Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Gimpy But Lovable

Apparently we have a big arctic storm coming tonight, but for now…amazing.

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If you read this blog and I hope you do, you know I have a three-legged Cocker Spaniel, Lucky. We adopted him from the Humane Society almost nine years ago. He was untrained, unruly and gimpy and we never made efforts to change any of that. He was the dog no one wanted, but the dog I wanted most. Perfect is very over-rated anyway.

Lucky follows me everywhere and never lets me out of his sight. He licks himself incessantly. He is the most lovable, sweet hunk of fur and fluffy paws.  It’s weird to think we love these creatures so much, but that they can't speak to us. We don’t have conversations with them. Well, I have conversations, but he just stares. I think that’s why the relationship works so well.

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Lucky in his youthful days; about 6 years ago

Lucky lost an eye about a year and a half ago, adding to his special needs classification. The missing eye and missing leg are on opposite sides, so he is pretty well balanced.

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Lucky’s other issue is that he has constant “lipstick” if you know what I mean. When we first got him, I took him to the vet because his little wiener would not go back in. I was worried. The vet told me not to worry, that I just needed to stop at Walgreens and get some KY jelly and gloves and put it back in. He showed me how. I thought it was weird. I thought he was weird. I never went back and I never did the KY thing.

I knew someday the three-legged thing would become more of an issue.  Recently Lucky is falling a lot, struggling on stairs. Every night when I let him outside I have to go get him and carry him up the stairs. I fear that back leg is failing and if that one fails, I’m not sure what happens.

Emma suggested a prosthetic leg and Sam thought a scooter might be a good idea. I guess I could make a leg out of sticks and velcro or borrow a wheelbarrow and figure something out. Yet, I know in my heart of hearts he is just getting older (I think he’s about 14). I know it’s the cycle of life and I will have to let him go at some point. Hopefully not yet. We’ll see the vet tomorrow and go from there.

This getting older thing reminded me of a wonderful poem sent to me awhile ago. It reiterated that just because something or someone is ageing, does not mean we love it less, discard it, or look for the next best thing. This goes for pets, people, cars, houses, old slippers, you name it. We appreciate and respect the history. I tried my little heart out to find this poem/essay, but couldn’t. If you know what I’m talking about, let me know. I’d love to include it.

Yes, you say, he is “just” a dog. Amazing how pets become part of the family. They are ingrained in our routines and traditions – the same walk you take them on everyday, the food you buy, the way they sleep at your feet. Letting go is losing a dear friend and companion. Fortunately, I don’t have to let go…yet.

Have you lost a favorite pet and how did you cope with it? My two dogs were tragically poisoned when I was 16. One died right in front of our family in a fit of seizures. It was a huge and unspeakable loss. Over time, the pain lessened. And, over time, we got a new dog. But, the loss was always there.

SUAR

59 comments:

  1. My husband and I have lost three dogs in the time we've been together. We tend to adopt older dogs so they are only with us for a few years. My heart ached for years after our first dog passed away. My heart still aches for the dog we lost almost two years ago. I don't think you ever get over it. It just becomes a smaller ache.

    I hope Lucky just needs some pain relievers and will hop along on his three legs for awhile longer.

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  2. Our pets are just like another one of the kids! Couldnt love them any less than i love one of my own children and just like my kids would do anything for them! We lost two cats within one year...both over 14 years old that we had had since kittens. We now have a dog who we've had since she was 8weeks and is now 6. She is my world especially now that the kids are grown and gone. Dont know how I could ever imagine life without her! Went thru a scary sickness with her about a month ago and I was a basketcase so dont know what I'll do when I lose her! Good luck with your baby! He is absolutely adorable!

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  3. My pug passed away when I was pregnant with my oldest daughter. She went peacefully in her sleep after having a stroke earlier in the day. Sigh. She was the sweetest little pudgey thing.

    We had another dog my boston terrier, Samson that I had since he was 9 weeks old. When we got to the point where we knew we weren't giving him enough attention with all of the therapies our daughters had to go through I searched and searched to find a rescue for him to be fostered at before he could be put up for adoption. Giving him up was the hardest thing I did but I knew he would be better off with another family.

    Pets are just furry members of the family.

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  4. lucky is so cute!! I can imagine the poem your talking about but also cannot think of the name I will try google later...My black lab who my Dad got for my brother and I when I was 6 lived until I was 21...I was married and living 10 hours away, when my family called to tell me she died of just plain old age!! It has taken me eight years but we adopted a dog 3 weeks ago....that little shit reminds me of why I waited eight years, every single day!!! :) But she has already become one of my children ...best wishes to lucky..

    P.S. if you keep posting pictures of your "ugly" scenery I am gonna ditch this shit hole they call the nation's capital and come stay with you for a while!! three kids and a puppy in tow....you've been warned!

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  5. I had to make the difficult decision to put my dog down. It was super sad and difficult, and I still think about her quite often, even tho it's been 8 years. I made a picture collage that I still display today as one way to always remember how much she meant to me. I also had another dog at the time, so that helped. However, when I got divorced a few years ago, my ex stole that dog, which was heart-wrenching. I'm not sure how I got over that one, but I did. Time, I guess. Or beer.

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  6. I feel for you! The dog I grew up with is 15 years old and when I went home for Thanksgiving I realized her age is really starting to show. She's still in relatively good health but is loosing interest in good, not moving quite as well, etc. It will be sad day when she's not longer with us, so we're going to make sure to cherish each day we have with her.

    If you are ever looking for tips about dog health, or just people who relate to your love of your dogs, there's a really great, informative dog community at www.community.dog.com. The users over there might be able to give you some tips and pointers for keeping Lucky mobile as long as possible! Good luck, he seems like such a sweetie.

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  7. We had to put down a dog and a cat while I was growing up. Our dog had cancer and the decision was much more clear cut. Plus, I was younger and my parents made the decision. My cat was put down 2 years ago and the time leading up to it was very difficult. She was better, then she wasn't, then she'd get better again.

    I felt ridiculous leading up to putting her down because I had to keep leaving work to take her to the vet, or to go home to check on her. However, no one even questioned it. She was a member of the family and they knew how hard it was for me.

    Animals are never just animals. They love unconditionally and make up better people.

    Best of luck with Lucky. You will be in my thoughts.

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  8. You crack me up with your lipstick story. I think lucky still has some years in him. There was a picture/ story not too long ago of a dog that had a similar problem and the dogs rear legs sat in a sling w/ wheels. The dog got around fine on the wheels. Just an option

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  9. We totally had those Dog Cart conversations while waiting for said animal to finish her business outside so we could carry her up the stairs she could no longer climb. When the time finally came to watch her go to sleep in my arms, I was heartbroken.

    If and when your time comes for that, you'll know. Until then just enjoy your adorable Lucky dog.

    You are in my thoughts. There isn't much more difficult in life than that.

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  10. So sorry Lucky is having a hard time. We just had to make the decision on sunday to put our dog to sleep. It was so very hard but seeing him suffer was even harder. I miss him terribly still every time I walk in the house.

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  11. We haven't lost our pets and I can NOT imagine that day. They are a part of our family. We have a 3-legged cat (a possum got her a few years ago). I can see that she gets tired much more quickly late, but like you, I worry about her quality of life. I love Lucky! He's a great addition to SUAR.

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  12. They aren't just pets, they're family. Both dogs I've lost, it felt like losing a family member. The first, a shepherd mix, taught me to walk just as much as my parents did. I still kiss my hand and touch the marker on his grave every time I'm in that part of our property. And my retriever/lab mix was my baby. He was super protective of both my dad and I, always wanted to be in the same room as me, and really was one of my best friends. The day we had to have him put down (he was old and was in a LOT of pain), I completely broke down. I couldn't take him to the vet with my dad, I just laid in bed and cried all day.

    You just have to know that you're doing what's best for them and that you'll see them again some day. That's the only way to get through it.

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  13. I just started crying over this! The family dog that I grew up with passed away the same summer I adopted my dog. Taffy had lived a long life and even survived a tumor, but when it was her time, she let us know and thankfully she didn't suffer for long. She was going down hill for only a few days and I remember being at my parents house witnessing her having seizures and then she just wasn't responding. We all said our good byes and brought her to the pet hospital to get put down.

    I wish pets had longer lives. It's not fair that they have such a short time to make such a big impact.

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  14. I recently had to put the most amazing dog in the world down after having him in my life for nearly 14 years. Nothing makes that decision easy, that's for sure. I did, however, use a vet who came to my house. That way, Buddy was calm and surrounded by family when he took his last breath. I highly recommend having the vet come to your house. And, only time eases the pain of loss. :-(

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  15. You will know when it's the right time, but I hope lucky will be okay! Don't let anyone tell you that lucky is just a dog. He is family!! I lost my cat 12 years ago, Bobbie, she has been with me through college, and graduate school, moved with me all over town, and finally I graduated, got a job, got a nice house and she left me unexpectedly. I was devastated. I still think about her,she will always be in my heart.

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  16. I lost a devoted black cat when she was 4 years old; I had adopted her at a year old. She was skittish with everyone else but followed me everywhere.

    Frankly, I was very distraught b/c I had no idea lilies were very poisonous to cats and my guess is that she just walked by (or jumped on the table), got some pollen on her paws, cleaned those paws, and that was it. We had to put her down b/c she was NOT doing well.

    I still cry thinking about her, I miss her a lot. It was just over 7 years ago when she went to kitty heaven.

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  17. I don't know the poem you referenced, but maybe you will enjoy this quote:

    "We aren't house proud. If we were, we wouldn't abide the scratches on the door frame, the holes in the screen, the darkened shine of worn spots on the chair. We would wince at the mottled carpet and fret at the hair clinging to our clothes.

    "We don't. If anything, we lovers of dogs, are a tolerant lot, finding greater value in the unabashed affection of our friends than in immaculate sofas. Shoes can be replaced, but heroic retrievers are timeless.

    "Without dogs, our houses are cold receptacles for things. Dogs make a fire warmer with their curled presence. They wake us, greet us, protect us, and ultimately carve a place in our hearts and our history. On reflection, our lives are often referenced in parts defined by the all-too-short lives of our dogs.“

    - Paul Fersen In the Presence of Dogs

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  18. It's 5 years since we had to put Snoopy down, but it was the right time, you will know the right time.

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  19. Oh Lucky!!! I am seriously in tears thinking about your sweet doggie as I watch my two canine "babies" snoring next to me on the couch. I truly cannot imagine life without them and they are definitely a part of our family.

    The dog my parents had before I was born, died when I was 15 or 16. She was getting slower and wandered away to die. I remember how much it devastated my parents as they had let her outside to go to the bathroom as they always did but this time she did not come back. They/we searched the neighborhood and any nearby wooded areas for a couple of days after she disappeared. She was the sweetest dog...an Irish Setter...with a kind heart and resilient spirit.

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  20. Knowing you lost your dogs so tragically when you were young just breaks my heart. I've had a few furry family members come and go in my lifetime and one loss is never easier than another. But we never just gave up on an animal.

    Lucky is just beautiful! I knew a cocker spaniel (belonged to my host family when I was abroad in Germany) who lived to 20 years or so. Seriously. The dog was blind, dragged his ears through food, crap, and mud, smelled like used diapers... you get the idea. But he could sniff is way around and the second a leash was on him, he'd pull the person on the other end around the block. They are a hearty, spunky, determined breed!

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  21. Loosing a pet is an overwhelming out of body experience of deep sadness. Each pet holds a special piece of your heart forever. Animals bring such unconditional love, I cannot imagine life without them. Nice post!! Lucky is a rock star on many counts but one being she is being loved by you!!

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  22. (((hugs))) Beth. I've lost many pets over the years. It always breaks my heart. I hope Lucky lives out the rest of his years with dignity, he already knows he is very loved. Thinking of you, Lucky and the rest of the family.

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  23. It almost sounds like my story. My dog's name is Lucky as well, he is a rescue dog , but he is white :)

    2 weeks ago they removed a lump in his shoulder, but since he is suffering one thing after the other. I'm worried, he is 11 years old and he might not recover...

    For right now, I try to stay positive and take it one day at a time.

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  24. We put our beloved chocolate lab Bailey to sleep 3 weeks ago, she was 13. We got her when we bought our resort. I still can't talk about it, I can barely think about her without crying. A friend sent us a sympathy card with an empty dog bed on it, I think that says it all.

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  25. Lady J and I had a rescue dog with special needs. Best dog ever! Great personality even though you could still see the signs of abuse.

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  26. Hi SUAR - I just had my black Lab, Gertie, to the vet last evening for her 11-year check up. She's healthy but the vet found a large lump on her shoulder and we have to watch it for any changes in size. It scares me to death thinking about what it may be..... She's my first kiddo.
    Prayers and good wishes being sent your way for Lucky!

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  27. It's so very sad to watch your pets age and even worse to have to make the decision of whether to put them to sleep. I've lost two beloved cats to kidney failure and cried both times as if I'd lost my best friend. My dad (who is something of a writer) actually penned me a little poem about my first cat, and while most of it was specific to her, the last line I think is fitting for any of us who lose a pet. It goes "Only a pet, it might be said / Only the fabric of a family / Only a reminder that what we love, we will lose." Kind of dark and sad, but true...Pets really to become part of the fabric of our families and it is never easy to wage them grow old ahead of us.

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  28. They are never "just" dogs. Lost my Tupelo three years ago to cancer and still cry when I think about him. Wishing Lucky alot more time with your family.

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  29. As the caretaker of an aging canine myself this is the only thing I know to be true: they are never, ever "just a dog". :)

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  30. There are no words for the loss of a pet, it hurts just as much as when a person dies (for me).

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  31. I'm reminded each time I read your blog that we share the same home. Today it was the photo. I saw that same incredible view on my run. Took my breath away.

    I hope Lucky is hanging in there for love a little longer. I can't imagine losing my Malachi.

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  32. Oh Beth, Lucky looks like such a sweetie. I hope he is OK and that the pain meds help. Between now and then, soak up every moment you can with him.

    I lost my Bailey in May. It was the so hard...one of the worst things I have ever gone through. My heart was (is) shattered. It took me weeks to pick up his bed and bowls...

    He was my very best friend in the world and I miss him so much every day. I still cry almost every day, and not a moment goes by that I don't think of him and wish he was here.

    I think...I think what happens is that you get this hole in your heart...it doesn't heal...ever...it is a scab that randomly rips open on you...sorry. It just is hard. I think in time...your heart can grow if you let it...for me Porter the wagging wonder tromping into my life (unexpectedly..I DID NOT want him at the time) was what I needed to smile again.

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  33. (heartbreaking) I dread the day we have to say goodbye to any of our dogs. Charly (my first dog, now six yo) has a special place in my heart. I tell my husband when she dies, I will probably have to spend some time in a mental hospital.
    Sorry you are going through this. I pray and hope you still have a lot of time left!
    P.S. Rock your run this weekend!!

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  34. My first cat was poisoned by a neighbor. He didn't die right away, and the vet put him down. He was kind of a jerk cat, but I was devastated. To try to help, mom picked up a pair of kittens. They were around for almost 20 years. The family dog collapsed one day going up the stairs, and was also put down.

    They were all tragic, sad, and I grieved for them.

    Of course, now I have five cats and a dog, all aging at this point, but I can't imagine life without them (and no, the house doesn't smell, although my cat litter bill is outrageous).

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  35. I barely made it through your post without feeling like crying. Ah, I hope that Lucky still has a few good years left and that the vet has some good news for you.

    I have always had a Siamese cat in my life (Siamese cats are kind of like dogs -- they get really attached to their humans and need a lot of attention). My childhood cat, Kitty, lived to be 21, and that loss was devastating. Since then, my cat, Maya, died after ingesting something poisonous, my cat, Miki, died at age 17 of old age, and my cat Umi, the sweet street cat that, against all odds, survived the streets of Qatar, stole my heart and then came back with me when I returned to the US, died of kidney failure. I have 2 youngish cats now, and they are, again just like family members. I still feel sad when I think of the losses, but this comes with the territory -- you can't have all the joy and love without eventually having to face the loss. For me, bringing a new pet into the house always helps with the grief. It's not that the new pet replaces the lost pet; it's more like the joy of the new pet reminds us of why we have no choice but to love another one all over again.

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  36. Here's hoping Lucky has a good day at the vet's office and has a good amount of time with you all yet.

    About 8 years ago, we got a puppy, a black lab, and he was a wonderful character right from the start. Then came time to get him neutered. Then the awful phone call came from the vet, Reggie had died in surgery. It was (and still is) a very hard day for all of us. After a bit of healing we adopted a 7 month old from the humane society that had been abused. She is now a super dog and perfect for our family.

    Pets are without a doubt a blessing on any family.

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  37. I unexpectedly lost my little girl Betsy this week. She was a rescue - only about three years old, and we had her only a little over one year. I came home Monday from work - we took a walk, she had some dinner, we played fetch. I left to meet some friends, and an hour later when my husband came home she was gone. She was in her little spot on the couch and it looked like she was staring out the window. We think it was an anyeruism or some other freak medical issue. She had been in perfect health. Our hearts our broken and our home is so quite. The loss of a pet is devastating, and you are incredibly lucky to have your pup as long as you have had. Just love her every single day - we never know what will happen, young or old. We just love them as much as we can all the time. And when the time comes, we have the memories of all that love. I know it will always hurt a bit - our lives are a bit less rich with her gone now. but our hearts are forever enlarged due to the love she gave us. Just hold your pup and tell her you love her.

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  38. You are right, they are part of the family not "just dogs". So sorry. We had to put our 11 year old diabetic lab down last year and it was very sad but necessary. I still think about her often especially when I am hiking, wishing she was there with me. Writing this still brings tears to my eyes. Prayers to you:)

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  39. My dog died last year. She was only 6 years old. She had cancer and was in pain (I believe in ending this kind of pain). It was the best thing for her. I still miss her, but I always think of the fun times we had.

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  40. We have a weiner dog named Marvin (my 5 year old at the time wanted to name him "Pretty, pretty Sparkle" so we JUMPED at the name Marvin when she suggested it) and he got really sick about 6 months ago....we all took turns laying down with him throughout the next three nights and I truly think our love (and maybe some pennicillin) got him through.

    I will forever be a dog lover, so I totally get it Beth. ((hugs)) Lucky is truly lucky to have you and your family!! ♥♥

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  41. I just lost my long time friend Whisky (without an "e" because of our Scottish heritage) He was an Austrailian Cattle Dog. He traveled with my daughter and I when we rodeoed in Colorado in his younger years. My son would put a t-shirt on him and let him sleep in his bed. My husband tought him to say I love you. He began to get stiff and sore moving slower, the vet said it was arthritis, but he declined very fast. The family made the decision to send him home. He made the decision to go home, he passed away in the night. In Scottish fasion we had a wake and celebrated our time with our Whisky dog. His picture has a prominate spot among the photos of kids and grandkids.
    Your Lucky will be around forever, just like my Whisky.
    -Becky

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  42. Dear Beth,
    First thanks for adopting this lovable animal/friend and giving him a chance for the happy loving life he deserves. I am gigantically passionate about animal adoption.

    We lost a beloved cat just over a year ago. Her name was Porsche, she was very special in many ways. She was originally adopted by someone who needed her very much, that person has since passed away and this beautiful animal came to me and loved me as her step mom for 3 years. This cat was wise beyond words, I can't describe it but just looking at her you knew she knew stuff. I was with her when she had to be put down due to a massive unoperatable tumor in her throat that was suffocating her. I am certain that her first mom was there to greet her. I cried for three days and am crying now, I still miss her.

    I knew when the time was right Porsche would bring a new special kitty into my life and she did last April when I wandered into the Humane Society on a whim and adopted an 11 month old black kitty with extra toes. He picked me, his name is Enzo and he brings a new form of love into our lives.

    Animals are special and they are NEVER just a dog or cat. They are beauitful souls that deserve respect and love. They are companions that fill our lives with unconditional love, all you have to do is look into their eyes to know this.

    Love and kisses to your special dog Lucky - he is luck you have you for a mom.

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  43. love makes every pain bearable, and give every mystery sense ... love works when reason doesn't

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  44. First of all, I love you even more for adopting. I used to volunteer at the Nebraska Humane Society (no kill shelter) and adoptable dogs are the most thankful. My dogs have always been a member of the family, and losing one NEVER gets easier. It's almost harder because they can only communicate to you with their "looks" or actions without telling you, I'm in pain.

    I'm hoping Lucky has many more healthy, happy months, even years with you. He has already had a blessed life filled with love thanks to you.

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  45. we had to put my kitty to sleep a couple years ago and no I really haven't gotten over it. I didn't have any idea it would be so hard or i would miss him so much. we got a new cat that i love...but i always compare him to my first baby

    it is a hard decision and my thoughts are with you because I know the only thing that made it ok for us was knowing he wouldn't be in pain...we would take that on to let him go.

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  46. Hey Beth. I'm so freaking behind on blogging so I had to do a little catching up on your blog. Just a few things:

    1.) Congrats to Ken on his new job, I am so very happy for you and your family.

    2.) YAY for your massage therapist. I am happy to hear that he is keeping your butt in check. I have my MT on speed dial, seriously, he has helped me out so much over the last year. Good to hear that you are back at it pain (or semi)free.

    3.) My dog Champ died of cancer 4 years ago. He was only 5 years old. He was my first dog and I got him while I was going through my divorce with my first husband. In fact, I loved him a lot more then my first husband. HAH! The day I had to put him to sleep was soooo hard, it killed me. Aging sucks, but you and your family have given him a good life and a chance at happiness. Enjoy every moment with him!

    4.) Yeah, I've written a damn book here, but just one more thing: Good luck this weekend in Vegas!

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  47. I have not lost a pet to death but I did have to walk away from my two cats (or our two cats) when I got divorced. Not easy and took me some time to get a new pet and she is part of my family.

    I talk to her all the time and b/c she is a pug she gives me the crooked head nod and look of WTF is wrong with you dude? Go after it!

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  48. I so feel for you! Losing a beloved dog is beyond hard. You will know when it's time. Sending you lots of hugs.

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  49. My lab is 11 and showing her age now - I don't want the inevitable to happen, but I'm bracing myself as I know it will. We've always had pets, so I've been through this before, but it doesn't make it any easier.

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  50. Not much to say that wasn't already said.. they truly are members of the family, in spite of ruined carpets, chewed table corners, lost socks, unruly manners.. you name it! Because with those things come unconditional love, protection, and someone to warm your feet in the winter!
    The first time I saw my husband cry (after being together about 14 or so years) was when we lost our dog. We lost the other a few years later, and it was a while before we could even think about getting new dogs, since the pain lingered for a while. We consoled ourselves with the fact that we'd given both of them a really good life and they knew that they were loved.
    I hope lucky bounces back.. maybe he just needs to see your massuese (pretty sure I spelled that wrong).

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  51. Our pets do become part of the family. Our lab-mix Maggie became diabetic after tearing her ACLs in both back legs. We tried to keep her mobile, and comfortable, but she added weight. After years of insulin treatment, a fatal round of seizures slipped her into a coma.

    Though I'll never forget or stop missing her, I took (and still take) comfort in the ten plus years we spent together and the final hours we spent together. I was privileged to hold her head through the ordeal, trying to comfort her with love and reassurance she was not alone. Just like with our human family members, love doesn't end with goodbye. I hope Lucky finds some sort of alternative mode of transportation until his final happy days in a family that loves him.

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  52. Aww man, I hope Lucky is alright. Hope he can get a sweet mini wheelbarrow w/ mag spinner wheels.

    I'll never forget losing my 1st dog, our yellow lab Gypsy when I was 10. Lived in a small town and had our friend, the vet, come to our house to put her down when her cancer came back. I busted out crying at dinner (before we put her down) and my Dad looked at my mom and asked "what's WRONG w/ her?!" so sad. I tell ya.

    Then our next dog we had to put down at the ripe old age of 15/16 bc she was getting senile and wasn't well and 1/2 the time would snarl and bite us bc she didn't know who we were .I went over on my day off and just loved on her and took pics of her. My Dad took her to the vet and cried when he left. My Dad never cries...i swear. Folks buried her in the back yard w/ her toys and collar. I was 26 at the time and balled like a baby for 3 days. 15 yrs was more than 1/2 my life!!! Dogs are amazing creatures, like none other, and they do get rooted in our memories and traditions. They love w/ an unconditional love that we all could learn from.

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  54. In the summer of 2010, I lost my dog that I had for 14.5 years. Best pet you could ever ask for. Had him from the time I was 9, so I basically grew up with him. It was so hard, but I got through it. I still think about him a lot, and I'll never forget the little guy < 333.

    We got another yellow lab this summer. Named him Ozzy. He's adorable, and I love him...but he's not Darby.

    http://tinyurl.com/7ngdd9v Me and my Darby :).

    "A dog has no use for fancy cars or big homes or designer clothes. Status symbol means nothing to him. A waterlogged stick will do just fine. A dog judges others not by their color or creed or class but by who they are inside. A dog doesn't care if you are rich or poor, educated or illiterate, clever or dull. Give him your heart and he will give you his. It was really quite simple, and yet we humans, so much wiser and more sophisticated, have always had trouble figuring out what really counts and what does not."
    -Grogan

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  55. When I think about our first dog, Gypsy, my heart still aches. She was such a great dog and I grew up with her. She started bleeding from her nose constantly so my parents took her to the vet. She had cancer...everywhere. The doctor said she probably had a few months left but could very possibly bleed out before then. They decided to go ahead and put her down in fear that we would be the ones to find her. I never got to say goodbye.

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  56. Awk, sorry about Lucky. I had gotten a cat when I first moved to Colorado after graduating from college, a companion since I knew no one here. She died a few years ago, at age 16. Was hard, but we gave her a great life - as you have for Lucky! Sometimes that helps.

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  57. We have not lost a dog yet, and dread the day. All 3 of our dogs are special ed, but we love them. My favorite one pees and has to wear a diaper. He is also an ankle biter and causes me to apologize to people all the time and forces me to have guests sign a waiver when they visit! We had 2 of our 3 childhood dogs poisoned by some weirdo neighbors while on vacation. Only our dad actually saw anything. I didn't have anymore until my 30's. You just have to love them while you have them. At least they can't tell anyone all of the crazy shit you tell them in your conversations!

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  58. Oh...Lucky.....I have a sweet little black cocker too, but with 4 legs. He's almost 9 and starting to show his age. I love him dearly. I need to go home and hug him now.

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  59. What a sweet looking hound. Sorry to hear Lucky is having a hard time. I hope he has some good years left in him still. I have never had my own dog because I am still sort of a newer adult and have not lived in a place that has allowed dogs or cats yet. I really love animals so I have had 2 hamsters. They don't live very long only about 2 or 3 years. When my last hamster who lived to 4.5 years (thank you very much) died I cried my eyes out. Over a freaking hamster- I can't imagine the bond is as great as with a dog or cat but I still loved that little being like crazy.

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