I Let My Dog Down.

Two years ago,we went to NZ-New Zealand to visit my daughter and her family.My son was too far away to look after our dog, so it was with a heavy heart, and lots of assurances from the Vet and many friends, that she would be fine,dogs dont have any recollection of time, and other such platitudes. Anyway we left her with a very well recommended kennel,and went on our holiday.There wasent a day or even an hour that went by that I was thinking of my dog, cooped up in a kennel. She had only once before been a kennel and that was for only a few days, not almost two months! I called the kennel several times, to be told, she was fine, not to worry. just before we returned I phoned again, and was told the bookkeeper had taken her home with her, as she didnt want to eat,and the lady had several dogs,and children, so felt my dog would be more settled with her.Anyway, when we arrived home, I immediately went to fetch her, she had lost a lot of weight, she was never a heavy dog, and a very fussy eater.When I walked into the lady's house, Sassy was dozing in the sun,and I just stood there, looking at her. A few moments later she must have sensed I was there, and opened her eyes, and then when she saw me, she jumped up and ran to me, crying with emotion, as I was! I thanked the lady, and gave her a present we had bought for her kindness,and left for home.My wife was overjoyed to see her too,and we promised never to leave her alone again. I feel the damage was done,after that she was never the same,I took her to the Vet several times,which didnt help, she seemed to have lost her spark,its the nearest thing I can say. She stopped eating several months later, and then it was all downhill for her.Eventually,she was just skin and bone, and after discussing with my wife ,then the Vet we decided to have her put down, she wasent in any pain,yet, so the Vet said,and I held her in my arms till it was all over.I let my best friend down.
jemmy60 jemmy60
70+, M
5 Responses Jan 12, 2013

Thank you for your story,yes we do bond with our pets, sometimes even more than we do with family. I do hope your workplace life improves.

Just read your account of your strong bond with your best friend and felt I could relate it to what happened in my family. I had a white husky girl called Heidi, she came from welfare, her old owners just dropped her off and left her with me one day. Over the years she formed a special loving bond with not just me but the whole family. We shared many a happy moment: long walks, trips to the coast, cosy winter evenings, etc. I visited Dublin in Ireland with my mum and left Heidi with my sister. upon coming home I noticed she's lost quite a bit of weight, my sister told me she had the runs on one of the days I was away. She had recovered, I thought nothing of it because she appeared happy, healthy and had a good appetite. She forgave me for going on holiday soon enough.

Last April out of the blue the vet dealt us a shocking blow. Heidi had tumours on her lungs that had gone undetected for some time. over the weeks she developed breathing problems and would collapse. She once collapsed at the vet, who gave her a steroid injection. Looking back Heidi would sometimes pant for a long time but there were no other signs.

Heidi passed away on April 20, 2012, surrounded by her family. She was 14 years old.

Poor little thing.....
They are like us, when we are sad for a long time, we lost the aptitude to be alive.
But she didn't suffer at all, and is seeing you from heaven, because such faithful and sweet creatures have to be there surely.

Hello Emsie,thank you for your kind thoughts and words. It has been more than a year since Sassy passed ,and although some of the pain has gone, I still miss her. In retrospect I dont think I could have done anything differently,I just feel that my decision to not let her suffer ,as hard as it was, was really the best option for her. I was going to have her cremated, but the following morning, it was a Sunday, I called the Vet, and asked if her body was still there, and luckily it was, so I collected her, and we buried her on our property, so in a way she is always here. Thank you again. Jemmy

Hi Jemmy,
I know how you feel losing a family member is very hard. Especially having to make that "Final decision".
To me it sounds as though you are beating yourself up a little too hard.
I don`t think you let Sassy down.
I too was away from my beloved Pepsi for 6 weeks. Pepsi was at home with my husband, and neighbours popping in to help, as she needed tablets daily with food. (As we were together 24/7 ) I knew she wasn`t 100% when I left.
After my return, we had 17 days together, she too would not eat and declined rapidly.
It is just unfortunate for us the timing of it all. I don`t think there is anything we could of done better for them. Waiting until Sassy was so ill, weak and in pain would of been a horrible memory of her.
To make such a decision knowing there is no pain, ( YET !), is a very hard and RIGHT thing to do. The last real test of your loving friendship.
Take comfort in that. Holding her calmly until her last heart beat truly is an honour.
I hope someday you smile whilst thinking of Sassy and the days you spent together.
God Bless you and yours :)