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Spirit's dad 02-25-2014 01:46 PM

We sent Spirit over the Rainbow Bridge Sunday. I'm still not ready. My tears fill my days and nights and sleep seems to be sporadic. I know that the thought of a future without her is haunting me. I'm 26 years sober and when they asked if they could get us anything at the hospital I thought "bourbon".

We picked her out almost 11 years ago from friends her were breeding. Out of the litter of 7 there were some peeing, some yelping and one who was put in my arms where she nestled in quietly and decided I needed to love her! The woman said she was the leader of the little pack, the first to do everything, breaking out of their fenced space and getting around the house. I was to learn so much from her.

We would walk her religiously through the Lynn Woods, Breakheart, around the city, not unusual to do 3-4 miles in the morning after I got home. We did a few mountains in New Hampshire where she would start introducing herself with "hi, you have to love me now". Now this is not to say she wasn't a leader. Any group of dogs over three and she would take the lead. I learned to move through large groups as we walked to keep her focus on me. I would tell others that when we walked she would stop and I could see everything was on; nose, ears, eyes and body ready to encounter whatever she was sensing.

She started slowing down with a knee rebuild a few years ago. The walks were becoming shorter but the love continued to grow. I had asked Jane to go easier with her Saturday morning walks as Spirit seemed to get less and less mobile. Last Saturday she trudged her through a foot of wet snow for a few hundred yards. By Saturday night she had no strength to use her hind legs. I went to work dreading the morning. Spirit had dragged herself to sleep near Jane overnight. When I came home she was dragging herself to see me. I desperately made a makeshift sling to help her up and try to see if she could go out to pee. It didn't work, if I let the sling go her rear legs collapsed. I came in and told Jane we had to get to the vet referral hospital(24 hrs). They said they would be waiting and to get right there. We were put in a side room, the vet said she had lost a disc in her back and went through the options but basically that she would never really recover and at her age rehab and therapy would not improve her much. I would not see my proud girl who never whimpered and tried to perform her job right to the end go through any more.

I cry all the time right now. There is a gaping hole in my chest. I am lost and mindless. I went to weightwatchers and had lost three pounds, I don't wish this diet on anyone. I know it will get better but at some level I never want her to leave my heart!

Shade 02-25-2014 01:58 PM

I'm sorry your first post comes with such sadness attached :( Sadly many of us have gone through the same heartache and can sympathize :hugs:

Aviorwolf 02-25-2014 02:00 PM

I'm so sorry about Spirit. Most of us on this board can certainly relate to your sorrow. Know that you did the right thing, the loving thing, for Spirit.

Bridget 02-25-2014 02:20 PM

I am sorry for your loss of Spirit. Sounds like you had a very special bond and you gave her a great life. Seems unbelieveable, but in time you will feel better and smile when you think of her.

Mister C 02-25-2014 02:50 PM

Sorry for your loss. It's a really hard time and my sympathies are with you.

I lost my GSD in November and am still mourning. It gets better with time. Trust me on this. I was pretty much non-functional for a few days. The first few weeks were super tough and I had a hard time focusing on other things.

What haunted me the most was the final day. It was a long slow decline for my old girl but there came a day where she got suddenly worse. She was giving me "that look" and telling me it was time. We had a vet come to our house and I held her while she slipped away. I played that scene in my head hundreds and hundreds of times the first few weeks.

But then I realized that such a replay of her final moments wasn't doing me or her any good. So I decided to focus on the good things, the happy times and how much joy Maddie brought into our lives. By keeping that focus things got better--slowly and by small steps but the pain did start easing.

The bottle is not going to help you get over this. Sure, it may mask the pain for a few hours but the wound will still be there. And it would be a setback for you. I think you know this already but maybe hearing it from someone else helps. You should be proud of being sober for 26 years. It's an accomplishment and shows your inner strength.

That same inner strength also helped you make the right call so that you could help your dear old friend cross the bridge.

She will never leave your heart as long as you cherish the memories and keep a space for her in your heart for her to curl up and rest there.

Hang in there pal,


shepherdmom 02-25-2014 02:55 PM

I am so sorry for your loss. :hugs:

myshepharley 02-25-2014 03:11 PM

I am very sorry for your loss....
RIP sweet girl

sit,stay 02-25-2014 04:08 PM

I am so sorry for your loss. Your heartbreak is so evident in your words. Time will help ease this pain, but in the meantime know that you're not alone.

sehrgutcsg 02-25-2014 04:51 PM

It was around 2000 when I drove that long 4 mile dirt road back after Maximillian suffered his second stroke. July 1987 - Sometime's I can still feel his nose sitting in the palm of my right hand as we both drove that drive, when I left him where it all began for him, the road he knew like the back of his front paw - knowing it was the end.. I cried like a baby.. Many here share your heartache. May you both be at peace until the next best friend set's his nose in your right hand and looks at you with those dark brown eyes.. It may be a while..?? Sorry for your loss, stay strong...

GuterHund 02-25-2014 05:44 PM

So very sorry for you. I have been going through this too. They just do not stay with us long enough.

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