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Thank you.

Bono was allergic and had developed KCS, but otherwise always seemed healthy. This past week he was not doing well - there were various issues: no appetite, questionable feces, some coughing. I did not know what to think of it, but felt really uneasy about it all. It felt wrong. I had an appointment with the vet at 10 am yesterday. Bono died on the exam table of the vet during a venipuncture.  He fainted and it was impossible to bring him back. Apparently, his heart was too weak to handle the stress. There had never been any classic signs of heart problems before.

I do not know what will happen now. It would be unfair if I decided to have another dog, because I am not sure I will be able to provide day care when I have to work. My mother is 81 years old, so it is risky to assume she will be able to step in until I can retire ( officially in 2028). Dogs are social animals, they are not meant to spend their lives alone. So it looks like I will have to move on without the love and support of a furry friend. To tell you the truth I do not feel very optimistic about that. The emptiness is overwhelming. The house has lost its heart and soul.

“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring--it was peace.” Milan Kundera.
Oh my God, Martine, such a shock. Bailey died quickly like that. He was on heart meds as he had a heart condition, but he was okay. Then his breathing became more laboured one night, it was the weekend. I was going to take him to the vet on Monday. Saturday night he had a seizure and we took him to emerg. She said there was nothing we could do, unless we wanted to keep him alive for another week hooked up to machines. We did not. It was easier for him to go that way, quickly and without pain, but a shock for us. 

It is never easy. Your little Bono was adorable, and I know how much you loved him.

I would suggest to try to take it one day at a time as far as the future in concerned. You need to heal. My brother had to put his dog to sleep yesterday, and he was distraught and in tears. Worse than his lovely wife. 

I saw this, and thought of you and my brother:

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Ali is right, losing a pet is one of life's worst heartbreaks.

I am so sorry to hear your brother lost his dog too, Michele. What was wrong with him?

Your Bailey died in a somewhat similar way. The night before Bono died, he needed to make some effort to breathe. I called the vet in the middle of the night to see if I could take him there earlier, but it was their answering machine. I assumed they offer 24/7 help. At 4 am he coughed once more, and it was, well, worrying. He did not panic, he stayed quiet and sort of his usual self. But I knew the diagnosis would be bad. It dawned on me his condition was serious. Still, I really did not expect him to die. Bono never showed any signs of heart disease; he never coughed, his annual check ups never indicated there was something wrong with him.

He went so fast. I keep asking myself if I should have noticed he had a problem. It comforts me he did not go through a lengthy period of having to take lots of medication, having to go to the vet constantly, being ill all the time.

He was 8 years when he joined us, and I thought he would live another 5 to 6 years or so, because he was a mutt. I believe he was content with the comfort and attention we gave him. He was a very loyal pet, very devoted to me. He woke me up in the morning, waited at the gate in my mother's garden until I came to pick him up. He was smart, never caused any nuisance in the apartment building. In the evening he lay next to me on the couch with his head on my shoulder. He wanted endless petting parties... Those were our happiest moments together.

We moved into the apartment together, and he knew straight away that the place would be his new home. Now, it feels so empty. It is hard for me to walk around from room to room, to sit and eat here. I will need some time to get used to my new life. I will need some time.

I am considering to volunteer as a pet walker at the local pet shelter, which is located in the park where Bono and I went walking, just around the corner. I passed by yesterday with his food supplies and jackets. They gave me a questionnaire, some sort of test. I will also have to practise walking their dogs. Many of them are large breeds with issues. I guess that is why. The shelter is working hard to offer support and guidance to people who want to adopt an animal. They look for a good match.

My sister will look after Bono's baskets and pillows. You never know.

Thanks for your support.
“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring--it was peace.” Milan Kundera.
Hi Martine,

My brother and his wife adopted a five-six year old rescue. She was part boarder collie, part lab, named Abby. My brother (Paul) always loved dogs, (as we grew up with them) but he is very fastidious about his house, so he never got one. Well, Abby changed his life. He doted on her -- and since he works from home, was there with her all the time.

She developed problems in her hind quarters. She was on meds, and he and Kim (his wife my sister-in-law, ---also psych nurse like you) took her for swimming therapy and laser treatments, which helped a lot. She began to lose bowel control but they were poops, and Paul simply covered the floors and picked up the poops. It was because she could no longer feel her back end. They would wake up each night and pic up the poop, and sometimes be able to catch it when she was outside. It sounds gross, but they were formed so it wasn't hard. I would do the same.

Then she took a turn for the worse and it tuned to terrible diarrhea. Her back end collapsed, she could no longer hold herself up. He and Kim were heartbroken, but it was time. They had her for almost 7 years.

He's coming over today to see the dogs, and have dinner. More to see Storm & Toby, I think.

I have been through this countless times, with our darling Rufus, Bailey, Jessie (dogs) Jessie was my Mom and Dad's dog, a golden, so losing her I lost the last of my mom.

With cats, too. Sebastian, Salem, Monty, Oliver (also my Mom and Dad's cat). Now my Cleo is 16 and on meds, but she is old, and has issues. I would be afraid to travel now because as good as Lisa is with the animals, Cleo needs a lot of time and attention.

Some people say they would never get another pet because they can't go through it again. I can't live without them, though. I get very numb and forge through.

Paul, like you with Bono, adopted Abby later in life. He regrets missing the time with her in her earlier years. But to both you and he, I say, you gave them such a great life! 

When we got Toby we looked for rescues first. Many can't be with cats or other dogs, and many are older, and selfishly, I got a pure-bread (and feel guilty about it). My cats are all rescues, though.

Paul, like you Martine, is second guessing himself. There is nothing else they could have done, but he looked on the internet and found an operation - what if they had done that two years ago? But Abby's heart was weak. They couldn't get her teeth cleaned because of it, and when they did blood work for that, they discovered she had kidney issues. She would not have survived an operation. Also, the vet didn't mention it.

I always feel guilty (guilt, guilt, so much damned guilt!). Should I have done this? Could I have done that? Did I take her too soon? Too late? But I know I did the best I could, followed the vets guidance. I know there was nothing else I could have done, and same for you, Martine. Stop the guilt and second guessing yourself. You are a wonderful pet owner and there is nothing else you could have done. It was Bono's time, sadly.

I had no idea that Bailey or Rufus had a heart problem, it showed on their blood work. Rufus stayed with us for 3 more years with multiple issues, meds, laser treatments. He was 13 when he died. He took a turn for the worst, his breathing was laboured overnight, we took him in, (he didn't want to go for his walk that morning, just looked at me) and it was time. 

In the end, they have their life-span, and unfortunately it was time.

On a brighter note, I was going to suggest volunteering, but I thought it might be too soon. I'm glad you are thinking of that. Also, I remember having this discussion with you before, you might consider a cat.

I know you are a dog person, but primarily, you are an animal lover. Many people don't know cats, they are loving and wonderful too, just different. They can also be left alone longer, so they are easier for working people.

Jacqueline and Q (her boyfriend, Casim is his name, Q for short) just adopted a 3 year old gray cat, rescue. He is lovey, and Q's first pet. Q is so funny, worrying about everything. He gave the poor cat so many treats he threw up, and woke Jac up in the middle of the night because he couldn't find Kitty. Jac said, shake the pounce treats. They are thinking of naming him William. Jacqueline likes Ralph. So William or Ralph. They got him last week, after I went with. William/Ralph is very lucky.

Paul says the same thing --- the rooms are so empty without her. He and Kim are coming over at 12:30 (normally they come around 3) but I think he can't stand it there. He's talking of getting another rescue in the summer, but he would like one a little younger. 

I bought Paul and Kim a flowering plant. I would buy you one too, Martine, if you lived here. We always  buy a tree and bury our beloved pets ashes. 

Feel free to message me anytime, here, FB, email, whatever. 

These are for you, Martine.

Image result for flower plant in sympathy

There has never been a time when I've felt right about the way my furry friends have died.  Martine I think you are going through this now.  I've had pets euthanized.  And of course I felt awful about the choice I made.  Then I've had times where I knew they were dying and I kept them home to die with me rather than make that choice to go to the vet, and still I felt terrible.  I am always conflicted about what to do.  Am I making the right choice for them.  I always regret whatever choice I've made.  
I am coming very close to the time when my Jerry will die.  It's just awful!  His back legs are in shitty shape.  He is 14 and it has been sad to watch him deteriorate.  As long as we can help him get around we will keep him with us.  He is over 100 pounds and if my son wasn't around I could not do it with all the stairs we have.  

The last dog we lost - about 5 years ago - went very suddenly and unexpectedly.  She was too young to die but it was a nice change from having to make "that decision".

Cats, dogs, and a bird.  I was devastated about my parakeet too!  

It is obvious that the joy they bring into our lives is worth the pain at the end because we keep on adopting them.  

Martine I feel, as Michele does, that maybe the answer lies in a cat or two.  I never much cared for cats until I got one and oh how I love them now!  They must be kept indoors.  (They are bird killing machines.)  And you should never declaw them.  You can train them to a scratching post or keep you furniture covered.  Cats are so fun and very loving.  The shelter might have two that are attached to each other - friendship-wise - and they will keep each other company and will become your best friends.  I've had seven cats and they were all fantastic!  I still have one.  He's 16 years old now and still acts like a kitten.  

And God said "let there be light".
Then General Electric pushed him out of the way and the era of Corporate America was born to rule the universe.
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