Mending a Broken Heart
I was hoping that my next post would have a positive update in regards to Gigi but, unfortunately, this is not the case.
On Wednesday evening after coming home from work, Brandon and I immediately noticed that her lethargic behavior had rapidly increased. She did not get up to greet me with an excited bark as she usually does every single day and she was lying in the kitchen with a sad look on her face. After calling her to me, she wobbled her way over and I began to notice that her breathing was very irregular. I urgently asked Brandon to call the vet’s office to get the emergency referral number and after a quick phone call, we carried her to the car and I sat in the backseat with her while Brandon drove us to the ER. After what felt like an eternity, we pulled up to the pet emergency room and the first thing they did was check her gums which they noticed were very pale. They said that was a serious sign and that they had to take her back immediately.
The tears began pouring at this point as we waited for the doctor to report back their findings. About ten minutes later, they came in and told us that Gigi had a tumor on her spleen called Hemangiosarcoma which had spread to her liver. Because of the vascular nature of the tumors, they often rupture and cause severe internal bleeding which was what was happening with her. The doctor told us the prognosis was not good and that because of her internal bleeding, she could pass at any moment. She explained it was urgent for us to decide whether or not to immediately start her on blood transfusions so that they could take her to surgery to remove the spleen and resect the liver. She also explained that the chances of her surviving were not very good since it had already spread to her liver and that she may not even make it out from surgery depending on how much further the cancer had spread.
Brandon and I were both in complete shock because we thought she had injured her leg and was weak and tired due to the pain. The doctor explained that the leg injury could have been what sent the cancer over the edge but that it had likely been progressing for several months. After taking a few rushed minutes to discuss what we would should do, we both decided that it would be best to say our goodbyes and not put her through further suffering.
Although she was in critical condition, she was still trying to find a way to leave the doctor’s office. We eventually coerced her to lay down on the floor with us and tried to cuddle and comfort her while we spent our last moments together.
Everything happened so fast that it still feels like a nightmare. I could have never imagined that she was full of cancer in the last months of her life and feel extreme guilt for not realizing this was the case.
We had taken her for a wellness exam at the vet’s office in March and everything was fine. Then a few weeks ago, she started limping and we thought she hurt her knee because the symptoms were almost identical to that of our other dog who had injured her knee several years ago. We thought her lethargic behavior and slightly diminished eating was because it hurt her to stand for a long time and took comfort in the fact that she was still eating treats and barking at the door like everything was fine. Even on the last morning, I had filled her bowl with food and drizzled some olive oil on top to make sure she was eating and she ate for a good five minutes in front of me. It almost feels like she was doing all that she could to make sure I was happy, regardless of how awful she felt.
To say that my heart is broken is an understatement. Gigi would have been ten years old next month and come September, I would have had her for ten years of my life. She was the most loyal and loving dog I could imagine and I truly felt like she was my puppy soul mate. She made it her duty to protect me and was by my side in all that I did. There will forever be a hole in my heart now that she is gone but I hold on to the hope that we can meet again one day.
As you can imagine, my appetite is non existent and I feel drained of all energy. I am trying my best to have strength for Coco so that she doesn’t feel lost without her lifelong pal but each day has been a struggle. I didn’t want to disappear from the blog and not let anyone know what has happened but I will likely be taking some time off until I can adjust to the new “normal” in my life and find the inspiration to create new recipes again.
In the meantime, Brandon and I are working on a scrapbook to honor Gigi’s life. She brought us both so much joy and happiness and we will cherish those memories for the rest of our lives.
Thank you for listening and I hope you will cuddle your furry friends a little closer in memory of my girl.
This brought me to tears. I’m so, so, so sorry this happened. Nothing I or anyone else can say can ease the pain, but I do hope you take comfort in the fact that she will always be with you, both in spirit and in heart. Best wishes and my prayers go out to you, Brandon, and Coco. <3
Oh Sarah… I’m so sorry :( Reading this literally brought tears to my eyes because it reminded me of what I went through with my own girl… We took her in to the vet because she was being lethargic and seemed to have a hard time breathing, and it turned out that she had cancer that spread to her lungs and caused them to fill up with fluid. The vet told us that there was a good chance she would go into distress and pass at any moment, so we had to make the choice to either put her down right there or let her live for a little while longer and possibly choke to death. We ultimately decided that putting her down would be better, but God… it was the hardest decision ever.
Keeping you in my thoughts, hun <3
My condolences to,you and Brandon. A month ago my neighbor from across the street came over to my house to put our trash cans out ( super helpful lady). She brought her small dog with her named Chula. My neighbor accidentally left my gate open and Chula ran out just as a student driver was driving down our street. He hit her once, stopped, backed up to see what he had hit, but in doing that, he hit her again. My neighbor runs to help and gets bitten on her right hand by her own doggy. She rushes her to the ER and they had to put her to sleep. I was so sad and cried and cried. I too felt guilty because if my neighbor wouldn’t have been at my house then Chula would still be here. The kid who hit her apologized but it truly wasn’t his fault. Chula and the kid were both at the wrong place the wrong time. We can still see her blood stain on the ground where she was hit.
Goreti, I’m sorry I did not reply to this comment before because I was so upset at the time but I wanted to thank you for sharing your story with me. I hope you know that you were in no way responsible for the death of Chula, sometimes accidents happen and this is just life. We are trying to keep the good memories of our baby alive and hopefully you are able to do the same with Chula and are feeling better. :)
My heart is broken for you my sweet friend. I’ve had Gigi, You and Brandon and of course CoCo on my mind since we spoke on Thursday. I had to give my babies an extra squeeze after this week with first Tucker then your sweet little Gigi. I’m so sorry you’re hurting and that in itself makes tears come to my eyes. I wish we were closer so I could give you the hug I know you need. I love you so much. You’re in my thoughts and prayers as always.
I am so sorry to hear about Gigi… I can’t even imagine what you are going through right now. I will definitely keep you in my thoughts through this difficult time.
Oh my goodness, I am so so sorry to hear this! :( The unconditional love of a dog is truly remarkable, and losing a furry friend is just awful. I will be thinking of you!
Oh my baby girl….I know how hard this must have been to for you to post, but hopefully it is a step closer to help heal your beautiful loving soul. You and Brandon and Coco are in our thoughts and prayers…. hopefully Coco is not too sad. I love you,
oh my gosh I am so sorry Sarah. You definitely made the harder but nicer choice for gigi by not putting her through the pain that surgery would have caused for a slim chance of survival. Aww I feel so bad. If I lived closer I’d offer to take you to lunch. feel better.
Your post brought me to tears. I’m so sorry you had to go through this. Sending you, Brandon and Coco hugs and prayers.
I am so sorry to hear this news , Sarah. :( I am still tearing up as I type this. I’ve been through this twice and it’s probably the worst experience ever. A pet is family 110%. Their unconditonal love is simply amazing and it’s just so awful when this happens because they are helpless. She’s no longer suffering and you guys did make the best decision possible although it never feels like that. Thinking of you and will give my Sammy extra cuddles tonight! It just all takes time, do what you have to do.
I am so very sorry to hear this Sarah…. wishing you, your sweetie and Coco much comfort. I will hugs my fur babies extra tonight in memory of your precious Gigi. :)
Oh Sarah, my heart breaks for you, Brandon and Coco. I am so very very sorry for the loss of your pup. I’m literally crying, knowing the heartache you are going through.
Eric’s family and I went through almost the exact same situation with his Rhodesian, Mira. The rush to the e-vet, the cancer diagnosis, and the last moments and kisses goodbye with a well loved pup.
You made the choice that is gut wrenchingly painful to make, but wise to do. She’s free from pain now and take comfort that you gave her nearly 10 great years. A loving home, family, and happiness. And she returned it with her unconditional love for you.
Sending love to you and your family. When I get home, I will hug Lando and shower him with kisses in honor of Gigi.
Sarah – I’m so sorry to hear about Gigi…my heart is breaking for you.
I’m so sorry Sarah, losing a pet is never easy especially one you have had for a long time. My thoughts are with you during this difficult time :(
Sarah, I am so sorry to hear about Gigi. I am crying reading this knowing how much you and Brandon must be hurting right now. I will be thinking about you through this hard time.
Dear Sarah and Brandon,
Thank you for sharing your pain and sadness over the lost of your friend Gigi. She will always be with you guys on a different energy form and though not words will bring comfort to you right now somehow or another time will heal this empty space she has left in your hearts. Cheers to Gigi’s life and yours!
Sending you all the love and light from Seattle,
Thank you so much Nina. We are holding on to her memory very tight and cherishing all of the happiness she brought us. I appreciate your kind thoughts and wish you well. :)
This brought tears to my eyes. Again, I am so sorry for your loss. Gigi definitely sounds like your dog soul mate. Dogs are amazing “beings” and they make our lives so much sweeter. Take care of yourself. If I could overnight you chicken soup I would. Squeeze Coco extra tight.
Thank you so much for your kind words Andrea. It is truly heart breaking to have lost her but you’re right, they make our lives that much sweeter and we were lucky to have found each other.
I am so so sorry for your loss girl… I lost my childhood dog last spring (she was almost 17!) and it completely broke my heart in a million pieces. I think that is part of the reason why I love my dog Tebow so much, I definitely try not to take him for granted and I appreciate all of the time I spend with him. Hang in there girl and try and focus on the good memories you have. Praying for you!
Thank you so much Jana. It has been one of the hardest times of my life but I will make it through. I’m holding on tight to the great memories she gave us and trying to give lots of extra love to Coco.
Oh my goodness I am so sorry for your loss, sweetheart. Stay strong and continue remembering all of the wonderful memories you have with Gigi.
Thank you Melanie. I actually thought about you and Moose because the type of cancer she had (Hemangiosarcoma) is most prevalent in German Shepherds (which we think she had in her). It is something you can talk to your vet about to keep an eye out for it once he starts getting older. I’m not trying to worry you, I just wish I would have had some kind of warning and want to spread the word!
So sorry to hear about Gigi! After realizing I hadn’t seen a new post from you reently on my Bloglovin I decided to come see what you had been up to. Somehow I missed this when you posted. I hope your heart is healing and youre left with only good memories!
Thanks Ashlee. We had a trip planned the week after Gigi passed so it has been a crazy few weeks. I am hoping to get back in the swing of things soon. Losing her has been so hard but the good memories stick with us and help us through it. :)
I’m so sorry to hear about Gigi, Sara. Just catching up with your recent posts, I realize that this has been a while ago… I hope you’re healing and finding comforts in sweet memories of Gigi. xo
Thank you Josie. I appreciate your kind words and thoughts.
I am so so sorry for the loss of your sweet baby. My dog is absolutely a member of my family and I can only imagine what you must be going through. Sending you lots of love!
Thank you Sara. It has been extremely difficult but we’re holding on to her sweet memory.