Isn't it amazing how a pet can make us feel? It truly is amazing... My heart goes out to you. I read your memorial, that dog was very special and he looked so happy. Remember, Dogs do have a high tolerance for pain...and when they are loved, they want to keep going....and they don't feel the pain as much.
My little guy Toby, kept going like the energizer bunny. He had heart disease and lower airway disease and started coughing a lot the last few weeks of his life. It was tough for me sometimes, because it interrupted my sleep. I knew the final week he was not acting right. I said to my sister the morning of Labor Day that Toby looked a bit pale, and I didn't think he was going to live very long, even though he still was walking around the house. I went shopping that Labor Day, came home at 5:00PM to feed him and spend an hour with him. Then went to a barbeque for a few hours and came home around 11:00pm. He jumped up from his bed to greet me like usual and followed me into my bedroom. As I walked down the hall from the bedroom to the living room, something told me to just turn around. Toby just stopped and looked at me. I went over to him, picked him up and held him in my arms. When I placed him on the bed, I heard a few wimpers...and then he rolled out of my arms and I really thought he was gone. But within a few minutes he came back so I rushed him to the hospital. He was placed in an oxygen tank, and was back up on his feet barking filled with energy again, but breathing a bit harder. I said goodbye to him and held his face, and told him it would be ok. He barked as if to say goodbye looking directly at me.
The next morning at 10:00AM I called the hospital and they said Toby was not doing well and to rush down there and I did....he knew I was there, and we looked at one another and I told him to go to sleep (he knew what that meant) and he moved his head, and looked at me one last time and finally lowered his eyes and I knew he was gone.
Sometimes, I feel guilty for leaving him to go shopping on Labor Day....but there is no way you could really know. You gave Wrangler so much love throughout his life and that is what he remembers....that is why he lived as long as he did...and that is why my 16 year old survived past Vetinerian predicitions.
You have nothing to feel guilty about.....your dog wanted to be with you. And you did everything you could possibly for that dog. So did I, in fact, I am in serious debt now because of how much I loved my dog and didn't want him to leave. They know when it's time.
You sound a lot like me, especially when I read these words. They sound like the exact words I stated in another post on this board. "I found out that people who truely love animals have a kinder heart and give so much more love. Maybe this is what our pets teach us and I feel sorry for those of us who do not know the unconditional love of a furry friend! We should all learn from them! "
It is true. People who love animals are great people with compassionate hearts.
I think it's the guilt that is causing you to feel so much pain. Your dog loved you and appreciated everything you did for him.
Take Care and take things slow. I know in time the pain will ease up....you will know when to let go...just like Wrangler did.