Saying Goodbye

On the 13th March 2009 my fur baby J arrived home. This tiny little bundle of fur made himself known from day one and it soon became apparent that his favourite things were digging, playing with a ball and his all time favourite sunbathing.

When we moved house we turned down several properties because they didn't have a big enough garden for J to play in or there wasn't a walk nearby for him to play. Our holidays were dog friendly. J travelled to the furthest point of Scotland on several holidays. He has ventured to Lands End in Cornwall and along the south coast of England. He even visited Wales. Wherever we went he came with us.

J was my running buddy. He completed the Yorkshire three peaks, which is a great achievement for a Jack Russell. He ran marathons and accompanied me on my training runs, even attending the running club with me on several club runs. J was part of the running family. 

He even had his own GoPro harness to record some of the runs we went on

J watched all of my children grow up. He was there at the birth of Little Man and was the first to know I was pregnant with my eldest daughter. Working from home also meant I was with him all the time. He would often sit on my knee whilst I worked on my desk or paw me to sit on my legs if I worked on the floor or the sofa. At night he liked to sleep curled up beside me. Everywhere I went he was there.

On Tuesday 18th June I woke up to find my kitchen floor covered in sick. J wasn't well and I rushed him immediately to the vets. He remained there all day where they did blood work and ultrasound and decided it was Pancreatitis. He came home that evening and I had to try and get fluids and medicine into him.

Wednesday he went back to the vets to see how he had got on over night, his temperature was high but given he had perked up in himself and started barking again he was allowed home. That evening was horrendous. J got hotter and hotter. I was sat next to him in the picture below and I could feel the heat radiating from him. I did everything I could to cool him down but at 2 am I had to ring the vet for help as I could tell he was suffering. Pacing up and down and panting, I knew I couldn't help him and as much as it hurt me I knew he had to go back to the vets for help.

Thursday morning at 8am J was rushed back into the vets. He was getting hotter and he couldn't eat or drink, everything he had he brought straight back up. I was really worried. He was kept in. A further ultrasound and bloods were taken. I awaited for news.

Friday at 7am the vets rang to say they still couldn't get him to eat but his temperature was now back to normal. His blood work however was to be repeated and if that was normal he could come home. 12.30 I get a phone call to say that they need to repeat the bloods as the white blood cell count is too high so an intensive form of antibiotics needs to be used and they should start working to bring the white blood cell count down. 2.15, another phone call. White blood cell count increasing despite the antibiotics, other blood work abnormal and scans are not showing anything different from Tuesday. They therefore needed to do emergency surgery to find out exactly what was causing the issues and did I consent. 

I couldn't say no, J was my boy and I would have done anything to make him better. The panic however was setting in. How was he not responding to antibiotics and why was his blood results changing so much. I just wanted to be with him and was so worried about him stressing or worrying where I was. I know that might sound silly but I didn't want him to be alone and scared, I wanted to be there to give him comfort.

At 2.44 I got the phone call I was dreading. It was aggressive Pancreatic cancer. The cancer was in his Pancreas, Liver and Gall bladder. It had stopped all blood supply to his small bowel and his organs had started to shut down. He sadly passed away. 

Devastated doesn't cover it. I lost my best friend, running partner and fur baby. The one I talked to and confided in. A month later and I am still playing the what if game. How could I have not known? Would the outcome have been different if we had found it earlier? I honestly thought he would be coming home on the Friday, and instead the worst outcome instead. 

I visited him Friday evening after he had passed and just held him wrapped in a blanket. I didn't want to leave him there and didn't want to let him go, I wasn't ready. I had no choice, and instead on Saturday I brought him home and we buried him. 

The kids I think needed to see him and they helped to bury him. In some ways it gave them closure and helped to understand what had happened. I have been very honest with them about everything and I think this has helped them process it a lot more.

We've had special memory pieces made. Casting of his Paws to go on a wooden frame with a photo I took, his fur has been encased in handmade silver jewellery and his paw prints are on canvas in each of the kids bedrooms.

Saying goodbye to J has been one of the hardest things I have ever had to do and even harder with the children. The girls in particular took great comfort in this article and it has really helped.  I keep listening for the pitter patter of his paws across the hard wood floor. Coming in I expect to be greeted by the little bend and wiggle he did when I walked into the house. Life is very different one month on.
Dog Sympathy Gift - Loss of Dog or Cat - Pet Memorial Poem
J will never be forgotten

I can think of no other way but to finish this with one of my favourite J videos.

The ball was gifted a long time ago and clearly not for this post.

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  1. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. It's always very sad to have to say goodbye to a beloved pet. At least J is no longer in pain. Pancreatic cancer sadly only has one outcome, so even if you had found out earlier, there would have been no cure. You did your best for him, and I'm sure he knew that you made every effort to help him. I hope all the memories, photos, videos and keepsakes will help to comfort you and your family.


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