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Lost my dog, looking for support from those who have been through it

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Daniel Carter, Aug 17, 2019.


  1. Daniel Carter

    Daniel Carter PetForums Newbie

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    I had a Chihuahua called Jake. He was my life, my world, my absolute everything. He gave me so much unconditional love. He was my best friend, my shadow.

    He was a 9yr old neutered male. He was always healthy, he ate premium quality food, always had toys and love, a walk every day sometimes 2.

    A few months ago I noticed he started to take longer to pee, I didn't think much of it at first but it quickly escalated. One evening I had come home from a meeting and he wasn't himself, I tried to take him for a walk but he couldn't, I noticed he couldn;t pee and rushed him to the emergency vets. They put a catheter in him, drained him and he went back to normal, the vet told me to book an appointment with the normal day time vets as it was unusual.

    I went to the vets, they at first suspected infection and potentially crystals, so he was put on a special diet and given a round of beytril and metacam. The weeks went on with frequent vet visits. He didn;t improve, it got worse until they decided to do a scan.

    The scan revealed his prostate was abnormally large, especially given he was neutered. The scan also revealed a large dark spot which looked like a lymph node. The vet said it could be cancer but I shouldn't jump the gun, it could still be a bad infection and they did find some small crystals and sediment.

    I was sent away with another round of medication but less than 2 days later Jake was in the garden howling, he wasn't himself, couldn't wee. I rushed him back and they took him off me and told me they were going to transfer him to a specialist unit where they would put a catheter in and potentially clear any stones or blockages. The vet reassured me Jake would be sorted out. I left the vets in tears but knowing I'd have my boy back soon meant I got over it.

    The next day I got a call from the specialist unit in Watford. They told me to go in. I got there and saw Jake, he wagged his tail and had biscuits on his nose. He was panting a lot, apparently from all the pain relief and sedation. I went into the consultation room, the vet looked at me and said I am really sorry. Immediately my heart sank. She said we have found cancer and that his prostate has completely closed his urethra. She told me they couldn't even get a catheter up there and that they had to aspirate directly from his bladder.

    My heart sank, I felt sick, weak, I couldn't believe this was happening.

    She offered me 2 options. 1 was to let him go peacefully by putting him to sleep or the other was the operation to remove as much of the cancer as possible. She said if I opted for surgery it would be cruel and he;d have almost no quality of life. She said the cancer would likely return aggresively, and, it had already spread to a lymph node (but nowhere else on his body) She said the operation was high risk, they also diagnosed him with heart murmur and said the chance of death in the op would be around 70%. She said even if he survived, he would be on a lot of medication and would have to have a drain putting in on his bladder for manual emptying.

    It killed me, I let him go.

    He went to sleep in my arms. That night, when he left this world, a huge huge part of me went with him.

    Since I've been lost. I left my home, my partner and kids. I stayed away because of the sheer emotional state I have been in. The night Jake passed I smashed a bottle over my head and gave myself a black eye. I stayed away from home.

    I've been in the worst state imaginable. I keep crying, having nightmares, I feel lost, so broken hearted, so alone.

    I've had very little support and I've also learned who my true friends are at a time in my life where I was borderline suicidal. I wouldn't do anything stupid as I am not that selfish, but, doesn't stop me feeling so so so low.

    It was 2 weeks ago today that he passed. I am in ruin. I miss him. He was 9! 9! that's all! he had at least another 6+ years left. Chihuahua's generally live a long life span.

    Why was he robbed from me?

    I don't know where to turn, so very few people understand the bond I had with him. Even my best, closest friends haven't bothered with me which has left me feeling even more alone.

    Help? anyone?
     
  2. Boxer123

    Boxer123 PetForums VIP

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    I'm so sorry for you loss. It sounds like you are really struggling can I suggest you visit your GP ?

    I lost my boxer girl in December she was my best friend. She had a funny turn I was convinced it was her heart. I took her to four vets including a specialist cardiologist. All said her heart was strong. We ordered an ECG halter in case. They next day she had a massive heart attack and died she was three. I'm eight months in and it does get easier.

    I still cry after her I will never forget her. I found lots of people in my life didn't and still don't understand my loss. My only friend who understood has a dog herself.

    I found this forum amazing and also contacted the Blue Cross counselling service. They were amazing. Your partner and children must miss you.
     
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  3. Squeeze

    Squeeze PetForums VIP

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    So sorry for your loss...
    I can’t offer any advice other then think about contacting your GP like @Boxer123 said...
    Please be kind to yourself...
     
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  4. shirleystarr

    shirleystarr PetForums VIP

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    I agree with Boxer I would contact the blue cross they are amazing and I would also see your GP it sounds to me as if you really need help Its never easy when you have to let go of the pet you loved we have all been there but please get some help
     
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  5. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    I can't add anything to what the other have said. But you did the kindest thing in letting him go, it hurts so much for us but you didn't let him suffer any more. Take care.
     
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  6. 3dogs2cats

    3dogs2cats PetForums VIP

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    I am very sorry for your loss
    I would also urge you to seek help from your doctor.
    I like many people have lost dogs, each and everytime it feels like my heart has been ripped out, I think about them all everyday. I find myself looking out for my beautiful girls tail swaying in the long grass, I sit on the rock taking in the view and long to feel my Greyhound as she leant into me. Sometimes the memories hurt but often with the passing of time they make me smile.

    Grief is a very personal thing and effects everyone differently, it may not be that your friends just don't understand, they may just not know how to help you. Some people just cant handle others pain and quite often feel afraid they may make it worse and say the wrong thing.
    Your family and friends must be very worried about you. No one can bring back your beloved Jake but you can get help in coming to terms with your grief.
     
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  7. ttaylor45

    ttaylor45 PetForums Senior

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    I had to let both my beloved toy poodles go last year within 6 months of each other and I still miss them both an awful lot Rusty was 13 and a half and Pepe was 12 and 4 months. Pepe had been quite poorly for the last two years of his life with anaemia cataracts and glaucoma so he was on a lot of medication he also developed kidney disease possibly made worse with the steroids he was on for 10 months to treat the anaemia. I had no choice in the end but to let both of them go Rusty had a growth near his liver which was causing him pain. I know I made the right decision even though I was heartbroken as I couldn’t have let them suffer I loved them too much for that and console myself that they are in a happier place free from any pain. I am hoping to get a new puppy from the same breeder later this year and hope this will help heal the emptiness of having no dog. Please try to console yourself that you did the best and kindest thing for your dog.
     
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  8. Silverpaw

    Silverpaw PetForums Senior

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    I am so sorry for your loss,run free little Jake,no more pain.It's awful when we lose a precious dog and I think people who have never loved a dog so much can ever really understand.However,I don't think this means that they don't care about you.One thing that is for sure when we open our hearts to our best friends is that we are going to face the pain of losing them one day.You obviously cared enough for Jake to let him go when it was his time,this is an act of unselfish live and,I think,a sign of strength.Try not to beat yourself up about how you have reacted,you are dealing with your grief in the only way you know how to at the moment.Please do as others have suggested and see your doctor and contact the animal bereavement service referred to.No one is going to judge you.I think most of us on here have experienced the pain and devestation of losing our precious dogs at some stage.I know I have,on several occasions.It's so awful but a small price to pay for having had the privilege of sharing you life with such a beautiful soul.Please look after yourself and come back here whenever you need to.
     
  9. Happy Paws2

    Happy Paws2 PetForums VIP

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    Seen this on Never Forgotten a few weeks ago, have you seen your GP or spoke to The Blue Cross who can offer great support with pet bereavement, as some people advised on there it my help with the way you are feeling.

    I know it's hard but you will slowly start to come to terms with it and learn to live with the pain.
     
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  10. LinznMilly

    LinznMilly Moderator
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    2 weeks is a long holiday. In terms of emotions - especially the strong ones - it's nothing. My point is, this is going to take time. Even when you think it's over, there may still be something - a smell, a memory, a poem, that sets you off again. That he was so young when you lost him is an even bigger tragedy.

    Grief comes in waves. Allow yourself to ride them. In time - even if it doesn't seem like it at the moment - in time, they will gradually lose intensity and get fewer and farther between. Grief is transitory. Love is eternal. It's the only emotion that can and does transcend death itself.

    You've lost one family member (and that's exactly what you've lost - not a dog, or a companion - a family member). Don't walk away from the others. They need you - and you need them. Talk about Jake - keep his memory alive. He's longer by your side, but he still lives in your heart and in your memories.

    Be kind to yourself. You'll get through this.

    Run free at the Bridge, Jake. Gentle hugs to your family.
     
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  11. OwnedByTerrierists

    OwnedByTerrierists PetForums Member

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    Sometimes other people don't understand what a huge part of our lives dogs are. We lost our JRT x Stan in Feb 2016 in a freak accident whilst he was staying with my mum. He was only 2 and it was the worst thing that has ever happened to me. I lost my dad 10 years ago again suddenly and losing Stan was worse than this. Dogs are a part of our daily routine we plan our lives around them and they are always there. It is awful and will take time but things will get better for you, I remember the raw emotion and feeling of desperation like it was yesterday but time moves on whether we like it or not and we have to move on with it. Don't be ashamed of the way you are feeling it is a very real grief just try and get through each day at a time and if you feel you need help please visit your GP or a counsellor. It will get better x
     
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  12. tantrumbean

    tantrumbean PetForums Senior

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    I'm so sorry. This is exactly what happened to my Irish Terrier. I lost him 3 years ago, aged only 6. He started having trouble peeing, was treated for a UTI, then checked for Crystals, urine tested for everything under the sun, blood test clear, x-rays clear. However, when the vet tried to get a catheter up there he struggled. So he was referred to a specialist with suspected kidney stones (apparently they don't show up under x-ray). They warned us it was a big op, but he should have a normal quality of life once recovered. Dropped him off at the specialists who said he looked very healthy and in great condition - then got a call a couple of hours later to say that he had prostate cancer and it had already spread, so they never woke him up. It would have been a case of bringing him round to spend a couple of weeks in pain, to then be put to sleep. It wasn't fair on him.

    It was the most devastating news ever. Especially as I never got to say goodbye properly as I was expecting him to come home. Then there was the guilt that I should have made his last couple of weeks extra special, let him live of donuts and taken him to the beach every day. The fact I hadn't known didn't change the guilt at all.

    I pretty much cried non-stop for a week, he left a huge terrier shaped hole in my heart and life, especially being my first ever dog. I still miss him every day and I don't know how I would have got through it without my other dog who needed me and tried his best to look after me.

    It does get easier, I still get upset, but there are so many happy and funny memories and people who knew him reminding me of his antics.

    Hang in there, you WILL get through this, no matter how impossible it seems at the moment!
     
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  13. Daniel Carter

    Daniel Carter PetForums Newbie

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    thank you all so much. to hear your stories and to know I am not alone really makes a difference. I'm on week 3, I've returned home, but still in an absolute state. Can't sleep, can't eat, feel so so so heartbroken. I am home, it's full of the memories we had, everywhere I turn I keep expecting him to be there, it's emotional torture. I know most people expect to outlive our pets, but, when their life is cut short and when the opportunity to spoil them in the face of impending doom is taken away, it makes life unbearable when they're gone.

    I am still an absolute wreck, but, the stories and messages above have helped.

    I know time will make it easier to manage and that the pain will never really go away, but, I am really looking for the best route through this.

    I wish I could have taken cancer from him. I wish there were so many more answers. I wish that there was a cure or that there were prevention options. I wish as humans we never had to suffer these thoughts and emotions.

    It's not just my loss, it's Jakes as well. A million walkies unwalked, a million more barks unbarked, a million hairs left to shed.

    Even if time helps to make it more manageable. I'll never be the same again. This has turned my world upside down and opened my eyes to life.

    If any good can come out of such a horrific situation, Jake is no longer in pain and I've realised all the things I thought were important in life, aren't.
     
  14. Boxer123

    Boxer123 PetForums VIP

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    I am glad your home. Take things one day at a time. I remember spending the whole of last Christmas sobbing I had two weeks off work and hated it. It does get better you don't forget them but you start to remember the good times. It's important to keep eating even if you don't want to. Keep talking on here it does help share pictures.
     
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  15. Gemmaa

    Gemmaa PetForums VIP

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    We lost our boy to Lymphoma a few weeks ago, he lasted 3 months from when it first appeared.
    It's really hard to accept it. I still expect to see him and it's like the biggest punch in the gut when I realise he's not there.

    I don't know if it's something you could do...but when we lose one of our dogs, we plant something special for them.
    This is Freddie's resting place under the big pot...(apologies, the photo might be massive)
    [​IMG]
    The rose isn't flowering at the moment, but it's really lovely and has an amazing smell, and he has a little deer there, as he always reminded us of one
    There's usually always a bird in the bath on there, there's lights so he's never in the dark...it's just a nice peaceful area.
    Obviously it's not the same as having him back, but I think it helps a little to have something to look after, for him.
     
  16. Silverpaw

    Silverpaw PetForums Senior

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    Pleased to hear you're home,where you spent precious time with your beautiful boy.I hope your family are ok,they must be sad too,I hope you can all support each other,although I know this can sometimes be difficult as dealing with grief is such an individual thing.Time really does help and,at some stage,happy memories and the feeling of being grateful for the time you had with beautiful Jake,will replace some of the sadness.I know they might only be small things,but have you considered doing something in his memory,like planting a tree or special plant in his memory or making a donation to an animal charity in his name.On my dogs outing today,we are going to drop some things off at the rescue kennels that one of my previous dogs came from.We do so very regularly,it's only a small thing but it always feels very worthwhile.It's a bit bitter sweet,but full of gratitude for the life I had with my precious princess.You will find your way through it,remember that Jake was all about love,hang on to that.Better dry my eyes and get ready to take Maci out!Thinking of you.
     
  17. Philip230656

    Philip230656 PetForums Junior

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    So, so sorry to here of your loss, I lost my best pal Bailey a 14 yr old Shin Tzu with multi organ failure 6 weeks ago. Just so gutting. But time really does help.think of the good life you shared, my biggest annoyance are the people without let's who don't understand. God bless,
     
  18. Daniel Carter

    Daniel Carter PetForums Newbie

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    I'm at home. But, I'm going through constant bouts of explosive tears, depression, sadness and emptiness. I came home, his dog bed is empty, his toys left, his hair on the carpet, the dog bowls left. It's hell, I seriously do not know how people live through this. I've lost friends and family over the years and whilst it hurt, I could carry on. This however is a different story, the loss has destroyed me and makes me want to end it all. I know people suggest going to a GP but I don't see how pills are the solution.

    I'm just an empty shell living each day aimlessly.

    I never expected Jake to outlive me, but, I never expected him to pass at 9 because of such aggressive cancer. I feel like it's some sick nightmare.

    He's lost his life unfairly and I've lost my best friend, my shadow, my everything.

    People say it will get easier, but, I cannot see a life without him, I just can't.

    My little boy fell asleep on the 3rd of august, when he went, so did a huge part of me.
     
  19. Boxer123

    Boxer123 PetForums VIP

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    The GP won't necessarily give you pills but it is someone to talk to. It is important you look after yourself in the following weeks I tried to eat well and drank lots of tea as I was always cold.

    I still have my Lily's little pink jumper under my pillow not many people really understand my grief or the effect losing her has had on my life. I know it probably sounds cliche but time does heal.

    I still go on her favourite walks and cry because it's not fair she loved to run and be free. It haunts me that the vets took her away the day she died and she would have been scared without her people.

    You do start to remember the good times i know she had a short time but she was so loved.
     
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