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normsmom

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Reply with quote  #46 
Oh Don, 

Thank you so much for your wonderful words about that photo of Norm. I had a weird feeling when I took it this summer that it would be a photo I would find comforting when he passed. Of course, I had no idea at the time that it would happen just a few short months later. The way you described it brought me more comfort than I can express here, and brought tears to my eyes. 

PS - I never noticed that it does look kind of like a big cat in the background, but in fact it is another dog friend of Norm's. :)


Quote:
Originally Posted by MyBella
Hi Heather,

Thinking of you on your second week without your beautiful and extremely handsome Norm. I am so proud of you Heather, you are so early in your grief, your own heart so broken, yet you have found the strength to reach out to others with such wonderful touching words of support, such a beautiful way to honor your beautiful boy.
Speaking of your beautiful boy. Wow !!! Are these photos of Norm so wonderful, I love how comfortable and happy Norm is in the snow, his face says it all. On the other page, there is the photo of Norm chasing you (I believe??) in the snow and these ones above here with your handsome boy enjoying the snow along with the water. Oh man Heather these are fantastic photos, thank you so much for sharing them, I love them all.
Is that a cat in the background with Norm "smiling" for the camera, if so, that is one big cat.
But the one photo that really touched my heart (they all touch my heart of course), but this one with Norm swimming.
IMG_0709.jpg

This photo has so much to it, this may be the best photo I have ever seen. The way Norm is swimming with his leash dragging behind him, he is making his own wake in the water, swimming towards the beautiful light as it cascades a path for him. Norm has no fear at all, as I suspect he knows he is surrounded by the light of Angels from above, Angels that will forever keep him safe on his many travels and adventures. What an absolutely beautiful and heart touching photo.
Thank you for sharing these wonderful photos of your happy handsome boy. Thank you for your touching words of support on little girl's thread, it is so appreciated and extremely helpful...thank you Heather.
Sending my warmest wishes for the beautiful light and love of your handsome Norm to always warm your heart. Wishing for nothing but peace and healing to you.

In Friendship, Don


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normsmom

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Reply with quote  #47 
Hi Ruffalo's mom,

I am so glad you found this site and I am so, so sorry for the loss of your sweet Ruffalo. Your story is heartbreaking, but please take comfort in knowing you did everything you could and, when the time came, you did the kindest thing you could for him. He was a beautiful boy and clearly very, very loved.

This forum has been a blessing for me as well. I'm glad you're here. ❤️

Quote:
Originally Posted by MissingRuffalo92917
Hi Norms Mom! First off I just want to say I have so many emotions reading what you wrote, you said every word I was having such a hard time trying to dig to find and say it so well. I typically lay in bed late at night while my husband sleeps because the sadness consumes me and I google everything I can think of to try and help me cope for the next day. These last 2 months have been horrid. Last night God finally let me stumble across this website and I am just in awe, so many people like me who just “get it”. I will utilize this for as long as I possibly can In hopes to heal. Here’s Ruffalos story; We rescued Ruffalo at 6 weeks old from a shelter, We seen him online and instantly fell in love (he was a lab/Great Dane mix).Everything was pretty normal up until about 6 month and he had a episode of his 3rd eyelids flaring up out of nowhere, being first time pet owners we panicked, we assured this was just an allergy flare up and to give him Benadryl. About a week in a half later it was gone and he was back to his happy self, praise Jesus! Then a little after his birthday in June of this year I noticed his eyes started to get a little swollen again however, it was only his left eye that the pink skin would poke out(not near as bad as the first instance) so we started the Benadryl when we noticed it and it faded away once again. Then August 24th we came home from lunch and his eyes were horrible again, called the vet got him in that afternoon and that’s where the nightmare begins. That day they looked in his eyes to make sure he didn’t scratch it or have anything in it and of course there wasn’t so we started a steroid and antibiotic and had a follow up appointment the next week. The week came and gone and his eye didn’t get any better, our vet was stunned so we tried a different antibiotic and eye drops and followed up again. Went back the next week due to it not getting any better. Our vet was baffled, she stated that possibly they would need to sedate him so they could get a really good look in his eye and make sure they weren’t missing anything. A couple hours later we got a call stating there was a mass under his eye and they though a biopsy should be done there and on the inside of his mouth. We did it and this is where our sad story really begins. A week later we got the dreaded call, Ruffalo had aggressive carcinoma of the nasal passages. We were referred to Blue Pearl and we made our appointment. The week wait though was miserable, watching my baby boy slowing decline killed me but I had hope. We went to get a second opinion from a specialist in another city and we got somewhat good news, he said what our boy had was not good but since he was so young and healthy other than the cancer he thought we could try to beat this thing. He commend us for being so proactive and gave us his best wishes. Ruffalo would not eat nor would he hardly drink a think so I knew this was not a good sign but I still had hope in my heart that they said if his chest x-ray was clear we could start his chemo right away. So we got in the car bright and early that morning and headed on our journey and journey I didn’t know I wouldn’t return without my baby. We found out he lungs were riddled with tumors and he was in so much pain. How selfish did I feel, how did I not know that all this time my baby was hurting. I completely lost it. I knew in that very moment I wasn’t returning home with my boy. Such a long drive home and out his big old head laying in my lap I already dreaded it and we hadn’t even spoken about our next steps. The doctor for some reason, I don’t know if it was my panic stricken face of confusion or disbelief took us to the back room and showed us his x-rays and it was unbelievable how bad it was. Once he confirmed he was literally fighting for air we knew we had to euthanize (I really wanted to put him back in the car and go home) my husband is the logical one though and said that wouldn’t be fair to him. They took us to a room after they got his IV in and we just spent time with him for about an hour and he just paced back a fourth looking for ways out and it broke my heart because he just wanted to go home. I could have stayed with him for hours but there were a couple of times he sounded like he stopped breathing and I was so scared I just didn’t want him to hurt anymore. So the next thing is what haunts me to this day and this is what is causing a lot of my emotional stress and anxiety..I was in the room when my sweet boy passed. And right when they put the first dose of medicine in his he turned back and looked at me (could be because I was crying hysterically) and had these pouting eyes and I just don’t know if he was looking at me as “please don’t cry momma” or “why are you guys doing this to me” but after he looked at me like that me husband and I got down on the floor on the blankets and just held our boy and cried our eyes out until the doctor said he has no heart beat. It was an experience I wouldn’t take back but something that I don’t think I was mentally prepared for. Then when we left the doctor opened Ruffalos eyes and I turned to give one last glanced at my baby and I just saw then emptiness and it hurts. We had him cremated and his paw print molded into a plaque. It’s just this hurt and pain consumes me so much I am unable to live my life, my chest is tight, I cry all the time, I miss my boy and not a lot of people get it. I pray for everyone who is struggling with his hurt
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normsmom

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Reply with quote  #48 
My best friend, my sweetest boy, They just called to say your ashes and paw print are ready to pick up. Is this really happening? I can’t believe you are gone, despite the constant, daily reminders. I miss you so much, my sweet man. I can’t believe this is real. Please don’t let this be real. 💔

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MissingRuffalo92917

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Reply with quote  #49 
Normsmom,
I felt the same way! We had to drive 2 ours to pick our sweet boy up and I kept telling myself I would be okay because I would finally have him back. As soon as we got there I was paralyzed and I couldn’t go in to even get him, my husband had to. Once we had him i was a mess just coming to terms that this was real life.
I went a bought a bracelet that I could put Ruffalos ashes in and it comes with his birthstone and a charm that’s says “if love could have saved you, you would have lived forever” along with the date he passed.I am still waiting to receive this but I think once I receive this and am able to place the other charms I got that are significant to Ruffalo and I, that’s when i can really start to heal. If you are interested in something like this let me know and I can get you to the women who is making mine!! I’m praying for you during this difficult time I remember is so vividly being 2 months ago :(
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Shark88

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Reply with quote  #50 
My heart goes out to all those who have lost their very best friends.    Concerning the ashes and paw prints....been there, done that.   It's a very difficult time when you receive those precious items.  The tears never seem to stop and will linger on for months or years to come depending on the depth of love and companionship you shared.    Be encouraged that there is a hope and life beyond this cursed earth. 
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Bailey15

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Reply with quote  #51 
Hi Heather,
I know this is such a painful time - bringing Norm's ashes (and paw print) home is yet another sharp reminder of his loss. I still remember picking up Bailey's ashes. It was so difficult however I did feel better having them at home. The weather turned cold after Bailey died but in a strange way it made me feel good to see his urn here - warm and protected. I hope you gain some peace from having your boy back with you as well.
I love the beautiful new picture you posted of Norm! Such a handsome and happy boy!!
Sending hugs on this difficult day,
MJ 🤗
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jimmy17

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Reply with quote  #52 
Hi Heather - what a beautiful photo of Norm, he really is a handsome dog - so contented and happy.   I know how very hard it is picking up their ashes - I remember being torn by the need to bring Jim back home where he belonged, while at the same time knowing that nothing would ever be the same again.  But, looking back it did help by having them with us - and hopefully it will help you also.   Everything feels so surreal for the first few weeks, but gradually things do become a little more bearable and you will be able to remember all the happy memories you and Norm shared.     Sending you peace and hugs,

                                                                                        Jackie

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MyBella

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Reply with quote  #53 
Quote:
Originally Posted by normsmom
My best friend, my sweetest boy, They just called to say your ashes and paw print are ready to pick up. Is this really happening? I can’t believe you are gone, despite the constant, daily reminders. I miss you so much, my sweet man. I can’t believe this is real. Please don’t let this be real. 💔

10531388_10152617269447069_359488751285798066_o.jpg


Hi Heather,

Oh my goodness, another beautiful photo of your handsome boy, man do I ever love this photo of Norm. He is so relaxed, probably because he is looking right at his wonderful and loving Mom, which gives him such comfort, I love how his paw is tucked in, great photo, thank you for sharing your handsome Norm with us. 

I sincerely hope that having Norm's ashes home brings you some comfort. I found it was a bit of comfort for myself once I got Bella's ashes/urn back, at least I felt like little girl was home where she belonged. It took two days for them to return her, I barely slept, I have no idea how you made it over two weeks, your strength inspires me.

Wishing for such peace, healing and the love of Norm's beautiful spirit to always find your heart.
Thank you for your wonderful and heartfelt words, it is so appreciated and truly valued.

With warmest of wishes, Don
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normsmom

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Reply with quote  #54 
Ruffalo's mom:

Thank you for your empathy. I definitely know what you mean about not being able to go in and get them. Like you, I'm having a piece of jewellery made with a few of Norm's ashes and I am so looking forward to receiving it. I think it will be a tremendous help to me.

Shark:

Thanks for the comforting words and for sharing your experience. It is a very difficult thing to receive these items indeed.

MJ:

You're right. I do feel much better now that he is "home". I know exactly what you mean. When I was holding his ashes I looked down at the floor and there was some rogue tennis ball fluff. He loved to de-fluff tennis balls. Still not sure if I believe in signs (I want to so badly), but I keep a pretty tidy house and seeing his tufts of fur and tennis ball fluff are fewer and further between... so seeing that fluff at that exact moment was pretty wild.

Jackie:

This exactly: "I remember being torn by the need to bring Jim back home where he belonged, while at the same time knowing that nothing would ever be the same again. " is how I felt about it. Thank you for understanding.

Don:

I have NO idea how I made it through. I was very scared something would happen. That a mistake would be made. That I wouldn't have my boy back home. I do feel great relief now that he is "here". I put a favourite ball and bone in the nice wooden box that they put his ashes in. It has his name engraved on top. It's really lovely. And awful at the same time. But I know you all know what I mean by that. 

----

Yesterday was 3 weeks. It feels like forever, and yet it still doesn't seem real.



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jimmy17

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Reply with quote  #55 
Hi Heather, thank you so much for your lovely words on Jims thread, it means a lot.   I am so glad you feel a sense of relief having Norm back home - and while not having them physically with us is so hard, we can at least know they are "back" in the place that they loved, and of course they remain in our hearts forever.    When we first lost Jim, I could always "feel" that he was still around, just out of sight.... I would describe it as being just a whisper away from us - and that is how it still feels, almost 2 years later.  

 Norm was, is, and always will be your handsome boy - and believe me he will let you know he is still close by.  That tennis ball fluff was most definitely him!  

                                                                                     Hugs to you,  Jackie.

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CKMP

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Reply with quote  #56 
Hi Heather,
A downright beautiful photo - of a beautiful and loving soul - your Norm...He looks, well, just so darn content knowing he is so so loved...
Return to home...it is bittersweet - a desperation almost to have your fur one home again...and yet a too physical reminder of that 'new normal' that feeds the ache of the heart and soul...
Norm, never left your side - he is there always - perhaps once in a while sending you some reminders of his presence, as Jackie says...a bit of that ball 'ripped' - or perhaps a bird that comes calling, a feather or two or who knows - lights that twinkle when they should not - or even just that inexplicable sense that he is there - pressing up against your leg, just watching...
Your "sweet man" is forever with his mom...
Wishing you some calm and peace within the memories and moments that are just yours and Norm's - shared for always.  A special bond.
Take care - hugs.

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normsmom

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Reply with quote  #57 
Thank you Jackie and CKMP for your words of reassurance that Norm is with me still. Thinking otherwise is unbearable right now. 

-----


To my sweetest Norman,

Oh, my wonderful boy, I miss you so much today.

I miss seeing your furry body at the foot of my bed. 

I miss lying beside you in the morning and giving you your "morning love". You would lick my face way too much and I would laugh and I would pet your fur and stare into your beautiful brown eyes. It was one of my favourite things in the world to look into your eyes. You loved and accepted me always, and I could see it in your eyes.

I miss the way you would object, very vocally, when your brother stole your ball.

I miss the way your ears smell. And your paws.

I miss finding your fur. I never realized how much of my day I spent bending down to sweep up some blond fur.

I miss your smile.

I miss sharing my food with you. 

I miss giving you your nightly "cheese" - a gross Kraft single wrapped around a plastic blue bone was the highlight of your day.

I miss you scratching the floor. And the carpet. And the bed.

I miss seeing your sweet face, so happy to see me, when I came through the door.

I miss you barking at any and all trucks, voices and anything else that you didn't think should be outside.

I miss the way you would lie in the backyard and love the breeze. You'd fall asleep on the deck... until there was something to bark at again. 

I miss how you would venture to the end of your leash then look back and wait for me to catch up.

I miss the games we used to play in the field at the park.

I miss how smart you were.

I miss your wet nose.

I miss the way you'd paw at me to tell me you wanted something.

I miss your warmth.

I miss you sitting on my lap in the car.

I miss you so much Norm. 

Today is really hard.

I love you, sweet boy. 

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Shark88

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Reply with quote  #58 
To Normsmom.....keeping you in my thoughts and prayers today.   Many here know exactly what you are going through.
It was just over 5 months ago I had to put down my very best friend and joy, my Siberian Husky named Laika.
This will be our first Christmas without her since getting her for my children on Christmas 2003.
laika.jpg 

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jimmy17

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Reply with quote  #59 
Heather, your post above to Norm is just heartbreaking - an absolute perfect description of everything we love and miss so very much about our special soul mates... even down to that ear and paw smell....        The first few weeks and months after losing them go by in a blur of tears, and the sense of loss can be so overpowering at times - but Norm will find more and more ways to let you know he is still with you, that the bond you shared with him is still there and always will be.    I know when we first lost Jim, and I came to this forum, I remember reading about how our relationships with them continue - how to "read" the signs that they are still around - and I suppose I was sceptical, but over the last (almost) 2 years I know that Jim is never too far away from me.       Sending you peace and huge hugs,

                                                                               Jackie

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MyBella

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Reply with quote  #60 

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Hi Heather,

Thinking of you and your handsome, beautiful boy on this Friday, already four weeks for you, the time flies by, but at the same time stands still, our minds and heart have a hard time adjusting to life without our precious loved ones, the way they made each day so much fun, filling our homes and heart with their love and laughter.
I hope that each day brings a little bit of peace to your shattered heart, that each time you think about your Norm and especially when you talk to him, that you feel the warmth of his beautiful light. Your handsome Norm hears the words of love you speak to him, he is always listening for his wonderful and loving Mom's voice.
I love this photo of Norm, I love all the photos you have shared of your beautiful boy. Norm certainly loved the snow, he is so comfortable in it, I love how he is playing keep away from his buddy in this photo, a true boy hanging with his good buddy, enjoying the snow, so wonderful.
May you always feel the warmth of Norms pure love surround you. Wishing for such peace, healing and love to always find your heart.

Your Friend, Don
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