Lost my Rex. Please pray. - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 01:10 PM Thread Starter
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Lost my Rex. Please pray.

Hi All,

I just wanted to share a very unfortunate turn of things that happened last Friday on 11th October. Our beloved and family's love of life, dear Rex left us.

He was just 18 months and was very active and full of life. Just about a month and half we moved to our new house in Barrie from Whitby and one of the main reason was to get a bigger house with a big backyard for him to run and play which he seems to like a lot.

I am writing this post to share and just wanted to be amongst you all to feel ok and to know if what i think happened is usual.

Since the time we got him from the breeder at 8 weeks, he was never away from the family for more than 10 hours ( when we left him in the kennel) or at home for more than 5 to 6 hours. I work from home most of the time but back in Whitby the house was small and there was a kind of feeling that we are near by even though i might be upstairs in the room working and Rex lying near the door waiting for my wife ( was working part-time in before and after school child care) or kids to come back from school. My wife used to leave very early and would be back home by the time the kids left for school and later when she left for work in the afternoon , it was almost time for the kids to come back so in a sense he was not alone or felt alone.

Moving to Barrie in the big house with the big backyard was a decision we made when we saw he is growing and being a big dog he needs space to run around. We found him so happy in the new house and he claimed the house as his own within days and would play in the backyard or pull us to sit in the swing on the deck and run around the house playing hide and seek with my younger son.

All these happened in the summer holiday and then when the school opened the kids were gone in the morning. My wife didn't look for a job here and as usual Rex would follow my wife for each step she would take either to the kitchen or basement or garage or backyard or even the bathroom. In the mid of September my wife and younger one left for India and it was about 2 weeks she had left.

There was nothing different in the routine. I would go for our walk in the morning and evening as usual. Sometimes we would meeting my elder son on the way when he is going to catch his school bus @ 7:30am or he would meet him at the door if we come back before he left. I would give him food and then i would go to the basement in my office to login and start working. I usually do not get out untill lunch or something till 5pm. My elder some comes back at 3pm from school and would usually go into his room and be there busy with his assignment or study.

On the 11th Oct, the guy who came to do our window caulking rang the bell and as usual Rex rant to the door barking as he would do. This door is plain glass from top half and the sidelights on both side which goes from top to bottom also has plain glass so he can very well clearly who is outside. I pulled back Rex and told him to sit and slightly opened the door. The guy asked me to move my car and van from the driveway so that he can put his ladder and start working. I closed the door and went inside to take the keys. Rex knew i am going out and as usual wanted to go out with me but i told him to sit and wait. I went outside and got into the car and moved it a little and then went into the van and did the same thing and came inside. And there he was lying on his side with mouth open with his tongue out. I tried to shake him. I pumped his heart. I held his mouth and tried to do CPR. Ran and got some water and sprinkled on him but he was just lying lifeless. I observed his chest and there was not movement. I immediately called the guy to help me lift him. He was almost 90 pounds. I drove like crazy to a vet clinic nearby which is about 5 mins drive. I called them and a vet came running and she checked and said he is gone already.

I am not writing what i went through the moment i saw him lying there when i entered inside after moving the car and van back and at the vet clinic and till now.

This is my assessment and some new things i am now relating that may have also happened.

He was very closed to everybody in the house and mostly with my wife and younger one. After the school opened the kids were away in the school and then suddenly he could not see my wife and the younger one when they left for India. My elder one would leave by 7:30am and i would go to basement at 8:30am almost till 5pm and maybe coming upstairs once. For this two weeks almost he must've been missing my wife and younger son as i would see him going to his room and coming out and initially he would go to the other side of our bed where my wife sleeps and would bark as if trying to wake her up thinking she is sleeping with the face covered with the blanket etc. He would sit on the stairs the whole day as i found him on few occasions i came upstairs. The only time i would hear a commotion upstairs is when my elder son came back from the school. He has a special greeting for him which involves jumping and pulling his shoes and hands and occasional peeing.

I think some kind of depression must have been building within himself and he was feeling alone or felt being abandoned by the person he loved most. The moment when i went outside to move the car, he must've thought i too am leaving him when he saw me enter the car through the glass door.

The vet in the clinic took an x-ray when i requested as i thought maybe when he was inside and he was jumping on the door he must've twisted his neck or something but she didn't see anything of that sort but rather she found his liver to be abnormal and big in size and guessed his heart was weak. She stated that Rex had died of instant heart failure.

I then started thinking about few things we had observed and started linking to it. Often when he would run in the backyard like a deer alone or even play with any of us and when later he would stop, we noticed he seems very tired and would pant a lot and would lie down for quite some time rest and then be ok. Also one of the beaches is very near to our house (approx 900 meters) in Barrie and the walking trail is like a slope while going to the beach. Rex is always kind of leading and with a force of his own out on a walk and while going to the beach we always had to pull back on the leash but while coming back and climbing we always noticed he is slow and is tired and he would actually walk behind by the time we have climbed and are out of the trail on the road. After reaching home he would just lie down for quite some time and we thought he would be fine after some more walks as he will build stamina.

I recently discussed this with one of my uncle who is a qualified doctor and he said he must have had a sub clinical congenital heart condition as his liver was abnormal. As he was already under a sort of depression, when he saw me getting into the car his anxiety level must have suddenly shot up and as a result he had sudden massive heart failure.

We are all so devastated thinking that he died alone missing us all and nobody was there near him. What pain he must have been going through thinking people he loved have abandoned him.

The only good thing is that he didn't suffer as he didn't peed or pooed or didn't vomit when he died. Even later in the evening when i was still there with him in the vet clinic, his eyes were normal and not bulging or popping out to indicate he had suffered during his last moments.

I know its a passing phase and only time will heal it but i just can't seem to think why it happened the way it happened. He must've thought he is alone and was being left alone and the last thing he saw was me getting into the car which he felt so painful that it killed him.

We do remember his naughtiness and the things he would do but it hurts more.

Its very soon and we still can't seem to accept he is no more. We as a family have decided we are not keeping any more dogs or pets. Not because we are afraid to take care of any dog but we cannot match or even come near to their selfless love and dedication. We can't bear the thought of having someone who gave all he has for nothing. He never cared what we fed him or where he put his bed or what we do to him. His only need in his life was to be with us and have our time. At times its difficult in our daily routine to be always with him but never imagined he will have such deep separation anxiety building up inside him. He never showed any other indication and would eat normally and play with us later in the evening after i would logout and went for our evening walk etc. There was no other health indication in the past or recently in his behavior or physically or anything.

Rex was my first dog in life and first in our family here. I'm still afraid to see and face my younger one when he returns next week on 18th. Although we have told him as we thought its better he knows and sort of accepts that Rex is not there anymore rather than expecting him to wait on the door when he returns and going crazy seeing them as he does everytime and then being told he is no more. I just can't explain to anybody how we all are going through and i've been crying with my elder son on occasions.

Here are some of his pictures. All i can say is please pray and if i could i would let him know we all loved him more than anything and no-one left him.

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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 01:25 PM
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RIP little one, you are whole now. Go run and play.

I am so sorry for your loss. I can't even imagine the shock. There is no doubt that your boy was truly loved and had the best life possible during his short time in this world.

If you need equipment to maintain control of your dog, understand you’re hanging on to your dog’s body because you’ve lost his mind!

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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 01:56 PM
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So very sorry for your loss of you valued furry family member. Sounds like Rex had a wonderful life. It does sound like
he probably had a congenital problem that took him so early. Such a sad, shocking experience for you all.

Whenever I've lost beloved fur friends I try to always "Remember the good times".
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 02:14 PM
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I'm so sorry that you lost him so early. He sounded like an incredible part of the family. You and your family gave him a great life full of love and joy.
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 03:08 PM
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I so very sorry, my heart and prayers are with you and your family through this terrible ordeal.
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 03:17 PM
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I am so sorry that your beloved Rex crossed over at such a young age. I think your vet and your uncle are right, he was most likely born with a lethal heart defect which caused a massive arrhythmia that killed him instantly. German Shepherds are prone to a heart defect called subaortic stenosis. If this is what Rex had, there is nothing you or anyone could have done to prevent his sudden death. There are some heart defects that can be fixed surgically if they are diagnosed very early, but this is not one of them.

He did not suffer when he died, and he was eagerly awaiting your return. Anxiety did not cause his death. It was not your fault. He would have dropped dead even if you had been with him. He knew how much you loved him and he did not think you abandoned him.

My girlfriend and I found the following story from Suzanne Clothier helpful when we (like her) lost the best GSD ever at 8 months due to subaortic stenosis. Unlike you, we (and Clothier) knew it was coming. It was the reason we took him as a puppy, so he would have a wonderful life. And he did. It really hurt when he suddenly and painlessly dropped dead—as we knew he would—but we never regretted having him. He was such a joy, and he was so happy, and it was truly a privilege to take care of him. He died instantly while joyfully running and playing with his dog buddies.

And we just took in another wonderful GSD puppy with even worse subaortic stenosis. The cardiologist does not expect him to live more than a few more months, but they will be very happy months.

Here's the story from Clothier:

“There is an old Sufi tale of a merchant in Baghdad whose servant returns from the marketplace trembling and pale. The servant had been jostled in the marketplace, and when he turned to see who had bumped him, he saw Death, who looked at him and made a threatening gesture. The servant begs the merchant to loan him a horse so that he might go to the distant city of Samara, where Death will not be able to find him. The merchant agrees, and the servant gallops away. Later that day, the merchant also sees Death in the market, and asks him, ‘Why did you make a threatening gesture to my servant when you saw him this morning?’ ‘I did not threaten him,’ Death said. ‘That gesture was only my start of surprise. I was astonished to see him here in Baghdad, because I have an appointment with him tonight in Samara.’”

(From Suzanne Clothier’s Bones Would Rain from the Sky.)

Rex is not gone, only crossed over, and in time you will be reunited with him. You may catch glimpses of him or hear his paws on the floor. If you do, you are not going crazy--he is just letting you know that he is still with you.

Last edited by JonRob; 10-13-2019 at 03:21 PM.
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 03:24 PM
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I'm am so sorry for the loss of your family's best buddy Rex. Your story brought me to tears. I can't imagine the shock of loosing such a young dog.
I just want to tell you that you shouldn't beat yourself up with guilt. You shouldn't feel that he passed feeling depressed and left alone or abandoned. It really sounds like he had a congenital heart defect. More than likely it was just the excitement of the repair man and happenstance. He very well could have passed on one of your swimming trips or play times in the yard. It is no way your fault. You gave Rex a loving home, cared deeply for him and he knew that well. Even in the end you did all you could for him.
Rex did not suffer.
Be kind to yourself. I hope that you will find peace and healing in the memories of the love you shared with Rex. I will keep you are your family in my prayers.

Ziva 03.07.2013
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Ti2 View Post
I know its a passing phase and only time will heal it but i just can't seem to think why it happened the way it happened. He must've thought he is alone and was being left alone and the last thing he saw was me getting into the car which he felt so painful that it killed him.
I'm so sorry for your loss. He was beautiful. But please try not to blame yourself - as your uncle suggested, it does sound like a congenital problem so it was only a matter of time, no matter what you did or didn't do. It was likely just a coincidence that it happened while you were outside moving vehicles. The excitement of someone coming over to work on your house could have triggered it or it could have been nothing in particular. His life was short, but full of love. I hope you and your family can console yourselves with that thought. Be kind to yourself and each other. You were not responsible. You could not have prevented it.

Right now the idea of loving another dog may seem impossible but I can assure you that if at some point in the future you feel that you may be ready to consider getting a dog, you will love it just as much as you did your dear Rex. I know this from personal experience. My husband and I have had GSDs together since 1986 and have loved and lost five of them, two at just 4 years old. We are now on GSD #6, and she is just as special in her own way, and even in some of the same ways, as our previous beloved dogs, and we love her every bit as much as those that are now gone.

Cava 1/6/18
Keefer 8/25/05-4/24/19 ~ The sweetest boy
Halo 11/9/08-6/17/18 ~ You left pawprints on our hearts
Dena 9/12/04-10/4/08 ~ Forever would have been too short
Cassidy 6/8/00-10/4/04
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 03:32 PM
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I am so sorry for your loss. I, too, have lost a very young dog, so I completely understand the pain. Take some time to grieve and try not to blame yourself. He sounds like he had a great life and was loved dearly.

Forrest 9/1/2016 - 5/14/2017 RIP
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 04:16 PM
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He was beautiful and you gave him a good life. He had weak heart. There was no way for you to know that. It just happened. It wasn't your fault. It could have happened when you were throwing a ball for him. It happened to happen when you were moving your vehicles.

Trying to find meaning in how your dog died, so that you can feel badly about it is understandable, it is what we do, but it isn't helpful.

It didn't happen because your family was out of town. It didn't happen because the dog thought you were abandoning him. It happened because death is a part of life, and all of us are dying from the moment we are born.

Your baby was young, and that is so hard. I'm sorry. It wasn't your fault. It was the luck of the draw. There is no reason the next puppy won't live to fourteen. But living critters are all going to die, and some of them are going to die young.
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