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So young and sudden

Posted by: Vicky2012 Posts: 4 - Joined: Thu Jul 19th, 2012 04:32 pm

#280 - by Vicky2012 >> Thu Jul 19th, 2012 07:18 pm

Hi everyone, someone suggested this site to me today as they thought it might help me come to term with things a bit better. I lost my 3 year old collie a few days ago, it was very sudden and unexpected and I still can't believe it happened, I just feel so guilty about the way that it happened. I was putting her over some agility stuff but as she jumped off of a ledge that was about 2ft in height she didn't land properly, I can't remember exactly what happened but it was either something that happened in the air or just as she hit the ground because she just hit the floor with her front end and flopped to the side, she had no control of her body, she was completely limp but was really gasping for breath. At first I though she'd winded herself or something was blocking her airway but nothing was there, a friend gave her mouth to mouth for 20-25 minutes while we drove to the closest vets and when she got to the vets she still had a pulse but after working on her for a while they couldn't save her. I just can't believe this has happened, the house is so quiet and empty without her. I just wish I'd never made her go up the ramp because maybe this wouldn't have happened and she would still be with us. It's so hard to come to terms with, we rescued her from a neglecting home at 18 months and worked really hard on her behavioural problems and it's so unfair that she's been taken from us so soon. I am really struggling with the thought that she might have been conscious and might have felt pain or fear, I feel like I've really let her down... Vicky
Posted by: Shailen Posts: 100 - Joined:

#281 - by Shailen >> Fri Jul 20th, 2012 01:47 am

Dear Vicky,

I am so sorry, that is really terrible. I know that it is easy for others to say but you really must try not to feel guilty. Correct me if I am wrong but I imagine she enjoyed her agility and Collies are typically active dogs who love to exercise. What happened with her was one of those one-off freaky things that sucks and is terrible but you really cannot blame yourself. I am a vet specialising in Emergency & Critical Care work and have seen hundreds if not thousands of cases and I can assure you that this sort of occurrence is very rare. It does not sound like she would have been aware of much at the time. If you feel it would be helpful please do ring the Pet Bereavement Support Service where you can speak to trained volunteers; their details are on this page:
Shailen (The Ralph Site founder)
Posted by: Vicky2012 Posts: 4 - Joined: Thu Jul 19th, 2012 04:32 pm

#282 - by Vicky2012 >> Fri Jul 20th, 2012 06:04 am


Thankyou so much for your kind words, I wish I could say that she loved agility so she was enjoying it but I can't. She had some issues with other dogs so I couldn't get her into agility, so as I had a agility course to myself I wanted to try her over a few things to see how she went, at first she didn't understand what I wanted but ot didn't take her long to figure it out, she would have done anything for her squeaky bone! She went up the ramp fine and there was no signs of anything, it was as she jumped off the ledge that something happened. I know that I have to accept that I will never know exactly what happened to her, it's just the fact that it happened at that precise moment that I'm struggling with... so many what if's and why's... She was such a special girl that had a bad start to life and deserved so much more.

Thankyou again,

Posted by: thiskittybites Posts: 1 - Joined: Wed Nov 9th, 2011 02:55 pm

#283 - by thiskittybites >> Fri Jul 20th, 2012 11:01 am

How very sad for to loose such a young and muched loved pet, the secret to any happy dog is time love and exercise, all of which you were giving her in bucket loads, Collies are inteligent active dogs who need stimulating and taxing exercise,an agillity course is very good for theses breeds, you were doing everything you should have been as a loving pet owner, if only everybody was like you. Don't feel guilty or responsible for the very sad outcome, if you hadn't come along and rescued this dog imagine what she would have faced. As a nurse I can say with some knowledge of the human condition, falling to the floor sudenly sugests a heart condition, a lot of which defy detection,unless you were looking for it, and why would you with such a young and otherwise healthy dog, your love and devotion gave her a quality of life she would never had known, sad things happen, be glad and happy you had each other and such a happy time together. Give yourself a break and know that you made all the difference to her life.
Posted by: Irene Posts: 29 - Joined: Sun Aug 21st, 2011 05:22 pm

#284 - by Irene >> Fri Jul 20th, 2012 11:04 am

Hi Vicky...I just don't feel I have the correct words of comfort for you... But I do understand the devastation of losing a beloved pet.. I have loved and lost MANY pets over the years of my life, n it's never easy, regardless of how the animal died...
When I was 16, I was given a beautiful Dachshund puppy. He had a really long back n smiled showing off ALL his teeth. So funny ! We named him Ponchy. Ponchy loved racing up the stairs on his short little legs, n taking a flying leap onto my bed...k

In hindsight, I realise that I should have stopped him doing this.
He jumped one day, n must have injured his back, because not long after that, he lost control of the lower half of his body, n several days later, the paralysis spread to his little front paws.. The vet said that he was convinced that Ponchy had a weak back, but the xrays also showed that Ponchy had prolapsed some spinal discs.. Sadly, we had to euthanase our little 5yr old friend.. It was devastating !! I blamed myself for a long time.. But I know now, that Ponchy had a great life with us n was very loved, n still so fondly remembered...28yrs on !
Vicky, what happened was truly awful, but as Shailen says..a freaky accident. Not yr fault !!
I am thinking of you and send hugs of comfort at this time.. May your lovely colie run free n healthily again, over the rainbow bridge..
Love from,
Irene. Xx
Posted by: Vicky2012 Posts: 4 - Joined: Thu Jul 19th, 2012 04:32 pm

#285 - by Vicky2012 >> Fri Jul 20th, 2012 07:33 pm

Thank you so much for all of your kind comments, you are really helping me to come to terms with it all. And Irene thank you for sharing your story with me, Ponchy sounds like such a lovely little soul! He would never have blamed you for allowing him to do something which he enjoyed, you gave him a wonderful life and you were both lucky to have eachother x
I have now started to think more of happy memories rather than remembering what happened that night. In hindsight there were signs in the past that something wasn't quite right, she got tired very easily (sometimes after 20 minutes of walking she would keep laying down as if to say "i've had enough now mum"), she also wasn't too fussed about going out regularly as although she loved to go out on a walk she could quite happily sleep all day and also she was very small, but at the time i just thought that this was because she had been neglected in the past and she was just happy to be with us and wasn't fit enough for alot of exercise. We have made her a special place where she is buried so that we can sit with her (I have found this quite comforting), we know that she will always be with us and in a strange way although the house is empty I feel like she is still here as I have so many memories, it feels like she's just lying out of sight. I keep watching the videos we have of her and looking at her photos and they make me smile. I know that I still have a way to go yet but she will always be with us.
The dilemma we have had to deal with whilst all this is going on is that we were meant to be picking up a new puppy tomorrow morning, it has been planned for the past 6 weeks but after this happened I couldn't imagine getting another dog so soon but on the other hand we had planned so much that I felt that I would regret it if we didn't get him, we have struggled with this and in the end we have decided to delay getting him for a few days as tomorrow is way too soon so we are waiting till wednesday but I still can't imagine having another dog which isn't Sadie in the house, I feel guilty to be getting him so soon when all I want is Sadie back...

Thankyou all for everything,
Vicky x
Posted by: Shailen Posts: 100 - Joined:

#287 - by Shailen >> Sat Jul 21st, 2012 08:40 pm

That is a very tricky situation for you Vicky I can imagine. A lot of people ask "when is the right time to get a new pet" after the loss of a beloved companion and the basic answer is that the 'right time' varies for everyone really. Some people find getting a new pet very soon helps them to cope with their loss and come to terms with it more quickly, while others struggle with feelings of betrayal or guilt. Of course in your situation the new puppy was already planned so this is a more difficult decision to make. My own view is that you were right to delay by a few days at least and the most important thing will be to make sure that you all view the new puppy in the right way - this is to see him as a new friend, a new relationship, a new companion to bond with and adore but do not fall into the trap of seeing him as a replacement for Sadie which is where I think a lot of people then start to feel guilt or betrayal of their departed companion. Giving a good loving forever home to an animal can never be the wrong thing it is just I think about being careful to progress with things in the right way and not to put too much expectations on the new puppy to fill the void Sadie has left. You still need to grieve for her and recover from your grief; at the same time it is okay to build a new bond with the new puppy and if having the new puppy helps with your healing from Sadie's loss then well, that is even better.

Just my thoughts. Take care.
Shailen (The Ralph Site founder)
Posted by: Rosetta Guarisco Posts: 7 - Joined: Wed Apr 25th, 2012 12:58 am

#305 - by Rosetta Guarisco >> Sat Aug 4th, 2012 01:49 am

Hi Vicky,
I'm just sending my best wishes to you, I've recently lost a much loved pet and I have big guilt issues too so I understand your pain. It's been 4 months and I'm now thinking of him with affection rather than pain so you will get there. After under 2 weeks I became aware of an unwanted kitten and I collected her to take her to pet rescue but something told me to keep her and I love her and she's happy. I don't feel guilty about her being her I just think how much Vinnie would have loved her too. You won't regret giving another puppie such a happy and loving home.
Rosie G

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