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Celebrating a dog's life rather than mourning their loss

7/2/14 @ 9:19 AM
ORIGNAL POST
fshnuts
User since 6/12/06
With the recent passing of my beloved Springer Spaniel Panda I had a void. I couldn't get past it and was in a funk all the time. I needed to get out of it. What I chose to do was celebrate her life and the blessings we had because of her. She made what ever we did with her extra fun. She went everywhere with us. One of the things she loved to do was go fishing with us. She got very excited when we caught a fish. She learned early on what "fish on" meant. In short order we noticed she was watching our rod tips for a bend. Sometimes I would hook a weed, she would jump up, I would tell her "weed" and she would lay back down. At times she got so excited she would fall in the water. We would at times keep the fish in the water a little longer just to watch her antics. I am attaching a picture of one of these times.

It is my hope that this thread can be used by others that are in my position or have been where I am at and can also share the joy their beloved dogs brought to them when they were still with them. In order for me to move on I decided to celebrate the 12 years I had with her rather than mourn her passing.

DISPLAYING 1 TO 10 OF 13 POSTS
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7/21/14 @ 10:42 AM
fshnuts
User since 6/12/06
Yes it will be Horble. We have a 3 year old Springer at home right now. She did have those accidents as a pup and what we did learn once given the roam of the house during the day is to keep all rolls of toilet paper and paper toweling in a save place.

Panda, in all the years we had her, in the travel trailer, home, the house trailer up north, and the truck camper NEVER went in the house....EVER even as a pup. I know that this was not the norm and the pupply accidents were common with all the dogs we had she was the first one to ever NOT go in the house. And that purple duck we gave her the first day we picked her up is still in very good shape 12 years later. She was just an amazing dog.

7/17/14 @ 7:23 PM
Horble
User since 4/11/08
Fishnuts, I am sure the anticipation of picking up the new pup is high, along with the anxiety of potty training, whining in the night and what is going to get chewed up first. Good luck with the puppy. It is a new chapter in your family's life.

7/17/14 @ 8:12 AM
fshnuts
User since 6/12/06
Bugle Trout, those snuggle times are so important. They bring back good memories. It is comical how the family was "herded" so there was time for all of you to spend time together. I have a picture of Panda on my phone to say good morning to even though she is not there to pet. Panda went quick, like in a couple days. She was losing muscle mass and then she started losing control of her back legs. It was time. I snuggled with her as much as I could with tears in my eyes because the time had come.

Horble - It is tough knowing that our contant companion's life is coming to an end. Make the best of the time you have left and it sounds like you are. Yes, I am looking for another field bred Springer. A breeder I had contact info for during my the search for our 3 year old Springer Gypsy but did not contact now was. I sent the deposit in for the pup and also have a reservation with a 2nd breeder. Gypsy is liver/white and Panda was black/white. I am looking for another black/white. It was also a good way to keep them identified in the field so that will be my preference.

A friend of mine lost her black lab in February. While I commented to her I was hoping for one more year from Panda it was not to be. She hunted with me last fall every day, all day, and while not the speed she still had the stamina. She had a good life and rather than concentrate on the last two days I am trying to remember the countless good times we shared in the time we had her. It is helping but I have to confess there is a tear that comes to my eyes at least a couple times a day.

7/16/14 @ 9:30 PM
Horble
User since 4/11/08
I have been reading this thread with my 13 year old golden laying at my feet watching my every move like a loyal dog does. She has a white face now (like her owners beard) and unfortunately the day will come when we have to say good bye. Every dog I have had was the best one I ever owned. One goes and another fills the void. A well bred dog raised by a loving owner is going to break your heart someday because our lifespan is seven times longer. My 13 year old "pup" will probably put up a few grouse this year because she wants to go, even if her bones hurt after a 1/2 hour of busting the brush. And I am now researching the next pup which will probably be of the same great breeding because my Cody will be lucky to see 15. So yes, celebrate every dog's life. But don't hesitate to get on to the next one. The only thing harder than losing your dog is trying to live without one. I know LL doesn't like posting links but this one pertains to this thread so well. It was written by my brother-in-law and hunting partner Dick Ellis of On Wisconsin Outdoors 12 years ago. I will confess that the story is about my dogs, including the pup in the picture, which is the sweet and gray old lady laying at my feet.

http://www.onwisconsinoutdoors.com/HuntingDogs/troublewithdogs

7/16/14 @ 1:28 PM
BugleTrout
BugleTrout
User since 9/27/01
The story about Panda whining at you to go sit in your chair reminds me of our old boy who left this world a little over two years ago. His name was Marley and he was a 14 year old 100 lb lab/chow mix. The last year or two that he was with us, he’d wait patiently in the hallway for us to finish eating dinner and as soon as we had everything cleaned up, he’d start in with his nightly ritual of physically herding us into the living room for what we ended up calling, “pack loafing time”. He was too big to be in our laps or on our furniture but he had his rug between my wife’s and my chair. While we were watching TV, we’d all take turns laying with him on the floor for some much appreciated belly scratchings. We all knew he was near the end the last night that we loafed together. That evening, we were all on the floor with him making him feel as comfortable and loved as possible. I had to take him to the emergency clinic later that night because I couldn’t watch him suffer anymore. I know that we all were thankful that we got that last loaf time in with him.

7/16/14 @ 8:20 AM
fshnuts
User since 6/12/06
Dude, while in my head I have reached acceptance, my heart is lagging. While she is on my mind a lot, it is the little things that are getting to me. Things like finding one of her play bumpers under the blanket next to my chair. Finding a partially eaten chew under the bed. Going for a ride and not having her head on my shoulder wanting some attention. Not seeing her laying in my chair in the living room waiting for me to sit in it so she could sit on my lap. Not having her follow me as I did things in the house or in the yard.

A couple weekends ago we went camping. There were always 3 chairs to pack into the truck. I started packing them as we had for the last 11 years because Panda always wanted to lay in a chair. I went to put the 3rd one in and realized she would not be with us so I only needed 2. After a brief thought, a tear running down my cheek, I packed the 3rd one anyway! While she would not be in the chair she was still in my heart.

7/10/14 @ 9:54 AM
the_dude
the_dude
User since 1/10/03
It sounds as though you found your way to the 5th stage of grief: acceptance. Not everyone finds their way to the 5th and final stage, so that is good. Nice thread...

7/8/14 @ 7:33 PM
bass master$
bass master$
User since 2/19/08
It is a crazy thing on how we look back at our dogs & they still bring a tear to our eye. I lost my child hood dog when I was 10 she went every where with us. But the best memories is coming home from school& her waiting at the door for me or my dad and I walking down the railroad tracks and shooting birds of the power lines with her.im now 29 and have my first dog as an adult & my son & I do the same exact sfuff and when I see my son smile cause of baxter it brings a tear to my eye glad to see has the same enjoyment as I did when I was a kid.he asked me this weekend what are we gonna do wen baxters passes away . I simply told him thats why we have to enjoy every moment with him. as he threw another bumper in the water for baxter all I could do is shed a tear from my child hood & the hardest part I believe lady my child hood dog now lives through baxter. I hope we can all remember our dogs as I do. Here is mine

7/4/14 @ 2:09 PM
dcsnick1
User since 4/8/08
I'm not afraid to admit that I shed a tear when I read your post. Losing your best friend is very hard, and a time of morning is expected. Today is 3 weeks since I lost mine. I think about her daily, as I do my two girls that I lost last year. Guess that's what make losing Shelby so hard, 3rd dog I have lost in a year. All great hunters, and all great dogs. I'm 43, and have never had kids. My dogs are my kids. I treat them just like kids. Spoil them rotten. I have made a collage of pictures that I had for each of my girls as a way of healing. I also had them cremated and have there remains on a shelf in my living room. They will never be far from my heart, and as I write this I am wiping the tears from my face. Time heals all wounds they say, but sometimes it takes awhile.

7/3/14 @ 8:14 PM
fshnuts
User since 6/12/06
My hunting buddy for 15 years said with all the dogs he had ever had or all the dogs of others he hunted with, h e had never seen the bond between a man and his dog as he had with me and my Panda. It was like we were attached in heart and mind both in the field and at camp. It was like we could communicate without saying anything. While I trained her she taught me what was important. She would come to me when I was on the computer or on the porchy and whine at me. It took a while for me to understand. She wanted me in my chair and her on my lap. She wanted to tell me that our time was brief and we needed to make the most of it. So here she is in her favorite place...on my lap so we could spend time together. .

DISPLAYING 1 TO 10 OF 13 POSTS
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