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Help me ease the pain -- How has it been 2 years?!?!

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  • Help me ease the pain -- How has it been 2 years?!?!

    My heart is broken. On Saturday, I took my 14yo golden retriever to the vet thinking that she had UTI because she was having problems urinating. To my surprise and horror, it wasn't a UTI at all, instead it was a big tumor blocking her urethra. Due to her age and the location of the tumor, my vet didn't think she was a very good candidate for surgery. As a last ditch effort, we tried prednisone to see if that would help. It did for about a day, then the amount of urine being passed began to slow again. My vet came to the house on Tuesday and helped Tonka end her battle.

    I'm heartbroken, devastated, destroyed, inconsolable. My grief is bringing sobs with sounds I've never heard come from my soul. I've seen that face nearly every day for 14 years and I just don't know how to deal with this loss.

    My friends have been wonderful; I've already received countless cards, notes, posts, texts, calls, flowers, hugs (both live and virtual) than I can count. And while I adore them for so wanting to help ease my pain, none of it actually does.

    I know it will get better in time but what do I do right now.....?
    Last edited by Invested1; Feb. 7, 2014, 10:50 AM.
    Amwrider: May the fleas of a thousand camels infest their genitalia and may their arms be too short to scratch.

  • #2
    You didn't just loose a pet, you lost a member of your family.

    I lost my dear old dog just before Christmas after battling canine cognitive disorder and seizures. I had him for over 15 years. I miss him every day, but it gets easier with time. I am choking up now thinking about him.

    It's okay to hurt and to miss your friend. But take comfort in the fact that you didn't let her suffer and you made the difficult and right decision when you needed to.


    • #3
      I am so sorry and lots of hugs...don't know what to tell you to do now. Godspeed Tonka!


      • #4
        Oh I'm so sorry dear. The pain must be unimaginable when it's your heart dog. *crying now*

        I will be facing this soon with my GSD. She's been my best friend for 12 years through good times and bad. Life without her...


        • #5
          When I had to make the decision to say goodbye to my 16 year old dog, I was the same way. Huge sighs constantly. My heart just ached leading up to it and then when it was over I had this huge hole in my heart.

          A month later I found my next whippet. My doggie son, or puppy brother as my girls call him. He's almost three now, we all still love him. I love him so deeply I can't describe it. Along with my husband and girls, he completes me.

          This is my quote on facebook today and maybe the reason that you are hurting so badly. Where can one find a friend like a dog? You just can't.

          "He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion." -Unknown Author
          Maria Hayes-Frosty Oak Stables
          Home to All Eyez On Me, 1998 16.2 Cleveland Bay Sporthorse Stallion
          & FrostyOak Hampton 2008 Pure Cleveland Bay Colt


          • Original Poster

            The tribute I wrote to her...

            The story of Tonka (January 19, 1998 - February 07, 2012)

            Today I lost one of the best friends I've ever known. A friend who was always there for me, ready with a smile and a kiss and a story about how much she had missed me that day. I've shared more laughs and stories with her than anyone else. I've also cried more tears to her and without fail, she would knock me on the ground and cover me with kisses until I laughed, and then saunter away with a smug look on her face. She knew my secrets and my fears and my insecurities and my faults, and she adored me in spite of them. How amazingly lucky I was to have a friend like that for all these years. While my words can't even come close to relaying how exceptional Tonka was, this is a small tribute to her, so that those of you who didn't have the pleasure of knowing her may have a glimpse into what a special soul she was.

            Only some know the story of how Tonka and I met. How we were destined to be together. So I thought today would be a good day for me to try to focus on how wonderful our lives were together, instead of the emptiness my heart is feeling right now.

            It was February 1998 and I was on my own, having just moved to Florida. I was buying my first house and more than anything, I had always wanted a golden retriever puppy, so now was my chance. Not knowing much about rescues at the time, I looked in the paper for available puppies and found a woman who had some!

            I drove down to the trailer park (yup) and when I walked in the kitchen, a bunch of puppies came running up to me, so excited to meet someone new. One little puppy hung in the back and just watched. I pointed to that one and said, "if that's a girl, that's the one I want." Sure enough it was!! But since the puppies weren't quite old enough to leave their mom, we put a little red collar on the one I had picked, which showed she was spoken for. Yay!!

            A couple weeks went by and I could finally go pick up my little puppy dog!! I walked in the trailer, and same as last time, alllll the little puppies came running up to me except the one. I walked through the pile of golden fluff around my feet and picked up my chosen one. The woman cocked her head and walked up to me, arms outstretched, and took that little dog out of my hands! She said (as she picked up a puppy from the middle of the pack and handed her to me), "Oh no, honey, THAT one's not yours. THIS one is! Remember, we put a little red collar on her?" (Right, because as we all know, THAT couldn't have been changed.)

            I walked out with that little puppy and was griping up a storm that this was NOT the one I had picked! How dare this woman think I was so stupid that I wouldn't even notice! I was SURE she had just pushed me out the door with the *wrong dog*!!
            The guy I was dating at the time looked over at me and said, "Blair, you are going to love whichever dog you take home." Truer words have never been spoken. I took a deep breath, realized that he was right, got in the car and took that puppy home. And that, my friends, is how Tonka and I came to be. Though of course I have teased her occasionally throughout the years that I had actually chosen her sister.

            Having been with Tonka for 14 years now, it's hard to remember back to the times in the beginning that were....challenging. She had her moments as a bad dog.
            Probably my favorite story about her is the day that I learned just how smart she was! Since she wasn't potty trained and I had yet to discover crate training, I would baby gate Tonkee in the kitchen while I was out of the house. One day I came home from work to find a sock in the hallway! Yikes, I thought, that must have been static-clinged (clung?) to my pants! Good thing it fell off before I left for work, as how embarrassing would that have been?! My sweet Tonka-Tonk smiled at me from the kitchen.
            The next day I came home to a sock and a pair of underwear in the hallway!! Seriously? But my good girl was sitting behind the gate in the kitchen, so I must have just gotten lucky again.
            One day later, I came home to 3 socks and a pair of underwear in the hallway! NO WAY, it HAS to be her! But there was my little lovebug, patiently waiting in the kitchen for me to say hello.
            The next day I was determined to catch her in the act so when I got home, I flew open the door and jumped in the hallway just in time to see a flash of gold run by and soar over the gate into the kitchen. I ran down the hallway and there she sat, just smiling at me. BUSTED!
            At only a couple months old, that little bugger not only knew full well that she was doing something wrong, but she had also already learned how to try to cover her tracks and if she STILL got caught, how to make me just laugh and forgive her. That smile of hers worked wonders for a lot of years.

            But let's not pretend that Tonka was always all sunshine and roses (just mostly!). When she was teething, her favorite thing to do was to gnaw on the corners of my windowsills. Once she ran out of those, licking holes in the plaster walls or in the new carpet were fun alternatives. Ah those were the good ole times. Thankfully, Tonka grew up pretty quickly and had been such a good dog ever since.

            When Tonk was young, I did worry about her being lonely during the days while I was at work, and didn't think I could really handle 2 puppies on my own, so I brought her home a rescue kitty, Mattie. (Well, actually her name was Mattel but most people don't know that. And while silly, it was certainly better than the name "Barbie" that she came with!) After some initial "what the hell are you" days, Tonka and Mattie became buddies and would play and often times even curl up and go to sleep together.

            Many happy years went by and when Tonka and Mattie were both 9 and we were living in Virginia, we added a little rescue dog, Toby, to our family. Toby has a heart of gold, and after living on the streets of DC for the first 6 months of his life, was so happy to find a forever home, but neither Tonka nor Mattie were very amused with this new addition. I do believe, though, that spunky little Toby did wonders for keeping Tonka young. Shoot, until he came along, she had no fear that if she looked away for 2 seconds, she may turn back around to her treat having been stolen! He definitely kept her on her toes! Though Tonka did make sure to let it be known that SHE was head of this household and Toby was merely lucky that she let him stay. He understood, and while I think he enjoyed pushing her buttons, he always knew she was boss.

            Tonka had a lovely day today. The sun was shining and we took a short walk down to the park at the end of the street where 3 little kids were loving on her and saying how pretty she was. Then she came home to 2 McDonald's hamburgers, and we sat on the floor hugging, with my sweetheart wagging her tail and kissing away my tears.

            I had to let go of sweet Mattie kitty a year ago this month and am not ready to feel this heartbreak again so soon, but I had promised Tonka that I would always, always have her best interests at heart, no matter my own heartache. My wonderful vet came to the house, and so today, at home and surrounded by the things and people she knew, I helped Tonka end her fight against that stupid tumor, and I took away her pain and made it my own.

            With that, I say farewell, but not goodbye, to my beloved heart dog, for while she may be physically gone, in my heart is where she will forever remain.

            Tonka, I have loved you more than I ever imagined possible and I will miss you and think of you every day for the rest of my life. Thank you so much for being such a wonderful friend for so many years. Go in peace, give Mattie snuggles, and tell Nana to just keep throwing that tennis ball for you.

            Keep your ears open for me and I look forward to the day I get to see you again at the Rainbow Bridge.....

            The Rainbow Bridge:
            Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

            By the edge of a woods, at the foot of a hill,
            Is a lush, green meadow where time stands still.
            Where the friends of man and woman do run,
            When their time on earth is over and done.

            For here, between this world and the next,
            Is a place where each beloved creature finds rest.
            On this golden land, they wait and they play,
            Till the Rainbow Bridge they cross over one day.

            No more do they suffer, in pain or in sadness,
            For here they are whole, their lives filled with gladness.
            Their limbs are restored, their health renewed,
            Their bodies have healed, with strength imbued.

            They romp through the grass, without even a care,
            Until one day they start, and sniff at the air.
            All ears prick forward, eyes dart front and back,
            Then all of a sudden, one breaks from the pack.

            For just at that instant, their eyes have met;
            Together again, both person and pet.
            So they run to each other, these friends from long past,
            The time of their parting is over at last.

            The sadness they felt while they were apart,
            Has turned into joy once more in each heart.
            They embrace with a love that will last forever,
            And then, side-by-side, they cross over… together.

            My love:
            Amwrider: May the fleas of a thousand camels infest their genitalia and may their arms be too short to scratch.


            • #7
              What a nice tribute, Invested.

              So sorry for your loss. I know how devastating it is - you are not alone, not that it decreases your grief. We lost our heart dog over a year ago rather suddenly. We still mourn him, and still celebrate him too.

              Time was the strongest medicine. It helped to write down all the little idiosyncrasies our dog had, and remember seminal events with him. It helped to be grateful for the time we did have with him, even though the grief was strong.

              This is from an email supposedly written by a vet who euthanized a dog; its human family was present for the passing:

              Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good
              for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane
              might learn something from the

              The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker's family
              surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time,
              that I wondered if he understood what
              was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

              The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty
              or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker's death, wondering
              aloud about the sad fact that animal
              lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly,
              piped up, 'I know why.'

              Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me.
              I'd never heard a more comforting explanation.

              He said, 'People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life --
              like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?' The six-year-old
              continued, 'Well, dogs already know how
              to do that, so they don't have to stay as long.'

              Live simply.
              Love generously.
              Care deeply.
              Speak kindly."


              • #8
                Lovely tribute! I'm so sorry for your loss. I've been through it many times, as I end up with older strays, whose time is too short, and it never gets any easier. It's even worse when you go to the vet thinking it is going to be something easily treated, and it's not treatable at all. The shock and sense of loss is incredible. Hugs.


                • #9
                  LAST NIGHT

                  I stood by your bed last night; I came to have a peep.
                  I could see that you were crying you found it hard to sleep.
                  I whined to you softly as you brushed away a tear,
                  "It's me, I haven't left you, I'm well, I'm fine, I'm here."
                  I was close to you at breakfast, I watched you pour the tea,
                  You were thinking of the many times, your hands reached down to me.
                  I was with you at the shops today; your arms were getting sore.
                  I longed to take your parcels, I wish I could do more.
                  I was with you at my grave today; you tend it with such care.
                  I want to re-assure you, that I'm not lying there.
                  I walked with you towards the house, as you fumbled for your key.
                  I gently put my paw on you; I smiled and said, "it's me."
                  You looked so very tired, and sank into a chair.
                  I tried so hard to let you know, that I was standing there.
                  It's possible for me, to be so near you everyday.
                  To say to you with certainty, "I never went away."
                  You sat there very quietly, then smiled, I think you knew...
                  in the stillness of that evening, I was very close to you.
                  The day is over... I smile and watch you yawning
                  and say "good-night, God bless, I'll see you in the morning."
                  And when the time is right for you to cross the brief divide,
                  I'll rush across to greet you and we'll stand, side by side.
                  I have so many things to show you, there is so much for you to see.
                  Be patient, live your journey out...then come home to be with me.
                  - Author Unknown

                  sending you my love. Its never easy and you wont ever feel as you did before. Grief is the price we pay to know a love that runs so deep.


                  • Original Poster

                    Originally posted by jetsmom View Post
                    It's even worse when you go to the vet thinking it is going to be something easily treated, and it's not treatable at all. The shock and sense of loss is incredible.
                    That! I was just so blindsided. I mean, I know she was 14 but was kicking along so strong that this was just so unexpected. I truly believed I had another couple years with her.....
                    Amwrider: May the fleas of a thousand camels infest their genitalia and may their arms be too short to scratch.


                    • Original Poster

                      So now I'm kind of regretting starting this thread because each of your posts just make me cry.

                      Devilsadvocate--that poem threw me into uncontrollable sobs.

                      To say I'm just so incredibly sad just doesn't even come close.

                      Thank you all, I know you've been there and know this devastation all too well.

                      I wish I knew how to post a video--I put a great one of her on my Facebook. It makes me cry every time I watch it but I also laugh through the tears at what a character she was...
                      Amwrider: May the fleas of a thousand camels infest their genitalia and may their arms be too short to scratch.


                      • #12
                        The only thing that got me through losing my heart dog was www.petloss.com They are all going through the same thing as you are. Took me 6 weeks to participate in their candle ceremony but I watched it and sobbed every Monday until then. Godspeed.
                        McDowell Racing Stables

                        Home Away From Home


                        • #13
                          HUGS>>>>>>HUGS<<<<HUGS..........I went through the same thing with my little Chidog. I am sorry for your loss.


                          • #14
                            I'm right there with you, we lost Miles a week ago

                            And here's what I'll tell you.

                            Do whatever you need to do. Talk to her, smell her pillow, cry, scream, hit something, rail at God.

                            I wanted a short cut to dull the overwhelming, blindingly sharp, unfathomable grief. There isn't anything except time that will help.

                            On Thursday at 2p, we got his liver cancer diagnosis, at 4p we helped him not suffer any further.

                            He was my DH's first pet, let alone his first dog.

                            He was exceptional, smart and beautiful and will never be forgotten and cannot be replaced.

                            Everyone's advice is get a new puppy. My husband feels that would be high treason at the moment.

                            Sending a hug your way, and your girl has a good looking Corgi boy right now.


                            • #15
                              So sorry about your loss. I lost my kitty a month ago, she was 23 and shared a large part of our lives. My Irish Wolfhound mutt has been acting strange, and my other mutt is stuck to us like glue. I think they are sensing a change without our old little kitty around. I never thought our dogs would be so impacted.

                              I do tell my children that as people, it is our job to say good-bye to our animals and we make a committment to be there in the end when we adopt them into our home. It is our promise and we can feel good about keeping that promise, it is my one rule when we bring any animal into our home.

                              Hugs, I think everyone on this board has said good-bye to their loved animals and can understand the grief involved.


                              • #16
                                There is nothing you can do to ease the terrible pain, just give it time.

                                It was a week after I lost my border collie to a rattler and I was doing ok, I thought, when someone at the grocery store said Hi there! all chirpy and when I turned, it was a dog club member and I lost it right there again.

                                To lose such a close member of your family is extremely hard and it will hit you at times again and again when you least expect it, for long time.
                                Just endure, as you also remember all what was so nice about her.
                                Don't be surprised to still see her around you all the time.


                                • #17
                                  Thoughts and prayers and huge hugs for you ```

                                  Thoughts and prayers and huge hugs for you ```

                                  RIP Tonka ``` knowing you will always be loved and remembered

                                  Lovely tribute ````I am so sorry
                                  Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


                                  • #18
                                    I am so sorry for your loss. Our beloved animals are so much a part of us and our families...when they leave we feel so lost and heartbroken.

                                    I recently read this and thought it was so beautiful.

                                    Before human's die, they write their Last Will and Testament, give their home and all they have to those they leave behind. If, with my paws, I could do the same, this is what I'd ask.......

                                    To a Poor and Lonely Stray I'd Give:

                                    My Happy Home
                                    My bowl & cozy bed, soft pillows and all my toys.
                                    The lap, which I loved so much.
                                    The hand that stroked my fur & the sweet voice which
                                    spoke my name.

                                    I'd Will to the sad, scared shelter dog:
                                    The place I had in my human's loving heart, of which
                                    there seemed no bounds.

                                    So, when I die, please do not say,
                                    "I will never have a pet again, for the loss and pain
                                    is more than I can stand." Instead, go find an
                                    unloved dog, one whose life has held no joy or hope
                                    and give MY place to HIM.

                                    This is the only thing I can give.....
                                    The Love I left behind.

                                    --Author Unknown


                                    • Original Poster

                                      You all are so sweet.
                                      I can't believe it has already been a week.....
                                      Amwrider: May the fleas of a thousand camels infest their genitalia and may their arms be too short to scratch.


                                      • #20
                                        Our dogs give us their loyalty, their unflagging love, their protection.

                                        When the times comes, the best gift we can repay them with is, their dignity, their freedom from pain, their release.

                                        I'm so sorry for the loss of your beloved.

                                        \"If you are going through hell, keep going.\" ~Churchill~