I really, really need a handhold please

(71 Posts)
spiderlight Thu 10-Jan-19 12:06:31

Our beautiful old boy is in end-stage kidney failure. He's nearly 16 and his kidneys haven't been great for a while, but he's completely lost his appetite over the past couple of weeks, lost a load of weight and is now very sleepy and lethargic. The vet has given him an anti-nausea jab this morning to try and get him eating, because he's burning his own body tissue and that's putting even more strain on his kidneys, but if that doesn't work (and she didn't seem hugely optimistic) we will have to let him go tomorrow.

I'm absolutely devastated - we lost my lovely dad just before Christmas so the timing of this is just awful. Archie has been my soul dog since the day he came home as a terrified rescue 15 years ago. He's with me all day - I work from home on my own because of long-term health issues and he's been the only thing getting me out of the house and keeping me company all day. He's just been the most wonderful character - the gentlest soul I've ever met, and absolutely wonderful with our DS and his friends. We've never been apart, he's come on every holiday with us, slept beside us every night, and got me through the loss of my mum, our other beloved dog and now my dad. I can't imagine life without him. I can't not have a dog, but I can't imagine being with another dog that's not Archie. This time last week I was getting ready for my dad's funeral, and now I'm facing saying goodbye to my beautiful boy tomorrow and it's breaking my heart.

OP’s posts: |
Oreosforbreakfast Thu 10-Jan-19 13:27:37

Oh, I'm so sorry, OP. Your post made me very tearful.

Of course you're struggling. You've been through so much.

I lost my first family dog when I was 20 and I was absolutely devastated. I remember my bf at the time saying "ah, sorry babe" like I'd lost my phone or something! angry It's a family loss, end of and you need to grieve.

Do you have support?

Sending you lots of strength flowers

userxx Thu 10-Jan-19 13:37:41

He sounds like he's been an absolutely amazing dog and you've cleared loved and nurtured him to get to almost 16.

Its so heartbreaking but its the one thing we have to do to repay their love and loyalty. xx

spiderlight Thu 10-Jan-19 14:45:30

Oreos yes, my DH and I are holding each other up and I have some amazing friends, dog people who get it and have known and loved him for years. Our 11-year-old will be heartbroken though. He still cries every night for my dad and this will be just awful for him sad

Archie truly is the bestest boy that ever there was. He had a rotten start in life, dumped, terrified and living out of bins for weeks at our huge local playing fields, but he started following us on our walks with our other dog and we took food and sat for ten nights throwing bits gradually closer until he was brave enough to come and lie next to me and have a collar slipped on him. I woke up the next morning and he was cwtched up against me with his front paws tightly around my arm, and he has just been the perfect dog ever since. He's never been fussed on other people but he's so loyal and devoted to us. I know we're doing right by him and that it's the last gift we can give him but it's bloody hard.

OP’s posts: |
Oddsocksandmeatballs Thu 10-Jan-19 14:47:37

I am so sorry @spiderlight, I completely get your pain at the situation. Sending you all the strength in the world to get through this flowers

LEMtheoriginal Thu 10-Jan-19 14:52:23

That face!! You must be heart broken.

Somehow you will find the strength to get through this and be there for Archie. It sounds like you're soul mates.


BiteyShark Thu 10-Jan-19 14:55:33

I'm so sorry flowers. Lots of cuddles tonight sad


Wolfiefan Thu 10-Jan-19 14:57:38

Oh that face. So handsome. He’s so lucky to have you. You’re prepared to suffer so he doesn’t. The last, and hardest, gift you can give. He’s what wolfhound people call your “heart hound.” Sending you a gentle cwtch and thinking of you.

Nesssie Thu 10-Jan-19 14:58:21

Ah hes so handsome!
It sounds like he has done a perfect job of being (wo)mans best friend! Getting you out of the house, fresh air, keeping you company, cuddles in bed. He's been by your side through some devastating losses.
Hes obviously been your rock and kept you going, but now unfortunately it is his time to sleep and he needs you to be strong and help him with that.

By the looks of him, does he have some lurcher in him? If so, hes going to get on great with my scruffy lurcher Blake who is also up in doggy heaven!

Its hard. So so hard. Sending you all the love I have and I'll be thinking of you and Archie tomorrow flowers

spiderlight Thu 10-Jan-19 15:10:33

Nessie We think he's a Bedlington lurcher x blue merle collie. He has very collie body-language and in his younger days he had a lurcher stride and an amazing turn of speed (but no cornering ability whatsoever).

Wolfiefan He is indeed our heart hound - that's a beautiful way to put it.

OP’s posts: |
Aprilshowerswontbelong Thu 10-Jan-19 15:15:28

Lurchers are just a big heart covered in fur.
We have 2 smooth ones but a tatty one is the best kind.
Your boy is so handsome.

theredjellybean Thu 10-Jan-19 15:25:13

You allowed to be heart broken
A beautiful special dog.
When my boy died 18 months ago I was devastated and though two new dogs keep me busy and out on walkies I still think about my special boy.

RtHonLady Thu 10-Jan-19 15:30:53

Archie is the luckiest boy... you gave him a wonderful life and he knew he was loved. So sorry OP flowers

Floralnomad Thu 10-Jan-19 15:33:08

I don’t know if it’s any help to you OP but my sisters JRTx border also has end stage kidney failure diagnosed in mid October . He had been ailing for a while and was already in complivit which is a supplement that contains a lot of calories in a spoonful IYSWIM . When she took him to the vet in Oct we were keen to keep him alive until my mum came out of hospital and the vet gave him a vitamin injection (b vits I think) and a steroid injection ( anabolic I think) and he really perked up , he hasn’t gained any weight but he eats 3 small meals a day plus snacks whereas before he was not eating at all and is running about inbetween naps , he certainly does not appear to be in any kind of pain or discomfort . Since the first injection he has had weekly vitamin injections and this week is being reassessed to see if he needs another steroid injection as well . We know we are just prolonging the inevitable , he’s also 16 , but whilst he’s happy , eating and pain free we are persevering as he has a sibling who will be desolate when he goes.

chickensaresafehere Thu 10-Jan-19 15:46:27

Oh he's gorgeous. Losing them is so very hard. Hugs thanks

spiderlight Thu 10-Jan-19 16:14:36

Floralnomad That's so good about your sister's boy. Unfortunately we've already established that ours can't have a steroid injection - he's been on a NSAID for his joints and he'd need to stop taking those for two weeks before he can have a steroid, which is just not feasible with him not eating at all. I hope your lad keeps going for a bit longer though and thank you for the suggestion.

DS is home from school. Heartbroken. Asking whether he can donate one of his kidneys sad

OP’s posts: |
Iwantdaffodils Thu 10-Jan-19 16:27:26

I'm in tears, for you and also because my beautiful girl is getting older and it's so hard to think of losing her.

But nearly sixteen - that's wonderful. A testament to your good care and his tough spirit.

Oreosforbreakfast Thu 10-Jan-19 17:46:53

He really is gorgeous. Thank goodness he had you. You've clearly given him a fantastic life.

Shall be thinking of you x

Mrsoh39 Thu 10-Jan-19 17:52:22

Oh op he's gorgeous, we had to put our lovely dog to sleep beginning of December, he was 14 and half, but it was for the best.
flowers for you and a virtual hug for tomorrow xx

Mrsoh39 Thu 10-Jan-19 17:53:01

That gin was meant to be flowers, fat fingers x

Calmed Thu 10-Jan-19 17:58:25

I lost my girl a few months ago and it was as heart-breaking as I always imagined it would be, but I don't regret the decision for a moment - it was her time and I knew it. I'd been dreading it for years and therefore endeavoured to make sure she was treasured every moment. You sound like you have done the same - it will be heartbreak on top of the heartbreak that you have already sadly experienced, but it will be the last show of love that you can do and you will get through it. I can now talk about my girl without crying, but it will be a long time before I can really think about her without getting upset - but that's because she was so special and she gave so much love - I'm looking forward to the day I can think about her without getting upset and until then, I'll enjoy looking at her photo. I also asked for her ashes and it did give me comfort having her back. Sending you hugs/xxx

stayathomegardener Thu 10-Jan-19 18:09:23

Beautiful boy.

spiderlight Fri 11-Jan-19 20:54:15

He's gone sad It was very peaceful in the end - we spent all morning cuddling him on his bed, and then just as our lovely vet arrived, he decided to go for a little potter in the garden. She waited and let him take his time and do what he needed to do, and then he had a big drink and came back and settled on his bed, and slipped away very quickly and quietly. I know it's the right thing and the vet said we'd timed it perfectly, but we are just utterly, utterly heartbroken.

Thank you all for being here for me on this thread and letting me talk about him - it means a lot.

OP’s posts: |
Nesssie Fri 11-Jan-19 20:59:07

Ah I’m sorry to hear that but it does sound like a very peaceful ending. He went to sleep surrounded by his favourite people which is all a dog really wants.
Thinking of you at this hard time flowers

And I never get bored of hearing about dogs so feel free to tell me everything about him!

Slightlycoddled Fri 11-Jan-19 20:59:11

I'm glad the end was peaceful. What a beautiful boy. I'm so very sorry for your loss op flowers

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