I lost my darling boy Leo last night. He was a 15 year old Jack Rusell and he was the best little dog in the whole world. I live by myself and he has been by my side since I brought him home at 9 weeks old. He was the best thing in my life and he taught me real love. Leo was the bravest, most courageous and loyal dog I have ever known. I was very lucky that he lived most of his life with no health problems which is typical of a jack russell. But this year he really started to slow down and developed arthritis badly in his back legs. He also started to zone out a bit and lost his excitement. With the help of my vet I was managing his arthritis with pain medication and giving him vivitonin to help with his doggy dementia. But in the last couple of months, he started to lose weight even though he was eating twice a day. His blood work was fine so my vet gave him some enzyme powder to mix into his food which would assist him to absorb the nutrients better. But he kept losing weight. Then his back legs became weaker and weaker which led to him falling over a lot. But even though his legs were failing him, Leo would never allow me to walk out of the room without following me. I would tell him it was okay and he could just rest but he refused. He was always by my side. Two nights ago, Leo woke up at 3am to be let outside and he couldn't walk. I knew that night would be our last night together. I put him up on the bed next to me and lay awake all night watching him sleep. I stayed home with him the next day and he got up to follow me wherever I went, even though he kept falling over. I picked him up and walked him around the house then outside just so he could say goodbye to his home. That evening I sat next to him while he ate his last meal before I took him to the vet. On the way there in the car, he was calm and lay in his bed on the passenger seat, staring up at me with those big puppy eyes. The vet said that if he was still eating but losing weight rapidly then there must be a cancer eating him up from the inside. The vet assured me that it was time to let him go otherwise he would suffer. I have always said that I will never let Leo suffer. He had been the best dog to me and he didn't deserve that. Walking out of the vet without him, holding his jacket and collar was one of the saddest things I have ever experienced. And now my house is so empty. It's amazing how someone so small can have such a big presence and leave such a void. Last night before I went to sleep I said "goodnight Leo." Like I have done for 15 years but for the first time, he wasn't there. This morning when I woke up, I didn't need to let him outside or feed him. When I brushed my teeth, he wasn't standing in between my feet and the vanity. When I came home from my appointment, he wasn't waiting for me at the door. Later, when I was emptying out the fridge, I didn't have to worry about him sticking his snout in and trying to steal the scraps. Everything is different now and it will never be the same again. I don't know if I believe in the after life and all that but I really hope he is not alone because Leo hated being by himself.
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I'm so sorry for the loss of your beautiful Leo, honey. We lost our 15 year old cat last night, too. Leo has been by your side for such a big part of your life and you will always have a Leo-shaped hole on your heart.

Let yourself grieve. Don't let anyone tell you to move on or get over it. Time will ease the pain, but you will always miss him. Leo isn't alone, I'm sure. He's with all the other pets we've lost. Releasing him from his pain was so hard, but you did the right thing by him. I hope one day you'll be able to think of him and smile through the tears.
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Thank you Lissanne. Sorry for your loss also. A lot of people are already telling me to get another dog but I cannot imagine being able to love a dog the way I love Leo.
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Hi Leo's Mom. so sorry for your loss. I lost Shelby on August 29th because all the previous weekend, she could no longer stand up and walk. She would have been 16 yrs this November 4th, and I guess that is a long life for a larger dog(half shepherd half black lab?). I spent all day Monday with her and she did not even get up. I gave her her last dinner at 5:10pm and I taped it and have watched it over and over. She still had a great appetite but what can you do when a dog can no longer stand or wants to get up?
The vet came to the house and within seconds she was gone. She did not even wince when they stuck the needle in her. I watched her eyes, her windows to the soul and saw the light leave. It is a memory I will never forget. Some people say that is an honor to be with someone when they pass over. 
A friend of mine who works with Angels, said it would be almost 3 weeks before I hear from her. She is busy resting on the Rainbow Bridge. 
I am still sleeping on the couch to be near her. 

The pain has been unbearable and I am totally in a fog. I feel like I am not in my body. My heart is looking around to love her. The only thing I know is that coming here and talking to all the suffering parents is keeping me sane and able to somewhat function. 
Everyone says the first few weeks are the darkest. I can tell you that, I am on day 8 without my Beloved Shelby, and that is true.
I hope you find some comfort in the days ahead and to let you know that you are not alone. We are here.
Many Blessings,
Shelby's Mommy Deborah

Shelby you are a Good Girl, A Pretty Girl, A Smart Girl.
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JRTlover~   I am so very, very sorry for you. Having to make this unbearable decision is wicked. At the time, you do not want him to suffer or to be in pain. But as you already know, waking up, coming home, all of the routines that you shared with Leo just feel 'so wrong'. Your heart hurts. Every fibre hurts. Nothing feels right. In the next days & weeks, you may go through emotions that bring torment & wondering & replay. But through it all, please try to remember that you took away his pain because you loved him more than anything in life. You made the unselfish decision because of your true, unconditional love. He knows.

Keep talking to Leo. Ask for & watch for signs. Write in a journal. Scream out loud-- car windows up, radio on :-) Do anything & everything to get through the day, the hour. It will take time-- maybe a long time. I wasn't sure I could get through it. The people on this forum helped so much. We all understand here because we are all grieving and missing our best buds. But now they're all healthy, happy & playing together-- Leo's not alone-- over the Rainbow Bridge. Hugs & healing, Kasey
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I am so, so sorry for your loss of little Leo. I know exactly how you feel right now as I went through the same thing almost 9 months ago with my 17 year old Jack Russell cross. We never had children so Jim was just like our child. The way you describe the way your home is so empty, and doing all the "firsts" without Leo has brought me to tears, it really is so hard not having them by our side after so many years.  I was told that losing your dog is like the home losing its heartbeat, and it really is - as you say, it is amazing how someone so small fills your home with their huge personality.  Leo sounds like he was your "Once in a lifetime dog", the way Jim was to me.  All I can say to you is that for all the pain and tears, it truly is worth it for the lifetime of love and happiness that Leo gave to you, and while at the moment your grief is so very new and raw, it will slowly start to get a little better.   When I lost Jim, I didn`t want to believe anyone who told me that the immense pain would lessen, but it does - I can now look back and be so thankful that I got to share all those years with Jim, just as you will be able to.  You gave Leo a wonderful life filled with everything a dog could want - love and care, and even at the end you made the most difficult choice that we as responsible pet carers can possibly make in letting him go over the Bridge to free him from suffering. As someone here told me, we take away their pain, but we then take on the pain ourselves.   I really don`t think Leo is alone, I believe he`s over the Bridge running free and happy - probably with my Jim, just waiting for the time that we will be reunited with them, this time forever. Take care.

                                                                                Hugs, Jackie x
J Taylor
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Thank you all for your kind words. They all mean so much coming from the people who truly understand. I'm just wandering around the house aimlessly because even though I've always lived alone, I guess I never really did until now. Leo's absence is palpable. Jackie, you were completely spot on when you said he is my once in a lifetime dog. His definitely is. I was 20 when I brought him home so he has been there with me through all the really big, formative years of my life. And you are right, this pain is definitely worth the wonderful years he gave me. My home has definitely lost its heartbeat for now.

Thank you to everyone who has shared their stories with me to help me through this. It can't be easy to relive those difficult memories and it means a lot that you would share them in order to bring me some comfort. Xxxxxxxx
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Leo's Mom,

So very, very sorry for the loss of your precious Leo. From your first post, it sounds like Leo had an excellent life and was loved so very much!

I lost my Emma at only 5.5 years of age just 3 months ago, so I know the fresh pain of losing your baby. Someone told me that dogs live for the day. They are not self-aware, like we are, of their death date, or other things that we ponder such as "life after death". They live for the day and have fun for the day.

We humans, unfortunately, are the ones that carry on with our sorrow, grief, and missing our loved ones. Your Leo & my Emma are no longer in earthly form therefore are no longer in any pain and suffering. They are free and whole in heaven, now angels awaiting us in the future. Some people believe it is metaphorical, but it is written that Jesus will return on a white horse. I like to think that it is literal, because if God is letting horses into heaven, than he has definitely let in your Leo and my Emma.


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I am so sorry for your loss of your Leo. It has been a hard three days for us. Harley was my anchor after my divorce, and he is probably the reason that I still walk the earth. It's so hard when our days and nights are no longer the same as they were when they were with us. I also believe that they are whole and happy, that a Bridge does exist.
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I am so very sorry for your loss - the conventional response is usually that your pup had a good, long, happy life. And this is ABSOLUTELY the case as I am sure his time with you was wonderful and you should take a great deal of pride and satisfaction in this, even as you grieve his loss. I often think that the problem is that having had them a long time, we are so used to having them WITH us so when they pass it's devastating both in the acute phase - and then later as we acclimate to life without them. 

Please know that we all understand your pain and I suspect many people have gone through it... I'm so sorry for your loss but I hope you will take some comfort in what a wonderful life you provided... ?

Best Wishes,

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I am so sorry for your loss...I know how empty you feel. I lost my golden suddenly 6 weeks ago. His 7th birthday was yesterday. It is so hard. I can only imagine 15years and then gone. There is an empty void because our lives revolve around these beautiful animals. The unconditional love is like nothing else on this earth. It is totally heartbreaking. Today for the first time while I was at work, I was me. Then I came home and again it sets in. I never even thought at the time I could ever be me again. But today, there was a glimpse of hope. Just take one day at a time. One moment. Remember the love of Leo and try to keep from thinking of his death. This site has been a true blessing. It's saved me in a sense that I am not alone. A friend told me the other day that to "remember, it's just a passing. You'll be with him again" . That's what I am sticking to. Leo will always be by your side. Always in your heart! We are all here for you!
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