My Dog's Name Was Brittany; I See Her Eyes In My Mind All The Time

She was 14 1/2 and died December 5th, 2009 (just a few months ago).

I'd say more--and maybe I will--but I just want to share one particular awful feeling that haunts me, still: she had such beautiful brown eyes, well, I just keep thinking about those eyes destroyed in her cremation, consumed by the flames, forever gone. It's irrational, I know.

My Brittany.

Vandervecken Vandervecken
41-45, M
3 Responses Feb 17, 2010

Thank you IzThis. You're very, very kind (and by the way, I'm a cat person too. In fact, well, there's always been a little xtra special place in my heart for cats. They were my first pets and I've had them most of my life.) You've brought a few tears to my eyes with that. I just have no one to talk to. I have to be "strong" for my wife; she can't take it if I let it out. All during those first horrendous couple of months I had to be there for her to lean on, but who could I lean on? I loved Brittany just as much. <br />
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It's months later and I still have moments--alone--where I just want to bang my head against the wall, or scream, or cry at the unfairness of it all. <br />
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Tell me if I'm crazy: I think in some ways it's easier when someone in your human family dies. For a couple of reasons.The first is that everyone expects you to talk it out and is willing to listen. People just don't have that same level of patience for hearing about the loss of your pet. In fact I told someone that Brittany was no less a PERSON to me than a human, she just was a person with fur and 4 legs. That doesn't mean she was human, obviously; it means she was a non-human PERSON. That someone vehemently disagreed with me. It's not that that person dislikes animals or anything, it's just that she just couldn't SEE that a pet is a PERSON (not just "a member of the family," as people are won't to say [and I always think in my head, "why do you even need to say that?]). I don't know. To me it's obvious.<br />
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The second reason is that our pets are so UNCOMPLICATED. They carry none of the baggage that humans have. No complications. Treat them as they ought to be treated, and they love you unconditionally. There's no emotional quid pro quo in your relationship with your pet, other than "love and be loved." There's no changing, no adaptation, and hardly any moods.<br />
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One other thing has been weighing heavily on my soul. She was an old dog, yes, but I think she had more time--probably a year to 2 years. She was on meds for her arthritis, but she had no eye or organ trouble. You see, I'd taken to giving her cooked bones. Not fowl bones, I know better than that, but beef neck bones. She LOVED those. Then I made a terrible mistake. I gave her cooked pork bones. These don't have the irregular shape of the neck bones, they're kind of torpedo-likem and she just inhaled one one day--10 days before her death. I managed to do the doggie heimlich maneuver on her so it dislodged from her windpipe, but it wouldn't come out of her throat.<br />
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When I took her to the vet, the best he could do was force it into her stomach. We hoped the stomach acid and normal digestive processes would destroy it--but 10 days later her bowel must have perforated and she went septic. It happened quickly, within 20 hours.<br />
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The vet at the emergency vet (it was a Saturday) told me not to blame myself. She said, "you were trying to please her, to make her happier, what's wrong with that?" She said "I don't know how many of these cases we get [bones in throats] that turn out just fine. The majority do..she [meaning Brittany] might have had additional complications due to age." etc.<br />
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Well, ok, all this makes sense. It also makes sense that IF I HAD NOT GIVEN HER THE BONE SHE WOULD HAVE BEEN FINE. Causality is a merciless judge. If A, then B. If not-A, then not-B. There's no escape from it, and it's hard for me not to conclude that, yes, it IS my fault, and I'm stuck with it being my fault. That I killed her.

It's not irrational luv. It's grief. Losing a pet is so hard. *hugs*

oh i'm so sorry to hear of her passing, better companion than most people! one of the most thoughtful stories i've read online was this man who sent in a picture of his black dog with a message above it saying "if there is a heaven, i will spend all of eternity playing fetch with this dog." it nearly brought tears to my eyes...i'm hoping that there is a heaven just so he can be reunited with his buddy.