Dear Friends,

Oliver, my beloved 14+ year-old mini-poodle, is gone.

When I came home at lunchtime Monday to make sure he'd eaten his morning meal and take him for a walk, he hadn't eaten. In fact, he had brought up both his last meal, and some thick white liquid. Since he'd been doing so about every week to 10 days, I cleaned up, and tried to get him to go on a short walk. He wouldn't go past our front door -- planting his paws and refusing to be moved. It was nearly 90 degrees out -- so I didn't press the matter. I unhooked the leash from his collar, headed him back into the living room, and told him I'd be back after work. He stood near the door, with what I hoped was his usual little smile, and watched me leave.

When I returned, Ollie didn't come to the door -- and I realized I didn't see him anywhere. The food in his bowl hadn't been touched. I called him repeatedly, with no response. After a brief eternity, I found Ollie camped under an end-table in the far corner of the living room -- he didn't respond to my call or my touch, and was barely breathing. Looking around, I saw that he had vomited several more times since I'd left for the office. I lifted him up and raced to the car -- then to the emergency animal hospital 10 miles away. The staff rushed him into treatment; even while I was still completing the paperwork, he went into cardiac arrest. They were able to revive him, but after 3 or more hours of treatment, they called to say that he was going downhill, and had been bringing up blood. My husband and I made it back to the hospital as quickly as we could -- but there was nothing more that could be done. Oliver was euthanized at about 11 PM. Before the vet put him under, I begged him to forgive me -- and to wait for me beyond the rainbow bridge.

I am distraught -- and guilt-ridden. If only I'd taken him to the vet at 2:15, when he first threw up -- he was conscious and breathing well. Perhaps the vets could have saved him. As it is, they can't find the cause -- my baby has been taken from me, and I don't even know why.

It's more than I can bear. He was counting on me -- and I let him down....

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Dear Susan,

I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I know how awful it is to watch a friend suffer and be euthanized. I can only offer you my prayers and thoughts and tell you that over time the pain will lessen, and you will remember the joy more than the pain of the end.

I understand your feeling guilty. And know that none of us can ever foresee the outcome. This was "normal" for him, at least recently, and so you could not possibly have known for sure what was going to happen. I hope you give yourself a break as you calm down and process your loss.

I'm sending you lots of love from Maui - and I'm sure our little Maui has met Oliver at that bridge!
I lost my beloved Rio a maltese in June 2008 and I truly understand the loss you are feeling of your cherished friend.
My prayers and thoughts are with you.

Blessings
So sorry, been there and have done that with my Golden. www.griefworthy.ning.com offers a comfort and healing place to heal through sharing. Your Oliver will forever be with you! Big hugs are sent your way! Roe
Susan :

I just read about your Oliver, I know the feeling I lost my two beloved boxers "Sasha" and then 2 yrs later my boydog
"Alex"; please be at peace in knowing that you gave your Oliver one of the best life any dog would want, I concentrated
on that tought when my furry babies died, the human/pet bond it's very strong unconditional and forgiven.
Don't worry Alex and Sasha, Oliver , Rio and others are playing chasing each other, barking at squirrells and we know
there are plenty of treats over the rainbow bridge, see our pets never really leave us, they remain in our hearts and
our memories forever.
I am sorry over your loss, I'll say a prayer for you and Oliver.
I wish you peace

Ricardo.
Thanks to all of you who were kind enough to send your condolences. Because Ollie's death was so sudden, my husband and I couldn't get used to the emptiness and quiet in our house. So I visited petfinder.com -- and found a listing for a chocolate-brown poodle whose smile reminded me of Ollie's. He's a "puppy mill" rescue dog -- and he's a sweet, lovable little guy. "Moose" -- short for Mousse au Chocolat -- has adjusted to a life of good food, long walks, and lots of love quite well. And we love him, too. I hope that we will spend the rest of his lifetime doing that.
Congratulations to your new addition to the family. Be well and always remember the love & loyalty that Ollie gave you all these years. Memories of Ollie you will always cherish....Now go hug Moose and spoil him rotten! Enjoy.
I am glad that you guys allowed yourselves to love again,
I've been there.
and Dante has brought life to this house again.
Give Moose a big smooch from Us.

Ricardo,Dante and Bandit.
Dear Susan,
I read your letter and cried. On the same day Elvis, our beloved 3 1/2 year old Chocolate Lab, died in his sleep. The pain is deep - all encompassing - and I share yours.
Your guilt however is misplaced - you gave Ollie a wonderful life - you did everything you could. Really - remember the love and the compassion and every loving lick!
I hope that Ollie and Elvis met each other on the way to Heaven. We will see them over the Rainbow Bridge one day.
Roberta Jackson
Dear Roberta,

Thanks for your loving words. I know that your love and compassion for Elvis run as deep as mine for little Ollie. Moose, our new rescue poodle, is a loving little guy -- but he won't venture upstairs with us. Ollie used to sleep with my husband and me -- until the last month or two of his life. His first "mommy" had died. So every morning, when the alarm sounded, Ollie would lick my face, and even my eyelids -- just to make sure I was really going to wake up. I miss that so much.

I know that our boys will be running and playing together beyond the Rainbow Bridge. Ollie did so love to run, but he ruptured a ligament doing so two years ago, and I was afraid to let him test the leg too much; I know he's dashing over the meadows now, as fast as his little legs can carry him. And his cataracts are gone -- so he can see how beautiful it is there.

We'll meet again, one day.

Be well. Susan
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Dear Susan
I am so sorry for the loss you are dealing with and the painful place you are in right now.I have been there more than once over the years of being an animal lover. Pets are lent to us by God and he needed him back. When you are feeling tearful remember this ...that Ollies soul is still near you and he will watch over you in the years ahead. A spirit medium would be able to help you communicate with ollie and even see him beside you. Your trusted friend will never be gone from you life...love keeps him ever present and when you pass over he will be there to greet you. You dont choose pets they choose you. Often they are guided by a much loved pet that has passed on. Why else did a stray cat walk a kilometre home beside my husband..starving and deserted by her owner shed been dumped near our home. We are convinced that flipper our much loved boy cat that died 3 years ago sent her and told her ...you go with dhimiteri...youll have a good life with him and debbie. Strangely just the week before we had agreed to get another cat....God moves in mysterious ways his wonders to perform...love debbie in the Uk
ps from debbie in the uk. am so happy you were found again by your chocolate poodle. Hed be watching out for you you know! The behaviour about not coming up to you in bed is probably because he could see the spirit of ollie there and respected that. I adore poodles as my first dog at age 7 was an apricot miniature poodle called mitzi. Oh did we have fun together. she let me dress her up my dolls clothes and push her in my dolls pram...such a sweet dog. Now I pet sit Petra my friends miniature poodle and it brings waves of memories back. Petra is adorable rather elderly at age 14 and needs the tv left on in the kitchen when she is alone or she woofs and wails. She snuggles up with me in bed wriggling inside the duvet and I havent the heart to remove her. My burmese cat used to do that but our latest cat prefers the radiator hammock so popular here in the uk. love debbie
A few weeks before Ollie died, my husband informed me that a cat had been drinking the water that was leaking from the end of our garden hose. I suggested that he fill a small plastic container with clean water and leave it for her -- so that she wouldn't be lapping from a mud-puddle in our yard. He did. Then I pointed out that a cat who had been drinking from the ground might not be eating regularly, either. So we started feeding her in the mornings. After a week or two, she allowed me to pet her, and started asking to be petted before "breakfast." The night Ollie died, when we came home from the hospital after saying our last good-byes, "Funny Face" was lying on our front step, waiting for us -- and asking to be petted, as if she knew we needed a furry friend to love. I'm hoping that she will come and stay with us, now that it's getting colder. She's even playing up to little Moose, to make sure that she'll be welcome.

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