ShadowDad
My Shadow has been fighting serious health issues since 2017. A few weeks ago, she quit eating. We took her to Auburn Teaching Hospital and the bad news: lynphoma, masses in her chest and on her spleen and liver. She did not eat for 4 days while away from home. I brought her home and she miraculously started eating again, and got stronger. Then, a few days ago, she just quit wanting to get up or eat much. Her body is wasting away and there is nothing I can do to stop it. She can barely stand up although her blood work came back almost normal yesterday. I have a dark, lonely feeling that my best friend, my daughter, my reason for living, will not be with me much longer. For 15 years, I have been dreading this horrible time in our life. For 15 years I have wondered how I could ever live without her because she literally gave me life and now I am watching her slip away. I cannot bring myself to take her life. I finally told my Vet not to mention it anymore. These are my darkest days. I literally will not know how to live without her, she has been my life. I am trying to explain how I feel to my wife, but I know she just does not understand how I feel. I would give my life gladly to save hers. She has never been a dog to me, she has always been my daughter. I see the other posts of people that are heart broken, desperate, lonely, and hurting and my heart bleeds for each of you. I love my Shadow, my baby, my everything, and I am lost.
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Gingers_Mommy
@ ShadowDad, I'm sorry for Shadow's decline. I'm sorry your heart is aching. I completely understand seeing your pet as your daughter, it's how I always saw my Ginger, and still do now after her death. I know you don't want to lose her. It's completely understandable. I'm not familiar with the diagnosis and I wonder if she's in pain or if maybe some medications were prescribed. If you have chosen to not euthanize her and instead chosen to let her pass on her own then at least she should be made as comfortable as possible so that she's not suffering indefinitely. From your description of her getting up, not eating ... she's not well ... I'm sorry for both her and you. I wish there was something else that I could say or do to turn this situation around somehow. Please keep us posted. We'll be here...
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BorderCollieLover
ShadowDad:

  I am so sorry to hear about your beloved Shadow/ I understand your pain. I lost my beloved Border Collie (Shelby) a month ago and I have been not been the same since. I am functioning but not very well. That photo of you leaning over Shadow speaks volumes about the type of person - and pet owner - you are. You said that you would gladly give up your life to spare Shadow. Me too. i often told people that if my Shelby was ever attacked by a pack of dogs while we were out walking that I would've covered her with my body, like a human shield, and the pack of dogs would've had to bite through my body to get to her. Yes, I loved my BC that much. I know that you love Shadow that much. Sorry to hear that your wife doesn't understand. I'm sure that she is grieving in her own way but she can't express it outwardly like you. I sincerely hope that you guys can find some middle ground. Please let us know how you are doing. Everyone here wants to hear from you. 

Jim 
Jim Miller
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ShadowDad
Hello my new friend. Thank you so much Jim for your reply, as I felt as though I was writing your very words. I know that you are grieving your beloved Shelby. I have tried to imagine a thousand times over the years how I would feel if I knew I was losing my baby girl. All of these thoughts do not even come close to the actual grief and darkness that falls over one's life. I can stand before God now and tell him that Shadow has never wanted for anything in her life. She has always had the best medical care whenever she needed it, the most wholesome foods that could be bought, she has been loved since the first seconds of our coming together, I spent every moment of time that I could spend with her, she has seen mountains, snow, hiking in forests, swimming with me in lakes and rivers, had dozens of boat rides, had her own swimming pool, long walks in the woods, endless hours of just being together and playing and just enjoying life together, content and happy-go-lucky wanting nothing else. I know in my heart that I have ALWAYS put Shadows needs and wants ahead of my own. But even knowing all that does not dull the pain one bit. In fact, it makes it worse because I cannot let go of someone that I love more than life itself and such a blessed, innocent, unconditional love in my life. Jim, I hurt for you my brother, we are so much alike in our love for our children. I have always called Shadow my child. I sometimes think that I am just a different type of person and I tend to hold things in my heart too deep, but I can't change who I am. This is the most horribly painful thing I will ever go through, provided I can make it through at all. I just don't know. God bless Jim, and thank you for letting me know that there are other people out there who think the exact way that I do.
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Michelemh
I also lost my dog one month ago. She was the love of my life. She looks like your dog. She was black and had a grey face. She would have been 18 in November. I rescued her when she was a puppy. She was a true gift and a blessing. She was the most loving, sweet and gentle dog all her life. She brought so much happiness to our life. She was gentle and loving up until her last moment. A constant companion, joy and a constant everything. She always knew what to do as if she were one of us and we always knew what she needed. We had such a strong bond and connection. There will never be another one like her. She is a once in a life time dog. She was no longer able to walk for the last months of her life and suffering from anxiety when we were not near her. For her entire life everything we did was done with her best interest in mind and around her schedule. For most of the past year every moment of every day was dedicated to her and her needs. She is loved and missed very much. Life will never be the same without her. She was always pure happiness, a calmness and a presence that is no longer here. When we were together and she was here, no matter where we were it always felt like home. The hikes and trails will never be the same walking without her. We hiked so many place with her. All the places I loved so much I don't know how I will walk them without her. I wonder how I will continue to live without her. Today was a bad day. I miss her so much.
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kelly040506
I am so sorry for what you are going through. I wish there was something that could be done to take away your pain during this awful time. Spend each and every second you can showing Shadow just how much you love her, even though she certainly already knows. Don't be afraid to reach out to those around you in search of support. While you may feel those close to you don't truly understand what you are feeling, they can empathize and be there for you in whatever capacity they can. Most importantly, make sure to be there for yourself. You and only you can ever know what it feels like to truly feel the way you do right now. Make sure to be your own support system during this time. Don't concern yourself with validation of your feelings from others. All that matters is that you feel that Shadow is like a daughter to you, and that this is an excruciating time for you. That is your truth. I wish you and Shadow the best and am sending you both love during this difficult time. 
Kelly H.
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