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Mixed feelings

Whether a dog dies, is lost or stolen, or must be placed in a new home, this is the place to gather together to give and receive love and support when you experience the loss of a beloved dog.

  
Bailey - RIP 12/23/11

1224631
 
 
Barked: Wed Dec 28, '11 8:03pm PST 
We lost our Bailey on Dec. 23rd. Long story, short. I had no idea he had liver disease until it was too advanced to help him. I am convinced the testing, meds, and stress of being at the vet so often triggered something that accelerated his condition - but that's irrelevant now. He's gone. From finding out he had an issue to the day he died was only a short 3 weeks. I'm sorry for the lack of details but I just don't want to re-live it all tonight. :-(

Dealing with his passing is something that will take time and I'm lucky to have a husband that loved Bailey and misses him as much as I do. But we also have two small children (3 and 4). We told them the truth about Bailey and gave them time to say goodbye in their own way. But, as children their age do, they immediately started looking forward to a new doggie. With a moan, my husband and I pushed it off until after Christmas. Well, we were supposed to go look at a puppy yesterday. I figured this was perfect because the puppies were not ready to be adopted until the end of January and we would have time to adjust to the idea of a new dog. WRONG. Puppies weren't available to be seen so we went to the local animal control instead since we already drove the hour to get to that area. I didn't plan it. I wasn't even looking for it, but there was our next addition to our family. Looking at Luke, I felt happiness again for the first time in about a month. He made me smile. He made me feel hopeful. He managed to get the first genuine smile from my husband in weeks. We will be taking Luke home on Tuesday after he is neutered. But now the guilt is setting in. I will always love my Bailey and there will never be another like him. He was my baby - my special one. I've lost pets before but never experienced a feeling of loss like this. I feel guilt at letting another dog make me smile (I know that sounds totally stupid). I started to freak out that Bailey would be hurt to have another dog take his place in the family. I felt this strong need to tell him that I love him no less now that he's gone. I feel a weird need to explain to him that Luke is not his replacement.
ARG! I'm being inarticulate here and I'm rambling. Does any of this make sense?
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Jovi, NPC,- CEGE

Momma's boy and- proud of it!!!
 
 
Barked: Thu Dec 29, '11 5:47am PST 
Don't feel guilt. Bailey knew how much he was loved that is why he sent you Luke to give a loving home to. I strongly believe this. hughug
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Bailey - RIP 12/23/11

1224631
 
 
Barked: Fri Dec 30, '11 4:56am PST 
Thank you. I wrote Bailey a letter telling him what was in my heart. It was therapeutic for me. Also, my husband and I poured two mugs of coffee and had a long chat about what we were feeling. At the end of the conversation, he said, "I think it's a good thing the kids pushed so hard. I felt the happiness when I saw Luke and that has been missing". My husband credits Bailey for saving his life at a very sorrowful time (before we met). I told him maybe Bailey was in his life to save him then and maybe Luke was sent to save him from extreme sorrow now. He nodded and said he liked that idea.
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Ellie

1184927
 
 
Barked: Fri Dec 30, '11 5:50am PST 
hug
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Turner - Gone Too- Soon

Hi I'm Turner- Wanna Smell My- Butt?
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 31, '11 5:05pm PST 
I believe Bailey nudged the kids and said, hey, mom and dad need to move forward - I'm alright.

I believe Turner sent us Grunt - I was hesitant and felt so guilty. I wouldn't have much to do with Grunt at first. The guilt was so overwhelming. Now Grunt has been with us for 4 months and we just adore him. Hubby kinda pushed the issue with me (like your kids did) and I thank him for it. flowersflowers

hug's to you and your family for your loss of Bailey. flowers for you and your family for welcoming Luke into your lives.flowers
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Bailey - RIP 12/23/11

1224631
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 31, '11 6:31pm PST 
Thank you. smile

It know it will take time to work through it. My husband got Bailey when he was a tiny puppy and that dog knew nothing but love. And what he got, he gave back a hundred fold. Never cross, never angry. He was always happy and welcoming of anyone that crossed his path. I have many fond memories of him. With both my pregnancies, I had insomnia and Bailey was right there with me, watching infomercials until 4am. When I was up for midnight feedings, there he was again, making sure everyone was okay. As my kids learned to crawl and walk, he always stood close by to observe. He endured dress up sessions with tutus and tiaras. He cuddled with me when my husband worked the night shifts. He never complained about watching chick flicks. He sat on the bath mat while I took bubble baths - just waiting for me to get out so he could lick all the water off my toes. He "protected" me from the kids' wacky water sprinkler and remote control cars. He was just my goof and constant companion. For a little guy, he left some pretty big shoes to fill.
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Turner - Gone Too- Soon

Hi I'm Turner- Wanna Smell My- Butt?
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 31, '11 6:34pm PST 
big grin Hold onto those memories - they are precious! I saw Lukes pic and did a pup pal request for you guys! He looks like a keeper! way to go I looked at Grunt as a new adventure - not a replacement. So far so good! flowers
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MIKA&KAI

Akita Pals- Always.
 
 
Barked: Sun Jan 1, '12 2:09am PST 
Luke is not and will never be a replacement for Bailey. Bailey has his own space in your heart. Don't feel guilty for smiling again. Bailey would want you to be happy again. I'm sure he is across the bridge yapping and wagging in joy for you. I believe as Turners Mom does. Bailey sent you to find Luke. I know that my Mattie wanted Kai for me because the breeder had a waiting list a mile long and we were at the bottom,yet when Kai was born I got an e-mail saying she thought she had my pup. Turns out he was exactly what I needed and although he reminds me of Mattie in many ways he is not her and my love for her is still the same as it was. I still miss her,but I smile alot more these days.
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lotus(little- angelgirl)

dont touch, only- look.
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 2, '12 2:18am PST 
o yes,you make sense..
i lost my misty on the 5th of november at the age of 12...
a week later my ret terrier lotus was diagnosed with advanced bowel cancer,it is way to late to help her.
and we are spending our last months together.
i never knew it either!...
sometimes they will not show anything sigh...
lotus just turned 9 yesterday and it will be her last birthday...
it's hardfrown
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Bailey - RIP 12/23/11

1224631
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 2, '12 6:54am PST 
I feel the need to write this out from beginning to end. Writing has always been therapeutic for me. So here goes. Sorry for the book. I just need to get it all out.

On November 29th, I took Bailey into the vet for a rabies shot and a nail trim. He was always a big baby when I tried to trim his nails so I took him to the groomer where for some reason, he gave them no problem. This vet was new to me and when she walked in, she took one look at Bailey and said his saggy stomach was a sign of liver disease. She asked to draw blood, which I agreed to. I saw no change in him and didn't expect anything to be out of the ordinary anyways. Well, his liver enzymes were 7-8 times higher than normal. His glucose was high too. She changed him to prescription dog food and we added SAM-E, milk thistle and vitamin E to his daily diet. She also noticed that he needed a dental cleaning and there might be an extraction or two needed. I scheduled that appointment for the following week. Day 1 and 2 on the new food, was normal. He begged me for more, but I didn't give him because I had strict instructions from the vet. Day 3 and 4, was normal and I was pleased to see he didn't beg for me. Day 5, he left some food in his bowl. In retrospect, this was the beginning of the end. Day 6, he didn't eat. Day 7, I brought him to the vet for his cleaning and mentioned the change in appetite. She didn't seem too concerned and went ahead as planned. I gave him wet food version of his prescription food that night along with a dose of the pain meds and antibiotic. He ate it all and then threw it up sometime in the middle of the night. I called the vet in the morning and she told me to give him small portions of rice and cottage cheese. He ate it all. Pleased, I figured we were on the right track. But by the next night, we was refusing to eat again. We did a thyroid test, which was normal. We switched him to baby food, which he ate happily. Small victory again! But again, the next day, he wouldn't eat. We did an x-ray looking for a tumor on the liver or for anything that would explain his not eating. Nothing. Made him some boiled chicken and got him to eat. Within 1-2 days, he wasn't eating again. Nothing I could do or cook would tempt him at all. Brought him in for IV fluids 2 days in a row and he seemed to perk up but still wouldn't eat. Another blood test and his levels were even higher. Started appetite stimulants and waited. 3 days went by and he didn't eat. The vet was closed that day so I started force feeding him mashed potatoes with a baby medicine syringe - 1/4 teaspoon every 30 minutes. He kept it down but didn't seem any better. 9am the next day, I was on the phone with the vet and brought him in for IV fluids. The only thing left to try was an ultrasound. So I approved the procedure, and started calling the list of specialists to get an emergency appointment. Got him seen that afternoon and my husband (now accepting there was a serious problem) said he wanted to take Bailey in. I agreed because I realized that I had been doing everything up to this point and my husband was struggling with the reality of the situation. He NEEDED to do this. I waited for news. When it came, it wasn't good. 2 lobes of his liver was destroyed. The rest of it had cysts, lesions, and was mottled in appearance. His kidneys hadn't showed any symptoms yet but the ultrasound showed damage there too. Gall bladder would need to come out and he had multiple kidney stones. The treatment was aggressive. 6 medications given for a month. His best chance was to admit him right there to the hospital and get him started. I called our vet and she read his results while she was on the phone with me. I could hear her tone change and she said, "he's already been on 3 of these meds with no results." She continued by saying we could try this approach but emphasized this treatment was to get him stable enough so they could treat the liver and kidney problem, which would not go away, just buy him time. Most likely, he wouldn't survive this hellish month of treatment. Through tears, I nodded and said he was now on day 4 of not eating. He was weak, sleeping all the time, and was so still that I caught myself running over to check for breathing. I told her that I thought he was telling me it was time. Then I begged her to come to my home to help Bailey pass on. Even though she wasn't really supposed to, she said yes and agreed she would come by the next day.

I stayed up with Bailey until 4am that night, holding him, and staring at the Christmas tree trying to will a Christmas miracle. I made deals with God. I bargained. I cried. I pled. Finally, I fell asleep and morning came too quickly. We explained to the kids that Bailey was very sick and dying. Because they are only 3 and 4, we skipped most of the details and just told them to say good bye to Bailey. My 3 year old son, not understanding, begged me to make chicken soup for Bailey. He told me that I needed to take care of him like I took care of them when they were sick. I started to cry and told him I wished I could but Mommy can't fix Bailey. He ran to get his favorite Cars blanket and gently tucked it around Bailey. They said their goodbyes, they cried a bit, but being preschoolers and not understanding death, they bounced back pretty quickly. I called my neighbor to come get the kids and keep them at her house until everything was over. With all that settled, I picked up Bailey and laid him on my chest. We rested like that on the couch until the vet arrived an hour later. My husband answered the door and came into the living room to get me. He gently said it was time and I stood up, still cradling my Bailey. I took two steps and my knees almost buckled and I let out a moan. When I looked down into my arms, Bailey was looking at me, barely able to lift his head. I put one foot in front of the other and walked into the kitchen area. The vet let me hold him in my arms and I cried more than I thought was possible. I told him I loved him. I told him thank you. I told him I was sorry. I told him everything in my heart. Very quickly, I saw the light leave his eyes. I FELT him leave me. I swear I did. And it ripped my heart out. I held him for a while and then handed him to the vet. We took off his collar and wrapped him up in his favorite blanket and watched her leave.

The next few days were hell. I kept doing things like walking over to his food bowl to fill it up, then when I saw the space empty, would cry all over again. I swore I heard the tinkle of his collar. I swore I heard him snoring in his corner. Christmas was bittersweet. Honestly, it's all a blurry haze for me. I miss him so much. I've lost pets before and I grieved for each one. But I always fiercely held my Bailey and said, "Not Bailey. Never my Bailey". His passing has rocked me to the core and the only thing that kept me from falling completely apart was my kids. From finding out there was a problem until the end, it was 3 short weeks.

Now, I deal with immense guilt. I had taken Bailey to several vets, convinced there was a problem with him. But I was always told there was no issue and lectured about how he needed to lose weight and was just lazy. In the last year, I took him to the vet because he was limping but no blood work was done. The limping went away and was probably just him jumping on it the wrong way. I didn't do blood work in a year. Maybe if I had, we would have caught this. The saggy stomach was nothing new - no other vet even commented on it and I didn't know it was an indicator of liver disease. I feel guilty for being ignorant about that. I feel guilty for changing his food and running these tests. Maybe that's what sent him into this spiral since there were no symptoms prior to that damn appointment. I feel guilty for being the one to say, "he needs to let go". I feel guilty for being the one that walked him into the kitchen. I feel guilty for being the one he was staring at as the vet pushed the medication into his body. Did he feel betrayed by my final action? Did he understand that I was doing what I thought was best? Did he know I was doing it to help him let go and stop the pain I saw in his eyes? Did he know that it was the hardest thing I've ever had to do? Did he understand that I was praying he would find the bridge and be reunited with Tobie and Savannah again? So much guilt.

Bailey was my light, my joy, and my friend. When we moved to the midwest, I had no family, no friends, was stuck in a new house in the middle of a harsh winter with a 3 month old and a 15 month old. My husband was working 70-80 hours a week. Bailey was my constant companion. He was my friend. He showed me unconditional love and affection no matter the day. He may not be here anymore, but I feel him around me. I promised him I would be okay, and I will be. But I will always miss my sweet Bailey. My Bailey.
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