I lost my sweet Annie girl today, and am having a difficult time accepting her loss. She was diagnosed with lymphoma only 2 days ago, and is the first companion I have ever had and lost. She was only 6 years old, causing me a sense of anger she had to go so soon.

We rescued her, a full blooded black lab almost 5 years ago. I try to believe it was fate that led us to one another as the moment we saw her, we knew she had to be ours. As we signed the papers, someone else called to adopt ours but she was ours forever. We had amazing years with her and experienced so much with her by our side. She was my husband and I's first priority out of college graduation. She was with us when we had hardly anything, but we always ensured her care was number one. She was diagnosed with pancreatitis shortly after we got her, but lived a normal life moving forward. A few years later in April of 2016, she had signs of a flare up and nothing worked. She was hospitalized for several days. The only thing that worked was prednisone so it was thought she had IBD. We got to a good place, and soon after in September, she was hospitalized for 10 days with ITP, an auto immune disease. The chances were not in our favor, but again, she fought through it and came home. She was on prednisone again, and we enjoyed Christmas together. It was something we weren't sure we would have. Again, we were so grateful to have her home and then she had clinical signs a few weeks later with what we were told were pancreatitis flare ups. She tested positive on her PLI test. After no improvement at home, and labored breathing, she had an X-ray done that showed some concerns. She was transferred again to the specialty hospital and hospitalized. We were hopeful as we have been through what we thought was everything a 6 year old could have. She continued declining over the three days and her ultrasound confirmed lymphoma. We tried chemo but she never responded and continued on a downhill slope in the next days. We are led to believe the prednisone back in May or September initially fought her lymphoma and had now learned to grow around it. Her liver, spleen, and lungs were all effected. We tried all we could and always did no matter the cost.

I am so heartbroken as I have never experienced loss in my life like this. She was by my side through it all. She was our only friend when we lived out of state from family and friends. She sat next to me when my husband proposed to me. She was in our engagement pictures, and wedding vows. She moved several times with us, including the purchase of our first home a few months ago. All I've known as an adult is her, and the last year of my life has been dedicated to her. Doctors visits more than I can count, hours and hours of research as to why these issues kept happening this year, administering medication, getting prescription food routinely. It's now so empty already. She had so much personality. One of a true human. We rescued another lab almost 2 years ago, and she came from a bad home living outside. Annie taught Bella everything she knows and they loved each other so much. It's hard seeing Bella so sad as well as coping with my pain and loss. How do I heal? How do I fill this void that has been one of the biggest parts of my life? I can't go anywhere in my home without seeing her belongings, pictures, and the flooding memories.

With this being my first time, I am battling with letting her go too. She was not responding and our vet told us it was the right thing to do as they couldn't do anything, but saying goodbye seems so final and that I'm closing the door on her. I would do anything to bring her back. Any tips and encouragement is certainly appreciated. My thoughts are with anyone who has experienced loss as I truly know the pain now. Sadly. :(

I will miss you forever my sweet Annie girl.
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Hi StoneFam, I need to tell you how much I admire people who rescue animals. It is a big unknown and taking that leap of faith is such a wonderful act of kindness. In this case you were rewarded with a beautiful soul who enriched your lives for almost five years. I know this has to be so painful and difficult for you. You and Annie were through so much together. It sounds like Annie has been through a lot with her healthand I personally believe she pulled through because she loved you so much. Letting her go now was your way of giving her peace and making sure she didn't have to suffer. It's so awful though going on now without her though. Bella is grieving too, as you have said, so I would really concentrate on her and you can help each other through. She has learned a lot from Annie and even though she feels the deep loss of Annie I would wager that she is also worried for you. Let her be there to comfort you as you help her. You do need to mourn your beloved Annie. There really is no way around that but it will get easier. I lost 2 dogs and my heart still aches for them but I know that they are in a better place, healthy again and that really helps me. It is easier now to think of all the beautiful memories we created in our time together. Take Care and please post again. This forum is filled with wonderful people who really understand your terrible loss. Take Care and be extra kind to yourself.
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StoneFam, I feel the devastation and pain in your words and am so terribly sorry for your loss of Annie.  She sounds like she was the perfect fit for you and your husband and she gave you so much joy in your lives.  She, no doubt, knew how much she was loved and couldn't have had more love in her life.  I wish she could have had a longer life.  I know how you must feel cheated for not having more years with her.  I wish things didn't have to happen that way but we never know when that dreadful day is going to come when we have to say Goodbye to our beloved pets.  It's been just over 6 months that Teddy left us and I still grieve for him.  I know I always will.  The main things that have helped me are my faith, time and this forum of like-minded people.  I have had little support and understanding on the outside and coming here has been a safe place for me.  Knowing others are experiencing the same as me hurts but it also makes me feel as if I'm not alone in my grief and sadness.  I wish I could say something to take the stinging pain away but our deep love for our pets makes it so there doesn't seem a way to avoid it.  I hate that but do understand because of that intimate bond we create with them.  You'll always miss Annie but the intensity of your pain will lessen with time.  I never thought it would but it does.  I still cry and want Teddy back and think of him nearly all the time but I'm able to function better and can find happy moments and memories more often now.  I wish for you the same with Annie.  My deepest sympathy and compassion for you.  Sara
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Hi CK1991,

Thank you for your kind response. I have never let deep feelings like this be known on the internet, but I am so glad I did. Hearing from people such as you have helped me get through. I know not all feel the same towards their pets as we do, so I find comfort from others who understand the love and loss we experience. I am sorry to hear of your two lost dogs. I can only imagine how hard it has been for you. As you said, thinking of all the happy memories we have had helps me each day. Because the shock and seeing her so unwell was so fresh, it made it difficult to celebrate her life and instead be so upset at what I had lost. Comforting Bella too has helped so much. My husband and I were blessed with a 67 degree day full of sun in the Midwest yesterday. It's been nothing but gloomy for several days so we like to think it's Annie saying hi and giving us a day to take Bella to one of their favorite parks, one I took Annie to many times before Bella came along. Each day is getting easier, but I miss her and think of her every minute. Thank you again for your kind response.
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Hi sarab,

I am so sorry to about the loss of Teddy. Reading your response, I am sure he had a happy life with someone like you who understands the love they bring to our lives. Annie really was the perfect fit for us. I never could imagine having a better first dog. We feel she taught us more about life than we ever taught her. I don't think any experience could teach me to be such a selfless human being. I wish we could have had more time with her, and we do feel robbed, but I find peace knowing my life was enriched much more with her in it, and I hope hers was too. I truly appreciate the time you took to respond to me. As you said, it's hard finding the comfort from others on the outside. This place is one of the only places I feel understood and not alone. I hope you have or will find the same joy again that Teddy brought to you.
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I would like to express my sincere condolences on the loss of your beloved Annie. We, who love our pets so very much, unfortunately know that we will most likely outlive them. I know, from what you've said, that you agree the joy they give us is worth the inevitable pain when we have to say good bye. I also think that they should be able to stay longer but I suppose it would never really be long enough. I am sending you positive thoughts as you go through this sad grieving period. Take Care,
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I am SO VERY sorry for the loss of your beautiful Annie.

Your story almost mirrors mine. I lost my Emma to lymphoma on 06-15-16. She was only 5.5 years old. My second rescue dog, Tulip comforts me as much as I comfort her.

I, too, feel robbed and mad about the time lost with her. She was so young.

I will miss her everyday, until the day I die. But each day, my heart goes from having an open wound to an ugly, bumpy scar. It still hurts, but not as much.

My heart goes out to you.

BTW, what part of the midwest are you in? I am in the Indianapolis area.

Please take care of yourself.

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I'm so sorry for your loss of Annie. Our stories are so similar.

We, too have lost our beloved dog to lymphoma just last week. He was an American Pitbull Terrier and it feels he's been taken too soon. He was only 6 years old as well, it's just not fair. He started having swollen lymph nodes in his legs then in his neck, shoulder area. He only had less than 2 months without treatment so we made the gut wrenching decision to have him put to sleep. He was my little boy. I miss him so much, what I wouldn't give to see him again.

Warm regards,
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 Its heartbreaking to loss a pet best friend. 
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My thoughts and prayers are with you as I recently (June 1, 2017) lost my precious Satin Marie, my Black Lab girl. The loss is so much more devastating this time around. Wishing you peace and nothing but great memories. 11 years was not near long enough but a hundred years still wouldn't have been enough time with her.
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