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Queen Penny Is Gone


jbones70

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Queen Penny was a french bulldog we rescued from a breeder at just about 3 years old. She was a gift to my children. We loved Penny so much. She had 5.5 happy years as our Queen. We gave her the best life! Took her everywhere! Loved her to death! She loved going on golf cart rides at our campground most of all, as well as her early morning walks. 

About two weeks ago I noticed she seemed to be struggling to see all of the sudden. She still was acting normal, so we dismissed this as something that comes with being over 8. Last Wednesday she had a seizure out of nowhere. We were so worried. When she recovered, her gait was a bit off, and her legs were splaying out from under her a bit. We called our vet and he said our symptoms seem to indicate a brain tumor.  We decided as a family to keep her home instead of going into the vet's office as the diagnosis for a brain tumor is poor. We wanted all her time left to ourselves. 

Thursday she had a decent day. No issues except the splaying. Friday morning she had another seizure. I had to spend almost 1.5 hours calming her down after. Since she was a Frenchie, I noticed a distinct rattle in her lungs after the seizure. She had breathed in her own saliva during the panting session. We knew then she was dying.

I called the vet and arranged for a room to be saved for her. I asked Queen Penny to allow me one last walk, and to frolic in the yard one more time, and to wait for Mommy and my children to come home from school. I also requested she verbally signal to me when it was time to go. I made a lot of demands!

Amazingly, she walked down our street like she was young again! When Mommy got home at 1:15 PM, she went into the yard and ran around with our English Bully Pearl. We were stunned. My wife hand-fed her some shredded chicken. She couldn't really work her mouth however. When my children came home from school, Penny immediately had another seizure and took a deep breath and yelped. This kid never made noise, nor did she bark. I think she went a year without barking one time! We went to the vet, thankfully only 5 minutes away. She was breathing heavily and breathing in her phlegm and drowning herself on top of everything else.

I can't believe she did everything I asked of her! How strong was she to do that for me? She is amazing I will say that much.  That's love. She didn't want to go she had to to escape the pain.

We got to the table and she was ready. She willing laid down in a crouched position. First time ever at the vet. She got the sedative first and immediately had that big smile on her black mask face again. The one she always had when she was well. The one we loved! We all said our goodbyes and then she got the second shot and died in my wife's arms. I saw the life leave her eyes.

We are beyond sad. I hate the universe for taking Queen Penny so suddenly. I am missing this kid so bad. I want her back in my lap right now. To smell her, rub her, tickle her, walk her, pet her. Why did fate have this in store for her? Who can I punch in the nose for doing this to her? Why?

I am sorry I am rambling. I just need to get this out and get support before I go crazy with grief!

Queen Penny! I need you!  How do I deal with this pain? Please?

Penny.jpg

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Heard this three times at the airport. Never noticed any other song. It had to be from my Queen.
 
It's gonna take a lotta love
To change the way things are
It's gonna take a lotta love
Or we won't get too far
So if you look in my direction
And we don't see eye to eye
My heart needs protection
And so do I
It's gonna take a lotta love
To get us through the night
It's gonna take a lotta love
To make this work out right
So if you are out there waiting
I hope you show up soon
You know I need relating not solitude
Gotta lotta love
Gotta lotta love
It's gonna take a lotta love
To change the way things are
It's gonna take a lotta love
Or we won't get too far
It's gonna take a lotta love
It's gonna take a lotta love
It's gonna take a lotta love
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II am so sorry, she sounds like a very special dog!  I went through my Arlie's cancer journey, he was nearing his first bdy when I rescued him, I got to have him 10 1/2 years, I cooked for him as he came with acute chronic colitis & kennel cough (that went away but not the colitis, all I could do was control it through diet, supplements).  When he got the inoperable lymphoma diagnosis, I gave him hospice care myself as no help available except across the state and too hard for him to travel, I put him on milk thistle as his liver was shutting down, SAM-e and CBD oil.  I plied him with treats in an effort to keep him from losing weight as they said he'd die when he quit eating.  Clear to the end he ate and took his walks, all except maybe a couple of days, he did his best to please me.  Sometimes I wish I'd just left him alone to suffer in peace, instead he considered my feelings.  The hardest thing I ever went through was losing my husband, and then losing my Arlie, it felt much the same, my sweet boy...he'd gotten up to 140 lbs in his prime but the vet told me he needed to lose to 110 and he did and kept it off...when diagnosed with cancer he weighed 106, he weighed 107 1/2 when he died, that's how hard he tried to please me, eating even when he wasn't up to it.

We were so blessed to have these special dogs in our lives.  It is my hope that this brings you some comfort and peace in the days ahead:
Comfort for Grieving Animal Lovers

 

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Thank you for the kind words. I will check out the link after work today. I'm getting through minute by minute to not cry here but I am completely shattered inside.

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I'm a broken man now. My life was all about this girl. Now she is gone. I don't know how to handle this grief. I'm back at my hotel all alone. Crying for the universe to help me be happy without Penny somehow, but its not working. I cant take this agony. Nothing takes it away. Oh Penny, I miss you! Why you? Why me? Why did this happen?  

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5th day without Penny. It's not getting any easier. I feel worse actually. The lack of sleep is making it hard to think straight. I don't know what to do to feel better about all of this sh!t. Who is running the show here? This shouldn't of happened! She was so happy. Why?   

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I am so sorry, I know it's hard, the pain is incredible, nothing worse than the pain of early grief imo.  
When I lost my Arlie I felt it was a nightmare I couldn't awaken from!  I missed him with every fiber of my being, I longed to kiss his sweet face again!  At two weeks I wanted to dig him up from his grave, just to see him again, the only thing that kept me from it was knowing he would not look the same, decomposition already having set in...I didn't want to see that.  I want my set baby back.  It's been 26 months.  I no longer expect to see him laying around the house or think, "I need to start cooking a batch of food for Arlie."  His coat still hangs on my chair.  His collar and leash retired, hanging by the door.  His lock of fur by my bedroom door, along with a copy of his memoirs I wrote.  I buried his duck with him so I don't even have it to hold, but I hold his coat when I need to.  I will always love him.  My soulmate in a dog.  My best friend.

I now have Kodie, and he is my companion.  He's NOT Arlie's "replacement," no one ever could be...instead he is a sweet puppy God made just for me, conceived when Arlie died, born on my birthday.  He is different from Arlie, but I love him for who he is.  It's amazing how that can be, I wouldn't have thought it possible to love this much again.  I try not to think about years down the road...I can't go there.  It'll be the price I pay for loving again.  Meanwhile, it helps me through my day, my life, esp. in this Covid isolation.

Praying for strength for you to get through today...

I had to get on sleeping pills...I cannot function without sleep...

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So I am back at my hotel room alone, away from my grieving family, heartbroken, barely able to get through work without crying, bawling my eyes out right now for Queen Penny. It's not getting better with time. I think it's getting worse! God, please take this pain away. I can't do this anymore. I thought I was strong, I'm not. I cant be. Not for this I can't bear this. I need professional help.    

 
 
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Day 6. I'm not sleeping much. Mornings are the worst. You always loved to get up with me and sit with me while I had my first cup of coffee. Then off on your walk! God I miss the routine. And your physical presence Queen Penny. My family says the house is so empty. You were larger than life. I will never get over this it seems.  

 
 
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I had to respond because I am feeling every single emotion you are.  I lost my light & soul on Monday.  Overwhelmed with grief is an understatement.

I couldn't imagine how hard it is to go to work everyday while attempting to cope and grieve your Queen Penny.  I am using my sick time.

The mornings are the worst- I agree.  Routines= sense of purpose, things on a list to accomplish, happy to do it, comforting.  But I have no purpose, not happy and do not feel like accomplishing anything, without my moe by my side.

 

Anyway, I am not able to offer any wise words of comfort at this time except I'm way over here, feeling that pain too.

Hope you take care and are able to get home to your family soon.

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On 10/20/2021 at 12:57 PM, jbones70 said:

I need professional help. 

And that's okay, it's good to seek it when we need it.

Pet Loss Counseling

It's very hard to work in early grief.  When my husband died I had to go in on day five to do payroll and was back to work full time inside two weeks.  It was hard to focus, my brain thick with fog.  I had to ask my boss to check my work, something I've never needed in my life!  Most bosses didn't even know what I did, but fortunately he did.  Fortunately I wasn't working when my Arlie died, but everything was a reminder of him and work was at least a distraction when I lost my husband.  I know the pain is incredible right now...it seems inconceivable but eventually our bodies begin to adjust to even the unthinkable...when it does we often feel guilty for even smiling, but keep in mine it's not our grief that binds us to them, but our live, and that continues still.

I want to post my article I wrote about ten years out from losing my husband...it was written with loss of spouse in mind but there might be something that strikes you either now or later on down the road.  
 

I want to share an article I wrote of the things I've found helpful over the years, in the hopes something will be of help to you either now or on down the road.

TIPS TO MAKE YOUR WAY THROUGH GRIEF

There's no way to sum up how to go on in a simple easy answer, but I encourage you to read the other threads here, little by little you will learn how to make your way through this.  I do want to give you some pointers though, of some things I've learned on my journey.

  • Take one day at a time.  The Bible says each day has enough trouble of it's own, I've found that to be true, so don't bite off more than you can chew.  It can be challenging enough just to tackle today.  I tell myself, I only have to get through today.  Then I get up tomorrow and do it all over again.  To think about the "rest of my life" invites anxiety.
  • Don't be afraid, grief may not end but it evolves.  The intensity lessens eventually.
  • Visit your doctor.  Tell them about your loss, any troubles sleeping, suicidal thoughts, anxiety attacks.  They need to know these things in order to help you through it...this is all part of grief.
  • Suicidal thoughts are common in early grief.  If they're reoccurring, call a suicide hotline.  I felt that way early on, but then realized it wasn't that I wanted to die so much as I didn't want to go through what I'd have to face if I lived.  Back to taking a day at a time.  Suicide Hotline - Call 1-800-273-8255 or www.crisis textline.org or US and Canada: text 741741 UK: text 85258 | Ireland: text 50808
  • Give yourself permission to smile.  It is not our grief that binds us to them, but our love, and that continues still.
  • Try not to isolate too much.  
  • There's a balance to reach between taking time to process our grief, and avoiding it...it's good to find that balance for yourself.  We can't keep so busy as to avoid our grief, it has a way of haunting us, finding us, and demanding we pay attention to it!  Some people set aside time every day to grieve.  I didn't have to, it searched and found me!
  • Self-care is extremely important, more so than ever.  That person that would have cared for you is gone, now you're it...learn to be your own best friend, your own advocate, practice self-care.  You'll need it more than ever.
  • Recognize that your doctor isn't trained in grief, find a professional grief counselor that is.  We need help finding ourselves through this maze of grief, knowing where to start, etc.  They have not only the knowledge, but the resources.
  • In time, consider a grief support group.  If your friends have not been through it themselves, they may not understand what you're going through, it helps to find someone somewhere who DOES "get it". 
  • Be patient, give yourself time.  There's no hurry or timetable about cleaning out belongings, etc.  They can wait, you can take a year, ten years, or never deal with it.  It's okay, it's what YOU are comfortable with that matters.  
  • Know that what we are comfortable with may change from time to time.  That first couple of years I put his pictures up, took them down, up, down, depending on whether it made me feel better or worse.  Finally, they were up to stay.
  • Consider a pet.  Not everyone is a pet fan, but I've found that my dog helps immensely.  It's someone to love, someone to come home to, someone happy to see me, someone that gives me a purpose...I have to come home and feed him.  Besides, they're known to relieve stress.  Well maybe not in the puppy stage when they're chewing up everything, but there's older ones to adopt if you don't relish that stage.
  • Make yourself get out now and then.  You may not feel interest in anything, things that interested you before seem to feel flat now.  That's normal.  Push yourself out of your comfort zone just a wee bit now and then.  Eating out alone, going to a movie alone or church alone, all of these things are hard to do at first.  You may feel you flunked at it, cried throughout, that's okay, you did it, you tried, and eventually you get a little better at it.  If I waited until I had someone to do things with I'd be stuck at home a lot.
  • Keep coming here.  We've been through it and we're all going through this together.
  • Look for joy in every day.  It will be hard to find at first, but in practicing this, it will change your focus so you can embrace what IS rather than merely focusing on what ISN'T.  It teaches you to live in the present and appreciate fully.  You have lost your big joy in life, and all other small joys may seem insignificant in comparison, but rather than compare what used to be to what is, learn the ability to appreciate each and every small thing that comes your way...a rainbow, a phone call from a friend, unexpected money, a stranger smiling at you, whatever the small joy, embrace it.  It's an art that takes practice and is life changing if you continue it.
  • Eventually consider volunteering.  It helps us when we're outward focused, it's a win/win.

(((hugs))) Praying for you today.

https://www.griefhealingblog.com/2013/03/memorializing-cherished-pet.html
https://www.griefhealingblog.com/2019/12/pet-loss-amazed-at-how-we-are-grieving.html
https://www.griefhealingblog.com/2016/12/pet-loss-finding-support-in-group.html
https://www.griefhealingblog.com/2014/09/pet-loss-why-does-it-hurt-so-much.html
https://www.griefhealingblog.com/2017/10/pet-loss-when-nothing-eases-pain.html
https://www.griefhealingblog.com/2017/02/pet-loss-disenfranchised-grief.html
Grief Healing: Coping with “Brain Fog” in Grief: Suggested Resources
Grief brain-loss of mind
Grief, PTSD, and Your Brain | HealthyPlace

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MoesMom- I am finally at the airport on my way home. It was a terrible week for sure. So thankful this site offered me some solace. I know the hell you are experiencing.  White hot pain right in the heart. Use this site to know you are not alone, not crazy, and to just take it moment by moment, looking ahead is impossible right now.   

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KayC- Thank you! The tip list is what I need. I have been breaking most of these mental tips for sure. Feeling guilty for even enjoying anything. Crazy how the mind plays tricks. I appreciate your response. Heading home in 40 minutes. That gives me some hope as well.  

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Thank you everyone for the comments on Queen Penny. I will try again today to post some pictures, yesterday night brought me such sadness I could not muster the courage. I am home now, my wife and children are helping me navigate. It's not going thru the motions anymore now that I'm with them. It was a difficult week last week.

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So sorry to read about Queen Penny. What a love - sweet face. 

I know your pain so well. Initially there is just shock. Then reality hits and it gets harder and harder. Then you get a little better, and BAM, the wave of grief hits you again. 

It's not an easy journey and the only way is through. This forum saved me, glad you found it. Hang in there.  

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4 hours ago, AJWCat said:

So sorry to read about Queen Penny. What a love - sweet face. 

I know your pain so well. Initially there is just shock. Then reality hits and it gets harder and harder. Then you get a little better, and BAM, the wave of grief hits you again. 

It's not an easy journey and the only way is through. This forum saved me, glad you found it. Hang in there.  

Thank you for your kind words. Penny was epic. This forum saved me as well last week when I was alone and blinded by pain. If I do a little better each day I'm going in the right direction.  

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I still have Arlie's coat hanging on the chair, his collar and leash by the door...it's been over two years now, however we handle this, do it your way, in your timeline.  Whatever brings us comfort.

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So closing the camper yesterday was not fun. Just as I thought, walking into the trailer flooded me with memories of Queen Penny. Of course, since the last time we were there, we didn't expect to not come back, so there were dog toys and bones and stuff everywhere in the Florida room. Oh how Penny & Pearl loved to play with us, my children, and ours and their campground friends! I found the first toy I ever personally brought for Penny. Since she was a Frenchie, he had it ingrained in her being to destroy any toy! Exterminator dog! I got her one where the stuffy was surrounded by a plastic cage. She was never able to wreck this one. I also grabbed her golf cart goggles.

My wife and I were pretty emotional on the ride home. Everything sucks without Penny. The therapy dog we didn't even know we had it seems. Glad I am not going back to the campground until spring. Maybe I'll be in a better emotional place by then. The holidays are going to be different this year, Penny was the center of attention always, just because of who she was. Little dog with a huge personality.

I think I backslid yesterday. Not sure how many %, but it was a lot.

I'm trying to carry on better today.

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On 10/28/2021 at 2:10 PM, jbones70 said:

Exterminator dog! I got her one where the stuffy was surrounded by a plastic cage. She was never able to wreck this one.

I smiled at this...my Kodie destroys his also.  I think he'd feel tortured by not being able to get at it to chew it to shreds!  :D  He has a "red dog" (stuffed animal) that all that is left is the nose & teeth smile but he cherishes it still and sleeps with it.  Never understood why the first thing a dog does is pull out the stuffing & squeaker and then proceed to chew off the extremities, etc. but they do. ;)

On 10/28/2021 at 2:10 PM, jbones70 said:

Little dog with a huge personality.

I love this.  You have so many memories, they're bound to haunt, I know that's hard.

Yesterday I saw my old mailman.  He commented on how much weight I'd lost, then looked at Kodie and said, "Even your dog has shrunk!"  Arlie got to 140 lbs, Kodie's low 20s.  I had to explain to him that Arlie got cancer.  :(  He was my companion, my best friend.  

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