Well, it will be three years tomorrow since I lost my last heart dog on the way to the emergency room in the middle of the night. Still in shock from the suddenness of it all. He had a heart problem which was undiagnosed and it was extremely sudden. Ewan helped me get over the loss of my other heart dog, Flurry, and that made him so much more precious. Sometimes years go by with dogs in between, but eventually along comes a dog who fills up the hole in your heart.
I lost a rescue Golden to osteosarcoma with just two weeks from diagnosis to putting him down. He was 10 when I rescued him from the pound and he lived with us for four more years, very active and happy right to the end.
Tears are still falling from reading about Tonka and all the other best friends people have written about on this thread. It does help to express our feelings about our losses, doesn't it? Hoping that your new friend will fill up the hole left in your heart.
I'm so sorry.
I read your tribute and brought back many memories of when my lab was little.
I also thought I was given the wrong dog. On my lab's first birthday I had a lab party and invited his brother. He was the one that I thought I was suppose to get. Boy was I wrong, his brother was awful.
Burke would also jump his gate and when I came home he would be in the kitchen where I left him with a huge mess in the living room. At first I thought it was the cat making the mess. :)
He now is 12.5 years old and we are in the final days/ months.
I also put my newly adopted 1.5 year lab down last week. He was a rescue and had extreme aggression. I tried everything to help him and in the end had to make a very tough decision. We miss him awful but know he's in a better place.
I hope it's easier with Burke as he has had a very long life filled with good health, lots of food and exercise and a very loving home.
You have to work through the pain but it does get better with time.I so hope your new dog takes a part of your heart that is aching and makes new memories for you. ¢¾
What a lovely way to explain it! And that is exactly why our hearts feel like they're missing pieces....
Originally Posted by spotteddrafter
I saw something the other day that really hit home with me. It said something like, "Tears are our way of expressing pain that words simply cannot relay." It wasn't quite that, but close.
Thinking of you today on your sad anniversary. And yes, it really does help to come on here--I knew I would get so many virtual hugs from those who have been there.
Originally Posted by Flurry84
Seeing her name even makes me cry. I have some videos of her being silly (wish I knew how to put them on here!) and I can laugh when I watch them, but I laugh through tears....
Oh wow, sounds like Tonka and Burke would have been buddies! Hopefully he'll find her one day and they can be trouble makers together.
Originally Posted by Blacklabs
I'm sending you big hugs in the coming days/months. I honestly thought that since Tonka was 14, I was kind of prepared for the end. But in all reality, I really thought I had another couple years left. I'm glad she went out on a high, still feeling great and in no pain, but it was all so sudden that it showed me I really was nowhere near ready to say goodbye to her. Don't think I ever would have been/will be....
I don't want to jinx it but I got word from the rescue that we're first in line for this dog. They accepted our application and we passed the phone interview with "flying colors." So long as the home visit goes well, she's ours....
I really feel for you. The last 3 dogs I have lost were unexpected.
#1: I took her to the Vet as a "ride along" for my other dog. She had a very small patch of hair that was thinning so figured I'd have the Vet take a look while she was there. After a physical exam and 2 blood tests later... acute lymphocytic leukemia. We tried chemo but it damaged her liver. I made the decision to put her down about 2 months after diagnosis. She was 5 years old. :( That was 2002.
#2 was about a year and a half ago. She got violently ill all of a sudden. Took her to the ER and she had a tumor the size of a softball on her spleen. Opted for surgery. She made it through that but had complications afterwards. So let her go. She was 10 years old. Found out later on the cancer was malignant and it had probably spread to her brain hence the complications (she couldn't walk and her heart was having issues). That was Oct 2010.
#3 was about 2 months ago (Jan 2012). She was diagnosed w/ Epilepsy when she was 2 1/2 (2005). We had finally gotten it under control and she had been seizure free for 3 years but then we lost dog #2 above. That was her life companion so she started seizing again. It got better but this past January, she seemed to be having absent type seizures so decided to take her in. Nope. It was her heart. Her rate was 22. Normal is 75-90. She had a full blockage from what the EKG said. I could have taken her to get a pacemaker up at Purdue but because of her epilepsy, I knew that wasn't in her best interest. They said she only had a few more days so I let her go later that night. She was 8 years old. I always thought the epilepsy would get her. :(
I have 2 dogs now. My last Border Collie (all 3 above were BC's) whom is a male and will be 9 years old next month. And then a little female spaniel mix that is about 2 years that I rescued for dog #3 to have as a playmate after losing dog #2.
I found this poem after losing #3. It helps me.
I lost a treasured friend today
The little dog who used to lay
Her gentle head upon my knee
And share her silent thoughts with me...
She'll come no longer to my call
Retrieve no more her favorite ball
A voice far greater than my own
Has called her to His golden throne.
Although my eyes are filled with tears
I thank Him for the happy years
He let her spend down here with me
And for her love and loyalty
When it is time for me to go
And join her there, this much I know...
I shall not fear the transient dark
For she will greet me with her bark.
Fingers crossed for you!
Originally Posted by Invested1
Invested, I hope that all goes well with the rescue
Is this your first "long time" dog? Because I'm sure you know that at age 14 yrs. your grand girl had more years than the "experts" predict.
Originally Posted by Invested1
In December I just lost my lovely, lovely boy HooDoo. He was mixed, breed-wise, but a big dog (97lbs)so had an expected life span of 9-12 yrs. When we celebrated his 12th birthday and he was in fine fettle except for some minor stiffness, I thanked the heavens and began to (try) to take each new day as a total gift...knowing the end could come at any time.
Even so, I wasn't really "ready" when a minor fall 3 days after his 15th birthday lead to me having to put him down 10 days later.
I had been waiting for "that day" for the last few years, but I still wasn't really "ready" for it. You never are.
And no matter how much older you get, it never gets any easier. I wish I could tell you that in Time you won't care, but that is a lie.
You asked: What do I do now? Well, you do the same thing as you did before. You get up in the morning, shower, get dressed, go to work, etc. In about 2-3 wks most non-dog people will expect you to have gotten over it.
But you won't get over it. You will always, always, ALWAYS miss your beloved friend. I still can manage to cry all over again when I think of dogs I lost 20-40 years ago!!
You would think it would be easier the more times you go through it, but it isn't. The sad fact is that no matter what sort of excellent, cutting edge care the dog gets, there is still a life span difference between them and us that will never go away. This is the worst reality in the world, I think. Why can't my dogs live till they are 30 or 40 or 50?:mad:
But you might as well rale against having four seasons, or 2 genders or gravity. This is the way God or Nature or whatever designed it and there is absolutely NOTHING you can do except accept it.
Eventually you will get to the best point you can get to -- a rather awkward compromise between your heart and Reality. Because to stay sane and to continue to have dogs in your life you MUST compromise. Because neither you nor anything else can actually CHANGE the way this plays out. So it's either compromise or changing your life so that you never having another dog/cat/etc. again. In my mind that is really cutting off your nose to spite your fact.
Instead, I've learned to grudgingly accept the compromise...and that is to be thankful that you had this lovely spirit beside you for so long.
And then to be equally thankful that you were able to give her such a long and loving life. Many, many dogs don't get that...so as lucky as YOU were to find HER, SHE was equally lucky to have found YOU.
You obviously loved her a great deal...and to a dog, the only thing that comes second in desire after Loving is to Be Loved.
You were both very, very lucky to have the stars align so nicely, weren't you? And (in Time) you'll spend more time smiling when you think of her than crying.
A friend of mine believes that an animal's spirit stays close for awhile, to make sure you are cared for and watched over...till they can send a replacement.
I like to believe that...my beloved HooDoo sent me a real doozy... Prozac in the form of a clown of a heeler pup now known as "Huck".
So the next chapter starts.....
Again, all my hugs and sympathy...take a crumb of comfort by knowing there are many of us out here who know exactly what anguish you are going through right now...:cry:
Kyzeteke, that was an AWESOME post.
Agreed...Kyzteke, lovely post.
I grew up with dogs, but never had one of "my own" til the last 8 years. And when he goes, I know I'll be a wreck. We've had close calls already and I think everyone around me knows that when it happens, I'm going to be pretty useless.
that was wonderful
Kryzteke, that really was lovely, and I'm sorry for your loss too.
Originally Posted by Kyzteke
And you're right, I feel like most everyone thinks I should be over this, and to be honest, I think I'm hiding it pretty well. And I can't thank you all enough for being such an amazing outlet for me.
I cry about Tonka mostly at night. It's usually when it's dark and quiet, and my boyfriend has fallen asleep so he is none the wiser. When I feel that it's going to be more of one of the gut-wrentching sobs vs. silent tears, I get up and go into the basement where I can just let it out.
She was MY first dog. I grew up with family dogs, but she is the one I got when I finished college and started "real life." She had been with me through so many ups and downs in my life. I simply adored her. If I needed a smile, all I had to do was look at her and I swear she would smile at me. If that didn't crack me, she'd tackle me and cover me with kisses until I'd start laughing. As corny as it sounds, she truly was my best friend and there are times in my life that I'm not sure I would have made it through without her. And this is one of those times, so I'm just at a loss without having her to turn to. I know I sound like a spoiled child stamping my feet but I just want her back. I miss her so terribly.
And I know that she lived many years past what was expected but it still wasn't enough. I don't think any amount of time would have been....
you don't sound like a spoiled child.....you sound like an adult who has suffered the loss of a best friend.
grief goes when it goes.....and until it does, it's just hard.
I'm so sorry for you.
Thank you so much, Invested1, for your words about my beloved Ewan. It is still hard to focus on the many joyful years we had because the shock of his loss is still raw after three years. I have never lost a dog or other animal with no warning and it takes the breath out of one. Had to let his sister go last Sept. but it was time to release her.
Yes, today has been difficult, but it is almost over now and we move into another day. All we can do is focus on other animals (and people) who need our help, throwing our energies into that. Take good care and bless you.
That was a great way to put it. It will go when it goes...however long that takes.
Originally Posted by threedogpack
Originally Posted by Flurry84
She's ours! We pick her up at noon tomorrow!
YAY!!! Pics ASAP, please!