Grieving & Healing

Jan 17, 2018

I was just a pup when we first met, I loved you from the start,
you picked me up and took me home and placed me in your heart.

Good times we had together, we shared all life could throw,
but years passed all too quickly, my time has come to go.

I know how much you miss me, I know your heart is sore,
I see the tears that fall when I’m not waiting at the door.

You always did your best for me your love was plain to see,
for even though it broke your heart you set my spirit free.

So please be brave without me, one day we’ll meet once more,
for when you’re called to Heaven I’ll be waiting at the door.
- author unknown

I've read so many poems & quotes over the past few weeks, but man does that one still choke me up. :(

Bosco was relatively healthy for being almost 16. He had surgery to remove a lump from his eye last year and even though the lump was cancerous, it never spread. Soon after the surgery, he began to develop arthritis and then kidney disease, but when he passed, it was most likely due to congestive heart failure.

Looking back over the past few weeks, even months, I wonder how I missed the signs? Could I've done more? How did the vet miss it (we were there about a month earlier)? How did she not think his breathing was off when she listened with her stethoscope?

Since he was diagnosed with kidney disease in the Fall we've been trying to figure out a new diet and we tried several different dry and wet foods. He would like them for a few days and get tired of them pretty quickly... but when he didn't eat anything for two days I knew it had to be more than just pickiness. My food loving pup suddenly didn't want anything. And I mean nothing. Not his treats. Not even a lick of any human food. (He was still drinking water) This really broke my heart because if you knew Bosco or saw my insta-stories with him, he loved food! Donuts and chicken were his favorites and I always joked that he probably should've been born a pig. ;)

These photos were taken the week before Christmas. I will treasure them forever.

His health started to decline pretty rapidly over the Christmas weekend. He was more anxious and panting/pacing more than usual. He kept hopping from one bed and blanket pile to another... he just couldn't get comfortable. I thought his arthritis meds weren't really working (we were trying new ones) and also my sis-in-law was visiting and he's usually more anxious when other people are around, but this was at a higher level.

Christmas morning rolls around and it felt like we had a Christmas miracle because he finally ate! Just a little bit of scrambled eggs and a few tiny pieces of sausage, but it was something! (looking back this was his last meal) Through all of this, he was still acting pretty "normal" (besides being more anxious and not eating). Going out, drinking, napping, giving us puppy kisses, sniffing his food..... As it became nighttime, I noticed his tongue and gums looked a bit pale. It started to worry me, but I really thought he was low on nutrients because he wasn't eating.

We went to the vets first thing on Tuesday morning and spent a few hours there for an xray and oxygen therapy.  After seeing the x-ray, she wasn't very optimistic. He had a lot of fluid in his lungs and his heart was enlarged. He was basically slowly suffocating and couldn't really breath that well.... and that's why he wasn't eating and panting more. The oxygen therapy didn't really help and we also immediately started him on medicine to try and drain his lungs and hoped it would work over the coming days.

When we left, I just burst into tears.... Niagara Falls were basically was coming from my eyes. We got home and he was pretty tired out from a long day, but still alert. Brandon went to work and I camped out on the floor next to Bosco's bed. Things "seemed" alright for awhile, but as the night went on, I noticed his breathing was even more abnormal. I just knew something wasn't right, but I tried to stay strong as I kept petting and talking to him. At 1:03 AM Bosco crossed the rainbow bridge. The hardest part was being alone and then the frantic call I had to make to Brandon. He rushed home from work but it was too late.... our baby was already gone.

My sweet Bosco was struggling to breathe and hungry in his final days and it just breaks my heart. And even though we had been dealing with health issues it just feels like his passing was so sudden. I can't help but feel that I failed him in the end. We wish we would've had more signs. That we could've got him help sooner. I know that he went on his own and I'm super grateful for that. That's the one tiny, sliver of comfort we have. That we didn't have to make the heartbreaking decision to put him down. I don't know if I could handle that...

Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing.
Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming.
All we can do is learn to swim.
- Vicki Harrison

We miss him so incredibly much. We miss our lives with him and the way he filled our heart and home with so much happiness. We miss him greeting us at the door. We miss sharing our food with him... even when we tried to be sneaky, he still knew. We miss going on cars rides and beach dates. We miss his snoring and most of all, we miss his puppy kisses.

We know it will take time to heal and writing this post is just one tiny step to process my grief. We've had good days and sad days, but we're healing. We are so thankful for all the wonderful people who care about us and Bosco. All the comforting messages, cards & keepsakes we've received have truly touched our hearts.

Join the conversation!

  1. That poem really gets me. I am so sorry for your lost :(

  2. Thinking of you at this difficult time.
    Our beloved pets are never around long enough, are they? It takes time to process and grieve but it will get better. Sending love and hugs your way....

  3. that poem made me choke... I love that picture of Bosco kissing Brandon. So very sweet. Hang in there Jessica... I know things are probably still so hard... my heart hurts thinking your heart is breaking.. :(

  4. I am so very sorry for your loss! Losing a pet is so very hard!

  5. Oh, love. That poem. My heart is breaking for you...


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