Sassy_and_Jody
This will likely be long but please read as I am desperate. I'm in an emotional mess and I don't know what to do or what I should be feeling; what's normal and what's not. I want what I know I can't have and it's tearing me apart. I lost my sweet understanding and loving dog yesterday very unexpectedly. Two days ago I came home and went to the kennel and put her leash on and brought her inside. She seemed fine as always. I sat at my computer a while and she did her usual things. I was sleepy and went to bed. I awoke to a banging sound and when I looked she had toppled over against the metal clothes closet and when she got up she was very wobbly and had trouble walking. Then she layed down on the floor in an unusual (for her) place and I could see she was breathing hard. She didn't want to get up. When she did she was very wobbly. I sat in my chair and watched her and she wasn't at all normal. She seemed either very weak or in pain; I couldn't tell which. After a time she seemed more normal but then went back to being wobbly and fell down again. I decided to call her vet in the morning. It was about 3 AM then and I needed more sleep. A phone call woke me at 8 AM and I called her vet. I got an appointment for 10:40 AM. I needed a shower, and I went out to open the car windows first so it wouldn't  be too hot when we left. I left the house door open and she followed me outside. At first she seemed to be more normal and I was hopeful that she would improve. She had been staying unusually close by me for the last few days and she kept close to me as I opened the car windows. When I went to the other side to open those, she followed closely but before she got to where I was she fell again onto her side. She got up and followed me back to the steps and I tried to help her up the two steps back inside but was unable to. So I put her tether on her and left her where she was and came in and showered. When I was done I went out to put her in the car to leave. I had trouble getting her in as she was unable to help at all but I got her in the back seat. On the way she changed positions a few times and eventually put her head between the front seats against my arm and I petted her with my other hand. When we arrived I called the vet and said I would likely need help getting her inside. After a while they came out to get her. I was still petting her head between the seats all this time. She was able to walk up the long wheelchair ramp on her own but was shaky and seemed weak. When we got into the exam room she lay on the floor near me and I petted her. She seemed calm and wasn't breathing hard. After a time she closed her eyes and relaxed. The technician came in and checked her vitals (no fever) and another woman came and went several times, as did the tech and the vet. So some time passed and I think I was there about an hour and a half, maybe more. Anyway as time went on it seemed like my dog, Sassy, was becoming less responsive. I could rouse her but not fully and not easily. I could tell she knew I was there and was petting her but she seemed like she wasn't fully aware or something. I mentioned to the vet that she seemed to be fading somehow or something and the vet said she was noticing it too. We had discussed options, possibilities and prognosis previously. The vet now seemed to be leaning subtly toward euthanasia. I told her to spit it out and say it, not beat around the bush and she said she thought euthanasia was best and that if we treated Sassy, no matter how much money I might have (I told her I didn't have much), we might still not succeed. We never did arrive at a proper diagnosis; only possibilities and the vet was not able to determine the actual cause. Well at that time I agreed reluctantly and she gave Sassy the sedative to calm her before the euthanasia drugs. I had said I would leave as soon as we were sure that Sassy wasn't aware that I had left, as I have done with my other dogs. When she gave Sassy the sedative (it stings going in) Sassy came awake startled and looked to see what was causing it. Then went back to the way she had been; eyes closed and relaxed it looked like. After the sedative had worked and I could see that she couldn't be aroused from sleep I left. Drove home crying my eyes out. All this happened yesterday. I went to a friends house last night and stayed late so not to be alone. He thought I should get another dog as I live alone and have always had dogs. I told him I felt I needed one because this place is quiet and lonely without one but that I felt like getting one so soon seemed somehow like dishonoring Sassy. We talked and I began to decide to go ahead and get one. So when I awoke this morning I made a call to the shelter after seeing one on their website that I liked. I ended up bringing her home and she is a very nice dog and I like her and know I will be happy with her. I chose a very nice 4 year old pitbull mix and she is quiet and gentle. Now I want to tell you some things about Sassy, the one I just lost. First of all she was a wolfdog, some call them wolf-hybrid but that is a misnomer. She had more wolf heritage than dog and looked like a wolf only smaller. She was very clingy with me, so much so indoors that I would sometimes almost trip over her because the would stay so close to me. She followed me from room to room always without exception and she was always licking me or sticking her head under my arm for me to hug and pet her. She loved to be hugged around her head. She had such expressive eyes, so much love in them. So loyal and gentle, with that canine smile. She was also beautiful in the way that wolves are. Black and silver. I've lost dogs before and even wolfdogs, but Sassy was something extra special. Wolfdogs are prohibited here now (she was grandfathered when the law passed) so I can never have another and that adds to my sense of loss; the was the last one I will ever have after having them so many years and becoming accustomed to their unique ways. If I could have I would have certainly chosen another wolfdog. They're not for everyone; they require a lot of prior research and knowledge. Anyway I have a new dog, and I am happy with this dog and I made a good choice and we are a good match, but I am having persistent feelings that I am somehow doing Sassy a dishonor or a disloyalty by getting another dog this soon. I know when I got this one that I felt that way but I also felt (and feel) that I need a companion being alone as I am. So I am having mixed and confused emotions and am finding it difficult to cope, and also, I am not sure what is normal; what I should be feeling, whether what I am feeling is normal, or right, or to be expected, and how I should find my way through it. I'm trying to sort out my feelings, find the right road to feeling better and follow it until time helps to heal me. I have never missed a pet (as I can remember anyway) as much as I miss this one and not being able to have another of her kind seems to add to it. But I am confused and not sure whether that is actually a part of it, how much a part of it or just what is what. I need help untangling my thoughts and feelings. To be set on the right path emotionally. Sorry this is so long but I felt it needed to be. The photo below is
Sassy, my close friend of the past 15 years.

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MuchasMom
I'm so sorry for the loss of your girl Sassy, she is so beautiful and unique! It sounds like you two had a special bond, so of course it is going to take time to learn how to be without her presence. I understand how you feel about wanting a dog in your home, to not be alone. I had 2 cats for the past 10 years - I lost one, my furry little soulmate, this past December. His brother is still with me, but even so the house feels emptier. I can't imagine how alone I will feel when he passes. It just sounds like you are in a very difficult place, needing to grieve for your lost girl, and at the same time to make a connection with your new companion. I really believe that our pets want us to be happy, I think that joy is the gift that all animal lovers receive. So I would imagine that Sassy wouldn't want you to be alone, she would want you to have a good, loyal friend by your side who could bring you happiness when you are ready. Animals are so generous with their love, so I think that it is a great tribute to any lost pet to share our lives and our love with another - I think it brings our hearts a little bit closer to theirs. So sorry again for your loss, and I hope you find peace and love and friendship with your new girl.

Emilie
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patriciak8
Im so sorry for your loss..I completely understand what youre going through..I just lost my dog this morning and I cant stop crying..I feel like my life will never be stable again.I also understand the emptiness you feel..and it feels like another pet would give you the same comfort..I know its hard to move on so fast but im sure your new pet will soon comfort you..
I dont know if I'll be able to ever move on but I hope we all will.
Tricia
Mama loni
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ebbsmom
I agree that it IS a tribute to Sassy that you want another dog - and I'm glad you found a sweet pit mix.  I just lost my Ebby (a pit mix) at 8 years old (see Ebby's story if you want).  She got sick one day and was gone 2 days later.  I still have her "sister and brother" and her sister, Jackie, is pretty clingy.  I think you can still mourn Sassy - you will never replace her and never forget her.  You my try telling your new dog stories about her - especially funny ones to help keep her a part of your life.
Keeping you in my thoughts.
Love you to the moon and back....
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Sassy_and_Jody
   Thanks for the replies. I'm delayed posting back because I haven't felt like doing much. I've been trying to keep myself occupied to get through this. My new dog, Pumpkin, is doing OK but I think she's missing the dogs at the shelter or something; she seems to want to stay on my bed most of the time and she hasn't eaten much which bothers me some. Maybe it's normal while she adjusts to the new place. She sleeps with me and seems to like that. I have doubts as to whether if Sassy could have seen her regular vet, if perhaps this would have gone differently and I would still have her. I think there's a real possibility of that, since her regular vet knew her for a long time and was more familiar with her. That haunts me and always will. These are the circumstances that make it difficult to accept. I feel that perhaps Sassy didn't get every chance that she should have had and now I will never know.
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Meekey_mom1

Sassy's symptoms sound very familiar to Meekey's...Anemia (hers was non-regenerative) and then blood clots in her lungs.  I tried everything that was feasible or possible including bone marrow test and experimental medication and the result was the same as for your Sassy.  I could not keep her alive with that much suffering...I too still bargain that that the University of Florida's testing was wrong and maybe she could have recovered...somehow...if i had an Oxygen chamber at home...Anyway, doubt, feelings of guilt, bargaining and despair...all normal feelings of grief.  I am crushed, completely undone! by her loss.  I am can't see, speak or read straight.  I, at 47, have never suffered a loss this great.  She was only 3 years 10 months old and i feel robbed of so many more years lost.  I tell you all you are experiencing for Sassy's loss IS normal.  I pray I get another chance to love a dog again.  Just give your new dog some time to get into your heart.  I do know it is worth it, for sure.

 

Beth Maharaj
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mybaby1robert
I hope you find comfort with your new baby.  It is a noble deed to help a shelter animal.  I feel sure she will adjust.  Animals don't like change either so they take a bit of time.  It is so hard to know what you should or should not do when your best friend gets sick. It seems like we always question our decisions.  Most good vets have enough experience and have seen many animals fall ill.  They usually know when the outcome is bad and not much can be done.  That being said I suppose not all are good.  I hope you can get better in time.  I am taking longer then I thought.  I have come here and I have been comforted by the wonderful people here.  I hope you find it so.

For one more day

Roberts Mom
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Sassy_and_Jody
Thank you everyone. It's been a very rough time. It's thrown me off my normal routine. I haven't kept up with anything or anyone since this happened. After losing my other one last summer I became very close to Sassy and I didn't expect to lost her anytime soon. With my other one I had time to realize she had only a short time left but Sassy seemed fine one day and was gone 2 days after. My new dog is doing better now, adjusting to me and the new place. I was so confused emotionally after losing Sassy and getting this dog so close together, but it's coming together now and it's working out well. I'm glad I got her now but I wondered if I was doing the right thing at first. She is very much like a dog I used to have long ago before I had wolfdogs. It seems so long ago. I still miss the wolfy ways they have but at least I got to experience that for many years and it's not something I will ever forget. I learned a lot from them. They are banned here now so I have no choice anyway, but I am happy with the dog I got and she is happy with me.
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