saying good-bye to my old girl

NinapearlAugust 18, 2011

my senior dane, ashley, is 10 years old. i adopted her from rescue when she was 7. we have had 3 wonderful years together but she is telling me it is time for her to go be with gary and the corgi kids.

i don't know how i will do this but i know i must. i can't stop crying but when i look into her eyes, i can see she is tired. i have gone to the ends of the earth and tried everything available to ease her pain from arthritis but nothing i or my vets have done has worked to keep her comfortable. it's time to send her over the bridge and i am simply inconsolable. :(

i will be taking her in at 12:20 today.

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I'm so sorry. Just know that she has had a wonderful life with you and that soon all her pain will be gone.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 9:54AM
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    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 10:07AM
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I am so sorry for your heartbreak. Many thoughts of peace and love being sent to both of you.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 11:26AM
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It's never easy, but you are doing the best for her out of love. All my best to you.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 11:50AM
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Ohh .. my heart goes out to you. You've given Ashley a wonderful home .... now she'll be pain-free. It's very hard to make the final decision.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 12:19PM
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My heart breaks for you. I know the pain.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 12:24PM
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I am so sorry, it is heartbreaking to do this, but so much worse for her to wait if she is ready.

Getting older rescue pets is great, but when we only get to give them a few happy years with us, it's awful. We are still missing a rescue sheltie that we only got to love for 2 years before his time came.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 1:12PM
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I'm so sorry, ninapearl. You're in my thoughts and prayers. (((HUGS)))

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 1:35PM
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I'm crying here. I knew from the title who you were talking about. You know you gave that baby the best years of her life. She had the chance to live in the lap of luxury and feel completely safe and loved. I hope you and I have our last years even 1/2 as nice. Gary is there to help her cross over. I wasn't sure it was time to put my gal down but when they gave her the sedation she reached up and licked my face I realized that was the first time in a long time she wasn't in pain. I know you, you will have a period of mourning but before long you will be opening up your heart to another baby that needs you! Bless you Ninapearl!

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 1:43PM
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I'm so sorry.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 4:03PM
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thank you, all. your kind words warm my broken heart.

ashley went very peacefully. i now know for sure that she was ready. the vet was wonderful, let us have some private time both before and after and she talked soothingly to ashley during the whole procedure. as i hugged her and cried into her neck, as i have done countless times over the last 3+ years, she slipped quietly away to join the corgi kids and to meet gary for the first time.

i will miss her more than words can say but i take comfort knowing she is no longer in pain.

here is how i want to remember is a link to a video taken a couple of years ago...ashley teaching pea the fine art of chasing little horses. :)ät=Picture024.flv

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 5:41PM
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I'm so sorry.

(If you click on "video", you get an ad.

Here's a link to Ashley's video.)

Here is a link that might be useful: Ashley

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 5:51PM
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sylvia, thank you so much! i am too tired to do anything right today!

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 6:12PM
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Oh sort of took the pins out from under me because I didn't see it coming. I'm so sorry for your loss, but I thank you so much for sharing them so generously with us. I've had many happy mornings over my cuppa looking at their pictures and reading about their antics. It's obvious she was a very special girl, and you gave her the wonderful home and love she deserved to have.

Holding you all in my heart.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 3:10PM
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thanks calliope. i wish i could have shared her longer but her arthritis was beginning to really have a negative effect on her quality of life. couple the pain in her spine with fecal incontinence and her dignity was beginning to be compromised and i would not let that go on. i have always been a big believer in quality vs. quantity. sure, i could have kept her alive probably another 6 months but she would have become so miserable. we had pretty much maxed out the pain meds and the adequan injections were not helping.

ashley was so special in so many ways, sent to me from heaven by my late husband just when i needed her the most. as i told the vet the story of how she came to live with me, dr. myers quietly told me that apparently ashley's work here on earth is done and it was time to send her off to meet the wonderful man who made our 3 years together possible.

i am ok with my decision, i know ash was ready to be free of her pain. i am glad i could do this for her.

RIP my sweet baby girl, your mommy will love you forever and ever!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 6:57PM
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ninapearl - was Ashley the one with the heart on her butt? I recall the story and it is very touching.....

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 8:57PM
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So glad to hear that you are holding strong this evening. I beleive it was on this forum that I read "grief is the price we pay for love". Oh so true when it comes to our fur babies.
Hope you have peace in knowing you did what was best for your girl.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 9:04PM
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yes, sephia. the heart on her butt was the sign i was looking for when i agreed to meet her. i am having a portrait done of ashley. i have so many great head shots of her but i want a "full body" portrait done because i want the heart on her butt to show. this is the picture i have chosen...

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 3:52PM
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How dear was she? I'm sorry for your loss.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 5:31PM
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thank you, lily. she was the sweetest, most perfect dog i have ever known in all my years. i could not tell you a single fault. she loved everybody, kids, adults, other dogs, even kitties were safe around ashley. :)

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 6:50PM
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I'm so very sorry for your loss. No matter how many times we go through this, the pain is still so profound. I always ask myself if the love was worth it. It always has been. "Grief is the price we pay for love." So, so true. I started a new thing several years ago that seems to help me a bit. I plant something and set up a memorial plaque, stone or statue in my garden for my lost loved one - just like your portrait. I visit and talk to them. I don't care if it sounds crazy. We do this with our human family members. After my Dad died, I did find comfort in visiting his grave, talking to him and spending peaceful time just remembering. How I wish we would have been able to end my Dad's suffering the way you did Ashley's. You gave her love and a good home. Go ahead and cry and grieve. It's all part of the process. Peace to you.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 11:58AM
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I'm so sorry to hear about Ashley. You gave her a wonderful life and the gift of ending it when her pain was too much. May you and your other babies will help each other through the grief.


    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 2:07PM
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"How I wish we would have been able to end my Dad's suffering the way you did Ashley's."

my husband spent 21 months wasting away with cancer. he lost every bit of dignity he ever had. the last 3 weeks of his life was sheer hell for me. the only thing i was thankful for was that he was not aware. since that time, i have been even more fanatical about laying my pets to rest while they still had their dignity. it was something i could not give to gary and it will haunt me until the day i die.

thank God we can lay our pets to rest before they suffer.

thank you all again for your kind words.


    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 4:08PM
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My deepest sympathy. 16 years ago, I had to put down my part Manx Kitty. We'd been together 12 years. Hardest day of my life. 1.5 years ago, I had to put down my Golden Retriever. He was 14 years old - off the charts for a golden. He was old and feeble. I'm having to wipe away tears as I type this.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 4:43PM
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Oh Nina!!! I am SO SORRY for your loss. I know what a special angel Ashley was and such a precious gift in your life. Please know my heart aches for you. What a blessing that you could help her out of suffering..I remember all too vividly how difficult it is, but we do it out of love and respect for all the joy they have brought into our lives. You gave each other so much and I pray you will take comfort in the beautiful journey that was yours to share. My prayers will be with you as you mourn the loss of your special angel.
Many many hugs sweet Nina

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 9:24AM
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jonereb, i'm so sorry for your losses. we never do forget them!

thank you so much, ladybug. ashley was the most special gift ever. i am content that i could ease her suffering but i will miss her so much for the rest of my life.

i will be returning to work tomorrow. i'm hoping that getting into my regular routine will help me, emotionally and will help swee' pea and bentley deal with their loss, too. i have been putting the miles on, taking them almost every day for a cheeseburger or a run around the nearby lake. they seem to be better, more playful. bentley even got 'im a squirrel this morning! of course, pea took it away from him right away but he's claiming the kill. ;)

death leaves a heartache no one can heal. love leaves a memory no one can steal. i have such happy memories of my 3 years with ashley and i take comfort knowing she loved me so much!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 12:44PM
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I helped my 17yr.old cross The Rainbow Bridge today. Someone sent me this poem.

The Power of the Dog
Rudyard Kipling

There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

Buy a pup and your money will buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie--
Perfect passsion and worship fed
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart to a dog to tear.

When the fourteen years which Nature permits
Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,
And the vet's unspoken prescription runs
To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
Then you will find--it's your own affair--
But ... you've given your heart to a dog to tear.

When the body that lived at your single will,
With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!)
When the spirit that answered your every mood
Is gone--wherever it goes--for good,
You will discover how much you care,
And will give your heart to a dog to tear.

We've sorrow enough in the natural way,
When it comes to burying Christian clay.
Our loves are not given, but only lent,
At compound interest of cent per cent.
Though it is not always the case, I believe,
That the longer we've kept 'em, the more do we grieve:
For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,
A short-term loan is as bad as a long--
So why in--Heaven (before we are there)
Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 7:12PM
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murraysmom Zone 6 OH

Nina, I just saw this posting. I'm so sorry for your loss of Ashley. Though I didn't know her story, I always enjoyed seeing her pictures, along with Bentley and Pea. I love hearing about them too.

How lucky she was to have you and to have you help her over. I know you will miss her forever, but take comfort in knowing you gave her the two greatest gifts - a wonderful home and a way out of her pain.


    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 8:01PM
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thanks, murraysmom. ashley was sent to me by a very special man (my late husband) to help my heart heal from the grief of losing him. her work here was done and i needed to release her from her pain.

schoolhouse, that is one of my all time favorites!!! so profound and so well written. i am so sorry for your loss. these dogs of ours take a very big part of our hearts with them when they cross the bridge. (((hugs))) to you!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 6:54AM
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Thank you nina,didn't mean to hijack your thread. The house sure was quiet this morning. I kept listening for Annie to stir, knowing I'd have to hurry and tend to her in case she fell from her bed or walked into a corner and was "stuck", more so if she needed to go outside and pee NOW. I've always had at least three dogs at a time, but the last couple of years I lost two dogs, two months apart and did not replace them, now Annie is gone and if feels very strange. She wasn't a watch dog by any means, but I think it was that presence in the house that was comforting. I vow not to get another long will I last? sigh.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 3:46PM
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spedigrees z4VT

I'm so sorry for the loss of your Ashley. She was such a beautiful dog, and she looks so content and well in the photo. Things can fall apart quickly in their last years, as I well know. RIP sweet girl.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 2:04PM
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I am so sorry you have to part with your Ashley. You are doing the loving thing which is hard to do. She does look so sweet and loving, and she was fortunate to have someone who loved her very much. I was fostering a little bichon who's mom had cancer and sadly had to go to hospice, but I was able to find her a wonderful home and I hope they love her like you love Ashley.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 10:42AM
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schoolhouse, i can relate to the quiet in the house and the terrible emptiness. i am still coming to grips with ashley's death. she was my heart and soul dog and i miss her terribly. she wasn't much on barking and carrying on but she took up a LOT of room and now my couch is so empty and i so miss hearing her gentle snoring at night. i won't be ready for a 3rd dog for a very long time, maybe never. she took a very big part of my heart with her. they are such wonderful companions, i hope some day you can find another pup that will give you joy. :)

thanks, spedigrees. ashley's condition deteriorated quickly over the past couple of months. i just could not let it get any worse.

thank you, katrina. good for you finding a home for the little bichon! and yes, ashley was the sweetest dog i have ever had the pleasure to know. she was so dignified but could get goofy with her stuffies, too. :)

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 8:24PM
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Nina, I am so sorry for your loss. I just logged in to post about Mocha's passing. Like you, you just know when its time and don't want, as you so aptly put it, for their dignity to be compromised. Big hugs from Tennessee - we will get through this.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 6:02PM
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just posted to your thread about mocha. he was such a handsome boy!

i hope your years of memories of mocha will soon have you smiling and remembering the happy times! :)

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 6:43PM
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Nina, I've never been to this forum before but wanted to read your thread, filled with SO MUCH LOVE, for Ashely. I know the support and understanding you've gotten here means a lot to you. I just LOVED seeing the video of Ashley and the little miniatures! And to see that photo again of the special heart on her butt.

I know she wasn't with you as long as you wanted but I hope you know that you gave her the best three years of her life and let her go WITH her dignity! I recently read a book, "The Art of Racing in the Rain" and Nina, that book sums up exactly your feelings about not keeping a dog around for a few extra months when the RIGHT thing to do, the LOVING thing to do, is to let your beloved baby go peacefully. You did that for her.

Bless your heart. (((HUGS)))

    Bookmark   September 15, 2011 at 8:30PM
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Naomi Miller

I have never been to this forum before, I usually hang out in the garden areas but I needed to get some relief this morning. This post has helped me just to break down and let all that 'strength' and pain go.

I do not wish to take away from the purpose of this thread but I would like to share my story with someone. It has been about a month or a little more since we lost Fred; Fred was a beagle that we adopted from a couple who left him in a crate almost 24/7; he was about 2 years old when he was sent to us.... that was 15 years ago. In that time , I have lost my two shepherd mix girls at 15 and 14 years old.... I have taken in three more pups as they passed my way in need... but Fred was special. Independent, never needing attention and so appreciative when he got it.

About 6 months ago , he went blind and my husband thought it was best to help him cross over, I disagreed. I told him that if that were the case, I would know but Fred seemed to be adjusting well and he did...... most times, you could not tell he was blind to watch him. Physically , he was still pretty active, his teeth were getting pretty bad but the vet said none were in need of removal YET....

Long story short, I made the decision that the time had truly come about a month ago because it seemed that everything that moved began to startle him and he seemed to be in constant fear and that was not the purpose of adopting him; it was to give him love, freedom and a carefree life......he had that. That morning, I told him how much I loved him and we spent an hour or more just cuddling...I explained that I was ready to let him go and I knew he was ready ..... I had contacted my vet and we were to be there at 3 pm; at 1 pm, I went to get him and spend just a few more special moments and I found him in his bed; he had taken the journey on his own after receiving my permission to give up..... he now sleeps under a newly planted magnolia (in his honor) with a beautiful marble head stone that has his picture on it....and I spend some very nice quiet times there just as we did together for so many years.....

Thank you all for letting me share this here and please know that your thread has helped me get through yet another day without Fred...

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 11:32AM
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i am so so very sorry for the loss of your fred. he sounds like a wonderful companion and i know how much you miss him. what a long and happy life he had with you. i am happy for you that even though you made the decision, you did not have to go through with it. i have never been "lucky" enough, i have held all of my dogs in my arms while they went to sleep for the last time. my most fervent hope is that each of them saw the love in my eyes as they drifted off to cross the bridge.

fred is in very good company. so many of our pets have passed before him and since. rest assured, fred is happy and most importantly, he is healthy again.

this is for you...

Old Dogs Never Die
We have a secret, you and I
that no one else shall know
For who, but I, can see you lie
each night in fire's glow.

And who, but I, can rest my hand
before we go to bed
And feel the living warmth of you
and touch your silken head.

And who, but I walk woodland paths
and see ahead of me
Your small form racing in the wind
so young again and free.

And who, but I can see you swim
in every brook i pass
And when I call no one but I
can see the bending grass.

author unknown



    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 6:30PM
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