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LCLCDM

Blame and regret

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LCLCDM

My dog died a few months ago. She had a treatable condition but didn’t get the right treatment soon enough. I made 4 or 5 mistakes along the way that contributed to her death (not getting her help soon enough, not recognizing she needed different treatment etc). She was the love of my life. I was out of town so was taking her to vets I didn’t know. At one point my dog collapsed. The vet I took her to was adamant that I put her down. He said her quality of life wouldn’t be good if she survived, I would be keeping her alive for me..etc. At one point I started to change my mind and he bullied me. Later I looked at her blood test from that day and believe she was just severely dehydrated and could have been treated and saved. I didn’t stand up for her or me that day at the vet. I have been haunted by all of the events of that week and can’t stop blaming myself.. I keep wanting to do it over. I am in so much pain. I am worried the pain will last forever. I know I can’t live like this, but don’t know how to help myself or stop blaming myself. People say I did my best, but I will never be able to believe and embrace that. The pain and regret is too much.

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Cheydin

I'm so sorry this has happened to you. I had a cat who i lost because of decisions I made. 

Most of the comfort I have received I have gotten from reading these forums. My favorite points various posters have made are:

1. Everyone here has made mistakes - they were accidents - and we are only human.

2. Guilt is a large component of grief

3. You are not grieving alone. 

You trusted the advice of a trained Vet - maybe it is my own compliant nature - but I would have as well. 

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My Bradley Boy

Stop blaming yourself. You did everything you could. It's extremely difficult to think clearly when we are in the middle of the madness. I know how you feel. My boy was 13 and was doing fine. Until, I took him to the vet for a check-up. She did blood work which showed that his kidneys were bad. She prescribed him so much medicine. I gave them to him. The next day he was throwing up and collapsed. I took him to the emergency veterinary clinic where he had to stay overnight hooked up to an IV. They said he was dehydrated. When we picked him up, he was fine and walking on his own. I was so happy. His vet told me he needed to continue on his meds. So I gave them to him, I wanted him to get better. But, once again he started throwing up and was miserable. I stopped all meds. But, he was never the same. It will be two weeks that he passed away. I don't know what happened. Were the pills too much? Should I have continued with them until he got used to them? I don't know. But, we can't beat ourselves up. Everything we did came from a place of love. We go to the vets trusting that they know what they are doing. You are not to blame for what happened to your girl. It is not your fault.

I am so sorry for your loss. Know that you are not alone. And, don't worry, the pain won't last forever. It's going to take some time. But, you'll get through it and the loving memories you have with your little girl will outweigh the guilt and sadness you are suffering right now. It gets better.

Sending you a big hug. Hang in there. Better days are coming.

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LCLCDM

Bradly Boy... sounds like a very similar story to mine.  Thank you for supporting me and telling me it will get better... I need to hear that.

So sorry you also went through such a painful experience 

Edited by LCLCDM

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KayC
19 hours ago, LCLCDM said:

Later I looked at her blood test from that day and believe she was just severely dehydrated and could have been treated and saved. I didn’t stand up for her or me that day at the vet. I have been haunted by all of the events of that week and can’t stop blaming myself.. I keep wanting to do it over. I am in so much pain. I am worried the pain will last forever. I know I can’t live like this, but don’t know how to help myself or stop blaming myself. People say I did my best, but I will never be able to believe and embrace that. The pain and regret is too much.

That is so hard.  Yet it is a grief response that is classic.  Guilt is part of our grief response.  We feel responsible for our pets, yet so much can happen beyond our ability to control...still we feel guilt.

Please read these links:  You are not alone in your feelings, but please hear what is said within these articles.

http://media.wix.com/ugd/0dd4a5_e934e7f92d104d31bcb334d6c6d63974.pdf 

http://www.pet-loss.net/guilt.shtml

 

 

 

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AJWCat

Hi @LCLCDM, I am so sorry for your loss and how it happened. Please, please don't torture yourself. I was on an extended vacation when my cat got wildly sick and we had to go to the emergency vet. He died of some kind of poison or so we think. It took me a long time to find peace over the whole thing but I have - and I believe that you will too. Your intentions were always good and you gave so so much love to your sweet girl. I hope you allow yourself the time and the kindness to grieve. 

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KayC
18 hours ago, LCLCDM said:

Thank you Kay C. I am so worried I will never stop blaming myself.

Let me tell you, you have no reason to feel guilty.  I deserve to feel guilty for what happened to my dog Fluffy 20 years ago.  The kids and I had taken him and our cat to the vet to get shots, and the vet had prescribed medicine for the cat as well.  When we got home, we all got out of the van, and the kids and I were trying to administer medicine to the cat, not an easy feat, when unbeknownst to us, Fluffy got into the van (the back end was open as I still had to put the cat carrier away) and hid.  We got done giving the cat his medicine, I put the carrier away, shut the back of the van, and drove to work.  Fluffy never made a sound, he was hiding because he knew he wasn't supposed to get back in but he wanted to go for a ride.  I worked in the office of a mill, there was a lot of dust so I'd leave the windows rolled up and parked right in front of my office.  At the end of the day, I opened the van door to put some stuff in and out rolled my Fluffy's stiff body.  I can't begin to tell you how that felt!  I called the vet, took him down there (what did I think, that the vet could perform a miracle and bring him back to life after all those hours?).  You can't think under those circumstances, you only feel, and it was a horrid time.  It was my husband and my 20th anniversary.  I remember telling him I wasn't happy with our marriage.  It ended three years later.  My daughter had a date that night, she spent it sitting on a curb, sobbing,while her date tried to console her.  I can't imagine how horrible my son felt, we were all close to Fluffy, but he, being a young teen, used to spend a lot of time playing with him.  I truly was responsible for Fluffy's death.  But I never would have meant to hurt him, I loved him, it was me that adopted him, my husband almost divorced me over it!  I told him he had a dog when he was a kid and by God our kids were going to have one too.  It was the only time I ever stood up to him or defied him on anything.  But I adored that dog, he was perfect for our family...and I cut his life short.  Sometimes we don't always think of everything we should, sometimes we're not perfect.  I don't know why life goes like it does sometimes.  

I later met and married the man of my dreams, my soul mate, my best friend, and 3 years 8 months later, he died.  I never expected that.  Sometimes I wonder if God punished me.  I think it's natural we think things like this, but no, I don't think God punished me for anything, I think things just happen.  Bad stuff happens to good people, good stuff happens to bad people, it seems to be rather randomly distributed, I don't see rhyme or reason in it.  But I know this, to all who live and breathe, at some time or another, loss enters their life.  To some of us we get more of it, to some less, to some it waits until later in life, to some it starts young, but to all of us, it happens.

We all have some things we'd do differently in life if given that chance to do it again, it's part of our learning.  But this I know, we don't intentionally harm those we love, especially our beloved pets!

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AJWCat

Great post KayC. Bad things happen to good people. And, it seems it is not just one little thing... it is a series of little things that go into something happening or not. Life is not for the faint of heart is it? 

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KayC
12 hours ago, AJWCat said:

Life is not for the faint of heart is it? 

No, it's sure not!

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LCLCDM

Thank you KC for sharing your heartbreaking story... I can’t imagine how hard the death of your pet was... and then going on to lose your beloved husband. I am very sorry you had to go through this.

You make some very good points.  Thank you again. 

I think one of the hardest things for me is I saw her declining and suffering right in front of me, and I waited until her vet appointment instead of taking her to the emergency hospital.  She was not doing well in the morning and I waited for a 4 pm appointment.  She also was acting strange and disoriented the night before.  I really don’t understand my behavior and it haunts me.  Then, on top of it, I put her down instead of trying everything to save her.  I realized, after the fact, she definitely could have survived.  

AJECat... thanks for your input also. 

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Kastine

KayC my heart goes out to you so much for ur losses... how did you manage to overcome all that heartache? You’re a very strong individual for sure and again I’m so truly sorry for what you went through!

it’s been over a week now since my beloved boy went... his ashes sitting next to me while I can’t get myself out of bed! All I want to do is die and be with him... he was the reason I have what I have in my life... we went through so much together and I fought hard to ensure we had a safe and secure home for us... now he is no longer in this home and I’m lost... completely and utterly lost..last night I put a blanket on the floor next to the bed because he couldn’t jump off the bed if there wasn’t something there... he was ‘afraid’ of slipping on the laminate flooring!

LCLCDM... I know how tragic it is to make a decision on ur child’s life...I feel I should have tried harder maybe tried cannibis oil or chemo or something... but the doc said there was nothing more he could do and maybe because I just told him I couldn’t afford a specialist....but maybe if I hadn’t said that he would have offered alternative treatment... I could have taken out a loan or something to get the funds to treat him... he was on medical aid after all...he was my heart and soul and reason for being...I don’t want to carry on without him... his character, his love, his everything was so special and I had him killed! I wake up everyday hoping it’s the day before we went to the doc so I could plead for some other treatment to make him better and prolong his life... I have a loving partner and another little fur child but I’m totally lost and am struggling to share anything with my partner even though he is there for me... my little chloe looks for my boy and tries to console me and licks my snotty nose and tears... but none of that will bring my soul back!

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KayC

I can assure you that there have been many many days in my journey that I have felt anything but strong.  If they knew how many times the thoughts crept in during the middle of the night...they'd have probably hauled me off.  There are so many things we can do to help ourselves through this.  Reminding myself in the wee hours that things look better in the morning.  Praying God will show me what to do, that "next step".  Praying for strength.  For comfort.  Not allowing myself to isolate, getting out around people.  Coming here.  Reading books and articles that have helped me understand grief.  Seeing a grief counselor.  Starting a grief support group.  Even art therapy.  Everything we do to help ourselves in our "grief work" brings fruition and helps us process our grief and make our way through it.

One day at a time.

LCLCDM, Sometimes we don't think clearly, especially when we're faced with losing our pet!  It's kind of a shock and we're in a state of disbelief, denial, perhaps that's the perspective you were coming from in the moment.  We can't go back and redo it, but we can forgive ourselves...the same way your dog has forgiven you already.  You might want to consider a grief counselor to help you through it.  This can be a very difficult path to try and navigate ourselves, alone.  I don't know why we struggle alone rather than getting help, sometimes we need help!

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agathas mum

Agatha died in my arms two weeks ago and I don't know why but I know I could have done more and I will never forgive myself. She was diagnosed with cancer in her mouth last year and she 20 days of radiation treatment and she got the all clear earlier this year, I was estactic , On the day she got the all clear she was playing on the sofa and making her nest and she rolled backwards and down her doggy steps, she landed on her back and had trouble standing up, i rushed her to the vets and they said she had a small fracture on her spine but she would be ok. About two weeks later she was lethargic and had a hacking cough, i took her again to the vets and they said she had kennel cough and put her on antibiotics. She was wasn't eating as much as she should, she was tiny anyway, she had lost a bit of weight due to the cancer, and she loved her food. Also she was a little unsteady on her back legs. Because of the Coronavirus you could only drop your dog off at the curbside and have a phone consultation and I wanted to be in the room so that I could talk to them and point out various things that concerned me, I should have been more demanding. I should have demanded for them to do another X-ray on her back because I could tell her legs were still wobbly. I asked for painkillers for her and they were so casual and just said yes and I also asked for appetite stimulants because she was really getting thin, and thought if only she would put on weight and eat more she would not feel as weak. I bought her three rottesirie chickens that were twice the size of her and three days in a row she attacked them voraciously, which made me so happy. I then took her to the vets again because her eye looked swollen . I picked her up , they said she was in really good shape but with a dry eye so i got drops , they gave me the appetite stimulant and wanted me to come back in a weight to see if she had put on weight. But I absolutely knew something wasn't right, her spirits were so low, the appetite stimulants weren't working and I wrapped her in a towel and fed her like a baby just to get some food inside her. On Sunday morning she was brighter and I took some photos of her because she looked so pretty. Even so I called a friend who is a home vet who also does acupuncture , he had worked on my last dog who had arthritis and lack of appetite and asked him to come and work on Agatha. He was on his way to the house, I picked her up to take her out for a wee and she went completely limp in my arms. Her head moved a little and she died in my arms. My heart is smashed into pieces. Should have absolutely listened to my instincts and demanded that the vet took X-rays and took me more seriously. I should have had to ask for pain killers, they should have given them to me without me having to ask. Neither the cancer vet, the home visit vet or the vet who had seen me two days previously who had told me that she was in good shape ! can give me the reason for her death. It makes no sense. Her heart was good, I will never know, it makes no sense. I know she was suffering because her back hurt, the fact that she had even an hour of pain and it was my fault kills me and makes me feel sick, she was mine to care and cherish and I let her suffer. I will never forgive myself for not speaking up when I knew something was wrong. I have very loving and supportive friends but they all say 'Oh its because she was old ," but thats rubbish, she didn't act like an old dog, her eyesight and hearing were perfect, the trouble all started when she fell off the couch. No matter what they say, I KNOW i could have done more, I did a lot , but it wasn't enough because otherwise she she would be here with me now. I have never known heartache like this. I got her from the shelter 5 years ago , they told me at the shelter that she was 15 , but she was actually so much younger, but i think that said that because I was so adamant that I wanted a senior dog. She never ever acted like an old dog. But I have never felt pain like this ever in my life. I reach out for her every night and I see no reason for even getting up in the morning. I messed up , she would be here with me now if only id spoken up. Im not coping well at all and frankly feel theres not much point to life. I don't know if I can bear this pain, where is she  ? I had here buried in a beautiful pet cemetery because I could never have had her cremated, she was so perfect and delicate , to have my beautiful girl cremated would have been brutal. I don't know how to carry on, she's not here and its my fault she suffered. i hare hate hate myself and I can't bear that she's not here with me. She trusted me and I let her down , nothing can change that

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KayC

I am so sorry, she is beautiful, such a sweet face with her big eyes!  My dog died 8 1/2 months ago, he had inoperable cancer, I took care of him the best I could for 2 months ten days and then had him euthanized so he wouldn't suffer any more.  It was both a horrid and special time, hard to explain, very emotional.  I love him with my whole being, nothing will ever change that.  The vet never offered pain medication, I don't know why.  I had him on liver supports because at point of diagnosis his liver was shutting down, I also put him on hemp oil  That helped but in the end nothing did really.  I kept him eating by bribing him with anything he loved and could eat (he had acute chronic colitis so I cooked for him a special diet).  He took short walks twice a day every day clear to the end.

ALL of us go through the shoulda/couldas in early grief, it's our way of trying to come up with a different possible outcome, but there's only one outcome and that's the one that happened.  We go through denial, something of this magnitude is hard to grasp!  It takes a VERY long time for the reality to set in.  My dog's coat is hanging on my chair and I hold it, there it will stay along with his leash and collar hanging on the hook by the door.  This is still his home, always will be.  Arlie is the best thing that ever happened to me, from the time I first laid eyes on his picture in the paper, I knew I had to have him, and time just verified that!  I called him my soulmate in a dog.

I want to say something, I hope you will listen...it's not our grief or guilt that binds us to them, but our love, and that continues still.  I hope you will read the following articles, more than once, let them sink in.  It's a process.

http://media.wix.com/ugd/0dd4a5_e934e7f92d104d31bcb334d6c6d63974.pdf
https://www.pet-loss.net/guilt.shtml
http://www.griefhealing.com/article-loss-and-the-burden-of-guilt.htm

I hope this will bring you some peace and comfort:

 

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agathas mum

KayC,

thank you so much for your wonderful reply. I am so so sorry that Arlie passed, I can feel the love between you. You said so many many things that resonated. That you love him with your whole being, and that you were soulmates and you knew that when you first saw him. It sounds the same as when I first saw Agatha , it was like we said to each "here you are at last, I've been waiting for you," Something of this magnitude IS hard to grasp, its like there isn't enough room in my head to actually come to terms with something so overwhelming . So its easier to believe that its not true. Even the thought of moving anything from the day she died sends me into panic attack. Even her wee wee pads (unused) are down and I keep her water dish is filled. I was always in awe of her at how she figured out how to drink and eat even with just a little stump of a tongue and just two front teeth. She lost most of her tongue to cancer but it didn't seem to bother her at all, she was a little problem solver and she just figured it out ! I'm sure you did the same with Arlie, just looking at them and say 'you're amazing !"  The special and emotional time you had together , Im sure was due to the innocence and purity of doing everything can for your soulmate, it sounds like it bonded you even closer if that is possible, its an unspoken, unseen bond that defies words.

The shoulda/couda haunts me every moment. I rerun in my head her fall off the sofa, the things I could have said to the vet etc etc. It's constant and relentless, I can't sleep. I don't want to talk about it anymore to any kind and lovely friends because however lovely they are, nothing they say can make a difference, so it becomes frustrating for all of us. So thank you with all my heart for the articles below and for writing back to me, you are a star. You are such a caring, thoughtful and kind person.

I'm going to do as you suggest and reread them until they really sink in, you're amazing.thank you thank you xxxxxx

 

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KayC

There is a bond between those of us who love and regard animals as we do.  I've had 24 dogs & cats in my lifetime, but Arlie was special, he was the perfect dog for me and I understood him.  He was so smart and communicative.  He was so goofy and fun!  He made up games for us to play.  I loved him more than life itself and would have gladly given my life to save his, if only I could.

My son brought me a puppy before Christmas.  I didn't think it was possible to love after Arlie, but I do.  He's not Arlie, no one will ever replace Arlie, but he has his own special qualities that make me love him.  But he doesn't have Arlie's Husky talk, at least not as of yet.  He hasn't made up games to play.  He's a digger, Arlie wasn't.  Arlie tried to dig his way out of his pen once but then gave up, he knew his girth would never fit through any hole he could dig, it was just way too much effort!  He wasn't a jumper either, too much weight.  He got up to 140, and when I put him on a diet he lost down to 110 and stayed there until he got cancer.  Kodie, on the other hand, is 12 lbs and his parents are each 20.  So I went from gigantic to little.  Kodie likes to cuddle, which was hard for Arlie because he took up the whole couch, the whole bed, the whole backseat of the car, the whole everything!  Arlie was the best watchdog in the world, would never let anyone in that he didn't think belonged here!  I used to worry if I had an intruder that they'd shoot him as they wouldn't get past him otherwise.  Kodie, on the other hand would go home with anyone!  He knows no enemy, the whole world is his friend!  

I will forever miss my Arlie and I look forward to the dayi we can be together, just as I know you do your little one.  I'm so sorry she got cancer, it's a horrible disease. I'm so sorry she fell.  It seems so wrong that she should go through so much, just to lose her life in the end.

I wrote Living with Loss (pet section) about Arlie's journey through cancer, and Memories of Arlie about his life.  Also Memories of Kitty, my 25 year old cat.  She died more suddenly but lived a full life clear up until December.

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agathas mum

KayC ! you are an angel. 24 dogs and cats , that so absolutely brilliant ! I love that he was 140 lbs , a force of nature indeed. Its so funny when big dogs are goofy, I feel like they have no idea of their size and the havoc they can cause in their wake.  I didn't know you have written about Arlie's life, am going to read your other postings, your writing comes from so much from your heart. The shelter didn't know Agathas story or where she came from, but whoever had her before obviously had fed her always at 5 pm because that was the time she would get up shake herself and look expectantly at me. We would have a quick game of 'sock', she would run round the room with a sock in her mouth then come into the kitchen and wait for food. Also i found her to b a little problem solver so i was constantly buying her puzzles, where you hid the treats in it and had to figure out . She was amazing !! figured out out how flip things open with her nose and pull out drawers using her paws. I kept filming her and bored the pants off people by showing them all the videos, while I'm squealing , 'look how clever she is !!" Thank you for writing to me, you don't know how much it means to me. For the first time since she passed I actually got up and did a bit of housework. I too would have given my life for her, she was an innocent, a gift of pure joy. I think that some people will never be lucky enough to know the pure deep love that we have experienced . Its because we love so much and so deeply that our hearts and souls are shattered. You're amazing, thank youxxx

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KayC

Isn't it amazing that they can tell time?  I'd get up at 4:00 am and begin making Arlie's batch of food.  It'd take an hour or so to make,  He always knew when it was time to eat too.  And we walked twice a day, every day, rain, shine, snow, ice, no matter what.  The only time we couldn't was during the snowpocolypse last February, there was 4 ft of snow that froze like a brick, couldn't move it, no sign of plows, we were without electricity or water for over 8 days!  My only concern was Arlie.  He could only have 50% of his food in dogfood, and that a certain kind, any more than that and he'd have a Colitis outbreak that would make him deathly sick and he couldn't tolerate antibiotics.  I couldn't cook during this time and I had some in the freezer but not enough for that long, I had to ration it to once/day instead of twice.  I was so worried about him but I prayed and he didn't have an outbreak even though he had more dogfood and less homemade.I felt that was God covering us.  He did lose down to goal weight with the diet, down to 110.  

I love that your dog loved games!  Arlie would sit on the bed, arms straight in front of him, eyes ahead and I'd put my arms straight ahead next to his.  Then he'd flip a different direction, so would I, then back the other way, me too.  Then he'd take off running through the house!  This was a serious game to him!  I loved his goofiness.  Also he'd burrow his nose into the corner of the couch and I'd say, "Where's Arlie?  Where is he???" and a grin would spread across his face!  He really thought I couldn't see him unless he could see me!  Finally he'd pull his head out and grin at me and I'd exclaim, "Oh, there he is!" and he'd grin so broadly!  He loved pulling the wool over my eyes!  I remember accidentally calling him "Kitty" and he grinned, laughing at me, he thought that was so funny that Mom got mixed up!

During his bout with cancer, I had my church praying for him, everyone knew how much I loved my Arlie.  

I wrote about Arlie's opening the gate in my Memories of Arlie, you reminded me of that with your Agatha's adeptness at getting the drawers open.  Amazing how smart they are!

I hope these memories sustain you, the ones that make you cry now will bring a smile to you on down the road.  This morning someone posted this on my other forum and I bawled.  But it was beautiful and I figure I had tears that needed to get out.

 

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agathas mum

Oh KayC,

what wonderful  fun memories. I laughed out loud at Arlie's goofy games. I went to the pet cemetery today, Agatha gravestone will be ready soon. I met Peter Falk's (Columbo) wife there. They both got the cemetery up and running as it is now, he was a great animal advocate. I will write more later, I'm bit overwhelmed today, that video says and sums up everything I'm going through today . Also I need to know how you survived over a week without electricity and water !!! I think you need to write a survival guide , Im just going to lie down for a week. I sleep holding her blanket, god bless you

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KayC
13 hours ago, agathas mum said:

I need to know how you survived over a week without electricity and water !!!

You do what you have to do, definitely go into survival mode.  Arlie was a trooper.  Kitty never noticed.  I keep a dozen jugs of water on hand just in case the electricity goes out but the longest it had ever been out before was five days in 1977.  We bought a wood stove after that.  So I was one of the lucky ones that had heat.  I removed the top of my wood stove (that insulates it) so I could heat things up on top of it, could even cook an egg!  But couldn't really "cook."  Normally I've always had a Coleman stove but I gave my trailer to my son and it was in that.  This year I bought a new one in case it happened again and fortunately it didn't.  I was mostly worried about Arlie.  During the night it was pitch black and you could hear trees crashing down all around you, it was very scary, you never knew if one would come on top of the house and kill you or your pets.  Three nights like that.  In the end there were trees on my fence, in my driveways, all over my front yard, fortunately none of them thick.  I cleared it all away myself, working first in Arlie's fence as there were stobs sticking up everywhere and I was so afraid of him injuring himself, with the snow you couldn't always see where they were and four feet masks a lot of hazards!  I worked feverishly, almost going into a diabetic coma, I learned to eat protein before going out and working.  The worst part, besides worrying about Arlie, was the total isolation and being cut off from everyone.  I was so glad when my son showed up on the fourth day to help me.  I was surprised as he lives 2 1/2 hours away, he'd have been there a day sooner but had to spend the night in town as the highway leading to my place was closed for several days.  No mail.  No trash pickup.  I keep my paper garbage separate from my messy garbage so stored the paper trash in the shop and put the messy stuff in the can so I could get it in, not knowing when they'd be able to come next.

My puppy chewed on Arlie's bed yesterday.  Sickened me.  I can take the cover off and darn it but am afraid of him doing it again.  Maybe I'll do that and then cover it with a blanket.

I literally bawled when I watched that video, it evoked so many memories.  I figure I was due for a good cry and I still mourn the loss of my baby.  He was so unique, so special.  I will forever love him, I hope he knows that where he is, I don't see how he couldn't.

I know the pain you are in, it's inconsolable, I realize that.  Nothing anyone can say or do.  Any words used to describe our loss are an understatement.   Hugs to you as you deal with your broken heart.

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agathas mum

KayC, how are you ? I reread your posts often, you have no idea how comforting they are. I'm so sorry that the puppy chewed on the bed, I too would have felt so sickened and distraught. Im still filling up Agathas water bowl, everything is exactly as she left it. I feel like it would be sacrilege to move anything. I'm sleeping with a stuffed toy that I'd bought her, her blanket and her dog bed because they still smell of her but, i think the smell is fading and that frightens me. I also sleep with her tiny little harness because I love to he the noise it makes. It had every id tag known to man and a little flasher light, so that myself and others could see her at night. Even though she  was always on a leash i was always terrified that people cycling on the pavement or skate boarders wouldn't see her otherwise. In my head I would always play out worst case scenarios !

I spoke to my therapist yesterday, we are doing phone sessions now but before Covid she had met agatha because I always talked about her so much, she'd asked me to bring her in to the sessions with me. She immediately "got" who she was and was totally enthralled by her. From then on she came to every session. In fact when Agatha died she was one of first people I called, which I realized afterwards was totally unprofessional of me but I was in such a terrible state that I need to talk to someone who knew how much she meant to me.I only realized yesterday that my therapist hadn't charged me for the last two weeks. She said in her professional capacity she is not allowed to give presents but wanted me to buy something nice in memory of Agatha, so Ive put the money toward her gravestone. What an amazing woman.

People (except for my therapist) are still trying to take my guilt and blame away from me , but I think it will either go on its own or not , I can't force myself. Whenever people say how much I took care and loved her i think , all of that counts for nothing if she had even one hour of pain that I could have changed. Ive been going back through all my texts to friends where I'm talking to them about Agatha and I can do a timeline that I noticed things weren't right, also all the times I was telling them that I didn't think the vets were doing enough, I keep thinking, why the hell was I taking to friends  about it instead of getting off my bum and actually doing something about it,

A neighbor called yesterday and has asked me to look after his dog next week, at first I was appalled and said categorically no. But then I thought about it. This is the first time in my life that I have not had a dog in my house, the first time I have not had a reason for getting out of bed. His dog is old and very quiet and way too big to even think  of trying to get into Agathas things. In fact when she's stayed before its easy to forget she's even here. So with trepidation I have said yes. I thought , just for the sake of my own health I need a reason even if  its only for a week to get up in the morning and to have some kind of life in the house. The fact that she is polar opposite to Agatha in size and temperament really helps and that she will only be here for a week.

Anyway , having the lockdown is actually helping because I don't actually have to see anyone, Im a personal trainer and  teach boxing, so its great that I don't have to interact with anyone,  Ive cancelled Zoom meetings, I belong to several book groups and we meet via Zoom ,, but I just couldn't handle it. People have been dropping off food, I have epilepsy so can't drive. People are kind but I'm in a special kind of hell, with this little voice that keeps saying, she's not coming home', anyway, again I'm sorry to ramble on. Bless your heart, I think an angel guided me to you , feel blessed 

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KayC
55 minutes ago, agathas mum said:

they still smell of her but, i think the smell is fading and that frightens me.

I learned too late, after my husband passed, that the smell usually disappears within a month or so, so put something in a ziploc bag as it will hold the smell much longer.

57 minutes ago, agathas mum said:

A neighbor called yesterday and has asked me to look after his dog next week, at first I was appalled and said categorically no. But then I thought about it. This is the first time in my life that I have not had a dog in my house, the first time I have not had a reason for getting out of bed. His dog is old and very quiet and way too big to even think  of trying to get into Agathas things. In fact when she's stayed before its easy to forget she's even here. So with trepidation I have said yes. I thought , just for the sake of my own health I need a reason even if  its only for a week to get up in the morning and to have some kind of life in the house. The fact that she is polar opposite to Agatha in size and temperament really helps and that she will only be here for a week.

When Arlie died, my neighbor asked if I'd walk Joe, a chow the same age as Arlie, whom they took in just two weeks before Arlie died.  They knew it'd be hard for me to walk alone as I walked Arlie every day, twice a day, so I started walking Joe, he's blind and deaf but he loves me.  He isn't as interactive as Arlie was, missing his senses, but in a way that makes it easier.  No one could replace Arlie, but he makes the walks easier and I'm helping him out.  I continued walking him even after I got Kodie.  So I do a lot of dog walking!

I'm so sorry for the pain you're in, I know it well, I know it'll lessen in intensity with time but it takes a long time and I still bawl over Arlie even after nine months come Saturday.  I'm glad you have a dog for a while.

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agathas mum

KayC am thinking about you and Arlie today and am sending love

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