How did you cope? - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 16 Old 01-20-2019, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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How did you cope?

Last Sunday my 12 year old German Shepherd was a model for healthy dogs. Every time he went in for a checkup, everything came back great. His weight was always wonderful, he didn't have any hip problems... Nothing.

On Thursday my wife noticed one of his hind legs was swollen and had a large mass on his inner thigh. On Saturday, we said our goodbyes as he went to sleep for the last time at the pet hospital. They are pretty sure it was cancer despite the 1500 dollars we had into blood tests and scans on Thursday and Saturday turned up nothing. It came down to taking a leg, he was a bit old to go though a surgery like that and despite being a healthy boy, how long would his remaining leg work for him? The other option was just to stuff him full of meds to stretch his life out another few weeks, months, days??? Rhabbi was the best of good boys and I saw it as truly selfish to make this guy suffer so that I could enjoy him a little longer.

There was peace after saying our goodbye's. The finality of no more hard decisions. It is done. Now, wondering around the house, all of the firsts make life miserable. The first day waking up without him nudging his nose into my hand for some morning loves, the first day of coming home and the house is quiet. Leaving and there is no barking. Last night was miserable in the quiet house with the wife. For the last 11.5 years, when there were kids, they went to bed and it was my wife the dog and me downstairs. Last night chest hurt, I was afraid to go to bed and suffer in bed thinking about him. I wanted to be up doing something to try to keep my mind busy but the quite house was a constant reminder.

I know time is what it will take, this is all part of the grieving process. I am paralyzed by fear, I need to go to work and get some stuff done, but I am afraid to get to work and be paralyzed with sadness, I am afraid to be home because I am suffering... I am fortunate that my 3 kids are on the young side and are not hit too hard, the worst being, "I am sad Rhabbi is dead." My wife is my rock and handling it like a champ. This boy was so special, I am lost right now.

Here, he was about 1.5 years old. About 6 months after we got him... separation anxiety.



One of my favorites, still about 1.5 years old here.



In the Hospital yesterday morning. A few hours before I had to say goodbye.


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post #2 of 16 Old 01-20-2019, 09:07 PM
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I think you're coping. Thinking about the good times. Twelve years with a good dog is special.

You have to watch yourself so your grief does not overwhelm you. If you can get him off your mind, then force yourself to do something for him. Take a bag of dog food or a toy to a local shelter. Forcing yourself to exercise is a good idea too. Even something as simple as strolling around the block. Make a small marker or memorial for him to keep in the backyard or on a shelf.
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post #3 of 16 Old 01-21-2019, 09:45 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by TripLeader View Post
I think you're coping. Thinking about the good times. Twelve years with a good dog is special.

You have to watch yourself so your grief does not overwhelm you. If you can get him off your mind, then force yourself to do something for him. Take a bag of dog food or a toy to a local shelter. Forcing yourself to exercise is a good idea too. Even something as simple as strolling around the block. Make a small marker or memorial for him to keep in the backyard or on a shelf.
We just gave away the remaining treats that I gave him every night when we went to bed. We also just bought a big costco supply of frontline that we were able to give away. We actually went to costco on Sunday, and it was tough walking by the pet section.

We have some friends who wants to buy us a memorial tree to plant in the yard, but they want to wait till spring for better planting conditions. I also have his collar hanging from my rear view mirror.

Thank you for your reply, I have never lost something so close... and not to diminish my grief, but it was a dog... I cannot imagine what parents who lose a child go through. I count my blessings, my oldest son (6) is sitting at my feet right now, my daughter (4) is playing up in her bedroom, and my youngest son (1.5) is still waking up on the chair next to me. My wife is getting ready upstairs and we are going to go have breakfast at my parents house.

My wife and I watched a movie last night, It helped to not think about Rhabbi for a bit and I felt really good after. Just in time for my wife who has been super tough this whole time to start crying. The dog cuddled up on her feet every night on the couch. All these little reminders are so painful.

Thank you for your gentle words. Time always goes so slow when you are waiting for it to pass.

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post #4 of 16 Old 01-21-2019, 10:47 AM
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Everyone says to get another dog right away but personally I couldn't. Lost two to age in a year and just don't want to go through that again. Sure miss having a dog though.

The grief will pass eventually and you will remember all the fun times. Dogs are only in our lives for a short while but they make the most of it.
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post #5 of 16 Old 01-21-2019, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jbolty View Post
Everyone says to get another dog right away but personally I couldn't. Lost two to age in a year and just don't want to go through that again. Sure miss having a dog though.

The grief will pass eventually and you will remember all the fun times. Dogs are only in our lives for a short while but they make the most of it.
All we have ever known is the struggle of doggie parenthood. We got him very early in our marriage and he spent 6 years as our only child. Finding a dog sitter when we couldn't bring him with us was just one more thing to juggle. Initially I told myself no more dogs, I knew that whatever we got, I would get to replace Rhabbi. I want the same fur, the same goofy mannerisms. We picked the GSD because they were EVERYTHING we wanted in a dog. I was ill thinking about getting another because it would be close enough to remind me but different enough to crush me.

I am so sorry for your loss too btw. That must have been a rough year for you. When other former dog owners came up to me at church on sunday and struggled to say, "I am sorry for your loss." It is clear that it is just this bad. Thank you for your response. I am not a journaler or much of a writer, but putting these posts together is a good vent for my sadness.

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post #6 of 16 Old 03-18-2019, 08:57 PM
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We've all been there, and any pet owner that says it didn't suck is more than likely lying.
Even after reading your post, brought a tear to my eye, and we put our dog down a smidge over a year ago after having her for 15 plus years. We had two hits close to each other, our first cat we bought after marriage died at 16 but unexpectedly, then our next oldest, our dog we had to put down a few months later. It was harder for me, the fact we scheduled to put her down, not a bring her in and they say it's time kind of thing. We actually canceled putting her down once, and bought a few more months, but than she had a seizure at night, luckily we were both home and knew it was time. But we also have another dog so didn't have the complete quietness you had / have so maybe a little different.


It always helps to talk about, even here on the forum for anyone. Time does heal most wounds, and eventually you will think of the good times you had with your dog. And as others mentioned - sorry for your loss.
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post #7 of 16 Old 03-27-2019, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 92XJT View Post
We've all been there, and any pet owner that says it didn't suck is more than likely lying.
Even after reading your post, brought a tear to my eye, and we put our dog down a smidge over a year ago after having her for 15 plus years. We had two hits close to each other, our first cat we bought after marriage died at 16 but unexpectedly, then our next oldest, our dog we had to put down a few months later. It was harder for me, the fact we scheduled to put her down, not a bring her in and they say it's time kind of thing. We actually canceled putting her down once, and bought a few more months, but than she had a seizure at night, luckily we were both home and knew it was time. But we also have another dog so didn't have the complete quietness you had / have so maybe a little different.


It always helps to talk about, even here on the forum for anyone. Time does heal most wounds, and eventually you will think of the good times you had with your dog. And as others mentioned - sorry for your loss.

Thank you!

I was finally able to spread some of his ashes at the beach on Monday. Rhabbi loved the beach and the water! I found it made me pretty emotional the rest of the day.

We also remade a photo that we did with Rhabbi many years ago with a little tribute...



This is Rheverend (or Rhev).

I still miss the guy, and I will forever but time is helping!

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post #8 of 16 Old 03-28-2019, 11:28 AM
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Had the same thing in December, Thursday she showed signs of being sick, Friday night my puppy was gone. 11 days prior to her turning 2 on Christmas Day, still sucks.

2 days later I was about to head out for a 60 mile bicycle ride, was finishing up lunch and a young white GSD come up on my feed with A Home For Spot. Never was really interested in a white GSD, but I needed a GSD in my home and Izzy needed a new family. Now I need a second pup as I've been wanting to do for a while now.
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post #9 of 16 Old 04-13-2019, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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@terrasmak Thank you for sharing your story and your pictures!

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post #10 of 16 Old 04-21-2019, 10:23 PM
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If it is so bad that you are afraid to go to work and thus not provide for your family then perhaps you should consider counseling as it is having very detrimental affect on you.

I am trying to choose my words gently but they sometimes fail me due to the unusual isolated lifestyle.

Perhaps the words of another are more suited.

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Author unknown...
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post #11 of 16 Old 04-23-2019, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for sharing @Prot !

Ultimately, my initial feelings passed pretty quickly. I think pushing through, continuing to go to work and doing life for helped me get through it. I made this post the weekend we said goodbye. I was really scared for how long the feelings I was feeling were going to stick around as I had not really lost anything close to me before. Within the first week I was almost back to normal. I am doing considerably better at this point. Interestingly enough though, I feel like I have been more sensitive to talk of Rhabbi in the last week (3 months later) than for the 2 months before. Interesting how that works.

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post #12 of 16 Old 04-24-2019, 07:54 AM
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My last dog died in 1988 or 1989.

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post #13 of 16 Old 05-26-2019, 08:45 AM
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I知 so sorry for the loss all of you have suffered. Yes, only time will lessen the hurt.

I have a dog now, and I love him, but I went through similar things my two best dogs.

Misty, a Shellie, gorgeous blue Merle. So smart, graceful and athletic. She knew what to do before I even asked her. And when she ran, it was like she was floating.

She was running around playing all day, and at bed time my son said she wouldn稚 get on his bed. So I picked her up put her on his bed and she just rolled over and fell off the bed. She could barely move, so we put her to sleep the next day. Probably a stroke or heart attack.

This was about 18 years ago.. I値l tell you about the other one later. I知 still getting a bit choked up even after all this time....


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post #14 of 16 Old 05-26-2019, 08:46 AM
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A Sheltie... (Shetland Sheep Dog)


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post #15 of 16 Old 06-03-2019, 08:21 AM
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Sorry bud.
It's coming up on a year since we said goodbye to our dear Samson. Even with already having another pup in the family there was and still is that something missing. This "ball in the box" analogy hits it on the head, give it a read. https://www.distractify.com/p/doctor...-in-box-analog

A few months after Samson we decided to foster two 8 week old pups from a local adoption organization. Their business model relies 100% on volunteers to house pups between adoption events. At our second event one of the two brothers got adopted, something about him leaving his temporary home with his bro and coming home without him was the last straw.
I am proud to say that we are foster failures, Apollo joined the family that day and we couldn't be happier.

The ball in the box still hits all the time, especially reading yours and typing this, but Apollo has reminded me of all the great things Samson gave us, don't forget to remember yours!

"I am not a very religious man, however I am a firm believer that all dogs go to heaven and if that痴 the case, I better make sure I知 getting a ticket in too.
Thank you Samson, stallion of canines, my friend, my hero, we love you! Travel well, good boy, we値l see you on the other side."
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