Jonah, such an unexpected loss

by Marcia
(Syracuse, NY)

This was Jonah just this past Friday

This was Jonah just this past Friday

We live in upstate NY and lost our first dog 11 years ago this month. After 4 months we decided to rescue two dogs from the shelter, a black lab/shepherd mix named Shadow and a Rottweiler mix named Jonah. They were both about 3-4 years old then, and right as we were adopting Jonah, they determined he had heartworms. Since my husband had already met him, we decided to save his life, and it's the best decision we ever made.

Jonah and Shadow have lived wonderful lives with us and together. We have been more concerned about Shadow with her hip issues, but both of them were responding well to acupuncture at the vet...first Shadow, and then more recently Jonah as he seemed to develop a bad back, and in the past couple months a limp on his right front leg. We also had them on medication for arthritis (we figure they're both 14-15 years old now).

This weekend everything was fine. Jonah loved to sit out in the yard (while Shadow is happier indoors) and they both got to take our first trip this year on our boat on the lake we live on. On Monday night, my husband was walking Jonah, and he cried out and couldn't walk. We rushed him to the emergency vet and they took x-rays, and he had fractured his right elbow.

We took him home and followed up with our vet the next day. The radiologist determined he had advanced bone cancer. But our vet thought he might be able to learn to walk on three legs, and we would try advance herbal pain remedies, as well as the pain medication he was on. However, my husband had to pick him up to take him out, and the vet showed him how.

By day two it really hurt Jonah to be picked up and he would cry out. When we took him outside - where he used to love it - he would shake and it hurt him to go to the bathroom. After 3 days of suffering and more consult with the vet, today she came out to our house and put him to sleep on his bed here. I had asked her to give him some valium first (which I did with my last dog) and that was stressful because she couldn't get a vein easily in his back leg. He cried and shook and that was so awful.

But then he did calm a bit and she found a vein easier in his front leg, and he laid his head down in about 5-7 seconds, very peacefully. She took him away and he's being cremated.

I keep telling myself we saved him from the most severe pain that the cancer would have brought him, and I don't believe we could have dealt with all the painful days waiting to see if the herbs would kick in to allow him to walk on three legs. I know what we did was right, but I am shocked that in just a couple days this active dog is gone. In fact, he loved food so much and it continued to be his favorite part of the last three days. He seemed normal in every way, except for his bones.

I forgot how much this hurts, maybe having gone through it only once before. It's a horrible, physical pain in my chest, and I keep crying......it's nice to know that others understand. Our house is small and I see him everywhere...his bed, his bowls, his toys, pictures.....I don't know how I will ever get over this severe hurt again. I miss my beautiful boy so very much. Poor Shadow I think is also in mourning.

Comments for Jonah, such an unexpected loss

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Feb 25, 2012
He is a beautiful dog
by: Elaine

Your Jonah is beautiful. My son's name is Jonas.
I just experienced the pain the comes from putting your beloved dog to sleep. I am tormented by the fact that my dog didn't cry out or act as though he was in pain, except a few of times at night as he went to sleep, he would whimper for a few minutes. I allowed my husband to euthanize him because he kept telling me "it is time for him to go" when he had an accident. Because his back legs and spine had arthritis, he had difficulty getting up from the wood floors and if we were not home, he would have an accident. It didn't happen every day, only 2 or 3 times a week. I keep reading other peoples postings and they all waited until they were sure it was time and I really didn't want my husband to put him down. I was just tired of him bugging me. It has caused a wall between by spouse and me. I know from now on not to allow someone to push you into a decision like that. The worse thing is I was not even here when he did it, he did it when I went to see my father in another state. I know he would have found comfort in my being with him.
I feel as you do, I do not know if I could live through this pain again. We have one other little dog that our kids left with us and she is lonely, but I do not want to get another one since I will have to live through the little dog's passing and that will be enough pain for me to endure. My husband says what am I going to do when he dies if I take the passing of the dog that hard? Well, at least I won't feel like I caused his death before his time and at least we can know that his death had to be God's will.
I am probably sounding irrational but I am a little irrational from all of the grief I feel.

May 17, 2010
I feel your grief
by: Julie H.

Dear Marcia,
Thank you for sharing the story of Shadow and Jonah. Just this morning I made the decision to put my Lucy, my 13 yr old Beagle, to sleep. I stayed with her and held her afterwards. She went so peacefully. I know how you are feeling, and you have my greatest sympathy. No one who has loved a pet and lost them can possibly understand the bond you have and the sense of loss when they're gone. You did the right thing for Jonah, just as I did for Lucy. Never regret that, or the sorrow you feel.

My deepest sympathies,
Julie, White Hall, MD

May 16, 2010
Hugs
by: Faith

I am so sorry-I know how important he was to you. Please remember you gave him a WONDERFUL life and did what was best for him. I feel your pain-I lost my beloved Shadow almost 10 years ago and I still miss him so!

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