March 13, 2011

Horrendous guilt

Coming out of my cave to share some horrible news.

We had to say goodbye to our "baby boy" at 3:30 this morning. We were expecting that we would lose him to the rare nerve sheath tumor he was diagnosed with in the fall. Instead, we lost him to an intestinal obstruction.

I don't know what happened. I don't know what it was, what he possibly could have gotten in to. There aren't children's toys to get into around here (obviously), we don't leave clothes or other stuff on the floor, he wasn't a chewer or the type to get into things. All of his toys are present and accounted for.

I keep racking my brain trying to figure it out.

It's quite possible that it was something he got into while I was at work, when there's nothing I could have done to prevent it. It's even possible that it was another tumor that was compressing his intestines; the vet offered up that possibility, although it sounded like she thought it was less likely to be that and more likely to be a foreign object. Apparently right before we got there, she had just finished pulling a fully intact pair of boxer shorts out of another dog's intestines. She also mentioned something about having pulled batteries, magnets, bikini underwear and even a tampon out of other dogs.

We could have done surgery. And though it would have been $4,000-$8,000 and required a 3-5 day hospital stay, and though we knew we only had weeks to a few months left with him, I was tempted. I didn't want to let him go like that, for that reason. But then R pointed out that his legs would have been even weaker after all the time he would have to spend laying down during recovery, and I knew I'd only be doing the surgery for me, not for him.

The vet said it wasn't our fault, that dogs will be dogs. That her own dogs have gotten into things they shouldn't, and that I shouldn't blame myself. But I do. How could I not?

I was supposed to take care of him, not let him eat something that would kill him. Maybe this is why we don't have kids. If I can't even keep a dog alive, why on earth would God trust me with a kid?

I know that's extreme. And self-pitying. And on some level, ridiculous. But still, there it is. The thought that keeps playing again and again in my head.

13 comments:

Silver said...

I am so, so sorry to hear about your dog - I know how terribly hard it is to lose a much-loved part of the family. It's easy for me to say, but please do not beat yourself up about what might or might not have been the cause - you loved your dog such a lot and took very good care of him - in fact your guilt is itself evidence of that. If there was anything you could have done, you would have done it - you know that. Sending hugs through the ether.

MrsSpock said...

So, so sorry. Please don't feel guilty- I regularly work with prostituting crack-addicted pregnant women as part of my work. You are leaps and bounds ahead of them as far as being deserving of motherhood.

MyTwoLines said...

I am so so sorry to hear about your dog. My heart goes out to you. Please do not be so hard on yourself...you need to be gentle with yourself. Big huge hugs.

Libby said...

Oh no :( I'm really sad to hear that. You know that I struggle with caring for an ailing doggie too. There are so many tough decisions. Since your baby boy didn't have a track record of getting into anything, I would really wonder if there was another tumor or something like that. If I've learned anything - with vets and REs - it's that sometimes unlikely scenarios turn out to be the accurate diagnosis. And even if you had elected surgery, other things may have been found, and you would have ended up with the same outcome. It just sucks. Thinking of you and wishing you peaceful memories. Take care.

Patience said...

I am so very sorry. I lost my beloved Patches on Monday, so I know all too well how hard it is to say goodbye to our furry children. My heart goes out to you. Be gentle with yourself and don't feel guilty. You gave your pup the best life!

Nic said...

I too am so very very sorry for your loss.

Hopeful Mother said...

I'm so sorry. Please be kind to yourself.

Baby Steps said...

I am so sorry. This type of loss is so painful. I think you did do the best you could and you gave your dog all the love you could. Thinking about you~

Out With In said...

I am so sorry for your loss too. And I hope that you stop feeling guilty b/c you gave this dog an amazing life and will always love him.

Sue said...

I am so so sorry! Try not to feel guilty...the vet is right, dogs will be dogs and sometimes you will just be shocked at what they take it upon themselves to eat. You can't keep EVERYTHING out of their reach! Honestly, its the same with kids...and this has absolutely no bearing on children. Look at what lengths you were ready to go to get him better. And, look at how you knew that surgery would have been better for you and not him and you took the harder but better route to have him have a good life...perfect mommy material. Hugs.

Thalia said...

I'm sorry, how terribly sad. Thinking of you at this difficult time.

Sharpiegirl said...

I know words can’t take the pain away, but I am so very sorry for your loss.

mara said...

I am so, so sorry about your baby boy. This breaks my heart. This wasn't your fault, you took great care of him. Thinking of you.