Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Broken Hearted

 This post has taken me two weeks to write. My Mom's boy...Marcus died suddenly two weeks ago.
He was the full brother to my Harvey. My Mom adored him and he adored my Mom.
If you've read this blog for a long time you know one of my own died suddenly a few years ago 
and it just about did me in.

I loved Marcus. But he was everything to my Mom and for him to be healthy one day and dead the next....well...It was soooo hard.
We lost our Daisy back in January and that hurt but she was 14 and her health had been slipping the past 6 months so we were prepared.

I'm going to tell you about Marcus's illness so that you can be on the look out for something like this in your own dog.
I don't know that we could have saved him if we'd known sooner.
Probably not but ironically Daisy had the same illness caused by a different source 
and we were able to save her 6 years ago.
Here is Marcus at my house after my Mom's open heart surgery.
My Mom recuperated in a twin bed with seven weenie dogs!
That was crazy!
We attributed the weenie dogs to her quick recovery.

In this photo you can see Violet, Marcus...Rosie, Daisy and in the corner....Harvey.

Back to what happened....
Marcus did not look sick. The day he died...he looked just like he did in that photo.

My Mom had been busy running my sister's dog, Boomer back and forth to the vet.
We had found out that he had diabetes and she had to take him to the vet every day for about a 
week and a half to check his blood sugar levels.

During this time...Marcus was his usual happy, loud, bossy self. 
But one day all of a sudden he was not as active as usual...that morning he didn't want to eat.
Mom took him to the vet that afternoon. She feared he had a tooth ache or something.

He walked to the car as usual...barked on the ride to the vet...walked into the vet...wagging 
his tail. 
The vet didn't think there was anything wrong with him but Mom insisted saying he wasn't eating.
Then he looked at his mouth. His gums were white..the pads of his feet were white.
This meant he was extremely anemic. 

We had this once with Daisy...same thing...she was fine one day and super sick the next.
Mom took her in and found out that she was about an hour away from dying.
The vet gave her steroids, a blood transfusion and anti-biotics and just hoped for the best.
That time it was an auto immune disease caused by a tick born disease.

We'd never seen a tick on Daisy. Daisy stayed at the vet for a week but came home and after
some time had a complete recovery. 
But my Mom had to take her in every 6 months just to make sure she was ok.
We were lucky with Daisy. Very lucky that she recuperated.

Mom always checked Daisy's gums to make sure they were pink from that day forward. never occurred to Mom to check Marcus' gums.
Mostly cause he did not act sick until that day that she took him to the vet.

The vet said he was VERY sick...he gave him steroids but did not want to give him a blood transfusion till he knew for sure what was wrong with him.

This was on a Monday afternoon. 
My Mom called me at work and it scared me to hear the fear in her voice.
The vet said he'd have test results on Tuesday and for Mom to bring Marcus in for treatment on Wednesday morning, first thing.

Test results came back Tuesday morning and it showed that it was not a tick disease 
(which would have been best case scenario)
It was not bone cancer (which would have been worse case)
but it was an auto-immune disease and his blood vessels were being destroyed.

I saw the vet that day...I took Violet in for a check up.
He said...that we'd probably do a blood transfusion in the morning. 
He was very concerned...but had hope.
I told him I spoke to my had he and she was worried cause Marcus ate and 
went outside but he was very sluggish and breathing rapidly.
The vet said that was caused by the steroids.

I called Mom and comforted her and she said she couldn't wait for morning to take him in.

We should have taken him right then...Mom knew things were not right. 

That night at 9:30 my Mom called me and said Marcus had just died next to her in the bed!
She was crying and was just terrible.

She said he'd eaten and walked out to the bathroom. 
She'd put him in bed and a few minutes later he was gone.

My Mom was just beside herself in grief. Why hadn't she taken him in even though 
she was suppose to wait?
Why had she not noticed his gums being pale?
Had she missed his not being well in the past month?
She had only been telling me the week before about how she had to get on to him for being too
rough with her other dog. So obviously he was feeling himself just a week before.
The vet said he could not believe he acted so normal and was so sick.

I went to see my Mom and helped her the next day.
We ended up having him cremated. We've buried all the others in the past but it's been
raining here almost every day and it didn't seem possible to prepare a hole for him in time.

A very very hard time. 
I told Mom now I understand why some people just say "enough" and don't
do another dog.

In the end they break your heart. 

Now my Mom still has Rosie and a couple of months ago she adopted a new Daisy
who she calls Daisy Too.
Rosie has been out of sorts since our first Daisy died and then with Marcus gone too so 
soon after...she was not herself at all.

Today when I talked to Mom though she said that Rosie for the first time had gone over and 
snuggled next to Daisy Too to sleep.

That is a big step.

Mom is doing better. 
I know too well the pain of the sudden loss of a dog and I would have done
anything to take that pain away.

We are trying to focus on the ten wonderful years Mom had with Marcus 
and not question how things might have been different.

My vet felt terrible and questioned his own decision in having us wait a day to bring him in.

I'm telling this story so that you all will know to keep an eye on your dog's gums.
If they are pale, rush them to the vet.

I don't know that we could have saved him if we'd noticed sooner.
Perhaps, not. 

Dogs can't tell you when they don't feel good.
I saw his body. Looking at him...he looked perfectly healthy.
You would never have thought anything was wrong with him.

A friend of mine's Mom had a similar thing happen with one of her dogs.
They weren't able to save her and she died at the vet.

Anyway...for now my Mom says she is going to focus all her love on the two girls and
one day when they are gone she will get a boy puppy.
Marcus was her special boy and he cannot be replaced but she hopes one day
she will know that sort of love again.
He was obsessed with her. 
It's very hard to lose someone that loves you that much...I know cause I experienced it 
when I lost my Newman.

Anyway..this is why I haven't posted much of late.
And of course I'm always at work. Hard to do projects these days.

Sorry for the long read...but I know you understand.


DD's Cottage said...

So So So sorry for the loss of Marcus-sedning loving thoughts to your mom and you

donna baker said...

Nita, to me nothing harder in this lifetime. They are just so innocent and dependent on us. You are right about no more dogs. I just can't go through the loss of any more. Emmy and Sister will be my last. After Sister's diabetes and subsequent cataract surgery, I can't go anywhere because of the constant care I give her. Her surgery went well but she developed ulcers in her eyes and actually had holes in them. I've spent more than $10,000 on her, but I just love them so. And, you are right about how fast their health can deteriorate. One sign I've always noticed that is dire is their breathing. I'm sure Marcus had the best time with your Mother. Glad she is able to move on from it.

Teddee Grace said...

Please extend my condolences to your mother. There is nothing harder unless it's having to deliberately put them down. I've never recovered from being forced to put down a Persian cat that was my soul mate but experienced kidney failure and then blindness as a result. I'm in the "never again" camp.

Hartwood Roses said...

This is so sad. I'm really sorry about Marcus ... for your mom and for you. Our critters become a huge part of our lives. Marcus lives on in your heart and in your memories ... because of this, he is never truly gone.

Butterfly 8)(8 Bungalow said...

Nita, I'm so sorry for your Mother and her Marcus, and you too. Thank you for the gum tip.

Dewena said...

Nita, I'm so sorry. I'm brokenhearted for your mother and for you and for Rosie. Marcus was so beautiful. I can understand why it's taken two weeks to write about losing him. It is so hard, the house is so lonely, and we live with so many regrets wishing we had caught it sooner. We just miss them so much.

Our son's 8 year old English Bulldog is having cardiac workup this week for a heart murmur and Zack is experiencing for the first time that fear of losing him, not having him there waiting for him when he comes home. I want to help but there really is no help when it happens, it just hurts like hell for a long long time.

Thinking of your mother and of you,

karen@somewhatquirky said...

It is heartbreaking. I'm so sorry for your - and your mother's - loss. I could never do dogs for this exact reason. Cats are hard enough. I don't think not getting any more dogs is the answer. Clearly they enrich her life. Life would be so lonely without our pets.

Laurel Stephens said...

This is a heartbreaking story, Nita. I'm so sorry for your mother's and your loss.

Cynthia Myers said...

Omg Nita.
I reread this all very slowly again.
I'm not at work today, so I'm unable to ask anyone about this but I've only heard of this a few times.
I also Googled it for symptoms and it doesn't sound like he was presenting with several of the telltale signs...
Your poor mom, please give her another hug from me. I know that I've felt that way before, questioning myself if I missed something or should have done something different. If you dwell on it too long, it's sure to drive a person crazy and I know your mom is just like you and you give your fur-kids the best home ever. My heart goes out to her and to you too. It's just the worst part of having pets, the loss.
Hopefully she might find some comfort in the fact that he was at home, feeling loved and safe and warm in bed with her when his time came and not at the vet clinic, (even though they sound very caring) where he might have put through all the unpleasant procedures that would have been needed to be done but not necessarily life-saving. I've seen a lot of pets go through so much and still not have a good outcome and then a person questions themselves again, if they should have handled it all differently.
Sadly, it's never easy.
You and your mom have my deepest sympathies.

Adam Hazlett said...

Nita, I am so sorry for you and your mom's loss. It's never an easy thing to go through. Marcus was loved and happy and for that he was blessed. God just needed a good dog up there so he chose Marcus. Remember that poem I found when Newman passed? I think it may apply now too. "Grieve not, nor speak of me with tears, but laugh and talk of me as if I were beside you. I loved you so... T'was Heaven here with you." -Isla Paschal Richardson

Junkchiccottage said...

Hugs Nita for you and your mom. My daughter just lost her Weiner dog at 5 years old this past month. It is so hard when they are young and healthy and then have something so quick and tragic like this happen. I am just so sorry for all of you. Marcus looked liked a really sweet little guy. So sorry for your loss.

Debra Oliver said...

I so understand this, I have been thru a sudden illness and passing of several of my sweethearts. I'm saying a prayer for you and your mom. xoxo

Amy Chalmers said...

Oh Nita, I am so sorry to see this about Marcus. Please tell your mom I give her my deepest sympathies. I know that no one thought he was as sick as he was. Even the vet didn't see it, so how could either of you had known he was so ill. The blessing is that there was little suffering, and he seemed himself til the very end. Such a loss, and I am feeling for you and your mom.

aarond said...

I am so sorry about your Mom's dog. I know the feeling having lost babies I loved too. There is nothing that hurts any worse because they are so dependent on us. The only salvation is Marcus had a wonderful life with her the the best care and love possible. Someday she will give another a loving home and it will be blessed also.

Ellen Thompson said...

I am so sorry for the pain in your hearts right now.

Magali@TheLittleWhiteHouse said...

So sorry for you and for your mom. I know exactly what an important place our furry friends have in our lives and how empty feeling they can make us when they leave.

Victoria Kirton said...

I am so sorry about Marcus and my heart breaks for your mom. I will be checking my dogs' gums from now on.

KAREN said...

Oh, Nita and Mom, I am so sorry about Marcus!! Just look at his beautiful face! What a sweetheart. No words can help, but most of us have gone thru this sadness with pets. So we can grieve with you.

Prissy, my poodle, died about the same time when Newman died. Oh, it was hard to get over. I have little Georgia now and she is with me at all times, so I know your Mom will miss that with Marcus. As soon as you leave a room, the dog follows.

I am going to check Georgia's gums more often now. Again, so sorry.


Bev said...

I'm so, so sorry for your loss. I can totally relate. I lost my little Baily to sudden death. I came home from work and she was acting strange but the vet was closed. It seemed like she was better and then in the morning, she jumped off the couch and died. I was devastated. That was when I decided I would use Neels Vet for my regular vet. They are open 24/7 and I can take my dog in any time. I lost my Charlie in January. He was 18 and had heart disease. They gave him a drug that had just come out of trials and I got 18 months with him. They are excellent. Even if you have to drive a bit, they are top notch. Again, please give your Mom my best. I'm an older woman who lives alone and my dogs are everything to me. I'll put you on my list and people all over the world will pray for easing of your pain. XOXO Bev

ANNE said...

oh what an awful thing to happen, so so sorry for your loss. Wish I had words that would comfort you but I know nothing will... my heart aches for you. Sending huge hugs to you and your mom. xox

Debby said...

Oh my. So so sad. Give your mom a hug for me. This is a bad week for me. We have set up an appointment to have our Yorkie put to sleep. She has congestive Heart Failure. The meds are causing her to loose control of her bladder that was already a big problem. She has had to sleep in the bathroom right off our bed the last two nights. Our Springer thinks that he is her mother. He is 5 and she is 10. He shook so bad last night and starting panting. We thought he would pass out. I had to leave the bedroom and sleep in the recliner all night with him. I know he senses what is going on. I hate this. At least her heath has been declining. I can't imagine just an over night thing. God bless our little furry babies. Hugs

Sonia said...

So sorry Nita to hear about Marcus. It's been a while since I lost a pet but so hard to grow through. Praying for you and your sweet Mom.

Patti Z said...

So, so sorry anyone has to go through this. It's scary to think this could happen so fast. I'll be checking my dog's gums when I get home today, for sure! Thanks so much for the info!

CeCe said...

Just reading this, Nita. Like everyone else that has posted, I am sure, my heart is sad for your mom. It is always so hard to lose a loved pet member of one's family. Best Wishes, CeCe

Donna Wiley said...

It’s so hard to lose a beloved pet under any circumstances but I know from personal experience that to lose one so suddenly can be devastating. I hope your mother can gain solace from the fact that she gave Marcus a very happy life and you both find comfort in the memories of the good times you shared with him.

My Little Bungalow said...

My goodness, Nita. This is so sad. I'm very sorry for the loss you and your mother have suffered. Let me say that I found it difficult to read your post, especially the part about the guilt. One of our beloved dogs, Winnie, died at age 10 from Cushing's disease (I wrote about it on my blog). After she was diagnosed, she went on medicine and required lots of follow up tests. The meds pushed her level of steroid so low that she died very suddenly at the vet's office. I had brought her in but not soon enough, and it was on the advice of the vet that I wait and give her more Prednisone. In my heart I knew I shouldn't have waited, but I followed his advice. The guilt I felt was deep and very painful, and lasted a long time. I cried every night when I got into bed for at least two weeks. I still tear up when I talk about Winnie and what happened to her. It takes time to get over something like that.

I'm very sorry this happened, but I hope you and your mom will find peace knowing what a wonderful you gave Marcus, and how loved he was. It's really a blessing that he didn't suffer and died peacefully next to your mother.

Patricia Krank said...

Oh Nita, I am so, so sorry for your loss and the terrible suddenness of it all for your mom. I hurt for you both as I am still missing my Snoopygirl. Oh how I wish our dogs could be with us longer. Prayers of comfort to you both today my friend.

"Create Beauty" said...

My deepest sympathy's to your mom and you.... losing a dog is so hard!

We had to say goodbye to our 13 year old Afghan Hound earlier this month, after losing
our almost 9 year old Affie to Lymphoma 4 months ago. After her death we got 2 puppies,
and that was a huge help when it was time to say goodbye to our older dog. Still hard though of course, but the house was not empty and quiet. Now we have these 2 shorter-haired dogs
and although I miss having Afghan Hounds, they are very dear. Perhaps one day I'll have another......

We lost an Afghan Hound pup at 6 months old, all in one day and she was at the vets all day as they tried to save her, so I know the anguish of 'were there any signs I missed'.....

I was looking at photos this past week of a dog we had that our kids grew up with and I realized the sadness I felt over losing him had gone.... but it always takes getting another dog to love, for me anyway, even though I know there will be more goodbyes.

With love to your mom and you,

stacey said...

Bless you all

Art @ Home said...

I truly feel for you and your mom. Thanks for the information about the autoimmune disorder. I wonder if it has something to do with gluten in his diet. I'd like to know the cause.

Sending prayers your way. I'll never completely get over losing Bonnie Blue. Although little Finlay has healed my heart. He's the sweetest little Westie!

My best friend lost her Portuguese Water Dog two weeks ago. He had such an aggressive form of lung cancer he passed in less than a week. She's almost had a nervous breakdown. She flew to Palm Beah last weekend and adopted another PWD puppy. She's not doing well at all and not sleeping. I'm painting a portrait of Joe (the one she lost) to help her heal.


PS I'm blogging again now that school's out (I homeschooled Shelley this year)...

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