This page is for all the pets that we have had and lost. Part of loving them is having to handle letting them go when its time.
For the record, I want to mention the fact that we don't believe in extending a pet's life if it's only for our benefit. If they are going to be uncomfortable, in pain, or have a poor quality of life at all, we do euthanize them. I worked in vet's offices where people would hospitalize their animals for weeks, leaving them on life support, in an environment they aren't comfortable in and without their people. I swore I would never do that. We choose to end their lives as a way of keeping them from harm.
Wyatt - Wyatt was one of two of our very first horses. He and the other (see Doc below) were rescued from a man who could not afford to feed them, and as a result, decided to just let them starve. Ol' Wyatt was about 28 years old and was euthanized because he was diagnosed with cancer that produced painful leisions on his lips. He was a really good riding horse that had many rough years.
Doc - Doc was the second of the two horses that were our first. He was actually only euthanized a couple of weeks ago. After a loooong history of trouble keeping weight on him, my Dad went out one morning and found him laying down and unable to get up. We thought colic at first but when the vet came, he said it wasn't. The best the veterinarian could come up with was that Doc had suffered some sort of metabolic disorder that caused him to not digest his food normally and derive the nutrients from his feed. He was about 18 years old. He is buried on our property.
Shotsi - Shosti was actually my Dad's dog that he got when he was 18. She was euthanized after a mass was found in her stomach that left her unable to walk or move. Her favorite things to eat were Starbursts and cigarette butts (when my parents used to smoke). We also joke that the mass was probably all the cigarette butts.
Bella - Bella was a rescue from our local Humane Society (we ended up with a lot of our dogs because I used to volunteer out there regularly). She was a super sweet little girl that let us do anything we wanted to her....note the t-shirt she has on - it was mine. LOL Bella passed away when she got sick rather suddenly. The vet couldn't figure out what was wrong with her, but strongly suspected that she had eaten something she shouldn't and had a blockage. However, when they went in to do abdominal surgery, they found that her intestines were collapsing on themselves. We were called and she was euthanized on the table. We have an idea of what happened to her now (see Helga) but then it was so confusing. She was only about 2 y.o. when she passed.
Caesar- Caesar was another one from the local Humane Society. Even though I had tried to talk my dad into adopting him when I first saw him, we weren't crazy like we are now (we had 3 dogs and 2 cats...and fish), and so having four dogs was unthinkable. Caesar was adopted...and promptly brought back for continuously jumping the new owners 6 ft block wall. A second adoptee took him home, and again he was brought back for the same reason. Because they couldn't find him a home, he started to waste away in his kennel. Nothing interested him - toys, food, treats...he didn't even sniff them. It was about a week until they were going to euthanize him because he was starting to lose it, and I finally convinced my Dad to "just come look at him". That was that, and he was coming home with us that night. He was my boy (as you can see from him hogging my bed). He had all kinds of crazy stuff happen to him (surgery to reroute his salivary gland to his eye for dry eye, surgery to sew his tail back on, etc.). He did still jump the fence at our house - he had a severe case (and it only got worse each time he returned to the shelter) of seperation anxiety, especially from me. He would jump into our neighbors back yard (when we actually lived within city limits) but couldn't get any farther than that, and we dealt with it the best we could - the neighbors were very understanding.
On Thanksgiving a few years ago, we came home from a family dinner and let in the dogs. He came in but immediately laid down and wasn't able to get up. Originally, we thought he'd gotten a frog and was sick from it - we'd had this problem (we had moved out of town by then) before and did what we always did to snap them out of it. He got worse quickly and my parents rushed him up to the emergency vet, which was an hour away (if I remember correctly, my dad made it up there in about thirty minutes). However, as they drove into the parking lot, Caesar took his last breath. The vet couldn't understand what had happened and we declined a necropsy because it was an unneccessary expense that wasn't going to help him now anyways. However, the vet followed her intuition, and without charging us, did an aspiration of his spleen. Her conclusion was that Caesar had had spleenic tumors that had ruptured and he had bleed out internally. Even through any pain he might have been in (the vet said that very little to no pain at all was felt, and he would have just been out of it), whenever I moved around the house that night, he would drag himself after me for comfort so that I ended up laying on the floor with him. I still miss him like crazy.
Powder and Aspen- Powder and Aspen were brother Siamese mixes that were, as you can see, really, really big (not really fat, if you saw them in person). They had been a Christmas present for me one year when I was little because I wanted A kitten - I got two.
Aspen passed away first. We came home from a trip and he was acting oddly, not really eating (waaaaay not normal) and moaning. We took him to the vet and they concluded that he either had cancer, or was in renal failure (the most likely). We euthanized him in 2007, and till the end he never took his eyes off my Mom (he was her baby).
Powder was incredibly lonely after Aspen passed. He cried out all throughout the night for Aspen, constantly waking us up. Technically, Powder was euthanized when we discovered a tumor that was starting to block his esophagus, but I think he really just died of a broken heart. Corny, I know, but unless you could have seen him, you wouldn't know.
They were both the most awesome cats. They never let the dogs chase them around and pretty much ruled the roost....and they knew how to open doors. Truly, the best cats I will ever know.
Doogan- Doogan was rescued from a family friend's sister who was simply mistreating him...and named him Sprite (does he look anything like Sprite to you??!?!?!). He was promptly renamed. We honestly thought Doogan was going to outlive everyone of our animals. We got him around the same time as Powder and Aspen.
Doogan started having bloody noses that we thought were due to dryness. We would do saline spray and it would help - when we stopped, they would start again. We figured it was simply allergies or something...after all we had moved into a more dusty area. When we took him to the vet shortly later, he was starting to show signs of uncomfortableness and lethargy. Upon xray, it was determined that he actually had tumors in his sinuses. Whether they were malignant or not, we didn't know, but either way they couldn't operate on him. He was euthanized that day, even though no one wanted to do it. He had lived with us so long, it was hard to imagine not having him. He is very much missed still, to this day.
Helga- My little Helga Bug was born on January 5, 2011. I was there during the birth, when our rescued chocolate Lab (Baby) went into labor in my bathroom. I helped Baby with the delivery because she was so young and seemed unsure of what to do. I practically had Helga picked out from the start. She was the biggest female chocolate puppy and I would often pick her up, and in what I'm sure is nothing like a Viking (or something) voice, would say, "Helga, the warrior queen!" That did it for me. She was mine and I, hers.
In July, she started getting sick. I took her into the vet the next day because she hadn't gotten better (we have a lot of bees around our house and the dogs are always getting stung - Benedryl!). They thought the same thing we had - an allergic reaction. They put her on benedryl and antibiotics, just in case. Three days later, she wasn't really any better, nor any worse, so we took her back in. After running some blood tests, it was noted that her liver enzymes were just a little high - nothing too serious.
The next day after that we rushed her back in when she began to vomit uncontrollably - usually just water. We ended up at an emergency vet for an ultrasound, but they weren't able to do it until the next day. We had to make the decision to euthanize her or wait. I'll admit. I was in firm denial. I didn't want to think about euthanizing her, but not because I just wanted her alive, but because she still seemed happy, wagging her tail when she saw me and wanting cuddles. She just seemed a little sick. We ended up not euthanizing her and keeping her in the hospital overnight, much to my disappointment (since we don't like leaving our animals in vet's offices without us), to have the ultrasound the next day.
With some lack of communication on the vet's part (not our normal vet), they didn't do the ultrasound in the morning like they said. I called all morning trying to find out what was going on, but I was getting the run around (we realized later that the vets and techs probably didn't want to talk to me because I would be too sad - yes, I would have been sad, but since I was her owner, they should have just told me what was going on). My Dad finally called and they told him that she was much worse and that they STILL hadn't done the ultrasound. My Dad told them to forget doing it and my Mom and I headed up there right away - I was confronted with the fact that I might have to put her to sleep. The vet called my dad back when we were almost there and told them that they had done the ultrasound anyway (and charged us for it even though we declined it, but that's another story) and that her intestines were starting to collapse on themselves. When we got there she was in such horrible shape, that I wished I had euthanized her the night before. I hated the vet for not telling me her status earlier.
I laid on the floor with her while they prepared the euthanzing agents elsewhere, talking to her. I asked her, "Where did my warrior queen go?", and she just blinked. She kept her eyes on me, only taking them off when the vet came in and sat next to her legs (by the end of it, she was terrified of the staff because they'd been poking and proding her all day). As the sedating shot kicked in, I kissed her nose and told her she was a good girl, and then she was gone. She was less than 7 months old. I wanted to take her home, so we did. We buried her on our property in a little cardboard coffin that the vet gave us.
Our normal vet came up with the theory that it WAS a severe allergic reaction. However, we found out through all the drama, that Helga actually had several malformed organs (including a tiny liver). Our vet theorizes that her little body just couldn't handle the extreme dump of histamine and as a result her liver and kidneys started to shut down.
Obviously, I am still grieving over her (as if you couldn't tell). I literally have moments where I see her pictures that I put up in my room and just lose it. My Sweet Girl will be forever missed.
*As a side note - after our experience with Helga, we now believe that Bella had the same whatever-happened-to-her as Helga, from their same symtoms and progression of deterioration.
We have several other pets that have passed, but I'll save them for another time.