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Sandy's Mom

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I want to thank Marty for moderating this group, and everyone who participates and contributes their thoughts and feelings. I have read many of the postings, and it's so comforting to see how much love and appreciation there is for our beloved animals! Even when we have to face these difficult moments, this group brings us together and helps us in our grief. I recently lost a pet, too - my 6-year-old shar pei dog, Sandy.

Sandy was only three weeks old the first time I held her in my arms. I wasn’t even looking to have a dog; it was my mother who was looking for a little male shar pei puppy. Sandy didn’t fit the description for my Mom, but she did for me. It was instant love. By the way, my Mom has always regretted she didn’t get Sandy – “the best dog ever.”

She was so tiny when I first brought her home… and she loved to run. Run-run-run, I would tell her, and off she would go. I had to stay out of the way or she would knock me over! She ran without really paying much attention to where she was going, just run, run, run. It was so much fun to watch her. She also loved to play with her toys, and she knew her toys by name. If I asked her to bring “Fluffy”, she knew which one that was. If I said “buddy ball”, she would bring the bright yellow ball. Most recently, Sandy and my other dog, India, loved playing with the squirrel and with the flea… and with each other.

Sandy was flabbergasted when “India” joined our household. What did we need a new puppy for? The first morning after India came to live with us, Sandy woke up and, before even looking at me, she turned to see if the “little monster” was still there. She sighed when she saw her! After a short while, however, they became great pals. Sandy had infinite patience with India. I came home one day, shortly after India joined our lives, to find Sandy had a scratch under her eye. I felt awful I had done this to her, but Sandy never complained. India and Sandy would play “musical bones”, and often India would bug Sandy to come play with her until Sandy just had to do it... India was relentless, and Sandy almost always complied – sometimes, not very often though, she would remind India who was the boss! And she also taught India to run-run-run. Initially, India would look at her like she had gone crazy, but after a while she began to follow Sandy as she was running. Now I had two dogs running like crazy, from one room to the other… and I just loved it! I had so much fun watching the two of them play and interact with each other.

India still run-run-runs in memory of Sandy. And I know Sandy is watching over us. She was my sweet, sweet girl. She would let me hug her for as long as I wanted to. She would nest her head against my arm and, as I held her, her head would grow heavier and heavier as she gradually relaxed in my arms. I miss her dearly, but the memories will always stay with me.

She left me one Sunday morning, three weeks ago tomorrow, after a short but intense fight with GDV (“bloat”). I had never heard of that condition, and I will always blame myself for not taking her to the vet earlier. She made it through the surgery, but not through the night. Her body was still warm when I got there, after they called me to let me know she had taken a turn for the worse. It took me about ten minutes to get there, but it was already too late. I felt like if I asked her to wake up, she would come back to me – and believe me, I did ask!

I cannot describe the pain and the emptiness I’ve felt since that day. Those of you reading this probably know it all too well. I miss her sweet, beautiful brown eyes that spoke louder than words ever could to say “I love you”. I miss her “high-5” – and it never fails to bring a smile to my face (sometimes mixed with a few tears) when I look at her photos where she's doing the high-5. I miss the way she would sit with her back to me, and then turn her head up and back to look at me. And then she would come over so I could hug her and kiss her. And, oh, those sweet kisses!

Death has ended her life, but not the love we shared.

Again, thank you for this opportunity to share my feelings and my love for a very special dog. And thanks to all of those who have posted here. My heart goes out to all of you.

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I am sorry for the loss of your wonderful friend, Sandy. I had first met my husky, Zeus, when he was about 9 months old. He was kept in a kennel all day and only let out twice a day. When I opened his door and he kissed me all over my face, I knew I had a friend for life. I took him home and never again put him in the kennel he hated. He was part of our family and had to be near us at all times. He was 15 years old when I had to put him to sleep last June (only one month after my husband died.) I have many stories about how he "saved" us from harm. But when I came home alone from the visitation service for Bob, Zeus put his head on my lap and we cried together. I knew he was in as much pain as I was. I can only imagine how wonderful the reunion was when him and Bob were together again. (Yes, I believe dogs go to heaven.) It's comforting to know neither one is alone. He also had running spurts through the house! We just had to stand back and laugh as he weighed 74 pounds and we thought we'd be trampled! Thank you for reminding me of that! Pets bring unconditional love into our lives. How lucky we were to have them!

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