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Haymarket, VA
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8 Aug 2008
I'm turning here hopefully for some support and a shoulder to cry on at this time of pain. I think everyone around me is tired of seeing me sulk and cry, but I don't know how to stop. The tears come and go, but the 'pain' in my chest stays. This is my story:

We got Omar as an 8 week pup from a friend of family. The mom was a husky/shep mix, and they think the father was a chow. This was in June 94. He was lucky we loved him so much, because as a pup, he tore EVERYTHING up..including digging two holes in my carpet down to the floor board. (how I would love for him to do this again). We had a 6 mos old baby at the time, and they were so cute together. He was a great dog that never had accidents in the house. He was a healthy dog and didn't cause any medical issues. Until the last 2 yrs or so. He first developed heart disease, but was never needing any meds because I was told his body was compensating for it very well. He developed liver issues shortly there after, but because of his heart issue, the vets didn't want to put him on meds...said it could cause more damage then good. He was seen regularly to make sure he was not getting progressively worse. He did well. Within the last 6 mos or so his weight seemed to go down...enough for me to really notice. But he was eating well...the vet said it's from him being a senior dog...to be expected. In Feb we were advised he had liver cancer...and they really didn't think he would make it much longer. I was advised to just keep loving him like we were. So we did..2x more. About 3 weeks ago he stopped really wanting to eat...and had a day of vomiting. (later I was told by my 11 yr old that he got in their bathroom trash that is hidden). I was worried because I really didn't know what was in the trash...is he sick from something he ate?? The vomiting stopped. I put him on a bland diet of chicken and brown rice. That was a Thursday. Sunday he was vomiting again. It also stopped that day. I called his vet Monday morning...and I was told to continue with his bland diet for 2 days. I did this, but then he wouldn't eat anything after that...and he started with runny stools. I called the vet again Friday morning and was told he would get him on an antibiotic and some meds for his liver...probably bial now in his blood stream...making him not want to eat. I started him on the meds Friday...a week ago...and his appetite seemed to get better, and by Sunday his stools got more normal. Monday night at about midnight, he woke himself, me and my 14 yr old up by making a grunting hacking sound and a gage. He did this off and on til 3:30AM. It seemed to really scare him, and I couldn't help him. I just laid next to him stroking his head. Fell asleep this way. I had to go to work the next morning...but called the vet first. I was advised it sounded like the cancer had spread to his lungs. It was okay for me to let him go. I about died. What? Let him go? I went to work...to get calls thru the day from my 11 yr old crying because he was scared Omar was choking. I called the vet and scheduled him to be euthenized at 6PM. But then I beat myself up all day thinking "what if he just had a cough?" "What if he just needed meds?" So I decided to call the vet and tell them I was bringing him in for an exam at 6 instead. My husband and I did this...and got some sad news. Xrays showed his liver was so large now it was pushing his stomach UP and that is probably why he didn't want to eat...his heart was so large that it was pushing up on his trachia...which was some of the hacking sound...and his lungs were now not clear...and showed signs of cancer. He really wasn't showing any 'illness' by looking at him. Wagged his tail at the techs that came and went...sniffed the room to check what was there...trying to find the treats he knew he got when he left. The vet offered to give him a diaretic that night to make him comfy at home with his breathing...and I could bring him back the next morning. Alone. So we took him home...where he still made his breathing sounds...needed to go out to go potty every hour through the night and drink a ton of water. I left with him the next morning...my kids said their good-byes, but I think they thought I was coming home with him again...he didn't seem "sick". When I got to the vet...the dr was very good to me...but put me on the spot. Left it up to me. Said either way would be "okay". He was not suffering...yet. But could I go through this again? He was having signs of heart failure. What if he did this at home with just my kids home? They would be frantic. But I couldn't bear the thought of making the decision on his life. I called my husband. He told me he was leaving it to me. He really felt Omar needed to go...before he was in pain. But he seemed happy still. It was breaking my heart. After a long 45 min, I decided to let him go...peacefully. They brought in a fuzzy blanket and he sad there on it...while a tech was next to him...and I was at his front...with his face in my hands...while kissing his nose. He eventually started to slowly lay down...and then the vet whispered he was gone. I opened my eyes...to see Omar looking at me peacefully. I stayed there with him for 30 min...crying my eyes out...not taking my eyes off his. Trying to find 'life' in him I guess. There was none. I just stroked his head...his paws...his ears. I'm dying while typing this. How does it get better? I am now angry with myself for making the choice too soon. Who gives me the right to take a life before it's time? I don't know if it would have been easier waiting until he showed signs of illness or not. I couldn't be with him all day like I would have wanted to be. I couldn't bear the thought of losing him while he's alone..but now I am so mad at myself. I'm mad at having to make that choice. Did I jump too soon? He was 14 and 4 mos. Had him longer then my youngest son. Any words of encouragement are welcomed. I feel so alone...but I know I'm not. It's hard to be home...because he was always under foot. Always begging for something. "Talking" to me every time I sat down, because he wanted attention. I miss it all. I was sitting outside last night...starring up at the sky...watching the clouds go by for about 20 min...then I whispered "If you are okay in Heaven Omar...pass a bird my way"..and immediately a bird flew over my path. None had the whole time I was out side. I then whispered "If you still love me Omar, pass a bird my way" Then 4 birds flew over me. It gave me chills...and I'm trying to believe he's truly okay with my decision..and is happy. I hope. His picture is attached from the other month. So sweet. Thanks for reading this if you got thru it. I know it's long. Sorry.


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