Lyn
wallysmallpicture.jpg 
My little boy, Wally, 2006 - 2018 (January 25).
What a character he was and I miss him like crazy.

Lyn
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CKMP
Lyn,
Your boy looks like he is a character.  The longing is tough at times isn't it - the depth of the love -  the loss, the grief and the aloneness are the 'partners' when our special fur one has gone ahead on a new adventure without us...Your Wally looks so content, so serene and so loved - and will always walk with you.  Your hearts are tied together - they were for 12 years and will be forever...Wally will be within the sound of your voice, the beat of your heart - testing out his angel wings that will bring him to you within an instant...
Come to the forum to share Wally's life and story - and to find support for your grief and sorrow.  So many here are so so kind and understanding -  Grief is a difficult journey - and one that unfolds in its own way for each of us. Take career yourself.
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Chinadoll
Lyn, I'm so sorry for your loss, but Wally is still near you, he always will be. He is such a unique looking dog, so beautiful! This journey of grief is so difficult, especially when we bond so closely with them, love them every minute of their life and they return that love 10 fold. Everyone at this forum can share in your pain and sadness, we are all there with you. Whenever you feel up to it, maybe you could share the life of your Wally with us here, only when you can. I never knew what grief really was until my turn came, so I would like to offer my blessings and comfort for you, just the fact you came here, says a lot about how much you miss and loved him. Take care.
Charlie
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Lyn
thank you so much for the kindness shown to me during my loss. I was here in 2007 when I lost my Great Dane, Moose. Since then, there have been other losses; my Mom (2008), Bud (Great Dane, 6 years old 2014), Hobbes (orange cat 2007), Josey (Great Dane 11 years old 2015).. and now my Wally is gone. Wally got me through each of those losses. Now, he is no longer here. These feelings are as real as the sun coming up and setting each day. Wally had heart disease. We took him to a cardiologist vet. He had been coughing and our regular vet had put him on medication for heart.. he had seen fluid on the xrays of his heart. But xrays were not enough to show the full extent of the disease. So we took him to the cardio vet, an hour's drive. By that week, Wally had been having trouble; weakness, panting, uncomfortable, restless, and a high heart rate. The cardio vet took a sonogram of his heart (which our regular vet did not have that equipment). It showed it was hugely enlarged, filling his entire chest cavity, with fluid build up... I was ready to ask for medications which would help push the blood thru his heart and meds to help take fluid off. But when the vet came in with the results she said Wally's little heart didn't have just one diseased area; it had two. One part had aortic stenosis, and he had probably been born with it, she said. The other side was a mitral valve disease, which was the cause of the back flow of the heart. She gave him 3 months on medications. I was devastated. He had been having a rough time. She said if he were put on medication to make the heart pump harder, then it could give him a heart attack. Because with aortic stenosis, it makes the opening for the blood flow very small.. a tiny little hole. Making the blood flow harder thru it, could cause a heart attack. She said they could try to get him stable by putting him on oxygen, and diuretics. The next part moved quickly.. too quickly. I wonder if I made a hasty decision in choosing euthanasia. The vet said "that would not be a wrong decision". That's how she put it. I opted for it. If I hadn't, would Wally still be here for a few more months? would he be in misery? I just can't answer those questions..but, the guilt I'm feeling is actually giving me chest pains. I miss him more than I can say.  Money was a consideration, and as pet people, most of us have been confronted with hard choices at one time or another. Wally's bill was up to $800, and then it topped out to $1,000. If he had stayed in their ER area, it would have been an additional $2,000 to $3,000 PER DAY. I can say, we do not have that type of financial ability. Did I cop out by choosing euthanasia? Why were things moving so fast.. and why didn't I say STOP, let me think.. instead of moving the situation forward? I'll never understand this.. and was it pressure but pressure from where? guilt is a horrible thing. I don't know if I did right by Wally. Part of me knows he was so tired he was unable to walk far in the backyard. His heart rate (normal for a dog is 110) was at 260, and I saw he was feeling tired and afraid. His heart felt weird to him. I have to live with this. His ashes are on the mantle, along with my other loved ones. But I wish he were here where I could reach down and touch his soft head again.
Lyn
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RileysMom
Hi Lyn,

I’m so sorry for your loss. I relate to your feelings about the vet, with costs and things. And also to feeling “pressure” to move forward in a direction that you haven’t really thought through yet. I don’t know how to describe that pressure either, because it’s not like anyone’s forcing you to do it, it’s hard to explain. It’s almost like an unspoken pressure to make a decision and then an unspoken air in the room of what is felt to be the right one. It carries a sort of forward momentum and can push us in a direction because we know it’s what is expected. Sometimes, it’s even a thought in the back of our minds we just haven’t fully let come forward yet to completely form it and know how we feel about it. But it got pushed forward because of the situation. I’m sorry you were in that position though. It means having to come to terms with your decision after the fact instead of before.

But from what you’ve described, it sounds like there wasn’t much choice. Even if it wasn’t a matter of money, it doesn’t sound like there was much hope. If you had done the maximum amount of treatment, and he had three more months, what would that time have been like for him? Medication can make you wonky to say the least, and then would he have even been able to live a normal life, run, play around, etc? Would you have been able to enjoy that time with him or would it have been filled with anxiety about his health? I know that we as humans and caretakers of our beloved companions want to give them everything and as much time as possible in life. But sometimes the loving thing to do isn’t to keep them going, not when their bodies have given out, but to actually give them release from that.

Our pets don’t plan for the future, they don’t think to themselves, I have a short time left so I want to enjoy every possible moment left— that’s human thinking. What our pets do know is the moment. And how would each moment have been for him? Tired? Groggy and off from medication? I’m sure there would have been some loving moments between you two as well, but just the same, at what cost?

I think you did right by Wally. Sometimes knowing that doesn’t always make it that much easier, because they’re still gone, we still miss them and want them back. But I hope it helps with some of the guilt. I know this is a very hard time for you and my heart goes out to you. When I first read your story earlier today, it really caught my attention because we have certain similarities. I also came here in 2007 because my two dogs died, in 2008 my mom also died, and now here we are again dealing with another loss, not to mention the other losses you have had. I am very sorry you’ve been through all of this and wanted to extend my condolences. I hope you’re able to find some peace and comfort today.
Val
—Loving Riley, Rosy & Axl always 🐾

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mattiemae
mattiemae wrote:
mattie runnig.jpeg 
Mattie's Mom
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mattiemae
Hi Lyn,

This was my girl.....reminds me of your boy.  I took this the day she died.  She was running to see me when I got home from work.
Mattie's Mom
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Chinadoll
Lyn, not much I can add to what Riley's Mom said, I think you did the best you could with the information given, that's all we can do. I believe guilt is always part of the process, especially when we have to make the decision to let them go. No matter what the circumstance, we usually visit that area in our mind with the what ifs, was it too early, too late, and so on. I lost both my dogs last year to enlarged hearts. The little chihuahua China Doll die suddenly, her heart just gave out and she was gone in a matter of 3 hours. But Nicky, the older terrier, he dealt with the large heart, fluid, etc for quite awhile. The last 3 months were very difficult for him and sometimes I feel we waited too long before letting him go. I think most of the times it's a decision, whether we wait or do it earlier, that always brings guilt. You have been through so much, and having Walley there with you through it all, that had to build such a strong, loving bond. You have my blessings and I hope the guilt feelings you have will be replaced by knowing you did the best you could for Wally, he would never want you to feel this way. Thank you for sharing your story and God bless you.
Charlie
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Lyn
RileysMom wrote:
Hi Lyn, I’m so sorry for your loss. I relate to your feelings about the vet, with costs and things. And also to feeling “pressure” to move forward in a direction that you haven’t really thought through yet. I don’t know how to describe that pressure either, because it’s not like anyone’s forcing you to do it, it’s hard to explain. It’s almost like an unspoken pressure to make a decision and then an unspoken air in the room of what is felt to be the right one. It carries a sort of forward momentum and can push us in a direction because we know it’s what is expected. Sometimes, it’s even a thought in the back of our minds we just haven’t fully let come forward yet to completely form it and know how we feel about it. But it got pushed forward because of the situation. I’m sorry you were in that position though. It means having to come to terms with your decision after the fact instead of before. But from what you’ve described, it sounds like there wasn’t much choice. Even if it wasn’t a matter of money, it doesn’t sound like there was much hope. If you had done the maximum amount of treatment, and he had three more months, what would that time have been like for him? Medication can make you wonky to say the least, and then would he have even been able to live a normal life, run, play around, etc? Would you have been able to enjoy that time with him or would it have been filled with anxiety about his health? I know that we as humans and caretakers of our beloved companions want to give them everything and as much time as possible in life. But sometimes the loving thing to do isn’t to keep them going, not when their bodies have given out, but to actually give them release from that. Our pets don’t plan for the future, they don’t think to themselves, I have a short time left so I want to enjoy every possible moment left— that’s human thinking. What our pets do know is the moment. And how would each moment have been for him? Tired? Groggy and off from medication? I’m sure there would have been some loving moments between you two as well, but just the same, at what cost? I think you did right by Wally. Sometimes knowing that doesn’t always make it that much easier, because they’re still gone, we still miss them and want them back. But I hope it helps with some of the guilt. I know this is a very hard time for you and my heart goes out to you. When I first read your story earlier today, it really caught my attention because we have certain similarities. I also came here in 2007 because my two dogs died, in 2008 my mom also died, and now here we are again dealing with another loss, not to mention the other losses you have had. I am very sorry you’ve been through all of this and wanted to extend my condolences. I hope you’re able to find some peace and comfort today.
Lyn
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Lyn
thank you RileyMom for words of comfort, and reason. Some days I am reasonable with myself.. but then, the negative self talk starts up in my head "you're a bad mom,... you let Wally down... you don't deserve to have a dog.. " and on and on.. sometimes the self talk feels like insanity. The cardiologist said that if we took him home, we would have to keep him quiet, as he could have a heart attack brought on by the medications forcing too much blood through the stenosis. I could not imagine having to keep him, as independent as he was, from barking and howling at sirens. Oh I don't know why I keep going back and forth. i'm going nuts. I appreciate your words and everyone here is so supportive. I don't have words of wisdom for myself and it helps a lot to  hear what others say. I'm sorry you've been through life's challenges too.. losing your Mom and dogs.. we must be kindred spirits. thank you.  I have made an appmt with an animal communicator for Monday and will share what she says here about Wally from the other side of the Bridge.
Lyn
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laarnie1231
Lyn, I'm so sorry for your loss. I can totally relate to you as my baby, Boboy, passed on 2 days ago after battling CHF for almost 2 yrs. Even though I treated him for 2 yrs, I still have the guilt in the end. Could've done it better? different? I feel like I've given up on him so easy in the end. But, he is suffering. He's not himself anymore. He's striving to breathe. Like your Wally, he's not the dog anymore that you wanted him to be-playing, barking, running around. Letting him go is the most unselfish act that you did for him. And that's unconditional love. Even if we have to suffer with their loss, we know they're not suffering anymore. Take care of yourself. I know Wally is watching over you and waiting to meet you again. 
"Dogs come into our lives to teach us about love, they depart to teach us about loss. A new dog never replaces an old dog, it merely expands the heart."

https://www.rainbowsbridge.com/residents/BOBOY001/Resident.htm#PhotoAlbum
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mattiemae
Lyn wrote:
thank you RileyMom for words of comfort, and reason. Some days I am reasonable with myself.. but then, the negative self talk starts up in my head "you're a bad mom,... you let Wally down... you don't deserve to have a dog.. " and on and on.. sometimes the self talk feels like insanity. The cardiologist said that if we took him home, we would have to keep him quiet, as he could have a heart attack brought on by the medications forcing too much blood through the stenosis. I could not imagine having to keep him, as independent as he was, from barking and howling at sirens. Oh I don't know why I keep going back and forth. i'm going nuts. I appreciate your words and everyone here is so supportive. I don't have words of wisdom for myself and it helps a lot to  hear what others say. I'm sorry you've been through life's challenges too.. losing your Mom and dogs.. we must be kindred spirits. thank you.  I have made an appmt with an animal communicator for Monday and will share what she says here about Wally from the other side of the Bridge.
Mattie's Mom
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mattiemae
Hope you are healing.... did you go to the animal communicator? 
Mattie's Mom
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Lyn
My treasure... It's been 8 weeks ago Thursday that Wally got his angel wings. I'm sure he's wearing his halo a little off to the side, his bright blue eyes shining with mischief. He's taking that newly found spiritual realm to be a freedom he always longed to have.  His whole life, he was fiercely independent. And even when he was tiny, his biggest desire was to escape the fence and go wandering, which I found to be exasperating and frightening. After a few times of him escaping the backyard,  I reinforced the bottom portion of the fence with chicken wire. While that worked to keep him safely at home, his spirit still longed to sniff the smells out beyond.. out yonder beyond the fence.. he loved discovering new things.. new scents. what a funny fellow he was.. we used to say he was a 'dog's dog'.  He truly enjoyed his dogdom. He was comfortable in his skin. It was as if he always wanted to be dog and reveled in this earth  experience. His personality was bigger than life. While not overtly affectionate, one felt honored when, just for a nano second,  he flicked a tongue on your hand in thanks for filling his food bowl, or giving him a piece of his favorite food. While he was aloof with strangers, he loved his family, and showed that affection by protecting us, guarding his homestead with a fierce loyalty. Wally was found by myself and my sister while we were out in the car with our Mom on a stiflingly hot August day. He was tiny and it was surprising my sister spotted him running along the busy road, screaming in terror.  She exclaimed, "there's a puppy!" and she pulled off the road, and like Cagny and Lacy, we leapt out of the car to rescue that little boy with the white face. He was so frightened, tiny, alone, so I instantly realized my towering over him was not helping matters. I plopped down to the ground and sat reaching my hand out to him in an effort to coax him to me. He was wary, and having been traumatized by whatever had happened to him, wasn't too sure about these two humans. Luckily he stepped just within my reach and I grabbed him. Finally having him in my arms, he would always be my boy. The deal was sealed. We would be together for the next 11 years.  Sitting in the air conditioned car, on my lap, I examined my newly found treasure. Fleas were crawling around his eyes and were easy to see on his white face. I said, 'he's got blue eyes." He sighed and released the terror and tension he had been feeling and immediately went to sleep.  Since it was a Sunday, we took him for a check up at the emergency vet, where they gave him a pill that would kill the hundreds of fleas infesting his 7 week old little body. We crossed the 11 years together through thick and thin, Wally always the strong one, the rock that was always there.. when my Mom died, tears fell onto his beautiful coat.. in good times, we laughed together. I can still see his smile, bright blue eyes twinkling, blinking at me in the sunlight. He was the greatest most wonderful treasure I've ever found, that once in a lifetime thing that makes your heart sing... I'm thankful for that gift, that bundle of fur and attitude.. the independent Wally, the discerning fellow. I'd hoped he'd live for 16 years at least. I thought he'd live forever. I could never imagine him not lying on his sheepskin rug.. or sitting on the bottom step surveying his property.. or not at the gate watching for danger.. I could never imagine him not lying in the shade on a hot day, not putting his front feet in the water bowl splashing all the water out after I'd just changed it. I could never imagine hearing a siren go off and never hearing his howl again. But it's happened. It's been 8 weeks since his howl has gone silent... since i don't hear his toenails on the hard word floor.. it's been 8 weeks of the hell of separation from one that i was joined at the heart with.. and part of me feels that guilt, that horrible deep seated guilt of the what IF. What if that last day when he was so sick I'd just say to the vet, we're bringing him home instead of choosing euthanasia. Who was that person who stood there in the vet's office saying that unspeakable word, euthanasia? why, it was me. I said it. Yes, intellectually I know his heart was enlarged, his breathing was labored and heart beat was erratic. He was sick. Heart murmur was from mitral valve disease, plus he had aortic stenosis. His wonderful heart was diseased. But I should have brought him home.. did I take the easy way out by euthanasia? I don't know.. this will haunt me for the rest of my days. Could he have had another month, another week? would medication have helped? He was already taking medication prior to taking him to the cardiologist, and those heart meds were not helping. In fact, his condition had deteriorated since being on the heart med and diaretic. But did I opt for euthanasia that day because he was so sick, or because his illness was too difficult for me to deal with for a bit longer? In the cardiologist's office i was a different person. I became this other person who was objective and compartmentalized the situation. I look back at it now and see how I was completely detached from my heart, and was only thinking with my head. Why? When my mom died in the hospital during what should have been a simple procedure, and the anesthesiologist and surgeon came into the waiting room to break the news to my sister and i that our Mom was gone, I instantly knew what they were going to say; their body language, the way they were still dressed in scrubs, the way their faces were ashen color... and i sat there across from them, i immediately became detached.. and i asked intelligent questions about Mom and how did this happen.. I sat there upright in the chair, detached from my heart, while my sister was showing her devastation, crying, palms on her mouth to stifle the cries.. she had to rush out of the room.. while I sat there, still being Mom's advocate which i'd done for several years, always protective of her with medical professionals... always researching so I could be her advocate. And there I was still being the rational intellectual person advocating for her, in the midst of what should have been me falling onto the floor in helpless shock. Not until that evening did I lose totally lose it. What is that? is it shock? what is it that allowed me to continue thru that shock with a rational ability, robot-like as if I were standing outside my body but my mouth was still talking? And with Wally, I did the same thing.. became detached, outside my body, speaking, thinking rationally without my heart being involved.. making the decision to end his beautiful life, to silence his voice, to close those beautiful sky blue eyes forever... I hate myself for the detachment, and feel like a big walking piece of excrement, and that is the truth. when will this grieving process get easier? I have been through it many times.. it seems to get harder with each loss.
Lyn
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