Winston
We lost a dear member of our family about 3 weeks ago.
Winston was an Airedale Terrier he was only 4 1/2 yrs old.
It was sudden and unexpected which makes it all the worse.
Sunday he was fine, playing in the new fallen snow as I shoveled the driveway.
Monday he was feeling poorly, he stopped eating,  he had his tail between his legs and was acting lethargic. Tuesday showed no improvement, but he still managed to go up and down the stairs and jump into his favorite chair and he was drinking. I had seen this behavior in him in the past when he ate something that disagreed with him.
He was a garbage hound and would occasionally get into things that would upset him.
So I figured whatever he ate it would pass.
Wednesday came and I saw no improvement and called the vet, he had an appointment at the end of the day.
So I kept an eye on him and he was showing no signs of dire distress.
While cooking dinner I saw him jump off his favorite chair and lie down in my room by my bed. I checked in on him a few times as he quietly laid there. Well 1 hour before his vet appointment I saw him start to vomit, I ran by his side, he went into a convulsion, stiffened took a last deep breath and died in my arms.
I am devastated. 

Winston and I had a special bond.
While he considered our 3 kids siblings and rough housed with them as siblings will do.
My kids had a hard time coming to terms with his death, but their lives are full of the promise of a new day and they are coping.
My wife is not really a dog person, she put up with Winston's antics but I know she does not feel the loss I feel.
Winston was my boy, I think he considered me his daddy.
He loved me so much, he could not stand for me to be out of his sight.
If I left the house for a minute, even to go to the mail box, I was greeted like I had been gone for days. If I went in the car he had to come too. If I left him in the car for only a minute he would cry and yelp like a baby. He filled a special place in my heart.
I have been home for the past few years, losing my job and sinking into a deep depression
I had started my own business and working from home the 2 of us were inseparable. 
The house would be empty, my wife at work and the kids at work and school. It was Winston and I all day long. he was my reason for getting up in the morning.

I find myself with great guilt, feeling I should have done something sooner.
Maybe if I had taken him to the vet the day before or even a few hours earlier, it might have made a difference.
I have no idea what caused his death,  I have no money to have an autopsy, we are barely paying our mortgage. I had a hard time paying vet bills, so when he started acting sick, I think my decision to put off his care was financial one.

I see and feel him in every corner of this house.
I cry a few times each day.
He had a spark like no other dog I have ever had.
He was smart, stubborn, sneaky, willful, he was a clown, he was fiercely loyal to his family. He decided who he liked and who he didn't, for reasons only known to Winston.
He looked at me with such love, and I loved him with all my heart.
And now he is gone and I have a huge hole in the middle of my chest.
I am writing this with tears streaming down my face.
I guess I just needed to tell someone.
I know life must go on, and I am thankful I have my family here to console me.

Here is one of the last pics of my handsome boy.


Winston 1.jpg
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LUCYLULU
I am so, so very sorry for you & for your family...but mostly for you. Such a handsome boy~ human like & with soulful eyes. In the picture, he looks like he is about to tell you a story. My heart is breaking for you. And to lose Winston @ just 4 1/2 years old is wicked. Not fair. There are no words...but there is a bundle of empathy & understanding. Please know that we all feel the replay & wonder about 'what ifs'.

My first dog Samantha ('Sam Dog') was not feeling well-- much like what you describe with Winston.  I brought her to the vet. The fill-in vet (mine was on vacation) decided Sam must have just caught 'a bug' or something. She didn't give antibiotics-- just said to keep an eye on her for a few days. Sam died the next night. I found her in the AM. To this day-- I do not know what caused her death. She was a smart, beautiful 7 y/o Golden Retriever.  I am only telling you this because I brought her and yet she still passed. So please do not blame yourself-- in any way. You were right there...holding him. When he passed he was in your loving arms.

Winston was, and will always be part of your heart & soul. The pain, the empty house, missing him every single hour of your day is unbearable. At 3 weeks or so, the numb sadness started wearing off & the raw emotion, sometimes anger, hit me like a rogue wave. And it still comes on suddenly-- even after nearly 3 months. Try & be kind to yourself. I hope you get little signs from Winston-- that he is still with you. It can help a bit. And this forum is a place where we are all grieving & missing our soulmate dogs, cats, pets. Come here often and know that we all understand. Hugs, Kasey

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DadnGaia
Hi, I know the special bond you're talking about and I also know the sorrow that grieving alone can bring. My kids, my wife are sad but a million miles away from where I am. That makes me feel even more alone and sometimes a little angry.

It's still very early days for me, wish it wasn't.

I am so very sorry for your hurting, I wish I could fix it.
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Winston
Thank You for the kind words.
While I am sure a lot of us go on to have new friends, to fill the missing part of our lives. We still hold a special place in our hearts for ones who have passed on. Everyone tells me I will want another companion someday, but for now the wound is too fresh. 
I did have a dog before Winston, his name was Chauncy...he was a huge teddy bear. 
An Oorang Airdale which is the largest breed of Airedale.
My kids grew up with him and rode him like a pony and pulled his hair and ears, slept on him, he never protested. He guarded my kids like his own,  whenever they went outside Chauncy made sure he kept an eye on them. He too was my boy. Though like children they had their own distinct personalities. While Chauncy was a Teddy bear, Winston was a firecracker and would not put up with such abuse, luckily my kids were bigger when Winston came along. At 100lbs in his prime Chauncy was the largest type of his breed.
He lived to 13, a decent age for such a large dog. We saw his end slowly coming and were prepared for the inevitable, which I guess made it not as painful as losing Winston in his prime.
I suppose I will put a picture of Winston along with his collar on my fireplace mantle next to Chauncy's picture and collar. I have a paw print and a hair clipping from each of them tucked away.
I guess with time, the pain goes away and the good memories take its place.
I will always have a place for them in my heart. chauncy and kids.jpg
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Winston
I know the loss and sadness you all feel, it does come in waves, sometimes small, sometimes overwhelming.
We see our friends in every thing we do. 

Even though we have 2 cats and 5 of us live in a small home. My daughter says the house feels empty...Winston was a presence.
Just the other day I grabbed my car keys and headed for the door. This would bring Winston immediately at my side, no mater where he was, wanting to come along for the ride.
Well I grabbed those keys and I felt such a strong presence by my side like he was right there, acting his usual happy tail wagging self.
I just broke down sobbing.

Kasey, you are so right about Winston's expression. He looked at you with such an understanding it was amazing. When I was happy he was too, when I was sad he looked at me with such a love as if to say"it will be alright"

I wish you all healing and fond memories of the ones we lost.
Greg


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EM
My condolences to you and your family. I'm praying for you and your family so that you'll have peace and reassurance throughout all of this. Read the Bible scriptures here on this website, for they are all very encouraging and comforting.
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Winston
My family surprised me the other day with an Airedale pup.
When I saw this 8 week old bundle I had mixed feelings.
Alphie is so sweet and adorable, but I felt it was too soon since losing my boy Winston only a month ago.
My oldest daughter was responsible for this plan.
She said, the house was so empty without Winston, and she thought we needed a bit of joy in our home so they all decided to get another dog and surprise me.

Alphie keeps me very busy with her puppy antics, and I see a whole lot of Winston in everything she does which overwhelms me with emotion from time to time.
She even found Winston's favorite toy in our yard and had claimed it for her own.

I think my daughter Emily is right, we need joy to replace sorrow.
No dog will ever replace Winston in our hearts, we just need to open our hearts to a new joy to chase away the sorrow.

I wish you all find joy to replace sorrow.
We will never forget our loved ones, but every day is a new chance to fill our hearts with more love.

Greg

Here is a pic of our little firecracker.


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mandys_mommy
Winston,
I am sorry for your loss but happy to see you can give another puppy a home. When i lost my Mandy i decided to get another dog 6 weeks after she passed. I also had mixed feelings my friends supported me. My Sadie is from a rescue, she is the sane breed and i keep on telling her that Mandy sent her from heaven so I could take care of her. She makes me smile again. I miss my Mandy and my heart aches when i think of her, but I also love Sadie and j have a reason to get up again. Best wishes to you.
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Bailey15
So sorry for your loss! Winston sounds like such a character. I can relate to a lot of what you said because my dog and I did everything together. He also loved to drive in the car with me. My feeling is that it was good for Winston that you were there with him when he needed you and he passed away in your arms - instead of being alone or afraid. I hope you find peace and much happiness with your new puppy! :)
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