Tuesday, January 14, 2014

My Sweet Boy

I'm going to warn you ahead of time that this is a pretty depressing, detailed post. I am sharing it with you because writing about it helps me with the grieving process, and Bentley was a huge part of my life. I'm also seeking answers and want to know if anyone else has experienced a similar situation with their dog or Pug, specifically. If you have a story and don't want to share it here, please email me.

Unfortunately, as you may already know, my Pug, Bentley, passed away the second day of January. If you have experienced losing a pet, I'm sure you understand how difficult it can be. I have experienced losing pets before, but there's always been a reason to blame. It's been a hard loss as it was totally unexpected and he was like a child to me. We don't know exactly what happened but after researching, my boyfriend and I are suspecting Brachycephalic Syndrome or a heart attack. I'm also questioning an internal tumor. Bentley jumped up on Jeremy, the Sunday before he passed away, and yelped for no reason, then didn't want to jump on anything the remainder of the night. Then on the day he died, he was about to jump on me until he got the urge to vomit.

Bentley had gotten sick (a mucus yellow/orange) on Monday, December 30, but didn't show any other symptoms that he was feeling ill. Wednesday morning, we saw that one of the dogs had gotten sick in the middle of the night. Jeremy and I assumed it was Bentley because he had gotten sick on Monday. The vomit was all food so we thought maybe he just ate too fast or something. Again, he was acting completely normal. He's vomited in the past and I've been able to tell if he needs to go to the vet.

On Thursday, January 2, Jeremy woke up around 7:00 a.m. to let the dogs out. They both went outside, went to the bathroom, and ran back inside. Bentley stretched on Jeremy's leg, as he always would, and was running around the house all morning. We had a guest, Scott, in from out of town who was downstairs and said Bentley was acting just fine. Around 9:15 a.m., I opened the bedroom door and was greeted by Bentley and Chloe. Bentley was about to stretch on my legs but stopped and I could tell he was about to get sick. I told him it was okay as I patted him on his back. After he got sick, I said "Okay, let's go outside, bud." to get him some fresh air. He ran down the stairs to the kitchen and I could tell he was going to get sick again, he did, then I put him outside. This was the process we did anytime any of the dogs would get sick: let them outside. I was watching Bentley from the kitchen and thought he looked a little off balance when he walked. I saw him walk around the corner of the garage and immediately had a bad feeling. I threw Jeremy's shoes on and ran out to follow him. When I turned the corner, I found him laying on his side in the snow. His eyes were open and his tongue was kind of hanging out of his mouth.

I panicked and scooped him up as I tried to snap him out of whatever had happened. He showed a quick reaction, like a jolt, when I touched him to pick him up, but he was dead weight, not helping me at all like he normally does. I brought him inside the kitchen and screamed for Scott's help. We didn't know what to do and could tell Bentley's breathing was getting slower. There's an animal hospital within a minute from my house so I rushed him there. He survived Parvo and two malignant tumors, so I thought as long as I could get him to the hospital, he'd make it. He was a fighter. Sadly, he had already stopped breathing before we got to the hospital and the doctor wasn't able to revive him. She said she could perform an autopsy but "didn't think she'd find anything". She also told us his airway was open but she believes he may have aspirated. I considered an autopsy but with the doctor's lack of confidence, I didn't want to put his little body through that. We will never know for sure what happened, and that's what makes the process even more difficult.

I spent the last seven years being his protector. I would take him to the vet anytime I thought there might be something wrong. As soon as we'd get there, he'd crawl up my leg, begging to be held, and I would eat those moments up, because I knew he needed me just as much as I needed him. Like a mom with her sick baby. I'd quickly pick up him and hold him to let him know that everything was going to be okay. That if he was with me, he'd be safe. When there was nothing I could do last Thursday, I felt I had failed as his mom. That I failed to protect him and save him. In a matter of three minutes, the little guy I loved more than anyone could ever understand, was gone.  I've had many sleepless nights as the scenario of that day keeps replaying in my head and I can't get it to stop. I can't help but think I should've done this, or shouldn't have done that. I'm trying to get myself to come to terms that I can't keep playing the blame game and that whatever it was that happened, was out of my control. I hate knowing that have to go on without him. That sometimes unexplainable and unfair things happen and we're forced to carry on.
Jeremy and I are absolutely heart broken. I wish there was something I could have done to save him and would do anything to have him back. While it's extremely hard on us, I hope our other dog, Bentley's sister, Chloe, is okay during this process. The two have always been together and were like soul mates. So far, she seems to be doing well but we've been trying to distract her with bones, car rides, and loads of extra love and attention. She sometimes seems lonely or bored so we've considered getting her a new buddy to have by her side. We plan to let her pick out the dog and will only do this once we think the timing is right.

Thank you to everyone who reached out to us via calls, texts, Facebook, and Instagram. It truly means a lot to know that we have so many people who care, and who cared about Bentley.

I was lucky enough to have almost seven of the greatest years with him. I helped deliver the little guy when he was born and he truly was my family. He was there with me through the good and ugly times, my first apartment, my first house, relationships, and all of life's moments in between.
I'm going to miss having to "give him permission" to eat. Hearing him bark at everything that passes by the living room window and every animal that appears on TV. Him getting so excited when I roll the vacuum out of the closet, then him rushing to eat his food once I turn it on. Having to turn the volume up on the TV because he snored so loud. Him barking and yelping in pure joy when I'd ask if he wanted to "Go to grandma's house?". His little paws that smelled like Doritos. Him greeting me at the front door when I'd get home from work. His tail that was the tightest curled tail I have ever seen. Him getting in my face to "sniff out" any scented chapstick or lipgloss I put on my lips. Him greeting me in the morning by stretching on my leg, which I believe was his version of a hug. The way he knew we were leaving the house or going on a a walk, just by me picking up his collar. How he sometimes wouldn't get up in the morning to go potty until we had our "moment"; me talking to him, saying good morning, and rubbing his belly while he laid on his back. The way he begged for scraps, then would nibble it from your fingers so gently, careful not to hurt you. The way he took care of his sister. How he'd lay on my bed while I folded laundry. The dimple on his chin. The way he could never get enough kisses and would eventually just start licking the air. His crusty little nose. The way he would wait for Jeremy to kick his feet up on the couch, then set his chest right against Jeremy's feet, waiting to have his belly rubbed. The doggy cartwheels he'd do when he peed. How he'd jump at the opportunity of an ice cube falling out of the freezer. How he would do "laps" around the house, just to scope everything out. I could go on with this list forever, but mostly, I'll miss the unconditional and irreplaceable love he brought to my life.
Today's post is dedicated to him: My Bentley. Bentley Boy. Sweet Boy. Mr. Bigs. Mr. Magoo. BooBoo. The sweetest, most handsome boy and best dog, in the entire world.
 March 27, 2007 - January 02, 2014

"All dogs go to heaven. All Pugs go to paradise."

24 comments:

  1. First of all, I am SO sorry for your loss. I lost a beloved Yorkie (my jealous ex ripped him from my arms and I never found out what happened to him) so I sort of know your pain. Your paragraph beginning, "I spent the last seven years..." actually reminded me of when I lost one of my sons. I felt that as a mother I was supposed to protect him and the whole time he was sick there was nothing I could do to help him. It is the worst feeling in the world to be a mom (whether it be to a human or to an animal) and to not be able to protect those that are counting on you. I know there is nothing anyone can say to take the pain away but it is true that time (sorta) heals all wounds. It does get easier. After Jerrod died I was lucky because I still had his brother, Jovani to help me get through it. Just like you still have Chloe :) After my son was gone, I had so many questions. Like the vet, they told me they could do an autopsy but they didn't think they'd find anything so I (like you) decided against it. Something I did that helped me was to stay in contact with one of the doctors and when I had questions about anything I would call and ask. I'm sure you have already spoken with your vet but maybe there are other vets who wouldn't mind answering questions and giving their opinion on what happened. I think that helped me a lot.

    I've been to psychics two times in my life: when I lost my dog and when I lost my son. I realize I was grasping especially since the one that I went to after I lost my dog told me that perhaps getting a new dog would help to "bring the spirit of the old one back". At the time I was angry because I felt like she was telling me, "Shut up, get a new dog, and get over it" but about three months after I lost him I got Dakota. My Cody was never replaced but it did help for me to get another dog and I think, when the time is right, it will do the same for you.

    I pray that you, Jeremy, and Miss Chloe find peace and are able to get some closure. Love you guys <3

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    1. Aw, thank you, Andrea. Time is helping things get better (aka I can talk about Bentley without breaking down) but you're right, it's never fully healed. I will never forget when my mom told me your ex took your Yorkie because that dog WAS your child at the time; so terrible. When it comes to Jerrod, I can't even imagine. Jerrod may be your angel now but he kept Jovani here to help you get through the pain. They say twins are linked, and I believe there's probably a little bit of Jerrod in Jovani ;) I don't know what I would've done without Chloe here. She laid by my side constantly for the next few days where all I did was lay in bed and cry.

      I haven't actually talked with my actual vet yet because first, I was too sad to talk about it, and now, I feel like I might be bothering him "just to talk". I have considered calling him this week or just waiting until I take Chloe in next. It's interesting that you mentioned a psychic because I just booked an appointment yesterday, for next week, to go for my very first time. I know a lot of people don't "believe" in them but I'm hoping I'll get a little bit of the closure that I need.

      Love ya, girl! xx

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  2. This is so sad. I am sorry you lost your Bentley. He was lucky to have you.

    pinkandnavystripes.com

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    1. Aw, thanks, Lindsay. He was my little man <3

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  3. I'm so sorry to read about your pug.

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  4. I am so so sorry for the loss of your sweet puppy. He was absolutely adorable and I can see why you will miss him so much. Hang in there and feel well!
    xo Dina
    http://www.sweetestsomethings.com

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    1. He was really really ridiculously good looking, wasn't he? ;) Thanks so much, Dina.

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  5. I'm so sorry about your dog! They're certainly a member of the family in our house, so I can't imagine what you must be feeling right now.

    The Style Scribe

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  6. I'm so sad and sorry for your loss. What a beautiful, sweet boy - I loved seeing all of these pictures of him.
    xoxo,
    Kristi
    www.currentlycrushing,com

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  7. This is always SO hard. I'm so, so sorry for your loss. Dogs bring so much joy, but such sorrow when they have to go! Hang in there!

    Cydney

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  8. I am so sorry to hear about your loss! Pugs are such amazing dogs. My sister has 3 of them and they become family members. I know it never really gets easy but you clearly had amazing memories and that will be with you forever!

    xoxo, KP
    Eleventh & Sixteenth

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    1. Aw, we had a little 3 man wolf pack for a while, too ;) I bet your sister loves it! Thanks, KP!

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  9. Oh my gosh, this is so sad. I can't even imagine what you're going through. My little pup dislocated her hip a few weeks ago and dealing with that was heartbreaking enough. I'm so sorry!

    xo Megan, Lush to Blush

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    1. I've been there before and it sucks watching your dog in pain and not being able to do anything about it. This experience was absolutely heartbreaking. Thanks for your sweet words, Megan! xx

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  10. I totally cried as I read this--so heartbreaking! I have two pugs and I cannot imagine the pain that you must be feeling! I am so sorry that you had to go through this--but it sounds like you have tons of great memories of your time together! He is out of pain now and in a better place. I will be saying prayers though that you find peace in it all

    Tori
    FashionBlingGirlyThings

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    1. Thanks so much, Tori. It's still really hard, I'm just looking forward to the day I see him again ;)

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    2. I'm so sad for your loss.i'm disabled with a sleep disorder since 1981(dspd )and in August 1993, I found a sweet puppy barking and howling in the pool area of the apt complex I lived in..Someone had either dropped him off or left him when they'd moved./He wqs holwing in the name of lonliness at 4am ..I went outsde,,he was so lonely he layed down at my feet I petted his little head and I knew from that moment on I was in love with him..Because of my being unemployable due to my sleep disorder,he(I named him August) was my best friend and companion for the next 14,almost 15 years and he went everywhere I went..We slept,ate,watched tv and listened to music together. 95% of the time when I went anywhere in the car he was with me.We bonded like a father and and his baby son. I took August to the vet shortly after I found him in 1993 and the vet said he was 4 months old. August developed a cyst in his throat in 2007 that i was unaware of until it was much too late.I should have recognized when it first began to be a problem,but i didn't.On March 1,2008,when August passed on, i nearly had a heart attack..litrally..I became so uncontrollably upset that i had to force myself to stop sobbing and breathe,for if i hadn't i would've just keeled over and died form heart attack. In fact i learned later that it's very possible for such a thing to happen./ I still sufer with grief even though i now have a wonderful (almost)5 year old puppy that I've had since 8 weeks old..(him not me)..my point in saying all this is that i truly know how you feel.. .the grief never completely goes away but it becomes manageable//i don't know if you're a religious person but scripture claims that the animals that went into the ark two by two had the breath of life in them(a soul)..so seeing you're beautiful boy again is isn't a question of if but only when.

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    3. Aw, I'm so sorry to hear that, Dennis. It's now been a little over a month since Bentley has been gone and it's gotten easier but I still miss him dearly and tear up all the time. I had a really hard time with his passing as well. I wouldn't be able to fall asleep and if I did, it was during the day or the scenario of what happened played over and over again. I couldn't stop blaming myself for what happened and it still kills me that I will never know what happened to him for sure.

      It sounds like August had a wonderful life with you and was shown so much love every day. He was meant to be left outside that morning so you would find him and give him a better life :) You're very lucky that you had almost fifteen years with the little guy. I've never heard of a Pug living that long! So amazing. I strongly believe that we will both meet our dogs again one day. I'm sure you've read it but the poem "Rainbow Bridge" also makes me really hopefully :D Thanks for sharing your story!

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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I read each and every one and value your feedback :)