually trained me. She was beautiful and so sweet. Unlike most Border Collies, Xena was not high-strung. She was mellow and gentle. She never had pups, but she cared for the ferret and all the cats she had to share her home with. She used to look me right in my eyes and gently bore her awesome self right into my soul. My sweet baby girl, I pray for her ease and comfort. I can sit here and type this, but can not seem to actually talk to anyone about it. It really hurts too much. I knew I loved her with all my heart, I had no idea her leaving me would affect me to this degree. If there are others who have been similarly affected from the horrible experience of purposefully taking their dog to be put down, I would be comforted to hear from you. The experience is one I would not wish on anyone. I will never forget the enormity of yesterday.

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kcwithay, I am so terribly sorry for your loss of Xena. I sit here with tears in my eyes as I read your post, your pain is palpable.

I lost my beloved dog more than 3 years ago. It is probably hard to believe at the moment, but in time you will become bigger than the pain. Still, I don't think I will go a day of my life and not think of her and miss her. She was one of those special ones. She and I went through some really tough times together; she was my friend when it felt like I didn't have a friend in the world, and she was my friend when I didn't deserve a friend in the world. It took me a few years to come to understand that I had never known unconditional love, until I met that dog. Not even from my mother when I was a young child.

Right now you are undoubtedly experiencing a lot of grief, which is normal. In time you will be able to remember the happy times and that is what you will focus on. It takes as long as it takes. There are support groups out there for people grieving the loss of a pet, so if your grief gets too big, please seek some help.

I have had a number of pets in my time. Some have passed away at home, and some have needed assistance. I can tell you that it is never easy at the end, no matter how it comes to pass. It sounds as though Xena was in a lot of distress and you made a difficult, but responsible decision so she would not suffer any longer. You may not be able to see it as kindness yet, but it truly is. She is free from her seizures, happy and running around in that great field in the sky- I truly believe that anything as perfect and wonderful as a dog must have an afterlife. Xena sounds like she was one of those beautiful souls that was a blessing from beyond.

Shortly after my pup passed away, somebody shared with me a beautiful epitaph- it may have been at this forum. I'm paraphrasing a bit, but it was something along the lines of "As He suffered no loss in giving her, we suffer no loss in her return to Him." I apologize if you are not at all religious, I am not zealous, but found that sentiment beautiful and comforting at the time and thought perhaps it might be the same for you.

(((HUGS))) My heart is with you.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2010 at 11:05PM
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We have been there with our cats and a with our baby girl kitten whose life was way too short. It is never easy and my heart goes out to you. My you find some measure of peace in the days and weeks to come.

Many (((HUGS))) to you.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2010 at 11:28PM
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Mid morning May 22nd of this year....I will never forget it. My Bull Mastiff Husky mix, who was not even suppose to be my dog, who I scrounged up $8K throughout his life to keep him out of pain..crossed over to the rainbow bridge.
I have had dogs all of my life. Before I was born my father built me a cradle, first to use the cradle was his dog Toddy, she had he pups in it. The die was cast.
There has been no dog since day one that I have had such a tremendous bond with and I have yet to recover to consider adopting another.
Here is how I see your situation from what you wrote. Your dog lived to be over 12, that right there tells me that you did all you could for your dog to make her life a good one and that she lived as long as she did says alot in and of itself. You might want to look at it like this, she is no longer suffering those terrible seizures, which can really ruin anyones life. Im not going to pull punches here, it has been almost 6 months and everytime I get in or out of the car and dont open the side door of the van to let him out, it hits me and I run through the same story over and over, did I jump the gun, if I threw a bunch of money at the vet...well maybe...well you know what, my furbaby was suffering - he had a bad heart and I could tell he was no longer getting the most out of life. In my world I have a rule - no suffering - period - at 12 the vet might have been able to make life better for him for a bit, but he hated the vet, would have had a hard time reovering at his age, I just did not want to put him through anything else. I expect you'll win run through the same thingin your mind, but I know you knew it was time and it is going to hurt for awhile. The one thing that helped me is when people came up to me to tell stories, I could remember how he was at his prime and that helped me to get over those times when I doubt myself and my desicion...Maybe you could share some of your stories with us and bottom line, dont be so hard on yourself, you know you did good for your pup throughout its time with you. That you miss your dog as much as you do tells me you had a special relationship...that is why it hurts so much. I know you have paw prints all over your heart...it is anyones guess who left them there.
Take care of yourself.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2010 at 12:07AM
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kcwithay... You did not betray your precious companion. Most of us who have had to make that decision about euthanasia experience self-doubt and guilt after the fact......it's a normal part of the grieving process. The truth is you did not cause your companion's death. Some other process was going on ( a cancer? a degenerative disease?) and she was headed to that ultimate destination regardless of what you did or did not do. You just were brave enough to spare her the suffering she would have had if you hadn't intervened. Think of it this way.......you took the pain upon yourself (in grief) to spare her from experiencing it (in the physical sense)

Doing the right thing isn't always doing the easiest thing. Just be thankful you were in the position to spare your beloved Xena further suffering. Yes, you will miss her terribly but you will come out the other side of the tunnel one day and the memories you have of her will not be bad ones, but precious ones. She'll be with you always.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2010 at 9:30AM
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My heart goes out to you. Alot of us have gone through the same loss as you, what your feeling is normal, it's going to take alot of time for you to get over your grief but in time you will, I promise. You'll never forget Xena, she will always be in your heart. Wishing you well.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2010 at 9:40AM
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The amount of pain you feel is directly proportional to the love you had for her. Would you have her suffer the way you are suffering? Of course not. And that was your last act of love. Eliminating her pain and taking it on yourself.

I'm so very very sorry. I was there with my Katie. The irreplaceable dog of a lifetime. 2 years later I can still cry for missing her, but I also realize how incredibly fortunate I was to have had her in my life for the little time she had. (She did not make it to her 7th birthday, and the inevitable was preceded by 15 months and 6 vets trying to save this incredibly special dog. She too had neurological diseases. ) Be grateful for the fact that you had her in your life for the time she had on earth. That will help you through the pain - remembering the time you had, not the time you didn't have. You will miss her forever, but it will get a little easier. Again, I am so sorry for your loss. Take care,

Here is a link that might be useful: Katie's memorial video

    Bookmark   October 10, 2010 at 10:15AM
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What a beautiful memorial to your Katie. When the words to that song sank in, the tears flowed. Perfect choice that song was, and how very true. None of us would have wanted to miss 'that dance'.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2010 at 10:35AM
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So sorry for your loss. The guilt is the hardest thing to work through when we're forced to put them down. No one does that without second guessing whether it was necessary or if we should have waited. The last dog I lost, I actually felt guilty wondering if I had waited too long, so there's really no way to go through it without guilty feelings. In time, it does get easier and you'll realize you did what you thought was best. That's all any of us can do at a time like that. I hope you feel better soon and reach a place where you can enjoy your memories of her without so much sadness.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2010 at 11:08AM
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I love the "paw prints on my heart" I really appreciate the (((((HUGS)))))) and honestly, others' stories really does help to console my broken heart, and ease the grief. Less tears today, and a few positive thoughts actually crossed my mind, such as this decision was good for her-not so good for me, but I will eventually be okay with it. The kind heart that reminded me that the timing of the decision is not perfect, too soon or too late will hurt in equal measure, made such great sense to me. thank you all - I am so thankful for this forum!

    Bookmark   October 10, 2010 at 5:18PM
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I know exactly the pain you are going through as I lost my first Shiba Inu rescue to renal failure two weeks ago. What I can offer is the tears may lessen but they will be there for a while. The decisions we must make on behalf of our pets are always hardest on us than they are for them. As for my Keiko he was found as a stray in Brooklyn and the first years of his life had to be horrible from what my rescue contact had told me but he had 8 of his best years with me and that is the part I will always remember.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2010 at 8:41PM
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I am so sorry for your loss!! Like so many others on this post, I too have recently lost a very beloved pet----my wonderful, loving cat, Taf!

He was two when we rescued him (a neighbor no longer wanted him and was going to "dump" him at our local landfill---a place some low-lifes dump their unwanted cats) and he recently died of cancer complications at 14 years of age. I can't tell you how painful that was, even though we knew it was coming since he was diagnosed with cancer two years ago and has been treated with chemo and other meds for the two years since. Even expecting it as he went down-hill the weeks before his death, I cried and cried and the whole day after his death I felt such guilt wondering if I should have done more for him at the end. I was sobbing so bad that whole day that my eyes were swollen by the end of the day. You see, some people feel guilt because they brought their pets to the vet to euthanize them, but I had such guilt because I did not do that in a timely manner! My little guy HATED going to the vet especially after spending three days at our regional animal hospital center two years ago when we tried to find out what was wrong with him and his cancer diagnosis was the result. After that, even just going to our regular vet for frequent progress check-ups caused him so much stress and unhappiness. So---not wanting to cause him any more stress than possible, I kept putting off taking him in to be euthanized even though I knew he was dying that last day. By late night, I realized just how very sick he was and it was then, when it was too late to bring him in, that I realized he was possibly in pain---hard to determine initially because of how cats do hide their pain. By the very early morning hours of the next day, he had passed away here at home. On the one hand, I was thankful he did die on his soft, comfortable bed in the home he loved but on the other hand, I feel so awful to think that he suffered at the end because I dreaded (for both him and me) bringing him to the vet a good 12 hours before he passed away, when I probably should have.

It has been 6 weeks and it is still so painful when I think of it. And I still miss him so much. The only thing that gives me peace when he first passed away and even now, is just knowing in my heart that he is in a happier place, running and playing and comfortable and happy. I do believe in my heart that our beloved animal buddies have a spirit, like we do, in our physical bodies (note how we all have that essence, that special personality that makes us all different from even our own brothers and sisters) and even though the physical body may cease, the spirit always lives on in a different place. I also believe in my heart that the God that I pray to is a loving and kind God and His love extends to every living thing----how could He not provide for the spirit to continue on of the loving and sweet companion animals we all love. I realize others might feel differently, but I know that this gives me great peace.

The other thing that gives me peace is knowing that if we had not rescued him twelve years ago, he would likely have had a horrible life. He had a loving, comfortable and happy life with us for 12 years.

Again, I extend my sympathy and hope that you can think of the good life you gave your beloved dog and find peace in that. I do believe that as time goes on, it becomes less painful even though we will never forget them!

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 12:19PM
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I am new to this board, but I wanted to say thank you all for posting your encouragement ...

Kcwithay, please accept my condolences as well. I can't add anything right now to what's been already said. They have said it well.

Calliope - what you said is just beautiful. Thank you. I needed to hear that today.

"You did not betray your precious companion. Most of us who have had to make that decision about euthanasia experience self-doubt and guilt after the fact......it's a normal part of the grieving process. The truth is you did not cause your companion's death. Some other process was going on ( a cancer? a degenerative disease?) and she was headed to that ultimate destination regardless of what you did or did not do. You just were brave enough to spare her the suffering she would have had if you hadn't intervened. Think of it this way.......you took the pain upon yourself (in grief) to spare her from experiencing it (in the physical sense) "


    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 8:03PM
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kewithay - how are you doing?
Still hurting no doubt. I just thought I would check in and let you know I was thinking of you and the pets I have had and helped to cross over and how still years later I still think of them often and still wonder about jumping the gun or not....
I have a special story I would like to share with you....will you email me? nfrlprdpr@yahoo.com PS - nfrlprdpr is long for dog slobber!! no, its true :-)

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 12:32AM
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My heart aches for you. I'm going through the same thing. I think tomorrow will be the day for my sweet baby. I've selfishly had her in the hospital for 3 days hoping against hope that her problem is something curable, but I've slowly realized that it probably isn't and while I'm waiting for all these expensive tests to come back she's suffering. (But she was just fine 5 days ago!!!!!) Please don't feel guilty - see how easy it is for me to tell someone else :) Like you, my baby was my constant companion and my shadow for 11 years. I'm so lost without her, but we have to do what's best for them. Your Xena loved you in a way only dogs can. Once they lose interest everything they once loved in life, it's our jobs to help them move on. It's hard not to place human emotions in our dog's heads and I'm trying to follow the advice of others on this one. So, please know you're not alone and your emotions are not abnormal. You can e-mail me if you'd like to talk - I also feel as if others think I'm nuts - sarah_mc21 at yahoo

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 12:14AM
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