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Five Hours



Five hours, fifteen minutes. That’s all the time I have left with my dear, beautiful, sweet dog who has become like a child to me over the seven years that she’s been with us. My heart is breaking and I don’t know if I have the strength to get through this. 

Monday morning I took her for a walk and went out for the day. By the time I came home, she could barely walk. At first, it looked like her hips had given out on her but by yesterday, paralysis looked more likely. I took her to the vet Tuesday and the vet checked for injuries but couldn’t find a cause. We decided to give her a few days to see if maybe she had pulled a muscle or something, although the vet warned me this may not be something she can recover from at her age. (She’s 13)

Instead of improving as we had hoped (but not realistically expected), her condition has gone downhill quickly. Yesterday morning she couldn’t walk without us holding up her back end up and last night she couldn’t move her back legs at all, even with us supporting her weight. She’s apparently lost the ability to pee as well. Taking her out this morning was pointless and extremely painful for all of us. Don said, “it has to be today” and I already knew. I knew yesterday that it would have to be today. 

It so heartbreaking to see her like this. She’s suffering and yet euthanasia isn’t something I feel comfortable with. I know she’s going to be scared. She’s always scared at the vet. I worry she’ll know we’re killing her and feel betrayed. I worry her spirit will linger there and she’ll wonder why we did this to her. But what choice do we have at this point? She can’t stand up, can’t even roll herself over and she’s going to get sick very fast since she can’t go to the bathroom. 

And then there are other choices to make and there’s tomorrow. Going to bed without her sleeping in between us, waking up without her. Not having her near me all day, sleeping under the table in my office, begging for my food, crowding me off the couch. And the worst part of all this will be watching a Don and the boys grieve for her too. We all love her so much. 

I’m sorry for sharing my grief. I just want you all to know why I’ve disappeared and I hoped writing about this would help me process. 

Now I have four hours, thirty minutes and she’s awake so I’m going to go back to trying to comfort. 

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30 thoughts on “Five Hours

  1. Oh I so understand and feel your pain. I would pray everyday that my Sammy and Max would go peacefully on their own and not leave it to me. It is a horrible choice to have to make, but to let them suffer is not fair either. My heartfelt hugs go out to you.

    1. I will join you in praying that you don’t have to make that decision. It’s hard enough to lose them and having to make that decision adds another layer of painful emotions over the top of the grief.

  2. Oh Trisha… I am sending so much love your way right now, so very much love… ❤ I'm so sorry to hear about Baby Dog. I'll be praying for her, for you, and for Don and the boys. xx

    1. Thank you, Jewels. It’s been awful. That dog was like the heart of our family. She was everybody’s favorite family member. I hope and prayed I would never have to make that decision, especially for her.

      1. Oh Trisha, I can imagine it’s been just awful for you guys, my heart hurts so much for you. Poor dear sweet Baby Dog, I hope it all went alright – as well as it can go, I mean. ❤
        Sending big hugs to all of you, and my sincerest sympathy. You'll be in my thoughts a lot going forward too as I know you'll grieving that beloved family member for quite some time, even as daily life continues…
        xo

  3. The exact same thing happened to one of our beloved dogs years ago and we had to make the same decision. My heart breaks for you and I will be thinking especially of you all today xxx

    1. I’m sorry you had to go through this too. It’s so horrible. But when they can’t walk, stand or even roll themselves over and you know they’re in pain, it seems the kindest thing to do. Still, even knowing we were sparing her more suffering, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.

  4. I hate hitting “like” for something like this. Our pets wrap themselves around our hearts and it hurts when they die. In other ways they stay with us. I recently found pictures of my childhood companion Misty ( who looked a lot like your Baby), just looking at her picture I could almost feel her fur. Even though we have never met I feel your pain.

    1. It’s funny how intensely the memories of our beloved pets come back to us sometimes. I’ve had that happen a few times with the cat I lost 5 years ago. It feels so real, as if they’re almost really there.

  5. Oh Trisha, I’m so sorry to read this news. It’s heart-breaking when you have to make that awful decision on a pet’s behalf.

    I believe our pets truly are telepathic and understand when you’re in distress. I believe that your dear pet will understand that the time has come.

    Think of it as a blessing that you’re in the position of being able to end suffering, not that you are ending a life.

    1. Thank you. Saying that about our pets being telepathic makes me feel a littler better. Since that horrible day, I’ve tortured myself by worrying that she didn’t understand why we did it. I think that fear has been the worst part of all this.

  6. I’m very sorry to read this. It’s a terrible decision to have suddenly thrust upon you. My first experience was with my cat Spilly a few years ago, who hadn’t even reached his second birthday yet. Absolutely heartbreaking, but it’s a final act of love because when the moment comes when you know it’s time for the inevitable, both you and your pet will know. Hugs.

    1. It really is a terrible decision to have suddenly thrust upon you. With Baby we knew we’d have to say goodbye sometime soon since she was getting old and slowing down so much. But we didn’t think it would be this soon or this quick. I can’t imagine how hard it must have been to face that decision with an animal so young. I’m sorry you had to go through that.

  7. Trisha, I have only just seen this. My heart goes out to you. I’m actually in tears because I know just how hideous it is, and I still miss all my cats ho have gone ahead (((((massive hugs))))) for you, my friend. The only words of comfort I have are that the love never dies. My thoughts are with you at this awful time xx

    1. Thank you. Thinking that maybe Baby can still feel the love we have for her is the only comfort at this point. Cats and dogs just don’t live long enough! By loving them, we’re destined for heartbreak. But they bring so much more love, joy and happiness into our lives. Even though losing them hurts like hell, it’s always worth it to have had them.

    1. Thank you. We knew losing that old girl was going to be hard but it’s been so much worse than we even imagined. She was such a special dog. I’m going to try to pull it together and get back into blogging. I’ve missed you too!

    1. Thank you for the kind words. She definitely took a piece of our hearts but she brought so much more love to them. We feel so blessed to have her as long as we did.

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