Saying good bye to my best friend - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-19-2012, 03:34 PM Thread Starter
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Saying good bye to my best friend

I joined this forum in Feb of 2003, about 2 days after picking Sabre when he was just 3 days old. It was an easy pick for someone as inexperienced as I was. I wanted a male and there was only 2. I also wanted a tan/black and he was the only one, his brother was more red/black. We got him from a long time GSD breeder in West Virginia (Becks) and he impressed us with his facility and all his GSD's.

At first he was my hobby, I was working double shifts weekends (Fri/Sat) and had the whole week off to play, train and spoil him. I fed him the BARF diet for his first 2 years, went through intensive and expensive training to get him to his full off leash.

My oldest was 18 months old when we he came home, my other 2 (8/5) do not know life with out him. We have so many pictures of my oldest and Sabre growing up from puppy hood. So many memories of him nipping at her diapers as she ran.

Never a "true" babysitter, we and my kids felt safe know he was in the house and that he was always watching over them. Being deployed numerous times or going away on long trips he was the alarm system, the protector of the house while I was gone. My wife never had any fears answering the door, allowing a service repairmen into the house because Sabre would lay down his life for them. With me he was just a big wus, but with the he was always "on", the protector always needing to be "right" there next to them.

He had OCD with fetching and was afraid of water ( only dog that i have known or had that could not swim). He would still try to get into your lap and always knew where his treats were and would stair at that cabinet and bark until he was given a treat. He always let us know with his grown and moan that his food not to his liking if my wife didn't pour bacon grease or gravy over is food.

We noticed over the past few months that he was getting older. He would only fetch 5-6 times, then 3-4 to just a few times before just laying down having enough. We never thought anything about his stomach gurgling or the excessive gas he has had over the past 6-8 months. We had talked about him possible or probably not making it out of Pensacola when we arrived there last Nov in 2010. I had 4 year orders, he was getting ready to turn 8 and all the web searches showed life expectancy ranging from 9-13 years. He was extremely well cared for, and inside dog with free access to the outside. So we expected the later.

Over the past year I have been consumed with work and gone alot, as was the family. 19 days ago we left Pensacola for San Diego for my next duty assignment, leaving 2+ years ahead of schedule. For past 17 days he spent almost every moment with us, traveling in the car across country and staying in hotel rooms with us. Protecting us when I trailer broke in New Orleans and I to repair it in a bad part of town, Protecting us in the motels/hotels across the country.

We got the keys to our house on Wednesday night, kenneled him on Thursday while we had the movers come in on Friday. We got a call late Friday that he was not acting right, not eating and he was panting. He was transported to the Pet ER and diagnosed with a Bloat - stomach torsion. Prognosis was not good, spleen was enlarged, organs began to become necrotic. I had to make the decision to put him to sleep.

We brought the kids in to say good bye, he looked in such pain and discomfort. When my wife brought the kids into the waiting room, he could hear them and went into panic/anxiety mode because he could not be there with them. Still in his pain he was still putting them first.

When the vet came in, he was in my arms, I was petting him behind his ears where he loved it the most and in-between my tears I was telling him what a good boy he was over an over again.


He was part of my family for past 9 years and 3 months. His loss is enormous for my wife and I. The kids are processing it, but my wife and I have been hit hard. We are surrounded by boxes from the move and the garage is filled with all his stuff.

Is it wrong to already be thinking of another GSD? I feel so guilty thinking of it.

Thank you all if you have made it this far, this has been therapeutic for me.


Sabre, I love you and I am so sorry this happened to you. You were the best dog I have ever had, the longest one I have ever had and I truly loved you like a friend. You did so much for me and the family and we are at such a loss with out you. Bye my dear friend, you will be missed forever.


J & J
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-19-2012, 03:50 PM
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So sorry for your loss. I lost my Harley a mere 4 wks ago, seems like yesterday. Not a day goes by that I wish he was still here. He was my best friend, and the best boy I could ever want. Always a smile on his face everytime he looked at me.
Although the pain is still here and new, I asked the same thing from these wonderful GSD owners. I went out after 1 week of sheer misery and got my new little friend. As one person said, it is a tribute to the one you lost to find a new friend. He left you with wonderful memories and would not to see you hurt, that is the heart of a GSD.
It in my opion not to soon, as my Sammy has helped with the grief tremendously, but I still miss my boy, but my Sammy needs me now.
Good luck, I know how you feel, as so do many others. Follow your heart, you will know when to get your new friend.
Harleys Mom, now Sammy's, Carol
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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-19-2012, 04:08 PM
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I cry as I read your story and am so sorry for your loss of Sabre, your devoted friend and protector. May you find peace soon. It is hard to lose a beloved pet, especially unexpected. Only you will know when the time is right for a new GSD. When my cat of 16 died, I said I was done with cats. Two weeks later, I adopted one from Pet Smart because although we have dogs, our home felt empty without a cat. I suggest you grieve first, and then let your heart guide. My only concern would be if I replaced my beloved too quickly, would I expect him to be what I had. I think it would be more difficult to replace my GSD in 2 weeks like the cat, but I know I wouldn't wait long. Once you've had a GSD in your family, it is hard to be without! You will know when the time is right. Blessings and peace to you and your wife.
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-19-2012, 04:18 PM
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I am so sorry for your loss. Your post brought me to tears. I don't think it is wrong of you to be thinking of getting a new GSD, the time is right whenever you are ready.

I wish you all the best with whatever you decide.

Debbi-
Mom to:
-Dharma Van Fluffy Pants GSD
-Pippa Von Neurotic Butt- GSD
-Tessa- 11yo GSD- Waiting at the Bridge. RIP sweet girl.
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-19-2012, 04:19 PM
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I am so sorry for your loss . Sabre was obviously loved and took on his role of protector out of his love and devotion to his family. I have a 10 and 12 year old GSds and I think that GSDs form a unique and specail bond w/ their families. Sabre waits at the bridge where he can play fetch all day and still watches over his beloved family.Take care.BTW Sabre would want you to have another protector for his kids.
Maggi
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-19-2012, 04:32 PM
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Such a heartfelt post, it brought tears to my eyes If you feel your ready for another GSD then you should do it. It won't replace Sabre, but I'm sure it will take you down memory lane. I rescued an older lab that had brain cancer and his owner passed away. When he started showing signs of slowing down, I went and got a golden retriever puppy. The lab lived for about 3 more months and I was a mess when he had to put to sleep, the puppy helped me get through it. The day my mom's first Rott was put to sleep I went out and got her a Rott puppy. She also swears that puppy got her through a rough time. You will know when the time is right. May you find peace, joy, and happiness with a new GSD whenever you decide to get one. And always know that Sabre knew you loved him and he gave that back to you ten fold

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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-19-2012, 05:50 PM
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I'm so sorry you lost Sabre. At least you all got to spend his last weeks together and enjoy the adventure of the move. He obviously was well loved. When you feel it's the right time to have another pup, it's the right time and don't feel any guilt. Thank you and your family for your service to our country- and that includes Sabre.
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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-19-2012, 06:25 PM
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So hard to say goodbye to a good friend. I think there is no right or wrong time to get another dog. I like what Carol said about it being a tribute. That makes so much sense....
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-19-2012, 07:09 PM
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I in tears reading your story and I can feel your pain. Know that people handle loss in different ways. When I lost a beloved cat to pancreatitis at a young age-- she was seven-- I was on the Internet the same week looking for another. Some friends were surprised because they said they would have needed more time. I couldn't take the horribly empty house. We had a kitten within a few weeks, as soon as he was ready to leave cat mama.
If it makes you feel better to get a puppy right away, do it. So many dogs in need of homes...
I am so sorry for the loss of your wonderful GSD.


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Last edited by Sunflowers; 05-19-2012 at 07:11 PM.
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-19-2012, 07:21 PM
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I am so sorry for your loss....my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. It is never easy to let a member of your family go.
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