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Dan

Beautiful post Sherry.

Often, the writing of the letters is the most important part of the process. I have a journal full of letters I've written, and never sent.

One of the things that separates us human beings from animals is our ability to love infinitely. Your love for Belle isn't in any way diminished by your love for Lila. Both relationships and feelings are unique in their own way, and one can not replace the other, nor would it be right for it to.

Annby

I just wanted to say thank you for beautifully articulating many of the feelings that people experience after the tragic loss of a beloved four footed companion. Sometimes, all you can do is gasp at the pain. Other times, you are overwhelmed with gratitude at how lucky you were to share life with such a wondrous being.

onecent121

Nikita, my dog, my baby, my best friend, the love of my life got a mast cell tumor in her hind leg. Tests showed that it had not spread at all and she was given Prednisone to help shrink the tumor and help it not to grow so fast. I was told by thre doctors that it would not be possible to get the tumor and enough surrounding tissue to keep it from coming back - they all said that amputation was the best way to be rid of it. It was a God awful decision but I made it. Surgery went well, the doctor said she was doing very well and moving around and I could pick her up the following morning. As I was on my way to get her - the doctor called and said that he had her on oxygen but he did not think she was going to make it. When I arrived - she was dead. The doctor said he does not know why she died - maybe it was a blood clot - maybe something developed in her between testing and surgery - but she should have been fine. I did not consider for a single second that she might die. She had been under anesthesia twice during tests and so I knew that would not kill her. I have greived beyond words to describe the pain of losing Nikita. I don't regret the amputation because I have come to the conclusion that I would have rather her die that way than to not have tried it to save her life. She was 8 and in the very best of shape and health just two months earlier - the shock and grief are still almost unbearable - I miss her so much and I worry that she was waiting for me to come and pick her up. Has anyone else had mast cell and had an amputation and it turned out okay? I would love to hear from you. Here is a poem I wrote for Nikita.
Goodnight Nikita, Forever
(In Memory of Nikita 12/19/1996 - 11/2/2005)

The vet laid you down to sleep, forever.
I prayed the Lord your soul to take, for eternity.
Little Nikita, I will love and miss you, forever.
One day we'll be together again, for eternity.
From the very first day when we heard Mast Cell
Our lives became a living hell.
You gave up your leg so your life would be spared
I prayed for you - that you would not be scared.
My little dog, my baby, best friend
I never once thought that your life might end!
I miss you so much and oh how I cry
But I try to be strong when I am with Shai
I wake up to see you and you are not there
But I feel your spirit is here, everywhere.
I pray for peace for your little soul
I know that in Heaven you are healthy and whole.
Goodnight Nikita, my baby, best friend
I will see you in Heaven and will miss you 'til then.

Copyright ©2006 Penny Norman


George

Thank you for your post on Belle. Just lost our precious Sweet Melissa. Your words hit home...hard.

Jennie Rebecca

you guys really have a way with words.
I cried from the moment I started reading.
I'm really sorry about you guys' dogs, that's really sad... my uncle ran over our dog. He felt terrible. Up until then, I'd never cried so hard in my life.. Then a couple weeks later, my rabbit died.. and about a year later my cat ran away. I lost our 34-year-old quarter horse a few years ago too... ironically, her name was also Belle. I was distraught..I thought it was all my fault.
But I've still got Elvira [my other cat], Milo [my other cat that I just got in December], our two dogs Chopper and Midnight and our three horses Cricket [Belle's son], Lady, and Magic and they help me cope. I guess we can be happy in knowing that they're not suffering the trials of this world anymore.
♥ much love; I know what you're going through

Bob McShane

What a beautiful letter. I lost my dear Bosco a week ago tonight. I miss him with all my heart and I know I always will. I'd give anything to have him fall asleep with his head in my lap one more time. He was the sweetest chocolate lab and the best friend a guy could have. I love you Bosco and I can't wait until we're together again.

Gloria

Today, I found out my dog, Sophie, is dying. And I'm here, in college, and I won't get to see her ever again. So, I'm trying to deal with that idea. The idea that last time, was the last time. I'm going to miss her so much. She's twelve. I've had her since I was six years old. I love that dog so much.
She is the sweetest thing imaginable. She would get grumpy, especially when she was older, but she was never mean. She was refined, in a way. She could get embarrassed, you could tell, and she would hold her face in a very serious way if she thought anyone was mad.
She is so comforting to be around, and I won't ever see her again. And I already miss her so much.

ove you

i love you capo i will never forget you

oh god how i hurt, oh god how i cry,
There's never a good time to say goodbye,
My dog is gone, she died last night
She gave up the will, she gave up the fight

Her loving brown eyes told me, "its ok mom
Im going to sleep now I wont come home"
I stroked and I talked to her, she was such a good girl.
I loved that dog and I miss her like hell.

Night Night Fatty, you're here in my heart always.

Pablo

03:30Am Came down stairs for a drink of water.
My dog "Scratch" 5yrs old mixed "street dog". recently had surgery to remove Mast cell tumor.
Lying on the floor his muzzle near his water bowl, puddles of foul smelling stuff around.
Check internet for emergency clinic nearby (is this really happenning, am i taking him in my arms to the truck..am i unloading him in my arms ...am i speaking to the vet. Did i say "i think he needs to be put down"..
I cried so hard on the way home i could barely drive....i love that dog.
such love.

My little dog Henry was diagnosed with a mass cell tumor on his eyelid. I took him to the vet. and had his entire eye removed. The vet. found cancer in his lympnode and took it out the same day. A week later I took him back to have the stitches removed and he had another place pop up which turned out to be cancer also. The vet. removed it and started him on chemo the same day. I took Henry home the next day and he seemed fine. As the week wore on he become weaker and weaker. I spoke with the vet. mid way through the week and he said as long as he would eat and drink he should be fine. On April 1st I took him to the vet. He was suppposed to have his second chemo treatment but I knew that he was too sick. The vet. did a blood count on him and hooked him up to an IV. His blood count was 200 and it was supposed to be 6000. I visited him for about an hour after work until the vet. said that he needed to hook his IV back up. He was so sick and weak. I kissed him by and he looked at me with such sadness. The vet. called me the next morning at 6:30 and told me that Henry had died around 4:00 that morning. I am filled with guilt and keep questioning myself as to whether I did right by Henry. The vet. recommened chemo, but I should have said no, no, no. I shoudl have taken him back in earlier and maybe they could have built his blood count back up. I am dying inside. I drive by the vets office every night looking for Henry. I pace through my house looking for Henry. I feel like my heart has been ripped out and stomped on. I can not live without my little boy. I can't find him. I have to find him. If I could just hold him one more time. What if he thought that I was leaving him, what if he died all alone wondering where his mommy was at. How do I live????????

Andrew

I lost a 4 legged friend this year too. My family had a black labrador Holly since I was about 11 or so. Since growing up I went to a boarding school out of state followed by college I didn't get to see her as much as I'd like to but I was one of the first people she saw and I felt we bonded well over the years in spite of the separation. I'll never forget my senior year after I had my wisdom teeth removed when she stayed with me for almost 3 days having to be coaxed away from me. Although I had noticed she was slowing down losing some fur and beginning to have accidents last year I thought it due to a bladder infection and we finally had it checked out.

It was Cushing's disease.

Being the one around least I didn't normally feel I had any say in the matter but I did my research and fought hard for a second chance. Sadly among further examination it was discovered that she had a huge cancerous tumor on her liver. She was also developing cataracts. So much for that.

It was only a matter of time at this point.

Almost on cue after the examination she deteriorated fast. We couldn't make an appointment to have her put to sleep since my crusade to give her a second chance got us put ahead 2 more weeks. She suffered more due to my selfish attachment and ignorance and for that I am deeply sorry.

I still remember the day it was to take place. I had pulled two all nighters in a row for some papers around April and decided that I would be skipping my second class so I could make the appointment on time. I grimly drove an hour and a half to my parents house to await the date and say goodbye to my friend. During the last hour I brought her outside since she hadn't really gotten to run around for about a year, walked around with her as my father discarded her food dish and bed all the while. It was like she wouldn't exist when we returned.

Then came the car ride my sister fully supported the decision towards the end made several attempts to get a replacement puppy
unsuccessfully persuading my father, and decided to see a movie rather than see Holly off with the rest of us. We all handle loss but I just couldn't accept that at the time and still can't....

We arrived at the vent and had to wait an hour and a half out in the rain despite having an appointment. I could tell Holly was miserable but neither of my parents wanted to wait in the car not that it would matter soon anyway how she felt.

She was tied to the table in the exam room. The vet told us what would happen, indeed I myself researched what this would do to prepare myself and he gave her a mild sedative. Her legs were so weak from arthritis without her glucosamine she couldnt stand anymore and she just collapse whimpering. Then he administered the overdose of anesthesia. I'll never forget that moment it was only about 15 more seconds it looked like she was choking, couldn't quite catch her breath then she ceased breathing and was still. Something told me she still wasn't gone though; lingering brain activity for about a minute perhaps. The brave face I managed to put on for a week dissolved almost instantly.I dragged it out after my parents said their good byes and I remember holding her paw being struck by how heavy it was. I then left the exam room to hurry out to the car. It was halfway to the car I felt "something" and I'm still not sure to this day what it was. In my mind she was still alive when I left the exam room and I in my own way abandoned her the same as my sister had only unlike her had no excuse for doing so. Holly didn't die surrounded by us. She died alone. This haunts me.

We then went out to dinner that night the one thing that stays is my mind was returning home knowing the house was dark and she wasn't there. Gone with the rest of my childhood.

Now whenever I see dogs or cats I only feel sadness for the loss of my friend. Don't ever think I could get another one. I remember right after the event happened one of my so called friends prattled on and on about how "adorable and lovable" his cat was being right then I completely lost control and slammed the receiver down half shocked at what I did.

The feeling of guilt that plagues me never goes away while I do think it was right to try and save her I question whether I tried to save her for her own sake versus whether I did it because I was afraid of losing her. I felt she deserved the same chance at life as the rest of us did; as childish as that may seem. In any event in my mind she suffered for my weakness and I don't think I can ever get past that.

Discussing Holly is considered taboo with the rest of the family because it does not evoke "happy thoughts" not to mention with her possessions removed they treat her like she never existed. That is what is perhaps the scariest thing of all. And I had a hand in it by suggesting we remove her things before she even set foot in the car.

Does the pain ever go away? It's been about 5 months now...

Hurting still

I keep thinking i have no more tears but they keep coming out of the blue. The only thing I can say is that I am so glad there are people who love animals so much and I pray we all get the chance to see our babies in Heaven some day. That will be the most beautiful day of my life.

ashley

yesterday i was walking to my grandma with two puppies one was my aunts and the other was my sisters and he was a baby pug. his name was pugsly.we put him in the back yard and there were to older dogs and we put then in a big pin of the yard so the male big dog wouldN't get in beacuase he hates our little male pug so we went inside and talked to our grandma than my sister said i am going to go check on the dogs she came in crying. so i went out side to the back yard and the pin was open and our baby pug was dead laying there on the ground wet with his tung out. we were crying really bad we barley got him on saturday. so they took our pug puppy and my aunts big male german sheperd and put it to sleep. it was a very awful day. we bought alot of things now we had to give them to my ninas dog my mom spent 200 dollars now i can't get the dead picture out of my head. i miss him so much i hope i see him in heaven and that was my sisters bithday /christmas present and no i feel very guilty. i thought my grandmother would get mad if we had them in her house .

Kali

sooo sorry to hear about your pugs.

My thoughts are with you.

K

It was one month ago today that my husband and I had to put down our dog, Lucy. She was the cutest and most mischievious dog I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Nothing was safe if it was in her reach; purses, shoes, trash, and she loved pulling coats off of chairs or tables and making a nice little bed for herself. She did the same thing to my wedding dress that she found in the closet, too. Then we came home to find our other dog bleeding and limping and the house was totally in shambles. Furniture knocked over, blood everywhere, and all three dogs were shaking and scared. We thought someone had tried to break in, maybe an animal came in through the doggy door. Our pit was covered with blood but didn't have any scratches. Our Aussie, Abby, was ripped up and whimpered everytime Lucy came into the room. We vowed never to let it happen again, kept them separated, and thought everything would finally go back to "normal." Not even two months later and it happened again. I thought just few hours and I'll be home - surely they won't have any problems today. It was a beautiful Friday afternoon, they would want to play outside together. Abby is doing better, our Rott, Aries, still doesn't know what is going on (he wakes up in a new world everyday) and we miss Lucy. Our house will never be the same. It doesn't feel right without her. I feel guilty for loving her after what she did to abby and feel worse for wishing we had gotten rid of abby instead of lucy. I miss her

Jill

To Louis...how could you have died so suddenly? You were supposed to have been a healthy 5 year old American Bulldog.
You were my granddog and I feel the pain of my son-in-law and daughter because I loved you as well.. We couldn't get you to the hospital in time.
What a shame little Rhys will never get to know you..He was supposed to have grown up with you.
I will miss you as well as everyone that knew you.

ap

I had to put my 13 1/2 old dog to sleep a few days ago.My heart is broken and i cant stop crying.I just want to let her know that she cannot be replaced.I hope to see her again in a better place.she is a part of my heart,and now its torn apart.i love you very much and missed.

Betty

It has been a little over 1 month since I had my 16yr. old dog PJ put to sleep, I feel so empty inside and miss him more and more with each passing day, as a dog owner you always dread the day where you may loose your best friend now I know why because the hurt is horrible. I keep trying to think about the good times and focus on his life more than his death but it still makes me cry,hard to move on,I am but it will never be the same without my baby.

Betty

Also after putting PJ to sleep one thing that has helped is that I made a online memorial for him, a place where you can go everyday and write a tribute and light a candle, for all of you that has lost a friend, I highly suggest it, you can also make memorial for a family member here as well. Gonetoosoon.org. another site that is helpful is daily strength, they have a pet bereavement support group. hope this helps, it will not take away all the pain but it helps keep your dear friends memory alive. and to be able to share how special they were and are to you with the world.

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Rosemary

I loved your post. I really needed to write this. I was talking to a friend earlier about my baby (dog) Precious whose passed away 1o month ago that I want to get another dog, but I do not want to replace Precious. My parents got her for my sister back in 1995, than I was 14 years old. We had her half of my life she passed when I was 28 years old. I love her and miss her everyday. I know that there are a lot of dogs that needs a good home. We as a family do not want Precious to be bad with us. Her birthday is this weekend January 16 we always gave her a bday party. We still going to get a cake and all, go to her gravesite we buried her at a pet cemetery and sing happy birthday to her. I just wish she was still here with me. I'll just have to wait to see if another dog will make its home at our home.

Shivendra

I lost my dog Alice, a labrador, today at about 3 am. Losing her...it feels like a part of my life too has gone away. She was diagnosed with severe diabetes which we were not able to control even after full efforts and then she got an infection too which ultimately killed her.
She will always be in our hearts because we feel the loss of losing a 10 yr old child, full of energy, affection, love and understanding, she was a divine soul. She died peacefully today while asleep, we buried her forever at our home's compound and did all the traditional ceremonies. The loss is so intense I cant describe it either, it just feels as if an energetic child of our family went away.

I sobbed a lot but I'm sure she is with god still the same as she used to be without any diabetes or suffering.

May her soul be blessed, we will always love her.

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