puppylove04
My beloved Golden Retriever, Anna, died on Tuesday.  It's been 48 hours and the pain is almost more than I can take.  She was my life; she was 6 1/2 years old.  She started having seizures when she was 1 1/2 yrs old and since that time, my whole life and schedule has been around her care and medicine.  We had her cremated and my husband picked up her ashes this evening.  I never knew I could cry so much.  I miss her so badly.  I have alarms that go off to remind me to give her meds.  I came home every day from work for lunch with her and to check on her and let her outside.  She was my constant companion.  She started getting sick a couple of weeks ago.  Her vet found a tick so we wrote off the rear leg weakness she had to tick paralysis.  But she never recovered.  Took her back last week, ran more tests, her bromide level was high so we took her off that for a couple of days, no seizures but didn't help.  Finally, by Memorial Day, she was so weak she couldn't stand so we had her at the vet's office Tuesday morning.  They kept her on iv's, cathater and oxygen all day.  When I went back around 5 pm to give her seizure meds, they said she wasn't recovering at all.  I sat in the floor next to her and we started saying our goodbyes.  I told the vet I didn't want Anna to suffer if there was no hope of her recovering.  So we did xrays; I had to have proof.  She had aspiration pneumonia & megaesophagus, which is irreversible in adult dogs. She was & is the love of my life and I will miss her for the rest of my life.  There will never be another 'Anna". 
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Susie_Squillions
Dear Anna's Mom,

I am so very sorry to hear about your loss. Bless you for taking such good care of your beautiful girl for so long.  There is a special added dimension to our sorrow when we lose a special needs best friend.  We've seen so many miracles that it's difficult to accept it when there isn't one more left for us.  But one thing I do know about miracles is this:  the biggest one of all is having loved them.  That final goodbye is so very hard.  My heart goes out to you now.

It sounds like Anna had the best possible chance at a happy and normal life with you.  What a blessing it is that she found her way to your home and our heart.  She will never be more than a whisper away from you, but right now, your loss is too fresh for you to feel anything but her physical absence. 

Your sweet Anna is eternally young and healthy now, with nothing to hold her back.  She has her beautiful strong angel wings and can soar among the heavens as much as she wants to.  She can run by your side, and she will never know what it means to be shaky, or confused, or wobbly again. 

Please come back and tell us more about life with Anna for the six years you had with her.  It really helps a lot to tell their stories to others who understand the bond you shared, and we always love getting to know the angels through the stories their loving people tell.

You, your husband, and your beautiful Angel Anna are in my thoughts and prayers.


My heart is battered and bruised, but I will not let it break. It holds such precious cargo, I must protect it now. (Susie Squillions)

"Memories of loved ones are like songs in our soul." Margaret Wakeley

T.J.'S RESIDENCY:
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In one of the stars, I shall be living.
In one of them, I shall be laughing.
And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing when you look at the sky at night.
~ The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery
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Mia870

I am so sorry you lost your beautiful Anna :(  It really is such a devastating loss. I am so glad you came to Rainbows Bridge as we all know exactly how you are feeling. Your grief will be insurmountable in the first few weeks, it ebbs and flows like a river. I feel your pain, I lost my Mia who was 11 on the 2nd of May and it nearly killed me. I still have bad days and wake up crying but I am now trying to think of the good times, not just the bad. A piece of my heart died when Mia did and I don't think I will ever fully recover, she was my child as I am sure Anna was to you. May you find peace, I am thinking of you xxxxxxx    

Mia Jessie aged: 11 years. Always our puppy girl xxxxxx
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puppylove04
Thanks to you both for the replies and support.  It really helps.  My mom & dad are both wanting me to get a new dog to fill in the empty hole in my life and heart but I'm not ready for that.  It's not like replacing a car or broken appliance; she really was our adopted daughter and I grieve for that loss just like I had given birth to her, because she probably wouldn't have lived as long as she did without me caring, worrying and loving every minute of her short life.  And I know she loves me just as much as I love her. 
She was such a joy to have in our home.  She was very big boned female golden, her weight would go from 90 to 100 lbs.  She had a huge blocky square head; her beauty was breathtaking; there has never and will never be a more beautiful golden.  Her bloodline was championship; I got her pedigree out when she got ill and started looking up some of her ancesters.  All Canadian, British and American champions on her dad's side.  And she looked so much like alot of them; she was very light, I guess a creme colored golden.  She always was offering a friendly paw to shake.  She didn't have a mean bone in her body; she loved everyone & even cats who didn't always understand!  On our nightly walks, Lester, a cat almost the same color fur as Annas, would come out in the street to say 'hi'.  He would wrap his tail around her neck & purr to her.  His owner said he grew up around a yellow lab so he maybe thought Anna was his old friend.  They would be nose to nose then she would get too excited & he would swing a paw at her nose; which wasn't a problem cause he was declawed.  Then she would slap her front paws on the ground saying 'let's play'; we called that' 'pop a cat' cause Lester would shoot straight up in the air & run away.  He always turned around to look back at her; he wasn't really scared, it was just a game they played most evenings.
We bought a camper so we could travel and she could go everywhere with us.  For 6 1/2 yrs, we never spent a night apart. 
We picked her up at the breeders & brought her home on St Pat's Day 2004.  She was 9 weeks old & weighed 16 lbs. She was so scared; she had lived on a farm w/ her mom, dad & 10 brothers & sisters. Our son sat in the backseat & held her.  They are pictured together in my new avatar.
We took her to Yellowstone, Grand Tetons in 2005 on our 1st trip out West.  That's where she had her 1st seizure.  It was 5:30 am and I thought we were having an earthquake.  I didn't even know about dogs & epilepsy. We drove 2 hours to Jackson Hole, WY to see a vet. 
To be continued...You are right, I think telling Anna's story will help.
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Susie_Squillions
Anna is so beautiful.  I say "is," because she lives forever in spirit and in your heart.  Just imagine her strong, gorgeous angel wings!

Thank you so much for sharing some of your wonderful memories with us.  "Pop a cat."  LOL!  That is so funny.  I look forward to getting to know Anna better as you're able to post more.

Your parents mean well when they suggest a new dog.  You will get to that point, but it takes time.  One never replaces the other.  I always say it's like when a dear friend moves far away.  We miss them and we still love them just as much as ever, but eventually we find a new friend to spend our time with.  Our hearts grow to make room for new friendships no matter how you look at it.  It's always a good thing when the time is right.  Remember that Anna is the one who will know when the time is right for you.  She will arrange your next friendship, and it might come along at the most unexpected time and in the most unexpected package.  But however it comes, you will know it is a gift from your special angel.

Sending virtual hugs of comfort your way today.


My heart is battered and bruised, but I will not let it break. It holds such precious cargo, I must protect it now. (Susie Squillions)

"Memories of loved ones are like songs in our soul." Margaret Wakeley

T.J.'S RESIDENCY:
http://RainbowsBridge.com/residents/TJ006/Resident.htm

BUDDY GUY AYRES~LYNCH'S RESIDENCY:
http://www.rainbowsbridge.com/residents/Buddy128/resident.HTM

KING BING THE GOD CAT'S RESIDENCY:
http://rainbowsbridge.com/residents/BINGO009/Resident.htm

In one of the stars, I shall be living.
In one of them, I shall be laughing.
And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing when you look at the sky at night.
~ The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery
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MagzMom
So so very sorry about your loss of Anna.  I feel your pain.  Some days I miss Maggie so much it's hard to breathe.  Living without her after almost 17 years is nearly unbearable.  I can't keep picturing her watching me in agony over missing her so much.  I just can't help it sometimes though.  Sounds like you took excellent care of Anna, and no doubt she knew you loved her, and she trusted you to do the right thing for her, and it certainly sounds like you did.  I grieve with you.
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donnalee
Wow, thanks for sharing about Anna!  I loved reading about her.  She truly is a beautiful golden.  She was so fortunate to have you.  It sounds like her life was actually extended because of the care & love you gave her.  At the same time, the bond between you and Anna was stronger than usual because of her special needs so this loss would be especially painful for you.  
I smiled when you wrote about Anna liking cats.  When Scottie and I would walk each evening, he would stop & play with a cat named Bogie who lives down the street, much in the same way you described.  It really made me feel happy to see him interact gently with a ca...there is a certain sweetness about that!  As the others have said, no words can take away the horrible pain you feel the first few weeks.  Here, at this website, you have people who understand what you are going through.  As you read other posts, you will have hope.  You will see that, bit by bit, day by day, we get a little bit better.  Even after many weeks and even months, we still cry some and we still feel sadness and we still miss our best friend, but we cope and we get through it somehow and so will you. 
Family & friends mean well when they suggest you run out and get another dog.  They just want to see you happy again and they think that will do the trick.  However, it isn't that simple.  We will all be here for you as you go through your grief.  I know this is a huge loss for you and my heart goes out to you.      
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puppylove04
I'm back.  Well, after her 1st seizure & she was checked out @ the vet in Jackson; they found no cause (which is common), so meds & we started home the next day.  Exactly 1 month later, my son called me @ work & Anna was seizing again.  About 4 hours later, she had a 2nd seizure so I left work & rushed her to the vet.  That day she started on Phenobarb, 1 1/2 tabs 2x a day.  No seizures for the next 8 months.  I questioned her vet about taking her off the phenobarb if she didn't need it cause it's so damaging to the liver.  She said to completely cold turkey stop it if I didn't think she needed it.  Well, I couldn't do that, so I dropped her dosage by 1/4 tab.  In 3 days, she was having seizures again and I never regained that control again.  I felt so bad about that; but I couldn't just keep giving her such a strong med for the rest of her life if it was unnecessary.  This vet also told me Anna wasn't going to have a long life because of her seizures and the meds.  Anna continued having seizures every 21 days and the vet upped her phenobarb up to 7 tabs a day.  Anna was only 2 1/2 yrs old and I wasn't gonna give up on her yet.
So I talked to neighbors and called around interviewed vets about their experience with epilepsy.  Found a great new vet that compounded her potassium bromide that day & the combination of drug therapy really seemed to be the answer; for a while.  To be continued...
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lady001
I know exactly what you are going through.  I am grieving too.  Lady, our 14 year old Akita was put to rest May 25  2010, I think I am still in denial.  I have found great comfort knowing, through this site, that there are other people going through what we are.  No one can take our pain away but grieving together helps.      Warmest regards,  Ana  (Lady's Mom)
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puppylove04
Anna was an exceptional golden; she got so much attention no matter where we were.  Our 1st summer w/ her, we vacationed in Washington, DC.  She gathered large stones in the campground.  We've got some of her rocks; the large smooth stone from the Washington, DC campground is called "Rogie".  I don't know why, it's the name my husband gave it.  She was cute walking around carrying her rocks. 
Another funny Anna Story, we were driving through Custer State Park in South Dakota.  We were driving around a auto tour of the park.  We came down to a pull off area where people were out of their cars feeding the wild burros, apples or candy bars, anything they had.  Well, we slowed down as a horse approached our window.  This pony stuck his head in Anna's window expecting a handout.  It seems that Anna was afraid of creatures larger than her.  Our son was sitting in the backseat w/ Anna at the time; he yelled "Dad, drive away cause Anna gonna pee on me!"  She really didn't care for animals larger than she was!
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puppylove04

Is it wrong to think about when I'm ready to get another dog, to seek out a puppy from Anna's pedigree?  I've been feeling like if I got another pup that was remotely related to her, it would be like having a piece of her back w/ me.  When I look at these pup's faces on a breeder's website I found of English Creme Goldens in Atlanta, GA, I can see Anna's sweet eyes & smile.  Am I crazy for coping w/ this by trying to recapture my lost love?  I sat on the front porch w/ my hubby yesterday, told him what I was feeling, thought he would think I was crazy & showed him pics & he said when the time is right, that is what he would like to do.  It wouldn't be Anna but we can have a new friendship & love w/ her same breed.  She was & still is so special to us that I can't imagine life w/o sharing that kind of bond again.  That would be so sad.   

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lady001
Dear Puppylove,

Each one of us grieve and find comfort differently.  Of course it is not wrong to recapture Anna by getting another one that resembles her.  When I lost Sheena (10 years ago)  I could not even watch another Doberman for a very long time.  Now that Lady is gone (Akita) I feel the same way.  Luckily we have Sparky (Maltese) and having him around makes it easier.  We are all different and should follow our hearts when it comes to matters of the heart.  Loosing someone so dear to us is so hard.  I think that you should give yourself time to mourn Anna before getting another pup, only you will know when that time is, maybe it is today, next week in a couple of months but you will feel it in your heart.  After Sheena was gone I swore I would never have another dog, ever.  Sheena crossed over July1, 2001, by Thanksgiving that same year Lady came into our lives, thank God.   My son, Javier bonded with her immediately, it took me a couple of months before I could.  I think that I did not want to fall in love with her and had put up a wall, didn't do any good because before I realized it she had stolen my heart.  I called the Vet on Friday to ask when her ashes were going to be ready and was told that tomorrow, can't wait until she comes back home.  This site has given me great comfort and sharing feelings with   people that are going through the same ordeal also helps.  I cut some fur from her the night before and will have a pendant with it inside it.  Tomorrow she will be honored at the Candle Light Ceremony and I am looking forward to that as well.  These are some of the ways I am helping myself cope with her lose.  My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family,  Ana, Lady's Mom

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puppylove04

My hubby says maybe by Christmas, we can be healed enough to open our hearts & home to a new pup.  Anna always has a smile on her beautiful face, she loved us so much as we do her.  She never barked unless the doorbell rang; you could stand there & she could see that it was me or my husband ringing it & she still barked!  It was an automatic response.  She also had her own language.  We called it 'grumping'.   She would look you right in the eyes & grump.  When she was laying in the floor & we walked up to her; she raised her arm to hold hands; she loved to have physical contact w/ loved ones.  My husband called her his 'lovey'.  I can smile when I think about her then I overwelmed by grief & sadness.  Anna will also be honored at the Candle Light Ceremony Monday night; my hubby & I both will attend.  We got Anna's ashes back on Thursday, & it does help to have her back home now.  I can walk into the den & she's in a beautiful urn on my mantle.  She surrounded by pics of her, sympathy cards, her leather collar w/ her name engraved on it & a pendant that is a broken red heart; i have half of it w/ me on my keychain & she wore the other on her collar.  Now it hangs on her urn.  When our 2 pieces are put together, it makes a whole heart & says 'forever friends'.  She is so special to me, I cherished her & knew I had something precious.

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puppylove04

Monday morning & I'm getting ready for my 1st day back to work since Anna left.  Tomorrow night it will be a week & it seems like yesterday.  I hope I can put on a strong face & get through today w/o breaking down.  I pray that no one tells me that she was 'just a dog.'  She was everything to me.  Oldest son & his girlfriend are taking me out to lunch so that will be a nice break from the office.

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MagzMom
I wish you peace for your 1st day back at work puppylove.  I just close my office door, and cry when I need to.  I try to keep busy and I am fortunate to work with a huge network of animal lovers.  They have all loved and lost and they know exactly how I feel.  They also heard about Maggie pretty much every day for the last 7 years I have worked there. 

I pray you have a good day at work.
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