patent123
When I said goodbye to my most faithful friend of 6 years in September I was devastated! I still am and I miss my dog more then anything! She was my perfect fit and practically  a sister.  I always thought of her as my equal.. I would do and give anything for her.  

Shortly after her death my mom got us another dog.  Although her intentions were good it may have been to soon.  We got him in October and until recently we have had a rocky start.  Typical puppy behavior can really irritate a person specially a sad person.  

The other night as he snuggled in bed with me I realized he had a lot of qualities that my girl had when she was younger.  I realized that his MASSIVE body smashed up against my side felt just like hers use to...hes also starting to smell just like her.  It was in that moment that I realized he no longer annoyed me with his naughtiness...instead we are finally starting to develop a bond an appreciate one another.  This is something I thought I would never be able to do considering how horrible my grief was.

 I am finally realizing that this naughty puppy has helped the healing process in someways.  He reminds me daily of what I lost especially with how similar to her he is but its also a reminder of the years of friendship we shared.  It  makes me sad that they never got to meet...I know she would have enjoyed his friendship. When my girl was still alive she LOVED her dog bed and her crate.  Those were her places she would go to relax and I could always find her curled up snoozing. 

Just last night while watching TV I watched my new boy walk around and finally he willingly stepped into his crate and curled up into a ball and fell asleep. (I am working on keeping him off the couch he sheds way to much) I realized he was finally gaining some confidence with in our family, learning, and of course he again reminded me of how my girl use to do that every night. 

Its sad how much he reminds me of her but it also brings back memories of my girl.  He reminds me that grief can be healed, new friendships can be made, and life can once again be happy.  I still wish more then anything my girl was here and that I could have done so much more but I am now learning to focus on happy memories like her laying in the sun snoring away.
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ahartofilis
Hello there Patent123,
 I found your story to be extremely uplifting today. I am happy that you are finding some smiles again with the pup! Good for you. I especially relate to so many things you said. I recently adopted a Lab pup, 10mts. old from one of my local shelters. I got him about 3 and a half month's after the passing of my dear girl Coco.  
 He also has a lot of puppy behavior and his nipping in particular is hard on me and the grandchildren. I felt ready enough to have him in my life, yet there is no way to compare him to my beloved girl. I try not to do that although its hard not to.
 I am happy for you that your boy is finally settling in and he is gaining confidence. I think I have a ways to go with Rudy. I also find it comforting that he has helped you to heal. It makes me feel even more hopeful about my future with my guy!!
 Your post came at just the right time for me. Thank-you for sharing how things are going. It makes my day brighter!
I know we are both still grieving and missing our girls, they have such a big piece of our hearts, always will!! Yet out of the broken pieces of our hearts, there is love for another. I think it is possible because of the love and light that our canine soulmates bestowed upon us!! .................please take care.................Sincerely, Andrea.
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patent123
Your right each animal is special so even though we now have a new one in our life nothing can replace the one we lost.  I have never had a puppy before so it was a lot to take on during such a sad time.  I learned quickly a tired dog is a happy dog.  Getting out there on walks was hard.  My old girl use to lag behind us enjoying the smells and in no rush to hurry along.  Our new guy is a beast and so strong that it was hard work but he is learning to slow down.  It was sad walking to all of our old places with a new dog. 

I will say getting a basket FULL of bones and toys was our life saver in the biting department.  I also invested in a Kong that I squeeze peanut butter and milk bones into to occupy his mind.  Its odd having a dog that loves toys and especially tennis balls.  My girl was old and really only cared for purnia busy bones which she hid all over the house and yard.  I never realized how many she hid until our new puppy began finding them.  I miss how I would occasionally find one shoved in my shoe or stuffed down into the couch with our mail stuffed in around it (yes that happened).  I realize now she would hide them and wait for the perfect time to sit back and eat one up.  She really sat back, let her world slow down and enjoy each moment.  

I know bringing in a new friend is really hard.  It took me over 4 months to accept our new dog.  I'm not there completely but I am finding myself getting excited to go home an walk him just like I did my girl.  Our pets teach us a lot about relationships.  Because of my girl I lost I now know what love and friendship is all about and I can look forward to that with our new friend.  I know a day will come that we will say goodbye again to our new dog but I hope I will be able to look back on losing my girl and make better decisions so that the goodbye is a good one.

With time you and your new lab will work out all the kinks just like I did.  It will seem impossible at times specially with the nipping at kids (that was a hard one for me to handle).  With patients, consistency, and lots of love it will happen and before you know it this new friend will be a part of the family and just as special as the one you lost... different but just as nice. 
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MurphysMom_0831
Your messages about your new pup are beautiful. I'm so glad he is bringing you happy memories of your girl and helping you through this process. I've found the same things with Spencer, now 1-year-old, who came into our lives as an 8-week-old just 3 months before Murphy passed. Spencer reminds me so much of Murphy, especially since they're both Golden Retrievers, though Spencer's coloring is very dark and Murphy's was multiple shades of gold and blonde. He too is starting to smell like Murphy, and they share many qualities and quirks. Even though he came into my life before losing Murphy, I never thought we could develop the bond we now share either. He was also a difficult little puppy and my grief was so great it was hard to deal with and accept him. But I believe your girl and my Murphy have allowed us to love these new pups and let them into our hearts, even though we miss our beloveds so much. Thank you for sharing your story.

Blessings,
Murphy's Mom (Kathryn)
"Sometimes there is a dog who is so special, he is able to wrap himself so completely around your heart it is impossible to tell where you begin and he ends."  For My Beloved Murphy, 08/31/2004 - 06/18/2014


http://rainbowsbridge.com/residents/MURPH121/Resident.htm


http://s327.photobucket.com/user/kathrynbrown1626/library/?sort=6&page=1
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patent123
Thanks MurphysMom-  As sad as it was losing my girl I know I learned a lot from that journey.  I know I made some mistakes along the way but I also know how good we had it being together.  I know now when my Stranz gets older and faces any health problems or injuries I will be better suited to handle them.  He is the same breed as my girl so I am preparing myself for more potential back injuries.  He has grown into being such a LONG dog that I worry he could strain his back just like my girl.  (hes already bigger then she ever was) So from my girl I am learning to watch for the warning signs, controlling his jumping off of furniture another reason hes not allowed on the couch, and just trying to make my house more accommodating. 

Although I hate how my girl left me it taught me a lot that I can apply to my future pets to come. I think your right to they guided us in some way to developing new relationships with our new family members. 
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MurphysMom_0831
I became ultra protective of Murphy, particularly after his diagnosis of Addison's disease, never knowing when another crisis would come on (he nearly died during the 2 crises he had). It took a lot of time and diagnostic tests by 2 vets to determine he had Addison's because it mimics other illnesses. All these experiences taught me to watch for anything and everything out of the ordinary and continue to act immediately. I'm now ultra protective of Spencer. I know so many things to look for that don't even have anything to do with Murphy's illnesses. I've also educated myself more thoroughly about all the issues Goldens are prone to, Addison's not being one of them ironically enough. I also feel better suited to handle what might arise and continue to be extremely proactive, but I have tremendous fear for Spencer after suffering such shock and heartache with Murphy.

One sad but valuable thing I learned the hard way is to never, ever take what anyone other than an experienced tech or my vet himself says might be wrong as possible. When Murphy first started being finicky about his food in late May, the woman who answered the phone at our vet told me she was sure that's all it was, being finicky, since he still begged for treats. I called about it at least twice and she answered each time. In all the years we went to our vet she appeared very knowledgeable. The entire staff knew Murphy extremely well and were familiar with his illness and treatment. This woman frequently gave him his Addison's injections and immunizations right in the lobby instead of making him go back to the treatment area, away from me where he was so afraid. I was always under the impression she was a vet assistant. It turns out she wasn't.

I'll wonder forever if taking him in immediately would have made a difference. It was only a matter of days before he completely refused to eat, even after being seen and given prescription food by our vet. By that time, little did I know the situation would become so desperate and he would be dying 2 weeks later. Not even my vet did. Murphy went into the specialty hospital on June 6 and was finally diagnosed during exploratory surgery on June 12. His lab tests were going in a thousand different directions, the ultrasounds and CT scans had been non-diagnostic and extremely aggressive treatment wasn't working. The specialty vets were shocked by what they found during surgery, and even more so by the fact that he was doing so much better on June 17 and was going to come home June 19, only to have his body suddenly shut down on June 18. I rushed to his side to be with him while he was released from the uncontrollable agony that was to come. None of it ever should have happened, and no one can tell me why it did. Being without answers makes his loss even worse, especially after all my precious boy went through and how very hard he fought. It's torture.
"Sometimes there is a dog who is so special, he is able to wrap himself so completely around your heart it is impossible to tell where you begin and he ends."  For My Beloved Murphy, 08/31/2004 - 06/18/2014


http://rainbowsbridge.com/residents/MURPH121/Resident.htm


http://s327.photobucket.com/user/kathrynbrown1626/library/?sort=6&page=1
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patent123
Murphy was lucky to have a family that went above and beyond during his medical issues...vet care isn't cheap.  I've never had a golden but I met one at our dog park recently.  My dog is petrified of large dogs (hes had some bad experiences being bullied by a few).  My guy though loved this golden. The lady at the park said they are considered Americans sweet hearts because of their gentleness. I can only imagine how friendly and welcoming Murphy must have been. 

I can't imagine trying to go through multiple tests to get answers.  My girls diagnosis on her back injury was pretty straight forward.  I imagine its incredibly hard because animals have no way of telling us their symptoms.   I really feel for vets who work so hard to find quick answers it can't be easy. 

You mentioned had you gotten him to the vet sooner could things have gone differently? Thats hard to say.  I noticed my girl having issues walking at noon and when I got home at 5 she could no longer use her back legs.  I took her in to the vet around 6 and found out what happened.  I consider my actions to be fairly quick but the out come no matter how fast I moved would have been the same.  You are right though our animals should die peacefully in their sleep after a great day.  It is torture to see them hurt or ill and its incredibly unfair and angering.   
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MurphysMom_0831
I smiled reading about how your dog loved the Golden at the park. They truly are America's sweethearts and love everyone. They're also known as being puppies forever. Murphy was the perfect example of that sweet, gentle and happy Golden nature.

I'll always wonder about getting Murphy in to see our vet sooner, though it only would have been a matter of days difference. He didn't seem to be in pain at all until a few days after he was in the hospital. I had to make so many decisions so quickly once he was admitted, and I was and extremely worried if my decisions were the right ones, so I've questioned myself endlessly. No matter how we lose them, you're right it's torture.

Blessings,
Murphy's Mom (Kathryn)
"Sometimes there is a dog who is so special, he is able to wrap himself so completely around your heart it is impossible to tell where you begin and he ends."  For My Beloved Murphy, 08/31/2004 - 06/18/2014


http://rainbowsbridge.com/residents/MURPH121/Resident.htm


http://s327.photobucket.com/user/kathrynbrown1626/library/?sort=6&page=1
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Bellamum
Hi Patent 123,
It is lovely to read a happy, uplifting story on the forum.  I am happy that Stranz is helping to heal your heart and that you are feeling the bond between you grow deeper. 
I agree, that the new companions we bring into our family after saying goodbye to our "soulmate" puppies/cats, do provide a link to our dearly missed babies.  Every time I cuddle or kiss Charli or Buddy, I know that is a cuddle or kiss for my sweet Bella too.  Everything I do for them, I do in memory of her...it is because of her that we could open our hearts again to provide a loving, caring home for Charli and Buddy.  That is exactly the same with your beautiful Fairchild.  She was the one who taught you to love a furry companion as deeply as you do and opened your heart to be able to love and care for Stranz, even though your heart is still deeply hurt and probably always will be.  The relationship that you now have with Stranz is a tribute to Fairchild.  She gave you so much in life, and she continues to enrich your life even though she is gone from your side.
I also agree that we learn a lot from the "mistakes" that we feel we made, not just medically, but in the day to day care of our babies.  Charli, Buddy and Stranz should be sending a huge thank you to Bella and Fairchild for all they taught us.  I know that I am far more aware of my priorities now.  Instead of saying, "I am busy" or "I don't have time", I stop and think about how privileged I am to have them in my life, and how precious they are, and I find time to sit and cuddle or go for a longer walk than I was planning.  This sometimes makes me feel guilty and emotional. I worry that Bella will think that they are getting more from me than she got, but I also thank her for helping me to become more aware of the fragility of life and the important things in my life.  The saying, "The important things in life aren't things at all", is so true, but sometimes it takes heartbreak before we realise it.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings...it is nice to have something to smile about and to hear different outlooks on the idea of a new pet. 
Karen
(Bella, Charli and Buddy's very lucky mum)

My gorgeous girl, Bella  26/07/2004 - 03/04/2014
"You were once by our side, but you will be forever in our hearts. Until we meet again baby girl."
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patent123
MurphysMom-  I to had to make my decisions quickly when it came to FC.  I tried to heal her injury for a few days at home but I realized it wasn't working.  I probably could have waited a few days and thought things through more...however at the time I felt like the CRUELEST person in the world confining my girl to a her cage.  At that point she had lost control of going to the bathroom on her own.  I had to help her go but she was also constantly leaking.  Watching her constantly sitting in her mess was hard.  I was constantly giving her baths and washing bedding but I could tell me moving her around was hard on her body.  I could also in some ways see her once happy bright spirit go dark.  So her losing some happiness really made me feel rushed to make a decision.  Her final night with me she woke me up very late.  She was desperately needing a bath so I gave her one. Once we were done she just pressed into me exhausted and just sighed.  I really felt in that moment she was not happy.  Her new reality wasn't a fair one.  I could have gotten her a wheelchair but I didn't see her life as a full filled one living like that.  So after talking to my vet and hearing him say he thought it was best I said goodbye.  Its hard making such serious decisions on a limited time frame. 

Bellamum- I also try to do better now with our new dog.  I know I was good with FC but she was older more tired and would prefer to just lounge around.  Before she passed our dog park was on the verge of being completed and ready to open. (it was being built) When we lived in Chicago her and I would ALWAYS walk to the dogpark.  She would spend the entire afternoon walking around nose to the ground.  When we moved back home there wasn't a dog park to visit so it was kind of sad.  Finally our town was building one and I was SO EXCITED to take her.  It was open for a bout a month before her injury.  I never got the chance to take her and I really hate that.  We take our new dog now a few times a week and he loves it!  I feel bad that I am running and laughing with this new one and we never got to do it with her.  

One thing we always did was include FC in our daily activities as much as the outside world allowed.  She became such a quiet mellow dog that we could take her anywhere. Road trips were a breeze as well as public festivals and such.  I am trying to do that with Stranz now to include him in as much as possible.  I am also learning to try and slow down and appreciate things on a different level.  Your right sometimes it takes a loss to see whats really special in life.
 
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