Meet Rogue, she was 14 in these pictures. She struggled with arthritis and later we found out she had heart issues. I used a lift harness for 2 years. One day she just couldn’t get up. Weeks leading up to she started having seizures. It was heartbreaking. We had her on Phenobarbital, Tramadol, and Gabapentin. These were all pain medications.
I remember that day like it was yesterday on July 10, 2017. The worst day of my life. Watching my best friend die before me. After we realized she may have had a stroke and we rushed her into the vet. Where the bad news came. I was devastated. She wasn’t getting back up. And she was suffering terribly. She never once went to the bathroom in my home. So she would hold it. I can’t explain it but it’s true. So she wouldn’t go out, only when we dragged her bed out and slid her down so she could go. I then had to clean her and she was so devastated. I could remember seeing that doomed look in her eyes.
I just lied next to her and cried. I told her how wonderful of a dog she is. And how much I loved spending my life with her. If love could have saved her, she would still be here. I noticed my other dog Benson did not leave her side. It was like they knew. This picture was taken before going to the vet. We all surrounded her and cried and told her how much we loved her. Benson was heartbroken and worried.
I was there with my husband until she took her last breath. It was devastating and almost traumatizing at the same time. It’s not something you ever prepare for. No matter how much you think you are. After coming home Benson was OK the first few days. Then he just stopped eating and was actually crying. I had to focus on him. He needed me right now, even though all I wanted to do was cry and grieve. I could see his pain literally!
The Distraction did help
I cuddled him, spent more time taking him for walks. He never did many walks because of Rogues mobility issues so I tried to detract him. It helped for a bit but then he completely refused to eat or drink. He just laid there crying. We even had to syringe feed him for a week. We almost considered a feeding tube. He was around 15- 16 yrs old at this point. His kidneys were failing so he was already on his last legs.
We just started letting him eat what he wanted at this point. And then one morning he started looking for a corner to go to. He had gone partially blind, so I would guide him back to bed. He was also starting to run into walls. I think he may have some dementia as well.
One morning he just didn’t want to get up. He was limp and just lying there. Only 3 months had passed since Rogue died. We took him to the vet and the vet gave us that same dreadful news. We were heartbroken again. Holding his little paw through it all. It was very hard to grieve and then have to start all over in a few months when you haven’t even finished grieving the first one. Benson passed on October 5, 2017. Almost 3 months from Rogue.
How we got through it
It was a very hard adjustment. After 14 years of having a dog by your side. Than poof just like that, they are gone. I am blessed to have shared that many years with Rogue and we rescued Benson when he was 5 or 6 years old. So we had almost 10 years with him as well. The first three days were a blur. I then made a video of Rogue and Benson. It seemed to help get the grieving process going. Then I went back to work full time and had two jobs instead of one. I kept busy and cried when I needed to. I always took, and still, take a small time out of each day to remember them.
I talked with other people that just lost their pets. It can feel very isolating sometimes. Like no one really understands because they think it’s just a dog. I will never understand that. But I know my best friend of many years is now gone. The unconditional love they give you is amazing. There is nothing like it. We also found ourselves saying that we would never want to go through that again.
As time goes on you start to realize that another thing you can do in your pet’s name is to offer another dog a home that is in need. This time you will be more prepared than the last. So don’t give up. One day it just happens. It’s a healing process and it takes time. Remember to keep your pet’s legacy, remember what they taught you. And you be better at it each time.