The dog in my profile picture is Panda Star. We’ve had her since 2001. She passed away in her sleep between 3 a.m. – 7 a.m. Thursday March 15, 2018. So yesterday as I write this blog.
I don’t know her exact age because we weren’t her original owners and they didn’t remember her birth day or even year. To my best guess Panda was easily at least 20 years old. So she lived a very long life.
I’m not sure how I’m feeling about her loss. It’s been an emotional roller coaster up until this point, to be honest. Everything happened so quickly. I took her to the vet Sunday, March 4th because she had labord breathing. She was breathing a lot of short breaths, so much more than she normally would. The vet told me after they examined her that she had congestive heart failure and that fluids were leaking into her lungs. She ended up being hospitalized that day. On Tuesday, March 6th she was released in the evening and I was able to take her home. The hospitalization cost about $2,500 and there was no way I could afford that so I put it on two seperate credit cards. It definitely stressed me out, but I know I could eventually pay back that money, but her life to me was priceless.
She acted different even since she came home. She would contort herself to the right side of her body. Mentally she wasn’t the same as before. Before she got hospitalized she was already eating less, but now it was getting even worse. She also seemed to have gotten a lot weaker. I think what really got to me was that she would randomly whine, which she didn’t do before. By the time I had her follow up appointment with the vet a week later on Sunday March 11th, Panda had become so weak and was whining frequently enough to where I was in serious consideration of putting her down. I told the vet this and she didn’t give me any pushback. I still hadn’t 100% made my decision, but I was going to consider my options. That following Monday I called the Humane Society where Panda used to be a patient and asked if they had openings for Friday March 23rd. I figured giving myself about two weeks to think about this would give me enough time to talk to people and professionals I trusted and give me enough time to make a decision and if need be still back out and cancel that appointment. The Humane Society actually declined my request because Panda wasn’t a current patient. They said they could only euthanize animals that were current patients. So even though Panda had been a patient years ago she wasn’t eligible currently. Their explanation was it put too much of a strain on the doctors if they opened it to everyone. I forgot to mention the reason why I chose the Humane Society is because it was close to where my parents live. My parents live 2 and 1/2 hours away from me, but we had made an agreement years ago that we could bury Panda Star in their backyard. I wanted to put Panda down in Jacksonville so we didn’t have to transport her body too far. Since the Humane Society wasn’t going to help I researched online and found a service called “Lap of Love” where they come to your house. The fee was pricey, a whopping $250. I figured I’m already deep in credit card debt so what the hell. I called and the lady Ashley I spoke with was beyond nice and understanding. I made an appointment for Sunday March 25th, again hoping it would be enough time in case I wanted to back out.
Well that next day Tuesday, March 13th my mom came to visit for the week. She had wanted to support me because she knew Panda wasn’t doing well. My mom was going to help me (since I live alone with two dogs) and also wanted to spend time with Panda as well. As soon as she walked in she saw Panda and said Panda looked like she was in really bad shape. I told her I made the appointment for Sunday March 25th, but my mom said she didn’t think Panda would last that long. At this point Panda barely ate so she really was skin and bones. It was a tough moment because I called Lap of Love and originally moved up the appointment for the next day, that Wednesday March 14th. But I felt rushed and uncomfortable with the decision. I called them back 2 hours later after thinking about it and pushed it back for Friday March 16th to at least give me some cushion. I originally wanted Thursday, but they didn’t have any openings.
And now here we are. Panda passing on her own was probably the best scenario. It was definitely very fitting of her. She was a mix between Pekenese and Pomeranian, so as one lady put it “that’s a lot of dog in such a small body”. Both breeds are very stubborn and strong willed. Panda deserved to have the choice in her paws and not have someone make it for her. Plus my co-worker told me that Panda knew I was struggling with the decision and that my dog loved me so much she wanted to take that decision out of my hands.
I honestly don’t know how I’m feeling right now. I have a lot of mixed emotions. My strongest feeling isn’t so much that I miss Panda, which I do, but that I’m really shaken up because of how close with death I am right now.
I wish I had it in in me to write more, but I think I’m done here. Plus if I wrote more I don’t know if anyone has the time to read. This is already an extremely lengthy blog.
I want to close by saying I really appreciate everyone out there. I know I don’t go on this site a lot, but just having it here and knowing there are people that deal with Depression which I have to deal with helps me cope somehow. Thank you.