View Full Version : RIP Virginia 02/20/2012

Jul. 9, 2010, 08:41 PM
A week or so ago I asked for advice regarding our dog who was going to be put down due to old age. You all offered wonderful advice and it helped a lot in talking to my children. I went out the day before to start to dig Virginia's grave. It hurt so bad. My husband was home and let V out. She ran right to me and started jumping and playing at the dirt I was throwing. Everything about her life with us flashed in my mind. She was always there - a friend to me, a guardian for my children. She was family. And I couldn't do it. I called the vet at 4:59pm as they were closing and cancelled my appt. They said that is one appt they never mind cancelling.

I made a video of V when I thought she would no longer be with us. So for now she will stay and we will just manage her bouts of pain.

UPDATE - Well here we are over a year later and sweet Virginia is still snoring at my feet. She is much grayer and much slower but still here. I can't believe it. I told my husband we needed to start thinking about her co-pilot soon but that I could not handle a puppy right now. I told him I wanted a bit older settled dog. Sunday I took my girls to the park and there was the most gorgeous yellow lab running loose. We took her home and after a week of searching finally found her owners. By then my girls were really attached. Long story short the owner told me that the dog runs away every chance she gets and if we want her we can have her. So Gravy, yes Gravy, and Virginia, Salt and Pepper are snoring away. And Gravy hasn't tried to run away even once. Good days.

http://good-times.webshots.com/video/3063015170082183223bpMTBL? vhost=good-times

Jul. 9, 2010, 09:27 PM
Wonderful dog and wonderful tribute! I'm from the "if they're still eating, they're still glad to be alive" school of thought. Especially with dogs!

Good on you and Virginia!

Zu Zu
Jul. 9, 2010, 09:27 PM
A Wonderful tribute to Virginia ~ loved everything about it ~ hug that girl and kiss her on the top of the head for me ~~~ lovely, lovely video ~ thanks for sharing & and while it brought tears to my eyes = they were tears of happiness for your family and Virginia ~ so very lucky to be sharing your lives together ~ Enjoy your special girl ! :cool::D

Jul. 9, 2010, 09:28 PM
Another beautiful story to add to Virginia's life of love and caring. I am so happy you will have her a bit longer., your video is amazing and as one animal lover to another, you have given "Joy" to me by sharing. Thank you

Jul. 9, 2010, 10:14 PM
I did the same thing with one of my horses -- even had the vet and backhoe out and I just couldn't do it. That horse lasted another year, until it was really clear that it was time.

Enjoy this precious extra time.

Jul. 9, 2010, 10:49 PM
Good for you, your family and Virginia. You'll know when the time is right and Virginia's behavior showed it was not time, yet. You'll treasure this extra time. I did the same thing with my dog. The end still came, but we were both ready.

Whitfield Farm Hanoverians
Jul. 9, 2010, 10:55 PM
Yeah! Go Virginia! Good for all of you!

Jul. 10, 2010, 12:06 PM
I don't recall the other thread, but there are so many options for pain relief, I hope you find something that will keep her comfortable. I had to have 3 older dogs put down in the last year and a half. One was due to heart/liver problems, and the other 2 had severe arthritis/spinal degeneration that even the strongest meds no longer helped. You'll know when it's time, as long as your primary thought is whether the dog has a quality of life.

The video was lovely. And while I generally am not fond of kids, the kids in the video are so cute. Virginia certainly is well loved.

Over the Hill
Jul. 10, 2010, 01:23 PM
What a very special guardian the children had in her. She is a beautiful dog and obviously much loved. Enjoy each and every day more that you share.

Jul. 10, 2010, 02:36 PM
Your loving tribute to Virginia brought tears to my eyes. May you count each of the remaining days you have with your dear dog as a blessing, as you have been blessed with all those wonderful days and memories that you have had in the past.

Jul. 10, 2010, 03:50 PM
It has been a week and I am sure I made the right decision.

Jetsmom - I am sorry about the loss of your dogs this past year. I can understand your pain. Virginia will tell us when it is time and I think for now we can keep her comfortable. As an aside - I think that you would fall prey to the cuteness of my 3 year old. When my older daughter did something and got in serious trouble the 3 year old looked over and said, "Well that didn't go well for her." She says the most hilarious stuff.

When I told the 3 year old about Virginia being put to sleep she simply said, "No, I don't think so." I guess she was right.

Jul. 10, 2010, 04:00 PM
Enjoy your extra time. :)

I think it's different for every dog, and we need to just be tuned in enough that we know when it *is* time.

I may have posted this before, but I wish every older, larger dog came with one of these (http://www.ruffwear.com/Web-Master-Harness?sc=2&category=1131) to help with stiffness and mobility issues.

Jul. 12, 2010, 11:01 PM
Your girls and that dog, oh my, I am in tears. What a lovely family and so glad Virginia will still be a part of it. It hits me particularly hard as I was pregnant several times but have no children and I have a lovely black labby named Abby. I am just overwhelmed. So happy she is still with you.

Jul. 12, 2010, 11:48 PM
My dear old Sasha had a very bad experience and I called the vet to put her down. She could not get up, and basically was not able to use her hind end. She also just wanted to sleep, but when I wanted her to go out, she could not use her hind end at all, and just kept falling down.

I asked the vet if it would be ok to come out the next day to put her to sleep. She agreed. I figured Sash was ok just lying there and sleeping, and didn't appear to be in any kind of pain.

Around 3 that afternoon she got up, took a walk around the entire farm, then sat out in front of the barn and just gazed all around like as if to say, aaahh, that was close, but not my time yet. Sasha lived quite comfortably for another year and each day was a blessing for me.

I hope your Virginia lives many more days. I have been giving another old dog I have previcox(NSAID). All my dogs get cosequin asu. Bless Virginia for more time with you and the kids, and hats off to you for making the decision to not make the decision.

Jul. 13, 2010, 11:36 AM
Calamber - I am so sorry for your losses. The loss of the baby by far the worst experience of my life. I had no idea what to expect and to ice the cake I was totally alone. My mother-in-law came to watch the children at 11 o'clock at night and my husband was up in Oregon. I drove myself to the hospital.

Fivehorses - I am in the same situation. It was the right thing to wait. And I appreciate every minute I look over and V is still laying there. She is getting a lot more hugs and kisses.

Oct. 18, 2011, 11:15 PM
UPDATE - Well here we are over a year later and sweet Virginia is still snoring at my feet. She is much grayer and much slower but still here. I can't believe it. I told my husband we needed to start thinking about her co-pilot soon but that I could not handle a puppy right now. I told him I wanted a bit older settled dog. Sunday I took my girls to the park and there was the most gorgeous yellow lab running loose. We took her home and after a week of searching finally found her owners. By then my girls were really attached. Long story short the owner told me that the dog runs away every chance she gets and if we want her we can have her. So Gravy, yes Gravy, and Virginia, Salt and Pepper are snoring away. And Gravy hasn't tried to run away even once. Good days.

Oct. 19, 2011, 12:10 AM
Wonderful update :) :) :)

Oct. 19, 2011, 12:42 AM
What an amazing, wonderful dog! It is lovely tribute. Enjoy the time you have with her. She obviously wasn't done yet. :yes: And having a younger one will help to keep her going longer. We got our two corgis when our Shepherd/Great Pyr mix was 12 and seemed to be fading. Having the pups around reinvigorated him and gave him another 18 happy months.

Oct. 19, 2011, 07:55 AM
Thanks so much for updating.
I posted about my Sasha, and getting that extra year or two and it made so much difference for me when the final day did come.

Congrats on Gravy. Dogs are pack animals, so I would think Virginia is happy to have the companionship.

I re-watched your video, and what a lovely video of how one dog is so loved by her family, and shares in their life. Lucky dogs you have.

As I watched, I also thought, now here are some kids who are being brought up to love animals. Good job Mom!

Oct. 19, 2011, 08:38 AM
wonderful, wonderful tribute.........and great update news...

having had labs for 30 years, your pics broke my heart, but made me smile, too.........i have so many that are similar to yours........good dogs, good dogs.......

makes me realize i must take more pics of my current canine crew...........good dogs all, as well.......

thanks for sharing

Oct. 19, 2011, 09:14 AM
Thanks for all of the kind words. We are really bad about making dogs a part of the family. They go everywhere with us including scaring the carpool ladies. Gravy in two short weeks has fallen in line. As I go into my dark bedroom to climb in bed I sit on her head!! Of course, as soon as I start pushing her she pushes back like, "No really. I am fine right here."

Oct. 19, 2011, 10:31 PM
What a great update!

Oct. 20, 2011, 09:03 AM
My old blind dog is sleeping at my feet at this very moment. We faced that big decision this summer as the old dog was slowing down and his eyes are white. he runs into things in the yard and into chairs or things that get moved in the house. I couldn't do it as there was nothing telling me clearly enough that the time is now. I know he wil let me know but I don't want to wait too long either but it clearly hasn't come. Simon is like your Virginia....always there, always wants to be there and is happy to be here. I don't know how long that will last but animals have always taught me to listen to them...they will tell you when. One of my old labs who saw my girls through their childhood and into their 20's waited until the rare night that we were all home and the girls had come for an overnight. Gunnar had his dinner, snarfed some cinnimon toast from one girl then went to the family room where he laid down, had a heart attack and died. He was surrounded by the family that loved him so much. It was a shock but the best way for him. I sort of think Simon may have a similiar plan.

Oct. 20, 2011, 09:48 PM
Great Update!! So glad you listened when she said "it wasn't time"!!! Cheers to your new pack.

Oct. 20, 2011, 11:01 PM
What a great update! I've been told that the dog will let you know when it's time to say good bye. I never understood that until that time came with my rottie Sam.

He had cushings and didn't respond well to the medications and we had toyed with the idea of sending him to the bridge. Due to a couple of different things and a medication change, we chose not to. He lasted another year and when it was time for him to pass on, it was very apparent. We think a spleen tumor he had ruptured and he went downhill very quickly. I am grateful I had that extra year with him but also glad that hard decision was fairly easy for us when it came.

You will know when it's time...I'm sure she will let you know she's ready to move on.

Feb. 20, 2012, 10:29 PM
She finally told us in her way that it was time. No more cancelled calls. I had to drive her to the vet and he came out to the truck to do it. She was so calm and quiet. I hugged her face while he gave her the shot so she couldn't see anything and I just stroked her and told her what an awesome friend she was. She laid her head down and went to sleep. We buried her here so I can see her from the kitchen window. What an awesome gift she was for us.

Feb. 20, 2012, 11:10 PM

Feb. 20, 2012, 11:32 PM
I am so sorry. I will admit, I'm crying big fat tears. I have a Virginia too. And I can only hope he'll be around long enough to meet my baby and finish the loop he started. He has always been good about it. Being the "good dog".

His muzzle is getting a little grey and I've spent thousands now, Lord knows.

But I want him to be there. Like Virginia in your videos.

Wow. What a thread.

I'm so very sorry for your loss. I feel it. More than I want to. I'll be in your shoes soon and I HATE IT for all of us.

Feb. 21, 2012, 12:44 AM
So sorry to hear of Virginia's passing. What a sweet dog. Loved the video! I am at work and was getting teary eyed until the picture of her with the wig. I laughed out loud. I also loved the picture of her and the kids playing in the puddle with them holding an umbrella.

Feb. 21, 2012, 01:35 AM
Many Hugs and Godspeed Virginia!

Feb. 21, 2012, 02:33 AM
My condolences. Godspeed Virginia.

Feb. 21, 2012, 02:41 AM
Deepest sympathies on the loss of such a true friend. Definitely the kind of dog you look forward to seeing again, when the time comes. {{{{{hugs}}}}}

Feb. 21, 2012, 08:30 AM
Many hugs to you and your family........she is up there watching over you all now.

Feb. 21, 2012, 04:24 PM
Hugs for you and your family. Virginia was a wonderful member of your family and will surely be missed. What a great photo tribute at the beginning of this thread.

Feb. 21, 2012, 05:18 PM
Hugs to you and your family.

Your story is good for me to hear as our critter pack includes a horse, cat and dog (33, 18, ~12 respectively).

Thanks for reminding me to enjoy what time we have remaining with these wonderful creatures

Feb. 21, 2012, 05:31 PM
Godspeed Virginia, your job here was well done.

Feb. 21, 2012, 07:31 PM
Thank you all for the kind words. Today was a little bit easier. Grief is a difficult process. I had Virginia before I even had my girls. I always said Virginia was my first baby and she was. I really miss her.

Feb. 22, 2012, 10:14 PM
I just watched your beautiful video tribute to Virginia. Okay, let me dry my eyes. I just wanted to tell you how sorry I am for you and your family’s loss. She was a great dog and a good friend. I know the pain all too well, just loss our cat Grayco last week. He’s been around for over 18 years. Our Virginia (real name Sparky) a golden retriever passed over two years ago. He was the best dog I ever had. On Christmas the kids (all grown now) sat around the tree, one of them began telling the Sparky stories. It brings a smile to my face just thinking about him. He left us with to most amazing memories, we’ll never forget him. Watching your video just brought back all them wonderful memories I have of that dog, all the good ones, the funny ones, and the times I thought I was gonna kill him. He’s buried out back in the pet cemetery. It does get easier, but you’ll never forget her ever. Virginia is with Sparky now in heaven chasing tennis balls no doubt. My heart felt condolences on your loss.

I loved the wig picture too, that was so funny. But my favorite was the beach pictures with the kids.