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Posts Tagged ‘losing a pet’

Favorite Video Friday – Life is better with you

October 9, 2015 8 comments

Yesterday, I got word that another pet sitting client and former MN Valley Humane Society dog (where I volunteered) had crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. Zephyr was a sweet and precious thing who looked so very  vulnerable when she was at our shelter. I worried about her finding the right home, but fortunately, she had already captured another volunteer’s heart. She could not have landed with a better family. She had a great life and was very much loved. She was one of the lucky ones.

The number of dogs I know from our old shelter is getting smaller and smaller. So many of us lost when that place suddenly closed down. It was such a tight-knit community. Seeing so many of the dogs we adopted out now making that journey over the Bridge reminds us of the loss once again.

I have two MVHS dogs of my own, Daisy and Jasper, who will one day follow. This video and Zephyr’s death, is a reminder of how much they have made my life better. I cannot imagine my life without them.

Today’s video is a celebration of Zephyr’s life, and of the time I have had with Daisy and Jasper.

God speed sweet Zephyr.

Happy Friday everyone.

How did you preserve your memory of your pet?

March 1, 2015 25 comments

My heart. ❤️Ever since Daisy’s diagnosis for an isulinoma (a cancerous tumor on the pancreas), I have been thinking of ways I can capture some of our most special moments in pictures. Being that she is afraid of the camera, it can be hard to capture her at her most cuddly. I’ve got tons of photos of her running through the woods or sniffing something fascinating at the dog park, but those moments when she just wants to cuddle and get a belly rub? Nada. She sees the camera coming every time. A fast get away soon ensues.

Facing the imminent loss of a pet can make you work harder to preserve those moments. Some do bucket lists with their pets, some schedule “joy sessions” and others choose to get their beloved pet made into a plush toy that they can keep with them long after their pet has passed.

(I have to admit I was a little intrigued by the post I saw on Bored Panda regarding the plush stuffed toy. It would be nice to have a stuffed animal version of Daisy that I can keep with me. Of course, with my luck Jasper would get a hold of it and de-stuff it. Can you imagine the trauma that would cause?)josie-and-clone

I have finally decided that I am going to select a few prize photos that really capture Daisy’s spirit and get them made into canvas prints. I don’t plan on doing it right away (after all Daisy may be with me for years to come), but I will do it, when the time is right.

It’s a somewhat melancholy type of thing to consider, but I wonder if all of you have done something similar to preserve your memories of your pet(s).

What special thing have you done to reserve your pet’s memory? Did it help to ease your grief? How did it comfort you? I would love to hear your stories.

What last joyful thing did you do with your dog before saying goodbye?

November 5, 2012 32 comments

Aspen

A while back I saw this email posted on Life With Dogs. It was a request from a woman with a 15-year-old Border Collie.

She wrote

“…we have a 15-year-old Border Collie that is trained in herding but due to health issues hasn’t been able to herd in a very long time. His health is declining quickly and we would love to have him chase a few sheep around for one last time.”

I couldn’t help but be moved by her plea and hoped and prayed that someone would be able to answer her request.

Well, as it turns out, someone did. Thanks to my friend Sue over at Talking Dogs, I was able to see one very happy dog herd sheep for the last time (you can watch the video here).

It brought tears to my eyes. I couldn’t help it. What dog owner wouldn’t want the same for their dog? That one last chance to give their dog an opportunity to do what they loved?

It brought back some memories of the things I have done to give my dogs the very same experience of joy. That one last hurrah.

My Sheltie, Alicia, was 15 when we said goodbye, but I remember taking her on short walks all the way up to the very end. She couldn’t go very far, and often I would end up carrying her home, but I just loved seeing her wagging tail when I brought out her leash. It was worth it. On our last day together, I made sure to buy her a cheeseburger because I she loved them so. She ended up getting sick in my brand new car, but I didn’t care. I had given her something she loved. One last time.

When it was time to say goodby to my senior dog, Aspen, I made sure that I left the window down so she could stick her nose out. She loved to sit in the backseat and sniff the air as we drove from place to place. Besides going to the dog park, it was one of her most favorite things to do. I was not going to deny her that joy in those last moments. I still remember looking in my rear view mirror and seeing the tip of her nose poking out the window. I remember smiling through my tears in that moment.

It’s only natural to want the best for our dogs, even as the end nears. We want them to experience some amount of joy in their last moments with us. I suspect it’s as much for us as it is for them.

So what things have you done to give your dogs that one last chance to enjoy what they loved most? What was your dog’s last hurrah moment? I’d love to hear your stories.

Love the ones you’re with (while you still have them)

April 11, 2012 21 comments

Last week I wrote about my dog Jasper and the intensity in which he attacks everything in his life.

My friend Amy left the following comment “Buster has a lot of the same energy as Jasper, but now that he’s approaching is 5th birthday, he seems to be settling down a bit. There are more moments of calm between the craziness and, while I thought it was what I wanted, it makes me feel a little sad. It means he’s getting older and I’m not so excited about that.” I couldn’t help but feel a sense of sadness, because I knew what she meant. It won’t be that long before Jasper will be slowing down too. I so love his intensity. I love that he is naughty sometimes. I love that he keeps me on my toes and is always making me think. Slow down? I don’t want to even consider it.

Xander

Then later that week, I got word that a family who had been involved in the search for Lady had lost their beloved dog, Xander. They had adopted Xander from Minnesota Sheltie Rescue after his original owner died. Being the big-hearted people they are I have no doubt that Xander was showered with love for the five wonderful years they had him. I couldn’t help but be reminded that my time with Jasper (and Daisy and Lady) is short.

Even at his most exasperating, I know that one day I will be missing Jasper, like Xander is being missed right now.

I know that one day I am going to miss the fact that he has to go back outside 3 minutes after he gets back in because he forgot to go to the bathroom while he was out the first time. I will miss him attacking the outside water dish every time I empty it out to put fresh water in. I will miss him staring at me, waiting for me to throw his ball. I will miss his need to herd me, the cat, Daisy and Lady. I will even miss him chasing runners at the park.

Hearing about Xander and reading Amy’s comment made me realize that I need to appreciate all of my moments with my dogs – the good, the bad and the frustrating. Because, someday, I will miss each and every one of them.

My condolences to the Gilbert family on the loss of their boy. I know it must be heartbreaking to not have him there with them. I just hope they find some comfort in knowing they gave him such a wonderful life. One filled with love and happy memories.

Thanksgiving Gratitude Despite Little Lady Still Being Lost

November 23, 2011 15 comments

Thanksgiving Day is upon us, and while you might not think that I could be grateful on a day when Lady is still missing, I am. There is so much to celebrate on this special holiday.

– All the volunteers with Minnesota Sheltie Rescue who have given up time in their day, and in their lives, to help search for Lady, hand out fliers, post signs, and manage the behind the scenes coordinating it takes to pull off a search this large.

– All my friends and family members who have offered support and encouragement when I was feeling at my lowest.

– All the “strangers”, who I now prefer to think of as friends, who have offered to help in any way they could to help find Lady – driving around where she was last seen, handing out fliers, sharing her story with friends on Facebook or Twitter, watching out for her as they drive through town, etc.

– All the people who took action and called us to let us know they had seen her and where she was headed and what she did. Every call is a clue to a much bigger puzzle and with every puzzle piece placed, we get closer to finding Lady.

– Warm weather. I might be totally wrong, after all I am not a meteorologist, but I don’t remember many Thanksgivings being this warm. It means I can breathe a little easier knowing Lady is not freezing cold or out there in the middle of a snowstorm.

– My puppy dogs. Last Friday was a freak accident, but I fully recognize that in all that chaos I could have lost all three dogs to a car or something just as bad. That none of them were hit is a miracle in itself. Lady may still be missing, but she is alive and people are watching out for her and praying for her. And when I am feeling down, Daisy and Jasper are there to comfort me. For all of that I am truly grateful.

Reading all your comments and heartfelt hopes and prayers has been very comforting to me. I know now that I don’t have control over what happens to Lady, or how long it will take to bring her home, but I do know that all of this good energy is not being put to waste. It’s making me, and I suspect you, feel grateful for what we do have and how blessed we truly are on this special day. Hug your dogs. Hug your family, and know that today is a day we can all be grateful for.


Latest update: No sightings of Lady today. Volunteers were out searching, checking traps and making new fliers with a side view of Lady. I, and it appears at least one other volunteer, staked out the Marriott tonight in hopes of seeing Lady. I sat on the ground for a while in the area nearest to where she had crossed Pilot Knob Road, but never saw her. After a while got too cold to stay and so I left behind some food and one of her favorite toys.

Not one to leave things be, I stopped off at Walgreens to buy some more dog food, Kibbles and Bits, to entice her out. I filled the food dish and then sat in my car at a distance to see if she would come out. No luck. But, I did get a sense of when traffic quiets down in that area and I think I’ll have a better idea of when to come next time.

I am really hoping the food will keep her on that side of Pilot Knob Road until we can move a trap closer to that area and add another live trap further down. I am hoping beyond hope that she will go into a trap on Thanksgiving Day and give us all something to celebrate.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Come home Lady.

You can read more about the search for Lady and how she was found in the posts listed below.

Post #1: The search for Lady, my foster dog. How you can help.

Post #2:Foster Dog Lady – Still Missing

Post #3: Little Lady Lost – The Latest

Post #4 (This Post): Thanksgiving Gratitude Despite Little Lady Still Being Lost

Post #5: Little Lady Lost – Chasing the Wrong Things

Post #6: A Sunbeam of Hope? The Latest on Little Lady Lost

Post #7: Little Lady Lost – The Saturday Update

Post #8: Little Lady Lost – Latest Update & Do’s and Don’ts

Post #9: Little Lady Lost – A sense of peace

Post #10: Little Lady Lost – HOME AT LAST!

Post #11: Little Lady Lost and How She Made It Home Again

Dogs, Daisy and Worrying About Loss

July 11, 2010 12 comments

I’ll just be honest. I’m a bit of a worrier sometimes.

I worry about my business – “Can I grow it as big as I want it to be someday?”.
I worry about my dogs – “Are they getting enough attention? Am I feeding them the right food?”.
I worry about my mom – “What if something happens and I am not there to help?”

But lately, I’ve been worrying about Daisy.
No. No. She’s fine. But, she is almost 7 years old. And now. I worry about her getting old and not being with me some day. It makes me sad to think about it, but I do.

Daisy

Perhaps it’s the fact that we’ve been through so much together. Or, that I’ve worked so hard to give her a life filled with love and fun to make up for all that she went through before I got her. Or, maybe it’s because of how much she has taught me about working with a fearful dog. Or, maybe it’s because she just so happens to be one of those very special dogs that touches your soul in ways you didn’t expect.

Either way, it causes me to worry. How will I deal with her not being there anymore?

So I am wondering… Do you have a special dog or cat in your life? And if you do, do you ever worry about what your life will be like with out them?

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