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Discussion Starter #1
Today is Heidi's 13th birthday and, for no discernible reason I have a terrible feeling. I watched her as I was getting ready for work and she showed no visible change. She wasn't having any worse problem with her hips than usual; she didn't even appear despondent, nothing. But I just can't shake this feeling. It may be because I just finished rereading "Merle's Door," which I had thought was important for me right now, but now I am thinking that it was important that I not read it right now. Or maybe it is the fact that I have never had a dog live to be 13 before and also the dogs I have been attached to (and never as much as Heidi) have always passed suddenly, never the slow decline. I thought about staying home today, but I am already taking Friday and Monday off and it probably wouldn't do for me to ask for today off too, but am thinking about going home "sick." Not sure whether this is one of those feelings that one really should listen to, or if I am simply overdramatizing because of the above. I don't want to go home and proceed to ruin Heidi's birthday!
 

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I hate those feelings :( I get them sometimes too. I had this horrible, overwhelming feeling of dread one day that something was going to happen to Echo. It didn't, of course, but I know it won't do you much good for anyone to say try and ignore it. I hope Heidi has a very happy and uneventful birthday :hugs:
 

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Thanks. It's comforting to just hear "I know how you feel." Sometimes I feel so alone with my dread over me and Heidi's future. Even though I have a lot of people in my life, many dog people, it still often seems like no one understands. My husband is not like me (he doesn't overthink things!) Most of my friends haven't been through this with their dogs yet. And I am trying really hard not to ruin today worrying about tomorrow.
 

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Oh Bridget, I so totally hear you. I am a worrier, and an awfulizer too. Don't know what the answer is...how to not let worrying about tomorrow ruin today. My sera-girl will be 12 tomorrow, my boy cash will be 11 in November (on my birthday...best present I ever got). But I also know what 11 and 12 years old means for a shepherd. Every day's a gift. Thinking of you and wishing Heidi a great and safe birthday. Take care.
 

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I had that feeling Sunday and yesterday w/ Lucky . He's become more clingy and fearful over the past two days. Turned out we have had some big time T-Storms. Lucky just wants everyone together when it storms. I know its hard to shake the worry.You both deserve to really enjoy Heidi's birthday even if its just a quiet celebration of cuddling. Can you get home for lunch ? It might make you feel better and less tense.
 

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Thanks everyone. Yes, I will go home for lunch and check and spend a few minutes with her. Think I will work the rest of the day. Heidi reads my feelings and stress pretty well and today it might do more harm than good for me to be at home.

Has anyone else read "Merle's Door" by the way?
 

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Bridget I haven't read Merle's Door yet,just couldnt do it in the past 3 years w/ Daisy and her decline and Lucky's getting older as well as the girl's.I probably need to though. I've read some great reviews by folks at Amazon.
 

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When my last dog Maddie turned 15 I started to get similar feelings. Most days it was just my general sense of worry and I shrugged it off.

Then one Monday last November I had the same feeling but it was much stronger. I had to go to work that day but my mind kept returning to Maddie. There was nothing I could positively identify or put my finger on but there was a strong sense of dread.

As the Noon hour approached the feeling became even stronger. There was something. I just knew it.

So I listened to myself, cancelled all my appointments and went home. Maddie was fine when I got home and we enjoyed a really nice walk through the park. It was a beautiful day. A bunch of little kids ran over from the playground to say hello and fuss over Maddie. She had a big grin on her face with all the attention.

That was her last walk. I had to PTS a couple of days later.

I don't mean to imply that your dog's end may be near. What I am saying is that sometimes you need to listen to yourself and follow your instincts.
 

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I'm right behind you with my 2 seniors, since I put the spy camera in I feel better I can check on the dogs from work, at least I can when they are not under my deck.
Breathe it helps calm your mind
 

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Congrats on Heidi's 13th birthday!!! Just knowing what is written about the longevity of a shepherds life can make us all stop and feel the dread. Especially of a heart dog. Although my boys are already at the bridge, I often wonder about natures plan in the length of life on the different animals. How smaller dogs may live several more years, or look at the tortoise! I guess there's a rhyme and reason, but doesn't seem fair sometimes. Take these days, hey, maybe years, to show her how much she means to you!!! Hope you both have a pleasant Celebration today and every day!
 

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Oh and I have read Merle's Door. I enjoyed it. I have by the same author, Pukka's Promise, I had started reading but hadn't finished it yet, my boys had started being sick, but you have reminded me to get it back out! Pukka is the puppy he got after Merle went to the bridge.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Mr. C: what a good thing you did listen to your inner voice. It sounds like you and Misty had a last good day and you can take a lot of comfort from that. My problem is I have SO MANY inner voices all talking at the same time, that if I listen to all of them, I would never leave the house! LOL.

When you finish Pukka's Promise, I would love to hear your thoughts about lifespan. His take on it is kind of interesting.

Thank you for the birthday greetings for my girl, Heidi. At lunchtime, she met me at the door and was actually pretty animated, so apparently everything is ok. We are going to try a short walk when I get home. Now that she is on the Rimadyl, she seems to be feeling a bit better, so I am hoping we can get back into an exercise routine.
 

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Happy birthday lil lady Heidi!!!

Bridget, hang in there love. Sending good vibes over to you and hoping that this 'feeling' will pass...
 

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Thanks. It's comforting to just hear "I know how you feel." Sometimes I feel so alone with my dread over me and Heidi's future. Even though I have a lot of people in my life, many dog people, it still often seems like no one understands. My husband is not like me (he doesn't overthink things!) Most of my friends haven't been through this with their dogs yet. And I am trying really hard not to ruin today worrying about tomorrow.
I have lost many, many dogs, so many of them embedded so deeply in my heart, you would think it would get old hat by now...

But I look at Orick (only 3 years old) and I dread the day that will come in the future... It's probably worse with him because he has become my helper in taking care of my sister. Orick wakes me up at night if she calls me for help and I don't hear her, and he won't stop barking until I am up and in her bedroom. She fell a couple weeks ago, and he was right there with me, trying to help me get her up. And she loves him SO much...

They just don't live long enough!

I guess I am just trying to tell you, absolutely yes, I know how you feel!

Susan
 

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I hate those feelings.. One time i was at work and i told my manager that i think i forgot to turn off the fire in the kitchen just so i can check on my baby.
 

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I had a blip of a dream last night where I was in my childhood home and my dog Lady's front leg was caught under the garage overhead door. The dream woke me up it was so disturbing.
Lady lived to be almost 18, I was 2 when we got her. That was over 50 yrs ago.
I have had the feeling of doom all day long after that....
I hope Heidi has a pleasant 13th with lots of nice memories for you to cherish!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Everything was fine. Heidi and I went visiting at our neighbor's after work. She refused a walk, but that's ok. It turned out to be a pleasant day.
 

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Glad to hear that Heidi is doing well and happy birthday to her.

I treasured my Maddie's senior years even as her health declined. The bond between us continued to grow throughout her life. I adopted a fear aggressive, extremely shy 1 year old and said goodbye to a super sweet stable dog that had totally stolen my heart.
 
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