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Roxi died this morning. I was going to write a whole thing about the research I did about all of this, but my heart is broken. I was finishing this page when I realized she was in a bad way & she deteriorated so fast… I think she had a heart attack in the night after I gave her her medicine & I didn’t notice until it was far too late to do anything. I tried all the things the vet said to do if she seemed to be in distress, but nothing helped. I thought she died while I was holding her, but she took a breath after a very long pause & kept trying. Honestly, if I’d had a way to put her to sleep I would have. It was not an easy death. I’ve been through 3 of them now & it always hurts to watch them struggle and suffer in fear. Eventually it ended, & I packed up that little dog I loved so much in an Amazon box to put in the cold till the ground softens up. A little later I had an irrational jolt of panic that maybe she just passed out & went to make sure she wasn’t shivering in the box wondering why I had done that to her. But she was still dead, just like the rational part of my brain knew she was.
I’m gonna miss that wonderful little dog. I already do. I didn’t love her enough. There’s never enough time to.

42 Comments

I think I understand your pain. Had a black & white kitten named 8-Ball twenty years ago. He always helped me work on the car by popping up all over the place. He never got to be a grown cat though, as the road traffic took his life. That little furball made such a big impact on me in such a short time. Haven’t had a pet since and probably never will again. Blessings on you and Roxi.

Dang it, gotta go while I can still see well enough to type.

I’m sorry for your loss. I’ve been through it too and I have an idea how you feel.

Thanks, as always, for making one of my favorite comics. Thanks.

My condolences.

You did what you could. I’m sure you already know that now is as good a time as any to remember the good times and thank Roxi for them.

The loss of a pet can hit harder than the loss of a family member. Whether they’re small, skittery things, big galumphs, or anything in between.

I reckon it’s because they don’t judge us on a human level that we love them so much. We give them food, shelter and company because they only want food, shelter and company. They don’t give a shit if the food is gourmet or organic or whatever, they don’t care if you live in a caravan or a mansion, and as long as you are a decent person to them, they won’t try and rip your limbs apart (except some cats, on occasion).

I’m very sorry to hear about Roxi. I hope you keep well during this time.

Well, this post gave me a punch in the gut.

About a year and a half ago, my grandmother was on her deathbed due to terminal leukemia. She had refused to go to the hospital because she knew the best she could hope for was a few weeks at most and she wanted to die in her own house, so my mom (her daughter) and I kept a 24/7 watch on her as she lay on her couch, slowly drifting further and further.
About five hours before she finally died I went “off duty” and decided to visit my dad before I went home so I rang him to tell him I’m coming and he told me my cat, Ciróka (or “Cici”, named after a cat from a book we had when we were kids), the last survivor of the three we had growing up, had just died of renal failure. Now this wasn’t unexpected either, because that poor little floofball had been struggling with kidney and bladder stones for years, had had multiple operations, etc, but it still was sudden in the sense that my dad knew something had been wrong and had decided to take him to a vet, but, like your Roxi, by the time he realized how bad it was, it was too late. Cici died on the way there.

So yeah, now I’m sitting here in front of the screen, a thirty-six year old former drill sergeant with over fourteen years of military experience in a Guard unit, bawling my eyes out like a little kid.

I really hope your Roxi had a nice life. Pets deserve our love even more so than humans, since they give theirs unconditionally.
Also, don’t forget to take care of yourself.

Roxi knew how much she was loved. Pets teach us so many things like unconditional love. Sitting here thinking about the cat I lost last year and its hitting me all over again.
Grieve however it suits you. We’ll be here.

You did what you could. In the end, that’s all there is to do.

Oh, and on another note, strip’s awesome too. Thanks for putting that up despite all of this. Your update schedule is the envy of a thousand strips out there.

I’m so, so sorry for you, man. I think I understand the pain, had a pet pass on me recently – long story, irrelevant.

What’s relevant is – even though it hurt, she knew you were there for her in her last moments. You did the right thing at a cost to yourself. Have some solace in that.

Oh, man. I am so very sorry for your loss. We have a beloved cocker spaniel (her name is Aeris) who is failing (she’s sixteen) and we are trying hard to know when it’s time to let her go. We love her so very much but we want to do what’s best for her. It’s tough.

You have my sympathies. Hang in there and know that you did all you could.

It is sad, but the important thing is that you both enriched each other’s lives. Each of you had a better life than either would have without the other.

Hang in there!

You did what you could for her, Jackie. That’s what matters. Losing a pet –especially a really faithful one– is always hard.

Sidebar: For smaller pets like mice, rats, and some smaller breeds of rabbit, cervical dislocation can be down to end their suffering. Most dog breeds are too large for unassisted cervical dislocation. And even then, 1) it’d be damn hard to do emotionally and 2) some states either don’t allow it and the ones that do may ask questions if they require some sort of pet death certificate.

Condolances for your loss. I remember when my cat died, she couldn’t even jump up into my bed the night before we were going to put her down (She hadn’t slept in my bed in ages) but she wanted to, sitting near the foot of it and yeowling sadly. I picked her up and let her snuggle up to me. I’m sure she knew what was happening, it made me happy and broke my heart at the same time that she came and wanted to be with me and not my parents who I was living with at the time or hide in solitude like some cats will near the end.

Sad things in life aside after a little cry…

Thomas’s words don’t flow very well. I’ll take you at your word that you’ve done research for electronics that last decades, but I don’t understand the second part about turning ‘it’ on and off, or what kinds he might be talking about. Is he saying the bulbs have lasted so long because no one has flicked the switch in 40 years?

Just look up the centennial lightbulb and you’ll find all the information you need

I looked up the centennial lightbulb and I’ve heard of it in the past. I hadn’t realized it was the fact that it hadn’t been turned off that was the reason for it not burning out though. Very cool.

What kills electronics is the thermal distortion from the power up-cool down cycles when things are turned on and off. Heat changes causes things to expand and contract, eventually they get brittle and break instead. This is the main killer of old school incandescent light bulbs, and is why they usually die when they are turned on. Electronics last much longer if they are in a steady state mode, with no thermal changes. Power quality also is important, for much the same reason.

Hm. I knew this, but now I wonder if adding a device that ramps up (and down) the power smoothly instead of with a bang would help.

My Brody was the closest I will ever have to having a child of my own, and he was with me the better part of 14 years. The stories I could tell of that feisty little rescue dog. He had a stroke and then passed in my arms. Haven’t been able to even contemplate getting another animal still after 5 years, he was irreplaceable.

I have a pet cemetery in my backyard. Two cats and one dog. Every once and awhile they make cameos in my dreams especially the ones where the house is the setting.

9 cats (Harry, Bear, Emily, Kitters, Murrlin, Rozemary, Mitzi, Ariel, and Squishy), two dogs (Java and Cody), and at least one ferret in our pet cemetery. But we’ve been in this house for 15 years now. (Cody actually died at our previous location, but we buried his ashes here since we don’t plan on moving again.)

It never gets easier losing a beloved pet. I was emotionally wrecked when Rozemary passed… my black bitty-kitty had been with us for almost 21 years. I cried until I was sick after she passed.

Sorry about Roxi, your dog. However I want to tell you, I find it admirable and beautiful that you love so deep we after going through such tragedies. It’s hard to keep your heart open, and I’m proud of you. Stay strong, thanks for the awesome comics

I am sorry, Jackie. Words cannot express my sympathy, but as others have already said, you did your best and that is all you can rationally ask of yourself. It doesn’t help ease the pain, but maybe it will sink in eventually and you’ll be able to move on when the time is right. Until then, hold onto that love and let grief run it’s course.

Sorry to hear about your dog. Loosing a pet is always hard, I have had to go through it several times now and it doesn’t get any easier. Remember the good times you had with her and know that she knew she was loved.

A thought about when it may be appropriate to put a pet out of its misery. It’s a very difficult decision, but I think the decision has to hinge on whether you’re keeping them alive for them or for you. If its mostly because of how you’ll miss them, or how you hate to make the decision, you have to consider it more dispassionately and without consideration for your emotions. Also think it is important to be with them. Just my thoughts, and I don’t fault anyone who disagrees. Also have seen animals (and humans) with devastating problems who love life and have wonderful dispositions and perfectly healthy animals (and humans) who are never happy. It seems to depend as much on your point of view as your circumstances.

If Roxi hadn’t been perfectly fine 5 hours earlier I wouldn’t have tried so hard, but she was back to her old self after a few days of medicine. It would be one thing if she had been suffering but she was doing great after one day of medicine.

Sometimes it’s like that. I remember how my brothers cat passed away. She was fine that morning, even played around in a box. Next thing we knew she was on the ground not moving much. We took her to the vet where she had a stroke then died. My cats always were a slow decline and I ended up putting them to sleep. It’s never easy because you hope that the meds work and for a while they do but eventually time catches up. Sorry to hear about your loss. Never easy to lose a family member.

Yeah, not judging. These thoughts were what helped me to decide to put one of my dogs out of its misery. Never easy. Never should be. Best wishes.

Condolences on your loss. Losing a furbaby is so very hard. But she passed on with you there, and there’s no better way for a doggo to go than with their Beloved Person right there with them at the end. Peace to you. Grieve. Don’t worry about us, take the time you need.

Jackie, My heart goes out to you. I’ve held a beloved pet during her last moments, and my wife has done the same countless other times. The pain still gnaws even after all this time.

You’re right, there’s never enough time. Even if they had our life spans, there still wouldn’t be enough time.

I am so sorry you had to go through that horror.

Here’s another thought about that radio: not only has it been working the whole time, it was tuned to that frequency the whole time. The implication is that there was a local station that both stayed in operation for decades and never felt the need to change frequency (or that another local station reused it, but let’s just go with the implication).

It’s certainly not impossible, and as I learned after a quick internet search, not even non-existent in the real world. The first commercial radio station (KQW San Jose, currently known as KCBS San Francisco) began its broadcasts in 1909 in San Jose, and has been using the same frequency since March 1941. Think about that: if you had a radio as sturdy as the one seen here, you could have listened to FDR’s post-Pearl Harbor address on it (or even tuned in to the station several months before), left the thing on and tuned to 740 AM, and (barring perhaps power outages, the big earthquake in 1989, or interference of some sort) it would have been playing something for the better part of eighty years.

Jackie, most sincere condolences on your loss. These said it all better than I can. My sympathy goes out to you and I’ll be thinking of you in the coming weeks.

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