Re: How to deal with...
Sorry all for what you're each going through, I'm going through it myself right now and I've never felt so shitty my whole life. I had to get my 12 year old boy Elliott put down just over a month ago, and I've been struggling ever since tbh. My life revolved around feeding, walking, and playing with my dog; he's literally been by my side every day for the last 12 years.
And now he's gone, and my life fucking sucks. I just have so much free time now, but I don't want to do anything without my boy. I don't plan on getting another dog for a long time, and if/when I do it will be an old boy from the pound that nobody else wants to adopt - I'll give them a nice home for their final few years, without me getting too attached and having to put myself through this again.
Also, for what its worth, my boy had a high grade 2, low grade 3, mass cell cancerous tumour when he was just 6. I thought I'd lose him then, but after chemo he kept going and gave me another 6 years. Cancer is one of those words which just strikes fear in people, but it doesn't necessarily mean that death is imminent or that the cancer will immediately return Just give your pets lots of love and be greatful for every extra day that you get to spend with them.
Re: How to deal with...
My cat died. I had a chihuahua, and cat. Taco died about 2 years ago, he progresed slower, aged, went blind the final 6 months, then about 30 days out took a turn for the worse.
Cat was worse, in a way. Happened a bit more sudden, but I'm kicking myself hard for not seeing the signs. She was 100% at 16/17 this year, even thru the spring. Then maybe wouldn't jump around as much, slowed down a tad, but I felt it was age. She started peeing tho, outside the box. Part of me was afraid to face consequences of a vet ($500-1000 treatment decision) and part of me hoped it was just a thing or curable. I tried giving her food meant for UTI (urinary tract infection which can cause peeing outside the box due to pain). Seemed like the right thing to do and she was ok with it for weeks, fuck this is hard.
Anyway last week she declined more noticably, and I called for an appointment Monday. The last 48 hours did not go well, as she became a bit lethargic. I mean Monday she was walking and slowly going up & down steps.
Anyway it just sucks. It's difficult losing pets, and there's never a right answer to things I suppose. I just look back & kick myself for not noticing and making the wrong decisions. I really wanted another 6 months or year with her. I actually sorta became a bit of a cat guy. Initially I got a cat to keep Taco company, and he was always #1 she was 2nd in command. She was good about it, they fought on occasion, swatting each other but always playing. The last year & a half she finally got 'her time', and we became buds. I'd look forward to coming home, seeing her, sharing fish or something. Now she's gone. Miss you Kat-kat