Friday, February 9, 2024

The tears, the questions...


I'm sure anyone who has had to make the difficult decision to help a pet cross over that rainbow bridge has struggled with knowing when the time is right.

I know I'm not alone in the sorrow I'm feeling since saying goodbye to my sweet Simon on Tuesday. I went through the same thing 8 months ago when we said goodbye to his brother Barney.  

Barney was hard to say goodbye to, he was always by my side or at my feet. But the cancer was wearing him down and he'd started having seizures and I wasn't going to let him suffer.

Simon was different, he had dementia and extreme anxiety.  I was finding him in my closet staring at a wall, trying to escape, to find peace, shaking like a leaf.  It broke my heart.  I tried meds, CBD oil, the thunder shirt, you name it.  But he seemed inconsolable.

He'd always been an anxious pup, but this was different. The day I called the vet, he'd been acting terrified for a couple of days and was following me so closely that I could barely walk or get anything done.

I wanted it over and now I live with that guilt of wondering if I could have done more, did I give up too easily?  My heart knows I did it for him.  I loved him, he was suffering, I didn't know what else to do. 😞 But my head is haunted by guilt.

That afternoon before the Vet came, I had him sit on my lap, it wasn't easy, he was still so confused and anxious, but he came to me and let me pet him and finally settled down.  She was late, and I sat with him for over an over.  That was probably the longest I'd been able to get him to relax in a while, he was still shaking a bit, but at least he wasn't pacing anymore.

When she got there, he jumped up in his usual excitement, barking, being his old self.  She started asking if he was still eating and drinking and I answered all her questions and couldn't help but wonder if she was thinking we shouldn't do this.

THAT has left me questioning myself.  It hurts like hell to have those doubts.

I held him on my lap and petted him and fed him treats.  Sweet old pup was happy for a change, and my heart was breaking.  When she gave him the sedative, he completely relaxed and I thought if only he could have been like this all along, it could have been different?  As I sat there waiting for the next step, I heard the GPS tag on the collar that I put on the table beep and started to wonder if it had been doing this all along.  He had become so sensitive to sounds, maybe the GPS on his color was why his anxiety was so high lately?

SO many thoughts raced through my mind.  But I never felt that I should stop what was happening.  I was so sure that he needed peace.  And he had it... he slipped away peacefully on my lap.

I've cried my heart out for that sweet pup.  The last connection I had to his brother Barney.  They had both been in this house since just after we moved in.  I was so excited to finally have a house again and to be able to adopt a dog.  And the fact that we found TWO rescues that needed a home just made it even better.

They were here as we turned the house into a home.

We adopted them almost without even thinking.  I hadn't had a dog in over 30 years and I didn't know anything about breeds or temperaments, but these two ended up being the best pets I could have gotten with my limited experience.

They were 2 sweet old men, almost 5, relatively calm, quiet and low maintenance.  What a gift. It was meant to be.

I learned so much from them.  Loving them was a gift. Losing them has left a hole in my heart.  I feel like a part of the house is gone.

I have the puppy that I adopted in June and I adore him, but no one will ever replace the 2 sweet souls that filled my heart for almost ten years. They were my constant companions, my reason for being so happy to work alone from home, my purpose for everything I did during the day.

I know they are together again.  The little statues on my deck that suddenly lit up again that night told me they were together and everything was ok, but my heart still hurts.  I know it will take time.

AND I know that Simon knows how much I loved him.  I know that he forgives me for the times I was inpatient, or didn't understand how to help his anxiety or for the times that he had to wait while I took care of Barney when he needed insulin or meds for his cancer, or when I had to take care of the puppy.

I hope he never felt like he was forgotten.  I hope the guilt I feel will subside and be replaced by the love I feel for him and his brother.  Even on the other side, I know they are always with me and that love will always be in my heart. I know that the peace I need will come... just like the peace he needed. 🙏

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