So much Sadness

Today is not going well.

You know a day isn’t going to go well when you wake up incredibly sad and it takes you a few minutes to remember why. I’ve already burst into tears multiple times cried all morning long and thank goodness I’m at our Rockville office and nobody is here to see me.

To catch anyone up who doesn’t follow me on Facebook, my dog Potter has been at the hospital since Tuesday and his kidney’s are failing.

image_1After 24 hours on IVs and antibiotics, he only had mild improvement of his bloodwork. As of this morning, his condition hasn’t changed at all and the doctor said that he seems “sad, depressed and still in pain” which kills me. We’re still giving him his IV and antibiotics and they’re retesting his kidneys at 6:00 tonight. At that point, we will have to make a decision based on his numbers.

Well, we don’t HAVE to make a decision… they could keep trying and keep trying… but as long as he is feeling awful and there is no marked improvement, it seems pointless. It’s like I’m just torturing him because I’m too selfish to let him go. Yesterday I spent about 2 hours with him on my lap just hugging him and telling him what a good dog he is. And crying. Of course, crying.


The stupidest things keep crossing my mind. Like how Jack looks around and says “dog” and he’s not there. And how Potter will never perch on top the couch again and fall asleep. And how he won’t climb up in our bed and roll around to get all snuggled up under the covers. And how we won’t be able to all crawl into bed as a family and hold everyone close. And how I won’t be able to tap his nose until he sneezes and then looks at me all accusingly. And how he loves bananas and will come running if he hears you snap one off of the stem.

It hurts so bad. I can’t even describe the pain that I feel right now. I’m devastated. And I feel terrible and guilty and horrible that I’m most likely going to have to make the decision tonight to put Potter to sleep. How can you do that? How can you say, I give up? At what point do you decide that you can’t spend any more money? How do you decide that you love him too much to let him hurt anymore?


And yes, I know he’s “only” a dog. But he’s been mine for almost 10 years. When I broke up with my boyfriend and bought my first house I was all alone. And Potter was my Christmas present to myself. And I have loved him every single day for almost 10 years. And I can’t believe that he’s going to be gone forever.

I tried to help myself feel better by doing a search online of other silky terriers that need homes, but that just makes me feel worse because even though we can get another dog it will never be the same as Potter. When Jack “pets him” by smacking him and he just moves to another part of the couch, when he is so freaking nice and sweet to everyone who comes in the house… how can you bottle that and make a duplicate?

A tiny part of me is still holding out hope for a miracle, but the other part — the part that can’t stop crying — knows that this is the end. I tentatively asked the doctor this morning whether they’d send him home to die or put him to sleep and it seemed like the doctor felt it was more humane to put him to sleep.

So I’m planning to go back to the hospital this afternoon to spend some more time with him. My husband will be joining me after work so that we can approach the test results together.

7/11/13 Update: Potter’s kidney numbers have gone in a good direction. He is still sad and not eating though. Our current plan is to do 24 more hours with the IV to see if there is further improvement. Then, we will most likely bring him home to see if being in his normal space relaxes him enough to eat and heal.

7/12/13 morning Update: Potter had some bladder issues overnight with led to an x-ray and catheter (which is now out). He is still depressed and still not eating. So, we’re back to waiting to see how his kidney levels look at tonight’s 6pm test. At this point, if there is not further improvement we’re thinking that it is time to make the decision to let Potter go.

7/12/13 evening Update: Potter was doing much worse and we had to make the hard decision to let him go. Our beloved dog was snuggled up with his head laying on my chest as we kissed him and said goodbye.

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14 thoughts on “So much Sadness”

  1. oh dear lovely person – just read this and wanted to give you a virtual hug – one of our friends just had to make the sad decision to put her beloved dog to sleep and it was agonizing for her.

    sending so much love via the interweb.

    these are tough experiences to go through.

    you are very brave, lady.

    _teamgloria xx

  2. Oh Joules. I’m crying reading this. You’ll know the right thing to do. You’re a SUPERB dog mom and I’m sure Potter would agree. Nothing will ever replace him in your heart, and as sad as that is, it’s kind of special, too. I like to think of puppy loves hanging out in doggy heaven eating hamburgers and chasing bunny rabbits (bunnies who were BAD in a past life and are thus in bunny hell…)

  3. Awww sweetie. I totally understand. You want to keep them with you but the thought of them being in pain is horrible. Anyone who has a pet knows that they truly are part of your family and after almost 10 years I can only imagine your heart is breaking.


  4. In tears at work for you. He’s not “just” a dog, he’s family. Like Katie, I think of our dog that passed as being in heaven keeping my grandmother company. She was such a sweet dog, that I know my grandmother is up there giving her lots of love.

    Sending you much love.

  5. Julie I’m so sorry. I truly understand your pain and know that Potter is not ‘just a dog’. He’s a huge part of your family and just as it’s heartbreaking to say goodbye to a relative who is passing, it’s equally as hard to say goodbye to a companion who has been with you for so long and given you so much love. My heart aches for you.

  6. I am sitting here at my desk (supposed to be working!) reading your blog with tears running down my cheeks. I look beside my desk, where my little baby lays, sound asleep, oblivious to anything going on around him. I seriously cannot imagine what you are going through right now, but I know that one day, when its my little furr baby’s time to go, I will then understand. They mean everything to us, but trying to imagine life without them is next to impossible or we simply don’t want to! My heart goes out to you, I can only imagine your anguish right now ;(.

  7. This post hit home (and broke my heart). We put our girl down 2 weeks ago (ironically, also because of kidney failure). It is agonizing and soul ripping and heart breaking. I am so sorry you have to go through it. It’s the worst part of having a furry family member. They bring so much happiness while they are here, it’s no wonder it’s devasting to lose them.

  8. Oh, Joules! I am so, so sorry you are going through this. I went through it with Bruno a few years ago and it was devastating. He had been with me at the end of college, through divorce, through getting remarried- everything. All perky eared and cuddly. I still miss him. And yes, it was kidney and liver failure for him as well.

    So I am giving you the biggest, tightest virtual hug that ever there was. I’m crying for you (quite literally, tears rolling down my face right now). Potter is an awesome dog. We will miss him.

  9. I am so sorry :'( we lost our lab of 16 years last spring and I sobbed for days. Our 3 year old still asks about him sometimes…thoughts and prayers your way

  10. My heart is breaking for you. Ben and I had to ‘let go’ of a beloved animal last year- he was simply never going to be healthy again. We also had to put up for adoption a cat that we dearly loved but had suddenly become very unpleasant to live with. I had to hand her over to new parents- I thought I was going to die. But I haven’t, and neither will you. Our love to you and yours from me and mine.

  11. Thank you everyone for your comments and your love. Potter was a wonderful addition to our family for almost 10 years and we will miss him very much.

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