Goodbye, Sweet Myrka! How I’m Learning To Live Without My Dog

It took me a lot of time to get back to writing after my little dog Myrka was diagnosed with Cushing’s syndrome and passed away.

I usually publish a post every second Monday, but after she died, I found myself unable to write. No inspiration. Nothing! My friend Bren calls it the Blogging Blues.

A dry spell caused by grief

So I decided to wait. And then it hit me. I was ready. I wanted to write about her. Maybe it would help heal my heart. But that didn’t go exactly as planned.

I started to write my post, but the pain was so intense that I had to stop and take a break. I couldn’t even tell you, my readers, why I wasn’t publishing. I just couldn’t! And for that, I apologize.

But now, I know I’m ready to finish it. So I decided to post on a Tuesday instead of a Monday as usual, because today, over a month ago, Myrka crossed the Rainbow Bridge, on a Tuesday afternoon September 20th, at 3:30 pm.

What is Cushing’s syndrome

Also known as hypercortisolism, Cushing’s syndrome is when the adrenal glands produce too much of a hormone called cortisol.

This hormone controls the dog’s weight, helps fight infection, balance blood sugar levels and helps the response to stress.

This illness is discovered by witnessing some specific symptoms and can be confirmed by blood tests. Here are the symptoms that your dog can experience:

  • Seems hungrier and thirstier than usual
  • Pees more often, housebroken dogs may have indoor accidents
  • Loses hair (alopecia) or it seems slow to grow
  • Gets a pot belly
  • Has thinning skin
  • Seems very tired and inactive
  • Pants a lot
  • Gets skin infections

Why we chose not to treat her

Unfortunately, the treatment is very expensive and in old dogs like Myrka (she was 12 ½ years old), almost unlikely to succeed. So my husband and I decided not to put our darling girl to all of this and to deliver her from her suffering.

In the end, she was suffering a lot, and it was getting worse very fast. It broke our hearts to see her like this. And despite the fact that we couldn’t imagine our lives without her, it was time.

We could literally see her symptoms worsen before our very eyes. It was extremely painful and absolutely heartbreaking to watch.

Life with Myrka

We had a lot of rituals together. First, she always slept with us, I gave her treats when I got up and at bedtime. She always knew when it was time for her treats.

Also, we gave her some vegetables, especially cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, at dinnertime. Cucumbers were her favorite. She also loved cheese. The both of us always shared a piece of cheese in the morning.

Every aspect of our life was about Myrka being with us. For example, she followed me everywhere, and I loved to watch TV, write my blog posts or surf the net with her by my side.

The look on her little face when I came home from work was worth a million bucks. And she loved when I kissed her in the neck or on the cheeks.

Life after Myrka

These are only a few of the rituals we had the three of us. Getting back to a normal life after a pet dies can be very tough. Going to sleep without her is the toughest.

Sometimes, I wake up in the middle of the night and look at the foot of the bed where she slept, expecting to see her there.

In our house, we consider animals part of the family, and she was definitely that. We still mourn her, and the void she left in our lives is real.

We still don’t know if we’ll have another dog, but for now, I can’t imagine having another dog but Myrka in my life, and I know that my husband feels the same way.

Learning to live without her

So for now, we just learn to live without her. I will take us a lot of time to do that, but even though we’ll get there, we’ll never forget her.

She was extremely intelligent and understood more words than most dogs. She was a very special dog and a faithful friend.

We lost her so quickly that we didn’t have the chance to realized what was going on. That’s probably what I find the most difficult to accept. It happened too fast.

On the other end, I’m grateful that she didn’t suffer too much and for too long.  And that’s what keeps me going forward.

But that doesn’t mean that I don’t miss her terribly. I miss her every second and having to let her go was one of the hardest things I ever had to do in my life.

Final thoughts

I’m totally aware that it took me a really long time to get back to writing. I probably lost a few readers along the way, but the pain was too severe, I just couldn’t. I hope you can understand that! Writing about her was way too painful to handle.

I feel angry and sad at the same time that she didn’t get to live a few years more. But at the same time, I feel blessed that we got to have this amazing dog in our lives. She was truly the perfect dog. At least, for us.

Thank you for giving me the chance to explain why I was kinda MIA these past few weeks. I really appreciate it more than you’ll ever know.

Goodbye, sweet Myrka! See you at the Rainbow Bridge!

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8 thoughts on “Goodbye, Sweet Myrka! How I’m Learning To Live Without My Dog

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  1. Hi Nataly,

    Oh my gosh, my eyes are welling up. I’m glad you decided to write about your feelings about your loss. I know how you feel, for sure. Losing our beloved furchildren can be very devastating. I’ve never heard of Cushings for a dog, however, after reading the symptoms, my girl has them. Is this something that is found from a blood test? I might have to discuss with my vet. As I said before, I am so very sorry for you loss. 😦

    On a brighter note, I love the look of your new site! Is it a bit freeing knowing you aren’t paying for web hosting and having to mess with all that backend stuff? I know I feel FREE!

    Glad to have you back, gf! I look forward to reading more from Myrka Street and anxiously await that post that says “I Have a New Addition to my Family”. LOL

    Have a great day, my friend!

    B

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Bren,

      It took me a while to do it, but I’m glad that I wrote this post. Yes, Cushing is found by doing a blood test. Let me know when you know more about your baby girl’s health.

      Your support really warms my heart. It’s nice to know that you have friends when you go through something like this.

      I’m glad that you like the new look my site! And you’re right, I feel free! I feel less obligated to write and it’s brought back my love of writing.

      Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words, gf! Hope you’re having a great weekend! ☺️

      ~Nataly

      Like

  2. Sweet Nataly,

    I can completely relate to this, my childhood dog and the four-legged love of my mother’s life too had Cushing’s. It was one of the most painful things to watch. Tucker (our late Shih-Tzu) was spunky, even at 16, and had a personality bigger than himself. He was diagnosed with Chushing’s the year I moved away from my family to pursue a career in FL over 1,000 miles away and I was the one who happened to be at the vets office with him the day he was tested.

    Animals really do become family members and their diagnoses affect everyone around them just as they would having a brother or sister diagnosed with a fatal or potentially life altering illness. Tucker declined slowly, thanks to some food supplements and some altered routines. It was so hard to video chat with my mother some nights as he suffered, she wore his pain on her face day in and day out. One fall night (on a Thursday) 2 years ago, my parents made the decision to help end his suffering and let him pass over the Rainbow Bridge. It was one of the most difficult things I had ever had to deal with. Thankfully my parents had a little relief as they were able to snuggle my pup just a little tighter that night and many nights until she came down to FL with them last year and my mother went home pup-less for the first time in 18 years.

    Thoughts are with you and your loved ones as you make this journey through mourning and celebrating the life of your four-legged kiddo.

    –MM

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Mallory and welcome to my site,

      I’m really sorry for you and your family’s loss. You’re so right, Cushing is a very nasty disease and it affects all members of the family!

      Just like Tucker, Myrka had a big personality and when the disease took control of her little body, she became the shadow of herself. That’s what was the worst part, seeing her change before my very eyes.

      Thank you for sharing Tucker’s story with us and for your kind words. Hope you’re having a great weekend!

      ~Nataly

      Like

  3. Hi Nataly,

    What a lovely post about Myrka. It sounds like you brought joy in each other’s lives.

    While I was reading about your rituals like the treats and kisses – it reminded me of my furbaby. I have two but Chico is the one that’s closest to me. We have the same rituals and he loves his kisses too. Fergie goes wherever there is love and food but he’s stuck on mama. 🙂

    I am so sorry for your loss Nataly. You did the best thing – although it hurts you, you were right to think of Myrka not suffering anymore.

    Take all the time you need to mourn your furbaby, your readers wil be here waiting for you!

    Sending hugs your way gf!

    Take care,

    Cori

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey Cori,

    The love of furkids is so fulfilling! Dogs are so full of love! Yours babies seems like adorable pooches.

    Thank you so much for your kind words. It means a lot to me! Just like I said to Bren, it’s comforting to know that you have friends when you go through something like this.

    Sending hugs back, gf! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend! 😊

    ~Nataly

    Like

  5. Hi Nataly,

    I’ve been meaning to come by and read this.
    I am SO sorry about Myrka. I know how much you love her and I have no doubt you meant the world to her as well.

    My family had gotten a puppy back in 1997. A Westie named Frisbee. He was the coolest dog and I absolutely adored him.
    My little buddy.

    He passed over 7 years ago and I was heartbroken. They have a beautiful Westie now, a sweet, wonderful girl who I’m crazy about, but that love never goes away and of course, I still think about him and miss him terribly.

    Time will heal but the love never dies. Sending you hugs my friend.

    Like

    1. Hi Dana,

      Thanks for your sweet words and your support!

      You’re so right, time heals all wounds, but the love never dies! And I’m sorry for Frisbee. Can you send me pics of him and the new girl if you can?

      Thank you so much for your warm comment, my friend.

      Hope you had a wonderful weekend! Hugs back! ❤️

      ~Nataly

      Like

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