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Pet People

Monday, February 05, 2007

Those We've Loved....and Lost


Many of you have brought up the death of a pet, and I believe the topic deserves to be addressed (especially after the Heaven topic). My cat Yogi will have to be a topic by itself, because that was the hardest thing in the world for me, even though I had him only one year. So share your stories about those you've loved, lost and will always remember.

I am lucky in that I've never yet had to make the decision to put down a suffering pet. My beagle, Penny, died at home. She was old and it was to be expected, but it's never easy. I came home from work and she was outside lying under her favorite bush in the front yard. It was July and extremely HOT. She didn't want to come in and eat, so I bustled about feeding the other dogs. Later, I went out to check on her, and she was nowhere to be found. The yard is fenced, so I was panicking. I didn't hear her loud snore, either. My heart sank; I just knew. The Boss got a flashlight and checked under the front porch. I heard him call "Penny" and I could tell by his voice that something was terribly wrong. She had crawled under the porch to die. He had to rip off the side of the porch and pull her out with a rope. I lost it. The Boss had to bury her right away, because it was so hot we couldn't leave her, and at the time my vet didn't have the means to cremate. So The Boss dug a grave in 100-plus degree weather. I yelled, crying from the front porch, "Make it deep! I don't want anything digging up my Penny!" I forced myself to go and look at her before she was put in the ground. I petted her and bawled my eyes out. The boss was dripping wet with sweat and I felt guilty because when I came home from work I didn't even pet her.

That was my first pet death and the start of my pet cemetery. Penny has a little stone with her name on it encircled by landscaping stones.

Tramp, my "first born" also died before making it to the vet, and while it was very hard as she was my first, she had a "perfect" death - if there is such a thing. She was 14 and getting old (I had her 12 years), but could still make it up on the bed. She had some fatty tumors that tested okay, but she got very thin. One night she was on the bed with me, and all of a sudden, when she got up, she staggered and fell off the bed. I knew something was terribly wrong, as her bowels emptied on the floor. I called the clinic, but the vet on call was one that saw patients at Animal House on Dover Road. I live way out Hwy. 13, and it would have taken me 45 minutes to get there. So I called my vet at home, at night, and woke him up. Even though he wasn't on call, he said to bring her right to Southside. I got in the backseat with Tramp laying on my lap while The Boss drove. I felt her last breath while she was on my lap. Why a perfect death? Because it's the way she came to me. We adopted her from the Humane Society and she rested in my lap as we drove her to her new forever home. Her previous owner let her have puppies, roam the neighborhood and was going to drop her off in the country when he didnt' want her any more. A friend talked him into letting the Humane Society take her. I later heard he "couldn't believe" someone adopted her! Jerk.

I didn't have much of a chance to say good-bye, but I couldn't have asked for a better way for her to go: quickly and in Mommy's arms. We went on to the vet where I said good-bye and left her to be cremated, something I plan to always do in the future. I have a clipping of her hair from her tail in a jar with her collar and tags and her remains in an urn by her picture. It gives me much comfort. I feel bad, because I used to think keeping ashes was creepy, but now I realize how much good it does in the mourning process.

Above is a picture of Tramp. That was the name she had when I got her, and I never changed it, though she was a Lady, not a tramp! It makes me sad, not only because they are gone, but because that part of my life is also gone with them. I have new pets now, and know I will be going through the pain of loss again. Some people avoid it by not getting another pet. You might avoid pain that way, but you also avoid the great love pets give, and with so many animals needing home, it is something we have to keep doing! The vet thinks Tramp had an aneurism, because she "bled out" internally and quicky --her gums were all white by the time we got to the clinic. I am thankful she didn't suffer.

So let's pay tribute to the ones we've lost and the ones we've yet to find that need us most.

posted by Sandy at 2/05/2007 09:41:00 AM

28 Comments:

Blogger Alice said...

Yes, Sandy, that's one of the downsides to getting a new pet after losing an old friend, you know it will happen again. Since our companions don't live nearly as long as we do, we know we have very little time to love them and be loved back. But the quality of that love is so full and unconditional that it makes the pain of loss, a sweet pain. It means we care. I know some people think we are nuts... I hear comments, "it's just a dog or cat." And those people I don't think really understand the depth of the love we feel for our companions. I wonder how they feel when a person they love dies... do I say to them, "they were in pain anyway, now they are free from pain." How insensitive would I sound?

I have had too many pets die to focus on just one. Each one was a peice of my heart. Out in California, where I lived for many years, one day the area where I buried my pets will be excavated and someone will think it was a temple of some kind because of all the cats buried there. It was a ranch and there were "barn" cats. We fed them and met their needs but they were mostly feral. But each one got a proper burial and thanks for their efforts in keeping down the rodent problem.

Even still.. I miss each and every animal companion I ever had. From fish to birds and even a white rat.

Monday, February 05, 2007 11:30:00 AM  
Blogger Pam said...

I hope I can get through this without bawling myself sick but it healing to talk about it too.
Our Max a Doberman/Sherpard mix wandered into our yard one day as a puppy about 6 mmonths old. We think someone dumped him out because we were living out in the country in the Rineville area when we were at Ft. Knox. We asked all around but noone knew where he came from so we decided he was ours. he was the sweetist dog although he was the best watch dog you could ever want. When we first took him to the vet for a check up and shots thats when we found out he was going to become a huge dog. He let our daughter ride on his back like a pony and he loved it. They spent many happy hours playing together.
When we went to Ft. Rucker we were afraid we wouldn't have a good place for Max so we asked my uncle if he would take care of him for us till we were ready to move again. The very first night we stayed there our precious Max was hit and killed by a car who didn't even stop to see about him. It brokd all of our hearts to pieces, We don't know if how long he layed there or if he suffered or what so that has hung over us. I feel so guilty and have what ifed and only ifed myself silly. If only we had made sure he was inside or secured to where he couldn't have gotten near the road. My husband took him out into the big field behind the house and gave him a proper burial. I couldn't bring myself to watch, it was too painful. I swore I would never get another pet because it hurt too much to lose them!
A year later we were at Ft. Lewis and our daughter begged for a kitten. We said absolutely not. She begged and begged but we stood firm. One day a friend called and said they had a stray kitten and would we let our daughter have it. We said no but over the next three days decided to let her have it.When we called to tell our friends that they said they had gotten attatched to the kitten and wanted to keep it. Well at the stables near our quarters people were dumping out cats and kittens all the time. The people,who took care of the horses fed them. So now that we had said we'd get the kitten we had to folllow through. We rode our bikes to the stables to pick one out. The way we decided which one to get was I said pick the most scraggly needy looking one so we picked our little TIger who was a striped tabby.We told our daughter Tiger was her sole responsibility and not ours, she was to give him his total care. I said "I am NOT getting attatched to this cat the way I did Max!" The first night home I ahd made him a cozy llittle bed with blankets and a ticking alarm clock since I'd heard that was comforting to kittens and puppies. It was downstairs and our bedrooms were 12 steps up with a landing in between. That night Tiger managed to climb ( which we didn't think he could do )all those steps to our room and climbed up on our bed and layed down on my arm and went right to sleep. I guess you all know this was all it took, I was in love!The people told us the reason he had the tuffs on his ears was because his mother had mated with a Lynx out of the nearby woods. We weren't sure if we believed that till the vet confirmed it. Tiger got diarrhea and worms and was pooping on the stairs so our daughter was soon ready to put a ad in the paper about a free kitten to a good home,ha. Of course by now I was too attatched to even think of letting him go. The vet got him all clear of the worms and diarrhea. He was the happiest little fellow ever. As I mentioned before Kerry dressed him up in her doll clothes and gave him rides in the buggy and stroller.They had a lot of fun.
When Tiger was 6 years old we moved to Clarksville. While jon was in Saudi and Iraq Tiger started peeing around the house in a lot of different places. We knew this wasn't normal and took him to the vet who said he had diabetes and needed to go on insulin. I was so worried but he assured me he had never seen a case where a cat had a bad reaction to insulin but we would have to figure out the right dosage. The day of his first shot my daughter who was a cheerleader had a ballgame in Springfield that night. Now I was nervous about her riding the bus because the driver drove like a maniac. So my Mom who was visiting and I decided to follow them so Kerry could rifde home with us. She had to ride the bus one way. Now Tiger was acting a bit restless when we got home so I called the vet to make sure it was ok to leave him. He said he thought he'd be fine. We did have Karo syurp to give him in case he went into insulin shock. To make a long story short we came home to find Tiger seizing on the floor! We will never know if he had been doing taht for a few minutes or hours, we'd been gone for about 5 hours or more. We rushed him to the vet after I called but he went into a coma. When he woke up the next day he was paralyzed from the waiste down and had some brain damage. I was so sick over it all and blamed myself and still do. It was killing me that I had left him and this happened. In the next few days he suffered more seizures and we were told we needed to put him down. I begged for anything else, said I'd carry him to his box since he wouldn't walk and I'd do any care he needed but please not to put him to sleep. He looked at me so pitful and you could see he wasn't himself. Finally after about 3 or 4 days and I had bawled till I didn't think there were any tears left I agreed it was best to let him go. Kerry and I took him in and hugged and kissed him and told him how much we loved him. I asked him to forgive me for leaving him alone and letting that happen. I told him I would have done anything in my power to take it all back or to help him. I think he knew. After he died our vet wrapped him in a towel for me and put him in a cardboard box. A friend of ours from church came over the next day and buried him in our back yard. When we moved from taht house my husband tried to dig up his remains to rebury at our new home and the ground was too hard so we ahd to leave him. Not only do I live with all my regrets and feel like I helped kill him but we left him where starngers llive now. It ahs been killing me ever since and I pray somehow someday we can go back and dig him up to rebury here. If only I could at least have put a memorial stone on his grave. I kept meaning to but just never did it. I am so full of regrets and pain over all of this.
I wll have to write about my Cosette another time as this ahs been ahrd for me. I did write about lsoing Samantha on another one of these blogs, don't remember which one.

Monday, February 05, 2007 12:46:00 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

P.S. I'm sorry that I wrote a book guys.

Monday, February 05, 2007 12:46:00 PM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

I cannot talk about Skeeter's passing right now because I mentioned him earlier today and that is still too fresh on my mind... I will however tell you about Skeeters pet. Yes, my cat had a pet! A pet fish I named Skipper. Hubby and I had always talked of getting a big fish tank one day when we could afford it. Until the extra money came in, we decided to get a small tank. This was one of those all in one $20 kits. Everything you need to get started but the fish! Hubby took me to the local pet store where we lived in Texas and I picked out the perfect fluffy fish! I say fluffy because I know nothing about aquarium fish. I only know about the ones I catch in ponds, creeks, rivers and lakes. I believe Skipper was called a Molly fish or beta. He was a beautiful mixture of blues, reds and purples. I put him in his new home on a table in front of a window where Skeeter would sit for hours (at first) watching his pet Skipper swimming about. Hubby warned me that these fish did not have a long lifespan so I was not planning on him being around for too long. When I was a kid a friend gave me some guppies that I had put into a fish bowl. One day I came home from school to find most of them had jumped out of the bowl and died on my table top! Imagine my sadness to find this horrible sight. Guess I had the water too full in the bowl! Anyway, I knew about dying fish so I was not going to be surprised at Skippers death. Skeeter had lost interest in Skipper a few weeks after we got him. Skeeter was a good boy and I never had to worry about leaving the two of them home alone together.
That fish lived in that tank with good care for over a year!

I knew Skippers time was about up one day when he had started to float up and down then swim a bit then float again. He had lost his beautiful color and turned a gray white color. Skipper finally floated to the top of the tank and his little gills no longer were moving. I had stayed up with Skipper until I knew he was gone. It was close to midnight and believe it or not, I made hubby get out of bed to bury him. Hubby wanted to give him a burial at sea, with a toilet flushing but Skeeter’s little Skipper, okay, my Skipper, deserved better then that! I found a match box and took all of the matches out of it. I put a piece of napkin in the bottom then gently laid Skipper in the matchbox. I made hubby get a shovel and I grabbed a flashlight. Off to the back yard we went. Don’t know if any of you are familiar with Texas Clay dirt or not but it is by far worse then Tennessee Red Clay ever thought of being! And yes, it was the middle of summer and hot as heck even at midnight, but it was a dry heat! Yeah right!… I thought hubby was going to whack me over the head with that shovel over digging a tiny hole large enough for a matchbox! He kept saying, cant we just flush the danged fish! I fussed at him no, this was my little Skipper and we were going to give him a proper burial! Hubby knew there was no use in arguing with me on this one so he kept at it until he finally broke through that hard Texas clay and made a hole large enough to suit me. We put Skipper in the ground and said our goodbyes to him. Don’t know why I was so intent on burying that fish but he went off to fishy heaven in style in that match box! Needless to say, we never did get that big fish tank later on in life. Guess hubby wised up after Skipper’s burial…

Monday, February 05, 2007 1:24:00 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

Skeeter, Still on here and found your sweet story about Skipper. We have two hamsters and two goldfish buried in the pet cemetary at Ft. Lewis WA. They even had little stones for markers. Someone stold some of them one time and we had to replace them. Isn't it a shame some people are such thieves they will even steal rocks from a pets grave?
Another fish story. My daughter had a aquarium she had taken such great care of for over 3 years and we had to move almost 3000 miles. It was going to take us a week to travel to KY. from WA. My daughter couldn't bear to part with her two fish that had lived for three years. So we bought a little heater to make sure the fish would be ok and we drove all the way across country with those two remaining fish making sure they were always the right tempeture and etc. When we moved into our house my daughter decided she would clean the fish tank. She put them in thier temporary bowl and got ready to clean. All we had was a mop bucket so I told her to wait and I'd go get a new one the next day. I checked later and she had gone ahead and cleaned using the mop bucket! The next day I head a yell "Mommmm", needless to say the poor little fishys were floating. She would not flush them but made me do it. I wanted to bury them too but she said they were freaking her out and she needed to flush them right away so we did but we missed those little guys a lot. My daughter learned that that was another time Mom waas right!

Monday, February 05, 2007 1:38:00 PM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

Pam,
Please do not feel regrets for how you take care of your pets! If you never had them, chances are, they would have never experienced the love and kindness you and your family showed them. You did the best you could for them and that is pretty much all we can do. One day you may meet up with them again in another place, and I bet they will come running to you with loving open paws!

I joke with hubby about the time we have to leave this house that we will have to exhume Skeeter from the back yard but instead, we did the next best thing and got a simple 18 inch stepping stone to place over his grave. I put an artsy type cat made out of springs on top of the stone and we planted a bush behind him also. This all will remain when we leave here. We will let the new homeowners know about Skeeter and hopefully they will be animal lovers and keep his stone in place. His soul is gone to kitty heaven but I can talk to him at any time and any place as I know he is always with me in spirit!

Let me ask you something, I know you must have lost a person in your life, grandparent, parent... Well, do you dig them up and move them with each move you make? I don't think so. Then why feel such guilt about leaving Tiger? If leaving Tiger really bothers you that much, then maybe you can contact the owners of your old house and explain your story and maybe they will allow you to place a stone or a plant by Tiger to ease your mind a bit.

From one animal lover to another, don’t worry too much about this… We all know you did the best you could in each situation. And God Bless you for keeping the home fires burning while your husband is away keeping us safe!

Monday, February 05, 2007 1:54:00 PM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

Pam,
Yep an over the deep end crazy animal loving friend of mine told me that she took her fish in a bowl on a plane to Germany with them when they moved! I doubt Homeland security would see the humor in that today!

She also told me about her first time at a rodeo when they lived out west. She was worried about the bulls care and went back behind the scenes to make sure they were being properly taken care of. Her husband had to drag her away from some angry cowboys that day!

She was the only person I trusted to take care of Skeeter when we would fly back to Clarksville to visit our family during our Germany days! She even asked me to write up a sort of Power of Attorney for him in case he needed medical treatment while we were away. When she and her husband were retiring and moving to Hot Springs villages in Arkansas a few years ago, they found out they needed to go back to Germany to take care of some more business. They lived there for over 20 years and he had a lot of Hail and Farewells to attend and a lot of award ceremonies to attend in his honor as well. They had built a new detached garage with electric, heat and ac and bathroom. They were going to live there while the new dream house was being built a few feet away. All their relatives were not available to take care of their Diabetic cat Bo. She called and asked if I would be willing to come take care of him and give him his shots. I told her that I would be glad to as this would be my way of paying her back for her great care of Skeeter when I needed her. So they flew me to their new garage and she taught me to give Bo a shot twice a day. I stayed and gave Bo the best care I could for two weeks while they went back to Germany! I had a TV with no cable but lots of DVD movies, a kitchenette, a nice bathroom and queen sized bed. What more did I need? That was 3 years ago this June and Bo is still with them. I believe he is pushing 20 years old now…

Monday, February 05, 2007 2:13:00 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

Skeeter, just got back on here for a minute and founf your comforting word. Thank you so much! I never thought of relating it to not digging up a family member or friend we've lost but it makes sense. And it is true we gave all of our animals the best life we possibly could while they were with us. They might not have had much of a life if we hadn't.
I did tell the first person taht bought our house I wnated to bring a memorial stone over and he siad sure and we could even come and dig Tiger up if we wanted. That made me feel better but Jon wa always gone and couldn't the chance to do it. Then someone else bought the house and I don't know how many people it's passed through by now. I do still know the neighbors next door but never see them. I've thought about calling them to ask who lives next to them but they are so hard to get off the phone from,ha. Know what I mean? Thank you also for your kids words about Jon's service. Is your husband military or retired military too?
Thank you for the uplifting story on Bo too. It was so kind of you to do that for him and good to hear his positive outcome!

Monday, February 05, 2007 2:53:00 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

Hey, It is so terribly cold out today but is it too cold for a dog to be left outside? I was out earllier and passed through a subdivision near ours taking a shortcut. I saw this poor dog tied up outside. I thought it might be deead at first becasue I went back to check on it and it hadn't moved. I drove around the block agin and it looked up at me. There was a big plastic garbage can lying on it's side that looked like it had a piece of material inside it so I'm guessing that might have been it's only shelter. Would that be eneough? I have been so worried about the dog. It must not have been too cold since it was lying outside of that instead of inside it.

Monday, February 05, 2007 2:57:00 PM  
Blogger Sandy Britt said...

Pam, I understand your feelings of guilt, but there was nothing you could have done. It's a natural process of grief to go through such emotions, and believe me, I know the feeligns of guilt. I have talked about Yogi, but haven't told you the story, because I tear up just thinking about it, and am like Skeeter--it's hard to go through in detail. Just remember, all things happen for a reason, even if we don't understand. I know the reason Yogi died and maybe tomorrow I'll tell his tale. Or maybe I should talk about something less depressing for a few days before!

I just love hearing all your stories. It makes our private pain less painful, to know that others have gone through the same feelings and emotions. We are like a support group for each other, aren't we?

Monday, February 05, 2007 11:28:00 PM  
Blogger Sandy Britt said...

Oh, forgot to mention. I always thought that I too would move my pets if I moved. Two are buried, one cremated. That's why I'm going to cremate from now on. How crazy is it to feel we left them behind if we move? I KNOW there spirit isn't in the ground, but somehow it's still hard to let go. And wait until I tell you my plans for ME when I'm gone! I need witnesses because my husband doens't believe me when I say its what I want. Can you all guess? :)

Monday, February 05, 2007 11:31:00 PM  
Blogger Daisylouu said...

I guess it's fitting you have Daisy's picture on here loving the snow. She was rescued from a trailer where 32 dogs 10 cats and a duck were living in cages. She never ran, played or jumped in her first 2 years of life. When she was rescued, I raised her along side my daughter who was also 2 at the time. They got potty trained together! She was the smartest most perfect dog and we were all with her when the vet humanely sent her on her way to heaven a few years ago(yes, I also believe animals are in heaven, it wouldn't *BE* heaven without animals) I still use the name "Daisylou" as my computer name and email as a remembrance of a very important dog in my life.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007 7:32:00 AM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

Pam,
Hubby is not military, although he did one stint with the Air Force way back when... He has since supported the military by being a Government contractor. His field is computer maintenance and he is trying really hard to find a position on Ft. Campbell but with his field, there is not much for him on Campbell... We have been at Ft. Hood in Texas and V-Corps in Heidelberg, Germany. We are currently at Ft. Gordon near Augusta, GA. We are 6 hours drive from Clarksville but that is just not close enough for this homesick gal!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007 9:01:00 AM  
Blogger Pam said...

Hi Skeeter, just on here for a few minutes this morning cause I have a busy day ahead. I sure hope your hubby gets something here at Ft. Campbell soon. I know how it feels to be homesick.
My Jon is retired now too. He is a retired Night Stalker test pilot but as they say once a Night Stalker always a Night Stalker and believe me that is true! He has since been a MTPE which is a Maintenance test pilot and he teaches other pilots how to be test pilots then evaluates them. He works for DYNCORP so still works with the Night Stalkers although now when he is on trips I not only know where he is but can talk to him. That part is a lot better. Not quite as much secrecy as before.
We are originally from KY but love it here and have made Clarksville our home. I asked Jon if they had any positions like what your husband wants and he said they don't but hopefully someone will soon! I'm rooting for you! Well got to go but will check back in here later on.
Sandy, you are right, we are a good support group for each other. I think this was the greatest idea you had and I can't thank you enough!I can't wait to hear what you want done after you're gone. Tell us!
And daisylou, bless you for being a great Mommy to Daisy!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007 9:22:00 AM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

Over the years I have lost many loved ones; from old age, to cancer and one that was hit by a car. But the loss of Copper is the one that has hurt the most.

My Hubby’s father had cancer and was dying. So we picked up our lives for 3 months and moved to Alabama so they could be together in his final days. We left Copper and Stella with my mom in CO and took Mattie with us. While we were in AL my mom said Copper was going nuts; literally. She said he would do the strangest things she had never seen before. Mostly he was becoming aggressive to the other dogs. He had never had a mean bone in his body. He was a lab/pit mix that hubby found right before we were married. He wasn't more than 6 or 7 weeks old. One morning my mom let the dogs outside and shortly after she heard all this noise. Copper had gotten into her chicken coop and was attacking her chickens. She went in after him and he turned on her. Bit her in the arm. She said he had this crazy look in his eyes, like he just wasn't there any more. He killed all the chickens but 1. He started bleeding from his mouth and mom took him to the vet. He was bleeding internally and there was nothing that could be done. Bones from the chickens had basically shredded his insides. We feel guilty that we left him and that he must have thought we abandoned him. It’s the only thing we can think of that would change him so drastically. It's not like he was left in a strange place. He loved going to grandmas and would get all excited when we would pull up to her house. I had always been worried about him having the Pit in him, that he would bite someone one day, so we socialized him all the time, took him everywhere with us. At the time I was doing at home daycare and all my kiddo’s would wrestle and play with him. He would rather lick you than bite you. He was kind of a big dork.

Needless to say we still feel some guilt that we left him behind. He died 1 month before my hubby’s father. Hubby took it the hardest because Copper was his first real pet. Growing up in the south AL, pets were never more than an outside animal to his family; than he lost his father on top of it. His father had become attached to Copper too. He just made a special place in all our hearts. I tell my hubby that they are together now and neither one is alone. I think it has helped him to think that.

I know hind sight is 20/20 but if I had it to do all over again, I would never have left him behind.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007 9:43:00 AM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

We have a pet cemetery at my mother's house. There are 8 dogs, the most recent, Janus, to a puppy of Mattie's that died when it was a couple days old and a bird buried there. I don't know what will happen if my mother ever decides to sell her house. I guess I'll cross that bridge when it happens.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger Shannon said...

Oh these are all very hard to read. Sandy Tramp was beautiful. And yes, I think its a blessing too that she did not suffer and was there with you as she left this world. Its amazing how much we love our pets. Pam and Adrienne, no matter how hard it is, don't question what you did for your babies. You didn't do anything wrong. Its so hard not to say the "what ifs", but you can't live life like that. Your babies knew how much you loved them and that you would never do anything to hurt them. I think as humans we instinctively try to place blame and its very easy to blame ourselves when something unexpected happens. You also both mentioned AL. When were you there? We were stationed at Rucker for 5 years from 1996 to 2001. And Pam our hubby's might know each other. Mine is still a nighstalker. He has about 4 more years until he can retire.

I think I have already told my story in numerous post but my hardest was definitely my boxer Cody. Even tho the vet at UT Knoxville told me it was cancer and eventually it would be terminal- I never believed them.They gave Cody a year. At one point 2 years later we returned to UT when he came out of remission. The staff was shocked and pleased. They told me they had to reprint all his medical records because they assumed he had died sometime much earlier and had put all his records on microphish. I even had good friends make horrible comments to me about what I was doing. They said things like "You should donate all the money your wasting on a dog to a good cause and I can fix the dog for you-all it'll take is one bullet" Needless to say I am not close to that person anymore. It just amazes me that so many people don't think a dog or a cat is worth fighting for. When the time finally came to let Cody go, we were extremely fortunate that one of our vets came to our house and did it there, in our back yard. Luckily ny hubby had just got home from a deployment so he was able to dig the hole. I know for days my hubby and I would sit outside in a swing and neither of us talked. It was so strange without him there. Has anyone else dreamt of their pet? I had several dreams of Cody in the days following his death. ALso, one night I went outside in the darkness because I heard something under our deck. We have a walk-out basement so our deck is actually on the 2nd story of our home. When I looked under the deck I saw a brown dog sniffing around. My heart absolutely jumped into my throat and I yelled "Cody"! before I could catch myself. As soon as the words were out of my mouth I was telling myself how stupid I was-Cody was dead. I don't know what my head was thinking-just missing him I guess.In hindsite, I wish we had of had Cody cremated. As someone else mentioned, it is weird but I would hate to leave him behind should we ever move. I would be ok with leaving him if the new owners would let me come back and visit his grave.

Over the last couple of years I have toyed with the idea of getting another dog-would really like another boxer but still am not ready. Partly because we do have my white boxer Harley and she is probably in her final years. She is grumpy and set in her ways and I don't think she would do well with another dog.

Skeeter- I think its awesome you helped your friend out with the shots. 20 years? THAT is amazing.

Sandy thank you. I know this is such a hard topic for us but its also nice to be able to share with like-minded people.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger Sandy Britt said...

All your stories bring tears to my eyes! They also make me feel better to know we've all gone through the same emotions: love, loss, guilt, worry, etc. The Boss will never make me feel crazy again! LOL.

Shannon, sometimes an old dog perks up and gets new life with a new dog in the house. Hmmmmmmm. The Humane Society had a black boxer listed on their Petfinder site, but I believe an adoption is pending.

What I don't understand is why bigger dogs have shorter lives. Tiny breed lifespans are up to 15 years, while big dogs only up to 10. I wonder why? But look at it this way, you get a chance to love more in a lifetime. In the future I will probably go to small dogs,as they are easier to get in the tub and car, etc. Getting old you know! LOL. Though I've never picked out a dog--they were all strays and when I adopted Tramp, she was the only dog I saw--I didn't pick her out from among others.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007 11:52:00 AM  
Blogger Shannon said...

Sandy,
I agree about an old dog. Don't get me wrong, there are times that I just know a new doggie would be great for her. But I guess(here we go with the guilt!) I felt a lot of guilt after Cody died because I knew we had kind of pushed Harley to the back burner. Nothing bad, don't get me wrong. She has always been an in the house doggie who slept on whatever couch or bed she wanted,but I know she wasn't given quite as much attention back then. I guess I feel like right now is her time in the "spotlight" and I don't want to take that away from her. She will be 11 in a few months-definitely old for a boxer. I have always wondered about that too-why big dogs don't have the longevity as a small dog. My hubby says he doesn't want a small dog but I am like you. It is extremely hard to get the big dogs in the tub and my back is surely not what it was 10 years ago. I don't know what my next one will be but I am very open.

Sandi you mentioned in a previous post that Adrienne might be relocating to the area and need a pet friendly apt/home. Adrienne, let me know if you decide to come this way and I will be glad to get info on properties for you so that you and your babies will be happy!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007 12:12:00 PM  
Blogger Stacey said...

Well, Shannon, I know it was hard for me to get another dog as well. But, I can definately vouch that it was great for my older dog. When Dixie died three years ago, as I mentioned previously, I was devestated. She was my first dog and she was totally my "favorite child". I didn't even want to think about replacing her. I know, I know, she's never replaced in my heart. My hubby kept telling me that Reb was sad and lonely and that it would be for his benefit that we adopt another dog. But I wasn't ready.

10 months later, I was at Petsmart in Nashville to visit my sister-in-law that is a foster mom for Agape Animal Rescue. She had her latest foster there (my Lucy), but she wasn't up for adoption yet, she was just there for socializing. But, as I visited with my sister-in-law, I sat in the floor to talk to the dog, and she crawled in my lap and went to sleep. She wasn't a small puppy, she was about a year old. Nancy said it was the first time she had closed her eyes all day because all the noise and commotion upset her.

Needless to say, I didn't think I was ready, but Lucy KNEW I was. She needed me to be her Mama more than I needed to hold on to Dixie. Bringing her into our household has been like letting light into darkness. She is so young and energetic and full of life and vigor. It did make a difference in Reb's behavior and outlook. Yes, he's still old and his arthritis slows him down, but the spark came back to him.

I learned then that no matter how I might feel, the important thing is how the surviving animal feels. They just know that they are now alone, where before there was companionship. Yes, he had us and the cats, but it wasn't the same. He needed his own kind.

At least open yourself up to the idea, Shannon. I know we are all different, but in alot of ways, we are so much alike too.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007 12:34:00 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

Adrienne, I'm so sorry about Copper but it's like we've all said to each other, you didn't know anything like that would happen or you wouldn't have left him. We all have our terrible feelings of guilt and reqrets but we can't go back and change anything, all we can do is take the hard lessons we lerned from our mistakes and know better for the future.
Shannon and Sandy, thank you both for your comforting word and caring too.
Shannon, we were in Ft. Rucker in 1982 when my husband graduated flight school. He was in F Co. when he was active duty but still works with F. Co. What Co, is your husband in? I bet they probably do know each other. Wouldn't it be something if you and I have met before too? The thing is outside of the functions like formals, the picnic, parties and etc. I don't see many of the active duty wives.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007 2:13:00 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

Sandy,like you with your story about your Yogi I'm having a hard time getting on here to tell about my Cosette. She had such a short time here on earth but it was happy all but a little while and I ahve a lot of guilt obver that but will tell you the story another time.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007 2:35:00 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

I have read the stories about pets who have passed and had to share Annie's. Annie was a dog that lived outside the Dunn Center on APSU after being dumped there (we know she was someone's pet, as she had a "collar mark" around her neck and she had been spayed). She was TERRIFIED of humans, but I fed her every day for about 6-8 weeks until she finally let me pet her one day in May 2005. Within a week, I "caught" her and took her home. My husband and I made arrangements for her to go to a rescue organization near Nashville, where she would not be euthanized. We had to keep her for a couple days until they could make arrangements to get her.

Well, after about 3 days, we couldn't give her up. We took her to the vet and found that she had heartworm. I thought my husband would say "We did what we could, but we should euthanize her before she suffers". But instead he said "Well, that is what credit cards are for... have her fixed", with a big sigh. She recovered from the heartworm after treatment and started to enjoy her life with us. She loved me and trusted me, but would never let my husband or any other man near her. She loved our other dog and we start to see her gradually starting actually acting like a dog, playing with balls and toys, romping and wrestling in the yard, and enjoying life, instead of being scared of her own shadow.

In December 2005, she started acting a little funny, staggering when she walked. I thought something was wrong with her hips. We took her to the vet and after several tests, we found she had AIHA (similar to leukemia, where red blood cells are destroyed by the body). We found that unfortunately, there was no cure. We had 4 more days before she took a turn for the worst and we had to make the decision to put her to sleep.

I was heartbroken, as here was a dog that had never done anything wrong in the 8 months we had her (never had one accident in the house, never chewed up a shoe, or anything else troublesome that our other dogs had done) and she FINALLY had found a warm bed, regular meals and all the love she could handle. In 8 months, she still never let my husband near her unless I was there, but she was making strides with him and trusting humans. She deserved a better life from the start and someone threw her out on the street. But for 8 months, she was loved and she did have the best life we could give her. I wish we could have done it for 8 years instead, but for 8 months she acted like a dog, a companion to us and our other dog, and Annie was the best.

We now have another pound puppy, Marley to be a companion to our other dog, Daisy. And even though we only had Annie in our lives for 8 months, I miss her and think of her every day. I would gladly spend the $1500 we spent in vet bills in that time all over again, knowing what we know now. She got a second chance at life with us, however brief it was. And as sad as her passing was, she gave another dog a second chance, when Marley came to live us now.

And we talk about the Rainbow Bridge and how we hope that Annie will be waiting for us, with a wagging tail.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007 2:41:00 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

Melissa, you gave your Annie a wonderful home for as long as she was allowed here on earth so you can feel good about that. I know how you feel about wishing you'd had more time. My Cosette only had 17 months but 16 of those were good. And we too would have spent whateve it would have taken if it would have saved her but it wasn't to be. And she made it so our Brittany, Courtney, and Penelope could all have a loving home. But I do feel your pain. As I said, you did a great thing!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007 2:56:00 PM  
Blogger Birdie said...

Oh my goodness... I really didn't want to post on this thread because I didn't want to make a fool out of myself. However, I decided what the heck. When my mom married my step-dad he came with a all black male cat. His name was Crumbs. Although Crumbs loved to get petted by my mom and played with my dad...he loved to sleep with me. He would lay right over my head and "cuddle" with me at night. Then one summer evening in 1990 he was sitting with my future husband on the balcony. Crumbs cheek started to swell up and he began to act funny. We didn't know what to do because my parents were on vacation.. Anyway, I called my sister and we decided to bring him to the vet. The vet said he had an abcess on his tooth and it also looked like a bee had stung him. I called my parents that night and they came home from their vacation. In the next couple of days ... things went from bad to worse. Crumbs started to go into renal failure and he was to sick to drink. My dad , who is over 6 feet and build like lumberjack.. was on his knees feeding him water by the sppon. Then Crumbs went into heart failure and my dad tried to save him with CPR, but it was too late for Crumbs...he passed away in my dad's arms. Sigh, it's been 17 years this year and I am still crying. :( After that I promised myself I would never have pets again. Well, after the kids got bigger they began to ask for fish.. with the promise to take care of them.. Naturally I was taking care of them and I cried crocodile tears when our fish Big Bob and Sharkie died. They are buried at our old house. Now, that we have Birdie and Socks I am deadly afraid of day when we have to say goodbye. Both cats have become my "children" and I just don't know what I will do if they pass on. :(

Tuesday, February 06, 2007 8:34:00 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

Birdie, I'm so sorry about the loss of your Crumbs! I understand how much it hurts after all these years though since I still grieve for all our sweet pets. Your stepf-dad sounds like a great guy! Bless all of you!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007 9:26:00 PM  
Blogger Sandy Britt said...

Melissa, so glad to have you join us here at Pet People! I hope you come back often. It was so hard reading your story about Annie. I know just how you feel. Why do such things happen after they finally have found a loving home? I truly believe that dogs and cats, like people, have a purpose in life and when their "job" is over they do go to a better place.

And Birde, you too have such a sad story to tell. And I know your cat Coo-coo bird (birdie) from when she was at Cats Are Us. I wanted to adopt her, but THE BOSS was too much of a pain about it, so I let it go.

Sad as it all is, they are also stories of joy more than sadness, really. We mourn for ourselves more than for them, because we'll always miss them.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007 10:44:00 AM  
Blogger Braveheart said...

Flossy, my old hound girl, Gus my drooly bulldog, Zoe my diabetic cat, George the goldfish (shhhh don't tell my toddler he is dead)...they all were creatures of God and now they are bck with him.
:)
Lucky kids.

Thursday, February 08, 2007 6:45:00 AM  

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Sandy Britt, an animal welfare advocate and volunteer with Clarksville rescue organizations, takes care of three dogs: Zoe, Scooter and Peanut; two cats: Catfish and Tarzan; and one husband, Glen, and according to him she takes care of them in that order.
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