Broken hearted and searching for some words of comfort....

Hi All,

    I'm turning to mycorgi right now as an outlet for my grief and for a place to find comfort in the words of others.  While I have turned to my for advice on my little Butters, my 2  and half year old pembroke, this time it's in regards to a sheltie.  She was no less important in my life, and I couldn't think of a better place to turn to when seeking some comforting words. I apologize for the length of this message, but I just needed to pour out my story and my emotions right now.
    Nearly 14 years ago our family got our first sheltie in Germany.  Her name was Dina, and she was a tricolor, and you truly couldn't ask for a more well behaved dog.  Dina was so loved by our family and lived a healthy life until a yearly dental cleaning exposed a raging cancer within her throat.  Dina was given a mere 6 weeks to live, but she far exceeded her odds by living  just over a year beyond that.  In fact, you'd never know she was battling cancer till the day she died.  She was fighter through and through.  We lost her just under a year ago.  Luckily, we still had little Stella, our second sable sheltie.  We had added her about 6 years after we first got Dina.  Dina and her were instant buddies.  Even when I had to move back home, bringing along Butters, the three girls got along fabulously.  A growl or a snarl was to never to be heard from any of the girls.  
    Well Stella has always been in great health, besides some dental issues.  That was until about two weeks ago.  I woke up, and as with any morning I was preparing for Stella and Butters to run and nip at my heels with excitement to go eat breakfast and run outside for potty time.  Well this morning it was only Butters.  I found Stella very lethargic and I had to encourage her to wake.  I found it a little odd, and more concern grew when she didn't want eat breakfast.  My sister and I decided to monitor it and see if it worsened throughout the day. Well by dinner she was back to herself and scarfed down her meal like normal.  But by the next morning, it was the same routine as before except now she was very spacey.  I found her standing and staring at the wall blankly, and when she decided to lay down she began shaking.  We immediately rushed her to our local vet.  Once we arrived we were greeted very warmly, and they began running tests on her.  It was discovered that she was suffering from pancreatitis, but also had high white blood cell count, was anemic, very dehydrated, and had  high kidney levels.  Stella stayed at the vets for the duration of the day, and we picked her up that night.  The vet asked us to bring her in the next day for another day of IV fluids, and sent home some medication with us.  By the next morning, the vet expressed that she felt a ultrasound would be necessary to rule out any other underlying issues.
Unfortunately, we received devastating news that afternoon.  The vet had discovered Stella was suffering from chronic kidney failure as well.  She explained that while we may never know what caused this, we could try and treat it with food and medications.  We were hopeful that with the proper care, we could maintain and slow down the progression of the renal failure.  The problem was Stella wouldn't eat.  The vet encouraged us to get her to eat anything at this point, and then we would introduce her special renal diet.  Well Stella wasn't having any of it.  She turned down all of her lifetime favorites.  We couldn't believe she turned down her favorite chicken, broth, and rice combo.  The vet gave us lessons on how to administer subcutaneous fluids, which we would do daily.  Stella went in for daily visits with the vet, but after two additional days of her only eating a tablespoon here and there, it was decided a feeding tube would be inserted.  We were willing do do anything so save our little girl.  Her kidney levels were continuing to drop no matter what course of action we took.  We tried the feeding tube, but sadly Stella couldn't keep any amount down.  Vomiting and diarrhea ensued.  We received more medication to control these symptoms.  This was Wednesday.  
   Now fast forward to Thursday.  We returned to the vet once again.  Stella had gained two pounds in one day, which did seem to disturb the vet because remember she was eating.  She also didn't seem to be absorbing the subcutaneous fluids we were administering.  I could see the worry grow in the vets face, but we went home hoping for the best.  But that wasn't to be.  Around dinner time Stella did something very odd, she rose out of her bed, walked in a circle and then took a few steps with legs criss-crossing.  It was very bizarre looking, and my sister and decided we would tell the vet about it the next day.  Also, Stella kept going off to other rooms away from us, which is totally out of character.  That night as I lay in bed, Stella wouldn't sleep.  She just kept looking at me with her little almond eyes, and I would say her name and she'd wag her little tail.  At about 1 am ( I was still awake), she rose out of her bed and walked towards her water bowl and just stood.  I found it odd, and started walking over.  Right then she fell on her side, then she stood up and tried to walk towards me but sadly fell again and began violently shaking.  It was a seizure.  I quickly called out for my sister in tears, and we rushed her to emergency animal care, not our local vet because they were closed.  
Once we were there we handed her over and waited for any news.   The vet then came into the room and explained that Stella had had another seizure in the back and offered us options.  I just remember crying so hard, and trying to ask questions.  She explained that they could pump valium into her to keep the seizures at bay until the specialist returned in the morning to offer more insight on possible care options.   Her blood levels were all very low, and she was very dehydrated and her kidney levels were bad as well.  My sister and I agonized over what to do.  We called out parents whom were in Germany, and they made the final call.  My dad explained that we had tried so much, and poor Stella was just getting worse and worse and was now suffering.  What could this place offer, more than a couple more weeks of testing and pumping medication.  Stella was dying whether or not we wanted to admit it.  Through tears, we explained to the vet we were going to end her suffering.  The vet the second questioned us, saying that they could keep her till the 9 am till the specialist came in.  I really felt a little bit discouraged by her doing this.  It was so so hard to already make the decision, I did not want to second guess myself.  But my sister and I stood to our decision, trying to put Stella's needs in front of our own selfish needs to keep her alive.
    I decided to stay with Stella until the end.  They led me to a room where I was told I could either leave her on the couch and sit next to her or hold her in my arms.  I couldn't imagine not holding my sweet little girl until the end.  I had been the one that found her and begged my parents to let us have another sheltie, I would be the one to hold her in her last few minutes.  I cringe thinking about this moment.  Stella tried to hide her little paw as the vet reached for it, which made my heart just break.  As the tears streamed down my face, my poor Stella took her last breath.  Her little almond eyes just kept looking at me for comfort.  I gave her one last kiss on the forehead, and rushed out of the office.  I couldn't bear to talk to the vet, who tried to comfort me.  I just wanted to cry and cry and cry.  Why had this happened.. she was only eight years old.  
    Well on Friday afternoon, our local vet called us to check in as she had received the news.  I cannot speak more highly of this vet.  She tried her hardest to save our girl, but let us know that had made the right decision the night prior.  Those words really helped us, as we keep questioning ourselves.  I feel absolutely terrible right now.  I feel like perhaps we gave up too soon.  What if we had kept her there till the am?  Should we have tried harder?  I had to return to the emergency room today to pick up a cement paw imprint they offer after your animal passes.  I couldn't even get my words out, before the tears started streaming.  Just being in the place where our little Stella Bella had died broke my heart.  I'm just really having a hard time dealing with our loss.  With Dina, we had a year to prepare, and she was a senior dog.  Of course I cried for her as well, but it was so sudden.  And most importantly, I didn't have to make the final call.  I sit here in tears, with Butters laying in my lap.  She hasn't left my side.  I keep asking did I end her life too soon?  We spent $5,000 dollars these past two weeks to try and save her, but that still doesn't make me feel any better.  I keep doubting my decision, and wondering what if?
This picture is the last picture I have of Butters and Stella together, you can see the concern on Butters face and Stella's wraps from her IV.  <3

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I just noticed a typo, I meant to say she "wasn't" eating, but had still gained two pounds.  I also wanted to include another photo of all the girls together. 

This is my absolute favorite picture of the girls, love it!!

How my heart is breaking for you. I am wishing I had read this after my work day is done, because I am sitting here bawling. You absolutely, 100% did the right thing. She was suffering, and telling you she was ready to go. She is now free of pain, while you are devestated. Take time to grieve...I still miss my beloved Dillon everyday. But my heart warms thinking of all our good times. It gets easier... take it day by day. She knows you loved her, and God bless you for staying with her. You paid the ultimate price of pure love.

I am so very sorry for your loss! You did the right thing and in your heart know it. I had a cat several years ago with kidney problems and I had to give him daily injections just to make him eat. In less than a week I knew this wasn't what he would want and took him back to the vet...RIP Twinkie you still are my #1 cat forever.

It's hard but you did what was the best for her!  Satying with her was very important glad you did.Take care!

I am so sorry for your loss, as I read further and further the tears started rolling down my cheeks.  It is so hard to lose a loved one.  8, just too young.  Lance will be 7 in a few weeks, very close in age, last year when he was diagnosed with auto immune issues, that was very hard on us, but to have to say your last good byes, heartbreaking.  Hugs to you, thinking of you during this very difficult time.  Hopefully, over time the good memories will help you through the days ahead. 

I'm so sorry for your loss...  I probably should have waited to read this until later as well ;-<   I can only imagine what an agonizing decision that must have been, but it sounds like it was the right one.  

You have wonderful pictures of them is so sad to know that two of them are gone. I can say that after years of having much loved cats and dogs that you really never walk away feeling totally confident about the timing (at least I never have). It sounds as if you tried so hard to fight this but it just wasn't to be. Try to take some comfort in knowing that she was not alone in the end and she knew she was loved. That is how I have been dealing with my recent loss of Sparty and it does seem to help a little. We are all crying for your loss. Hugs!

And poor Butters has lost a companion, too. 

Be easy on yourself.  You did everything you could, you went the extra mile, and then some.

We, unfortunately, know what it's like to lose a young healthy dog suddenly.

Nobody gets outa here alive, and sometimes we just lose.  So we make each day count while we can.

Let that little corgi comfort you.  They're good at that.

I'm so sorry!  They leave little paw prints on our hearts that will forever keep them close.

Awww Cecilia, my heart does go out to you and to Butters who lost her "sisters" just doesn't seem fair that we only have them with us here on earth for such a short time:(  It is such a hard decision and I understand the complete heart break of losing one before their time...I had my beloved Brittany murdered when she was 6, I still tear up over that and it was back in 2001.


  In August of 2011 I had to say good-bye to my 10 year old pemmie, Emma Anne.  She had DM and was misreable, even with her custom made wheelchair.  She laid in my lap in the recliner and my wonderful vet came and cried with us.  This past March we had to have our almost 13 years old yellow lab leave us when we were at the vets.  He was sick with some kind of throat parylise (sp) where basically his throat was calcifying and there is nothing that can be done.  He also was losing control of his hips due to arthritis...while at the vets he fell and couldn't get up and panic sending him to strokes...we gathered family there and said good bye to our dear Travis on the deck of the vets, with a pretty blue sky and birds singing...everyone crying again.  My babies are buried under a big oak in the woods of our farm name after our Brittany as "BaBa's tree"...the heart break is always there but life goes on here on earth til we see them again at the Rainbow Bridge.


  Be sure to give extra love to Butters, I know she will be your support and pillow to cry on.  Please know I understand and send you hugs and Corgi licks!


Nancy,  Katie, Jack & Squirt (our English Setter)  xo

I'm so sorry for the loss of your beautiful Shelties. Please don't torment yourself with "What ifs". If we let them go quickly we feel we didn't try enough and if we wait til we've tried everything, we feel like we tortured them for nothing. There is no "good time" when it comes to euthanasia; every time makes us feel lousy but in the end we must know that we made the best decisions we could with the information we had.

My parents lost an elderly cat who curled up in a corner, went to sleep, and a few days later passed on his own. It's the only time I've ever lost a pet where everyone felt happy and confident, and still there were others who second-guessed us for not taking him to the vet (it was the vet's phone advice to let him go at home).

You did your best for her and she knew that. Take solace in that.


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