animal grief

Kai, the Three Legged Maltese/Chinese Crested Mix, Rescue (part 1)

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“My late husband and I had a cat and the cat was his beloved cat.

We had agreed when the cat passed away, we would get a dog.

My husband died three years ago and the cat died last summer.

I went online in late June looking for a rescue dog.

I wanted an adult poodle.”

 

Tallulah, the Labrador Retriever/Whippet Rescue dog (Part 1)

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“I’ve always loved dogs.

I got Tally when I was in college, two years ago.

I got another dog first, but he was already sick with heart worm.

I didn’t want him to die in the shelter, so I adopted him and got him treated, but he died six months later from a grand mall seizure, related to his heart worm.

I knew I wanted to get another dog, so I waited until I went back home to Florence, Alabama and went to the local shelter, where I met Tally.”

 

 

Eleanor Roosevelt, the mixed terrier rescue, that helped her people get over their last dog. (part 2)

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“My husband and I decided that we could either be selfish and be grief stricken for six months or so, or we could give another abandoned dog a chance.

Suzi died on the 15th of March and Ellie was abandoned on the 17th of March.

We all grieved together, as Ellie was abandoned and missing her people at the same time that we lost Suzi and were sad and alone.

Ellie seemed like a good fit for that reason.

After caring for a senior dog for over a year, we wanted to care for a dog with a bit more energy that was also more independent.

Ellie was meek and seemed depressed at the beginning.

After six months, she started coming around.”

Dipper, the Wheaton Terrier with nine lives (part 2)

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“I came home from medical school and in some sort of twisted way, having Dipper in this pitiful situation, took me out of the misery that I was experiencing in school.

I refocused on family and the things that made me happier before my med school misery.

Then of course, Dipper made a miraculous recovery.

He was able to put med school in perspective, and stick around afterwards.

Now is not a good time for me to get a dog, but I hope my parents choose to get another dog once Dipper is gone.”

Dipper, the Wheaton Terrier with nine lives (part 1)

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“I was nine when my family got Dipper and I’ve spent my last 15 years with him.

We share a birthday.

It’s amazing growing up with a dog.

Simply put, dogs are so much fun.

I spent hours under the kitchen couch, petting and tickling Dipper.

One of the joys of having Dipper was watching him run in our backyard because he used to get these spontaneous  bursts of energy and run and run.

His energy was contagious and I played chase with him for hours.

The joint responsibility of owning Dipper brought my family closer together in that we shared the walking duties.  Learning the work that comes with having a dog helped my personal growth.

This past year was difficult.

I was in medical school and was miserable from  working day and night on material  I didn’t like.  Then I got a text from my mother, saying Dipper was doing terribly. He couldn’t control his bowels and he couldn’t stand up.

My mom thought he was going to die.”

Diego, the sensitive greyhound rescue (part 4)

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“I filed for separation from my husband a few months after Nutmeg died.

I realized that both Nutmeg and Diego were my guardian angels.

Throughout the stress of divorce and daily life, my dogs have been a grounding force.

They’ve been angelic.

They have wisdom.

Having dogs has centered my focus.

No matter what I am going through, I always have a reason to get up, walk, and feed Diego.

I always have a grounding responsibility that is a privilege.”

Diego, the sensitive greyhound rescue (part 3)

“Nutmeg died in front of Diego and me.  It was painful to watch.

I thought Diego was going to die, too.

He literally shut down.  He stopped eating, going to the bathroom and he wouldn’t move.

It took weeks for him to recover.

I started to feed him home cooked meat and let him lay down anywhere.  The furniture that had been forbidden for the dogs was now welcome for Diego to lay on.

I was willing to do whatever it took to get him back to the living.”

Diego, the sensitive greyhound rescue (part 2)

“Nutmeg went from being malnourished and frightened to learning that she was safe and healthy.

She became a vivacious diva.

She was both regal and goofy.

She had a giant overbite which made her look like a dork.

But, she also looked regal, like something out of European aristocracy (as the greyhounds often look).

I adopted Diego while I still had Nutmeg.

I wanted a baby and my husband (at the time) wasn’t right for the job.  He was neither willing nor capable.

I had more love to give and I rescued another greyhound; Diego.

At first, Nutmeg couldn’t be bothered with Diego, but he has this sweet genuine quality and eventually she gave in.

Diego would stand by Nutmeg, guarding her.

She was his queen.  It was phenomenal to watch.”

Diego, the sensitive greyhound rescue (part 1)

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“I started working with greyhound rescue 2o years ago.

Through that process, I learned about racing and abuse and the rescue efforts that were going on around the country.

That’s when I met my first greyhound, Nutmeg.

I got her in February, 2001.  She had been severely beaten and abused.

She was physically beaten and was afraid of everything, from different noises to her own fur coat.  She had been malnourished and her coat was patchy and thin.  Her skin was really dry.  Dogs’s skin and coat is a sign of their health and Nutmeg was in bad shape.

I worked with her to bring her back to optimal health.”

Figaro, the true companion (part 3)

“My last dog, Figaro 1 was also a purebred Golden Retriever who died of cancer.

I will get another dog, but it will not be a purebred, it will be a mutt.

They are healthier.

I find living near Central Park is great for dogs.

They get to socialize with people and other dogs.

Losing Figaro is a sad moment, but I have to face it.

I don’t want him in any agony or pain.

My veterinarian gave me his personal phone number so I can call him any day or night.”