Sheba 6/1997 - 8/3/2009 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-08-2009, 11:33 AM Thread Starter
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Sheba 6/1997 - 8/3/2009

My sweet Sheba went to the bridge on Monday night. Making the decision to not put her through the trauma of another vet exam again, even though she could have hung on a little longer was one of the hardest decisions that I have ever made. While I know it was the right thing to do, I wish I could take it back. I miss her so much.

It was never my intention to adopt a second dog when she first came on the radar. In June 2001 and she and a male had been dumped at a local shelter. An independent rescuer had contacted our rescue looking for assistance in transporting both dogs from the shelter to her. I had the day off so I volunteered to help. I met her halfway, transfered the dogs and the next day I left for a business trip. I returned a few days later to disaster, a huge snafu had resulted in the male being returned to the shelter and left Sheba in limbo with a threat that she would be sold to a guard dog company. The dogs had been fine with me and I couldn't leave Sheba to that fate, so I went to the 'rescuers' house to get her and took her on as a foster. That began my life with Sheba. The little we were able to find out about her, she was 4 years old and had lived in 2 previous homes.

From the start she and Cody didn't get along, Cody was a alpha bitch who didn't want to share her house with another female. I thought Sheba would only be with me for a short time so we put gates up to keep them separated. The gates stayed up for 4 years. We had a few applicants for her, but became apparent that Sheba didn't want to leave. She started barking at strangers, basically anyone who wasn't my DD, my boyfriend or me if they came close. The rescue setup an eval with a trainer who stated that Sheba was unadoptable and should be put down. I was really in over my head, but Sheba had already wormed herself into our hearts so I adopted her and had the trainer come to work with us, to help me teach her focus. Managing a dog with fear aggression was harder and more stressful than I ever imagined it would be.

Sheba loved playing fetch and would gladly do so at every chance. She had so much energy and I think she would have been great at a sport if she had the temperament to be around people. She loved going for long walks at night. But most of all, she loved being with me. No matter what I was doing in or around the house, she was always close by. My life centered around her and her needs as her life centered around me.

This spring she started going downhill quickly after a bout with Vestibular disease. She started having a lot of problems getting up and lost a lot of muscle mass in her legs. Her back legs knuckled and crossed. When she tried to walk or run and she would fall. Playing ball was now just a memory. In June she turned 12 and just a short walk around the yard would tire her out. I bought her a harness to help her walk, she hated it. She started having fecal incontinence. With her quality of life going, I knew there was one decision left. Sheba had always been terrified at the vets, and it got worse as she aged. The vet confirmed my suspicion of a spinal cord disease and that it was getting worse rapidly. I knew it was time to let her go.

Sheba for better or worse, you had a huge impact on my life. I miss you so much. Run free and happy my girl.






Nina

Mom to Ginger, Belle & April (cats)
Never forgetting -
Cody (GSD) 1993 - 8/21/05
Sheba (GSD) 6/97 - 8/3/09
Lyla (Maine Coon) 1994? - 4/3/07
Tonic (LBC) 1998? - 5/19/07
Chloe (Tuxedo) 1997? - 10/11/08 Forever in my heart.
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-08-2009, 11:36 AM
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Re: Sheba 6/1997 - 8/3/2009

I'm so sorry for your loss.

~moni & crew~
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-08-2009, 11:42 AM
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Re: Sheba 6/1997 - 8/3/2009

She was beautiful, and how wonderful that you were able to give her such a loving home. It is SO hard to say goodbye, and the thoughts that pop in that say maybe you could have waited longer are normal - but you did the right thing. I'm so sorry for your loss.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-08-2009, 12:16 PM
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Re: Sheba 6/1997 - 8/3/2009

Although I rarely post here anymore I frequently read the senior dog and in loving memory forums. After reading your eloquent post I feel compelled to offer my deepest sympathy.

I can mirror the experiences you described with your Sheba in many respects, when I think on the history of my boy Prince and our family. Because we have recently entered a level of health deterioration that mirrors what you wrote, I read your post with great empathy and sadness. Our story is approaching the same end, and it is beyond difficult to endure. Facing decisions on judging our dogs' quality of life is overwhelming. I myself have never gone through this before with any dog, much less one I have known since birth and been owned by for 12 years. Because I feel like I am watching over and caring for one of my own children as he continues to fail, almost on a daily basis, and feel very alone and distraught, I appreciate your sharing your story of Sheba. For all the difficulties you went through with her, you never gave up on her and always wanted only the best for her and went out of your way to find, and do, the best that you possibly could. With a difficult dog, with various issues, that is a lot. Reading your post saddens me beyond words, serves as a reminder that I am not alone, and strengthens me as I face Prince's precarious future.

Although we don't know each other, my thoughts are with you.

Michèle
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-08-2009, 12:24 PM
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Re: Sheba 6/1997 - 8/3/2009

what a beautiful girl, that sheba, bless her heart and soul. and many blessings to you for the life you gave to her, and for making the ever-so-difficult decision to let her go.

rest in peace beautiful girl.

(when reading bookwoman's post above i am again reminded of what an excellent resource and source of comfort the people on this board can be.)

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the rescues...jeni-take-a-ride, and the c-monster
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hearthside's cinderfella (RIP 4/20/09)
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-08-2009, 12:43 PM
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Re: Sheba 6/1997 - 8/3/2009

I'm so very sorry for your loss..

And so very happy for the love you gave each other!

God bless you in your grief!

Tanya

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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-08-2009, 01:00 PM
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Re: Sheba 6/1997 - 8/3/2009

Oh Gosh I am so sorry to hear that she has passed away....

Kate
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-08-2009, 01:07 PM
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Re: Sheba 6/1997 - 8/3/2009

After reading your beautiful tribute to Sheba, it sounds like her sharing her life with you and your family was meant to be. My condolences to all who loved her.

Rest in peace Sheba, may you run free at the Bridge!!!

Gayle, Faith, Ledgie, Scooby
At the Bridge: Andy, Abbey, Tasha, Tex, Echo, Yukon, JR, Too, Niki, Bo, Ringer, Kelly, Honey, Mac, Slider & Bruiser
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-08-2009, 01:20 PM
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Re: Sheba 6/1997 - 8/3/2009

I am so sorry for your loss of lovely Sheba. I can understand your bond with her because I also have a fear-aggressive girl and it sounds like their lives have mirrored each other in many aspects. They bond so deeply and touch our lives in a very special way. Sheba is very lucky to have found you and I'm sure that she is eternally grateful.

Sandy

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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-08-2009, 01:28 PM
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Re: Sheba 6/1997 - 8/3/2009

Oh Nina, I am so very sorry. What a darling Sheba was, so full of life and so very deeply LOVED. She knew it. Every minute of every day, Sheba knew you and your family loved her. You gace her a wonderful life. Prayers for your strength in going through this.

Patti
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Grimm van den Heuvel, aka "The Doofinator"
My strong-minded, very loving boy
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