Instead of hearts and flowers and jewelry I got to take my dog for The Big Sleep with zero warning on Valentine’s Day. (CW: Pet Death.)

He was fine and dandy and chasing the cat one minute and then he kind of stumbled a bit, got up all lopsided and tilted to the left, and then started barfing and was unable to get up or walk properly.

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At first it was almost funny, he was leaning to the side in an almost comical way like he was listening intently to the television or something and I actually laughed. (Which I’m beating myself up over, of course.) Then he started being sick and couldn’t walk and I realized what was happening. It was horrible.

I sat with him for half an hour to see if he would improve and when it was clear he wasn’t going to come out of it, I made the calls. Neither mobile vet answered, or even called me back at all despite my being explicit in my messages that it was an emergency and I needed emergency euthanasia services due to a massive stroke. Fuck them both sideways. I left scathing reviews for both of them everywhere this morning. AT LEAST RETURN MY CALL TO SAY YOU’RE NOT AVAILABLE FFS.

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I called my own expensive vet and they told me to bring him in in 45 minutes as both vets were in surgery. I held him in my arms the whole time and tried not to cry too much and upset him. He was so confused, but at least not in pain pain that I could tell. It happened so fast, I hope I was kind and reassuring enough during those last minutes. I don’t even remember the car ride there really. I know I was laying in the backseat with him, but getting into the car and then into the office is all a blur.

I don’t really remember signing anything when we arrived, but I apparently did. At least I chose the individual cremation so I can have him back in carbon form next week. I do recall the vet man reassuring me afterwards that it was absolutely nothing I did or didn’t do, that it was not the antibiotics he recently finished (his tx plan called for a full month anyhow), it wasn’t the food or treats I had given him, and that these things just happen to 16 year old dogs. I still am tearing myself apart though. Wondering what I could have done to prevent this. Analyzing every minute of the final week to see if I was doting on him enough. If only I’d known. I would have done more to spoil him even though he was spoiled rotten every day of his life.

I do however remember the procedure and aftermath *very* clearly though. I’ve dreamt of those final seconds and having him taken out of my arms afterwards the last two nights. It’s killing me to relive it over and over. I hope that stops soon, because I’m dreading going to sleep. Almost as much as I dread my new, sad morning routine without him.

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Thank all the gods that I was home when it happened at least. That was a blessing. He didn’t spend one second of it alone, and that I immediately decided that it was The Time, so whatever negative things he was experiencing were fleeting and not drawn out.

So yeah. Happy Valentine’s, me.

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The only jewelry I want is an urn pendant to put some of him into. It’s on its way, apparently.

I can tell you one thing for sure: NEVER AGAIN.

I never ever want to experience this ever ever ever. I don’t think I could handle it.

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But I’m told that’s what everyone says and that it very often turns out not that way and that people open their hearts to new doggies down the road.

Still, I think those people are wrong. *rueful laugh*