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Goodbye Dakota

2971 Views 34 Replies 28 Participants Last post by  DML54
Hello all,

Im new here today and just found this forum. Today has been an awful day. I had to put down my 9 year old Sheperd today. It came suddenly and unexpectdly. I got dakota at 2 months of age and worked with him everyday. He had no formal training but people were amazed at his personality and training. He was a faithful companion to me and my wife. We have no kids and most people cant understand how we could love a dog so much. I thank him for the precious memories and wonderful times we had toghter. Im so sorry for what had to happen today. Friday he didnt seem right, ears pinned down, no tail waggin, lethargic. SO saturday he was going to go to his vet. Saturday comes and he is his old self full of life and energy. So we figure maybe he ate something bad or had a flu or something. His symptoms from friday were all gone. Today he played ball in the morning like usually and everything looked good. At around noon we notice he isnt his self. ABout 1 hr later he losses his abilty to walk. Frantic we take him to a very nice doggie ER not but a few miles from our house. The vets initial impression is that he has a bleeding tumor somewere in his abdomen. She does an ultrasound and confirms her intial thought. He is bleeding from lemon sized tumor on his spleen. Also she can see (stuff) on his liver. She believes it to be cancer but isnt 100% sure. Not sure how long he had been bleeding but his blood pressure is low. His muzzle and paws were getting cold. time for descions was short. As described to us and with minimal time to work on options or second opinions we decided to put him down. Its was an agonizing desicion, and i have never cryed so hard in my life. My wife is so upset its awful. Dakota i love you and appreciate the times we had toghter
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I'm so sorry for your loss. I lost my gsd, Basu, the exact same way a little over a year ago. This type of cancer (hemangiosarcoma) is very prevalent in the big, deep chested dogs and many on here have lost dogs to this type of cancer. It's devastating to lose them so quickly. May you take comfort in the memories of the wonderful times spent with Dakota.
I'm glad you found us.... but how sad that your first post was about losing Dakota... I'm so sorry

He sounds like a wonderful dog, and I'm glad you treasure the time you had together.
You'll find a lot of folks here have had to say goodbye to their sweet companions,
so I hope we can offer some support.

RIP Dakota, run free at the bridge
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I am sorry to hear about your Dakota, sounds like a wonderful dog. As per K9Kaos I am also glad you found this forum albeit under such sad circumstances
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Hugs to you and your wife. What a lucky dog Dakota was, to have such loving people on his side throughout his much-loved life, and even at the end, supporting him with such care. Welcome to the board. Wishing you peace and comfort during this difficult time. You did wonderfully for your dog Dakota.
RIP sweet Dakota.
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I'm so sorry for your tragic loss.

Dakota was such a lucky boy to have you and your wife as his family. I know losing him hurts both of you, the pain is often unbearable. But like a friend of mine says, when you set him free you took his pain and made it your own.

Ruth mentioned that many of us have lost our beloved dogs to hemanigiosarcoma, it's a type of cancer that usually gives little warning that something is wrong until close to the end.

My sympathy and condolences go to you and your wife and others who loved Dakota.
God speed Dakota!!!
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I'm so sorry for your loss. I understand how you feel because we also lost a baby to the same cancer. It's terrible because you feel helpless as there are no early symptoms.

I'm also sorry that this topic was your first post. But rest assured, you came to the right place. People here are very supportive and understanding.

R.I.P. Dakota....

I'm so sorry for you loss of Dakota. He was very lucky to have your love and care thru his life! We lost our WGSD Kayle to evil hemangiosarcoma in April. She too became ill suddenly, and emergency surgery confirmed she had a bleeding tumor on her kidney that was removed, but the cancer spread to her liver and lungs in a short two weeks. We too had to choose to relieve her from her suffering, which was the right thing to do. There is just never enough time.

Welcome to the board and know that we are all here for you. The people here are wonderful and will be a great source of support for you.

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I'm so sorry for your loss. We lost our Ray almost the same way three years ago this October. Ray passed away in the car on the way to the specialty vet. He was 8 years old.

Dakota was very lucky to have had such loving parents - and all of us here definitely understand how strong the bond is between us and our furkids and how hard it is when they leave us.

<span style="color: #6600CC">I Stood By Your Bed

I stood by your bed last night,
I came to have a peep.
I could see that your were crying,
You found it hard to sleep.

I whined to you softly
As you brushed away a tear,
"It's me, I haven't left you,
I'm well, I'm fine, I'm here."

I was close to you at breakfast,
I watched you pour the tea,
You were thinking of the many times,
Your hands reached down to me.

I was with you at the shops today,
Your arms were getting sore.
I longed to take your parcels,
I wish I could do more.

I was with you at the grave today,
You tend it with such care.
I want to re-assure you,
That I am not laying there.

I walked with you towards the house,
As you fumbled for your key.
I gently put my paw on you,
I smiled and said "It's me."

You looked so very tired,
And sank into your chair,
I tried so hard to let you know,
That I was standing there.

It's possible for me,
To be so near you every day.
To say to you with certainty,
"I never went away."

You sat there very quietly,
Then smiled, I think you knew...
In the stillness of that evening,
I was very close to you.

The day is over...
I smile and watch you yawning,
And say, "Good-night, God Bless,
I'll see you in the morning."

And when the time is right for you,
To cross the brief divide,
I'll rush across to greet you,
And we'll stand, side by side.

I have so many things to show you,
There is so much for you to see.
Be patient, live your journey out..
Then come home to be with me.

Author unknown
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The grief and sorrow in our heart is almost unbearable. How do you folks get threw it ? How long will it last. Me and my wife got 3 hrs sleep last night. our home just feels empty without him. the jingle of his collar i now know filled our house with a wonderful sound and is surely missed. i think the quiteness has alot to do with the way the house feels. im put toghter pretty sound emotionally and this is buy far the worst heartache i have felt. Ive lost granparents and friends along the way but i dont remember the emptyness in my core being this bad. Thanks for all the support and i hope your familys and dogs are doing well.
<span style="color: #000099">While nobody else can ever really know how you feel, I have to say, I know how you feel -

When Ray left us, it was the first time that my husband and I were alone - he was like our son and when he passed away, the silence in the house was deafening. We didn't know what to do with ourselves. It was like a part of our lives had been ripped away - and in fact, it had.

In the few days following Ray's death, I came across this website with a Monday night Candle Ceremony. It might seem corny to some people, but it really helped us through the grief, and I thought it might help you as well. Here is the website:

Every Monday night at 10:00, people all over the world light candles in memory of their beloved furkids who have passed away. It will be 3 years in October, and every Monday night, we still light the candles in his memory and honor. I hope you will find some comfort in the ceremony as well.

I also found the following essay by Terri Onorato very comforting as well. I must have read it a million times in the days following Ray's death and I thought maybe you might find it helpful:

I know it sounds like a cliche, but time really does help heal. It doesn't seem like it right now, but someday you will begin to remember all the fun and happy things about Dakota and the grief will begin to subside a bit. It's different for everyone, so take the time you need to grieve. But remember, Dakota would want you to be happy.

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Raysmom you have said it well, time does cure the loss we feel when we lose a pet so close to our hearts. Its been 3 months since we have lost our beloved Ari and when I go to threads like this the pain still is over whelming. And Dakota's dad you and your wife will get through this as I did and many members here have. Remember you may have lost your boy but you will see him again when its time.
Quote:im put toghter pretty sound emotionally and this is buy far the worst heartache i have felt. Ive lost granparents and friends along the way but i dont remember the emptyness in my core being this bad
Spoken like a true dog lover. My husband, who doesn't show a lot of emotion told me that we would never have pets again after losing Nala. Of course, time heals and we did get more dogs.

Some advice given to me: grieve. He was a member of your family too and therefore the loss is heart breaking. Talk about it a lot too. Eventually the pain will subside.

Then remember the BEST moments. The silly things, the things that made you crack up, that one spot he liked to be know the one, the one that made his leg kick? The ball playing or whatever fun game he liked to play. Read the rainbow bridge poem that was posted above. That gave me great comfort. Stay OUT of the "In Loving Memory" forum until you are ready to give someone else some comfort. At some point you will be able to respond to a post and give someone else comfort by sharing your story.

And finally....when you are ready...get a puppy or rescue a dog from a shelter. The first thing you start to think is "I can't replace him!" And you won't be. You will be bringing a NEW member of the family in to shower with love and affection that you've been building up since you lost your boy. And who knows...when that time comes perhaps there will be that special 'thing' that tells you Dakota helped pick him out special for you! There are so many quirky things in my boy Hunter that I SWEAR is my husky letting me know he sent Hunter. It's freaky sometimes!!!

It's been 4 years since we lost Nala (GSD) and 2 years since we lost our husky and I still think about them at least once a week. But when I do I smile because I remember the good times. I still miss them but nothing I can do can bring them back so I go and hug Gracie and Hunter and tell them how much I love them.

You and your wife will get there someday too. It seems impossible right now but it will happen. My heart breaks for you because I've been right where you are at. All I can tell you is that it will get better....


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I'm so sorry for your sudden loss.

It's always hard. Over my adult life, I've been privileged to live with seven dogs. The two currently living with me are 10 and 13. I burried three and cremated two. It is always hard. However painful their deaths may be for me, that pain has inevitably been a small price to pay for the joy of their company. That's what I try to remember. That and the legacy that the previous dogs have left reminds me that another dog stands in line to benefit. The only justification I can find for their short lives is that they are generous creatures and allow other dogs to benefit from what they have taught me.

How do I cope? I think I have wailed and cursed. I have certainly cried for what seemed like a century. But I remember the good times, I remember the rough spots they've shared with me, I remember what they have taught me. I get another dog. It honors those dogs who have gone before and I need a dog in my life.

You will find your way the other side of this. As others have said, you'll remember the good times, you'll remember the things that made you laugh and they will make you laugh again. You will know when another dog is right. Sometimes I had to have one right away and was not at piece until I had one, other times, I have waited. It is what is right for you now.
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i lost my very first dog that my husband and i ever owned together when we first bought our house to cancer. he was 4 years old. a very almost human big ole goden retriever. in a month he would have turned 5, but he didn't quite make it. he had lymphoma. a little while later i lost my father. i felt so guilty that it seemed in my heart that i had taken the loss of my dog worse. i work at a pet nutrition center and my boss said that this is perfectly normal. they are like our children. we tend to their needs just about every minute of the day that we are with them. when they are sick, we tend to them. it is very hard when we lose a pet as they are truly like our children.
Today was a little better. were still upset but the realization that he is gone has set in. We went through all our photos of him and us and my wife is going to do a scrapbook of dakotas life. It will go along side his ashes. the awful feeling in our stomachs has subsided some and hope this is the downhill slide of this emotional roller coaster. I feel guilty , but im looking at little gsd puppies, i know i can never replace dakota and i dont want to. I just remeber back to when he was a puppie and how fun and cute he was.
When I lost my Lady (non GSD) at almost 13 I was devastated. I was alone and the house was so empty without her. The only thing that saved me was getting my Bo. He didn't replace her but he made life worth living again. Don't be afraid to get another puppy. He or she will help you get over the bad times. Not that you will forget, but it will help.
My sincere condolences on the loss of your family member. We had to put our beloved Moe down on May 7th and I will always miss him. He was truly one of God's gentle souls and is irreplaceable. I'm sure you feel like that about Dakota.

When the time is right for you, consider an adoption/rescue. No, that would not be disloyal to Dakota but is in fact a huge compliment. In the meantime, tears are good. You will meet again at the Rainbow Bridge where Dakota will be waiting for you - young and healthy.

After doing alot of research and alot of reading im in alot more comfort about the choice we made. I wish i could have taken dakota to his normal vet as i would have got more solid info. As it sits now im not pleased with the er vets opionions or odds. The agonizing choice would have been much easier if i had known all the facts as they present themselves now after much research. The fact of the matter is no matter what was done or how much money we threw at the problem with a ruptured tumor on the spleen its a done deal. Im just amazed that dakota was so strong to not show much in the way of any outward weakness signals for us to cue on. Thanks for all you folks support and may you familys be well.
Dakota11, I am so sorry for you and your wife. I hope you stay on this wonderful site, as it is full of GSD lovers like yourself. That is one thing I have learned about these guys, they are very stoic and only show pain when it really gets bad. Run free Dakota!
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