Decisions, Decisions…

my patio

On Monday I picked up Abi’s ashes. Hard to believe that that bundle of energy and mischief is contained in one small carved box.

I think it takes awhile to sink in. Losing someone you love. Instead of dimming in my memory, I am assailed with images of her. Which I both cherish and mourn.

Don’t let anyone try to convince you that losing a pet is easier than losing a person. I think maybe it’s worse because a pet is with us every single day. And if you live alone, that’s huge.

Charlie started acting weird hours after I brought her ashes home. He went under the bed and under low furniture and furiously scratched just like Abi would when a fly was inside. I never found the fly.

Then he acted like he had an upset tummy. He was lethargic. Of course my mind spun all kinds of fears that something could be wrong with him and I might lose him too.

sedum

Yesterday he was still acting strange. He didn’t want to eat or drink. I finally got him to eat a bit of his prescription food.

I panicked and called the vet just before they closed. They said go get plain Pedialyte and give it to him in a syringe. So off I raced to Walgreens. I forced the Pedialyte down him.

I waited a bit and then called the vet’s cell number and he said give it to him every few hours. I did that until we slept.

Now he won’t let me anywhere near him for fear I will force fluid down his throat.

This morning I was physically and mentally exhausted. His appointment for a consultation with the acupuncturist is late this afternoon. I’d thought I’d get up and take him to his regular vet early because I’m worried about him.

But then I just stopped myself.

Who am I really trying to help? Him or me? I think back to Abi’s little withering body, dragging her to the vet each day for fluids. And it didn’t do any good. If I’d known then what I know now, would I have just let her be with me and not put her through it?

daisies

I don’t know. I don’t know. I can’t seem to think straight. Am I just in a panic because of grief?

Charlie seems better this morning. His back doesn’t seem to be bothering him. I haven’t given him a pain pill in a few days because he wasn’t really eating much, and he isn’t limping.

I haven’t forced fluids down him this morning.

Charlie doesn’t do well going out. He shakes and is terrified. I don’t know if I can put him through that today.

Should I just cancel this appointment and let him be for awhile?

You have always helped me. Please help me now with your thoughts and ideas. I really really need that now.

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99 Comments

  1. Dear Brenda, my heart aches for you. I cannot imagine life without my dogs Lilly and Jake. They are about 8-9 years of age. We got them from shelters. Charlie and you will be a huge comfort to each other. I am so happy to learn that he is eating and drinking now. These things take time for dogs and humans. It is a tough, tough thing to go through. You both miss Abi so much!!! Sending gentle hugs to you both.

  2. In the past when I have had dogs that wouldn’t eat or drink, sometimes a broth of their favorite lean meat or chicken with rice cooked real soft will coax them to eat and get a little fluid by means of broth. I am just a few days out of the hospital after surgery, and am just now on my computer again. Brenda, I am so sorry your sweet little pup has passed away. I hope Charlie will recover soon. I know he misses his little Abi so much.
    Take care.
    Susie D.

  3. I have not read through the other comments, but it seems to me that Charlie is picking up on your emotions and grief. I strongly believe that our pets do this. My vet even suggested that to me one time when my female cat, Clementine was expressing a lot of anxiety – that she could be picking up on mine. I can understand how losing a beloved pet can be as traumatic as losing a human, especially when you live alone, but Brenda, I do have to strongly disagree when it comes to losing a child. I have lost a parent, I have lost friends, and I have lost pets. All horrible. But there is nothing – and I mean absolutely NOTHING – worse in this world than losing one of your children. No one can understand or even fathom that kind of pain unless it has happened to them. It is uncomparable to any other kind of loss.

    Back to pet loss, a friend of mine also recently lost of of his dogs and he posted this article about pet loss on Facebook. I thought I would share it with you. I hope the link works:
    .
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-we-need-to-take-pet-loss-seriously/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=sa-editorial-social&utm_content=&utm_term=mind_news_text_free&sf190121060=1

  4. I will tell you this : My son’s dad died last April ( We had been separated for more years than married but never formally divorced) His beloved dog had died a year or two prior and he had her ashes. Her ashes were placed in that container in his coffin with him holding them. My boys wanted that.

  5. we had two cats who were best buddies, very close. One day one of them dropped dead on the carpet. Years later his buddy would go to that spot and smell him. He would do that rubbing thing on the carpet in that spot and then lay down there like he was giving his friend a loving stroke, and roll around on the spot. Perhaps there are spots like that in your house and Charlie is reminded so much of his grief and loss. It may take a long time. But one day, years later after we had lost both of them my cat’s ghost was snuggling up to me and all of a sudden his buddy who had dropped dead showed up and they went off together, and I have not felt either of them since. I had another cat who visited me after passing away. He was SUCH a cat that I am sure that he sits now on the right hand of God in heaven. And he deserves it totally.

  6. Dogs are very intuitive, in addition to having a very keen sense of smell. You did the right thing thing.

  7. I feel so bad for your little guy Brenda…sometimes I wonder how much animals understand about death…Take care

  8. Hi Brenda,

    Sounds like you & Charlie are both grieving, & need time to find a new kind of normal. Whatever that turns out to be.

    Just thought I’d add my 2 cents about a new pet:
    My beloved Sheltie passed a year & a half ago. I grieved intensely for a month.
    I, too, live alone, & he had been my buddy for 15 years. It was really hard!
    After a month, I just couldn’t stand the empty hole in my home. I started casually looking at shelters, on Petfinder, etc. I wasn’t really sure if I was ready or not.
    I wanted a small dog, & most dogs I saw were too large.
    1 month later, I went to adoption day at Petsmart, not really expecting much.
    Surprisingly, there were some small dogs.
    The 3rd dog I looked at, I just couldn’t put down, & I knew, he was the one. He was 8 months old, younger than I wanted, but it worked out. They said he was a Shih Tzu mix. Probably with poodle. He looked like a little black teddy bear. I fell in love!
    He helped me learn to laugh again!
    It’s hard to be sad when you have a warm, cuddly body to hold & pet! He has been such a great dog! I can’t imagine why anybody would give him up! I have never regretted my decision. He & my old cat get along great! They play/mess with each other every few hours. I’m sure he has added years to my cat’s life.
    I still miss my old dog, especially if I see a picture, or something reminds me of him.
    But time, & a spunky little dog named Jazzy, both helped heal my heart.

  9. Oh Brenda, so sorry for your poor dogs. The one left always has the hard time coping. I’ll pray time will heal both of you. I lost my little dog in 1992 and have not been able to bring myself to adopt another one. I do love my grand-dogs to pieces, but just have not healed enough to be responsible for one full time. Don’t wait as long as I did. It gets harder and harder the longer you wait. Love to you both!

  10. I’m so glad to read in the comments that you and Charlie are doing better by now. However I wanted to add anyway in case it helps: Have you ever tried DAP (Dog Appeasing Pheromones)/ Comfort Zone/Adapil(?) for him? I use the cat version (Feliway/Comfort Zone) and swear by it. It helps with stress, anxiety, etc. I use the plug-in diffuser kind. Humans don’t notice anything – no smell, etc but I know for a fact the cat version works! The vet I used to work for recommended it years ago and I’ve used it when needed ever since. I just thought I’d mention it! Thinking of you and Charlie {Hugs}

    1. I tried the Feliaway diffusers for my cats for six months straight and there was no difference in their behavior. However, from reading reviews before I bought it, it does work for some animals. I guess it just depends. Worth trying!

  11. Dear Brenda,

    Life is still giving you and Charlie such a rough ride. I once read that our pets pick up on our emotional state and react accordingly. It all seemed to make sense to me. When we’re upset and agitated for whatever reason, our dogs will begin to do the same. If we then go to them and are anxiously trying to calm them, we are actually reinforcing the anxious behaviors. Dogs misinterpet our attempts to calm them as, “Yes, you should be upset at the situation and that’s why I’m here petting you/cuddling you. Poor Charlie is doing what is normal for dogs, reading your feelings and feeling he must be anxious too. When our dogs get agitated, I have to get myself pulled together and carry on just as usual, and as calmly as can be. Usually, I make the anxious one lie down by our regular command and then sit and read so both of us calm down. I don’t give any pats or rubs if he is not calm. Very hard to carry this out but I as the master am feeding my emotional state to my dogs and they in turn mimic it. Afterall, I’m the boss and if I’m upset, they reason there is a good reason to be upset too. But in this circumstance, it’s hard to be anything but upset now that Abi is gone.

    My Bear is finally on the mend. You will understand the relief I am feeling. The vet wants to give him one more shot of antibiotic tomorrow to make sure all the infection in his kidney is cleared up. He has finally started eating again but has a lot of weight to gain back. The doctor says he is in stage 2 kidney failure. She will also draw blood again to see if his pancreas enzymes and blood sugars are okay. I hoping his playful actions chasing his ball and his ‘bowl banging’ when he demands to be fed are signs he is feeling better. At 14 and a half, I know his days are drawing to a close but for now, he is back to being King of All He Surveys. I’m hoping the beauty of the spring and summer growing season which is upon us, will allow you to use its beauty as a salve for your aching heart.
    Jan

  12. Dear Brenda, I just got to read your post tonight. I am so sorry this is happening. I am glad you found a solution ( the plastic bags). I think you proved the vet was wrong about smell especially given that a dog’s sense of smell is so much more “active” than a person’s.
    My prayers are with you both tonight that the morning will bring a better day.
    Loy Leslie

  13. You are so right Brenda, never let anyone tell you how bad this should be or not be. Grief is grief and it is not for the discernment of others whether your grief is appropriate or inappropriate. Of course, there can be healthy grief and unhealthy grief but unless you move to the state of “unhealthy” … trust your sorrow for exactly what it is ..real true sorrow.

    To second guess yourself now as in the case of Abi is so so prevalent with pet loss Brenda. Yet, had you not done what you did for Abi would you not still be questioning in this moment but only from a different angle? “Did I do all that I could for her”? Or, “Did I deny my little girl something that might have saved her life”? etc. Try not to do this to yourself though I know it’s so much easier said then done.

    I don’t know much about acupuncture though I did have a treatment in this once which absolutely wasn’t for me. I detested those needles so much I ran from that experience and never returned again but then that may just be me. As you express Charlie’s nature, may be ask yourself if this kind of treatment might be disturbing to him. It’s not for everybody and maybe pets too. I don’t know.

    Yes, I do think it can be harder when you are single Brenda. I am too. Some people bond with their pets very deeply and others really don’t. Life’s circumstances can make a big difference in these situations too. I think often of the elderly for example and how horribly sad it can be for them too. For so many of them that pet may be all they really had. Most importantly, run from those who wish to judge these things and because I’ve never met a single person yet who doesn’t need some work on their own life rather than directing yours or mine.

    Charlie’s life has been turned upside down too and even though he cannot vocalize this I’m sure he senses that his world just isn’t as it should be. I don’t know how much pets think in terms of death but many of them know quite well when someone is missing. My boxer and I went through this too with the loss of our little Tobi & we were always a trio just like you, Charlie and Abi. That little ones loss never really left us Brenda and we were never the same again.

    I don’t know if Charlie has been tested for arthritis has he? Arthritis can do terrible things to pets too and since you’ve been mentioning his back arthritis seems to be at the forefront of my mind.

    Oh boy …I know it’s hell on earth Brenda. Stay as strong as you can. Hope and prayers are with you.

  14. Animals just seem to sense things we do not and I think maybe he knew little Abi was there. Our pets also grieve and he is so confused and does not understand why his friend is gone. Please do not worry about grieving too much over your loss, death of a pet is so hard. They love us unconditionally and we live them the same. Hope he is better soon.

  15. Sounds like cancelling the appointment and resting at home today was the best medicine for you and Charlie. I think your pets have been more than Just Pets, I think they have been support animals for you. I think that is the case for a lot of people who live alone. You are taking things one day at a time and that seems to be best for both of you. Hope you both feel better tomorrow.

  16. Just saw this… Just now getting past a crisis with our daughter yesterday and today.

    I wish you didn’t have to be going through so many stressful things at once!! Glad to hear Charlie is doing better–it sounds like and you’re getting some helpful advice. Didn’t have time to read all the comments, but happy to see the situation has improved.

  17. With respect as to how soon to get another pet, I found Molly on Petfinder within a week of losing Kacey. The couch was just too empty. We’ve never regretted doing it that soon. We totally believe that Kacey picked out Molly for us. (Long side story there!)

    And don’t second guess the decisions you made with Abi. As others have said, you did the best you could with the info you had, and that’s all any of us can ever hope for. I’m glad Charlie is eating again. When Kacey was sick and not eating, the vet had me cook some chicken (without seasoning) and give her little chunks of that with some cooked rice. Some days it helped; some days it didn’t. Hugs, cousin!

    1. Hey cousin. I just don’t know how Charlie would react to a new one in the house. I don’t know how to find out without bringing one in. And I don’t know what I’d do if he reacted negatively and we already had the pet.

      1. I’m thinking once you select a new pet, the shelter would let you bring Charlie in for a meet and greet with the new one? Even just for the three of you to spend some time together to see if everyone gets along ok? Would be worth checking into… I know the Edmond animal shelter has some individual visiting rooms that you can spend time with a new pet, and hopefully they’d understand the need to make sure an existing pet in the home gets along with the new sibling. That said, I know it’d be stressful for Charlie to be in the shelter at all…

  18. Animals grieve just as we do. Some years ago we had 2 big dogs, a mastiff and a German Shepard who were great friends. We had to put the mastiff down due to cancer and the Shepard walked around the house crying and looking, looking ,looking. for the mastiff. He was so upset that we became concerned for his health. The day we brought the mastiff’s cremains home in a box, the Shepard sniffed the box over good and at once became calm and reverted to his old self. It was if now he understood, Sadness is a universal emotion but you and your boy will find a new and ok new normal.You are to be commended on being a very loving pet owner who did the right , but heartbreaking thing for your girl. I am sure she knew that.

  19. When I was ten years old, my three year old collie was very sick. Suddenly, he just disappeared. My loving grandmother told me that he went to heaven to play with the angels. I was sad but when I looked up in the sky, I imagined him up there. One year later, my 32 year old father was killed in a car accident and no one told me anything except that he was dead and had been crushed.. Losing my father was much more devastating than losing my dog. I knew that my dog was safe and happy in heaven, running and playing and not sick anymore.

  20. Is Charlie taking rimadyl or norocarp for pain? They can cause stomach upset. I only use them as needed for short amount of times with my shepherd Centa for her hip pain. Just rest appointments can be rescheduled when you both feel better!

    1. The doctor gave me Rimadyl for him. If that was part of it, he didn’t get sick until he’d taken it for about five days. I haven’t given it to him since day before yesterday.

      1. It is a great med but it is an antiimflammatory med that can irritate stomach lining and usually the upset shows up a few days in. This is all so hard. I also live by myself and my two shepherd are my best buddies! You just do your best!

        1. I also gave rimadyl to my little girl but weaned her off a few months before I put her down. The side effects are many and serious but everyone has to make their own decision regarding its use. The company that makes it also offered a rebate program. People may want to check if it’s still available. The rebate was applied to a card that was sent to me, and new rebates were applied to that same card. I used that card at the vet’s office to help offset costs because there were a lot the last couple years of her life.

  21. I am sure Charlie is aware something is off with Abi gone. I heard a great interview with an animal behaviorist, John Bradshaw. He has written a couple of books, including “Dog Sense: How the new science of dog behavior can make you a better friend to your pet.” If you want to listen to the interview, look up his name with Terry Gross. However, he talks about the death of pets in the interview he did with Terry Gross on his book about cats.
    My dad kept the ashes of his beloved dog next to his bed for years. When my dad died, the box of ashes went into the casket. My dad also had a favorite T-shirt with a picture of his dog, and we had the funeral home put it on him, under his suit.

  22. We had a little Scottie who had cancer. After one treatment they said might work, we brought home a little dog who had spent the whole day in treatment and was scared and exhausted. We decided to make his life happy, but short, instead of terrified but possibly longer. We decided to choose what was best for him instead what we wanted for us. We still miss him to this day. But, in the final count, so many things are out of our hands. We just take what life deals us and try to cope. My thoughts are with you.

  23. I participate as a fascilitator in a program at my church for a program called Grief Share. It is for people who have lost a loved one. When discussing regrets for things one did or did not do for the loved one, I thought they gave a great answer. You made your choices based on the knowledge you had at the time. Also, you made those choices with the utmost love and concern. I pray you rest knowing you acted for Abi in that regard. She was a very blessed puppy for having your love and care. For Charlie, maybe you are operating from a different knowledge base after Abi’s illness. You and Charlie both need time to grieve and recover and adjust. It takes time and that varies for everyone. It is important to grieve and not stuff the emotions down. Brenda, you remain in my thoughts and prayers.

    1. Wise words. Charlie is so different from Abi. His personality was overpowered by hers. I’m giving him lots and lots of love.

  24. I’m joining in late as well, but I am so glad you’ve cancelled the appointment and secured little Abi’s ashes a bit more.

    I’ve read over the other comments and boy, we’ve all been there, haven’t we? I have a background in health care and it does not matter one whit when it comes to our pups. I am as near hysteria as a brand new mom might be, pacing the floor, nearly sick to my stomach. And yes, losing a pet is agonizing. Memories of those who’ve crossed the bridge make the tears well up all over again. I think it’s because they love us totally, completely and unconditionally and no human ever loves like that.

    I’ve followed this journey from the get-go and have not commented because others are far more eloquent than I. And you write so soulfully of your loss, there’s nothing I could say to make it easier because frankly, it’s not ever easier. We love so much and they do too.

    Several people have written about what they would do differently given hindsight as things draw to a close and I agree. Fewer invasive procedures, lots more love and cuddling. You are loved, dear Brenda.

    1. But your words are very eloquent. They calmed me even more. Charlie is sleeping on his bed at the other end of the couch now.

  25. i have come late as usual. but this time i’m glad i have i guess.
    because i have read every single comment.
    and i’m glad you cancelled your appt for today. and maybe even for awhile.
    i think he was trying to tell you. they do.
    and your emotions affect his! as vice versa.
    just be there for each other. and close. and comforting. and in time maybe you can have her little box out. i never thought of them being able to ‘know’ about it.
    and it probably was very upsetting to him. bless him! and now tears in my eyes.
    oh Brenda. darling bean. you WILL get through this. but it’s a field of land mines.
    sending you love and peace. and strength for each day. XO

    1. He’s acting normally now. He just ate his lunch like normal. All of it. I give him a teaspoon or two of prescription canned food.

      1. I’ve been meaning to tell you. I used to have a wonderful friend who called me Bean. Brings back wonderful memories.

  26. Our old dog, Max, and car, Whiskers, were best buds. We lost the cat first, and there was a definite change in Marx’s personality. He went through a depression/mourning period. With time, he came back to his peppy self. Give Charlie time, and together you can help each other.

    Charlie reminds me of our current rescue dog. He too shakes when he goes to unfamiliar places, and sleeps at the end of the bed, and loves to go under the bed. Also, he always rolls over onto his back when he comes to us. I think it’s his way of respecting the chain of command, and he doesn’t want to be the “pack leader”.

    Best of luck to you both! <3

    1. I would like to get a rescue cat at some point. We had the pupsters with cats in TX. I just wonder if it would help him at some point. I can’t help myself. I’ve been looking at adoptable pets online. I read you should wait three months though.

      1. Hi Brenda,
        I know they way to wait but I find that adding a new pet when I have lost one keeps me going and totally aids with the grieving. You will never forget Abi but she would want you to be happy and to direct your love for her to a new fur baby. You can only do what your heart and gut tells you to do. Love to you and Charlie.

      2. Brenda ~ Waiting 3 months might be good for some folks; for others, 3 years. Do what feels right for YOU and Charlie!! When we lost our beloved Doxie in ’08, we knew we immediately wanted another. 2 days after that, I found the woman we would get our next dog from ~ we just had to wait about a month for him to grow up.
        Hugs ~

  27. I am so sorry Charlie was not doing well and you are not feeling well. Grief is hard on everyone, including animals. Like you, I have second guessed myself on my last pup. I probably prolonged her life too long but she did eat well. I had just lost my husband and could not bear the thought of losing my Mollie too. We need to know that we just do the best we can. Wise friends who recommend cancelling and giving both of you some extra time. Hang in there. Prayers.

    1. Charlie is eating his lunch prescription food and I am having a protein smoothie. I’m so relieved.

  28. Oh Brenda how I feel for you. Very easy to panic for Charlie after all you’ve been through with Abi. I say wait for a few days. I’m sure the vet meant well by saying there is no smell to Abie’s ashes….who knows maybe Charlie still smells something. No doubt in my mind that he is grieving as well. Hang in there.

  29. Brenda, I agree with everyone’s comments, cancel that appointment and just spend the afternoon sitting and talking to him. Both of your nerves are frayed and you need some quiet time together. I’m also wondering if Charlies can smell Abi, dogs have such a strong sniffer. Reschedule him for after Memorial Day and you two take some down time together. I think that will do you both a world of good. Thinking of you both! Carol and Molly

    1. I both cancelled the appointment and put the ashes in bags and put away in a drawer. He almost instantly calmed down. I’ll just watch and see how he does. I’ve calmed down because he has.

      1. Animals do pick up our emotions, don’t they? You both get some rest and everything will get better for you both. One day at a time my friend. Carol and Molly.

      2. Dear Brenda. I have been there so many times with my much loved pets. We who follow your page do so because we share the love you have for your babies and you home. Loosing your little Abi is very painful and Charlie would be picking up on this.. My brother died suddenly last month and for ten days couldn’t eat. I just lived on copious amounts of earl grey tea. Unless you are very under weight or have a medical condition you will eat when you are ready. Just be gentle with yourself. I wonder too if the box with Abi’s ashes smelled a little of the vets and that was upsetting Charlie. Does he have a favourite game. If so take a little time to play each day. It will help you both. Take care of yourself.
        Cherry

  30. Brenda, I’m so glad you cancelled the appointment for today. You both just need peace and quiet to see if Charlie normalizes. It’s so hard to know when to head for the vet and when to give it time, but your best chance of knowing is when you’ve eliminated as much as possible that could stress him, or you, out.

    You know that I realize how every strange sign from him freaks you out. I’ve felt like I’ve been holding my breath every time I read about your days since you lost your precious little girl. I want so much for you to have more years with your little boy.

    And I’ve been through the same second guessing myself about whether it was fair to Milo and Otis to put them through four days of IVs, only to lose them. But the truth is, I would do it again with Bree and Mason. I would take any chance I had to save them.

    And the grief goes on and on, Brenda. My only way, just like yours when you got Abi and Charlie, was to open my heart and home to new fur babies. I love these new dachshunds so very much but I’m just now, 7 months later, able to think about Milo and Otis without anger and profound sadness at their loss. Most of the time now, I think about the dear funny things about them.

    My love to Charlie, I’m praying for him and willing him to thrive,
    Dewena

    1. I have been thinking of you and what you went through with your precious dogs. Many times I think of you and try to draw strength.

  31. Brenda, The stress you are feeling may be why you can’t keep anything down. I hope you can begin to relax and just be……You and Charlie are a team. Draw comfort from each other’s company and love. I hope you both begin to feel better each hour of this day. Hugs. Sandra

    1. I had ordered a small blender that just makes shakes/smoothies. It just came with the protein powder. I will try that.

  32. Charlie could very well be picking up on your stress and worry about him, as well as your grief about Abi. Please – do for him what you wish you’d done for Abi…..just chill with him at home. Reassure him that all is well by getting back to a routine. It will be good for both of you. Praying for you.

    1. I settled down as soon as he did. After I put the ashes away in the bags in the drawer. The vet said there was not a smell. He had to be wrong.

  33. My heart goes out to the both of you ~

    You’ve gotten some great advice from your readers; I’m glad you cancelled the appointment.
    You can spend the rest of your life second-guessing the decisions you made with Abi, or you can realize that you did the best thing for her with the information you had AT THE TIME. And that what you did was completely done out of your boundless love for her.

    Be gentle with yourself; be gentle with your beloved Charlie ~

    1. Your words remind me of what my best friend used to tell me long before she died. She said: “Brenda, you did the best with what you had.” Thank you for commenting and reminding me of that!

  34. i am so sorry you are going thru this with Charlie now. Brenda. When it comes to our pets it is terribly hard to know what is the right thing to do. You hate taking them to the vet because they are terrified but then if you don’t and they really needed a vets care you beat yourself up.
    I would say from what you have told us that Charlie is missing Abi and wondering where she is and so he is acting strangely. No one can know what he is going thru at this time.
    Know that along with many others I think of you and Charlie daily. Sending much love to you both.

    .

    1. Omg. I double bagged her ashes in zip lock bags and put it in a drawer. He settled down within minutes. He stopped pacing and laid down and went to sleep.

  35. Oh, Brenda… First, I’m so sorry to hear about your precious Abi. I’m just now getting back into the swing of things and I hadn’t read that post. Losing a pet can indeed be just as profoundly devastating as losing a human. With regard to your poor Charlie, I agree that you should maybe let him rest if he’s eating and going out stresses him. When my Jerry had part of his jaw removed, he was very happy to eat soft foods right away but I could not get him to drink anything. The vet suggested I pour a little low sodium chicken stock in his water bowl. That wasn’t enticing enough, however. I had to bump up the game until it was basically 1/2 water, 1/2 soup with a couple of noodles at the bottom. Was it the healthiest thing? Probably not but much easier on him than taking him back to the vet for fluids.
    It’s good to hear that he’s urinating.
    Listen to your heart when it comes to making decisions going forward. There is nothing wrong with simply keeping him comfortable and making his last days/weeks/months as happy and stress-free for him (and you though that’s easy to say) as possible.

    1. Taking Abi every day for fluids when her little body was wasting away is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

  36. Brenda what you said about losing a beloved pet hits harder then the loss of someone in the family hit home with me. My brother died just a month or so before my sweet Charlie Kitty. It hit me harder because he was with me every day and I didn’t see my brother that often. The double loss of both of them about did me in. Just relax and be with your Charlie today. These are some hard days but you will be OK. Hugs!

    1. In 2006 I lost my best friend and my dog within weeks of one another. That was the year I took in Charlie and Abi. I was heartbroken, so I know about a double whammy.

  37. I am sorry to tell you this. From experience I think Charlie is smelling his lost friend. Please put the ashes in an additional sealed baggie. Our dear golden would go all around our home until he could smell our departed Lucy in her cleaned crate in the back of a basement storage room. Of course Charlie may also be sick. So sorry for you and all who love your dear furry ones.

  38. I think I would just let him rest for a few days. It’s so hard because he can’t talk and tell you what is going on with him. I do think he is picking up on your emotions so try to relax as well.

    1. Even though I try to not cry in front of me, he feels my emotions. And the tears don’t exactly wait for you to agree to them.

  39. I really think he is mourning Abi. I’d cancel and try to have a normal day. This has to be heartbreaking to not know what is going on. My friend lost her mother that she always lived with. When my friend packed up for a show she was doing her dog collapsed by her feet. The dog had been diagnosed with cancer a couple years ago. She thought it was the cancer. She cancelled her show and stayed closely by for her doggy. The dog has rebounded and even acting spunky right now. They are so sensitive. Hugs.

    1. It’s just that I worry I didn’t do the right thing by Abi, and I thought I was following my gut.

      1. Hi Brenda, you were following your heart…… and that’s never a bad thing. I’m so sorry for everything you’re going through. It’s not always take one day at a time, sometimes it’s just an hour at a time…..take a lot of deep breaths. As you relax, so will Charlie. You may want to consider an out door resting place for Abi. Charlie may be feeling her spirit. Sending prayers and good thoughts your way.

  40. After I posted my comment above I saw where others had sent comforting words and you replied that Charlie is eating some hard food. So relieved to read that. You truly are going to be ok. Just believe.

  41. I feel you both need some rest & relaxation at home. I know what you are going through, too. It’s not easy, so give yourself some time & pampering. Lots of it!!

    1. I’m sitting here with Charlie next to me with reruns of The Ghost Whisperer on TV. There’s something rather soothing about reruns…

  42. When our Furbaby does’t feel well I used to call the Vet’s office and want to be seen that day. Now…I wait and see how the day and ourpet does on his own. Sometimes they become upset with changes just as we do in our own lives. They are complex little babies. I would try the Pedilyte again if Charlie isn’t eating; keep some nourishment in him…even if it is fluids. He senses that things are different without Abi; how it affects you and his daily routine. Be close to one another and gain comfort from each other. If he doesn’t begin eating by tomorrow I would take him to the Vet. Just my thoughts…take care of yourself so you are able to care for Charlie. Your situation is in my thoughts and prayers. God understands our feelings when no one else does or can. Speak to Him and comfort and answers will be present as quickly as you ask. I am praying right now that you begin to feel peace and from today forward things are going to begin your healing process. I hurt for you ….

    1. He’s eating some this morning. And urinating. So he must be drinking water when he’s in there. Thank you.

  43. I have tried to formulate a response to this post but I am coming up short today. It seems like I re-read the post and just cry because I can imagine your pain and the “shut down” of the brain process trying to come up with the right solution.

    Whatever your decision, it will be the right one because you love Charlie and he loves you.

  44. RESCHEDULE THE APPT. FOR LATER. GIVE IT A FEW DAYS TO SEE HOW HE ADJUST AND GO FROM THERE. IN THE MEANTIME ENJOY THE LITTLE GUY, ENJOY YOUR BEAUTIFUL PATIO BURSTING WITH COLOR AND TRY TO DESTRESS.
    TAKE CARE DEAR LADY !

    1. He’s on his bed on the couch next to me. They called me again about the MRI. I told them I needed some time before I take that on.

  45. I agree with the other ladies, perhaps just cancel and let him rest. I am sure that like you he is trying to adjust to the new normal and is finding everything very confusing.
    They say that loosing a pet is the hardest loss there is, for the reasons that you mention and because they love us unconditionally.

    Charlie is probably tired and upset from you giving him fluids and loosing his sister.

    I am sure that you are doing what you think is best so go with your instinct.

    Take care you yourself and charlie.

    1. Thank you. I just needed you all to help me. I’m not going to force the Pedialyte down him. That terrified him. I hear him eating again now.

  46. Dear Brenda – I do know how you feel…pets become like our children, someone you love and care for very very much…..I agree with the other readers, I would let him be right now and just follow his cues. He is still grieving too, just like you are. They do pick up on our emotions too, and if you are feeling down bringing Abi home, he may pick up on that. And that’s ok ! Just be with him and watch him for a day or two……

  47. I say cancel and let him rest… I totally get where you are coming from… decisions that are hard to make… but when it really comes down to it…. “What is best for him”…? You can always make another appt. …. maybe he needs time to adjust to this new “normal” … just as you do…. very hard I agree…. My precious Gracy was 18 years old when she passed…. 18 years with a pet in your home that is adored… is a long time……… I still miss her …. but boy did she give me so much joy over the years!!

    1. That’s really what I feel I should do. I just took him with me to the apartment office because a post man left a book package there instead of bringing it here. I drove less than a block because Charlie is heavy to carry, and he shook all the way and back. But he goes into a panic if it looks like I’m leaving him.

  48. Oh Brenda, it’s so hard to know what to do when our furbabies are not feeling well. I think maybe if he seems to be doing better today you should just let him be….is he eating/drinking today? Maybe he smells Abi in the ashes, maybe that’s why he’s been freaking out. Their sense of smell is so much greater than ours, it’s definitely a possibility.

    xoxo

    1. I hear him in there eating some dry food now. I thought maybe there might be a smell, but I asked the vet last night and he said there wasn’t a smell. But I put it inside the cabinet I have the TV on anyway.

    2. we had 3 dogs/Lost Shelby to kidney disease.almost 1 year to the day lost my beloved border collie,Maggie May due to old age and hip problems.Then we were left with Scooby -Do.Maggie was a big 60 lb dog .Scooby was a little guy about 12 lbs,he adored Maggie.After Maggie passed Scooby lived almost another year.But he was never the same,poor little guy he grieved more than we did .I like to think of them all 3 together,running and playing…We now have Lexie,a Rhodesian Ridge back,She is a bundle of energy and unlike any dog we have ever had.When the time is right get yourself another dog..DOGS ROCK,they are so MUCH more better than people..Unconditional love.No person can or will ever love you the way a dog can and does…Time will heal the pain.you will never forget Abbi .there will always be a special place in your heart for her.praying for you Ms .Brenda .xoxo

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