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One of my dogs died last night and I can't get my head round it [sad]

(24 Posts)
musicposy Thu 23-Mar-17 07:01:08

I'm just getting this off my chest, really. We have (had, I can't stop talking in present tense) 4 dogs.
One is very old, nearly 15 and has cancer. We know he's nearing the end. It's been tough but I've been mentally preparing for a couple of months that we would be down to 3 dogs.
Our other 3 are a JRT cross and two rescue shelties. We've had the rescues 3 years, they're ex breeding dogs.

When they came to us Leah, one of he rescues, was really nervous. For four months she hid under the table. Gradually she came round. She learnt to walk on a lead and eventually off lead, we mainly got her house trained (she still had the occasional accident), she became an utterly loving wonderful and devoted dog. I adored her with every fibre of my being, maybe a bit extra because of her rocky start and how rewarding she was after the hard work. We don't know her age but she was probably only about 7, though the vet thought possibly a couple of years older.

The night before last she suddenly started fitting just out of the blue. She'd been completely normal all day, had a lovely walk she'd enjoyed, eaten normally. We rushed her to the vet and they had her in for 24 hours trying to stabilise her but every time they reduced the sedative she started having fits again. Finally she had an episode last night where they thought she'd had a huge bleed to the brain or similar and the vet phoned for permission to let her go. He advised not seeing her but remembering her as she was.

It's such a shock. We're down from 4 dogs to 3 and I know probably within the month we'll be down to 2 as we were just talking about end of life options for our nearly 15 year old dog. She wasn't meant to die yet, she was still young, I am bereft without her. I had her for 3 wonderful but much too short years.

I know there was nothing we could have done but I keep racking my brains thinking could we have prevented it. I hate thinking we left her at the vets and she never saw us again, though I know we couldn't have just left her to die a horrible death at home the way she was. And I just keep on crying. I loved her so much sad. Because our oldest dog is nearly 15 I've never had to go through this before. Her companion rescue dog is bereft and clingy as they came as a pair. I can't explain to her that Leah is never coming back. I'm utterly heartbroken sad.

Partyfops Thu 23-Mar-17 07:07:06

Bless you. Losing a very much loved pet is utterly heart breaking.

However, she was well until only a day or 2 ago. She hasn't had months of backwards and forwards to the vets and tests etc. She was a rescue so obviously her quality of life with you was a blessing for her.

She was very loved and went quickly, a type of ending we would wish for anyone we love.

Be kind to yourself.

Bubble2bubble Thu 23-Mar-17 07:12:03

So sorry, what a shock for you sad

Wellitwouldbenice Thu 23-Mar-17 07:13:01

So very sorry flowers

Squeezed Thu 23-Mar-17 07:14:49

I'm so sorry for your loss. Take your time and look after yourself. Spend time with your other dogs, it really does help.
The awful inevitably of the pain of losing a pet is the price we pay for how much we love them. It hurts so much but it does get easier and you can remember the good times with less sadness.
Take care.

redfairy Thu 23-Mar-17 07:29:15

So sorry for you OP. Sat here cuddling my bad tempered, ill trained, total waste of a space mini dach but I would be devastated if anything happened to her. Please give Leah's companion dog lots of hugs and love, and I hope it gets easier for you. flowers

KoalaDownUnder Thu 23-Mar-17 07:31:29

Oh, you poor thing. How heartbreaking. sadflowers

I know the loss is absolutely awful, but just try to remember what a wonderful life you gave her.

Big hugs.

purplecoathanger Thu 23-Mar-17 07:31:30

So very sorry for your loss. I know how you're feeling but it does get better. flowers

PhoenixJasmine Thu 23-Mar-17 07:31:32

Absolutely be kind to yourself. I'm so sorry for your loss, what a horrible shock.

For 'us' (animal people) this is a real bereavement, our dogs are family members for us. We need to respect the loss for what it is. Unfortunately not everyone in our lives will understand and respect that, and can either be directly dismissive of our grief or make well-meant but misplaced comments that don't help at all. So we do need to be kind to ourselves and recognise what this means to us, take whatever time we need to process what's happened, ask for support from people who do understand what we're going through.

Blue cross operate a pet bereavement support service if you think you might find it helpful for you. There is info on their website and they have phone and email support as well.

Do you have any plans for her burial or cremation at all?

timeforabrewnow Thu 23-Mar-17 07:46:56

sad

sorry for your loss - Leah sounds like she was a lovely dog

Cocobananas Thu 23-Mar-17 08:12:08

We lost our elderly blind and deaf dog last June, had him cremated and put ashes in a cupboard and got on with life. We often talk about him but only this week DH suddenly wanted to bury his ashes under Homers favourite apple tree and made a plaque that reads Homer 2002 to 2016 Never Forgotten. We cried and cried. I don't whether we suppressed our grief or whether it was the right time for us but I do know I feel better having a permanent marker of his life and a spot to smile at as I throw a ball for Cocopup. So sorry for your loss.

BiteyShark Thu 23-Mar-17 08:14:22

I am so sorry and totally get why you would be heartbroken to lose a loved member of the family because that is what our pets are to us flowers

musicposy Thu 23-Mar-17 12:18:02

Thank you so much for all your kind words. I thought I was doing ok until I needed to phone the vet about what to do with the body. I just sobbed and sobbed over the phone and couldn't think straight. They were lovely and said take more time.
DD2 (she's 17) is keen to bring her home somehow. We were talking about private cremation, which is pricey but our vet bill is £600 already so hey ho. However, we are veering towards burying her in the garden. DH will need to be on board with digging a very large deep hole (though she was only a small dog). We're in our forever home, so to speak, so it might be the way to go. I always thought beforehand we wouldn't bury them but I feel as though I want to now.

People who say they're family members, they are. Not everyone understands that and people can be flippant without meaning to cause upset. But I feel as though a family member is missing.

elastamum Thu 23-Mar-17 12:26:52

I am so sorry this happened to you. It is heartbreaking

Just before Christmas my beloved DDog 1 went from going out for a morning walk to being unable to stand in lass than a day and I had to have her PTS in our living room as she was too big to carry. I lost her sister to cancer the year before and I still haven't come to terms with that

It is a terrible shock and I have only just started to think about where to scatter their ashes. This spring I am going to plant a Holly tree (as that was her name) and also a Willow (for my other dog I lost the year before).

Thinking of you flowers

whatnametopick Thu 23-Mar-17 13:16:25

Having lost a dog i know how you are feeling, but it takes time. Please remember you gave her a happy life at the end and I'm sure she would prefer to have had that than a long and miserable life flowers

musicposy Thu 23-Mar-17 14:25:51

So sorry for all the other people on here who have had losses flowers, it's so tough. elastamum I think, like you had, it's such a shock. She was so normal and well even an hour before she started fitting. She'd had a lovely walk and been her happy normal self. I guess it takes time to process. There's a rose called Leah and we might get that and plant it in the garden in her memory.

PhoenixJasmine I've looked on that website and I may give them a call, thank you.

The people saying we gave her a good life, you're right and we have to hang on to that. Her life had obviously not been good before she came to us - she was undernourished, in a poor condition and terrified of everything. We watched her turn into a normal happy dog. She came on holiday with us, had lots of lovely walks, was well treated and hugely loved and had a really happy 3 years with us. I just wish it could have been more. I honestly thought I had years with her yet. sad

Thank you for all your lovely wishes. Every single one of you on this thread has helped so much.

musicposy Fri 24-Mar-17 16:25:36

I know I'm only a couple of days on but I'm still crying almost constantly. Everything reminds me of her.

Today I had to get DD's work shoes out. DD has a little job at a fast food place and her the bottom of her shoes are always covered in disgusting grease. We would always catch Leah licking them no matter how much we tried to keep them out of her way. I got the shoes out today and thought nobody is going to lick them now. I'm thought I'm going to forget the little things she did that made her so unique.

Please tell me it gets better than this. I feel guilty feeling so bad over a dog but I feel as though my world has fallen apart around me.

PhoenixJasmine Fri 24-Mar-17 17:33:27

I'm not going to claim it gets better - because obviously you're quite right, Leah isn't going to come back to lick those shoes. But I am going to say it will get easier. In time you will see those shoes and the memories will come and you will think fondly of her, and the love and companionship you shared will be the dominant feeling. Right now the pain and grief is crowding it out - you're still in shock, it was so sudden, you have not had time to accept and come to terms with losing her yet. It's completely normal to feel this way, please don't feel any guilt over having this reaction about losing a dog. As you said she was as much a member of your family as anyone else, and you are grieving for her as such. It's ok, and completely normal to do that.

How are the rest of your family doing?

KoalaDownUnder Sat 25-Mar-17 00:55:11

Oh gosh, you poor love. Don't feel guilty for being sad! sad It just means that you loved her very much. That's a lovely, lovely thing.

I don't really know what else to say, only that I completely sympathise. I can't imagine what will happen to me when my dog goes. Dogs are like...the best parts of humans, with all the bad bits taken out, distilled into a furry creature.

flowerscake Hang in there.

Truckingalong Sat 25-Mar-17 01:13:16

I sobbed great big gulping tears for 3 weeks straight when R went. I just couldn't get myself together. Several years on and I still don't linger too long in the place in the garden where he's buried. It's just awful and I know just how you feel.

MsMims Sat 25-Mar-17 01:40:53

I'm so sorry, what a shock for you flowers

Don't feel guilty - she wasn't just a dog. She was a member of your family and the grief you feel now is testament to the love you shared with her.

You've given her a wonderful life. Lots of people won't bother with rescues but your dedication turned her life around.

Regarding the practicalities, you must just do whatever feels right for you and your family. We have always had our dogs and cats cremated (individual rather than group cremations). Since realising it was even an option, we now take them to the crematorium ourselves and collect the ashes the next day. It's beyond awful to lose them but once they have passed, we've taken some comfort by having them 'home' as soon as possible.

Take good care of yourself. I wouldn't say it gets easier in time, but instead you can remember the good, happy memories alongside the sadness of losing them.

Vegansnake Sat 25-Mar-17 19:53:34

I'm so so sorry for your loss...my thoughts are with you xxxxxxx

Corneliussnitch Sat 25-Mar-17 22:30:00

Sorry to hear about Leah, my dog died very suddenly at the age of 6. She was fine in the morning and dead by lunchtime with a ruptured aorta. It's a real shock hen it happens out of the blue

Sugarpiehoneyeye Wed 29-Mar-17 14:57:28

I'm so very sorry for your loss, you poor darling.😢
Leah was a very lucky girl, along with her friend, to find such a good home with you, and to be part of a loving family.
She's at peace now, but you will cry, and you will miss her, it's just how it is. In time, it will become easier, and you'll smile as you remember her little ways, you really will.
I love the idea of the 'Leah' rose bush
Be kind to yourself Posy, she wouldn't want you to be sad.🌺
RIP little Leah, run free 🎾

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