Sad day *** trigger warning, loss of pet **

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Wife#2

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Sad day *** trigger warning, loss of pet **
« on: May 23, 2017, 01:22:51 PM »
In the 13 years I've been married, we have had many pets. Over the years, many of the pets have died. Some by natural causes, others because of illness.

But, last night, having to put down our beagle was especially hard on me and my whole family. Cancer came on her suddenly, or had been brewing below her skin and we didn't know. It's been just over two weeks since my husband found the first tumor. Nobody suspected cancer, so we didn't rush to get her to the vet. They set the appointment for the next day, we took her.

Because of the speed of the growing breast cancer tumor, the vet suggested surgery pretty quickly. It was that Friday. We could take her home the following day. In the days that intervened, our dog (I'll call her Jackie for this story) was getting more lethargic and eating less and less. Still, we went through with the surgery. We did tell the vet about this. She acted as if that was not unusual. She assured us she had done quite a few of these surgeries with good outcomes. They did not make us believe that she would live a very long time, but that we may have up to six months after surgery.

Just that news was hard enough. But, we brought her in for her surgery. My husband was already in a bad place because of his belief that the vet (different practice, he'll never go back to THEM again) killed his dog. He was having a very hard time trusting this new vet.

We picked up our Jackie. The surgery had been massive. She was covered with stitches. Still, she seemed to be ok and we took her home. They assured us that she would recover nicely and that she didn't even need antibiotics. Unsure, but unable to force them to write a prescription, we took our Jackie home.

The first day or two, she seemed to be getting better. Not great, but better. We started to have hope. But, by Tuesday of last week, it was evident that she wasn't progressing anymore. If anything, she was getting worse. She stopped eating unless I hand-fed her. She would only eat from me. She wouldn't drink anything. A foul odor began Thursday and I noticed not blood, but something else. Friday, we called the vet again. They told us to bring her in Saturday.

They confirmed that Jackie had developed an infection. We were furious. Why hadn't they given us antibiotics like we asked? Didn't they see how much of Jackie's underside was cut open? Didn't she hear when we told her we had two other adult dogs and SIX puppies running around the same space? Not to mention all the people in and out of our house? She apologized to us, admitting it was her call. Still, the issue at that point was to help Jackie get better.

She said we could take Jackie home on Monday if everything went well. She would call every day with an update.

Sunday, the vet called and told us that Jackie was doing better, had eaten and gone for a walk. The infection was clearing up. But, she said she'd call back Monday. The way she said it made me believe we were not getting our Jackie back home so quickly. I left it alone and accepted the vet's superior knowledge and training.

Monday, the vet called and spoke with my husband. He called to let me know she'd told him we could not get Jackie yet, but that maybe by Tuesday we could take her home. She asked if we wanted to come and cheer her up. He explained I was working and he doesn't drive. Of COURSE we wanted to, but we couldn't.

At suppertime, she called again. This time, my husband was upset and disappeared into our bedroom while talking with her. I had no idea, so I was chatting with our adult daughter and both of our children. Our adult son had also come into the kitchen, so it was a bit chaotic. Husband came down the hall, the look on his face drawn, sad and scared. He told me to put my plate down (was holding and eating seconds) and come with him NOW. I did - he doesn't talk THAT way to me without it being important.

Our Jackie was in pain. Pain medicine wasn't helping. They'd x-rayed her and found other tumors in her organs. This wasn't just about the infection anymore. Jackie was howling. Jackie NEVER howled. Barked only with good reason and only enough to make her point. No whimpering, no moaning and certainly no howling. It's why we had to keep a close eye on her - she wouldn't let us know if something hurt. We knew this was bad. And she was suffering. I had to decide, because Jackie was really my dog (DS's dog in name only, she was mine in all practical senses). She might make it through the night, but would it be fair to push her that hard? No. No animal should suffer.

Hubby, DS and I went to the vet to say our goodbye's. As we walked in with the vet (it was after hours by this time), we could hear Jackie howling and howling and howling. When I approached her, I saw that her eyes were completely dilated. Her pain must have been absolutely unbearable. I tried to sooth her the way I always did, with a loving scratch/rub down her spine. As long as I did that, she stopped howling. We brought DS in to say his goodbyes before she started howling again. Then, hubby said his goodbyes. He started crying and had to walk away.

The vet asked if I wanted to leave or stay with Jackie. I chose to stay. Even my soothing wasn't helping anymore. Jackie began howling. With the vet's help, she relaxed, fell asleep and passed. Hubby went to DS (who we'd sent to another room so he wouldn't have that memory. As soon as we were sure Jackie was gone, I cried. I got up and cried a little more. Then, I went to DS and held him.

Hubby, to keep himself from crying anymore, talked business with the vet. What happens now, what do we need to decide, how much do we still owe for her care, the mundane things that kept his mind off crying. He got the information we needed, I made the decisions that needed to be made. We gathered up DS and quietly, through tears, went home.

DD had cleaned up the kitchen. DS had put the puppies back in their crate. They'd all cleared out so we could breathe without talking, which they knew would make us cry again.

I petted the remaining dogs. I held DS. Hubby coped his best way, excusing himself to his 'man-cave' to cry in private.

DS had a very rough time. He wanted to talk, but was also self-aware (at not-yet-9!) enough to want to distract his mind from all this sadness. He and I talked a lot. He felt guilty for laughing at a funny video. I tried to let him know that Jackie doesn't hate him because he laughed. She doesn't feel disrespected, either. That was his big concern. That she would be in his idea of dog heaven, convinced he didn't really love her because he could still laugh. I understand that feeling. I didn't know how to explain it to him without sounding cold myself. And, I wasn't a very convincing liar with the tears still falling from my own eyes. I could smile, but not laugh. So, I let him talk all he wanted. I held him when he wanted. That comforted me as well. As long as he chattered, I didn't have to talk much.

Anyway, today I'm really struggling with getting through this day. I shouldn't have posted on social media. Sometimes, I can bear up until someone says a kind, sympathetic word. Then, I'm done again.

Right now, folks are giving me some space. It's just what I need. Maybe I can even get my job done.

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Blueberry

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Re: Sad day *** trigger warning, loss of pet **
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2017, 01:55:12 PM »
So sorry, I've lost quite a number of pets in my time, once certainly linked to a vet deciding not to give antibiotics.  :hug:  :hug:

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Three Roses

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Re: Sad day *** trigger warning, loss of pet **
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2017, 01:55:50 PM »
 :hug:

I'll keep it short so I don't make you cry again. So hard. Thinking of you my friend.

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Wife#2

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Re: Sad day *** trigger warning, loss of pet **
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2017, 02:00:54 PM »
 :hug: Thank you both!  :hug:

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Elphanigh

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Re: Sad day *** trigger warning, loss of pet **
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2017, 02:05:54 PM »
Lots of hugs and warm comforting thoughts going your way today.  :hug: :hug: I won't make it long so as not to upset you more. :bighug:

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Lingurine

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Re: Sad day *** trigger warning, loss of pet **
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2017, 02:17:06 PM »
So sorry for your loss  :hug:

Lingurine

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Wife#2

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Re: Sad day *** trigger warning, loss of pet **
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2017, 02:27:00 PM »
Thank you, Elphanigh and Lingurine, Three Roses and Blueberry. These hugs meant the world to me this morning.  :bighug:

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Hope66

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Re: Sad day *** trigger warning, loss of pet **
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2017, 05:30:56 PM »
Sincere condolences on your loss - hope you are ok.   :hug:

Hope  :)

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Wife#2

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Re: Sad day *** trigger warning, loss of pet **
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2017, 05:56:24 PM »
I'm making it through the day. It's afternoon now. I want to call and see how my husband is, but I'm concerned for both of us that just the question could make us both cry again. I don't want to do that to him. Or to myself.

I've survived enough tragedy in my life that I rationally know I'll survive this. I know we all will. But, for once, I'm not drying my tears and trying to be the strength for anyone else. I'm allowing myself the time I need to grieve and cry. There is a joy in the midst of the sadness that I have that freedom today.

I'm also encouraged that I've been able to actually shed tears. Better yet, to shed those tears and not have my husband become upset (which usually comes to me as anger) by seeing my tears. Best of all, he's been able to shed tears as well. It's as if we've both given the other permission to cry the healing, necessary tears to express the sadness we feel. Neither of us are good at this, so I cry and am also thankful.

 :bighug: thank you all for your condolences.

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bring em all in

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Re: Sad day *** trigger warning, loss of pet **
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2017, 07:29:58 PM »
I am sorry for your loss, and pleased that you are able to express your feelings in words and tears.

You can stop reading here if you want, but I have some thoughts about what happened:

I've had cats with major and even minor surgeries and my vet has ALWAYS sent them home not only with antibiotics but ALSO with a pain patch and oral pain medication. Add that your vet did not come forth with all the details of what was going on and I'm not sure I would take any of my other pets to that vet, but that is a decision for you to make.


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Wife#2

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Re: Sad day *** trigger warning, loss of pet **
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2017, 08:42:28 PM »
We have decided to trust her in future. She did send home oral pain medication. She has taken full responsibility for failing to prescribe antibiotics when the skin has been cut. She has vowed to do this for all animals as long as she remains a vet.

Also, we had been warned that the cancer may be worse than we thought. When our dog began failing, they did x-rays and found tumors in her abdomen that had not been there during x-rays just a week before.

These facts combined with her accepting responsibility has built our faith back in this young vet.

We will be having the mother of our puppies spayed as soon as is healthy to do so. We will trust this dog to this vet. This will prove to be either her exoneration or her last pet surgery before we file suit.

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Blackbird

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Re: Sad day *** trigger warning, loss of pet **
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2017, 07:03:52 AM »
I'm so sorry  :hug:

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Kizzie

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Re: Sad day *** trigger warning, loss of pet **
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2017, 02:19:38 PM »
So sorry to hear about your dog Wife, I haven't been reading or posting for a few days and just saw this.   Sending as many :hug: as you can bear. FWIW shedding tears seems to me to be the way through this rather than stuffing it away as we used to do.  :'(

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Wife#2

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Re: Sad day *** trigger warning, loss of pet **
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2017, 02:35:34 PM »
Thank you, Kizzie. The tears did help get us through those crucial first days. It was good to model for DS8 that tears are a part of sadness, even for tough, strong men like his Dad. In a strange way, allowing each other the space to mourn, alone AND together, has brought us closer together. The relationship between my husband and me feels a little more genuine today than it did a month ago.

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Kizzie

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Re: Sad day *** trigger warning, loss of pet **
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2017, 03:38:45 PM »
Quote
In a strange way, allowing each other the space to mourn, alone AND together, has brought us closer together. The relationship between my husband and me feels a little more genuine today than it did a month ago.


Wonderful to read this Wife, that out of such sadness comes something positive.  It's never too late to learn that we can get through tough situations things like this with support and care, and by expressing how we feel in a healthy way. Thanks for sharing about this difficult time with us :hug: