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Old 09-07-2012, 09:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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We lost our Princess yesterday. She was such a sweet, beautiful girl. She never met a person or a dog that wasn't a friend. I met her for the first time eight years ago when I met my husband. He invited me over for dinner because his mother and sister were in town and he wanted us all to meet. As I walked in, I was met by the most beautiful Collie I've ever seen. We all sat around the kitchen table and she was seated under the table for the duration of dinner. We all got up to clear the table and we were all in the kitchen when we heard a clinking noise. We all turned around to find her on top of the table, happily eating out of the bowl of mashed potatoes.

For the next eight years we laughed and cried together. She was the runt of her litter. My husband explained that his mother was looking for a new dog when she overheard a woman saying that her Collie had AKC show caliber puppies, save for one. The woman said that she was thinking about just having the dog put down because she'd never be a show dog. The woman I call my mother in law walked up to the "breeder" and offered to buy the pup that she didn't want. The woman happily gave her 'bad' dog up for free.

Cheyenne was not the brightest dog out there. If she was outside and on her lead, she would manage to wrap herself around the lone Shepherd's Hook in the yard. Her definition of fetch was watching the ball sail over her head, then walking with you as you went to get it yourself. Her sister had died a few years prior and she seemed to be slowing down some. So that's when we got Finn. All the life came back into her! She was her old self again. One of our favorite stories about her came from the day we brought Finn home.

Cheyenne had the habit of laying down in front of the bowl of food and eating from it. She had assumed her position when our little ball of white fluff walked up to her. She ignored him as he sniffed her and climbed all over her, but the minute he went near her bowl, she growled, picked him up by the scruff of his neck, and tossed him out of the kitchen. We never had a dominance fight for food or a toy in our house; Chey would lay on it or be near it and Finn would stay clear, no questions asked.

Several months back, we started noticing that she was having trouble getting up after laying down for extended periods of time. The vet told us that she was getting old; she was 14, what did we expect? During the ortho exam, she never flinched, whimpered, or yelped. The vet sent us home with the recommendations for an orthopedic dog bed and to start planning for the end.

After a while, she seemed to just plateau. She had more good days than bad and she didn't seem to be getting any worse. We came to the conclusion that we would let her tell us when it was time.

Two weeks ago, my husband found me outside harvesting our herbs and vegetables and he gave me frantic news; his beloved uncle was very ill and wasn't expected to make it through the night. Before we knew it, we were packed and ready to go back home. The day before we returned home, our dog sitter called. He told us that, she didn't seem like she could stand and that she didn't seem like herself. He said he had to carry her outside for her to go to the bathroom. I sighed and told him that I would contact the vet and see what they said. Before I was done with the vet, he called through and said she was just fine; she was walking and doing her normal thing. I still made an appointment to see our vet on Friday; she was telling us she was ready.

When we got home, we knew she was ready. She just didn't look right. When she went outside, she just collapsed onto her side and just couldn't function. I looked at my husband and sighed; it was her time. He got her up and she slowly ambled her way back in the house

The soonest we could get in to see the vet was the next afternoon. There are no emergency vets close enough to us that we could get to easily and because of her symptoms, we had to sign her over for rabies testing. She slept comfortably through the night, and the next morning we began our last day with her. She ate everything we told her she never could: hot dogs, a good hunk of steak, a few pieces of chicken, and a several large scoops of ice cream.

Once we got her to the vet, they gave her a good once over, then they started the process. A quick sedative and she slowly drifted off to sleep. We got to say our goodbyes, and as we did, she stuck her nose in the bag of treats I had and ate out of the bag until her head slowly listed to the side. She was still breathing. The vet came in again and gave her the very last injection she would ever have. She went with us holding her and sending her over the bridge.

I miss my Princess so very, very much...
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Old 09-07-2012, 10:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm so sorry for your loss.
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Old 09-07-2012, 10:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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:::cries:::

You did the right thing for Princess. Many MANY MANY years from now she will tell you herself. May she fly free over the rainbow bridge, happy, healthy and youthful again...May you be with her again someday, forever...
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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We all are going through a very weird phase of guilt. We all felt that we were just getting rid of an old dog because we couldn't handle it anymore. We also felt bad about not putting Chey on joint suppliments, but for whatever reason, each pill/powder/syrup that we'd give her for it would give her insane bouts of diarrhea.

I am thankful that we waited until the morning to go to our normal office instead of driving 3+ hours to an emergency vet. We knew the vet who was with us from our visits with our cats, but another vet in the office sees to the health of our dogs. She knew our horror story behind our cats' death, so she put our mind at ease. The best thing she said to us was:

"In my opinion, you are doing the best for Cheyenne. Sure, we can pump her full of drugs, but in two weeks, we will be right back here doing this all over again. You are not throwing her away, you are allowing her to cross the Rainbow Bridge to herd Mollie, Haley, and Max (our dearly departed cats) with all the youthfull vigor she once had. If Chey were mine, I would let her go."

It was hard, today. We went shopping and tradition is that my husband would open up the front door, call for her, and as we were unloading groceries, she would "herd" us in the front door. I'm being 100% serious when I say that, if we even stepped foot off the walkway and into the grass, she'd lean on you to get you back on the path and give you a quick 'yip' if you still didn't listen. Per my husband (she came along about 7 years before I came along), where they lived, there was an open field where milk cows would roam. She never did any formal herding, but the instincts were so strong that she herded the cows in the field for the farmers. The only time it backfired was when she tried to herd a horse and she got kicked!

Anywho, Hubby opened up the door and called out for her...and she didn't come. He remembered and was once again crushed. He feels guilty that he didn't do "more" for her. I kept reminding him that the vet said she most likely had a very bad stroke and her arthritis was bad as well. Even without the arthritis, she never would've survived the stroke.

I keep reminding myself she slowly walked the lenght of the bridge until we were out of sight, but she was met immediately by her sisters and brothers in fur. She no longer hurts, but she's herding cows and horses that will never hurt her.
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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:::cries some more for you:::

Don't feel guilty. You should look up some dealing with grief articles on this forum or even on google. I'd direct you to some but I'm not expert enough for it...
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Old 09-08-2012, 09:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I am so sorry. Princess sounds like the kind of girl whose lfe stories will be told for years. My thoughts and prayers are w/ you at this time. Keep hugging Finn and take care.I tried many supplements w/ Daisy who hated evry thing and I did eventually stop. Princess having diarhera is a very good reason not to give the thing that makes her sick. I do think you second guess and third guess everything you did. I nknow I do it still . You gave princess a wonderful life and she in turn gave herself to you. I hope she is playing beyond that bridge eating treats and watching her family where she knows no pain.
Maggi

Last edited by Daisy&Lucky's Mom; 09-08-2012 at 09:23 PM.
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Old 09-08-2012, 09:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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the dog sounds like a character and a half -- "Her definition of fetch was watching the ball sail over her head, then walking with you as you went to get it yourself. " this is bloody genius !!! had me laughing.
dear dog is looking down at all the not so smart dogs actually fetching the ball. lol
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:51 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I am so sorry for your loss. I too have a Princess and I do not want her to suffer at the end, which is something you also spared your dog. Be proud, not ashamed, of that fact.

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Old 10-11-2012, 04:53 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Princess sounded like a very special dog. Princess, you will be missed , but never forgotten by all you have met...
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