Names of dogs: Lucky (poodle mix), Happy (Pom), Nibbler (Pug)
Poodle Type: Poodle-cross
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Never lost a dog before
I am REALLY trying hard to heal from my first rescue, who passed away 7-27-16. This summer has been really difficult. I live in Orlando, FL and knew people from the PULSE shootings but the hardest thing is getting over my dog's death.
I grew up not allowed to have any dogs (18 sad dogless years). What I did instead was read a lot about dogs, probably read all of the dog breed books out there. My favorite was DK's photographic books. When I was 9 years old, I saw this white sheepdog breed and I knew that was the dog I was gonna get when I grew up. So I got my dream dog at age 22 when I graduated from college and got my first apartment.
Sahara was truly my first dog and I rescued her when she was 8 years old. No one wanted her because she was considered geriatric and aggressive but I didn't really care because she had personality! She was literally the dog of my dreams! She was 16 when she died and for a Maremma Sheepdog, it is an insanely long. People tell me this all the time but it still hard to process because she was fine the night before. I guess more less fine...since she had cancer. Sahara had annual exams and annual bloodwork and they all came back normal. I even had her on Healthy Paws Pet Insurance. The one thing I didn't do was the annual radiograph-- she had osteosarcoma. I remember it so vividly, she couldn't get up and was so scared and it was 5am. We waited until 7am when the local orthopedic/oncology center opened and took her in but she never came out. I didn't want to take her to a regular vet because I wanted to make sure it was their specialty. I was not prepared for any of this!
I've never had to put down any animals before. I quit my job in a Neurobiology lab because of the rat experiments and went to a Neuropsychology lab that worked with animals. I had to quit because it made me cry every day. The only pet who has died was a few day old chick from preschool. Even then, my mom said I made all my family (both grandparents) attend the funeral and it took me a few weeks to get over. I was only 5 back then. So dealing with this stuff has never been strong suit.
I come to Poodle forum a lot because I am very desperate to bond with the new poodle mix puppy. I try to learn as much about poodles as I can because they seem fantastic--really smart, no shedding, extremely athletic (this one I didn't know before), and friendly with everyone. I am training Lucky to be my service dog and everyone who meets him LOVES him. He even passed his CGC on his 6-month bday. When I get sad I like to stay busy and we worked a lot on training.
I got Lucky a week after Sahara died because I couldn't accept she is gone. I think I am still in denial. I look at Eric's beautiful poem from "pet memorial" post every day on my phone. I saved it as a memo...Thank You Eric! Sahara is the screen saver on my work laptop, 2 home computers, and my two cell phones. I enjoy watching her videos every now and then. We had many happy memories together. My mom told me to change the photos for a while but I feel like if I am not looking at her she would be really gone. I really do cry every day and Lucky never seem to measure up. This is mostly in my head because of Sahara. I'm even saying things that doesn't make sense...ie: "Why is Lucky so happy all the time?...Sahara was grumpy and had personality!" Sahara had a very expressive face and I could always tell what she was feeling.
I have Sahara's ashes in my living room and her paw print but it is hard to think of that box as my beloved dog. A good friend told me that I just have to appreciate that every dog is different and embrace him for who he is. Sahara was kind of a one person dog and enjoyed guarding me. She would always sleep on my side of the bed. Lucky sleeps in his crate at night but we are working on alarm training. My fiance said that the purpose of the new dog is for you to get past your old dog and I should enjoy his company. However, this isn't happening so he suggested Lucky deserves a better home.
I just wanted to say that I really enjoy reading through this forum and everyone's stories. It brought me a lot of joy I would appreciate any advice. Sorry about the uber long post.
Last edited by snow0160; 09-29-2016 at 10:18 AM.
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Oh, hugs to you I know exactly what you're talking about. When my Penelope died when I was 19, I was absolutely devastated. I found an Old English Sheepdog puppy at a rescue one week later (the litter was dumped and no one wanted this pup because she was the runt and had a double hernia). My mom and sister went to see her for me, and they brought her home. As cute as she was, I felt like she had no personality compared to my Penny. We just didn't bond at all, so my parents took her and they had 13 wonderful years with her. Years later, when I was living in L.A. I fostered a lot of dogs before deciding I wanted my own. I took one look at Zooey's photo on the shelter website and I knew I had to have her. It actually took me a few weeks to get to know her, as she was very reserved at first, but I loved her and knew she would be with me forever. She is not Penny, but she and I have a very strong bond. Same with Maizie. I'm able to love them without comparing them to anyone else.
So now for my advice: if your heart isn't fully with Lucky, I think it may be best to find him a home where he will be adored for who he is. Finding a good home should be extremely easy since he's downright adorable and you're trained him so well. You could have your pick of great homes. But, if you want to give it some more time, your feelings may change. Whatever you do will be right for you. Also, I would recommend grief counseling. Losing a beloved dog is like losing a beloved person IMHO.
Take care -
Lacy Lane's Sail On Silver Girl CGCA, RATI, Pet Partners Therapy Dog (Maizie)
Rock'nRolla Frosty Blue (Frosty)
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I am so sorry. I have that t-shirt too. I look at it as a new day with a different, and still, great dog. A Scottish Terrier and a Standard Poodle are as different as chalk and cheese. For me, that was the point. My husband fantasized about cloning the Scottie. He loved that dog and risked his life for him. We both laugh at how Buck throws a front leg over my husband at night. I think the change was a good one! I hope it is for you too.
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Names of dogs: Lucky (poodle mix), Happy (Pom), Nibbler (Pug)
Poodle Type: Poodle-cross
Thanked 1,438 Times in 646 Posts
It is funny you mentioned cloning. For a long time we couldn't figure out what Sahara was so I mentioned cloning. Then I looked at the cost, the ethical consequences, and decided the money could be put to way better used. So fantasized would be the word I'd use as well haha. I'd risk my life for Sahara too! She was my dog and always stayed by my side...sleeping, eating, anything. Wherever I go, she would follow and protect me. The dog was so considerate that she never barked as long as I was asleep...even during daytime naps. My fiance was jealous and always got mad when I let her get away with things. For example, in her old age, I gave her pizza crust because I thought how many more pizzas can she have. It would set off her food aggression towards the other dog and one time she accidently bit me when i put my leg in to protect the Pug (also a pizza lover). Now I am glad I fed her all the pizza. The reason we decided not to get another Maremma was the aggression. We plan on having a baby in the next five years but I don't think LGD (Lifestock guardian dogs) would be best for that. My fiance especially worries about lawsuits when kids have sleepovers.
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Snao160- I know how you feel, I have put 5 poodles down or lost them one way or another. I remember everyone of them, and everything about them individually, but I also knew I would out live them and loose them before I wanted. Then only thing we can do it give them a good life, and enjoy happiness they the give use. It takes me months to get over loosing one, even though I may have another at the time.
Each dog is different, and I found never to compare one to the other, I love the current ones as much as I loved the ones I lost. Each have their own personality, and I do not expect to find the same thing I had in the dog I losts.
Your little dogs looks so sweet and deserves to be accepted for who he is and no compared to the dog you lost, he is his own person (dog). If you truly feel you cannot get attached to him, as you were your other dog, let someone have him who can appreciate him for who and what he is. Lucky is not Sahara and never will be he is Lucky
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First of all let me say that I am so very sorry for your loss. No matter how many times many of us have gone through these losses they can be terrible each time.
On May 16th of this year I lost my dear Spoo, Iris, my companion for 14 years. I knew this day was coming, but it was truly terrible. The sadness was nearly unbearable. Three days later, a fellow poodle forum member called me about a puppy available from her breeder. I called the breeder and the next day my pup, Poppy, was shipped to me via air. I took one look at her at the airport and burst into tears....of sadness for Iris and happiness at having Poppy.
Poppy will never take the place of Iris and I do not expect her to. She already has made her own place in my heart, right next to Iris and Rosie and all my other dogs over the past 62 years. I have done this a long long time.
I still have days and moments where I grieve for Iris and cry again....then Poppy bursts into the room with her lively puppy personality and she makes me smile and laugh again. Poppy is similar in many ways to Iris, they are both Spoos so share some similar characteristics, however Poppy is rapidly developing her own individual personality and I do enjoy seeing her grow as a "person" into her own little self.
What you are experiencing is pretty normal in terms of grieving. You can expect some up and down days but over time the loss is less painful and you will enjoy your new boy more and more for who HE is developing into.
Peace and joy will eventually take the place of the pain you are currently experiencing.
Fondly, Cathy and Poppy
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I think that there is something very special about one's first dog, and when that dog is also your heart dog the loss is devastating. Some people need another dog in their lives immediately - there is no comfort like a warm, sleepy puppy in your arms; others need tme to come to terms with their loss. There are no right or wrong answers, but I wonder if your BF, with the very best hopes of helping you through your grief, rather over persuaded you to get a puppy at once.
Then there is the shock of the new. You have been used to living with an adult dog, and you knew each other inside out. All those years of learning each other, agreeing boundaries, understanding the tiniest gestures and building deep loyalty and understanding give way to a new life - a bouncing, exuberant, ignorant pup, with everything to learn. Life with a puppy is hard, hard work - there are very few people who have not had "OMG what have I done?" moments, even when their pup comes after years of waiting and planning and hoping (or perhaps especially then, when expectations are so high). Puppy reality is about just that feeling!
Only you can decide whether Lucky will grow up into the right dog for you, and whether your feelings are a short term wobble or mean that you will never bond with him. I think your BF's reasons for not choosing a guarding breed are valid, but even if you had another Maremma she would not be Sahara. Even a clone would only resemble her physically - temperament and personality are hugely affected by environment and upbringing, starting in the womb. You knew the one and only Sahara that there has ever been or ever will be in all the world, and gave her 8 happy years and a gentle, easeful passing - that is something to be proud of and grateful for. Those years are now a part of who you are, so she can never be wholly lost and will never be forgotten while you live. Grief for her is still new and raw - very slowly the wound scars over, and it becomes easier to remember the happy times with a smile as well as tears, but that is in the future.
For now perhaps Lucky is more of a distraction than a comfort. The responsibility for his well being gets you up and out in the fresh air, training and exercising him force you to concentrate on something other than grief, his silliness will make you smile despite yourself. My own feeling is that while you might have found it easier to bond if you had waited longer before getting a puppy, and perhaps been more involved in choosing one, as long as you make a conscious effort not to compare Lucky with Sahara or to resent him for being with you when she is not, the love will come in time.
To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden,
where doing nothing was not boring- it was peace.
~ Milan Kundera
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We can never forget the ones we lose, nor should we. What we must do is celebrate their lives and remember the good things. To grieve them is to lock out the goodness they brought to our lives..
I agree with you Eric, on cases where the loss is expected. But, for me anyway, when I loose a pet unexpectedly and from an accident, it's very devastating. The pain is excruciating, and it takes a long time for me to recuperate from sudden loss. In cases like that, there are stages that I have to go through, before I can look at pictures and reminisce about the good times.
In other words, I can handle pet loss a lot better when I know that the time is near, and I can at least brace myself for the inevitable. But when it's sudden and so unexpected, it's totally different.
I love this:
"No matter what happens in life, be nice to people. Being nice to people is a peaceful way to live, and a beautiful legacy to leave behind."
( Found on Google Search )
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I am so sorry to be so late to this and so terribly sorry for your loss. How is it going now, this last month or so since you wrote this? Is anything easing up for you? It can take a very long time sometimes to get that little hint of acceptance and that, I think is the spring board for healing. But it can take a long time sometimes. Some dogs that I've had, I was better resigned to it than others and sooner than others. So everyone is different. You'll get there in time. I'm just so sorry you've been suffering so. (((hugs)))
I wrote some poems when I lost my heart dog, Lyric, my Doberman, right after I came home from getting him put down. They're not fine poetry, but it was therapeutic and came from my heart. I wrote through tears and sobbing and not from much consciousness about what I was writing. I was particularly stricken with grief, more than ever and I've lost lots of dogs. This dog was only 4 yr. old. And we had done absolutely everything together. My hard grief lasted so long, well over a year. I was really depressed for a long time after. I had other dogs which helped but...Anyhow, I hope you're doing better and that Lucky is working his way into your heart with his own, individual wonderfulness.
I think it's so true that it's important to focus on the celebration of our loved one's life, to remember the good times with a smile. But at the same time, hold onto the other dog (s) for comfort and give them comfort, for they feel what we feel a lot of times, so in tuned they are. Enjoy your new puppy for who he is and soon, he'll meld into your heart like most all dogs in our lives do.
Because we remember, in a way our beloved dogs never really leave our hearts. We miss their physical presence, naturally...that reality that we're used to feeling is the only reality, but their soul lives on in some sort of way if we focus on the happy memories, the funny stories, the love.
This is a really embarrassing poem to post, so sing songy, (they're all sing songy) but my Dobe was a true kid. He was a major goof ball, so full of fun, not the dignified, serious picture they portray to most people. So in his child-like manner, I thought I heard him tell me this: And I'm hoping it will mean something for you too. (((hugs))) And know this...the pain will ease up.
Words From Lyric To Me
I know you’re feeling sad and blue,
So hear these words from me to you,
Mourn not too long, for I am there,
Our lasting memories we’ll both share.
I remember when you’d call,
I’d run so fast, I’d make you fall,
You fell hard upon the grass,
I laughed with glee, when you fell on your (oops).
My memories of you are vast,
I love my present and I loved my past.
I am now, free of pain,
Running in the shine or rain.
Many, many friends I’ve made,
Here at the bridge, I know their names.
Mom, you must know that I am fine,
Happy, healthy, the world is mine.
Mom, don’t forget I miss you too,
And sometimes feel sad and blue,
But when you come to join me here,
The meaning will be very clear.
And before you come, be sure to tell
That I wish everybody well.
Be sure to tell them… they will see,
All the love you have for me.
For when dogs go off to Rainbow Bridge,
Their families follow up the ridge,
Dogs and people go together,
Never parted by foul weather.
Do not mourn so very long,
You taught me that very song,
Don’t forget that I am there,
I’m in all you love so dear.
I am everywhere, you see,
I am your very energy,
I’m even in your room at night,
Close your eyes and douse the light.
I never really ever left,
My body yes, my soul not yet,
Not ever Mom, I’d never leave,
For we are intermingled weave.
I’m still there, though you don’t know,
It’s like the way a river flows,
It twists and turns and takes a dive,
It disappears, plays tricks and hides.
Keep me in your heart and mind,
And I with you, will keep in kind,
We’re interwoven, that’s forever,
I won’t leave you, never ever.
Written by: Carrie (in behalf of Lyric)
Properly trained, a man can be dog's best friend.
"If you love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." -- Samuel Adams 1776
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