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Guilt And Loss


Guest Layla_mom
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Guest Layla_mom

At 1pm today I took my girl to the Mass Referral Hospital for an ultrasound. I ended up leaving without her. She is now gone.

 

I live alone and have been in shock and guilt and grief all day.

 

I keep asking myself if I made the right decision. It all happened so fast. But then again, it didn't. She had been sick for weeks. I had hoped for the best all these days. But it didn’t turn out that way.

 

For the past two weeks, she had been excreting large amounts of blood in her urine. And she was obsessive about trying to urinate more and more, even when none would come. She strained so much.

 

The vets prescribed all sorts of things to treat normal bladder infections. We did XRays to look for stones. We did CBC and multiple Urinalysis. She was on amoxi and rimadyl. For two weeks her symptoms would fluctuate. Occassionally she seemed on the mend: eating more and more energy. But for the most part, she seemed to be getting worse. Not eating. Lots of weight loss. Not drinking. Fevers coming and going (upwards of 104.6 degrees). Panting all of the time. Extreme lethargy. Drooling. Unresponsiveness. Etc.

 

And while that all seems terrible, there were times during the past two weeks where she also seemed happy. Sometimes she was very response to petting. Sometimes she just wanted to be close. Sometimes she ate up almost all her food without baiting. Sometimes she drank water on her own. Sometimes she slept for hours without panting and moving around. Sometimes she didn’t drip blood after she came in from peeing.

 

All of those things, I look back on, and say “that quality of life wasn’t terrible, was it?”

 

And then I think: “What if they were wrong today? What if she just got better on her own?”

 

But then I remember: wasn’t she getting worse?

 

Weren’t the last two days the worst? Didn’t she hardly eat? And then vomit when she did Didn’t she develop diarrhea for the first time? And yesterday, hadn’t there been globs of clear gelatinous mucus in little pools around the house, from when she was straining so hard to pass something? (this is the mucus from the intestines)

 

I find myself thinking selfishly: but wasn’t there some more days remaining before she got worse? Had we really hit the wall? Should we even aim to hit the wall? Is it more humane to do this today? How much was she suffering?

 

Today more than any other day, she had “that” look. It was a confused look. Like she didn’t know if she should lay down or stand up. She blinked around the rooms. She had the same look outside. Like she knew that squatting would bring nothing but pain, but she felt the pressure to squat. So she just stood there, confused, panting, immobile.

 

Last night she wouldn’t sleep in bed. She wanted to be on the floor alone. She was barely responsive to touch. But hadn’t she been like that before?

 

How many times in the last week had she been practically comatose, breathing sharply with her mouth half open, eyes locked ahead, and I thought “this is the end” but then I’d shift positions or walk to the kitchen and she’d perk up, lifting her neck to see where I was going, her eyes focused, her head strong and steady.

 

And I’d say, see, it was just my imagination. She’s not getting worse. She’s fine.

 

But then she’d inevitably lay her head back down, and slip away again into this semi-consciousness. Was that the pain? When she was like that, I would touch her and she would instantly flinch. Her whole body would flinch and her eyes would shut tight. But as I continued petting her, she would relax under my hand. Was that the pain too?

 

After the latest round of "inconclusive" tests, my regular vet recommened yesterday that i get an ultrasound at a referral facilty. i made the appointment for 1pm today. it was a beautiful hospital. everything looked so top notch. i was slightly hopeful, suspecting that after weeks of stressul "inconclusive" results from my regular doctor, i would finally be getting some real answers here. Then they did the ultrasound.

 

Hemangiosarcoma the vet said to me today. Not at first. First she said “well we found a few things going on.” Then she talked about the liver. How it was damaged. How the right side was malformed and deteriorative. How this explained the recent jaundice. Then she talked about her spleen. It was grossly englarged. Something that normally could be indicative of many things she mentioned. But then she talked about the last thing, the tumor. I started to cry. She said “I know. I know.” She did know, all along, where this was going. I did not. The tumor was at her lower back, right above her bladder. It was very large. It was inoperable. It was not treatable with meds.

 

Everything next happened fast. Do I take her home? What risks are involved? What are my options here? She explained that she could little to bring her appetite back, but she could prescribe something to ease the pain. She said liquid had already started filling her stomach (was it the stomach? I can’t remember) and she said that if it got worse, Layla would go into shock at home. Could I risk that? What were my options?

 

I wanted to bring her home and hug her all day and tell her how much I loved her over and over. And massage her and try to ease her pain. But I was horrified, knowing that at home, she would not eat, and when she did, she was in terrible pain trying to pass anything from her. She was restless. Uncomfortable. Confused.

 

I’m sure I heard the vet at some point say how taking her home would just be “delaying the inevitable” – isn’t that what they always say?

 

She gave me some time, and after about a half an hour of sobbing, I made the decision to let her go today. It was in a very comfortable room. I held her the whole time. I talked to her the whole time. And then it was over. I kissed her goodbye and left.

 

I’ve been sitting here alone in a state of shock and guilt. Did I make the right decision? Should I have brought her home for a few more days? What if it could’ve been spread out into a few more weeks? Should I have gotten a second opinion?

 

I just feel like I betrayed her. Like I made the decision in a moment of shock and now I can’t get over it. They’re so much like babies, completely dependent on you for everything. She trusted me to take care of her and I wonder if I let her down.

 

But then I wonder if this is just more selfishness I’m feeling. I am so alone without her. I can’t stand to move about the house and not hear her putting around. They are so large. Their presence is so huge. I thought of her as my other half, as if this house was equally hers and mine. And now it’s empty. And I feel like I did this to her.

 

Oh god, I know this is too long. I’m sorry. I keep turning away the phone calls from my friends because I can’t stand talking. But I want to talk! So I’m writing through it now.

 

I hope I made the right decision. I hope she’s in a better place. I hope she’s happy and perfect somewhere.

 

I love her so much.

 

Thanks for listening.

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I will tell you what the vet told me when I let my Zema go 2 weeks ago: "You made the right decision."

 

You did make the right decision. There are times when a second opinion is helpful and times when, sadly, it is of no use.

 

My heart aches for you.

 

Godspeed, beloved girl.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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My heart aches for you. :brokenheart Your decision was absolutely right for Layla... and made from love and knowing her so very well. You did everything possible to save her and give her quality of life. The hardest decision is when to let them go. Sending loads of hugs your way, to find peace. :grouphug Godspeed, sweet Layla... :gh_run

Jeanne with Remington & Scooter the cat
....and Beloved Bridge Angels Sandee, Shari, Wells, Derby, Phoenix, Jerry Lee and Finnian.....
If tears could build a stairway, and memories a lane, I'd walk right up to heaven
and bring you home again.

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She was loved by you. And she knew it. I've been where you are, many times, second guessing every decision. But it sounds like you did everything possible for her and you did what you felt was best. That's all we can do. You gave her the wonderful gift of love. You did what you felt you had to do.......what you did was right for her. That is the greatest love we can show.

 

We should all be so blessed that we can leave this life without fear or pain, cradled in the arms of people who love us. You did good, dear friend.

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I am so very sorry for your loss. You made the most loving decision for her, she is pain free now and @ peace and running w/all the other grey angels. You will be in my prayers :grouphug. I have been in Ma Vet Referral Hospital with my Sara, the staff are great there, it's good that you were w/her there and it was peaceful.

Edited by 3greys2cats

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Roberta & Michael with Furkids- Flower (Shasta Flowers 6/7/06) & Rascal the kitty - Missing our sweet angels - Max(M's Mad Max) 10/12/02 - 12/3/15, Sara (Sara Raves 6/30/01 - 4/13/12) Queenie & Pandora the kitties - gone but never forgotten

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I wonder how many of us are reading this and are thinking, this is me, this is what I felt, what I feel, what I still feel.

 

If only there was no guilt, but then I believe it would hurt just as much.

 

You obviously love your girl, she loves you, and what you did for her was a very selfless act out of love. I am so sorry.

 

God speed to you baby girl, knowing how much you are truly loved. Watch over your mom who is left behind with a broken heart.

Help her to heal, as only you can

Claudia-noo-siggie.jpg

Missing my little Misty who took a huge piece of my heart with her on 5/2/09, and Ekko, on 6/28/12

 

 

:candle For the sick, the lost, and the homeless

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Guest Layla_mom

thank you so much for your responses. it does make me feel soooo much better.

 

it allows me to tell myself that it's ok to cry for the loss and sadness of missing her, but i shouldn't slip into this self-loathing, guilty sobbing anymore. i need to keep reminding myself that this was the best for my girl. and she's at peace now.

 

thanks so much for your kind words.

 

this helped more than anything else.

Edited by Layla_mom
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My vet once told me, better a day too early than a day too late.

You were her best friend and your dog knew how much you loved her. Take comfort in knowing that your sweet girl is at peace, pain free and running once again with the wind. We all share your sorrow.

Say not in grief, "he is no more," but live in thankfulness that he was. ~ Hebrew proverb

Irene Ullmann w/Flying Odin in Lower Delaware
Angels Brandy, John E, American Idol, Paul, Fuzzy and Shine
Handcrafted Greyhound and Custom Clocks http://www.houndtime.com
Zoom Doggies-Racing Coats for Racing Greyhounds

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Guest Samantha

I'm very sorry for your loss, it moved me to tears just reading it. I know your girl knew how much her Mom loved her, and you made the right decision.

 

The Light Of My Life

 

 

You have to stay this time Mummy,

I now have to be free,

Don't be so sad Mummy,

For now I'm at peace,

Let go of your pain,

Let it take part of you,

Because from out of these ashes,

A new life will bloom,

Don't look for me in places I have been,

I am in your heart Mummy,

and inside your soul,

..and everything that reminds you of me

See, I'm not really gone,

Don't be lost in the dark,

Or scared when you're alone,

My spirit is near you, and my light will shine on.

 

Run Free sweet girl

 

:f_pink

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Guest PhillyPups

Wow just wow. You described me and what I am feeling and have been feeling for the past 15 days since I let my baby boy, Zeus go, he also had hemangio, and it was so fast. The feeling of being totally blind-sided. The anger at me for not being able to keep cancer our of my dogs, the anger at the disease that robs us of so many way too soon, the inability fo fix the unfixable. The questioning, the pain, the emptiness.

 

:bighug to you I so understand and know that we both made the hardest choice and it was a decision made unselfishly with love. But damn it hurts so much.

 

:bighug

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:cry1 :cry1 :cry1 Oh, how utterly heartbreaking, I am so, so, so sorry :(

 

I think that you absolutely made the right decision. I haven't had to make that decision yet, so I can't even begin to understand how much hurt and pain you must be experiencing right now. But don't second-guess yourself, you did the kindest thing you could do for her - freed her from her pain.

 

You're in my thoughts. :grouphug :grouphug :grouphug

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Kerry with Pippin (Paid Vacation), adopted 4/15/2017
Missing the best wizard in the world, Merlin (PA's Paris), the biggest Love I've ever known, and my sweet 80lb limpet, Sagan (Leon B) :brokenheart :brokenheart, every single day.

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You were faced with the hardest and saddest decision. Just like others that have posted, I understand...I had the horrible guilt, terrible crying jags, and second guessing myself. Please know we are here for you. I'm so sorry for your loss. Godspeed to your sweet baby. f_yellow

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Beverly. Missing my happy toy-flinging boy Sammy (Where's Mandrill), (8/12/2009-9/30-2021) Desperately missing my angel Mandy (BB's Luv) [7/1/2000 - 9/18/2012]. Always missing Meg the Dalmatian and Ralph Malph the Pekeapoo.

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Been there more than once.

 

You did the right thing letting her go -- Please don't beat yourself up. Some owners put their dogs thru needless pain to make themselves feel better and you let her go softly and with dignity.

 

Big :grouphug from here.

Edited by Hubcitypam
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:cry1 I am so very sorry. What a heartbreaking day for you. :grouphug

 

In my very humble opinion, I would say you absolutely did the right thing - the most humane act of love for your girl.

 

I lost my Indy in 2/10. He had nasal cancer, so it was progressive in nature and I had time to prepare and say goodbye. But whether due to a sudden loss or a long-term illness, it is NEVER easy to lose someone you love.

 

But the prevailing thought in my mind when I let Indy go was - I love him SO much that I do not want him to suffer another day because of my selfishness or reluctance to let go.

 

I cannot tell you how many tears I have cried since I lost Indy. But, truthfully, I have no guilt. He had a wonderful life, fabulous care, and someone who loved him unconditionally (me! I, too, live alone).

 

The hardest part, as others have echoed, is that I miss Indy so very much. The void is real.

 

In the days to come, I wish you inner peace and calm. Love is eternal. She will be waiting for you. :heart

Edited by IndyandHollyluv
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Guest IHeartDogs

I am so sorry. I am in tears after reading your post. :grouphug

You definitely did the right thing for her. Run free sweet girl...

*sending thoughts of comfort and peace*

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Guest BooBooMama

I couldn't stop crying when I read all of your doubts. I asked the same things of myself over and over last week.

BooBoo jumped up to 'go for a ride in the car' when I took her in to put her to sleep that early morning. But moments before she was in agony and I knew the pain meds were not working anymore. It was time.

We each did the right thing- it was not what we wanted but it was our duty as the ones who loved them.

 

I share your grief.

Much love,

Gigi

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I am so very sorry. My heart is breaking with yours. As many have said, you gave her the greatest gift of all by taking her pain and making it yours. I, too, have faced the same decision. It can be so hard to put Layla's feelings ahead of your. Rest in peace, sweetie, and send your mom a sign.

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Cindy with Miss Fancypants, Paris Bueller, Zeke, and Angus 
Dante (Dg's Boyd), Zoe (In a While), Brady (Devilish Effect), Goose (BG Shotgun), Maverick (BG ShoMe), Maggie (All Trades Jax), Sherman (LNB Herman Bad) and Indy (BYB whippet) forever in my heart
The flame that burns the brightest, burns the fastest and leaves the biggest shadow

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Guest FadeToGrey

I am so very sorry and my heart hurts for you. You did for her what no one else could. You freed her from her pain...with love.

Run free, little Angel Layla, with the soft wind beneath you and the sunshine touching your face.

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Guest BellesDad

You so did the right thing. Hemangio moves so fast. Layla knows you did this out of love and that it was time to go. So so sorry, it is so hard:(

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You made the right decision. It was time.

 

I'm so very sorry. :cry1

 

Godspeed Layla.

Standard Poodle Daisy (12/13); Greys Hildy (Braska Hildy 7/10), Toodles (BL Toodles 7/09), Opal (Jax Opal 7/08)
Missing Cora (RL Nevada 5/99-10/09), Piper (Cee Bar Easy 2/99-1/10), Tally (Thunder La La 9/99-3/10), Edie (Daring Reva 9/99-10/12), Dixie (Kiowa Secret Sue 11/01-1/13), Jessie (P's Real Time 11/98-3/13), token boy Graham (Zydeco Dancer 9/00-5/13), Cal (Back Already 12/99-11/13), Betsy (Back Kick Beth 11/98-12/13), Standard Poodles Minnie (1/99-1/14) + Perry (9/98-2/14), Annie (Do Marcia 9/03-10/14), Pink (Miss Pinky Baker 1/02-6/15), Poppy (Cmon Err Not 8/05-1/16), Kat (Jax Candy 5/05-5/17), Ivy (Jax Isis 10/07-7/21)

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