Feeling Nostalgic - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-19-2009, 01:01 AM Thread Starter
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Feeling Nostalgic

I was feeling a bit nostalgic tonight and decided to go looking through a few old boxes of photos. Little did I know it would turn into a tear-fest upon finding some old pictures of my childhood angel, Shelby.

As a puppy (walking with me at Easter)-

Hanging out with me and the neighbors Lab-

Proving what a tolerant, WONDERFUL dog she was-

Further proof:

Technically she was a mix, but you couldn't tell by her structure and temperament. There she was all GSD. Loyal, loving, devoted... would do ANYTHING for her people. Her only giveaways were her size (being only 45-50lbs at her heaviest), and color. I'm told that such a thing as a 'gold sable' exists... but I'm not so arrogant as to assume she was some rare variety of a purebred. She was a mutt, even if her Shepherd blood was clearly dominant.

We took her in as a stray when she was just a pup. She lived with me and my family in a time before leash laws, on a huge, secluded piece of property. The best years of my life were spent with her. In many ways, she defined my childhood. I LIVED for her.

Eventually a time came when we could no longer be together. My mother and I were forced to sell our house, and move into a tiny apparent. We didn't have the room to properly care for her, so she went to live with my grandmother. I still got to visit her from time to time, but tragically our distance eventually led to a deterioration of our relationship.

YEARS later, when we finally moved back into a house, Shelby came to live with again. At the time I was a selfish teen, who in her absence had grown arrogant and self-involved. I was annoyed by her, constantly complaining about her smell, and her increasing incontinence.

Eventually a time came when she could no longer walk. We had to help her stand, and escort her to the door, or the bed, or her food bowl. It was decided that, so as to spare her further pain and discomfort, we would help her to the bridge.

When the day came, I didn't know what to think. I was the one that had been elected to see her off... and I wasn't at all eager about it.
I'd always just assumed that she'd be around forever... and in my selfish years had taken her for granted. Now I had to be the one to tell her goodbye for the last time.

The pain and the love I'd had for her hit me all at once as I watched her grow still from the first injection. It felt like I was being run over and over again by a train. Right as the vet was about to give her the final injection, I threw my arms at him, forcing him away from her. I screamed at him, refusing to let him near.

I was escorted out. Because of my selfishness, she had to die alone. I will never forgive myself.

I cried so hard my nose bled. I upset two vet techs so badly that they, too, had to leave.

Her ashes sit on a bookcase in my living room to this day... but her memory lives on in my heart forever.

R.I.P. my sweat angel. I hope one day I'm worthy enough to see your face again.

GSDs- Mulder, Ridley, Vega
GSD on the half shell- Rigel
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-19-2009, 01:11 AM
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Re: Feeling Nostalgic

I'm sure she knew how much you had loved her. What a sweet face.


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-19-2009, 08:36 AM
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Re: Feeling Nostalgic

Awwww. So sad, that made me cry......


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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-19-2009, 08:51 AM
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Re: Feeling Nostalgic


"You can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals" -french proverb
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-19-2009, 09:24 AM
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Re: Feeling Nostalgic

she was beautiful
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-19-2009, 10:46 AM
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Re: Feeling Nostalgic

What a sweetheart. Please stop beating yourself up. I'm sure Shelby never even thought there was anything to forgive, but just loved you. Dogs so often feel as though they are our caretakers, even when we are adults, and especially so when we are children & teens. I'm sure Shelby in her wisdom saw your behavior as a teen and was totally ok with it because she loved you so much.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-20-2009, 05:46 AM
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Re: Feeling Nostalgic

They say time heals all wounds...I don't believe that. With time we gain acceptance...and strength, but do those wounds ever really heal? I still cry randomly about the cats I've lost over the last 24 years. Everytime I start thinking about them, or come across a beautiful picture, actually. Maybe it's more so in time we learn to ignore the pain, push it to the back of our minds because that's the only way we can go forward.


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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-20-2009, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Feeling Nostalgic

I can only hope she understood that I was just an ignorant human, and that I would have gladly stopped the world from spinning if I thought I could get just one more day to be with her.

But I, too, don't believe time alone heals the pain. Especially not for one's childhood first dog... that was the first time I ever REALLY experienced what death was like. Or at least the first time I took it personal.

GSDs- Mulder, Ridley, Vega
GSD on the half shell- Rigel
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