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Parenting & Family > Pets > Too Familiar with Loss

Too Familiar with Loss

Most everyone here is familiar with loss. A great deal of loss in some cases. We live and form attachments and lose them as we get older.

I am no longer very good at dealing with loss (if I ever was). It started in fifth grade when I lost a little friend to leukemia. Then the only grandmother I knew in seventh-grade and my father (who I didn't get along with) in eight-grade.

The story is that my behavior got basically out of control after that--hanging with the wrong people, drinking, skipping school. From what I can remember, I think I felt out of control. I was a victim of my thoughts and the world around me.

But that's not what this post is about. Some of you know from facebook that Missy was diagnosed with heart failure and is taking three medications. It's not working. I believe that the meds are supposed to alleviate the symptoms so she can live a somewhat normal life. I guess the meds are helping to keep her alive, but she can no longer participate in life, just watch. She hasn't eaten anything in days, not even a treat, and she won't even drink lightly flavored broth.

Tomorrow I'll call the vet's office and ask to consult with Doctor Evans. I've known him for twenty years since I move to town. We went through this basic conversation before Benny died in 2015 and he knows how I feel about euthanasia. The vet Missy saw is new to the practice and don't even know her by reputation. She made reference to "quality of life" the other day which makes it seem like she's ready to jump the gun.

It should be possible to give Missy meds to keep her comfortable until her heart stops. She seems to want to go in that direction since she doesn't eat. I have learned a lot about hospice lately from two hospice nurses on Tiktok and the dying process seems to be similar for humans and dogs. Since we don't really know what happens during the dying process and what (if anything) happens after, I want Missy to have the natural experience. I am 100 percent in favor of assisted suicide for humans, but only if it is the individual's choice.

My best bud in town has been on hospice for about three months now. We already said goodby and he sleeps most of the time. He returned home to die after twelve days in the hospital and twelve blood transfusions, but somehow he is still holding on. I asked his wife about that the other day and she said the doctors can't figure it out either. His spleen and bone marrow had stopped producing red blood cells three months ago.

To avoid confusion or judgement, I should say that the only reason the loss of Missy is more painful is because she my and Donna's responsibility and I live with her every day.

posted on Sept 25, 2022 9:00 AM ()


This is so sad to read, all of us I’m sure are remembering our own losses now.
Your dog sounds like she’s getting to be in familiar surroundings without being much disturbed, just the way I’d prefer to be in my last days. Eating food is actually work so that may be a little beyond what she can do now.

The vet seems to be imagining that you need the end to happen faster, but she’s obviously mistaken.
comment by drmaus on Sept 26, 2022 11:26 PM ()
Since my 50s I have been surrounded by death starting with my favorite person in the world, then 63 of my friends died during the initial AIDS attack and now for the past 20 years I have lived in a senior's community and there is death every week if not days--add to this the pets I have lost since my first dog Butch, the Budgies, the fish, etc., was one of the main reasons that I decided in no more pets.
Death is nevr easy to deal with and it becomes the one real negative of growing OLD!
comment by greatmartin on Sept 25, 2022 11:39 AM ()
I’m so sorry about Missy. It’s so so hard… I know you will do what’s best for her, however hard it will be.
comment by kristilyn3 on Sept 25, 2022 9:06 AM ()

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