Winlove
So, I haven't posted much but I read everyone's post a lot. I've been working a lot and dealing with illness so I guess I just read and read but I don't say a lot. I hurt a lot though.

So this coming week, Thursday, will mark the 5 month mark I lost my dog, Winnie, to cancer at just over 12 and a half years. I owned her since she was 6, 7 weeks. Yeah it was early - I didn't know anything about dogs. Our neighbor had her parents and were deploying so all the puppies were handed out. She was the runt - she did well though. We took her all over with us, even to England. Being alone a lot due to military life taking my husband on duty, I really bonded with her, and her younger sister. It was often just me and my doggies.

So anyway, Thursday is the 5 month, and Friday is my 40th birthday and first birthday without her since 2003, but... the worst thing is Monday is, would be, Winnie's 13th birthday. I've been thinking about it for a week now and dreading it so much. I work a long, long shift at work and I know I'll be distracted thinking about it, fighting the tears. I may try to run to the store down the street before my shift, I think they have balloons, someone suggested I release one with a note. Perhaps that can symbolize something and help me feel like I'm "releasing" some pain but also acknowledging her and my love in a special way. If not I guess just thinking about her and other things will have to do.

I've been getting along OK - some days are alright, some I cry, some I can't really believe she's gone. We have another dog, I was reluctant but my husband really wanted another pup. She's SO much like Winnie and that was not the intention. I'm not sure if that's really neat and comforting, or too weird. She's kind of starting to fit in here... It's good for Lily, Winnie's sister I think. She's 12 and a half today so that gives me anxiety too.

Thank you for reading. As Winnie's birthday approaches fast I have so many feelings, of anxiety and heartbreak. We are leaving town early Thursday for a little getaway, so being on the road and out on the 5th month anniversary of her goodbye-date is maybe a good thing.

I never would have dreamed she wasn't going to be here on her 13th birthday.
 
Thank you all.

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Bailey15
Hi Winlove,
I really sympathize with everything you are going through. All of the "firsts" after you lose your precious pet are so painful. You have so many "firsts" coming at you in such a short period of time it's no wonder you are feeling so sad and having a lot of anxiety. We had to say good bye to our dog, Bailey in November. He was 15 and I somehow always thought he would live to be at least 16 but he died 2 months short of his 16th birthday so I understand it is a bit of a shock in itself (just having always had that expectation).
I really think that it would help you to plan something special for Winnie's birthday. I love the balloon idea! You may even want to include your family (even your other two dogs) so that everyone can pay tribute to Winnie. I believe she would be so proud watching all of you. Would it be at all possible to do it on Sunday? Then on Monday perhaps in the morning you could write her a little note to say "Happy Birthday" before you start your shift at work. I started writing in a journal after Bailey died and I wrote to him on his birthday and also on mine. It was sad but it gave me a bit of relief. I wrote about how much I missed him, things that were happening, little poems I came across here on the forum, etc.
Your 40th birthday is a special one - try and do something to mark the occasion. I'm quite certain that's what Winnie would want! I'm sorry you lost Winnie and also that everything is happening in this way that makes it even more difficult for you! I hope it all goes okay!!
Thinking of you and sending you hugs!
MJ
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sarab
I feel your pain.  My birthday was a week ago and it was the first time in 11 years that my Teddy wasn't with me.  He was a rescue that we adopted in 2005 and based on what the vet told us at the time, we estimated his age was 13 when he passed away last month.  Your feelings of anxiety and heartbreak sound like mine and I know many others here also feel the same.  Knowing this doesn't make me or you feel better but I think it does help knowing we aren't alone with the tremendous grief we all feel.  My heart goes out to you.  Winnie was a very blessed dog to have someone love him as much as you did/do.
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Winlove
Well I work on Sunday too so I couldn't do anything today. If I am awake in time I may go to the store. My husband won't be home he has to work at 4am. He doesn't really share my feelings toward this... he probably would think I'm silly. Its OK, I'd rather do it early so I have all day to feel like I released the balloon, which means I released my feelings too. I found out at work people with birthdays have a little cupcake break type meeting so just having a different thing going on kind of makes me feel better too - sort of like it's a celebration of her too.

If all else fails when I get home I'm going to write about my feelings, write a "note" to Winnie, and say a special prayer. And I may do that anyway.
Thank you guys so much. It does make feel better just reading the replies and knowing people understand.
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Winlove
Well, today is her birthday. I woke up with pain in my eye and a headache and heading into an 11 hour shift. I may not feel up for doing much but that's OK. When I get a headache it may turn migraine and I can't handle anything. It depresses me enough. I wrote a tribute on Facebook and another page, and talking here. I'd love a sign from her - I really don't get any and that makes me so sad. She's been gone almost 5 months. I've had a couple weird dreams from her that don't really feel like a sign so (maybe I dunno) so today would be a great day. Even if I don't do anything big just getting feedback from people where I post makes me feel good. Sharing the day is enough. I just hope I don't get one of my chronic headaches, that's enough for me. And if I can make it through the day with some distractions. I have a lot of anxiety about some things going on so I just hope to make it thru the day.

I will look at some photos later tonight and some scrapbooks and have a celebration myself, think about the best, fun times and sort of remember her life.
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Winlove
I got a reply that someone spammed here? Glad it was deleted. I thought I'd write to bump this up since not many replies :(
I managed to survive the day a lot better than I thought. I think it was more the anticipation of it the weekend prior.
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LUCYLULU
Winlove~ I am relieved for you that you made it through yesterday. Often the anniversaries & birthdays can seem things we're approaching a mountain--that we have to climb. Feels like we have no gear nor equipment & it's looming-- or something like that. But you got through the day. I'm sure it was hard. And good that your headache didn't turn into a migraine. I believe that your Winnie was with you yesterday and is always with you. And I think that she's very glad that you brought another pup home to be with her sister. What's her name?

The signs can come in very unexpected ways. Ever since I rented the movie, 'Miracles from Heaven' I am aware of a white butterfly in the yard. Timing is extraordinary. When I bring Daisy outside, a white butterfly passes us, lands in the same small tree, stays the whole time we're out in the yard, & then once we're inside, it flies away. So I think of it as a sign that Lucy's keeping an eye on the new girl Daisy :-) This AM, I was none too psyched when Daisy took off for the back area which is off limits-- full of sumac, cutting briers & a bunch of bad 'stuff'. (all fenced in but still) I looked up as if I was talking to the sky or the white butterfly thinking 'Are you watching this-- wherever you are?' '  Now I'm going completely cuckoo hoping a butterfly will bring Daisy back out to the yard. I stop yelling for Daisy because I'm laughing @ how cracked I am. So what lands on the bush directly in front of me? The white butterfly.

It may sound nutso but it doesn't matter. What matters is if there is anything that helps you get through the pain, especially the tough moments, anniversaries & birthdays...it's good. If it helps you think of your girl with a smile instead of tons of tears and sadness...it's good. So after my long diatribe, I wish you healing days ahead. And lots of signs from Winnie! Hugs, Kasey
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Bailey15
Winlove,
I'm glad the day (Winnie's 13th birthday) went better than you thought. Please believe me when I say I understand how awful the pain is... When Bailey died I went into shock. It was just so hard to process it except for the times when it became real and then it was unbearable. So I think you have been really brave and should pat yourself on the back. I also think Winnie was likely looking over your shoulder when you were looking through her photos and scrapbooks remembering her beautiful life. I hope you are doing okay.
Hugs, MJ
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Monty13
Wow, Winlove, You've had a lot going on! I feel so sorry that you had your 40th Birthday without Winnie and I'm so sorry for your pain. It's been 3 months since I lost Monty and it's gotten a bit easier but like you I miss my baby every day and still cry alot. I'll always love Monty and I know Winnie will always be in your thoughts and in your heart. Hoping things get a little bit easier for you - Take Care!
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