Journey from Loss to Love: Part 1 Loss of a Beloved Dog

Posted by Gail Michel on

We all know it is part of the deal, at some point, our fur-baby will cross the rainbow bridge and we will be left with a large hole in our lives.  A friend of mine suggested I share my journey of loss on my way to love again; so here we are.  This is the first of several installments of how my home went from loosing a pet to being ready to love a new dog.

On November 26, 2019, I was on my normal commute home when my boyfriend called stating Otto looked weaker than normal. I cancelled my plans for the night and told him I would be coming straight home.  The bus couldn't move fast enough; something was wrong with my baby and I needed to get to him.  

Leading up to this point, we had endured many months of illness and doctors hoping to treat many of Otto's ailments.  He was approximately 14 years old and not the healthiest Boston terrier.  In July & August he underwent radiation therapy and showed some signs of improvement but took a turn for the worse.  We had been treating him for an aggressive UTI that just wouldn't go away.  The only antibiotics safe for his kidneys/liver were unfortunately did damage to his stomach.  My boyfriend and I had begun to prepare ourselves for his departure in our own ways. 

When I arrived home, something inside me said today is the day he is going to leave us.  I laid on the floor next to his bed and pet him and spoke to him softly while looking him in the eyes.  I was being urged to take him to the hospital but I was dragging my feet because I wanted him to die at home in his bed, with his loved ones around him.  I was convinced to take him to the hospital when we noticed he had a neurological episode.  We aren't sure if it was a vestibular event or an out-right stroke. 

I put him on my lap in the car and we took the 40 minute drive to the ER where all of Otto's specialists are.  They immediately took him to the back and we were sent into the waiting room for what felt like the longest time. We were eventually brought back to one of the exam rooms and were explained how dire the situation was and asked what we wanted for Otto; send him across the bridge, take him home or attempt to save him. 

My boyfriend and I were divided on this decision.  I thought it was time to let him go even though I didn't want it to happen in a cold hospital. My boyfriend said he couldn't bare to look Otto in his brown eyes and tell him he would be better off dead.  After much crying and discussion, we admitted Otto to the hospital and went home for a few hours of sleep.  We gave him hugs and kisses and promised we would be back to get him in the morning. 

We didn't sleep much but we quickly got up and showered in the morning and called the hospital to see how Otto did overnight and to tell them we were on our way to visit him.  We were told he was still in a very weak and he had another neurological episode.  Again, we couldn't move any faster to get to our baby.  We got in the car and on the 40 minute drive received the phone call that we lost him.  


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  • I am crying again as I did so many times when I watched Otto slowly vanish before our eyes. This little wonder dog help me get back to walking after a long hospital stay with his many daily walks to visit the outside world. I will forever miss him.

    Poppie on

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