My beloved Abbey Road, aged 13 and 3/4 passed away on February 20, and today we held a funeral at the pet cemetary for her.
I rescued her when she was 5 1/2, back in 1999. In "those days" the OES rescue sites weren't very modern, so the only information I could get was by phone from the rescue person. I didn't have a chance to meet her, to see whether we had good chemistry. No pictures, or anything. But from the moment I met her we were inseparable. My mom said I struck gold with her. She must have sensed that my love was real and that I would take good care of her. We had 2 OES when I was young, and I knew exactly what they were all about (the clowns of the dog world) and what to do. From that first day, we never looked back. We truly were a team. We are featured on the OES Canada rescue site under "success stories" if you want to see pictures.
I was amazed with each year that passed, especially since she had been a rescue dog, I didn't know her medical history, etc. Also, our 2 OES died too young (ages 1 & 3, respectively) so I was spooked about life expectancy in general. But she seemed to happy & healthy year in and year out. Even as late as age 11-12, my mom would say she looked and acted like a 2 year old.
But less than a year ago, her doctor spotted what look liked a cancerous mass in her abdomen and the ultrasound tests confirmed it. Although she was past the average age of a sheepdog, I didn't want to accept that her life would be over so suddenly. I met with a few surgeons and they all said the same thing: surgery was her only chance of survival and even then there were no guarantees, given her age. I researched and researched and thank god, my regular vet who has a naturopathic practice on the side, told me about the possibility of treating her cancer with naturopathic remedies. She said, it may not cure the cancer, per se, but it would possibly slow it down. To make a long story not quite so long, for almost the past year, I had Abbey on a multitude of remedies, and she was able to enjoy her last year relatively pain free, happy and without the shock of surgery to her system. I am also so thankful I had taken out pet insurance and that the insurance company did not give me any trouble for claiming the naturopathic remedies (I think that was because they were prescribed by my vet who is licensed). I am so grateful for having had the chance to spend the last year with her. Please everyone explore all the possibilities before giving up (of course, there are no guarantees but this was truly a medical miracle).
But on February 20, ironically enough, while she was at the vet getting examined for a smaller mass that had recently appeared on her toe, the cancerous mass in her abdomen apparently burst and she collapsed. I am grateful to have had the chance to say good bye to her that day. She was so happy to see me when I rushed to see her from work, but then she just couldn't make it through this time.
Part of me feels guilty for having thought that she was strong enough to make it through a routine examination, because the day before everything was as good as usual (she was running down the hallway, and her dogwalker left a note saying that she was a "cookie monster" that day). She hated going to the vet clinic though. Personally, I think the stress of going there that day tipped her over the edge, but my vet and my dogwalker said, if she was that fragile, she would have probably gone very soon after anyway. Still, I was hoping that when her time came, it would be in the comfort of our home. Anyway, I guess it is good that it happened quickly and she did not have a long period of suffering or pain.
I know she had a good long life. But today, even though it's been 2 months since she passed, somehow I feel worse than before. I thought the funeral would give me a sense of closure, but now I just feel so sad. I can't stop crying. I miss her so much. She was such an important part of my life, and I still can't believe we're no longer together.
|I am so sorry for your loss. You have my deepest sympathies.|
|What a great thing you did rescuing a sheepie and giving her such love and such a good home. I am so sorry to hear of her passing and hope that in time you will be able to smile and remember all the love she gave you and the fun times.|
|I am sorry for your loss, always hard when our babies have to go.
We all have the guilts too, especially after such a recent loss, always the what if, maybe etc, that is the hard part. We do everything we possibily can out of love and hoping to have them just that bit longer.
As time goes by that feeling is replaced with the love and wonderful memories that they leave us with in our hearts forever.
Again so sorry for your loss, a wonderful and special girl abbey certainly was, you are in our thoughts at this sad time.
|I am sorry for your loss. She sounds like a wonderful dog!
|I'm sorry for your loss and for your feeling so badly about missing Abbey.
Can't say much more than time WILL heal, just the healing process isn't a straight line. Some days are better than others.
|I'm so very sorry for your loss.|
|Your Abbey sounds like she was a sweet and wonderful dog. How lucky you both were on the day she came to your home.
a big hug from our house.
|I am sorry about your loss.
Thank you for giving Abbey a home. She sounds like she was a wonderful member of your family.
Dixie and Bosley send gentle kisses from just west of you.
|I am so sorry for your loss. She was lucky to have a wonderful home with you. You are in my thoughts and prayers.|
|I'm so sorry, whatever time we have together is never enough . She was a lucky girl to have a loving home, when the tears stop (and they will) your memories will make you feel whole again.|
|Abbey sounded like an amazing companion! Don't fret about the tears still being there. I so understand how you feel, its been 18 months since I lost Tyler Joe and I still cry on occasion, much less frequently, but I still miss him deeply and know that I will for the rest of my life. He too bonded with us much the way Abbey bonded with your family. They have such a way of burrowing into our hearts and to be truthful, they never ever leave. But now that he isn't here in body, I'm glad that he is with me in my heart each day. But it did take a long time getting there. I have since adopted another wonderful boy to add to our sheepie brood and while he isn't Tyler I love him too.
I enjoyed reading about Abbey and I hope that we hear more of her in the coming months and years. I will bet you have many stories to share about her.
Thank you for being a loving and wonderful adoptive family!
I'm so so sorry for your loss
Wendy and Gismo
|I'm so sorry.|
|Im so sorry.
|You and Abbey shared a wonderful life together so her passing is all the more painful. Tears are necessary, don't be ashamed. I still get teary-eyed thinking about my departed love ones.
When you are ready, think about another rescue friend. They so despertly need homes and Abbey paved the way into your heart, showing you your rich compassion and....obviously your playful spirit....that other babies need to experience. You would not be dishonoring Abbey, quite the contrary.....you would be honoring her memory. There may be only one cookie monster in your heart, but I suspect there might be a cookie-bear or other such out there for you.
|Coming to this late, but it is easy to see how much you and Abbey meant to one another. I am very sorry to hear of her passing. I know how painful it is to lose a dear canine friend after so many years together.|
|I am so very sorry for your loss|
|Face licks from all our fur folks.|
|My condolensces on your loss. Please allow yourself to grieve. It's a different timeframe for everyone and of course you are feeling sad that is completely to be expected. I still cry after five years.
Whatever way our sheepies leave us most of us feel guilty. That too is normal. Just shows how much your sheepie was loved!
First, thanks for all your messages. They have been a big help during this difficult time.
Something happened this weekend and I didn't know how to deal with it. I was at a dinner with family and some people I didn't know and all of the sudden the topic of pet care came up. Everyone there started making fun of the lengths people go to take care of their pets...Even inlaws from my family who knew how devasted I am after having losing abbey a few months ago (and what a struggle we went through this past year after she was sick) were joining in....I felt so alone there...I didn't know how to stand up for myself because I was just shocked at how insensitive everyone was being not only in front of me but how they could feel that way in general.
Any advice how I could have responded? I didn't want to cause a scene but i felt like screaming and/or just evaporating from their presence...
|I don't know that my response will help, however your message is so close to my heart, I must try. I have been through this recently myself. One of our dogs passed in Feburary and this was a very upsetting time for both myself, husband and our kids. The response from most of my friends was to avoid me and not talk about it. No not even a "hey I am sorry to hear about your dog". Made me question my choice in friends!!! Then at my Mom & Dad's house, we were talking about it, I was quite upset, and my sister starts complaining about her dog, and what a pain in the behind she is, and how I can have her dog if I want one. Yes I had to keep my mouth shut, or I would have lost it! What I realized, much later after much thought, is that though they all have dogs, they have never lost one. Honestly, the passing of a dog IS something you must go through to really understand. Now, whenever I encounter what I consider lack of sensitivity, I remind myself that they have not been through this and don't know what they are talking about. Ignorance is bliss!!! Though I may not be able to help you with this, I do understand your feelings, I am so sorry for the loss of your lovely, beautiful dog. Know that there are people out there going through this with you, we are not alone. Diane|
|Some people just don't connect that closely with their pets, too.
I have had to explain to people just how close we were with our first guy. I just explained that: "I don't think you understand just how close we were; we spent every moment of the last ten years with him, we took him with us on all of our vacations, never put him in a kennel, in fact in ten years we were both apart from him for a few days, when we left him with Joan's sister, and every night he slept in our bed."
Some still don't get it, but at least they shut up.
|Sorry to hear about both AbbeyBear's & Shaggy's losses.
I agree with Ron, that some people are so connected to their dogs and others don't see them as a family member. I don't think it matters whether you have gone through the loss or not. It's whether you are passionate, or not, about animals.
|I am so sorry you had to listen to that. Talk about insensitive. My husband and I will never get over the loss of our first sheepie Quincy, and I cry to this day when I think about him too much. (It's been 3 years!) Much like Ron and Joan's first sheepie, Quincy was such a part of our family, also taken on every vacation. The only night I ever spent apart from him was the night before he passed away, when he was at the vets.
It sounds like your Abbey was that much a part of your family, so it's a shame that the people closest to you couldn't be a little more compassionate. We were fortunate to be surrounded by people who understood how much Quincy meant to us, and how much it hurt to lose him. We received over 60 sympathy cards, people were making us dinner, sending us flowers, really supporting us when we were at our lowest.
Do not ever feel bad about feeling bad!!!! It just means you have a big heart, which is a wonderful thing. All of us here understand your pain and loss.
|I am so sorry|
When you are ready, think about another rescue friend. You would not be dishonoring Abbey, quite the contrary.....you would be honoring her memory.
I found this to be very true. Ultimately, the only thing that really helped with the loss of Winnifred was when we adopted Sadie onlytwo months later. I would have never thought that it would have been so soon, but it seemed right. And it was right for us.
I understand how you feel and I am very sorry for your loss. Take care.
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