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To Our Beloved Jake, 1-23-07


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Yesterday was a long day. But I will start of by telling you a bit of what has been going on for 2 weeks. After school my kids always give our outside dogs treats. They noticed Jake our 7 year old Siberian Husky Lab, was acting weird. We were preparing for a major ice storm and so we brought him in out of the cold. We made him a bed in our shed, with heat lamps, since it was going to be 0 degrees that night. We weren't sure what was wrong with him so we didn't want our other animals getting it. We brought Dutchess in for the night(our other outside dog). That was Friday. Sunday he quit eating by himself. I suringe fed him and took him to the vet, she said he had a bad kidney infection and a heart murmur. Which for his age would be hard to come out of. I knew he was getting worse tho. She said to force sugar water. So I suringed sugar water every two hours, night and day. We would take him outside to potty and that even stopped this last Sunday. He quit drinking water out of his bowl so I kept feeding him alittle at a time. I knew what I had to do. I called the vet to make an appt. for them to come to my home to put him to sleep. But... they could not come till the 24th. Go figure. I was in tears, knowing he needed to go now. Not the next day, but now. At around 8:30 yesterday, after I took the kids to school, I went out to see him like I do every morning. It has been my routine for two weeks now. He was really out of it. So I gave him alittle water and let him sleep. But before I left him, I told him in tears that I wanted him to go, becuase I couldn't handle him being put down, and not only that but it was scheduled for the next day. Today at 10:30 a.m. I went to see him again @ 11:00,and I told him that he needs to go night night. And to go be with his other animal companions that he was with since we got him. I told him goodbye and that we all loved him so much and we were okay for him to go now. I told him to go and that was it . He took his last breath at 11:50a.m. So last night we buried him and its a huge relief knowing he isn't suffering anymore. But guess what I wanted to do this a.m.? I wanted to go to the shed to check on him. But I can't. I did the same thing for 2 weeks with him and my family. But I told my family I can rest now because I know he is OK. We love you Jake!! Tami


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In the past couple days its gotten better. I still want to go out to the shed to feed him, and I know he's not there, but I have to be strong for my daughter(11yrs.old). This is her third dog in the last two years that has passed. Its very hard. Thanks for the reply. Tami


YOu are right they are just like our own kids. THis is our third in the last 2 yrs. I think its gotten harder because we have lost so many. But today is a better day, I know he is ok now. Thank you, Tami

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I'm glad to know that you are slowly getting better. It is difficult and can take a long time to completely heal. Six months ago I had to put down my precious dog, Tawny, due to kidney failure, even though she wasn't even quite two years old yet. It was devastating, and is still difficult at times. The worst of it is over, but when I think of her, I still feel pain and miss her so much. I also still cannot look at her pictures without crying, but am hoping with more time, I will remember just the happier times.

It must be really hard on your daughter too, esp losing so many dogs in such short a time. How is she doing?

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I am so sorry about Tawny, that's so young. It is very hard to look at pictures. I even cry when I come to this discussion because of his pic. But it helps me knowing there are others that are going through the healing of their losses. My daughter is ok. She is stronger than I think. She can't go through our back door because the dog pin is there and that's where it all happens. Yesterday was the 1 year ann. of Sonny's death. Our Australian Sheperd. She was 9 yrs. old and she asked me to go to where we buried all of the animals. We talked with them for quite awhile. Yesterday she said was a hard day at school. I don't want her to have the bad memories, just the good. Now is the tough question she has. We just found out we are moving due to forecloseure on our home of the last 9 years. She asked what are we going to do about them buried here? I am not sure what to tell her. Except that maybe we can come after we move and we can come talk to the new owners and let them know we have pets buried towards the end of our lot. Three pets. Is that the right thing to do? If I would of known we weren't going to be here forever I wouldn't have buried here. But we never know what's going to happen.

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Dear Tami,

I'm so sorry for your loss of your beloved Jake, and I can certainly appreciate how difficult this must be for you and your daughter.

I want to respond to your concerns about leaving your dogs' burial site when you are forced to move. Until something like this happens, we don't realize the price we pay for the options we have chosen, do we? The very same thing happened to me after my beloved Cockapoo Muffin died; we buried him in our backyard under some lilac bushes because it gave us so much comfort knowing he was there -- until the day came that we sold our house and had to move. Today we're living in Arizona and my precious Muffin is buried in New Jersey, in someone else's yard. When we laid his body to rest there, it never occurred to us that one day we would move away and have to leave his grave behind. In the many years since, I've learned a lot about pet loss and after-death care for companion animals, as well as the importance of memorializing them. If we had it to do over now, we would do some things differently -- but that is not an option, and we must comfort ourselves with the fact that we did the best we could with what we knew at the time. I'm sure the same applies to you.

Here is what I would suggest. Even though you have to leave Jake's burial plot behind, brainstorm with your daughter about ways you can take a part of it with you when you move. For example, take some photographs of your dogs' burial site in your yard. Take some soil from the burial site, put it in a pot, plant a special bush or seedling in the pot, and take it with you when you move -- then create a special place in your new home, either inside or in the yard, as the sacred place you'll dedicate to your dogs who have died. This will become for you the place where you and your daughter can go to think about and remember Jake and your other dogs.

You could encourage your daughter to make a memory book (or box) containing all of Jake's special things (collar, leash, tags, etc.) Include drawings or pictures of Jake, if you have any. Purchase a book about pet loss and donate it to your local library, in memory of Jake.

There are so many ways to make up for the fact that you don't have a grave to visit. My dear little Muffin died in 1986, and to this very day I have a framed photograph of him hanging on the wall in my kitchen / family roon, next to my back door. Even though his physical remains are buried in New Jersey, I see his precious face every single day, and I think of him every time I look at his picture. He will never be forgotten, because I've found other ways to keep his memory alive.

I hope this helps, Tami, and I'm sure our other members will have suggestions of their own to share.

Wishing you peace and healing,

Marty T

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Thanks so much for the suggestions. Since I posted earlier, we have made a scrapbook of them, and she is working on it right now. It is helping alot. I love the idea about the soil. I think that is something that we will do. We had made some plaques for out there, and we will take some pictures and put them with us. Thanks so much for your kindness. Tami- P.S. I am very happy I have found this forum. Thanks for making it easy for me to talk about all of this.

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