lcliff87

New member
Apr 24, 2016
24
4
Sanibel, FL
Country
USA
Bulldog(s) Names
Samie and Hercules
On Monday, July 24th I On Monday I lost my dearest baby boy Hercules. 💔 To say he meant the world to me is an understatement. Hercules came to my husband and I in bad shape from a rescue after having a loveless home 2 years and 9 months ago. We are guessing he was between 7-9 years old when we took him in. To watch this dog morph in front of my eyes from an exhausted soul into acting like a puppy was the greatest gift I have ever witnessed. As we treated some previously ignored medical issues and gave him the love he always deserved, we watched his face get brighter each and every day. This picture was one of the last ones I took before his passing and he looks as happy as can be (but that may be because he is beside me at the kitchen table and knows he's getting my scraps shortly).

A little over two months ago we were given the diagnose that he had bladder cancer. A 4-6 month prognosis turned into 10-12 months after a successful surgery to remove his tumor. I started with holistic treatment along with chemotherapy to try to give him as much life with us as possible. I began cooking him wholesome meals consisting of cancer fighting human food and did countless amounts of research to do whatever I could for my little guy. Little did we know he was in worse shape than we previously thought and he was masking his pain because he had such a strong will to live. He was still insisting on taking walks and running down the hall with me and spending every moment by my side. I almost didn't believe he had cancer because he was my same happy and energetic boy. We have another English bulldog, Samie, who we got as a puppy and is 5 years old. Hercules would literally run circles around Samie and she is healthy but just very lazy. Therefore, I am still in complete shock of his passing.

Three days before his passing I flew from Florida to my hometown of New Jersey for a family reunion and to visit with some old friends I do not get to see very often. I had canceled a trip a few months ago because he was not doing as well as I had hoped right after his first surgery. I was very hesitant to go away even though I knew my husband was more than capable of taking care of him. I noticed he was a little sleepier than normal but I had been home more the past few days before my trip and figured it was because he was following me around all day instead of sleeping normally while I was at work. So he was up a lot during the day but very sleepy at night. The bladder cancer was causing him to get me up a few times a night for bathroom breaks but those few nights before I left there were a little less bathroom breaks. I just thought because we always had such a strong connection and the guilt of leaving him for those few days was getting in my head and that he was fine. After all he is entitled to be tired after all of the fighting he has been doing. I decided to go on my trip but missed him like crazy. I was calling my husband and asking him to send photos and update me how he was doing every few hours. He said he seemed a little tired but was probably just missing me. On Monday morning, my husband called me to tell me he was taking Hercules to the vet. Not wanting to worry me he said he thinks he may have just hurt his paw because he is having trouble standing. After a rapid deterioration over the next few hours our worst fears had come true. The vet informed us that Hercules' cancer had spread to his front legs and his bottom legs were giving out because his lymph nodes were so swollen they were pushing his kidneys down into his hips. Just that fast he was unable to stand and shaking in pain. My husband face-timed with me while I pleaded to see if there was anything they could do because I quickly booked a flight that could get me back into town that night. The vet said he was in too much pain and was unresponsive to food and water at this point and his eyes were no longer with them. My husband and I made the decision to put my baby boy out of his misery. I always heard stories about not knowing when you would finally know it was time and he made it very clear to us. It happened so quickly we were both just in shock. I am having trouble with the guilt of not being there during his passing. Between his happy, bubbly face, and him constantly trotting along my side as I walked all over the house every day I would have never known how much pain he was in. It's hard to not feel guilt for leaving him while he was sick at all. Part of me became so convinced he was such a warrior, I believed he would live for another few more years. He had fought so many other battles that cancer couldn't take him down. Maybe that was a good thing because it did not make me treat him as a dying dog, but rather a dog that was living his best life every day. I will never know why my sweet body passed without me there, but one day I hope to have peace with it and knowing my husband was by his side until his last breath is helping me cope.

His body shut down and he let us know he tried as hard as he possibly could to hang on for a life he always deserved but it was his time. He didn't want to show weakness. Hercules was without a doubt my best friend and I am completely heartbroken. 💔 We had a connection that I have never before experienced with a dog and i am unsure I will ever make that connection again. He knew my emotions from just looking into my eyes and I will never forget that incredible bond that we shared. He was my canine soul-mate. I will forever remember what an impact he made on my life and the will he had to live and survive even after such a rough past. He was my warrior and I think he was stronger than I ever even knew. 🐶 IMG_5467.PNG

Thanks so much to everyone who listened to my story. I feel as though writing this is therapeutic by letting me share my emotions. I don't post too much on here but read quite often and have gained a lot of great advice over the years. I am happy to be a small part of such a loving community.
 

Manydogs

Well-known member
Community Veteran
May 2, 2013
13,308
1,298
Tennessee
Country
U.S.A.
Bulldog(s) Names
Maudee,Martha,Lizzie,Bro.Mini
[MENTION=15809]lcliff87[/MENTION] I am so sorry for you. I cried for you as I read this, as I KNOW that feeling of devastating loss and despair. Having had so many dogs over my life time and losing also, there is not much I can say to comfort you. Know that you gave him such a wonderful life when he was with you. He will be there waiting at the Rainbow Bridge when it is your time to go. Perhaps he knew that the best time to go was when you were gone,as it was as painful for him to leave you, as it was going to be for you. YOu must try to remember that you and your hubby gave him more love and happiness that he had ever had,and I had a saying on a little sign that said "don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened." there is never enough time with one we love,no matter how much we had. God be with you and comfort you, we will be praying for you. Time does help,though your love for Hercules will always be there. You love every one differently, but there is always more room in your heart....:yes::pray::pray::angelheart: Hercules stayed for you,longer than you knew because he knew such love.
 

Hankster

Well-known member
Community Veteran
Aug 27, 2016
4,486
70
Country
US
Bulldog(s) Names
hank
very heartfelt message and I'm so sorry for this loss of your beloved boy. Nothings going to stop the tears, and even guilt but I wish you would let that part go. You gave him everything a dog could ever want and made up for all bad that had come to him in the past. As Manydogs had said, there is something in the meaning of him 'letting go' when you wernt there. I know humans are the same. And though I don't know why, I do believe it's because they don't want to leave us with the hurt. In a way you gifted him a way to let go.. Nobody 'left' your baby, only helped him along, and he was loved through it and lifted up by it. I'm sure of it. I know the pain... tears flowing as I write.
 

Texas Carol

Texas Carol....put the heart in EBN
Community Veteran
Jul 4, 2012
7,581
831
Central Texas
Country
USA
Bulldog(s) Names
Brutus & Cami live in Heaven
One can't help falling in love with Hercules with your
wonderful description of his beautiful soul. His happy
& joyous self came thru in each word, what a great
gift y'all were given by God, to meet in this huge
universe & share such JOY. God wanted Hercules
to have the life & love he was so deserving of before
he left this earth. Thank you for doing so and for putting
his needs before your broken hearts, so difficult to let go
especially one as awesome as your lovely boy! I wish
there were words of comfort I or any of us could speak
to help but there are none. All we can do is let you know
that we understand how special Hercules was, how happy
all of you were and how you ache for him now, the grief,
the guilt, the pain & emptiness left behind.

Those feelings will fade as your hearts claim the joy & love,
again, between y'all. What a wealth of awesome memories
to remember & enjoy from your handsome boy! He gave
every drop of loyalty, love & devotion he had in him and
received back. As grief passes, that legacy will shine thru
and God will restore your peace & rest.

Hercules sits in Jesus lap, fully restored in health & glory,
there will be reunion one fine day! Covering y'all in prayer
and sending loving hugs from Texas. Thank you so much
for sharing his beautiful soul with us and this love story!
XOXO
 

ddnene

EBN's SWEETHEART aka our little GOOB
Staff member
Jun 19, 2013
14,540
1,219
Nashville, Tennessee
Country
USA
Bulldog(s) Names
Willow (2015) Walter (2014-22) Winston (2012-13) Wellie (2012-13) Bella (2007-13)
Lauren, your post brought me to tears...

I'm SO very sorry for your loss... Hercules was SO very lucky to have found you and your family. You went above and beyond to care for him after years of neglect... I have NO doubts that he loved you guys very much, and wanted to stick around as long as possible. I have lost many pets, and each time I always go thru the "what if" scenario... what if we knew sooner, or what if we'd done things differently or what if I'm taken them somewhere else. It's so easy to do that, but don't... as a dear friend of mine on here told me [MENTION=5315]Texas Carol[/MENTION] "When it's YOUR time, it's time..." and there is nothing we can do to change that. What I can tell you is that he knew he was loved and cared for in those last years, and it doesn't matter whether you were there when he passed or not... he KNOWS!!! Cherish the memories that you have, and please vent away on... many of us understand the magnitude of your grief, we have been there. And we are here for you now... :angelheart:
 

1Chumly

Well-known member
Feb 19, 2015
2,734
308
Houston, TX
Country
From England
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Buster 2014? Monty 6/2010 - 1/2020 Chumly 2002-2014
I am so very sorry for your loss and know how painful it is for you. Never fear though, he knew how much you loved him and he thrived on that love. He is free from pain now. RIP Hercules
 

helsonwheels

Well-known member
Jan 10, 2016
12,210
969
Alberta
Country
Canada
Bulldog(s) Names
Nyala, Jake (R.I.P. Duke)
Therapeutic or not, we will always listen and be there for you. You came into Hercules life to rescued him and you gave him almost 3 beautiful and happy years. He will always be with all of you in your hearts and put a smile on your faces throughout the grieving days to come. You are good souls to have been there for him. He's pain free now and will be watching you from above.

R.I.P. Hercules. :assurred: :angelheart:
 
OP
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lcliff87

New member
Apr 24, 2016
24
4
Sanibel, FL
Country
USA
Bulldog(s) Names
Samie and Hercules
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #8
Thank you everyone for your sweet responses. It is so hard remembering how I left his happy, joyous face and knowing that I will never see his face again. Ever since his diagnosis I have been trying to live every day in the moment and I am so thankful to have done that. I definitely feel as though I am going through the "what if" scenario but I do know there is not much more I could have done. I just miss him so much and it's extremely hard not having him around. My home just doesn't feel the same anymore. I felt as though my purpose in life for the past 3 years was Hercules' mom and I am feeling beyond lost without him. I am even missing the dreaded bath time and his complicated feeding/pill schedule. I would do anything just to have some more time with him but I know it will never happen and it's just so heartbreaking. Everything I try to do feels like I am just masking my pain. I only want to spend my time thinking and talking about him. I just bought two books on pet loss and I am hoping they will help me work through some of the things I am going through. Thanks again for everyone who has read my story and given me advice. It really means so much knowing that other people went through similar situations and were able to get through to the other side.
 

manecya

New member
Jul 10, 2017
25
2
Country
Canada
Bulldog(s) Names
Henry
So sorry for your loss, Hercules was wonderful indeed! It will take some time but you will be fine; hard truth for all us dog lovers is that we will usually outlive our furry soulmates and the pain cant be avoided. But we keep on doing it because they fill our lives with meaning and love and laughs. I send you a ton of peace and wisdom sweetheart.
 

cefe13

Well-known member
Sep 12, 2013
3,702
174
Country
Sweden
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Castor (2013-2021 RIP)
I am so sorry for your loss - thank you for sharing your and Hercules' story. You gave him some wonderful years and although he now is in Bulldog Heaven, he will remain in your thoughts and your heart. That is love.
 

sisters3

Well-known member
Oct 29, 2015
3,961
168
Pennsylvania
Country
USA
Bulldog(s) Names
My Girl Joey
I am so very very sorry for the loss of Hercules ! Your story has touched my heart, shed a few tears for you this morning too. I pray for comfort and happy memories to fill your days!!!!! Sue and Joey
 

2BullyMama

I'm not OCD....now who moved my bulldog?
Staff member
Community Veteran
Jul 28, 2011
47,656
2,446
Gilbertsville, PA
Country
USA
Bulldog(s) Names
Lambeau, Chelios (Frenchie), Nitschke (2004-2011) and Banks (2005-2014)
What a wonderful life you gave him... 2 years and 9 months of pure, unconditional love... he will forever be with you - always in your heart and you will never forget or lose the love you have for him.
Thank you for all you did for him.. to make that smile so wide and bright.

So very sorry for your loss --- rest in peace sweet Hercules
 

lgajohnymac

New member
Oct 1, 2015
30
2
Country
United States
Bulldog(s) Names
Summer
I applaud you for treating his cancer and following up with post treatment to extend his life. You certainly did everything you could. It was unlucky for you to be gone, nothing more. All owners and bully lovers have commitments that require time away from our loved friends. I see that this has been some a few months since, and encourage you to share any additional developments.
 

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