The Grieving Place

Here is where we can discuss canine cancers and treatment options to create a support system for those dealing with the disease.

Postby Suzi » November 30th, 2009, 2:15 pm

Being a bit of an older woman,,,,I have loved and lost a few....They have all left their pawprints on my heart,,,,and are still directly attached to my soul. I to made a comment after I lost my girl Rosie,,,I will never have another dog,,,as the pain is to great.....Well,,,,my daughter "earned" her way into getting a puppy (Bella). The pain, I found never dissapears for good,,,we can never replace that love we have, or had for the others,,,,or erase their memories.....But,,,,,,the true gift of the ones we have lost,,,is what they have taught us,,,and what they have given. Through the years I now realize,,,Bogart taught me responsibility,,,,he gave to me love,,,and so much patience. Kaiser's strenghth was loyalty,, protection and love. He taught me that, it is sometimes better to look before you leap,,,and that it is good to go slow into friendships...Cyanne,,,helped me to learn team work,,,and how to go slow and be gentle,,,that in time, trust can be built,,,,it takes love. Rommel,,,well,,,he taught me it's ok to be goofy,,,and not to always "read between the lines",,,take a chance,,,to try new things... Rosebud (Rosie) was my first Pit Bull,,,,she was the first one I got adopted by after I said I could never have another dog.....Rosie, taught me how to deal with fear of the unknown (I to was one of those folks who "feared" Pit Bulls),,,,she taught me about predjudice, how hurtful and unfair it is,,,how not to be judgmental,,,,when she got up in years (she passed at 19),,,she showed me that with age,,,that we must slow down and smell the roses,,,how good it feels on a sunny day to just lay in the sun or sit around a warm fire and enjoy the peace,,,the smells,,,and the sounds of birds chirping,,,,rivers running,,,,kids playing,,,or just silence...She taught me fortitude, and perserverance no matter what obstacles that may appear before us.. Sometimes we cannot see through the fog until pressed to do so.
Now for Bella.....She is my current family member. She brought joy back into my heart,,,brings so much laughter to myself as well as anyone who meets her. Bella is the ultimate "class clown". She has, and is currently teaching me organization,,,insistant on getting enough exersize every day,,,that being social is very important,,,and needs to be done every week at least a time or two. Bella is fighting cancer right now,,,and I am ringside with her,,,so now I am learning nutrition,,not to squaler in tears and depression (time can be short let's have fun damn-it!),,,,,that having a dog is a very integural part of my life,,,through her,,,I have made new connections in my life, that I am not alone,,,,,I have learned what BSL stands for. I have a feeling my learning curve is just beginning.
My dogs have given me so much. I just hope that they have felt the same towards me. I think they did.
I've learned unconditional love,,,how to be a better parent,,,how to enjoy life. I can't say that after Bella's time is done here,,,that I won't get another dog,,,as they say you grow old when you stop learning....What wonderful teachers/educator's they are!

This is an awsome thread for so many reasons...First and foremost it gives time for reflection, which leads to taking a walk down Memory Lane,,,whether it brings tears or smiles,,,we are human,,,it is OK to grieve,,,,it's ok to NEVER forget. We are not alone,,,,in time the pain will subside, and although a tear may still come from time to time,,,,hopefully smiles surface to,,,,remembering the good times we've all shared,,,the tough times we've survived through.....It's all good in a bittersweet way.

Off my podium.......Happychick,,, *hugs*,,,thanks again for starting this thread,,,For all of us,that are in the middle,,take time with the grieving process, each step is very important to get to the final stage of acceptance,,,then healing.

Time to dry my tears (I still miss all of them dearly) and go play a game of Tug....
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Postby Brownies Mom » November 30th, 2009, 10:07 pm

HappyChick wrote:I brought her home with me and she is not going anywhere. She (Leni) is a part of our family and a gift from Vinny. I believe he knew how much Leni needs us and we need her. These last two days with her there has been more happiness in our home than we've experienced in awhile.

My daughter said she knew I would have another pit bull someday. She said "What was the point of Vinny being in your life if you don't continue taking care of pit bulls?" I guess Leni is a part of Vinny's legacy.

So Brownie's Mom, how are YOU doing?

I read about Leni in your announcement post, and was so happy for you! I really think bringing A-Jay into our family was the beginning of a healing process for me, and I'm sure Leni will be for your family, too.

I know what you mean about thinking you wouldn't get another pit bull (and isn't your daughter savvy?). I found A-Jay on, but I started out looking at just yellow lab rescues. I found one boy I was seriously considering, but when I pictured us looking at each other, I felt my mind saying "but you're not Brownie." So I knew I couldn't do another yellow lab right away, but I didn't get that feeling when I looked at other breeds/mixes, so that was my own personal experience. But - I was looking, and you weren't, so little Leni truly is a gift in your life, isn't she? If a yellow lab had come into my life like Leni came into yours, I don't think I would have passed it up either. :dance:

How am I doing? It depends (sigh). But that's okay. As long as things are changing, I feel like I must be moving through the grief process and not stuck in it. I have wonderful, joyful moments with A-Jay and Remy, and we share a lot of love and laughs. I'm looking forward to Christmas, because it will be A-Jay's first Christmas here this year. If A-Jay weren't here, I think I would probably be dwelling on it being Brownie's last Christmas here last year.

I was reading some of the poems that people included, and I wanted to add one. When I think about being lucky to have had Brownie in my life, and how much it hurt to lose him, I often think of this poem:

Lend Me a Pup

I will lend to you awhile a pup, God said,
For you to love while he lives and to mourn when he's dead.
Maybe for twelve or fourteen years, or maybe for two or three.
But will you, till I call him back, take care of him for me?

He'll bring his charms to gladden you and (should his stay be brief)
you'll always have his memories as solace for your grief.
I cannot promise that he will stay, since all from earth return,
But there are lessons taught below I want this pup to learn.

I've looked the whole world over in search of teachers true
And from the folk that crowd life's land, I have chosen you.
Now will you give him all your love nor think the labor vain
Nor hate me when I come to take my pup back again.

I fancied that I heard you say "Dear Lord Thy WIll Be Done,"
For all the joys this pup will bring, the risk of grief you'll run.
Will you shelter him with tenderness, and love him while you may
And for the happiness you've known, forever grateful stay?

But should I call him back much sooner than you've planned
Please brave the bitter grief that comes and try to understand.

"If, by my love, I've managed your wishes to achieve,
In memory of him I've loved, to help me when I grieve,
when my faithful bundle departs this world of strife,
Please send to me another pup, to love him all his life."

- Author Unknown
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Postby HappyChick » December 6th, 2009, 1:20 pm

We did the final part yesterday, we picked up Vinny's ashes. I was so worked up about the finality of it, but afterwards, I felt a peace that I had not expected. I suppose maybe the peace comes from finally having everything complete, we've come full circle. Vinny is home where he belongs. The only thing we have left to do is find a proper holder for his ashes and that will be done soon enough.

We took a gift to Dr. Blakeley and All Pets when we picked up Vinny. It was a collage frame with pictures of our Vinny and one of the poems that was given to us after his passing. There was not a dry eye in the building when we gave them the gift and picked him up. Not only did we cry, but we talked about him, and smiled too. I told them I hoped they could find a spot somewhere in the back to put the pictures, but we were told "Oh no, this will be put somewhere in the front office for all to see."

Yesterday was a good day, it was a day of healing for our spirits.

Vincenzo = Love.
Angie & crew

My beloved Vincenzo 07/22/05 - 11/16/09 forever in my heart. Cancer sucks.
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Postby Brownies Mom » December 6th, 2009, 10:05 pm

Everyone I know who has had their dog cremated said the same thing you did - we they received the ashes, it gave them peace and they felt like the dog was finally home.

I was torn between cremation and burying Brownie, and actually made up my mind the night before I took him in to find out what was wrong. We helped our cat Skillet cross over to the Bridge on 3/31, and then Brownie on 4/1. We brought both home and buried them here. We live in the country and have what I call a "tree row" along one side of the property, and that's where they are buried, though not really very close to each other. Remy and I (and now A-Jay and I, too) stop by every time we go for a walk, and say hi to Brownie...

I miss them both so much.
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Postby ArtGypsy » December 6th, 2009, 10:22 pm

:groupHug: :groupHug: :groupHug: :groupHug:

This is a beautiful, Helpful Thread.
Thank You Angie, for Starting it....
“Hope has two beautiful daughters: their names are Anger and Courage.
Anger that things are the way they are.
Courage to make them the way they ought to be.”----Augustine
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Postby Brownies Mom » December 6th, 2009, 10:55 pm

Hi Suzi, I think about you and Bella all the time, and have been wondering how she's doing. :greenRibbon: I was getting a bit worried because you haven't posted any updates so I've been watching, hoping you would post. :anyMinute: How are things going?
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Postby HappyChick » June 27th, 2010, 5:47 pm

So many times, every day actually, I think about my Vin and grieve for a moment that is soley his. I still cry at least half of the time when I talk about him.

Today I was doing some deeper house cleaning and ran across a Stillwater collar I bought him. It was too wide for my liking so Vinny only wore it a few times. I decided to donate it to our Shelter. I wanted to clean it up a bit before donating and as I looked it over, I saw the velcro is filled with Vinny hairs. I didn't cry at first, I just continued with the cleaning. Now though, the tears are falling. I miss that dog so much that sometimes I can't catch my breath for the sadness...this is one of those times.
Angie & crew

My beloved Vincenzo 07/22/05 - 11/16/09 forever in my heart. Cancer sucks.
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Postby iluvk9 » June 27th, 2010, 7:28 pm

Oh, Angie, I am so sorry for your pain. I understand.

I can only say from my experience with losing my dogs that in time it is a different pain. There will be moments when you can think of them and not cry. But those other times when you are talking about them to someone, and your eyes start to fill up, will happen forever. It's because we love so deeply.

Louie has been gone for for 7 years, Carlos for 6 and Bearman for 4. I have their photos next to my bed and I still say good night and good morning to them.

Vinnie Bo Binny was a big part of your life. Grieving has no time limit. Just get through the moment when it hits you.
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Postby mnp13 » June 27th, 2010, 8:37 pm

Mordred has been gone for 7 years, and I still cry for him. I have found random - and unexpected - photos of him and they make me happy and at the same time make me ache for his loss.

It doesn't always go away, don't feel bad about missing him.

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Postby amazincc » June 28th, 2010, 2:21 am

Same here... I have moments when I'm completely caught off guard, and my heart feels like it will explode from all the pain.
I know it's not always going to hurt this much, but that's very little consolation right now... :sad2: :hug3:
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Postby chewbecca » June 28th, 2010, 1:23 pm

amazincc wrote:Same here... I have moments when I'm completely caught off guard, and my heart feels like it will explode from all the pain.
I know it's not always going to hurt this much, but that's very little consolation right now... :sad2: :hug3:

I can relate.

I had a dream 2 weeks ago about Ella. I have not publicly posted about the dream because I couldn't bring myself to. I felt so damn selfish for how I felt after the dream.

Before I talk about the dream, we recently had two of our good friends return from a trip to Paris, France.
They came over the night that I had the dream. So, part of my dream spurred from that I think.

In my dream my husband and I were scrounging for change to go to Paris. He told me to lift the couch cushions.
Then next thing I know, we're walking on this sidewalk, side-by-side, and on the side of me was just ALLLL green grass and trees, and the sun was shining through the trees. I knew, somehow, that I was in Heaven, or place a JUST LIKE it. But it wasn't textbook perfect, but it WAS perfect, because all its imperfections were perfect. I remember thinking in my dream that "even the sidewalks aren't straight in heaven" as I had to lift my foot as I walked not to trip over a rise in the sidewalk.
Then I saw these two figures that were shadowy black and gold. They were walking towards us with Ella between them. These figures weren't evil, just ghosts. Ella was a ghost, too, but more tangible-looking than the two walking with her.

And they stopped once they reached us. And I wanted to reach out to Ella, but I knew that if I did, I wouldn't really be able to touch her. But she looked the best I had EVER seen her. She had a huge bully smile on her face, her ears were perked up (with the tips folding forward), and we did this kind of mind meld thing where she was telling me with her mind that she was ok. She was more than ok; she was happy.
She was healthy and she didn't get anxious around other dogs anymore. And she was being walked regularly there. (which is one of the various things I felt so guilty about because in real life, for the three weeks her node was swollen on her neck, before we knew what it was, the vet told us to keep her rested, not to take walks with her or play fetch with her because he didn't know if it was an infection that could be worsened by her exerting herself physically. And then when we found out it was cancer, by the time it was too late, I was soooo pissed that I didn't get to let her do the things that made her happiest before I had to let her go).

And then I crossed the street, and we came across the lady who owns the dog food store that I buy my dog food at, and she asked me who I was just talking to. And I was afraid she'd think I was crazy, so I told her that I just ran into some old neighbors of mine.

After waking up from that dream, I couldn't stop crying. And I cried on and off until noon that day.
And I felt soooo damn selfish for crying because I was so sad. I wanted to walk her. I wanted to touch her.
But I couldn't.
And Ben kept telling me that the dream should make me happy. But it didn't.

But it does now. And after that day, I felt much more at peace than I had previously.

But I don't think I'll EVER STOP being mad at the cancer for taking her.
It's an anger that is soooo deep. I am so mad that it took her within 3 weeks and one day. It actually invaded her organs BEFORE that. It actually invaded her organs in 2 weeks and one day.

Then I get soooo mad at myself for feeling so helpless against that cancer at times.

I just cannot believe how unfair it is.
She was in tip top shape right before she got sick.
She was the healthiest she had EVER BEEN in the entire time we had her.
And she got cancer anyway.
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Postby LMM » June 28th, 2010, 1:30 pm

I am of the belief that when we see loved ones in our dreams, that is their way of letting us know they are okay. They are at peace. In an effort to bring us just a little peace.
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Postby HappyChick » June 28th, 2010, 8:44 pm

I think Ella came to you in that dream. She knew you would remember the dream. Vinny has never come to me in a dream, but he gave me signs. I guess I believe when we lose loved ones, canine or otherwise, they communicate with us from the hearafter. I think they take the form that they know we will see and that will mean something to us.

I've heard stories of coins appearing, dreams, objects being moved, etc.

The trouble is, getting those messages doesn't make you miss them any less in the beginning. It just makes you ache more to touch them again.

However, those messages do become more comforting the longer they've been gone.
Angie & crew

My beloved Vincenzo 07/22/05 - 11/16/09 forever in my heart. Cancer sucks.
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Postby Emi » June 30th, 2010, 5:45 pm

Last Night

I stood by your bed last night, I came to have a peep.

I could see that you were crying, You found it hard to sleep.

I whined to you softly as you brushed away a tear,

"It's me, I haven't left you, I'm well, I'm fine, I'm here."

I was close to you at breakfast, I watched you pour the tea,

You were thinking of the many times, your hands reached down to me.

I was with you at the shops today, Your arms were getting sore.

I longed to take your parcels, I wish I could do more.

I was with you at my grave today, You tend it with such care.

I want to re-assure you, that I'm not lying there.

I walked with you towards the house, as you fumbled for your key.

I gently put my paw on you, I smiled and said " it's me."

You looked so very tired, and sank into a chair.

I tried so hard to let you know, that I was standing there.

It's possible for me, to be so near you everyday.

To say to you with certainty, "I never went away."

You sat there very quietly, then smiled, I think you knew...

In the stillness of that evening, I was very close to you.

The day is over... I smile and watch you yawning

and say "good-night, God bless, I'll see you in the morning."

And when the time is right for you to cross the brief divide,

I'll rush across to greet you and we'll stand, side by side.

I have so many things to show you, there is so much for you to see.

Be patient, live your journey out...then come home to be with me.

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Postby ParisStreetPitCrew » October 16th, 2010, 9:24 am

I miss Jasmine so much. It's still so empty without her and all of the little things she used to do that made her who she was.
Phil and I had a little talk about it the other night (he's really not a talker). I couldn't stop crying. Even though we both really know what we had to do for her was the right thing, there's always the questioning. He said he wondered if the decision he made was right--- and then thought about her hiding in the bed in the corner and struggling to breathe. That wasn't our Jasmine... that poor old gal was broken.

We keep grabbing four treats for the dogs when we leave, and Phil called her to go outside the other day. It's tough when the realization hits you that she's really gone. He hung her collars on the wall.

Jasmine was a dog like no other. She was a Queen, a punk, a diva, a lover and a goof. She was my best walker and car rider. She was a pillow and a snuggler. She was a shoe thief and a light-chaser. She would honk and stomp her feet to get what she wanted. She would turn away when you would say "don't look at me" She loved a game where she would open her mouth for me to blow in it and she'd try to bite the air. She would nudge the blankets at night so I would pull them up for her to climb under.

Jasmine would have fought and fought for us but it wasn't right. And even knowing this, my heart still burns. There is the lump in my throat I cannot swallow.

I sleep with her baby every night- a teddy bear that was a gift to me, but she claimed it as her own. She groomed it and cuddled it and carried it all around. She protected it from the other dogs.
And I know she's still here.
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Postby iluvk9 » October 16th, 2010, 9:28 am

I am sorry for your pain. :sad2:
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » October 16th, 2010, 9:51 am

I'm so very sorry for you and Phil... :cry:
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Postby Suzi » October 16th, 2010, 11:28 am

Hugs from the PNW.......
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Postby CinderDee » October 16th, 2010, 4:12 pm

I'm so sorry, Allie. :hugs3:

I know that pain intimately. My experience is that the raw, searing pain does lessen after a time & makes it easier to go on. I wish that for you & Phil.

I'm keeping you both in my thoughts. :hugs:
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Postby BullyLady » October 17th, 2010, 2:24 pm

I'm so sorry, Allie..... :hug3:
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