ehloar
This past weekend I had to make the difficult decision to have my 12 year, 9 month old Shetland Sheepdog, Serena, put to sleep. She was diagnosed with a cancerous bladder tumor, which obstructed the opening of her bladder, making it difficult for her to relieve herself. She also was unable to stand up on her own, balance, and could barely walk anymore. I hated seeing her in such misery, with her condition deteriorating so rapidly. We made the appointment for yesterday, 1/13/15 at 7:50 AM.

The day before her appointment, we spent her last day getting a bath, then laying in front of the fireplace to dry, cuddling, me telling her all of my favorite memories with her. We watched our nightly shows together with her cuddled in my arms.

The next morning, we got up and cuddled her up in a blanket. My mom and I got her brother/littermate, Mickey, ready to go (we wanted him to be there, it didn't seem fair to seperate them in her last moments when they had been together their whole lives.

The four of us went to the vet's office. This was the hardest thing I have ever done. As we sat in the room together, we told her all about the Rainbow Bridge, where there are peanut butter rivers, cheese trees, and lots of her favorite red Frisbees to play with. The veterinarian came in and offered his condolences, and reassured us that this was the best decision (although I am still feeling guilty for making the decision even now), then administered the injection while I held her in my arms.

I am still a wreck over this... I don't remember a time when she wasn't in my life. She has been in my life since I was 10 years old, in the fourth grade. I remember picking her out, and the drive home where I picked her name, Serena. And I remember bringing her home, and giving her her first bath, in our sink. She got me through the painfully awkward middle school years, the high school years where I battled depression, and the stressful college years while working on two degrees.

I lost my beautiful FatCat a year and a half ago, but the grieving process seems somehow different and more poignant this time around. The only difference is that FatCat passed naturally, while Serena was put to sleep. 

I have tried to talk to my friends and family, but I get the typical response: "I'm sorry, but, she was just a dog," but she was more than that. My mother doesn't understand my grief and doesn't understand why I am so upset. I am not mourning just a pet, companion, or friend, but I am mourning a sibling as well. Being an only child has, I think, has caused me (whether this is good or bad, I am unsure) to build stronger, more meaningful relationships with my animals. I do view them as siblings, and I think this is why I am grieving so harshly.

Little things in the house make it hard, whether it is her winter coat hanging on the back porch, the blankets that she slept on laying in her crate, her leash and collar still on the counter where we took them off after our last walkie together, her empty food dish, or just the utter silence when I do something that would have normally elicited a response from her...

I just wish I could pet her silky soft ears again, and toss her frisbee for her one last time. 

[z2gTRJL]
[fVv4TwH] 
Itty Bitty "Fat Cat" 
<3 1998 - 9.25.13
[OlggnSk] 
Serena <3 4.13.02 - 1.13.15

You can visit Serena's Rainbow Residency here
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loft2111
Serena is beautiful! She is more than a dog, all of our pets are more than pets or we would not be here talking about our feelings and our sadness.  I understand what you are going through as I too have been trying to deal the loss of my Little Man on 10/1.  He was sick for six months and could no longer hang on.  Your Serena will always be with you, my LM helped me through a lot as well and I will forever be grateful to him.  The sadness will never go away but you will get used to living with it, it will just be a part of you that you will carry everywhere.  I still cry when I think about my LM and how much I miss him.  Take care of yourself and Serena is in good hands at Rainbow Bridge.
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jaschutz
I'm so sorry for the loss of your Serena. She looks like such a loving, kind, and playful girl. We had to put our golden retriever, London, to sleep on Christmas Eve. She was only 8 years old. Like sweet Serena, London was not only my sibling but my other half. We did everything together. My family grieved for a short while, but I took her passing the hardest, and it was easy for people to tell me " just focus on other things" or "get another dog." What people don't understand is that Serena and London weren't just our pets. They were our best friends and the loves of our lives. I know how hard it is to try and keep living your life when the joy of your life is gone. I am thinking of you during this difficult time and know that you are not alone in your grieving. I know Serena is looking down on you loving you more each day and waiting for the day when you will be together again.
Jamie

You can visit London's memorial at:
http://RainbowsBridge.com/residents/LONDO001/Resident.htm
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ehloar
loft2111 wrote:
Serena is beautiful! She is more than a dog, all of our pets are more than pets or we would not be here talking about our feelings and our sadness.  I understand what you are going through as I too have been trying to deal the loss of my Little Man on 10/1.  He was sick for six months and could no longer hang on.  Your Serena will always be with you, my LM helped me through a lot as well and I will forever be grateful to him.  The sadness will never go away but you will get used to living with it, it will just be a part of you that you will carry everywhere.  I still cry when I think about my LM and how much I miss him.  Take care of yourself and Serena is in good hands at Rainbow Bridge.


Thank you, it is a relief to know that I am not the only one who feels the loss of a pet so deeply... It makes me feel less "crazy" than everyone makes me feel and seem. I am glad to be in such good company here, with those who understand (although the circumstances are less than ideal for all of us).

So very sorry to hear of your Little Man... I know it will be the same for Serena and I, her pawprints on my heart bring both joy and sadness that I now carry with me. But I truly believe that there is a Rainbow Bridge and I can imagine my little curious, social Serena has already made her rounds and met Little Man. I am sure she is feeling young and playful again with her new friends and they are all in good hands watching over us.
[fVv4TwH] 
Itty Bitty "Fat Cat" 
<3 1998 - 9.25.13
[OlggnSk] 
Serena <3 4.13.02 - 1.13.15

You can visit Serena's Rainbow Residency here
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ehloar
jaschutz wrote:
I'm so sorry for the loss of your Serena. She looks like such a loving, kind, and playful girl. We had to put our golden retriever, London, to sleep on Christmas Eve. She was only 8 years old. Like sweet Serena, London was not only my sibling but my other half. We did everything together. My family grieved for a short while, but I took her passing the hardest, and it was easy for people to tell me " just focus on other things" or "get another dog." What people don't understand is that Serena and London weren't just our pets. They were our best friends and the loves of our lives. I know how hard it is to try and keep living your life when the joy of your life is gone. I am thinking of you during this difficult time and know that you are not alone in your grieving. I know Serena is looking down on you loving you more each day and waiting for the day when you will be together again.


Thank you... She was the light of my life, and it is so hard to explain to those who don't understand. I kept looking for her little "Sheltie Smile" and listening for her voice all day and it seems so surreal that she is gone. You are so right - she was the most lovable, playful furbaby with a heart of gold, ever. She was truly my other half, in pup form, and we shared so much in all our years.

So sorry to hear of London's passing... A bond like the one that we shared with them is so strong yet so fragile. My heart aches for you because I know exactly how you feel now, as much as I wish we both didn't feel it. But I know London is probably showing Serena where the best spots to watch over us are from Rainbow Bridge... and where the yummiest treats are planted for them to share.
[fVv4TwH] 
Itty Bitty "Fat Cat" 
<3 1998 - 9.25.13
[OlggnSk] 
Serena <3 4.13.02 - 1.13.15

You can visit Serena's Rainbow Residency here
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Bellamum
I am so sorry that you had to say goodbye to your beautiful Serena.  She is a gorgeous girl.
I read your post through tears.  The loved you felt for her is so apparent.  She was a lucky, lucky girl and I know that you were also.

The comment from others, "it is just a dog", is hard to hear, but I just tell myself that people who make those comments have obviously not been as fortunate as we have.  They have not built a bond as strong as the bond we had.  They have missed out on sharing that unconditional love with a friend who truly accepts everything about us...the good and the bad.  Our lives have been made so much richer because of our girls.  We are the lucky ones!

What we had with Serena, and my Bella, is irreplaceable.  It is a connection that will never be broken.  We are their mum/mom and they are our baby and that is how it will always be.  They are family, and we grieve just like we would for any other family member.  I lost Bella 9 months ago and I have realised that there are many people who do not understand the depth of my grief.  I made a decision to not even discuss Bella and my feelings with them.  I save my discussions for people who do understand and who do not judge...my close family and friends and everyone on this forum.  Everyone here totally "gets it" because we are living it too.  Come here when you need support and comfort.  That is what we are here for...to help each other as well as ourselves.

Keep your precious memories in your heart.  You have those forever.  No-one can ever take them away from you.  I hope that soon they will bring you more smiles than tears.

I wish you peace and healing.
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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animal_qwackers
How beautiful Serena is. She has such an adorable face, and doesn't she just love that frisbee.

I am so sorry for your loss. I, like you, have had all those inane, senseless comments about the two babies I lost last year being 'just a cat,' or 'just a dog.' My Gonzo, and Solly were much more than a cat and dog. They were my babies, my friends, my companions, the apple of my eye and the light of my life. They mattered to me, were as important as life itself. I loved them, still love them, always will love them. I hunger for them as if I'm starved, thirst for them, ache for them. It will be six months on 17th January since I lost my beloved tabby, Gonzo, and four months on 22nd January since I said farewell to my gorgeous German Shepherd, Solly and though time has passed, there are days when I feel as bad as I did the day they left. In fact, there have been few days when I have actually felt like smiling, and any smiles have been small, or forced.

For those who do not understand the bond between human and four-legged friend, it is difficult for them to comprehend. For those who do understand, they are on your side. We are all individual and experience our loss in different ways, but the essence of grief is the same. I have lost a few pets, but losing Gonzo and Solly last year was beyond heartbreak. I felt the same when I lost my beautiful British Blue cat, Daisy, in October 2012. I still grieve for her, always will. I don't believe we ever stop grieving, merely learn to live with our loss. We have to accept what is, not what we want it to be. Unfortunately, life can be exceptionally tough. How we feel about our friends when they leave us is testament to the bond we shared with them. It is one of the most difficult decisions to say farewell.

Serena's energy will stay with you forever. She may not be here physically, but she will always be with you in spirit. That is one thing that can never be broken. I believe that when my time on this earth is up, I will see my beloved friends once more. Their energy surrounds me every day, the signs I have had tell me they are happy and waiting for me.

The unconditional love Serena had for you is still there and always will be. She will wait for you.

My thoughts are with you and Serena too. 

Wendy


 

“Death ends a life, not a relationship.” – Jack Lemmon

Solly, Gonzo, Daisy-Mae, Ebony, Jerry, Tigger, Bonnie, Suzy, Cleo, Spike, Sooty, and Tibby – dazzling lights that will never fade. Adored, cherished, I was privileged to know you all. Until we meet again, my beautiful babies. Bowls of love and cuddles, your ever-loving, devoted Mummy xxxxxxxxxx


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ehloar
Bellamum wrote:
I am so sorry that you had to say goodbye to your beautiful Serena.  She is a gorgeous girl.
I read your post through tears.  The loved you felt for her is so apparent.  She was a lucky, lucky girl and I know that you were also.

The comment from others, "it is just a dog", is hard to hear, but I just tell myself that people who make those comments have obviously not been as fortunate as we have.  They have not built a bond as strong as the bond we had.  They have missed out on sharing that unconditional love with a friend who truly accepts everything about us...the good and the bad.  Our lives have been made so much richer because of our girls.  We are the lucky ones!

What we had with Serena, and my Bella, is irreplaceable.  It is a connection that will never be broken.  We are their mum/mom and they are our baby and that is how it will always be.  They are family, and we grieve just like we would for any other family member.  I lost Bella 9 months ago and I have realised that there are many people who do not understand the depth of my grief.  I made a decision to not even discuss Bella and my feelings with them.  I save my discussions for people who do understand and who do not judge...my close family and friends and everyone on this forum.  Everyone here totally "gets it" because we are living it too.  Come here when you need support and comfort.  That is what we are here for...to help each other as well as ourselves.

Keep your precious memories in your heart.  You have those forever.  No-one can ever take them away from you.  I hope that soon they will bring you more smiles than tears.

I wish you peace and healing.


Thank you so for your kind words. I am so glad that I found this place with others who "get it" and know how it feels to lose someone so important. We all know the bond that is formed with our furbabies, and how lucky we are to spend such a short amount of time with them.

I don't think a day will go by that I don't think about my little lady, I am just hoping that when the thoughts of her come, they bring smiles instead of tears. I know she wouldn't want me to be crying and torn up like this (she was always so comforting - up in my lap, licking my tears, laying still and calm instead of crazy and energetic)... but I am finding it hard to not dwell on the past. It would be a disservice to her and her memory to not share a little corner of her love-filled space in my heart with another, someday.

I am so sorry to hear about your Bella, but like my Serena, we'll always have that bond with them, tied between us with the memories, and smiles, and tears.

My Serena was such a curious, kind hearted, and food loving sweetie, and I have a feeling that if she hasn't already, she will meet your Bella soon... and ask her for the best place at Rainbow Bridge to find peanut butter treats.
[fVv4TwH] 
Itty Bitty "Fat Cat" 
<3 1998 - 9.25.13
[OlggnSk] 
Serena <3 4.13.02 - 1.13.15

You can visit Serena's Rainbow Residency here
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ehloar

animal_qwackers wrote:
How beautiful Serena is. She has such an adorable face, and doesn't she just love that frisbee.

I am so sorry for your loss. I, like you, have had all those inane, senseless comments about the two babies I lost last year being 'just a cat,' or 'just a dog.' My Gonzo, and Solly were much more than a cat and dog. They were my babies, my friends, my companions, the apple of my eye and the light of my life. They mattered to me, were as important as life itself. I loved them, still love them, always will love them. I hunger for them as if I'm starved, thirst for them, ache for them. It will be six months on 17th January since I lost my beloved tabby, Gonzo, and four months on 22nd January since I said farewell to my gorgeous German Shepherd, Solly and though time has passed, there are days when I feel as bad as I did the day they left. In fact, there have been few days when I have actually felt like smiling, and any smiles have been small, or forced.

For those who do not understand the bond between human and four-legged friend, it is difficult for them to comprehend. For those who do understand, they are on your side. We are all individual and experience our loss in different ways, but the essence of grief is the same. I have lost a few pets, but losing Gonzo and Solly last year was beyond heartbreak. I felt the same when I lost my beautiful British Blue cat, Daisy, in October 2012. I still grieve for her, always will. I don't believe we ever stop grieving, merely learn to live with our loss. We have to accept what is, not what we want it to be. Unfortunately, life can be exceptionally tough. How we feel about our friends when they leave us is testament to the bond we shared with them. It is one of the most difficult decisions to say farewell.

Serena's energy will stay with you forever. She may not be here physically, but she will always be with you in spirit. That is one thing that can never be broken. I believe that when my time on this earth is up, I will see my beloved friends once more. Their energy surrounds me every day, the signs I have had tell me they are happy and waiting for me.

The unconditional love Serena had for you is still there and always will be. She will wait for you.

My thoughts are with you and Serena too. 

Wendy


 


Wendy, thank you. I agree that we may never stop grieving. It is difficult to say goodbye, let alone a goodbye that you had to schedule and plan for. You are so right, that Serena, Gonzo, and Solly are far more that just pets. They are our confidants, our shoulders to cry on, our walk buddies, our lapwarmers, and most importantly our friends and family.

She did love that frisbee! Her face would just light up when I picked it up to take it outside. We would have to hide it in order to get her to "do her business" because all she would want to do is play! I am hoping that there are lots of red frisbees just like hers at Rainbow Bridge (she had only one that she loved and would play with, out of the many we bought her).

Like you, my smiles are forced. I put on a facade when I am around others, even my own family. They ask how I am doing, I say that I am coping and that it is getting easier. But it is far from that. The only true smiles I have are through my tears as I remember silly things about my Reenie, which simply bring about more tears. I know that it will get better with time, but right now, I feel nothing but longing and grief.

I also know that we will be together again at Rainbow Bridge, and that there will be little signs of her all around me everyday... Today, it was the light, sparingly falling snowflakes as I took her brother Mickey outside this morning. They always looked so beautiful caught in her fur, like little specks of glitter - I took her picture every time, because she loved the snow and knew how beautiful she was when it was caught in her fur. I'd like to think that is her letting me know that she is okay...

[UGAUB2D]   [btsD6xX] 

[fVv4TwH] 
Itty Bitty "Fat Cat" 
<3 1998 - 9.25.13
[OlggnSk] 
Serena <3 4.13.02 - 1.13.15

You can visit Serena's Rainbow Residency here
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Apollo_the_great
I'm so sorry. We had to put our baby to sleep January 11, I feel the same way you do. I have no kids, so this was my son. There is this great poem on here. I will try to get a copy to you.
William
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ehloar
Apollo_the_great wrote:
I'm so sorry. We had to put our baby to sleep January 11, I feel the same way you do. I have no kids, so this was my son. There is this great poem on here. I will try to get a copy to you.


Thank you. It is so very hard. You never notice how subtly they absorb into every facet of your life, until they are missing from it sharply, painfully, and suddenly. I think this holds especially true when, like the younger me, they become your siblings, or like you, they become your children. As the years passed, she was not only a sibling but a child as well, much like an older sibling to takes over the role of caretaker for their younger siblings.

Sending prayers and positive thoughts your way, and hoping for happy memories to replace the pain in your heart.
[fVv4TwH] 
Itty Bitty "Fat Cat" 
<3 1998 - 9.25.13
[OlggnSk] 
Serena <3 4.13.02 - 1.13.15

You can visit Serena's Rainbow Residency here
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shantismom
What a sweet little face on Serena.
I haven't had anyone tell me "it was just a cat" but I will say that it is only here that I can tell people that sometimes I feel so sad I think I am going to die.
Only the people here understand that sometimes an animal is so close to you that a part of you is ripped out when you lose them.
When I look at the pictures you posted I even want to kiss that little face so I understand how lonely you must feel for your girl.
I lost my cat Shanti 2 1/2 months ago.  I still feel so much sadness.  I will never get over losing him but I am praying for all of us that we will find healing in time.
Marlene Wagner
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Mistysmama
Serena is so beautiful. What a lovely girl. I am so sorry she had to leave.
They are not just dogs. They are Souls who love us. Their love goes deep, and so does ours for them. I loved my Misty like no one else ever, and still do. My girl passed 2012. I will miss her always. My Misty loved her frisbee too. Hers was a ring shaped yellow one, and we had to take it with us every time we went out, right up to her very last days, when she was age nearly 15.

Blessings to Serena's Soul, and to you in your grieving. Love is like a little light in the Heart which never goes out. I hope that light will help you through these sad days.
Hold the love like a little light. It is all you have, or will ever have, to find your way home.

Misty's Blog..a Dogfight with Cancer http://www.mistysblog69.blogspot.co.uk

Misty's life after death: http://www.dog2spirit.com
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ehloar
shantismom wrote:
What a sweet little face on Serena.
I haven't had anyone tell me "it was just a cat" but I will say that it is only here that I can tell people that sometimes I feel so sad I think I am going to die.
Only the people here understand that sometimes an animal is so close to you that a part of you is ripped out when you lose them.
When I look at the pictures you posted I even want to kiss that little face so I understand how lonely you must feel for your girl.
I lost my cat Shanti 2 1/2 months ago.  I still feel so much sadness.  I will never get over losing him but I am praying for all of us that we will find healing in time.


Thank you. I know what you mean - there are times I am so sad I just am so overwhelmed by it. It is only here where people understand the exact feelings I have. I feel so lonely and down without her sweet lil Sheltie smile that I sometimes feel that my heart will physically break. Each day seems a little easier, but I still feel her absence and its like a fresh wound every time I think of her. Its a vicious cycle of feeling better and then taking two steps back. At times I feel happy and relieved because she no longer has the suffering and dismal quality of life, and then I feel so sad and guilty because I made the decision, and I miss her, and my heart hurts so for her.

Very sorry to hear of your Shanti, and I also hope that we all find healing through the sadness even as we carry their pawprints on our hearts...
[fVv4TwH] 
Itty Bitty "Fat Cat" 
<3 1998 - 9.25.13
[OlggnSk] 
Serena <3 4.13.02 - 1.13.15

You can visit Serena's Rainbow Residency here
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Apollo_the_great
My big beautiful boy R.I.P Apollo 1-11-2015
William
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