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How Do I Say Goodbye And Let Go?

Rita S

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How do I say goodbye and let go?

My dear, precious girl Twix,

I haven’t even started to write yet and I can feel my eyes start to flood with tears. Tears that represent sadness, emptiness, loneliness and a heart that is completely shattered.

You entered this world on May 15, 1995, and you left quietly on March 17, 2007.

You came into my life in November, 1996, and you were from day one, the one constant thing I knew I could count on. You were my very best friend from the first day I got you. Do you remember that day? You were in the “To Give Away” adds in the paper. You were the very first dog (how dare I call you a “dog” I know...sorry baby girl.) I called and the last. The day I brought you home, we stopped at a rest area, because I wanted to see if you had to go potty. I had you on a leash, but you never left my side. In all the years that I had you, you never left my side, and never required a leash. Where I was, you were, right there at my feet. I stepped on something in the laundry room the other day, and said “I am so sorry Twix”, then I realized it was not you, because you are not here anymore. I dropped to my knees and cried at the remembrance of you and the hole in my heart and my soul.

The only place that I went that you did not go, was work. Even then, I did bring you a few times. I lied....I guess during the hot summer months, you did not go to town with me, only because if I had shopping to do, it was too hot to leave you in the car, so you stayed at home. Yes, you were mad at first, and you snubbed me for it, but within 15 minutes after I got home and held you on my lap, you forgave me and smiled at me and gave me kisses. I loved your kisses and I miss them so much.

Everybody loved you Twix. There isn’t a person around who did not like you. You were so well behaved, so well mannered it amazed me. You always gave it your best to please me, you tried way harder than you ever had to. You, your love, your loyalty and your companionship pleased me more than you will ever know.

For a long time, it was just you and I. You have been there for me when no one else has been. When I lost my Aunt Hazel, you were there right by my side. You would come sit on my lap, and put your head on my chest just to let me know you felt my pain and my sadness and to let me know you cared. You got me through what nobody else could.

Do you remember the song I used to sing to you?

I love you,

You love me,

We’re our only family.

Till the Good Lord brings us a man of our own...

You and I will be alone.

We were too, we were alone together for quite a long time, before we met daddy, huh? Oh, Twix how he loved you too. There isn’t anything that he would not have done for you either.

Do you remember the day we brought home that yellow 4-legged bundle of pure love and joy that we named Jenny? That rambunctious lab that she is. “She is your sisser” we told you. (We say sisser instead of sister.) You were not too sure about her at first, but then you and her became inseparable. She misses you so much. She lays under the computer desk where you used to sleep. She has cried. I have seen the tears in her eyes. She still looks for you. When we go bye-bye she still runs around the driveway, waiting for you to chase her and bark at her. She is quite bigger than you, but she was always gentle with you and she knew you were the boss and she respected that! You used to love to chase her around our yard, chase her and bark. She loved it too. She is quite lonely without you too. She is sad, and that breaks my heart.

Remember the hair cuts we would take you in to get for the summer? You hated going there, but you always felt so much better when we come out. Especially when we were out fishing, you were much cooler. In the winter, you loved rolling in the snow and “rooting” it up with your nose. You had the best personality ever. I knew when you were mad at me, you let me know it. But you never stayed mad for more than 15 minutes. Just long enough for me to know better.

I taught you so many tricks. Sit, speak, shake, shake other hand, roll over, but the one trick that you refused to do was fetch. I would throw the ball and you would give me the look “if you want it, you go get it” I loved that look. You refused to fetch. I always got a kick out of that.

Remember Daddy calling you “Stubby”? He thought that was the perfect name for you. I used to call you Twixer-Lixer Girl Dawg or Punkin-Pie Girl Dawg. My favorite thing to call you was my very best friend. You always had a smile on your face at all times, unless you were mad at me.

I loved how when you were outside and wanted in, you would bark. I would hide, and someone would let you in, and you would search and search the entire house looking for me. That always made me feel loved and special. You would find me and bark and wiggle and strut. You were a little overweight and daddy used to say you “struddled” a combination of strutted and waddled. You struddled. And you did too and with your bushy tail high in the air. It was the cutest thing.

Every day with you was a blessing, a joy and my pleasure. Being your mommy is the best thing I have ever done. I loved you with all that I had. When friends of mine lost their pets, I grieved with them and I thought of the day that I would lose you and I would cry. I had to quickly get that thought of out my head because it would upset me so much. I always hoped that when it was your time, you would die from being old and natural causes. I did not want you to be sick and suffer. I was mad and probably still am mad at God. I feel that you had a couple more good years ahead of you. I was not ready to say goodbye to you, but then again, I never would be. Who wants to say goodbye to someone so loving, so kind, so trusting, so giving? Not me. Twix, I love you and I miss you more each day.

You got sick and within a matter of two weeks, you were gone. Saturday, March 3, we were headed to gramma’s house for her birthday and you got a bloody nose. You sneezed and blood would come gushing out. It finally stopped. Later that night when we went to bed, you had a mild seizure and you scared me and daddy and Jenny. You were crying out and you got real stiff for a few minutes. I thought you had a stroke and were paralyzed. I sat on the floor and called you over to me, you finally came. So I knew you were not paralyzed. I called your vet and left a message. They called me back and I brought you in. They said you had a blood clot in your sinuses, but not sure from what. They gave you some meds and kept you for the day and you got better. I came and saw you on my lunch hour, and took you outside and you seemed back to yourself. I thanked God for that. On Wednesday of that week, you got another bloody nose and could not hardly breath. So we went back to the doctor. I carried you in and set you on the counter. You looked up at me and put your head on my chest and looked into my eyes. I could see the pain and sadness in your eyes. I knew something was not right with you. This time a specialist came and saw you. I was told you were going into heart failure and you also had kidney failure. One alone is fatal, and you had both. You started not to eat. I got you some popcorn chicken and you did eat that. You also did eat some vanilla ice cream at times, but that was it. The next week, you spent Tuesday and Wednesday night at the specialist’s office. He was trying to get your heart and kidneys back working. He would not let me see you Tuesday, but I came Wednesday after work and spent an hour with you. It broke my heart to see you hooked up to an IV, the needle in your short, stubby front right leg. You were part Sheltie, part Dachshund. You looked like Lassie, but you had short, stubby legs. You were the cutest thing ever. God how I miss you.

I got to bring you home on Thursday night, March 15. I carried you inside. You were so weak, you could hardly walk. I slept downstairs on the couch so you would not have to worry about the stairs up to our room. You slept right by me on the floor where you always laid. I took you to gramma’s house on Friday, so she could watch you while I was at work. Daddy picked you up Friday night and took you home. When I got home I laid on the floor with you. You were so sad looking. You could not stand up well. It was as if your back end was paralyzed. You would stand up and fall right back down again. It broke my heart to see my spunky girl struggle the way you did. I laid beside you and told you that it was ok if you wanted to go. I told you if you did not want to fight it, that it was ok. I knew that if you did not get better over the weekend, I would have to take you in and have you put to sleep. I always promised you that I would not let you suffer. I begged God that if He was going to take you to please do it so that I would not have to make that decision. He listened.

Saturday morning, daddy had to go to work for a couple hours. You were over in the kitchen trying to get into the livingroom by the couch where I was. Daddy picked you up and carried you to me. He told you goodbye, he told me that he knew you would not make it through the day. He told you he loved you and that you were a good ol’ dirl dawg, we always called you that. Daddy also told me he cried, something daddy doesn’t normally do.

At 8:15 that morning, you coughed and threw up a little. I wiped your mouth off, and gave you a little bit of water to rinse your mouth out. I told you I loved you and it was ok, your ok. I petted your soft fur for a few minutes, and sat back down. About 15 minutes later, I had not heard your tags jingle, or you breathing, so with hesitation, I looked down and you were gone. I knew from the moment I saw you, that you were gone. I screamed and I cried. I laid with you for over an hour telling you I love you over and over. I closed your eyes and just held you. Jenny was scared, the kids were crying. I was a mess. I still am. Daddy came right home and we took you in to the vet’s office to have you cremated. On the way to town the song “I will remember you, will you remember me” played we were all crying. I held you on my lap for that 20 mile trip to town. I had you wrapped up in a blanket and just petted your face. You had a line on each side of your eyes that resembled sunglasses, I always loved that. I just rubbed your precious face and sobbed.

When I got your remains back, I could not believe that’s all I had left you of. Just a tiny box full of ashes. Where was my baby? Why is she gone? How do I go on without her? These are just a few questions I have.

Right now, you are sitting on my night stand with a picture and your collar around your urn. Also are your two favorite toys I got from your previous owner. Your little yellow rubber ducky, and your little white bear. When I die, you, your collar, the ducky and the bear will all be buried with me.

Twix, I miss you so much. My heart aches everyday. I feel so empty and so lost without you. You are not there to greet me when I get home from work. Even when it was 30 below, you sat outside on the sidewalk waiting for me. I don’t hear your tags jingle around the house, I look for you, you are not there. I reach out for you at night, you are not there. To say the words “Twix died” literally makes me sick. It hurts so much. I know you would not want me to be this sad, but how do I say goodbye and let go?

On March 17, 2007, my baby girl died and so did a part of me. I love you so much and I miss you badly.


Your mommy

Edited by Rita S
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My dear Rita,

Reading your beautiful tribute to your beloved Twix has left me in tears. No wonder your heart hurts. We are so very sorry for your loss. Please know that we are thinking of you and holding you close . . .

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I am so sorry for your loss. I sincerely can feel your pain because I also lost my baby (my dog, Pino) on April 29, 07 and I find myself asking the same question. I really don't know how to say good bye or let go. I met my Pino over 12 years ago on the streets of a bad neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York. I worked as a case manager in a shelter for homeless families and one day I saw the most adorable thing - a small German Shepard-Sheltie mix doggie. He was walking as if he was about to faint and I remember calling out to him and he wagged his tail. In fact, I thought he was a girl and was pregnant because he had a big belly. I asked a security officer to hold him in one of the buildings' backyards until I could take him home after work. I knew that if I left him there, the teenagers on the block would hurt him badly. I took him to the vet after work and it turned out that, he was not a pregnant female, but had a distended belly from not eating for many days. He was very dehydrated and extremely weak. Within a few days that changed and that was the beginning of a wonderful relationship. He became my child. Initially, he lived at my mother's house with me because I had to move back home for a while. Then we moved out into an apartment and shortly after, we met Pino's daddy. It's funny, he never liked any of my boyfriends, but he took an instant liking to my husband. We took Pino everywhere we could because he loved to ride in the car - He was my child and relatives and friends knew that if we visited, it was with our baby. Pino went to live in New Jersey with us and finally came to Arizona in October 2006. He was 12, and except for arthritis, which we treated with adequan injections at one time, he seemed so healthy. We swore he would live until he was 15 or 16. Then one horrible day at the end of January, he collapsed. I remember that I was getting ready for work and he looked as if he was drunk. I immediately took him to the vet, who started doing tests. They thought he had had a seizure. They sent him home saying that most likely he would be okay. Well, he was not okay. For several days, he continued to look tired and did not eat much. On 2/4/07, I called the vet again and begged them to see him because despite the normal blood tests, he was slowly deteriorating. I took him in and they referred me to a specialist. We transported him there later that afternoon and by the time he got there, he was in respiratory distress. The specialist stated that he had fluid in the sac around his heart, which they needed to tap. It turned out that the fluid was blood and with that they gave a tentative diagnosis of hemangiosarcoma - an aggressive type of cancer - which was later confirmed by an ultrasound. He had a tumor on his heart, the size of a golf ball. The specialist talked to me about chemotherapy. If I did nothing, he would die within 2 months. If I tried chemo, he could live up to 8 months. Pino seemed okay after the draining of the fluid and he came home. I was so confused - I had always stated that I would never put him through chemo because of the horrible side effects. But in my hope to have him longer, I agreed to do it, nonetheless. I prayed to God every day that he would last the 6 treatments that he needed and that I could have him until Christmas. The first, second, third treatments went okay - he lost some of his appetite and got diahrrea, but we gave him medications and I cooked chicken, rice, or gave him anything that he wanted to eat. I was so hopeful. I even predicted that he would live past the 8 months. Then after the fourth treatment, he appeared very tired. I took him in for a CBC 10 days after the treatment like we usually did and something went wrong. The tech who took the blood out from his jugular vein must have done something wrong because two days later he could not move his neck and he was in excruciating pain. On 4/22/007, we took him into the hospital again, this time for his neck pain - by now he was not eating and was getting progressively weak. He was kept in the hospital until 4/25/07 - I remember I went on the 23rd and the 24th to visit him after work. My poor baby was so tired of that place. He hated it! He barked for hours after I left on the 24th. How I regret leaving him there and putting him through the chemo! On the 25th he came home - and that night as I was carrying him upstairs to my bedroom where he slept, he yelped in pain. His neck was still hurting him. I called the hospital and they prescribed a muscle relaxer, which my husband picked up immediately. My poor baby was so weak. I cried so much by his side, but gave him permission to go, if he wanted. He loved it when I sang to him and I did that quite often especially when his breathing became distressed and shallow. It seemed to calm him down. By this time, I prayed to God to let him die at home, without any pain. I went from asking for three years, to several months, to accepting that he had to go - but only that I did not have to euthanize him because I have never believed that I had a right to take anyone's life away. My Pino was such a good boy, always so "clean" - he never went in the house. He always held his urine in - so we made sure to take him outside frequently, so that he could keep his dignity. By now, we were carrying him downstairs to the backyard and bringing him back upstairs where he wanted to be. We were syringe feeding him those last couple of days - nothing seemed to appetize him - not enough ground beef, which was his favorite. All he did was drink excessive amounts of water. April 29th around 12:30 AM we took him out to urinate. At 4:30 AM - we heard him going around in circles and my husband and I got up and laid on the carpet with him until 6:30 AM. I sang to him as I weeped and he calmed down. I prayed to God that he would just fall asleep, because his breathing was so shallow and his gums were very pale. At 7:30 AM I took him outside to urinate because he had drank so much water, but when I stood him outside, his body went limp and he collapsed. Hysterically, I carried him inside and put on a blanket on the first floor. My husband and I stayed with him again until 10:30 AM waiting to see if he would go to sleep on his own. I had promised him not to take him back to that hospital. Unfortunately, I broke that promise. I could not bear seeing him like that anymore - I feared he would suffocate to death because the cancer had spread to his lungs. He also was holding his urine in and I did not want him to lose his dignity by urinating on himself. I know it sounds crazy, but I worried about that. We took him in again. The doctor said that we could try draining the blood again, but he may not be able to get up again or if he did, he would probably collapse again in a couple of days. He strongly suggested euthanasia, so did the chemo nurse, and my husband. That word pierced my heart like a knife. I could not do it - I cried there for an hour and all that time Pino looked at me and seemed to be asking that I take him home. Until the very end, he wanted to be by my side. In his weak state, he wagged his little tail when I sang to him. He was such a momma's boy! Like your baby, Rita, my Pino always went crazy looking for me thoughout the house and got angry at me for hiding. I betrayed my Pino - I gave consent for him to be euthanized. I am still in shock that I did that - the guilt is killing me and I can't stop crying. I keep thinking about what if I had asked to have the blood drained again. what if everyone was wrong and Pino would have gotten up again? Will my Pino ever forgive me? Where is he now? Is he happy? Will I ever see him again. If only I had the hope of seeing him again. If only I could hold him one more time. My baby wasn't ready to go - I don't know why, but knowing that is killing me. A part of me died that day and each day that I live without him is an agonizing torture. 38 days he has been gone and 38 days that I have cried. My husband says that I cry in my sleep. So Rita, I also need to know how to say goodbye and let go. I just don't know how.

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Rita and Diane

I am so sorry for your loss. I cried thru both your posts.

It's such a sad time for both of you. I had to put my 8 yr old Bernese Mountain dog to sleep , the same day that my mom died. We had no idea he had cancer , he was tired and not eating. That day we found out he had a tumor on his spleen and liver and was bleeding internally. I was given the choice of bringing him home to die within hours or ending his suffering. I couldn't bring him home, I couldn't do that to my kids. I feel terrible that his life ended at the vet's office. But, he loved the vet and my husband was with him.

A few months later we had to put our old Golden Ret to sleep. We were expecting this but it was still hard. As hard and sad as this was, I know in my heart I did the right thing. I am sure you did too. Sometimes the best thing we can do for our pets, is the hardest thing. I know your pets are at peace and will always be with you. You are both in my thoughts.

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I know exactly how you are feeling. Your Pino was your baby, as Twix was mine. It was just her and I for so long. I had to smile when you mentioned that Pino did not like any of your boyfriends, but immediately liked your husband. Twix was the same. Rod and Twix bonded instantly. I told him I was testing him when we met. If he did not like Twix and she did not like him, then I knew it would not work, but those two loved each other from the instant they saw each other. I have some awesome pictures of the two of them together that I will cherish forever.

Twix passed away what will be 3 months on June 17 and I still cry for her. I miss her so much. I too, wonder if she is ok, safe, happy and taken care of. I have asked the Angels and God and her for a sign that she is ok and I still have not gotten one. When my Aunt Hazel passed away and my Aunt Anna passed away, I got signs from them that they were happy and ok, but I still have not gotten one from Twix and that upsets me so. My mom made me this beautiful picture.....it has the "Rainbow Bridge" poem on it and she put a rainbow in the background and 2 pictures of Twix on it, along with her date of birth and death. I hold on to the thought that Twix is waiting for me and I can't wait until her and are together again. I want to hold her, to pet her and to get kisses from her. Her little tongue gives pretty fast kisses and I miss them so. I still can't believe that she is gone and I don't know what to tell you about how to say goodbye and let go, because, my dear, I don't know how either. My heart is broken and shattered and I don't know how to fix it. They say time heals, but time is taking it's time, because my heart still hurts and I still cry. I know that Twix would not want me to be this sad, she always took care of me when I cried, she wanted me to be happy, but I don't know how to be.

My heart aches for you and your loss of your baby. You gave him a wonderful life and he knew that, you have to believe that too. Where would he have been if not for you? You saved him and he saved you too. You had many, many years with him. His footprints will be in your heart for always. I am imagining you seeing him for the first time and his tail wagging when you called out to him; he knew he was saved! God bless you for that. Thank you!!

Diana, you have to trust in your doctors and your soul that you made the right decision to put him to sleep. The pain he was in was too much and you once again saved him from anymore pain. You need to forgive yourself and know you did right thing. The wagging of his tail at the end when you sang to him, was him telling you he loved you. I don't think you betrayed him at all by having him put to sleep, it showed you loved him so very much as to end the pain he was in, knowing the pain it would cause you.

The love we have for our pets, and the love they have for us is unconditional and when we lose them, we do lose a part of ourselves. I know that, because a part of me is gone and I don't know how to get that back.

We need to get another dog because Jenny (our lab) is so lonely. We got Jenny when she was 8 weeks old, she will be 4 on June 14, so she has never been alone, she has always had Twix. She misses her so much, it breaks my heart. I feel that if we get another dog that I will be betraying my love and my loyalty to Twix; but for Jenny's happiness, we need to have another dog. There NEVER will be another Twix, as there NEVER will be another Pino, but we have to believe that they would want us to go on and be happy. I say goodnight to Twix every night and tell her I love her and I miss her. I hope she feels my love; even in Heaven. I have to hold on to the hope of seeing her again - that's what keeps me going - to see her again.

Please know that my heart, my thoughts and my prayers are with you and they always will be. Our babies may be gone, but they will never be forgotten.

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Your writing really moved me. I lost my dog May 26th and I can't seem to pull myself together. I am so depressed and desperately need someone to talk to so I am so glad I found this site. I'm not sure if I am doing this right so I will send it and come back later if it works.

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Dear Rita and Diana,

Both of your stories broke my heart. There are so many sad, confusing and nightmarish ways that our beloved furbabies can leave this world, it's a wonder any of us ever do go on after all that trauma. And yet most of us do, eventually, though each of our ways of doing so is as individual as we are, and as our own babies were/are.

I wish I could give you both a game-plan, just as much as I wish someone could for me. I wish I could tell you that after almost 10 months of 'living' w/o my own precious fur-daughter, Nissa, I was completely fine and had found all the answers. But I can't. I've fought very hard, this time 'round, to recuperate from this, my worst loss to date, but it's still a struggle. If I'm not crying openly each day, my heart is still crying horribly on the inside. Even having been through this process with 3 major losses before her crossing (one being her brother), this is no easier, and in many ways, worse than all the others, for she was our last furchild. I ran away from the idea of this eventuality, too, in total fear of the pain it would bring, and although I'm still surviving, it's at least as bad as I'd imagined, and often worse.

When one loves someone so deeply and thoroughly as so many of us love our furkids, and then we get left behind, there are precious few ways we can find any comfort. And yet, there are a few things that others have also said that help me in little ways, such as the idea commonly referred to in animal circles about us taking on this heavy pain of grief, in exchange for relieving our beloveds of their own pain. I find this particularly helpful when wrestling with the common doubts and guilt surrounding euthanasia. And this, naturally, is one area that is most unique in animal loss, since it's not even an option in most cases of human loss. It's a heavy, heavy burden we animal parents must bear, but ultimately (for those of us who truly love them and aren't using this action for convenience!), no matter what mistakes we may perceive in our choice to end suffering, behind it sits the motivation of huge love for our babies. Our intent is to do what seems right and most loving for them. The second guessing afterwards, or even during, is one of our worst living nightmares. But we have to remember how much we agonized over this decision, and give ourselves credit for having agonized, for not taking such a decision lightly at ALL. We came from a place of love, and that's what matters the most, more than an idealized and impossible perfection. And if we didn't have to agonize, if the way seemed clear for whatever thoughtful reasons, then we need only to accept that it really was made clear, however that manifested, and be okay enough with that.

The other small comfort I find is in knowing that I didn't have to leave one or both of them here instead. To me, having them suffer with grief over losing me would be even worse than me feeling the pain of their loss...and yes, I know they would have suffered, both emotionally and physically, just as Nissa did when we lost her brother....although she ended up really, really enjoying being an 'only child'. :closedeyes: I see this as another way WE take on the pain, rather than their living with it.

As for letting go ~ I truly wish this particular phrase would be done away with, as it seems to evoke such feelings of guilt and panic in everybody. Personally, I've chucked it, by choice, as I don't think it's an accurate reflection of what happens internally. It sounds, to the ear and heart, too much like abandonment to most people. If you believe, or simply just want to believe that nothing and no one who ever lived ever truly dies, but their spirits/souls live on, then what is there to 'let go' of? Your relationship with your loved one doesn't just cease to exist just because they're no longer right in front of you. That relationship is still a big part of you, whether you can access it in quite the same way or not. When your heart is yearning for your baby, that is a reflection of the relationship you had with them, and the feeling of yearning tells you that relationship has not died, even though their physical body has. You cannot 'let go' of that relationship because it's still inside you, still a part of you. It cannot die unless you choose that. Sure, we have to at some point accept that our babies' physical bodies are no longer available to us in the same way, but their spirits are always accessible in some way and because of that, we are always tied to them, and them to us, because of our shared relationship to each other. So whether we are feeling terrible agony or peace and calm w/o the accompanying sorrow, our LOVE for our babies is still there and it's that love that keeps our relationship alive, whether their bodies are here or not. So I might say "good-bye" to the exact life I had with my beloveds and their bodies, but I don't feel I ever need say good-bye to THEM, or our relationship. Leaving the physical aspects behind, except in memory, is hard enough, I say....let's not burden ourselves any more than necessary with 'letting go' of what made us fuller and gave us meaning and purpose.

A long-distance friend of mine once half-joked that (because we felt and thought the same way about our kids) whichever one of us went first would be SURE and check on whether God was taking as good care of our respective kids as WE did! But she also felt that her baby was so worthy of only the very best, that she was finally getting what she truly had always deserved by way of Heavenly care. Those feelings of worry about them, even now, are natural. After all, we were their parents, and this is just what most parents DO.

I have also had 'enough' (but still greedy for more!) experiences so far and heard or read of too many others to ever believe that anyone's lifeforce simply vanishes, as if it had never been. Life cannot contradict what life-energy itself is, by inexplicably turning into Death. Physicists now tell us this is so as well ~ energy never dies. It can't, or the whole Universe would collapse. So when you talk to your babies, know that they can and do hear you, and also feel that great love you have for them. It cannot be otherwise.

I am on a mission - to find a way to collapse that thin veil between planes of existence, even if only for a few moments. Others have done it, so why not me, too? I KNOW my girl and my guy are there, and have also been HERE, even if I haven't been able to see them with my physical eyes (yet?). I don't care to just sit around and bide my time to join them in the spirit kingdom, but will do what I can to part that veil from this plane. That is what keeps me going, day to day, even while still struggling with the emptiness and longing. If that's all I feel I have left now, then at least it's a worthy cause to work towards, no matter how long it takes. And if, in the meantime, my kids reincarnate back to me someday, I won't have quite as long to wait until seeing them again should I outlive them once more. If neither of these things ever manifest, it will still be one less day for me here and one day closer to joining them (another small comfort).

I feel so badly for the both of you, knowing what you are and will be going through, and wish I could help more. But I hope knowing that there are kindred spirits here who share your feelings helps lighten the load just a little. (((((hugs)))))) to you both.....

.......and a warm welcome to you, Cheryl, too, as well as condolences on your own loss. (yes, you posted correctly, so feel free to come back and tell your story)

Edited by Maylissa
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I am so glad I found this site. I am having the hardest time dealing with the loss of my dog Max. He was eurthanised May 26, 07 and I feel a tremendous amount of guilt.

Max was only 8 but after hardly eating for 5 days I took him to the vet. They did blood tests and the white cell count was high but otherwise looked healthy. I did mention his breathing didn't sound right. I took him home. Max always splept under my bed and during the night I could hear him struggling to breath. After x-rays the next day his diagnosis was cancer in his lungs that had spread from a tumor. The vet gave me 2 prescriptions but I could not get him to eat a thing. He felt so bad, he stayed under the bed most of the time.

Solid white, my beautiful, sweet sweet boy got much worse the next couple of days. He couldn't breath. The vet had said it was fast moving and he only had a month to live. I couldn't stand to see this formally rambuctious creature look so scared and weak. I found a vet that would come to the house to euthanize. So that is what I did. Although always in tears, I seemed to walk through the experience like a zombie. I have a 14 yr old terrier also and I was trying not to upset her, I know, but I had no idea how deep this would hurt.

What I'm having such depresssion about is I feel like I rushed into it. I feel guilty for not fighting harder for him by seeing a specialist, chemo, radiation..something I have no experience with chemo and such but I could only see more suffering in his future. But I cannot shake this guilt. It feels like my mind is playing tricks on me with "What if....." thoughts over and over. I know I have to grieve but the beating myself up is killing me. Today I did have a thought that if I had fought it with chemo, would I have regretted putting him through that just as much as I am regretting not doing it? That gave me a momentary feeling of peace.

Max was such a sweet, loving friend and companion. He always looked so worried when I was upset. He would come on the couch and put his head on my chest and look me right in the eyes trying to make it all better...and he usually did.

My friend today suggested I write him a letter. I think I will.

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I tried to post a message earlier and I erased it by mistake. I will try again. I wanted to say that I understand the agonizing torture of guilt because I am experiencing it every day since my Pino died. You said that maybe you should have tried chemo for Max, but as I read more stories, I realize that it really doesn't matter what decision we made - either way we would ask, "what if I had done this or what if I done that?" I chose chemo for my baby after I was told that if I did nothing he only had two months to live. I agonized at the thought of putting him through chemo, but the hope of extending his life took over and I agreed to it. The reality is that it did not work and Pino suffered horribly through that experience. I cry everytime I remember how he trembled when he went to that hospital. If only I could go back, I would not make my baby endure such suffering. But, sometimes, I also wonder whether I would regret not doing the chemo, if I had chosen not to do it. I keep saying to myself that I would not choose euthanasia if I was faced with the option again. But if my baby had suffocated to death because of the tumors in his lungs, I would also hate myself for letting him suffer. Cheryl, the point is, that I think we would have regrets even if we would have made different choices. Perhaps, it's true what I have heard - that guilt is a form of self-punishment. We are trying to punish ourselves because we think we didn't do the right thing. It certainly is an agonizing torture for me, so much that last Friday I thought of killing myself to find some peace. I think that what Rita and Maylissa said is true - we need to learn to forgive ourselves and come to terms with the decision that we made - whether it was right or wrong. I don't think we will ever know that for sure. It was made in love at the moment and we can not go back. Will letting go of the guilt make the loss of our babies any easier? I don't think so - because for me, it is so extremely painful to not see my baby every morning by my bedside or when I come home from work. Pino was my partner for walks; for hiking; for taking long naps; He was my comfort during the many times I got sick (I have rheumatoid arthritis) and during the many times that I cried. I will always miss him as I'm sure that all of you - Cheryl, Rita, Maylissa, and Annie - will also miss your babies. But guilt leads to self-condenmation and that is potentially dangerous especially if anger arises and is directed inward. I know because like I said, I thought about suicide last week. So I need to focus on forgiving myself although it will be a very difficult process.

Until yesterday, I was very angry at God for what happened to my Pino - I had prayed so much for my baby and I felt that my prayers were unanswered. But I need to turn back to God to help me learn to forgive myself, otherwise, I won't be able to do so. Cheryl, I hope that you also come to terms with your decision. There is still a lot of grieving to do and if the guilt can be dealt with, we can focus on the other emotions so that we can slowly heal. We will never let go of the love for our babies, but we can learn to live with the pain, I hope. I thank all of you for your emotional support - it is helping me to make it through the pain, one day at a time. The people around me don't really understand, but when I read these messages, I realize that like me, all of you loved your babies with all of your hearts and you miss them terribly as I miss my Pino. I just pray that we all find peace and comfort, someday, in the memories that we shared with them.

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Dear Cheryl,

I, too, suffered great guilt when my boy, Sabin, passed....from cancer that had metastasized to his lungs very rapidly. We never did know where it had started. The top animal oncologist that had been called in to check his X-Rays had given him no hope, even of chemo (not that either us nor our vet thought that would have been a good route to take for him anyway). He died at home, while we were waiting on another, different treatment to kick in and possibly give him more time, to try yet other alternative treatments if we could get him stabilized a bit more first. I have to tell you that he died not being able to breath, a gruesome thing to witness, even though I now know he'd been drifting in and out of earthly consciousness all along and so didn't suffer as much as I'd imagined at the time. However, he didn't get euthanised, as I immediately afterwards felt he ought to have been. There were many reasons at the time for this, including not enough attention being paid to his 'case' by his vet (which I still have resentment about), but Diana is right - it almost never matters which way we choose. We will beat ourselves up and have regrets no matter what we did or didn't do, down to the tiniest of details. I hear it time and time again, even in stories where it seems so clear to others that the person did all they reasonably could do, given the details and circumstances.

We'd also tried a few days of force-feeding for Sabin, and I still can't say whether that's a good or bad thing, generally-speaking, as I've also heard of other cats and dogs where it helped. All I know is that it didn't help with our boy and I just had to eventually forgive myself for putting him through that, simply because NO one could have known ahead of time whether it would be fruitful or not. Even the docs didn't agree with each other's opinions, and if THEY don't know, how can WE expect to have all the answers for certain? The 'what ifs' can become an endless, hideous parade if we don't sit and really think about them.

I also suffered some guilt over Nissa's ending, though not from euthanising her per se, but from omitting to try one, last, little thing. It took speaking with both of her vets afterwards (only one of whom ended up helping in the right way) to help me realize that had I tried that one last thing first, I would have been put in exactly the same situation I'd gone through with Sabin, and had to make her wait for at least another entire day, as she lay and suffered some more. Having been through that horror before, realizing this was enough at that point to quell the guilt enough for me. But had I not been through this before, I'm sure I would have continued to beat myself up royally.

You said, "Today I did have a thought that if I had fought it with chemo, would I have regretted putting him through that just as much as I am regretting not doing it? That gave me a momentary feeling of peace."

So I think your inner sense was already starting to help you through this. Just give yourself time to mull that over, as many times as it takes.

Logic, rationality (once I was even remotely capable again of those!), acceptance of especially mine but also everyone else's IMperfections, self-forgiveness of limitations given the circumstances and high-running emotions at the time, talking to many others, reading others' stories, putting myself through close and often merciless scrutiny, and having more than one animal communication session done afterwards.....these all, as a whole, helped me finally lay the guilt aside as best I could. And I NEEDED all of these pieces to do it! I still regret certain things (who doesn't?), but I've learned to accept my mistakes/limitations in the light of understanding, and at least I can say now that I did learn from those mistakes. In fact, they served me quite well when it came to making choices for our darling girl, right after her brother passed, and up to her final days here. That's all any of us can do, even IF any particular guilt is appropriate....although with euthanasia and a loving parent, it usually isn't. I've said it before and I'll say it again - it appears there are very few 'perfect' passings when it comes to our furbabies, but most of us do make some pretty decent decisions on their behalf, regardless. It just takes many of us some time to really agree with that. It's all part of the process, horrible as that process can be. And our learning never, ever really stops. It, too, is a process.

Now, I'm still dealing with the 'purer' MISSING of my girl....also not easy by any means....but not with guilt, thank goodness, just a few smaller regrets. But I also know it may still rear its ugly head once in awhile and I may have to face it head-on again as the grief unfolds some more. But I have more hope of overcoming it now.


I have also wanted to die, many, many times, and I still say that if I were to go today or tomorrow, I'd be a very happy woman! But I never sat and made actual plans for the taking of my life....it was just a strong wish for something else to cause me to die. But I also knew that IF I started making those plans, I would have to get professional help, fast, or hope that someone else noticed and would be willing to get me that help. There IS an important difference with those 2 views.

With summer approaching, my first summer in 19 years w/o either of my kids, that wish is hanging around much more often again and I can only hope that it ebbs and flows as do all the other aspects of mourning. If it doesn't and I happen to get killed or something....well, I can't really lose then, can I? I'm either here, surviving this pain, or I'm not and I'm moving on in another plane, back with my kids. It's a sort of 'twisted' way of being hopeful and plowing on, but it is what it is with me and that's what I've got to work with right now. And one thing that helps me is being able to be above-board and honest about these deep feelings here, if nowhere else (although I do tell my therapist as they arise).

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My dear friends, you are all taking such good care of one another that I dare not interrupt your process ~ I just need to tell Maylissa that I am so grateful to you for being here, in such an authentic, open, generous, and caring way for those who've just begun this long and painful journey. I know you paid a very heavy admission price ~ the ultimate price ~ to be here among us, but I still celebrate the fact that you are and continue to be such an important part of us. You were so broken and have worked so hard and have grown so much from your experiences, and it shows! I treasure your presence here, and I sincerely hope you know how precious you are to all of us. :wub:

Okay . . . now you can all continue as you are, being there for each other ~ and please forgive me for interrupting. I simply couldn't help myself. :blush:

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Thank you for sharing your story. It seems Like I am able to draw bits and pieces from each story to help in my healing. Reading that it was just as difficult to see your precious Sabin die at home, made me think that I would have probably felt just as bad if I had kept my beloved Pino at home and waited for him to pass on. I waited from 4:30 AM to 10:30 AM, the horrible day of his death, and I could no longer take the agony of his shallow breathing and not knowing if he was in pain. That's when I decided to take him in to the hospital that he so much hated. At that moment it seemed the lesser of two evils. I still wonder, however, if I had asked for the Vet to drain the blood from the sac around his heart, would he had gotten up again, as he did on 2/4/07 - the first time it was done. But the reality is that he was not eating now, I was force-feeding him and he hated that too. He found no pleasure in walking - or actually, he couldn't really walk because of the lethargy and fatigue. The last two days, my husband and I put him in the car and drove him several blocks to Baseline Ave where he had once enjoyed sniffing the flowers and bushes, but his strength was gone and he simply stood there about to collapse. So maybe it is true that even if the blood had been drained, he may have not gotten up again. He was too weak, and the cancer spread too quickly.

I try not to come home immediately from work because it is so painful to not see him here. But then I think of Daisy, the miniature dachsund that we have and I come home just for her. Even though Pino was never close to her, she was somewhat close to him and see misses him. We rescued her almost three years ago and I guess Pino never liked her because he was so used to being the only baby in the home and Daisy took some of the attention away from him. Plus, initially Daisy was a nasty little thing because she was abused and she was not nice to Pino. When she finally realized that we would give her love and not abuse her, she became loving to everyone (with occasional nipping outbursts) and sought Pino's attention. By then, Pino did not want anything to do with her. He was never mean to her. He just ignored her. Despite that, Daisy learned a lot from him and now when we see her do things that Pino used to do, we are pround of her, but also very proud of our Pino because he was a wonderful teacher. Sadly though, as I mentioned, Pino ignored her to the very end despite our hopes and attempts to get them to play together.

Maylissa, I go through moments of "intense emotions" - emotional pain, guilt, and anger - and yes, during those times I have thoughts of suicide. As a social worker myself, I realize that I should probably see a therapist - but I haven't been able to find one that truly understands how signficant and traumatic the loss of a fur baby can be. In the meantime, I am trying to help myself by using this forum and I plan to continue going to the pet grief support groups ( I already went once). I also bought a book that Marty recommended. I know that grieving is a process, but I also know that it requires therapeutic work, if you will, and I am trying to do that. I will continue to look for a therapist hoping that I can find one with whom I can feel comfortable. For now, whenever, I get those feelings and thoughts, which are so intense, uncomfortable, and scary, I run to the computer hoping to find comfort in the discussions. I really don't have anyone to talk to. I recently moved to Arizona and haven't really made friends as of yet. And my family doesn't really understand how I feel - my love, empathy, and compassion for animals has been a unique and innate quality that my relatives and my husband's relatives do not possess.

Right now, I am struggling with whether to get another fur baby primarily because I see Daisy depressed. But there are times that I say, "how can I even think of that and betray my Pino," and other times I say, "well, maybe if I get a doggie that looks just like my Pino, I'll feel somewhat better." But I'm not sure if that is my way of not accepting that he is gone. I really don't know what to do. I know that I have seen dogs outside that look like Pino and I get this weird kind of feeling, like when you're in love - the rapid palpatations and butterflies in my stomach. I know it sounds stupid, but that's how I feel. I LOVE HIM SO MUCH and his absence is such a torture.

Once again, I thank you (and everyone) for your support. It really is helping me make it through these unbearable times.

P.S. Thank you, also, for the info on the pet food - we all have to be careful - it is so scary to think that we could feeding our babies something that could hurt them.

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Oh, Diana....I see so much of myself and my own journey in you and your story about Pino. We also took Sabin outside to a couple of his favourite places in his yard shortly before he passed, and it was much the same as with Pino. He was already not able to even get up. He, too, showed no interest whatsoever, even in sniffing our kiwi vine (cats love the smell of kiwi bark, similarly to catnip), whereas only a week before, he'd gone there on his own. Even all these years later, it still hurts to remember, so I don't go there if I can help it. Frankly, I spent enough time over the first few years, reliving the horrors of those final days, so I feel more 'entitled' to push them aside now in favour of better memories. We also got told that fluid could have been drained from his lungs, but our vet didn't think he'd even survive that procedure....hence, our last-ditch effort with another, more passive treatment.

But it was not to be. Sabin spent his last night wheezing in pain, behind our headboard on the floor, where he'd deliberately gone from his place beside me in bed. And in the morning, just before another vet was to arrive for his trmnt. shot, I finally relented and told him he could go NOW if that's what he wanted. He'd only been waiting for me to give him my acceptance....something I'm still ashamed about taking so long about, to this day. He gave me just enough time to receive one phone call, from his Reiki practitioner who immediately began sending him Reiki for his journey, and came racing out from behind the bed, screaming once, before voiding his bladder, and I knew he'd heard my heart. I rapidly called my H, who called the vet to cancel his home visit. We shared one, final gaze into each other's eyes before the death process began......no, I don't believe you would have wanted to witness what I saw....though my pediatrician friend assured me, as did our new vet for Nissa later, and others who've allowed animals in their care to die naturally, later still, that the natural dying process is often quite grizzly-looking, yet they don't believe it's as bad-FEELING for the one dying as it looks like to an onlooker. I can only hope they're right, because it looked brutal to me and took a few more minutes.

And although Nissa and Sabin loved each other hugely, Nissa wasn't interested in visiting with her brother before he went. I believe wholly that animals aren't as upset about death as we tend to be. I believe, being closer our Source to begin with, never having lost that connection as we have, they recognize it as the continuing journey it is, even though they often end up missing their loved ones just as we do. But interestingly, for most, their grief seems to be shorter than our process through it.

So Nissa mourned quite badly for about 3-4 months (and also had to suffer going to a couple of vets, and her mom's incredible anxiety!, as she suddenly became anorexic and was diagnosed with the beginning stages of kidney disease - common for cats who are grieving to develop, apparently). But it was she who pulled me out of the darkest parts of my pit, finally. I owe her a great deal for that, and much more. I finally chose LIFE, firstly for her, secondly for me, only for love of HER - I didn't much care about myself at that point. I fought for her life like mad, all throughout, as I just couldn't allow my girl to be taken from me as well! I gave both of us flower essences and homeopathics (with our vet's guidance) for grief, focused all of my attention on her (when I wasn't wracked with tears), had to begin a whole, new lifestyle of holistic, alternative treatment for her kidney issues...and she outlived all of her vets' expectations, for those 6.5 years. It was also she who got me through the deaths of my Mother and one brother, plus many other trials and tribulations, including the losses of many friendships because of grief.

But there are even fewer people locally now to get me through the losses of other friendships (and relatives) resulting from Nissa's crossing, save for my H, who isn't like me, emotionally and grief-wise. So I also understand the utter loneliness and frustration of having no one, really, to talk to. I tried, with my 'friends', but in the end, to them she was 'just a cat', beloved by me as they'd acknowledge, but still.....not a loss any of them felt deserved the same respect and tolerance as human loss. In the end, they all abandoned me in my worst-to-date time of need. (for Sabin's loss, I was w/o any friends anyway, overall, so went through it all alone for the first few years) I'm not happy about it and I still have anger about it all, but I'd rather be angry than be coerced into to being false about who I am and what I feel. It was only on pet loss boards that I found understanding, care and concern for this. (I also used several for my human losses, too, including here at GH)

I'm glad you've got a decent pet loss group to go to locally, as the lone one around here isn't very good at all, and I only went to ONE meeting for each of these losses, and gave up on them. Instead, I turned to therapists. I was fortunate enough to find a pretty good one through my H's then work-policy after my Mother died, so I discussed some the anticipatory grief issues about Nissa with her at times. However, I've only seen her once since Nissa's actual passing (long story) and have relied instead upon a new one I found for myself after several weeks of looking and interviewing a few. While not a devoted animal lover herself (but neither was the first one), she's still able to provide me with enough support and is a really quick study on animal loss issues, thank goodness! I'd just been about to fly to a different Province for help, as I'd found a fabulous pet loss therapist there, who would have agreed to schedule phone appointments for me if needed, but then happened to interview this other one, so went the easier, more convenient (and less $$$) route locally. And of course, our own Marty here is a God-send!!! She's managed to help me through some pretty awful stuff so far! :wub: (since you're in the same State as her, you could always attend one of her pet loss meetings if possible...I know I would!) So I also know how challenging it is to even FIND someone who's aware enough about this 'special' type of grief, who you can feel safe with. It's not easy and all I can say is to persevere in your quest, as it is so beneficial to have that outlet, especially with no personal support around you! As of now, I only have one, good animal loving friend, but she's MILES away in the U.S., while I'm here in Canada. We don't get to speak that often (due to busyness) but w/o her, I don't know what I'd do now, even with a therapist handy. I still feel there's no substitute for friends who really share one's devotion to animals.

As for adopting another furchild, I can't and wouldn't tell anyone what to do regarding such a personal choice, but I will say that it sounds simply like what it is right now for you ~ you're as yet undecided and unsure, so if it were me, I'd wait until things became clearer and more weighted in one direction or another for a time, and see what happens with that, both with you and with Daisy. I never think it fair to subject another innocent fur-soul to the ravages of grief unless there's good reason to - my personal opinion. I just don't think it's a great way to introduce them to a new household, especially if they've been suffering the stresses of shelter 'life'....although you may be saving their very life, too, so it really depends! To me, it's a moral decision as well as a personal one, as I'd never wish to burden another soul with unfair comparisons and disappointment in their essence. However, having just gone through 3 neighbourhood cats in a row who I thought were abandoned (only one technically was, and was eventually adopted out with a friend's help), if I'd had any doubts about whether I was ready or not, these furry souls certainly helped me decide! And I'm definitely NOT ready! Although one cat in particular (the latest) was SO perfect for me (looks and acts like a combo. of both Nissa and Sabin, is Nissa's dainty size, but is dressed in pure white!) and managed to make me laugh all the time (she's 'owned' anyway, though doesn't appear to like her home, poor dear!), I still found my heart was unable to give as fully as I'd prefer and I was resenting the intrusion into thoughts about Nissa, on one level - not good. So if THIS girl couldn't 'do it' for me, no one could! I did, however, manage to convince her people to start taking better care of her, and it's looking like perhaps they actually finally got her spayed, so it was still a victory of sorts. So helping out at a shelter or something similar might be useful to finding out where you really stand. Some people are greatly helped by a new addition, but for me, I'm just too exhausted and still too raw about the medical issues to jump right into that again. And besides, I'm still banking on my kids coming back to me when I, and surrounding conditions, are truly ready to receive them again. ;) In my heart of hearts, I still don't want anybody but them, at least not as first-chosen ones. It's hard to top who they were/are and I don't need anything more to remind me of how much I've lost.

What you're describing about seeing other dogs who look like Pino isn't strange to me, either. I did the same when I'd see the other, lone black cat in our neighbourhood after Sabin passed (who I believe he sent directly to me once, offering me much comfort in holding him/her). And most folks who use animal communicators (or even human mediums for human losses) will say that those initial connections after a loved one's passing get you feeling like it's a 'first date'. We do a lot of "searching" for our beloveds, and this is one of the many forms of that.

In fact, I'm positive Nissa sent me that white cat, for many good reasons. I even got to spend 2 nights with her in bed with me, helping me to fill this horrible catless, furless void, but also making me see that there's NO substitute for my OWN girl's presence beside me. They love us still, as they always did, and ARE helping guide us along this sorrowful path. I'm sure Pino will be doing the same for you. You need only become open to seeing and sensing it. He may even come through in Daisy, given half a chance, as Sabin did through Nissa fairly often in the beginning and this is a common occurrence, too.

I thank you for the 'chat', Diana. As you can see, even after almost 10 months, I still need mutual support as well. :wub:

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Hi Maylissa,

I had to write to share this story with you because, ironically, we were talking about this topic in our last e-mail. Remember, my thoughts on adopting another dog? After reading your message, I figured you were right - that perhaps, I should wait and give it more time - because, truthfully, I had intended to adopt another dog that looked just like Pino so that I could find some relief in seeing a similar face. Well, last Sunday as my husband and I were driving, we almost ran over a dog. I got out of the car because usually that makes them run away from the middle of the street. But instead of running, this dog wagged his tail and approached me. My husband told me to grab him so that we could leave him in a nearby trailer park - he figured it may belong to someone there. Althought I was hesitant to pick him up, out of fear that he would bite me, I did nonetheless. No struggles, and he was as friendly as ever. It turned out that apart from being extremely dirty and matted, he was infested with ticks. Of course, we felt bad for the dog and decided to take him to the vet to have him shaved (he's a white bichon mix breed with long hair), have them remove the ticks and treat him for it. We did that and then came home him. Now the dilemma was, do we take him to a shelter immediately or try to find him a home. My husband felt bad taking him to a shelter and, homestly so did I - so here he is. I've been asking around for a home for him, and even contacted an organization - Small Paws - and the person who called me back stated that she would look around for a foster home and call me within a few days. My husband has taken a strong liking to whom he now refers to as Teddy. I feel somewhat ashamed to say that despite the fact that the dog is extremely friendly and affectionate and constantly looks to be my side, I have no feelings for him. I feel sorry for him, but that'a about it. That is a very unusual reaction for me because normally I feel a tenderness and closeness to animals - but not in this situation. I feel like I am betraying my baby (Pino) and I don't want to ever forget him. I feel good that I did something to help a stray animal - I guess I remember that's how I started with my Pino, but I developed such strong feelings for my Pino right away and this dog, despite his attempts to engage me, evokes nothing but pity. I feel so bad. I get the sense that my husband really wants to keep him and I told him if he wanted to, he could, as long as he is the one that is more involved with him. I was very involved in taking care of my Pino and even with Daisy - because of their medical problems. And speaking of Daisy - I can't quite grasp what she is feeling about this dog. Ironically, he acts like Pino, in regards to her - he basically ignores her - I told my husband that my poor Daisy will get traumatized because no male dog shows any interest in her. Actually, I'm just joking - most people think that if this dog ended up staying, eventually he and Daisy would become friends. I don't know what to do. Do you think that I would, eventually, develop feelings for him if he stayed? I even have a hard time referring to him by the name my husband gave him. I usually call him the dog. I have to admit that he is a sweet dog, though. i just don't want my Pino's memory betrayed and I told my husband I don't want him to ever forget our first fur baby. I hope he won't. I will always love my Pino very much. I really don't know why I don't feel I can't give love to someone else. Right now, as I write, he is sitting at my feet. He follows me everywhere. It's terrible - I can't believe that I feel this way because I've always loved animals so much. I am treating him nicely, though. I would never mistreat any animal. I even give him occasional belly rubs, but the feelings aren't there. I guess I have severals days to think about what to do with him. In the meantime, I found a low cost clinic that will neuter him - so he has an appointment on Friday - that should be more of an incentive for adoption if someone decides to take him. As always, thanks for the opportunity to express my feelings.

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Hi Diana,

I feel for you in the predicament you find yourself in....and I know the feeling! It is indeed ironic! (but often how the Universe works to spur us along in some way, whether we like it or not) I think what you've done for this poor soul is wonderful so far, especially since your grief is still so fresh....much like the timing I experienced with the first cat (mainly grey, much like my girl who was all grey) who did turn out to be abandoned. I was fortunate in that my no-kill shelter friend ended up taking him (after much pleading!), had him neutered and got him adopted w/i about a month after I'd handed him over. However, during the 2-3 wks. I kept him and after she took him, I also did my very best in putting up colour posters, running ads in papers and carefully screening potential adopters to try to find him a home.

No matter what I say, it will still be up to you (and your husband) as to what your heart tells you to do. So I can only tell you how I felt about doing what I did, and hope that will guide you to look inside and see what you're comfortable with.

With this first cat (about 2 months into my grief), who was really a dear and someone else I could have seen myself coming to love in time, I felt I had to help him in some way, seeing as he'd been abandoned or lost once already. However, at the same time, I was very distraught over the prospect of having to face vet visits and medical/health issues when still so raw with the memories of Nissa's ordeal (and mine). But I felt I had to at least help find him a good home, no matter how long it took. I was also resenting the Universe for plunking this guy square in my lap, when I was up to my ears in trying to simply get through one day after another! Step one was advertising him as LOST, in case someone was looking for him. I gave that 2 wks. When that didn't net any calls, I prayed daily for a great home, not wishing to betray his trust in me, and plugged away at the task. Without going into details, I felt I did a bang-up job with the posters and ads I placed, and also asked some neighbours to post these in their workplaces as well as utilizing my H's workplace, internal ad site. I didn't want to leave any stone unturned, as I couldn't have lived with myself if I'd just turned my back on him, or let my friend do ALL the work. It was exhausting work, both physically and emotionally, but the moment he found a home, I was exhuberant and knew I'd done the right thing by him in not giving up the task....even though it didn't end up being me who placed him. I was very grateful that he'd not had to stay with me the entire time, even though I, too, treated him very well and gave him daily doses of affection, rubs and playtime.....despite my aching heart.

At the exact same time, we had another cat hanging around, who I was also feeding as she'd come by in the very WORST of weather in the winter, so we thought she might also be abandoned, though she never wanted to stay the night. It was only after about 4 months of this that I finally discovered.....she lived only 2 doors down from us! :rolleyes: This girl just loves food that much! :lol: And then lastly, there's been this white cat, who I'm VERY happy to say IS now spayed and tattooed and is also being kept at home more often now - I still can hardly believe her people even took my advise! :blink: So I've become a veritable cat magnet, when I feel least able to handle all this....and yet, I'm so glad I did what I thought was right by all of them. Had I simply looked the other way, I know my Nissa would have been disappointed in the essence of what her mom's always been about....and that would have hurt even MORE. I tried to work not only with my morals and values but with a certain amount of respect for my true feelings (my grief, fears and resentments), and also mine and my H's plans for our immediate future, which didn't include adopting someone of our own yet. I fought my H when I had to, based on my morals and values (eg. NO kill shelter, no matter what) and it did put a strain on things, but in the end, with a tiny seed of faith and the same of hope, things have actually worked out okay. I also made sure I told him everything I was thinking and feeling about each situation, including not wanting to muck up our plans, but feeling compelled to not turn a blind eye, either. To my mind, a life is someone's very LIFE, and that alone is worthy of fighting to save.

So perhaps a compromise of sorts might suit you and your husband. If he wishes to keep 'Teddy', then as you made clear, that would be his responsibility (with caregiving duties detailed and outlined in advance) to provide the bulk of care and attention, because this would be filling a need HE has, and is not the same one(s) you have. Or, you could try to place 'Teddy' yourself and enlist whatever help you have available. If Small Paws can help, all the better...or possibly even another organization. It IS still usually much easier to adopt out dogs, over cats. There are also online resources for adopting out animals. (make sure, too, that this clinic tattoos him at the same time as he's neutered, and ask to allow the tattoo to be transferable to a new guardian if he's adopted out)

I DO understand the feeling of betrayal to your beloved's memory, and I think many of us feel that way. No matter when when we adopt again ourselves (if ever), it's understood that it's never a replacing of our loved one, but just a carrying on of the love we have left inside. And as for not being ABLE to feel that same amount of love, no matter how you always were in the past...well, it IS only barely over a month for you, and you may likely still be in shock (I was for quite a few months) and if so, all feelings are often numbed-down. Even if you're not in shock, when one's heart is so aggrieved by a major loss, a part of it can easily stay closed off, as a protective measure against more pain. How long this lasts is as individual as anything else in grief.

If you simply pay good attention to all your feelings and thoughts, the answers will become clearer, even if this takes a little while longer. In the meantime, at least you've gotten this dog out of danger and if you can't give him the amount of love he needs, at least you're giving him some, plus providing basic care....obviously more of all of these than he had before! You have done right by rescuing him from what was a bad situation and for that you should be so proud of yourself. No matter how panicked or desperate you might feel, trust that the answers do lie within and you will find a way to do what's right for yourself. I had very little trust in this myself during all these 'rescues', and yet look what happened! This little dog is helping you in some way, even if it doesn't seem that way now....and you are helping him. You want to come away from this feeling good about yourself and your choices, and not add to your 'bad' feelings. That is in large part what kept me going, with each and every situation. So whatever will get you the closest to that, is what I think will serve you best in the end. Hang in there and keep us posted!

Edited by Maylissa
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  • 2 weeks later...

[attachmentid=134]Hi Rita,

I'm new to this so please bare with me. I just read your wonderful loving story & I feel the same way you do. I just lost my boy on May 9th and I cannot seem to function ever since....how do we go on??? I feel so alone. I'm a stay at home mommy of my 4 year old girl and my 6 year old Rott/Doberman & I just can't seem to hold it together for them. My husband works 24-7 so he doesn't have time to sit and think about it as much as I do I guess...I just miss my guy so much and his remains are awaiting for me to pick up at the vet but I just cannot do it yet because then it will seem all so final...My friends don't understand because most of them don't have the Love & Passion as I do for animals so they think I just need to get over it I guess...So I'm hoping joining this can help me a bit. People who don't have the Love & Passion for animals like we do just don't understand....so if you don't mind I'd like to share my story:

I now only have my 6 year old male Rott/Doberman Mix & I don't want him to go through what his brother went through so I'm looking for some all natural supplements & dog food to put him on. We just lost our 9 year old male Rott/Weimerainer on May 9, 2007 because he was diagonosed with Valley Fever in October 2006 so his medication he was taking for the Valley Fever ended up making his Liver Enzymes get real high and his Liver was not doing good and this was in February of 2007 so then our vet changed his Valley Fever medication and he really started going down hill, he was on Rymidal, steroids anitflamm meds, he got this auto immune disease and he had edema really bad in his left leg which made it really swell up and it hurt him so badly he could barely walk and the antibotics weren't helping him so they had to put him on steroids to relieve the pain and swelling and it worked and he got way better but it only lasted for a week and a half and then he stopped eating and his Liver got worse and we were taking him in every day for Iv's and fluids but then basically his immune system just couldn't handle all this medication he was on and his body just shut down on him and he didn't eat for 13 days so we finally had to let him go to rest because he was just so bad. And this was the hardest thing we've ever had to go through. And now I'm wondering if it's my fault for NOT knowing all the dangers and risks about medications for dogs so I'm really beating myself up on this whole thing & I feel if I knew then what I know now that maybe my boy would still be here with us.

So after moving here to AZ. 3 years ago and learning all about this Valley Fever and chemicals in dog food and in house cleansers and all the chemicals in the pest control we were using I've been trying to do research on my household products and dog food, etc. I just started feeding my dog that is still here with us "Innova Large Breed Senior" and I'm still not sure if I like it and if it's really good for him, he is morning the loss of his brother and he only eats his dry dog food if I put in some boiled chicken and rice in with it or some cottage cheese or plain yogurt, so I'm just trying to find ways to keep him healthy, I don't really have the time to cook him all human meals so I need help. I also want to get him on supplements for his joints because he is a large breed and I'm already noticing he is having problems with his joints and back legs when he sits or gets up from laying down. His fur has also got real dull and flakey in the past 6 months and he sheds really bad and I'm brushing him every day and right now he is on the 3V caps for that but I want to know if there is a better supplement he should be on. I also want to know if I should put him on Natural Azmira remedies such as Mega Pet Daily, ImmunoStim'R, Yucca Intensive, Garlic Daily Aid, Flower Remedies, & D'toxifier? I also just took him in to my vet for his senior wellness exam and next week they are going to test him for Valley Fever and do a complete blood work on him. I want them to check out all his blood work and make sure he is healthy. I just recently noticed a 2 lumps the size of a quarter on his left side and they move around though so they think they are hopefully just fatty. But he's been losing his nails recently also and the quicks are exposed and he's been licking at them and they put him on a antibotic for a few weeks until he gets his teeth cleaned then they will also take a nail out and have it tested for fungus but they think it's probably "symmetrical lupoid onchodystrophy" so now I'm concerned about this on top of everything else. He is also growling when people pet him and he gets very mad when I brush him but so I recently just bought a muzzle to put on him while I brush him because he is so mad but yet he lets me give him baths, and shove pills down his mouth and he lets me do anything to him except for the brushing and I've learned a lot of things from Cesar Milan too but I obviously need more work with him because he doesn;'t like my husband at all right now, he always growls at him when he trys to pet & love him but yet he runs up to him with his tail wagging and wants to be pet when my husband gets home from work every day.....Basically I have lots of questions and I wish I knew all this stuff before about all the natural and homeopathic herbs and vets out there. So if you can help me in any way or guide me int he right way I would greatly appreciate it. I want to try and advoid medications that can harm my doggie and have him on a healthy diet with no byproducts and all those harmful ingredients that are in these dog foods.

Thank You for listening...with Love & Hugs, Tara...If you'd like to view my boys Memorial please feel free too:



Edited by Cali Girl
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Dear Tara,

I'm so sorry you lost your baby, Moki, and have had to learn some very hard lessons from his ordeal. Your tribute page had me sobbing up a storm, it was so touching...though I had to turn the music off, I was losing it so badly. The huge love you and your husband have for Moki (and his brother), and theirs for you and each other, is so apparent from your pictures and stories, and Moki was very blessed (despite that knowledge you didn't have before!) to have been part of such a loving circle. You did the best you could, given what you weren't aware of at the time......I can't stress this enough.

I've read of many, many others who've gone through the same heartbreak you're going through now, for the same kinds of reasons, and who also felt guilty for what they simply didn't know at the time. Blame doesn't belong with you if you were simply unaware of all those many factors. That wouldn't be fair or just blame. If you must blame anyone, blame the vets who continue to utilize nothing BUT chemicals and drugs to attempt to manage disease, rather than remaining open to other modalities that strive to cure or help actually reverse or heal damage from disease. What you've now tragically learned about things like steroid use, anti-inflammatories, etc., I've known about for many years, but most people don't, or they refuse to listen to the evidence against their use....same as the docs who keep using them (or them alone)and expecting better results than their history has proven. It is too terribly common for people to not realize the limitations of, and often further damage to the body (whether animal or human) that such drugs often do....until it's too late to change their loved one's life. And then they suffer, just as you are. But you didn't know what you didn't know beforehand, just as anyone else in this position didn't. No one can know it ALL, even alternative practitioners....although at least most of them have a better understanding of those bigger pictures, and treat patients accordingly.

The important part here though, is that you already have learned something very valuable, and more importantly, you've taken it to heart and are actually DOING something about, and with, it! Let this be a part of your gift back to Moki. Let it add meaning to his life story, and now yours and his brother's. What better way to show your undying love for him, and your dedication to not repeat the same mistakes? It's all any of us can do in the face of such loss.

And this is what I did for my Nissa, after her brother passed. Whatever I didn't know then, I made it my mission to learn about after, and used that (never-ending) education to help my girl stay alive for 6.5 more years, though she became ill (with the beginnings of CRF) right after her brother passed. It was one of the best things I could do, to give his life and death more meaning and good purpose, and to keep my darling girl with me for as long as possible.....and as far as I'm concerned, it worked.

The first thing I did was go on a hunt for a better holistic primary vet, whilst still keeping her local holistic vet on her 'team' as well, but more as a secondary vet. It was one of the best decisions of my life. Here are some links to the vet I chose, although there are quite a few excellent homeopathic &/or other holistic vets available as well. (I'll give a link to some of those after, too):

Dr. Don Hamilton's book

Book Review by other, teaching homeopaths

Article on book

article from ItsForTheAnimals.com

For a comprehensive list of links to all things holistic regarding animal care, see Kat Berard's wealth of info. on her site. Here you'll find other alternative vets, info on diet, etc., etc. etc.!:


For another great list of vets, see the link to Brighthaven:

Brighthaven's vets

The reason I'm suggesting vets like these is because illness and disease can be complicated by so many factors, and good holistic vets, of whatever particular modality, will take this into account when treating an animal. It's not wise to take on such a big challenge all by yourself, as you could inadvertently use some things that are contraindicated by either disease or by each other and make matters worse. Plus, it's most helpful to have some emotional support for health issues, that a good holistic vet can provide. They will understand your concerns about getting quality care after such a loss. I don't know WHAT I would have done w/o our Dr. Don's kind and calm manner when I was so distraught!! Most homeopathic (and some other holistic) vets can and will work by phone, as long as you have a local vet who will cooperate in this effort and do any necessary physical checks. This is what we did, as I'm in Canada and Dr. Hamilton is in New Mexico. His service, btw, was more reliable and dependable than our local vet's, so in emergencies or critical situations, he came through with flying colours. We also used local vet. specialists, referred by our local holistic vet, when needed.....so Nissa had quite a team!

As for diet, other than the links I've provided to get you started, Wellness brand is one high quality commercial food, and became one of Nissa's staples. But there are also a fair number of other ones, too, some of which she also got - we aimed for variety, since she suffered with anorexia for awhile after losing her brother.....and discovered that variety IS, indeed, the 'spice of life', at least for her! Innova's a fairly good brand, too, though, at least the last time I checked. Try Googling "organic pet foods" for a start to some of the best ones. I would also suggest you only use DRY food if you must, or only in very limited quantities; it can cause many health complaints. In your searches, you will likely find much evidence in the holistic field of vet. medicine to support this idea. (but Wellness also does make dry as well) Some companies will also ship directly to you on a predetermined schedule, so you don't run out before you can order more, if you can't find the brand you want locally. You could also consider feeding a pre-made raw food diet - just Google "raw food diets for animals" or similar search phrases, and you'll get much info. to consider. If I were to do it all again, I'd go that route as much as possible, rather than the aprox. ONLY 50% amount of raw, homemade food I added to our kidlets' diets in their later years.....once I knew more than I'd ever wanted to know about common pet foods (it's quite horrifying)!

As for flower essences, I know I've mentioned these quite a few times here, especially for helping to ease the grief of surviving furries, so you might check some older posts by me (use the "Find All Posts By This Member" feature on the Profile page - open that link on the right hand side of the page, as it's not immediately visible.....(note to Marty - THIS SHOULD BE CHANGED, IF POSSIBLE, by the techie-team!)....or see Teresa Wagner's site which is listed in the main Grief Healing site under Pet Loss links. These behaviour problems could be in large part being brought on by grief.

I know this will seem like such a daunting task, which is another good reason for finding an excellent vet. That way, you can learn from THEIR expertise, incrementally, while also doing your own research. But again, I commend you for your efforts to date.....there are many who can't or won't take on such a project, and whose beloved babies fair poorly because of it. What more can I say except.....aren't they WORTH it, though???? I had to do the same thing with Nissa and her health concerns, starting only 2 wks. after her brother left us, so I know it's hard, but it IS also do-able. And SHE was MORE than worth all the extra effort!!! Today, I can feel really good about how far I went for her sake, because it was for MY sake as well, to have her with me for so many more wonderful years.

I'm sorry so much of this sounds simply 'technical', but I was trying to get the info you'd requested to you ASAP. But be assured, I also relate to how much emotional pain you're in over Moki. We who DO have that special and 'enlightened' love and passion for our furkids know firsthand how hard these losses are, oftentimes far worse than our human losses. It's been so for me, too. Nobody's passing has been harder for me than Nissa's. Her brother's was just as bad, except at least I still had HER back then....and now I don't and it feels like Hell on Earth. For me, my grief over her will likely last (acutely) for a long time yet, even with minor breaks in it here and there....but I won't know for certain until I get 'there', wherever and whenever 'there' is. It's a long road, but one in which we can share the ups and downs, the challenges and the 'victories' here, among other understanding animal parents.

Strength and Hugs,


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  • 1 month later...

Hi everyone,

I'm sorry it's been so long since I have wrote and/or replied, I really have no excuses, except for just still being heartbroken over the loss of Twix. It still hurts and I still cry and I really, really miss her. My world has been turned upside down since I lost her. I feel alone and empty still, even though I know I'm not. It's just that her and I had a special bond since we were alone, just her and I for so long.

I have been reading everyone's stories and my heart breaks for each and everyone of you. The loss of Moki, Pino, Max and all the others that I can't recall off hand right now have left me in tears. In some sad, strange way it does help to know that others are going through the same loss and the same pain that I am. I don't want others to ever have to hurt and feel the pain and sadness that I am, but I also know that, that is impossible when we all love our "fur babies" (I love that term by the way) the way we do. Animals have such a huge impact on us, and their love and devotion is so strong.

I think it was Maylissa who said that she would rather have her pets die first rather than herself die and have them go through the pain of missing her. I agree with that. Twix was always upset when I was not around. She would just sit outside and look up the driveway waiting for me. The thought of her doing that and me never coming home and the pain, sadness and maybe even abandonment she would feel just tears at my heart. She would not understand why I was gone and why I was not coming back to her, and that is more than what I can handle. We as humans can understand, but they can't and I would hate to break her heart like that.

Maylissa also said that we don't have to say "goodbye" to them just because they have passed away. I was so happy and grateful to hear that. Just because my baby girl passed away doesn't mean that I have to forget about her. She is and always will be a huge part of my life. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about her. I miss her so much and I think I always will.

I have been looking for the past couple of weeks for another dog. Our lab, Jenny, really is lonely. I always said the next dog I get will be a rescue dog from our local shelter, so I have been keeping my eyes open. Yes, part of me feels guilty over the thought of having another dog. I don't want Twix to feel that we are going to forget her or that we are replacing her. I hope Twix knows that she will never, ever be replaced, in my heart our in our home. As much as I love animals, I know that I am able and capable of opening my heart and loving another dog. It's just the thought of hurting again when they pass away....it's a horrible heartbreak.

I will be 40 at the end of this month (August) and for all of my life I have wanted a baby. I have 3 step-children, but I have always wanted a baby of my own and Twix knew that. I prayed all the time with her. Well, I found out about 4 weeks ago that I was 5 weeks pregnant. My baby is due the same week that Twix passed away. It would be awesome if my baby was born on March 17, 2008. Some friends of mine are saying that Twix knew how much I wanted a baby so she traded places so I could have one. Others are saying she went up there and had a talk with God and got things rolling. I don't know which one it is, but I am grateful to make one of my all time wishes come true. I still miss my girl and my heart is still broken, but I do believe she had some part in this miracle that is growing inside of me. God bless her for that. That's my girl, always thinking of me, always looking out for me.

Thank you all so much for your words of encouragement, your kindness, your understanding, your tears, your love and your support. I don't think I could get through this without you.

I have been busy making a memorial for Twix. Please, please stop by and visit her and see for yourself what a beautiful girl she was. Here is the link and if it doesn't work go to www.critters.com and do a search for Twix and you will find her.


Again, thank you everyone for everything. I hope to stay in better touch with you all.


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  • 2 months later...

Hi everyone,

Today is the 7th month anniversary since my sweet girl, Twix passed away. I think of her everyday and I still cry for her. I miss her so much. It's still hard for me to say "Twix passed away" the words seem unreal and untrue to me. I will always love her and she will always be in my heart and my soul.

Last week we adopted a 6 month old female puppy from our local animal shelter. She is a pomeranian/Sheltie cross; she looks exactly like a baby fox and everyone says so too. She weighs in at a big whopping 10 lbs; she really is a blessing to me as I feel my heart healing some.

Lela, that is the puppy's name, was born on March 23, six days after Twix passed away. My husband, Rod, says that Lela and Twix met in Heaven and Twix sent Lela to come live with us. It's funny, because I see some of Twix in her, some of her behaviors are so similiar to Twix - in a strange way, it's comforting to me.

I check out our Shelter's website daily and when I saw Lela's picture, she spoke to me and to my heart. I called them immediatley and asked if they could hold her until Saturday, as they close at 5:00 and I don't get off work until 5:00 and could not make it there in time. She told me they only have a one day hold policy and she asked if we have filled out a match-making form, and I told her yes that that we had been there several times. She pulled my file and told me that they would stay open late if we would like to come and look at her that night and they also said they would love to adopt to us.

Rod and I met there after work and both of us fell in love with Lela immediately. There were 3 other couples looking at her, but they were told that we had first pick becuase I had called them. So we took her home that night, and she has blended with our family as if she was meant to be there and as if she had been there. She was meant to be there with us.

Our lab, Jenny, took to her immediately as well. She has been so lonely since Twix passed away. She misses having a canine friend to play with on a daily basis.

Twix and Jenny used to play pretty rough; well Twix did. Jenny was always very careful because Twix was much smaller than she was. Lela and Jenny are trying to play the same way now too, but Lela gets scared becuase Jenny is so big. Lela will learn soon that Jenny won't hurt her. Heck, Twix used to grab Jenny's ears and bite and chew the heck out of them....Jenny's tail was always wagging. It's good to see Jenny happy again. Don't get me wrong, Jenny is a happy dog, but she has missed playing with another dog, and she is starting to again, and that does my heart good, really good.

I know that loving an animal means that one day having a broken heart and I also know that some people avoid getting another animal to prevent that from happening. But I can't. I love them too much to be without them. So I have opened my heart again and it is filling up with love, joy and happiness. I will always have a sadness and an emptiness for my Twix, and she will never be replaced, nor will she ever be forgotten. I know that Lela and Twix met in Heaven and Twix sent her to us. That's my girl, always looking out for me, her mommy. I love her and I miss her and I always will.

Not everyone understands the love we have for our animals and the loss we feel when they are gone. But everyone here does and I am so thankful I have a place to come and cry and write and not be told to get over it and that it's been a long time and I should be over it. I am so thankful for all of you who understand. I am also thankful that when I cry at home, my husband is there to hold me and cry too. He misses Twix so much too, I can see it in his eyes, hear it in his voice, feel it in his heart. She left an imprint on all of our hearts. I wish you all could have met her, you would have loved her too.

Once again, thank you for listening to me pour out my heart for my special girl Twix and open my heart to a new love - Lela.


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Rita what a sweetie Twix was. Thank you for sharing her story with us. When my Nvwati passed away 2 1/2 weeks ago I thought my heart would explode from grief, but I found that building his memorial website, talking about and TO him, reading and posting in these forums, I am able to cope day by day.

Take care.

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Thank you so much for your kind words. You are right, my Twix was a sweetie, she was a very thoughtful, caring, kind, loving, fun dog and as I said, not a day goes by that I don't think about her. I too, felt my heart would explode when she passed away, and at times, I still feel that way. Some days it's all I can do to move on without her. Rod tells me that Twix would not want me to be this sad, and he's right, she would not want me to be sad. When I was sad, she was always the first to give me a hug and kisses. I miss them.

I too, have built a memorial for Twix. I think I posted the link in a previous letter I wrote here, but just in case she is at www.critters.com do a search for Twix and you will find her.

I would like to visit the memorial you have created, please let me know where I can, thank you!!

I am so sorry for your loss as well. All of us here know what and how you are feeling; this site is a and has been a blessing for me. Just to know I am not alone in my feelings, grief and emptiness is very comforting.

Once again, thank you very much.


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  • 4 months later...

Today is exactly one year since I lost my sweet Twix. It's hard to believe that a year has gone by. I miss her so much still, and it still hurts. I still cry for her and probably always will.

My life will never be the same without her, for she has touched my heart and my soul.

We have had a new change in our house; a new addition to the family...

I had Brandon Ryan Shear on Feb 20, 2008 at 1:03 pm by C-Section. He weighed in at 5 lbs, 15 ounces and was 19 inches long. In my heart, I believe that Twix helped send Brandon to me because she knew how much I wanted a baby.

There is a new happiness in my life now, named Brandon, but there will always be an emptiness in my heart, a sadness and lonliness because Twix is no longer here with me. She will always be in my thoughts and my heart.

I love her so much and I miss her deeply and I always will.

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I'm so glad you were able to find your old thread to couple it with your news. It was nice to read the background before reading your post. You don't know me, but I know you from your beautiful writting of Twix, that is a great name. Brandon is a wonderful name as well. Congratulations the birth of your son. What a little tyke he is. Don't worry, my own darling daughter born 2 1/2 years ago, was though term, also small (6lbs. 5oz. so not quite the same) and she plumped up so fast! Then of course she when she learned to walk she slimmed down. I was actaully a little upset she flew through sizes so fast, but now I can't get her out of 12 to 18 months.

I'm sure your dear Twix had a paw in your son's arrival. Cuddle him close and give him all the love in your heart. :wub:

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Dear Rita,

It's good to hear from you again, despite the reason why you're back here. But be assured whoever is around this forum now, is with you in heart and spirit on your sad One Year Angelversary of your beloved Twix, and we all understand how dreadful these special dates feel.

Congratulations on your new baby boy, Brandon...who, strangely, came into this world like I, myself, did, and weighing about the same, too! ^_^ I'm sure Twix did have a fuzzy paw in bringing you this new-found joy in your life...they never stop taking care of us, their parents, just as reciprocally as we always did of them. The love between them and us is still alive and well, even if we can't experience it as tangibly as we once did.

It is difficult, though, to have such sorrow and joy lay side-by-side in one's heart, each striving to be 'heard' at the same time. I still suffer the same challenge myself, during the moments when I'm feeling happier or even excited about something. Alongside those feelings still lays my heavy heart and the never-ending emptiness that Nissa's physical absence brings. I also still suffer guilt upon feeling happier or excited, despite any rationalizations I use to try and combat that unwarranted guilt. It all is what it is, for as long as it needs to be.

I'd just passed the 1.5 Year Angelversary of my girl last month....and it was an absolutely terrible time for me....and now coming up on her 19th month soon....already. I still wish Time would stop &/or even go backwards. So I empathize with how you feel. A year can feel both like an eternity AND only yesterday, to our still-broken hearts. I still cry, too....how could we not? The missing them is here to stay.

Of course, even alongside your happier news, you still mourn for your darling Twix. Of course she's still in your thoughts and heart! Where else would or could she be? She will always belong with you, in the deepest parts of your soul, never to really part.

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Thank you so much for your kind words and taking the time to ready my recent posts.

I do miss Twix deeply. If you go to www.critters.com and do a search for Twix, you will see the web page I made for her. There are pictures of her there. She truly was a blessing to me and a sweet, sweet girl. She had a mind of her own, that's for sure.

As for Brandon, Rod and I have been trying since 2003 to have him and he too is a blessing. I also believe that Twix had a hand in his arrival. He is such a joy.

We did have a scare with him.....4 days after we brought him home from the hospital, he quit eating and ended up in the ER. He got down to 4 lbs. 5 ounces...and so they ended up admitting him to PICU and was in the hospital for 8 days. Talk about scary. I was so scared for my son. I prayed to God and to Twix to help him. He has been home for 9 days now and is doing really good. We are headed out the door to the doctor's office for a quick weigh-in and check up. He is my new bundle of joy and my gift from God and Twix.

Please feel free to tell me more about your daughter, I'd love to hear about her.

Thank you again so much and I hope to hear back from you.


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