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Barney Has Gone To The Rainbow Bridge


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I'm so glad to have found this site and I appreciate the opportunity to share about our sweet Barney, who died on Saturday after a long battle with congestive heart failure. Barney was a cocker spaniel boy whom we rescued almost 6 years ago from cocker rescue, and with Mynka (also a rescue, age 12 now) is a cherished member of our family.

Mynka has been doing pretty well on her meds - no worsening over the last several months. Barney, however, has been showing significant decline in the last two weeks. Last week, I noticed that he wasn't eating as well as he usually does, and he was even more tired and sluggish than usual. Thursday night, he turned down a Greenie, which is unheard of, and he didn't want his dinner. I hoped that it was just the hot weather, which has slowed us all down. We have a/c, as does the car, but even so the heat has been tough on everyone.

Friday, we loaded the dogs up and headed north to Marquette. Nothing unusual, other than Barney seeming tired and not wanting to move around. That night though, at the hotel, he hardly slept, pacing and panting all night. I took him outside once at 3am, and all he wanted to do was lie in the grass and pant. Saturday morning, we got up to go to the nursing home, and he seemed a little better after his potty walk and some fresh ice water. By the time we got to the nursing home, he wasn't interested in walking anywhere, so Tom kept him in the truck in the a/c while Mynka and I went visiting. When they picked us up, Barney seemed a little better.

We started to head up to the lakeshore, and I noticed that Barney's gums were gray, not pink, and that he was panting excessively and drooling. (He had been in the air-conditioned truck all the time - not out in the heat.) I decided to call our vet's answering service for advice - is this an emergency or not - and left a message for the vet to call us. Five minutes later, Barney was looking even more gray,, so I called a local (Marquette) vet's emergency number, and explained that we were visitors and were concerned about Barney's condition, the CHF, etc. While I was on the phone with the answering service, I looked back at Barney in the back seat, and he had collapsed and wasn't breathing.

I tried to give him mouth-to-nose breathing and CPR(probably incorrectly), but got absolutely no response. After about 5 minutes, it was obvious that he was gone. If there is any silver lining, it's that he did not suffer. One moment he was sitting there looking at me...the next he was gone.

We got home Saturday night, after driving straight back to Mt. Pleasant and going by the vet. Our vet kindly met us there at 10:30 pm, when we got back. It was so hard to leave Barney there for the last time.

I'm absolutely stunned, and crushed, and my eyes hurt from all the tears. I knew he was a sick dog, but we had no idea that he was going downhill so fast. I was not ready for this at all. We are still numb.

Mynka slept most of the way home - of course, she has CHF also, but hopefully we can keep hers under control for quite a bit longer. It is so very odd, and sad, to only have one cocker kid here now.

Right now we're exhausted and emotionally devastated. I don't have human children - Barney and Mynka are my "kids," and this hurts more

than anything I can remember. He was truly my sweet cocker boy. I can't imagine our family without him. I just don't know how to deal with this..

Hug your furkids tonight -


Linda and Tom

Mynka, our cocker girl

Barney @ RB August, 1994 - July 16, 2005, our beloved cocker boy


IM/Yahoo/MSN DogMom623

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My dear Linda,

We’re all so very sorry to learn of the loss of your precious Barney. Even though you noticed that his health had been failing over the past two weeks, this still must come as a painful blow. I’m pleased to know that you found your way to this kind and compassionate group, but I also want to be sure that you know about my Grief Healing Web site, which offers information, comfort and support to anyone anticipating or coping with the loss of a loved one, whether that is a person or a cherished pet. I especially want to point you to these articles, in hopes that they will help:

Coping with Pet Loss: Am I Crazy to Feel So Sad about This?

When Pet Loss Feels Worse than Losing a Relative

Loss and the Burden of Guilt

You will find links to these and many other articles on my site's Pet Loss Articles page, and if you visit my Pet Loss Links page, you'll find dozens of other wonderful resources listed there as well.

You say you don’t know how to deal with this, Linda, and sadly, none of us has THE answer to that question, because the special relationship you had with Barney is known only to you, and so only you can measure how very much you have lost. Similarly, because you are a unique individual with your own personality, your own history and past experiences with loss, and with your own way of coping with life's crises, we know that you will discover for yourself how you will deal with the pain of this loss. None of us can take away that pain, but we can assure you that you need not bear it all alone. We want you to know that we are here for you, we care about you, and we are sending you our deepest sympathy.

Wishing you peace and healing,

Marty T

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Hi Linda,

My condolences to you and your family (furred and non-furred) for Barney's loss. It's a terrible thing that we all have to go through eventually in exchange for all the love and companionship they so unselfishly give to us. Sometimes I wonder why nature made dogs and cats have such short lives compared to ours, and someone gave me the obvious (but not to me) answer: in order that we may have the privilege of knowing more of them. That's a great way of looking at it I think.

As with the loss of my Daisee back in June (five weeks tomorrow), no dog will ever replace Barney, but there will be (and should be) other dogs in our lives. Fortunately for us (Pancho and me), puppy girl Lulu found us, and has already made our lives richer and happier by her presence. No, she's not Daisee, and she never will be, but she's her own dog, and is making her mark on us already. I'm sure it will be the same for your family.

I just finished reading "The Hidden Life Of Dogs" by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas. I'd read it a couple of times before, but I always enjoy re-reading her insights (however unscientific they may be) into dog behavior and how they see us. The end of the book made me shed a tear before, but having read it after losing my Daisee, I had a good long cry just now (hence I'm back on this board!), but in a good way. I strongly recommend reading it when you get a chance.

I hope your days to come will be brighter. Remembering all the joy that Barney brought to you is the sweet part of it, and you'll always have that.

My very best wishes,


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Linda, I'm so sorry for your loss of Barney. I can tell from your email how much you love and miss him. I can also tell that you did everything for him that is possible. How is Mynka doing now? Give yourself time to heal and to grieve. Barney was a part of your life for six years. That's a long time. I know exactly how you feel. I still think about and miss Itchy(mini dachshund), he's been gone for five months. My Oscar(cocker spaniel & Dachshund) has been gone now for a 1 year, 5 months. But most importantly, allow yourself to grieve, cry, laugh, and to heal. I know I will never forget my kids. They are a part of who I am. This morning, I went to donate some food to a local food bank. I stopped and talked with a couple with a smooth minature dachshund. The dog's name was Oscar. I had to chuckle, the dog was exactly like my Itchy, with my other dogs name! I stopped to pet the dog and visit with the people. I have to admit, it made my day. I guess what I'm trying to say is that you'll feel better, just give yourself time to grieve. Remember the time that you had with Barney. The joy he gave to you and to others. And spend time with Mynka. What helped me is reading books, and journaling. I also talked to other pet people. Pet people always understand what you're feeling. I also planted a dwarf orange tree(after Itchy's death). Most importantly give yourself permission to cry, and to grieve. Perhaps in a few months, you'll want to rescue another cocker spaniel. I hope this helps.

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