Its been 24 hours....

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Its been 24 hours....

Post by RodneyB on Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:26 pm

I had to put down my best friend yesterday, and I still can't keep the tears from welling up.  Thankfully, I work from home, and have been for the last few months, so I don't have to be a blubbering mess in public, but at the same time, I am stuck here with all the reminders.  Frankie was a blue-eyed St. Bernard mix with the most awesome personality.  He was an incredibly handsome dog and I will never see anything quite like him again.  From the moment I saw his picture on PetFinders and saw he was in a shelter 10 miles from my Mom's home, I had to have him.  They warned me he was aggressive, and willful (they were right about willful), but he was my loyal companion for over a decade.  He was my protector, and he followed me from room to room, and was always watching me.  If I went to the bathroom and closed the door (when company was in the house), he would tap on the door and if I didn't let him in, he would just block the door and wait.  In the last couple of years he went deaf, but I could hardly tell... we communicated with signs and body language, and he never really obeyed commands unless bribery was involved anyway.  After the second fireworks show from across the street on the Fourth, I finally realized he was deaf.  He was always close enough that I could literally hear his breathing anywhere in the house.  Anytime of the day, I could glance up from the TV or whatever I was doing, and there was instant eye contact with him.  The house is so quiet, and I keep looking up only to have tears blur my vision.

I know it was the right thing to do, he was on painkillers for years, and for the last month it seemed each day he got worse and worse.  I was hoping that he could have held out until the first snow (he loved snow so much), but I felt more and more guilty each day.  I wanted to get all of the people who loved him back to visit (and to validate my decision), but no one wanted to see him go, and they didn't have to listen to his breathing and suffering 24/7.  I do feel guilty for waiting so long, but I gave him a great life and he wanted to fulfill his duty to me, right up until the end.

I was thankful that my vet came out to the house and we could give him a peaceful transition on a beautiful day, with me laying on the ground beside him, holding that massive head.  He didn't have to die on a metal table in a clinic.  I have another dog (Girlfriend) that is also grieving the loss of her friend, but I was able to let her sniff his body and watch us remove him from the yard.  She didn't just see him get into the car and never come home.  She has been sniffing the spot on the deck where Frankie died, and I know that she knows what has happened.  I hope that she gets over this, but she is obviously affected.

I know that this is all part of loving, living, and caring for a dog, and I accept the responsibility whole-heartedly.  It just never is an easy thing to have to do.  It will be a year before I get all of his hair out of every crack and crevice in my house, and I know that the feelings with evolve over time (just like my other best-dog-evers).... its just pretty darn raw right now.  

BTW - He was named for Sinatra, both because of his blue eyes and his "Chairman of the Board" attitude.
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RodneyB

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Re: Its been 24 hours....

Post by Lauralyn on Thu Oct 26, 2017 3:06 pm

Hi Rodney- Thank you so much for sharing about Frankie. He sounds amazing and you guys had such a special relationship! He is absolutely beautiful. He was so lucky that you gave him such a wonderful life.

We lost our sweet girl, Sonoma last night. She was 12 and it was a sudden loss- tumor found Monday mid-day and she declined rapidly. Your post was really helpful for me to read and I thank you for that. It so many smiles as well. Sonoma loved the snow too so I can understand wanting Frankie to hold out. I'm mildly comforted by the fact that she won't have to endure another Halloween. She hated Halloween and the fireworks holidays. Oh, and she would totally nose her way into the bathroom with me.

Every minute is hard. I take care of my little humans so I was always with Sonoma. Everything I do, or even don't do reminds me of her and I feel the lack of her presence and my house feels empty. As I'm writing this post, we just got a delivery to our house and heard a light tapping at the door. Up until now, we never would have heard this because we would have heard our sweet puppy pie barking to warn us that someone was here.

I'm so sorry for your loss and that of your other dog. I hope as the days go by you can find comfort and that your other dog can find her way through this.

Laura
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Re: Its been 24 hours....

Post by DarlaVera on Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:45 pm

The pain is definitely real and I encourage you to continue to reach out for support. I made the decision to set my own baby free on October 9th, after her lymphoma began compromising her breathing. It was (and continues to be) an agonizing decision. I replay the last moments of her life over and over again. But I recently realized how often I torment myself, perhaps punishing myself for not being able to save her after an 8 week battle that included chemotherapy. Her collar is on my rear-view mirror, her picture on my screensavers, her blanket on my bed, her urn on my end table, a slide show ever-going on a picture frame ... I've been a participant of a lymphoma dog support forum, I've been drawn to drive past places we "hung out", etc., etc., etc.. I recently realized I need to stop doing this. I need to let go of the cancer, of her absence, of the suffering ... and find her spirit that still remains in my present. I'm signing off from the cancer support group; I've had enough of that for a lifetime. That's a start. I'm going to look for her spirit in the present. There are times I catch a glimpse of her in other dogs and tonight I decided to respond as if it were her. It felt wonderful celebrating her life. I've been through the emptiness, the loneliness, the unfairness, the pain ... and anticipate that will forever be a part of me, but I am determined to not allow myself to be consumed by it. My heart goes out to you and everyone who shares our grief. You are not alone.

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