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jimnyc
05-24-2015, 11:23 AM
He has a cut on him that he got sometime last year, never fully healed. I've taken care of it of course, but although a little cut, just doesn't want to heal. In the past year, I thought he had a stroke, or seizure, but he recovered and came back home. We never knew for sure. I noticed then that he looked a little droopy on one side, which is why I immediately thought stroke.

The fat face of his grew a little fatter. I chalked it up to old age on a fat Pug. But in the past few days it seems to have swelled or gotten more puffier. I brought him into the vet this morning. They can't give him any steroids to help, as he's already on a medication for arthritis, and the injection could kill him. She gave him an injection of an antibiotic to see if that would help. She said after that, that if it didn't work within 72 hours, that it's best to let him go.

He is "brachycephalic", which is his smushed in face. This is strike #1, as those dogs always have trouble breathing. He has been diagnosed with "collapsing trachea" years back, hence the medications he is on, strike #2. She said the swelling is an edema, filling with liquid, making it harder for him to breathe. Strike #3

She said he may not show pain. That he would also come to me forever as he's dedicated, but will still have trouble breathing and it hurts, even though he may not express it. The cut not healing really concerns her. She said there's a possibility of seeing a specialist, but Jerome has suffered enough. It looked like he was going to have a heart attack today, from trouble breathing and the fear. He's had surgeries and so many other things, I can't do it to him again at his age. He's been with me here since 1999 and has been very loyal.

He's my best friend in the world. I honestly would give up a limb if I thought it would help and keep him with me forever. I want to run from this. I don't think there's any way in this world I can pick this dog up and carry him into the vet knowing he won't be coming out. I don't know what to do or think. My hands are shaking like leaves. I've prepared myself for this for a LONG time now, and it did no good at all. This is the worst thing ever and will be my worst week ever.

I just took this picture last week, noticing his face puffy, but thinking he's just an old man and saggy.

http://i.imgur.com/ntvZqQb.jpg

LongTermGuy
05-24-2015, 11:36 AM
He has a cut on him that he got sometime last year, never fully healed. I've taken care of it of course, but although a little cut, just doesn't want to heal. In the past year, I thought he had a stroke, or seizure, but he recovered and came back home. We never knew for sure. I noticed then that he looked a little droopy on one side, which is why I immediately thought stroke.

The fat face of his grew a little fatter. I chalked it up to old age on a fat Pug. But in the past few days it seems to have swelled or gotten more puffier. I brought him into the vet this morning. They can't give him any steroids to help, as he's already on a medication for arthritis, and the injection could kill him. She gave him an injection of an antibiotic to see if that would help. She said after that, that if it didn't work within 72 hours, that it's best to let him go.

He is "brachycephalic", which is his smushed in face. This is strike #1, as those dogs always have trouble breathing. He has been diagnosed with "collapsing trachea" years back, hence the medications he is on, strike #2. She said the swelling is an edema, filling with liquid, making it harder for him to breathe. Strike #3

She said he may not show pain. That he would also come to me forever as he's dedicated, but will still have trouble breathing and it hurts, even though he may not express it. The cut not healing really concerns her. She said there's a possibility of seeing a specialist, but Jerome has suffered enough. It looked like he was going to have a heart attack today, from trouble breathing and the fear. He's had surgeries and so many other things, I can't do it to him again at his age. He's been with me here since 1999 and has been very loyal.

He's my best friend in the world. I honestly would give up a limb if I thought it would help and keep him with me forever. I want to run from this. I don't think there's any way in this world I can pick this dog up and carry him into the vet knowing he won't be coming out. I don't know what to do or think. My hands are shaking like leaves. I've prepared myself for this for a LONG time now, and it did no good at all. This is the worst thing ever and will be my worst week ever.

I just took this picture last week, noticing his face puffy, but thinking he's just an old man and saggy.

http://i.imgur.com/ntvZqQb.jpg


*Ah man....I'm scared for you Jim (know the feeling)....and understand....I had to do this with my beloved `SugerBear`...(Black Chow-Chow) short snoot (12 years old when he passed at the vet) some years ago.......I could not take it ...watching him suffer....It broke my heart....I was the Only one who could do what needed to be done.......SugerBear was a family member......it killed me.....and it hurt bad...

Perianne
05-24-2015, 11:37 AM
I'm sorry, Jim. How we love our furry babies.

NightTrain
05-24-2015, 11:39 AM
I know your pain, Jim.

Keep in mind, though, 15 years is a long time in dog years, he's had a pretty damn good run living with a great family.

In cases where the little fella is in extreme old age and having problems like that, sometimes the loving thing to do is end his suffering... doesn't make it easier on you, but for him it's better.

WiccanLiberal
05-24-2015, 11:45 AM
So sorry you are going through this Jimmy. Any of us with animal companions knows we will eventually need to make this most difficult choice. I have had to do it four times so far and will have to deal with it at least five more times. Just believe he has given you all that he is for these 15 years and the one thing you can give him at the end is peace.

jimnyc
05-25-2015, 07:17 AM
He's actually 16 and 3 months right now. Normal life expectancy is anywhere from 11-15 years, depending on which vet you ask and where you read. And with his surgeries, and trachea, and the seizures he has had... taking meds for like 5-7 years? Eating like a fat slob... There is no rhyme or reason as to why he has lived this long - other than the love I have given him, and him wanting to be with me and love back. I honestly can't think of another reason as to why he has beat all the odds to this point. But I think he's stubborn now. I think he wants to push on because he loves me too much, he always wants to be by my side, under my desk, under my feet somewhere. He's tired and weary, and he knows it an shows it, but he won't say it or express it. He's waiting for me to tell him he no longer has to stay with his salute held high. I never asked for this salute, a lick or a tail wag would have been enough, but this dog think I'm his master and has shown the loyalty and respect of a soldier. And now he'll get the respect and dignity of one.

Jeff will tell you. Even when I visited him, he would jump on the couch, then on the arm of the couch, so that he could rest his head on top of my head, as he has always wanted to keep me close, and to be able to know if I go anywhere. He slept in the bed with me from 8 weeks old until he was more or less too old to get on the bed anymore. Then he had a "throne" built in front of a 3 step doggie steps, with a huge bed on top of it, so he could sit alongside me when on the computer. But often he prefers to follow me and just be by my feet mostly.

Jerome's been sleeping a lot since coming back home. She said the antibiotics could do that, and that he may drink a lot. But every time I look at him I get tears. I wonder if he knows. I want so badly to talk with him, to talk and have him understand what I am feeling, how I feel about him. I'd like to think he knows, but I'd rather know. I feel sick about this. I feel like a part of me is dying. This friend has been a HUGE part of my life here in NY and I'm going to be a little lost without him at my feet.

My buddy when he was real young, refusing to leave my side late at night at a party in my backyard.

http://i.imgur.com/KTNcW6t.jpg

Guarding the woman and boy

http://i.imgur.com/sNoGIF1.jpg

Guarding his girlfriend at the time, Mischa (no longer with us)

http://i.imgur.com/nAy0GYB.jpg

Chilling in the kitchen

http://i.imgur.com/Nv03BUp.jpg

This is the tattoo I have on my chest, so that he will always be with me. I think I got it in like 2004?

http://i.imgur.com/6kzgZHV.jpg

WiccanLiberal
05-25-2015, 03:24 PM
Jim, trust me, he knows. He knows you love him or he wouldn't be so trusting of you. He trusts you to make the best decisions for him. Let him keep close and just give him the same love you always have. He'll let you know when it's time.

jimnyc
05-25-2015, 05:27 PM
I don't know why I do this to myself. Often when I'm sad, I'll listen to sad songs and wallow in my own misery. All I've been doing is hanging out with Jerome, petting him, laying with him. When he is laying at my feet sleeping, I just watched these and, I don't know, I don't know if these tears are good or bad. Sometimes letting it out isn't such a bad thing. But this is literally nothing, yet. This first video leads me to believe, to know, that I have to be there for him, to be strong.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7re7hLYOuY


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFQlBV2aiTk


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wedshx2J6iE

Jeff
05-25-2015, 07:10 PM
Jim you know how I feel about animals, but I have to admit I am actually trying to hold back tears after reading this ( and not doing real good as the wife looks on I am sure wondering what the heck ) But Jim Jerome being your BF deserve's not to suffer, I say this because you know even though I say a animal is a animal I to have fallen for a couple of them, first was Winny, I couldn't bring myself to take her, I left her running in the yard and each time I came home ( or just outside ) she would come to me tail wagging ( no matter how she hurt ) I lost her one day and it broke my heart, I came out and she was laying at my truck ( in the rain ) and I just cried like a effin baby.

Then of course Bubba, I couldn't take him either and he passed actually twice, Laura brought him back the one time. but again, yup that little boy came out again.

But both of those dogs, my best friends, I let suffer, I was weak ( wow I once drove all night to Maine to kick someone's butt for saying that one time :laugh: ) but seriously I let the dogs suffer Jim, I was wrong, I was selfish and it was all because I couldn't man up and do what needed to be done, yup me, the person that tries to just let sheot roll off like no big deal.

All this rambling means nothing Jim other than know we all suffer when this happens, we have all been there and God willing we will probably be there again someday, I wish there was something I could say to help you at this time, but all I know to say is I am sorry Jim, I feel the pain I know the pain and pray you didn't have to go through it, but it is part of life. Don't let your buddy suffer, you will know exactly when it is time, Laura had that cat for like 22 years, folks told her daily for the last year to put the cat down, hell she force feed it at the end, one day Laura she woke up and said it's time, she took her best friend and was at peace with it.

I'm sorry Brother.

jimnyc
05-25-2015, 07:32 PM
My wife was kind enough to find these pictures she had saved and said they were her 3 favorites of him. This is when we had a huge wooden structure for our cat. Jerome apparently thought it was cool the way the kitty could hang out in the tree. Coincidentally, it wasn't long after this when Jerome got his first eye scratch for trying to play with kitty who was now sitting on my desk. But Jerome was never deterred. He was good friends with Mischa down the road, and has been nothing short of kind with Nero.

http://i.imgur.com/wpvhxBI.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/ymurbh7.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/yXv7NQ0.jpg

Perianne
05-25-2015, 07:35 PM
That is so cute! The doggie in the cat tree!

jimnyc
05-25-2015, 07:44 PM
That is so cute! The doggie in the cat tree!

He loved that tree! He definitely thought he was a cat for a bit there. He used to love walking on the back of the couch too. And even get on the table too, if you left a chair out for him to get to. And there was food on the table. He's been caught more than once, or 5 times, on the table for stealing food. Jerome is a food thief for sure. And when he couldn't steal your food, he would whine and make weird noises underneath you and generally annoy you until you gave him food to go away. But he never did. :)

Perianne
05-25-2015, 09:09 PM
He loved that tree! He definitely thought he was a cat for a bit there. He used to love walking on the back of the couch too. And even get on the table too, if you left a chair out for him to get to. And there was food on the table. He's been caught more than once, or 5 times, on the table for stealing food. Jerome is a food thief for sure. And when he couldn't steal your food, he would whine and make weird noises underneath you and generally annoy you until you gave him food to go away. But he never did. :)

Those dogs can make some odd noises. We had a friend who had one. It snorted and mouth-farted all the time.

Abbey
05-26-2015, 12:22 AM
Jim,
This organization helped us immensely when we had to put down our cat. They have daily live chat with grief counselors: www.aplb.org (http://www.aplb.org/) It is all about pet loss. Go on the site and chat with someone, before you make the decision, or after, or both.

Also, I think your signature is true, and especially appropriate right now. It may comfort you.

I'm so sorry.

jimnyc
05-26-2015, 08:13 AM
Jim,
This organization helped us immensely when we had to put down our cat. They have daily live chat with grief counselors: www.aplb.org (http://www.aplb.org/) It is all about pet loss. Go on the site and chat with someone, before you make the decision, or after, or both.

Also, I think your signature is true, and especially appropriate right now. It may comfort you.

I'm so sorry.

It's funny you say that about my sig line. I was reading Jeff and Peri's post above and started reading my line, and it got me wondering. I TRULY believe that animals are on the same path as us, and will also go to heaven. So while this will hut real bad, deep down inside hopefully we both know it's a better thing.

Thanks much for the link, looks like I have some great reading to do!!

Jeff
05-26-2015, 08:24 AM
It's funny you say that about my sig line. I was reading Jeff and Peri's post above and started reading my line, and it got me wondering. I TRULY believe that animals are on the same path as us, and will also go to heaven. So while this will hut real bad, deep down inside hopefully we both know it's a better thing.

Thanks much for the link, looks like I have some great reading to do!!

Rest easy knowing Jerome will no longer be in any pain or have any breathing issues, he will have all the cat towers he wants, he will be in paradise.

Perianne
05-26-2015, 08:25 AM
Rest easy knowing Jerome will no longer be in any pain or have any breathing issues, he will have all the cat towers he wants, he will be in paradise.

Jeff, for such a big tough guy, you sure are sweet. And I mean that in a nice way, sir. You have all my respect as a friend to Jim.

Abbey
05-26-2015, 03:50 PM
Also helpful, despite the goofy name:

http://www.amazon.com/Will-I-See-Fido-Heaven/dp/0974627739/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1432669763&sr=1-1&keywords=fido+heaven

jimnyc
05-26-2015, 05:56 PM
I just spoke with my vet at length. Well, there are 5 of them in this office, but this is the woman who runs the show, and has known Jerome since week 8. We spoke about various things, and then she mentioned that they do perform house calls. She recognized that my concerns were his comfort and fear, and of course my wanting to get in and out as fast as possible and not be seen by anyone. And this way, I can do what I have to do and run upstairs like a big baby within 3 seconds and my wife will handle the paperwork. Not putting him into the truck, getting him scared, going through those doors... I didn't even ask her what the extra cost is. It feels so wrong to be planning this while he is still here next to me. But she said to look at it as the last gift I can give to him, to be with him and let him go peacefully.

Perianne
05-26-2015, 06:20 PM
I just spoke with my vet at length. Well, there are 5 of them in this office, but this is the woman who runs the show, and has known Jerome since week 8. We spoke about various things, and then she mentioned that they do perform house calls. She recognized that my concerns were his comfort and fear, and of course my wanting to get in and out as fast as possible and not be seen by anyone. And this way, I can do what I have to do and run upstairs like a big baby within 3 seconds and my wife will handle the paperwork. Not putting him into the truck, getting him scared, going through those doors... I didn't even ask her what the extra cost is. It feels so wrong to be planning this while he is still here next to me. But she said to look at it as the last gift I can give to him, to be with him and let him go peacefully.

Jim, I told you about having to euthanize my dachshund. My vet understood how people react. It was only me and him and he left as soon as he determined that the job was done. I sat there with my doggie for several minutes, holding and kissing him. The staff left me in peace for a long time. Eventually the vet came in and asked if I was okay. I gave him my card and asked if one of the girls could take care of the payment for me. He came back with the receipt and left me alone to grieve over my doggie. After a sufficient while, I walked out the back and cried all the way home.

There is nothing unmanly about crying over your little dog. Don't let your pride rob you of the few precious moments you have left with your baby. Hold him, kiss him, cry over him.... whatever you need to do. It's the last time you get that opportunity. This is one of the most painful times you will ever have.

I wish I could be there with you, if it would give you comfort. God bless your love for one of His creations.

WiccanLiberal
05-26-2015, 06:29 PM
I just spoke with my vet at length. Well, there are 5 of them in this office, but this is the woman who runs the show, and has known Jerome since week 8. We spoke about various things, and then she mentioned that they do perform house calls. She recognized that my concerns were his comfort and fear, and of course my wanting to get in and out as fast as possible and not be seen by anyone. And this way, I can do what I have to do and run upstairs like a big baby within 3 seconds and my wife will handle the paperwork. Not putting him into the truck, getting him scared, going through those doors... I didn't even ask her what the extra cost is. It feels so wrong to be planning this while he is still here next to me. But she said to look at it as the last gift I can give to him, to be with him and let him go peacefully.
Jimmy it truly is a gift. How wonderful to leave this world for the next surrounded by love in a place we know as home.

Jeff
05-26-2015, 07:21 PM
I just spoke with my vet at length. Well, there are 5 of them in this office, but this is the woman who runs the show, and has known Jerome since week 8. We spoke about various things, and then she mentioned that they do perform house calls. She recognized that my concerns were his comfort and fear, and of course my wanting to get in and out as fast as possible and not be seen by anyone. And this way, I can do what I have to do and run upstairs like a big baby within 3 seconds and my wife will handle the paperwork. Not putting him into the truck, getting him scared, going through those doors... I didn't even ask her what the extra cost is. It feels so wrong to be planning this while he is still here next to me. But she said to look at it as the last gift I can give to him, to be with him and let him go peacefully.

Jim you knew both Winny and Bubba, and honestly I did them wrong, I know that now and still wouldn't want to have to make that choice, but when it is you not going through it the choice is really a easy one, no one wants their best friend to suffer. Having a pet is so hard, they don't not live as long as Humans do but make much better friends in most cases.

Try to concentrate on all the great memories you have Jim, when we get a pet we get one for the good times they give us, concentrate on them and remember Jerome won't be hurting any longer.

Voted4Reagan
05-26-2015, 07:25 PM
They rely on us to make that choice for them.

He'll go quietly and he'll know youre there with him...

that is not a bad thing... to go surrounded by those you love.

He is a cute bugger...

Abbey
05-26-2015, 07:54 PM
Jim, the house call sounds so much better than bringing him to the Vet.

Also, ask her to give him a strong sedative right before. The last time I insisted on a sedative for our cat, and it went better. The vet for our previous cat said we didn't need it, and I took her word for it. I've regretted that decision ever since.

Please go to that site I gave you soon. They are very caring and understand exactly how you are feeling.

Voted4Reagan
05-26-2015, 09:16 PM
well.... look at it like this... you'll have your own Guardian Angel..

http://files.dogster.com/pix/dogs/39/800139/800139_1213978741.gif

jimnyc
05-28-2015, 10:00 AM
I hope you guys understand that I keep updating this as I am beyond heartbroken, I need to write this stuff. I can't stop thinking about this and I can't stop crying. I have a lump in my throat. There are lots of things to say, and to think about, that are meant to help, but it still hurts.

What gives me the right to do this? If only I was convinced that he knew what I was thinking, and what I felt. I wish I had a sign. Some talk about seeing signs of things, I am always left with faith alone.

I feel like I'm just counting the minutes on waiting for a family member to pass. Some may not understand, not being huge animal lovers. And that's ok, but to me that's how it feels.

I hope I can get through this, that Jerome understands, that he'll be at peace. This next 24 hours are going to be very difficult for me. I don't know if I'll have the strength for all of this. I admit I'm weak at things like this.

Jeff
05-28-2015, 10:30 AM
I hope you guys understand that I keep updating this as I am beyond heartbroken, I need to write this stuff. I can't stop thinking about this and I can't stop crying. I have a lump in my throat. There are lots of things to say, and to think about, that are meant to help, but it still hurts.

What gives me the right to do this? If only I was convinced that he knew what I was thinking, and what I felt. I wish I had a sign. Some talk about seeing signs of things, I am always left with faith alone.

I feel like I'm just counting the minutes on waiting for a family member to pass. Some may not understand, not being huge animal lovers. And that's ok, but to me that's how it feels.

I hope I can get through this, that Jerome understands, that he'll be at peace. This next 24 hours are going to be very difficult for me. I don't know if I'll have the strength for all of this. I admit I'm weak at things like this.


Jim I am hear if ya need to talk, SE may be a good one to talk to, he has been through this as well. It is just my opioin but yes Jim I believe whole heartiditly that Jerome knows exactly what is in your heart, as we spoke of in another thread, dogs can sense what their Master is thinking, and what their feelings are.

Wish there was some magical word to make things OK but all I can say is we are here.

sundaydriver
05-29-2015, 11:37 AM
Just saw this and read all the comments. Jim, I am so sorry for you & yours today having to pass on a family member. I'm not sad for Jerome though as he's had the best life & love he could have been given in this life and all dogs go to Heaven, for sure.

Hope it went well for him today, but it always so heavy hearted for us to do the final best thing that we can for our beloved pets.

Balu
05-29-2015, 11:51 AM
I'm sorry, Jim. How we love our furry babies.

You don't know yourself yet how it is to love own grandchildren. http://www.kolobok.us/smiles/he_and_she/give_rose.gif
Pls, don't consider this rose as a sexual harassment. http://www.kolobok.us/smiles/standart/smile3.gif

tailfins
05-30-2015, 05:53 PM
I hope you guys understand that I keep updating this as I am beyond heartbroken, I need to write this stuff. I can't stop thinking about this and I can't stop crying. I have a lump in my throat. There are lots of things to say, and to think about, that are meant to help, but it still hurts.

What gives me the right to do this? If only I was convinced that he knew what I was thinking, and what I felt. I wish I had a sign. Some talk about seeing signs of things, I am always left with faith alone.

I feel like I'm just counting the minutes on waiting for a family member to pass. Some may not understand, not being huge animal lovers. And that's ok, but to me that's how it feels.

I hope I can get through this, that Jerome understands, that he'll be at peace. This next 24 hours are going to be very difficult for me. I don't know if I'll have the strength for all of this. I admit I'm weak at things like this.

* moderated *

jimnyc
05-31-2015, 09:22 AM
Pets serve the purpose of letting children practice taking care of a helpless creature. Think of the lessons your son learned from having Jerome around. Those lessons don't die with the dog. That does make it awkward to explain to children the act of euthanizing a pet. I hope that doesn't teach kids a lesson about what to do with ailing parents.

I hope in some weird way this was meant to be your way of being nice? I read this yesterday while in a very sad mood, and it made me even sadder, as if you were hitting me while I was down. I hope I took your post the wrong way.

jimnyc
05-31-2015, 09:24 AM
Thank you all very much for the support. Part of me is trying to not think about this right now, but I didn't want to ignore the support from you guys, as it means a lot to me. This royally screwed with my head for now.

Jeff
05-31-2015, 09:35 AM
I was wondering two things:

* moderated *

* moderated *

Not the time nor the place for this discussion, let it go man.

tailfins
05-31-2015, 09:37 AM
Thank you all very much for the support. Part of me is trying to not think about this right now, but I didn't want to ignore the support from you guys, as it means a lot to me. This royally screwed with my head for now.

If you find a challenging activity, your head will stop being screwed up. If you only like producing things of value, try buying an old electromechanical pinball machine and repairing it. If you just want pure fun, building a model fills the bill.

I recommend a nice model like this one:
http://www.revell.com/model-kits/engines/85-8883.html

http://www.revell.com/product-images/85-8883-med.jpg

Max R.
05-31-2015, 10:29 AM
Sorry, Jim. My dog Bogey was a little over 14 when she had a stroke which paralyzed and disoriented her. She couldn't walk and was obviously scared. I held her as the doctor gave her the shot. Hardest damn thing I ever did. If you have faith in God, then have faith Jerome will be there when you arrive.

Voted4Reagan
05-31-2015, 10:51 AM
* moderated *

Not the place and time for you to tell anyone how to feel... Let it go...but be assured how you act on this issue reflects heavily on your character.

WiccanLiberal
05-31-2015, 11:14 AM
Jim, take whatever time you need to feel better. There is no reasoning with grief. It is an appropriate response to the loss of that companion soul. Don't let anyone tell you baloney about "he was just a dog". This article has some good advice for the person grieving and a few messages for those who may wish to help them. http://www.helpguide.org/articles/grief-loss/coping-with-pet-loss.htm "

The grieving process happens only gradually. It can’t be forced or hurried—and there is no “normal” timetable for grieving. Some people start to feel better in weeks or months. For others, the grieving process is measured in years. Whatever your grief experience, it’s important to be patient with yourself and allow the process to naturally unfold.
Feeling sad, frightened, or lonely is a normal reaction to the loss of a beloved pet.Exhibiting these feelings doesn’t mean you are weak, so you shouldn’t feel ashamed.
Trying to ignore your pain or keep it from surfacing will only make it worse in the long run. For real healing, it is necessary to face your grief and actively deal with it. By expressing your grief, you’ll likely need less time to heal than if you withhold or “bottle up” your feelings. Write about your feelings and talk with others about them.

So keep talking to us about it. You have friends here who care about what you are feeling, not what others think you should feel.

tailfins
05-31-2015, 12:15 PM
Jim, take whatever time you need to feel better. There is no reasoning with grief. It is an appropriate response to the loss of that companion soul. Don't let anyone tell you baloney about "he was just a dog". This article has some good advice for the person grieving and a few messages for those who may wish to help them. http://www.helpguide.org/articles/grief-loss/coping-with-pet-loss.htm "

The grieving process happens only gradually. It can’t be forced or hurried—and there is no “normal” timetable for grieving. Some people start to feel better in weeks or months. For others, the grieving process is measured in years. Whatever your grief experience, it’s important to be patient with yourself and allow the process to naturally unfold.
Feeling sad, frightened, or lonely is a normal reaction to the loss of a beloved pet.Exhibiting these feelings doesn’t mean you are weak, so you shouldn’t feel ashamed.
Trying to ignore your pain or keep it from surfacing will only make it worse in the long run. For real healing, it is necessary to face your grief and actively deal with it. By expressing your grief, you’ll likely need less time to heal than if you withhold or “bottle up” your feelings. Write about your feelings and talk with others about them.

So keep talking to us about it. You have friends here who care about what you are feeling, not what others think you should feel.

You're just repeating what I said. I may not understand what Jim is experiencing, but have read about it enough to give him intelligent answers.

Voted4Reagan
05-31-2015, 01:14 PM
I'm just curious because he is experiencing something outside of my existence. Information from others is welcome, but not from occultists doing Lucifer's work, Mr. Officious. I was wondering if Jim would trade being free from what he is experiencing for a severely impaired ability to bond being more "robotic". If YOU doubt my character, I'm likely on the RIGHT track.

Like I and others have said... not the time or the place for for this... you would do well to just let it go.

Voted4Reagan
05-31-2015, 01:17 PM
<tbody>
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.



All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....
Author unknown...


</tbody>

NightTrain
05-31-2015, 07:49 PM
I removed Tailfin's comments from the thread, along with quoted replies.

Jim doesn't need someone to twist the knife, he needs time to heal.


Tailfins, what the fuck is wrong with you?

Stay out of this thread and PM me if you have any questions.

Abbey
05-31-2015, 08:52 PM
Jim,
I just want to tell you that I've been thinking of you, and what you are going through.


Now would be a great time to go to aplb.org
No one can help you to work through this like a pet grief counselor.

Tyr-Ziu Saxnot
05-31-2015, 09:26 PM
Jim, Ive been thru losing a dog that I dearly loved. Its never easy, its always a brutal ordeal. Time will heal the pain.
A very bad ordeal to have to deal with and words barely ever help. Just know if its best for Jerome not to live in pain or suffer it must be done.
Godspend on getting over the loss..
Can often be same as as losing a human family member.. It was for me..-Tyr

SassyLady
06-01-2015, 03:52 AM
Just read this Jim, and I understand your pain. My first mini-Schnauzer. Missy, was 17 when she finally gave me a sign. She walked down the driveway during a rain storm, crossed the road,.... went under an electric fence and laid down in a pasture next to a tree. I was frantically looking for her and when I found her I picked her up and ran down the driveway screaming and crying for my husband to get the car out to take her to the vet. Hubby told me that all I could say was "it wasn't supposed to happen this way, it wasn't supposed to happen this way". It was because I always thought we would have that last day together with us having "the talk". I would bathe her, feed her chocolate (she was always sneaking some), play tug-o-war or fetch, and then say goodbye. Instead I had to watch her suffer ... all her organs had finally just shut down.

I was so selfish ... because I just couldn't bear to think about how my life could go on without her. She had got me through so many tough times in my life ... always there to give me comfort and cheer me up with her antics. After she finally relaxed and took her final breath I decided to take her home and bury her in the yard, under the tree where my hammock is so we could continue to connect. After I got her home I bathed her, dried her, combed all the tangles, and then sat in the rocking chair blubbering and telling her how sorry I was that I let her suffer so, and sorry that I just didn't see how much pain she must have been in. My husband went to Home Depot and got the materials to build her a coffin. He even got brass hinges and a little lock. We put her in with her favorite blanket and toys. To this day I cry when I think of her and she passed in 2001. We had to put our black lab to sleep in 2004. It was no easier because we loved him like a family member as well. And, as some of you know, my little Rocky (also a mini) was at death's door last year. I cannot imagine when it's his time.

Jim, I agree with Jeff that we sometimes put our little ones through unnecessary pain and sadness because they can sense our emotional trauma. And all because we selfishly can't think of what life will be without them. Please think of what Jerome is going through knowing you are so torn up about this. I can't say it will be better because nothing will ever fill that special spot and bond you had with him. If you choose to bring another little guy (or girl) into your life, he will also find a special spot ... but will never take Jerome's place. He will just be another one to love and cherish.

It is such a cruel thing that our pets have such a short time to spend with us. Please focus on the 16 years you've had together and don't let the last few days you have with him feel like he's letting your down by not being able to cheer you up.

I hope you are able to stay with him during his last moments .... he needs you to help him with this last step.

Take care,
Sassy

Jeff
06-01-2015, 07:34 AM
I removed Tailfin's comments from the thread, along with quoted replies.

Jim doesn't need someone to twist the knife, he needs time to heal.


Tailfins, what the fuck is wrong with you?

Stay out of this thread and PM me if you have any questions.

I spoke with Tailfins through PM about this, he didn't mean any harm by what he said. I won't go into detail of what we spoke of but I know that Jim will understand.

I want to thank everyone for their replies on this thread, Jim loves his animals very much and Jerome was his baby. With that said I don't think anyone meant any disrespect but personal attacks aren't needed in this thread either, if we must show our hatred for each other do it in the cage.

Again thank you for the post, I know it won't fix things for Jim but it sure makes it a rad bit easier.

jimnyc
06-02-2015, 09:32 AM
I don't want to quote any one post and then make others think I am ignoring them. Every one of you means something to me. To post here in the hopes of making me feel better is nice of all of you.

I'm going to try to start posting on other topics, but by no means am I suddenly happy and over this. I literally cannot stop thinking about this. My poor Chihuahua seems depressed and to be looking around for him every now and again. He's not eating as much and kind of sleeping and laying down a lot, I suppose like I have been. I've been holding him tight and spoiling him a bit.

Every time I come into this room the first thing I do is look to the floor where he would lay by my feet. It's odd not having my best friend forever there after so long. I'm still taking steeps to avoid stepping on him underneath my desk. I refuse to get rid of his things, his bedding, even his medication in the cabinet, even though they are all reminders. Some things I know he would have wanted Porter to have and use, and some other things it will just take time before I make changes.

Grieving over the loss of a pet is much worse than I had thought it would be. I've had tons of animals over the years, but always with family, and for one reason or another, things never got to this point to have me taking such actions. The grieving is different than with the loss of a human loved one, and I really can't figure out why.

I know everyone says this, but I'm not sure I ever want a pet again, to endure this loss again. Now I'm afraid of ever repeating this. I'll have to already with 2 more pets I currently own. Maybe someday I'll feel differently.

WiccanLiberal
06-02-2015, 11:34 AM
Everyone grieves and recovers differently. For me a memorial helped. I have the ashes of the last three of my babies to pass. For each I got a memory box with a photo tile on top. I placed the ashes and collar and tags as well as the condolence note from the vet with their date of passing. These boxes sit on the table next to my end of the sofa. And yes there are days when I still see or hear them but nowadays it just makes me smile.

Jeff
06-03-2015, 06:23 AM
Everyone grieves and recovers differently. For me a memorial helped. I have the ashes of the last three of my babies to pass. For each I got a memory box with a photo tile on top. I placed the ashes and collar and tags as well as the condolence note from the vet with their date of passing. These boxes sit on the table next to my end of the sofa. And yes there are days when I still see or hear them but nowadays it just makes me smile.

I simply kept the collars, I won't put them on another animal ( yes when I got Bubba that first night the wife asked if I wanted to put Winny's collar on him being it was to late to go get him one ) I simply keep them in the cabinet but I know they are there and I almost feel like it is part of them.

jimnyc
06-03-2015, 11:28 AM
Everyone grieves and recovers differently. For me a memorial helped. I have the ashes of the last three of my babies to pass. For each I got a memory box with a photo tile on top. I placed the ashes and collar and tags as well as the condolence note from the vet with their date of passing. These boxes sit on the table next to my end of the sofa. And yes there are days when I still see or hear them but nowadays it just makes me smile.

I have the ashes from my cat "Tigger" from a long time back, maybe 10 years or more. I still have not done anything with them other than the original tin container they came in. Thankfully for me, my baby wasn't living with me for quite some time before that, so the heartbreak was a lot less. I am going to buy something very special for Jerome and should probably get something for Tigger as well. I really don't want to visit the pages just yet or would share a few ideas. I know the vet will also be giving us a cast of his footprint as well.

Gunny
06-03-2015, 12:48 PM
He has a cut on him that he got sometime last year, never fully healed. I've taken care of it of course, but although a little cut, just doesn't want to heal. In the past year, I thought he had a stroke, or seizure, but he recovered and came back home. We never knew for sure. I noticed then that he looked a little droopy on one side, which is why I immediately thought stroke.

The fat face of his grew a little fatter. I chalked it up to old age on a fat Pug. But in the past few days it seems to have swelled or gotten more puffier. I brought him into the vet this morning. They can't give him any steroids to help, as he's already on a medication for arthritis, and the injection could kill him. She gave him an injection of an antibiotic to see if that would help. She said after that, that if it didn't work within 72 hours, that it's best to let him go.

He is "brachycephalic", which is his smushed in face. This is strike #1, as those dogs always have trouble breathing. He has been diagnosed with "collapsing trachea" years back, hence the medications he is on, strike #2. She said the swelling is an edema, filling with liquid, making it harder for him to breathe. Strike #3

She said he may not show pain. That he would also come to me forever as he's dedicated, but will still have trouble breathing and it hurts, even though he may not express it. The cut not healing really concerns her. She said there's a possibility of seeing a specialist, but Jerome has suffered enough. It looked like he was going to have a heart attack today, from trouble breathing and the fear. He's had surgeries and so many other things, I can't do it to him again at his age. He's been with me here since 1999 and has been very loyal.

He's my best friend in the world. I honestly would give up a limb if I thought it would help and keep him with me forever. I want to run from this. I don't think there's any way in this world I can pick this dog up and carry him into the vet knowing he won't be coming out. I don't know what to do or think. My hands are shaking like leaves. I've prepared myself for this for a LONG time now, and it did no good at all. This is the worst thing ever and will be my worst week ever.

I just took this picture last week, noticing his face puffy, but thinking he's just an old man and saggy.

http://i.imgur.com/ntvZqQb.jpg

Sorry. Got a cat that's getting there. It sucks.

LongTermGuy
06-04-2015, 09:25 PM
[QUOTE=jimnyc;738797]

I know everyone says this, but I'm not sure I ever want a pet again, to endure this loss again. Now I'm afraid of ever repeating this. I'll have to already with 2 more pets I currently own. Maybe someday I'll feel differently.
[/QUOTE}


I Felt this way once.....a long time ago....Then I got my buddy "Felix" My Parrot...over 22 years ago....Got him from a breeder when he was around 3-4 months old...hand fed. Felix`s life expectancy is 50-75 years ...from what I read and heard....

Felix is the commander of the house :)...very smart...drinks coffee every morning with me....Likes to eat what I eat (side dishes)...and of course he enjoys his seeds.

Felix has seen many of our pets... dogs and cats come and go...(they all got along) ...but Felix is still around.....Easy up keep with him....just a nice cage (which is needed...his personal space)....and change of cage papers daily with fresh water and seeds...but his cage door most of the time remains open....He enjoys standing on top of the cage to get a good view of things and analyze all scenarios. He also enjoys going outside on nice sunny days on to the patio ...cage door remains open...he will fly to me when-ever I call him... Just thought I would share this Jim...

jimnyc
03-09-2016, 05:59 AM
It's taken me a long time to come back and revisit this thread. I figured just opening it would make me sad, and it has. I scrolled through and didn't want to read things and hurt all over again, but saw all of Jerome's pictures. Man, I miss my buddy!

I still can't figure out why grieving for our beloved pets is so much different than humans. Yes, they are both death and it hurts to lose them both. And yes, I"ll be hurting over losing my loved ones forever. But while I never forget them, I can deal a little better with time.

But make fun of me if you will, but I am having difficulty with Jerome. When I think of him too much it still brings the tears out, the wound is still fresh. Why doesn't that happen with family and friends?

Jerome was with me for 16 years. I went through 6 homes and visited everywhere, and he was always by my side. He slept on my head for nearly that whole time. Maybe because he was still such a huge part of my life when he passed? Or maybe it's just because of me being bipolar. :(

Kathianne
03-09-2016, 09:45 AM
It's taken me a long time to come back and revisit this thread. I figured just opening it would make me sad, and it has. I scrolled through and didn't want to read things and hurt all over again, but saw all of Jerome's pictures. Man, I miss my buddy!

I still can't figure out why grieving for our beloved pets is so much different than humans. Yes, they are both death and it hurts to lose them both. And yes, I"ll be hurting over losing my loved ones forever. But while I never forget them, I can deal a little better with time.

But make fun of me if you will, but I am having difficulty with Jerome. When I think of him too much it still brings the tears out, the wound is still fresh. Why doesn't that happen with family and friends?

Jerome was with me for 16 years. I went through 6 homes and visited everywhere, and he was always by my side. He slept on my head for nearly that whole time. Maybe because he was still such a huge part of my life when he passed? Or maybe it's just because of me being bipolar. :(

I hear you. I think perhaps because our pets really do love us unconditionally, even as adults. Regardless of our messing up, even with them, they keep coming back happily greeting us-especially dogs.

We miss our pets, moreso humans, but we miss the feelings of love no matter how many people or even animals we still have in our lives-we're human.

NightTrain
03-09-2016, 09:58 AM
Sorry, Jim.

I feel terrible.. very poor decision on my part to revisit.

Kathianne
03-09-2016, 10:03 AM
Sorry, Jim.

I feel terrible.. very poor decision on my part to revisit.

While it seems Jim is again missing his 'best buddy for years' I think it's normal for many of us. I have moved, married, had 3 kids, got divorced, my parents have passed, have had 3 more dogs that I loved totally, yet still keep a picture of Taffy, my childhood dog-for 18 years-with me. I can still remember moments of total despair, that only a teen could experience, crying into her neck-only to have her lick me until I laughed. She was getting old when I was 12, but didn't pass until my first visit home after college. She waited for me to 'come home.'

I think Jim had in Jerome, that 'Taffy connection' that I still miss.

jimnyc
03-09-2016, 10:19 AM
Sorry, Jim.

I feel terrible.. very poor decision on my part to revisit.

Not at all, don't worry about that. I'm the type that wallows in my own misery at times. I'll listen to sad music and drive myself nuts. It's not like I don't have pictures of the little bugger all over, and his urn and more pictures just above me. In a way, I think it's good to have the feelings do this, I think it makes the memories stronger.

Just odd to me how animals have such an effect on us. Well, maybe not odd. We know we love them and we know they love us. I guess I just didn't think of 'the end' and how much that can effect someone.

Abbey
03-09-2016, 11:26 AM
I seriously do believe that true love never dies. It just morphs as people and animals leave us. Then there is that plain old "missing them" that we feel deep in our soul.

I think I told you previously about that web site with live pet bereavement counsellors. You can still talk to them. Or just read what others there are feeling. It really helps.

Kathianne
03-09-2016, 02:49 PM
Jim, I just came across this from one of my cousins on fb, I thought of Jerome:

https://scontent-sjc2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xlt1/v/t1.0-9/12814806_837358529725924_8275240128998577283_n.jpg ?oh=4d5911e1fc1260ce3a9c8077a2c1a632&oe=575EABCC

jimnyc
03-10-2016, 06:30 AM
Jim, I just came across this from one of my cousins on fb, I thought of Jerome:

Awwwww, that reminds me of my little Porter!! But is SO true that they take some of your heart with them. My little Chihuahua is about 10-11 now, and is just as spoiled as Jerome, if not more.

jimnyc
03-10-2016, 09:44 AM
A dying dog's goodbye letter to his human

“Yesterday was a weird day. I couldn’t get myself out of bed. The guy I live with lifted me up. I tried to get my legs under me, but they wouldn’t cooperate. He said, ‘Don’t worry, I gotcha, buddy,’ carried me downstairs, and out the front door. That was so nice of him. I needed to pee so badly, I just had to go right there where he put me down. Normally I wouldn’t, but we both decided to make an exception to the rule.

I started walking down the parking lot toward that place where all the dogs like me go to poop. I felt my paws dragging on the ground. ‘How strange,’ I thought. Then suddenly, I just had to go, really badly. In the middle of the parking lot. Normally, I wouldn’t do that. It’s against the rules.”

“My person cleaned up the mess. He’s good at that. I felt embarrassed, looked at him, and he said, ‘Want to keep walking, buddy?’ I did, but it was surprisingly tough. By the time we reached the end of the parking lot, my head was spinning. I tried to climb the little hill, and nearly fell over. I couldn’t figure out what was going on.

He reached down again, and ran his hands over me. That felt good. He picked me up, and carried me home. I was still confused, and my head was light, but I was glad not to have to walk all the way back. It suddenly seemed like an impossible distance.”

“I was so glad to lay down on my bed. My person petted me, saying, ‘I gotcha covered, buddy. I gotcha.’ I love the way that makes me feel. I know he does. He makes everything better.

He felt my paws, and pulled up my lip. He said, ‘Oh, buddy, are you cold?’ I was. My face was cold, my paws were cold. He texted a few people, and came back to pet me.

A few minutes later, another person arrived. He’s one of my favorites, and his name is Jay. He petted me, and said to my person, ‘Do you want to get a blanket?’ They put a blanket over me, and wow… that felt good. I relaxed, and they both petted me, but they both started to choke back tears.”

“I never want them to cry, it breaks my heart. It’s my job to make them feel better, and I was just a little tired, and cold. I drifted in and out of sleep, and they were always there, making sure I was okay, and chatting with each other.

Throughout the day, my person made some phone calls, and spent a lot of time with me. I heard him say, ’9 am tomorrow… OK… yes… I’ll tell you if anything changes. Thank you, Dr. MacDonald.’ He called someone else, and said, ‘I’m sorry, I have to cancel tonight.’ Then as I was drifting off to sleep, I think I heard him cry a little again.”

“In the evening, more of my favorite people came by. They were all so loving. I licked their tears away when they would get close enough to my face. They whispered sweet things in my ear, and told me I was a good boy.

Later in the evening, I felt well enough to stand up and walk to the door to see who was coming in. It was more exhausting than I’d remembered it being, but I loved seeing them all. I heard my person say something like, ‘That’s the first time he’s gotten up under his own power today.’ Everyone seemed glad that I was out of bed. I was, too, but wow… after the excitement wore off, it was so exhausting to move around.”

“After the last visitor left, my person took me outside to do what he called, ‘my business.’ We went back inside and when we reached the bottom of the stairs, they looked twice as steep and ten times as long as I remembered them being. I looked at my person, and he looked at me. He said, ‘Don’t worry, I gotcha, buddy,’ and carried me up.

Then it got even better! Instead of sleeping in my bed, he called me up to sleep on *his* bed. Let me repeat: *I got to sleep in the bed with my person!* We normally have our own beds, but last night we snuggled, and it felt so good to be that close to him. I thought, ‘This is where I belong. I will never leave his side.’ I didn’t feel very well, though, and it was hard to breathe sometimes.”

“It seems like it started a few months ago. We were playing fetch and I just blacked out. I don’t know what happened, but I think I stopped breathing. I could hear my person calling my name. I couldn’t move a muscle. He lifted my head, and looked into my eyes. I could see him right there, but couldn’t lick his face. He said, ‘Benny, are you in there?’ I couldn’t respond. He looked at me, and said, ‘Don’t worry, buddy, I gotcha. I gotcha covered.’ I started to spin into darkness, but then my lungs took in a deep breath, and I could see again.

We went to see some doctors, and since then I’ve heard a lot of words like, ‘cardiomyopathy,’ ‘cancer,’ and ‘kidney failure.’ All I know is that sometimes I feel okay, and sometimes… you know… I just don’t. My person gives me pills.”

“This morning, I heard my person get up and take a shower. He came back in the room, and smelled so nice. He helped me get up, but this time, I could do it on my own. We got to the top of the stairs, and wow… they looked long and steep again. He said, ‘I gotcha, buddy,’ and carried me down. I did my business, and we came back inside. He opened a can, a really, really delicious can of wet dog food. Oh man… I love that stuff!

Jay showed up again. What a nice surprise! He and my person seemed concerned, but everyone was petting me. It seemed a little like a play, where all the actors were sad, but pretending to be happy. Pretty soon after that, another person showed up. She was wearing doctor pants, and I leaned on her.”

“I heard them talk. Everyone looked at my gums, and felt my paws. I heard the doctor pants lady say, ‘It’s your decision, but he’s definitely in that window. I don’t want to push you, but looking at his lack of color, I am honestly shocked he’s even standing up. In addition to the paws and jowls, look here…’ she pointed at my face, ‘This should be pink. It’s almost white, and verging toward yellow.’

My person and Jay went inside to talk about something. When they came back out, I heard my person say, ‘I agree. I don’t want to wait till he’s in absolute agony.’ So we went inside. Truth be told, I was feeling pretty badly, even though I was up and walking. It seemed like my whole head was cold, my paws were freezing, and my back legs weren’t working right.”

“The doctor pants lady said, ‘I’ll just put this into his muscle. It’s a sedative. Then I’ll come back over here, and you can just love on him till he’s asleep.’ My person kissed my face, and looked in my eyes. He was trying not to cry. Doctor pants lady gave me a shot of something in the leg. I just looked at my person. He is so awesome. I will always be right by his side.

He and Jay petted me, and said the nicest things — what a good dog I am, what a good job I’ve done, how thankful they are to have me in their lives. After a while, my mind started buzzing. FOCUS! I looked back at my person. I love him so much.”

“I drifted again. FOCUS! I can see my person. I love him so much. I will always be right by his side. He knows that. Am I sleepy? FOCUS! I’ll always look at him with my whole heart…

Doctor pants lady said, ‘He must have an incredible will to stay with you. He is really powering through. That’s impressive.’ My person choked back tears and said, ‘I know. This guy lives for me. He is the most devoted soul I’ve ever met…’ We put our heads together, and closed our eyes. I felt good. I can’t really describe it. We looked at each other again. I just felt like riding that buzz, but maybe lying down was better. My person helped me down. Man, that felt gooooooood.

I felt him and Jay petting me, and heard them talking to me. They love me so much. How lucky am I? Then I felt thousands of hands petting me. Everyone I’d ever known and loved was there, petting me, scratching my ears, and that spot under my collar that makes my leg move. Everyone should try this. It’s just amazing!”

“Then I felt the doctor pants lady touch my leg. Did I tell you that my person had to have both of my knees repaired? They’re titanium, and have served me well, but you know… I’ve been feeling a little creaky lately.

With everyone petting me, the doctor pants lady put another needle in my leg, but this time, as the fluid went in, my legs were healed! My knees were perfect! And as I felt it move through my body, my cancer disappeared! And then my kidneys felt better! And finally, even my heart was whole, and healthy! I felt like I had sprung away from all of my sickness. Amazing!”

“I saw my person, and Jay, and the lady who lives at our house, Shelly. They seemed to be huddling over something. I walked over to look. It seemed like… I don’t know. It kind of looked like me, but the way I looked when I was feeling really sick, or exhausted. The face was blurred out, so I couldn’t really tell, but that poor guy looked like he had been suffering.

I could tell my person was both relieved and very, very sad. I love him so much. I looked at that me-shaped shell, and I looked at him… I think he was sad about that shell. I jumped around the room, like a clown, but it seemed like they wanted to be somber, and focus on whatever that thing was they were petting and kissing.

But my person was definitely sad. I leaned on him, like I’ve done a million times before, but it wasn’t quite the same. It felt like his body was a cloud and I passed right through him. So I walked up next to him, sat like a good boy, and my heart whispered to his, ‘Don’t worry, buddy. I gotcha covered.’ I will never leave his side. He knows that.”

http://cavemancircus.com/2016/03/04/a-dying-dogs-goodbye-letter-to-his-human/

WiccanLiberal
03-12-2016, 08:05 PM
I read that dog's last day post but it took me several tries to get through it all. We are responsible for our furchildren in ways we are never responsible for the people around us - not even human children as they are expected to attain independence. They love us in a way very few of us know in any other relationship. They ask so little of us. And the ones that are the most dependent on us because of age or disability seem to be the ones we miss the most.